Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Last week I wrote a little over 5K, mostly revisions of the books I took with me for editing. I also wrote a short story, but I don’t like it and my beta-reader found many faults in it, so I doubt I’ll ever get back to it. I also started another, but meh. So I decided to go back to the manuscript I had left before my short trip to Massa Carrara to celebrate my birthday and leave it at that.

Having to follow the rules for a “marketable” story is taking the fun out of writing. Also, I’m as much in transition as the world is, so I don’t know what I want to write next. Probably next year will be a sabbatic year from publishing, and I’ll try to read more and possibly explore other genres. But there’s still four months to go, and I might change my mind four times until then, LOL!

It’s been a long hot summer and it’s not over yet, so I better not make important decision while my brain is fried. So I’ll keep saying “I’m OK, I’m OK” (in an Orlando Jones voice, I absolutely love The Replacements!) or “I’m fine” even if I’m not, since I won’t be able to explain what’s wrong or what’s going on anyway. I change my mind way took quickly between excitement and exhaustion, so there. Time out. Gimme a break! 😉

I am aware I need to find my focus, but right now I don’t have the strength. I will, though, and I’m lucky to be a one-person household with a steady job, although I’m still hoping to quit and move elsewhere, but right now I can’t go anywhere and I probably wouldn’t be able to focus. I will have to learn to pivot, I guess! 🙂

The Curated Anthologies are selling, including the paperbacks, so definitely when I get a couple of weeks off DayJob, I’ll get back to doing paperbacks. By then even the new books of Future Earth Chronicles will be almost all out, so I can format the paperback so it comes out along with the ebook for the last two! 😉

But first I must finish the prequel, which I hope to do in a couple of weeks. Then I will try again to write short stories to submit. Or I will have to figure out what to write for the rest of the year. After reading about this guy who used AI and Photoshop to bring ancient Roman emperors back to life, I’m thinking it’s time I tell my Roman vampire’s story – now I even know what his emperor and his successors look like, LOL!

I’m going to end with this quote… seemingly quite fitting. By the way, I think Stephen Fry is really the reincarnation of Oscar Wilde, like Keanu Reeves is the reincarnation of Paul Mounet, LOL! And by the way, Happy Birthday, Keanu! 😀 Have a great week!

Image may contain: 2 people, text that says '"Oscar Wilde said that ifyou know what you want to be, then you inevitably become it that is your punishment, but ifyou never know, then you can be anything. There is a truth to that. We are not nouns, we are verbs. am not a thing- an actor, writer- am a person who does things Iwrite, Lact- act and I never know what I am going to do next. think you can be imprisoned ifyou think of yourself as a noun." -Stephen Fry'

Writer Wednesday

And of course last week I wrote more than 20K… now that I had dived into Rogue! I even finished Draft Zero, but then, I always say I have trouble starting a story. And probably tend to wrap it up too quickly, so I’m going through it one last time before sending it off to the editor. Also because I added the flashbacks after I was done with the present, and I need to see if it flows! 😉

I have written Hal’s mother’s story and now I’ll be writing a couple of stories for anthologies (a charity anthology and a traditional market submission) before going back to Silvery Earth. About the Silvery Earth Kids, I now have more than seventy strips – six are taken for another anthology, and they will come out in black&white sometime this summer, I think – and still need to introduce a character.

I’m still busy with cleaning up, coloring and lettering, though, so I didn’t have time to do the visually impaired version yet. Tori knows she’ll get first look, though! As soon as I’m ready, hopefully sometime next month. The other two hopefully short stories will be one in 25th century Paris (that’s Future Earth Chronicles Book 5 for whoever will make it that far), and the other is going to be the Battle of Chittor from a new point of view (that’s Kristine the Youngest for whoever follows the Vampires through the Centuries).

The Future Earth Chronicles paperbacks are done, but in a weird way. If you buy all five, you’ll see they alternate cream and white paper. That’s because you can’t change that once the book is published, even if you haven’t sold a copy. Sigh. With Createspace there was only the white paper option, but still… Anyhow, I’m ordering my copies tomorrow and hopefully next week or the following I can show you how they all came out.

Speaking of paperbacks, I got my copies of the two portal anthologies… don’t they look neat? 😉 That colorful table cloth isn’t mine, I had them sent to my parents’ and opened the enveloppe at our local market…

And I believe there’s a new free story by Sarah Stegall up on the Infinite Bard, go check it out! 🙂 Have a great week!

Random Friday

Another author who is in both curated anthologies sent me her answers. I would like to spend a few words on this one. She sent me Tethering the Sun first when I sent out the call for portal stories. Then I realized we were at the same workshop in 2017, although there were fifty people there and we barely talked. But we caught up and I requested also The Traveler from that list. So, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome another workshop buddy, C.A. Rowland!

They are both out now! Click on the image for the BUY links!

1. What is it about portals that draws you to it?
I love the idea of crossing into a new world, that wonder and unsettling sense of trying to deal with something new. Portals cause growth and I like exploring that aspect of learning about something new. I also love going to new lands and getting to know them and their people.
2. What is your story in the anthology about?
In Fantasy Portals, my story is about a woman who is drawn into a painting and has to deal with what that means and the choices she must make.
In More Portals, my story is about a woman at Machu Picchu who steps through a curtain of fog and finds a completely different Machu Picchu.
3. What inspired your story?
I think art is so inspirational. I have written a number of stories based on pictures or drawings or in this case, an oil painting that I saw in New Mexico. The artist’s work has stuck with me and I finally realized there was a story I wanted to tell about one of them.
4. Do you always write about portals?
If not, what do you write about? No, I write about places I have visited, places I’ve lived, historical stories, mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I don’t know that I could ever write in only one genre or only one kind of story.
5. What should readers know about you?
My first mystery novel will be published in 2020, The Meter’s Always Running. The main character is a female taxi driving in Savannah, Georgia. I lived in Georgia for years and love the historic district. I live in Virginia now where the backdrop is the Civil War battlefields. I studied History in college so this is the right place for me and the area inspires me and my stories.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I love ghost stories too. I stayed with my grandmother when I was small and both my parents worked. We used to go to the local graveyard where she would weed and talk about the people she knew there. I would imagine what they looked like, where they lived and what their lives were like. Those sometimes show up in my stories as well.

Writer Wednesday

As expected, last week I wrote only 1600 words, much like last October when I was jet-lagged. And many were of the webcomic/strip – now I have to draw them, color them, etc. Stay tuned…

I’m still putting together those anthologies, so I haven’t started writing yet, but I sure hope to do it this very afternoon and launch into the next Star Minds Lone Wolves Team mission! 😉

And Fantasy Portals is now available for pre-order. Stay tuned for More Portals. During the weekend I’ll work on the paperbacks so on launch day you’ll be able to choose between ebook and paperback! 🙂

And of course Future Earth Chronicles Book 5 went live, so now if you want you can buy all five together and binge-read them! 🙂

And did I mention someone was putting bundles together? Here you have two, one that I’m sharing because even though I’m not in it, it’s Unicorns (my publisher is called Unicorn Productions for a reason! 😉 ) and the other is a very varied collection for all tastes… Stay tuned for more on some Eclectica authors! 🙂

Now if you’ll excuse me, I shall go back to writing… I miss it! 😉 Have a great week! 😀

Writer Wednesday

Last week I reached my first 150K and the first three months of the year are not over yet. Although this week it will probably be a veeeery low  wordcount because I am putting together two anthologies and revising Legends of the Moren Empire Volume 1 before sending it off to Mighty Editor. So, just a little meat on what’s already there.

I wrote 17K in English and 4K in Italian on both projects. Now the Italian one is with a beta-reader who will hopefully tell me if I nailed the revisions and if the end is not too rushed. For the Legends of the Moren Empire, I’m sure Mighty Editor will catch any problem. Yes, she’s awesome like that! 🙂

I received my proof of Otherside paperback and decided to resave the cover as CMYK – the RGB version has too strong reds! 😉 So if you get it now, it’s probably going to look better. I might order more copies closer to 20BooksEdinburgh and the Worldcon this summer. Still no links to the audio book, but will post them as soon as I have them. It’s not been 10 business days yet.

Audiobook 2 is under production and I’ve signed the contract for the third narrator. I’m very happy I found ways to communicate to the second narrator how to pronounce certain words (namely, Zindagi for now, since it was the only one that came up in the audition).

I never tried to listen to the Kindle’s text-to-speech after the first attempts, but hopefully the audiobooks will sound more like I wanted the books to sound! 😀 I also had to check the pronunciation of other words for Otherside (namely, the kukri knife, it has 3 different pronounciations and the narrator had used the American one, but she changed it to my preferred version.

All in all it was an interesting experience! I’m glad I have a few weeks before I have to check the next audiobook, though! 😉 Back to ebook and paperbacks for now – the anthologies, and then for that too I can have a couple of weeks break before preparing the next ebook. I’ll probably do all the paperbacks of the books that came out so far in May, though.

Next week I’m going back to Star Minds Lone Wolves. Fifteen more missions of the Team and then I’ll write another Lone Wolf story, so that later this year I can do 3 box sets – the youngsters, the elders and the rest, haha! Also, in April Star Minds Lone Wolves Shorts goes wide at last, yay. KU experiment failed completely – not one download or sale – so no more exclusivity! 😉

Now I better go working to those anthologies,  hoping the publishing drama of authors caught plagarizing, stealing images and going wild ends soon… Have a great week! 🙂


Writer Wednesday

Book 3 and 4 are really one split in two, so I didn’t really stop “between projects” except for the creative weekend with Cristina (so last week only 8K), that I used for my large print and illustrated paperbacks experiments. Book 3 clocked in at 47K (Book 1 is 42K, Book 2 is 44K) and I probably have as much to write in the next, then on to book 5!

Hopefully I’ll be done by the end of January when I can take a break… In the meantime have a sneak peek at the first five covers on the series page… The blurb for book 4 and 5 is very limited, I’ll make it better when I write them – it’s only a vague idea still! 🙂

Bundles Galore – Remembering Warriors is on sale for the last month of its shelf life. Grab it now at 3.99$ before it’s gone! 🙂 Other bundles are still available, but they’re diminishing… I will do another couple next year (along with the next iteration of Sci-fi July for the Worldcon). By the way, this is the last month of shelf life of Sci-fi July Redux too, so if you want to suport us, buy it now, if you can’t afford it, wait until it goes on sale closer to Christmas! 🙂

And I have one more reason never ever to get on Twitter, where people (newby writers) even attack longtime professionals like Nora Roberts! I might have not read her books, but I do know who she is, it would never cross my mind to accuse her of stealing my title/idea – which, by the way, is not copyrighted. It’s the execution that is. I hope that woman sinks into oblivion with her second book, she doesn’t deserve a career as a writer.

And if the above isn’t enough to dissuade you, here are six miths about traditional publishing (and not from Dean Wesley Smith’s blog!). But Indie Publishing isn’t easy either, especially if you put all your egs in one basket and your basket is leaking… Maybe the future will really allow us to go direct to readers with no middleman…

First The Why, Now The How: 25 Ways To Keep Making Stuff  by Chuck Wendig. And How To Make A Pretty Facebook Page by David Gaughran – cause we all want a pretty Author Page, right? 🙂 I still think the Publisher’s page has problems on mobile phones, but I don’t seem to be able to find a solution. Next trip to Turin I’ll consult with my webmaster…

Now, as soon as I reach my yearly wordcount, I can stop and do another curated anthology (probably starting before Christmas, but I doubt I’ll be able to publish it this year – sometimes writers are really slow! ;)). In the meantime, you have your choice between, the two Nightly Bites, the two Sci-fi Short Stories and the Rocketpack Adventures curated by Russ Crossley. The paperback make excellent Christimas gifts… just sayin’! 😉 Have a great week!

Random Friday

AUTHOR Barbara G.Tarn (self-interview for Curated Anthologies)

1. What is it about starships that draws you to it?

Stars! I mean, Star Wars, Star Trek, Star Minds… er… that was a self-citation, sorry.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

A starship pilot and owner who takes people around the Milky Way. Shanell’s story continues in Pilot (Star Minds Lone Wolves).

3. What inspired your story?

Originally it was an exercise for an online workshop about someone stuck in traffic. I had a female taxi driver and turned it into a female starship pilot trying to get on a planet with her customer – and that’s the opening.

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

The Star Minds series is science fantasy all over, so it has starships, space opera, everything the other Star Thingies have. Then there’s Silvery Earth, secondary world fantasy. Then there’s Future Earth, a more scientific SF (hopefully) on the future of our planet. Then there’s Vampires through the Centuries. Then… just go to and check it out!

5. What should readers know about you?

I’m a prolific writer who prefers dabbling in sci-fi and fantasy because she doesn’t like the current situation on this planet much.

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

After four anthologies, I think I’m going to do a fifth because it’s my favorite number, then I’ll just lay low and wait for invitations into other people’s anthologies. It was wonderful working with all the authors of all the anthologies and I will probably miss it and get back to it in a year or three!

Random Friday

One more author of the Sci-Fi Stories Space Opera Mashup (Ebook universal link and paperback)! I haven’t had the chance to meet him (yet) but I was impressed by his story, “Funeral Sails” – you should read it too! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Scott T. Barnes!

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

I love epic stories and faraway places, what David Farland calls “Wonder Literature.” Space Opera has the wonder, adventure, and romance of fantasy, with the tantalizing possibility that some of it might actually happen.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

“Funeral Sails” starts out as a simple revenge story but becomes a much more complicated story once the lead character realizes she has something worth living for. What I really enjoyed was creating a rich culture of tradition and honor that human, off-world salvagers had adopted from an alien culture as their own. It gives purpose and meaning to their often lonely lives, but also creates wonderful complications an author can explore.

3. What inspired your story?

Reading about solar sails and satellites in geostationary orbit somehow got me to thinking about cemetery monuments, and I thought, Why not combine the two ideas?

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

Most of the time I write fantasy. I don’t read enough science to work in the field of “hard” science fiction. But if a futuristic setting comes to me in my musings I won’t hesitate to write a character-drives sf story. With “Funeral Sails,” I started by doing a lot of research on solar sails, then basically kept that in the back of my mind as I was writing. Or maybe I threw it out and just went for character and action. I’m not sure.

5. What should readers know about you?

I write fantasy and science fiction short stories, with novels in the works. My writing is as eclectic as my reading tastes. Besides “Funeral Sails,” recent publications include a humorous zombie tale from the Zombie POV called “Zombie Nation”, a fantasy thriller “The Mark of Blackfriar Street,” and a western horror tale “The China Queen.”

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

Besides writing I practice kenjutsu, so don’t break into my house at night! My website is

Native to Southern California, Scott T. Barnes grew up on a farm, lived, studied and worked in multiple countries, and now resides in Orange County, Calif. as a proud husband and father of two girls. He studies samurai arts (Nami Ryu Aiki Kenjutsu) with James Williams and Russian Systema with Joseph Stoltman. In both the fantasy and science fiction genres, Scott’s short fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Pulse Pounders: Adrenaline, Gaia, Shadow and Breath volume 3, Shambles (fiction bundle), and many others. His science fiction story “Insect Sculptor” won the Writers of the Future award. He also edits the magazine NewMyths. You can find him at work in independent coffee houses all over the southland, or on the internet at

Random Friday

And it’s another anthology author! His story is very funny as is this  brief interview. I never had the pleasure to meet him in person (yet) but he can tell you how to make a living with short fiction! In fact he is both in Nightly Bites Volume 1 and Sci-Fi Stories Starships. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Douglas Smith!

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

Usually the tractor beams.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s about 6,700 words. It’s also about what happens when a star ship hires a crew member who is a real “Murphy” — the living embodiment of the law that if something can go wrong, it will. And an interstellar space ship and Murphy’s Law do not mesh well (except in my story, where hilarity ensues. Along with flying mashed potatoes.)

3. What inspired your story?

It came out of an anthology workshop at one of Kris Rusch’s and Dean Wesley Smith’s Oregon Coast workshops. We had a day to write a story. So you could say I was inspired by fear of Kris if I didn’t submit something. The theme, I think, was “Bar Flys” or something like that. Anyway, it was to be an SF antho, and it brought to mind for me Spider Robinson’s “Callahan’s Cross-Time Saloon” stories, which I always loved. That was the mood and level of silliness I was going for. The story first appeared in Baen’s Universe.

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

My short fiction has been a mix of SF and Fantasy, mostly in the darker vein. “Murphy’s Law” is a rare humour (yes, that’s spelled correctly — I’m a Canadian) piece. My novels so far have all been urban fantasy (THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD and a current two-thirds finished YA trilogy) but I have a standalone SF novel planned, based on several of my short stories.

5. What should readers know about you?

I’m a multi-award-winning Canadian author described by Library Journal as “one of Canada’s most original writers of speculative fiction” (but then what do they know, right?). My fiction has been published in twenty-six languages and thirty-two countries (but who’s counting?) and includes the novel The Wolf at the End of the World and the collections Chimerascope and Impossibilia (all of which are awesome).

I’m a three-time winner of Canada’s Aurora Award (try saying that three times fast) and have been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, CBC’s Bookies Award, Canada’s juried Sunburst Award, and France’s juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane (the latter cuz I had a translated collection of my fantasy stories).

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

Buffy remains the single most creative piece of television ever. Discuss, citing specific episodes. You have 60 minutes. Use both sides of the page.

Douglas Smith is an award-winning Canadian author described by Library Journal as “one of Canada’s most original writers of speculative fiction.” His fiction has been published in twenty-six languages and thirty-two countries. His work includes the urban fantasy novel, The Wolf at the End of the World, and the collections Chimerascope, Impossibilia, and La Danse des Esprits. His non-fiction guide for writers, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, is a must read for any short story writer.

Doug is a three-time winner of Canada’s Aurora Award, and has been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, CBC’s Bookies Award, Canada’s juried Sunburst Award, and France’s juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane. A short film based on Doug’s story “By Her Hand, She Draws You Down” won several awards at film festivals around the world.

His website is and he tweets at

Random Friday

And here’s another author of Sci-Fi Stories – Starships! I did meet him, twice! On the Oregon coast, for those offline workshops that will be held in Las Vegas from now on. Anyway, I met Russ and his lovely wife Rita (who is in Sci-Fi Stories – Space Opera Mashup) in Lincoln City in October 2011, then again in October 2014. They are both great writers and I’m glad they sent me their stories.

He’s also been on this blog before because we shared bundles as well as anthologies (he’s also in Nightly Bites). But here’s six questions about Starships to Russ Crossley.

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

I have been an SF fan going to back to the 1960’s when the NASA space program was in full swing. I watched every launch and watched every SF show/movie, and read every book, comic book etc I could get my hands on with a starship because I thought that is where we were, and still are today, headed.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Solitary Man is about a man alone on a starship with an artificial intelligence on a mission to a newly discovered planet far across the galaxy. When he learns he and the AI are expendable he joins with the AI to survive. When when they meet the alien race inhabiting that far away world they may have found the answer they are seeking not only for themselves but all humankind.

3. What inspired your story?

The idea of people traveling great distances across the galaxy has always intrigued me. I think we will need artificial intelligence or learning machines to help us. This was the kernel to write this story.

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?
I’ve written on many topics in many genres but right now I write a lot of stories about starships in my Blaster Squad series set in the 42nd century. Book seven will out later this year.

5. What should readers know about you?

I live in a small town in British Columbia with my wife and two wonderful dogs.

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

I have a massive DVD movie collection and I have a large collection of Star Trek paperbacks dating back to the 1970’s.

International selling author, Russ Crossley writes science fiction and fantasy, and mystery/suspense as well as their various subgenres.

His latest science fiction satire set in the far future, Revenge of the Lushites, is a sequel to Attack of the Lushites released in 2011. The latest title in the series was released in the fall of 2013. Both titles are available in e-book and trade paperback.
He has sold several short stories that have appeared in anthologies from various publishers including; WMG Publishing, Pocket Books, and St. Martins Press.

He is a member of SF Canada and is past president of the Greater Vancouver Chapter of Romance Writers of America. He is also an alumni of the Oregon Coast Professional Fiction Writers Master Class taught by award winning author/editors, Kristine Katherine Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.

Feel free to contact him on Facebook, Twitter, or his website He loves to hear from readers.

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