Writer Wednesday


And the reading month is over, phew! By the way, for the first time since I got it in 2011, Kindle Keyboard a.k.a. KK died on me in the middle of a story. Battery dead. I guess I intensively used it! 🙂 Now it’s all charged up again for the trip, when I hope to finish the novel I started in January and then move on to other things.

So this week I’m adding the second POV to the novella rejected by TOR. Hope to finish before I leave so I can take it with me and check the typos while I’m traveling. Also that the story flows, since I’m currently not really cycling. I’m simply adding scenes from notes that I took when I sent it out, so I’ll need to re-read it all in as few sittings as possible.

In March I’ll also make sure to fill the Worldcon 75 Programme Volunteer Form – as soon as I’m certain I can have that week off in August, that is. And maybe I’ll do some other online workshop, while writing the next book.

A couple of writerly links! Take the test to see if you have author potential! I don’t because I’m a writer, not an author, LOL! I think Authors are those One-Book-Wonder who are everywhere. But saving your docs outside the cloud and outside the PC is a good idea… I lost a novel to a floppy disk in the 1990s, so… always have more than one copy! 😉

And beware of the new scam of sensitivity readers (along with the other ones)! Me? If I write about something I don’t know, I ask an expert to check it. I certainly don’t pay anyone to tell me if it’s politically correct or not. There’s also the thing that this “censorship” goes mostly for YA and children, and I don’t write in those areas…

Fiction readers* often have to tell hard truths.

And we often piss people off.

And sometimes we miss getting something perfectly right.

And we get bad reviews because someone doesn’t agree with us.

Who cares????

If we write what we are passionate about, what we care about, what makes each of us happy, what other people think should never, ever matter.

Ever.

Period.

Write your own story. Get it out to readers and write the next story.

Keep learning, keep having fun, and keep writing new stories.

You do that and trust me, none of these scams will even tempt you in the slightest.

*I think he means “writers”, but you get it, don’t you? Don’t waste money on scammers. Happy writing! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Sooo, last assignment and checking those Star Minds Third Generation stories… should be ready to go soon, but I’m expanding a couple that badly needed it and adjusting the rest. Wait for them for sometime in March. I have only until the end of the month to finish editing them, since Feb.1 I need to start on the last Quests book! 😉

Some writerly links! 10 reasons why you should not write for fame and fortune – about #8, I don’t think I’d care, but anyway, I don’t write for fame and fortune, I only want people to read my stories and allow me to quit the Day Job that currently pays the bills!

Although going from steady job to freelance is a very big leap for me, and I’m a little scared of doing it. But if I find also alternative income sources besides the writing, I’ll definitely take the plunge! 😀 Now, I could try to combine my two passions and get back to the drawing board…

How much money do cartoonists make? I guess the same money writers make – some make a lot, some make none. And I’m afraid I don’t have the patience (and the eyes) to start another graphic novel. Even Da Strip is still only half-finished (more than half to be colored and a few things to be corrected)!

So no, art is not a good way to have an alternative income source for me. I have an idea or two, but they will take time to develop. Including that Patreon page. I better start curing that tired thyroid, so I can get back to my old efficient streak! 🙂

And the new Authors Earnings report is out! I will let you go through it and make up your mind about it… the market is shifting, my friends… welcome to the new world of publishing! 🙂 Or The World of Publishing like Kris Rusch says (I guess it’s not that “new” anymore, although it’s new to whoever is stuck in 20th century thinking)! 🙂

Please try to avoid excuses and the fine art of self-sabotage! Have a great week and happy writing!

Writer Wednesday


Happy New Year! Final wordcount for 2016 was almost 470K – still a little short from my goal of 500K, but never mind. Last year I wrote a little over 400K with the same goal – that I’m keeping on for this year – so I’m getting better!

If I reach it this year, I’ll pat myself on the back. That’s half pulp speed and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please check this post by Dean Wesley Smith. And if you need help in setting your goals, here’s some help for your New Year perspectives.

Now I’ve made a sorta kinda priority list for this year, but I want to remain fluid. I know there are some stories that need to come out at certain dates (Vampires Through the Centuries…), but besides that, I feel free to write and publish when I feel like it.

And the first title of 2017 is out! The Path of Air (Quests Book 3) is now available as ebook. Oh, and I got neat banners showing up on DriveThruFiction… if you’re patient enough! 😉

dtfscreenshots2017Publishing news… bad start for authors who used All Romance Ebooks and Omnilit, but also for the sites’ readers. Here’s the first warning from Writer Beware and Kris Rusch’s take on it. I had procrastinated going to Omnilit (not another distributor, groan!) and apparently I was lucky. My heart goes to the many people involved in this mess.

Good news on the Smashwords front – from this year we get monthly payments if we meet the minimum treshold, much like Draft2Digital does, yay! Also, if you’re a romance writer (which I’m not), you might take advantage of their program with the Happy Ever After blog hosted by USA Today.

So, things don’t look too bad. I also sometimes think “What’s the point?” but I very quickly climb out of that deadly trap. My critical voice is very quiet since I don’t have an English teacher to blame for creative writing lessons, but still, sometimes the effort to be seen and read in the wide sea of publishing is overwhelming. Especially when I do sell some titles in the much smaller Italian market…

Anyhow, onward with the writing. Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Totally procrastinating writing this last week of the year! 😉 I’m not really blaming it on the Holidays (I’m actually more productive, usually, because everybody vanishes with family so I have plenty of time to write) but most certainly to a very distracting Muse and travel plans for the first two months of the new year.

So, going to London end of January and then to the US end of February and I still need to figure out what I must do with my passport expiring in July. Sigh. I hope to find less people tomorrow so I can at least ask info on what I’m supposed to do. I probably won’t request the new one until January, but I’d love to know if I must get a new one or if I can use the expiring one.

Quests 4 is slowly coming along in spite of the procrastination… and the writer has also made some plans for the new year. And a priority list, since it’s always hard to decide what to write first! And no, I’m not afraid of running out of ideas even if I don’t “recycle” old stuff anymore.

If you still have this problem, here’s Asimov’s suggestion – how to never run out of ideas again. I call it project block, more than writer’s block, and his solution is also mine. Like I said, I need to make priority lists or I’d keep bouncing from a project to another! 😉

I’m also starting to look at accomodation in Helsinki for the Worldcon… I’m sure August will creep up on me like the rest of the year. Now that it’s almost over, I can say it went by fast! I also hope to go to some medieval dinner or festival in Italy to cut on the traveling expenses… always useful for my historical fantasy series! 🙂

So next year I hope to publish one Silvery Earth story a month and another story of another series or a translation, so that’s two titles a month. I want to start on a new series (although I’ll need an online workshop first) and publish the stories I’ve written so far, plus a few that are still in embryo state.

Might help me to start a Patreon account. I will study other writers and come up with something. Next year. Stay tuned!

Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Mm, ‘kay, I guess it’s time to sum up the year somehow… I’ll put on the publisher’s hat this week and the writer’s hat next week, all right?

So. Sales. The best seller is still Body Switches, a consistent seller since 2014. Still haven’t reached 100 copies sold, though. Unless you add up the single body switches – mostly Johnny & Marian that sold 35 copies since 2012. A title from this year that did well is Fairy Tales Revisited.

As for retailers “performance” – definitely a growth on Kobo, where I used to sell mostly the Italian titles, but after participating in a couple of promos I managed to get to the English-speaking markets. Adjusting the prices for CA, AU and NZ probably helped. Sorry for delaying that.

Next year I will concentrate on completing the Quests books – #3 is done, #4 in the works, #5 still in dreamland – and probably the Assassins’ Guild. Star Minds Third Generation will also have a shot. And the vampires through the centuries, of course, I need to get to those vampire wars! 😉

And then I don’t know. I’ve been thinking of going hybrid, but then… there’s the hybrid learning curve (and I’m not even formerly traditional, so… argh!). But Joe Konrath will go hybrid too next year, for the print version of some of his books. Sooooo… we’ll see.

Just for fun: Bubba’s philosophy of fictional conflict! And for the new year, how to create art and make cool stuff in a time of trouble! 😉

Publisher’s new year resolutions? Publish less and let some short stories try traditional markets first. Possibly organize bundles, sales, or other great stuff to push the titles I think are worth pushing and ignore the ones I don’t really care for anymore.

Cuz the writer grew up this year and some of the old stuff… she can’t even look at it anymore! 😉 So, looking forward to Indie Publishing Phase 2!

Have a great week and happy holiday season! 🙂

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Sunday Surprise


And it’s another guest! Don’t we have a December full of gifts? 😉 Lots of new authors for you to discover – because you’re gifting books for Xmas, right? Anyhow, I’m happy to introduce you this young lady! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Nat Kennedy!

Where do you live and write from?

I am from central Washington, in the high scrub desert. It’s dry and either hot or cold, and sometimes that offers months of staying inside, writing away at stories.

Why do you write?

I love writing. This, I am sure, is a typical answer. I mainly write what I write, gay erotic fantasy, because I can’t find enough of it to read. So, I write what I want to read. The characters are usually up beat, usually heroic, and though there’s angst, it’s rarely relationship angst. I want my lovers to love.

When did you start writing?

At a very young age… Seriously, I started writing in the early 2000s (I cut my teeth on fanfiction.)

2016-01-002-edge-of-desperation-ebook-coverWhat genre(s) do you write?

Fantasy, of the gay and sometimes erotic variety. All types, urban, to high fantasy, and I’ve some dark fantasy planned as well.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I get up at 5 am to write before work. I tend to work very well with deadlines. I am a NaNo Guru. Sometimes, if I’m rough drafting, I write in every scrap of time I can fine. But if I’m editing, I need larger chunks of time to work with.

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

My characters come across as real, relatable people. And my worlds jump from the pages, enough that readers feel immersed in them. I remember, years ago, reading a story and finally ‘seeing’ how the author made the details flow seamlessly into the narrative. No info dump. Important information evolved through the story. I then worked to emulate that. And I am doing okay, though there is always room for growth.

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

Mainly I find my inspiration from the holes in other stories I wish the author had written. I want to know about some background character. Or a hinted gay love story… why wasn’t that developed! So, I then think of the feelings that story invoked and sometimes steal that and plop it into my own world. I am inspired by negative space.

I don’t put myself in my stories. I’m far too boring.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Outline and plot it all, darling! And I am fast at rough drafts, slow at the edits depending on how good my outline was. I have improvised in the past, in fact my current novel I’m editing was improvised, and it needs so much work. I have vowed to outline always from now on.

Though, if a story does take me right, when the outline takes me left, I’m not afraid to go off outline.

2016-01-002-center-of-deception-ebook-coverTell us about your latest book

My latest book is the second in the Wielder World series, Center of Deception.

Though it’s the second in the series, I’d written books 1 and 2 (novella length) to be able to read in either order. The Wielder World is a series of gay urban fantasy. People have the power to Wield the Nerve of the World and do some amazing feats of ‘magic’. Women can do so with no repercussions. Men, however, pay a price for their power.

It’s the events in Book 1 from August’s point of view. How he got wrapped up in the male Wielder Cult. How he meets Kyle and Reggie from Book 1, and sets the seeds for future romance and hints at a greater threat to men in the Wielder World.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Wielder World is self-published because I like the power self-publishing gives me, also it’s a much faster process. Traditional routes take years. I also enjoy the self-publishing community and am honored to be a part of it.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I am editing Wielder World 3, the follow up novel called Afflicted to the Core, and I just finished a rough draft for a new high fantasy novel, the first in the World of Two Moons series.

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

Eventually, I would like to take writing full time. I’d like to build a fan base, have people excited for my next novel, and maybe, hopefully, get some fan fiction written about it. That would be quite the delight.

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

Read good books. Study them… why you liked them, how they did that thing you thought was awesome. And write often, if not every day, several times a week. Never give up. Learn to accept rejection. And write what you love, because even if people don’t buy it, at least you’ll enjoy reading it! 😉

_________________________________
About Nat and where to find her

Nat Kennedy grew up living in a poorly populated desert landscape. With no neighbors in a 1 mile radius, she had to make up her own fun.

Nat strives to create plotty and imaginative fantasy worlds, with the added benefit of gay and non-mainstream romance–steamy to tame. From couples to threesomes, including fantasy hermaphroditic races, love abounds.

Website

Goodreads

Facebook

Writer Wednesday


So, um, ah, well, let’s see… how can I put this? It’s the last month of the year and I’m already thinking about what’s next, what to change in the format of the blog, etc.

I think I’ll keep the posts name, but slightly change the Wednesday format. I’ll be talking about writing and sharing writerly links when I have them, but I won’t discuss writing progress anymore.

I’ll talk about the stories after they’re out there. But if I stumble into some interesting research or something, I’ll mention it here.

The past two years have been a turning point in my writing, therefore I want to change the output on the blog too. I still have a lot of stories on my want-to-write list, but I’ll keep the priority list to myself and you’ll know only when I’m done with them.

With the online craft workshops I’m slowly changing my way of writing, so it seems fitting that I change the blog contents. I’ll try to make a blog post about what I learned as soon as I manage to gather my scattered ideas, but for now I won’t discuss my writing anymore.

I ain’t a young writer and I’m not looking for anyone’s approval. Yes, I’m still looking for faithful readers, but I hope to hook them with the upcoming new stories. I’m dropping that baggage of old stuff – what’s out stays out there, and onward to the next adventure.

For 2017 I have very fluid plans and it’s fine. I might be slower in completing the stories, but I don’t care. I’ll submit the short ones to traditional markets before publishing them, and probably cut down the number of published stories as well, but so far I could be prolific because I had hundreds of old stories in my files.

From now on new stuff only, so less but better, hopefully. And I’ll keep learning from writing, possibly even outside of my comfort zone. I look forward to exploring new (for me) genres as well as continuing my tapestries of Silvery Earth, Star Minds and Vampires Through the Centuries!

So, no more talks of WiPs or projects, only the done things. Starting now, the last month of 2016. I’ll have an update on the yearly wordcount in January because that was this (and last) year’s challenge, but then I won’t keep count anymore – not in public at least.

This week’s links! Chuck Wendig’s gifts for writers! I don’t agree on some of them, but then… I’m an unusual writer, LOL! But the customizable notebook… (as if I didn’t have enough notebooks already, including 2 bought at the Delhi airport, LOL!)

And Sales vs. People vs. Artistic Freedom which sort of confirms what I said above. I always wrote for myself, not a fantomatic reader. So I’ll keep writing to entertain myself, hoping to find a few people who enjoy what I write as much as I enjoy writing it! 😀

Have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Soo, after some procrastination (which is normal at the beginning of a story), I’ve now started Quests 4 and I’m almost 10K in – and the quest hasn’t started yet, LOL! But I’m trying to apply some of the tricks learned in online workshops, so I’m getting there. Slower, but getting there! 🙂

I’m also trying different alternate POVs, doing 2 scenes from the protagonist’s POV and 1 from one of the 2 co-protagonists. It’s tricky but fun! I think they will soon be off on their quest – for a physical thing this time. Book 1 and 2 were inner quests, book 3 is the quest for someone and book 4 is the quest for lost things, namely city destroyed centuries earlier. A sort of treasure hunt but not out of greed.

I hope to get to the end of a first draft or at least halfway by the weekend, otherwise I’ll continue after I’ve done my homework for the Anthology Workshop. Next year I’ll have a couple more contemporary stories to write from the assignments of the POV online workshop, so stay tuned for those… I really should start a priority list for next year!

This weekend I’ll go through Quests 3 so that I’ll be ready to send it to the editor and rework the opening of the Tor novella after some good comments from my writers group that I follow only because I came up with what I think is a better opening, haha! My critical voice is thankfully still fast asleep, and it all comes from the creative side of my brain, I swear.

And November is over, if you did NaNoWriMo, good for you, I have reached 430K words since January, so this year I might reach 450K if not the hoped for 500K! Still one month to go, definitely another 20K if not more! In the bad months (March was the lowest with 17K followed by August with 21K) I did write that much! Best months were Arpil (52K) and May (65K), and even in October I was in the 30K range in spite of not writing for nearly 3 weeks…

But I might post all the total wordcounts at the beginning of January with the final results! As for next year… I don’t think I’ll keep track anymore – or maybe I will, since I bought a little journal just for that, but I won’t report it, unless I hit that 500K mark – since it sort of takes out the fun.

I have artistic freedom and I’m enjoying it! 🙂 Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


While translating, I caught another minor mistake in Cinder Boy… will correct it this weekend on the single ebook, still not corrected the collections the fairy tales revisited are in. Sigh. I wish I could just leave them behind, but translating them is also good marketing, so… It’s just a question of correcting a file and upload it again to 5 or 6 places…

And then you wonder why I have “publisher” burn out, LOL! Anyhow, this week I shall upload the other two collections that are the last two titles I will publish in English this year. Next year is still quite foggy, although I do have a vague idea of what I want to write and have made a sort of priority list.

Write-wise, I’ve finished the novella for Tor, currently in beta, and added things to Quests 3, so that both are ready for Mighty Editor. I hope to start on Quests 4 today and write until I need to “take a break” for the Anthology workshop. I might actually have a first draft by December 4! 😉

Now I leave you to an ode to artistic freedom in this wondrous new world of publishing! Next year I might become hybrid instead of indie, but I’m still happy with the artistic freedom I have! 🙂 I do know the power of creative voice (in fact my critical voice is probably dead or at least fast asleep and I have no desire to wake it up) so even if I do like to reread my own stuff, I also trust the process of my creativity…

I might write for a certain niche market next year, because it’s a challenge and I want to see if I can do it, but you all know very well that I’m not a trend chaser (I actually hope to set a new trend, LOL!). A publisher in that niche told me she “was very pleased with your writing style and narrative! It’s refreshing honestly. We get a lot of novel/novella submissions and I reject nearly all of them due to poor narrative and storytelling skills. You’ve certainly got the chops and sound willing to pursue a novel with us aimed at our demographic – so I’d definitely encourage you to do so.”

So I might write for a market, but that’s not what I normally do. Writing to the market as per Dean’s definition:

In short, writing to market means thinking that writing something you have heard is selling well only because you want to make money.

In other words, you write into areas you don’t know, don’t even much like, or even like to write, just for the hope of a few more sales.

Horrid writer death that way. Horrid and slow and painful.

I’m not writing for that market because I want to make money. I have read some stuff in that market and it’s usually written by amateurs, hence I stopped reading in that genre. So I’m going to give that genre a try, since I do like that kind of stories, although I probably won’t stick to the tropes! 😉

I’m not saying anything else at this time, since I have no idea if 1) I’ll actually end up writing those stories and 2) I might use another pen name for that kind of stories. But I’m currently too tired to make such a decision. I have other projects to finish first – namely the Quests books, the Star Minds Third Generation stories and more vampires through the centuries – before I can concentrate on that.

So that’s all for now! Have a great week!

Happiness is…


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