Wednesday Weekly Roundup


So last week I finished Book 10 and remembered I wanted to write a shorter sequel, so I embarked in Book 11 – a novella sequel. So by the end of the week I had almost 11K new words, bringing the yearly total to 300K+. Now I’m giving the final touches to that novella and probably in the coming weeks I won’t be that productive, but I can’t complain, can I? πŸ˜‰

I still haven’t decided what to write next, I’m kind of enjoying writing on Earth, albeit in the future… I could either go back to the vampires in the past or work on that shelved project. We’ll see. I should write a few more Silvery Earth titles, but now is not a good time for secondary world high fantasy.

And you have a new title out! Tori, don’t rush to get it, since it will be included in Star Minds Interregnum Volume 2, coming out in 2 weeks. Just sayin’. Everybody else, if this cover speaks to you, go check it out! πŸ˜‰ She-wolves Team is more or less contemporary to the Lone Wolves Team, in fact at some point they meet.

This was the first time in a long time that Amazon was the last to publish the title. I uploaded it on Saturday, and whether it was the 4th of July, Covid or the fact that Mighty Zon is in Seattle, it took them 48 hours to send it live instead of the usual 12. Oh, well. Considering that on Monday I missed the bus and had to wait 1hour with 37Β°C in the shadows for the next one to do 5km… It’s July!

Actually, Sci-fi July, LOL! With the last two titles of the Star Minds Universe (for now, unless I come up with fourth generation stories) and the two curated anthologies about Future Earth, we’re all set! And don’t forget the Smashwords sale, that is not just about sci-fi, but everything else! πŸ˜‰

And my friend Rob Vagle also has a new sci-fi title out! πŸ˜‰ I’m kinda bummed he didn’t send any of those stories to me for my antho, but well… here you go!

In a world . . .

Where a new form of execution transforms more than just the condemned.

Where a being made of gears and scales calculates a human life’s monetary worth.

Where a stranger courts away mirror reflections of others, leaving one narcissist desperate and alone.

Where the Earth holds what completes each of us to fill the hollow inside our bodies.

Where one woman glimpses her alternate lives in a strange and sudden room.

Where a burning creature of the sun pines for the little blue planet in the distance.

If you’re just starting, I highly recommend you get David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital – it’s free right now! I have the first edition and still haven’t read it (I know, shame on me) and unfortunately if there’s something I really cannot do at this time is read all those ebooks for authors.

I still have to read his Amazon Decoded and Kris Rusch’s Creating Your Author Brand, so… I’m going to pass on this fourth edition. But if you’re just starting, grab it. I sent the link to a friend who is considering indie publishing, and he thanked me for it.

Now I’m going back to write fiction even if I’m not maximising sales, but that’s really something I can’t handle right now. One thing is hiding in a fiction world (even if it’s Earth), another is to struggle to get through in the real world! πŸ˜‰

And even though I can’t stand AC and the heat is probably going to send me in some kind of dreamstate, I will survive… hence closing up with Gloria Gaynor to cheer us up! πŸ™‚ Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote almost 15K, but had to wrap up the last book on Monday (holiday in Rome only). I’m starting to send them to the proofreader so by August they’ll be all shiny and ready to hit the retailers. Cover reveal will be at the end of the month for the whole series.

And welcome to Sci-Fi July! The first title is a collaboration anthology I’m quite proud of. Future Earth Tech features quite diverse stories set in the future of our planet. It’s part of my Curated Anthologies series and it’s available both in ebook and paperback.

The future of our planet and our technology – mind uploads, augmented humans, time travel, solar punk and all the good and bad future technology will bring. Be it post-apocalyptic or futuristic, our future is coming faster than we think.

The stories:
Legacy by David Bruns
Grow Beyond Your Limits by Katharina Gerlach
One Line of Bad Code by Barbara G.Tarn
The Last Woman on Earth by David H. Hendrickson
Scrap me by Stefon Mears
Remembrance by Debbie Mumford
The Quest of Souls by B.A. Paul
Sagan in the Past by Mary Jo Rabe
The Right Resources by Rei Rosenquist
Dancer by Blaze Ward

I enrolled all my books in the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale. Everything 50%off, but no free titles – the 99c titles stay at 99c. I have tried free, and it didn’t bring in any sales, so the cheapest stay cheap, the rest gets the discount. And the couple of new titles won’t be discounted either, feel free to wait for the next sale! πŸ™‚

Mark Coker has brushed off his imaginary crystal ball to predict post-pandemic publishing for indie authors. And if you still feel in shock or survival mode about all this, read Kris Rusch’s post on Shock, Survival, and Forgiveness.

I have dived in Homo Deus for research purposes (and because I’m curious like that, LOL!), but since it was written in 2016, I wanted to know Harari’s stand on the current pandemic. So I found this article – dates back to March, but on the spot. It mentions when the US banned all travel from Europe, and now Europe has banned travel from the still infected US… biting back their fearless (useless) leader a few months later! πŸ™‚

On Monday I forgot my mask when I went out for a walk and ended up NOT having breakfast outside as I normally do. They might have made an exception if I went quickly in and out, since I normally do wear a mask and they know me by now, but I decided not to risk it.

I just walked around the suburb (a green one, in the outskirts of Rome) and had breakfast at home instead. The coffee of the moka machine is less strong than the one I can get out there, but it’s enough to have me going, especially if I don’t have to go to work.

This week I’m working at another branch and must take 2 buses to get there, which isn’t that bad at 7.30am, but when I come out at lunch time it’s baaaaad. Did I mention I hate summer? (for newcomers – every single year of blogging! Hate the summer and can’t stand AC, hence I want to move to a northern country)

Yesterday I broke my glasses at 7.30, glad I don’t really need them for work! And the branch had a blackout, so we started working at 11 instead of 8.30, but whatever… still I took the afternoon off and didn’t go through the latest book. I prepared manuscripts for the upcoming titles, toyed with covers and went to the optician to have my glasses repaired in a couple of hours.

Today I’m going through the last book of Future Earth Chronicles, and tomorrow I’ll probably move to the next project… still not sure if I want to go back to Silvery Earth with more quests or do that project that I shelved back in March. We’ll see. I’ll try not to take the rest of the week off from writing, though! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


And here’s another author of Sci-Fi Stories – Starships! I did meet him, twice! On the Oregon coast, for those offline workshops that will be held in Las Vegas from now on. Anyway, I met Russ and his lovely wife Rita (who is in Sci-Fi Stories – Space Opera Mashup) in Lincoln City in October 2011, then again in October 2014. They are both great writers and I’m glad they sent me their stories.

He’s also been on this blog before because we shared bundles as well as anthologies (he’s also in Nightly Bites). But here’s six questions about Starships to Russ Crossley.

1. What is it about starships that draws you to them?

I have been an SF fan going to back to the 1960’s when the NASA space program was in full swing. I watched every launch and watched every SF show/movie, and read every book, comic book etc I could get my hands on with a starship because I thought that is where we were, and still are today, headed.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Solitary Man is about a man alone on a starship with an artificial intelligence on a mission to a newly discovered planet far across the galaxy. When he learns he and the AI are expendable he joins with the AI to survive. When when they meet the alien race inhabiting that far away world they may have found the answer they are seeking not only for themselves but all humankind.

3. What inspired your story?

The idea of people traveling great distances across the galaxy has always intrigued me. I think we will need artificial intelligence or learning machines to help us. This was the kernel to write this story.

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?
I’ve written on many topics in many genres but right now I write a lot of stories about starships in my Blaster Squad series set in the 42nd century. Book seven will out later this year.

5. What should readers know about you?

I live in a small town in British Columbia with my wife and two wonderful dogs.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I have a massive DVD movie collection and I have a large collection of Star Trek paperbacks dating back to the 1970’s.

International selling author, Russ Crossley writes science fiction and fantasy, and mystery/suspense as well as their various subgenres.

His latest science fiction satire set in the far future, Revenge of the Lushites, is a sequel to Attack of the Lushites released in 2011. The latest title in the series was released in the fall of 2013. Both titles are available in e-book and trade paperback.
He has sold several short stories that have appeared in anthologies from various publishers including; WMG Publishing, Pocket Books, and St. Martins Press.

He is a member of SF Canada and is past president of the Greater Vancouver Chapter of Romance Writers of America. He is also an alumni of the Oregon Coast Professional Fiction Writers Master Class taught by award winning author/editors, Kristine Katherine Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.

Feel free to contact him on Facebook, Twitter, or his website www.russcrossley.com. He loves to hear from readers.

Writer Wednesday


And the yearly wordcount is over 300K, but I’ll need to slow down in August to revise a couple of things. I should be able to catch up in September, though! πŸ™‚

I found another publisher open to novella submissions, and I’m sharing it here in case you have a festive-themed novella. I might send them something for the advance notice novella series. And I’ll soon send something to Tor as well. Oh, and since I’m on a submission-call sharing spree, see if you have anything for Quoth the Raven celebrating the works of Edgar Allan Poe! πŸ™‚

Now, if you’re just starting, you might have to confront the 8 fears that hold writers back from publishing their books. But when it comes to cover art, please follow the Indie Author’s guide to hiring a cover artist! πŸ™‚ I’m a hobbyist artist, I’ll try to look for a typograpy and graphics workshop in my area to get even better.

Maybe one day I’ll make covers for other people as well! πŸ˜‰ Learning with my own, though, since this year I started doing composite of stock photos (either from Depositphoto or Neostock)… and I’m currently having fun in spite of a Photoshop 7.0 and very limited skills, LOL!

If you want to do it too, please read the Indie Author’s guide to stock photography! πŸ™‚

Our man David Gaughran is still on Amazon’s back. I haven’t managed to read Amazon Decoded yet, but here’s how to (ethically) hack Amazon categories. I’m not sure I tried to apply this to my historical novel, for example. Well, I did put the keywords but they don’t come out in the search, so… I guess next step should be writing to KDP support? Meh.

And in case you missed the cocky-gate, here’s a good summary. And there’s someone else trying to trademark Dragon Slayer as well… sigh. Glad there’s CockyBot to look after that mess! πŸ™‚

OH, SALES SALES SALES! On DriveThruFiction and DriveThruComics everything from Unicorn Productions is 25% off! πŸ˜€

Aaaand… we have a paperback for Sci-fi Stories Space Opera Mashup. So if you’re up for a dead tree book, it’s available too. For all four anthologies! πŸ™‚

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

Sunday Surprise


And here’s another author of Sci-Fi Stories – Starships. I haven’t had the pleasure to meet him in person, but he belongs to a wonderful group of writers (Writer Club, remember?). I thought he wrote mostly non-fiction, so I was surprised by his submission for the anthology. And I liked it a lot.

So, there you have it. Six quick questions with Gerald M. Weinberg.

1. What is it about starships that draws you to them?

If/when we figure them out, our horizons expand to the whole universe. Lots of human troubles are amplified by our confinement to one tiny planet.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Technology soon becomes magic, and thinking disappears.

3. What inspired your story?

I was on the Mercury Project system engineering team. I saw what can happen when technology is understood, and when it is taken for magic.

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?

I write about anything that interests me, but particularly thinking and smart people, but in fiction and non-fiction.

5. What should readers know about you?

Maybe that I’m a charter member of the Computer Hall of Fame in San Diego. They can read what my students and colleagues said about me on my 75th birthday, in The Gift of Time, edited by Fiona Charles.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I love all the authors in this collection, and I’m honored to have my little story placed among theirs.

Jerry’s always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, he’s published more than 50 award-winning best-selling non-fiction books on human behavior, thinking, leadership, and all phases of information technology. He incorporates his knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all his writing, including such classics as Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting, General Systems Thinking, Weinberg on Writing, Perfect Software, Errors, Do You Want to be a (better) Manager, as well as the 9-volume Quality Software Series.

He writes mysteries, science fiction, and technothrillers about smart people: Freshman Murders, Where There’s a Will There’s a Murder, The Death Lottery, The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, Quantum String Quartet, Quantum String Sextet, Quantum String Band, The Hands of God, Earth’s Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules. In them, his brilliant protagonists solve problems and learn to be happy.

Jerry is a charter member in the Computing Hall of Fame, but the “award” he’s most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time(Fiona Charles, ed.) written by his students and fans for his 75th birthday. These stories show he’s been quite successful at helping smart people be happy.

 

EDIT 8/8/2018:Β It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Gerald M Weinberg. RiP Jerry, even if I never had the chance to meet you in person, I will miss you! πŸ˜₯

Writer Wednesday


And the third “youngster” is out! This is Jes-syd, Iso-bel’s ex-boyfriend, and he’s a hacker in the truer sense of the word (not a security cracker)! πŸ™‚ Star Minds Lone Wolves – Hacker is now available as ebook at the usual suspects… and no WiP of the cover, since he wasn’t on a cover before.

And he isn’t inspired from a drawing either. I debated between two models and ended up choosing the one that looked more like the description I gave of him in Iso-bel Aya Shermac. I had seen that guy first and wrote the story with him in mind, so this time no NeoStock model for our Sire hacker! πŸ™‚

One young man, two passions: computers and Iso-bel Aya Shermac.

Jes-syd lost his home planet at twenty, and with it his beloved girlfriend who survived but vanished on him without explanations. Five years later he works at the Serenaide Labs and has a new girlfriend, another survivor like him, but things don’t go smoothly between them.

The Tech Fair and a visit from Ypsilanti bring the news that there are more survivors on the dead planet, hidden underground in what’s left of the Vaurabi Labs. Jes-syd’s mother made it with a few more and Jes-syd hopes to get back with Iso-bel again – whenever he manages to find her and give her the good news.

A young Sire survivor who loves computers and his first and only love, a lone wolf hacker who is trying to fight his own grief. A Star Minds universe standalone story of hackers, crackers and survivors.

Bonus story: Wonder Man or how Hariel earned his Codename

And last week I wrote 11K of Hariel, our Wonder Man and the eldest of the future team. I hope to finish his story this week, so I can write a couple more team stories to submit to trad markets before the end of the month. I’m at 292K, so pretty much on schedule to reach my goal of half pulp speed before the end of the year! πŸ™‚

For those of you who arrived late and have no idea of what I’m talking about, here’s Dean’s post about pulp speed. I’ve been trying to reach 500K since 2015 and it seems that this year I’ll finally reach the goal. And I hope to sustain it for the coming years.

And for those of you who just joined, I shall remind you that some books are discounted at Smashwords only for the month of July, if you want a taste of how I write. Or you can subscribe to the bimonthly newsletter and get some free short stories as well as the news from this writer if you can’t be bothered to follow me on Social Media or this blog.

David Gaughran on Amazon Algorithm – whatever that means. I don’t bother with it anymore. Obsessing with sales just hurts my head, so I don’t care anymore. Although I’m happy when I see those spikes at some retailer! πŸ˜‰ Also, I certainly want to be a long term writer! πŸ˜‰

And being a writer who has dabbled in screenwriting, I can tell you this review of Save the Cat is spot on. I haven’t read the book itself, but if it’s for screenwriters, it’s NOT for fiction/prose writers. Trust me. I tried it. I have a cinematic prose, I thought I can easily turn it into a movie screenplay… not! So unless you’re trying to break into Hollywood, just ignore that book! πŸ˜‰

Now I would like to take your time to read the last instalment of Adventures of a first-time editor about the Anthology Workshop. What, you don’t want to join the Writer Club? Bad writer, you! I hope to see you in 2020 at the Anthology workshop. Unfortunately I can’t afford those offline workshops more often than every three years, sigh.

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

 

Random Friday


Since it’s the summer, it’s hot outside and I’m half-hibernating as usual, I’ll use these random Fridays to introduce you to the authors of the sci-fi anthologies. I might get to August, or not… Anyhow, I shall start with my Jedi Twin, Fulvio Gatti, the guy who wrote 30 stories in 30 days as a challenge and kept me busy all of May.

But among those 30 stories there was the one I chose for the Sci-Fi Stories – Starships anthology! The rest mostly is being submitted to traditional markets, so I’m glad he let me add his story to this indie project. I’m sure you’ll hear about him again in the near future! πŸ™‚

Here he answers six very quick questions.

1. What is it about starships that draws you to them?

They are the best way to sail into infinite adventures in space!

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It tells the story of a bunch of funny space travelers I hope we’ll meet again in the future.

3. What inspired your story?

I just let my imagination create some characters that would be funny to follow around in their adventures. This is the result, I hope you’ll enjoy.

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?

I’m interested in any kind of fantasy, suspense and speculative fiction that let us travel through time and space while focusing on compelling characters. We fight along with them through new places, surprising discoveries and mystery solving.

5. What should readers know about you?

I want to write funny, compelling and imaginative stories like the ones I’ve grown up with, from Star Wars to Ninja Turtles.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I hope my stories will speak for themselves!

Fulvio Gatti is an Italian journalist, writer and mostly a geek, so much so that his latest nonfiction book published in Italy is about how geek culture is taking over the world. He has written graphic novels, nonfiction books and short stories. In the northwestern part of Italy where he lives he is an event organizer, translator, radio speaker and even deputy mayor of his town. He has now started the conquest of English-speaking markets, so reader beware!

Writer Wednesday


So last week I did my usual 10K to be on track with the writing. Still with the Lone Wolves since it’s sci-fi July and soon you’ll get another book in the mini-series/sub-series. I’ve started another novel but will throw in more “missions” of the team anytime I finish the current project ahead of time – which normally happens, LOL!

And I also had time to format the first paperback! So if you’re a fan of dead tree books (means you don’t have trouble with your eyes like us elderly people, I had a friend asking me for the ebook because he can’t read the paperback…), you can get Sci-Fi Stories – Starships in paperback now. I’ll do the other as soon as the other anthology goes live, since there’s no pre-order on Createspace! πŸ˜‰

Thank you all who bought either the above anthology or the bundle Sci-fi July Redux. Remember this bundle won’t be out forever and it’s 10 novels of sci-fi space opera for your entertainment, so if you like space opera, make sure to grab it now.

I mean, look at those names! Kevin J. Anderson! Robert Jeschoneck! Kristine Kathryn Rusch! Dean Wesley Smith! Barbara G.Tarn! Er… scratch the last one, she’s a nobody! πŸ˜‰

But well, if I make it big, you can say you started following me before I got famous! πŸ™‚ Before I got published in some traditional mag (which at the moment is scheduled for January 2019 – unless I sell something else in the meantime)! πŸ™‚

If you prefer short stories, there’s always the curated anthologies… and hopefully soon more short story collections (gotta write them first, though!)! πŸ™‚

Next weekend I’ll prepare Jes-syd and the second anthology goes live… In the meantime I better go back to writing. Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


And since I was reading so much sci-fi, I decided to keep writing sci-fi – well, science fantasy, since that’s what Star Minds is. So I will write more stories of Star Minds Lone Wolves in July then we’ll see. Because I don’t have to do research for those and I even re-read some of the older books (which meant I had to make a last minute change to the latest title) while looking for a story.

And after Icy Aya, please welcome Shanell! πŸ™‚ Our starship pilot, that you first met in Star Minds Third Generation Snippets or you can find in the upcoming anthology Sci-fi Stories – Starships, finally has her short novel! Here’s the birth of the cover with the evolution from Techie Bro’s version to the current one – a change of look and starship that was already hinted at in Adventurer.

David Farland answers the question Does Social Media Work? You know the answer, don’t you? Nope, nope and nope! Not anymore! Especially not Facebook! πŸ˜‰ So let’s start thinking outside the box (and ignoring those Facebook “suggestions” that only want you to spend some money on Facebook ads). How? Dunno. Experiment.

I’m keeping this blog active and the publisher’s page updated. Does that help? Dunno. Too early to say. But if you want some predictions on where social media are going, check out this forecast. I look forward to less self-promotion and more effortless self-expression! πŸ™‚

I will mention today is the day Sci-fi July Redux aaaand Sci-fi Stories – Starships go live! Go grab them! Fill your e-readers with some sci-fi for a thrilling summer! πŸ™‚ Yes, even bundles don’t sell that much anymore. I guess we saturated the market… Not sure about the anthologies, since mine never sold much… but after spending a long weekend curating the next, I sure hope you’ll at least check them out! πŸ™‚

Also, I enrolled some books in the Summer/Winter Sale at Smashwords… go check all the authors participating! πŸ™‚ Useless to put my own profile, since it doesn’t show in the list which are discounted and which aren’t… I made a list on the publisher’s site! πŸ™‚

Last but not least, What I Learned by Dean Wesley Smith… from him and Kris Rusch I learned what Harlan says: Money flows TO the writer! Not that I’m getting much yet… sigh! But it’s the year of writing and being halfway, I’m at 270K, so… I’ll just keep writing. And maybe publishing, LOL!

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

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