Random Friday


AUTHOR Barbara G.Tarn (self-interview for Curated Anthologies)

1. What is it about starships that draws you to it?

Stars! I mean, Star Wars, Star Trek, Star Minds… er… that was a self-citation, sorry.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

A starship pilot and owner who takes people around the Milky Way. Shanell’s story continues in Pilot (Star Minds Lone Wolves).

3. What inspired your story?

Originally it was an exercise for an online workshop about someone stuck in traffic. I had a female taxi driver and turned it into a female starship pilot trying to get on a planet with her customer – and that’s the opening.

4. Do you always write about starships? If not, what do you write about?

The Star Minds series is science fantasy all over, so it has starships, space opera, everything the other Star Thingies have. Then there’s Silvery Earth, secondary world fantasy. Then there’s Future Earth, a more scientific SF (hopefully) on the future of our planet. Then there’s Vampires through the Centuries. Then… just go to www.unicornproductionsbooks.com and check it out!

5. What should readers know about you?

I’m a prolific writer who prefers dabbling in sci-fi and fantasy because she doesn’t like the current situation on this planet much.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

After four anthologies, I think I’m going to do a fifth because it’s my favorite number, then I’ll just lay low and wait for invitations into other people’s anthologies. It was wonderful working with all the authors of all the anthologies and I will probably miss it and get back to it in a year or three!

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Writer Wednesday


And I’m back to my 10K a week, so hopefully the month will finish on track with my goal of writing 500K. Wrapped another Star Minds Lone Wolves short novel and working on the last (for now). I will keep my editor busy in September, LOL!

And since Tor rejected my novella and I already had made a cover for it, I will publish it soon. Stay tuned for a different kind of fantasy from my normal Silvery Earth stories…

Many thanks to the 25 people who downloaded my only Amazon freebie… although it you wanted a freebie, you could have gone to Instafreebie – much better stories there! πŸ˜‰ Especially The Painter, I’m quite proud of that one. Or you can subscribe to my newsletter, where I give away a free short story every two months.

Now this seems to have given that particular title new visibility on Amazon. If it has a halo effect, I’ll leave it out there, if not, in September I’ll remove it from all retailers. So I won’t have any free titles out anywhere except on Instafreebie, my newsletter and possibly Patreon.

I’m still trying to come up for a way to reward readers through Patreon, so if you’re a writer you can keep coming to this blog, if you’re a reader, I hope to move everything to Patreon sometime in the next six months. I’m probably doing something like Joleene Naylor, but I’ll have to come up with rewards that cover most of my series or something like that.

Now I’ll be busy with those darn dead-tree books. Because yeah, it’s official, CreateSpace and KDP to become one service. Sigh. There’s no set date, but at this point it’s probably really soon. So the next paperbacks will have to be done with KDPprint and I’ll need to learn the new dashboard. Sigh again.

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

Writer Wednesday


And since I was reading so much sci-fi, I decided to keep writing sci-fi – well, science fantasy, since that’s what Star Minds is. So I will write more stories of Star Minds Lone Wolves in July then we’ll see. Because I don’t have to do research for those and I even re-read some of the older books (which meant I had to make a last minute change to the latest title) while looking for a story.

And after Icy Aya, please welcome Shanell! πŸ™‚ Our starship pilot, that you first met in Star Minds Third Generation Snippets or you can find in the upcoming anthology Sci-fi Stories – Starships, finally has her short novel! Here’s the birth of the cover with the evolution from Techie Bro’s version to the current one – a change of look and starship that was already hinted at in Adventurer.

David Farland answers the question Does Social Media Work? You know the answer, don’t you? Nope, nope and nope! Not anymore! Especially not Facebook! πŸ˜‰ So let’s start thinking outside the box (and ignoring those Facebook “suggestions” that only want you to spend some money on Facebook ads). How? Dunno. Experiment.

I’m keeping this blog active and the publisher’s page updated. Does that help? Dunno. Too early to say. But if you want some predictions on where social media are going, check out this forecast. I look forward to less self-promotion and more effortless self-expression! πŸ™‚

I will mention today is the day Sci-fi July Redux aaaand Sci-fi Stories – Starships go live! Go grab them! Fill your e-readers with some sci-fi for a thrilling summer! πŸ™‚ Yes, even bundles don’t sell that much anymore. I guess we saturated the market… Not sure about the anthologies, since mine never sold much… but after spending a long weekend curating the next, I sure hope you’ll at least check them out! πŸ™‚

Also, I enrolled some books in the Summer/Winter Sale at Smashwords… go check all the authors participating! πŸ™‚ Useless to put my own profile, since it doesn’t show in the list which are discounted and which aren’t… I made a list on the publisher’s site! πŸ™‚

Last but not least, What I Learned by Dean Wesley Smith… from him and Kris Rusch I learned what Harlan says: Money flows TO the writer! Not that I’m getting much yet… sigh! But it’s the year of writing and being halfway, I’m at 270K, so… I’ll just keep writing. And maybe publishing, LOL!

Have a great week! πŸ™‚

 

Writer Wednesday


Productive weekend meaning I finished a first rough draft of the vampire novel, I uploaded the first Star Minds Lone Wolves book and put together the first sci-fi anthology. 13K written, 3 covers (including the one for the bundle Sci-fi July Redux) and formatting that had to be redone Monday morning because 1) I found typos and 2) I hadn’t set up the title right, so it had been rejected at Draft2Digital.

So, here’s the universal link for Adventurer (Star Minds Lone Wolves) and the pre-order universal link for Sci-fi Stories – Starships! πŸ™‚ The latter still has no cover on Amazon (sigh) but hopefully our man at BundleRabbit will solve the issue by the time this goes live.

The first cover – you heard about it on Sunday. The second cover is again by Techie Bro, one of his first, and newsletter subscribers already saw it on Starship Pilot which is also the story included in the anthology.

Now stay tuned, because you’ll soon hear more about Shanell. Her novel (and new look) will be revealed in July with the second sci-fi anthology.

The first three Star Minds Lone Wolves books will come out during the summer, but the next three probably next year. And I’ll have to do a few more composite covers of stock photos for my team in this sub-series of my science fantasy saga.

For the paperbacks be patient, you know I don’t like ordering them during the summer… πŸ˜‰

Now, some writerly links! 5 ways to spice up your Amazon book pages – if you have time. I might do it for the newest titles, but not right now, LOL!

And setting free the Sacred Cows of Writing Advice which can then take you (if you haven’t seen them already) to Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing and Indie Publishing. Chuck Wendig might have lacked the courage to slaughter the Sacred Cows of Writing Advice, but Dean Wesley Smith has no qualms whatsoever! πŸ™‚

My apologies to my Hindu friends. Know that in the latest vampire book, Kris and Kiran finish a poor sacred animal who has been hit by a car (black cow in a black night) and has been left to die on the side of the road. And I saw at least two of those when I did my tour of Rajasthan, so don’t say it doesn’t happen, okay? πŸ˜‰

And yes, it was also in my fan-fiction crossover Indian Moon – which, by the way, is now slightly outdated, but I might add it at the end of the book anyway as a curiosity… Along with The Raven, published in Nightly Bites Volume 2! πŸ™‚

That’s all for today… have a great week! πŸ™‚

Sunday Surprise


EBOOK COVER REVEAL! πŸ™‚

It’s coming! πŸ™‚ Working on formatting and uploading, but I thought I’d give a sneak preview. It’s my first cover with a NeoStock model, a composite with DepositPhoto elements and some touch-up to make Liepa really look like Iso-bel Aya Shermac.

After a quick survey with my Facebook friends, I bought the initial choice of a pose – theoretically a UF pose – and changed the gun, since this is not UF but SF. I also turned the model’s eyes blue and added the background that could be Friport, the starship as big as a planet of adventurers and rogues.

(Here’s the WiP, although the final is not really final, since I “cleaned” the white space in her hair afterward and added the shadows)

I hope it doesn’t clash with the other Star Minds covers too much. I’m very excited with this sub-series with the third generation and you can expect the first three books to come out this year. Next year I might write another three.

The Lone Wolves Team is coming… stay tuned! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


And 17K last week! πŸ™‚ Told ya. When I’m in the middle of a project, I go fast. I even had a non-writing day because, you know, life and stuff. And at some point I was procrastinating because I felt it was a boring chapter. Then it went smoothly, but boy was I making excuses! πŸ˜€

I probably need to write a side story to this one, because two of the protagonists of the previous novels have very little spotlight in this one, and since are one-POV novels, I can’t squeeze in their scenes or have them TELL the whole thing. So I just hinted at it, and then I will write something that goes with it, from their points of view – yes, two, since it’s a romance, LOL!

I’m also working on more anthologies and bundles, so stay tuned for a very busy publishing July! πŸ˜‰ I’ll also start formatting and preparing the next title next weekend. Stay tuned for the return of Iso-bel Aya Shermac!

Now some funny advice on the (in)famous Kill Your Darlings by Chuck Wendig! Do, but don’t. As usual, take any advice with a grain of salt… And then I found this CreateSpace vs. KDP Print. I’m sticking with CS for now and until they dismiss it completely. Then we’ll see.

Now back to writing. And checking the editor’s files. And formatting. And making covers. What a busy week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


And I wrote even less this week because I didn’t write at all during the weekend. I had programmed to go through a manuscript for a final pass and ended up with two because I finished the translation of Star Minds Next Generation, so I didn’t have any time left for new words.

Aaand I found minor mistakes again, sigh. So I even had to correct the original and upload the new version to all retailers. I’m back to the WiP now and hope to wrap it before the weekend, since next weekend I’ll have to check another couple of manuscripts before sending everything off to the editor.

I also did a couple of illustrations for Beautiful. After various attempts, I decided I’m going to illustrate Beautiful instead of the other shorter works I had in mind. Because I love Rithvik and Kerrien and I look forward to drawing them chibi stile. I have considered even a comic book version or a graphic novel, but that would take even longer.

So here’s a preview of what the illustrated version will be like – the original cover vs. the new cover (done quite quickly, so I may rework it before I put up the illustrated version).

And don’t ask me when it will be available, since I draw in my spare time and it’s not much at the moment, LOL! But it will be paperback only, since I’m not very good at adding images to e-books. So a special illustrated edition available only in paperback sometimes before the end of the year – I hope.

If you haven’t read Beautiful yet and would like to try it, it’s available also in the bundle Cats Cats Cats… just sayin’! πŸ˜‰ There will be more cats in the current WiP, but I don’t know when it will be published, so in the meantime, you can get that bundle instead! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


I must say that writing 3 entwined books at the same time is a new and fun process for me. I should have done the same with the vampires novels, but well… too late for that! πŸ˜‰

The workshop on Writing Series was really helpful for this, so a big THANK YOU goes to Dean Wesley Smith! I used also the Teams (no longer available) and Writing Science Fiction workshops for this one.

I’m wrapping up these 3 books this week and then I’ll go back to shorter works for the rest of the month – I have promised one story to a charity anthology and I want to submit to Tor novella again (albeit in the July window).

Kindle Scout results! As expected, I wasn’t chosen, hence in June you will have the first new title of the year, my historical novel The Fern and The Cross. I shall set up the pre-order next weekend, since I’m afraid at the end of the month Kindle Scout might vanish completely.

Thank you to anyone who nominated me, you will be notified through KindleScout when the (e-book first) comes out. I’ll do the paperback after the summer. Or you can keep following this very blog, haha! πŸ˜€

Writerly links! David Gaughran is still everywhere, I wonder if he’ll show up at Dublin 2019 worldcon next year! πŸ˜‰ Guest on D2D blog, platform building and related terrors. And on Joanna Penn’s blog, someone talks about his book Strangers to Superfans.

Speaking of Dublin and Worldcon, I filled the form to be on the programme. Soon I’ll fill also the programme suggestions form… we’ll see where that takes us! πŸ™‚

Oh, and… Happy Birthday, Smashwords! πŸ˜€ Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Might be because I’m off DayJob, but last week was quite productive. Over 15K written and another project wrapped. I started on the third in the series and because I didn’t remember something about a secondary character, I went to check Star Minds Third Generation Snippets… and had two rewrite the ending of #1 (minor changes on #2). Glad I haven’t published any yet, LOL! πŸ™‚

Still off DayJob this week, so I hope to have a good headstart with #3, maybe even get close to the end, so I that I have time to squeeze #4 into May as well. It’s another generation, but he does meet all three protagonists of the other books, so I might end up with a 4-books box set at the end of the year.

It’s short novels, mind you. The first is 55K, the second 32K. The third will probably be around that lenght (30K). All together they’ll be like Star Minds the Trilogy in length – which works well for paperbacks (not-quite-a-doorstopper but still almost 500pages long).

Anyhow, we’ll see. I have ordered a few books I need to read for Post-Apocalypse Chronicles Book 2, and I’ll post an image as soon as the last one gets to me. But I also need to reed 3 paper books for the next vampire novel, so in June that’s what I’ll be doing. And then July POC2 and then I’ll get back to the Heroines, unless some shorter work decides to become a real short novel in the meantime…

And by the end of the year I’ll have reached my goal of writing 500k! πŸ˜€

Oh, by the way, I curated another bundle! With all that extra time off DayJob I put together the Thieves bundle with eleven novels (a couple short ones) at 8$! So the vampires are gone, you can now enjoy some thieves – all night creatures, ain’t they? Sometimes, LOL!

Writerly links! Joanna Penn reports from the London Book Fair. I went there once in 2007. Things have changed so much in publishing since, that I kinda look forward to going again. Here’s to hoping I can make it next year. Oh, and “comparisonitis“… ever heard of it? Lots of words of wisdom here too! πŸ˜‰

Then we have David Gaughran’s presentation of his book Strangers to Superfans. If you want to hear a less biased view, my guest Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli did a long review of From Strangers to Superfans. Very well worth a reading (the review, I mean).

Considering that I still need to read both Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible (I have older versions and won’t get the new ones – don’t ask) aaand Mastering Amazon Ads… but at least I’ll know what to expect next year when I get back on the publishing wagon (although… guess what? Things may change in the next months, LOL! But I’ll get the revised version when I’m ready!).

And that’s all for today! Have a great week! πŸ˜€

Writer Wednesday


I must say I’ve had a productive writing week, with 19K words written. I also wrapped draft zero of one novel (a little over 50K), now I’m working on its “companion” – it’s, like, three novels intertwined but that can be read as standalone, like the vampires novels, but I’ll be publishing them more or less together, or at least closer to each other than the vampires novels (one a year).

It’s another sub-series of Star Minds, in case you’re wondering, and I hope to have the first out in July to add it to the Sci-fi July Redux bundle, and then we’ll see for the other two. They might come out shorter, so I may combine them. I’ll definitely do a box set when the miniseries is complete! πŸ˜‰

Speaking of bundles, Spring Surprise is on sale until the 28th! And more to come, so stay tuned! πŸ™‚ It’s a seasonal bundle, so May is the last month to get it. Also, Vampires of the World will vanish in May and there will be a last week sale. More on that next week.

Mighty Zon strikes back! An author’s nightmare with Amazon… and if you like sci-fi, grab this World Sci-fi bundle before it’s gone. I’m still trudging through the bundles I’ve been part of at Bundle Rabbit last year… my TBR pile will never go down, sigh! 😦

In case you’re just starting and are wondering what’s best for you, here’s a very good article on publishing in 2018 – the pros and cons of trad pub vs self pub. I am mostly indie, but I am trying to sell short stories to traditional markets (one sold last year, still not out – being patient…).

And my Kindle Scout novel (15 days left to nominate it) is my attempt at being hybrid on a single project that is an outlier of my usual production. I may also send a rejected novella to another publisher, and in case he likes it, I’ll let him publish it, since it’s not related to any of the current series (except for being loosely part of Future Earth).

So, yeah, we’ll see. Now I shall go back to my writing cave… have a great week! πŸ™‚

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