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!

Wednesdey Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote around 10K before taking my train. This week I’ll be mostly editing, so not much for wordcount, probably, but I knew about it.

A gentle reminder that one giveaway is almost up – and again, I won’t know you downloaded, since Smashwords won’t tell me unless you do. So feel free to grab Star Minds Sire Teens. The code is: TG65B and it expires on: 2020-8-31.

And of course a new Future Earth Chronicles book is out!

Yollanda is startled when her friend Carlos calls out of the blue to reveal the truth behind Rainbow Town. Soon she finds herself helping him and watches, aghast, as her hometown switches down.
Yollanda learns to live under the sun, in the ruins of Great Falls, with Carlos and Lucy, until she’s confident enough to climb ontp a horse-drawn closed wagon to explore more.
And when an airship reaches Roanoke, she jumps at the opportunity to cross the Atlantic, hoping to explore her African roots.
BONUS STORY: “Bran the Raven’s Last Night” – The Battle of Chittor seen in “Kristine the Youngest” from Bran’s point of view.

So there, go check it out! 🙂 Next one in a couple of weeks! 😀

Now, as soon as I’m done with the prequel, I’m going to write a few shorts to submit to markets in September and October. And no, I’m not keeping track of rejections time, although I do keep and Excel sheet with the submissions. And I like seeing those red marks that say “SOLD” next to some stories! 😉

Hopefully the stories I’ll write in September will be stories I can add to my existing series, if not, well… eventually I’ll publish all those random stories in a volume, LOL! I do have quite a few still… The Silvery Earth ones will be out probably at the beginning of next year, and I might write more in the Star Minds Universe even though theoretically I’m done with this section of history and should move on to the next galactic century.

For other publications I might just make up stuff, using their calls as writing prompts. I still haven’t decided what I’m writing after I finish the Future Earth Chronicles, so some unrelated shorts might spark the next series! 😉

A couple of interesting bundles on StoryBundle (so limited time offer, check them today):

The Innovative Worlds Bundle ending really soon that includes Future Visions edited by my friend and fellow author Francesco Verso, and The Exclusive Dark Fantasy and SF Bundle curated by my friend and fellow author Douglas Smith a remarkable set of eleven titles by bestselling authors and rising stars. As always, at StoryBundle, you name your own price—whatever you feel the books are worth, and a portion of the proceeds goes to charity.

I ran into this wonderful post on how to buy a book, and who actually profits from it. I also heard of indie authors punished by vicious readers on Amazon (not to mention it’s impossible to be seen without ads on the various markets), so yeah, Amazon is definitely not the best place to sell our books, but it’s one venue (and eventually I’ll be able to sell from my own web page, but we’re not there yet), and as long as you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, you should be fine.

In the gap in my publishing that will happen in October (after FEC Book 10) there should be something coming out from another publisher, stay tuned for the official announcement. I got paid for that story, but I don’t see any official release date on the publisher’s page, so I’ll keep mum for a little longer. Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 13K, finished a draft 0 (to be revised when I travel on the 23rd) and started a Part 2 to make a sequel longer, albeit still a short novel (can’t let go of that character, no!) Even though I’m quite in the future by now, I don’t seem to be able to let go of the Future Earth Chronicles, although I’ll have to write the prequel next!

And the new book is out! Follow Megan’s journey more or less parallel to the first five books and get ready for the continuation of the plot! Raj and Bel have gone home, but the younger members of their party are still out and about!

Megan is Rainbow Town’s ultimate punk-rock star, but an attention-grabbing newcomer is irking her to the point she decides to leave her golden prison.

Led by Richie, Megan, her best friend, Lucy, and Carlos dig their way out of Rainbow Town. After an unfortunate experience with a white settlement, Megan and Richie decide to try living with the First Nations who got their ancestral lands back.

Three years after leaving Rainbow Town Montana, Megan’s path crosses the Wanderers seeking the truth behind Rainbow Town. The post-apocalyptic warrior woman must learn to trust the newcomers and follow the adventure song.

An oldish article that still fits today – your entertainment choices are not your identity.

“Producing things for others is the difference between being a grown-up and being a child, and once making something rather than defending the purity of medium or the problematic aspects of a spending habit becomes routine, you find that you spend a lot less time unhappily screaming about raped childhoods and the SJW menace. There’s a reason that, whenever a criticism is raised against something like a game or a TV show, the first response is always someone shouting, “If you don’t like something, make your own.” It’s because that person feels like he can’t and he assumes you can’t either.

But you can, you know? You can make the thing. People do every day, and the more you do it openly, honestly and with the sincere attempt to do your best, the happier you will be.”

That’s why I write. I tell the stories I want to read. It might not be the latest fad, but it’s what speaks to me.

Which, of course, needs a tiny bit of courage.

“Writers who are worthy of the title “writer,” because they write and they have a career.

Oh-and a tiny bit of courage. Never forget that tiny bit of courage.

It makes all things possible…when viewed after the fact.”

Now, I just finished a book in a bundle I’m in. I won’t name it because I don’t recommend it – the premise was interesting, but it was poorly executed, and I might try to write something similar, eventually – but the most irritating thing was that it looked as if the writer had hit the publish button as soon as he wrote “The End”.

Indie authors, please, I beg you. Hire a proofreader before hitting that button! Not an editor and not necessarily a paid person (it can be a grammar nazi friend, a voracious reader friend or your significant other) and have them scour your manuscripts for homophones, wrong words in the wrong place or missing/extra words!

Word’s spellchecker won’t catch them (maybe if you turn on also the grammar checker?) and it makes for a painful read. Unless readers are by now used to a garbled mess, you better clean your manuscript.

And if you ask someone who does it for a living, don’t forget to pay them. I might offer proofreading in the future, but I won’t do it for free. Like you shell the money for your cover artist, shell some for a proofreader – and pay them! Below a handy guide of the different editors.

Image may contain: text that says 'Understanding BOOK EDITORS: Who you need & when you need them A DEVELOPMENTAL EDITOR on character development, theme, When: finished draft and wantt your story, when ifit "works' Focuses writing pointing awkward telling vs. showing, passive dialogue, flagging any inconsistencies. When: You know your draft sound "works.' COPY grammar, address commonly confused with works, and your ensure numerals. polished. has the possible. They well copy' typographical number problems. When: The book formatted for for you plan ACQUISITION EDITOR Works They acquire manuscripts evaluate the book's gets published. developmental edit, line edit copy editi traditionally publish. www.savannahgilbo.com'

Yes, I finished that book, but it didn’t make me want to read more from that author. And he wasn’t the first. Traditional books might have typos, but they’re less messy.

A few typos are okay (I keep updating my own documents – this weekend it was FEC Shorts (that you can still grab for free with the Smashwords coupon) because while re-reading one story I found 2 typos), but when the sentences become a garbled mess, it’s not.

My main publishing expenses are still paying Mighty Editor for proofreading (actually she does more copyediting, now that I see a clear guide of the different kinds – although I usually ignore her punctuation suggestions! 😉 ) – and I’m an ESL writer, in case you’re new to this blog.

Now I wish you a great week, and happy writing, reading or whatever keeps you entertained! 😀

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


So last week I finished Book 10 and remembered I wanted to write a shorter sequel, so I embarked in Book 11 – a novella sequel. So by the end of the week I had almost 11K new words, bringing the yearly total to 300K+. Now I’m giving the final touches to that novella and probably in the coming weeks I won’t be that productive, but I can’t complain, can I? 😉

I still haven’t decided what to write next, I’m kind of enjoying writing on Earth, albeit in the future… I could either go back to the vampires in the past or work on that shelved project. We’ll see. I should write a few more Silvery Earth titles, but now is not a good time for secondary world high fantasy.

And you have a new title out! Tori, don’t rush to get it, since it will be included in Star Minds Interregnum Volume 2, coming out in 2 weeks. Just sayin’. Everybody else, if this cover speaks to you, go check it out! 😉 She-wolves Team is more or less contemporary to the Lone Wolves Team, in fact at some point they meet.

This was the first time in a long time that Amazon was the last to publish the title. I uploaded it on Saturday, and whether it was the 4th of July, Covid or the fact that Mighty Zon is in Seattle, it took them 48 hours to send it live instead of the usual 12. Oh, well. Considering that on Monday I missed the bus and had to wait 1hour with 37°C in the shadows for the next one to do 5km… It’s July!

Actually, Sci-fi July, LOL! With the last two titles of the Star Minds Universe (for now, unless I come up with fourth generation stories) and the two curated anthologies about Future Earth, we’re all set! And don’t forget the Smashwords sale, that is not just about sci-fi, but everything else! 😉

And my friend Rob Vagle also has a new sci-fi title out! 😉 I’m kinda bummed he didn’t send any of those stories to me for my antho, but well… here you go!

In a world . . .

Where a new form of execution transforms more than just the condemned.

Where a being made of gears and scales calculates a human life’s monetary worth.

Where a stranger courts away mirror reflections of others, leaving one narcissist desperate and alone.

Where the Earth holds what completes each of us to fill the hollow inside our bodies.

Where one woman glimpses her alternate lives in a strange and sudden room.

Where a burning creature of the sun pines for the little blue planet in the distance.

If you’re just starting, I highly recommend you get David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital – it’s free right now! I have the first edition and still haven’t read it (I know, shame on me) and unfortunately if there’s something I really cannot do at this time is read all those ebooks for authors.

I still have to read his Amazon Decoded and Kris Rusch’s Creating Your Author Brand, so… I’m going to pass on this fourth edition. But if you’re just starting, grab it. I sent the link to a friend who is considering indie publishing, and he thanked me for it.

Now I’m going back to write fiction even if I’m not maximising sales, but that’s really something I can’t handle right now. One thing is hiding in a fiction world (even if it’s Earth), another is to struggle to get through in the real world! 😉

And even though I can’t stand AC and the heat is probably going to send me in some kind of dreamstate, I will survive… hence closing up with Gloria Gaynor to cheer us up! 🙂 Have a great week! 😀

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Stories from the Twilight Zone. Foreword by Anne Serling. In my father's final interview he said that he felt his writing was "momentarily adequate." And, when asked what he wanted people to say about him, as a writer, a hundred years from then, he responded, "I don't care that they're not able to quote any single line that I've written. But just that they can say, 'Oh, he was a writer. Thatìs sufficiently an honored position for me.'"

and that’s enough for me as well!

So I wrote. Slowly but steadily working on the current WIP and planning the next book with Google maps and Wikipedia and all that stuff needed when writing in the real world, in places I’ve never been to (and never will, at least in the current case – Africa is too hot for my tastes). 12K last week, and I’m almost done with Book 7 too. Onward to book 8 this week, I guess.

I was thinking I wouldn’t extend the Smashwords sale, but after reading Kris Rusch’s post, I decided to do it at least for Future Earth Chronicles – with 9$ you get 5 ebooks and a complete arc about life after the apocalypse! And since it was either all or nothing, here’s the list of the discounted books again… only on Smashwords, extended to May 31!

And I also have a new title out – the last of the Lone Wolves, Fabio, who almost speaks like his great uncle Daniele, since even though Earth is now part of the Star Nations in this alternate future, he still grew up in Rome and sometimes uses the same words that probably drove text-to-speech and other software crazy in the Trilogy or wherever Daniele was present! 😉

And of course it was already live when I realized I used the wrong background image (the watermarked version, not the actual JPG) on the cover… so one hour on Sunday late afternoon, just before dinner, was spent changing the cover everywhere, including Facebook. You can tell I’m not really myself from the rookie mistakes on the latest two titles! 😉

Next month more Team’s missions… meanwhile, happy reading! I’m currently on those Stories from the Twilight Zone that I mention above, having finished at least one of the bundles I still have on KK.

Another Kickstarter worth backing if you’re a writer – Writing Bundles (and workshops)! I am not ready to launch anything, maybe next year or later, but I’m keeping an eye on projects and will post the links here if I think they might interest you.

A friend of mine has a new ebook out, And Then…: An Assortment of 12 Delectable Tea-time Cookies (link to Amazon.com), a collection of 12 quick-to-read and delightful-to-savor stories in various genres. Also, there’s this new anthology out – no, I’m not in it, but I thought you might enjoy it:

It’s time to turn the “man and his dog wandering through a dystopian world” trope on its head, and tell the stories about cats and their women – their badass women!

CAT LADIES OF THE APOCALYPSE
Available in print and ebook from your favorite online retailers

RE: Covid-19, if you have enough of all this misinformation gone viral, here you have a few fact-checking by an expert trying to stop this. The guys knows his stuff. Feel free to follow all the links he gives. Also, if you wonder why some people are still not staying at home, here’s a research explaining our psychological response to Covid-19.

And here’s some words of wisdom about it all from The Chuck Wendig himself. I guess we’re all broken right now, and even if I’m still writing, it doesn’t mean that I feel good. I’m seeing a lot of things going in the backburner and my expectations are null – I have lost them and don’t see them anywhere around me. I will need some searching to get back on track.

Ending on a ligher mode, if you want to chuckle, check the 13 wildest conspiracy theories of all times, starting from Covid-19 is caused by 5G (debunked above)… But onward we go! Have a great week! 🙂

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I ended up writing 17K+, which brought the yearly total to 150K, which means that on week 15 I caught up with the wordcount. To reach my goal of 500K/year I need to write 10K/week with two weeks off… so at the moment, I’m back on track and can still take two weeks off to go somewhere in the second half of the year, if things have settled down. Yay! 🙂

And like I announced on the publisher’s page, the new title is now complete, so I’m posting the cover. Still a short novel, but at least it has flashbacks! 🙂 You can now know a little more about Alex’s past! 🙂

If you write SFF, you know have two options of professional organizations looking out for you. The SFWA that is more traditionally oriented and has the Writer Beware blog, and the IASFA, that is indie-oriented… set up by Craig Martelle of 20BooksTo50K, it’s starting to build up… and it’s free to join! 🙂 I can say I was among the first 15 members, LOL!

A nice post on how to cope right now. Be kind, to yourself and others. Yes, I miss the coffee shop coffee and having lunch with a colleague or three, but we’ll get over it. Yes, it was a lonely Easter time, but I’m sending out tonz of virtual hugs for whoever needs them right now. And yes, I sometimes hold my hand, especially when I go to sleep, just to remind myself I’m still alive and still human.

Also, here’s the truth about introverts. Yes, it’s hard on us too. And yes, I’m lucky I still get to go to work three days a week to get my dose of people. I don’t look forward to when it will be all peopley out there, but I hear ya – introvert or extrovert, we’re all grieving these days.

And if you feel you need help to re-organize your life during lockdown, follow Kris Rusch’s advice. Also, prepare for the ultimate gaslighting – I think it’s going to be all over the world, not just in America. I had wished the world would stop, and now it has stopped, which is more or less fine with me, if the rest of the world wasn’t reacting so badly! 😉

I hope you might consider this: what happened is inexplicably incredible. It’s the greatest gift ever unwrapped. Not the deaths, not the virus, but the Great Pause. It is, in a word, profound. Please don’t recoil from the bright light beaming through the window. I know it hurts your eyes. It hurts mine, too. But the curtain is wide open. What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. At no other time, ever in our lives, have we gotten the opportunity to see what would happen if the world simply stopped. Here it is. We’re in it. Stores are closed. Restaurants are empty. Streets and six-lane highways are barren. Even the planet itself is rattling less (true story). And because it is rarer than rare, it has brought to light all of the beautiful and painful truths of how we live. And that feels weird. Really weird. Because it has…never…happened…before.

And, like he says,

From one citizen to another, I beg of you: take a deep breath, ignore the deafening noise, and think deeply about what you want to put back into your life. This is our chance to define a new version of normal, a rare and truly sacred (yes, sacred) opportunity to get rid of the bullshit and to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives richer, what makes our kids happier, what makes us truly proud.

I finally started using those codes for RakutenTV and… I wasn’t impressed. I watched Sir – the only Indian movie I hadn’t seen that was available (there’s no Bollywood at all in their selection) – and the only options were Hindi (without subtitles) or Italian. So I had to watch the dubbed version (with the silly subtitle “Cinderella in Mumbai”), which wasn’t too bad since I didn’t know any of the actors and what they actually sound like.

Until we got to the part where the two sisters discuss Choti’s future husband. I have no idea why the people adapting this movie for dubbing put in Brad Pitt’s name, jerking me out of the movie in a heartbeat. 1) how can an Indian man look like Brad Pitt? Keanu Reeves is more likely, right? Oh, but nobody knows how to pronounce that, so forget it. 2) I’m watching an Indian movie about a maid who always wear a sari and they talk about a Hollywood celebrity? They might as well have used an Italian actor for Italian watchers… if they really didn’t want to use an Indian star’s name.

I tried to understand what they were saying in the original (probably Marathi, since it didn’t sound like Hindi – she’s from a small village near Mumbai), but the only name I could catch was Rajveer (I think). I mean, I understand trying to adapt (like the subtitles of ZNMD where they translated Manju into Romeo, but it was less jarring than this Brad Pitt thing and I was able to ask about the actual line to Hindi speakers), but this was really off-putting.

Come on, people, give us non-speakers some credit when we watch your movies. We want to watch and understand your culture, not see it whitewashed just in case we don’t get it. Sheesh. Besides that, I think it was a nice, realistic story that showed me something of India. I’m not surprised the movie received so many awards all over the world. I agree with this user’s review completely.

A beautifully thought provoking film!

12 November 2018 | by taherailseahmadSee all my reviews

It is really a film worth watching, the story and characters stay on with you in a fine, beautifully quiet manner even when the film is over! A wonderfully subtle but very definitely thought provoking film with a realistic story line!

Anyhow, I was reminded why I hate dubbed movies. The other three on my list should be English or Italian movies, so I can watch the original without subtitles. And I guess I’ll stick to DVDs whenever available for the time being. Watching on my laptop wasn’t the best experience, and I don’t have a smart TV – don’t want one, I don’t use it enough anyway.

On Sunday (Easter), I rewatched 12 Monkeys – remember when 5billions were supposed to die from an airborne virus back in 1996/1997? Well, we had another twenty years, and there aren’t that many deaths yet, probably will never be (that’s more what happened in my Future Earth Chronicles sometimes in the 21st century, but I will not tell the whole story of the apocalypse, ever – and by the way, last days to get the series half-price on Smashwords).

And that’s all for today… have a great week, stay safe and keep social distancing for a little longer. You can do it! Hugs! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote less than 9K again, but I had trouble with one story (I gave it up) and went very slowly with the rest. I’m trying to wrap up the Star Minds Universe, but some stories are not meant to be written at this time. I have finished writing the strip “Star Minds Kids and Teens”, though, but I still need to draw some strips. And do the prose version as well.

And we now have new covers on the contemporary titles, aaaand! A brand new title! Yes, some of the stories were already in Relationships, but there’s a new short story and the novella of the title, for which I thank Barbara “Abby” Palmer and Victoria “Tori” Zigler, without whom it would have never left my hard drive! 🙂

I did mention more Kickstarters and things to support, right? Well, check out this Cave Creek Kickstarter. I might be in those anthologies, if things go well, if not, it’s still a cool new world to discover. And it’s funded, so lots of goodies coming our way… I hear there are free stories along with the other free stuff! The first stretch goal is reached, let’s aim for the second! 😀

There’s also this friend of mine who launched a Kickstarter to fund his audiobooks. That”s something I might do too in the future, so I urge you to check it out! 🙂

And hey, psst… there’s an excerpt of my story, Olympia Nights, on Patreon… I know, you must be a patron to see it, but well… I thought I’d mention it anyway! You can see how it begins! 😉 I’ll also be interviewed on there, so stay tuned…

Disruption by Kris Rusch on how to deal with what’s going on this year. And more disruption with the sale of Simon&Schuster. Yeah, I know, shaky ground. But we’ll survive. And since we’re all more or less grounded, we should catch up on some reading or watching stuff.

As you might know by now, Italy is on lock down. I had to print out a declaration on where I work, in case they stop me and ask me wny I’m out and about. Snort.

Buses are empty and I won’t go to the supermarket until Saturday, but apparently people are panicking and stockpiling on toilet paper…

I can’t go to the cinema, because they’re off-limits, but I have a few codes for RakutenTV, so I might watch a couple of things on my computer soon.

I have finished the book on Medieval Africa, but I’ve been busy checking old Star Minds Universe novels to complete the series… and I’ve put a new Kindle in my Amazon shopping cart, although I’ll probably manage to finish reading the bundles I have on KK before it completely dies on me. I mean, it does charge, I just don’t have access to it anymore.

So, since I had to buy a couple of books for research purpose, I thought I might as well get a new Kindle. I could have stolen Mom’s unused Kobo eReader, but I never really understood how it worked, and could never see the books on it even if I attached it to my laptop with a USB cable. That’s what I can no longer do with KK, cause it’s invisible to laptop. Sigh.

So for the new title, I checked it looked all right on my Kindle 4PC app only. Just like I check ePubs on Adobe Digital Editions. Worse for my eyes, but still works.

The stuff will arrive at the end of the month – maybe, since COVID-19 is slowing down evev Amazon.

It almost feels like the Holidays, when everybody is busy with family business, to me. And of course I’m happy there aren’t many people around, since I’m so crowd-averse! 😀

I keep going to work by bus and I’m not particularly worried. This too shall pass.

Meanwhile, happy reading, writing, watching entertainment and have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 15K, two stories for the Anthology Workshop and wrapped up the current project. Which means I reached my yearly goal of half-Pulp-speed, or 500K with three more weeks to go! 🙂 I might have slowed the publishing, but the writing is obviously still going strong, yay! 😀

And since this is almost the last post of the year, I’m going to give my recommended reading list for 2019. In the order I read them, here are the books worth checking out of the fifty or so I read. 11 I did not finish, but the rest I did read to the end. I’m not putting the non-fiction, only the fiction here (the grand total includes both + a plethora of short stories):

Fright Court by Mindy Klasky

A Reluctance of Blood by Rebecca M. Senese

Andy: a Sexy Robot Story by Dirk Walvoord (and I know there are sequels, but I haven’t gotten them yet – it’s a novella, BTW)

The Cache and Other Stories by Sherry D. Ramsey

Ice Dragon: The Complete Novel by Karen L. Abrahamson

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

A Sword’s Poem by Leah Cutter

Major BS Comes to the end of his rope by John Martin

Witches of London – Lars by Aleksandr Voinov

The Peshawar Lancers by S. M. Stirling

Voyage of the Crimson Sail by Victoria Zigler

Facing the Mirror (Guardians of the Pattern, Book 0) by Jaye McKenna (warning: adults only)

Comrades in Arms by Kevin J. Anderson

Soldier, Storyteller by Linda Maye Adams (short memoir of the Iraq war)

With a Broken Sword by Stefon Mears

The Night Killers by Rebecca M. Senese

I Like My Science Mad (Blaze Ward Presents #2) because unlike with the Moles (BWP1), I didn’t skip one story! You gotta love those mad scientists of all kinds! 🙂

I hope you checked the Backstage Pass on Sunday, the Diversity post is finally out! A few links to close the year, all on the new tech such as facial recognition and AI.

Artificial Intelligence is watching us and judging us. Kinda creepy, right? And China brings in mandatory facial recognition for mobile phone users, while US may require all travelers to be photographed at airports. More walls, less privacy. Sigh. Where are we headed? 21 Lessons for the 21st Century almost feels already outdated two years later…

Anyhow, we have a few more guests coming up, surely with less depressing topics! Writing fiction kind of helps going though all these changes, but I am not really into dystopias at this time. I already feel I live in one! 😉 So next year I might start a new series, but I’ll stick to the two current alternate futures – the Star Minds Universe where Earth joined the Star Nations in 2012 and the Future Earth Chronicles where our current civilization collapsed by the end of this century and we go back to some kind of steampunk technology, except for the Rainbow Towns that are stuck in the here and now.

Maybe I’ll write short stories about alternate, dystopian futures, or maybe I’ll write more historical fantasy. I still have a few books of Silvery Earth to write, but I’m not in a hurry, because I feel I’m at another turning point in my writing (still Stage 3, but a floor up. Haven’t reached Stage 4 yet, it’s much higher up).

So, not sure what I’ll publish next year, and it’s a little early to make New Year’s plans, isn’t it? Therefore I shall go back to writing and I wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote a little over 9K which brings the yearly total to 488K. Another 12K and I’ll have reached my wordcount goal. I might reach it this week, or next week at the latest, wrapping up a project after I’m done with the Anthology Workshop assignment.

I guess Magical Friends was my last pre-order for the time being. Just when Smashwords introduces some pre-order goodies, or so they say, LOL! But this kind of thing doesn’t work for me (my one and only fan does get things in advance every now and then).

It was the 15th pre-order and like the previous 14 it hasn’t gathered any sales. So I’ll spare myself the hassle of pre-orders and getting Amazon reminders and all that jazz. I guess I’m not famous enough to have rabid fans eagerly waiting for my releases, therefore it’s one thing I can tick off the publishing list. Phew! 🙂

Anyhow, it’s live now, so go grab it. The awesome mockup above was done with a Covervault template. I hope you enjoyed the characters’ interview and, in case you missed it, the backstage pass was all about those two – well, those stories, from childhood to adulthood. And the maps included on the book page will be in the paperback next year.

If you missed Cockygate and the Dragon Slayer trademark controversy, fear not! You have a summary here because yes! Some writer did it again! Trying to trademark a word! When will this madness end? Like someone says in the comments, here’s to hoping the judge fines the stupid author… and not in an alternate reality! 😉

I’ve been reading some fiction, catching up on my TBR pile – made mostly of bundles – but I shall make my recommended reading post closer to the end of the year. Some of those bundles have short stories as well as novellas and novels, so I’m writing down the ones I like for future curated anthologies (next year at the earliest, not going to bother fellow writers during the Holidays!).

And since it’s the Holidays, I’ll have a bunch of guests over on Sundays, so stay tuned for the upcoming writers interviews! 🙂

And if you wondered about the difference between WMG Business Masterclass and 20BooksTo50K, Kris Rusch explains the difference in the latest business post, along with how to raise the bar in your own way – which is on my to-do list of New Year’s Resolutions, by the way. Try new genres, try other things, still a little hazy, but hopefully it will soon be clear.

Finishing with another inspirational video: Kris Rusch on Perfection at 20Books! 🙂 Have a great week!

Sunday Surprise


Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the Vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever! Today we have someone from the new Silvery Earth. And since I’m such an awesome witch, I shall ask them questions at two stages of their lives! Or at least at two stages for the human, since the other barely changed in twelve years…

Let’s get on with this. Meet Torik, woodcutter’s son at Bargsea Fortress, a small kingdom on the northern great bay of Varia – I wonder if it has a name, but I guess that lazy author forgot to give it any denomination… Tell me a little about yourself, Torik.

CHILD TORIK: Er… I’m Torik. I’m Human. I have no magic. I’m short-lived. I’m a barbarian to the Magical Races. I’m ignorant. I know nothing of gods and goddesses. I’m scared of dragons. I’m ten, but I already help my dad chopping wood.

ADULT TORIK: I’m twenty-two and moved to the castle a few years back. Wood-cutting duties fell to my younger brother Baldric and I became the prince’s companion. Lambert is king now, we’re the same age.

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

CHILD TORIK: dirty-blond mop of hair and poop-colored eyes.

ADULT TORIK: Long dark-blond hair and brown eyes.

Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

CHILD TORIK: Hannibal! He’s a bully! Him and Klaus are the reason I left the village and found my magical friends!

ADULT TORIK: Myself, mostly. I feel like a failure and don’t understand why people would want to follow me.

Where do you live?

CHILD TORIK: in the village outside the castle of Bargsea Fortress.

ADULT TORIK: in the castle of Bargsea Fortress.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

CHILD TORIK: Are you kidding? I’m just a child! Although I like gifting flowers to girls. Florina is quite nice among the Humans. And I like Kareena too, but she came and went too quickly, sigh.

ADULT TORIK: I’m a widower. I hope one day I’ll find Kareena and if she’s still free… Although I’ll probably never find her.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

CHILD TORIK: Growing up?

ADULT TORIK: Finding a place to call home.

Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

CHILD TORIK: Yes! There’s seven of us – should have been twelve, but they died when they were really small. I have dirty-blond hair like mom, as does Mathilda, who is eight, Greta, who is two, and Baby Alric. Alexa, thirteen, Baldric, seven, and Elsa, five, have Dad’s brown hair. And then there’s Mom and Dad, of course.

ADULT TORIK: Greta, Alric and Mom passed away when I was still a child, which made me grow up faster. Alexa, Mathilda, Elsa and Baldric are all married and have children of their own now. Well, Elsa is expecting her first. My father is also gone, as is my wife and the children she gave me.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

CHILD TORIK: I have four awesome magical friends!

ADULT TORIK: I still have awesome magical friends, they all grew up like me, except Copperscales…

Which leads us to our other guest! You might see her as a girl with brown braids coiled around her ears or a teen with the same looks, but she’s not really like that. Hello, Copperscales. Tell me a little about yourself!

I’m a Fajrulo cub, barely over a century old. When Torik is adult, I can be considered a dragonette, since I’ve grown in size – from donkey to elephant – but I’m still a cub. I will live about nine centuries, so my life is still in its infancy, sigh.

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Dragon cub with copper-colored scales and bat-like wings.

What is your role in the story?

Torik’s bogey man, then Torik’s teammate, then, twelve years later, Torik’s travel companion…

What is your relationship with the protagonist?

Torik is sooo cute! I want to mate with him when I grow up! Except I’ve been bluntly reminded that when I’m old enough to lay eggs, he’ll be long dead of old age, sigh!

Where do you live?

My lair is in a cave up the mountain towering over Bargsea Fortress and its forest, and it can be reached only in flight.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I’m a member of the Magical Races along with Goldenberry (Genn), Erwan (Waiora) and Winged Ylenia (Sila). Fajrulo don’t like their peers – in fact, after my mother left me when I turned a hundred, I’m the only one in the area – but they love humans. I’m particularly fond of Torik, in case you didn’t notice…

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Book(s) in which the characters appear:

Silvery Earth Kids (strip)

Silvery Earth Kids and Related Short Stories

Magical Friends

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