Writer Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Sunday Surprise

Aand… Happy Easter! Welcome to today’s author interview! This month we’re lucky, we have a bunch of people as Authors of the Month on Goodreads! Let’s go with the first, then! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Alp Mortal!

e4cb38d9fb3ba90bf4bb4e7c0c450b5bf8912d23Where do you live and write from?

Currently, I am split between four centres of fiction writing worship: The Isle of Wight, UK in the town of Newport; in the mountains of the Vosges in Haute Saone, France, and in Indiana, USA, where I stay with Shannon from time to time. I also spend time in St Tropez with Chambers – usually if we’re getting a Fenchurch Mystery ready for publication.

Living this way really helps to keep me topped up with ideas for new stories – travel broadens the mind … and the vocabulary!

Why do you write?

I write to express myself, to connect, to excite and to entertain. Originally, it was a way to preserve memories in a more challenging way than simply writing a journal. A lot of my early stuff was more autobiographical, at least, a story was more likely to have been triggered by a very personal experience/encounter than anything else. That is less true these days but it is still a factor which for me is vital in processing my emotions/issues/questions. I love to tell stories; I am a story teller first and foremost.

20562587When did you start writing?

I began writing in January 2009. I did do some writing when I was much younger – mostly poetry. I abandoned it for a very long time, concentrating on other art projects when I had the time for anything creative. I started travelling in January 2009 and the idea of writing to preserve the memories occurred to me after a conversation with a close friend, so I – and you – have them to thank/blame!

What genre(s) do you write?

I write m/m romance, m/m/f romance very occasionally, m/m romantic thrillers, and gay-themed crime stories and series (mostly with Chambers Mars when we write as Carter Seagrove). I am just about to start my first Sci-fi project which is also gay themed (Trojan Horse – a kind of Space Opera). I have a gay-themed soap opera (Swallow Close) on the table but that is languishing due to project overload. At some point in 2015, I hope to output a series of poems based around the themes of Metaphysics, Gestalt Theory, Solipsism and Synesthesia – themes which occur in my stories too.

I shuttle between stories of varying length and style – epic fantasy sagas alongside very brief encounters, poetry and things which are essentially plays.

b56739ba431b15d90b57ddee630dfd1bec384a0eWhat does your writing routine consist of?

These days, I write in very short and concentrated packets – slotted in between all of the promotion work and company administration which I have to do since The Project started. In the early days, I wrote whenever I had the chance, and always between 8pm and 11pm in the evening. That tends to be between 11pm to 2am now … but if I have to write something down, then I just do it. I am always working on 5 or 6 projects at the same time and jumping from one to another is second nature – I actually find it very difficult to concentrate on one writing project at a time.

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

My friends and readers tell me that the strength of the stories which I have written lies in their originality and diversity. I hadn’t heard the phrase ‘cookie-cutter’ until I started writing – it seemed like something to avoid. However, I write just what comes into my head – a very strange place – so I guess that accounts for it. I like strong stories with a point and characters who I can love or hate who have a realism about them, some quirk or other. I guess I try hard not to repeat anything except at a general level. I don’t know if the skill is strengthening – it definitely shifts focus – for example, from an action-based story to a dialogue heavy story but I don’t really control that process.

I see stories as moving images – I don’t hear them – I describe what I see. My artistic and other interests are very varied and I suppose that helps to keep things fresh and exciting.

20456951Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Inspiration comes from everywhere – it’s why travel is so important to me. I find that a lot of the energy for a story comes from my own experiences and relationships. There is a lot of me in each story. The things I study the most also feed into stories – ecology, art, cooking, veganism, Buddhism, social history, evolution, mythology, fast cars, poetry (especially John Donne, Andrew Marvel and Coleridge), Metaphysics, Gestalt Theory, Synesthesia and Solipsism. Fundamentally, I find the greatest source of inspiration to be the idea that a set of words can influence how a person feels and thinks – that suggests a very deep connection and a privileged one too.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I write without a plan – I just write – sometimes 10k words at a time, sometimes 10 words. Generally, I will be outputting 2 to 3 stories a month. So far 1.7 million words have found their way onto the shelf. Speed is of the essence for me. I’ll have the perfect phrase pop into my head and I have to write it down – if I don’t, it’s gone forever. Being an Improviser (I like that word) means that I am usually relying on the deus ex machina to help me out at the end – so far so good!

I took a Goodreads prompt for this year’s Don’t Write in the Closet event and it’s really hard to write to someone else’s prompt to a deadline – good discipline for me though.

4054839_origTell us about your latest book

I recently published The Baker of Son Frere http://carterseagrove.weebly.com/thebaker.html

A romantic thriller – I have included the blurb here because it was a better summary than I could think of –

Mali arrives in the village of Son Frere to research an old legend which is the basis of his latest romance novel – the story of the two medieval lovers, the Knights, Michaud and Tristan, is compelling. Mali meets local historian and bakery owner – Rex – a man who, despite a warm and generous welcome, appears to Mali to be hiding something. Bas – Rex’s counter assistant – with whom Mali starts a fling, injects much needed energy into the project and awakens Mali to the prospect of something more than just lustful sex, even the prospect of a relationship.  Mali returns to Paris with Bas, who is restarting his degree course, and their relationship becomes more serious, and the passion for the mystery only fuels their passion for each other.  The deeper Mali probes into the mystery, the more strangely Rex behaves and Mali is even more certain that Rex is hiding something, perhaps even stalking him. The truth is far more sinister than he could have imagined.  Past and present collide and an unspeakable evil threatens to engulf them all.  The story is written as two stories, interlaced, where the medieval and the contemporary stories are presented side-by-side. Each unfolds to reveal a despicable evil; one which persists to the present day, and one which threatens Mali’s very existence.

The story was also the subject of our first book trailer on YouTube [https://youtu.be/F7z2uAOXFCE]

This story fits into the category of m/m romantic thriller. I seem very comfortable combining the two – then I love murder mysteries, thrillers and psychological suspense stories just as much as I like men and romance. A perfect match.

7b38eb9210e16bff7ff0a1a3712806369f2767deIndie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie publishing without a doubt because I have the control and the freedom to publish what I want, when I want and how I want. Chambers and Shannon also feel the same so it made sense for the three of us to combine forces and start the Carter Seagrove Project – our own publishing house which will hopefully ask for submissions later this year. I never wanted to experience the rejection by a traditional publisher – that seemed a pointless and energy sapping exercise given that there was an alternative. Those traditional publishers which I did look at –

  • Had very long lead times which meant that a story which they did accept might not get onto the shelf for a year – that seemed crazy when I could publish the same book the same day.
  • Seemed less interested in LGBT fiction/only wanted a vampire story (assume it’s BDSM now)
  • Were going to pay me less than 10% royalties – excuse me?!
  • And still expected me to do most of the promotion work

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Always lots of stories! Completion of The Map Stick (parts 5 to 7); the Twelve Crimes of Hannah Smith, my web-based serialization; the Sci-fi project; the soap opera; more book trailers; at least three audiobooks this year; a graphic novel adaptation of Fenchurch Mysteries; more of the Tales of the Unexpected series; more of the Brief Encounter series; the second part of Dark Matter (called Dark Energy); a contemporary family saga called Gloriana (based on the lives of the Queens of England collectively referred to as the She-Wolves); the poetry; the screenplay for one short film; sister story to The Baker of Son Frere – no title yet; a second series of The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries (as Carter Seagrove); and a few previously published stories still need to be completely re-edited and re-published … and whatever else crops up!

38755b4534279f5e1c3bccc77cc00160065b77fdWhat is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My goal was and is and will remain, to excite and entertain a reader by delivering a good quality, original story. I spend every waking minute trying to achieve it – so much easier now with the support of Chambers and Shannon. I would like my stories to have a long and happy life – periodic re-editing and re-covering plus much better promotion work might make that a reality. I always wanted to collaborate – hence the stories written with Chambers. I/we also support other indie artists and projects through direct sponsorship/collaboration – for example, our funding of 3 short indie films in 2015.

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

The best piece of advice was: “Just write, publish and repeat.”


Born in 1965, I’m English by birth from the Isle of Wight, living in Newport, spending part of the year in France in the stunningly beautiful department of Haute-Saône in the Franche Comté region. It is heavily forested and very tranquil but the winters are pretty harsh and my home is 820 metres above sea level so I get plenty of snow. I am also spending increasing amounts of time in the USA, co-managing The Carter Seagrove Project LLC – an independent publishing house, incorporated in the State of Indiana. I will be 50 years old in 2015. I only started writing in 2009, proving, I suppose, that it is never too late. I didn’t think about self-publishing until late 2012, now, more than two years later, I’m even more energized by the process than ever before. I’m a qualified English teacher, specializing in teaching English as a second language (TEFL), though I don’t do much of that now. In the distant past, I taught software skills. In the very distant past, I was a project manager on big IT projects and at the very beginning of my career, I was an Internal Auditor. I have degrees in Internal Auditing, Computer Auditing, and Project Management. I’m studying for my degree in Sustainable Development at the moment. Renewable energy is what really interests me and I generate my own power at home via a solar panel. I’m a member of The Society of Authors, The Society for Editors and Proofreaders, and The Independent Author Network. I am a Smashwords Author and a Goodreads Author. I grow some of my own food and from Easter to the end of October, I’m outside for the largest part of the day, tending the garden. I write in the evening and during the winter when there is very little else to do. I have no great philosophy except “energy follows intention” and “honour your gifts”. These two principles keep me sane, very happy and exceedingly busy! Together with Chambers Mars, I am half of Carter Seagrove, author of Dust Jacket and The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries. Alp Mortal, Chambers Mars and Shannon M. Kirkland are The Carter Seagrove Project LLC – an independent book publisher. Find us at http://www.carterseagrove.weebly.com, on Twitter @carterseagrove and on Facebook www.facebook.com/thecarterseagroveproject.

Website – www.alpmortal.weebly.com

Project – http://www.carterseagrove.weebly.com

Email – alpmortal@hotmail.com

Project – thecarterseagroveproject@gmail.com

Twitter @carterseagrove

IMDb – http://www.imdb.com/company/co0518613/?ref_=tt_dt_co

Facebook www.facebook.com/thecarterseagroveproject.

Random Friday

So, got me some British movies while in London, LOL! The only one I hadn’t already seen is West is West, sequel to East is East (1999). I so loved the first one, I really wanted to see the sequel – although it did take me a couple of years to find it in DVD shops. West is West takes us to Pakistan in the 1970s and it’s as hilarious as the first one. And it was kinda funny to see the often mentioned (in the previous film) Mrs Khan #1 had the same face as Akbar’s foster mother… (OK, I watched Jodhaa Akbar once too many, LOL). Also one of George’s daughters looked familiar – and then I found out she was in Luck by Chance. And I felt my Hindi was better than Mrs Khan #2’s! 😉 And I loved the music as well – so reminding me of Bollywood! 😉

I also recovered a DVD I had wrongly sent to my British teacher’s address from Amazon UK – I believe the Bollywood Addict suggested it. Do Dooni Chaar is indeed very funny and I love the soundtrack (no dance numbers, but the songs are lovely), but it felt kinda weird seeing the Disney logo on a Bollywood movie! 😦 Anyway, always a pleasure watching Rishi Kapoor – either Bollywood producer (Luck by Chance), Mumbai gangster (Agneepath) or teacher (here). I seem to understand he’s working with his real-life wife on this one – and she sort of looked familiar, although she didn’t seem to be in any movie for a long time… A funny family comedy for everybody (as long as you either speak Hindi or can read the subtitles, LOL)! 🙂

I have also watched “Best of Madhuri Dixit” – 80 original video songs (sorry, can’t find it anywhere online, blame it on the lady of the Long Island Bollywood DVD shop for selling it to me! ;)) because I think she’s beautiful and a wonderful dancer. So far I had seen only Devdas and Dil To Pagal Hai (included in this compilation), but now I have more titles on my ToBuy list for next year, LOL (will it ever go down? :().

I must say that I’ve seen more about the 3 Khans my age (well, they’re all younger than me by a few months, LOL) and some things changed, some didn’t – SRK is still my favorite Khan, although he looked at his best between 1997 and 2007 (hehe). Aamir was cute in his 20s (Dil was already on my ToBuy list), but now he’s too brooding for my tastes & apparently is a few months older than me – but he’s married, right? And Salman… never liked him, never will, in spite of him being still single (suggested alternative by Shafali, but, like I told her, I really don’t like him)! 🙂 Anyway, sorry Madhuri doesn’t act anymore (married life…), but if she wants to do a comeback, she can be Helen in Six Months too! 🙂

On a totally different topic – I also got to read Jungle Heat by Bonnie Dee. What if Tarzan met Joe instead of Jane? A wonderful tale of a man raised by apes and taken to 19th century London – where they don’t know if the papers should talk about the Ape Gentleman or Jack the Ripper. Hot and riveting m/m love story – although James is sometimes a little irritating, glad Michael knows what he wants! 🙂 And it’s Carina Press, so adults only! 😀

Wishing you a happy weekend! 🙂

Random Sunday

OK, I postponed the randomness because I messed up dates for the latest interview. Meh. Fried brain in this heat. Glad I met Laxmi, though!  Sorry. So, for the randomness – some reading and a movie!

World cinema again! I had it on my ToBuy list and it was graciously offered in Italian newsagents courtesy of Ciak magazine this month, so I bought it. Et maintenant on va où? apparently started like Spurlock’s Where in the world… – the writer director on the verge of parenthood thought about the future of his/her unborn child. In this case, she was pregnant during religious struggles in Lebanon. So, it’s the eternal fight between Christians and Muslims (see My name is Khan), but this time the women step in. It’s a Lebanese movie, but it might as well be Bollywood – they call it a “musical”. Not really, although there are a couple of songs for the romantic subplot. And I absolutely love this song (the reason why I wanted to watch it in the first place, LOL! Sorry I couldn’t find it with English subtitles)!

The movie has humor, sadness and shows another place. World cinema recommended for everyone – stop silly religious struggles, no God EVER asked to kill whoever doesn’t follow the same precepts/rites that you do!

I read The Lair of the Jaguar God because it deals with were-jaguars. I’m not a fan of werevolves – but was curious to read about other kinds of therianthropy. Besides, this book is also hot M/M romance, so it was a fun ride. It didn’t gave me any ideas for my own were-animal (in sci-fi, so he’s called a mutant, LOL), but it was good nevertheless. Pity for the bad editing provided by the publisher. Oh, and I’m not saying for how many months it had been sitting on my Kindle! 😉

Another Blog Hop win is Scarlet and the White Wolf – which is book one of a trilogy. Now, for those of you familiar with yaoi scene, this is really an uke/seme story, from the look of the characters (short, young, dark-haired uke, tall, older, fair-haired seme) to probably the execution – they meet, they hate each other, but they’re meant for each other, so we already know where they’re headed. It’s Jason Mink and Ricky in a fantasy setting. OK, Ai No Kusabi (the novels) is longer (and I’m still waiting for volume 7, that comes out in September. I might actually give up and just remember the much shorter OVA). I might read the other two books in this series when my TBR pile goes down a little. But I’m actually sick of Yaoi storylines and would rather read real gay literature instead! 😉

Final Blog Hop win is Caged – #2 in a series. Not that it mattered that it’s book 2, mind you. Mixed feelings (and not because it’s erotica – so don’t read it if you’re not eighteen, LOL). I like the story, but at the same time it had a very slow beginning and the characters felt very stereotyped (especially the parents) – sometimes falling in the “too stupid to live” category that is normally used in fantasy. And it also felt like a sci-fi story unless the whole world turned gay while I was not looking – I know they usually stick to their peers, but there was no trace of straight relatives or friends in this story. AND being Italian, I had problems with the guy called after a town + at some point I was wondering where he was because he was looking at the “ocean” outside of his window and there’s no ocean in Tucson,AZ nor it Italy (the Mediterranean is a SEA, not an ocean. Not big enough to be called ocean. That’s why we use WINDsurfs – or used to in the 1980s. You can tell I don’t go to the beach much, huh?). So that’s why I hesitate to read the other books in the series, especially if they’re actually set it Italy (as apparently is #1). But I did like the story in spite of the “heavy” parts with rape and torture (I skipped more the sooo-romantic ones, actually, haha) so I’ll wait and see if I want to read more of this series. Maybe I should just stick to the author and ignore all books set in Italy or with (co-called) Italian characters! 🙂

And because it’s so darn hot I’d rather procrastinate writing, I spent yesterday afternoon drawing. So here go the results…

Hritik – color pencils (Caran d’Ache)

Keanu – black pencils + gouache (black & white)

Sunday interview – A.T.Weaver

I won her book during the Hop Against Homophobia and I must admit I had mixed feelings about it. My GR review of First Impressions Don’t Count:

On one hand it was too slow-paced for my tastes, too much “boring” description (but then, I’m someone who hates descriptions, so I found myself skipping paragraphs of foods, clothes or even – I don’t know – glass-making or how to ride a bike) and felt as if the author has done a lot of research on various things and had to put them all in the novel.
The extended families with many names – often quite similar – were also sort of confusing (and I often wondered “Who’s this again?”) and sometimes it was a bit repetitive – OK, much like real life, I guess.
On the other hand it was funny and poignant and the interactions between the characters was endearing. I chuckled during most dialogs and it’s a sweet romance.
So, I don’t know who to recommend this to… m/m romance lovers? Romance lovers in general? Dunno… check a sample and see if you like it!

I still wished to know the author better, so I wrote to her and asked her if she’d like to be interviewed. She said yes, and now I’m even more in awe of her. The interview came back with a little premise: Excuse me if I get a bit long winded.

She’s not, really. I’ve had worse! 😉 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome A.T. Weaver!

B. Where do you live and write from?

A.T. I live in an independent living facility for the elderly in Olathe, Kansas. We’re very sensitive about the way the name of our town is pronounced. It’s Oh-lay-tha, which is a Shawnee Indian word meaning beautiful. Olathe is located twenty miles southwest of downtown Kansas City, MO on I-35 and is where the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails crossed. Olathe is home to the only stagecoach stop on the Santa Fe Trail still open to the public.

In the 1990s we went from a population of approximately 17,000 to over 100,000 in ten years.

Q. When did you start writing?

A. Back in 2003, I was unemployed and living with my son and his girlfriend. I got hooked on a TV show called Boy Meets Boy and ended up in a Yahoo group with over 3,000 gay men. After the show was over, we continued to talk and they educated me to the problems facing the LGBT community. They also recommended books and movies for me. I discovered most gay stories had some type of tragedy involved. When I decided to try my hand at writing, one of the guys said he would love a book where the boy meets the boy and they ride off into the sunset together.

I also became very vocal in regards to equality. My kids think I’ve lost my mind. I attended my first ever protest rally in 2008 after Prop 8 passed in California.

Q. What genre(s) do you write?

A. I write about gay men. I do not write erotica. I don’t want my teenaged grandkids picking up one of my books and saying, “OMG, my grandmother wrote that!” I try to write stories that show gay people are no different from straight people. After all, don’t we all want ‘someone to laugh with us when we’re happy, someone to cry with us when we’re sad and someone to grow old with us?’

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

A. A lot of my plots come from stories my friends tell me. Like in First Impressions where Jenny carries Dave’s babies for her brother. That came from one of the guys in the Yahoo group.

The only part of me that goes into my stories is my sentiment.

Q. Do you have a specific writing routine?

A. No. I wish I did.

Q. Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

A. I guess you’d say I’m an improviser. I tend to write scenes and then put them together. I know what I want to happen, I just have to get from here to there.

I’ve written three books in nine years so I’d say slow.

Q. Tell us about your latest book

A. My latest book is called Catriona’s Curse and I don’t really know where the idea came from. It started out to be a ghost story but then I changed it to reincarnation. It’s set in modern Boonville, MO. with flashbacks to the era of pre-Civil War, World War Two and Women’s Suffrage.




Q. Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

A. I’ve gone with self-publishing because I couldn’t get anyone to read my first manuscript. After paying $500 to have my first book published, I started using Create Space.

Q. Any other projects in the pipeline?

A. Right now I’m working on two stories. One is about a young man who ‘comes out’ by breaking the nose of a soccer teammate and a few months later meets his dream man. Mike is twelve years older than Danny. Again, I’ve based that part on couples I know where one partner is considerably older than the other.

The other story is a paranormal short story. It’s about a werewolf (or maybe a shifter)

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

A. I’m 69 years old so I don’t really have any goals. I just write to keep my mind active and me out of trouble.

Barb says: This last answer awed me. I’ve seen much younger writers shy away or balk at indie publishing because they felt it’s too hard (or they sign with Publish America thinking they’re smart – and then they whine and lament their company sucks. Duh). And they’re born with technology. And unlike “elder” friends who got lost with paying services, this lady could be my mom and she used technology to keep herself young, along with the writing. My lady, I bow to you! 🙂 Happy writing and many sales to you!  🙂

Writer wednesday – blog hop results

So, it was so intense I didn’t have time to watch any movies, LOL! But I did have fun reading the 280 blog posts of the Hop Against Homphobia  and have piled up a few more titles (as if I didn’t have enough to read already, LOL).  And I won 3 e-books, yay!

Now, for my part. A very special thanks to the 100+ visitors that showed up on my blog (pretty down the line, so I’m sure most didn’t make it this far) and the 10+ who left comments. I actually did two drawings, so I have two winners.

First I had a manual draw because 1 comment was on the wrong post and Joleene had 2 (WP glitches…), so I wrote down the names and had my innocent, non-English-speaking 7-year-old nephew do the drawing.

Here’s the result. But as Joleene already knows my work (we didn’t cheat, my nephew can’t even read her name properly and my mum didn’t really help him as she can’t speak English either, LOL), I decided to do another drawing with Random.org.

So here we go, comment #8 is… Shadow Sterling! I’ve had trouble generating Smashwords coupons all of yesterday, but this morning I finally managed to do it, so I sent the coupon to them… and then I hope they’ll enjoy their copy of Allan de Sayek and give a honest review on Smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads or wherever else they can leave reviews! 🙂

Now, to new releases: the body switch is out, sorry it was late for the blog hop. Maybe next year I’ll have B.G. Hope participate and give away either one of her m/m romance stories or this novella – switch between married woman and young gay man. Go check it on Smashwords and Kindle. One copy is sold before the announcement – on Smashwords (thank you, dear reader, whoever you are – I assume you saw it on Facebook or browsing Smashwords!).

I have a few writerly links as well, with my comments, of course. Kris Rusch on the “brutal” 2000-word day – I don’t know what my daily wordcount is because I handwrite first drafts, but I am (mostly) on schedule with my publishing year. OK, CVE3 will probably be late, but as in June I’ll publish only short stories, I can relax a little with the wordcount! 😉

For those of you who constantly check your Amazon ranking, here’s a post on the algorythm.  Personally, I’m too busy writing to bother checking. I know I might not see that Amazon check this year either, but I’ll keep writing. OK, maybe after the summer I’ll have 100$ of royalties and will see that check and frame it! 😉 Anyway, I’m not really experimenting with price either, except for the double shorts of my other pen-names (two stories for 2.99$ instead of 1 at .99$) – well, it’s not really an experiment, as I don’t plan on changing it again anytime soon… Anyway, check also David Gaughran’s analysis of the whole matter.

And finally an excellent post on the changing politics of the self-publishing stigma.  Again, who are the writers’ fiercest enemies? Other writers, of course. That’s what I noticed in many critique partners I had – they wanted me to write like them or like some writing guru who wasn’t even a fiction writer said we should.  Now the book world is in the hands of readers at last. Let the readers judge you. You write for them and yourself, not for some bestselling writer you’ll never be able to emulate.

One final link is David Gaughran’s open letter to the DoJ. It’s probably gone by now, but still worth reading. I should have gone and signed it when I first heard about it, but it was a busy week last week, sigh.

Now I’ll go back to work and check your blogs and just keep writing. If it weren’t so rainy, I’d be inking SKYBAND 11 at work, but I don’t want it to get damp! 😀 Have a great week!

UPDATE about the Open Letter to the DOJ: I wrote David this morning asking if he had already sent it – he hasn’t, so if you would like to add your signature to that wonderful letter, drop him a line at the address he has given on the post! Let’s make a difference! From all over the world! 🙂

Extra post – Blog Hop Against Homophobia!

And it’s going to be sticky until the end of the hop! Welcome, visitors of the Hop Against Homophobia!So today is International Day Against Homophobia, and here I am, supporting the cause. A special thank goes to the organizers of the Hop Against Homophobia and their neat little badge – and I apologize to them for joining so late and without much advertising.

Now I’m supposed to say something about today (May 17): I’m a fantasy writer, but this doesn’t mean I’m not aware of homophobia. You’d think one could use fantasy to create a world without homophobia, right? Well, sometimes one creates a world same-but-different from ours precisely to think about issues we face every day… So, Silvery Earth has lots of homosexual characters, and most of them aren’t really liked by the rest of the world. Well, at least the Humans, as the Magical Races are wise enough to know that love – true love – knows no boundaries of gender or race. I could have set those stories today on our world, but I preferred make up one with a medieval feeling and magical beings that could oversee our foolishness – not very successfully, unfortunately. So I guess Silvery Earth’s homosexuals have the same problems that ours have. I would like to dedicate this day to all my homosexual friends out there *waves at them* – I’m with you in spirit, if not in body! 🙂

I don’t write only M/M romance, but for the purpose of this blog hop, I’ll give away one e-book copy of my only (at the moment, stay tuned for more!) M/M romance story set on my fantasy world of Silvery Earth, Allan de Sayek. It’s the only story that centers on M/M love, but if you’d like to know more about the world and its colorful characters, feel free to contact me.

To win a copy of this e-book, leave a comment below. A random winner will be chosen after the blog hop. The giveaway is open worldwide (don’t you love e-books?) and consists on a Smashwords coupon for a free download of the above title in any format you wish – including good old PDF to print out if you don’t own an e-reader! 🙂 The winner will be announced during my Writer Wednesday post on May 23. As you must leave an e-mail to comment, I’ll contact you if you’re the lucky one! 😉

Now move on to the next blog on the hop and… happy hopping! *scuttles off to check the other entries*

Sunday Excerpt

Because Six Sentence Sunday doesn’t bring that many visitors to this blog, because six sentences is really very short, and because I’m late with the latest release, I will do a Sunday Excerpt – including the past six sentence Sundays. So here’s the whole scene from Allan de Sayek (OK, it misses the very end, but at least you know how the full conversation goes),  out on Kindle and Smashwords! 🙂

Allan had been sent to his room as soon as they had reached Palace de Sayek and was very worried for Nazir. A servant brought him a message from his father: Prince Ahmed would meet him in the morning, and he was confined to his room until his father’s visit. Without food.

Allan tried to glance into the room on the other side of the corridor, hoping to see Nazir there, but his beloved hadn’t gone back to his room – the door was wide open and the room obviously empty – and the two guards standing outside forbade him to leave his own.

Allan snorted, frustrated. His fear for Nazir’s life made his stomach clench, so he didn’t really notice the missed dinner. He wasn’t hungry. He couldn’t sleep either because it was a hot night and thoughts of his lover kept him up almost until dawn.

When he awoke the sun was high and his father stood next to the bed, arms folded over his chest, wearing a frown that didn’t allow much hope.

Allan pulled himself up, gathering his wits. “Father, where is Nazir? Please tell me you haven’t killed him, as I am the one to blame.”

Prince Ahmed’s lips twitched as if he had repressed a smile. “No, I haven’t killed him, Allan.”

“Thank the Gods!” Allan joined his hands and looked at the painted ceiling, relieved.

“But I did punish him and will also punish you,” his father continued.

“You haven’t hurt him… physically, have you?” Allan worried his father could have made a eunuch out of his lover.

“No, I sold him as a slave.”

Allan gaped. Nazir… a slave? “To whom? To do what?” he panicked.

“He’s chained to row in a galley. You will not see him, ever, again.” His father’s voice was harder now. “If you try to contact him or free him I will execute him, Allan – is that clear?”

Allan nodded, speechless, staring wide-eyed at his father. He had lost his beloved. How could he ever be happy again?

“I shall find you a wife,” his father added, calming down. “You will follow tradition, Allan. My son will not dishonor our family with a forbidden love. Your punishment is twenty lashes.”

The two guards that had waited outside came into the room and grabbed Allan’s arms, pulling him to his feet and dragging him to the courtyard where a pole for flogging disobedient servants stood in a corner.

It was probably the first time in the history of the palace that the son of the prince was tied to the pole and whipped under his father’s stern eyes. Allan clenched his teeth, determined not to scream or beg, but tears started flowing down his cheeks.

Nazir had become a slave and he was treated like a servant. Life was unfair. His father was unfair in denying him his greatest love.

Memories of the days in the oasis flashed through his mind between lashes. His back ached and he wished he could feel Nazir’s hands and lips on his bruises.

They took him back to his room where he slumped on the bed, burying his face in the pillow to hide his desperate sobs. Eventually, he fell asleep.

Six Sentence Sunday

One last bit from Allan de Sayek just to let you know of Nazir’s fate… continuing from last week.


Allan gaped. Nazir… a slave? “To whom? To do what?” he panicked.

“He’s chained to row in a galley. You will not see him, ever, again.”


Wanna know more? Allan de Sayek is out on Kindle and Smashwords.

Now hop back to the Official Blog for more six sentence goodies… have a great Sunday! :-)

Six Sentence Sunday

Continuing from last week’s post – from Allan de Sayek, m/m romance set on Silvery Earth…


“Thank the Gods!” Allan joined his hands and looked at the painted ceiling, relieved.

“But I did punish him and will also punish you,” his father continued.

“You haven’t hurt him… physically, have you?” Allan worried his father could have made a eunuch out of his lover.

“No, I sold him as a slave.”


Allan de Sayek is out on Kindle and Smashwords.

Now hop back to the Official Blog for more six sentence goodies… have a great Sunday! :-)

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