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 Where are we headed? 21 Lessons for the 21st Century almost feels already outdated two years later…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…

____________________________
Book(s) in which the characters appear:

Silvery Earth Kids (strip)

Silvery Earth Kids and Related Short Stories

Magical Friends

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And last week I got back to my 10K or so, both writing that last story for submission (that will head for the editor’s desk with the rest next week) and starting a new project that should be quickly done so I can start writing for the Anthology Workshop at the end of the month.

After brainstorming with myself I decided to go back to the Star Minds Lone Wolves and next year will see three more longer stories and at least another ten Lone Wolves Team missions with new members. I’ve started with Kaori, who has shown up quite a lot in all the published books, and wrote her story. No spoilers for whoever hasn’t checked them out yet, though.

She’s on the cover of Star Minds Third Generation Snippets, though, as Galaxy Police rookie. The Lone Wolves are set ten years later, so her book is abviously titled “Cop”. Then I’ll have “Assassin” and “Smuggler” and more Team missions.

But going back to Silvery Earth, did you know November is Fairy Tales Retold Month? Yeah, I made that up, but look at the coincidence: I published More Fairy Tales Revisited and Fairy Tales Revisited came out in a brand new bundle curated by A.L. Butcher! 😉

The Backstage Pass is also about those fairy tales and how they came into being. I wrote them all months ago, but hoped to make it a book as long as the first one – except I didn’t actually found another Rithvik and Kerrien to play with! 😉 So there you have it, a shorter book waiting for more to become Volume 2! 😉

All in all I’m quite happy that last week I managed to finish the lettering on the Silvery Earth Kids strip (both English and Italian) as well as writing new stuff. Now I’m back to DayJob, so I’ll have to go around it – although I might actually be able to start working on the Star Minds Kids strip in the mornings.

On Sunday I watched How to Train Your Dragon 3 with Dear Nephew, and we had a lot of fun. I think it’s a nice ending for the trilogy, and I liked the extras (although some I watched alone, since he had to go back to Mom’s to do some homework).

By Christmas he’ll probably be taller than be, but he’s still pretty much into those 3D stories. He even sort of summarized for me a story he has in mind, but I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to make him write it, LOL! He says he has all the character names down, though – all in English, can you believe it! 😀

Oh, and Sunday night I updated the trailer for Silvery Earth! 🙂 Not a masterpiece, but at least I took out all the ugly covers and the books that are no longer available!

And it’s Infinite Bard time again! Go check the latest story! Happy reading and have a great week!

Happiness is…


Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Errata corrige: the previous week I actually wrote 11K. Last week only 6K, but I have reached a 440K yearly total and still have plenty of stuff to write in the next two months and a half. The less words are also because I started a new strip, and those have less words but more work on the drawings, LOL!

So this is one of the protagonists of the new strip – Star Minds Kids – and here you have a work-in-progress showing the birth of that particular strip. It’s similar to the ones I’ve done for Silvery Earth Kids. It was an upcoming anthology that spurred my imagination – very close to the deadline, even though I had been told about it months ago.

Nothing like a deadline to spur your muses into action, right? Next I’ll do something with the Cosmic Corsairs I already told you about and then develop that strip in the coming months. Again, it’s probably for next year. I guess that’s my way of procrastinating on the prose at this time, LOL!

I’m still trudging through my contemporary story and have jotted down notes for another short story that might take precedence when I’m done lettering the Silvery Earth Kids. I need to finish a proof of the English version before Friday, so I can order it on Lulu and receive it next week.

I plan on checking the paperback for changes and stuff, and then I want to take it to Lucca Comics and see if some publisher wants the Italian version before I go indie. So I might do little writing this week, but some projects need wrapping up! 🙂

Some links: 6 effective ways to treat depression – still have to sign up for a dance class or some other kind of moving with music, but there’s so much going on right now, that I’m not sure I want to start something yet. Maybe in November, maybe in January. We’ll see.

For the indie writers out there – the (in)famous 7 Kindle Keywords: use all 50 characters or not? I’m probably totally misusing those keyword spaces, but I really have trouble finding sentences for my books. Even when I went through the various books to update the manuscripts, I didn’t really add anything to those fields… I should have, I know. Sigh.

I know that my WHY has nothing to do with publishing and all that stuff. The beating heart that keeps my muse alive definitely doesn’t care about algorithms and ads and all that publishing stuff! 🙂 In fact I think I mentioned I have publishing fatigue, more than writing.

6 ways to stay productive in a creative slump – I think I’ve done some of these things even before reading the article, but it’s a good summary/reminder. I think I mentioned spending too much time doing research and not enough writing. Reading for research and not for entertainment.

Well, after discarding a few samples, I started reading a novel for entertainment. It’s traditionally published, but has plenty of mistakes. So I guess we can really live without traditional publishers. And the eBook was cheap, but is not very well formatted IMHO… but I shall tell more about it in my end of the year recommended list (or on Bookbub, since now my book recommendations are there and not on Goodreads)! 🙂

And a new story is up on Infinite Bard! 😉 Have a great week! 😀

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Hello and welcome to the new blog schedule! The Happiness is… vignette will continue until about halfway next year, but then I won’t restart the cycle like I’ve done so far since 2009. The only post will be on Wednesdays and, as the title says, it will be a roundup of everything writing and non-writing related. The Backstage Pass will continue on Sundays on the publisher’s page to keep that page moving while I’m not publishing regularly (besides Italian titles, I mean). Thank you for following me in this new step of my journey!

And to celebrate the 10 years Blogoversary, I’m going to do a Giveaway! 🙂 Any eBook of mine in your preferred format (or audio if you’re in the US, CA or AU, although that’s valid only for Otherside, I still have a few of those codes). Just drop a comment with the title and your preferred format! 🙂

Now Kobo might have added audiobooks to the KWL dashboard, but during the weekend the eBooks had vanished. I was trying to finish updating the Silvery Earth titles still out there, and on KWL I saw for a moment on Saturday morning all 120+ titles (and 60+ unpublished), then no more than 18 on Laptop, 21 on Netbook (but it did show the unpublished titles of the discarded pen name, grrr!).

And Techie Bro took Laptop for an update/upgrade, so I copied everything to Netbook to update DriveThru and KWL, but when Smashwords had “trouble” with a couple of documents, there wasn’t much I could do, since Netbook doesn’t have Adobe Reader to check ePub files. Maybe it has something to read ePubs, but I wasn’t in the mood for experimenting. So it was a hassle that dragged the whole weekend. Sigh.

As for writing, just a short story, a little more than 5K. I started dabbling in a contemporary story, but it might not be the right time to write it, so I’m contemplating other options. I’ve realized I’ve been reading too much non-fiction lately, too much necessary research, but it has taken the fun out of writing somehow. And took me off the reading market as well, since I’m a slow reader.

So I started reading all those bundles that came out on BundleRabbit and might have a look at StoryBundle (lookie look! Vampires! Maybe I should!) and other places. I am considering a new series with a no-longer-young heroine, but I’m not sure which genre it’s going to be. My characters grew up with me, I guess it’s time I talk about salt-and-pepper hair, although I have already done that with Bel. Hey, maybe I’ll write about her breakup with Raj because she became a grumpy old spinster, LOL!

The Infinite Bard story is up once again! There is now quite a collection of free reads there now, check it out! 🙂 And the publisher’s site is all updated, so at least that is done, yay! Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


I’m wrapping up Torik’s stories and hope to write a short story this week before moving to the sequel/other-side-of-the-story The Path of Metal, that I will probably finish in Edinburgh (unless I’m really quick and write a short novel in a week and a half, but I don’t think I’m that fast, LOL!).

Looking for a conclusion also for the strip, so I can prepare the books. Going back to my notes on the middle ages, the drawings of the strip are definitely fantasy! 😉 At this time the northern kingdoms should be approximately Vikings, but that’s not how I dressed Torik in Silvery Earth Kids (or the other Humans, for that matter). Oh, well, it’s not Earth and it’s not historical, so who cares? 😉

Aaand we have another Star Minds Lone Wolves Team volume! Kudos to my Australian Kobo user who managed to get it before it was published! The glitch in the KWL dashboard lasted at least until Monday (then I stopped checking, cause I really don’t care)… I considered reporting it, but it doesn’t really matter! 😀

And hey, the whole series is science fantasy, see this lovely article on cross-genre books? I write all over the place, but definitely for

The Fantasy anchored reader: This reader is looking for a way out of real-life, wanting nothing more than to escape in a world where nothing is impossible: supernatural creatures, life on other planets, worlds hidden in plain sight.

Oh, and it’s my turn on the Infinite Bard! Go check that story on how Alain became a vampire, in case you missed Nightly Bites volume 2! Well, it’s also at the end of Kristine the Youngest… so if you want a taste of Vampires Through the Centuries that now crosses over with Future Earth Chronicles… go check that story! 🙂

If you need help in ditching MailChimp for MailerLite, head over to David Gaughran. I’m in no hurry to restart a newsletter since it had no organic growth while this blog does, so… welcome new readers! This is Writer Wednesday where I ramble about my writing and the publishing industry! I even modified the blog header or something to make it look more professional! 😀

I also promise to resume the Backstage Pass Sunday posts on the publisher’s page in September… but currently I’m melting on this side of the world and barely have the energy to sit at the keyboard and ramble twice a week. Hopefully in September I’ll be able to resume that other schedule.

Because yeah, I probably need a more lively static page with all my books, since my readers don’t seem to be here. Except I don’t know about engagement. And I hate ending my posts with questions. They don’t make me want to answer, so I don’t do what I wouldn’t react to.

Would you like me to ask you questions about the blog post? Please, be like Tori, who comments without being prompted, thank you! *Hugs, Tori!*

I hope to get to reading some non-fiction about the business of writing soon, but things like Amazon Decoded and Author Branding currently make my brain even mushier. Maybe I better wait for September for that too. I’m planning to re-educate myself from then on, so…

For now I’ll just go back to writing. And researching. And drawing. Have a great week! 🙂

 

 

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote almost 14K, wrapping the Lone Wolves and even writing the two short stories I need to submit for anthos. I already submitted them too. And I wrote a third that will possibly work for another antho, but I haven’t sent it to the curator yet.

So, productive week, hopping through series (Star Minds Universe, Future Earth Chronicles, Vampires Through the Centuries and Silvery Earth – yep, I think I touched them all!), the writing is still going great. Everything else… meh!

I lost almost an hour (bad connection? Firefox issues? Old computer? No idea, but it was very frustrating!) to gather the audiobook links after a Google Alert informed me I was on Audible. Firebird wasn’t there yet, but The Hooded Man and Otherside are available at most places at last. Except Kobo, still lagging behind. And I still have codes valid for US, AU and CA of Otherside in anyone is interested.

Well, I did publish the first five missions of the Lone Wolves Team, as promised. But, after Kris Rusch’s blog on Patreon and in spite of their recent ToS changes, I ended up closing my Patreon account, and after David Gaughran’s lengthy explanation of the MailChimp debacle, I closed that account too. My newsletter was discontinued anyway, useless to keep it open.

I didn’t open new accounts yet, though. After Tori was locked out of her Facebook account for a day, I was considering adding an admin to the author page, but then gave up the thought. I haven’t joined Pinterest or Ko-fi yet, and still haven’t decided which webcomics sites to join – but then, if there’s one project that might make me go through Kickstarter stress, it’s Silvery Earth Kids, so… I’ll ponder my option a little longer on that one.

As for the things that were on Patreon, I’m going to start a regular feature on the publisher’s page. Every Sunday Backstage Pass will take you behind the scenes of the books. So, for readers only, hoping they’ll follow that instead of the newsletter. I will post articles, deleted scenes, alternate openings, etc. starting next Sunday. If interested, be sure to follow UPB that doesn’t have a Facebook page because it was supposed to be a static place to find the books.

I might make the Pinterest page under that logo and Ko-fi as the writer/artist… I’ll think about it during this week as I get back to the Legends of the Moren Empire and Silvery Earth Kids… Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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