Random Friday


Re: the paperback of Male Lovers volume 2 – it had been linked to volume 1. I contacted Author Central and asked them to link it to the right kindle book. Took me some digging on the Amazon links to figure out what happened. That’s why it showed up correctly on Barnes&Noble but not on Amazon. Sigh.

Anyhow, I’ll do a couple of Art Fridays, but not just of my art (that sucks compared to the cover artists I hire, LOL!). More of the various versions of my characters, done by me and by another artist – or three. The first ones were Kilig and Hakeem, for which I did the covers of the single parts, but then hired someone else for the whole novel. And had them drawn also on the aforementioned volume 1. So here follow the various versions of the assassins/lovers of Silvery Earth.

Kilig and Hakeem by Barb

Kilig and Hakeem by Barb

Kilig and Hakeem by Cinzia Di Felice

Kilig and Hakeem by Cinzia Di Felice

Kilig and Hakeem by Sir Wendigo

Kilig and Hakeem by Sir Wendigo

kilighakeem

Kilig and Hakeem by Cristina Fabris

So, there you go! Four different artists’ take on those guys! Cinzia and Cristina added Guisarme and Sabre – you can see Sabre in Hakeem’s rival and here’s Guisarme by yours truly.

guisarme

This is a very tragic story for adults only. If you’d like to check it, here’s the link to the novel Kilig the Sword that gathers it all. In Male Lovers Volume 1 you can have a taste with the story that started it all, Saif’s Legacy…

Have a great weekend! 🙂

 

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Writer Wednesday


Sales… nobody took advantage of it (except Tori, thank you for the review), but it’s been on my author of the month thread all this time. You can have Rajveer the Vampire 50% off at Smashwords – Coupon Code: JH97Z – Expires: December 2, 2015. Not many days left, so get it now.

Also, to celebrate the new cover by Cristina Fabris, I’m putting Kilig & Hakeem at 50% off until the same day. Coupon Code: KQ83V – Expires: December 2, 2015. In December I will do a Smashwords-only sale with 50% off selected titles… stay tuned for the list! 🙂 It will be mostly m/m titles, so if that’s what you come here for, come back next week.

By the way, I did the catalog for Unicorn Productions, you can download a free PDF on the homepage. I will soon go to the shop to have it printed on thicker paper to take to the English bookshop(s) here in Rome, and if I manage to get them books, I’ll try to send the printed catalog to the US bookstores, starting with the ones I know on the Oregon coast. Since I plan on doing more PODs in January, this might take some time and a few updates before I actually go with it! 😉

A couple of posts on writing for the market – not! Just don’t. Hear it from two people who have been in the market since before you were born. Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Write what you love, what you want to read. Like Fairytales Revisited as m/m romance, if that’s your fancy right now! *stares into the mirror with a big grin*

When I’m done with those 3 I have in mind (well, Beautiful is out, currently writing the Snow White one, then I’ll have the Cinderella Man), I’ll move on to something else. Try to write that contemporary story that is meant to be written, finish the other longer contemporary story I have put in a drawer back in September, maybe write that Star Minds story with aliens on Earth, or maybe who knows. I haven’t decided what I’ll write next year yet (besides the two vampire historicals and finish the fairytales revisited, I mean)! 🙂

And if you’re looking for places to promote yourself or your books, here’s a list. I’m currently going through it, looking for places where I or my characters could show up. And as you can see in the comments, you can also contact me – I welcome guest authors from all backgrounds and all fiction genres! 🙂

That’s all for today! Have a great week! 😀

Writer Wednesday


KiligNovel_resizeAnd we have the first published title of the new year – and since it’s in English, I didn’t really bother with EU VAT. Like they say here, e-book prices are still stable, but the authors/publishers will take a hit, earning less for each title… Next weekend I’ll have to work on my Italian titles pricing since Amazon kindly informed me that the 4% VAT is only on e-books with ISBNs. I should have known, the law was pushed by the people who issue Italian ISBNs… but to me a book is a book even without an ISBN – especially an e-book! 😦

So unless I manage to take all those Italian readers away from Amazon, I’m going to earn less on Amazon this year, since I don’t want to buy ISBNs for the mobi files only. They’re quite expensive and not really worth it – so 20th century like a friend of mine says! They might go the way of the dodo sometime in the near future, so I won’t bother. I guess living off my royalties just got postponed, since half of my earnings last year was from Amazon Italia. Sigh.

Anyhow, as promised, here’s the whole and full story of Kilig the Sword, with a bonus novella on a secondary character that shows up in Kilig&Hakeem (I changed the cover on this one and put one of mine – less nice, but it will have to do, otherwise it’s too similar to the novel version). The cover is the one by Cinzia Di Felice, and the POD version is actually the best. I’m waiting for the final proof, and then you’ll see both versions. In the meantime, the e-book is available on Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords and DriveThruFiction! 🙂 For all those M/M romance lovers out there, especially if the HEA is not a must! 😉

A few links to start the year: How to Master (and Survive) a Career as a Solo Writer! by Jennifer Brown Banks. As you might know, I’m married to Mr Writing and have Da Muses constantly giving me new ideas for new stories, but… the reality is, I’m on my own. I have very few people cheering me on so I must be really stubborn to keep doing it! 😉

Two more articles on the new world of publishing by Dean Wesley Smith: Control and Getting knocked off a goal. Have you made your goals yet? I did, but I’m not making them public at this time. January is still the month of assessing and programming, so I won’t be ready for another week or so! 😉

But since I set wordcount goals, I will report my monthly wordcount on the 1st Wednesday of each month on this very blog. So, from February I’ll let you know how many new words I’ve written, and how much translations I’ve done, since I mentioned I plan on having translations both ways this year.

Kris Rusch is back with her business posts, so keep an eye on her blog. Lost of wisdom there! 😉 Also check Mark Coker’s Smashwords year in review and plans for 2015. Happy writing year, everyone! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


I’m giving another shot at the pre-order buttons, so… you have one title out now and its sequel in a couple of weeks! 😉

Maru&CiCoversSaif&Kilig is now out on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, DriveThruFiction,  Apple and  Barnes&Noble! 😉 Please admire the wonderful artwork by Marurenai

Kilig&Hakeem – the complete story, including the unpublished sad ending – is already available for pre-order on Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords. It will come out also on the other three sometimes in early December (I can schedule DriveThruFiction publications, but no idea if Draft2Digital will manage to send it to Apple and B&N on time – they don’t have a pre-order button yet). The cover is by Cinzia Di Felice – cropped, you’ll see the whole masterpiece next year on the POD version!

Aaand! Another title is up – for FREE! It’s Guisarme, also included in both Wyrd Worlds 2 and Saif&Kilig. You can find it on Smashwords and NoiseTrade. Cover art by yours truly (meh. That’s why I’m not posting it on the blog next to the  other two ladies! 😉 But I’m a hobbyist artist, they’re pros! 😀 ).

Star Minds Next Generation update: since the short story I hoped could stand on its own turns out to be just the beginning of a wider picture and raises more questions than it answers, I’m incorporating it in the novel, expanding it. So I’ll have 4 parts, with one longer than the others – as the main action is concentrated there – and the whole book telling the story spanning many years, instead the concentrated two years of Star Minds Trilogy. So more like Star Minds Snippets with four stories pasted together covering a longer time span. In December I will complete this story, hopefully before the holidays (although I’ll try not to bother beta-readers during the holidays, I hope they’ll be available at the beginning of January).

There are still a couple of days to submit for the Anthology! Check the details here! And help us find a title!

Now, to the writerly links of the week! A mission statement from Writing World! If you haven’t subscribed to their newsletter yet, do it now. And get their Yearly Planner as well. I had it printed and bound and will try to keep a better track of my writing time next year.

Smashwords founder Mark Coker on ebook publishing and the challenges we’re facing. Here’s how to succeed! And remember, you fail only if you quit! 😉 Or, for another view, self-publishing reaches the summit – although I’d still make a difference between self-publishers and indie publishers, but I don’t want to bother you here. You just find your own conclusions! 😉

A few more for newbies: stay away from vanity presses. I guess I should translate this paragraph into Italian, since Author Solutions is now tarketing the Spanish-speaking market (but then, that’s a much wider market than the Italian one, LOL!). Check out this latest post by David Gaughran – especially if you’re not American. Penguin Random House might be coming to your country, and you better be aware. I did receive a couple of emails from America Star Books, but I promptly ignored them. And remember what Joe Konrath says – DON’T PAY ANYONE TO PUBLISH YOU!

Take the DBW writers survey – published or unpublished as you are. And you can tell them you heard about it on Hugh Howey’s blog, much like I did! 😉 (I’m linking to him because I’m not sure the link otherwise works…) And one more article with David Farland’s wisdom: provide your own inspiration. Nobody ever gave me cookies for writing, but kept doing it anyway! 😉

Have a great weekend! 😀

 

Sunday Surprise


My name is Brenda de Zorig and I’m a journalist for the Konigtown Gazette. I’ve been on the road for years as an actress in an itinerant company, but eventually decided to go back to my hometown to start living of the thing I like the most – writing. So while I write my Masterpiece, I took this job at the Gazette and they send me on various assignments… I thought I might as well starting interviewing random people. Since I intend to write fiction, but truth is always stranger than fiction, I’m eager to hear about people out there – on my world or beyond.

In the previous post we met the twin princes of Amrendra, but they weren’t the only ones in front of me… I look forward to learn more about their bodyguard – if he is indeed a bodyguard.

*eyes the tall silent man one step behind the twins* Tell me a little about yourself.

K: My name is Kartik and I’m of gypsy descent. At some point I left my tribe of origin and joined Master Zahir itinerant circus where I found a scrawny teenager with big gray eyes that turned out to be much more than what I first thought… I’m ten years older than him.

*Harish moves closer to him with a grin, Rohit rolls his eyes with a smile*

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

K: Wiry, dark-haired and pale-skinned.

Let’s not forget handsome and mysterious, please! What is your role in the story?

K: I took Harish away from Master Zahir’s circus because I was sick of watching him being pimped out. We ran away and found refuge in Jevina, capital of Lakeshi, where things went bad very quickly.

H: Actually, he told me to be careful when I performed in front of King Vijay, but I forgot… *looks dejected*

Since you’re both gorgeous, I’m not surprised you found trouble!

What is your relationship with Harish?

K: I’ve been in love with Harish for five years now, but didn’t dare telling him, knowing how much abuse he’d been through. Until we ran away and could spend some time alone together…

H: And I managed to let him know I adore him too!

Where do you live?

K: I’m a nomad, my home is where my heart is – with Harish.

What is it about Harish that you find appealing?

K: His innocence in spite of his life, and his vulnerability in spite of his built. The fact that he remained sweet and shy even if he had to do things that would drive anyone crazy or sour or angry. And he’s the most gorgeous young man I’ve ever seen as well – I love his malformed hand!

H: He is strong and independent and I’ve wanted to be like him since he first stepped into our wagon! He’s the only one who can touch me without me shivering in disgust… he’s so sweet!

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

K: Freeing him from King Vijay’s lust.

Oh, boy, what a story! Twin royalty, a lost twin, a lustful king… I couldn’t write anything better! Go check these tales of the southern kingdoms, set in Amrendra a long time ago…

Amrendra_resizeBLURB

Amrendra

Once upon a time there was a kingdom that mostly followed the southern traditions and culture but differed from the others for two main things: it was blessed with four seasons – instead of three, led by monsoon rains – and with twin royals, so there were always two interchangeable kings…

“The Northern Warrior”

The prince heir’s first (and unrequited) love.

“The Jesters”

Entertaining the court of Lakeshi and their lustful king.

“Twin Royalty”

Rohit and Rahul of Amrendra learn to know each other and prepare to reign together.

Writer Wednesday


MaleLovers_resizeMale Lovers of Silvery Earth is now available on Kindle, B&N, Smashwords, DriveThruFiction and eventually Kobo and Apple. I’ve struggled with the CreateSpace template again – had to put back the italics to keep the formatting, like I did with the previous two, but now I’m waiting for the proof. I did less attempts with the cover template, since I found another way of doing it that took less tweaking (or I’m getting better at it).

What I don’t like of CreateSpace is that you can’t have a cart and buy one copy of all your books. You have to order proofs (max.5, who needs that many anyway) one by one, which means each book comes with it’s own mailing expenses. I wanted to order a final version of Star Minds Snippets, but now I’m wary, since I can’t order it along with the proof of Male Lovers. Maybe I’ll have to do a few more attempts in the CS dashboard before I become familiar with it – Lulu is definitely easier.

Anyhow – writing-wise, I’ve finished translating Star Minds in Italian, so maybe I’ll write a short story in English before starting with the Snippets translation. I have an idea wandering in my head, but I might need to solidify it more before I start writing. Da New Muse is already at work, sigh.

Writerly links of the week! 🙂  Kris Rusch’s discoverability part 5 – here’s a few more writer’s wisdom for you:

Because, in the arts, all we have is our individuality. The minute you try to do something the same way someone else did—from composing a story to choosing a genre to marketing your work—you’ve failed.

The first rule of being an artist is to be an artist.

What you’re creating is unique, because it’s yours. Your job as an artist is to always strive to tell your stories in your way. Who cares if fat fantasy novels are selling right now? Who cares if none of your friends read romance?

Write your books.

And always work to improve.

Actually, I wanted to highlight half the post, LOL! And then you have Dave Gaughran on marketing – I’m not really enjoying it, and I’m not doing any of the things others do, except hanging out on Goodreads. Maybe I should try BookBub or ENT (or maybe not, ENT, like Fussy Librarian, wants at least 10 reviews, and none of my books has that mani – and I’m told it’s not easy to get featured on BookBub), or buy his book “Let’s get visible”! 😉 Maybe I will put a marketing plan in this year’s resolution, or maybe not.  As usual, I’d rather be off writing.

How to keep your writing going for all 2014 by Dean Wesley Smith – in case you don’t have a routine yet. I do report to you guys, and I’m following idea #4 since 2012. Yep, I published approximately 25 titles per year since (although even my first year, 2011, was more than 20, even if they weren’t scheduled every two weeks like the following years). Might not all be in English, but well… still count as titles up! 🙂 And no, I never show WiPs, only the completed manuscripts! 😉

Joe Konrath’s publishing predictions for 2014 with Dean’s comments. I don’t know what will happen with the POD books – I know I’ve sold none so far, but I’ll keep offering the printed version for the longer works. I hope to get to the Oregon coast for another workshop and then there’s Loncon, where I might have a couple more panels and maybe bring a printed book or two. But that’s in 8 month, so plenty of time to think about it! 😉 By the way, if other SFF authors are going to London next August, get in touch with me and let’s talk about it! 😀

Have a great week!

Surprise Sunday


A combination of Art+Excerpt, how’s that for a surprise? Let’s start with last weekend’s procrastination technique: Smeraldo and Kyrio.

Smeraldo&Kyrio_resizeThese two are the real protagonists of The Death of Queen Amazonia, and even if it’s still in WiP stage, I thought I’d put an excerpt here – a new scene that wasn’t in draft one, so it’s a surprise even for the beta-readers! 😉 This drawing should illustrate the scene – sort of.

Smeraldo was born in what will be known as the Amazons Country. As the first queen, Amazonia, is  still alive, it’s called only Queendom of Maadre and its inhabitants Daughters of Amazonia. Kyrio is a foreign merchant who bought him from his owner, as men are properties in the Queendom of Maadre. Smeraldo is traumatized, but Kyrio has managed to unblock something, albeit not completely, and they’re now lovers.

Warning: snippet not edited for typos/grammar/etc! 🙂

Then it was time to go back to sea. Kyrio, Smeraldo and Jack headed back for the coast and reached the harbor where the ship was berthed. Kyrio sent a call to his crew who quickly reported to him.

Smeraldo could understand what the other said now, so he decided he could be part of the crew instead of sitting in the cabin with nothing to do all day. His eyes pleaded Jack to teach him something about sailing, so he became a ship-boy.

At night he slept with the captain, and on deck they pretended there was nothing between them. But when they locked the cabin’s door, Kyrio’s tenderness enveloped Smeraldo like a blanket.

The dancer was also more curious about the places they visited – Ixos, capital of the Tattoo country; Inessa in the Kaden Kingdom; Akulina on the coast of the Kingdom of Akkora; smaller towns on the shores of the Black Empire – where men had skins so dark they were invisible at night – and then the ocean, where the islands that had given birth to Kyrio’s mother lay.

They reached the archipelago and landed on a sandy white beach, welcomed by half-naked natives with tribal tattoos and big grins. Smeraldo couldn’t understand their language, but deduced where Kyrio had gotten his features from – slightly exotic even in his ignorant, untraveled eyes. Kyrio must have taken more than traditions from his mother.

The island had only a village of huts inhabited by fishermen and pearl gatherers. Kyrio took him to dive in the blue waters, looking for shells, corals and other treasures. At fist Smeraldo was a little afraid of all that water, but he trusted Kyrio, so he held his breath and followed him to the most amazing underwater world.

They were given a small hut apart from the rest, so at night they could make love to each other on the ground, as there was no furniture anywhere on the island, except some hammocks hanging from trees.

Smeraldo was grateful for the discovery of a new place that looked very much like a garden of heaven, and wished they could stay there forever. But his voice didn’t come out as he fell asleep in Kyrio’s arms.

 Have a wonderful Sunday! 🙂

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