Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And here’s a new title, the last for the summer! I’m taking August off except for another collaboration anthology still in the works. Here’s my historical time travel stories, some very nice experiments to prepare myself to the next project – when the Urban Fantasy Trilogy is finished, that is!

Lost in History A collection of original stories with reenactors or tourists lost in time, through portals or timeslips, from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, in Europe, India or the United States.

A Real Tournament (12th century France)

Living History (12th century England)

The Pink City (19th century India)

Stranger Than a Movie (19th century U.S.A.)

Jazz Times (20th century U.S.A.)

I have started on the third book of the Trilogy – actually the middle one. Again, I’m changing how I write, I never wrote so badly out of order before! But since I’m not publishing anything until I have written all the books, I should be fine. I’m only 10K in, but I’ll probably pick up speed next week.

I have a couple of friends who are on Kindle Vella. It’s available only to US authors and customers at this time, but eventually (and when I’m ready, which is definitely not now!) I might be able to get on it too. For those who don’t know, it’s to read serialized things.

So, if you’re in the US, first check out Debbie Mumford, who has quite a few things there! πŸ™‚

Wildfire: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/product/B093DS7CCQ

Prentiss Twins: White Buffalo: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/product/B097QFC3HL

Confessions of a Teenage Tree Sprite: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/product/B093DSD4YP

Then don’t miss Circus Galaxus by Dirk Walvoord about a trickster hero in the deadly world of the ultimate gladiator game show.

Last week was cooler and with plenty of thunderstorms, but I doubt the heat wave is over. I’m still better off than people in Germany and Belgium with floods or in California with fires. We’re destroying the planet, no wonder it’s trying to shake us off!

I’m experimenting with TikTok, but I don’t like making videos with my phone, so I’ll probably stop soon. It doesn’t look like I’m going viral yet – not that I care. Like Instagram, when I’m fed up with it, I’ll just leave it out there. Or maybe close the account, since I don’t really follow anyone – except Khabi Lame.

Oh, well, we’ll see… Since it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to travel much this year either, the rest of my vacations I will use to for more online workshops. I might be able to finally set up a Kickstarter, if I finish watching the videos! πŸ™‚ If you’re interested, it’s free.

And I also have another online workshop to do whenever I get off DayJob again. So, plenty to keep myself busy even if I can’t get out of Italy – or move around it much.

A couple of interesting Kickstarters: Pulphouse Fiction Magazine subscription drive (hint: I might have a story in the coming issues as well) and Starbarian Saga, a fun project by my friend Robert Jeschonek! Check them out and have a wonderful week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And the brand new collection of original stories is out! Check these Lands of Wonder part of a new series of original short stories!

Five original stories to visit Otherside, Elsewhere, Silvery Earth and alternate future timelines of Earth. Travel to these magical, weird or hyper-technological places with the characters.

Can they find their way back? Do they even want to? Do they have any choice in the matter?

Portals can be tricky like that.

Enjoy these travels through time and places, a batch of fantasy portals that even gives a preview to the coming Duology. It’s available also in paperback!

I went back to Book 2 on Thursday as I traveled to cooler places for a few days and ended up writing almost 7K by Sunday, which is more that I wrote in the previous three weeks put together, LOL!

Writing the epilogue this week and a couple more things in this world. Editing is still scheduled for September, so you won’t see any of it before then.

You know I don’t like to give writerly advice because I grew up in the age of the typewriter and changed my ways and what I want to write many times in 40+ years. But if you want a 10-year summary, head off to Chuck Wendig’s who has one lesson for the ten years in the writing mines.

Also, if you’re still afraid to put yourself out there, check Kris Rusch’s latest post on fear and all writers. I still struggle in finding my bookshelves on the various retailers because I don’t follow trends, but I keep publishing because I enjoy the process of writing those stories, creating covers for them and putting them out there. Eventually my audience will find me.

If you write for younger audience, you might want to consider joining TikTok – it’s taking the book industry by storm. It seems to be working well for sci-fi romance too… I doubt my readers are on TikTok, so I shall pass for now. I have enough dealing with Facebook and its Page antics.

I mentioned last week that there were changes at BundleRabbit… a brand new name and a brand new site! Folks, welcome PubShare! I’m still studying the new dashboard, but it’s not as bad as WordPress! πŸ˜‰ Soon you’ll get the results with a brand new curated anthology. Stay tuned!

The heat is already frying my brain, so not much else to say. Back to writing and putting together that anthology. Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And we have a new title! Another prequel, before Future Earth Chronicles, again the apocalypse years but from the humans (and human symbionts) points of view. On the cover is Kaya, who invites a Terran neuroscientist in Rainbow Town Mount Mitchell (the one that is featured in Brainwaves, in case you have read the series).

The apocalypse years through the eyes of both Terrans and alien humans.
Neuroscientist Jacob Davies is invited to Rainbow Town by mysterious college mate Kaya Satsuko with a job offer he can’t refuse.

Suzzi hears her friends talking about vampires and asks to be assigned outside of Rainbow Town. She goes to work in Beijing where, along with Bao, she’ll have to tackle the venomous Asian vampires living in the area.

Yudi is the son of a Terran and an alien human who has followed his best friend to Mumbai. Ram hopes to break into Bollywood, but then he falls in love…

So, go grab Lockdown Origins at your favorite retailer. The paperback will be available with the omnibus in March. Stay tuned!

After reading David Gaughran’s post on covers, I went to peruse some premades… I’m just wondering why, in 2021, with an ongoing pandemic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic covers still show a nuclear apocalypse like in the 20th century. Sigh.

Having researched gas masks for Breathe (that you can find in Breathe), I can also tell you that those filters don’t last, so they’re pretty much useless in a nuclear apocalypse. None of those covers would work for my Future Earth Chronicles, where the apocalypse is just a collapse of technology and power stations (see what’s happening in Texas without power)…

But then, I’m dealing mostly with Rainbow Towns, at least for now. Maybe eventually I’ll show the actual collapse outside of those underground settlements! Still, I doubt any of those covers would work for me anyway.

Moving on, an nice article on what the 2021 Facebook changes mean for authors. Now, my author page used to be a Fan Page, like they mention in the article, and I’m sick of having Facebook asking me if I’m hiring, if I’m giving Covid information, and if I have business hours. I’m an author, not a business yet!

The group connected to that page is now private and with no members, since I couldn’t find a way to close it. And I won’t ever use Facebook ads or even Facebook Live, but YMMV. So, thank you for following this blog (if you like my blathering) or follow the publisher’s page if you want to know only when a new book is out.

I still haven’t studied the Newsletter WordPress plugin and I’m not ready to go that way just yet, so you’ll have to bear with me on this very blog or the above page for now! πŸ˜‰

And before I forget, last week I wrote a little over 8K until Friday, then the weekend was off writing for various reasons. 1) I screwed up the latest story and will need to rewrite it, but it doesn’t have a close deadline, so I had to push it to the side because 2) I got another call with a much closer deadline so I had to concentrate on that instead.

By Monday afternoon another 2.5K were down, though, so I guess the 10K are done! Moving on to the next project (or rewriting that story, it was an experiment and it was a failure, so back to the drawing board! πŸ˜‰ )!

A year ago at this time I was in Vegas at the Anthology Workshop where I sold a story that will come out this year around Halloween… and that was my last international/intercontinental trip. We’re back to semi-lockdown and I won’t be able to travel through Italy either, so I won’t attend a good friend’s wedding in Piedmond. Sigh.

We shall travel again, though! Have a great week! πŸ™‚

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote over 12K and almost finished another story. This week I’m taking a break to edit FEC 11 and 12 for a January publication as well as editing the 2 prequels that will go to the editor in January, so I might not write much.

I also uploaded the updated PDF of the books available in print. Feel free to dowload it from the home page and peruse it. All are available on Amazon, and possibly elsewhere if the Createspace expanded distribution is still on (but it’s not on the newer titles, or is it? Sigh).

There are also the curated anthologies as well as the collaboration anthologies and other publications, if you like paper books. I got my brag shelves copies just in time after I finished my latest non-fiction book about antiquity battles (which is good for research on my vampires).

Also, the Smashwords sale is now on, check out everything 50% off or at 99c! πŸ™‚

Everybody pushes people to join FB groups, because that’s what FB said we should do, and then they killed reach. Someone foresees pay for play for groups coming soon. The new FB definitely changed how I get groups updates – and not in a good way. So I’m thinking of closing the Street Team group on Facebook and either open it on groups.io (more like a newsletter, although the members of the team can reply to my posts and everybody sees them, just like comments on a FB post) or on Slack (more like a forum, where we can have different “rooms” to discuss different things). Which would you prefer? I already posted this poll on the current FB group, but I’m going to close it by the end of the year anyway.

I’m growing quite tired of social media. Facebook went from “Are you sure you want to delete this? We can help you secure your account if you didn’t make this post” to “Are you sure you want to delete this?” to “move to trash” that works like email trash and gets emptied after 30 days. Sigh.

As for Instagram, it keeps crashing and won’t let me upload things unless I give it permission to access my phone, mic and location. So I’m going to stop publishing the strip there and put it on hold for now. I’m not particularly happy with it anyway.

And let’s close the year (more or less) with a last shoutout. Disney Must Pay! Don’t let this slip past them! Next one is technically the last post of the year, and I’ll leave my goals for 2021 for then. Hint: I don’t have many, LOL! Have a great Holiday Season!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 15K in five days, and spent the weekend setting up another bundle, uploading another title, and setting up my series pages on Amazon. So this week I can announce TWO new titles! πŸ™‚

The first is the “middle book” of the Vampires Through the Centuries meets Future Earth Chronicles “trilogy”. On the cover is Ishaq, although he’s described as looking like Oded Fehr in The Mummy, but unfortunately I couldn’t put that on the cover! πŸ˜€ But the guy has a beard and is not too bloody. Ishaq is a fledgling of Arianrhod, Bran’s sister-in-darkness.

Ishaq ibn Tariq is an 8th-century Berber warrior under the Umayyad Caliphate. After his latest pilgrimage around the Mediterranean, he meets an old mortal acquaintance who introduces him to Rainbow Towns, the perfect places for a vampire to spend the years of the mortals apocalypse. Hidden underground settlements with 21st century smart-homes can allow vampires to spend a decade or three in comfort. Until they become prisons.
Alain is a 20th-century hacker with Asperger syndrome. With his girlfriend, he goes through the end of the Technological Revolution of the 21st century by finding refuge in Rainbow Town, where time seems to stop. They can’t go out, unless Alain remembers his way to the Darknet.
Bonus story: One Who Cannot Be Destroyed. Achyutam tries to get his wife back through the centuries, if only the damn western bloodsuckers didn’t always ruin his plans.

Now, that bonus story is also included in Nightly Bites Volume 3, that you should definitely check out, because 1) it’s longer than the previous two and 2) it has flash fiction and novellas and short stories, so a much wider variety compared to the first two! πŸ™‚ So check it out and give some love to my fellow authors who wrote great stories!

I am also setting up a limited time bundle on BundleRabbit after a long time. I was spurred by another curator who took out my book from his bundle because “could not find an email on your website to communicate with you” (which prompted me to modify the Contact Me page) when he had already received my acceptance.

You see, there’s a forum on BundleRabbit, where curators can communicate with whoever is in their bundle or collaboration. I had to withdraw a request for my latest bundle (it’s the 4th, in case your wondering) because that author indeed had no way to contact him by email to prod him into accepting the request.

His contact page said to leave a public comment and had no link to send him a private email – which is what I did with another author who promptly wrote back with questions. That other curator? He could have made a post in his bundle’s section and asked we sent him an email for private communications off site. Sigh.

Anyhow, still working out a couple of things for that bundle, so I’m not announcing it yet. Do check the above books, though. November is definitely the vampires month! πŸ™‚ As for December, I’ll publish the Star Minds Universe box sets and that’s it for this year.

The new titles in the Future Earth Chronicles (or Before) will come out next year. Writing the last sequel right now, I should be done by the end of the month, so I can send it over to the editor in December.

Sunday was mostly housekeeping, setting up those series on Amazon and working on Da Strip with the umpteenth change that might push us older users out of social media for good, LOL!

The only good thing about the new Author Central is that they took off the unpublished books, so those ugly old covers finally vanished. I did compire the survey, though, since when you add another book, it shows up ten times, and not just when it’s a multi-authors title. Even Through the Centuries showed up 10 times. If enough people tell them how dumb it has become, maybe they’ll revert, won’t they?

Wishful thinking, I know. On Sunday I went to upload the strip and SURPRISE! Instagram changed stuff around too! To add a MARKETPLACE! Gee, I know everybody buys online with lockdown and coronavirus and everything, but damn it, if all social media become virtual stores, I’m out of here!

Also the fonts are so tiny to be unreadable (for my ageing eyes) on the phone, and you can’t post stuff from laptop. End rant of a Gen-Xers who is sick of those subtle changes for you youngsters who still have good eyes (but you’ll ruind them faster than I ever did if this trend continues)!

Sunday night I rewatched Kites because it was “movies where the protag dies at the end” weekend. I hadn’t watched for more than 2 years, since before the WMG workshops moved from Lincoln City to Vegas.

I have seen Las Vegas in 1994 (the Strip only) and 2009 (our guide took us to the Freemont Experience), but it was touristic one-night stays during group tours. So it was fun rewatching the movie while being familiar with Freemont Street – and I even spent one night at the Plaza last February! πŸ™‚

So it was lika a dΓ©jΓ  vu, like when I watch Ocean’s 11 (even though I never slept at the Bellagio), and so NOT like 1994! πŸ™‚ Speaking of which, a lovely penfriend (remember those?) whom I met quite often through the years, just sent me old pictures of Mark Slaughter (the reason for my expedition in Vegas back in 1994), which, along with rewatching their first home video from 1990 or 1991 makes for another wonderful throwback! πŸ™‚

Ending with this throwback picture of a former Muse and hoping we all get to travel again in the near future, I wish you a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

 

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 14K and by Saturday I reached my goal of 500K/year with 8 weeks to spare, which was good, since Sunday I was busy and could not write! πŸ™‚ So now you know why I don’t need NaNoWriMo and never did it, LOL! But if you need motivation, please go for it! πŸ˜‰

This week I’m still writing random shorts. Next week I’ll be back at the office and print out Vampires War and go through it, then I can start writing FEC11 (same story from the humans point of view). I keep coming up with tidbits that go with the FEC prequels (now officially Before Future Earth Chronicles, they should come out in February to give me time to send out at least one of the shorter stories), but also with funny ideas that I want to explore.

Those might be the ones that generate the next Big Project, LOL! Haven’t thought much about it yet because I’m still tangled with vampires and future Earth, but well… 2021 is still quite foggy in my current vision. I’m sure I’ll come up with something, though!

This is the last full week at home this year… I feel lucky I managed to attend the Anthology Workshop before everything shut down. A couple of friends had to postpone their weddings – one made it at the end of August, the other, scheduled for November, will have to wait until March 2021.

My travel plans of exploring more of Europe, looking for a place to move to, have also been postponed. Oh, well, hopefully next year I’ll manage to visit at least my British and French friends! πŸ™‚ Might be good to practise my foreign languages! πŸ˜‰

Speaking of foreign languages, I found this on Facebook (although it probably comes from Twitter, where I’m not):

A whatchamacallit in different languages: 7. Thingamajig (English) 6. Chingadera (Spanish) 5. Himstergims (Danish) 4. Naninani (Japanese) 3. Zamazingo (Turkish) 2. Dignsbums (German) 1. Huppeldepup (Dutch)

The Italian is probably much simpler unless the character is really unsure and might go “Il coso, lΓ , quell’affare, lΓ¬, insomma, quello!” – otherwise it’s just “Coso” (thing, masculine form, the feminine being “Cosa”). There can be dialect variations of course, but I won’t dwell on that!

I got the New Facebook look all over (although they kindly tell me that I can shift back to the Old look if I want to manage my page or my page’s group, pity that Old Facebook doesn’t allow edits), and I don’t hate it yet. It will need some adjustments, as usual… and I’m probably going to use it less and less!

I saw there’s a new “series” button in the KDP dashboard that I didn’t have time to set up yet, and when I went to Author Central to add the latest title, I discovered that layout changed too – it looks just like Facebook, sigh! But I was able to add my bio in Italian, and I guess I can do all languages through one single dashboard, which is much better.

I only wish they stopped changing stuff around, sigh! I guess that’s all for this week… Stay safe, and if you’re a writer, keep writing. See you next week with a new title… or possibly two! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


I wanted to rant about Facebook’s lock down last week, that happened when I was trying to upload the new title’s cover and not even WordPress could sent stuff to my Facebook page (I had to share manually when it resumed), but I guess you all saw it. I’ve been told of eccessive reactions all over the world, I simply thought about a denial-of-service attack of some kind. But maybe it’s just that we billions took down Facebook servers.

I was ready to move to Pinterest, then got distracted (attention span of a chihuahua) and left it as is… still haven’t opened that account, but still haven’t decided if it’s worth it or not. I haven’t opened accounts with the webcomic places either, and not only because I didn’t have time to work on the strip.

Going on DeviantART to upload the latest portrait of Da Muse, I found a notice and even considered submitting a project, but at thisΒ  time I really can’t take more days off DayJob to do something. But if you’re a young artist, you can enter Devious Dreams and see if you can get some money to achieve your dreams! πŸ™‚

This weekend I’m definitely putting together the next anthology. I have chosen the cover art and need to decide the order of the stories. It will probably come out in April, along with the last (for now) book of the Future Earth Chronicles, so stay tuned! πŸ˜‰

Also, I think a few new bundles are coming out this year, since someone (not me) has been very busy… this reminded me to upload the latest titles to BundleRabbit where I discovered now projects are available also in other languages. So if you wanted, for example, do a collaboration in French or Spanish, you can do it now. The collaboration feature is very useful! πŸ™‚

That’s all for now! Have a great weekend!

 

Random Friday


Rant on both worlds, online and offline. Let’s start with offline. It’s Woman’s Day (not that I care) and public transport has decided to go on strike. Trains, planes, bus and taxi! When I’m supposed to get on a train that I booked 2 months ago with a non-refundable ticket. Stupid country! 😦

Here’s to hoping I find at least one train that takes me to Milan before evening. Gotta visit friends at Cartoomics tomorrow! Offline friends for a change! πŸ™‚ I want to talk to them about my webcomic project and hear what they’re doing and all that stuff!

Online rant, that wretched social network and its irritating notifications for pages! Why do they tell me to invite someone to like the page after he liked a post? The person wouldn’t have seen the goddamn post in the first place if they weren’t already liking or following it, thanks to their everchanging algorithms!

And then I heard about their new service (not available in my country yet, but if you’re American or British, you might be among the beta-testers): Facebook Fans. Facebook is trying to kick out Patreon. You gotta be kidding me. I mean, would you – as a fan/reader – give money to Facebook to see my posts?

I definitely wouldn’t. I’d rather stay on a dedicated platform like Patreon, both as a creator and as a patron of creators I like. greedy Facebook and its irritating little notifications won’t have my money. Not for ads, not to boost posts (useless, I’ve seen it with the co-editor of one of my other pages), not for subscriptions. It’s a social media, not an online store like Amazon. Gee.

Maybe I’ll end up doing like this author who quit Facebook and is now killing it on Pinterest. I know I had doubts about Pinterest in the past, but it’s changed, I think. And the idea of boards of images is quite interesting. Maybe that’s how I’ll spend my two weeks off, setting up a Pinterest account! πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday


Book 3 and 4 are really one split in two, so I didn’t really stop “between projects” except for the creative weekend with Cristina (so last week only 8K), that I used for my large print and illustrated paperbacks experiments. Book 3 clocked in at 47K (Book 1 is 42K, Book 2 is 44K) and I probably have as much to write in the next, then on to book 5!

Hopefully I’ll be done by the end of January when I can take a break… In the meantime have a sneak peek at the first five covers on the series page… The blurb for book 4 and 5 is very limited, I’ll make it better when I write them – it’s only a vague idea still! πŸ™‚

Bundles Galore – Remembering Warriors is on sale for the last month of its shelf life. Grab it now at 3.99$ before it’s gone! πŸ™‚ Other bundles are still available, but they’re diminishing… I will do another couple next year (along with the next iteration of Sci-fi July for the Worldcon). By the way, this is the last month of shelf life of Sci-fi July Redux too, so if you want to suport us, buy it now, if you can’t afford it, wait until it goes on sale closer to Christmas! πŸ™‚

And I have one more reason never ever to get on Twitter, where people (newby writers) even attack longtime professionals like Nora Roberts! I might have not read her books, but I do know who she is, it would never cross my mind to accuse her of stealing my title/idea – which, by the way, is not copyrighted. It’s the execution that is. I hope that woman sinks into oblivion with her second book, she doesn’t deserve a career as a writer.

And if the above isn’t enough to dissuade you, here are six miths about traditional publishing (and not from Dean Wesley Smith’s blog!). But Indie Publishing isn’t easy either, especially if you put all your egs in one basket and your basket is leaking… Maybe the future will really allow us to go direct to readers with no middleman…

First The Why, Now The How: 25 Ways To Keep Making StuffΒ Β by Chuck Wendig. AndΒ How To Make A Pretty Facebook PageΒ by David Gaughran – cause we all want a pretty Author Page, right? πŸ™‚ I still think the Publisher’s page has problems on mobile phones, but I don’t seem to be able to find a solution. Next trip to Turin I’ll consult with my webmaster…

Now, as soon as I reach my yearly wordcount, I can stop and do another curated anthology (probably starting before Christmas, but I doubt I’ll be able to publish it this year – sometimes writers are really slow! ;)). In the meantime, you have your choice between, the two Nightly Bites, the two Sci-fi Short Stories and the Rocketpack Adventures curated by Russ Crossley. The paperback make excellent Christimas gifts… just sayin’! πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

Random Friday


Even though I try to stay positive, there are days where I do feel down for various reasons. Including how the internet is changing too fast and I’m sick of trying to keep up. Maybe blogging and individual websites are going the way of the dodo, but I keep finding new followers for this blog, while my Facebook pages don’t attract anyone.

So I guess some people still look outside of Social Media for stuff – much like I do when I research something or someone. I’m also sick of fake news and trolls and all the hatred going around, but there isn’t much I can do about it, so I keep going… except it sort of reflect itself in my writing.

I mean, the reality is so sickly that when I write, I want to go somewhere else – not a perfect world, mind you – and tell stories that help me feel better. It’s not easy to write comedy, but I’m not into drama either at this time in my life. And definitely not into horror, so I’m afraid my last vampire novel won’t have much gore in it. But then, none of my vampires through the centuries are very bloody.

I also can’t write romance while watching many relationships end up in shit and #metoo and all that stuff. Can we please get along? Maybe the apocalypse is already happening, we’re just not aware of it. If we make it through the darkness, we’re headed for the age of abundance.

Anyhow, if you feel you need some input on how to be a writer in this fucked-ass age of rot and resistance there’s some good advice there. I’m feeling I’m starting again a second career, still indie, still writing what I want to read, and even if I haven’t found my 1000 True Fans yet, I’m grateful for the handful I have.

I’ve got word from Writers of the Future. Of course I still qualify for their contest, but I don’t know what to send them at this time. Maybe a novella that was rejected elsewhere. Maybe nothing. They’re offering a book of writing advice for free… with their Volume 34.

I still have too many books to read, both fiction and non-fiction. I shall pass. Wrapping up the vampires this weekend so I can check the novella I want to send Tor when they re-open in July. And write another short story before diving in the next story that already has a cover.

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

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