Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I theoretically participated in a writing marathon. I didn’t do the Zoom meetings (they were at 9pm in my time zone, not a time when I want to see and talk to people), but I did check in every day. I wrote four short stories for submissions, and two are already out there. Almost 10k in total, and I’m getting closer to my yearly wordcount.

The second two are with beta-readers, but they have a December 31 deadline, while the other 2 have a Halloween deadline. Speaking of Halloween, remember me mentioning selling a story at the Anthology Workshop last February, right before the Covid mess? It’s included in this Kickstarter! I’ll be part of the Halloween Harvest!

Go check the project and give it some more love! It’s funded, and you’ll get lots of stories right in your inbox! 🙂 Or you can give them as gifts to friends and family, if you feel so inclined… just sayin’! 🙂

Oh, and my book Magical Friends was reviewed by the Critiquing Chemist… please note that I didn’t read the review, so I have no idea of what it says. I saw the Google Alert and I think I’m out of the SPFBO I entered back in June. Oh, well. Maybe I’ll try again next year! 😉

A huge thank you to the Indian Kindle owner who got themselves the Vampires Through the Centuries ebooks! Next weekend you’ll be able to read more about all of them with Mortals Apocalypse! 🙂 Check out Helios’s story in The Phantom Games and stay tuned for the other vampire that will appear in the above anthology…

And in case you missed it on the publisher’s page, this is the last week to grab Future Earth Chronicles Shorts for free on Smashwords! Also, I have added a page on this very blog with all the other publications! In chronological order, more or less… hopefully more to come! 🙂

I am touched and awed to have an illustration next to my story in Breathe… I’m currently reading it, and I reread also my own story, that I wrote back in 2015. It was rejected 3 or 4 times before landing in the antho, and this reading felt new, as if someone else wrote it. Quite a weird feeling, to be honest.

And while researching last century for a story, I stumbled on a couple of things:

For the first time in history, chain bookstores outsell independent stores, signaling what many fear to be the death of smaller booksellers at the hands of superstores.

Sounds familiar? This is from 1994… an interesting year, as you can see:

White House launches Web page. Initial commerce sites are established and mass marketing campaigns are launched via email, introducing the term “spamming” to the Internet vocabulary.

Check also this other article on the dawn of commercial internet! I guess that’s all for today… have a great week! 😊

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 11K, but didn’t wrap up the vampire book because on Sunday I was busy. On Monday I found a mistake in Rajveer the Vampire that nobody had noticed, so hopefully it wasn’t too bad, although it was repeated quite often – and I actually corrected the mistake when I wrote Kristine the Youngest, but I obviously didn’t reread the first book, LOL!

Anyhow, it’s corrected now (also on Shashank and Kaylyn, same mistake), and on November 2 – 5 years after the release of that first historical fantasy novel – you’ll be able to read the sequel, or what happened after the Battle of Chittor (in Kristine)! And then either for the holidays or in January, you’ll read the one I completed this week.

It’s done now, and I’m taking a break because I have a couple of stories I want to submit to anthos and the deadline is the end of the month, then I’ll get back to it and write the mortal’s version, or FEC 11. I won’t send any of them to the editor until December anyway, so I still have a month to write that book! 😉

And we got paperbacks! I’m still trying to declutter the house, so I might give away the extras. Brainwaves and Adventure Song I can send anywhere in the world, the first five with the concept covers, annotated, only in Europe. Are there any takers? If interested, leave a comment with which one you want/can get and I’ll contact you to get your snail mail addy.

these 5 can go anywhere in Europe only – sorry

these two can go anywhere in the world…

And there’s a promo/giveaway on Nightly Bites Volume 2! Check it out! I wanted to publish Nightly Bites Volume 3 this Halloween, but, like I said, I thought my American author friends would be more available after the election. So probably in January, or possibly March, like the above mentioned Volume 2! 🙂 Or I can do a rush job and have it out in December like Volume 1… we’ll see! 🙂

Good news, the anthology I was hinting at for the past months is now out! Here’s the UBL to Amazon, geotagged, for the ebook version. There’s also a paperback but they aren’t linked at the time of scheduling this post, although I requested Author Central to do so. Go check it and leave a review, because reviews are going to help this anthology immensely. Reviews will also be a sign of appreciation for our creativity and craftsmanship – me and the other authors will be immensely grateful!

This is the one where you can find Bran’s first fledgling, Helios of Sparta, and his good-bye to Greece and the Olympic Games where he had excelled as a mortal. I’m in very good company, so go check The Phantom Games NOW! 🙂

Another short story (unrelated to any series) was published in Breathe (which, incidentally is also its title). The PDF looks beautiful, but I didn’t have time to read any of the other stories (same for The Phantom Games, sigh). You can check it out below:

Order a print copy via Amazon (US)https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KSGX1FH
Order a print copy from Pothi (India)https://store.pothi.com/book/edited-jay-chakravarti-breathe/
Order a Print replica e-copy from Amazon (Worldwide)https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08L18MZYR
 
A wonderful analysis, framing the pandemic by Kris Rusch. I definitely don’t want to go back to 2019, but I don’t see much in the future yet, although I’m making tentative plans for at least my peace of mind – finding another job and another place to live. It’s probably going to be slower than expected, but we’re in a once-in-a-generation-world-changing event.

I have done my first short story translation, and I’m still pondering about the whole enterprise. I still don’t know how to handle freelance jobs in this country, sigh. That’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote a little over 10K, so back on track. Going back and forth between two novels, since they’re set at the same time, so adjusting the already done while I write the current one. The good thing of writing them at the same time or at least long before publishing them is an excellent way of making those minor changes that make the story better. Also because I improvise a lot, and then I have to change stuff around, LOL!

I hope to be done with this project during the coming two weeks, and then we’ll see. I’m thinking of taking at least a month to write short stories for anthologies, while I try to figure out what I want to write next. It’s probably not yet the time to pull out of the drawer my shelved project, so we’ll see.

And another Future Earth Chronicles book is out! Asian Ways follows Arjun and Yuu’s journey through India and China, which is more or less what I’m dealing with in the current novel – 400 years earlier. So, being in an Asian mood, I ended up rewatching Jodhaa Akbar during the weekend! 😉

It came out last week, but too late to include it in last week’s post, so here it is.

Revenge, reckoning, and redemption: HELLCATS, THE ANTHOLOGY has it all.

Presenting sixty nine stories of feline adventure that will make you chortle, chuckle, gasp, and guffaw.

We have: Pirates, cowboys, and spacewalkers.

Soul suckers, seers, and swashbuckling heroes.

With guest appearances by Mr. Darcy, The Madwoman in the Attic, and Hunter S. Thompson as a cat.

In the far reaches of outer space, cats crawl and pounce, shift and slaughter.

While back on Earth, the wicked are punished, the weak avenged, and the good guy wins against all odds.

We have paranormal fantasy, sci-fi, swords and sorcerers, cozy mysteries, romance, literary fiction, and much, much more.

All proceeds from this anthology will go to support a 79 year-old grandmother Erada who has been hounded through the courts and is in danger of losing her home.

The HELLCATS are a group of writers who banded together to try to prevent that from happening.

Help the HELLCATS help Erada keep her home.

Buy HELLCATS, THE ANTHOLOGY, now.

More reading recommendations – if you like mystery: Mystery, Crime, and Mayhem is a new Quarterly Mystery Magazine. The first three issues are already out! 🙂

And if you prefer horror you can check this Kickstarter: Feed the Obsession. In both cases I know many of the awesome writers involved in the projects, so check them out! 🙂

Speaking of Kickstarters… a comic book that funded in 24hrs… couldn’t be just because it has a very famous name among the writing credits, right?! This campaign is under fire for industry professionals because

“How is using a platform meant for people to KICK START projects they can’t afford okay for a company who admits they don’t need the money?”

But the publisher

claimed that the point of the Kickstarter was not to raise funds, as the publisher has “got the money for it”, but rather to take advantage of the untapped audience it can reach.

I guess both sides are right, but then, what do I know? I’m not ready for a Kickstarter yet! 😀

What else? Not much. Busy week at DayJob so far, so not much time to write, but I’ll catch up. Hopefully this afternoon itself. It’s kind of hot again, but I won’t be deterred, LOL! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weelky Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 9K, but then, I had only three days for writing – with jetlag and cover rebranding. I more or less wrapped up the Lone Wolves and this week I’ll work on a Silvery Earth novella while I check files from the editor and prepare for next weekend’s publication. I probably won’t write too much either, since I have a few manuscripts to go through.

About the main event of the past two weeks that took me away from Day Job and COVID-19, well, it was a blast, as expected. Unlike 2017, I did make one sale, which means I’m moving forward! And I got to spend one week with awesome people who helped me overcome my latest lows.

Also, get ready for a new awesome magazine, Fantasy Quarterly. All fantasy stories for your reading pleasure, and I’ve read a few of them, they’re awesome. Eventually I might make it in there too, but for now get ready for my workshop buddies’ stories and some famous names to keep them company! 🙂

It was wonderful to see old friends again – virtual hugs to all if you’re reading this – and meeting a few new people. Some of them were luckier than me and sold at their very first Anthology Workshop, so kudos to them! 🙂 And I mean “lucky” in the sense they hit the Awesome Editors’ tastes better than me, but I don’t give my best when I have a theme and a deadline.

Sometimes I let deadlines for anthologies pass to make sure I give the topic a better shot! Anyhow, three of the rejected stories will be incorporated in novels, and one is out there again on submission. Not sure what to do with the other two, yet, probably stick them into the virtual drawer until next year. For now I’m happy just being back to writing every day.

Travelwise, I flew in via New York, where they only asked me if I’d been to China in the past 14 days. I watched Gully Boy and Crazy Rich Asians, but by the second flight I was too tired (and of course couldn’t sleep) so I only caught a glimpse of Ocean’s 8. By the time I got to Vegas, I’d been up 24 hours – I jumped into the first taxi and went straight to bed.

Then, during the workshop, Mom sent me a message about COVID-19 in Northern Italy, and my colleague copy-pasted a work email on FB Messenger (it was also a text message on my cell phone, I found it when I came back). The first masks appeared at LAX on my flight to Rome, half empty (more room to sleep, yay! As if I could, sigh…) and even landed earlier so I was home by the time it was supposed to land.

And nobody wants Italians anywhere anymore. Glad I left last week and came back before it spread or they would have sent me back as soon as I set foot at JFK!

Cartoomics (Milan’s comicon) has been postponed to October, which actually works better for me. As for the other travels, I guess I’ll stay at home in April and work on paperbacks, while waiting out COVID-19…

While at the workshop, I got word from the editor of Excalibur 2020: they have just launched the Excalibur Books Patreon.

The first goal is to assist with the formatting and cover of “Warriors of Olympia”, our Science Fiction & Fantasy Olympics anthology, and to build awareness of the writers involved. After that’s published and being promoted, we aim to provide future releases from a wide range of authors.

So go check it, I gave them permission to post excerpts of my story, give it a go! 🙂 I’ll also share a couple more Kickstarters for writing projects soon – not mine yet, unfortunately, since I still have to deal with a damn Day Job that complicates things, but I’ll give you a couple of projects to back up in the coming months!

And last but not least, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Go check the latest story, and that’s all for today! Have a great week!

I wanted to remind authors that the value of their writing transcends monetary measures. If your book has the potential to bring a smile to a single reader, your book is important. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, your book has the potential to change lives and maybe even save lives. What can be more important than that?
Just because your sales suck doesn’t mean that you’re not worthy. Most writers’ sales suck, whether they’re traditionally published or self-published. Most writers will have good months and bad months, good years and bad years. If you only measure your success by money, you’ll probably burn out and quit, but if you develop other measures of success, like finding joy in the creative process or making your next book better than the last or finding joy in pressing the publish button when you’re finally ready to share your soul with the world, then you’re more likely to continue writing and publishing. Therefore, you’re more likely to eventually emerge from your obscurity to achieve the greatest commercial success.

Mark Coker

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I managed to write only 5400words, most of them during the weekend. I had to start reading for the  anthology workshop, and even though I’m currently able to do it at work, having to read 282 stories by Feb.19 means my writing time is reduced. So I’m writing on weekends only until I’m done reading.

After reading David Farland’s accountability post, I thought I’d ask you guys if you wanted an Accountability Sarge. I can set up a Team Wordcount spreadsheet where you can jot down your yearly goal and add your weekly wordcount along with mine… and if I see you’ve not been writing for a few weeks with no particular reason, I’ll go all Dean on you and kick you out! 😉

My offline writers group lasted quite a lot (and a few of them are probably still meeting), but I had enough of them long before it split. I joined in 2005 and it helped me gaining confidence writing in a second language, but it was very frustrating, since I was the only one constantly writing.

In 2015 I joined a mailing list that kept track of wordcount (previously used only to keep count of titles published), but since 2019, when that list folded, I’ve been keeping track on my own. Tried to add a couple of friends, but guess what? They dropped out pretty quickly. Sigh.

So if anyone is interested, either contact me or leave a comment, and I’ll add you to the Google doc. Weekly wordcount is due Sunday night wherever you are in the world. The Google doc will be held privately among the members so we can cheer each other on.

About that sale I announced last week, at the moment I can only point you at the publisher’s site. My story (set in Ancient Greece at the original Olympic Games) will be in Tales From Beyond Tomorrow: Volume 3.

GO HERE FOR VOLUME ONE 

GO HERE FOR VOLUME TWO 

As soon as I know more about this anthology to celebrate the Tokyo Olympics of 2020, I will let you know! 🙂 But there will be excerpts somewhere, so stay tuned…

In between reading, I’m brainstorming what I will write next – new series, finish Lone Wolves stories, more Silvery Earth. Looking forward to March, write-wise, LOL! I’m also considering what courses I could follow – writing newsletters, truly learning Photoshop, learning DAZ Studio? So many options… I’ll also have to put together some readers’ magnet and sign up for Book Funnel.

Still not sure about restarting a newsletter, though. Unless I come back fully recharged after a week in the company of professional writers who surely have great advice even on that, LOL! We’ll see. Now I better go back to… reading, sigh! Have a great week!

Writing ought to be a growth activity. You ought to be thinking that every story you write is standing on the shoulders of what you learned from writing the earlier ones. You don’t worry a ton about the older stuff because what you’re writing now is better. The newest story comes from a more experienced, more practiced writer.

Work on a new story.

James Van Pelt

 

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

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!

 

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