Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Happy Holidays (because from 1 November to 15 January there are approx.29 holidays observed by 7 of the world's major religions)Last week I wrote 8700words and completed another short story for submission, then I’ll probably call it a year! There are a couple more with themes that intrigue me, but there is no hurry to write and send them out. To reach 600K, I should write 38K in the coming 3 weeks, which might happen, since I started a new project. If it doesn’t, well, I already reached my yearly wordcount! πŸ˜‰

As of December 2020, Lisa’s Odyssey is available on Kindle Unlimited for 99c (link to Amazon.com) This is the first story included in the Future Earth Chronicles Shorts, and it’s practically a standalone, since it’s so much earlier than the others (22nd century instead of 25th)! And it will be FREE for four days – from Dec.19 to Dec.21.

Also, I’m enrolling books in the Smashwords End of Year sale starting on the 18th, since they added that nifty feature of gifting ebooks. So if you already have my books and would like to gift them to your friends, now is a good time, they’ll be discounted for the sale. Everything 50% off unless the book is at 99c.

Digital gifting will be up this year due to the global pandemic. Your best fans have already purchased your ebooks, but have they purchased your ebooks for their friends yet? Now that we’re opening the sale before Christmas, it’s a great opportunity for your most loyal readers to purchase your books for friends and family. Learn more about the ebook gifting feature here – https://www.smashwords.com/about/gifts

And since it’s still before Christmas, I’m going to give my recommended reading list for this year, just in case you don’t know which books to ask for Christmas! πŸ˜‰ The list is in the order I read them, and if I found them on Bookbub, I probably recommended them there as well.

I’m giving the Goodreads link so you can then choose where to buy them. Although I’ve given up on Goodreads long ago, and probably soon so will you. I’m not sure what API access is for, but Goodreads definitely looks obsolete. Export your data & reviews while you can, import it to a place like https://beta.thestorygraph.com/ or readng. I’m no longer doing this, so I won’t bother.

Anyway, here’s my 2020 5-star books, highly recommended! πŸ™‚

A Sudden Outbreak of Magic by Michael Jasper

Utterly Charming, Throughly Kissed, Completely Smitten by Kristine Grayson

Snow Truer Love by A.J Tipton (warning, adult content)

Into the Forest Shadows by J.A. Marlow

Sword & Blood: The Vampire Musketeers (The Vampire Musketeers #1) by Sarah A. Hoyt, Sarah Marques

Glamour of the God-TouchedΒ by Ron Collins

On the Edge of Faerie by Stefon Mears

Drinking Heavy Water by Michael Warren Lucas

A special mention goes to The Phantom Games – it’s a mix of essays and short stories, and the short stories are all top notch! πŸ™‚

I also have a lot of Did Not Finish this year, but life’s too short to waste time with books that don’t hold you. So I’m not giving a total count, and as usual, I’m not mentioning the non-fiction books I read. But for the first time, I’m going to list the samples of books I’m going to get next year when K.K. goes away or something – meaning I was intrigued and will love to continue reading!

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Lion’s Blood by Steve Barnes

The Salvage Crew by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Shadow Messenger by T.A. White

Zero Sum Game by Cody L. Martin

ARC: Titanic in Space by Dirk Walvoord

Leveled Up Love – a gamelit romance comedy by Tao Wong and A.G. Marshall

Automatic Reload by Ferret Steinmetz

And last but not least, don’t forget to check out the collaboration anthologies, the curated anthologies and the bundle Nightly Bites – the latter will be gone soon! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote a little over 12K, and not because I had 2 extra mornings, since those extra mornings were not for writing, unfortunately. So I’ve dived into Future Earth Chronicles Book 6 and wrote whatever happened before the protagonist met the main characters of the first story arc. I did have some fun revisiting Rainbow Towns and a future North America mostly back in the hands of the First Nations – mostly.

ebook cover "Cop" (Star Minds Lone Wolves)I published another title even though nobody will buy it right now, probably. But then, it’s not as if I had dozens of rabid readers who look forward to my next book, LOL! So I’ll continue with my scheduled publishing every two weeks for the rest of the year, no matter how this goes.

I am now going to dive back into the Star Minds Universe and wrap up both the Lone Wolves and the rest of it. So now you have Star Minds Lone Wolves – Cop, in two weeks Assassin, two more weeks Spacer, then the rest of the Team‘s missions for another three ebooks, which will take us to the end of May. In June and July I’ll publish Star Minds Interregnum Volume 2 and some box sets, so stay tuned! πŸ™‚

Also, I enrolled in the Authors Give Back sale on Smashwords. Almost thirty titles discounted 30% or 60%. Including Future Earth Chronicles, in case you wanted to try it – Book 1 is always at 99c, but now you can grab the other 4 at 1.20$each. Full list of my discounted titles on the publisher’s site. The sale goes on until April 20.

Considering the world-wide troubles, I won’t be doing any paperbacks just yet. I canceled the order for my new Kindle since they hadn’t sent it out yet, and I managed to get my parcels from the post office Monday morning before going to work. So, you better read e-books if you want. Or listen to audio. I still have 14 giveaway codes for Otherside from Findaway Voices, again only valid in US, CA and AU.

Research material

Please have a look at the Cave Creek Kickstarter if you haven’t already! I got my research books (see above), and will be writing for this… Help us reach the next streetch goal – and there are already 2 short stories for backers! πŸ˜€ Ebooks, so downloadable at any time (still saving mine to a special folder for when I’ll get a new Kindle) – this campaign closes really soon, probably hours from the time this goes live, so hurry! πŸ˜€

And if you’re on Facebook and want only readers’ news, you can now join my Street Team group, finally renamed after the poll I ran what? One month ago? Eh. Got busy, or better, distracted. I should probably add that link at the end of my books, for whoever is still on Facebook. Or you can subscribe to the publisher’s page, it’s not updated as regularly as this blog! πŸ˜‰ Only for new releases or sales or other special events. So, suggested follow for readers is that one – if you’re not on Facebook or don’t follow me on Author Central, Goodreads or Bookbub, that is.

And while we wait for this to pass and for the new normal, let’s all play the Waiting Game. Here’s to hoping that this mess will bring earlier the Universal Basic Income… Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


I wanted to make an Random Friday post, but since most of this stuff is writing-related, I might as well do it here. I’ve been checking articles on the Innovation Center site of DayJob and found a few things that might interest writers in the future.

First I read their report on AI and how it will disrupt jobs in the coming years (including mine, yay! I’ll be free to move away from this country and start my micro-publishing venture elsewhere!). That report was generic, mentioning how white collars would lose jobs in finance, insurance, law and medical diagnosis, but Joanna Penn is talking about how AI will disrupt authors, so that’s more specific! πŸ˜‰

The report mentioned how children of today might have to change seven jobs during their lifetime, five of which haven’t been invented yet. Consider this is very traumatic for Italians who looooove their steady job that gives them a pension. Personally, I look forward to be laid off or quit and start a new career from scratch. Scary, but also exciting.

There was an article on quantum computers and a comment gave me an idea for a sci-fi story, or at least a spark, l’ll have to ponder what the story will actually be, it’s just a premise for now.

Then there were links to articles I found interesting (mostly because they allow me to forego opening an Instagram account, although I’m still on the fence for Pinterest). Forget Instagram, Amazon is the Influencer Platform of the future. Now, how do I get to an influencer who might like my books and help me promote them? That is the question, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

And speaking of new jobs, the next gig economy will be on-demand knowledge. That’s as cool as it sounds, although I have no idea of what kind of wisdom I’ll be able to impart, but that’s another story! πŸ˜‰ I’ll keep an eye on other innovations and keep you posted if I see something that might interest writers.

And then, there’s this awesome post by Kris Rusch on how we should rethink the whole writing business (part one). I’m not yet following the workshop about the Licensing Expo because I’m not ready, but eventually, I will.

So yeah, the future looks bright if I can get rid of the current chains. I’ll also get some input at 20BooksEdinburg, surely, but I won’t attend another business masterclass until I’m ready to actually set up that micro publisher. And I’m signed up for the Anthology Workshop, so here’s to selling a few short stories between now and whenever I can finally take off as a writing business.

In the meantime I’ll finish publishing the Lone Wolves Team stories and the last Lone Wolves short novel, which will take us to Worldcon – my last Worldcon for a while – and I will probably publish The Path of Wood, The Path of Metal and The Path of Dreams (a.k.a. Silvery Earth Kids prose) and the strip Silvery Earth Kids for the Holidays. Mighty editor is busy until mid-October and I have to try something with the much neglected Italian market before the end of the year.

If you want to catch up with what’s already out there, here’s the list of my titles discounted at Smashwords. Also, a new anthology is out, and the theme is MOLES! And stories are notΒ  just about the cute little animals, although that’s the mole I’m talking about. And yes, the Silvery Earth Kids strips debuts there in black&white, so if you want a sneak peek, go get it now! πŸ™‚ There’s even the paperback if you’re a fan of print! πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

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


Sci Fi Promo Event Share PictureDid you notice the new widget in the sidebar? I’m participating in this wonderful event! πŸ™‚ So don’t miss the sale and check the other wonderful authors participating! Lots of lovely coversΒ  – my TBR list will grow again, sigh! And apparently there will be some kind of contest as well, yay! A great applause to author Tim Flanagan for starting this! He’s doing more in other genres, so if you write paranormal romance, you might want to check him out!

Just for your information, the participating books for yours truly are Books of the Immortals – Air, Chronicles of the Varian Empire – The Left-handed Warrior and Technological Angel. I can fix the 99c/75p prices, but the other markets will vary (still be discounted for two days, though)… Feel free to spread the word – I have created a Goodreads event and a Facebook event… share, share, share, the more the merrier, thank you!

Besides, July is the sales month! This year Smashwords does the Summer/Winter sale again, so everything at Unicorn Productions is 50% off until the end of the month (the above 3 will still be more than 99c, so you might want to wait for that). Which means some books will be free. Which means I thank very much the kind person who bought 3 books mere hours before the start of the sale – hopefully that wonderful person will check them before the end of the month and get more with the discounted price! πŸ™‚

Finishing Amazon Sisters, so I can re-read and send it off to betas and get back to Star Minds Snippets. By the way, I’ve found this interesting site, No Names, No Jackets, that allows you to sample books without being distracted by covers or blurbs or all that marketing stuff (that often gets on my nerves). I have uploaded a few excerpts of my books, but they’re not all live yet, so just play with the random search and see if you can recognize them! πŸ™‚ I’ll eventually add them to the “Excerpts and Free Reads” page…

Some interesting links! Thank God someone finally expressed my opinion of the Her0’s Journey! πŸ™‚ This so reminds me of those screenwriting gurus telling you how a screenplay should be structured having never written one in their entire life. Same thing here – someone studied the classics and decided that’s how a story should be told. And probably never actually wrote anything – like the “how to write” books written by editors. I doubt any writer would be very articulate in saying how he/she came up with the story.

Unless he’s David Farland (or a few others who can actually teach how to write). See Dave’s post on Grey Heroes. Another two are Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith. I might take the lecture on pen names at some point, since I can’t make it to the Oregon Coast this year. But I enjoy the live workshops more, so here’s to next year’s travels (which will include Loncon, but hopefully also a workshop with Dean&Kris).

Then check David Gaughran’s talk with Alliance of Independent Authors’ Orna Ross. This looks like an interesting organization, since it includes the likes of Writers Beware Victoria Strauss and Passive Guy. Worth thinking about joining.

Kris Rusch on life changing events. I have donated for Dave’s son, will have to check about Peter David. Honestly I’m not thinking about the future yet – not that I want to live for ever, far from that, but I still have to figure out a couple of things in this very complicated country or find a way out of it and try to earn some other citizenship. Yes, we might have free healthcare, so I won’t apply for a Greencard, but I do want to emigrate to a less complicated country! πŸ™‚

And if you’d like to make a living with short fiction, don’t forget to check the maths on Dean’s blog. I think that even the most busy person in the world can find 15 minutes to write every day, or even one hour, but then, I’ve heard plenty of “writers” who seem unable to find the time to write. They’re probably wannabe authors. Writers write. They don’t talk about writing, they just write. So if you’re a writer, just go back to writing.

Finally, to blog or not to blog. Up to you. I enjoy this, so I’ll keep doing it. Even if with less frequency than when I started, you’ll still get regular posts here. B.G Hope has a static web page because I can’t handle two blogs, LOL! Unless I start one for readers, with free fiction or whatnot. Mmm, no, I’d rather be off writing the next story, sorry! πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to check the Smashwords sale – a reminder for the Kindle event next week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday


First, a word from Laxmi:
Hi all,
A quick shout out, to click through the link below and VOTE for THE DESTINY OF SHAITAN at the Summer 2012 readers pick awards

Voting closes July 14, so have only a few days left and am lagging far behind πŸ™‚

Β And of course if you were to tweet it out or share it on your FB page then that would be awesome!!

Β Appreciate your support πŸ™‚

Still a couple of days left, so go for it! I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s the only title I recognize in the list anyway, LOL! Then, don’t forget the Smashwords sale – Unicorn Productions has everything 50%off. I see the Amarantine series is also discounted, so go grab it now! πŸ™‚ The first book is FREE, and if it doesn’t hook you into buying the other three… well, not my fault, LOL! And in spite of the title it has NOTHING to do with the more famous 50 shades (and came out before that), so if that’s what you’re looking for… forget it! πŸ˜‰ BUT if you’re looking for vampires with humor, go for it! πŸ™‚

As for Lady Ice (always free…), the color version is available on Facebook! πŸ˜‰ I’m still struggling with formatting for Kindle and Nook… so the “dedicated week” I planned on using at the end of June, I did something else. Why bother reformat something that is already available out there for free anyway? And formatting new titles has proved sort of beyond my strength at the moment. So if I could just go back to coloring and lettering that chapter 11 of S.K.Y.B.A.N.D…. I know I’m talking to Jo only here, but well, I know she reads me! πŸ˜‰

About the prose, last Sunday Telecom Italia decided I should have no way to get online (the ADSL went dead around 10.30 in the morning when I decided to check my email and didn’t come back until Monday sometimes after 7.30 which is the time I left for DayJob), so I spent it checking Technological Angel. I still need to go through it one last time, then it will be off to beta readers. It changed a lot since 2002, and not only because it ends ten of our years later, LOL! I think I also made it a more character-oriented tale and tightened the plot (although I fear part 2 is still sort of meandering, I’m not sure if it’s world/character-building or wasted words…), and of course write the new ending.

Then I went to work on CVE3 *waves at Kelly the Mighty Beta* so I could send it to the editor for a final pass before publication. Here again I had to cut out secondary characters and plots that made it too episodic, and I hope I managed to reach the right balance for this story. It’s still the longest of the CVE, and probably the last for the moment. The rest will be Records – or short stories and novellas that fill the holes. And then I’ll decide what to do with the paper version – not that I received any requests yet. And going to local bookstores is daunting in this heat (both English independent bookstores are in the center of town where it’s even hotter that the suburb I’m in). So maybe after the summer I’ll consider the print versions of this year’s titles.

Some writerly link: Michael Kingswood on small thinking in business. Writers must become business people – I still have a long way to go, but I get what he’s saying here – and think about the long run, not just now. I mean, if you want to have a career, you don’t look only at today, do you? You make projects for the future. You try to plan ahead. And you improvise! πŸ˜‰ OK, that’s just me, because I felt I needed to adjust my publishing schedule – which is fine, as long as you know you’re in for the long run.

Being the self-taught wonder that I am, I’m glad I saved some money on education that wouldn’t have really helped – but then I live in a country where creative writing is not taught at university, only private workshops can be found and I used them to spend vacation time from DayJob with likeminded people (or so I thought. Of all the people I met at Italian workshops, I’m the only one still writing. Talk about an undying passion – because I started and never stopped when I was much younger). Also, Italian university is a lot of theory and nothing practical to help you fit in the real world – that’s why I didn’t go at all and started DayJob at 21. Anyway, Italian university teachings apparently apply to creative writing in US universities, according to Kris Rusch! πŸ™‚

One more post on Authors Guild that seem to have really lost it if they back Publish America only to take down Amazon! Thanks, David Gaughran, for the insight. Glad there’s a class-action suit against PA. Although stupid writers will keep falling for them (or others like them). Sigh. You’d think that in the internet era writers would be savvier, but no, they still fall for the scams that abound out there…

I’m not saying it’s easy (it’s not). Taking care of everything is hard, and you need to be well organized (or a Virgo, like me, LOL!). Or so determined to quit a damn crazy DayJob that you’re ready to learn every month something new about this brand new world of publishing. Hey, I might see my first Amazon check in 3 months or so (I reached the 100$ minimum + 60 days for payment + 30 days until delivery…), but it took me over one year and a half. Do you hear me whine and say I won’t publish another title? No. I slowed down, but I’mΒ  still writing, thank you very much! πŸ˜‰ CVE3 will be out August 1st and I’ll try to publish maybe a couple of short stories that month as well. Maybe even one this month – either a Record of the Varian Empire or a B.G.Hope short story. We’ll see…

Writer Wednesday


OK, first – happy 4th of July to my American friends. I’ll always remember Mark Slaughter thinking the fireworks were for his birthday, LOL! So also, Happy Birthday, Mark! πŸ˜€

Because I’m a sloth in summer and because it’s been six month since the new writing/publishing schedule, I guess it’s time to revise it and adjust it to my new needs. So, I switched around some titles, not sure if I want to waste time and energy with short stories until after the summer, therefore as soon as I finish writing Technological Angel, I’ll dive into the Records of the Varian Empire, that tie CVE2 and CVE3 – and it’s a short story collection, so single titles might come out during the summer, LOL.

CVE3 should come out in August, a longer novel than what expected. As I don’t have that many Silvery Earth fans yet, I didn’t feel pressured to issue it as scheduled in January (June 1st…).

Also, I might not write the new book with the fall of the Empire this year – or maybe I’ll write it, but won’t publish it until the next. Not because I’m scared of a brand new book (I’m having lots of fun with the new ending of Technological Angel, even if it means rewriting most of what I already have to adjust, LOL), but because I’ve changed my writing process.

When I was younger I just dived into the story and went where the characters took me (hence the very episodic stories). But with Technological Angel I started a new trend. From what I remember (that was 2002),Β I spent three months thinking about the characters and world building before actually writing down a single word.

Of course now I need to change all that, but I really changed my mindset. I think I need to mull over the fall of the Varian Empire and the characters involved (of course I know who they are, part is written, part is still in outline form) before actually writing it. And then I need to let it rest for a month or twoΒ  – because (and that’s not changed) the latest story is always the best, but after a few months it gets “old” and not so good anymore.

Not to mention after years, so you know how I feel about older stories now! I know there’s goldΒ  in them, but I’ll have to dig deep to bring it out. Like I had to do with CVE3 – deleting characters and useless subplots and making it more compact. And no, it didn’t hurt murdering my baby! πŸ˜‰

And Kris Rusch’s excellent post on perfection also helped me to decide NOT to touch what is already out there. I had considered revising Jessamine next year, or maybe Allan de Sayek, but with so many stories still on my mind, I think I’ll just move on. I can’t please everybody anyway! πŸ˜‰ And I will have more m/m romance on Silvery Earth – so even if you’re disappointed with aforementioned AdS, don’t give up on me, and try the longer novels with gay characters, LOL! πŸ˜€

Now you probably have heard that there’s the Smashwords summer/winter sale… and Unicorn Productions enrolled ALL its titles in it. There’s a Goodreads event, a Facebook event (although I set the date to July 15 as there’s no way to say from X to Z day) and kind bloggers have helped to spread the word of the sale. Please share the above and invite all your friends. 50% off everything, which makes a lot more titles FREE (i.e. the ones listed at 99cents if you don’t want to check them all – but then a novel is only 2.50$… worth trying, no?).

Just FYI – the titles that are ALWAYS free are Books of the Immortals – Prequels, Jessamine (both novella and graphic novel), Lady Ice and Starblazer because they were originally published on blogs (Serial Central or this one) and the first two are also free on Amazon.com. But plenty more have gone free because of the sale, so check it out! πŸ™‚

A special thank goes to whoever downloaded the first title for free on Monday and another 4 on Tuesday. Thank you and hope to see you back on Silvery Earth soon. And please remember to leave a review! πŸ˜‰

Now, Friday I have a guest, so the randomness is postponed to Sunday – more reviews of books and movies for ya! πŸ™‚ Now I should try to check all those wonderful blogs out there… but I’d rather be reading a book instead… sigh! Hard choices we face! πŸ˜‰

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