Writer Wednesday

Aaand another bundle is out! Spring Surprise which includes Quests Volume 1 and other awesome books, curated by A.L. Butcher! 🙂 Go check it!

I’m formatting and preparing Nightly Bites Volume 2, so last week I wasn’t supposed to write with that and some traveling… except I wasn’t happy with the story I wrote for the anthology, so I wrote a new one! 🙂 A special thanks to Alex Butcher for checking the typo faeries on that one!

Hopefully I’ve caught all the typo faeries in this anthology, but if I didn’t… well, you know those pesky thingies, don’t you? Have mercy on a poor curator! 😉 Soon I’ll be able to share at least the ebook links, in the meantime you can see a preview on the anthology page

I also checked that historical novel… not as bad as I remember it, so we’ll see. Now I’m off into the new writing project, but since this year I’m experimenting also with publishing… you’ll probably see them all at the same time!

This summer I celebrate 40 years of writing, so it might be good timing to publish a few new titles all at the same time. We’ll see what I have ready then! Probably some Silvery Earth, some Star Minds and then we’ll see. I made some kind of writing schedule, but I also want to curate more bundles and anthologies, so it’s still not set in stone.

Writerly links! I told you about my week at the anthology workshop last year, right? Well, here’s an even deeper insight on what you do. I am not an editor (and probably won’t be, just a curator for those collaboration anthologies), but I was a writer with Ron and his daughter last year (and yes, they sold, I didn’t, LOL!), so I can confirm everything he says! 🙂

I’m facing some self-doubt these days, especially since I’m reading those bundles and find so many fine writers I sometimes wonder why I keep bothering (publishing, not writing, of course!), so here’s Joanna Penn’s advice for those days.

And that’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂




Sunday Surprise

And it’s a guest! That Diabolic Shrimp who reviewed my book! And he’s a writer too! I thought his latest cover was awesome, and I invited him over. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Joshua Grant!

Where do you live and write from?

I live and write in the United States in the beautiful mountainous state of Colorado.

Why do you write?

My writing has always stemmed from boredom. I love reading books, watching movies, and playing video games, but when I ran out of material I enjoyed, I just decided to write my own. I love making a story with worlds and characters that I personally love. But as I wrote, I found that writing gave me a deeper perspective or moral issues too. Thus, in addition to being entertaining, I love to have a complex moral issue at the heart of each of my books.

When did you start writing?

I started writing in 8th grade when my English teacher, Mrs. Munos, assigned a short story to us. I did some dorky horror story with people snowmobiling across another planet, but my teacher left a kind note on it that encouraged me to keep going. I then began my journey in earnest when I was bored after a test and began writing my first attempt at a book.

What genre(s) do you write?

I bounce around the genres, but mostly write Horror, Sci Fi, and Fantasy, most of which is geared toward Young Adult. I like to sprinkle a lot of humor throughout my writing as well.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I’m kind of a weird creature of habit. I take a nice long walk around the neighborhood where I let my thoughts wander. I then come home, sit at the kitchen table, sharpen two pencils, and just go to town. I never make a plan, but typically have the whole book plotted out in my head before I even begin. When I finish writing everything long hand, I type it up as my first level of revision. I then usually shelve it for six months before going back and revising it several times before publishing.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

One of my biggest strengths as a writer is persistence. I never write anything that I wouldn’t love reading myself. My love of my own stories and characters, and the twists I love to throw in, give me the juice I need to finish a novel in the first place.

I’m a very visual person. This is a great benefit as it gives me an edge in my descriptions. I love describing stuff in my novels and feel like a do a pretty good job while maintaining a balance between description and story flow.

Another one of my strengths is through creating likeable characters. I’m a huge people person, am a sensitive guy, and love to laugh and joke with people. I try to translate a lot of these qualities into characters to try to make them both believable and enjoyable to read.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Most of my inspiration comes from other books, or movies and video games. My horror book Pandora was influenced by the Resident Evil video game series. I wanted to create a book that captured the gritty feel of playing those games and trying to survive. I also wanted to create an imaginative and creepy environment filled with horrifying creatures.

On the reverse end, my YA fantasy novel The Fifth Ascendant was inspired by things like Final Fantasy or The Last Airbender. I wanted to capture the quirky humor of those series as well as the spiritual and deep emotional impact.

Of course, in all my series I write a lot of emotion with some kind of deeper meaning at the heart of things. I put myself in my stories in the sense that a lot of their emotions or struggles come from something in me, or something I’ve had to go through. Most of the characters have some part of me in them (but then there are some characters I just write for the fun of it and have nothing to do with me).

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I make a general outline in my mind for each book. Most chapters are already planned out in my head before I start writing. But as I write, stuff usually comes to me and then I improvise. Some of my best twists and plot points emerged as I was in the middle of writing something. It all just have to feel right. As far as writing speed, it varies. I generally write a chapter every two days. The longest thing I ever wrote, The Fifth Ascendant, was written in two months (the revising took much longer though).

Tell us about your latest book

My latest novel, The Fifth Ascendant, is by far my favorite thing I’ve ever written. The emotions, humor, and overall story are a huge part of my heart. I was very much inspired by the Final Fantasy series, as well as anime like Avatar: The Last Airbender when I wrote it, and tried to capture a lot of the fun characters and witty interactions those series offered. Check it out below if you’re interested!

The world of Drina is on the brink of destruction.

Twelve year old Kal’s dreams have grown dark. A missing Ascendant. The deaths of imperial soldiers at the hands of terrible monsters far below Skytown. It all must link back to the mysterious powers of his upcoming Ascendancy or perhaps his newfound visitor, a kid that only he can see—but none of it can prepare him for the adventure of self-discovery and world shattering consequences he’s about to be hurled down.

Nash, Ruka, and Jia are all on a top secret mission for the Heretic cause, a mission that could save their people and maybe the entire world—but one of them has a secret, a dark and tangled past that could doom them all.

Magic, humor, outrageous heists, horrific monsters, and yes, a fur bearing trout and a pickle are all along for the ride in this manic quest to keep the world of Drina from descending into darkness.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Once upon a time, I was dead set against ever self publishing. I wanted to go the traditional route and tried hard at it for several years. The climate and market of writing has changed vastly since then. In recent years, it has become a much better option to publish Indie, but only as long as you’re willing to play the long game and put a decent amount of time and effort into marketing. Now I’m an indie author and can’t ever imagine going back. The freedom and complete control of the entire process is liberating and challenges me to grow as a person. In many ways it pays better to you as an author as well. It fills me with a greater sense of pride when I actually sell something too, knowing that every part of that product was mine. I absolutely love it!

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I have a cagillion projects I’m working on at the moment. I’m working on three different series simultaneously, but I have a certain strategy for releasing them so they’re not all at once. I published The Fifth Ascendant this year and am currently writing its sequel, The Sixth Ascendant. I’ll be releasing the sequel to Pandora in the Fall, another horror book called Jericho where a man, his son, and a police officer they’ve never met all find themselves trapped in a desperate situation to survive the darkness that has befallen a small town. I will also be releasing a collection of short fantasy stories this year called Silly Tales from Albanon. Each humorous story follows a different character, from an adventurous gnome, to an Orc detective, to even a teddy bear assassin, all of which builds towards a surprise ending.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

Each of my novels simply tries to capture certain emotions and examine a moral issue. When I feel like I’ve accomplished this, I publish it. I want to entertain people and make them feel something, but ultimately I create novels to satisfy something in myself.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Great writers write. It’s simple, but the message is powerful. You just got to believe in yourself and keep going. No great book was ever produced without a healthy amount of perseverance.


Find Joshua online and join the shrimps of his tank (including yours truly) at Diabolic Shrimp

Writer Wednesday

First of all a big thank you to my Goodreads friends Joshua and Xia Xia *waves madly* your purchase of the Young King on Amazon on two different days made two very nice spikes on an otherwise very flat graphic! 😉 And someone followed you – from the UK and Canada for Joshua and someone from Italy who bought 4 of my books on the same day as Xia Xia. Thank you! 😀 Hope you both enjoy the short story, will leave a review and maybe help spread the word! 🙂

Since we’re on the sales topic and I got the 1042s from D2D, I did a quick check on Amazon, Smashwords and D2D. 2014 was the best year on Amazon and D2D, the worst on Smashwords. Since then, Amazon earnings are going down, D2D and Smashwords slowly up. Not going KU anytime soon, no matter what others say. Might work for you, but obviously not for me! 🙂

But I’m not going to bother with sales (much) this year, more with wordcount. Draft zero of Heroines book 2 is around 46K, but I hope to make it 50K this week + the appendix. Then I’ll probably get back to the spy story and finally expand it enough to call it a novel and start working on Nightly Bites Volume 2.

Then it’s going to be March, and I haven’t decided the next project yet, LOL! I also should start sending out the short stories I wrote in January… been a little lazy… okay, got work to do this weekend! 😀

Sorry I didn’t have time to read other blogs, but I’m editing Heroines 2 which doesn’t leave me much time to read… if something was really unmissable, I’ll post it next week! 🙂 Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday

yay! Now I better add Dropbox and start using it…

Well, then, even though Brand New Writing Computer has just arrived, last week I wrote 16K. It pays to write longer works, doesn’t it? I’m probably halfway with this one and hopefully will wrap it up by next week. But, like I said, I won’t publish much for the first half of the year – although the second half might be quite crowded! 😉

And Celebrating Male Lovers is live! Happy Valentine! Sorry I never cared much for this holiday, but if you do, enjoy your day with your beloved, man or woman or whatnot. Soon another bundle will come out, so stay tuned…

If you’re a writer and want your books in a bookstore (and a physical one at that) or libraries, please support this Kickstarter. I saw the shop with the previous owner and look forward to seeing it again whenever I make it back to the Oregon Coast (hopefully in 2020). They even added something extra for writers! 🙂

So, indie authors, get ready for a bright future. Of course there are still a few things wrong with indie publishing (either listen to the podcast or read the post about What’s wrong with Indie Publishing), but if you can get productive (here’s a good strategy for you) and find a good cover designer (or even a place with stock photos for your genre) or help an artist by ordering her commissions, you’re one step ahead.

Me, I’m taking it easy this year. I keep hearing contrasting things about AMS and FB ads (someone even suggesting to stop blogging – which I might do, eventually, if I run out of things to say) and I certainly don’t want to spend weeks watching AMS dashboard and tweaking keywords, so not for me, not at this time.

Not audio either, since I don’t seem to be able to connect my D2D titles directly to Findaway Voices that seem to have problems on certain audio retailers anyway, so… I’ll stick to ebooks and paperbacks for now. And submitting short stories to traditional paying markets.

Back to writing! Have a great week! 😀

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! 😀

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 Exposed – we’ll see if it’s really a mess! 😉 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! 😀

Writer Wednesday

The bad news is… only 27500 words in January. If I want to reach my goal of 500K, I need to write 10K a week! So I have some catching up to do in that department.

The good news is… I completed 4 stories that are now with the proofreader and that I will submit to traditional markets (one as per guidelines, the others to any available in that genre)!

But the other bad news is… already 3 rejections (2 from December submissions, 1 from January). In this case the good news is… one more story to submit to traditional markets and I have two stories ready for Nightly Bites Volume 2, one published and one unpublished, like it was for volume 1! 🙂

To keep the trend of bad/good news: Bad = still no fixed writing schedule, good = started off on the next heroine novel and going steadily forward, in spite of stopping to rummage through old diaries (in part 1 she’s 15, an age I have long forgotten, glad I was write-aholic even then, LOL!).

I also noticed interesting patterns in old summaries of my stories (the outlines of the stories I didn’t write), but I’d rather not discuss them after the #Metoo campaign. It’s true that we’ve been educated, as women, to just accept certain things that are not okay. And in my ingenuity, I really thought those things could happen.

Oh well, I was a teenager with an overdramatic sense of story, like Samantha says in Ciaran&Harith! 😉 Which you can also read in the upcoming Celebrating Male Lovers bundle, in case you want to try other authors…

The writerly links of the week: D2D and discoverability. Looking forward to that. Also an excellent article on writing fiction. Now go write that story. And the good of indie publishing in 2017! To those things I can add the Facebook group 20BooksTo50K, like I mentioned in the comments of the post.

I can’t speak highly enough of BundleRabbit, since I used it both for bundles and for collaborations. More to come of both, probably the only publications for the first six months.

I do have a couple of titles still in the drawer (one is a collection that still lacks a cover, the other two still need tweaking or redrafting or I don’t know what else), but expect most of the new titles in the second half of the year.

I have missed a few events last weekend – Superstars of Writing along with 20BooksTo50K in London along with a sci-fi festival somewhere else in Europe, but well… I had just come back from London and I still haven’t requested a new passport to head overseas – as for the third event, I learned about it because a friend posted he was there. Meh.

Now I intend to dive back into my diving cave. I have a schedule to establish, even though I don’t have that new writing computer yet! Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday

And the publisher’s site has been revamped, although I still need to work on it! 🙂 I’m still reading my bundles co-authors, sci-fi, so I guess I’ll keep going in that direction and get back to Silvery Earth when I’m done with the stories I’m currently writing.

Two are shorts that can be submitted (and they will be submitted as soon as the Mighty Proofreader has a pass on them) but they are tied to the next book of the sub-series, so I guess I can start working on that one in February. I’m still pondering if making it a trilogy and other separate books about other characters or what. Writing series, it is a bitch! 😉

I’m not really concentrating on publishing and marketing this year, but I do keep an eye on the marketplace. And if “likes” don’t really sell, let’s hope that the partnership between Kobo and Wallmart will bring in more sales! Mighty Zon badly needs some competition in the U.S. of A. and I hope the nippo-Canadians can do it! 😉

Speaking of Mighty Zon and Author Earnings… I’m glad to be just a blip in that pie chart (with still zero sales on Amazon this year). If you have the time and inclination, go study the latest report… and there are still no answers about their wish to sell authors’ earnings to whoever can shell that kind of money. Again, makes me happy I don’t earn much, LOL! 😀

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or don’t read at all, you must have heard of the passing of Ursula K. LeGuin. I did not finish her Earthsea trilogy (but I bought it at the end of last century, when my English wasn’t so good – I only remember that it was boring and I gave it away at the library of the school for foreigners I was attending for a two-week course back then), but I enjoyed The Dispossessed (which I read this century, although at this time I don’t remember any of it, only that I finished it, while the previous one I bought was given away barely started).

So, yeah, not such a big mourning for me. But then the reason why I write died in the 1970s, so… I guess I don’t care anymore about meeting my writing inspirations… 🙂 Still, check these words of wisdom by her, carefully compiled by Chuck Wendig – an unmissable “best of” (and another book to the ToBuy list, sigh!)!

Now I better go back to writing… still not in that prospected routine, darn it! Hopefully when I start working on longer works, or as soon as I finish the current story! 🙂 Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday

Well, I’m giving up on Giveaways. No entries on this blog for ebooks (except for Tori, as usual, it’s a discussion between me and her, with Joleene or Shafali jumping in every now and then) and Goodreads has changed its policy. Since I’m not in the US, I won’t be able to give away my proofs anymore. Thank you, Mighty Zon. I hope the guy who keeps asking me books to give away stops doing so.

Maybe one day I’ll try a BookBub or something like that, but not this year. Add to this the changes in social media and other algorithms… This year I just don’t care.

I haven’t gotten into my writing routine yet, so I’d rather work on that instead. It might be for the nature of this month’s writing – short stories, so I waste time inbetween stories (and I gave up one after 300 words or so because I’d need way too much research to make it believable). I hope when I get back to longer works I’ll be able to establish my writing routine. I’m still waaaay below my expected wordcount.

More writing and less publishing worries means I might not only catch up on my fiction TBR pile, but also the non-fiction! I’ve had Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible on my Kindle for years… but still got Amazon Decoded, hoping to get to all of them this year! 🙂

And here’s another list of books that I should probably check… later on! 🙂 I guess I’ll have to develop those skills, sooner or later… sigh! Trying those 7 ways to stay positive as a writer for now! I did join 20BooksTo50K (although I’m still kind of just lurking or commenting on other people’s posts) and I am reading more than before (#1 and 3), but the rest… still some work to do! 🙂

On the bundles front! Mythic Tales is on sale and will be gone at the end of the month. Immortals will come out in February (and here you have an interview with Kaylyn) and then Celebrating Male Lovers.

Hopefully at the beginning of February I’ll have a few shorts to submit to markets and I should hear from a couple of places I submitted to in December as well. I think I started a new sub-series with the latest two! 😉

Writer Wednesday

A warm welcome to the new blog followers and Facebook likers – hope you enjoy the ride! 🙂 I’m a prolific writer, but my blog posts are getting shorter each year, haha! Anyway, reader, fellow author, passer-by, welcome and happy scrolling.

So, Year of Writing Madly, Month of Short Stories report! 2 down, from the openings of the online fantasy workshop. For the second I discarded almost 2K and changed direction, but I’m very happy with it. It’s my first foray into steampunk – in a portal fantasy story.

Trying to write a sci-fi short before the end of the month, otherwise I’ll do another assignment of the fantasy workshop that I skipped at the time and write a story exploring a part of Silvery Earth I haven’t seen much yet, only in passing and probably only in Books of the Immortals, Air and Axelle, Wanderer. It will be the prequel to one of the longer novels I plan to write.

Then in February I’m going back to Silvery Earth, since the awesome cover artist Federica Manfredi is doing all the heroines… makes me want to write all the books at the same time, LOL!

But I need priorities. I do have an ongoing series of Vampires Through the Centuries with a novella coming out May 2nd and a novel on Nov. 2, so… March I’ll have to do that.

I’m not really battling creative exhaustion, more publishing exhaustion! 😉 Considering that January started with 3 sales during the Kobo Promo (we’re talking the first 5 days of the year) and nothing since… I’ll just stop checking those dashboards.

I published Soul Thieves because I wrote it (redrafted it) last year, but for the things I’m writing this year… you’ll have to ask for them, LOL! The short stories will go out to paying markets first, and if nobody buys them, I’ll gather them at the end of the year in a collection.

Oh, and the Valentine’s bundle is now available for pre-order! 10 awesome stories of m/m romance for a quiet Valentine’s Day (if you believe in such a thing, says the aromantic old spinster)! 😉

And I’m working on some paperbacks, I should have the final version soon… All Saturday the Createspace Cover Creator didn’t work, but on Sunday I managed to update the two covers and add the third, so that Monday I could order the proofs.

Maybe sometime I ought to do some new book trailers… mmm… *jots it down on the calendar*

Onward to the next story. Have a great week! 🙂


Writer Wednesday

And Happy New Year! No fireworks from WordPress this time. Not that I share them very often, LOL!

Anyhow, last wordcount for 2017 was 347100words against the 450K of 2015 and the 400K of 2016. The worst month was February (when I was busy reading the million words for the Anthology Workshop), the best was June (the start of the novel challenge).

I really need to get my shit together and stop getting distracted by other things! I shall schedule regular writing time, since I don’t have Auntie Duty and all my afternoons are currently free. This is The Year of Writing Madly! I shall reach that 500K wordcount!

Possibly writing with intentionality. And is it too late to follow my dreams? Hell no. I’m 52 and still feel like a beginner, with lots of stuff I learned I still need to employ in my writing. Lots of awareness tricks in last year’s workshops.

And doing the accounting of this publishing venture is still discouraging (still spending 10 to earn 1), so I’m really going to cut on the publishing this year. Only one new title a month and then either a bundle or an anthology. And I’ll try Findaway Voices with a couple of novellas.

It was a great year for Draft2Digital and I love their e-book templates – that’s what I used both for Nightly Bites Volume 1 (now live at all retailers and the paperback is also available) and the new box sets.

And if you’re thinking of joining the indie revolution and try them, here’s my referral link. They’re great to work with and they’re working on discoverability for this year, so… what are you waiting for? 😉

The Kobo promo on Brainwaves is almost over. Here are the country-specific links: Sale Dates: Dec 22-Jan 5

AU: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/p/boxingweekanz17

NZ: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/p/holiday2017

I wanted to send out the newsletter, but I’m still waiting for a cover artist who is lagging behind… so hopefully this weekend I’ll send it out with the upcoming news. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so now and grab your free short story that comes with the subscription! 🙂

Last two links worth reading: Konrath’s New Year’s Resolutions for Writers 2018 (where he suggests the newsletter should be sent out four times a year, six at the most, when another online workshop suggested 1 to 3 times a MONTH! I guess I’ll stick to my own schedule, LOL!) and Thoughts and Goals for a Creative 2018 – not going back to screenwriting, but I’ll definitely try to schedule writing (starting next week so I have time to wrap the loose ends of 2017) and keep doing the batch things of publishing during weekends.

Now I better wrap up the spy story, start requesting books for the next bundle that will come out on Valentine’s Day and decide what to say in the newsletter while I format the next novel… stay tuned… and have a great week! 🙂

%d bloggers like this: