Sunday Surprise


And it’s the last words of wisdom or writers on writing of the year! Next “episode” in 2021, hoping these wise words don’t become obsolete by the time I publish them… Have a great Sunday! 🙂

Being an entrepreneurial author gives me the freedom to write what I want, to work the hours I choose, and to say yes to the partnerships and opportunities I want to while graciously declining the rest. There are no gatekeepers that get to judge my work or tell me its not commercial enough to attract advertisers, and no investors that want me to push their agendas. It’s just me, writing what I want, sharing it with the world the best I can, and empowering my readers to think, dream, and live differently.  And that makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Doing these things while writing your books and building your author brand will give you higher levels of joy, happiness, and fulfillment along the way. Happy writing!

Sheri Fink

Six stories in six weeks clears the head.

It’s simple. Straightforward. It cuts the noise by giving a writer who is flailing something to focus on. I know this is true because that’s where I was when I came to me second Anthology Workshop. I knew what I wanted. I knew I wasn’t getting there. There were so many moving parts going on around me, so many things to think about. Six deadlines in six weeks settled me out.

Looking back, I realized I needed those deadlines to get myself into a healthier headspace. Focus, remember? Production Writing is about focus, not wordcount.

And once I got there, I came to the workshop fully prepared for the whole learning experience–an experience that, since I was ready, I can probably say went a very long way toward changing my life.

Ron Collins

Write. Write. Write. So many people come to me wanting to talk about how to break into publishing, and my first question is always the same—how many books have you written? Inevitably, they are still working on their first, which is fabulous, but they aren’t ready to talk about publishing. They need to be focused exclusively on honing their craft and making their books as good as they can possibly be to give them the best chance of finding readers who have thousands of authors to choose from. If you get them to read your book, you want to keep them, and the only way you will do that is to continue to write great books that keep them coming back for every new release. There’s no shortcut, get-rich-quick scheme or weekend workshop that will make that process “easier.” It just takes time and perseverance to get your books to the point where readers are clamoring for them.

Marie Force

The amateur continuously rates himself in relation to others, becoming self-inflated if his fortunes rise, and desperately anxious if his star should fall. The amateur craves third-party validation.

– Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro

Advocacy is what you are truly chasing, rather than those reader eyeballs or even dollars – an army of superfans who do the selling for you.

David Gaughran

Start by realizing that you can only compare yourself to who you were as a writer last year. We are all at different points on the writer’s journey and we only ever hear the highlights in the media.

We don’t know what happened to that suddenly-famous debut author before their breakout book and we might be mistakenly comparing ourselves to someone who has been ghostwriting under another name for ten years, or have five novels that were rejected before the one that hit big.

(…)

You could even turn what you learn into a blog post or journal entry or add items to your To Do list.

If I read a book by an author I have been jealous of and I like it, I’ll always promote it to my own audience in the ultimate reversal of jealousy.

Celebrate the success of other authors and it will make you a happier writer, plus it will build your network over time.

Joanna Penn

Stop looking at what other people are doing and look at what you’re achieving. Stop looking sideways, look at where you’re going.

– Jocelyn Glei, Manage your Day to Day

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 16k (with an extra day off day job) and since it was so busy in the mornings (sarcasm), I even got to start on the new strip. Now I have to color the waves before putting them on Instagram, but meanwhile here’s a “scoop” – the cover and credits! 🙂

I started the coloring and lettering of the panels I have already done, but there’s still quite a lot of work to do. This week I hope to tackle a couple of shorter works for upcoming anthologies or to add words to some books. Like, a couple of additions to FEC11, which I completed last week. Then next week I’ll have very little writing and lots of editing, LOL!

Many writers say they can actually hear the voices of our characters – including yours truly. Now you have the scientific explanation. I’m definitely more of a “internal dialog” person, definitely not a “monologue”, hence why I thought writing screenplays would be a piece of cake. Or radio plays. They’re all dialog, right? Wrong. Lesson learned, back to prose.

A Kickstarter I backed because there are plenty of writers I know (including the one Planet Bob guy, whom I met at the Anthology Workshop in 2017) and I was curious. I’ll get only the ebook, but if you’re in the US there’s plenty more rewards! 🙂 And don’t you like the title? SPACE:1975 – A Blast of 1970s Style Space Opera Fiction. I loved Space 1999 and could probably write something for them as well. Maybe. One day.

How should artists deal with the pandemic? Like Dolly Parton! 🙂 Check how she steers her empire through the pandemic!

She has always known what the pandemic has forced many in the industry to realize: that diversifying your income streams is one of the smartest things an artist can do.

And for us indies it means don’t put all your eggs in one basket – and then licensing, of course. I still have to get to that, possibly next year. Like I mentioned in other posts, now is not a good time to take risks. But if I manage an early retirement, I’ll definitely look into it!

I happen to be a Generation X person – although in Italy it’s slightly different. My peers are still steady-job oriented and wouldn’t consider entrepreneurship, unlike Millennials. So if I get rid of the steady job, I might start exploring entrepreneurship, although laws in Italy are the most complicated in the world – which is one more reason why I want to move to another country to start a business.

Whenever I get to start working on my writing business, I’ll definitely consider Kickstarters and licensing. Meanwhile I’m just writing, so I’ll have a decent catalog by the time I’m ready to relaunch. Although I don’t see myself stopping writing to do something else.

Some writers drop everything writing to make licensing deals work. They lose writing time to business time. I could actually spend the rest of my adult life writing nothing, and making a boatload of money from licensing what I’ve already written.

I like writing too much to do that.

Like Kris, I’ll probably never be one of those writers. But I do hope eventually I’ll find the energy to concentrate on the business part of my writing, even though, like I said, it’s not easy in this country, and it adds to the stress I already feel. Like the biological clock saying “it’s been ten years, and you’re still at this stage? Gee, get moving!” – except I can’t, not really. Because I am mentally and emotionally exhausted.

So, we now know why we’re feeling like this! 😉 I’m currently low on #3 (although it was a bigger problem in the past), but the rest is more or less spot on.

'9 Warning Signs You're Mentally Emotionally Exhausted 1. You're easily irritated. 2. You feel unmotivated- even to do things normally enjoy. 3. You'r experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. having trouble sleeping. Either takes you hours fall asleep or broken all through the night. 5. You almost no patience and you find yourself being short with colleagues family. 6. experiencing indigestion. You have stomach ache all the time or feel like there's butterflies in stomach. 7. You crying unexpectedly. 8. You feel from reality- go through days without really emotionally responding connecting to anything. feel TheMindsJournal THEMINDSJOURNAL'

I shall try not to take big decisions while in this state, just in case. This too shall pass. And when I’ll be Dolly’s age (approximately two decades from now), I hope to be able to be like her (extract from the article linked above again):

This is perhaps one secret to Parton’s widespread appeal: Just because she wants to be for everyone doesn’t mean she doesn’t stand for anything. Offending as few potential customers as possible is just good business. But when Parton explains the philosophies that drive her life and career, her answers are hardly corporate. “First of all, I’m not a judgmental person. I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are, and it is not my place to judge,” she says. “All these good Christian people that are supposed to be such good Christian people, the last thing we’re supposed to do is to judge one another. God is the judge, not us. I just try to be myself. I try to let everybody else be themselves.”

And here’s to hoping musicians can stop politicians from (ab)using their songs. Can Neil Young Block Trump From Using His Songs? It’s Complicated.

“Their best recourse is probably one that they have been using for many years,” he said, “which is to complain publicly and engage in shaming sessions, which very often have won.”

Wishing you all a wonderful week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


If you see me bouncing this week it’s because the announced sale is finally out! My first professional publication! I might not be on the ebook cover, but I’m so proud and awed to be in such good company! Yes, I’m in Pulphouse #5, out now! 😀

When I got that email, I forgot about Himalayas and the Smashwords sale, as you can imagine! 😉 And I was so excited I postponed to the weekend listening to the narrators auditions for the next two audiobooks… but now two more are scheduled for production.

I also had time to write another 13K, but I have a fairly detailed outline, so I’m going very fast. I want to finish at least volume 1 of the Moren Empire this month, and it might turn out longer than usual (but it’s also 4 or 5 short books put together, haha!).

If I don’t make it, I’ll push the “30 stories in 60 days” to June and finish it in April. In the meantime I submitted another couple of shorts to traditional markets, although I like SFF fandom less and less. This year will probably be my last Worldcon, since my readers don’t seem to be attending members! 😉

And I have a few links today to share with you.  Indie sci-fi authors are upending traditional publishing, and it’s turned into a war. I am a member of the 20Books group, although I don’t earn much, and will attend the Edinburgh workshop/conference because it’s closer than Vegas and it also has the writing days. But I’m nowhere their results with sales, I still have to find my readers. Let’s hope that whoever started a couple of my series with the free books in the Smashwords sale (see above) will turn into fans! 😉

David Farland on when to stop polishing your manuscript with some good anecdotes from the past. Kris Rusch on priorities – have you made yours? I should probably push my health before my writing, since I don’t have a Dear Husband… although I’m married to Mr. Writing, so… conflicting priorities here… 😉

And the longest article, but worth reading and mulling over – 35 Hard Truths You Should Know Before Becoming “Successful”. I like #20 very much and write what I’d like to read, not chasing the latest trend… which might make it harder to find my readers, but well…

I have a couple more, but I shall leave them for Random Friday Rant! 🙂 Have a great week!

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! And since we’re moving into the month of sci-fi, he’s a sci-fi writer! We met at a few Worldcons through the years as well as book fairs in Italy. He’s a great guy, great writer and great publisher! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Francesco Verso!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Rome (Italy) since most of my time.

Why do you write?

I believe in the power of Science Fiction to shed some light on the future of mankind. I am convinced that literature can help to better understand the psychological and socials mechanics of the world we live in and, in particular, now that technology is playing an ever important role in our lives and relationship we can’t avoid its impact on our reality. Thus, my stories imagine what would be the short and long term consequences of our symbiosis with different kind of technologies ranging from prosthetics, to artificial intelligences, from 3D printed replaceable organs to DNA modifications and nanotech developments. All these anatomical augmentations will have a deep reflection on our identity and thus on our ethics and morals, both on an individual and social scale.

I feel there’s an urgency to update our dramaturgy to the technically accelerated times we live in, something that the mainstream genre is also starting to acknowledge, thanks to the popularity of TV Series like “Black Mirror”, “Westworld”, “Humans”, “Mr. Robot”, “Electric Dreams”.

When did you start writing?

During my University years, I’ve studied one year in Amsterdam for an Erasmus project and there – along the canals – I’ve found a little second hand shop run by an American guy who had opened a bookstore there specialized in SF. Down in the cellar he kept hundreds of SF classics, like Frank Herbert’s “Dune”, Ian McDonal’s “Desolation Road”, William Gibson’s “Neuromancer”, Ursula Le Guin “The Left Hand of Darkness”. I started from there, with the crazy ambition of imitating the writers that I now consider my teachers and sources of inspiration.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write Science Fiction, which means I set my stories in the near future and mostly on Earth. I can’t really write about other worlds as I believe there’s enough “alien realities” and “otherness” here on our planet, just around the corner of wherever we live, to light up any sense of wonder and walk into an “uncanny valley”. Lately I am interested in exploring the solarpunk and human augmentation subgenres – say sustainable energies and posthuman issues driven by technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 – as tools to analyze the biopolitical scenarios we’re heading to in the next years.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I used to have a routine of writing very early in the morning (from 6 to 8am). I’ve managed to write 4 novels and 7 short stories in this way, over the course of 6 years. But since I’ve opened a small press called Future Fiction dedicated to scouting, translating and publishing the best SF authors from every corner of the world, I have changed my schedule. Now I try to concentrate the first draft of my writings during some weeks where I focus all day long and then edit the material whenever I can find some spare time during the year. I became a full time writer 10 years ago, so I have plenty of time, but I need to organize it in a very efficient way, since Future Fiction is taking a lot of my time in reading other people’s stories, going to Book Fairs and SF Cons around the world. Lately I’ve turned also into a public speaker so the time for writing is getting smaller and smaller but more intense.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

Good question and not easy to answer. Let’s say I like to build an interesting plot. My stories are always driven by the actions and desires of the main characters because I think readers should always identify themselves with the themes at stake. Also I am a very curious researcher and careful editor, that means I work a lot on new, breakthrough ideas, or at least on innovative ways to retelling them as not to leave the feeling of “being there, done that”. For me, fiction is the best way to discover new realities through the eyes of someone who can make me believe he/she has been there.

Over the years, I’ve developed a great attention to “meaningful details” and to master the themes of the stories I write about. I need to know a lot more than what appears on paper (the famous “iceberg” approach) and not just in the first draft but also during the revision, which takes much more time and dedication than the first draft (approx. 3-4 times more). My latest novel – the Walkers – went through 9 different revisions and at least three editors looked at the story before I could consider it ready to be published.

So I’ve learned to wait, to have a discipline, not to rush to the end, and then to appreciate the process more than the finish. Maturity taught me that a writer’s biggest enemy is not sold book or selling charts but time; I write to win its favor.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I’m an outliner. I like to know where I am going and also where I am taking the readers. During the plotting, I sketch the course of actions and relationships between the main characters. Then of course I allow myself the freedom to wander around and take different directions if they are in line with the general path. I limit the improvisation to the writing phase, also because I believe in the value of content density, meaning that writing should embody the highest level of meaning in the shortest amount of words. To achieve this goal, I write brief summaries of every chapter as they – at least for me – should respect a sort of “opening-apex-hook” dramatic structure.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

There isn’t a specific goal: writing is already a kind of reward for me and the feeling that I am contributing with novels and short stories to a wider discussion (the future of mankind, the ever changing relationship between man and machine, the development of biopolitics) is a stimulating challenge for my mind. I enjoy the moment when a new idea crosses my thoughts, the very moment when a piece of dramatic information has the potential of turning into a full story, the craft of an interesting scenario that comes alive in front of your own eyes. In a way, it’s like playing God with possible futures, exploring the good and bad of mankind behavior… and that’s not a small thing for me. And then, most of all, when I go to SF Cons and Book Fairs around the world and I can share all these experiences and discussions with other fellow writers and readers, that’s when I truly feel happy and satisfied. It’s a difficult job in terms of money (small payments, no insurance about the future, no idea if your next book will be good as a previous one) with lots of personal disappointments, emotional failings and hard time but it’s also the only job I wouldn’t change with anything else.

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

An editor once told me: “Furnish your plot, not your character’s thoughts,” meaning that actions should emerge from the character’s behaviour and not from his/her mumbling and concerns. Readers are best engaged by other people’s actions and reactions more than their thoughts and internal monologues. That doesn’t mean characters should be flat and simply driven by hectic actions like in a thriller movie, but that – on the contrary – all inside feelings and emotions should rise to the surface of behaviour during the course of events and physical actions. In other words, it simply means putting real life into fiction and not consider fiction as a literary world outside the real one. I’ve learned maybe a very simple thing: that fiction imitates life and life imitates fiction. That’s what makes Science Fiction plausible and move the readers mind in a wonderful direction: a story that keeps doing its job even when the book is over since a long time. The persistence of a book is the best measure of its quality.

I hear your novel “Nexhuman” has been translated from Italian into English and published by Apex books. Care to elaborate on that?

It took around 8 years to write the book, publish it on Delos Books in Italy, then have it translated in English and publish it in Australia with Xoum and then finally to arrive on the US market thanks to Jason Sizemore who liked it so much he decided to have a US edition of Nexhuman.

So I am very happy to see an Italian SF book published by an established and highly valued SF publishing house like Apex since a very long time. The US market is almost impossible to enter if you don’t write in English, which means the costs of translation are often on the shoulders of writers or the publishing house that decides to invest in it (except maybe for mainstream and literary books that have a slightly better treatment thanks to funds and grants). So paradoxically, in SF, where there should be more openness and desire to overcome boundaries and limitations than any other genre, we see a totally different picture: it’s been formally addressed as the “3% Problem”, meaning that only 3% of what is published in the US market comes from Non-English speaking countries and in that 3% are included all the languages of the World!

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’ve just published in Italian on Future Fiction the first book of my latest novel called “The Walkers” which is made of two stories: “The Pulldogs” and “No/Mad/Land”. The first book has been already translated in English by Jennifer Delare and I hope to find a publisher for it outside of Italy.

Then on the editing side, I’ve worked with Bill Campbell, editor of Rosarium Publishing to publish an anthology called “Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International SF”, where we’ve selected stories from the best SF authors from the world coming also from Non-English speaking countries. And the same thing I’ve done China with Guangzhou Blue Ocean Press selecting SF stories for high-schools and universities students.

_____________________________________

Find Francesco online:

Web Page: www.futurefiction.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/francesco.verso.31

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Francesco_Verso

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4817872.Francesco_Verso

Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Francesco-Verso/e/B005BOQNRY

Writer Wednesday


I must say I’ve had a productive writing week, with 19K words written. I also wrapped draft zero of one novel (a little over 50K), now I’m working on its “companion” – it’s, like, three novels intertwined but that can be read as standalone, like the vampires novels, but I’ll be publishing them more or less together, or at least closer to each other than the vampires novels (one a year).

It’s another sub-series of Star Minds, in case you’re wondering, and I hope to have the first out in July to add it to the Sci-fi July Redux bundle, and then we’ll see for the other two. They might come out shorter, so I may combine them. I’ll definitely do a box set when the miniseries is complete! 😉

Speaking of bundles, Spring Surprise is on sale until the 28th! And more to come, so stay tuned! 🙂 It’s a seasonal bundle, so May is the last month to get it. Also, Vampires of the World will vanish in May and there will be a last week sale. More on that next week.

Mighty Zon strikes back! An author’s nightmare with Amazon… and if you like sci-fi, grab this World Sci-fi bundle before it’s gone. I’m still trudging through the bundles I’ve been part of at Bundle Rabbit last year… my TBR pile will never go down, sigh! 😦

In case you’re just starting and are wondering what’s best for you, here’s a very good article on publishing in 2018 – the pros and cons of trad pub vs self pub. I am mostly indie, but I am trying to sell short stories to traditional markets (one sold last year, still not out – being patient…).

And my Kindle Scout novel (15 days left to nominate it) is my attempt at being hybrid on a single project that is an outlier of my usual production. I may also send a rejected novella to another publisher, and in case he likes it, I’ll let him publish it, since it’s not related to any of the current series (except for being loosely part of Future Earth).

So, yeah, we’ll see. Now I shall go back to my writing cave… have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


cover art Cristina Fabris

And a “new” title is out, the collection of stories about the fall of the southern kingdoms of Silvery Earth. Please note that some of he older stories (previously included in Tales of the Southern Kingdoms) are adult-themed. I started writing clean fantasy later.

Which kinda leaves me in a conundrum with my two main series. Both Silvery Earth and Star Minds have adults-only books and “clean” books. No wonder I can’t find my readers, I guess. I displease both parties! 😉

Anyhow, the next sub-series will be clean, so you can wait for those to have a taste of those universes. Well, for Silvery Earth you can try the Quests books (Volume 1 and Volume 2 or as single ebooks). For Star Minds you’ll have to wait for the Lone Wolves (the first should come out this summer, with the second Heroines book – also a clean book of Silvery Earth).

Currently writing two Lone Wolves books at the same time and speedily. If all goes well, I’ll finish both by the end of the month and move on. March wordcount is 31500 (a couple of shorts, a shelved project + the current).

Writerly links: David Farland on the new world of publishing – what can be done now in 2018. Chuck Wendig on giving characters agency in narrative (caution – foul language as usual). On writing by Aaron Rosenberg and how to work with an editor by Joanna Penn.

I have my trusted proofreader and some betas that are more advisors on things I may not know enough about. I have given up on writers’ groups since I really can’t write by committee, but sometimes hearing a different opinion helps. Like someone pointing out that a certain story’s premise is totally absent and I clearly didn’t know what I was doing. Shelved project.

That’s all for today… have a great week! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


In case you didn’t notice, it’s Read an Ebook Week on Smashwords again! And for the first time in a few years, I have some books in the sale. So the new people can have a look and spend as little as one dollar to try my mighty prose.

Ahem! Just kidding. I don’t write enchanting (or purple) prose at all, so if that’s your thing, you’re on the wrong blog! 😀

Last week I wrapped two projects and this week I won’t be writing much. Busy putting together an anthology and traveling, so my wordcound is currently stopped. But if I manage to catch up and keep the 10K/week wordcount, I have 2 weeks to spare, LOL! Definitely not panicking yet – maybe in June or July if I’m still waaay behind…

Some promised writerly links: Nine years a Penmonkey and Five Things I Learned Writing which includes just write even if you don’t know the genre – or something. And if you can stand the F-word, the three truth about writing and how the writing gets done! 🙂 There is real wisdom in that post.

Now as someone who hates the sound of her own voice, I’m afraid that soon I won’t be able to do anything if it all gets voice-operated. What do you think about those voice apps? Should we start telling stories through them? Check this post at Joanna Penn’s blog.

For me, at this time, no thank you. I still feel like an innovator because I went the indie route. And I still don’t have anything in audio (I don’t seem to be able to go direct to Findaway Voices through D2D, but I’m not going to press the issue yet).

Last but not least, here’s an open invitation to interview your characters. I’m currently working for the first interview of a few I can think of, and I’ll keep you posted when my characters will go live! 🙂

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

Writer Wednesday


The past week there was very little writing, but I was busy setting up the anthology I announced on Sunday + doing online workshops + preparing all the uploads before the retailers shut down for the Holidays (see the box set page) + there was the small and medium publishers book fair in Rome, in a new location, so I did attend that one too.

During the weekend I managed to add some 3K to the latest sci-fi novel before sending it off to the proofreader and this week I’m finally getting to write that story I need to complete by the end of the month if I want to submit it to the market I wrote it for. It’s a Silvery Earth short story anyway, so it won’t be wasted, but I’d like to submit it first! 😉

And about the short story challenge… having more or less decided to write at least 10 novels in various series and maybe a couple of novellas, I don’t think I can also manage the 30 shorts in 60 days. It would take all the fun out of the writing. So I’ll still be writing short stories in January, as many as I can cram in, then I’ll move on to next year’s projects.

Now a short rant on the book fair, where I attended a couple of professional panels just to get a feel of how publishing is doing in Europe. It’s still stuck in the 20th century, trust me. Grants and prizes are only for traditional publishers. Translarions only through traditional publishers. And nobody mentions the indie revolution because we’re the shadow market nobody wants to think about, from Holland to Italy passing through France.

Italy is actually the worst. Now it has agents dealing with Italian authors (when I tried them in the 1990s, they dealt only with foreign publishers for translation rights). And they still put vanity publishing and self-publishing together. And the only way for an indie to sell paper books without a distributor is to attend these book fairs (that are totally indie-author-unfriendly) and share the table (otherwise it’s way too expensive).

I’m really considering starting some kind of indie authors’ guild, in Italy for now, but maybe it could be a good idea to have a European Indies Association/Federation/Guild/whatever you want to call it. We could book stands at book fairs and sell our books there. I personally hate it, but I’m afraid it’s the only way on this continent where traditional publishing ignores us.

Anyway, the only writerly link is about craft this week (might be also because I’ve been doing craft workshops, LOL!): Chekhov’s Gun: using story details strategically. Now if you’d like me to elaborate on the workshops – well, I’ve been taking the Writing Series and Writing Science Fiction workshops and I highly recommend them (like all the other workshops from WMG).

I still have the sci-fi assignments to do, but I’ll do them in January, writing the stories that spawn from them. After I finish the current short, I need to go back to my spy story. I even asked a few questions to the Italian police who had a stand at the book fair! It’s slowly becoming a novel, but you won’t be able to see it until next year.

Have a great week! 🙂

 

Writer Wednesday


Aaand… UPB has a new tagline, with special thanks to webmaster and illustrator Silvano Beltramo! Stay tuned for more changes on the publisher’s page

I might have to renew some of my own things soon, since the other day Open Office crashed without saving the few paragraphs of the new story… so I’m eyeing Netbooks, since they seem to be around again. When Techie Bro’s Netbook (a.k.a. the Writing Computer) broke, I was left without and after the other day I had gone back to write longhand for Draft Zero! I was so mad at the darn Laptop!

Still have to think if I want to move on to Windows 10 or get a Netbook with Ubuntu like Techie Bro’s. We’ll see. Might be an investment for next year. Just another thing to do on the To Do list, haha! But it’s not a “should” it’s a “want to” do thing, since it’s for the Writer.

Because yes, we need to have two hats. And I’m putting the publisher’s hat a little aside next year, because I want to write and find other income sources that don’t depend on me selling or not selling my writing. So, more submissions to traditional mags of short stories, and less of that darn publishing stuff.

Of course I’ll keep putting the works out, since it’s the only way to be discovered, but maybe at a less daunting pace (twice a month is a lot, even for a prolific writer like me). I’m going to try pre-orders in a different way from what I’ve done now, I’m going to try that branding thing with future titles and I’m going to keep experimenting and see what works for me.

And I must talk about bundles again because, guess what? SALES SALES SALES! 🙂

Da vampires bundle is discounted from tomorrow to Cyber Monday, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. And First Glimpse of Secondary Worlds is discounted until the end of the month, when it will be gone forever. So last chances to have a taste of 12 different fantasy worlds from 11 awesome authors and yours truly.

And in case you missed it, on the KWL blog I explain how to be a curator at BundleRabbit. Now I’m going to spend the weekend with online workshops so I can move on with my learning and write the next story! 🙂 Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


So, wordcount for January was 40K, not bad considering that I’m only just now starting to take care of my health. I’m not aiming at 500K this year, unless the meds kick in and in the second half of the year I gain some momentum.

For now I’ll just do what I can and allow my thyroid to recover. I have a lot of compulsive reading to do this month, so I’m afraid I won’t have much time to write, but in March I hope to get back on track. I mean, I spent most of October and half of March NOT writing last year, and still had 470K words at the end of the year. So, not really worried here.

The publishing is also slowed down because I didn’t even have time (or energy) to translate something back in Italian (besides, Cinder Boy in Italian is still selling since December, so…)! 🙂 There will be a title out in February and maybe two in March – I’m also trying a new proofreader with stories I wrote last year and I’m currently expanding.

Some writerly links! The Data Divide! Which includes links to the Authors Earnings report and lots of other stuff. A great analysis of the world of publishing, as usual. And if you’re still afraid of something, keep an eye on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog.

—Do not make escaping your day job a goal for your writing.

I hear this all the time, but the pressure is too much on the writing because the day job, the “real job,” is what makes everything tick.

But don’t worry, if you keep the writing fun, keep your family supporting you, keep learning, eventually the money from the business side will overwhelm the day job money. And by then you will have gotten help to deal with it all mentally, right?

Just don’t make the writing so important, so special, that it threatens the “real job.” If it does, you will grind to a halt fairly quickly because how we were all raised doesn’t allow threats to what pays the bills.

Read that? I’ll have to paste it on my wall. This was on the post about the fear of a real paycheck. I’ll freely admit I’m scared to go freelance after having a steady job for almost thirty years. Unfortunately thirty years ago I wasn’t as strong as Dean was (and was too attached to my family still).

So I’m still considering alternatives (I’d consider publishing a job, not writing, but like he says somewhere else, I can’t just publish myself, I need to have other forms of revenue or it will take the fun out of writing, and I won’t let that happen ever again). Probably Patreon could help with a “steady” monthly income, if I figure out how to set it up well!

Sometime this year, when I recover some strength and feel less tired, though. Like I said, I’m taking it easy this year. I’m a fast writer anyway, and I bought in the rewriting myth once (I called it Rewriting Hell) and swore never again.

I was and will always be a one (maximum two) draft writer (sometimes I expand or rewrite the end because I wasn’t happy with it in the first place – I tend to want to wrap up too quickly and when I go back to it, I realize what’s missing), but then I don’t have an English teacher barking rules in my head, since I’m an ESL writer! 😉

kobo-promoBefore I forget! The Path of Water (Quests Book 1) should be at 99cents this weekend! And tomorrow is the last day for the Kobo UK promo – Norman Blood at 2£! Onward and have a great week! 😀

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