Random Friday

So, before finishing the last chapter and writing the epilogue of The Path of Metal, I opted for some brainstorming while drawing instead of playing Bubble Witch Saga 3! 😉 The result is another portrait of Da Muse (who may or may not be a grownup Torik, I was missing his Dhoom 2 looks, LOL!) and the discovery that I actually have a trilogy on hand.

The Paths Trilogy (The Path of Wood, The Path of Metal, The Path of Dreams) follows the Silvery Earth Kids some twelve years later in their adult years. Book 1 is about Torik, book 2 is about Adwin’s twin sisters, book 3 about Prince Lambert, now king, of course, although he loses his kingdom very quickly.

So I’m going to take the first 2 completed books to Dublin and start jotting down an outline for book 3, so I can start writing it as soon as I come back. Mighty Editor will be busy come mid-October, but my readers will have a trilogy for the Holidays (which might actually feel like a real fantasy novel of 100K, since I’m usually around 50K – 45K book 1 and 35K book 2 at the moment)!

And there will be also a paperback with the strip of the Silvery Earth Kids (are you following them on Instagram yet?) – with of course a prose version for the visually impaired – and hopefully a 2020 calendar. If you want a black&white preview of the strip, get An Interpretation of Moles, out now!

I might set up pre-order buttons whenever I have completed all three books and made the covers. Still tinkering with them, of course. I also want to redo a cover for the Star Minds Starter, but it’s not easy to find images that match my idea of the technological angel – even Phoenix Lu’s awesome art made his heart kind of too light, he has black hair, like Da Other Muse! 😉

And that’s all for today! Have a great weekend! 🙂


Happiness is…

Random Friday

I’ll do another Art Friday – sort of – with the Fairy Tales Revisited! So, it’s three stories:

Colors (Snow White retold as m/m romance)

Cinder Boy (Cinderella, as above)

Beautiful (Sleeping Beauty, idem)

I did the single covers and then I asked two talented artists to draw them for the collections.

So, you have Nerian (male Snow White), Rohan (Cinder Boy) and Rithvik by Barb.

And then you have Nerian and Riander by the awesome Sir Wendigo.

male_lovers_vol2And Rithvik awakened by Kerrien by the wonderful Rossana Beretta.

fariy-tales-dtfI might tackle a few more fairy tales – Little Red Riding Hood? Beauty and the Beast? There’s a lot to take from! – but not right now. All these stories are ACE friendly, so if you’re looking for wild sex, forget it! 😉

Have a great weekend!

Random Friday

Re: the paperback of Male Lovers volume 2 – it had been linked to volume 1. I contacted Author Central and asked them to link it to the right kindle book. Took me some digging on the Amazon links to figure out what happened. That’s why it showed up correctly on Barnes&Noble but not on Amazon. Sigh.

Anyhow, I’ll do a couple of Art Fridays, but not just of my art (that sucks compared to the cover artists I hire, LOL!). More of the various versions of my characters, done by me and by another artist – or three. The first ones were Kilig and Hakeem, for which I did the covers of the single parts, but then hired someone else for the whole novel. And had them drawn also on the aforementioned volume 1. So here follow the various versions of the assassins/lovers of Silvery Earth.

Kilig and Hakeem by Barb

Kilig and Hakeem by Barb

Kilig and Hakeem by Cinzia Di Felice

Kilig and Hakeem by Cinzia Di Felice

Kilig and Hakeem by Sir Wendigo

Kilig and Hakeem by Sir Wendigo


Kilig and Hakeem by Cristina Fabris

So, there you go! Four different artists’ take on those guys! Cinzia and Cristina added Guisarme and Sabre – you can see Sabre in Hakeem’s rival and here’s Guisarme by yours truly.


This is a very tragic story for adults only. If you’d like to check it, here’s the link to the novel Kilig the Sword that gathers it all. In Male Lovers Volume 1 you can have a taste with the story that started it all, Saif’s Legacy…

Have a great weekend! 🙂


Happiness is…


Random Friday

Okay, I’ve been tinkering with book bundles covers… so what do you think looks better? A new cover that comprises all the covers (left) or a box set (a photo of the POD version – right), considering that this bundle will only be sold as e-book?

box setI have found an article on how to do book bundles – and their covers, but I’m still much experimenting. Since it’s a single author bundle, I’m probably going to put the books in chronological order (at least for Silvery Earth – B.G. Hope can be in any order I want her to)… Lots of work to do still. And yes, this is probably a writing post more than a random rant, but well… that’s what’s been bothering me this week! 😉

I’m also working on that experiment with Jessamine, so I unpublished the graphic novel version from Smashwords. Even if it had 1106 downloads, I don’t think it boosted my sales of the other titles, so I feel free to unpublish it and use it for my experiment with the prose version. Both were free titles (and in fact I had to take the graphic novel out of B&N since the similar title meant they showed only one, so those reviews you see on B&N mostly refer to the graphic novel. Eventually I’ll unpublish even the prose version for a complete revision – it was my first published title, after all!).

Busier than when I’m working, I didn’t have time to do another pencil portrait or two of Da Muses… and didn’t watch any new movies either, since I “wasted” time with re-watchs. And I didn’t read anything new, because I was busy checking my own manuscripts. And I’m supposed to be on vacation, LOL! Anyhow, next week back to routine… maybe… DayJob is rickety lately, makes me wish they make me redundant! Oh, well… “Never give up, never surrender!” (maybe this weekend I’ll watch Galaxy Quest again, to have a good laugh before going back to dreaded DayJob!) 😉

Writer Wednesday

AmazonSpringDTFAmazon Spring is now available for pre-order on Kobo only. I’ve experimented this feature with an Italian title (Star Minds Snippets) but there were no sales. So prove me it’s worth to have a pre-order thingy on a title – albeit only 15 days before release.

Yes, I could try to do a pre-order for Amazon Summer as well, since I now have the first story to work as sample (although it’s a novel extract, so nothing new), but… dunno. If anyone had experience with pre-orders, please chime in, thank you! 🙂

The e-book will go live on April 15, when it will be available also at the other retailers – except probably Apple, unless I manage to upload it to Draft2Digital before I head for Torino Comics. As soon as I come back on Sunday 13th, I’ll upload to Amazon, Smashwords and DriveThruFiction.

It’s a reprint of The Death of Queen Amazonia, The Slave (included in TSK1 since it’s actually set in the Southern Kingdoms – a traveling Amazon wandered a little too far from home…) and Doreen (included in BoI – Prequels) + I’m throwing in a new short story. It’s a good introduction to my Amazons, at the very low price of 2,99$ – I’d normally put this kind of length at 4.99, but since the only thing new is the cover and a short story (under 3K), it’s a special offer. It’s like buying The Death of Queen Amazonia with 2 bonus stories (since Doreen is already free anyway) and a new, better cover.

The cover is by wonderful Cristina Fabris who is currently working on Kol-ian and Ker-ris for the Italian cover of Slave Traders. Check also her other attempts at Kol-ian – it was hard to choose the final cover! 🙂 And this was the WiP version of this cover… She will do all the seasons of the Queendom of Maadre and I’ve already seen the pencil of Amazon Summer. And if you like her art, she’s open to commissions.

The story I was writing last week is now titled Uncommon Amazons, will be in Amazon Summer and here you can see an attempt at cover that won’t be the final. Just because one Amazon clashes with the plural in the title, I’m using both… besides, there’s two of them who behave uncharacteristically! 😉

This month’s writerly schedule: write two more Amazon shorts by the 10th when I’ll head for Torino Comics and have a short break. When I come back, I’ll write more Tales of the Southern Kingdoms, and then in May I’ll do a first draft of the third body switch, with probably a short story/prequel to go with it… just because I might travel one week (I have 2 weeks off) and I don’t want to bring the translation of Male Lovers on a trip! 😉

Writerly links of the week! David Farland on getting back up. Don’t let anyone take you down. Never give up, never surrender. Okay, I watch too many movies. But you get the idea.

Dean Wesley Smith killing the sacred cows of INDIE publishing – yes, indie and self-publishing is hard work, but it’s worth it, trust me. Sometimes I want to bang my head on the wall (when I waste hours formatting for POD when I don’t sell any of them, even if I’m available at Powells and B&N and Amazon and whatnot), but it’s still quite rewarding. But mostly – you need patience and perseverance.

I’m starting to see results now – in year 4 of indie publishing! Year 1 (2011) gave 0 results. Year 2 a hundred bucks. Year 3 tripled the income. No, I’m not even close to quitting the goddamn DayJob, but I’m moving forward. I was hoping for a five year plan, it might take ten years instead, but there’s no going back. Getting back on that horse above after being thrown down, and blah blah blah.

Comparing yourself to others might help or not. If you have low self-esteem, don’t do it. If you use it to learn, just do it. Last news from Smashwords:

March 25, 2014 – Items.  1.  Scribd update on free Scribd subscriptions!  As promised in the original Scribd announcement on December 19, authors with books opted in to Scribd by January 1 were to receive a free one-year Scribd subscription valued at $100.  Considering that the Smashwords catalog didn’t go live in their system until February 28, some additional authors made it in after the January 1 cutoff so that’s great. The first 1,000 authors will receive emails today from Smashwords that contain activation hyperlinks.  It’s actually proven to be quite a complex task of issuing these activation links (a big thanks to our friends at Scribd for all their great work here!).  Assuming the first 1,000 recipients are able to successfuly redeem their subscriptions without difficulty, we’ll send out the rest.  If you receive the email, please follow the instructions carefully.  If you have difficulty, contact Scribd via the email address included in your email.  I’ll post an update here when we send out the second batch.

I got that e-mail (actually, 2, for both my English pen names), but I don’t remember my Scribd password or access – I know I signed up years ago, but ended up taking down everything. I’ll go look through my email folders to see if I can find it again… What do you think, is it worth doing it?

Now get back to writing. Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday

15yearsDTCAnd it’s out! A collection of my doodles or comics or vignettes or whatever you want to call them! Since it’s a big fat file full of JPGs, it’s out only on Amazon and DriveThruComics. The POD version will come out later this year with DTC (when I manage to finish SKYBAND and do the third and last Omnibus).

My Italian friends are already claiming the Italian version… I don’t know when I’ll have time to translate everything, though. I haven’t even finished lettering Fleur de Lys (I sold one copy of each on Amazon UK)… I mean, I kinda like the fact that I’m selling something in my mother tongue, but I still prefer writing in English, especially comics and fantasy! 😉

Anyway, I hope to finish translating the Snippets next week at the latest, so I can go back to The Hooded Man and then send it off to Writers of the Future. Then I’ll have to write some Amazon stories if I want to issue something new in English this summer! 😀 I will also write More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms before the end of the year, as well as Star Minds The Next Generation.

As for B.G.Hope… we’ll see. Still mulling over the last body switch. Flash of scenes but not much else, so I’m not ready to write it, yet. Not in a hurry – if I can’t find a storyline, I’ll translate some M/M romance just to have something out under my other pen-name. But since it’s Loncon year, I’d rather concentrate on my main pen-name, for when I’ll meet my fans, LOL!

Now, the writerly links! Wow, David Farland is no longer cautiously optimistic about the future of publishing! He’s finally excited by all the new opportunities for writers – something that wouldn’t have happened in the 20th century, when I started writing! So lucky you starting off today, just go for it! 😀

You could start with IndieReCon – already in progress at this time, but it’s still on until tomorrow. Then hop off and sign up for an online workshop with Dean Wesley Smith. And don’t forget to follow Kris Rusch’s Thursday business posts, the latest being on social media. Now you know why I don’t feel the need to go on Twitter – not my target audience anyway, haha! 😉

More: Joe Konrath vs James Patterson. And Mark Coker’s comments on Hugh Howey’s initiative. If you’re indie published, don’t forget to take the survey at authorsearning.com. And then help other writers, at whichever point of your career you are. I don’t do reviews anymore, but if I read something terrific, I will mention it, or interview the author or have him/her over – nobody can market your book like yourself! 😉

And by the way, Smashwords authors have published 10billion words – and I’m one of them! 😉 From January 2011 to February 2014 I’ve published 68 titles, approx. 2006200 words (two-million-and-change, sorry, can’t write the numbers the American way, LOL), so 0,02% of the grand total – and that’s not counting the comics, only a couple of which are on Smashwords, most of them are on DriveThruComics.

Since we’re playing with numbers: 18 titles are under 10K; 24 are 10-30K (novellas); 22 are 30-90K (novels) and only 2 are over 100K, it’s the Star Minds trilogy or complete series in both Italian and English (the single books are 50K+30K+30K approx.)! So you know my average/favorite length is somewhere between 10k and 80k – not too short, but not too long either! 😉

Now I better go back to work… sort of, since I’m at DayJob at this time… probably like this…25022014smallHave a great week! 🙂

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