Writer Wednesday


And my writing streak came to a screeching halt Saturday morning at 7K. I fell on my face (2 stitches on the chin), didn’t break anything, but my right wrist is wrapped until next Tuesday. I’ll slowly restart (as soon as the major aches are gone, and they almost are, tomorrow I go back to work), but it definitely fucked my schedule.

I had to postpone the editing I had booked since I won’t be able to finish Wanderlust before the end of the month with all the travel inbetween, sigh. And I’ll have to make the corrections on Kristine one-handed, but next weekend I hope to be able to set up the pre-order.

And I did manage to publish Cherry’s story, although not in September as expected. A few days later, there you have it, Mercenary, the winged chick with retractile wings based on Kol-ian’s old implant! πŸ™‚ And I would like to thank Ravven for making 2 versions of Cherry, which made it hard to choose! πŸ™‚ (yes, it’s stock rendering, but I realized I was following her on DeviantART and asked her if she could do a variation of some poses…)

And that’s all for now. On Friday I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing (besides recovering from the stupid fall). Have a great week!

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Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote only 5K but I was busy editing and formatting and uploading and all that other stuff soooo interesting! Not. My yearly total is still 392K, so I’m doing fine, right? πŸ˜‰ I wrote one last Star Minds Lone Wolves story, an extra scene for Kristine and that’s more or less it.

Ahem, well, anyway, after a weekend of struggles with KDPprint, I think I mastered it and can now do a few more paperbacks with less hassle than the first. I also figured out the difference between proof copy and author copy. So I’m not giving the paperback links until I checked that the paperbacks are okay, LOL!

But, the e-book links are fine! In case you missed it, Star Minds Lone Wolves’ Thief is out! Please meet Mr. H, thief, chameleon and my favorite character although I couldn’t use the actual person I had in mind. I had to settle with this sexy vampire hunter by Ravven instead.

And if you want a sneak peek of the other two coves, go to the Star Minds page and scroll down… Cherry will come out at the end of the month and Elsa on Oct.15th or White Cane Safety Day.

Now I shall move away from the Star Minds universe to write the next Post-Apocalypse Chronicle… and get ready for the October Business Masterclass! πŸ™‚

That’s all for today! 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! πŸ™‚ 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… πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

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? πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

That’s all for today… have a great week! πŸ™‚

Sunday Surprise


EBOOK COVER REVEAL! πŸ™‚

It’s coming! πŸ™‚ Working on formatting and uploading, but I thought I’d give a sneak preview. It’s my first cover with a NeoStock model, a composite with DepositPhoto elements and some touch-up to make Liepa really look like Iso-bel Aya Shermac.

After a quick survey with my Facebook friends, I bought the initial choice of a pose – theoretically a UF pose – and changed the gun, since this is not UF but SF. I also turned the model’s eyes blue and added the background that could be Friport, the starship as big as a planet of adventurers and rogues.

(Here’s the WiP, although the final is not really final, since I “cleaned” the white space in her hair afterward and added the shadows)

I hope it doesn’t clash with the other Star Minds covers too much. I’m very excited with this sub-series with the third generation and you can expect the first three books to come out this year. Next year I might write another three.

The Lone Wolves Team is coming… stay tuned! πŸ˜€

Random Friday


attempt, not the final one… It wouldn’t save the JPG, so I took a screenshot of this one!

And the publisher page has a new header! Took some working since I have an old version of Photoshop and Elements “doesn’t support layer groups and displays them in their collapsed state. You must simplify them to create an editable image” except the editable image had no layers, so I had to ask Mighty Silvano to please pull them out of the folder.

Now I should renew this blog’s header, but… maybe during the weekend, LOL!

About reading! I started a historical novel that has been on my table for almost ten years, but I’m afraid I won’t finish it. Printed books tend to have small fonts (i.e. hard to read, I stopped buying magazines for that reason) and I’d rather keep all the novels on my Kindle (which I didn’t have ten years ago or whenever I bought that book, LOL!).

Besides, it was written in the 1950s and head-hopping is really jarring (they don’t “ejaculate” anymore, but they “cried” a lot… maybe “he said, she said” isn’t so bad after all!). And I’d rather go back to the bundles I’ve been in and the ones still to come. My TBR pile will never go down… unless I do not finish the books that don’t catch me with the first chapters! πŸ˜€

On a different topic, last weekend I brainstormed while drawing – Da Muse, who else – and watched one of the DVDs I got from Amazon, with Da Other Muse (whom Americans might have admired during the Super Bowl, hopefully seeing the most dignified, manly tear, LOL!).

Anyhow, I enjoyed the Whole Truth and it’s final twist (ouch, just read the Italian titles of the latest movies. I wish IMDB didn’t read my server location). I’m not a big fan of courtroom drama, so I didn’t see hundreds of them. I could only compare it to Devil’s Advocate which was shot 20 years before that. So it was okay.

This weekend I hope to see the mess that changed title because the director refused to be part of it and is now called ExposedΒ – we’ll see if it’s really a mess! πŸ˜‰ And I got the short stories back from Mighty Editor, so I have some editing to do before starting the submission process. And if there’s time, I’ll work on the publisher’s page that still needs some tweaking (do a new header for this blog?)… Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

Sunday Surprise


And it’s an e-book giveaway! You can already download some free stories of yours truly on Instafreebie. Or get another one when you subscribe to my bimonthly newsletter. And one more every two months in the newsletter.

But maybe you’re just following the blog. Or the Facebook page this blog sends the posts to. So one lucky winner can get an e-book in their preferred format, simply comment below with what you’d like to read from my extensive inventory.

You can choose from secondary world fantasy – Silvery Earth has all standalone books, but if you want to know which are my own favorites, well, the quests and the heroines, because they’re the more recent. There’s a suggested order if you’d rather try something else.

Or you can try my science fantasy series Star Minds – a couple of books are adult only, but they’re clearly marked. Or there’s the historical fantasy series Vampires Through the CenturiesΒ (for which I suggest you have a look also at the bundle or the anthology, but I cannot put those two in the giveaway).

Or science fiction, urban fantasy and contemporary. Single author box sets. Just take your pick, jot the title in the comments and good luck. Giveaway closes Monday (tomorrow) night and the winner will be announced on Wednesday. Thank you for following me! Have a great Sunday! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


This month’s writing is almost done, except one last story that should pour out within the week. Then I may write something in the same “universe” to submit somewhere – I’m currently reading the previous anthology to get a feel of what they’re looking for and I’m mostly having a blast. Ideas churn in my head with each new story – I know the where and when of mine, but the story is still nebulous.

These last 2-3 stories are shorter works, but in November I’ll get back to longer works. I have deadlines for submissions, so I’m doing those first. Did you read about Dean’s latest challenge – write his age? I could do it this year, I’d have to write/publish one story a week, but two months have already gone by since my 52nd birthday, LOL! I still need to reach my goal of half-pulp-speed (500K a year) and I probably won’t reach it this year either, so I’d rather skip this challenge… which will make it more worthwile whenever I decide to actually do it (when I’m 55? 60? We’ll see…).

Anyhow… next week I’ll be off DayJob, so I’m already putting up some kind of schedule. I’ll have to work on more PODs, even though CreateSpace is closing down its shop. Might be a good time to try KDP print. At the same time, Amazon seems to be less and less author-friendly. Which is a good reason for not having all the eggs in that basket.

This very interesting analysis that tells a tale of two marketing systems also got me pondering. I supposedly should use the Wide Tortoise method, although I’m using neither right now. I’m giving up on the marketing weekends again after reading of Facebook’s new policy in Pages newsfeeds. They keep offering me to boost my posts, but there must be some other way to reach fans! 😦

I don’t know, I also have to sign up for Pronoun and possibly other sites, so… one thing at the time! πŸ˜‰ I also should add a “clean fantasy” label so my newer books. Gone are the times of those “Adults only” titles on both Star Minds and Silvery Earth. I called them ACE-friendly, but maybe, at least for Silvery Earth, it’s just clean fantasy.

But then I should change the publisher’s byline that it’s “books for adults with a youthful mind”! πŸ˜‰ I mean, I’m an adult and I don’t really need to read about sex in every book. I also wrote all the violence I could think of out of my system. Mmm. I guess I’ll have to ponder and make a more generic byline “books for everyone”? Not really. “Books and stories” too bland?

Lot to ponder. Of course authors can’t make a living from books anymore, they never could, unless they were bestsellers. It’s even worse in traditional publishing, but even indies… most don’t thrive, including yours truly. But if you’re one of the lucky ones, you might find Trackerbox useful for your earnings. Here’s an interview with the creator, who has a kickstarter going for the Mac version.

I still go with Excel sheets and paper notebooks, but I’m not really thriving yet. Anyhow, if you want advice on self-editing your novel or five stages to revise it, there you go. And some habits of the world’s most successful writers. And a reminder that I have a few bundles out or coming soon… stay tuned for more!

Oh, and if you write mystery or romance, Hallmark is now accepting novels. I write neither, unfortunately, so go for it! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Random Friday


Smashwords Deal announcement – this weekend Honorable Assassins is 50% off only on Smashwords. If you missed last weekend’s opportunity, now you can get it half-price. The coupon is public and feel free to share.

POD news – edit. I have found a “new” cover artist, my old friend Federica Manfredi, therefore I will doΒ  the paperback for Axelle within next month, along with another. So Shashank is not the last you see this year! πŸ™‚

Bundles fever: I have been checking the other three bundles that should come out this month and I’m very excited. I will be in bundles with the likes of Kevin J. Anderson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch (twice!), Leah Cutter, and people I’ve met on the Oregon coast such as Stefon Mears and Karen Abrahamson (who areΒ  also in the fantasy bundle that will soon be archived), Russ Crossley and his lovely wife Rita, M.L. Buchmann, Robert Jeschoneck and Blaze Ward, and then Thea Hutchinson and J.A. Marlowe and a few more that I look forward to discover!

Now I better finish what I’m reading and start discovering new authors… And I’ll keep ya posted on those three bundles! They all come out before mine, Vampires of the World, so… I know, we can all stock up for the long cold winter (or darn hot summer for those of you who live down under!)! πŸ™‚

Writing weekend ahead. Lots of catching up to do, gotta finish those stories! Have a great end of the week! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Bundles, glorious bundles… Vampires of the World is available for pre-order as is Mythic Tales. Both have one of mine (erm… 2 in the first case…) in the lot.

In the vampires bundle you have Rajveer and Kaylyn (what else? πŸ˜‰ ) and in Mythic Tales, there’s Beautiful, the sleeping prince with a puppy disposition awakened by the stray cat adventurer who happened to kiss him awake.

I have received the proofs of Shashank and Honorable Assassins, and one I’m going to redo it – slightly reformatted the bonus stories. As soon as I get the new proof, I’ll probably send the book live so I can order a copy for the cover artist.

On totally unrelated subject, I watched the DVD of John Wick Chapter 2 and the deleted scenes… one of them was shot in EUR, next to the office! How did I miss them? Drat! Anyway, it was nice to watch it again with its mix of Italian and English! πŸ™‚

Now I can wait for Chapter 3… along with Da Other Muse’s movies if he decides to get back to work and stop modeling and endorsing products and making training programs and all that other stuff that has nothing to do with acting… πŸ˜‰

Oh, and the sale has begun… on all retailers! 99c/99p only until Sunday! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

Writer Wendesday


And there’s a new bundle out with Technological Angel it it! This is all of cyborgs and machines and all that stuff, in fact it’s called Cyborg City! So if you’re all for sci-fi, go grab it at BundleRabbit which has also the links to the other retailers… it’s only 4$ for 12 novels!

Coming next is also Vampires of the World, which is already available for pre-order, plus a couple more not curated by me. Lots and lots of bundles this year! πŸ™‚ I will definitely finish the ones I got from StoryBundle in 2015 then I can start (or finish) reading the ones I’m part of! πŸ˜‰

For next weekend only, Honorable Assassins will be at 99c. The paperback will be available some time next week – I had to redo the cover and order another proof. Sorry about that… Let’s pretend I have the hardcover, while we’re at it! πŸ™‚

I also updated the pre-order documents for Shashank the Fledgling. I have added not one, but two bonus stories! The second is really short and I wouldn’t know where else to put it, so I added it to the ebook and the paperback.Not really bonus-stuffing here, at least the paperback (and the ebook, or course) is richer. I ordered a proof to see how it comes out, along with the revised version of Honorable Assassins.

Unfortunately it’s been a bad month for writing: only 22K for those two stories and some adjustments to other works. Maybe I should retake the novel challenge, LOL! Now I’m writing those final stories for the Fall of the Southern Kingdoms and then I’ll move on to the next project – a rewrite with sequel, then I will really stop recycling old stuff! πŸ˜‰

I also have to write three more stories, two from the current online workshop and one for some open call project with specific themes – there’s is more than one, but I’m afraid I can write only one of those three! πŸ˜‰ And the workshop’s not over, I might have to write another opening, so that’s another story I’m sure I’ll have to write… not to mention the opening of past workshops I didn’t have time to finish yet!

Tips for authors using social media on KWL blog. And a Kickstarter for Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, that will feature also yours truly sometimes next year! πŸ™‚

About telling a story vs. writing a story. I probably mentioned it before, but I’m a storyteller, not a wordsmith. I want to tell stories not spend days on writing down the right sentence of finding a brand new metaphor. I call that purple prose and I skim it when I see it! πŸ˜‰

I tried to read a Jack Reacher book, but I’m not too fond of first person narration, so it has gone in the backburner. I have enough reading to do before getting to that! πŸ˜€

One last thing: if you aren’t on Draft2Digital yet, you can join through referral now. They distribute to the usual suspects, have ebook templates (that I still have to try…) and now even allow audio! What’s not to love? They’re even better and faster that Smashwords whenever I had a problem… So, what are you waiting for? If you’re indie, join Draft2Digital! πŸ™‚

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

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