Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And I got paperbacks! Both of the Ghost Bus Riders and of Crunchy with Chocolate! You may notice the paperback covers of GBR are not exactly the same as the ebooks. You can check the series page where they’re in the same image. The difference is in the positioning of the ghost bus, the image had a limited reach for the wrap cover, hence I had to move it around.

And a reminder of where you can find Crunchy with Chocolate, that includes my short story Dragon Life: publisher’s site + ebook universal link (paperback available on publisher’s site and Amazon). And yes, I’ve added it to the Other Publications page as well. Stay tuned for more, it’s not over yet this year! πŸ™‚

For the second week in a row, I wrote more than 10K, so I might reach those 400K after all. Especially if I start on the second novel right now, with the first still fresh and out to a beta reader (and most faithful adviser – she was my offline beta before she moved back to the US). Still short of the original aim, but it’s been a weird year, and I’m not complaining at all.

Stay tuned for the Halloween Spectacular 2021 – did you subscribe to it yet? It’s coming really soon! More good news are coming, including a new title out at the end of the month, so stay tuned. I’m off Day Job so I’m working on multiple projects at the same time, LOL!

Now I’m going back to my neverending TBR pile of books (both ebooks and paperbacks) and my next writing project… have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


That sale I had last year at the anthology workshop? It’s one of them! I have no idea of when it will actually land in your inbox, so you better go grab your Halloween Spectacular Calendar! It makes a great gift too!

Here’s how it works:

Every day, starting on October 25, 2021, and running through November 2, 2021, you will get an original short story sent to you (or the recipient of your choice) via email.

Each seasonally themed tale is accompanied by an introduction by the editor of the Halloween Calendar of Stories, Mark Leslie.

You will get each story in ebook format (epub and mobi), so you can read them daily on your own device, anywhere, anytime you choose. Or you can store them up and binge on a weekend.

Your choice.

As an added bonus, all subscribers will receive the Halloween Harvest anthology, which includes all nine stories, plus two bonus stories! Halloween Harvest will be released just two days after the calendar ends, on November 4.

Stay tuned for more – and the announcement of my story in the calendar! πŸ™‚

click on image to go to site

I think I realized what changed in my writing and why I’m no longer having fun. I used to write stories based on “movies” streaming in my head. I started losing that “sight” some time ago, in theory to learn my craft, add setting and so one.

Result: now I write prose in my head and it’s not as much fun. I should try to get back to writing movies but with the depth and setting and all the other stuff. Except currently I can’t even see those stories that I used to tell myself (not for public consumption because, hey, not everything we do creatively is for public consumption! πŸ˜‰ ), so I’m probably burned out somehow.

That’s why I’m taking it easy this year. I want to get back my inspiration – I don’t even see Da Muses anymore! So, I want them back in my mind to create more awesome stories. Although I’m also changing topics and veering into historical time travel, there’s still room for them.

Clearly taking inspiration from still pictures is not the same thing as having a real person in mind! About the Ghost Bus Riders, I still have a virtual cast, although I couldn’t put them on the cover, but for other stories/series it was no longer the case. So, back to my roots!

This week I wrote only a short story for an anthology and the weekend was busy. I’m mostly done with physiotherapy (feeling better, thank you), so hopefully next week I’ll have more writing time and will start the next project.

It’s still short works for now, but I want to complete another Themed Collection before I move on. You will get one at the end of the month and one in December, but I need one for the new year as well! πŸ™‚ Then we’ll see.

Next weekend I’ll upload the last Ghost Bus Riders book and publish also the three paperbacks. Meanwhile, you can check out Crunchy With Chocolate – dragon stories that include one of mine… how cool is that? πŸ™‚

Readers can receive a 15% discount off the ebook by using code JS72Q at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1106225

Readers can receive a 15% discount off the physical book by using code Dragons2 at the WolfSinger Publications website: https://www.wolfsingerpubs.com/shop?Collection=2021+Releases

These codes expire on Oct 22nd

And WMG is doing a Fall Special Workshop Sale – their workshops are half price only until Sunday. Check them out! πŸ™‚

And that’s all for today… have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


First big announcement: new title, yay! Book 2 of the Ghost Bus Riders is now out on all retailers! Stay tuned for Book 3… (and again, since the new WP dashboard doesn’t collaborate, head for the publisher’s page to read the blurb, thank you).

Kickstarter chapter is closed, with a hundred more thanks to those awesome backers. I sent out the rewards on Saturday, and being such a small thing, it took me about one hour. I can’t imagine how long it would take if I had hundreds of backers!

I’m getting better at dealing with Kicksarter’s dashboard too – I found unread messages and other stuff I had ignored so far while working on my campaign. I learned to go there and check at least once a week to see if there are other annoucements that don’t reach my inbox.

And they have a neat button to “report spam” which I used gleefully on the first day (someone offering exposure and a backing pledge that would probably never materialize anyway) and even more gleefully when the Kickstarter was done and funded (these people clearly can’t read if the campaign is still going or not, how can they help me with visibility? πŸ˜‰ )

Anyhow, moving on, maybe I’ll do another next year. This week I have to finish a few shorts to send Mighty Editor next week, but I’m still quite busy. I feel like I’m working full-time again, but it’s actually medical stuff (and renewing my ID) that keep me busy on afternoons. Hopefully I’ll manage to finish whatever I need to finish.

Production-wise, last week was low again, for the same reason as this week. I wrote 4600words and managed to wrap the October project (hints in the newsletter coming out tomorrow, you still have time to subscribe to it) so I can send it to Mighty Editor next week along with the story I hope to write this week.

Then I’ll probably go back to Otherside and write a few more stories for that one… or maybe I’ll start the new project. We’ll see! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Big announcement first, right? Well, my first Kickstarter is now LIVE! Go check it and give it some love, or share it with your friends! πŸ™‚

I’m quite excited about this new adventure and I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed preparing it. It’s a new experience and I look forward to seeing how it pans out!

Last week I managed almost 8K between the Kickstarter prepping, the workshops (all done now) and some errands (including doctors visits).

This week is quite busy too, but hopefully I’ll manage my 10K this time. After all I’m at the office in the mornings, usually, so it’s not much different. And I have a book to format and publish as well.

After all those workshop, I’m now happy again to write and publish. I have fun writing and I enjoy making covers, hitting those “publish” buttons isn’t that hard anymore. So it doesn’t matter if I’m publishing into the void for another year or ten, I’m doing it for myself.

Please read Kris Rusch’s post on International Growth, but mostly the article she links to in her blog – one of the reasons I write in English even if I’m not a native. The USA has just 6% of the world’s 5.2billion internet users… so hello readers from other countries! πŸ™‚

I still read fiction on Kindle (because I can change the font size and it feels like reading on paper, I can’t read on a phone or computer screen) and non-fiction on paper, but other people might have different reading habits.

I still print out my manuscripts to edit them (or when I get them back from Mighty Editor), because I can’t read on screen for long. And I try to read my own paperbacks because often I find more typos that escaped both mine and Mighty Editor’s eyes.

But I’m an elder reader with sight problems. I used to be short-sighted, now I’m also slightly near-sighted, sigh. That’s why I’ll probably never go back to my beads jewelry and I will give all the material I still have to a younger woman (I already found her, so don’t ask! πŸ˜‰ Eventually she’ll get all my crafts materials).

Now I better go back to the writing desk. Those stories aren’t going to write themselves! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote less than 6K, only one story instead of two, and spent the weekend working on the strip, so I can get it out of the way and give the laptop to Techie Bro and see if he can fix the printer problem. I have reached 300K this year anyway, so I’m not worried – besides, I did mention that if I didn’t reach my goal I wouldn’t berate myself.

It’s almost as if back in January I already knew there would be life rolls coming along during the year, LOL! Well, it’s also the 10 years anniversary from my start in indie publishing, which means this is probably a year of assessment, more than production.

This week I’ll be busy with those online courses, so if Tori wants to do the virtual writing week with reciprocal accountability, I suggest we do it next week, after I send off the two books of the trilogy still to be edited to Mighty Editor and might be more in a writing mood.

I might write a story this week anyway, but again, I won’t berate myself if I’m not as productive as I used to be. It’s been a really shitty summer this year, but hopefully the worst is gone and things will get better from now on. Welcome to September, LOL!

Monday was spent with the Kickstarter Best Practices free workshop and trying to set up my first Kickstarter. Still under review, though, so I won’t say much at this time. The learning curve is steep, but eventually I will jump. Stay tuned.

Yesterday I wrote more than 2K on the new story and went to see the doctor, today I have an appointment for my right arm that still hurts, I’ll probably have to do more physiotherapy. We’ll see.

The weather has cooled down at last, so it’s easier to do everything, including a morning walk. Wishing you all a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


I hope you had a fabulous Easter or Passover or Just Another Weekend! πŸ™‚ I used the time to change all my publishing plans again, LOL! So from next weekend new stories. The box sets have been postponed to the summer. And there might be a break in publishing during June, unless I manage to put together a few collections and book Mighty Editor on time.

I was hoping to be able to put up three paperbacks and order them, but one was stuck “in review” for 3 days, so my order for the first two was deleted after the first 24 hours. I had to wait until the third went live to order them all. Hopefully I’ll get them some time in the next couple of weeks.

Last week I wrote a little over 10K on the Duology and a related story before moving on. Like I said, I need to wait for the months to fly by and I still have to figure out a few kinks and rules necessary to worldbuilding, lest my readers get mad at me for contraddicting myself. It’s a different way of creating a parallel world from what I used to do, which might be why it’s taking me so long.

Remember the Infinite Bard? It still has my short story, The Raven, at the bottom… that list of free reads has grown to some 50 free stories to read online. Go check it out! πŸ™‚ New stories go live on Thursdays, I think.

Spring is here, and next weekend EUR is all closed up for the E-prix. And since last year they couldn’t run, they’re running on both days – with no public whatsoever. They also do a slightly different circuit because this year Fuksas “Nuvola” is a vaccination center. So hopefully it will take them less time to take down everything and allow us to get on with our lives.

I’ve taken the Writing Time Travel workshop, so I might write a few more time travel stories (I already wrote a couple for the Shared Worlds workshop). If you follow me on Bookbub (reviews tab), you can see I just finished a time travel novel and I’m starting on another one (although you won’t know which until I’m done and if I like it enough to recommend it, LOL).

I did write some time travel, precisely in Books of the Immortals – Fire that came out 10 years ago. If you haven’t read it yet, you can get it for free with Newsletter #2 coming out in June. Subscribe at the publisher’s page, as I already said quite a few times.

Soon I’ll be announcing another group effort. Thank you for those who purchased the IASFA sci-fi bundle and stay tuned for more offers, both free and paid. Easing off into the routine after a week off Day Job, I wish you a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


The classic editor comes and goes from this dashboard, so some learning curve will be involved in the coming days. Now I might need a couple of weeks to get used to the new thingy, but hopefully it won’t be too messy. Slowly getting the hang of it, so to speak.

Anyhow, Newsletter #1 is ready to roll with a full novel as free download. It goes out tomorrow and you still have time to subscribe, get the free story immediately and wait for the novel tomorrow. Still can’t figure out how to put sign up forms elsewhere, so please hop off to the publisher’s site and dump your email in the newsletter sign-up, thank you! πŸ™‚

Also, last days for the sci-fi bundle… grab it now if you haven’t already! Do you like space opera? How about military science fiction? Do you love the old masters and especially the book club, where you bought one book and received ten more? This is way better. https://20bookpacks.com/IASFA-Sci-Fi-Book-Bundle

The International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) is a professional organization focused on aligning readers with authors. We are building the organization that currently numbers over 600 authors published within the SFF genres and growing. Stay tuned as each month we’ll offer full book samplers for free along with less frequent paid book bundle promotions. Help yourself to find your next favorite author by joining the IASFA newsletter. https://iasfa.org/book-promotion-calendar/

My friend Francesco Verso published his first collection of short stories in English. If you’d like to try some Italian sci-fi, here’s what he has to say:

Writing short stories – contrary to popular belief – is very hard. You can’t procrastinate, you can’t hide behind turns of phrase, you have to know where you are going and which buttons to press to reach the point in as few words as possible. Paradoxically the short story is the narrative form most suitable for the accelerated times in which we all find ourselves: brief, dense, and compact, the short story is a precious and agile interface for understanding the future we will be living in for the rest of our days. These are my first eleven short stories written between 2008 and 2020, inside you will find a kaleidoscope of visions of the future, ranging from augmented reality to artificial intelligence, from gamification to #solarpunk, all the way to biotechnology and post-humanism.

You can find his book on Amazon.IT (and probably the other marketplaces as well, but this is the link he gives).

And for a different kind of sci-fi, Cygnus Rising by Craig Martelle, the first book in the Cygnus Space Opera series, is on sale for 99 cents from tomorrow. “From the ashes of their past, Cygnus was rising. From space they came, to space they returned, humanity searching for a way home.” Grab it from your favorite retaile fromr April 1. Limited time and no, not an April Fools’! πŸ˜‰

Now back to regular programming! Last week I wrote 13K (more or less like the previous week) on my urban/contemporary fantasy Duology, hoping to finish a fist draft by Easter. There’s still some way to go in world-building and other stuff, so I don’t think this will come out anytime soon, but well… I’m on it! πŸ˜‰

Now that Holi came and went, I had to rewrite a couple of scenes in the Duology… but I’m keeping everything in the “deleted scenes” file, just in case. The Duology ends in October, hence I won’t be able to publish before then. It will soon be dated, even if I don’t mention it’s 2020-2021, but I thought the now would be a good time to mix some magic into the hell we’re going through all over the world.

Last weekend I did most of the fun publishing stuff, i.e. covers! I like choosing the stock images and possibly get the background from my own pictures to save credits, but some places I’ve never been to, so I must use stock images. You can already see some results in the Books of the Immortals cover variants that will be available to Newsletter subscribers throughout the year: Books of the Immortals – Fire has a stock image of Timbuktu, Books of the Immortals – Ether has Junagarh Fort of Bikaner in the background, taken by yours truly back in 2016 during my tour of Rajasthan.

So I prepared all the covers for the books coming out in the next few months, and now I’m left with the boring part – editing and formatting. This morning I’ll be busy helping my friend and cover artist Cristina (who did the original Books of the Immortals covers) with her own stuff as well and no new titles will come out this weekend because it’s Easter. Most people will celebrate it – or Passover – so I won’t bother publishing anything.

Then it will be box sets and collections, and the new titles should arrive in June. It’s novellas and short stories. I have a bunch of short story collections to publish as well, and possibly another curated anthology or two. We’ll see.

paperbacks of Books of the Immortals - Air

And let’s not forget tomorrow it’s the Bookversary of Books of the Immortals – Air! Here you can read that first announcement… ten years already… where did time go? Anyhow, get the ebook for free by subscribing to the newsletter above! πŸ™‚ With a variant cover, but it’s still the same book… or wait a couple of weeks for an even better deal… stay tuned!

A last suggested article/book in case you’re a buddying writer – For Independent Authors: The Ultimate Guide to Publishing Wide. I’m notoriously wide, although I don’t go direct to Nook and Apple, but I use both Smashwords and Draft2Digital as distributors. I have only one short story in KU, Lisa’s Odyssey, at least in English. Now I shall go back to my writing and editing and formatting paperbacks… have a great week! πŸ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And here’s the last book of Before Future Earth Chronicles! πŸ™‚ On the cover Ram and Zarina, which makes my friend Shafali cringe because I put a Hindu boy with a Muslim girl, but that’s the point of the story! Romeo and Juliet with religion instead of feuding families! πŸ˜‰

This is a revision of Mumbai Dreams with a slightly different ending and pushed in the future. Here’s the full blurb of yhe ebook:

Two novellas at the time of the apocalypse and beyond.

β€œMumbai, 2060CE” tells the love story between Ram and Zarina – a completely revised edition of Mumbai Dreams.

β€œInheritor” tells the story of David, son of Daniel the vampire and Donna the alien human, kicked out of the alien facility where his parents live and exiled in the Himalayan Rainbow Town.

BONUS:

Excerpts from Rainbow Towns Journals

1. Claude Mancini, Rainbow Town Mont Blanc

2. Nour Shah, Rainbow Town Sahand

3. Jacob Davies, Rainbow Town Mount Mitchell

These three things will probably mixed with the other two books in the Omnibus that will come out in a couple of weeks. I realized I haven’t formatted that one yet because I probably haven’t decided the order in which to put the stories, since they sometimes overlap, LOL!

I mean, “Mumbai, 2060CE” is at the same time of part three of “Lockdown Begins” – same story from another point of view, should they be next to each other? Maybe I’ll put the journals first, since all three are mentioned in part one? I’ll think about it next weekend…

Last week I wrote my 10K although I spent most of the weekend cleaning up publishing stuff. I tried to change a few things on the publisher’s page and somehow screwed up, so I had to ask for help to Mighty Webmaster Admin who solved everything remotely. But I had to re-add the newsletter sign-up and when I tried to change the header picture, I couldn’t.

I did follow his instructions, but things changed in the WordPress dashboard and despite my attempts I couldn’t change the image. I won’t bother Mighty Webmaster Admin again – until the next problem. Already last week I had an email alert that something was wrong with the site, then I made a mess myself… Asking help 3 times in one week is way too much, I shall leave him alone for now! πŸ˜€

A business musing by Kris Rusch that reminded me why I’m in this still, ten years later. Yes, the world is changing, every norm has been shattered, it’s hard to predict where we’re going – and I didn’t see a rise in sales, but what she says about old traditional system and new indie publishing is still true.

And it breaks my heart that there are still young writers looking for agents. I guess I was lucky to be alive in the age of the typewriter. And in a country that didn’t have creative writing courses at the time (they started in the new millennium in case you’re wondering). And that Mom helped me understand that vanity publishers weren’t publishers and money flows to the writer and all that stuff.

I dreamed of being a writer in my teens too. But it was the 20th century, and already back then what felt awesome as soon as I wrote it became stale when I read it again two or five years later.

We change throughout our lives – I think I mentioned the various “stages” of my writing – and I’m still at a point where I hate everything I write, but I keep writing anyway because that’s what I do.

I’m a writer, I write. I’m the worst judge of my work, so I shall let readers and editors decide with their wallets. It’s a long term thing, a career, not an overnight, unsustainable success, and I will get there.

I discovered this article on Aphantasia, which actually matches my lack of setting, although probably for different reasons from the author of the article.

When I was younger I didn’t put a setting because I was too lazy, but I did see a movie in my head. Talking heads in white rooms mostly.Β Now I have trouble visualizing scenes, and sometimes I start thinking how I’d write it, instead of trying to visualize it.

What I mean is we change also in the way we express ourselves. I used to write down the movies in my head, dialog-heavy with a camera always on extreme close-up.

Now I’m more wordy and less visual, but the transition isn’t smooth. I still have trouble every now and then, and I try to visualize the scene, and then think how I could write it down – with the setting and everything.

Another thing that changed through the decades is going from real people in my stories (during my teens) to virtual casts of celebrities (from movies and music videos) to finding inspiration from stock images or DazStudio 3D rendering characters (although I still thow in Da Muses and other celebrities every now and then)

That’s probably why sometimes I cringe when I read older titles, but I’m not going to rewrite them They are the best stories I could write at the time, and I moved on since.

I don’t think I’m completely changing my voice now, at 50+ and after 15 years of switching to writing primarily in English! πŸ™‚

If I ever write something that doesn’t sound like me, I have another super sikrit pen name ready! πŸ˜€

Oh, and remember that contest for Cupid flash fiction/poems? I posted a flash fiction, but Tori, who posted after me, won the contest! So glad I sent her their way! Congrats, Tori! And you guys can go check that page and enjoy those valentine stories! πŸ™‚

Last but not least: more free books at IASFA! Go check the Alien SciFi free books page! The promotion runs from March 9-13!

Next week, the International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers (IASFA) will announce a science fiction book bonanza that is out of this world.

And if you’re anti-Zon (most IASFA autors are Kindle Unlimited), there’s also a BookFunnel giveaway with 150+ (!) SFF books! Ends at the end of the month…

And that’s all for today… have a great week!

Sunday Surprise


A signal boost in case you didn’t get enough books for Christmas. My story, Olympia Nights, is in The Phantom Games. Helios of Sparta, the full novella, will come out some time next year. Happy Holidays.

Available Now!Β The Rest of the Excalibur Books Catalog …

The Dimensions Unknown series –

Mind-bending journeys into tomorrows that never were, and yesterdays that are yet to be …

Go here for Volume One

Go here for Volume Two

Go here for Volume Three

Shipwrecked and alone in haunted Japan … Simon Grey and the March of a Hundred Ghosts, by Charles Kowalski

Alien science meets ancient Japanese mythology in this epic battle across time and space …

the Sword Mirror Jewel trilogy, by John Paul Catton.

Go here for Book One

Go here for Book Two

Go here for Book ThreeΒ 

Hina Takamichi was a girl of two worlds … but only one would survive …Zero Sum Game, by Cody Martin

The Nihon Gothic series – a set of standalone supernatural thrillers set in Japan, by Zoe Drake

Book 1: The Mists of Osorezan
In Venice, in London, in the deep Japanese countryside … the sleepers are awaking …

Book 2: Dead Hand Clapping
A bizarre serial killer is stalking Tokyo’s sleazy underworld …

Book 3: Dark Lanterns
A collection of 15 chilling Tokyo ghost stories featuring the Yokai – grotesque creatures from Japanese folklore and mythology …

Until next time, keep healthy – and keep the faith!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote over 12K and almost finished another story. This week I’m taking a break to edit FEC 11 and 12 for a January publication as well as editing the 2 prequels that will go to the editor in January, so I might not write much.

I also uploaded the updated PDF of the books available in print. Feel free to dowload it from the home page and peruse it. All are available on Amazon, and possibly elsewhere if the Createspace expanded distribution is still on (but it’s not on the newer titles, or is it? Sigh).

There are also the curated anthologies as well as the collaboration anthologies and other publications, if you like paper books. I got my brag shelves copies just in time after I finished my latest non-fiction book about antiquity battles (which is good for research on my vampires).

Also, the Smashwords sale is now on, check out everything 50% off or at 99c! πŸ™‚

Everybody pushes people to join FB groups, because that’s what FB said we should do, and then they killed reach. Someone foresees pay for play for groups coming soon. The new FB definitely changed how I get groups updates – and not in a good way. So I’m thinking of closing the Street Team group on Facebook and either open it on groups.io (more like a newsletter, although the members of the team can reply to my posts and everybody sees them, just like comments on a FB post) or on Slack (more like a forum, where we can have different “rooms” to discuss different things). Which would you prefer? I already posted this poll on the current FB group, but I’m going to close it by the end of the year anyway.

I’m growing quite tired of social media. Facebook went from “Are you sure you want to delete this? We can help you secure your account if you didn’t make this post” to “Are you sure you want to delete this?” to “move to trash” that works like email trash and gets emptied after 30 days. Sigh.

As for Instagram, it keeps crashing and won’t let me upload things unless I give it permission to access my phone, mic and location. So I’m going to stop publishing the strip there and put it on hold for now. I’m not particularly happy with it anyway.

And let’s close the year (more or less) with a last shoutout. Disney Must Pay! Don’t let this slip past them! Next one is technically the last post of the year, and I’ll leave my goals for 2021 for then. Hint: I don’t have many, LOL! Have a great Holiday Season!

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