Random Friday

So, in the few days without writing (slowly going back to it coz I’m addicted, LOL!), I had nothing better to do and try to catch up on my TBR pile. Didn’t make that much progress, since I’m such a slow reader, but better than no reading! 🙂

First I read Jorick’s origin story (which is a Patreon exclusive, but you can get it for the lower tier), which was what I’d been waiting for since I started reading Amaranthine. Thanks again to Joleene Naylor for finally writing it! 🙂

I finished The World Without Us – a re-read – for Wanderlust research. I read the introduction to 21 Lessons for the 21st Century but didn’t go much further yet, although I’ll need to read that too to determine what exactly was the apocalypse, LOL!

I’ll probably write this batch back to back like I did for Star Minds Lone Wolves, since it’s 6 years after Brainwaves and for 3 or 4 books we follow the same two people. Then I’ll take a break, write another Silvery Earth Heroine, and then write the other books with other characters’ POVs.

See, I’m already planning for 2019, haha! Nothing’s gonna stop me, now that I have this very ingrained habit since the age of the typewriter (yeah, I’m old, and suddenly I feel lucky! Actually, I’m experienced, LOL!)

Anyway, back to reading. I’m almost done with Sci-fi July Redux and found some really nice gems, if I may say so. I know, I’m the curator, but I usually don’t read the whole books before bundling them. In fact I haven’t read the other books of last year’s vampire bundle (except Joleene’s) yet. And I gave priority to Sci-fi July even though I still have to read Thieves and Celebrating Male Lovers because I was writing sci-fi. Well, science fantasy, since that’s what Star Minds is…

Anyway, if you haven’t already, check it out since it won’t be out forever. It will be gone on January 4, six months after release. I know January looks far away, but it will come quickly, trust me! 🙂 Here you have the list of the bundles that are still available that I either curated or am part of.

And if you’re a writer, you might want to re-check BundleRabbit. It has a new feature for writing in series or shared worlds! 🙂 Have a great Sunday!



Sunday Surprise

And it’s a guest! She was one of my first editors and read all the Books of the Immortals, then we parted ways and lost track of each other, so I’m very proud to have her on my blog again after so many years! Because guess what? Yes, she has a new book out! And it’s not fiction for a change! 🙂 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Shonell Bacon!

Where do you live and write from?

I’ve been in Lake Charles, LA, since 2001, but was born and raised in Baltimore. Where I write … well, pretty much anywhere. Usually, I am in my “home office,” a space I carved out of our bar room area. But with my phone and tablet and dictation, I “write” while in traffic, at the café, the park. If I have a digital device and my voice, I can write anywhere.

Why do you write?

Because of WORDS. I love them. I love the shapes of letters in words, how words sound in my mouth as they come out, how we can use them to create elaborate stories that touch readers in a myriad of ways.

When did you start writing?

I was about six. My mom had bought me a diary for a quarter at a flea market, and almost immediately, I began writing sports articles for my beloved Baltimore Orioles and for my favorite soap opera at the time, The Guiding Light.

What genre(s) do you write?

Mystery, rom-com, inspirational, non-fiction (on the writing craft)

What does your writing routine consist of?

Most writing routines for me consist of lots of COFFEE and usually some form of meditation, even if it’s a five-minute song to think on and listen to or an actual meditation session on one of my apps. Sometimes, I light a candle to fragrance my space, and then I say a prayer and reread previous writing to get me back in the writing headspace.

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

Don’t let fear stop you from writing.

Please do ramble about your latest project – what it’s about, how you came up with the idea, anything, really. We want to know about it!

Make Your Writing Bloom is my first project on writing. I always knew at some point I would venture into short books on writing. I’ve been writing articles on writing for over 15 years for various websites. As an educator, and especially someone who has the spiritual gift of “teaching,” helping others do something better is an integral part of who I am. I’ve been an editor for over 18 years, and the biggest joy of editing is seeing writers grow from one project to the next one. I continue that teaching into what I hope will be the first of many projects on the writing craft. Make Your Writing Bloom is the “love” project from me to writers who feel stuck in their writing and who want to get unstuck. From rediscovering their love of writing and favorite writing experiences to understanding why fear and busy lives can kill writing, readers will be taken on a journey that will, hopefully, get them back into their writing mojo.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Currently, I am working on the Make Your Writing Bloom online class; outlining my second project on the writing craft, 8 Questions for Writers; and playing around with the storylines for my next mystery, FOLLOW, the final book of my Double Inkwell Mysteries series. 

Please add your social media links

Web Page: http://chicklitgurrl.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shonbacon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chicklitgurrl

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chicklitgurrl/

Random Friday

Future reading for research purposes blog post! I finally got everything from the various Amazon marketplaces (IT, FR and .com), so here’s the plan.

June reading for the next vampire novel that starts in 2005 Mumbai and goes from there – I include in this pic also the title for the sadist author, although vampires aren’t that easy to hurt, so that one goes actually for all the other books! 😉

July reading for POC Book 2 – Wanderlust. Survival in a post-apocalyptic but reborn world, since it’s been 3-4 centuries since the Event. The World Without Us is a re-read, probably just scanning for what I need, and the survival guides are also more for consultation than actual reading (although flipping through the pages I may come up with plot points, haha!).

These are all non-fiction books, and at the end of the year you’ll know which ones I recommend. As for fiction, I’m slowly trudging through bundles on my Kindle, but I have so many, I’ll never catch up, sigh. This month I’m reading a friend’s stories (he’s doing the 30-stories-in-30-days challenge) and some classic for research into steampunk – Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells.

Something randomly different: I haven’t seen Padmaavat yet – well, I’ve seen the trailer and wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it or not (the DVD isn’t out yet anyway), but then I got this review of the movie in my inbox (Google Alerts) and now I’m really considering it, since there are some people who are aware that those Rajput are quite delusional! 😉

I did study that time period for Rajveer the Vampire, although I found out later that Padmini or Padmavati might have not existed, but well… this lady did an excellent review and might have convinced me to give it a try – knowing the shortcomings beforehand might help, LOL! 🙂

So, that’s all for this week! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂


Writer Wednesday

January wordcount was over 40K. I redrafted Colors (next title out, currently with proofreader) and turned an old graphic novel into a novella – both these stories are 27K. Now I’m turning another graphic novel into a novel that should come out probably next month.

I did a new cover for Colors during the weekend since I wasn’t completely happy with the one I did in December. So I got to draw a swallow for the first time in my life. I found a cute pic on the Wikipedia page and went from there. Not telling you which one I chose, you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks! 🙂 Probably less. And yes, the swallow is in the first scene of the story, so it’s a nice addition.

How to ESL ebookI also published that non-fiction book I wrote last year. I wasn’t sure it was any good, but a very precious beta who is also a cover artist and part-time writer said it’s good – short and to the point – so I’m putting it out there.

As soon as I finish the novel-redrafted-from-the-graphic-novel, I’ll go back to those contemporary stories that I kept on hold until the next offline writers group meeting (Feb.11), so next month expect another title of the discarded pen-name with new stories thrown in. I might then start working on the POD version! 🙂

And then I’ll be back to my vampires, since I need to finish Chandaka and Daya and then start on Kaylyn’s story. As for PODs, I’ll do the new edition with Createspace of the five Books of the Immortals… so I guess February is quite busy. And it’s a short month (although it has 29 days this year). And… I’ll leave the rest to Friday ramblings, LOL!

For some kind of serendipity, there was a lot of talk about contracts and publishers around the internet this week. Kris Rusch on indie contracts, Kameron Hurley on traditional contracts and Tricia Drammeh on choosing a publisher. And then get the guide on how to negotiate anything! 😉

Now I better go back to writing and drawing those covers (I don’t like the covers I have so far, but I need different reference for one and I’m not sure how to get it, sigh)… Have a great week!

Year in Reading

Since Friday was Christmas and I don’t have anything for Sunday anyway, I thought I’d do a spurious post about my reading year. I don’t think many people will wander on blogs on Christmas Day, and even today is risky, but well… wouldn’t let you 4 days without posts, LOL!

I have read 39 books (might be 40 if I manage one last title this last week of the year) including 7 manuscripts and 12 non-fiction books (which means I’m halfway through the non-fiction bundle I’ve bought in two separate bundles between end 2014 and beginning 2015).

I read also 2 anthologies/short story collections – When the lights go out and Fairy Tales Slashed. The latter I loved in spite of the bad formatting, typos and missing words everywhere, so it’s a recommended reading if you like that genre (m/m).

I had also bought 2 bundles of SFF with the non-fiction bundles, and I think I’m halfway through those too. I’m still trudging through a Campbell Anthology (I think from 2014), and I’m skipping all the novel excerpts! 😦

I did not finish a couple of books (one non-fiction and one fiction) – the first because I don’t have that problem so I’d rather read other stuff before getting to that topic and the second because it really didn’t drag me in.

Of those almost-40 books, only 5 were paper books… (and the manuscripts were printed, of course, I just can’t read on a computer screen). I prefer reading non-fiction for research purposes on paper, but if it’s books on writing, my Kindle is just fine! 😉

Now, the recommended FICTION reading list by Barb!

A walk across the Sun (contemporary story set all over the world – India, Europe, US…)

Ivory (science fiction)

Alien Influences (you can guess from the title – SF)

and the above Fairy Tales Slashed. For the NON-FICTION (all books on writing)

The pursuit of Perfection: and How it Harms Writers

Million $ Productivity

The Write Attitude

Now for next year I hope to read 50 books, if possible 30 fiction and 20 non-fiction (I still have some of those bundle books and I need to study business and publishing in Italy, I already have one book I bought last year, I really should start it, LOL!).

That might take down my TBR list a little, and then I can tackle the Smashwords wishlist or the Goodreads want-to-read list! 🙂 Happy reading!


Random Friday

I had time to read a couple of the non-fiction books from the two bundles I got probably last year (or one last year around NaNoWriMo and the other this year? Can’t remember).

30 days in the word mines by Chuck Wendig: if you’re just starting and need to set up a routine, this book is  for you, whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo or just want to see if you can actually write. It’s very slangy and funny, and full of F-bombs, so if that’s not your thing, skip this. It’s also short and sweet, so plenty of time to read some more when you’re done!

The pursuit of perfection and hot it harms writers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch: some of her blog posts put together in another short ebook with lots of info on the publishing world, creative writing courses and how it’s impossible to write the perfect book – special guest Workshop Bill (a.k.a. Shakespeare) in a sorta parody like Workshop Jane (Austen) had here.

This book on editing also sounds good, but I haven’t read it, so I trust David Farland’s comments. I might add it to my TBR pile one day…

I’ve also uploaded on DeviantART some discarded covers:

Firebird – a Silvery Earth novella that should come out this fall.

SMI – Galaxy Police (the final cover will be by Shafali Anand), that will come out at the end of the month.

And a detail of the sleeping beau of the story I’m still currently writing… that’s the first attempt, the final one will be much better! 🙂

I might go back to pencil portraits this weekend… or keep experimenting with digital painting! 😉 That’s just a… Sunday Surprise!

Have a great weekend! 😀

Writer Wednesday

Kilig&HakeemCoversNew title out! Kilig’s Heart, sequel to Saif’s Legacy, is now out on Kindle, Kobo, Apple, Barnes&Noble and Smashwords. I’m showing all the covers here, since #3 will be out soon anyway. As for #4, it will be included only in the full story of Kilig & Hakeem’s love. So, if you’re a sucker for HEA, don’t read beyond Hakeem’s Rival for this M/M romance! 😉

All the Assassins’ Guild stories will come out by December, along with an Amazons story that I wrote last year but haven’t published yet. I’m still working on Star Minds Next Generation, publication date delayed to January, since those characters keep talking to me like the previous generation and won’t leave me alone until I properly tell their story (I know I already said that, but the next generation is just like the previous one, obviously!). So even the beta-readers should get ready for another adventure of Shan-leo and Dadina and the new characters that appeared in what I’ve written so far (the final chapter will be completely rewritten and postponed, so Jo can have a lot more of the new hot guy! 😉 Stay tuned!).

Bundles galore! Twelve Shades of Midnight and two non-fiction bundles for writers – the NaNoWriMo Writing Tools (for you NaNoers out there, but also everybody else, in fact I got that one even if I’m not a NaNo writer – which, of course, didn’t help my TBR pile and made it even bigger, so who knows when I’ll get to read them, but well…) and the Indie Author Power Pack, both at very low prices for their worth.

And don’t forget to check the Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong! 🙂 Almost back to the real world… three weeks off can really help! 😀 Have a great week!

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