Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And we have a new ebook out – a vampire called Sun! πŸ™‚ If you’ve read The Phantom Games or are familiar with Vampires Through the Centuries, Helios of Sparta is not new to you. And now you can finally read his story! πŸ™‚ For those who don’t know him at all, here’s the blurb:

A vampire called Sun in Ancient Sparta and beyond.
After meeting a mysterious barbarian who can turn into a wolf, Helios marches on Megalopolis with the rest of the Spartan army, only to be part of the defeat of 331BC at the hand of the Macedonians.
Worse than the defeat is the death of Helios’ beloved, Kyros, and when the blond barbarian shows up while he’s mourning, he lets Bran mesmerize him into accepting his gift.
Thus starts the life under the moon of Helios of Sparta, no longer a Hoplite and former Olympic champion, but a vampire through the centuries and around the Mediterranean to meet his destiny in Bran’s home island of Britannia.

And after spending about half an hour on BookBrush Friday night, I went back to the Covervault templates. For someone like me who has some Photoshop skills, BookBrush is clunky and useless. But if you have no experience, it can be a nice way of preparing your marketing cards.

I joined because I hoped to get some 3D box sets covers, but they’re behind a paywall, so I might as well grab the Covervault templates for box sets, which is a single expense and not a monthly or yearly fee for never using the site. I might eventually use the 15 free downloads on BookBrush, but not yet.

Can you sell more books when you’re terrified of selling? Kristen Lamb gives some very good advice here. I’m trying to make both this blog and the Newsletter (redux) more interactive, but besides my dear friend Tori, it doesn’t look like I’m achieving much! πŸ˜‰

Hey, I’m only human and cannot produce billions of words a day like OpenAI’s GPT-3 algorithm! That’s why you have only a weekly post here and the occasional post on the publisher’s site and bi-monthly newsletter. And I’m a prolific writer… although last week I wrote less than 6k.

Life rolls, that’s what some people call them. Day Job is getting crazier and I started phisiotherapy for a shoulder that hurts, so less time to write. Also, sort of inbetween projects, so again, not writing as much as when I’m in the middle of a short novel! πŸ˜‰

If you dream of selling your book to Hollywood, read this cautionary tale. For the new people who joined, I started writing in English by writing screenplays, because the prose is easier – present tense, no need for descriptions or thoughts – and my writing style back then was pretty much a movie.

After my attempts at breaking into Hollywood, I decided to go back to prose because I’m a control freak. Movies and TV series are team works (and especially in movies, the writer is cut out of the equation pretty early), books are all their author’s creation. And I like to be the creative goddess of my stories, LOL!

Coming up – some heroic fantasy news! First of all, next week the International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) will announce a fantasy book bundle that will delight even the most discerning dragons. And yours truly is among them, so stay tuned.

Sword of Cho Nisi Trilogy by Dianne Gardner is a very complex campaign that has lots of moving parts and a lot of different levels for supporters to jump in at. Check it out.

Ending on a positive note – I tested negative for Covid. Now waiting for a vaccine, so I can travel again. Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Soooo… already back to the old template, LOL! Last week I wrote almost 12K, which brought the yearly total to almost 60K – so 440K to go for my yearly goal! πŸ˜€ I wrote two short stories and started on a third that I will finished on Monday. Next week I have Mighty Editor booked, so she’s getting some work! πŸ˜‰

I have two more shorts I’d like to write before going back to the Novel That Had Been Shelved (that was put in a drawer for the past couple of weeks because… deadlines on short stories).Β  Hopefully in March I’ll get back to it, which is good, since it’s happening now, LOL!

I took it easy during the weekend (again, between projects procrastination…) and watched a couple of movies. Birds of Prey was mostly funny and not bad. I probably prefer watching villains than super heroes with super problems, haha! I might not have girls’ nights (especially since lockdown, but even before that I was a grumpy old spinster), but I liked the dynamics of the unwilling team.

And then there was Mine, directed by two Italians but shot in English (except the DVD was dubbed, sigh). Considering that I don’t like war or soldier movies, I was kind of intrigued and amused by this one. They guy had anger issues, but listening to the extras and the directors explaining how it’s a metaphor of his life, I guess it’s not bad at all.

So, enjoying a movie about a guy stuck on a mine is really interesting! I had both on my ToWatch list for months, and I’m glad I finally got to see them! Now, if I could get to those Roman movies… but the Roman vampire is temporarily shelved, so I might as well wait another year or three (those two movies have been on the ToWatch pile for years, not months)! πŸ˜€

If you follow me on Bookbub, you’ll have seen I recommended Space 1975, now available everywhere – I mean, besides the Kickstarter. Can’t publish each and every Amazon link, so I guess I’ll put the Goodreads link. Sigh.

If you’re looking for pre-made covers, Juan PadrΓ²n is having a sale until the end of the month. He does mostly horror or thriller covers, but there are a few fantasy and sci-fi covers. If I didn’t have my plate full, I’d buy a couple just to write the story based on the cover, LOL! Make sure to check the pre-mades on page 1, page 2 and page 3! Only 55$ each, highly recommended! πŸ™‚

I guess that’s all for today! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote over 13K and reached the new events, since the start of the book is a recap of the previous ones. And again I got surprised by the turn of events, so I’m speedily going towards the completion of this series (at least for now. Next generations might show up eventually, like in the Star Minds Universe, LOL!).

David Gaughran is back with a few publications for writers – although I still have to go through the first editions of Let’s Get Digital and Amazon Decoded, you might want to check them out! Don’t be lazy like me! πŸ˜‰

I guess each one of us reacted differently to lockdown – I hid into writing and can’t be bothered studying the marketing part yet. But I’m still publishing, so whenever I’m ready to study and give everything a marketing boost, I’ll have plenty to choose from! πŸ™‚

Another Kickstarter worth checking: Funny and Stupid Stories (That No One Should Read) – ain’t that a great title? Go check it out, the ebook is for everybody, although the paperback is only for the UK… And yes, it’s a Kickstarter in GBP (although I see it in Euro and you probably see it in USD or whatever your currency is!)! πŸ™‚

This is a collection/anthology of funny stories. I write in all genres, but mainly horror and supernatural crime. In between the “serious” stuff, I write a few funny stories to relax. This is a collection of those stories.

And if you prefer a trilogy of paranormal mysteries set in small town Kentucky featuring psychic Ash Jericho, To Die For is still going for a few more days.

The Ash Jericho series is a three book paranormal mystery series. It’s possible there will be more books and stories in the series at a later time, but my goal is to publish these three books quickly, back to back, so that readers can enjoy their visit to Ash’s small town.

Or if you’re fore epic fantasy, this is a first novel campaign to help get a decorative edition of the book.

Firefrost Β is epic fantasy at its finest: danger, magic, swords, and crowns.Β It’s a standalone novel about overcoming the darkness inside each of us and the prejudices that keep us captive. The novel is set in a burning, war-torn world, and is full of a dark and powerful magic that consumes hearts and kingdoms.

One day I might do my own Kickstarter, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon – conflicts with my DayJob, don’t ask me why, but that’s one more reason to quit and move to a country where things are simpler! πŸ™‚

I’m reading the books from a vampire bundle I got some time ago from StoryBundle, but I realized maybe it’s also time I read Homo Deus by Harari, since I’m dealing with our future… so as soon as I finish this 3 Musketeers retelling with vampires, I better go back to that before I finish that bundle! πŸ˜‰

Last weekend ended up being Rock N Roll weekend. I realized Saturday was a former muse’s 60th birthday, so I watched Sugar Town (his only movie with a decent role – but he’s not an actor! He’s John Taylor of Duran Duran, there, I gave out my age again! *Waves at other Duranies still out there*) after lunch. After dinner Rock On.

Sunday I watched Rock Star after lunch (with world’s sexiest drummer, Blas Elias! πŸ˜‰ ) and Rock On 2 after dinner. Techie Bro didn’t come over to sleep, so I felt free to watch whatever I wanted. He came on Monday, though, since he had no bed to sleep in either at the old house or the new one.

So, after a very musical weekend… summer came. So I’ll probably sort of kind of vanish now. Oh, wait, I have plenty of titles for Sci-Fi July… I’ll try to postpone my summer letargy, LOL! Stay tuned for the coming publications, announcement on the publisher’s page in a few days! Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


This is scheduled well in advance because I’m traveling with a smartphone and my eyes don’t allow me to work properly on such small screen (not to mention that typist me can’t use ten fingers on that tiny keyboard, so there!). No writing news while I’m at the anthology workshop, so I shall entertain you with something else.

Since I no longer do Random Fridays, I’ll do a Random Wednesday for a change! πŸ˜‰ Been watching some DVDs since Christmas, so here we go. First of all, for Christmas I got the book Dark Crystal: the Ultimate Visual History (that I’m still reading, BTW, because even if it’s heavily illustrated, it takes time to read how that movie was born so many years ago).

So I had to re-watch the DVD and its extras, just to remind myself what it was like. I had in mind to re-watch also Labyrinth, but didn’t have time so far. Maybe when I get home! πŸ˜‰

Then I watched Il Ragazzo Invisibile Seconda Generazione (it has English subtitles, if you’re interested). The kid is growing up just fine, LOL! Our own superhero is in his teens now, and the cast is international, which is something I love – moviesΒ  with many languages like Babel are my favorites! There should probably be a third one, but it doesn’t look like it’s in the making. Oh, well.

And when I was done reading, to get myself back into my very own Star Minds Universe, I watched Solo: A Star Wars Story. Now, I’m a fan of the original trilogy, the Ewoks and all that stuff. I did see the Prequels (meh), but I totally ignored the sequels. I got this one because it was only 9.99euro and it’s Han Solo and Lando and Chewbecca and… well, you get it.

Ron Howard did a good job but then I had to rewatch Empire Strikes Back, just to make sure they were consistent, LOL! I ended up watching all three original movies throughout the weekend, although only the oldest one was in the revised/enhanced version with the extra scene and Jabba the Hutt – the other two were the cinema versions (although at the time I saw all of them dubbed in Italian).

And Vanity Fair Italy gave the cover to my first movie love, Matt Dillon, who is the same age as Da Muse and as immortal as he is, mwhahaha! They might both be Boomers (while I’m Generation X), but they’re awesome! πŸ˜€

Oh, yeah, Da Muse was also a presenter at the Oscars night. Did I watch it? No. Never did, don’t care. But to stay on topic with movies and Hollywood, a January news that didn’t show up in my Google alert but was in another newsletter is that Warner Bros. signed AI startup that claims to predict film success.

Will it really work? We’ll see… So, after these wanderings in moviedom, I shall leave you with the usual writerly quote… have a great week!

Nearly every piece of writing advice can be taken, tested, and found wrong. Because inevitably there exists a novel β€” a popular novel, either bestseller or an award-winner or both β€” that does exactly the thing you’re Not Supposed To Do. Or it doesn’t do the thing that Everyone Is Supposed To Do. Novels break the rules all the time because ultimately, no rules exist. (The one rule that does exist is that you mustΒ finish your shit. A book can never exist until you finish it, and so all books pass that indestructible law.)

Chuck Wendig

Random Friday


And it’s MOVIE Friday! πŸ™‚ Nothing new, actually, but celebrating a couple of my favorites that turn 20 this year as well as another that turns 30 and has its third instalment coming…

So it was the year 1999, right? What movies come to mind to you? Come on! What movie revolutioned sci-fi film-making with the now famous bullet-time? Yes, it’s the original, one and only, The Matrix! Now that was the first Keanu movie I actually saw in theaters (everything coming before that was either seen on TV or on VHS. What? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Sheesh…) and it definitely made an impression – although it took me another couple of years to become obsessed with him, but that’s another story, LOL!

It was also one of the first I bought on DVD and that’s how I heard his real voice – and that was definitely love at first sound! From that point on, I started hating dubbed movies and watching them in their original version with subtitles. Which is good since many movies that interest me were never dubbed into Italian, mwhahahahaha! (especially Bollywood, and especially Da Muse, I think only Jodhaa Akbar was dubbed in Italian)

Anyhow, the other movie of the year was in a completely different genre and I’m not supposed to talk about it. I mean, the first rule is that you do not talk about it. The second rule is… you do not. Talk. About it. So how am I supposed to talk about it? Although I prefer one of the main stars in Interview with the Vampire, I kinda liked him also in this one – I even slashed it. From Jared Leto’s character’s point of view. Not sure I have the English version, though.

I actually even read the book, but somehow, because I saw the movie first, I thought the movie was better. But I was curious about the original material, so I got the paperback. Still wondering how they came up with that movie from that book but that’s another story (very similar to Johnny Mnemonic – got a paperback with the screenplay and the original William Gibson story, still wondering. BTW, Johnny Mnemonic turns 24. Not bad).

Anyhow, to stay with Da Muse (I don’t know who’s #1 and #2 between them anymore, so they’re just Da Hollywood Muse and Da Bollywood Muse to differentiate them) your favorite Teodore “Ted” Logan came out 30 years ago (on Sunday). That’s another movie that was never dubbed in Italian, but it’s sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was. Wonders never cease in the international movie distribution system!

Aand Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure‘sΒ  much talked about sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music will start shooting soon! How cool is that? It’s been ONLY 30 years, after all! πŸ˜€ So I’m closing this with my new manga avatars, made with Picrew.me – me and Da Muses, of course… Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

 

Random Friday


I managed to watch all the new DVDs, but I still have a couple on my ToWatch shelf. I was keeping them for when I’ll be able to write the story of my centurion vampire, but maybe I should just watch them and then re-watch them whenever I feel like writing about him – although, I killed him off… mm, one more reason to watch those two Ancient Rome movies, then! πŸ™‚

Anyhow, I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Just a reminder that I’m NOT a Harry Potter fan – haven’t read the books, haven’t seen the movies. I had glimpsed it on a plane, but then Techie Bro said he was looking for it, I saw it at 5euros (well, 3DVD for 15euro, so I got that one, Deadpool and Suicide Squad) and ended up watching it.

Totally oblivious of where it came from, although I had the vague idea it was based on a book (actually, a guide book, but I digress. The screenplay was written by The JK Herself, so it’s as if) and suspected it dealt with the little sorcerer’s world when I heard Hogwarth mentioned in the opening, but well… it was okay. At least it was a grownup young man, not a child going to wizard school! πŸ™‚

I’m still sorta tired of those special effects that tear down buildings and put them back together, but the creatures were fine. Funny even. And I watched the making of cause I was curious about the effects behind them. So it was okay, I might watch the sequel! πŸ˜‰

Then I got Black Panther since I was curious. And yeah, it was good fun and another one of the last cameos of the late Stan Lee. Loved all the black characters and of course Michael B. Jordan has grown a lot since Hardball, but I couldn’t watch him in Fantastic Four, so glad I got to see him here! πŸ™‚

I guess that’s all for this year… I’ll watch the last two DVDs next year, they’ve been sitting on my shelf for at least two years anyway, along with the TV mini-series V (1985) that I bought way back in 2008 in London… not in a rush, no! πŸ˜€ Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


And inbetween struggling with KDPprint and writing I don’t have much time left to do stuff, so… last weekend there was a regency dance on the shores of the artificial lake in Eur. And I had a ballroom scene to write, which was cool.

Can’t upload MP4, so I shall leave you with my favorite masked balls – Hollywood and Bollywood version. Maybe I should start doing video-Friday, but someone might not be happy, LOL!

Anyhow, from all-time favorite Labirynth, with much missed David Bowie and a young Jennifer Connelly (I know, I already posted it, but I still love it) – As the world falls down.

And from Om Shanti Om, with King SRK a.k.a. Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone, guest star Arjun Rampal with bad aging makeup – Dastaan-E-Om Shanti Om (again, a favorite song that summarize forgettable part one of the movie)!

I know I already posted both, but they’re totally worth reposting! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

 

Random Friday


One more Movie Friday… and there might be a third, since I got the last DVD. Hopefully I’ll watch it sometime this weekend (tonight if I manage to finish Current Novel Part 2). So, in order of watching them…

I’ll have to rewatch the sequel with the first one, but I think the second is okay too. Mostly because they put back in my favorite songs of the first, LOL! Anyhow, I’m talking about Rock On 2, with the dead guy in the dream sequence only and the guitar player with the worst haircut evah! Moustache in the first, bad haircut in the second… my my, Arjun, can’t you do better? Not your fault, I know! πŸ˜€

Farhan is always Farhan, and I was glad to see Shraddha Kapoor again (after ABCD2 – she must be subscribed to #2 in series). And now I’m singing Rock On and Sinbad the Sailor in a loop. Heh. I liked the first song of the final mega-show in Rock On 2, so there you go:

Now, Exposed… kinda lacks a closure for both characters, but whatever… Did I mention last time that I hate the Italian title? I wish IMBD stopped showing me the translations. Or I should stick to Bollywood that almost never gets dubbed (at least not the Greek God, mwhahahahahaha). Anyway, it was okay. Not going to rewatch it until I learn it by heart like I did with other movies, but okay.

Now getting ready for the weekend… have a nice one! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


attempt, not the final one… It wouldn’t save the JPG, so I took a screenshot of this one!

And the publisher page has a new header! Took some working since I have an old version of Photoshop and Elements “doesn’t support layer groups and displays them in their collapsed state. You must simplify them to create an editable image” except the editable image had no layers, so I had to ask Mighty Silvano to please pull them out of the folder.

Now I should renew this blog’s header, but… maybe during the weekend, LOL!

About reading! I started a historical novel that has been on my table for almost ten years, but I’m afraid I won’t finish it. Printed books tend to have small fonts (i.e. hard to read, I stopped buying magazines for that reason) and I’d rather keep all the novels on my Kindle (which I didn’t have ten years ago or whenever I bought that book, LOL!).

Besides, it was written in the 1950s and head-hopping is really jarring (they don’t “ejaculate” anymore, but they “cried” a lot… maybe “he said, she said” isn’t so bad after all!). And I’d rather go back to the bundles I’ve been in and the ones still to come. My TBR pile will never go down… unless I do not finish the books that don’t catch me with the first chapters! πŸ˜€

On a different topic, last weekend I brainstormed while drawing – Da Muse, who else – and watched one of the DVDs I got from Amazon, with Da Other Muse (whom Americans might have admired during the Super Bowl, hopefully seeing the most dignified, manly tear, LOL!).

Anyhow, I enjoyed the Whole Truth and it’s final twist (ouch, just read the Italian titles of the latest movies. I wish IMDB didn’t read my server location). I’m not a big fan of courtroom drama, so I didn’t see hundreds of them. I could only compare it to Devil’s Advocate which was shot 20 years before that. So it was okay.

This weekend I hope to see the mess that changed title because the director refused to be part of it and is now called ExposedΒ – we’ll see if it’s really a mess! πŸ˜‰ And I got the short stories back from Mighty Editor, so I have some editing to do before starting the submission process. And if there’s time, I’ll work on the publisher’s page that still needs some tweaking (do a new header for this blog?)… Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

Random Friday


So, the Easter weekend I needed a break from the publishing and some inspiration for the writing… hence I started on the DVDs ToWatch pile. First I watched Monsoon Wedding. Mira Nair was Indian cinema for me before Gurinder Chadha and the discovery of Bollywood. I loved her movies, but stopped following her more or less when MW came out in 2001.

I found it at 3Β£ in London last year, and I’m glad I saw if now… After visiting Delhi and so many more movies with Indian weddings and KNPH (which I would have totally missed back then – a movie called “kaho naa…” what?). I definitely liked it, and enjoyed the extra with the director talking about the Punjabi community of Delhi…

Then I watched Bhaji on the Beach, another 3Β£ DVD from last summer, another Gurinder Chadha dramedy. Definitely the end of 20th century, with no cell phones and no internet to distract us! And I liked all the intertwined stories of the various women of various ages and their interactions with men – both British and Indian.

I also re-watched Target for inspiration, and then managed to finish the story! πŸ˜‰ Although Target is definitely an 80s movie. Some nostalgia hit – no cell phones, no internet, how did we survive that? πŸ˜‰ Well, we’re Generation X, I guess! Or, like my friend Fulvio says, we’re unique (he’s not totally a Millennial and I’m not totally a Baby Boomer, and we’re not Gen.X either… but then, we’re Jedi twins – 18 years apart! πŸ˜‰ LOL)…

Anyhow, have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

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