Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Image may contain: possible text that says '"And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and and exercised, and made art, and played and of listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met shadows. And the people began to think differently. "And the people healed. And, in the absence of people in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, heartless to when danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed images, and created new ways to live and heal earth fully, as they had been healed." O'Meara'

Sooo, it’s a pandemic. It won’t kill 2/3 of the world population like in my Future Earth Chronicles, but then, the unnamed pandemic of that series was only one aspect of the apocalypse. And if you’d like to read how life goes on after the apocalypse, check it out, book 1 is at 99c! πŸ˜‰

What scares me is not so much the coronavirus flu but people’s behavior. As an introvert, I don’t mind staying at home, and this is probably the closest I’ll ever be to live the hermit’s life. But I miss being able to walk around. You need a permit to be out and about at this time in Italy, and until the lockdown is over.

I have a permit to go to work Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays (because Dayjob can’t shut down – yet), and another for when I need to go to the supermarket or the pharmacy or other urgent matters. I doubt going to the post office to get my parcels counts. I hope they’ll keep my Amazon purchases until this emergency is over.

Does this affect me as a writer? Kind of. The world finally stopped and everybody else’s feelings overwhelm me. I still wish I could move to a co-housing in a cold place, away from the current life and responsibility, except of course now it’s even harder than before. Writing helps, but…

Griffyndiggory wrote on Tumblr (it’s a photo, so he might have taken it from somewhere else): “My problem isn’t that my favorite characters aren’t real; it’s that I’m not fictional. I don’t want them to be real. What I desperately wish is that I could be fictional with them. It’s not that I want them here with me in this mundane and ordinary world; it’s that I want to join them in their extraordinary one.”

Yeah, coming out of those stories into the current world really sucks. But last week I managed to wrap up all the projects, and now seems a good time to go back to those Future Earth Chronicles. I still have five books to write, although they deal with secondary characters from the first five. That first arc is concluded. I wrote 11K+, bringing my yearly total so far to 95K. Might still be a little behind, but I will catch up, eventually.

me, ready to start writing FEC Book 6!

So, since you might end up locked at home like I am, no matter where you live, try to grab some books. And my British friends stay safe, since your leader believes in “natural selection” – we shall overcome! πŸ™‚ You can get some advice from Chuck Wendig on working from home, or you can just chill with your family and watch Netflix.

Here’s how you can use your time in isolation to learn everything you wanted to. Museums and other public places now closed give virtual tours. Social distancing is not a bad thing, and yeah, it sucks to stay in in spring (northern emisphere), but again, it’s only for a few months, not the rest of your life.

I’m currently reading another bundle, the Might Have Been and trudging through Kristine Grayson’s trilogy. I managed to charge KK while I wait for the substitute, so hopefully it won’t die on me before I manage to get to the post office and grab the new one.

Oh, and the Cave Creek Kickstarter? There’s already a short story for backers, but I had to put it in a temporary folder, since I can’t put it on KK. I could read it with Kindle4PC, but I really prefer the e-ink of the normal Kindle (although the All-new Kindle – Now with a Built-in Front Light that I hope to never use, unless it’s different from what I’m thinking. I’ll know when I get mine).

Aaand there’s a new course on teachable, it’s free, so go check it. Kickstarter Best Practices for Writers is up and ongoing. I’m probably going to watch it while I pretend to study from home for DayJob… Not sure when I’ll be able to actually do it, but meanwhile I’ll start checking it!

Some writerly links: how Lawrence Block went indie because of traditional publishing stupidity. And a BBCArts article on book covers clichΓ©s – pity I don’t write in any of those genrse, but yeah, I should write my author name bigger! πŸ˜€

Author/journalist Damien Walter is running a brand new free daily open writing class. And if you want tips for writing marathons, check this article by my friend Leah Cutter!

Let’s not forget it’s Infinite Bard time again… go read the latest story and have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And since it’s Christmas, I shall leave you to your celebrations and only share some words of wisdom, writers on writing or whatever you want to call them. More next year!

17. Never give up. Quitting guarantees failure. Never stop running in the direction of your dreams. Fight for your right to pursue the best career in the universe. Every successful author I know once toiled in obscurity and you will too.

18. Dream big dreams. Be ambitious. Aim high. You are smart. You are capable. You must believe this because if you don’t believe this, you can’t achieve. Salvador Dali once said, β€œIntelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”

19. Know that your writing is important. Books are important to the future of humanity and you are the creator of books. That makes you special. It also burdens you with a considerable responsibility. Your writing is unique. No one else can create what you have within you. Your writing is the manifestation of your life, your dreams, your soul and your talent. You are special. Others might think you’re suffering from delusions of grandeur but so what? What do they know? They can’t see inside you. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Don’t be discouraged if others, including those who love you the most, don’t understand the vision in your head.

20.Β  Find success and satisfaction in the journey of publishing. Know that the measure of your importance and your contribution to book culture and your contribution to humanity cannot be measured by your sales alone. The moment you reach your first reader, you’ve done your part to change the world and that’s just the beginning, so thank you for everything you do and thank you for taking the time to join me here on the Smart Author Podcast. That concludes episode eight.

Mark Coker

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
― Toni Morrison

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.
― Madeleine L’Engle

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
― E.L. Doctorow

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
― Louis L’Amour

And a special gift from the Infinite Bard – two free stories instead of one! Happy Holidays, everyone! πŸ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I basically wrote only the short story for the anthology workshop and nothing else, so around 3500words. I finished later than the previous week, and even though I went through the current project, I ended up not adding much to it, nor continuing it, knowing that I’d have to stop after the weekend.

So I’ll finish that when I’m done with the Anthology Workshop assignments (this is the last before the Holidays, so I have two more weeks to write those 10K to complete my yearly goal). I spent the weekend finishing the clean-up of the inventory, and redid a clean Excel sheet of what I have out there. In spite of taking down many, I still have 170 titles between ebooks, paperback only, collaboration anthologies and comics single issues (less than 50 are in Italian, so about 120 in English! πŸ™‚

Now I can start with a clean slate next year. I mean, I can keep going, probably with new things and old series and whatever I feel like writing, since I have no pressure to write the next big hit. I have ideas for almost all my series, and writing prompts for anthologies, and other exciting things I’d rather not elaborate too much right now.

And since we’re almost at the end of the year, let’s close with a bang! My short story One Line of Bad Code was published on Sirius Sci-Fi! I think I mentioned a sale a few weeks back… and you can read it for free! πŸ˜‰ Go check it!

Meanwhile another publisher folded, when I went to submit, the email bounced, the wordpress site was set to private and the post on Facebook where I had seen the open call had vanished… sigh.

And since we have the paperback too, gift your friends with a wonderful book by many awesome authors including yours truly and her next strip!

I Like My Science…MAD (Blaze Ward Presents Book 2)

I like my science…mad.

How mad, you ask? Come with us on a twisted journey of science gone wrong and gods rising to threaten us all. Of private detectives on the moon and dieselpunk ladies saving the day. Academics making dark pacts and taking vengeance into their own hands.
Mad.

The second Blaze Ward Presents anthology asks writers and readers to envision mad science and entertain us all.

They succeeded. Come see.

And here are the buy links for the paperback and the eBook universal link. Give some madness for Christmas! πŸ™‚

And since I’m tooting other people’s horns…

Readers of Urban Fantasy – we have a little something for you. How about a curated collection of 20 books? With three tiers of buy-in and a broad range of books in the Academy (like Hogwarts, but different) sub-genre, you will find something you like.

There are secrets to be learned. Evils to battle. And worlds to explore. You’ll love this collection, because it comes from some of the finest minds in storytelling. Get it now.

https://20bookpacks.com/UFAcademy

Unfortunately, no one from the European Union can buy the set because of VAT.

Glad I’m not really a fan of that genre. Because I’m a grumpy old woman and don’t care about magic academies, haha! I wonder if there will be readers for an urban fantasy series with a middle-aged protagonist? πŸ˜‰

And if you’re on Twitter to follow artists, please take note of this: Twitter bots will make pirated t-shirts with your requests. Check how artists on Twitter tricked spammy t-shirt stores into admitting their automated art theft. And grab that image for your next requests! πŸ˜‰

And last but not least… it’s Infinite Bard day again! Happy reading and have a great week! πŸ™‚

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!

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote about 13K and wrapped The Wanderers at 93K. Now I’m going to leave it alone until Mighty Editor checks it, because I’m bored with it and think it sucks, haha. Besides, I’m reading a non-fiction book about medieval Persia, so it might give some ideas for the past of the southern kingdoms (since this story is set before the Quests).

The good thing about NOT having readers clamoring for more is that I don’t feel the pressure of writing the next book. The bad think is not knowing how I am doing, which makes me doubt myself and my skills. Yeah, my self-esteem is currently low, but I will bounce back, don’t worry! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I wrote 400K already this year, and even if I’m not sure I’ll write another 100k in the last four months of the year, I don’t care. I proved I can reach half pulp speed (500K) and stick to my own deadlines, now I can get back to having fun. Productivity was never my problem, was it?

If and when some series of mine takes off, I have more books to write. Meanwhile, I have some experiments to do to get out of this burn out. Currently writing shorts for anthos and trad mags, while coloring the Silvery Earth Kids strip (about 10 to color, then about 80 to letter) that I hope to complete by the end of September.

Then I’ll need to do a print attempt with Lulu so I can check it (my eyes don’t like staring at the screen, and printed out mistakes are glaringly obvious) and redraw whatever needs redrawn or adjusted. Not sure yet what my next long project will be. Possibly a contemporary story or maybe another historical fantasy. I did buy some books in Edinburgh! πŸ˜‰

Still slowly tending the garden, and last week I resumed the Backstage Pass. And since I need to be gentle with myself, I won’t be posting weekly, but every other Sunday.

I’m working on the next instalment, but the topic seems hard to tackle. I do have some articles ready (meant for my never-started magazine or my aborted-Patreon), but I want to write something new that has been on my mind for months. So I will ponder it a little longer.

Meanwhile, there’s another free story up on the Infinite Bard, check it out! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


I’m wrapping up Torik’s stories and hope to write a short story this week before moving to the sequel/other-side-of-the-story The Path of Metal, that I will probably finish in Edinburgh (unless I’m really quick and write a short novel in a week and a half, but I don’t think I’m that fast, LOL!).

Looking for a conclusion also for the strip, so I can prepare the books. Going back to my notes on the middle ages, the drawings of the strip are definitely fantasy! πŸ˜‰ At this time the northern kingdoms should be approximately Vikings, but that’s not how I dressed Torik in Silvery Earth Kids (or the other Humans, for that matter). Oh, well, it’s not Earth and it’s not historical, so who cares? πŸ˜‰

Aaand we have another Star Minds Lone Wolves Team volume! Kudos to my Australian Kobo user who managed to get it before it was published! The glitch in the KWL dashboard lasted at least until Monday (then I stopped checking, cause I really don’t care)… I considered reporting it, but it doesn’t really matter! πŸ˜€

And hey, the whole series is science fantasy, see this lovely article on cross-genre books? I write all over the place, but definitely for

The Fantasy anchored reader: This reader is looking for a way out of real-life, wanting nothing more than to escape in a world where nothing is impossible: supernatural creatures, life on other planets, worlds hidden in plain sight.

Oh, and it’s my turn on the Infinite Bard! Go check that story on how Alain became a vampire, in case you missed Nightly Bites volume 2! Well, it’s also at the end of Kristine the Youngest… so if you want a taste of Vampires Through the Centuries that now crosses over with Future Earth Chronicles… go check that story! πŸ™‚

If you need help in ditching MailChimp for MailerLite, head over to David Gaughran. I’m in no hurry to restart a newsletter since it had no organic growth while this blog does, so… welcome new readers! This is Writer Wednesday where I ramble about my writing and the publishing industry! I even modified the blog header or something to make it look more professional! πŸ˜€

I also promise to resume the Backstage Pass Sunday posts on the publisher’s page in September… but currently I’m melting on this side of the world and barely have the energy to sit at the keyboard and ramble twice a week. Hopefully in September I’ll be able to resume that other schedule.

Because yeah, I probably need a more lively static page with all my books, since my readers don’t seem to be here. Except I don’t know about engagement. And I hate ending my posts with questions. They don’t make me want to answer, so I don’t do what I wouldn’t react to.

Would you like me to ask you questions about the blog post? Please, be like Tori, who comments without being prompted, thank you! *Hugs, Tori!*

I hope to get to reading some non-fiction about the business of writing soon, but things like Amazon Decoded and Author Branding currently make my brain even mushier. Maybe I better wait for September for that too. I’m planning to re-educate myself from then on, so…

For now I’ll just go back to writing. And researching. And drawing. Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

 

Writer Wednesday


I got my first royalty payment from Findaway Voices (minimum treshold 10$ and there’sΒ  the Paypal fee, but whatever) and remembered I still have coupon codes for Otherside. So if you’re in AU, US or CA and would like to listen to and review my audiobook, drop me a line.

 

  • Authors Direct is currently only available for users in the United States, Australia, and Canada on iOS and Android (non-Kindle) mobile devices.
  • Authors Direct Giveaway Codes are only for listening inside of the Authors Direct mobile apps and can only be redeemed at https://authors-direct.com/redeem/
  • The following retailers will allow your listeners to leave a review without having bought the book there:Β Apple, Google, Amazon (but not Audible), Kobo, Scribd (with free trial) and Downpour, in addition to standard review sites like Goodreads.

I have enrolled some books in the Smashwords Winter/Summer Sale, but I’ll give the titles next week, when the sale is live. Preparing all the Lone Wolves Team books for this summer’s release, formatting them and slowly uploading them as well. These won’t be part of the sale anyway.

On the 20BooksEdinburgh they’re starting to ask what we’ll be working on while in Edinburgh, but I don’t have an answer yet. It’s still a month away and I think I’ll be done with Torik by then (both the adult and the child). I’m thinking of challenging myself to write a short story a day based on writingΒ  prompts – I already have plenty that I want to write, either to submit to traditional magazines or anthologies or because I want to tell that story.

Or maybe I’ll start on the next Quest book. Turns out Torik is one of them wanderers, so I changed his book title to The Path of Wood, then I’ll write the sequel as The Path of Metal, and The Path of Dreams will remain for Silvery Earth Kids prose, that I’ll include with Torik’s story. Although since these are set before the current Quests Books, maybe I won’t number them as such.

I was thinking I could do another Sci-Fi July bundle and related anthologies, but my mood is currently hopeless towards sales, and I’m too tired to put another anthology together. I’m not even happy with my own stories, so… next year I’ll try to publish another couple. There’s still six curated anthologies you can choose from and another project coming soon.

But wait, someone else set up a vampires stories bundle! Thirteen Stakes goes live today, go grab it now! πŸ™‚ It includes Norman Blood from yours truly and a ton more awesome authors, including a short story that was in Nightly Bites Volume 1! πŸ™‚

And it’s The Infinite Bard week again! Hop off to read another free story from an awesome author! I’m next, so see you there in a couple of weeks! πŸ™‚ After the summer I’ll probably take down the stories on Prolific Works as well, so get them now. I might add a page of free reads to the publisher’s page, but I haven’t decided yet (besides the stories for The Infinite Bard, I mean).

I think that after the summer I’ll start tending the garden of my 200 published titles before putting out new stuff. Backmatter needs to be updated, some covers might be thrown out, some single stories with ugly covers might vanish (they’re all included in some collection or other anyway, and if they haven’t provided point of entry so far, they probably never will) and so on.

Not a complete relaunch or rebranding, but some tidying up yes. This should go hand in hand with house-cleaning and throwing out unneeded stuff, but we’ll see how that goes as well! πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


Last week I came to a grinding halt with Legends of the Moren Empire Volume 2. I don’t like it, I don’t think I can fix it, and I don’t want to work on it anymore. So the rest of the week I worked on Silvery Earth Kids – the prose version and a few more strips – reaching 9400words.

This is the last week I’m giving out wordcount, though. I have reached almost 280K already, and I proved to myself and the world that I can write 500K a year if I put my mind to it, so I’ll keep count for myself from now on. I’m also thinking of scheduling pre-orders for all the Lone Wolves titles, so I can shut down my brain for the summer.

And after the summer, we’ll see. I might try to break into the Italian market, and let the English market be for some time. Or maybe I’ll tend the garden of the English titles (close to 200 anyway), especially after 20BooksEdinburgh. I can’t really think right now, because the heat is really killing me, so I’m in survival mode! πŸ˜‰

I spent most of the weekend reading and napping, although I did finish coloring the strip and drew a couple more. I’m not done yet and I might use some of the prose version as flashbacks in Torik’s novel, which I’m starting this week. I already wrote a short story about the bully of the strip, and now I want to follow Torik and Copperscales – twelve years after Silvery Earth Kids (which means, basically, that Torik is now an adult, but Copperscales is still a baby Fajrulo!).

I wanted to do another couple of curated anthologies, but I probably won’t have the strength, not even for a third Sci-Fi July bundle. But another anthology (not curated by me) should come out this summer, so you can still fill you summer reading if you feel so inclined! πŸ˜€

And it’s Infinite Bard day! Hop off to check the newest story by the awesome Debbie Mumford! Mine will be up in July, so that’s another free read for your summer! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Last week I started Legends of the Moren Empire volume 2 and wrote almost 12k – but again, I have a very detailed outline that is the Italian version in a previous version with the usual fantasy elves and dragons that need to be turned into the new Silvery Earth. I’m also proud to announce that 5 months in I already reached half my goal, 250K (reminder to newcomers – I plan on writing another 500K this year).

A friend posted this article about the real reason fans hate the end of GoT which made me realize that I write that kind of fantasy. An editor of the first couple of years even said my writing reminded her of George R.R. Martin (that’s why I bought Game of Thrones, but it’s still on my desk, TBR, since 2008 or something).

So, I write sociological fantasy on a secondary world. I don’t kill of my main characters in every book, since mine can be read as standalone, but I do change protagonist with every story. Yes, sometimes they’re related, but sometimes they’re not. I’m still filling the holes in the history of the world. The world itself is the series, not the characters.

So it doesn’t really matter from where you enter Silvery Earth, just start exploring… that’s why I have both a chronology and a more segmented list – like, if you want only certain kinds of stories, you can get just those and won’t miss much. It’s definitely an unusual series, with a lot of books, but then, it doesn’t matter at which point you come in. The other series are better appreciated in order (although the only series with numbered books is Future Earth Chronicles).

And we got paperbacks a go-go! The five Future Earth Chronicles (with alternating interior paper cream/white/cream/white/cream), the Vampires Through the Centuries Novellas and Male Lovers of Silvery Earth Volume 3. I even got my copy of Pulphouse #5 and it’s awesome! πŸ™‚

And there’s a new story out at The Infinite Bard! Check what readers have to say about the first four and go read for yourself! πŸ™‚ Read the latest story at The Infinite Bard! πŸ™‚ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


Last week was another 11K week, wrapping up the Lone Wolves Team and adding something to Silvery Earth Kids. Now I’m on Hal the Rogue and probably I’ll add his mother’s story at the end, since, like the other Lone Wolves books, his story starts with the hunt for Mr. H – that’s year 5245 of the Star Nations or 2053 on Earth in the alternative future of Star Minds.

Yesterday two more audiobooks should have gone live, but I will try to provide the links next week. I’m still trying to find the links for Otherside on Amazon and Kobo, way over 30 days since I hit that “publish” button! 😦 If Findaway Voices can’t get me on Amazon, I don’t think I’ll do many more audiobooks with them. Maybe a couple more, because I loved two of the narrators and would love to hear their voices again, but that’s it. And not before the end of the summer anyway.

Next week I’m off DayJob and hope to catch up on paperbacks. Not that I hear anyone clamoring for them, but if I don’t do them, nobody will buy them, right? πŸ˜‰ And I’ll need some paperbacks if I get a table in the Creators’ Alley at Dublin Worldcon. Booked the flights (even for 20BooksEdinburgh), now time will fly – hopefully. And the summer heat won’t kill me before I get there! πŸ˜€

By the way, I will NOT be a panelist in Dublin (my first Worldcon without panels, yay!), so I better start looking for a space in the Creators’ Alley and bring the curated anthologies to that table! I have at least one other author at the con, Fulvio Gatti, he might help sell some! πŸ™‚

Two unmissable posts this week: Great Advice from Joe Lansdale reposted by Dean Welsey Smith and Taming the Critical Voice by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

And since it’s May 1st… here’s the link to the Infinite Bard! The first three free stories are up! πŸ™‚ Go check them! Show us some love! Check all the awesome authors participating, including yours truly!

The Infinite Bard, an international collection of authors who banded together to offer free fiction: epic adventure, spine-tingling action, thrills, chills, romance, humor, mystery. The Infinite Bard launches with three exciting stories. A brand new story will follow every two weeks. Visit the hub at http://TheInfiniteBard.wordpress.com/the-infinite-bard/ to see what’s new, then visit each author’s web site to enjoy each new story as it’s released.

Dive in to the first of The Infinite Bard’s exotic tales of excitement:

Diamond of the Sky by Azure Avians
Blind Spot by Donald J. Bingle
First Command by Chris A. Jackson

And I guess that’s all for now! Have a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

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