Random Friday


I’m sure I already mentioned in this blog that I started writing because of Brunella Gasperini. I read her books in my teens and they are still my favorites. Whether it’s fiction or pseudo-memoir, I could reread them forever – although they’re now very dusty paperbacks that make me sneeze.

But they still make me laugh and cry and wish I could have met her before she passed away. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. I am happy to announce that I’ve found a substitute – sort of. Unfortunately she’s not as prolific, but then, she’s younger and she’s not a writer/journalist by trade! πŸ˜‰

I read Twinkle Khanna’s Mrs. Funnybones to get back to India with my mind, and she has the same kind of humor than Brunella. I haven’t cried on her stories yet, but then, she only wrote two books. And I got both in paperbacks since they were cheaper than the e-books (besides her fiction title didn’t come out in e-book, but I had read the Kindle sample of Mrs. Funnybones).

I read The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad last year, but kept her column for when I needed to get a feel of Mumbai that I haven’t visited yet. And the paperback of Mrs. Funnybones, with its illustrations by Kruttika Susarla, reminds me a lot of Brunella’s pocket editions with sketches! πŸ™‚

I had a good laugh (which was very nice after half an hour spent fighting with Laptop, LOL!) and enjoyed every word – including the mention to her unnamed neighbor fitness freak (a.k.a. Da Muse) who takes only a couple of pages out of 240. And I could exactly picture the Man of the House and hear his voice when he spoke, LOL!

By the way, Mrs Khanna, if you’d like to read a couple of sci-fi stories now that the baby has grown up a little and you may have a little more free time (the book is from 2015), drop me a line and I’ll send you a sneak preview of the Lone Wolves Team… πŸ˜‰

Now I only have to read the two books on the aforementioned Bollywood Hero a.k.a. Da Muse, but they’re definitely not as entertaining as Mrs. Funnybones… Have a great weekend, everyone! πŸ˜€

 

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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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

So, that’s all for this week! Have a wonderful weekend! πŸ™‚

 

RandomFriday


Since I don’t have news, I’m going to randomly spam you with Buy My Books. Because this is a writer’s blog, so why aren’t you buying my books? I’ve got books for most tastes, adults only or clean, and I enjoyed writing them, so please become my first 1000 True Fans and help me spread the word.

Did I mention you could, nay, shouldΒ buy my books? Lots of e-books, some paperbacks and even bundles and box sets! And serieses (wow, big word! SERIESES! How serious is that?) Yes! More than one! Secondary world fantasy, science fantasy, historical fantasy and more!

Wait, I know I should mention something else to the Buy My Books Speech… I know! Just go buy my books! And spend the weekend reading them! Go now! Buy Links! Links a go-go! Whoot! Thank you!

Oh, and you can join my mailing list, of course… and follow this blog, which you already are, hello there! I shall conclude this random post with… you guessed it! Buy My Books!

P.S. This is a satirical post, in fact there are no buy links whatsoever. But if you’d like to support this writer, buy her books. There are links aplenty around here.

Thank you and have a nice weekend! πŸ˜€

Random Friday


And you can tell I’ve been shopping online AND ordering proofs! So, yeah, some new paperbacks, and the anthology is finally in my greedy hands along with a couple more things – research reading and a comic. Next week I should get some DVDs. And then I’ll do another order after I come back from London – whatever I can’t find at Waterstones or Southall will be ordered online next month! πŸ˜‰

Because some things are better read on paper (I’m all for reading fiction on my Kindle Keyboard, but non-fiction and artbooks are better on paper) but I don’t have many English bookstores in Rome (a couple who might hear from me sometime later in the year, LOL!), so… Amazon. Yeah, I know.

It’s not Mighty Zon that is killing bookstores. Check Kris Rusch’s excellent post on bookstores – I’ve been to North by Northwest during my 3 coast workshops and I look forward to going back with the new management. Especially if they indeed open to people like me on the other side of the world! πŸ˜‰ Just kidding, it’s just required visit when one goes to Lincoln City, that’s all! πŸ˜€

Two more bundles are coming soon, show some love also to the bundles page (and the above anthology page). I’m not sure how many I will curate this year and if I’ll be invited to some, so follow those pages to stay updated. Unless you really really really like this very blog here, LOL!

Thank you again for following me on this journey. Little poll to get to meet you all. And if you’re a writer, feel free to contact me to request my writerly questions and be featured on here! πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful weekend! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


So, as you can see, we have nice paperbacks, except the last one (the new one) still has some problems. So I’ll fix those (in the interior) and then I’ll send it live, long before the ebook goes live. At least on November 2 both will be available for your reading pleasure! πŸ˜‰

I also uploaded another ebook, Axelle ap Kiaran, and I wasn’t very happy with it until Mighty Editor returned it, saying it was her favorite so far! You can never guess what actually is good or not – what you love, people may hate and what you hate, people may love. Writers are still the worst judges of their work! πŸ˜‰

I should do a paperback of that one too, but since pricing has changed in the past five years, I’m postponing to next year all POD changes and experiments. I have also updated (read: lowered) some ebook prices to match the new suggested prices – only 13 titles out of 160, thank God! πŸ˜€

I wish things didn’t change so fast and that they settled for a while! I have new projects, printed projects for next year, and I really don’t know what I’m supposed to price anything anymore! 😦 The sale went meh, I hope the bundle sales will go better. There’s one coming up for Sci-fi July, so stay tuned.

Speaking of bundles, it’s the bundles month. I’m in 4 new bundles (including the one I curated about Vampires of the World) and two more in November. New year, I will curate more, but I’d love to catch up on some reading before then! I’m still on my first curated bundle that came out last May and will go away Dec. 1st…

I’m still a little behind in writing the new stories, but I hope to catch up soon. I have another marketing weekend coming up, but I think that for November the bundle will be enough of a discount without looking for other titles to discount. And in December we’ll see. Since this marketing stuff takes so much of my energy, I don’t know for how long I’ll keep going! πŸ˜‰

If you’re interested, there’s another Storybundle offer of NaNoWriMo books. Considering that I still have a few to read from past bundles, I think I’ll pass, but I’ll order one of those in paper – or better, I’ve put it on my Christmas Wishlist, so they’d gift me something useful! πŸ˜‰

I prefer reading non-fiction on paper anyway, because it’s easier to refer to things that searching on my Kindle. I love KK, but only for fiction and bundles of fiction. Comics and non-fiction are still in paper for me.

Back to finishing the next story! And the Fantasy Online Workshop! I wish I could afford another offline workshop, but I’m aiming for 2020, when hopefully things have either calmed down or blown up completely! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

Writer Wendesday


And there’s a new bundle out with Technological Angel it it! This is all of cyborgs and machines and all that stuff, in fact it’s called Cyborg City! So if you’re all for sci-fi, go grab it at BundleRabbit which has also the links to the other retailers… it’s only 4$ for 12 novels!

Coming next is also Vampires of the World, which is already available for pre-order, plus a couple more not curated by me. Lots and lots of bundles this year! πŸ™‚ I will definitely finish the ones I got from StoryBundle in 2015 then I can start (or finish) reading the ones I’m part of! πŸ˜‰

For next weekend only, Honorable Assassins will be at 99c. The paperback will be available some time next week – I had to redo the cover and order another proof. Sorry about that… Let’s pretend I have the hardcover, while we’re at it! πŸ™‚

I also updated the pre-order documents for Shashank the Fledgling. I have added not one, but two bonus stories! The second is really short and I wouldn’t know where else to put it, so I added it to the ebook and the paperback.Not really bonus-stuffing here, at least the paperback (and the ebook, or course) is richer. I ordered a proof to see how it comes out, along with the revised version of Honorable Assassins.

Unfortunately it’s been a bad month for writing: only 22K for those two stories and some adjustments to other works. Maybe I should retake the novel challenge, LOL! Now I’m writing those final stories for the Fall of the Southern Kingdoms and then I’ll move on to the next project – a rewrite with sequel, then I will really stop recycling old stuff! πŸ˜‰

I also have to write three more stories, two from the current online workshop and one for some open call project with specific themes – there’s is more than one, but I’m afraid I can write only one of those three! πŸ˜‰ And the workshop’s not over, I might have to write another opening, so that’s another story I’m sure I’ll have to write… not to mention the opening of past workshops I didn’t have time to finish yet!

Tips for authors using social media on KWL blog. And a Kickstarter for Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, that will feature also yours truly sometimes next year! πŸ™‚

About telling a story vs. writing a story. I probably mentioned it before, but I’m a storyteller, not a wordsmith. I want to tell stories not spend days on writing down the right sentence of finding a brand new metaphor. I call that purple prose and I skim it when I see it! πŸ˜‰

I tried to read a Jack Reacher book, but I’m not too fond of first person narration, so it has gone in the backburner. I have enough reading to do before getting to that! πŸ˜€

One last thing: if you aren’t on Draft2Digital yet, you can join through referral now. They distribute to the usual suspects, have ebook templates (that I still have to try…) and now even allow audio! What’s not to love? They’re even better and faster that Smashwords whenever I had a problem… So, what are you waiting for? If you’re indie, join Draft2Digital! πŸ™‚

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


So, in between short stories (submitted and rejected very quickly, but I keep sending them out) and readings, I managed to watch another DVD, Midnight’s Children. What can I say… I like the movie (narrated by the writer himself), but I probably wouldn’t like the book, even though the screenplay was written by the writer of the book. Not my kind of book, I’m afraid.

With the Italian holidays, I also finally opened an account on Vimeo, so I could post my video on Patreon. Soon all my book trailers will be uploaded again, yay! πŸ™‚ Not that they help selling books, but well… I have fun doing those things with Windows Movie Maker, so I might as well share them! πŸ˜‰

And I got the proofs of Quests Volume 1 and 2, so hopefully the paperbacks will soon be available. I had to redo the covers, but this means I have two books to sell at Worldcon – and if I don’t find anyone there, I’ll do a Goodreads giveaway. The spines weren’t correct as you can see.

I still use Createspace, although I might eventually experiment with KDP print. Maybe for thinner, cheaper books. But there’s still this little problem:

Amazon states more features will be added over time but currently, authors cannot order proofs of their books. Ouch. So the book goes on sale before an author can view the final product to ensure everythingβ€”fonts, cover graphics and colours, page numbers, headers and much moreβ€”are the way they’re supposed to be.

And everything else stated in this article about the two services. I don’t have that many Canadian readers, but I have a lot of Canadian author friends (including co-bundlers Karen Abrahamson and Marcelle DubΓ©), so I feel their pain! 😦

Next week I’ll let you know my wordcount for April… If I forget, remind me! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Totally random randomness: I forgot to mention that a new title is out, but since it’s a collection of previously published stories, I don’t feel like promoting it too much.

It’s Tales of the Queendom of Maadre where I put all the shorter Amazons stories. That collection + Amazons+Amazon Sisters+Books of the Immortals – Water gives the current puzzle of the Queendom of Silvery Earth.

Later this month I will publish the tales of the southern kingdoms in one-volume editions, ebook and paperback. No new stories will come out before 2017, since in December I’ll publish some Italian version. So, for the new stuff, next year!

Coincidentally, Tales of the Queendom of Maadre, Books of the Immortals – Water and the one-volume editions of the tales of the southern kingdoms all have covers by Cristina Fabris who is coming tomorrow for our creative weekend! πŸ˜‰

Things I forgot to mention in a previous post – my rules for traveling to India! Imagine them said in a Brad Pitt voice (see Fight Club):

The first rule of traveling to India is: you do not go out without a bottle of water.

The second rule is: you DO NOT go out without a bottle of water!

Third rule: stick to the group/guide/drivers at all times.

Fourth rule: don’t talk to strangers unless it’s kids or families asking “Can I selfie with you?”

I know, there wasn’t really a fourth rule in Fight Club, but whatever. πŸ˜€

Now I’m off finishing typing the travel journal and checking what needs to be done for Quests 3, so it will be ready to be sent out to Mighty Editor mid-December! I hope to watch a movie or two next week, so stay tuned…

Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday


First of all, I’m guest at Rita Lee Chapman’s so go and read the interview ASAP, since it’s only for a week! πŸ™‚ And since I’m not shy when it comes to written interviews, I’m going to add the 4 questions of #mywritingprocess even if I’m not on Twitter (that’s why I’m not really tagging anyone, but I got it from Viv’s blog – go check her answers!)!

What am I working on?

Okay, I’m done with translating Star Minds, so I’m back on Silvery Earth. A few short stories to translate and rewrite about the Amazons (the first volume of stories of the Queendom of Maadre will come out in April, these will go in the second) and a few more that are “new” (from old notes and summaries) and then I’ll probably write a few more tales of the Southern Kingdoms, so I can have another anthology set before TSK1, BoI – Air and TSK2 later in the year. Then I’ll do the last bit of translation (Male Lovers of Silvery Earth needs to be in Italian, since the cover artist is Italian, although can speak English, LOL) and then I hope to get back to the Assassins’ Guild of Southern Varia (Saif’s Legacy). Busy busy – those popcorn kittens never leave! πŸ˜‰

How does my work differ form others of its genre?

Well, it’s labeled “adult unconventional fantasy” for a reason… no quests, no heroes’ journeys… And a lot of characters who are or feel different from the rest of the world, and either try to fit in or not. No Good vs Evil or Go And Save The World stories, but I think there’s a lot of conflict anyway (or there wouldn’t be a story, right?)

Why do I write what I do?

Because it’s fun, I like to make up stuff and I write what I’d like to read but don’t seem to be able to find it! πŸ˜‰ Yeah, I’m my #1 fan! πŸ˜€

How does my writing process work?

Idea – can be a sentence, an image, a thought, anything. Either notes and brainstorming with myself, or I tell myself the story before going to sleep (but then lose something when I transcribe it, so I try not to use it too often). Draft zero is mostly improvised (and written longhand). Draft 1 revises and adjusts, and then goes out to betas. When I get all the comments back (from 1 for a short story to as many as I can get for longer works), I rewrite and send off to Editor. Final pass and formatting or submitting…

And in reminding you the sale of Technological Angel – at 99cents only on Amazon, Kobo and DriveThruFiction and only until Saturday – I will now move to the writerly links!

Dean Wesley Smith has started the Killing the top ten sacred cows of indie publishing, so don’t miss them! I’m indie, even if I haven’t set up Unicorn Productions as a business – but then I live in Italy, not in the US. Most complicated country to start a business in. Sigh. But I still consider myself indie and not self-published! πŸ™‚ But I’m also available at Powell’s Books – even if 2 covers are missing! Whoot for CreateSpace’s extended distribution (the paperbacks are also at B&N)! πŸ˜€ And I live in Italy, so you see, it’s not impossible to get into US bookstores! πŸ˜‰

And then go check the latest post on discoverability by Kris Rusch. And don’t forget to read what Joe Konrath knows and print it out and pin it in front of your desk! πŸ˜‰ In short, welcome to the new world of publishing. You’ve written a book? Good. Don’t look for an agent. Don’t look for a publishers. Check those three pros blogs and just publish it! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Random Friday


In the previous post I told why I prefer Smashwords as a writer. Now I’m going to put my reader’s hat on! πŸ™‚

The writer hates she can’t download her own books from Amazon: my books on my Kindle are all Smashwords files. I have no idea what the customer gets except for the preview before I upload them. So 30+ title on my Kindle are my books (which doesn’t mean I’ve read them all, not even with the text-to-speech function, LOL!).

When my Kindle breaks (hopefully never, but electronic stuff quickly becomes obsolete – I’m not going to change my Kindle Keyboard for any fancy color update anytime soon, but you never know), I’ll have to put my Kindle-only books through Calibre. On Smashwords I only have to go back to the book page and download another format.

AND if the author publishes a revised version of any of the books I’ve bought, I can have it for free on Smashwords. (So, the few who bought B.G.Hope’s short stories for 99cents, can now download the double shorts and have the second story really for free. All new customers get the two stories for the new price).

And on Amazon anyone can leave reviews, which leaves room for troll reviews. On Barnes&Nobles you can even leave anonymous reviews! 😦 Now, apparently Google has found a way to detect and remove fake spammy reviews, but still… On Smashwords and DriveThru you need to buy the book to leave a review – which I find wonderful (in spite of the annoying Smashword reminder, LOL).

And of course both allow you to either create coupons for reviewers or send free review copies – something that Amazon itself doesn’t allow, if a reviewer wants a mobi file, I need to create it (for DriveThru I’m still working on the mobi and e-pub versions, it still has only PDFs. More formats will come, promised!) – or send the reviewer to Smashwords! πŸ˜€

Now, I’ve read a paperback book – because Penguin India didn’t provide the e-book format -, remember them? πŸ˜‰ It’s The Boyfriend by R.Raj Rao (link to… where I bought it!) – yeah, I still love Amazon, but not to buy e-books! πŸ˜‰

Here’s my review copy-pasted from Goodreads/Amazon:

I’m only halfway through it and I’m loving it! Also because I’m a Bollywood geek, so even if the book is set in the 1990s, there’s still mention of rising star Shah Rukh Khan and his movie Baazigar (which is the remake of A Kiss Before Dying with Matt Dillon, BTW) and other people I’ve actually heard about, LOL!
Also, this is pure gay fiction, not m/m romance written by women for women, so it’s very refreshing. And very interesting discovering the gay life of Bombay/Mumbai – something you don’t really expect exists.
And I love the mix of British English and Hindi! And the omniscient narrator, a.k.a. head-hopping so many editors and writing guru rant against! πŸ™‚
Now I’m finished: I loved the dry humor of this story and the mix of English and Hindi – I don’t care if some words make no sense to me, they make a sense of where the characters are!
One last note: If you hate spoilers, DO NOT read the back cover of the paperback. I’ve never seen the complete plot revealed on the cover (not that it’s a mystery or a thriller, but still…). One star to the editor of Penguin India who wrote that without a “spoiler alert”!

So, there you have it! For an India/gay culture buff like me, it was really funny and a great read. Again, I was appalled at the back cover giving away the whole plot, but I don’t really care for spoilers – that’s what I actually look for in movies or books descriptions, LOL! Well, I look for that little hint of a scene or something of the story that grabs me – in this case the title and knowing it dealt with homosexuality in Bombay/Mumbai was enough, but otherwise I need a little something to make me want to buy.

Like Michelle, I don’t care if somebody tells me the end. As a reader, I don’t read the sample – not even with paper books. I go for cover, back cover and it’s in my basket or back on the shelves. OK, while I’m talking as a reader, I’ll say that I do have ONE sample on my Kindle: Rob Lowe’s book. But it’s a traditionally published book, with traditionally published e-book pricing, so I’m not going to download it all. If I must pay that price to read it, I’ll wait until I go to London or the US and buy the paperback. Heck, the paperback might even have pictures inside like Shahrukh Khan’s bio! (Maybe it doesn’t I’m just assuming! ;-)). So I’ll stick to that sample and the Vanity Fair excerpt that came out last year until either traditional publishers lower their e-book prices or I buy the paperback.

There you have, then, this reader’s habits… they haven’t changed much in time, except from reading on different formats – from paper only to paper + PDF to paper + PDF + ebooks, but the way of chosing what to read is still the same… Now I’m back to finishing Mark Coker’s book (free download recommended to all indie writers!!) and deciding what to post on Sunday! More longer excerpts or another six sentence? You tell me! πŸ™‚

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