Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 11K, but didn’t wrap up the vampire book because on Sunday I was busy. On Monday I found a mistake in Rajveer the Vampire that nobody had noticed, so hopefully it wasn’t too bad, although it was repeated quite often – and I actually corrected the mistake when I wrote Kristine the Youngest, but I obviously didn’t reread the first book, LOL!

Anyhow, it’s corrected now (also on Shashank and Kaylyn, same mistake), and on November 2 – 5 years after the release of that first historical fantasy novel – you’ll be able to read the sequel, or what happened after the Battle of Chittor (in Kristine)! And then either for the holidays or in January, you’ll read the one I completed this week.

It’s done now, and I’m taking a break because I have a couple of stories I want to submit to anthos and the deadline is the end of the month, then I’ll get back to it and write the mortal’s version, or FEC 11. I won’t send any of them to the editor until December anyway, so I still have a month to write that book! 😉

And we got paperbacks! I’m still trying to declutter the house, so I might give away the extras. Brainwaves and Adventure Song I can send anywhere in the world, the first five with the concept covers, annotated, only in Europe. Are there any takers? If interested, leave a comment with which one you want/can get and I’ll contact you to get your snail mail addy.

these 5 can go anywhere in Europe only – sorry

these two can go anywhere in the world…

And there’s a promo/giveaway on Nightly Bites Volume 2! Check it out! I wanted to publish Nightly Bites Volume 3 this Halloween, but, like I said, I thought my American author friends would be more available after the election. So probably in January, or possibly March, like the above mentioned Volume 2! 🙂 Or I can do a rush job and have it out in December like Volume 1… we’ll see! 🙂

Good news, the anthology I was hinting at for the past months is now out! Here’s the UBL to Amazon, geotagged, for the ebook version. There’s also a paperback but they aren’t linked at the time of scheduling this post, although I requested Author Central to do so. Go check it and leave a review, because reviews are going to help this anthology immensely. Reviews will also be a sign of appreciation for our creativity and craftsmanship – me and the other authors will be immensely grateful!

This is the one where you can find Bran’s first fledgling, Helios of Sparta, and his good-bye to Greece and the Olympic Games where he had excelled as a mortal. I’m in very good company, so go check The Phantom Games NOW! 🙂

Another short story (unrelated to any series) was published in Breathe (which, incidentally is also its title). The PDF looks beautiful, but I didn’t have time to read any of the other stories (same for The Phantom Games, sigh). You can check it out below:

Order a print copy via Amazon (US)https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KSGX1FH
Order a print copy from Pothi (India)https://store.pothi.com/book/edited-jay-chakravarti-breathe/
Order a Print replica e-copy from Amazon (Worldwide)https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08L18MZYR
 
A wonderful analysis, framing the pandemic by Kris Rusch. I definitely don’t want to go back to 2019, but I don’t see much in the future yet, although I’m making tentative plans for at least my peace of mind – finding another job and another place to live. It’s probably going to be slower than expected, but we’re in a once-in-a-generation-world-changing event.

I have done my first short story translation, and I’m still pondering about the whole enterprise. I still don’t know how to handle freelance jobs in this country, sigh. That’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 16K+, and after adding and subtracting and editing what I already had, I started on what I thought would be a short story and turned out to be a novella of vampires into the future, so it will probably have its own e-book. I was at 11K by Sunday night and wasn’t done yet.

I finished on Monday and will probably have to write another couple of books (again, both sides of the story, the humans’ and the vampires’), so I screwed up the schedule again. The good news is, this might take me to the end of the year. The bad news is, there will be a break anyway because I will send a first batch to Mighty Editor on October 19th, so I won’t have anything ready until the following weekend.

But FEC 10 comes out this weekend. Then I’ll have to skip to the 24th, when I’ll probably publish that novella (still working on a title I like), and the following weekend I’ll release Mortals Apocalypse, or the vampires’ view of the apocalypse, on Nov.1, like the four novels of Vampires Through the Centuries. Two weeks later, FEC0 or the origins of Rainbow Towns lockdowns.

December will probably box set time, but I haven’t decided yet. Might be those two sequels… As for the new curated anthology, it’s probably for the new year, unless I manage to put it together after the American elections, which might mean for the Holidays. Maybe. Don’t count on it! 😉

Re: those typo faeries, here’s why it’s so hard to catch your own typos. Because my eyes don’t like staring at a screen for too long, I usually print out stuff, both for beta-reading and editing. That’s how I caught many typo faeries, when going through the paperbacks of the first five Future Earth Chronicles books! Now I hope to have the time to check also the second five, but first I’ll have to receive my author copies, LOL! They’re scheduled for delivery next week, so we’ll see…

And I was a guest, rambling on J. Scott Coatsworth’s blog about Future Earth Chronicles (a.k.a. FEC), Azur and other stuff… go check it out! 🙂 Another guest post I did was never posted (the author is very busy), so I’m going to put it here before it’s too late. Have a great week! 🙂

Image may contain: text that says 'DOSSIER Di cosa ammaleremo L.5000 POCUS 52 febbralo 1997 INSERT L'Almana della Selenza1996 Scoprire e capire il mondo Anno 2020 vivremo così Casa lavoro gli oggetti arrivo quelli che spariranno Le nuove mediche I mestieri più richiesti SCIENZA fisica al circo IN PIU' faraoni dal dietologo Serpenti mostri mare'The world is falling apart – what do you do?

I have kept an article from February 1997 of Focus that predicted how we’d live in 2020, because I knew we’d get there! Remember 1997? The dawn of internet, the first cell phones, and two years before The Matrix? Yeah, that world. The journalists played sci-fi writers for that issue.

What did they predict? A little less than 8 billion people on the planet. A global market, with factories in space (where are they, though?). Health-wise, we should worry only about non-transmittable sicknesses like cancer, but they also mentioning the possibility of mutated viruses that could start epidemics like it happened with AIDS (hello, Covid-19! Full blown pandemic was not in their predictions, though).

According to their predictions, someone born in 1997 had the following possibilities of careers: technology economist, online creator, bioengineer, virtual director and problem solver. Except for online creators (influencers, artists, writers, musicians and YouTubers), I don’t see any of those yet.

What would vanish: land lines (almost gone), moka pot (even here in Italy, most people have other coffee machines, I’m the only one still using the moka pot), cash and old light bulbs (almost gone as well). They predicted a “travel screen” (although it looks quite different from smartphones and tablets, but it’s close enough), a watch that can become a videophone (again, smartphones), micro-cameras, a graphic tablet to draw upon (most artists no longer use pencil and paper these days, they’ve all gone digital), and some “scanner-reader” that is basically a text-to-speech thing (or other software for the visually impaired).

The smart homes would have cameras and monitors and speakers everywhere (hello, Alexa and its peers), computers will be invisible (not yet, I don’t see many virtual keyboards or screens anywhere) and e-ink (hello, ebooks!).

Welcome to 2020! Some of those predictions came true, other are still sci-fi, but well, here we are. How do you deal with living in the future? Well, you stay in the present as much as you can, I guess. It’s not always easy, especially in such trying times.

How do you stay sane in a world gone crazy? Personally, I’m glad it’s breaking down, because I was sick of our poisonous way of life. I hope we’ll come out of this better, after re-prioritizing and re-focusing ourselves. I certainly don’t want to go back to 1997, or even 2007 for that matter.

I might have lost quite a few dreams in the meantime, and can’t see myself anywhere in three or five years, but eventually I’ll find my focus. It’s been a long hot summer and the only relief was writing my Future Earth Chronicles, because it reminded me there’s life after the apocalypse. Especially in the 25th century, LOL!

Now I’m trying to write the prequel about the apocalypse itself (a few decades in the second half of this century), and I manage it because, again, I know these people will be all right – or at least the vampires who live through the centuries will get to see the future narrated in the series.

It might be a good topic for me at this time, because I’m also changing. Age does that to a person, and even though I love the double five on my birthday cake, I’m also aware of how my body and mind are changing. But then, that’s what life is all about, change.

Going through the change is painful, but things can only get better. Soon I’ll be able to resume traveling and looking for a place I want to move to. I’ll be able to focus on what I want to do for a living if I manage to get an early retirement from a Day Job that is killing my soul.

I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I know it’s there and I keep going. I’m still blogging after ten years and next year I’ll celebrate ten years of indie publishing. I might take a break from publishing next year, or slow down the writing – I haven’t decided yet.

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote a little over 5K, mostly revisions of the books I took with me for editing. I also wrote a short story, but I don’t like it and my beta-reader found many faults in it, so I doubt I’ll ever get back to it. I also started another, but meh. So I decided to go back to the manuscript I had left before my short trip to Massa Carrara to celebrate my birthday and leave it at that.

Having to follow the rules for a “marketable” story is taking the fun out of writing. Also, I’m as much in transition as the world is, so I don’t know what I want to write next. Probably next year will be a sabbatic year from publishing, and I’ll try to read more and possibly explore other genres. But there’s still four months to go, and I might change my mind four times until then, LOL!

It’s been a long hot summer and it’s not over yet, so I better not make important decision while my brain is fried. So I’ll keep saying “I’m OK, I’m OK” (in an Orlando Jones voice, I absolutely love The Replacements!) or “I’m fine” even if I’m not, since I won’t be able to explain what’s wrong or what’s going on anyway. I change my mind way took quickly between excitement and exhaustion, so there. Time out. Gimme a break! 😉

I am aware I need to find my focus, but right now I don’t have the strength. I will, though, and I’m lucky to be a one-person household with a steady job, although I’m still hoping to quit and move elsewhere, but right now I can’t go anywhere and I probably wouldn’t be able to focus. I will have to learn to pivot, I guess! 🙂

The Curated Anthologies are selling, including the paperbacks, so definitely when I get a couple of weeks off DayJob, I’ll get back to doing paperbacks. By then even the new books of Future Earth Chronicles will be almost all out, so I can format the paperback so it comes out along with the ebook for the last two! 😉

But first I must finish the prequel, which I hope to do in a couple of weeks. Then I will try again to write short stories to submit. Or I will have to figure out what to write for the rest of the year. After reading about this guy who used AI and Photoshop to bring ancient Roman emperors back to life, I’m thinking it’s time I tell my Roman vampire’s story – now I even know what his emperor and his successors look like, LOL!

I’m going to end with this quote… seemingly quite fitting. By the way, I think Stephen Fry is really the reincarnation of Oscar Wilde, like Keanu Reeves is the reincarnation of Paul Mounet, LOL! And by the way, Happy Birthday, Keanu! 😀 Have a great week!

Image may contain: 2 people, text that says '"Oscar Wilde said that ifyou know what you want to be, then you inevitably become it that is your punishment, but ifyou never know, then you can be anything. There is a truth to that. We are not nouns, we are verbs. am not a thing- an actor, writer- am a person who does things Iwrite, Lact- act and I never know what I am going to do next. think you can be imprisoned ifyou think of yourself as a noun." -Stephen Fry'

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And as I enter my tenth year of publishing, I shall do some kind of recap, right? Besides it’s time for those new year’s resolutions for writers… So: wordcount, submissions, publications in that order.

Last week I wrote the story for the anthology workshop (3100 words) and then I was busy with other tasks. I used the long weekend (Jan.6 is a reinstated National Holiday in Italy) to clean up the 45 Italian titles, giving new covers to some of the contemporary stories and adding titles to KU since it seems to work without advertizing.

These are my numbers since I started counting them in 2015 when I bought a new writing computer and stopped doing the first draft longhand:

2015: 400K

2016: 468K

2017: 350K (meh! 17 is bad luck in Italy… 😉 )

2018: 535K

2019: 533K

I still plan to write another 500K this year, it seems to be sustainable and it would be the third year in a row. Go me! 🙂 I also hope to write more short stories to submit, which brings us to point #2!

Submissions have increased in spite of a couple of markets folding and one sub ending in the spam folder. Again, here go numbers: 3 in 2013, 6 in 2014, 10 in 2015, 14 in 2016, 15 (+ 6 anthology workshop) in 2017, 19 in 2018 aaaand 29 in 2019!

Two sales in 2019, and 4 submissions are still pending reply (and one was resent in January). And I already submitted 3 stories this year (+ already 6 for the anthology workshop, will probably be 8 in total). So I hope to get to 50 submissions, but it also depends on how much I spend on shorts and how much on longer works! 😉 (and how many shorts turn into longer works! 😀 ) I have accumulated 74 rejection emails, some personalized, some general, but well… I’ll celebrate when I get the 100th because it means I keep trying, LOL!

Publishing: I want to redo most contemporary stories covers in view of a new collection coming out later this year, with a novella and a few unsold shorts. I did my end-of-the-year accounting and even though I spent Zero for covers this year (thanks to those Deposit Photo credits that should last for this year as well), having paid for 3 workships (2 offline and 1 online) and 3 audio books, my expenses are still much higher than my earnings. But looking at that ledger, there are more “in” than “out” and my royalties are rising (although I included also the 2 sales that bumped up the earnings).

So, 2020 goals: write another 500K or more. Write more short stories to be submitted to traditional magazines. Continue writing in the current series (Silvery Earth, Star Minds Universe, Future Earth Chronicles and Vampires Through the Centuries) plus a new one growing out of a batch of shorts. Publish at least 12 books from March. Do the paperbacks I haven’t done last year (erm… still have quite a few, though, don’t I?).

above English titles, below Italian titles and other formats

And then in 2021 I can celebrate the book birth day for Books of the Immortals – Air that will turn 10 years old! It’s not my bestseller (that would be Body Switches that continues to sell a few copies per year since 2014), but it’s my first Book Baby, so I shall celebrate it – next year! 🙂

But the majority of book-babies grow slowly, just like human babies do. Their audience slowly expands, from family and friends and those in the know, to people their parents never met, to people they couldn’t have known as young book-babies, to people they’ve never met, to people they will never meet, to people who will outlive them.

Kris Rusch

Mine are particularly slow-growing, but I’m sure they’ll come of age. I might do book launches for final books in a single-story arc series (Future Earth Chronicles? The first arc is already concluded, though…) or just let them grow naturally like I’ve done until now. It’s an evolving world, like Kristen Lamb explains so well here

Are you all set with your 2020 goals? 😉 Here are some tips to be successful… Now hop off to the Infinite Bard for another free story and have a great week! 😀

Writer Wednesday


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

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

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

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

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

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

Writer Wednesday


And of course last week I wrote more than 20K… now that I had dived into Rogue! I even finished Draft Zero, but then, I always say I have trouble starting a story. And probably tend to wrap it up too quickly, so I’m going through it one last time before sending it off to the editor. Also because I added the flashbacks after I was done with the present, and I need to see if it flows! 😉

I have written Hal’s mother’s story and now I’ll be writing a couple of stories for anthologies (a charity anthology and a traditional market submission) before going back to Silvery Earth. About the Silvery Earth Kids, I now have more than seventy strips – six are taken for another anthology, and they will come out in black&white sometime this summer, I think – and still need to introduce a character.

I’m still busy with cleaning up, coloring and lettering, though, so I didn’t have time to do the visually impaired version yet. Tori knows she’ll get first look, though! As soon as I’m ready, hopefully sometime next month. The other two hopefully short stories will be one in 25th century Paris (that’s Future Earth Chronicles Book 5 for whoever will make it that far), and the other is going to be the Battle of Chittor from a new point of view (that’s Kristine the Youngest for whoever follows the Vampires through the Centuries).

The Future Earth Chronicles paperbacks are done, but in a weird way. If you buy all five, you’ll see they alternate cream and white paper. That’s because you can’t change that once the book is published, even if you haven’t sold a copy. Sigh. With Createspace there was only the white paper option, but still… Anyhow, I’m ordering my copies tomorrow and hopefully next week or the following I can show you how they all came out.

Speaking of paperbacks, I got my copies of the two portal anthologies… don’t they look neat? 😉 That colorful table cloth isn’t mine, I had them sent to my parents’ and opened the enveloppe at our local market…

And I believe there’s a new free story by Sarah Stegall up on the Infinite Bard, go check it out! 🙂 Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Okay, preparing PDFs for print… in that case it was comics or artbooks where I needed to insert pictures. Which is what I did for Beautiful illustrated, so… change that from Lulu.com to KDPprint and the fact that my hair is no longer brown and long, and it still works! 😀

Random Friday


Since the year is almost over and I probably won’t finish another book before then, I’m going to do my Yearly Recommended Reading post now! 😉 Also because it’s the time of the Small&Medium Publishers Book Fair here in Rome, but for the first time since its inception, I’m not going there every day (just today to say hello to a couple of friends).

This year I read 54 books – although 7 I did not finish – and 6 and a half were non-fiction (as are the last two). Usually the fiction is read on my Kindle (a.k.a. K.K.), while the non-fiction is on paper because it’s better for research. Unless the novel is signed, then it can be a paperback, LOL!

Anyhow, of the fiction books, here are the 5 stars I gave (in order of reading – with links to Goodreads even though I’m not putting them on my Goodreads profile. Long story, not going back there! 😉 ):

Burn Card: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery  by Dean Wesley Smith

The Last Giant  by Mario Milosevic

Dragons’ Choice (Sorcha’s Children #1) by Debbie Mumford

Against Time  by Dean Wesley Smith

Beyond Control, Interlude, Beyond Reach: Book 1 Bundle of the Beyond Saga  by Rebecca M. Senese

Fairchild  by Blaze Ward

Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1)  by Nicholas Eames

Entanglement (Future Fiction Trends Vol. 4)  by Vandana Singh

Faring Soul (Interspace Origins #1)  by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Hollow Moon (Hollow Moon #1)  by Steph Bennion

Hydrogen Sleets: a Montague Portal novel  by Michael Warren Lucas

Sticks and Stones: A Trek Novel  by Robert T. Jeschonek

Coffee Cup Dreams  by J.A. Marlow

Mrs Funnybones  by Twinkle Khanna (not a novel, more a memoir/journal and it’s hilarious)

(you can grab the following 4 all together in Sci-fi July Redux)

Stealing from Pirates  by Stefon Mears

A Jack By Any Other Name (The Space Operetta Series Book 1)  by Lesley L. Smith

Raven Rising  by Sean Monaghan

Sector Justice  by Dean Wesley Smith

(I’d add Jorick’s origin story, but I’m not sure it’s available for public consumption yet, I got it from Patreon…)

Dancing with Tong Yi (Uncollected Anthology, #1)  by Leah R. Cutter

And the series Zeena Dragon Fae by Victoria Zigler (smashwords link cause it’s faster)!

And these are the books I’m finishing the year with – sorta/kinda research for Future Earth Chronicles.

Putting the science in fiction and 21 lessons for the 21st century (non-fiction)

Giving the list so early means you have time to request them for Christmas… so happy reading! 🙂 And have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday


I’ll have to admit September took me by surprise. In spite of celebrating Da Muse’s birthday last Sunday, the whole weekend didn’t feel like a new month. I almost missed the Happiness is post last Monday… maybe I need a vacation? I was off only four days last summer… well, the summer is not officially over yet, so this summer!

Anyhow! Another 10K written and books sent to the proofreader. I’ll have to finish the last novella before the end of the week or possibly the start of the next, then I’ll probably have two weekends busy with editing… and paperbacks. I actually even managed to link D2D and Findaway, but I can’t find the courage to start on audio books yet. Cause I hate them so much and can’t be bothered to listen to them. Maybe next year…

For sudden changes in DayJob schedule, I also started the translation of Brainwaves, so that as soon as I finish with the Star Minds Lone Wolves, I can get back to the Post-Apocalypse Chronicles and write book 2. And then the other books coming after that, probably. Writing the mini-series at the same time is actually better, especially if they’re either closely intertwined like Star Minds Lone Wolves or squential like Post-Apocalypse Chronicles.

Besides the online workshop, even Chuck Wendig says so!

Write all the books first. Write the series first. If it’s a trilogy, write the trilogy before trying to publish. If it’s a longer series, write the first three books, at least. Or, bare minimum, plot the books robustly, so that when the contract comes in you’re not rushing to figure out the story beats on a longer series.

And since the Silvery Earth Heroines are standalone, I can write them next year, even though I already have the covers by wonderful Federica Manfredi (she still has to draw the last one, but there is really no rush!). I’m also having fun doing covers with stock photos and rendering, so I might redo some of mine (meaning the ones I drew myself). I did an attempt for Firebird (one of the books I wanted to try in audio), but I still have to work on my skills, LOL!

In case you missed the announcement or are not subscribed to my newsletter, Otherside is out! Although D2D initially rejected it for Apple for links to competitors. I have no idea where they saw links to competitors, since I don’t put them anywhere in the books anymore. Only the publisher page, this blog and the newsletter subscription link. What will they do when I mention the competition in the text (with no links whatsoever) in Kristine the Youngest? Maybe Apple doesn’t want my books. Shame on them.

I downloaded all the reports from CreateSpace (50 paperbacks and the payments of the past four years) just in case they get lost in the move. Then I’ll probably just wait until they do it. My last paperback sale was a few months ago anyway. Not going to do it myself (it didn’t prompt me when I logged in, so I assume they’re already overworked by people moving before the closing).

Now I better go back to writing! The newsletter went out, the new title is up, I better get back to work! 🙂 Have a great week!

 

 

Writer Wednesday


And I’m back to my 10K a week, so hopefully the month will finish on track with my goal of writing 500K. Wrapped another Star Minds Lone Wolves short novel and working on the last (for now). I will keep my editor busy in September, LOL!

And since Tor rejected my novella and I already had made a cover for it, I will publish it soon. Stay tuned for a different kind of fantasy from my normal Silvery Earth stories…

Many thanks to the 25 people who downloaded my only Amazon freebie… although it you wanted a freebie, you could have gone to Instafreebie – much better stories there! 😉 Especially The Painter, I’m quite proud of that one. Or you can subscribe to my newsletter, where I give away a free short story every two months.

Now this seems to have given that particular title new visibility on Amazon. If it has a halo effect, I’ll leave it out there, if not, in September I’ll remove it from all retailers. So I won’t have any free titles out anywhere except on Instafreebie, my newsletter and possibly Patreon.

I’m still trying to come up for a way to reward readers through Patreon, so if you’re a writer you can keep coming to this blog, if you’re a reader, I hope to move everything to Patreon sometime in the next six months. I’m probably doing something like Joleene Naylor, but I’ll have to come up with rewards that cover most of my series or something like that.

Now I’ll be busy with those darn dead-tree books. Because yeah, it’s official, CreateSpace and KDP to become one service. Sigh. There’s no set date, but at this point it’s probably really soon. So the next paperbacks will have to be done with KDPprint and I’ll need to learn the new dashboard. Sigh again.

And that’s all for today! Have a great week! 🙂

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