Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote a little over 9K which brings the yearly total to 488K. Another 12K and I’ll have reached my wordcount goal. I might reach it this week, or next week at the latest, wrapping up a project after I’m done with the Anthology Workshop assignment.

I guess Magical Friends was my last pre-order for the time being. Just when Smashwords introduces some pre-order goodies, or so they say, LOL! But this kind of thing doesn’t work for me (my one and only fan does get things in advance every now and then).

It was the 15th pre-order and like the previous 14 it hasn’t gathered any sales. So I’ll spare myself the hassle of pre-orders and getting Amazon reminders and all that jazz. I guess I’m not famous enough to have rabid fans eagerly waiting for my releases, therefore it’s one thing I can tick off the publishing list. Phew! πŸ™‚

Anyhow, it’s live now, so go grab it. The awesome mockup above was done with a Covervault template. I hope you enjoyed the characters’ interview and, in case you missed it, the backstage pass was all about those two – well, those stories, from childhood to adulthood. And the maps included on the book page will be in the paperback next year.

If you missed Cockygate and the Dragon Slayer trademark controversy, fear not! You have a summary here because yes! Some writer did it again! Trying to trademark a word! When will this madness end? Like someone says in the comments, here’s to hoping the judge fines the stupid author… and not in an alternate reality! πŸ˜‰

I’ve been reading some fiction, catching up on my TBR pile – made mostly of bundles – but I shall make my recommended reading post closer to the end of the year. Some of those bundles have short stories as well as novellas and novels, so I’m writing down the ones I like for future curated anthologies (next year at the earliest, not going to bother fellow writers during the Holidays!).

And since it’s the Holidays, I’ll have a bunch of guests over on Sundays, so stay tuned for the upcoming writers interviews! πŸ™‚

And if you wondered about the difference between WMG Business Masterclass and 20BooksTo50K, Kris Rusch explains the difference in the latest business post, along with how to raise the bar in your own way – which is on my to-do list of New Year’s Resolutions, by the way. Try new genres, try other things, still a little hazy, but hopefully it will soon be clear.

Finishing with another inspirational video: Kris Rusch on Perfection at 20Books! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Sunday Surprise


Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the Vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever! Today we have someone from the new Silvery Earth. And since I’m such an awesome witch, I shall ask them questions at two stages of their lives! Or at least at two stages for the human, since the other barely changed in twelve years…

Let’s get on with this. Meet Torik, woodcutter’s son at Bargsea Fortress, a small kingdom on the northern great bay of Varia – I wonder if it has a name, but I guess that lazy author forgot to give it any denomination… Tell me a little about yourself, Torik.

CHILD TORIK: Er… I’m Torik. I’m Human. I have no magic. I’m short-lived. I’m a barbarian to the Magical Races. I’m ignorant. I know nothing of gods and goddesses. I’m scared of dragons. I’m ten, but I already help my dad chopping wood.

ADULT TORIK: I’m twenty-two and moved to the castle a few years back. Wood-cutting duties fell to my younger brother Baldric and I became the prince’s companion. Lambert is king now, we’re the same age.

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

CHILD TORIK: dirty-blond mop of hair and poop-colored eyes.

ADULT TORIK: Long dark-blond hair and brown eyes.

Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

CHILD TORIK: Hannibal! He’s a bully! Him and Klaus are the reason I left the village and found my magical friends!

ADULT TORIK: Myself, mostly. I feel like a failure and don’t understand why people would want to follow me.

Where do you live?

CHILD TORIK: in the village outside the castle of Bargsea Fortress.

ADULT TORIK: in the castle of Bargsea Fortress.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

CHILD TORIK: Are you kidding? I’m just a child! Although I like gifting flowers to girls. Florina is quite nice among the Humans. And I like Kareena too, but she came and went too quickly, sigh.

ADULT TORIK: I’m a widower. I hope one day I’ll find Kareena and if she’s still free… Although I’ll probably never find her.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

CHILD TORIK: Growing up?

ADULT TORIK: Finding a place to call home.

Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

CHILD TORIK: Yes! There’s seven of us – should have been twelve, but they died when they were really small. I have dirty-blond hair like mom, as does Mathilda, who is eight, Greta, who is two, and Baby Alric. Alexa, thirteen, Baldric, seven, and Elsa, five, have Dad’s brown hair. And then there’s Mom and Dad, of course.

ADULT TORIK: Greta, Alric and Mom passed away when I was still a child, which made me grow up faster. Alexa, Mathilda, Elsa and Baldric are all married and have children of their own now. Well, Elsa is expecting her first. My father is also gone, as is my wife and the children she gave me.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

CHILD TORIK: I have four awesome magical friends!

ADULT TORIK: I still have awesome magical friends, they all grew up like me, except Copperscales…

Which leads us to our other guest! You might see her as a girl with brown braids coiled around her ears or a teen with the same looks, but she’s not really like that. Hello, Copperscales. Tell me a little about yourself!

I’m a Fajrulo cub, barely over a century old. When Torik is adult, I can be considered a dragonette, since I’ve grown in size – from donkey to elephant – but I’m still a cub. I will live about nine centuries, so my life is still in its infancy, sigh.

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Dragon cub with copper-colored scales and bat-like wings.

What is your role in the story?

Torik’s bogey man, then Torik’s teammate, then, twelve years later, Torik’s travel companion…

What is your relationship with the protagonist?

Torik is sooo cute! I want to mate with him when I grow up! Except I’ve been bluntly reminded that when I’m old enough to lay eggs, he’ll be long dead of old age, sigh!

Where do you live?

My lair is in a cave up the mountain towering over Bargsea Fortress and its forest, and it can be reached only in flight.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I’m a member of the Magical Races along with Goldenberry (Genn), Erwan (Waiora) and Winged Ylenia (Sila). Fajrulo don’t like their peers – in fact, after my mother left me when I turned a hundred, I’m the only one in the area – but they love humans. I’m particularly fond of Torik, in case you didn’t notice…

____________________________
Book(s) in which the characters appear:

Silvery Earth Kids (strip)

Silvery Earth Kids and Related Short Stories

Magical Friends

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Errata corrige: the previous week I actually wrote 11K. Last week only 6K, but I have reached a 440K yearly total and still have plenty of stuff to write in the next two months and a half. The less words are also because I started a new strip, and those have less words but more work on the drawings, LOL!

So this is one of the protagonists of the new strip – Star Minds Kids – and here you have a work-in-progress showing the birth of that particular strip. It’s similar to the ones I’ve done for Silvery Earth Kids. It was an upcoming anthology that spurred my imagination – very close to the deadline, even though I had been told about it months ago.

Nothing like a deadline to spur your muses into action, right? Next I’ll do something with the Cosmic Corsairs I already told you about and then develop that strip in the coming months. Again, it’s probably for next year. I guess that’s my way of procrastinating on the prose at this time, LOL!

I’m still trudging through my contemporary story and have jotted down notes for another short story that might take precedence when I’m done lettering the Silvery Earth Kids. I need to finish a proof of the English version before Friday, so I can order it on Lulu and receive it next week.

I plan on checking the paperback for changes and stuff, and then I want to take it to Lucca Comics and see if some publisher wants the Italian version before I go indie. So I might do little writing this week, but some projects need wrapping up! πŸ™‚

Some links: 6 effective ways to treat depression – still have to sign up for a dance class or some other kind of moving with music, but there’s so much going on right now, that I’m not sure I want to start something yet. Maybe in November, maybe in January. We’ll see.

For the indie writers out there – the (in)famous 7 Kindle Keywords: use all 50 characters or not? I’m probably totally misusing those keyword spaces, but I really have trouble finding sentences for my books. Even when I went through the various books to update the manuscripts, I didn’t really add anything to those fields… I should have, I know. Sigh.

I know that my WHY has nothing to do with publishing and all that stuff. The beating heart that keeps my muse alive definitely doesn’t care about algorithms and ads and all that publishing stuff! πŸ™‚ In fact I think I mentioned I have publishing fatigue, more than writing.

6 ways to stay productive in a creative slump – I think I’ve done some of these things even before reading the article, but it’s a good summary/reminder. I think I mentioned spending too much time doing research and not enough writing. Reading for research and not for entertainment.

Well, after discarding a few samples, I started reading a novel for entertainment. It’s traditionally published, but has plenty of mistakes. So I guess we can really live without traditional publishers. And the eBook was cheap, but is not very well formatted IMHO… but I shall tell more about it in my end of the year recommended list (or on Bookbub, since now my book recommendations are there and not on Goodreads)! πŸ™‚

And a new story is up on Infinite Bard! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


Last week I reached my first 150K and the first three months of the year are not over yet. Although this week it will probably be a veeeery lowΒ  wordcount because I am putting together two anthologies and revising Legends of the Moren Empire Volume 1 before sending it off to Mighty Editor. So, just a little meat on what’s already there.

I wrote 17K in English and 4K in Italian on both projects. Now the Italian one is with a beta-reader who will hopefully tell me if I nailed the revisions and if the end is not too rushed. For the Legends of the Moren Empire, I’m sure Mighty Editor will catch any problem. Yes, she’s awesome like that! πŸ™‚

I received my proof of Otherside paperback and decided to resave the cover as CMYK – the RGB version has too strong reds! πŸ˜‰ So if you get it now, it’s probably going to look better. I might order more copies closer to 20BooksEdinburgh and the Worldcon this summer. Still no links to the audio book, but will post them as soon as I have them. It’s not been 10 business days yet.

Audiobook 2 is under production and I’ve signed the contract for the third narrator. I’m very happy I found ways to communicate to the second narrator how to pronounce certain words (namely, Zindagi for now, since it was the only one that came up in the audition).

I never tried to listen to the Kindle’s text-to-speech after the first attempts, but hopefully the audiobooks will sound more like I wanted the books to sound! πŸ˜€ I also had to check the pronunciation of other words for Otherside (namely, the kukri knife, it has 3 different pronounciations and the narrator had used the American one, but she changed it to my preferred version.

All in all it was an interesting experience! I’m glad I have a few weeks before I have to check the next audiobook, though! πŸ˜‰ Back to ebook and paperbacks for now – the anthologies, and then for that too I can have a couple of weeks break before preparing the next ebook. I’ll probably do all the paperbacks of the books that came out so far in May, though.

Next week I’m going back to Star Minds Lone Wolves. Fifteen more missions of the Team and then I’ll write another Lone Wolf story, so that later this year I can do 3 box sets – the youngsters, the elders and the rest, haha! Also, in April Star Minds Lone Wolves Shorts goes wide at last, yay. KU experiment failed completely – not one download or sale – so no more exclusivity! πŸ˜‰

Now I better go working to those anthologies,Β  hoping the publishing drama of authors caught plagarizing, stealing images and going wild ends soon… Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


Last week I did my 10KΒ  and worked on publishing a couple of titles, so I didn’t have time to do much more. I couldn’t work on the webcomic/flash series either because I have now embarked in a double writing challenge. I’m revising and expanding a standalone fantasy that will not be translated in English, so this week my wordcount is a mix of English and Italian. I wrote that book in 2004 and there’s still some head-hopping to get rid of as well as settings to add.

I also decided where to end volume 1 of the Legends of the Moren Empire so that in April I can write short stories again. It will be 3 volumes instead of 2, but that’s fine. There is quite a lot of head-hopping there too, even though I’m using the 2004 version and not the original (I learned about POVs that year), so I’m trying to limit the POV characters, although it will be a multiple-POV novel like the Quests books.

At least I can finish it by the end of the month and move on. I have fifteen more missions of the Star Minds Lone Wolves Team to write! πŸ˜‰ The first batch will come out in April – when that KU exclusive title will finally go wide, yay.

Last week I also had to listen to the whole audiobook, two hours approximately, and request a couple of changes. The narrator was very fast and nice, and now I hit the publish button but I’m not sure when it will actually be available. So stay tuned for further links, probably on the publisher’s page. I also did the paperback so that hopefully Amazon will push it up on its recommendation engine because it has all three formats.

The lucky title is Otherside, and The Hooded Man started production. Still waiting to finalize the narrator for the third audiobook. Since The Hooded Man is shorter than Otherside, though, I probably won’t do the paperback. It’s already included in More Tales of the Southern Kingdoms anyway! πŸ˜‰

And I published Male Lovers of Silvery Earth Volume 3, with cover art by Eleonora Conti. The only new story is the cover story, Water Creatures. And most of the book is Saif’s Story since it’s a novella or short novel. I published the Italian version almost at the same time, hence the busy week, even though I was off Day Job! πŸ˜‰

And there’s a Kobo sale or two coming… with two of my older titles included. I don’t have a direct link, but the 500 under $5 Sale is in Australia and New Zealand. The March US Price Drop Sale is of course in the US.

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


Even though I wrote only 7K last week, I have reached 400K! 100K more to go to reach my yearly goal! πŸ™‚

I’m slowly diving back into the Post-Apocalypse Chronicles. It’s slower because it’s not an established universe like Star Minds or Silvery Earth and I need to stop and research as I move the characters around. I’m tackling the US in this book, then they’ll move on, but at the moment they’re still in places I haven’t visited. I’ll probably be faster when they get to Montana and Wyoming, LOL!

I am grateful for Google maps that even gives me cycling distances. My characters hiked out of Mount Mitchell in book 1 (Brainwaves), but they have a pedal car for the first leg of the journey that they have built themselves in Roanoke, VA. It’s been six years since book 1, so I have leeway to improvise some more, haha!

I’m still gathering the casting for this book and have a fairly good idea of their journey, but I don’t know what obstacles they’ll meet and if someone will die or simply drift away. I know more or less what’s left in the former U.S. of A. in 2450CE (that’s four centuries after the apocalypse), but I still need to write it down.

I will probably write the whole journey between now and the end of the year (I do need 100K more, right?) and then publish them closer to each other than book 1 that came out last December, more or less like I did with the Star Minds Lone Wolves (stay tuned for more of those, two more books coming out soon!).

Last weekend I didn’t write much because I did a couple more paperbacks. Allow me to briefly mourn the demise of CreateSpace once again. KDP Team is so un-helpful! They rejected one of the paperbacks as:

Cover

  • The author name you entered during title setup is misspelled. Please update your book details with the correct spelling.

The typo was ON THE COVER SPINE!! Not in the metadata (imported from the Kindle version), not on the cover (identical to the Kindle version), on the spine of the paperback. And they tell me to change the metadata?! No comment…

Now I’m going to change my pen name and put “Barbarea G.Tarn” on all my books because of one spelling mistake… on the spine! Not helpful, KDP Team, not helpful at all! 😦

Still waiting for my author copies, so sorry if I don’t give the paperback links yet. I do want to check they came out all right before sharing. Maybe I’ll just give them all next week on the publisher’s page (unless there’s a dead-tree lover among you guys, in that case, leave a comment and I’ll contact you when whatever you’re looking for is ready)! πŸ™‚

Instafreebie is rebranding, but you’ll still be able to access your downloads. If you want freebies, that’s where you find mine. Or by subscribing to my bimonthly newsletter. I took down everything that was still on retailers as permafree. There are cheap versions in ebook format of many of my books – like the Star Minds Starter (99cent) and the Silvery Earth Box Sets (4.99$).

Now I better go back to my writing cave… have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote only 5K but I was busy editing and formatting and uploading and all that other stuff soooo interesting! Not. My yearly total is still 392K, so I’m doing fine, right? πŸ˜‰ I wrote one last Star Minds Lone Wolves story, an extra scene for Kristine and that’s more or less it.

Ahem, well, anyway, after a weekend of struggles with KDPprint, I think I mastered it and can now do a few more paperbacks with less hassle than the first. I also figured out the difference between proof copy and author copy. So I’m not giving the paperback links until I checked that the paperbacks are okay, LOL!

But, the e-book links are fine! In case you missed it, Star Minds Lone Wolves’ Thief is out! Please meet Mr. H, thief, chameleon and my favorite character although I couldn’t use the actual person I had in mind. I had to settle with this sexy vampire hunter by Ravven instead.

And if you want a sneak peek of the other two coves, go to the Star Minds page and scroll down… Cherry will come out at the end of the month and Elsa on Oct.15th or White Cane Safety Day.

Now I shall move away from the Star Minds universe to write the next Post-Apocalypse Chronicle… and get ready for the October Business Masterclass! πŸ™‚

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

Writer Wednesday


I’m definitely more prolific when I’m on a deadline, LOL! Last week I wrote 17K, almost a full novella, and then came up with another story of the Star Minds Lone Wolves. So the Elders will have one novel and two novellas with two short stories. This week I’ll be busy checking Mighty Editor’s comments and formatting the first ebook for a mid-month release.

I also have to compose the three covers. I have downloaded the images I need, but I still need to put them together. I will be using 3D rendering models instead of pictures this time, because it was the only way to find Cherry and Elsa, so I adapted and found something for Hariel too, since the original isn’t available, LOL! (Yes, Hariel is Da Muse, and even if I did a mock cover with him, I didn’t dare ask the photographer, Dabboo Ratnani, for the rights to that picture, haha!)

This brings the yearly total to 387K and next week I hope to start working on Post-Apocalypse Chronicles book 2, that will have to be done by Oct.18. I might not write 10 novels in 100 days, but I’m sure I can pour out 40-50K in four weeks. Probably less unless I need to stop for research.

Last weekend I did my first book on KDPprint… allow me to bemoan the demise of CreateSpace. Proofs from Amazon come with a banner “Not for Resale” on the cover. If I even want to do a private project, I’ll have to go back to Lulu. Sigh. I did take everything down on Lulu, but I didn’t close the account – I probably knew something like that would happen, eventually.

Anyhow, next weekend I’ll try to set up the paperback for the Star Minds Lone Wolves – The Youngsters as well as uploading the eBook of the first Elder. Mighty Editor has been swamped these two weeks and I had to book an extra week for the last Vampires Through the Centuries novel, LOL!

Now I better go back to my editing, formatting and cover designing… Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote only 7K but I spent most of Sunday afternoon in blind procrastination (I should take Bubble Witch Saga 3 off the writing netbookw, LOL!). Maybe I was tired and needed a break, but I couldn’t come up with the next Lone Wolves Team story. So by the end of the day, I decided to start on the next project.

Except Monday afternoon, when I went to actually do the translations, I ran into another bump. I wrote those stories 20 years ago and I didn’t remember much of them. I re-read some, and 5 out of 6 had either rape or a tragic ending. So I’m definitely not recycling them at this point.

One is already included in the appendix of the next Silvery Earth Heroine (a relatively clean one, with no rape and no tragic ending) but the others… I can’t even stomach to reread them, LOL!

Doesn’t help that I keep thinking about a reader’s comment of them being “not so good” (we’re talking of Italian readers of a photocopied fanzine of the late 1990s – loooong before the indie publishing revolution, but it still stings).

So yeah. Not so good. Forget them. Chapter closed. Still wrote 316K by the end of July, so still on track. I’m going to improvise this month, but then, everybody takes August off, right? Right? πŸ˜€

I’m doing a last pass on a couple of stories (that I wrote this or last year, not 20 years ago) to decide if I want to publish them or not, and then I’m moving on. I’ll probably go back to the Lone Wolves and start writing Elsa’s story, or maybe Cherry’s story. And when I have my 3-hours train ride I’ll go through Hariel’s story and all the Team’s stories I have so far.

And we got paperbacks! Thank you to all of you who bought the Sci-Fi Stories anthologies and hope you are enjoying them! πŸ™‚ The success of the second two makes me want to work on the fifth right now, but I shall wait until September! πŸ˜‰

When I’ll also do the paperbacks for my own books – the anthologies are via BundleRabbit – although it’s not clear for how much longer Createspace will be available. Maybe I should start moving everything to KDP Print. Sigh.

Have you read the Bad Romance article I posted last week? See Kris Rusch’s reaction to it and the comments she got. I know some writers who write to market, but I don’t see them having a long career. I know writers who write to market because they want to make fast bucks. I’m sure they don’t enjoy it. And the ghost writers who sell their manuscripts? If I could do it, I could quit DayJob right now, LOL! I’m prolific, but only writing what I want to read! πŸ™‚

There’s also a free Reedsy course on how to hack Kobo – or how to take advantage of Kobo Writing Life’s promotion tools. If you don’t go direct to Kobo, think about it. I have submitted a few titles to upcoming promos, we’ll see if I get accepted! πŸ˜‰

Oh, I almost forgot. Authors Earnings at 2018 SFWA Nebula Conference report. Unfortunately the post with slides is very visually-impaired un-friendly, but I’m sure there’s the recording of the whole talk somewhere… And if SFF doesn’t sell well in paper might be because we’re getting older and have trouble reading small print? πŸ˜‰ I love my Kindle for fiction – had to re-buy the ebook of The Silver Metal Lover cause the paperback was written too small…

And welcome to August, hoping the heat goes away a little, because it’s frying my brain and I can’t even write, sigh. Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Random Friday


attempt, not the final one… It wouldn’t save the JPG, so I took a screenshot of this one!

And the publisher page has a new header! Took some working since I have an old version of Photoshop and Elements “doesn’t support layer groups and displays them in their collapsed state. You must simplify them to create an editable image” except the editable image had no layers, so I had to ask Mighty Silvano to please pull them out of the folder.

Now I should renew this blog’s header, but… maybe during the weekend, LOL!

About reading! I started a historical novel that has been on my table for almost ten years, but I’m afraid I won’t finish it. Printed books tend to have small fonts (i.e. hard to read, I stopped buying magazines for that reason) and I’d rather keep all the novels on my Kindle (which I didn’t have ten years ago or whenever I bought that book, LOL!).

Besides, it was written in the 1950s and head-hopping is really jarring (they don’t “ejaculate” anymore, but they “cried” a lot… maybe “he said, she said” isn’t so bad after all!). And I’d rather go back to the bundles I’ve been in and the ones still to come. My TBR pile will never go down… unless I do not finish the books that don’t catch me with the first chapters! πŸ˜€

On a different topic, last weekend I brainstormed while drawing – Da Muse, who else – and watched one of the DVDs I got from Amazon, with Da Other Muse (whom Americans might have admired during the Super Bowl, hopefully seeing the most dignified, manly tear, LOL!).

Anyhow, I enjoyed the Whole Truth and it’s final twist (ouch, just read the Italian titles of the latest movies. I wish IMDB didn’t read my server location). I’m not a big fan of courtroom drama, so I didn’t see hundreds of them. I could only compare it to Devil’s Advocate which was shot 20 years before that. So it was okay.

This weekend I hope to see the mess that changed title because the director refused to be part of it and is now called ExposedΒ – we’ll see if it’s really a mess! πŸ˜‰ And I got the short stories back from Mighty Editor, so I have some editing to do before starting the submission process. And if there’s time, I’ll work on the publisher’s page that still needs some tweaking (do a new header for this blog?)… Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

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