Writer Wednesday


Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens are running an online auction to raise money for 4 organisations working to evacuate LGBT men from Chechnya. Items include signed paperbacks, original characters, original stories, author services and more. The auction began on Friday, May 5 and ends at noon CDT Saturday, May 13th. I didn’t sign up on time (I know, shame on me…) but the auction is now live until Saturday. Go check it.

On the writing front, on Saturday I threw away half of what I had written because the story needed to go in a different direction. I was at 9100 words and 4600 were mercilessly cut and pasted in a new document called “deleted scenes” – I might add it as extra to the ebook when it’s published or give it as reward on Patreon, again when the story is published, probably after the summer.

Murder your darlings, they say. I cut those words because I had found a better way to rise the stakes for the main character and so half of the story had to go. It’s part of my new way of writing, cycling to add stuff back since I’m typing directly on Laptop and don’t need to get to the end before adding stuff in the middle like I did when I was writing longhand.

Anyhow, I did manage to write 3700 new words on Saturday, 6700 on Sunday and wrap the story on Monday at 17600 words, so I’m not complaining! πŸ˜‰ Now on to the next story! πŸ˜€

My Facebook page has 299 “likes” (the screenshot is from 1 like ago)… who is going to be #300? I might reward you if you’re that lucky person… Since the friends I have invited can’t be bothered to accept the invite, it’s up to you, Stranger, to be the One… Or you could be the first patron on Patreon… I should reward you as well… One ebook of your choice, the preferred format, anywhere in the world! πŸ˜‰

Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


And we have another Vampires Through the Centuries story out! Check out Indestructible, with the cover of awesome Shafali Anand! Some retailers might not show it yet, since I uploaded it after I set up the pre-order button. I had to manually add it on Amazon after release and the Smashwords Premium Catalog doesn’t immediately update a book when I make changes to it. The fastest one was Kobo! πŸ˜‰

And since I want to try to participate in a Kobo promo this month, I decided to re-publish the Books of the Immortals Box Set. It is now available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes&Noble and Apple at 4.99$ for the time being. I had to reformat it completely, which took me a couple of hours to go through the mammoth 1000+pages document.

So, final April wordcount was a little over 30K. This month I need to write 4 stories about the fall of the southern kingdoms, then in June I’ve taken up the Novel Challenge, so I’ll be busy with novels for the summer months! πŸ™‚ I need to write Shashank’s book anyway, and if I can write it in a month, the better. I also want to redraft a sci-fi novella which I might have for Worldcon.

Some writerly links: how you should really really really stay away from agents and start learning some business. I’m not business-oriented either, but when I read those stories I just want to scream in frustration. It’s another reason to be indie, but then, I’m a control freak! πŸ˜‰

I didn’t know about the Smarter Artist Summit, but I may attend in the future, now that I know it exists! πŸ˜‰ It sounds like a great networking opportunity… And I’ve been to Milan for the Kobo/Mondadori contest, so I’ve been at the ceremony and met the Kobo team. They’re all quite nice, especially the Kobo Europe ladies.

Now back to writing! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And while I wait for feedback on the latest Vampires Through the Centuries, I’m keeping myself very busy catching those typo faeries on the next title and preparing for a weekend of POD formatting and another upload. I’m also trying an Amazon ad through the Easter weekend, we’ll see how it goes! πŸ˜‰

So, it’s official, this wonderful box set of 12 novels at 12$ will come out May 26! Soon you’ll get to meet the other authors who trusted me with this adventure! I am extremely grateful to Chuck at Bundle Rabbit for making this possible.

This should soon be available for pre-order on all retailers. My novel is The Path of Water (Quests Book 1), but even if you have already read it, there are 11 more in this lot! Don’t miss it! πŸ™‚

So, bundles are all over. If you don’t want to sign up for Bundle Rabbit as an author and don’t think you can write a novel yet, you may want to try the Great Bundle Workshop! Any story that you’ll write for this will go in a bundle, so what’s the risk? Read the questions answered too…

I’m going to see how the above bundle goes, and I might get hit by bundle fever – with novels! πŸ˜‰ Here you have a post on newsletters and discoverability, and one on piracy and TakeDown notices and how they can hurt your visibility.

And you know you can write at any age, right? And if you can spare a $ a month for me, please hop to my Patreon page. I won’t bite and there are plenty of nice surprises there. Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And you have a new Star Minds Third Generation ebook out – with the cover by Mighty Techie Bro. Now, he’s an excellent artist, but he doesn’t have time to work on commissions, so, I went to his DeviantART page and picked some of his old works… and wrote the stories accordingly! πŸ˜‰

So, that’s more or less how Shan-leo’s daughter was “born”… First she’s a rainbow-haired teen, then she becomes the tough gal he drew (hence my illustration of the character). And when I asked my brother if I could have a higher resolution file for the ebook cover, he decided to work on it… so there you have it – old Iso-bel Aya (my actual inspiration) and the new one! πŸ™‚

There are places, no matter how alien, where you immediately feel at home. And there are places where you’ll never feel at home, no matter how familiar they look or can become.

Iso-bel Aya Shermac is Shan-leo’s daughter, a Sire telepath who grows from rainbow-haired teen visiting Earth of year 2046 to a Sylvanian Accademy graduate who can fight like a man.

Probably the start of a new sub-series in the Star Minds universe.

The other digital painting of his I used as inspiration will be used only on Patreon for now. The first short story offered to the 5$ tier is Starship Pilot with his illustration Ready for Take-off. So, if you’d like to read it before it comes out in the volume Star Minds Third Generation Snippets, you can become a patron of yours truly and many other creators (like my cover artists Cristina Fabris and Sir Wendigo, or writers and artists from all over the place) by hopping to Patreon.

Now I better finish that vampire novella so I can send it to a trusted beta for fact-checking and then to Mighty Editor for a prompt release in a month! πŸ™‚

Some interesting writerly links… 5 tips on how to make your writing process feel like gaming (which I don’t need, but I know some of you get stuck from time to time) I need something that helps me pick a project and stick to it to the end, LOL! Not that I have trouble being prolific… πŸ˜‰

Some writing tools with all the answers – the English Through the Ages book sounds very interesting. I have heard the screenwriting ones ten years ago and I do have the Emotion Thesaurus, except I forget to consult it when I write! πŸ˜‰ Anyway, you might find these useful, so I thought I’d point you to the post.

Bestseller Lists and Other Dreams by Kris Rusch which takes you to Marie Force’s That Day I decided to Stop Chasing the Bestseller Lists (shared also on Kobo’s newsletter)… My aim was never to be on one of those bestseller lists, probably because I’m not American, but I’ve seen scores of (indie)authors stopping altogether because they never hit any list.

As a reader, I couldn’t care less if you hit a bestseller list or not. I have read many indie writers and many best-selling writers, and I have loved many of the first and hated many of the latter. So, you know…

I’m nowhere near bestseller status as a writer, still struggling to find my readers and true fans, but that hasn’t stopped me from keeping writing and publishing.

I never tried Kickstarter because I know you need to be moderately “famous” to get enough people pledging for your projects, and I’m not sure Patreon will work for me, but I’m trying it anyway. Then I will try book bundles and writing more short stories to submit to traditional short markets.

But I will keep my indie output steady – as steady as I can, I might not hit the 25 titles a year I kept until last year, but expect a couple of new titles a month anyway – because I treasure my current 5 readers *waves at them*! πŸ™‚ The blog isn’t really working as a marketing tool, the Facebook page isn’t bringing in any sales, so I’m trying new stuff.

When I’m tired of experimenting, I’ll just quit the marketing hassle and publish stuff without bothering much. That’s what I do with the Italian titles – and they sell more than the English ones for the lack of competition, so… πŸ˜‰ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

 

Random Friday


I’ll do another Art Friday – sort of – with the Fairy Tales Revisited! So, it’s three stories:

Colors (Snow White retold as m/m romance)

Cinder Boy (Cinderella, as above)

Beautiful (Sleeping Beauty, idem)

I did the single covers and then I asked two talented artists to draw them for the collections.

So, you have Nerian (male Snow White), Rohan (Cinder Boy) and Rithvik by Barb.

And then you have Nerian and Riander by the awesome Sir Wendigo.

male_lovers_vol2And Rithvik awakened by Kerrien by the wonderful Rossana Beretta.

fariy-tales-dtfI might tackle a few more fairy tales – Little Red Riding Hood? Beauty and the Beast? There’s a lot to take from! – but not right now. All these stories are ACE friendly, so if you’re looking for wild sex, forget it! πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday


Body Switches is only 4.99$, only on Kobo, and only for today! Go get it now, if you haven’t already! This is my bestselling title on Amazon and I’m excited it will be brought to the attention of Kobo readers! πŸ™‚ Stay tuned for more Kobo promotions…

Also, I have adjusted the prices on Kobo. Australian and Canadian users should find lower prices. UK and NZ readers will find them only on the higher priced books. I have 99 books under the main pen name (and 99 sales, let’s see which gets to 100 first!), it will take me some time to adjust all the prices to the local currencies! I will do it with Amazon too – but some currencies I really have no idea of how much I should ask…

About Amazon, here’s some advice for KDP authors. Since my readers don’t like to leave reviews (my above mentioned bestseller has 0 reviews…) and I’ve tried Select/KU with one title and it didn’t work for me, I don’t feel particularly threatened. But then, you never know! πŸ˜‰

Now I’ve put out two new titles for the whole month at the same time, since I’ll be traveling for a week. And since they’re related, I thought I might as well publish them together. So there you have Tales of the Northern Kingdoms volume 1 and volume 2 – print version in September.

Covers are by Silvano Beltramo and volume 1 has the Quests Book 1 protagonists, except he drew them when I hadn’t actually written the story and had done only b&w sketches of the characters, so there… not perfect, but still quite good! πŸ˜‰ And volume 2 features Prince Splendor and Billinda.

As for how I divided the stories… well, volume 1 has the new ones, the ones I wrote between the end of last year and this year, while volume 2 has the older stories rewritten… see if you spot any difference in my writing between the two! πŸ™‚

Bundles bundles bundles! Non-fiction writing bundle: Gonzo Writing Book Bundle! Eight books. Normally $20.00, but with coupon code DRAGONPUNCHER, you’ll knock that cost down 25%, to $15.00. Sale runs until Monday, 8/15.

Or you can take the Speed and/or Productivity workshop to become like me (I certainly don’t need at least those two, LOL!). Fiction bundle: the Sci-Fi May Day bundle is still there for a little longer. 10 sci-fi novels for under 10$ – go grab them!

Next week a guest will take over… Talk to you again on the 24th! Have a great two weeks! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Today People is now available in print. A new ebook is out, Amazons, that I (re)wrote in 2014 and left in a drawer for two years. I’m not rewriting the other story I wanted to put with this, so I’m just publishing as is. Cheer, I’m learning to leave the old stories alone! πŸ˜‰

Still working on the new Silvery Earth story, it’s a novella for now (14K) and might become a short novel eventually. Since I still don’t like the title, I’ll just call it the current WiP until I’m done. Then I shuffled the writing projects around for May and the summer for various reasons.

I finished the Author Voice workshop and immediately signed up for another one – Teams in Fiction. I won’t be writing that novel in eight days, because it’s the story of a team, or better, the protagonist has teams with her (rebels in part 1, crewmembers in part 2, traveling companions in part 3), so I’ll just do this other workshop before tackling the novel.

So in May I will finish that current WiP, then write a story for an anthology celebrating the battle of Hastings of 1066, so you’ll see some of my vampires roaming the battlefield sometime around the end of the year. As for those 8 days off DayJob, I will use them to finish working on the publisher page and maybe write an extra story or two to submit. I haven’t been submitting lately, and it kinda sucks.

For the publishing side, this month you’ll have another collection of Amazon stories, although none is new. The new short story will be going out to traditional markets throughout the summer, then we’ll see. The Tales of the Northern Kingdoms will start coming out next month.

A link to a serious discussion: how do you support an author? By buying her books! But there are still people who want free books. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Sigh. I always thought that those who got only free books were not readers but downloaders (who wouldn’t read the books anyway)…

And then I get a google alert of a pirate site where everybody seems to love my book. But again, they’re not willing to pay for it. Sigh. I hope some day my true fans will find me and support me.

And don’t forget it’s the last days for the sci-fi bundle! It will soon be gone! Go get it now! Up to 52$ of books real cheap! Don’t miss this!

Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


So, wordcount was back up in April so I have 171K words in the first quarter, which multiplied by 3 means I’ll reach my yearly goal of writing 500K – if I keep this pacing, that is! πŸ˜‰ I have sort of organized the writing for the next three months, so I’m all set for another productive quarter.

charioteer-of-buddha_resizeThe newsletter went out, so I hope you all got it. And of course Charioteer of Buddha is now live everywhere. I will soon make it available on Bundle Rabbit in case any curator wants to add it to his or her bundle.

Are you an indie author? Have you already joined? If not, why not? So, you’re a voracious reader? Then why haven’t you joined yet? Here’s the three bundles currently available!

The already announced Science Fiction May Day with yours truly that you can see also in the sidebar of this blog (until it’s live, that is).

The Chills, Thrills and Spills Bundle, up to 61$ worth of paranormal, horror and unsettling fiction.

And last but not least the Zombies and Monsters and Gods Bundle, up to 44$ worth of urban fantasy books! πŸ™‚

If you’re interested in any of those, grab them now, the offers will expire in a couple of weeks (so if you’re reading this from the archives, the links might be dead).

A couple of links: Blaming the Reader – don’t. Just don’t. I might not sell much for the bad blurbs, but I don’t have the time or patience to go change the blurbs of 100+ books. I know I should, it’s like tending the garden, but I’m still not finished with the publisher’s page, so I will think about it when that one is complete.

I’m happy with creating nice new blurbs, like the one for the latest WiP, originally known with a very long title, mentioned on this blog as Kingmakers and now called Wanderers. But it’s a little early to tell you about it! πŸ˜‰ If you need help in writing blurbs, check How to Write Fiction Sales Copy!

Now I better go back to writing and send off the assignment for the online workshop. By the way, there’s one – FREE – going on at Dean Wesley Smith’s blog, just look for the videos of Originality Workshop! Happy writing!

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a bundle! Science Fiction May Day is on for two weeks only, so get it now! 10 novels, including one from yours truly! Buyers get the chance to get up to $52 worth of great science fiction for only $9! Go get it now!

bannerIt’s the first bundle I’m part of and I’m awed at the company… I have read Blaze Ward’s Siren from the previous bundle and it’s awesome if you like military sci-fi! Haven’t read the others yet, but will… eventually… So, even if you already have Technological Angel, grab Da Bundle and try the other authors as well!

Now I really feel like the May Queen, LOL! πŸ™‚ Have a great Sunday!

Writer Wednesday


I would like to thank the guys at Draft2Digital (especially Aubrey) who helped me deal with Apple for two titles in the past week. They’re an awesome distributor and without them I’d definitely stop sending my books to Apple. I’m sick of their rejections. And don’t even think of buying me i-Things because I’ll resell them, I don’t want any Mac-stuff in the house! 😦

choicesetc_resizeI have published a new title, but some distributors are still lagging behind. It went smoothly on Amazon, took a little longer on Apple (with the above mentioned help) and Kobo is still stuck in nowhere land. So I contacted Kobo support. In the meantime here are the available retailers on the publisher’s page.

I should have uploaded it as new title. Meh. Anyhow, if you want to read that story that was a sore project block from September to January, go grab it now. It’s the only new title in that collection, but I think it’s nice – if you like contemporary stories, that is. If you’re only for SFF, skip this title! πŸ™‚

This week I hope to upload the preorder for Charioteer of Buddha, since I now have the wonderful cover by Shafali Anand. I will put a placeholder manuscript, since the editor still has it, but will get back to me before the end of the month.

And by the way, the mighty cover artist is also a writer, can you believe it? She won a Honorable Mention at Writers of the Future like me (in a different quarter)! Read her story at My Story Doctor! And then join me in screaming “We want to read those stories, publish them! Poor babies are sick to be stuck in that drawer!”

By the end of April I hope to publish The Archers on the other sites after its KDP Select term ends (April 20), then the collection of contemporary stories, that will also have a POD version. I’m currently doing the Author Voice workshop, and so far no writing to be done, so I’m good! πŸ™‚

Speaking of Author Voice – the first assignment says I have a solid author voice. Which reminded me of a conversation with a friend in the 1990s when she told me “Can you write a story where you’re not in it?” Since I used to put myself as a character in my stories back then, I objected that I wasn’t in the m/m stories I was writing at the time (since there were no female characters in them), but she insisted I was in them.

I guess I didn’t understand what she was telling me then, but obviously I already had an author voice. It changed through the years, but that’s another blog post. A couple of links, one to make you smile and the other is actually a series. Kris Rusch is talking contracts again – don’t miss any of those posts, even if you’re indie published. Because as you can see from the funny post, writing is a business, therefore it has contracts.

Go read all of them. The first is really short. Now I better go back to Kaylyn and finish it by the weekend! πŸ˜‰

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