Writer Wednesday

I have added a couple of rewards (at the lower tiers) for writers. So if you’d like to hear some tips or experiences or other writerly stuff by yours truly, you can do so by supporting me on Patreon. If you’re just a reader who enjoy my fiction (bless you), you have even more choices. Either way I’d greatly appreciate it, even if you pledge only 1$ a month! πŸ™‚

Last week of may and I’m prepping for the Novel Challenge while writing a fan fiction – clearly a crossover between vampires mythologies! πŸ˜‰ I won’t say anything about it, but anyone familiar with my vampires will recognize my submission when it goes live. The voting is anonymous, so feel free to vote for somebody else, LOL!

This week writerly links. A hot steaming sack of business advice for writers by Chuck Wendig. Although I should take him off my blogroll, since he enjoys hunting unicorns. The Lady of the Unicorn, here, can’t really allow that, can she? πŸ˜‰ And you probably all know that I don’t agree on anything about agents, but if that’s your thing…

I’m still studying the series about branding. That homework is tricky, though. It will need some percolating in my slow mind. I think I said 2011 was the year of the Sloth, but this year things got even worse, haha! πŸ™‚ I have worked on a cover this weekend, and I’m keeping the fonts consistent for the series and sub-series (like you can see in the Silvery Earth trailer, each sub-series had a different font and frame).

If you still need some motivation, and while you wait for my own post on the topic (I hope I can write my own in 3 to 5 years, but I’m not there yet, haha!), here’s 20 things learned from writing full-time for three years. Wait, I actually do write full time (except for those wasted hours at the part-time office chair), but I don’t earn a living from it… mm, complicated stuff.

Anyway, if you need a boost on productivity but don’t want to pay an online workshop, that post is excellent advice. And don’t get depressed when you read “You’re going to get hacked!” or someone’s frustration and disappointment. Re: Amazon (I guess that author went through this Amazon Alert and decided to back out of it) I also had problems with them in the past.

When I was publishing SKYBAND with Lulu, I had someone selling it on Amazon without buying it from me at 100$ (a 10$ single issue) and the representatives weren’t really helpful. One of my ebooks is still in Draft form because they didn’t receive my copyright ownership and had blocked my KDP account.

Life is too short to worry about pirates and Amazon and whatnot. Like I said more than once, I might one day give up publishing and start another kind of business, keeping my writing private and/or for my few readers. One day. I’m still trying to think long term. It can’t be considered a career until 10 years have gone by, and they have not. Not yet. They’re flying by, but I still have a few years of experiments and attempts at finding my readership.

Ending on a non-writerly note because Da Muses’ alerts were kinda funny lately for opposite reasons. One is reknown for his immortality (yeah, right) hence the only 50+ worth watching and the other was given for dead at 43… I’m sorry I missed that Facebook hoax! πŸ˜€

Hoping I made at least the ladies smile with the last paragraph, I wish you a wonderful week! πŸ™‚


Writer Wednesday

Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens are running an online auction to raise money for 4 organisations working to evacuate LGBT men from Chechnya. Items include signed paperbacks, original characters, original stories, author services and more. The auction began on Friday, May 5 and ends at noon CDT Saturday, May 13th. I didn’t sign up on time (I know, shame on me…) but the auction is now live until Saturday. Go check it.

On the writing front, on Saturday I threw away half of what I had written because the story needed to go in a different direction. I was at 9100 words and 4600 were mercilessly cut and pasted in a new document called “deleted scenes” – I might add it as extra to the ebook when it’s published or give it as reward on Patreon, again when the story is published, probably after the summer.

Murder your darlings, they say. I cut those words because I had found a better way to rise the stakes for the main character and so half of the story had to go. It’s part of my new way of writing, cycling to add stuff back since I’m typing directly on Laptop and don’t need to get to the end before adding stuff in the middle like I did when I was writing longhand.

Anyhow, I did manage to write 3700 new words on Saturday, 6700 on Sunday and wrap the story on Monday at 17600 words, so I’m not complaining! πŸ˜‰ Now on to the next story! πŸ˜€

My Facebook page has 299 “likes” (the screenshot is from 1 like ago)… who is going to be #300? I might reward you if you’re that lucky person… Since the friends I have invited can’t be bothered to accept the invite, it’s up to you, Stranger, to be the One… Or you could be the first patron on Patreon… I should reward you as well… One ebook of your choice, the preferred format, anywhere in the world! πŸ˜‰

Have a great week!


Random Friday

Just wanted to let you know that Starship Pilot with Techie Bro’s illustration Ready for Take-off is now available for the first ten (10) patrons, no matter how much you pledge. So, if you’d like to read it before it comes out in the volume Star Minds Third Generation Snippets, you can become a patron of yours truly and have this neat illustrated preview.

Since I’ve decided to try and write a couple of short stories for submission, following some writing prompts I found on Reddit, and the magazine currently only wants fantasy and no sci-fi, I watched Warcraft that I found at the newsagent’s. I didn’t know it was directed by David Bowie’s son (I love his Moon movie) and I’ve never really played the game (although I know that my WoW (words of wisdom) Sundays used to confuse WoW (Worlds of Warcraft) fans, but I knew nothing of the franchise at the time), so…

It’s a nice fantasy movie… got choked up a couple of times and of course it’s only the beginning (in fact the Italian titles says “Warcraft – the beginning”), so there’s an open ending for sequels. And I was impressed by the CGI, they can really make anything look real!

So if you want to see orcs and gryphons and warriors in shining armor and even “boomsticks” (yes, those pesky guns are everywhere nowadays, haha!) with elves and dwarves, go check this movie – it’s not as long as LOTR (which I haven’t seen yet anyway, nor read the book).

Now I’m back to my publishing stuff… expect a new title soon… Have a great weekend and Happy Easter! πŸ™‚

Sunday Surprise

#patreon @patreon

Well, I guess it’s not really a surprise, but… I’ve got some awesome news! I joined Patreon! In case you’re wondering, Patreon is a simple way for you to contribute to my writing every month, and get great rewards in return – from reading the web-strip Me and Da Muses to reading stories before they are published to getting a paperback signed by yours truly. Go checkout the page!

I’m still working on it, so things might evolve as I learn and go along! By the way, now you know why I did those Chibis of myself for… the super sikret project is no longer secret! πŸ™‚ Have a great Sunday and spread the word!


Writer Wednesday

Getting back into the routine, I can say that I wrote at least 40K in March – the month’s not over, I might write another 10K, so final counts next week, and completed Saif’s story. As soon as I have a cover, you will be able to read more about the honorable assassins of Silvery Earth. Of course some parts of Saif’s story overlap with Saif & Kilig, but you’ll get to know Saif better than Kilig or Hakeem ever did! πŸ˜‰

And I have opened that Patreon account! While I decide which creators I want to support, get ready to support me! Announcement this weekend – I published the first novel (Books of the Immortals – Air) on April 1, 2011, I thought it fitting to launch the Patreon page on the same date… or maybe a day later, to make sure you don’t think it’s an April’s Fool! πŸ™‚

So I’ll have a busy, creative weekend with Cristina coming over. I want to publish a Star Minds third generation ebook and I have to launch that Patreon page. Hopefully no fever, cough or headache will stop me! πŸ™‚

So, you wanna be a professional writer? Some considerations! by Chuck Wendig – and about #7, I have a blog (you’re reading it!), I have social media (Facebook, Goodreads), and now I have Patreon (will go live soon, promise). I probably don’t have enough fans for a Kickstarter – or better, I don’t have a big enough project in the pipeline yet. One day… Like raising the money to have a cover by Larry Elmore, Terry Moore or Colleen Doran… but I’ll have to think about a great story for such great cover artists! πŸ™‚

And then I’ll try not to bury myself in data diving… I know I’m not experimenting much in marketing, but maybe I’ll end up taking the Strength workshops about Sales… still thinking about that one! πŸ™‚ And then I will start putting together some bundles on Bundle Rabbit. I have requested curator status, so if you have “first in a series” of a fantasy world (not Earth) or vampires (NOT YA) stories, upload them now, so I can find them! πŸ™‚

That’s if you’re a writer. If you’re a reader, check out the current bundles! There are books for every tastes, really! πŸ™‚ Now I better go back writing… Have a great week! πŸ˜‰

Random Friday

I finished reading Dracula at last. It was longer than I thought – or maybe it took me longer than expected because of the sometimes unreadable (for me) English (when Mr. Stoker tried to render the lower classes speech, I couldn’t really follow it and Van Helsing’s broken English was sometimes irritating)… It’s… interesting! Dated, but interesting.

I’ve read somewhere that Bram Stoker knew nothing of Vlad the Impaler, and in fact he doesn’t really mention the origin of Dracula. And Mina is faithful to her husband – unlike the movie version, which seemed to be a summary of the summary of the book.

I’m kinda baffled at how things were changed in the movie. I guess the screenwriter took advantage of the fact that the writer couldn’t sue him, since he was already dead (much like the guy who wrote Troy based on Homer’s work – I wonder if dead authors who get rewritten in Hollywood haunt those darn screenwriters! πŸ˜€ At least Shakespeare wrote plays that are easier to turn into movies… sort of…)! πŸ˜‰

Speaking of more vampires, let’s move to sort of Art Friday. Here’s a preview of half the strip about the Desi vampire… As you can see he doesn’t even have a name here (and even the one I’d found will need to be changed, so… Whatsisname is just fine for now! πŸ˜‰ Bad author, I know).

desiYes, I’m aware it’s a very silly joke – much like this one… Hopefully this weekend I’ll have time to go back to more serious drawing! πŸ˜‰ Unless I get to writing the above, that is. I’m thinking since I’m reading about vampires, I might as well get done with the vampire stories (I still need to finish Interview with the Vampire that I interrupted at the beginning of part 3 when I headed for London).

Speaking of artists, I’ve discovered this amazing digital painter who also has her own project – musical, not painted. May her music help heal other people from depression…

Also, if you’d like to support my cover artist and webmaster Silvano Beltramo on Patreon, here is his page. I know that eventually I’ll sign up myself, but I haven’t decided yet how to sign up (as author/which pen name or as publisher?)…

Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday

Star Minds Next Generation is coming… probably some time next week! πŸ˜‰ In the meantime I’m writing more stories in the Star Minds universe – in a couple of months there will be Star Minds Next Generation Diaries, the companion to the novel (but in this case, the companion will be longer than the novel. With Star Minds and Star Minds Snippets, the latter was shorter, but then, the first is a trilogy! πŸ˜‰ – both will have a cover by Maurizio Manzieri).

And then much later in the year, Star Minds Interregnum, related stories of what happens to the Star Nations after the fall of the Galactic Empire and before the Humanoid Wars – that I will not relate, except maybe with a short story/writing exercise, since military SF is way out of my comfort zone. But then, I mentioned this year I want to try to write outside of my comfort zone and experiment, didn’t I? So we’ll see.

I will also write more short stories in the hope of submitting them to traditional markets and/or use them to lure newsletter subscribers and/or for Patreon. Mighty Jo is doing a series of posts on where to find her outside of Facebook – I’m not going to any of those sites, especially Twitter and Google+, so don’t invite me and don’t add me to your circle – and will stick to Facebook and Goodreads for the time being. But I think all writers should start considering Patreon seriously. In the words of my friend M.L. Buchman:

Just like Kickstarter, it began like a webcomic and music Platform and it is only just now being discovered by writers–with varying degrees of success. There’s plenty of room over there. And it’s a win-win. The more writers we get there, the more fans will be drawn to it who think, “Hey, each time they release a story, sure I’ll buy them a cup of coffee to celebrate.” So, check it out, maybe it’s a worthwile Platform for you to improve and monetize connections with fans.”

There are also two ways of finding patrons, monthly (like Dean Wesley Smith) or “per creation” (like M.L. Buchman), which is something I’m really considering this year that I’ll be slower with the “publish” button. Whenever I join, I know I’ll support the following creators:

Elephant Wendigo (my cover artist for Male Lovers)

Clarkesworld (because Neil Clarke is the best editor evah!)

Dean Wesley Smith (because he’s my writing guru and when I grow up I wanna be like him)

M.L. Buchman (since he says it so well! πŸ˜‰ Besides, checking his page I discovered there are two ways of doing things on Patreon)

and then we’ll see who else joins! Will keep you posted when I do…

I shall leave you with Hugh Howey’s thoughts on the future of publishing. No, the sky is not falling, but it’s constantly changing – enjoy chasing the clouds and the stars passing by! πŸ˜‰ And don’t forget that passion is key – if you’re in it for the money, you might as well quit now! πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday

Currently in Oregon for a workshop I can’t say much about yet – stay tuned, next week I’ll tell you everything – and not really eager to publish something new, although I do have something. Well, it’s the third version of an already published short story, but since I don’t have the cover yet, it will have to wait. Nobody offered guest posts or character interviews, so I’m improvising from the lovely location I’m at – the Historic Anchor Inn of Lincoln City.

Writing-wise, I’m currently adding a part 4 to Kilig and Hakeem’s story, even if I already got the Assassins’ Guild edits back from the editor. But I can’t look at them on this tiny screen, so I’ll just keep writing and then send it out to betas and then to her. So the final book is actually going to be longer than expected. Not bad for what was supposed to be a one-shot novella.

Anyhow, first night homework was “What kind of writer do I want to be” and I think now is a good time to think about it. I’m a storyteller and I’ll keep writing stories until the day I die, and that’s for sure. But I’d also love to share those stories with the world – find my 5000 true fans (if you go back to the beginning of this blog, you’ll see what I mean) and live off my royalties, doing the thing I love doing the most: writing (with some drawing on the side, LOL)!

I’m productive, so I can start a Patreon campaign soon. How soon, depends on how long it takes me to make decisions and schedule my writing so that I can compensate whoever decides to support me. I’m also thinking of giving away a short story or a novella to newsletter subscribers – something that will never be published online, so the only way to read it is by subscribing to the newsletter.

If the recession in Italy rids me of the DayJob, I’ll start doing formatting for other authors or write that “Indie Author” guide in Italian (and English for non-Americans). Apparently non-fiction sells better and e-books are forever and can be updated at any time, so… yeah, I might do that. After I finish writing the fiction pieces I want to write this year (at the moment: finish Assassins Guild story, write Star Minds Next Generation book 2 and if there’s time, rewrite an old story that matches my Amazon novella that I translated last year but haven’t published yet because they go parallel and I don’t want to rewrite one when I finish the other). And I might dig into cover art and graphics as well.

But until then, I’ll just keep writing and publishing to the usual places. This month I’m taking a break, but next month I’ll be back with more titles, so stay tuned. Now off to writing some more (if I read, I’ll fall asleep, LOL!). Have a great week!

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