Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote one new short story (under 5K) and tinkered with another, so the grand total was still under 5K. Since I no longer worry about meeting a wordcount, I’m not panicking. Currently writing another and then one more (with approx.23 centuries inbetween, since one is set in ancient Greece, the other in the 21st century), then l’ll have to decide my next project!

I published a title in Italian last week and sold 6 copies… so maybe I should concentrate on that while I clean up the English production. I finished the translation of Brainwaves and might try to put out other stuff – my backlist in Italian is still quite long.

During the weekend I prepared new covers for the Quests books, updated Vampires Through the Centuries and Future Earth Chronicles, and opened a Pinterest account. So if you’re there, let me know, and I’ll follow you.

I have already set up a few boards, both of my books and of stuff that I like. The steampunk board is for inspiration for Future Earth Chronicles, and in fact I pinned a couple of pictures that I had already found and “used” in my virtual cast. I’d do boards of my virtual casts, but I’m not sure it’s fine, LOL!

Next weekend is Silvery Earth clean-up. I wil reformat especially the Chronicles of the Varian Empire to match them with the paperbacks that are currently unlinked because the e-books have a different content. And I’ll put up the four new covers for the Quests books.

One of the reasons why I’ll keep posting on Wednesday even with the new schedule is the Infinite Bard. Every other week a new free story is up. And this is the week, so go check the latest offering! πŸ™‚ There are now thirteen stories of awesome authors (I haven’t met them all, but I can vouch for a few of them), give them some love! πŸ™‚

I also have a Bookbub author page and there’s the Silvery Earth Kids on Instagram… And my Amazon Author page, of course. I have given up on Goodreads, so my blog goes there, but I don’t interact much anymore. I even re-activated my Bookcrossing profile – I used to access it with Goodreads, but it’s no longer possible, so I had to ask them to let me on the site again! πŸ™‚

So, even if I’ll post here less often soon, you’ll know where to find me. Although I’m mostly either here or on Facebook, unless I get addicted to finding pictures on Pinterest! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

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Writer Wednesday


Slowing down the writing and tending the garden means I wrote a little more than 9K last week. One new story and the expansion of an older one (still unpublished, so no harm done). I’ll probably tinker with the other one a little longer as well, since I’m still reading a non-fiction book for research purposes.

While doint the translation of Brainwaves, I found several instances of a forgotten “h” in a name, luckily I still had to update those documents, so next weekend the “typo” or “inconsistency” will vanish. Next weekend is Future Earth Chronicles and Vampires Through the Centuries update, yay (not).

Silvery Earth, in spite of pruning, still has quite a lot of titles. Four new covers for the Quests book to make and still a lot of documents to update with new backmatter. How many? The answer is 42. Douglas Adams knew it even before I actually wrote the books!

Just kidding, but it’s more than 40 titles on Smashwords, plus the box sets that are only on Draft2Digital, so quite a lot of work in that department. Not to mention the other retailers – Amazon, Kobo and DriveThru… I’ll definitely be busy all of September with the revamping!

I shall keep these monologues (or dialogues with Tori) going for a little longer. I’ll do a giveaway for the ten years of blogging, then will slow down further to one post a week. Unless there are guests. Or special announcements. I will stop the Happiness is… rotation as well.

So I will have Backstage Pass on Sundays on the publisher’s page and Writer Wednesday on this blog, probably longer and more rambling.

And speaking of announcements, here’s the table of contents of an upcoming anthology, in which I have a story.

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From the publisher:

The charity anthology, Yearning to Breathe Free is deep into production, and will be available by mid-September. All profits from the anthology will be donated to RAICES, a non-profit charity who has led the fight in making sure that immigrants in detention centers have access to legal protection, enabling families to call each other on the phone, helping parents to find their children, and ensuring that those detained can gain access to basic goods and services.

My story is Following Torik, and if the name sounds familiar, yes, he’s the Silvery Earth Kid that outgrew his clothes. Except thisΒ  is the story of his little brother Baldric, and they’re both adults by now (it’s been 12 years since Silvery Earth Kids). So, while you wait for the strip and the related novel, you can have a taste in this charity anthology! πŸ˜‰

Or you can follow Silvery Earth Kids on Instagram, Monday vignette of a sobbing Torik earned a lot of love (while I kept singing “I don’t like Mondays“!)! πŸ˜€ That’s all for now and I wish you all a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Slowly easing back into the writing routine. That handwritten stuff from during worldcon was about 1800words, but I added a lot more, finishing the week with my usual 10K. And then on Monday it occurred to me that the Paths Trilogy could simply be a single longer novel with multiple points of view (4 intertwined), so I’m going to try that now.

I have around 85K already and need to finish, so it might end up like Books of the Immortals – Air, around 90K (my longest novel, with multiple points of view – 6 or 7, if I remember correctly), possibly longer (but I’ll have to trim the duplicated scenes, so some version might end up on the cutting floor).

The weekend was spent cleaning up the Star Minds Universe (the series page and the documents + an update to the cover of the Star Minds Starter) updating backmatter for both eBooks and paperbacks, which means I got flooded by Amazon emails for updating both the versions of each title. And I even had to redo a cover I hadn’t touched. Sheesh.

This also allowed me to discover a few glitches in the move from CreateSpace to KDPprint, so if you haven’t already, go check the third “page” – territorial rights and pricing. But you have to start from the first page to confirm ownership of the paperback, and don’t forget to check blurb and tags, since once they were completely missing from the paperback version.

Findaway Voices announced shared royalties, so I might do another audio book sooner rather than later. Most sales through them are to libraries, and I’m very far to breaking even with the expenses for producing the first three audiobooks. But I’ve been told longer books get listened to much more, so I’ll have to try with a full-length novel eventually.

A couple of long but awesome posts from Kristen Lamb – In It to WIN It: How Committed Are You to Being a Successful Author? and Pitch Perfect: Can You Sell Your Story in ONE Sentence? Still trying to find those loglines for my books, but eventually, I’ll make it, LOL!

And that’s all for now! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Last week I didn’t do much writing, but I consider myself inbetween projects. This week will probably have no writing at all, and it will resume next week when I come back from Worldcon. Not worried at all, since I’m already at 375K anyway (for those coming in late, my target is 500K a year). The next Paths novel should take me to 400K and then I have a few more to write before the end of the year.

The Mission #30 was written, sent and rejected in less than a week, but since it comes after the epilogue of the Team‘s missions, it shall be the first of volume 2, coming out next year whenever I write another 20something missions. This team is still growing on me, and they’re keeping the name anyway, even though they’re no longer lone wolves! πŸ™‚

And Rogue is out too, so the Star Minds Lone Wolves books are complete for this year. I updated the series page, redid the lettering on the single books covers and adjusted the backend matter. Now I’ll have to do it for the other Star Minds books, but I will do it in September. I did do a new trailer for the series, though! πŸ™‚

I also added the Lone Wolves to Drive Thru, as you can see from the “sidebar”, since I sold a SKYBAND Omnibus in their Comics shop, but every now and then I get a sale even in the Fiction shop. We’ll see if a banner or two will make the Star Minds Universe soar over there too! πŸ™‚

I also started unpublishing things. I made a list and will take down 25 Silvery Earth titles, 12 Star Minds Universe and 5 others. It will clean up my retailers dashboard and allow me to update the rest with less junk.

I’m mostly taking down shorter titles or single stories that are included in collections. I’ve been told that short titles sink faster in Amazon charts, so I might as well get rid of them since they don’t sell anyway.

So here’s the cleaned up Star Minds Universe and Silvery Earth on Smashwords. I have unpublished also from Kobo, Amazon and D2D. It’s been a long hot weekend, sigh. Let me know what you think of the new presentation of Silvery Earth on the series page, though!

An interesting post on how science fiction is dying again – the Hopepunk Edition. Considering the bleak present, I should probably write something about my apocalypse… and my vampires live through it, so they might be the right ones to tell that story! πŸ˜‰

Currently flying to Dublin for Worldcon, so will update next week when I get back… If you’re there too, and see me wandering around, come and say hello. I have no panels, so I’ll be in and out of the buildings. And the curated anthologies will be available at Hodges Figgis booth in the dealer’s room (it’s a local bookstore for non-Dubliners). Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Random Friday


So, before finishing the last chapter and writing the epilogue of The Path of Metal, I opted for some brainstorming while drawing instead of playing Bubble Witch Saga 3! πŸ˜‰ The result is another portrait of Da Muse (who may or may not be a grownup Torik, I was missing his Dhoom 2 looks, LOL!) and the discovery that I actually have a trilogy on hand.

The Paths Trilogy (The Path of Wood, The Path of Metal, The Path of Dreams) follows the Silvery Earth Kids some twelve years later in their adult years. Book 1 is about Torik, book 2 is about Adwin’s twin sisters, book 3 about Prince Lambert, now king, of course, although he loses his kingdom very quickly.

So I’m going to take the first 2 completed books to Dublin and start jotting down an outline for book 3, so I can start writing it as soon as I come back. Mighty Editor will be busy come mid-October, but my readers will have a trilogy for the Holidays (which might actually feel like a real fantasy novel of 100K, since I’m usually around 50K – 45K book 1 and 35K book 2 at the moment)!

And there will be also a paperback with the strip of the Silvery Earth Kids (are you following them on Instagram yet?) – with of course a prose version for the visually impaired – and hopefully a 2020 calendar. If you want a black&white preview of the strip, get An Interpretation of Moles, out now!

I might set up pre-order buttons whenever I have completed all three books and made the covers. Still tinkering with them, of course. I also want to redo a cover for the Star Minds Starter, but it’s not easy to find images that match my idea of the technological angel – even Phoenix Lu’s awesome art made his heart kind of too light, he has black hair, like Da Other Muse! πŸ˜‰

And that’s all for today! Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


The grand total for the writing retreat (even though I didn’t write every day, and definitely not when traveling) was 14600words, although I finished The Path of Metal on Sunday. I printed it out on Monday at the office and did a final pass, reading it all in one sitting before moving on.

Now writing those short stories to submit to traditional markets with very tight deadlines. Including Mission #30 of the Lone Wolves Team, that therefore is not included in the last volume of our adventurers’ jobs, out now. I will add it to the collection of all the missions if it gets rejected (or will wait until I can publish it in the whole collection, depending how long I have to postpone it, LOL).

Next weekend I’ll upload Rogue, then pause the publishing for a few months. I considered enrolling it in KU so I could participate in the Kindle StorytellerAward 2019 on Amazon UK, but unless my one true fan (yes, Tori, I’m talking to you) tells me she doesn’t mind waiting 3 months, I won’t. If I happen to win (which I won’t), means it would be stuck on Amazon only for much longer. If you’re in KU and have published between May and August, do try your luck, though! πŸ˜‰

I learned a few things and got a few ideas at the conference, so it’s time I start working on that rebranding – or tending my garden, as they say. Since “just write more books” doesn’t really work, I’m studying the Reader Magnets. Although the PDF is outdated RE: MailChimp, but I have no intention of opening another newsletter yet.

But someone pointed me to StoryOrigin, and they handle Reader Magnets and review copies even if you don’t have a mailing list. So I might try that too in the coming months (as well as signing up for Pinterest when I have the rebranded covers ready – not all of them, but still quite a few, I’m afraid).

I haven’t done a priority list yet, although I have booked out a few weekends to start the revamping of the publisher’s site. Might also give me ideas for the Backstage Pass posts! πŸ˜‰ Oh, and another link of something I discovered in Edinburgh (thanks, Josie, glad I didn’t spend all my time talking to the only face I knew beforehand and saw your link on the group discussion) – Hopepunk. Might be something to consider when I re-tag my books! πŸ˜‰

Now, you might have noticed my re-blog on Sunday. Yes, the awesome A.L. Butcher put together another awesome bundle, Here Be Magic, that includes yours truly. Soon you’ll hear from some of those authors on this very blog.

Aaaand, you guessed it, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Hop off to the site and read another free short story for your reading pleasure! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


“Live” from Edinburgh meaning I’m scheduling this through the weekend so that I won’t have to think about it the coming week and put in the wordcount I didn’t do during the two-days conference. So this is all about 20BooksEdinburgh – the conference, not the writing retreat. I might elaborate on the writing next week. All I can say at this time is that I hit 10K even though Sunday I didn’t write, and I’ll have to finish at home because I need to print out stuff for a scene and I can’t do that here, but I’ll try to write the rest so I only have to put in that one scene when I get home.

Back to the event! πŸ™‚ I was familiar with Craig Martelle’s face, since I often saw him with Ramy Vance on the Facebook group livestreams, but I had no idea what the founder of 20BooksTo50K, Michael Anderle looked like. And the guy sitting next to him at registration had only “Michael” on his badge.

BUT, when the actual conference started, I realized who he was… Ops. Shame on me! So. kick-off was by him and Craig, and them some best-selling authors from the group, including my “group leader” for the writing retreat, Dakota Krout (who is currently making a mess with other fantasy writers in the hall, since I’m typing outside of the conference room, but I don’t see quieter places with a plug and a comfy sitting right now, haha!).

When the Amazon Ads panel came up, I decided to opt out of it, and found myself in the hall with my new friend Madalina and Michael himself! I was trying to get in some wordcount (since there were no writing sessions during the weekend), but then we started talking, and he asked us what our mountain was, and checked my Amazon profile, and gave some advice and… what can I say, I’m overwhelmed. Now I can only hope he’ll accept my friendship request on Facebook, LOL!

I know I have a lot of work to do with my rebranding, and that’s why I won’t be publishing much in the three months after the summer. Better covers (or with better typography), better blurbs and maybe new year I can try some ads. Oh, and I’m the BundleRabbit cheerleader, since Michael and Craig talked about collaborations and why to do them. But you already knew that, since I already told you about the curated anthologies – hopefully more will come out after this workshop with all the new friends I’m making! πŸ™‚

I did skip a couple of panels and did an interview with non-fiction author Bradley Charbonneau, who also took lots of awesome author pics, including yours truly. And I’ll meet some of these people in Dublin for Worldcon as well, yay! πŸ™‚ I tried to suggest Erika we kidnap Craig for another European 20Books, but we decided to spare him. And in spite of many suggestions (20BooksDublin, 20BooksAmsterdam, 20BooksCroatia), he said no to all of them.

So next opportunity is 20BooksVegas in October, and apparently the 2020 edition will be huge. I’ll see if I have the money and/or inclination to get there next year! πŸ˜‰ Meanwhile, I got to talk French for a while and heard other non-native accents that were totally endearing and put some faces behind the names on the Facebook group. And of course I made a lot of new friends – we’re in this together even though we’re scattered all around the world…

Friday for the non-writerly Edinburgh experience (although I might start with my total wordcount, since it’s not over yet)! Have a great week! πŸ˜‰

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Writer Wednesday


Last week was an all-time low for wordcount, but the yearly wordcount is 330K. I spent the first half of the week revising Torik’s story and the second half drawing those strips of his childhood, so no new words were written from Thursday to Sunday.

It gave me time to decide a couple of things (like adding strips to the strip, and then I’ll have to put them in the right order whenever I do the paperback, LOL!) and prepare for the next novel, with a timeline and traveling traced on the map like for Torik’s story.

I also opened an account for Silvery Earth Kids on Instagram, although currently there’s more stuff on DeviantART. But since I plan to release it at the end of the year, I will trickle posts on there while I work on the strip. I’ll post finished strips and WiP possibly every other day…

Hopefully when I release the paperback there will be a few new fans. For Pinterest, I’ll open the account after the summer when I’ll redo a few covers and clean up my back list (but I’ll need a lot more energy than what I have now!).

If you’ve been following Kris Rusch’s posts on licensing or how to rethink a writing business, you might have seen in the comments that there will be another licensing expo in London in October. Since I won’t be able to take that unpaid leave, I won’t go, but hopefully next year I can plan to go there (since I’m already going to Vegas in February/March and London is only slightly closer for me, haha!).

Now that I know those things exist, I will keep an eye on them. This year is already all booked, though, so let’s just look forward to the next! πŸ˜‰ Now counting the days to 20BooksEdinburgh – and the non-writerly things I’ll do, like axe-throwing! Ghost tours! And mingle with other authors, since it’s also a writing retreat! πŸ˜‰

One more week and I’ll be off… Now I better go back to writing so I can wrap that novel in Edinburgh! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


I wanted to make an Random Friday post, but since most of this stuff is writing-related, I might as well do it here. I’ve been checking articles on the Innovation Center site of DayJob and found a few things that might interest writers in the future.

First I read their report on AI and how it will disrupt jobs in the coming years (including mine, yay! I’ll be free to move away from this country and start my micro-publishing venture elsewhere!). That report was generic, mentioning how white collars would lose jobs in finance, insurance, law and medical diagnosis, but Joanna Penn is talking about how AI will disrupt authors, so that’s more specific! πŸ˜‰

The report mentioned how children of today might have to change seven jobs during their lifetime, five of which haven’t been invented yet. Consider this is very traumatic for Italians who looooove their steady job that gives them a pension. Personally, I look forward to be laid off or quit and start a new career from scratch. Scary, but also exciting.

There was an article on quantum computers and a comment gave me an idea for a sci-fi story, or at least a spark, l’ll have to ponder what the story will actually be, it’s just a premise for now.

Then there were links to articles I found interesting (mostly because they allow me to forego opening an Instagram account, although I’m still on the fence for Pinterest). Forget Instagram, Amazon is the Influencer Platform of the future. Now, how do I get to an influencer who might like my books and help me promote them? That is the question, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

And speaking of new jobs, the next gig economy will be on-demand knowledge. That’s as cool as it sounds, although I have no idea of what kind of wisdom I’ll be able to impart, but that’s another story! πŸ˜‰ I’ll keep an eye on other innovations and keep you posted if I see something that might interest writers.

And then, there’s this awesome post by Kris Rusch on how we should rethink the whole writing business (part one). I’m not yet following the workshop about the Licensing Expo because I’m not ready, but eventually, I will.

So yeah, the future looks bright if I can get rid of the current chains. I’ll also get some input at 20BooksEdinburg, surely, but I won’t attend another business masterclass until I’m ready to actually set up that micro publisher. And I’m signed up for the Anthology Workshop, so here’s to selling a few short stories between now and whenever I can finally take off as a writing business.

In the meantime I’ll finish publishing the Lone Wolves Team stories and the last Lone Wolves short novel, which will take us to Worldcon – my last Worldcon for a while – and I will probably publish The Path of Wood, The Path of Metal and The Path of Dreams (a.k.a. Silvery Earth Kids prose) and the strip Silvery Earth Kids for the Holidays. Mighty editor is busy until mid-October and I have to try something with the much neglected Italian market before the end of the year.

If you want to catch up with what’s already out there, here’s the list of my titles discounted at Smashwords. Also, a new anthology is out, and the theme is MOLES! And stories are notΒ  just about the cute little animals, although that’s the mole I’m talking about. And yes, the Silvery Earth Kids strips debuts there in black&white, so if you want a sneak peek, go get it now! πŸ™‚ There’s even the paperback if you’re a fan of print! πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

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