Writer Wednesday


Slowing down the writing and tending the garden means I wrote a little more than 9K last week. One new story and the expansion of an older one (still unpublished, so no harm done). I’ll probably tinker with the other one a little longer as well, since I’m still reading a non-fiction book for research purposes.

While doint the translation of Brainwaves, I found several instances of a forgotten “h” in a name, luckily I still had to update those documents, so next weekend the “typo” or “inconsistency” will vanish. Next weekend is Future Earth Chronicles and Vampires Through the Centuries update, yay (not).

Silvery Earth, in spite of pruning, still has quite a lot of titles. Four new covers for the Quests book to make and still a lot of documents to update with new backmatter. How many? The answer is 42. Douglas Adams knew it even before I actually wrote the books!

Just kidding, but it’s more than 40 titles on Smashwords, plus the box sets that are only on Draft2Digital, so quite a lot of work in that department. Not to mention the other retailers – Amazon, Kobo and DriveThru… I’ll definitely be busy all of September with the revamping!

I shall keep these monologues (or dialogues with Tori) going for a little longer. I’ll do a giveaway for the ten years of blogging, then will slow down further to one post a week. Unless there are guests. Or special announcements. I will stop the Happiness is… rotation as well.

So I will have Backstage Pass on Sundays on the publisher’s page and Writer Wednesday on this blog, probably longer and more rambling.

And speaking of announcements, here’s the table of contents of an upcoming anthology, in which I have a story.

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From the publisher:

The charity anthology, Yearning to Breathe Free is deep into production, and will be available by mid-September. All profits from the anthology will be donated to RAICES, a non-profit charity who has led the fight in making sure that immigrants in detention centers have access to legal protection, enabling families to call each other on the phone, helping parents to find their children, and ensuring that those detained can gain access to basic goods and services.

My story is Following Torik, and if the name sounds familiar, yes, he’s the Silvery Earth Kid that outgrew his clothes. Except thisΒ  is the story of his little brother Baldric, and they’re both adults by now (it’s been 12 years since Silvery Earth Kids). So, while you wait for the strip and the related novel, you can have a taste in this charity anthology! πŸ˜‰

Or you can follow Silvery Earth Kids on Instagram, Monday vignette of a sobbing Torik earned a lot of love (while I kept singing “I don’t like Mondays“!)! πŸ˜€ That’s all for now and I wish you all a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

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Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote about 13K and wrapped The Wanderers at 93K. Now I’m going to leave it alone until Mighty Editor checks it, because I’m bored with it and think it sucks, haha. Besides, I’m reading a non-fiction book about medieval Persia, so it might give some ideas for the past of the southern kingdoms (since this story is set before the Quests).

The good thing about NOT having readers clamoring for more is that I don’t feel the pressure of writing the next book. The bad think is not knowing how I am doing, which makes me doubt myself and my skills. Yeah, my self-esteem is currently low, but I will bounce back, don’t worry! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I wrote 400K already this year, and even if I’m not sure I’ll write another 100k in the last four months of the year, I don’t care. I proved I can reach half pulp speed (500K) and stick to my own deadlines, now I can get back to having fun. Productivity was never my problem, was it?

If and when some series of mine takes off, I have more books to write. Meanwhile, I have some experiments to do to get out of this burn out. Currently writing shorts for anthos and trad mags, while coloring the Silvery Earth Kids strip (about 10 to color, then about 80 to letter) that I hope to complete by the end of September.

Then I’ll need to do a print attempt with Lulu so I can check it (my eyes don’t like staring at the screen, and printed out mistakes are glaringly obvious) and redraw whatever needs redrawn or adjusted. Not sure yet what my next long project will be. Possibly a contemporary story or maybe another historical fantasy. I did buy some books in Edinburgh! πŸ˜‰

Still slowly tending the garden, and last week I resumed the Backstage Pass. And since I need to be gentle with myself, I won’t be posting weekly, but every other Sunday.

I’m working on the next instalment, but the topic seems hard to tackle. I do have some articles ready (meant for my never-started magazine or my aborted-Patreon), but I want to write something new that has been on my mind for months. So I will ponder it a little longer.

Meanwhile, there’s another free story up on the Infinite Bard, check it out! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Slowly easing back into the writing routine. That handwritten stuff from during worldcon was about 1800words, but I added a lot more, finishing the week with my usual 10K. And then on Monday it occurred to me that the Paths Trilogy could simply be a single longer novel with multiple points of view (4 intertwined), so I’m going to try that now.

I have around 85K already and need to finish, so it might end up like Books of the Immortals – Air, around 90K (my longest novel, with multiple points of view – 6 or 7, if I remember correctly), possibly longer (but I’ll have to trim the duplicated scenes, so some version might end up on the cutting floor).

The weekend was spent cleaning up the Star Minds Universe (the series page and the documents + an update to the cover of the Star Minds Starter) updating backmatter for both eBooks and paperbacks, which means I got flooded by Amazon emails for updating both the versions of each title. And I even had to redo a cover I hadn’t touched. Sheesh.

This also allowed me to discover a few glitches in the move from CreateSpace to KDPprint, so if you haven’t already, go check the third “page” – territorial rights and pricing. But you have to start from the first page to confirm ownership of the paperback, and don’t forget to check blurb and tags, since once they were completely missing from the paperback version.

Findaway Voices announced shared royalties, so I might do another audio book sooner rather than later. Most sales through them are to libraries, and I’m very far to breaking even with the expenses for producing the first three audiobooks. But I’ve been told longer books get listened to much more, so I’ll have to try with a full-length novel eventually.

A couple of long but awesome posts from Kristen Lamb – In It to WIN It: How Committed Are You to Being a Successful Author? and Pitch Perfect: Can You Sell Your Story in ONE Sentence? Still trying to find those loglines for my books, but eventually, I’ll make it, LOL!

And that’s all for now! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


The grand total for the writing retreat (even though I didn’t write every day, and definitely not when traveling) was 14600words, although I finished The Path of Metal on Sunday. I printed it out on Monday at the office and did a final pass, reading it all in one sitting before moving on.

Now writing those short stories to submit to traditional markets with very tight deadlines. Including Mission #30 of the Lone Wolves Team, that therefore is not included in the last volume of our adventurers’ jobs, out now. I will add it to the collection of all the missions if it gets rejected (or will wait until I can publish it in the whole collection, depending how long I have to postpone it, LOL).

Next weekend I’ll upload Rogue, then pause the publishing for a few months. I considered enrolling it in KU so I could participate in the Kindle StorytellerAward 2019 on Amazon UK, but unless my one true fan (yes, Tori, I’m talking to you) tells me she doesn’t mind waiting 3 months, I won’t. If I happen to win (which I won’t), means it would be stuck on Amazon only for much longer. If you’re in KU and have published between May and August, do try your luck, though! πŸ˜‰

I learned a few things and got a few ideas at the conference, so it’s time I start working on that rebranding – or tending my garden, as they say. Since “just write more books” doesn’t really work, I’m studying the Reader Magnets. Although the PDF is outdated RE: MailChimp, but I have no intention of opening another newsletter yet.

But someone pointed me to StoryOrigin, and they handle Reader Magnets and review copies even if you don’t have a mailing list. So I might try that too in the coming months (as well as signing up for Pinterest when I have the rebranded covers ready – not all of them, but still quite a few, I’m afraid).

I haven’t done a priority list yet, although I have booked out a few weekends to start the revamping of the publisher’s site. Might also give me ideas for the Backstage Pass posts! πŸ˜‰ Oh, and another link of something I discovered in Edinburgh (thanks, Josie, glad I didn’t spend all my time talking to the only face I knew beforehand and saw your link on the group discussion) – Hopepunk. Might be something to consider when I re-tag my books! πŸ˜‰

Now, you might have noticed my re-blog on Sunday. Yes, the awesome A.L. Butcher put together another awesome bundle, Here Be Magic, that includes yours truly. Soon you’ll hear from some of those authors on this very blog.

Aaaand, you guessed it, it’s Infinite Bard time again! Hop off to the site and read another free short story for your reading pleasure! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

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! πŸ™‚ And check out the other authors too! πŸ˜€

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ˜€

 

Random Friday


It should probably have been a different kind of post, one that I’ll elaborate more when I resume the Backstage Pass on the publisher’s page in September, but I’d like to ramble on my virtual casts. I mean, I already mentioned Da Muses who seem to be everywhere – although neither is in The Path of Wood, but that’s because it’s about Torik grown up, and he must look more or less like the child I’m drawing in Silvery Earth Kids! πŸ˜‰

Although I sort of cheated even in that strip. The previous strip, Me and Da Muses, had them both. When I did the character design for Silvery Earth Kids, I did keep a couple of things from Da Muses. Well, one, mostly: the hair. I changed the color, but Torik and Erwan have Da Muses’ hair.

When it came to “cast” for the grown-up version, I did find someone who could be Torik, but then everybody else was 3D rendering (usually by Ravven because she’s the best). Even the Path of Metal will have a cover by Ravven and I cast two of her 3D rendering characters as protagonists.

Not going to show my cover attempts yet, but the ramble is about casting and I wanted to mention how I found the twin protagonists’s younger brother on Yahoo, as I went to check my email. See this article about a teen who wasn’t hired because of his extreme hairstyle and became a model?

He’s the younger brother. He’s just perfect. I mentioned (in The Path of Wood) that the eldest and one of the twin girls have brown eyes like their father, and the other twin and the youngest have blue/grey eyes like their mother. He’s even the right age for my secondary world fantasy! πŸ˜‰

For Future Earth Chronicles I took random pictures from the internet (that of course I cannot share because copyright)… So even my casting process has changed through the years, LOL!

One last comment on my (usually famous) virtual cast: here’s what crushes on celebrities say about us (meaning middle-aged women, although I’m not really a Mom, but I guess I had some kind of Mom Crush…)! And, when I’ll be Diane Keaton’s age, if a Keanu Reeves walks to me, I’d definitely dump the Jack Nicholson in my life, unless it’s Keanu himself, of course! πŸ˜€

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

EDITED TO ADD: I just saw in the dashboard that this is post #2300… and in a couple of months I celebrate 10 years of blogging… just sayin’! πŸ˜‰

Writer Wednesday


I got my first royalty payment from Findaway Voices (minimum treshold 10$ and there’sΒ  the Paypal fee, but whatever) and remembered I still have coupon codes for Otherside. So if you’re in AU, US or CA and would like to listen to and review my audiobook, drop me a line.

 

  • Authors Direct is currently only available for users in the United States, Australia, and Canada on iOS and Android (non-Kindle) mobile devices.
  • Authors Direct Giveaway Codes are only for listening inside of the Authors Direct mobile apps and can only be redeemed at https://authors-direct.com/redeem/
  • The following retailers will allow your listeners to leave a review without having bought the book there:Β Apple, Google, Amazon (but not Audible), Kobo, Scribd (with free trial) and Downpour, in addition to standard review sites like Goodreads.

I have enrolled some books in the Smashwords Winter/Summer Sale, but I’ll give the titles next week, when the sale is live. Preparing all the Lone Wolves Team books for this summer’s release, formatting them and slowly uploading them as well. These won’t be part of the sale anyway.

On the 20BooksEdinburgh they’re starting to ask what we’ll be working on while in Edinburgh, but I don’t have an answer yet. It’s still a month away and I think I’ll be done with Torik by then (both the adult and the child). I’m thinking of challenging myself to write a short story a day based on writingΒ  prompts – I already have plenty that I want to write, either to submit to traditional magazines or anthologies or because I want to tell that story.

Or maybe I’ll start on the next Quest book. Turns out Torik is one of them wanderers, so I changed his book title to The Path of Wood, then I’ll write the sequel as The Path of Metal, and The Path of Dreams will remain for Silvery Earth Kids prose, that I’ll include with Torik’s story. Although since these are set before the current Quests Books, maybe I won’t number them as such.

I was thinking I could do another Sci-Fi July bundle and related anthologies, but my mood is currently hopeless towards sales, and I’m too tired to put another anthology together. I’m not even happy with my own stories, so… next year I’ll try to publish another couple. There’s still six curated anthologies you can choose from and another project coming soon.

But wait, someone else set up a vampires stories bundle! Thirteen Stakes goes live today, go grab it now! πŸ™‚ It includes Norman Blood from yours truly and a ton more awesome authors, including a short story that was in Nightly Bites Volume 1! πŸ™‚

And it’s The Infinite Bard week again! Hop off to read another free story from an awesome author! I’m next, so see you there in a couple of weeks! πŸ™‚ After the summer I’ll probably take down the stories on Prolific Works as well, so get them now. I might add a page of free reads to the publisher’s page, but I haven’t decided yet (besides the stories for The Infinite Bard, I mean).

I think that after the summer I’ll start tending the garden of my 200 published titles before putting out new stuff. Backmatter needs to be updated, some covers might be thrown out, some single stories with ugly covers might vanish (they’re all included in some collection or other anyway, and if they haven’t provided point of entry so far, they probably never will) and so on.

Not a complete relaunch or rebranding, but some tidying up yes. This should go hand in hand with house-cleaning and throwing out unneeded stuff, but we’ll see how that goes as well! πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

 

Writer Wednesday


So, diving into Torik’s story, and it turns out he can’t be really a dragon rider, LOL! Anyhow, the Path of Dreams is taking shape, 11 or 12K in I’m just starting to tell Torik’s journey.

I still don’t know how I could pull it off, though. Possibly putting Childhood (i.e. Silvery Earth Kids prose version) as prequel at the end of the book. Since I’m in no hurry to publish this (or the strip Silvery Earth Kids), I’m just going to take my time with it.

I did publish another Star Minds Lone Wolves Team mission booklet, though. I would like to thank the Australian Kobo user who is buying them all, if only for you I’ll try to publish them on time! πŸ™‚

And even if I stayed at home this weekend, my brain was too mushy to actually do some programming. I didn’t even correct the Rogue manuscript! 😦 But it’s for August, so plenty of time for that. Will work on it this week or the coming weekend.

I started putting the lettering on the Silvery Earth Kids strip, though. I plan on doing a paperback proof at the end of the summer, with Lulu because I don’t want to send it live. It will help catch typos and uncolored parts and other weird mistakes.

Also, a preview of a few strips in B&W is coming soon, but I’m not at liberty to discuss that project yet. It will be available also as e-book, but I’d get the paperback if I were you! πŸ˜‰ I don’t think print books are going away anyway… especially children’s books, as you can see from the following.

And speaking of an everchanging world and my decision to step back a little, please read this long but worthy post on the sale of Barnes&Noble and what it means for writers. And I know it’s a long post, but try to read the comments too.

I still hope to be able to quit the damn day job soon, set up a micropublisher and sell from my own website. Hopefully by then they’ll have invented something that allows writers and readers to meet without the retail giants. Some app or other tricky tech device.

You youngsters, please invent something for us old geezers! πŸ™‚ Technology is changing so quickly we don’t know what will be available next month or next year. I’ve been reading a report on AI and the future of work, and how technology moves so fast that in 5 years we’ll need to relearn everything.

I miss the world that no longer exists, but I should stop living in the past and try to adjust to the future – it’s already here. Except I’m no longer young and catching up is hard. But slowly and steadily I can adapt to change. I was already thinking of re-educating myself! πŸ˜‰

I live in an overly complicated country full of burocracy, hence I’m dreaming of moving to a simpler way of life. Like moving to a country with co-housing or that Irish island with high internet speed.

Change is good but scary. And it happens whether we want it or not. So we might as well brace up and ride the storm. We can get through this.Β  Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


Last week I came to a grinding halt with Legends of the Moren Empire Volume 2. I don’t like it, I don’t think I can fix it, and I don’t want to work on it anymore. So the rest of the week I worked on Silvery Earth Kids – the prose version and a few more strips – reaching 9400words.

This is the last week I’m giving out wordcount, though. I have reached almost 280K already, and I proved to myself and the world that I can write 500K a year if I put my mind to it, so I’ll keep count for myself from now on. I’m also thinking of scheduling pre-orders for all the Lone Wolves titles, so I can shut down my brain for the summer.

And after the summer, we’ll see. I might try to break into the Italian market, and let the English market be for some time. Or maybe I’ll tend the garden of the English titles (close to 200 anyway), especially after 20BooksEdinburgh. I can’t really think right now, because the heat is really killing me, so I’m in survival mode! πŸ˜‰

I spent most of the weekend reading and napping, although I did finish coloring the strip and drew a couple more. I’m not done yet and I might use some of the prose version as flashbacks in Torik’s novel, which I’m starting this week. I already wrote a short story about the bully of the strip, and now I want to follow Torik and Copperscales – twelve years after Silvery Earth Kids (which means, basically, that Torik is now an adult, but Copperscales is still a baby Fajrulo!).

I wanted to do another couple of curated anthologies, but I probably won’t have the strength, not even for a third Sci-Fi July bundle. But another anthology (not curated by me) should come out this summer, so you can still fill you summer reading if you feel so inclined! πŸ˜€

And it’s Infinite Bard day! Hop off to check the newest story by the awesome Debbie Mumford! Mine will be up in July, so that’s another free read for your summer! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Last week I wrote almost 19K, but 15K were that expanded outline that was the original version. By Friday I was able to start adding meat (and deleting some of that outline stuff that didn’t really belong) and will continue this week before moving to Part 2 that has less prose outline underneath, since it’s a comic.

I have considered asking one of my artist friends to redraw that comic, but I’d need to rewrite the story first anyway, so I might as well just do the new prose version and forget the comic. But I recycled a couple of frames in Silvery Earth Kids, when Copperscales tells Torik some history, haha!

I have published Missions 6-10 of the Lone Wolves Team, but you can also wait until I put them all together in one volume. Missions 1-5 is out at 99c, this second volume is at 2.99$ as will the others be. Six in total, for 30 missions.

I’m slowing down the publishing after the summer, especially since l don’t think l’ll sell anything at Worldcon. I’m still debating if actually getting a table or not. Oh, and since the dreaded summer heat is here, I’ll also discontinue the Backstage Pass on the publisher’s page, at least until the end of summer.

You probably know by now that I hibernate in summer, and even though I have two scheduled trips to colder countries, I don’t think I’ll have the brains to do much. I’ll be home, writing, that’s for sure! πŸ™‚ Wishing you a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

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