Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And here’s the last book of Before Future Earth Chronicles! 🙂 On the cover Ram and Zarina, which makes my friend Shafali cringe because I put a Hindu boy with a Muslim girl, but that’s the point of the story! Romeo and Juliet with religion instead of feuding families! 😉

This is a revision of Mumbai Dreams with a slightly different ending and pushed in the future. Here’s the full blurb of yhe ebook:

Two novellas at the time of the apocalypse and beyond.

“Mumbai, 2060CE” tells the love story between Ram and Zarina – a completely revised edition of Mumbai Dreams.

“Inheritor” tells the story of David, son of Daniel the vampire and Donna the alien human, kicked out of the alien facility where his parents live and exiled in the Himalayan Rainbow Town.

BONUS:

Excerpts from Rainbow Towns Journals

1. Claude Mancini, Rainbow Town Mont Blanc

2. Nour Shah, Rainbow Town Sahand

3. Jacob Davies, Rainbow Town Mount Mitchell

These three things will probably mixed with the other two books in the Omnibus that will come out in a couple of weeks. I realized I haven’t formatted that one yet because I probably haven’t decided the order in which to put the stories, since they sometimes overlap, LOL!

I mean, “Mumbai, 2060CE” is at the same time of part three of “Lockdown Begins” – same story from another point of view, should they be next to each other? Maybe I’ll put the journals first, since all three are mentioned in part one? I’ll think about it next weekend…

Last week I wrote my 10K although I spent most of the weekend cleaning up publishing stuff. I tried to change a few things on the publisher’s page and somehow screwed up, so I had to ask for help to Mighty Webmaster Admin who solved everything remotely. But I had to re-add the newsletter sign-up and when I tried to change the header picture, I couldn’t.

I did follow his instructions, but things changed in the WordPress dashboard and despite my attempts I couldn’t change the image. I won’t bother Mighty Webmaster Admin again – until the next problem. Already last week I had an email alert that something was wrong with the site, then I made a mess myself… Asking help 3 times in one week is way too much, I shall leave him alone for now! 😀

A business musing by Kris Rusch that reminded me why I’m in this still, ten years later. Yes, the world is changing, every norm has been shattered, it’s hard to predict where we’re going – and I didn’t see a rise in sales, but what she says about old traditional system and new indie publishing is still true.

And it breaks my heart that there are still young writers looking for agents. I guess I was lucky to be alive in the age of the typewriter. And in a country that didn’t have creative writing courses at the time (they started in the new millennium in case you’re wondering). And that Mom helped me understand that vanity publishers weren’t publishers and money flows to the writer and all that stuff.

I dreamed of being a writer in my teens too. But it was the 20th century, and already back then what felt awesome as soon as I wrote it became stale when I read it again two or five years later.

We change throughout our lives – I think I mentioned the various “stages” of my writing – and I’m still at a point where I hate everything I write, but I keep writing anyway because that’s what I do.

I’m a writer, I write. I’m the worst judge of my work, so I shall let readers and editors decide with their wallets. It’s a long term thing, a career, not an overnight, unsustainable success, and I will get there.

I discovered this article on Aphantasia, which actually matches my lack of setting, although probably for different reasons from the author of the article.

When I was younger I didn’t put a setting because I was too lazy, but I did see a movie in my head. Talking heads in white rooms mostly. Now I have trouble visualizing scenes, and sometimes I start thinking how I’d write it, instead of trying to visualize it.

What I mean is we change also in the way we express ourselves. I used to write down the movies in my head, dialog-heavy with a camera always on extreme close-up.

Now I’m more wordy and less visual, but the transition isn’t smooth. I still have trouble every now and then, and I try to visualize the scene, and then think how I could write it down – with the setting and everything.

Another thing that changed through the decades is going from real people in my stories (during my teens) to virtual casts of celebrities (from movies and music videos) to finding inspiration from stock images or DazStudio 3D rendering characters (although I still thow in Da Muses and other celebrities every now and then)

That’s probably why sometimes I cringe when I read older titles, but I’m not going to rewrite them They are the best stories I could write at the time, and I moved on since.

I don’t think I’m completely changing my voice now, at 50+ and after 15 years of switching to writing primarily in English! 🙂

If I ever write something that doesn’t sound like me, I have another super sikrit pen name ready! 😀

Oh, and remember that contest for Cupid flash fiction/poems? I posted a flash fiction, but Tori, who posted after me, won the contest! So glad I sent her their way! Congrats, Tori! And you guys can go check that page and enjoy those valentine stories! 🙂

Last but not least: more free books at IASFA! Go check the Alien SciFi free books page! The promotion runs from March 9-13!

Next week, the International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers (IASFA) will announce a science fiction book bonanza that is out of this world.

And if you’re anti-Zon (most IASFA autors are Kindle Unlimited), there’s also a BookFunnel giveaway with 150+ (!) SFF books! Ends at the end of the month…

And that’s all for today… have a great week!

Random Friday


And we also have the very last random Friday! 🙂 Some innovation links first: image recognition with deep learning for e-commerce explains very well how the whole thing works. I found it fascinating. And some tech is good, like the authonomous drone delivering diabetes medication to a remote Irish island.

And of course learning to read boosts the visual brain, but we have some studies to prove it! 😉 And speaking of brain, we now have wearable cyborgs that use bran waves to power up your muscles and Synchron achieved the first successful human implantation of brain computer interface. The Future Earth Chronicles are coming closer, LOL! Maybe they’re already building the Rainbow Towns! 😀

I was asked this week if I have children and if I missed not having them. No, I don’t miss not having children (hey, I have Dear Nephew! 😉 Although at 14 he’s kind of hard to get through, LOL!), and when I think about all those people who keep breeding in this doomed world, I’m even more vehement about voluntary human extinction and wish everybody did like me. Your children won’t have a world to grow up in, especially if you don’t do anything to stop those people from killing us all.

Last Saturday I watched Replicas. Not as bad as they painted it, but then, I’m no sci-fi expert. Kind of reminded me of Johnny Mnemonic with better computer graphics, since there’s 20 years between the two. And again, we have a father who wants to save his family with his science – but I might wonder what for? 😉

Near Future Sci-fi is the harder to pull off. I’m currently updating the technology in a novel that I wrote back in 2000 – a human society that had starships, but limited tech in its artificial town. I didn’t make The City like Rainbow Town in Future Earth Chronicles, but I had to change a few things here and there! 😀

Stay tuned for the blogoversary… and have a great weekend! 🙂

Random Friday


Here we go with some innovation/tech ramblings! 🙂 I heard about Google Nest Hub Max and, boy!, was I creeped out! 😦 I don’t know about you, but this facial recognition thingy still makes me uneasy. Although I might go to Milan to check an exibition called Training Humans, I still don’t want to see it in my home – or that of my friends.

I read an Italian article about the simulation inside the C-TOC, the IBM fully-operational Security Operations Center being driven around on a semi truck to provide education and support to professionals and consumers. It has apparently reached Italy and they did a demonstration of how it works. It also gave me some ideas for the next story, although I wasn’t thinking about a cyberattack, but the simulated disruptions might happen even in my story, so it was good inspiration! 🙂

Someone shared how driverless cars might increase sex – and just the title made me think of Shan-leo, who lost his arm because he was busy with his girlfriend! 😉 This story is in Star Minds Next Generation Diaries and not even a mighty Sire like him will ever be whole again! 🙂 Not to mention the consequences for Izzy-lee… better or worse depends on your thought on life, death and immortality through technology!

I’m not totally against new tech, mind you, especially if it helps disabled people. And I already explored brain implants and telepathy in Brainwaves. And my many terraformed exoplanets might have some base in what is actually out there, since water was found for the first time on a “potentially habitable” planet. Maybe eventually I’ll be able to write hard SF, haha!

Since we’re talking future and futuristic, you heard about Matrix 4, right? I’ll have to rewatch The Matrix to complete the translation of Brainwaves, since I now know the English original almost by heart, but I don’t remember what the dubbed version said. So I might watch most of the movie in English and switch to Italian for that one scene.

Which one? “Ignorance is bliss” – as mentioned in the English version. Can’t for the life of me remember what it sounded like in Italian. And I had the VHS. It was the first Keanu movie I saw in theaters. Then I bought the DVD, discovered the original versions and now I can’t stand dubbed movies anymore. Meh.

Anyhow, another busy weekend re-uploading stuff coming up… Hope you have a better and more relaxed weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Last week I started on The Path of Metal and wrote 13K. I’m also adding strips to the strip, but I hope to wrap everything in Edinburgh. I have a few short stories to write bythe end of August, lest the submission windows closes! Hopefully those places have some kind of submission form, since one of my latest attempts was flagged as spam and didn’t go through. Sigh.

And we have another batch of missions of the Lone Wolves Team! Again at all retailers, then one more and it’s over… at least for now! I’ll do a collection of the collection at the end of August. Cherry is on the cover, as always by awesome Ravven

Don’t forget this is the last week of the Smashwords Sale… it lasts only until the end of the month. You have a few more days to grab some of my books 50%off! 🙂 And check out the other authors too! 😀

Here’s an amazing learning opportunity for you IF YOU’RE IN THE US. I can vouch for Kevin J. Anderson and Dean Wesley Smith as teachers, but I always come back frustrated from the business masterclasses, because none of that applies in Italy. But if you’re American, you should definitely check them! 😉

And here’s some advice from Joe Konrath, 6 things writers need to stop worrying about. Very apt since I’m heading for a conference tomorrow! 😉

Also, if you plan on writing sci-fi, check this article. I did read that book of putting science into fiction, and it’s good! Also, the article is right down my alley too! 😉

Now I better go back to my fantasy world… but know that there are a few sci-fi stories to write when I’m done with Torik and friends! 😉

And last but not least, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Hop off to the main page and discover another new author, another free story… Have a great week! 😀

 

Writer Wednesday


So I did this writing challenge last summer… I wrote three novels in three months. The first came out in September (with a slight change of title and cover before the paperback came out, but the beta-reader hated the original title anyway, haha!), the second was the programmed vampire novel of the year, Shashank the Fledgling that went live Nov.2 and the third one…

here it is! Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Brainwaves (Post-Apocalypse Chronicles Book 1) the first title in the Future Earth series. Do not worry about the “book 1” thingy, it does end, but I already have in mind a sequel…

Bel lives in Rainbow Town, a multi-level underground settlement for survivors of the Apocalypse that wiped out 21st century civilization. She shouldn’t have a care in the world, pampered as she is by technology, but she still misses her ex boyfriend. And when she tries to contact him, he is nowhere to be found.

The Wanderlust Bug has bitten Raj who feels uncomfortable in Rainbow Town, and not only because his ex moved on. His memory losses leave him uneasy and he wishes to go out in the great unknown, even if it might mean certain death.

With the help of Shani, who has broken into the forbidden Darknet, Bel and Raj are truth seekers in a too perfect town that feels more and more like a golden prison.

A standalone post-apocalypse novel exploring the future of Earth.

The cover is by the awesome Leah Keeler who has made Bel even more beautiful than I had envisioned her, LOL! And the above pic shows how her cover fits my K.K. best… which is perfect, even though it loses its colors! 🙂 But I still love my K.K. and hope it never dies on me because the new Kindle are ugly like hell! 😉

Brainwaves is the last new title of the year, since the others won’t be ready on time. Draft2Digital suggests to upload everything before the 11th and I’m sending stuff to the editor on the 12th, so… next week I’ll prepare some box sets of sub-series of Silvery Earth in case you want to gift someone for Christmas…

And the new titles will come out in January. I have also a couple of cover artists lagging behind, so… next year for more new stuff! Well, a collection of the Fall of the Southern Kingdoms (so technically nothing new) and a couple of new titles so far. Not sure what I’ll be writing after I send out the current projects to Mighty Editor! 😉

Still making plans for the new year (I know, still one month to go, but one must be prepared, right?) and I’m wondering if anyone would be interested in a magazine of yours truly’s ramblings about the various series, with backstage and short stories and comics and stuff – all in print only, since images don’t come out very well in ebook format.

Of course the cost of paper is higher and I’d have to ask at least 4.99$ for a 150-160pp magazine… Unless I make a PDF-only version on DriveThruFiction. Thing is… will it be a failed attempt like Patreon? Should I give it a try with Issue #0 and see how it goes? Or should I just not bother and concentrate on the other projects?

Let me know in the comments. I might change the newsletter too and if I don’t do the mag, I could put more exclusive content in the bimonthly newsletter, that would then become longer… would that bother you? And if you haven’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for? The next newsletter will go out in January anyway…

I’m full of questions today! Let’s move on! Writerly links… Mark Coker’s encouraging podcast notes (or you can listen to the podcast, if you prefer) and David Gaughran on the birth of the Kindle and its store. Still holding tight to my Kindle Keyboard, as you’ve seen above! 🙂

Last request, please share these #Instafreebie giveaways of Half-blood, Guisarme and the Painter, thank you! Now I better go back to writing… gotta wrap some projects before the end of next week. I’m afraid my wordcount isn’t very high this month either, maybe next year I’ll hit that half-pulp-speed of 500K words… that’s a goal! 🙂 Have a great week!

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! And she is in not one, but two of my curated bundles! You can find her book both in Sci-fi July (that will go on sale from Oct.31 to Nov.5)  and in Vampires of the World! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Rebecca M. Senese!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Toronto, Canada and write wherever I find myself.

Why do you write?

I write because when I don’t write I feel miserable. And someone’s got to tell these stories that are floating around in my head.

When did you start writing?

I think I started writing as soon as I could hold a pencil. My earliest memory of writing a story is in grade school. We had these workbooks and we were only supposed to write on the right hand page so the teacher could write their comments about our work on the facing page. Rebel that I am, I wrote a horror story on the left side page about a haunted house with a vampire, a mummy, Frankenstein, a werewolf, and a gorilla, because I thought gorillas were scary. I got in trouble for writing that.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write contemporary fantasy, horror, science fiction, mystery, urban fantasy really whatever strikes me at the time. And usually my stories are more than one genre. For some reason my brain loves to mash things together because why not?

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

I want to create the best stories I can to entertain and touch readers. The best way I can achieve that is to write as much as possible and read as much as possible, to learn from other writers. What can they teach me about being entertaining and telling a great story and how can I do the same?

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

Trust yourself, keep writing, and just get out of the way. Also, read for enjoyment and afterwards figure out what they did that worked.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

A little bit of both. I mostly write into the dark but do make a few notes along the way of ideas that pop up, as a sort of guide. I don’t necessarily follow that though. My writing speed depends on the project. Ironically, short pieces tend to go slower for me. Longer pieces tend to go faster. But I do generally try to write every day and I’m focusing on doing a lot more next year in a personal challenge!

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

Vampires of the World

A Reluctance of Blood is the story of Sebastian Lockhart, a normal college student, who gets bitten by a vampire but doesn’t fully turn. I wanted to take vampires back to their monstrous roots and explore what it would be like to suddenly find yourself overwhelmed by these monstrous desires. Sebastian finds his life turned upside down as he struggles to come to grips with what happened to him and what it means to his life.

Sci-fi July Fever Fun

Beyond Control, Interlude, Beyond Reach is a collection of three stories in the Beyond Saga, a science fiction space opera. They introduce the main characters: Nadia, a genetically engineered assassin who begins to question her work, and Devon, a Tracker who is sent to hunt down Nadia. For both of them, I liked exploring how they responded to situations, especially when their responses were not what was expected of them and how they had to deal with the consequences of those actions.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

November 1st, I’m publishing a story called Borrowed Magic, part of the Uncollected Anthology: Warlocks issue. Find out more here: https://rebeccasenese.com/books/borrowed-magic/

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m currently working on a series of novels about Santa’s son working as a private detective. I’m hoping to have the first one ready soon!

Where to find Rebecca:

website

blog

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Twitter

Facebook

Writer Wednesday


Some writerly wisdom about books needing time to cook. Even mine are not always as immediate as they used to be. Yes, I’m still mostly a pantser, but since Technological Angel sometimes it takes me months before I start the actual writing. That’s why I decided beforehand which novels to write for the summer challenge – because they were already on my ToWrite list and ready to be jotted down.

I discarded one idea because I had a novella that was already almost a novel itself, so I postponed that one to after the summer. I knew I had to write the vampire novel during the summer anyway, I simply had to write it all in a month instead of two. Which is perfectly fine.

If I keep going like this, I might even be able to start it this month. Knowing I’d miss a week of writing in June, I chose a novella to expand as first novel, so it’s going quite well. I’m almost halfway through and if I can read it all in one sitting over the weekend to make the necessary adjustments (I’m aiming at the 17th, not this Saturday), then I can send it off with a few days to spare for the next one…

Busy writing summer, but since the heat is starting to show up, I’m very happy to just go home and write. And make covers. I like hiring other artists, but sometimes I like doing my own covers as well, so… Experimenting with transparent PNGs and art nouveau frames and stuff like that. It’s a Silvery Earth novel, of course! 😉

Patreon update! I decided to start uploading the rewards even if there are no patrons. So on the 5th of every month I’ll post the “5 things I learned” posts (one is already live) and on the 10th I’ll post the monthly free short story. At least people reaching the page now can see there’s stuff behind the  paid wall! 🙂 I know “curiosity killed the cat” but since you’re not cats (are you?), you’ll be fine… just poke around and see if you find anything you like! 😉

And if you like sci-fi, here’s another bundle of books… while you wait for the next one with yours truly, of course! 😉 Should be out July 4th, the mighty Bundle Rabbit is working on it (and changing stuff around so when I get to the dashboard I go “AUGH!” like Lucy Van Pelt. I’ll get used to it! ;)), just stay tuned. If you like giving to charities, go to Story Bundle (or other curators on BR, I honestly don’t pick a charity since I’m in Italy and I wouldn’t know which one to pick).

And where are we going with e-books? Check Amazon’s latest… I don’t mind a moving cover – I had considered it myself and thought it would be cool on e-books – but everything else… nyeh. They say I can switch that off… well, I have an old Kindle Keyboard, so I doubt it would work anyway. And I certainly won’t use the laptop version (or the smartphone… that small screen makes me want to scream most of the time!)…

But well, maybe younger readers will enjoy that. Although… can this still be considered a book? The EU had decided for lower VAT on e-books, but if they’re like that, can they still be considered books? Mini-movies? What? Who knows. On DeviantART they were already doing motion comics, but this is something else.

And Mighty Zon is still in trouble – it might be customer-friendly but it’s really pissing off authors and publishers. And soon even customers will feel cheated by the fake books that climb the Amazon charts. Don’t put all your eggs in their baskets is still sound advice. I’m still toying with their AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) but it’s probably my last attempt in that department too.

Random Friday


From Dave Farland’s newsletter – Science fiction fans, please take this survey! I did, even though I admit I had trouble finding books in those categories… but I’m not a strong sci-fi reader. Not yet! Now I even downloaded the Hugo nominees, but I don’t know when I’ll be able to read them. And I’m supposed to vote. Sigh.

I had my fangirl moment when I received Colleen Doran’s envelope… I donated that money 2 years ago, I think! I knew she was sending out stuff now, but still it was a wonderful surprise! 😉

And to finish on total randomness… I watched another DVD inbetween stories. La graine et le mulet (a.k.a Couscous) was an interesting take on immigrants – north-Africans in France to be clear. A very realistic movie, kinda slow (actually, very slow, 2h30 of close-ups…) with a not so clear ending that left me a little disappointed.

It made me realize how too many close-ups are jarring, and I’ll try to remember it when I write, since I also tend to focus on the character(s) and forget the setting. Might have been because none of the characters had an interesting (for me) face I could just watch even if it were a still picture or maybe it’s totally true that it’s better to back off some time to give the reader a better view.

And the belly dance at the end… a twenty-year-old with such a belly bump made me wonder if she was pregnant, and if that was part of the movie! Too many unanswered questions in this “slice of life” story for my tastes… And I was falling asleep on the extras, so I just gave up on the whole thing, haha!

Have a great weekend! 😀

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! Remember last July’s Kindle SFF event that showcased Technological Angel on Tim Flanagan’s blog? Well, I got meself a couple of those books and I’m very slowly wading through them. The Ultimate Inferior Beings struck me for the humor and the crazy story and everything else.  I like humorous sci-fi a lot. So I contacted the author, and he sent me this very interesting guest post – and now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll have to check my Kindle again with this new insight. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mark Roman!

Indexplicable by Mark Roman

 At the back of The Ultimate Inferior Beings, past the story itself, beyond the Glossary and just after the Appendices, you’ll find an Index. But there’s something wrong with that index. If you look closely you’ll notice that some of the listed page-numbers are beyond the end of the book, and there are multiple entries for common words such as “the” and “a”. The word “index” itself appears 16 times.

So, what’s going on? Did I mess up? Did my publisher mess up? Who should be held responsible?

I sometimes ask people if they’ve read the Index. They give me a puzzled look and humour me when I urge them to do so. Then, when I ask again later, they respond in a somewhat vague manner, “Er, yes, sure I read it.”

“Great! What does it say about you?”

This throws them. “Huh?”

I repeat the question and now they’re staring at me as though I’m mad. “It didn’t say anything about me,” they say. “It’s an index. Get a grip.”

Or words to that effect, before edging away, never to be seen again. Which makes me suspect they haven’t read it. Pity.

One reviewer liked it, although for the wrong reason. She felt its total pointlessness was in keeping with the book’s off-beat nature. So, she hadn’t read it, either. Disappointing.

The idea for it came to me in the shower many, many years ago. (I should, at this point, issue a Spoiler Alert. Skip this paragraph if you want to try cracking the Index yourself). I was musing about book indexes in general – like one does – and wondered how much of a book could be reconstructed from the index alone. Could one reconstruct the entire contents? What if every page of this imaginary book contained only a single word, and the index indexed them all? That would do it! So, off I went to write it – which took some time as it was in the days before personal computers, so everything had to be done by hand.

Eventually the Index ended up at the back of TUIB. I was confident readers would immediately spot that it wasn’t genuine; then they’d get to thinking … and soon afterwards, hey presto, they’d solve the puzzle!

So, did they? Has anyone actually read it? A few people have because I explained how to do it. Some managed to crack it fairly quickly just by knowing there was a puzzle to be solved; others needed more clues. A couple of months ago, I received an e-mail from a reader in the US telling me he’d read it. I know he’s not fibbing because he told me what the Index said about him. He’d done it without any clues, all on his own. Smart chap. Maybe there are others out there like him. I hope so.

Have you read the Index, by any chance? Really? Great! What does it say about you?

doodle23Links

Book: The Ultimate Inferior Beings

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0089TF3LU

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0089TF3LU

Website: http://tuib.webnode.com

 

Sunday Surprise


And it’ef35c8744d8253cb93bc3dc034cd5ce7dd630abfs another guest – a fellow author from Wyrd Worlds…. Have you downloaded it yet? No? What are you waiting for, it’s FREE! And this is the author of the opening story – but also of the short and hilarious Monday Imps, and I know exactly what she’s talking about since I have imps and pixies in my own house! 😉 – who is kindly answering my writerly questions (and actually sent me her own questions, so I’m babbling over at her blog as well). Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome A.L. Butcher! 🙂

1. Where do you live and write from?

I live in the South West UK. I usually write on my laptop as I can lie on the sofa with it, or sit in the really comfy chair. I have a back injury so sitting up at the PC isn’t an option if my back is hurting.

2. When did you start writing?

Oh gosh, I was always an imaginative child, at school I was often the one writing the poetry or short story for the class project. As I have such terrible handwriting this was sometimes a challenge! Most of the writers I speak to tell me they have always been a writer of one sort or another so I think perhaps it is there from the beginning. More recently I used to write adventures for role play games and that led, in a roundabout way, to the novels and other projects.

3. What genre(s) do you write?

Adult dark fantasy/fantasy romance with erotica for the novels and fantasy/ fantasy romance for the anthologies plus poetry now and then.

4. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

I often get inspiration from small things – for example a conversation with my friend who was cleaning out old food from her larder led to a short fantasy tale about the jars and pots conspiring against each other. Another was thinking about where the socks go when you wash them….

Nature and history provide a lot of ideas plus I read a great deal so sometimes that will spark an idea.

No, I don’t put myself in my stories.

5. Do you have a specific writing routine?

Not really, I try but somehow it never quite goes according to plan. I try and write something every day, even if it is just a blog post or notes.

6. Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I have an overall idea in my head for the series but generally the stories are improvised. There are plans but they are more vague ideas than outlines. Every time I outline I end up changing the plan significantly anyway. I cannot force a story and ideas often occur as I am writing. I am quite slow, usually as I am distracted by other things but if I can focus I can get on with it well enough.

7. Tell us about your latest book

Book 2 of my adult dark fantasy series, The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book II was published at the end of May.

The setting of the world of Erana is dark, magic is illegal and elves are enslaved. The land is run by the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters and slavers who rule by fear and division. Yet magic persists, albeit in hiding, and not all shun the elves, risking life and limb to help an oppressed people.

This adventure follows the characters from Book I when a desperate elf arrives in the peaceful valley of Tremellic asking for help to find a lost family heirloom. Of course not all is as it seems and they leave on a dangerous adventure to find the Shining Citadel, the mythical elven city lost in time and magic. The heroes are watched by a man with a lot of power, a man who could destroy them as he too craves the supposed wealth of the Citadel and his own ambition in destroying the Magelord Archos and his friends.

Information hinted at in Book I plus a good deal of other juicy info is revealed, a lot of it unwelcome and the heroes must deal with this and what it might mean for the future. There is a lot more threat in this book and revelations will impact on later books. Magic and mayhem abound.

Aside from this novel I have just had some short fantasy (non-erotica) stories published in a couple of anthologies. The first is a fairytale type story – The Tale of Treyna the Beloved – which explains why the sun and moon are rarely seen together in the sky. It is a sad tale.

The anthology is called No Sleeves and Short Dresses, it is a collection from various writers on the Good Reads website and all royalties go to http://www.bliss.org.uk which is a charity supporting premature babies and their families. All the stories are summer-themed and cover a variety of genres.

The second anthology is Wyrd Worlds, by a collection of fantasy and sci-fi indie writers, also from Good Reads who publish on Smashwords. I have two short stories – The Blue Phial- which is a short story set in the world of my novels – a Tale of Erana. There is also a story about why things always go wrong on a Monday. This one is free!

Links for the Shining Citadel

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/352783?ref=ALB123

http://www.amazon.com/The-Shining-Citadel-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00D4CF6W8

http://www.amazon.com/The-Shining-Citadel-Beyond-Chronicles/dp/1489591222/

Link for No Sleeves and Short Dresses – a Summer Anthology

http://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Sleeves-Short-Dresses-Anthology/dp/1492234494

https://www.createspace.com/4414094

All the links for my books, including the Barnes and Noble and Kobo ones can be found on my blog – there are also discount codes for the Smashwords editions of my novels found there.

http://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/the-light-beyond-the-storm-chronicles/

http://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/other-works/

8. Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie published – why? It seemed the right route. Self-publishing gives a lot of freedom, I can work to my own pace for a start. I can publish the book I want to publish, not what I am told to publish. The royalties are pretty good as well. Of course this means I have to do all my own marketing and promotion, that is the really hard bit!

Traditional publishing still has a place of course, and it works for a lot of writers but I think, with the erotica side of my work I might struggle to find a suitable publisher. Indie-publishing has opened up the market for a lot of great writers who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to be published.

9. Any other projects in the pipeline?

I am currently working on Book III of the series, which is being a little tricky. Hopefully I will also be working on a collection of erotica stories with a fellow author in the near future.

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

I never imagined people would want to buy my books, or I would have the courage to actually publish so in that respect I have achieved my goal. I would like to see the series through to the exciting finale and then, possibly a later series. Bringing my world to life and sharing the stories and the joy I have in writing them is important to me.

What am I doing to achieve it – continuing to write.

Alex

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