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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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 Exposedย – we’ll see if it’s really a mess! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ˜€


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 Centuriesย (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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I don’t know, I also have to sign up for Pronoun and possibly other sites, so… one thing at the time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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”! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 doย  the paperback for Axelle within next month, along with another. So Shashank is not the last you see this year! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 areย  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!)! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing weekend ahead. Lots of catching up to do, gotta finish those stories! Have a great end of the week! ๐Ÿ™‚

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? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and the sale has begun… on all retailers! 99c/99p only until Sunday! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Writer Wednesday

I need to finish Sir George’s Journal by Sunday, so I can send it to Mighty Editor on Monday and then add it to both the pre-order of the ebook and the POD version I started putting together. I guess I better just write the darn thing and then maybe add stuff whenever I read something interesting.

Although most of the research will go in another book with someone who interacts with mortals a lot more. And if I don’t stop reading those old books/journals/chronicles, I’ll never get to my TBR pile that is neverending! Add to that more bundles with my books coming out soon… bwaaah!

Okay, enough bawling. I will manage to read everything, eventually. So next bundle is coming out next week. My next curated bundle is stalling because authors are not responding, but I plan on locking it during the weekend. There are so many people and bundles at BundleRabbit right now, that there’s a queue like on Smashwords to publish them! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m postponing trying their collaboration feature to October, when I’ll have a week off and plan on exploring a few things. Work on projects and stuff like that. The marketing weekend bore no results yet, meaning I wrote to a couple of people, filled a couple of online forms and no answer whatsoever. Sigh. I guess I’ll have to try the paid services sooner or later.

I will run a sale anyway because I want to try the other new feature at Smashwords, Special Deals. And I’ll do a weekend-long sale on a title as well on all retailers. Title for October is brand new Honorable Assassins – hopefully the paperback will be out too. I shall work on it the coming weekend.

In case you missed it, last week I was on Kobo Writing Life Blog! I know, I could have reblogged it, but now hopefully more people will head to the Kobo guys and check their blog! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And check also lesson learned from 6 years as an author entrepreneur – I can’t leave my day job yet, since I don’t have a husband to support me, but eventually I will too.

And I’ll figure out how to be an entrepreneur in this darn countrym or maybe move to Finland, since they have Universal Basic Income! Or Canada… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Although I doubt any of them would have me right now, but well. One day I’ll get away from this warm country to a more civilized and cold one! ๐Ÿ˜€

And if you’re still wondering if you should take the callenge or not, here’s the attitude of a challenge. I did it, and it was fun. Instead of wasting time with NaNoWriMo, do this. Definitely more productive, trust me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday

Star Minds Third Generation Snippets is out! Check the damn Amazon link so the people at Booklinker won’t bother me with useless emails! But it’s available also everywhere else *waves at the gal who already bought it on Smashwords – I know who you are, thank you*! Next weekend I shall work on the paperback version.

The cover is by Mighty Marvelous Maurizio Manzieri – which means I have the same cover as some traditional SFF magazines or books, yay! ๐Ÿ™‚ It might be one of his stock illustrations (it ain’t free, babe), but again I wrote a story that fit it, like I did with S.E.T.H. (on the cover of Star Minds Next Generation Diaries).

Like I do with Techie Bro’s digital paintings. Who needs writing prompts with such great artists out there? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m still commissioning custom covers, though. Next month you’ll see the awesome covers Rossana Beretta did for Talwar and Khanda and Saif’sย  Story. And besides doing maybe a cover or two myself, I’ll have Cristina do another southern kingdoms illustration. Not to mention the official cover artist for Vampires Through the Centuries, Shafali Anand! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow starts a Kobo-only promo – the Books of the Immortals Box Set will be 30%off for a few days. Just hop to the Kobo page and see what other box sets get discounted until the 29th! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lots of writerly links today! David Farland on busting your editor’s chops. Kris Rusch on types of brands – I might not be the best at cover branding yet, but well… too many books, too little time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m still learning cover branding, but that’s only the surface. There’s a whole lot more about branding to study and learn.

And then two posts by David Gaughran about those darn Amazon bots… how we’ll end up asking “please don’t buy my books” and who’s pointing at you. I’ve been on Yasiv when I tried to set up that Amazon ad… some of my titles don’t even come up on Yasiv! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I mean, even putting a series title like Star Minds not one book of the series shows up. Vampires Through the Centuries brings up only Vampire Diaries. Silvery Earth brings only the Fairy Tales Revisited… And “body switches”? Tons of non-fiction and conspiracy theories and mind-controlling texts!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I’ll have to find other ways to find tags for my next Amazon ads. Yasiv clearly doesn’t work for me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, did you hear about the KU advocate being kicked out of KU? Mighty Zon is a dangerous beast! ๐Ÿ™‚

Off to the next story… have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writer Wednesday

The Path of Water (Quests Book 1)
And it’s now available for pre-order on Kobo and Amazon and Barnes&Noble! And the Bundle has a Facebook page! Go like it, so you’ll know when Apple also approves it for pre-order! ๐Ÿ™‚

And a new collection is out as well – Quests Volume 2, soon out in paperback along with Volume 1. I worked on the PODs the whole weekend, but had trouble with the covers and then had to wait to order the proofs to make sure I’d be in to get them so… the dead tree books will probably be ready by the end of the month.

The covers are both by the awesome Shafali Anand who did a masterful job… You’ll see it complete when the paperbacks come out! In the meantime, enjoy these two! ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t really have any writerly links this week – except the usual suspects that you may as well check for yourselves – and I didn’t write as much as I wanted to. Okay, Da Muse thinks I found all the possible excuses (publishing stuff, digitalizing old pics) NOT to write, but well… it was Easter weekend, wasn’t it?

I’ll finish that novella before I go to Milan, so I have something to read on the train! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday

In spite of the cough and cold and fever that came and went, I did manage to double the wordcount on Saif’s story, so hopefully I’ll be able to send it to the proofreader next weekend. In the meantime (and in spite of the above), I managed to publish another ebook, The Path of Earth (Quests Book 4).

Keshav is a thirty-year-old scholar who has been touring the southern kingdom’s libraries in search of knowledge. In Godwalkar he stumbles upon the Genn works and discovers the existence of the Magical Races that populated mostly the north. He decides to go looking for the lost Genn cities with the help of merchant Babita, who knows the way up to a certain point, and the protection of Rohan.
The merchant, the scholar and their bodyguard journey to the northern kingdoms springing up from the ashes of the Moren Empire. Their search might not be of just physical proof of the Genn, since all three have very good reasons to leave their hometowns.

I have a few more quests in mind, but now I will move to other projects, more urgent than more Silvery Earth books! The series itself has reached 70 books on Smashwords, so I guess I can take a break and concentrate on the other series! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I need to write the next vampire novella and then start working on the next novel. I have Star Minds stories that were written last summer and after doing the rounds in traditional markets – being rejected – will now see the light of publication.

So, busy here. Slowly trudging forward. But it’s the normal nature of being behind in this new world, and I’m not panicking, just keep going. Looking forward and not backward. My ToDo list (remember those notepads I bought in Boston?) is still long, but I’m slowly crossing out stuff. Give me time… being behind is the new normal, as long as we set goals and get there, eventually! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m also slowly getting organized for the Worldcon. Hotel is booked, flight is almost done and volunteer program still to be filled, but hope to do it before Friday. I do have until the end of the month to fill it. If anyone is going, please let me know and I’ll suggest a panel with you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I shall leave you with this reminder of what makes a real writer – mostly the handy flowchart! Have a great week!

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