Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And the prequels to Future Earth Chronicles are now out in a single 90K book! The cover has the alien symbol with a stylized human brain at the center because… brainwaves! Gotta love those alien psy-vamps! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last week I wrote 13K+ on two entwined books. I’m working mostly on the second book of the Duology and I had to do some research about Holi in Delhi. Besides someone saying that last year there were no celebrations because of the pandemic (my friend told me lockdown hadn’t started in India for Holi, since it was in early March…), I found this other article that even time-travels to the upcoming festival!

Yes, Holi is next week this year, but according to them:

“Holiyappa, 2021!

The event took place on the 29th of March, 2021. It was organised in The Junction, Green Park Delhi. The event promoted to offer lovely music to the audience so that they could dance and enjoy. It presented some famous DJs like Dj Dheer and DjTanuj.Its theme was ‘Music, colours and good vibes’.”

Note that it’s the only event that is set in the future in the article, so it’s probably an uncorrected (except for the date) excerpt from last year.

Anyhow, my characters already enjoyed the Rang Leela, even though it hasn’t happened yet, LOL! Actually this whole Duology is written in the near future, so I plan to go back to each chapter/month when we get there (like, I dumped a few paragraphs in March of Book 1 last week, and will do the same when April comes along). So this might see publication at the end of the year.

I might start writing some real time-travel stories later this year, but I still have to take the online workshop about writing time travel, as well as read a few time travel stories. I’m almost done with the bundles on KK, so soon I’d have to switch on the new Kindle again, and upload all the books I have gathered so far. Sigh.

I got an email from KDP saying they will no longer accept mobi files for reflowable ebooks. So I’m just going to upload word.doc from now on – I used to put up the Smashwords mobi files when there was a big ToC, but whatever. I can always upload the Smashwords epub files instead! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Should writers write every day? It depends. If you need to get into the writing groove, you probably should. If you have already found what work best for you, ignore all advice. Also, remember you might change even a true and tested way of writing through your life. I agree with Chuck Wendig’s advice:

The greatest advice I think I offer to writers these days is to Know Thyself. Which is to say, figure out who you are as a writer. Your processes are your own to discover. Your voice is your own to seek and to find. Who you are and what you write and further,ย how you write, is something literally nobody else can tell you. So, should you write every day? Some will tell you YES YES YES, some will tell you NO NO NO, but the answer is, well, shit, I dunno. Itโ€™s both. Itโ€™s neither. All/none of the above. Maybe itโ€™ll help you. Maybe itโ€™ll hurt you. Maybe itโ€™ll do the one until it does the other, because things workโ€ฆ until they donโ€™t. You only learn this by trying.

Writing advice, and the conversation around is, is always to help you crystalize and contextualize your own way of doing things. And sometimes, itโ€™s there to challenge them. I was a pantser at the start of my career until I realized I had to โ€”ย had to! โ€” be a plotter to get a book done. Butย Wanderers was a book I wrote without an outline. So was Dust & Grim, Book of Accidents, and Wayward. I was a pantser, then a plotter, then a pantser. None of this is permanent. Iโ€™m not permanent. My works will change and how I approach them will change, too.

I was a total pantser, now I’m a half-plotter, especially if I need to stick to a calendar of events (be them real history or fake history on a secondary world, or even alternate history on our world). And even if my voice is more or less the same, I changed and so will the stories I tell and the way I tell them.

Now, for reading and writing pleasure, check out this Kickstarter. As Kris Rusch says, it includes a book on writing as well as a full collection of fantasy books:

If you want to read the Fey, the best way to do so is to back the Kickstarter at the $30 level. Youโ€™ll get all seven existing books of the Fey, the new novella, the only Fey short story (at the moment), four other fantasy novels, and $600 in online writing workshops (at the time of this writing), all for your $30.

If you’re a writer, here are the rewards – lots of goodies and lots of learning for you. Also, re: Kickstarter for fiction writers (from Kris’s blog post above again),

Many of you are daunted by the idea of doing a Kickstarter. Dean and Loren L. Coleman are running a free class on Teachable called Kickstarter Best Practices For Fiction Writers. Investigate it. If you donโ€™t feel ready, you have the knowledge in your back pocket for when you are ready. If you are ready, make sure youโ€™re doing the Kickstarter the best way possible.

Know that Loren L. Coleman also has a Kickstarter on how to do a Kickstarter for your fiction. Crowdfunding Your Fiction: Best Practices can be yours for 2$! A few more days to go and it already reached the 2000$ stretch goal, so more goodies for your two bucks! ๐Ÿ™‚

And that’s all for today… have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

***

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 weโ€™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/

The Science Fiction Book Bundle will be available from May 15th thru April 4th.

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And here’s the last book of Before Future Earth Chronicles! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

โ€œMumbai, 2060CEโ€ tells the love story between Ram and Zarina โ€“ a completely revised edition of Mumbai Dreams.

โ€œInheritorโ€ 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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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.ย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

If I ever write something that doesn’t sound like me, I have another super sikrit pen name ready! ๐Ÿ˜€

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And we have a new title! Another prequel, before Future Earth Chronicles, again the apocalypse years but from the humans (and human symbionts) points of view. On the cover is Kaya, who invites a Terran neuroscientist in Rainbow Town Mount Mitchell (the one that is featured in Brainwaves, in case you have read the series).

The apocalypse years through the eyes of both Terrans and alien humans.
Neuroscientist Jacob Davies is invited to Rainbow Town by mysterious college mate Kaya Satsuko with a job offer he canโ€™t refuse.

Suzzi hears her friends talking about vampires and asks to be assigned outside of Rainbow Town. She goes to work in Beijing where, along with Bao, sheโ€™ll have to tackle the venomous Asian vampires living in the area.

Yudi is the son of a Terran and an alien human who has followed his best friend to Mumbai. Ram hopes to break into Bollywood, but then he falls in loveโ€ฆ

So, go grab Lockdown Origins at your favorite retailer. The paperback will be available with the omnibus in March. Stay tuned!

After reading David Gaughran’s post on covers, I went to peruse some premades… I’m just wondering why, in 2021, with an ongoing pandemic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic covers still show a nuclear apocalypse like in the 20th century. Sigh.

Having researched gas masks for Breathe (that you can find in Breathe), I can also tell you that those filters don’t last, so they’re pretty much useless in a nuclear apocalypse. None of those covers would work for my Future Earth Chronicles, where the apocalypse is just a collapse of technology and power stations (see what’s happening in Texas without power)…

But then, I’m dealing mostly with Rainbow Towns, at least for now. Maybe eventually I’ll show the actual collapse outside of those underground settlements! Still, I doubt any of those covers would work for me anyway.

Moving on, an nice article on what the 2021 Facebook changes mean for authors. Now, my author page used to be a Fan Page, like they mention in the article, and I’m sick of having Facebook asking me if I’m hiring, if I’m giving Covid information, and if I have business hours. I’m an author, not a business yet!

The group connected to that page is now private and with no members, since I couldn’t find a way to close it. And I won’t ever use Facebook ads or even Facebook Live, but YMMV. So, thank you for following this blog (if you like my blathering) or follow the publisher’s page if you want to know only when a new book is out.

I still haven’t studied the Newsletter WordPress plugin and I’m not ready to go that way just yet, so you’ll have to bear with me on this very blog or the above page for now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And before I forget, last week I wrote a little over 8K until Friday, then the weekend was off writing for various reasons. 1) I screwed up the latest story and will need to rewrite it, but it doesn’t have a close deadline, so I had to push it to the side because 2) I got another call with a much closer deadline so I had to concentrate on that instead.

By Monday afternoon another 2.5K were down, though, so I guess the 10K are done! Moving on to the next project (or rewriting that story, it was an experiment and it was a failure, so back to the drawing board! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )!

A year ago at this time I was in Vegas at the Anthology Workshop where I sold a story that will come out this year around Halloween… and that was my last international/intercontinental trip. We’re back to semi-lockdown and I won’t be able to travel through Italy either, so I won’t attend a good friend’s wedding in Piedmond. Sigh.

We shall travel again, though! Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And, as announced, the first book of the prequels is out! Alien Humans (Before Future Earth Chronicles Book 1) is a short novel or a novella (too short for a Bookbub New Release alert, so you won’t hear about it there) that tells of the arrival of the aliens and their human symbionts on Earth, and that’s Dinniel the cyborg on the cover. Guest stars, some well known (to who ever follows Vampires Through the Centuries) vampires! ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually Dinniel meets Alain, and you can read about him for free here.

Sometimes in the early 1980s an alien starship in the form of a silver disk landed on the Tibetan plateau, ready to settle on Earth. The two alien species living in symbiosis discover the local intelligent life is identical to the weak link of their bond, the humans who feed their brainwaves to the actual owners of the starship.

Meet Dinniel, Dachie, Sepideh and Pajtim, who are in their twenties and must learn to communicate and mingle with Terrans. And then the apocalypse generation, born on Earth and integrated in the 21st century culture: Jael, Dariox, Dayana and Donna who falls in love with Daniel the vampire.

Last week I reached 5800 words and had to stop, research and read for a professional anthology project. Then I started on the new assignment with anotherย  2300 words, so the grand total is around 8K. I guess that, since I have stopped working on that project, I will use the rest of the month to write for another couple of anthologies. The current WiP (novel) was changing under me with every new scene, so it will probably need more time to come to life!

I might as well get the other things out of the way first, but this year is probably the sci-fi and urban fantasy year. At least it feels so for now. We’ll see. I’m not berating myself for anything and just keep trudging forward, waiting for the dust to settle and see what the world will be like in the coming years.

Hopefully not like in the Before Future Earth Chronicles, since you know those years will lead to the apocalypse of western civilization! ๐Ÿ™‚ And the series page is updated, by the way. Although on Amazon I added them as prequels, so they won’t appear on the main series page just yet. But on the publisher’s page and Smashwords, they’ll be there! ๐Ÿ™‚

And there are free books again! This month it’s Epic Fantasy! Go check them! Who knows, maybe at some point there will be one of mine… probably towards the end of the year! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m supposed to check on trains and other real life stuff, but the weather is so dreadful that I’m kind of happy to go home and write, LOL! Now I better go back to work and finish and mail the latest short… Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And since I got four rejections in one day, I can now announce that Before Future Earth will come out in February and March, so one month earlier than originally programmed! The prequels are short books and the last will be an omnibus that contains all three – a very short trilogy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And last week I dived into the Shelved Novel That Couldn’t Be Written last year, so I’m on a roll. I wrote 12K and finally have a plan and a form of worldbuilding and a story to sustain it. It’s slightly different from the original idea, but I’m quite happy with how it’s shaping up. It’s intercontinental urban fantasy – if such a thing exists! ๐Ÿ™‚ If not, I’m inventing it, LOL!

I’m not sure when it will be ready for public consumption, possibly in the second half of the year. I was stuck because I started working on it right before Covid hit us and wasn’t sure if I should set it before the pandemic or in the near future. I ended up chosing the present for reasons that will be clear when I publish it – I can always add prequels and sequels like I did with Future Earth Chronicles! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Love and Magic bundle was entered in the following promo for tomorrow, Feb. 4:

Calling all romance readers! Itโ€™s more than candy hearts, chocolates and flowers at N. N. Lightโ€™s Book Heaven Love and Romance Book Festival. 46 romance books featured plus a chance to win one of the following: Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card Iโ€™m thrilled to be a part of this event. You wonโ€™t want to miss it. Bookmark this festival and tell your friends: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/love-and-romance-book-festival

Interesting articles I read on the internets: why middle-aged men have trouble sustaining friendships. I’m not a middle-agen man, so why did I found it interesting? Because unlike the journalist’s wife, I hate the phone. So I’m very bad at sustaining in-person friendships. If I don’t do stuff with my friends, I tend to drift away.

I miss the creative weekends with Cristina. I miss going to workshops and conventions, even the crowded comicons that allowed me to be sociable for maybe one hour a day (I’m still 100% introvert and still hate crowded places). I don’t like the phone, even though video-calls were kind of a life-saver during lockdown (but my parents hate them, and I can’t blame them).

I’m good at keeping in touch with social media or email, but a complete disaster with the phone. I know people are busy, and always feel I’m intruding, especially on the phone. Because they all have families and/or pets, or a busy working life or whatever. I feel I’m the one who isn’t very busy compared to them, and I don’t want to disturb them, especially by phone.

In-person it’s different, they had taken the time to meet me, so we can talk! ๐Ÿ™‚ One at a time, or I’d get confused and end up listening in a corner. That’s why I’m not too fond of gatherings. But if it’s coffee with just one friend, I’m very happy. And I hope I’ll be able to do some of this later this year, when we’ll be able to travel again and possibly to hug again. I’m not a hugger, but every now and then I need a hug! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Some daydreaming to conclude the post. When I’ll be able to travel again, I want to visit my friends in Milan and Turin first, hopefully attend a wedding in Lucca and then I want to get out of Italy, again to visit friends and explore Europe. I don’t think I’ll make it across the Atlantic this year, still aiming for 2023 for that.

Like Abhay Deol said, 2021 better be better! So here’s to a quiet 2021, since January seems to have been quite hectic, especially in the US! ๐Ÿ˜€ May things calm down, the virus be defeated and all of us able to visit each other soon! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


I’m going to change the order of things in these posts and be a little more random from now on, since the yearly wordcount is no longer the Most Important Thing in the world. I know I’m prolific and can meet my goal, so I will update you, but not necessarily as the first thing in the post! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I’m going to start with this week’s publishing news! Lisa’s Odyssey is free today only, and only on Kindle.

And we have the last book of Future Earth Chronicles out! Rainbow concludes the series for now. I have the prequels ready, and I might publish them next month if I get a reply from a submitted story.

I will have to think about how to handle the prequels on the Amazon series page, but there’s still time. Meanwhile, here’s the blurb for Rainbow.

“Shit happens. Beautiful things happen. Go with the flow as much as you can.โ€

Fifteen years after the New Treaty, Raj takes the teenage Ahyoka on a pilgrimage to her fatherโ€™s tomb with his airship, the Rainbow.

Has the Wanderlust Bug bitten him again or can he find love and peace somewhere, as Ahyokaโ€™s foster father or when she becomes independent from him? Or will he fly off into the sunset with airship Rainbow, alone?

I read this article Robots Turn 100 – and Still Entrance Us and considered re-reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, since it’s set in January 2021, but I’m a slow reader and no, I don’t have time for it. I’m not that fond of Dick! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I might find the time to re-watch the movies set in 2021, but a book is another matter.

And again this week I wrote only a little over 8K, but I still consider myself between projects. I started two vampires stories, and didn’t finish them because they’re like the others I’ve written so far, and I mentioned I want to change and experiment more this year.

While I brainstormed ideas, I had the time to check my evolution as a writer, and I broke it down for you, so you can see I go through cycles and this time the shift is happening more or less in public. Here we go.

Teen years: mostly YA love stories although there was some SFF in the midst

1986-1991: science fantasy

1991-1995: medieval fantasy

1995-1998: m/m romance

1999-2001: no specific genre, a little bit of all of the above (except YA)

2001-2008: mostly screenplays (the Conquest of Hollywood that failed, mwhahahahaha!) and language switch (from Italian to English)

2009-2015: mostly fantasy (Silvery Earth is secondary world, mostly medieval fantasy and Star Minds Universe is science fantasy), all the books and series you’ve enjoyed so far. This blog started in 2009, the Indie Publishing Adventure in 2011. Most of those stories have wandering characters who are outcast, outsiders, outlaws, other for society and who are possibly trying to fit in or not.

What has been an experiment since 2015 is Future Earth Chronicles, the first series with numbered books. Still wandering characters, but on Earth, and their home is destroyed, so they cannot go back and must find another place to settle. And it’s now connected to Vampires Through the Centuries, but at this time I don’t feel like writing more of those. You’ll get Helios’s story as soon as I get it back from the proofreader because it’s done, but the rest is postponed.

Now, I was thinking I could do another series like FEC (numbered books et all), but I haven’t found a good idea yet. The shelved contemporary fantasy is probably a single book, not a trilogy, so we’ll see. I have a couple more ideas for Urban Fantasy worlds, but again, it might just be for short stories or novellas.

Meanwhile the Shared Worlds workshop resumed, so I might have to work on that one as well! And I’m waiting for my submitted stories to be either accepted or rejected, that too might be a way to steer me this way or that. If I sell a story, I might explore that world for more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s all for now… have a great week! ๐Ÿ˜€

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


The first writing week of the year ended with 11K written, even though I spent Sunday morning drawing Da Muse for his birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚ I also used that time to think about the stories I was writing (because they’re entwined at the moment, so I kept jumping back and forth between them for most of the week), but decided not to change the current plot.

I also rearranged the side-bar of this very blog, adding the “follow me on Bookbub” button and moving things around a little. I also had a small trouble with the publisher’s site, but my Awesome Webmaster solved the problem of the failed plug-in in under a minute, or so he said! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And of course, I hit the publish button on Future Earth Chronicles Book 11! Please welcome back Luke, who first appeared in Book 4 as vampire food in the alien facility under Mount Kailash… and see where this books takes him! ๐Ÿ™‚ Being a sapling’s symbiont is not as bad as it sounds.

Luke got his microchips back and bonded with Xex, the alien sapling who came back with the Mothership. Now he must gather the Rainbow Towns security robots with his symbiont to face a new threat: a gathering of Asian vampires.

His life changed when the wanderers freed him from Daniel and the alien facility, and now itโ€™s about to change again.

Book 12 (Mighty Editor’s favorite) will be out in two weeks, so stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you want free (or cheap) books, subscribe to IASFA – there’s currently a batch of military sci-fi on offer and more to come. “Each month weโ€™re spotlighting works by hundreds of SciFi and Fantasy authors. Every book will be available for free during the promotion. Donโ€™t miss a single one. Get on the list.”

I checked, and not all were free yet, but one was at 99c on Kindle and after trying the sample I bought it anyway (it was free everywhere else, just not on Amazon, and I can’t download mobi from Smashwords anymore). I also downloaded more samples on KK, so my TBR list is growing again, sigh. I’ll never get to the new Kindle, LOL!

And a new bundle is out! Fantasy romance, so if you fancy that, go check it. It includes “Beautiful” from yours truly – a Sleeping Beauty retelling as m/m romance more about the happily ever after than the before. The Love an Magic Bundle is available at the usual suspects!

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/bundles02/production/BundleArt/montages/000/000/249/original/montage.png

In other news I had to comment on Dean’s post My Novel… since that’s what I usually ask about MY books! ๐Ÿ˜€ Especially before becoming a mysanthrope who doesn’t like to go out, I happened to tell my friends about the stories I were writing at random moments, and whenever they saw me again, they politely asked “How’s your book?” to which I stared blankly at them and asked “Which one?” Perks (?) of being too prolific, I guess.

And Kris’s post on Audio (2020 in Review) worth checking especially for the last part, or how artists have braved the pandemic and reorganized themselves. My audio sales have flatlined and I don’t know when I’ll have the money or the inclination to do more of them, and I’m still considering other venues for the strips.

If you watched Space 1999, raise your hand and I’ll high-five you. I know most of you weren0t even born when the TV series aired (including Tori), but you might have caught up with some reruns in the 20th century. I backed this Kickstarter and received my ebook copy with intro from Barbara Bain (who, for me, is Dr. Helena Russell of Space 1999, I didn’t see many episodes of the Mission Impossible TV show of the 1960s, but I definitely saw all of Space 1999, in Italian AND French). I got the PDF for now, since I can’t upload to KK, but I want to start reading it! ๐Ÿ™‚

I might use my vacation time to program just that (the art part, not the audio part, sorry), finding another venue for the strips. I’m considering Tapas that allows also novels, especially episodic ones (like many of mine are). But I need to have a clear mind, which isn’t something I have yet.

Recovering from the Holiday Season is taking longer both because of what’s happening in the world (especially US and UK) and because I’m no longer young and full of dreams, but – since I’m here and now – I guess I’m meant to go through this mess and emerge victorious, or at least alive! ๐Ÿ˜€

So I’m not making too many programs just yet, taking one step at a time and keeping going. If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter, there’s a link on the publisher’s page, I still haven’t studied how importing (from my old Mailchimp account, for example) works on WordPress. I won’t start sending it out until I have at least ten people subscribed.

I know there’s no free story just yet, but that’s another thing to do sometime this year. Be patient, and hopefully I’ll manage to do everything! ๐Ÿ™‚ Meanwhile, have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 14K and by Saturday I reached my goal of 500K/year with 8 weeks to spare, which was good, since Sunday I was busy and could not write! ๐Ÿ™‚ So now you know why I don’t need NaNoWriMo and never did it, LOL! But if you need motivation, please go for it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This week I’m still writing random shorts. Next week I’ll be back at the office and print out Vampires War and go through it, then I can start writing FEC11 (same story from the humans point of view). I keep coming up with tidbits that go with the FEC prequels (now officially Before Future Earth Chronicles, they should come out in February to give me time to send out at least one of the shorter stories), but also with funny ideas that I want to explore.

Those might be the ones that generate the next Big Project, LOL! Haven’t thought much about it yet because I’m still tangled with vampires and future Earth, but well… 2021 is still quite foggy in my current vision. I’m sure I’ll come up with something, though!

This is the last full week at home this year… I feel lucky I managed to attend the Anthology Workshop before everything shut down. A couple of friends had to postpone their weddings – one made it at the end of August, the other, scheduled for November, will have to wait until March 2021.

My travel plans of exploring more of Europe, looking for a place to move to, have also been postponed. Oh, well, hopefully next year I’ll manage to visit at least my British and French friends! ๐Ÿ™‚ Might be good to practise my foreign languages! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Speaking of foreign languages, I found this on Facebook (although it probably comes from Twitter, where I’m not):

A whatchamacallit in different languages: 7. Thingamajig (English) 6. Chingadera (Spanish) 5. Himstergims (Danish) 4. Naninani (Japanese) 3. Zamazingo (Turkish) 2. Dignsbums (German) 1. Huppeldepup (Dutch)

The Italian is probably much simpler unless the character is really unsure and might go “Il coso, lร , quell’affare, lรฌ, insomma, quello!” – otherwise it’s just “Coso” (thing, masculine form, the feminine being “Cosa”). There can be dialect variations of course, but I won’t dwell on that!

I got the New Facebook look all over (although they kindly tell me that I can shift back to the Old look if I want to manage my page or my page’s group, pity that Old Facebook doesn’t allow edits), and I don’t hate it yet. It will need some adjustments, as usual… and I’m probably going to use it less and less!

I saw there’s a new “series” button in the KDP dashboard that I didn’t have time to set up yet, and when I went to Author Central to add the latest title, I discovered that layout changed too – it looks just like Facebook, sigh! But I was able to add my bio in Italian, and I guess I can do all languages through one single dashboard, which is much better.

I only wish they stopped changing stuff around, sigh! I guess that’s all for this week… Stay safe, and if you’re a writer, keep writing. See you next week with a new title… or possibly two! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 16K+, and after adding and subtracting and editing what I already had, I started on what I thought would be a short story and turned out to be a novella of vampires into the future, so it will probably have its own e-book. I was at 11K by Sunday night and wasn’t done yet.

I finished on Monday and will probably have to write another couple of books (again, both sides of the story, the humans’ and the vampires’), so I screwed up the schedule again. The good news is, this might take me to the end of the year. The bad news is, there will be a break anyway because I will send a first batch to Mighty Editor on October 19th, so I won’t have anything ready until the following weekend.

But FEC 10 comes out this weekend. Then I’ll have to skip to the 24th, when I’ll probably publish that novella (still working on a title I like), and the following weekend I’ll release Mortals Apocalypse, or the vampires’ view of the apocalypse, on Nov.1, like the four novels of Vampires Through the Centuries. Two weeks later, FEC0 or the origins of Rainbow Towns lockdowns.

December will probably box set time, but I haven’t decided yet. Might be those two sequels… As for the new curated anthology, it’s probably for the new year, unless I manage to put it together after the American elections, which might mean for the Holidays. Maybe. Don’t count on it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: those typo faeries, here’s why it’s so hard to catch your own typos. Because my eyes don’t like staring at a screen for too long, I usually print out stuff, both for beta-reading and editing. That’s how I caught many typo faeries, when going through the paperbacks of the first five Future Earth Chronicles books! Now I hope to have the time to check also the second five, but first I’ll have to receive my author copies, LOL! They’re scheduled for delivery next week, so we’ll see…

And I was a guest, rambling on J. Scott Coatsworth’s blog about Future Earth Chronicles (a.k.a. FEC), Azur and other stuff… go check it out! ๐Ÿ™‚ Another guest post I did was never posted (the author is very busy), so I’m going to put it here before it’s too late. Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Image may contain: text that says 'DOSSIER Di cosa ammaleremo L.5000 POCUS 52 febbralo 1997 INSERT L'Almana della Selenza1996 Scoprire e capire il mondo Anno 2020 vivremo cosรฌ Casa lavoro gli oggetti arrivo quelli che spariranno Le nuove mediche I mestieri piรน richiesti SCIENZA fisica al circo IN PIU' faraoni dal dietologo Serpenti mostri mare'The world is falling apart โ€“ what do you do?

I have kept an article from February 1997 of Focus that predicted how we’d live in 2020, because I knew we’d get there! Remember 1997? The dawn of internet, the first cell phones, and two years before The Matrix? Yeah, that world. The journalists played sci-fi writers for that issue.

What did they predict? A little less than 8 billion people on the planet. A global market, with factories in space (where are they, though?). Health-wise, we should worry only about non-transmittable sicknesses like cancer, but they also mentioning the possibility of mutated viruses that could start epidemics like it happened with AIDS (hello, Covid-19! Full blown pandemic was not in their predictions, though).

According to their predictions, someone born in 1997 had the following possibilities of careers: technology economist, online creator, bioengineer, virtual director and problem solver. Except for online creators (influencers, artists, writers, musicians and YouTubers), I don’t see any of those yet.

What would vanish: land lines (almost gone), moka pot (even here in Italy, most people have other coffee machines, I’m the only one still using the moka pot), cash and old light bulbs (almost gone as well). They predicted a “travel screen” (although it looks quite different from smartphones and tablets, but it’s close enough), a watch that can become a videophone (again, smartphones), micro-cameras, a graphic tablet to draw upon (most artists no longer use pencil and paper these days, they’ve all gone digital), and some “scanner-reader” that is basically a text-to-speech thing (or other software for the visually impaired).

The smart homes would have cameras and monitors and speakers everywhere (hello, Alexa and its peers), computers will be invisible (not yet, I don’t see many virtual keyboards or screens anywhere) and e-ink (hello, ebooks!).

Welcome to 2020! Some of those predictions came true, other are still sci-fi, but well, here we are. How do you deal with living in the future? Well, you stay in the present as much as you can, I guess. It’s not always easy, especially in such trying times.

How do you stay sane in a world gone crazy? Personally, I’m glad it’s breaking down, because I was sick of our poisonous way of life. I hope we’ll come out of this better, after re-prioritizing and re-focusing ourselves. I certainly don’t want to go back to 1997, or even 2007 for that matter.

I might have lost quite a few dreams in the meantime, and can’t see myself anywhere in three or five years, but eventually I’ll find my focus. It’s been a long hot summer and the only relief was writing my Future Earth Chronicles, because it reminded me there’s life after the apocalypse. Especially in the 25th century, LOL!

Now I’m trying to write the prequel about the apocalypse itself (a few decades in the second half of this century), and I manage it because, again, I know these people will be all right โ€“ or at least the vampires who live through the centuries will get to see the future narrated in the series.

It might be a good topic for me at this time, because I’m also changing. Age does that to a person, and even though I love the double five on my birthday cake, I’m also aware of how my body and mind are changing. But then, that’s what life is all about, change.

Going through the change is painful, but things can only get better. Soon I’ll be able to resume traveling and looking for a place I want to move to. I’ll be able to focus on what I want to do for a living if I manage to get an early retirement from a Day Job that is killing my soul.

I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I know it’s there and I keep going. I’m still blogging after ten years and next year I’ll celebrate ten years of indie publishing. I might take a break from publishing next year, or slow down the writing โ€“ I haven’t decided yet.

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote a little over 10K and wrapped the Future Earth Chronicles Prequel. Then I added a short story to complete it, although I finished it on Monday. I didn’t write much during the weekend because it was a creative weekend with my friend Cristina, so I concentrated on other things – namely the next strip, since Star Minds Kids and Teens ends in September.

And it was also time for another title up, my first with an F2M protagonist. When Azur revealed in Himalayas he’d been born Anna, it shocked even me, and I had to tell his story! So go check it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

I also started preparing the new paperbacks – new covers and corrected interiors for the first five books, then this week I’m formatting the new ones, including the one that will come out in October, so it will be ready and come out at the same time as the ebook, haha!

While prepping the new paperback covers, I noticed Book 4 had a missing graphic and a white dot where there shouldn’t have been one, so I also had to update the ebook cover and all the banners on Facebook and the publisher’s page. Sigh. It used to go so smoothly, but this year I keep messing up! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

So I’ll probably postpone the Curated Antho I had in mind to next year, since most of the authors are Americans and they have enough trouble at the moment. After the elections maybe they’ll listen to me, and I can even send out a reprint – again I don’t think now is the right time.

But there will be my vampire story in that anthology coming out October 10, so you won’t be completely abandoned after FEC 10 comes out! And November 1st, as is tradition, another vampire novel, about the apocalypse and beyond. The story starts five years after the end of Kristine the Youngest, which means… 2020!

Unlike the previous novels, this is a multiple points-of-view story, seen through the eyes of Rajveer, Kris, Ingolf, Miyako and Claire, whom you’ll meet in FEC 10… but she gets the cover on this one! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This week I’m off Day Job, so I’m working on those paperbacks and beta-reading for an author I love (as soon as he publishes this series, I’ll let you all know, it’s wonderful). Which is good after abandoning a couple of novels found in bundles – one because it didn’t grab me, the other because oh boy! It badly needed an editor/copyeditor/proofreader whatever it’s called.

Even in the reviews they mention it badly needs editing (or possibly just someone going through it before the author hit that publish button!), so I won’t name it, but I’m considering more and more to offer beta-reading/proofreading services to fellow authors. Spellcheck won’t see the right words in the wrong place, the missing words, the extraneous words and all that stuff that makes the prose unreadable.

I mean, we all deal with those darn typo faeries, but in some cases it really looks as if the author hit “publish” a little too fast. If you have a spouse or significant other or best friend who loves to read, please give them your manuscript. Or pay someone like I do because I’m ESL writer and I don’t have friends who read English in a timely manner, therefore I pay Mighty Editor Zoe to go through my manuscripts.

Does that make them perfect? Hell no! When I go through them, especially printed out, I still find mistakes. And even if it’s a hassle to re-upload the manuscript to all retailers, I try to do it as often as possible (I think I re-uploaded the first 5 FEC books 6 or 7 times already…).

It might definitely take me longer to update the paperbacks, but since they don’t sell that much… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now I better go back to working on those new paperbacks and writing a few more stories before the end of the month. Gotta submit something while I wait for the replies on the current submissions… Have a great week!

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