Random Friday


And it’s another anthology author! She was also part of my first bundle and I met her at my first offline workshop on the Oregon Coast, back in 2011. She’s a sweet Canadian who writes gripping stories. You can find her work in Sci-fi Short Stories Space Opera Mashup as well as her own site below. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Marcelle Dubé!

1. What is it about space opera that draws you to it?

I love the vast scope of space opera, and the mystery of what might be out there, and the adventure of discovery. And if there are aliens, even better!

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Station OSCX-9 is the story of Stokes, a young machinist working on an Orbital Station being constructed around Star CX-9. He and his crew are on a shuttle, heading back to their work site after leave, only to discover the construction site abandoned.

3. What inspired your story?

I’ve written a couple of other stories in the Alliance world, though none related to Stokes. Those stories are Jhyoti and Jhyoti: Planetside. While they both feature star ships, they aren’t technically space opera.

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?

Nope—in fact, I was very surprised to discover that I had actually written a space opera story. I usually write fantasies and mysteries. While many of my SF stories feature starships, many don’t.

5. What should readers know about you?

My stories never fit neatly into one category or another. My A’lle Chronicles series, for instance, is an alternate history / SF / mystery series. My Mendenhall Mystery series is technically a police procedural that feels like a cozy. I can’t help it…

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m tickled to be in an anthology with a collection of such fine authors!

Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces – not to mention Belgium – she settled in the Yukon, where people outnumber the carnivores, but not by much.

She writes science fiction, fantasy and mystery stories, and has 11 novels to her name. Her upcoming novel, Epidemic: An A’lle Chronicles Mystery, will be released in Fall 2018. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies.
If you liked Station OSCX-9, you might also enjoy Jhyoti and Jhyoti: Planetside which are also set in the Alliance universe.

Learn more about her and her published work at www.marcellemdube.com

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Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote only 7K but I spent most of Sunday afternoon in blind procrastination (I should take Bubble Witch Saga 3 off the writing netbookw, LOL!). Maybe I was tired and needed a break, but I couldn’t come up with the next Lone Wolves Team story. So by the end of the day, I decided to start on the next project.

Except Monday afternoon, when I went to actually do the translations, I ran into another bump. I wrote those stories 20 years ago and I didn’t remember much of them. I re-read some, and 5 out of 6 had either rape or a tragic ending. So I’m definitely not recycling them at this point.

One is already included in the appendix of the next Silvery Earth Heroine (a relatively clean one, with no rape and no tragic ending) but the others… I can’t even stomach to reread them, LOL!

Doesn’t help that I keep thinking about a reader’s comment of them being “not so good” (we’re talking of Italian readers of a photocopied fanzine of the late 1990s – loooong before the indie publishing revolution, but it still stings).

So yeah. Not so good. Forget them. Chapter closed. Still wrote 316K by the end of July, so still on track. I’m going to improvise this month, but then, everybody takes August off, right? Right? 😀

I’m doing a last pass on a couple of stories (that I wrote this or last year, not 20 years ago) to decide if I want to publish them or not, and then I’m moving on. I’ll probably go back to the Lone Wolves and start writing Elsa’s story, or maybe Cherry’s story. And when I have my 3-hours train ride I’ll go through Hariel’s story and all the Team’s stories I have so far.

And we got paperbacks! Thank you to all of you who bought the Sci-Fi Stories anthologies and hope you are enjoying them! 🙂 The success of the second two makes me want to work on the fifth right now, but I shall wait until September! 😉

When I’ll also do the paperbacks for my own books – the anthologies are via BundleRabbit – although it’s not clear for how much longer Createspace will be available. Maybe I should start moving everything to KDP Print. Sigh.

Have you read the Bad Romance article I posted last week? See Kris Rusch’s reaction to it and the comments she got. I know some writers who write to market, but I don’t see them having a long career. I know writers who write to market because they want to make fast bucks. I’m sure they don’t enjoy it. And the ghost writers who sell their manuscripts? If I could do it, I could quit DayJob right now, LOL! I’m prolific, but only writing what I want to read! 🙂

There’s also a free Reedsy course on how to hack Kobo – or how to take advantage of Kobo Writing Life’s promotion tools. If you don’t go direct to Kobo, think about it. I have submitted a few titles to upcoming promos, we’ll see if I get accepted! 😉

Oh, I almost forgot. Authors Earnings at 2018 SFWA Nebula Conference report. Unfortunately the post with slides is very visually-impaired un-friendly, but I’m sure there’s the recording of the whole talk somewhere… And if SFF doesn’t sell well in paper might be because we’re getting older and have trouble reading small print? 😉 I love my Kindle for fiction – had to re-buy the ebook of The Silver Metal Lover cause the paperback was written too small…

And welcome to August, hoping the heat goes away a little, because it’s frying my brain and I can’t even write, sigh. Have a great week! 🙂

 

Writer Wednesday


Productive weekend meaning I finished a first rough draft of the vampire novel, I uploaded the first Star Minds Lone Wolves book and put together the first sci-fi anthology. 13K written, 3 covers (including the one for the bundle Sci-fi July Redux) and formatting that had to be redone Monday morning because 1) I found typos and 2) I hadn’t set up the title right, so it had been rejected at Draft2Digital.

So, here’s the universal link for Adventurer (Star Minds Lone Wolves) and the pre-order universal link for Sci-fi Stories – Starships! 🙂 The latter still has no cover on Amazon (sigh) but hopefully our man at BundleRabbit will solve the issue by the time this goes live.

The first cover – you heard about it on Sunday. The second cover is again by Techie Bro, one of his first, and newsletter subscribers already saw it on Starship Pilot which is also the story included in the anthology.

Now stay tuned, because you’ll soon hear more about Shanell. Her novel (and new look) will be revealed in July with the second sci-fi anthology.

The first three Star Minds Lone Wolves books will come out during the summer, but the next three probably next year. And I’ll have to do a few more composite covers of stock photos for my team in this sub-series of my science fantasy saga.

For the paperbacks be patient, you know I don’t like ordering them during the summer… 😉

Now, some writerly links! 5 ways to spice up your Amazon book pages – if you have time. I might do it for the newest titles, but not right now, LOL!

And setting free the Sacred Cows of Writing Advice which can then take you (if you haven’t seen them already) to Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing and Indie Publishing. Chuck Wendig might have lacked the courage to slaughter the Sacred Cows of Writing Advice, but Dean Wesley Smith has no qualms whatsoever! 🙂

My apologies to my Hindu friends. Know that in the latest vampire book, Kris and Kiran finish a poor sacred animal who has been hit by a car (black cow in a black night) and has been left to die on the side of the road. And I saw at least two of those when I did my tour of Rajasthan, so don’t say it doesn’t happen, okay? 😉

And yes, it was also in my fan-fiction crossover Indian Moon – which, by the way, is now slightly outdated, but I might add it at the end of the book anyway as a curiosity… Along with The Raven, published in Nightly Bites Volume 2! 🙂

That’s all for today… have a great week! 🙂

Random Friday


To celebrate the release of Nightly Bites Volume 2, I present you 5 characters interviews!

Character Name: I am the Aswang, and nobody ever gave me a proper name. Heck, even the dog has a name! But not me.

Which book/world/story do you live in?
The short story “The Aswang Who Ate Stardust” is about me. Well, kind of. It’s also about the people I’m not allowed to eat anymore.

Tell us about yourself:
I was born long before the white men came to the Philippines, and I used to eat little humans still in their mother’s womb. That’s what all Aswang do – but we are solitary creatures, and we can shift our shape. Which is why nobody ever gave me a proper name, I think. Anyway, I had made a human friend long ago. He was the only one who could see me for who I was, and we talked and talked and talked, and then he taught me how to meditate. And then he taught me how to eat energy from elsewhere, not just people and animals. Then he died, because that’s what humans do. I was good though, I didn’t harvest his energy, not even a tiny bit. He was a friend, the only friend I ever had. Which is why I still glean stardust – I mean life force – from other things. Sometimes it’s hard, but I’m sticking with the program. If I start eating people again, I’ll never make a friend again and that’s a sad fact of my life.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Well – I can shape-change, which is pretty useful, and I can suck stardust out of just about anything, so I’ll never really starve. My weaknesses? Computers. Man, those things are hard to figure out.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).
The dog of my human almost-friends, Jeek. He can see me, just like the monk used to see me. This, however, doesn’t make him a friend. He keeps barking at me no matter what I turn into. I like the man who smells like home, Raf. He’s cute, and his energy would taste super-succulent. So far I’ve feasted only on the stardust of his culinary creations, though. And his friend, Adam. He’s scary, but I like him because I know he’d protect Jeek and Raf from me. His stardust is strong and abrasive, like a desert storm. I hope the will see me one day, and talk to me. I hope he gives me a name. He gave a name to a dog – and am I less important than a dog?

Are you involved in a romance? If so with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?
Romance is for humans. I love them, though. I love their warmth and the stardust they give off when they create beautiful things.

What is the one thing you want the most in the whole world?
I want to be their friend so bad it hurts – and I really want them to give me a name. A real name.

Give us your favorite piece of advice:

Never shape-shift into a coffee mug, because coffee’s hot.

***

Character Name: Jesslynn Cotterill

Which book/world/story do you live in?
You can find me in my own story in this anthology, as well as in the novel Shades of Gray.

Tell us about yourself: 
I have no idea what you want to know. I’m married to Oren, and am the mother of two children, Alexander and Tristan. My story takes place before the War Between the States in Virginia.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? 
I may not be beautiful, but I’m clever. I believe that brains will triumph over beauty always.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).
My husband Oren is important, of course. I mentioned my children. Though I have birthed many, only Alexander has grown out of babyhood, and now Tristan, not even a year old, is showing signs of the same malady that took the others. It is because of this that I should mention our neighbor, Jorick. An odd man, he is rarely home, and when he is he never walks in sunlight, only under dark skies. Neither does he seem to age or sicken. It is a secret I desperately need to discover if I want to save my sick child.

Are you involved in a romance? If so with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?
I love my husband, of course, but I would not go so far as to call marriage a romance. An important institution, yes. As for why he is appealing, he is a good provider, he is honest, forthright, and is able to take guidance from a firm handed woman. So many men have a problem with this, leaving many a wife in unhappy circumstances.

What is the one thing you want the most in the whole world?
To save my children. I cannot bear to lose another.

Give us your favorite piece of advice:
Beauty fades, leaving only your wit and resourcefulness. Cultivate those over the appearance of the flesh.

***

Character Name: Dennis

Which book/world/story do you live in?
Present day, Toronto.

Tell us about yourself:
I’m a brand new vampire, only been one for about 6 months. I don’t look like a typical vampire. I’ve got red hair and I was fair skinned before I became a vampire so no change there.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?<
Greatest strength: I’m good with numbers and I like to help people, which led me into the field of accounting before I became a vampire. Greatest weakness: my fear of blood.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).
Giselle, my sire. Dr. Wilson, my therapist.

Are you involved in a romance? If so with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?
I’m with Giselle but since we’re vampires I don’t know how long that will last. She’s exotic and super strong for her size. I found her eyes captivating.

What is the one thing you want the most in the whole world?
To be a real, full-fledged vampire, so my sire Giselle doesn’t have to take care of me anymore. And to make her proud.

Give us your favorite piece of advice:
Be willing to confront your fears. Even if it ruins your favourite jacket.

***

Character Name: Wolfgang Feuerlieiben

Which book/world/story do you live in?
So Many Nights, So Many Sins

Tell us about yourself:
I am old. Truth be told I stopped counting long ago but the world into which I was born was very different from yours. I have seen empires rise and fall. I have seen wars fought – mostly for the same reasons – over and over. I have seen humanity at its best, but mostly its worse. I have killed more times than I can remember – guilty, innocent – they are all relative. I hunt other vampires – usually because they are careless, wanton or stupid. And because it gives me something to do. Mortals are not a challenge – well unless there are lots – but vampires tend to be a little harder to despatch. Ennui – that’s the problem. Immortality is boring, and one must find something to fill the void. Humans live – they are born, they raise a family, or get employment, they have more descendants and they die. A few leave a mark on the world, most do not. But they much achieve whatever it is they are destined to achieve in a short time – and they make the most of it. Vampires don’t have that luxury. We are the lords of procrastination.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?<
Strengths – Arrogance, stubbornness, experience. Weaknesses – Arrogance, stubbornness, experience.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).
I can’t – they change so often.

Are you involved in a romance? If so with who and what is it about them that you find appealing? What is the one thing you want the most in the whole world?
I meet someone in the course of the story. Other lovers – the priest who gave me the curse – who disappeared and I’m seeking. There have been others – but they are either long dead or long gone.

What is the one thing you want the most in the whole world?
To die well.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:
He who fights with monsters should be careful, lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gazes long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.

***

Character Name: Alain

Which book/world/story do you live in?
The Raven.

Tell us about yourself:
My father was British, my mother is French. We moved to London when he passed away. We live with my aunt, uncle and cousins, but luckily I have my own room in the attic. I’m twenty-two and will be such forever. I was turned in 1997.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?>
I’m a hacker. Wikipedia says: “In computing, a hacker is any skilled computer expert that uses their technical knowledge to overcome a problem. While “hacker” can refer to any skilled computer programmer, the term has become associated in popular culture with a “security hacker”, someone who, with their technical knowledge, uses bugs or exploits to break into computer systems.” Well, I’m of the first kind. As for weaknesses… they say I have Asperger Syndrome. I don’t care.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).
Besides my mother, I can’t think of anyone. My cousins are nice, but I’m not that attached to them. That’s probably why when a raven enters my life and reveals itself to be a vampire, I’m ready to follow him and become immortal.

Are you involved in a romance? If so with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?
I’m a socially awkward. I don’t care. Bran says it’s a good quality to be immortal – not being attached to anyone.

What is the one thing you want the most in the whole world?
I want to interact with computers, not people.

Give us your favorite piece of advice:
It takes stamina to watch the centuries go by.

Nightly Bites Volume 2 available as ebook and paperback

Grab it today!

Writer Wednesday


Slow start with the new project, hopefully I’ll catch up in the weeks to come. But I also wrapped up Nightly Bites Volume 2 and it’s now available for pre-order (goes live on Friday) as e-book and available in paperback as well! I am very excited about this volume 2, I think it’s actually better than volume 1!

Well, at least my story is. The one I wrote on the fly, inspired by the chosen cover. So the guy on the cover is Alain, Bran’s latest fledgling, and you’ll see more of him probably in the next novel that will come out in November as usual. Not the first time that I write inspired by an artwork (photo/painting/drawing/sculpture) whether I did it or someone else did it.

The other stories are also awesome and you should check it right now! It’s been already presented on Library of Erana and I will post more on Facebook in the coming weeks, and eventually on this blog, so stay tuned! 🙂

Now let’s go back to the Anthology Workshop for a moment. You can read another post about it here, about what it can do for you as a writer. I’ll make a short summary of what it did for me – one year later! 🙂

So, six stories in six weeks. I wrote all six, even the ones in unfamiliar genres: win. I knew they sucked, but not all of them – and the reactions were not as expected (the ones I thought were perfect were not and viceversa, but I’m getting ahead of myself).

Expectations: learning and seeing what it meant to run a traditional magazine – and meeting a couple of people in the process (of course I ended up in a room with 40-50 writers, but since we were all writers, well… some were nice to meet again, some were new, some I talked to, some I didn’t, and that was perfectly fine!). Of course I hoped to sell something, but that wasn’t my main goal.

Results: no sales, but great learning experience. What happened to those six stories? Well, here you go, one year later:

Story #1 and #5 are still in the drawer, dunno where to send them, will probably publish them in a collection of unpublished shorts some time later this year or at the beginning of the next. Story #3 might end up in an anthology, although I’ll probably publish first another story in the same genre. Story #4 might end up in a contemporary novel, if I ever get down to writing it.

Because Story #2 sold in a redraft after the workshop (still not out, I’ll let you know when it does) and Story #6 just proved to me that I better study more before I try to write in that specific genre, hence the attempts I’ve done through the months will stay in the drawer until I find a solid premise.

Of the 6 stories, only 2 were SFF (#2 and 3), the rest were contemporary. And I’m not very good with the real world. So for now I’ll stick to Silvery Earth and Star Minds and Vampires Through the Centuries and Future Earth stories and leave those in the drawer. After all, I’ve taken out of the drawer the historical novel, so I better put aside something else, right? 😉

Have a great week!

 

Sunday Surprise


(already posted on the Facebook page)

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Lesley L. Smith

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

Of course, vampires have been popular for over a hundred years and they have been used as metaphors for a variety of things including AIDS, homosexuality, class warfare and more. In my opinion, however, I think people like the idea of living forever. They like to imagine they’ll never have to age or die. Vampires let us experience this vicariously.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

“A Study in Scarlet” is about a vampire living in the future, on a spaceship, when a murder occurs. Not surprisingly, a vampire is pretty handy to have around when blood is spilled (if he can keep control over himself)! Without giving too much away, the protagonist does use his special skill to good effect.

3. What inspired your story?

This story actually encompasses horror, science fiction, and mystery! Yes, I got a little carried away with genres. I started out wondering about the strange and horrible idea of globules of blood floating in zero gravity.
In addition to floating globules, my story was inspired by the wonderful Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novel of the same name, from 1887. It doesn’t get any better than Sherlock Holmes.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

While I enjoy horror and mystery very much, I primarily write science fiction. I really enjoy the combination of science’s rationality with fiction’s imagination.

5. What should readers know about you?

In real life I’m a physicist and I’m a little obsessed with quantum mechanics right now. A lot of my fiction seems to have quantum mechanics in it. Since I’m also a woman and a lot of my fiction has female protagonists, the combo of physics and kick-ass women surprises some readers. But, I believe in following the muse, and my muse wants to show all kinds of people that science can be a fun adventure THEY can do.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m honored to be included in Nightly Bites! Thanks for the opportunity!

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Barbara G.Tarn

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

I had read the first three of Ann Rice’s books and enjoyed the movie “Interview with the vampire” (1994) but then I got bored with the whole topic – too horror/gory for my tastes. Some fifteen years later I went back to the bloodsucker stories through Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series, and even read Dracula (I didn’t enjoy the movie much, so I didn’t read the book until 20 years later).

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s set in the 12th century, starting at the siege of Damascus during the second crusade, and ending in Lincolnshire, where Baldwin was born. He’s one of the shortest-lived fledglings of Bran the Raven, a millenarian bloodsucker of Celtic origins.

3. What inspired your story?

In all the “Vampires Through the Centuries” stories, I like to explore moments in history through vampires. The other very short story in the anthology shows an 18th century Maratha soldier turned into a bloodsucker after a battle and even more short-lived than Baldwin! The long-lived ones (Rajveer, Kaylyn and Shashank) allow me to explore centuries of history, which is very funny and entertaining.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

I had only one “Bloody Story of Vampires” (that I may include in “Nightly Bites Volume 2”) before starting “Vampires Through the Centuries”, and that’s just one of my series. I write mostly fantasy – historical in the above example, secondary world fantasy (Silvery Earth), science fantasy (Star Minds), urban fantasy (body switches) – and some science fiction and every now and then a contemporary story (but the present doesn’t inspire me very often).

5. What should readers know about you?

I’m a professional writer and hobbyist artist! I did comics and some of my own covers covers, and I dream of an illustrated book for adults or ten. My influences come mostly from movies and comics, more than books, so my prose is quite dry and I don’t write long epics, hence I gave up traditional publishing that required 100K opuses in my preferred genre…

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

It was fun to put together this anthology and I look forward to working on Volume 2!

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Joleene Naylor

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

Vampires can be anything. They can be scary, romantic, thoughtful, sad, happy – a vampire author can do a period piece, a contemporary story, even a sci-fi, and use the same universe. In the Amaranthine universe, I’ve written stories that span from the 1600s to modern times, I’ve written shorts about losing loved ones, about playing poker, about revolts, wars, death, and even about a child vampire looking for a playmate. Writing vampires gives me so much freedom, and they’re immortal, so you can really dig into character development.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s the origin story of Verchiel, one of my most popular characters. Kateesha, his master, botched the turning and when he wakes in an inn, he has no idea who he is or who she is, and he doesn’t remember being human.

3. What inspired your story?

I’m working on a series of Executioner stories – the Executioners are the police in my vampire world. I already knew a little about Verchiel’s turning, so I thought it would be fun to find out the rest.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

For the most part, yes, because my fans aren’t really interested in me as a person, but rather in the characters and the universe. However, I am working on a fantasy novel with my brother.

5. What should readers know about you?

I have a lot of free short stories available. A. Lot. Like more than fifty. Most of them can be read as stand alones, though of course they’re better if you’ve read the Amaranthine series. You can find the full list on my website at JoleeneNaylor.com.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Okay, quirky fact: I love stuffed animals, and treat them like they are sentient beings part time. They all have their own personalities, and relationships with one another, etc. etc. Their society has been set up since I was a kid (my mom used to talk them for us), and I think that’s where a lot of my imagination and characterization abilities come from.

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Russ Crossley

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

The immortal nature of the undead vampire fascinates me. If the vampire isn’t destroyed how do they survive the centuries?

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

My story takes place in an alternate future where the Confederate States won the US Civil War. The story centers around a female vampire and her sister who are rebelling against the Confederacy and the vampire leader and the consequences of their rebellion. It is a story about love, family, and courage.

3. What inspired your story?

I often wonder how if vampires took over the world what it might look like with these undead immortals in charge.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

No, not all the time. These days I’m writing mostly space opera set in the 42nd century.

5. What should readers know about you?

I’ve written stories in many different genres including romantic comedy, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and zombies to name a few and love to read in many genres of fiction and non-fiction. I read and write for characters than inspire me and they are always seeking some form of justice from their perspective. They love to right wrongs. For some reason I write many strong female characters though I am a male.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I am married to a writer, painter, and musician and my youngest son is an actor, playwright, and producer who has worked extensively in Europe and Asia. We are a very arts forward family and truly love what we do.

Sunday Surprise


Two more days and the anthology Nightly Bites will go live… have you pre-ordered it yet?

If you’re on Facebook, the anthology page is publishing the authors’ bios every few days… We already had David Miller and Russ Crossley, and more are coming in the next few weeks, so you can start knowing these wonderful authors who trusted me with their stories! 🙂

And it’s not all! The Vampires of the World bundle will go on sale on the same date! Check your calendars, DECEMBER 19, for these great deals… and more! Stay tuned… Have a great Sunday! 😀

 

Sunday Surprise


Ladies and gentlemen, let me present you my first curated anthology, compiled through the BundleRabbit collaboration feature! 😀

Pre-order is live, paperback is in the works… this week has been busy with the small and medium publishers fair here in Rome, so I didn’t have time to format the paperback, but I hope to do it before Christmas, so stay tuned!

I plan on making more next year, gathering my shorter works with nine other authors because I’m math challenged. It won’t be open calls, unfortunately, but if you’re a writer and I know what you write, I’ll ask you! 😉

You can like the Facebook page too… Like Bundles Galore, it will feature all my curated anthologies! 🙂 Actually, Bundles Galore is shared with A.L. Butcher and includes also the bundles we don’t curate but are part of, but well…

Which reminds me there’s another bundle coming out, curated by my co-admin!

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Coming soon… 10% of the royalties from the Remembering Warriors bundle will go to the Royal British Legion plus another 10% to Help for Heroes, two charities that support wounded and ex-service personnel and their families, in commemoration of the World War I centenary. Available for pre-order now at https://bundlerabbit.com/b/remembering-warriors

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Sunday Surprise


Heroika 1 Perfect promo 6&9The art of dragon killing:

Dragons have been eating humans for centuries. Now heroes throughout history stalk their legendary foe. Learn how to hunt, kill, and eat the wild dragon. Never before has revenge tasted so good. A literary feast for the bloody-minded.

In Janet Morris’ anthology on the art of dragon killing, seventeen writers bring you so close to dragons you can smell their fetid breath. Tales for the bold among you.

HEROIKA 1 — DRAGON EATERS, an anthology of heroic fiction edited by Janet Morris, features original stories by Janet Morris and Chris Morris, S. E. Lindberg, Jack William Finley, Travis Ludvigson, Tom Barczak, J. P. Wilder, Joe Bonadonna, Milton Davis, Alexandra Butcher, William Hiles, M Harold Page, Walter Rhein, Cas Peace, Beth Waggoner Patterson, Bruce Durham, Mark Finn.

 

HEROIKA1 New banner heroika_TChirezpromoWatch the book trailer!

Amazon and Amazon UK links.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, Alexandra Butcher’s interview! Stay tuned for more authors!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Bristol, in the South West of the UK. It’s a historic city, John Cabot sailed from Bristol to America, Isambard Kingdom Brunel built bridges and railways here, and there has been a settlement in these parts since the Stone Age.  Truth be told I am not a city person, but my part of the city is quite rural, we have a nature reserve and a holy well close by and there are lots of good walks in the woods and by the river, when I’m up to it.

When did you start writing?

At school, same as everyone else…. Seriously though I assume you mean storytelling? I was always an imaginative child, I was the one writing the poem/short story for the school display or off somewhere in my own head. I’d make believe, as many kids do and I wrote plays or poetry, or short stories a lot at school.  Some were, well, rubbish but a fair few were worthy at note, even then. I was often asked to write something for the school display. I loved the writing but I have terrible handwriting, and these were the days before word processors so that aspect I struggled with.

This progressed to writing fan-fic for Phantom of the Opera and adventures for games.  Then onto novels and short stories.  I think either you are a story teller or you aren’t. Learning the technical ins and outs – now that is another matter. An author can always learn something new.

erana bannerWhat genre(s) do you write?

Fantasy, fantasy romance and erotica. I’ve mentioned the poetry and I occasionally dip into horror – in fact last year I published two short horror stories and a poem about Jack the Ripper with the Indie Collaboration. The Jack the Ripper story is very visceral, very dark.  Mostly though it’s fantasy based work.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Everywhere. Books I’ve read, films I’ve seen, nature, people, other stories I’ve written. I think every writer puts him or herself into his or her own books, certainly fiction writers do.  If you mean do I cast myself? Not on purpose.

Do you have a specific writing routine?

No. I have lots of folders of notes and half-ideas. I am far too chaotic for routine;) I also have a few health issues and a full time job so I sometimes don’t find the time I’d like for writing.

chronicles bannerOutliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

See number 5. I have vague outlines but they are just that – vague. I’ve tried to plan but they end up changing so now I just have notes and ideas, which work, or don’t. I do have someone I discuss ideas with and she tells me if they are stupid.  I work full time so I only get to write in the evenings and weekends, assuming I am not too tired. If I am good and motivated I can usually write a short story in an afternoon but a novel – that is a totally different matter. It usually takes me about a year or more to write a novel. Is that fast or slow?

Tell us about your latest book

Heroika: The Dragon Eaters contains my latest story – Of Blood and Scales. It forms part of a Heroic Fantasy anthology in a shared world/theme anthology from Perseid Press and edited by Janet Morris. The collection is dark, deadly and filled with heroes, dragons and myths from this world and others. It was quite a challenge to write the tale as I was also working on a couple of other projects, and for a while I wasn’t sure of the ending.  The collection as a whole is supreme – heroic fiction filled with myth, mayhem and of course dragons.

http://www.amazon.com/HEROIKA-DRAGON-S-E-Lindberg-ebook/dp/B00VFVCQRS/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/HEROIKA-DRAGON-S-E-Lindberg-ebook/dp/B00VFVCQRS/

thestolentower500x800 (1)Also recently published The Stolen Tower: The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III.  It is the latest installment in my adult fantasy series.

http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Tower-Light-Beyond-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00U8A9044/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stolen-Tower-Light-Beyond-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00U8A9044/

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie. I like the freedom it brings. The deadlines and control of the book are mine. My books are generally a little outside mainstream as the novels contain a degree of erotica. Indie publishing allows for the more varied and outside mainstream books to be published.  Of course there are downsides.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Book IV of the Chronicles, plus several short stories for the Tales of Erana series.

Warriors Curse Final  1 - ebookWhat is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

Finishing my series, and hopefully publishing a few more novels. I’d like be able to live from the writing, but for indies that is rare. What am I doing? I’d like to produce a role-play game system for the world as well. That won’t be until most of the series is done, and I need to find an artist for that.  I try and promote regularly, but that too has its pitfalls. The line between promotion and over-promotion is a thin one indeed. Networking has provided some great contacts and opportunities so one never knows where that might lead.

Author Bio:

A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres.  She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.

Blog: http://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter:@libraryoferana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

Writer Wednesday


Can you tell I’m not at my best? I procrastinated on writing the whole weekend (although I posted only one of the 2 drawings I did – wasn’t happy with the second…) and forgot it’s June and I needed to schedule the Happiness is… posts. And Monday I even worked on the future e-book version, but forgot to check the blog – although I was surprised I didn’t get any WordPress e-mails. I even thought “I should start writing Writer Wednesday”, but then decided to wait for Tuesday. And then at 10pm it hit me – no Monday happiness! ARGH! So I sent it live immediately and started writing this post… *shame* I want my memory back, please! 😦

Anyway, I’m back on Silvery Earth, writing about kick-ass Amazons (Selene is a Huntress – Huntresses hunt rebel men, not animals! ;)) from that old story of mine. Dear beta-readers will soon have more to read, hopefully. It’s kinda long, so I’ll probably use all of June to write it. Next week I’m off DayJob, so I’ll also work on formatting for a couple of titles, so stay tuned.

I even had time to re-read a couple of my novellas and found 4 wandering commas in Death of Amazonia, so Mr Rodent, please download the new version from Smashwords or I’ll never get that Gold Rat for my books (and thank you for not mentioning those typos in your review!). Yep, I removed those 4 commas from inside the word and put them behind it as they were expected to be. Those are usually commas I add later, at the editor’s suggestions, and since I’m in a rush, I tend to position them inside the word they’re supposed to accompany. Ahem, sorry… funny how blog serendipity had someone else talking about commas! 🙂 And what happened to my most abused “comma splice”? 😉

After the summer there will be an anthology of Smashwords authors of SF/F that will be published for free. I plan on sending them two Star Minds Snippets (thank you, Roomie, for helping me choosing which) and hopefully drive readers to the series. I already had in mind to do a loss leader for the series, I guess I’ll join these other indies instead! 🙂 Shortly after the anthology comes out, I should release all the Snippets (one might come out in August, these 2 in September, the rest in October)… By the way, World of Diversity has reviewed Technological Angel – thank you, Sean! 🙂

I’ve also managed to commission an artist on DeviantART: a portrait of Ker-ris – I won’t be able to use it as book cover, but I’ll be very happy to drool over it on my own. And if I eventually set up the Star Minds page  (Facebook or whatever), I’ll have more than just Kol-ian to show off – yes, the technological angel is the protagonist, but only of the first half of the story, since the mind link makes him one with Ker-ris! 🙂

More interesting links: the changing playing field by Kris Rusch. Davig Gaughran on 15 ways Amazon can improve KDP – they have added EFT for all markets and I was able to select Euro on all Kindle Stores (see, I should have framed that check! ;)), but there still are problems here and there. Kindle Singles: I did submit to them.

Hello Barbara,
Thank you for submitting your work for consideration in Kindle Singles.
Your proposal will be reviewed within the next 4 weeks, and you will be notified by e-mail about our decision.
Thanks for your interest in Kindle Singles.

Never heard back. Not even with a rejection. David is probably right, they don’t want fiction in their Kindle Singles (it was B.G. Hope’s Six Months, in case you were wondering). Ah, well, I’ll write a narrative non-fiction about being an indie author in this brand new world of publishing, LOL! And you can laugh at how slow and luddite traditional publishing (and I’m a technophobe…) is with this piece by Kevin J. Anderson – raise your hand if you know what a carbon copy or a floppy diskette are!

Now for more on traditional publishing Stockolm syndrome, hear Judith Tarr – took me some time to find the whole 3 parts together, LOL! And closing with Joe Konrath‘s words of wisdom:

Remember: Selling isn’t making someone buy something they don’t want to buy. It’s about making people aware of something they like and are looking for.

Have a wonderful week and happy writing! 🙂

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