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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Writer Wednesday


First of all a big thank you to my Goodreads friends Joshua and Xia Xia *waves madly* your purchase of the Young King on Amazon on two different days made two very nice spikes on an otherwise very flat graphic! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And someone followed you – from the UK and Canada for Joshua and someone from Italy who bought 4 of my books on the same day as Xia Xia. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€ Hope you both enjoy the short story, will leave a review and maybe help spread the word! ๐Ÿ™‚

Since we’re on the sales topic and I got the 1042s from D2D, I did a quick check on Amazon, Smashwords and D2D. 2014 was the best year on Amazon and D2D, the worst on Smashwords. Since then, Amazon earnings are going down, D2D and Smashwords slowly up. Not going KU anytime soon, no matter what others say. Might work for you, but obviously not for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

But I’m not going to bother with sales (much) this year, more with wordcount. Draft zero of Heroines book 2 is around 46K, but I hope to make it 50K this week + the appendix. Then I’ll probably get back to the spy story and finally expand it enough to call it a novel and start working on Nightly Bites Volume 2.

Then it’s going to be March, and I haven’t decided the next project yet, LOL! I also should start sending out the short stories I wrote in January… been a little lazy… okay, got work to do this weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Sorry I didn’t have time to read other blogs, but I’m editing Heroines 2 which doesn’t leave me much time to read… if something was really unmissable, I’ll post it next week! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Week 7 clocked at 59K, so I’m still 11K behind if I want to reach my 500K goal (that’s 10K a week with two weeks off – even math-challenged me figured that out, LOL!). But I’m now going steady on part 3 and hopefully will finish a first draft (or draft zero) by the weekend. Sunday I’ll be out all day, so I’ll print it out next Monday and go through it next week.

Then I’ll take a break for a short story or two, then move on to the next novel after my trip to Milan in early March.

The cover artist promised me a cover by the end of the month, so hopefully beginning of March I’ll be able to publish the Fall of the Southern Kingdoms (a collection of stories that Tori already owns, so she doesn’t need to buy it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But everybody else feel free to check it out).

Below is a preview of what’s to come (currently only Axelle, Wanderer is out):

I’m almost done with Silvery Earth, I think – I mean, after I write five other heroines novels and possible a couple more quests. While working on the current one, I’m defining the history, and it being the closing book, it will have the history of the world incorporated in the story and added as appendix.

Hopefully some reader will be intrigued enough to check whatever they see in that timeline, counterchecking with the calendar of Silvery Earth to see if that particular event is covered (hint, it usually is, or it wouldn’t be in the calendar). Most of the stories happen in three continents only, so that leaves me still plenty to explore. Although I’ll probably never rewrite the stories of the Moren Empire, but well… maybe one day, if you ask really nicely because you miss it so much… ๐Ÿ˜‰

No particular writerly news this week… Have a great day!

Random Friday


Random randomness: Iโ€™m finally reading my bundles co-authors and at the same time Iโ€™m exploring new subgenres. Iโ€™ve used the Wikipedia entry for my steampunk short, but do you have any favorite steampunk novel and what do you like about it? Please leave your suggestions in the comments, thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, itโ€™s the Year of Writing Madly, but at the same time Iโ€™m thinking of pulling out of the drawer my 12th century historical novel, edited a long time ago (before the craft online workshops) by Nikalee, and decide if I actually want to put it out there or not.

For the new people, itโ€™s a project that had a screenplay version and that I turned into a novel at the beginning of this blog โ€“ an 8-year-old bloke, in case you were wondering. If you check the archives, you can probablyย read about it around 2012.

I guess that after my sci-fi sting, Iโ€™ll get back to it and make up my mind about it. Reading about 12th century Europe/Holy Land might help me getting back to Silvery Earth โ€“ although the next heroine lives at a time where magic is almost gone and sheโ€™s more a renaissance woman than a medieval lady (Angelica de Winter’s story is set AFTER BoI โ€“ Earth).

And then Iโ€™ll read a steampunk novel for the next book in one of my series. Donโ€™t forget to leave your recommendations in the comments below! Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Writer Wednesday


Busy week wrapping up projects and attending the small and medium publishers fair here in Rome also to figure out if I can get ISBNs without being officially a publisher. I may need a few for future projects and I may end up buying them in bulk abroad if the Italian ISBN agency gets on my nerves once again. Sigh.

November wordcount ended up 28000words. Not much, so I’m assuming I won’t hit that 500K goal this year either, but well… my writing process has changed through the years and I’m experimenting more. I’m suddenly more dynamic than ever, LOL!

As promised, here’s the first box set – the complete Chronicles of the Varian Empire. Another is on the way, so if you haven’t tried Silvery Earth yet, you might want to taste it with these very cheap box sets. All will be at 4.99$.

If you prefer multi-author bundles to single author box sets, there’s still this long list… and yes, the First Glimpse bundle is still out there, but it will be gone by the end of the month, so grab it now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now, in case you missed it and want to try it, the challenge is on for the third time – either write 30 stories in 60 days or three novels in three months. As you know, I did the first novel challenge and I was considering doing the third short story challenge, but I’m taking Techie Bro and Dear Nephew to London for the latter’s birthday, so I will simply “just do it on your own and play along, test to see if you can do it without me reading your stories.”

Unless someone wants to do the challenge with me, I’ll simply report here every week if I have written a story or not. So starting January 1st, 30 stories in 60 days. Possibly shorts so I can send them off. I have already a short list of stories to write that got postponed, so January is as good as any to write them all down and then go back to longer works! ๐Ÿ™‚

This is also to avoid burnout. If you read Kris Rusch’s post on burnout and the Indie Writer, you’ll see what I mean. Since I never was one of those great sellers, I’m still here, still writing and not obsessing with marketing.

The key really isnโ€™t avoiding burnout. The key to surviving as a writer is learning how to sustain a career.

And thatโ€™s true not just for indie writers, but traditionally published writers as well. Some of the demands traditional publishers put on their bestselling writers make the actual writing impossible.

Writers in traditional settings have to learn how to say no.

Writers in an indie setting have to figure out their priorities.

And that’s what I want, a career. So next year I’ll be writing more than this year (hopefully), hit that 500K goal (hopefully) and publish whatever I finish without bothering with regular deadlines. Of course the 4th vampires through the centuries novel will come out Nov.2 and the novella May 2, but besides that, it’s all open and I have a lot of exciting projects in mind (like… Post-Apocalypse Chronicles sequels…)! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Writerly link: mobile vs.desktop: target the right device for readers in your genre. I’m mostly in the desktop category, apparently… If I decide to do a BookBub in the future, I’ll try to keep this in mind! Don’t you like all those reports, like Author Earnings (which I decided to fill again this year. Just head to the Surveys page)? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last bit of news: Axelle, Wanderer is discounted on Kobo only! I sumbitted another title, so stay tuned.ย  Or go to the publisher’s page! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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 shouldnโ€™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! ๐Ÿ™‚ But I still love my K.K. and hope it never dies on me because the new Kindle are ugly like hell! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


So, as you can see, we have nice paperbacks, except the last one (the new one) still has some problems. So I’ll fix those (in the interior) and then I’ll send it live, long before the ebook goes live. At least on November 2 both will be available for your reading pleasure! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also uploaded another ebook, Axelle ap Kiaran, and I wasn’t very happy with it until Mighty Editor returned it, saying it was her favorite so far! You can never guess what actually is good or not – what you love, people may hate and what you hate, people may love. Writers are still the worst judges of their work! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I should do a paperback of that one too, but since pricing has changed in the past five years, I’m postponing to next year all POD changes and experiments. I have also updated (read: lowered) some ebook prices to match the new suggested prices – only 13 titles out of 160, thank God! ๐Ÿ˜€

I wish things didn’t change so fast and that they settled for a while! I have new projects, printed projects for next year, and I really don’t know what I’m supposed to price anything anymore! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The sale went meh, I hope the bundle sales will go better. There’s one coming up for Sci-fi July, so stay tuned.

Speaking of bundles, it’s the bundles month. I’m in 4 new bundles (including the one I curated about Vampires of the World) and two more in November. New year, I will curate more, but I’d love to catch up on some reading before then! I’m still on my first curated bundle that came out last May and will go away Dec. 1st…

I’m still a little behind in writing the new stories, but I hope to catch up soon. I have another marketing weekend coming up, but I think that for November the bundle will be enough of a discount without looking for other titles to discount. And in December we’ll see. Since this marketing stuff takes so much of my energy, I don’t know for how long I’ll keep going! ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you’re interested, there’s another Storybundle offer of NaNoWriMo books. Considering that I still have a few to read from past bundles, I think I’ll pass, but I’ll order one of those in paper – or better, I’ve put it on my Christmas Wishlist, so they’d gift me something useful! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I prefer reading non-fiction on paper anyway, because it’s easier to refer to things that searching on my Kindle. I love KK, but only for fiction and bundles of fiction. Comics and non-fiction are still in paper for me.

Back to finishing the next story! And the Fantasy Online Workshop! I wish I could afford another offline workshop, but I’m aiming for 2020, when hopefully things have either calmed down or blown up completely! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week!

Sunday Surprise part 2


Since I can’t reblog the publisher’s posts and the post itself missed its schedule, I’m copy-pasting the most important part of that post:

For the month of October, Honorable Assassin will have temporary sales. Find it at 99c between Oct.6 and Oct.9 on all retailers.

So get it now, you have until tomorrow to use the sale! Read the whole post.

Random Friday


Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world โ€“ the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!

We have a couple today, so let’s start with the man! Tell me a little about yourself

I was born as Ajay, but at twenty-two I earned my assassin’s name, Talwar. The Assassins’ Guild of Agharek has become a closed, secret sect, hence I’m not supposed to utter that name outside of it.

Art by Rossana Beretta

Don’t worry, we already heard that name… in Saif and Kilig! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Tall, dark hair and eyes, tawny skin.

Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

My cousin Rajiv a.k.a. Khopesh who is too full of himself. He’s a bully and he’ll never forgive me for the fact that I marked him with the seal of Zindagi.

Readers can see that years-long grudge also in Fighting Monks School, a novella included at the end of Kilig the Sword… Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

Yes to both! I’m an assassin, but I worship Zindagi, Goddess of Life, thus I will never kill unless it’s absolutely necessary โ€“ and protecting loved ones falls in that category. My life is meaningless without them, so of course I’m ready to die.

Where do you live?

I was born in Agharek, but after my fight with Khopesh, I crossed what is left of the southern kingdoms and found refuge in Godwalkar.

Which is where Kilig was born and lived… Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

My childhood friend Ashrita a.k.a. Khanda has become a beautiful, lethal woman โ€“ and she wants me. Who on earth could resist her? She’s the reason for my fight with my cousin and well worth dying for.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Take ourselves safely away from our powerful family influence to live as we please, not having to kill, following someone else’s orders.

Thank you, Talwar! Let’s hear your beautiful companion, then. Tell me a little about yourself (name, ageโ€ฆ)

I was born Ashrita, but I earned my assassin’s name, Khanda, one year in advance. I was so eager to see Ajay again that I was the best of my course! So, even though I’m one year younger, we became assassins at the same time.

Art by Rossana Beretta

Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Long black hair, ice-blue eyes, voluptuous body (in everybody else’s words).

What is your relationship with the protagonist?

We grew up together, but then his father sent him to study at the monastery of Zindagi. I missed him very much and thank the gods he hasn’t changed too much in seven years…

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

He’s still my proud and shy friend, and I’m glad we eloped and got married to start a life away from our families.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I can talk to birds. A fortune teller once told me I have Sila blood, whatever that means…

***

Check out the story of Talwar and Khanda โ€“ Assassins in Love.

After his initiation ceremony that has taken him away from the monastery of the fighting monks of Zindagi, Talwar becomes an assassin โ€“ and hates every moment of it. His childhood friend has also become a female assassin with the secret name of Khanda and she has always had a crush on him.

Can the two rebellious assassins get away from their families and the Guildโ€™s traditions to leave in peace following their own heart? A journey through the former southern kingdoms of Silvery Earth.

E-book available on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, DriveThruFiction, Kobo and Smashwords.

Writer Wednesday


And I’m in another, upcoming bundle! ๐Ÿ™‚ Please like the page and wait for it! And a reminder that this (below) bundle is currently available only on DriveThruFiction and it’s a limited time offer, it will be gone after the summer! If you haven’t read the Assassins’ Guild stories, you can grab them in your favorite format here! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you want to subscribe to my bimonthly newsletter (the next comes out in September), please do so and don’t ask me to add you manually – I wouldn’t know how to send you the welcome email with the free story… Or you can support me on Patreon, where I regularly post both for writers and readers! ๐Ÿ™‚

And hello to the new followers, thank you for deciding to follow this very blog for whatever reason. Not going to ask anymore! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now, to the writerly news.

Novel #2 is well underway and I hope to have that first draft ready for “meating up” next weekend. I’m kind of jumping back and forward on this one because it has a predetermined outline, but I’ll still need to read it all in one sitting or two to see if it flows. Reaching the 20th century is easier and harder at the same time.

I mean, I can describe Jaipur or Delhi like I saw them last year (even though the characters are in Jaipur in the first half of last century), but at the same time… I don’t know. I guess I should do more travelogues, it would definitely help when I write! ๐Ÿ˜‰ That darn setting still tends to escape me.

I’m still unsure about a secondary character and I’ll make up my mind when I reach the end and then cycle backย  to add some meat. I don’t know why the first draft is always very sparse… maybe I need to think about it more before I cand add stuff?

Or maybe it’s just that my brain is fried during the summer? I hate it when cicadas sing all day, it means it’s too darn hot for my tastes and I should move to Iceland! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Glad I found a nice desk fan for the writing times… ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll start the writerly links with this post by Tracy Cooper-Posey – why should historical characters sound like they’re speaking funny in historical novels? Since I’m currently writing historical fantasy, I think it’s perfect timing. I’ve had some betas pointing out some too modern terms in my fantasy too, but I tend to write plain English (with American Spelling – like Tracy, I grew up with British spelling) for the very reason she states.

I mean, I understand I better avoid 21st century slang, and I did use the “thou” and “art thee” once in a fan fiction, but it was precisely because the character had been locked up and sounded funny to modern English speakers (I sort of mention it in Kaylyn’s novel – Kris tells her that she has a “Shakespearian English” since that’s more or less the time she stopped speaking English).

And as a reader I hate even accents, so I say NO to that kind of gimmick. I hate it as much as purple prose and jolts me out of the story immediately! You want to keep Reader Me happy? Write in plain English. Your translator in some other language will thank you, trust me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And since the heat makes me sleepy, I can’t really read more (reading also makes me sleepy…) so I’ll probably have to pass a couple of interesting bundles because I have already too many books to read. I’m even supposed to vote for the Hugos, except I have read none of the nominees! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Oh, and if you want to be on A Small Gang of Authors, here’s their joining page – you can either be guest, like I was, or join them (if you have a Blogger account)! And Bundle Rabbit has added the collaboration tab, so if you’re trying to set up an anthology, you can use that feature!

Just in case you’re new, Bundle Rabbit allows indie authors to set up their own bundles (and cross-pollinate their readers with other authors) and readers to discover new authors by buying a favorite name along with a few more. I currently have two curated bundles (means that I put them together) – one of fantasy novels and one of science fiction (space opera or humorous sci-fi) – and my books have been chosen for two more that I will announce as soon as they go live.

My next curated bundle will have vampires, so if you have a novel-length vampire story, join Bundle Rabbit and upload it, so I can find it in September when I start putting together the next one! ๐Ÿ™‚

Check also the Book Spoltight on Library of Erana (supposedly just one, but there’s actually two, LOL!), with even very short excerpts to give you a taste. Have a great week!

 

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