Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I thought I was going slower because I had to check maps and stuff for my characters’ journey, but ended up with almost 14k and being almost done with this book. My way of coping with all this is obviously hiding in my worlds or our speculative future, trying to forget the current situation! πŸ™‚ The only thing I really can’t do right now is draw. I barely managed to finish inking the Star Minds Kids and Teens strip, but I still need to do a couple of “covers” and then color and letter it all… not to mention I haven’t done another pencil portrait since January! 😦

I have a post on why you should ignore all that Coronavirus-inspired productivity if you don’t feel like it. I’ve been in this state for longer than you were, so don’t get discouraged by the fact that I resumed writing. Italy has been in lockdown for the whole month of March, so I had time to adjust. But I had to put my new trilogy on the back burner because I don’t have the mind to write it now (although during the weekend I went back to my notes because a friend posted something related to it).

It doesn’t mean I’m already on the other side of this shift, mind you, but the depression of the first weeks is gone. I’m still waiting for the new normal to settle in, and we’re not there yet. Maybe after Easter things will slowly re-open on this side of the world, but I guess everybody’s plans are screwed for the rest of the year. I’m not one who goes on vacation during the summer, but my colleagues are all upset about being unable to go to their usual places.

I might be an indoor person myself, but on Saturday I gave up on going to the supermarket because of the long lines. Waiting standing is not good for my back, so I thought I’d try something else. I never go shopping on Sundays because I think supermarket employees deserve a day off too, but I was so desperate that this Sunday I did go and check if it was open.

It was, I had only five people ahead of me (on Saturday I saw the line in the parking lot before even turning the corner of the building…), so I got my stuff (I was running out of coffee for the moka machine I haven’t used in months, but being stuck at home for breakfast I had to resume using it) and went home happy.

So yeah, it’s a really big deal, emotionally tiring, and the spring weather on this side of the world probably doesn’t help. An Italian saying goes “April, sweet sleeping” (which rhymes in the original “Aprile, dolce dormire”) and I can already feel that spring drowsiness.

Last week my brother managed to get to Mom’s and show her how she can do WhatsApp video calls with her tablet – it might be our only way to spend Easter together. My sister finally has got a smartphone, so as soon as she downloads WhatsApp, we’ll add her to the family chat. I’m still quite dumb with the whole videocall thingy, but I’ll learn! πŸ˜‰

I put a new title out, and when formatting I realized I ended up not putting in flashbacks. And last night I remembered that yes, I did write them, but I totally forgot about them and didn’t send them to the proofreader. So don’t rush to get this title… I will update it as soon as possible. This shows I’m not at my normal efficient self, hope it makes you feel better! πŸ™‚ The last Star Minds Lone Wolves book will come out in two weeks, then we’re off to the Team’s adventures for another three titles.

And I got word from the curator that the Immortals bundle is on sale! Check it out! My “immortal” is Kaylyn, Rajveer’s sister-in-darkness, a 12th century Anglo-Norman lady… through the centuries!

In spite of many authors offering books with discounts or free (like the Smashwords sale – check out this friend of mine, everything 60% off of free – or this other friend of mine who has put her short stories at 99c), there’s still someone who wants to profit from this. Writer Beware on Copyright Violation Redux – The Internet Archives National Emergency Library.

I didn’t check if they have my books, but I suspect that my lack of sales is because of pirate sites – sometimes they pop up in my Google Alert. Sigh. When people will be willing to pay for their entertainment, it will be a nice new world where I’ll love to live in. Maybe when this is over.

Oh, and our fearless curator (of the above bundle) has put out a new title as well. Check out Here Be Brave New Worlds, that includes Brainwaves (Future Earth Chronicles Book 1) – to which I remind that the rest of the series is half-price in the Smashwords sale

To end on a brighter note, a friend on Facebook posted the usual stupid meme “Whatever song was #1 on your 12th birthday is the official theme for your quarantine” and I want to share my official theme with you. I was living in Geneva at the time, so it’s going to be a French song.

“L’oiseau et l’enfant” (“The Bird and the Child”) was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1977 performed in French by Marie Myriam, who represented France. I still own the 45 – yep, still plenty of vinyl records and audio tapes in this house! πŸ˜€

Here you have the video (karaoke version), I think it’s quite good for these times, and I wish you a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


The grand total for the writing retreat (even though I didn’t write every day, and definitely not when traveling) was 14600words, although I finished The Path of Metal on Sunday. I printed it out on Monday at the office and did a final pass, reading it all in one sitting before moving on.

Now writing those short stories to submit to traditional markets with very tight deadlines. Including Mission #30 of the Lone Wolves Team, that therefore is not included in the last volume of our adventurers’ jobs, out now. I will add it to the collection of all the missions if it gets rejected (or will wait until I can publish it in the whole collection, depending how long I have to postpone it, LOL).

Next weekend I’ll upload Rogue, then pause the publishing for a few months. I considered enrolling it in KU so I could participate in the Kindle StorytellerAward 2019 on Amazon UK, but unless my one true fan (yes, Tori, I’m talking to you) tells me she doesn’t mind waiting 3 months, I won’t. If I happen to win (which I won’t), means it would be stuck on Amazon only for much longer. If you’re in KU and have published between May and August, do try your luck, though! πŸ˜‰

I learned a few things and got a few ideas at the conference, so it’s time I start working on that rebranding – or tending my garden, as they say. Since “just write more books” doesn’t really work, I’m studying the Reader Magnets. Although the PDF is outdated RE: MailChimp, but I have no intention of opening another newsletter yet.

But someone pointed me to StoryOrigin, and they handle Reader Magnets and review copies even if you don’t have a mailing list. So I might try that too in the coming months (as well as signing up for Pinterest when I have the rebranded covers ready – not all of them, but still quite a few, I’m afraid).

I haven’t done a priority list yet, although I have booked out a few weekends to start the revamping of the publisher’s site. Might also give me ideas for the Backstage Pass posts! πŸ˜‰ Oh, and another link of something I discovered in Edinburgh (thanks, Josie, glad I didn’t spend all my time talking to the only face I knew beforehand and saw your link on the group discussion) – Hopepunk. Might be something to consider when I re-tag my books! πŸ˜‰

Now, you might have noticed my re-blog on Sunday. Yes, the awesome A.L. Butcher put together another awesome bundle, Here Be Magic, that includes yours truly. Soon you’ll hear from some of those authors on this very blog.

Aaaand, you guessed it, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Hop off to the site and read another free short story for your reading pleasure! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Random Friday


The anthologies (Fantasy Portals and More Portals) will soon go live and you will be able to hear about other authors. As for myself, I’ll quote the intro of Fantasy Portals, and since this is my blog, I can add links to the mentioned stories! πŸ˜‰

I wrote my first portal story for the now closed Crossed Genres magazine. The second for the Anthology Workshop, and the third and fourth as an exercise for an online workshop on writing fantasy.

Two of those stories have become novellas with life of their own, but the other two wanted company. Besides my own stories, I mean. And I know plenty of talented writers, hence I did some direct requests and a closed call.

So half the stories of these anthologies are from fellow workshop buddies (Alexandra Brandt, Debbie Mumford, Laura Ware, Annie Reed, C.A. Rowland, Joe Cron and Ron Collins). Some were unavailable, but I had alternative stories of portals (thank you, Stefon Mears!). And then there was a closed call to fill the two anthologies…

But now, more on mine. The two novellas are Yash and Ryo, Lost in the Milky Way and of course much talked about Otherside! πŸ˜‰ The story I wrote for the workshop is The Portal, included in Fantasy Portals, and I wrote The Avalon Pub for the online workshop Writing Fantasy (as I did with the opening of Otherside).

And since the Eclectica bundle is also coming out this weekend (well, TOMORROW, yay!), I was interviewed by a fellow bundler! Check my ramblings at Sherry D. Ramsey’s place and stay tuned to hear more about her on this very blog… at the beginning of June! πŸ™‚

I might do another audiobook with either Yash&Ryo or maybe Mumbai Dreams… Not ready for novel-length yet, sorry. And no earlier than six months, since the first three drained me of energy and stole too much of my writing time! πŸ˜‰ Have a great weekend!

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜‰ ) and the other is a very varied collection for all tastes… Stay tuned for more on some Eclectica authors! πŸ™‚

Now if you’ll excuse me, I shall go back to writing… I miss it! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Sunday Surprise


SALE! Last days, then it’s gone forever! Grab it now!

Seductive Female thief running away over the rooftops

Writer Wednesday


Last week I didn’t write much both because I was traveling and because I was revising (I did mention August would beΒ  revision month, right?) but this week I’m slowly getting back on track. I’m still ahead of my prospected wordcount and should be able to relax also in October when I’ll be traveling again.

I’m very happy that I’ll reach that milestone of 500K I’ve been aiming at for three years already! πŸ™‚ Like I said on a post, I don’t mind the writing, I’d happily do it for a living, but unfortunately I’m not selling enough to quit DayJob.

And even if I will quit it, I’ll probably keep other jobs on the side, because I noticed I need a break anyway between scenes/chapters/whatever, if only to brainstorm and imagine what comes next.

I’ll see what it’s like when I’ll have my 5 weeks off – if I can organize myself or fall apart! πŸ™‚ No new titles until mid-September coz I need to send them to the proofreader so in the meantime you can take advantage of this Kobo Promo. During the course of the sale customers will be able to use an author-supported 40% off promotional code to purchase my eBook.

And I have 2 titles that have been accepted for this promo, so if you’re a Kobo user, hop to Kobo right now! Well, tomorrow! πŸ™‚ And now you even know how many were declined and that there are 3 more still pending, LOL! That’s all the promotion and marketing I’m doing these days.

So again, if you want to gift me for my birthday, either take advantage of the Kobo sale or pick your book of choice on the publisher’s page or grab a bundle or a curated anthology. There. Don’t say I didn’t give you options! πŸ™‚

Hilarious post on how to pronounce GIF (wich for me reads jif because the i makes the g soft in Italian, haha!) and other acronyms. English pronounciation is really random for us poor non-natives! πŸ˜‰

As you should know by now, I’m a lot like Dean Wesley Smith – a one-draft, prolific writer who doesn’t believe in rewriting hell, er, myth. I might have started this adventure rewriting old stories, but now I started new (sub)series and I know I’ll never run out of “ideas” – maybe I’ll take a writing prompt or an adventure generator or whatever and just pop out a story. And I’ve quit my writers group since they weren’t helpful at all.

I’m not in the hamster wheel of doom since I write what I want to read but I dread the day I’ll have to work on moving my paperbacks from Createspace to KDPprint, hoping I don’t get any email requesting to prove copyright or permission from publisher (me). Probably before the Master Class. Sigh.

And I have new paperbacks to make in September. Double sigh. I still love writing and will keep doing it forever, but this publishing business is killing all the fun of putting the writing out! 😦

One last link – the branding masterclass for creatives by Dean Samed of NeoStock! And that’s all for today! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


So last week I did my usual 10K to be on track with the writing. Still with the Lone Wolves since it’s sci-fi July and soon you’ll get another book in the mini-series/sub-series. I’ve started another novel but will throw in more “missions” of the team anytime I finish the current project ahead of time – which normally happens, LOL!

And I also had time to format the first paperback! So if you’re a fan of dead tree books (means you don’t have trouble with your eyes like us elderly people, I had a friend asking me for the ebook because he can’t read the paperback…), you can get Sci-Fi Stories – Starships in paperback now. I’ll do the other as soon as the other anthology goes live, since there’s no pre-order on Createspace! πŸ˜‰

Thank you all who bought either the above anthology or the bundle Sci-fi July Redux. Remember this bundle won’t be out forever and it’s 10 novels of sci-fi space opera for your entertainment, so if you like space opera, make sure to grab it now.

I mean, look at those names! Kevin J. Anderson! Robert Jeschoneck! Kristine Kathryn Rusch! Dean Wesley Smith! Barbara G.Tarn! Er… scratch the last one, she’s a nobody! πŸ˜‰

But well, if I make it big, you can say you started following me before I got famous! πŸ™‚ Before I got published in some traditional mag (which at the moment is scheduled for January 2019 – unless I sell something else in the meantime)! πŸ™‚

If you prefer short stories, there’s always the curated anthologies… and hopefully soon more short story collections (gotta write them first, though!)! πŸ™‚

Next weekend I’ll prepare Jes-syd and the second anthology goes live… In the meantime I better go back to writing. Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And inbetween projects – going through the stories one last time before sending them to betas – I wrote less than 5K but I’m still on schedule. This week I hope to write a couple of short stories of the Star Minds Lone Wolves Team then I’ll move on to the next project… I should stick to SF during the month of July, but we’ll see! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and by the way… not only you shouldn’t read your reviews if you’re an indie author, but also you shouldn’t reread the rejection letters, especially if it’s a personalized rejection that points out something! I made the mistake to re-read a rejection letter and it gave me all sorts of self-doubts… lesson learned, never again! πŸ˜‰ Acknowledge the rejection and send out again (it even ended with “I’m sure some other editor might enjoy it” or something like that, but what stuck was the critique… masochist types, we writers, aren’t we?).

And in honor of upcoming Sci-Fi July, enjoy this article on terraforming ourselvesΒ and the history of SF! πŸ™‚ It’s a good summary of what I learned with the online workshop on writing science fiction – at least the origins of the genre. I do need to write Post-Apocalypse Chronicles book 2 where you’ll see that Earth is not that bad off after a couple of centuries, but maybe I’ll do it in August instead of July.

Anyhow, for Sci-fi July you get: on the 4th Sci-fi Stories – Starships, an anthology of 10 short stories with starships in them, aaaaand the Sci-fi July Redux Space Opera bundle, with 10 novels of space opera and adventure! Both are already available for pre-order and look at all those great writers! I had trouble deciding the order of the stories or novels!

The bundle won’t stay out forever, so grab it now. The anthology will be out until they allow us to keep it out there – there has been trouble with Nightly Bites volume 1 paperback – and it will soon be joined by Sci-fi Stories – Space Opera Mashup with another 10 wonderful stories because I got so many I had to make two anthologies! πŸ™‚

And then you’ll get the other two short novels of Star Minds Lone Wolves, Pilot and Hacker. This weekend I’ll be putting together that second anthology and preparing the next Star Minds Lone Wolves (short) novel for publication… stay tuned… Shanell is coming your way! πŸ˜‰ With her new look (the old look is on Sci-fi Stories – Starships, drawn by Techie Bro) and she’s still the best starship pilot of the Star Nations and don’t you dare deny it! πŸ˜‰

Hacker will come out with the second anthology on July 14th… And no, I haven’t done the cover yet, even though I’ve chosen the model! But I’m not sure about the background yet… πŸ˜‰ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


I must say I’ve had a productive writing week, with 19K words written. I also wrapped draft zero of one novel (a little over 50K), now I’m working on its “companion” – it’s, like, three novels intertwined but that can be read as standalone, like the vampires novels, but I’ll be publishing them more or less together, or at least closer to each other than the vampires novels (one a year).

It’s another sub-series of Star Minds, in case you’re wondering, and I hope to have the first out in July to add it to the Sci-fi July Redux bundle, and then we’ll see for the other two. They might come out shorter, so I may combine them. I’ll definitely do a box set when the miniseries is complete! πŸ˜‰

Speaking of bundles, Spring Surprise is on sale until the 28th! And more to come, so stay tuned! πŸ™‚ It’s a seasonal bundle, so May is the last month to get it. Also, Vampires of the World will vanish in May and there will be a last week sale. More on that next week.

Mighty Zon strikes back! An author’s nightmare with Amazon… and if you like sci-fi, grab this World Sci-fi bundle before it’s gone. I’m still trudging through the bundles I’ve been part of at Bundle Rabbit last year… my TBR pile will never go down, sigh! 😦

In case you’re just starting and are wondering what’s best for you, here’s a very good article on publishing in 2018 – the pros and cons of trad pub vs self pub. I am mostly indie, but I am trying to sell short stories to traditional markets (one sold last year, still not out – being patient…).

And my Kindle Scout novel (15 days left to nominate it) is my attempt at being hybrid on a single project that is an outlier of my usual production. I may also send a rejected novella to another publisher, and in case he likes it, I’ll let him publish it, since it’s not related to any of the current series (except for being loosely part of Future Earth).

So, yeah, we’ll see. Now I shall go back to my writing cave… have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Aaand… UPB has a new tagline, with special thanks to webmaster and illustrator Silvano Beltramo! Stay tuned for more changes on the publisher’s page

I might have to renew some of my own things soon, since the other day Open Office crashed without saving the few paragraphs of the new story… so I’m eyeing Netbooks, since they seem to be around again. When Techie Bro’s Netbook (a.k.a. the Writing Computer) broke, I was left without and after the other day I had gone back to write longhand for Draft Zero! I was so mad at the darn Laptop!

Still have to think if I want to move on to Windows 10 or get a Netbook with Ubuntu like Techie Bro’s. We’ll see. Might be an investment for next year. Just another thing to do on the To Do list, haha! But it’s not a “should” it’s a “want to” do thing, since it’s for the Writer.

Because yes, we need to have two hats. And I’m putting the publisher’s hat a little aside next year, because I want to write and find other income sources that don’t depend on me selling or not selling my writing. So, more submissions to traditional mags of short stories, and less of that darn publishing stuff.

Of course I’ll keep putting the works out, since it’s the only way to be discovered, but maybe at a less daunting pace (twice a month is a lot, even for a prolific writer like me). I’m going to try pre-orders in a different way from what I’ve done now, I’m going to try that branding thing with future titles and I’m going to keep experimenting and see what works for me.

And I must talk about bundles again because, guess what? SALES SALES SALES! πŸ™‚

Da vampires bundle is discounted from tomorrow to Cyber Monday, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. And First Glimpse of Secondary Worlds is discounted until the end of the month, when it will be gone forever. So last chances to have a taste of 12 different fantasy worlds from 11 awesome authors and yours truly.

And in case you missed it, on the KWL blog I explain how to be a curator at BundleRabbit. Now I’m going to spend the weekend with online workshops so I can move on with my learning and write the next story! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

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