Wednesday Weekly Roundup

Because the Italian version of Edwyn Blackmore had more success than the English one, I’m going to take a break from publishing in English until June (after the next title, that is – you’ll get A Taste of Silvery Earth next week, then the Portals Collection and the end of June).

I have plenty of stories that I will never translate because I don’t want to rewrite them – I have many more new ones to write without wasting time on old ones. But since my friends liked them when I wrote them in the 1990s, I thought why not publish them in ebook format with my other Italian pen name (the one I use for the stories I wrote at the end of the 20th century)?

So I spent the weekend making covers – 5 of them – with some kind of branding for this short new “series” that will be added to two more similar titles under that pen name. I’ll revamp the Italian blog with one page for those stories under both pseudonyms, so readers can find them easily. We’ll see how it goes.

Last week I wrote over 10K, so rest assured that the Portals Collection and the other books coming out in English after that will be worth the wait! πŸ™‚ I plan also on doing a couple of collaboration anthologies, so you can read and discover other authors under the same theme.

Also, June 1st I’ll send out the bi-monthly newsletter, with a free download of Books of the Immortals – Fire. You can still subscribe on the publisher’s page and get The Two Toriks when you sign up and then the free book every two months. I’m still pondering if I should write more often, so maybe I’ll do a poll in the next newsletter! πŸ™‚

This week I’m editing and formatting and writing another story for the Portals Collection workshop. There’s a Kobo promo (Canada only) coming up, but it will be announced on the publisher’s page or on my Facebook page.

I’m approaching my 2500th blog post… what should I do to celebrate? After searching the WordPress help for where the hell they put the poll block, I finally found it, so please vote in the poll below, it’s completely anonymous! πŸ™‚

I think the previous versions of polls looked cuter, but whatever… I guess I’ll have to live with the updates. Sigh. Have a great 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

Mighty Editor sent back the latest story proofread, so stay tuned for the next title – a retelling of Sleeping Beauty on Silvery Earth as m/m romance. Not much sex, but lots of cats for a very sweet love story! πŸ˜‰ It’s a fairy tale, so no hard stuff, LOL! Here’s a preview of the cover art (without frame and without lettering)…

I’m writing the short contemporary stories based on the openings I wrote for my online workshop. Two I just keep writing from the assignment, since it was nailed. One I had to rewrite it completely (I wasn’t quite there, so I used a restaurant in Kyoto and rewrote the scene). And the fourth… I’m skipping it for now, since I really don’t know what story could spring from that sentence, LOL!

Anyhow, those are contemporary short stories and they will be published sometimes before Christmas, hopefully. Either with the reprint of other ex-B.G. Hope titles or alone and then in the collection that follows Six Months and Other Love Stories.

I will do a POD version of the contemporary titles when they’re all written. I don’t like thin books, so I’ll probably put them all together. Or maybe not, I don’t know. Today I should receive the proofs for Rajveer and Star Minds Interregnum, so stay tuned for those.

By the way, Createspace now allows direct bank transfer also to Italy, so I’ll finally see those few dollars of the 5 books I’ve sold either on CS itself or its expanded distribution. Very happy I don’t have to wait to reach the 100$ treshold! πŸ™‚

Writerly links! Can you make a living in comics? – applies to writing too, IMHO. Or any other art form, as Colleen herself points out. I don’t make a living yet, but one day… persistance is the only way, I guess! πŸ˜‰

Kris Rusch on translations… excellent points. I try to avoid translations when I can, but I liked Gaby Hauptmann novels, and since I don’t speak German, I had to read the Italian version. I have no idea if I missed something or not! πŸ˜‰ And I remember reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide in the late 1990s and wondering how on Earth one could translate Douglas Adams’ crazy prose into Italian… yes, I was reading the original, and I’ve never tried the actual translations!

When I started writing in English, I tried to preserve my “Italian voice”… but then I evolved, as a writer and as a person, so now I think I have a new voice both in English and in Italian! πŸ˜‰ Except I write in English first now and then, when I can, translate it back into Italian… I wish I could quit DayJob so I could split the days into translation-time and writing-time… πŸ™‚

Have a great week!


Sunday Surprise

So, today I’m not going to the book fair (it’s Sunday, Dear Nephew is at Mom’s and we’re celebrating that it was St Barbara on Dec.4 and blah blah blah) and I thought I’d do a summary. I might go again either this afternoon or tomorrow to meet with a gal who has posted great “reportage” on Facebook – she’s an artist, and I’d love to hire her, I have some rebranding to do next year, LOL!

But in the meantime! Five minutes of teasing my friends who kept talking about PayPaul – I left, sick of listening to them butchering English, but today I asked “Who is Paul? The alien from the movie?” I always wonder where they find their pronunciation of English words – how “pal” became “Paul”.

Luckily there was also an important guy from the Ministery of Foreign Trade who translated everything into Italian (and I was about to say “Yes, you don’t say ‘selfie’ you say ‘autoscatto’!”, since so many people, especially those who call themselves great managers, throw in a lot of English when it’s not needed – and I won’t tell you how they pronounce it).

Anyhow, this guy told us that Italy is actually very sought after abroad – and not just for Food, Fashion&Furniture. But we’re locked in and are afraid of sending our stuff abroad. Apparently Italian is the fourth language taught in the world (not spoken as first language, but that means there are a lot of people who want to learn). So… doh. Opened my eyes and reminded me of a talk with my Canadian workshop buddies last October who said “But look how successful is every author who writes about Italy!”…

I always thought everything would just get lost in translation – many things did when I turned Technological Angel from an Italian novel to an English novel (and then back into Italian, the original beta-reader was very happy with the rewrites and continuation), and I had to leave some Italian in, since it was dialect and untranslatable – but maybe all those people are actually right.

So, for 2015, I’ve put on the list to publish something set in Italy, but written in English. If it’s a short story, I might do a bilingual edition – as an experiment. Or maybe I’ll translate one of the novels I already published in Italian. I don’t know, but stay tuned for a Barbara Sangiorgio title in English sometime next year! πŸ™‚

See why I need Writing World 2015 planner? Gotta schedule time for writing, time for editing, time for translating, time for formatting, time for uploading, and time to figure out how to do business in Italy! Gee, I’m tired already…

Just kidding. Being a Virgo, I only have to figure out times (like 1 hour of translation a day) and I’ll be just fine! πŸ˜‰ Have a great Sunday! πŸ˜€

Random Friday

I stumbled on this post because someone posted the wrong link, but never mind! πŸ˜‰ It’s about dubbed movies. I have already mentioned that I hate dubbed movies and think that’s the Italian plague – because 90% of Italians don’t speak any other language and 95% of Italians don’t read or whatever, they think we have the best dubbers in the world.

They’re so good that in the 1950s and 1960s, they dubbed even Italian actors (I don’t think Sophia Loren has her real voice in the movies, not even the ones shot in Italy. Giuliano Gemma was dubbed in movies until he did a TV series in the 1980s and I was very disappointed with his real voice, LOL). It’s really a profession here, but as there aren’t enough dubbers for each actor alive, we tend to see movies with always the same voices! Like the late Ferruccio Amendola used to dub Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman, so when Sleepers came out he had to give up one of the two who went to Giancarlo Giannini.

I don’t know if Mr Giannini (who is a real actor, not a dubber, in case you didn’t know) has inherited all of Ferruccio’s voice jobs because I haven’t watched dubbed movies in 10 years – my brother took me to watch Matrix Reloaded in Italian because his then girlfriend was sick and he had already bought the ticket, luckily I had already seen it in English so it wasn’t too bad, LOL!

I could rant about dubbing for a very long post (for my first movie love, Matt Dillon, I always wondered “which voice will he have this time?” as only major actors have a “steady” voice – and he wasn’t major yet in the 1980s…), so I’ll end it right now. Like I said, I don’t mind reading subtitles in a language that I understand, even if the spoken language is Korean or Japanese or – well, Hindi, of course.

Now, in case you’re wondering how the Hindi lessons are going… I’m going to disappoint you! πŸ˜‰ (well, mostly I’ll disappoint Vijay – I’m a bad student) No, I haven’t learned much, and I’m not really doing my homework, but then, who knows… maybe eventually I’ll learn to write and read and speak Hindi – in my next life! πŸ˜€ Just kidding. It’s a very slow process between all the writing and drawing – check the DeviantART page… – and translating.

This is really the language week with me lost in translation between Italian and English and having to fit Hindi into it! πŸ˜‰ But then, I’ve done only 3 lessons, so I’m not despairing. This weekend I’ll try to do the homework instead of drawing, but I won’t guarantee it! πŸ˜€ Got movies to watch as well, LOL!

Anyhow, I don’t think I’ll do more translations… to many things get lost and all your precious words so carefully crafted will have to be completely rewritten to fit another language and another culture. And I stopped writing screenplays because I didn’t want to be hired to rewrite other people stories – which is what I’d be doing if I kept the translation “job” (it’s a barter, I wanted to test my skills… and I’m afraid I failed! ;)).

So I’ll complete this because I want to do it, but won’t accept any more. I’m beginning to appreciate the work of people who translate or adapt stuff (books or moving images) – quite often underpaid as well…

Speaking of translations and adaptations – I’ve been checking facts for the body switch and I believe the translation of Hijra as Eunuch is a little outdated. Eunuchs were in the Middle Ages, and I’ve been told to my great chagrin we’re not in the Middle Ages anymore! πŸ˜‰ I think a modern translation could be “drag queen” – although I’m aware they’re not really the same thing.

Anyway, I’ll have a “kothi”Β  who is actually a drag queen as he lives in America and is married to an American (I guess he lives in a state that allows gay marriage, LOL). And I’ll keep bothering my Hindustani friends with my silly questions for a little longer! πŸ˜€

Signing off now… Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday

I’m working on a translation at this time, the first I’m doing on somebody else’s work. At the same time I’m typing some old stories in Italian that are still written on an electric typewriter (remember those?) – which is good, because after writing in English for the past 4 years, I’ve forgotten how to format dialogs in Italian, LOL! So, no new words this week, but still writing.

If, by the end of the week, I can’t think of a beginning for the body switch, I’ll postpone it to later in the year – I obviously need more time to muse about the characters and how things are going to happen and possibly switch back. So I’ll write the Passion Stories mentioned in Six Months instead. One is already out, Obsession, but I’ll have more short stories ready by the end of the month – which is just perfect for my offline writers group, they can comment on a complete short story instead of the beginning of a longer work! πŸ˜‰

So it’s the other two pseudonyms that will issue something this month – although I’ll be doing a final pass on The Death of Queen AmazoniaΒ  as soon as I hear from new beta and editor, so I can publish it at the beginning of March. By the way, reading the post, I already saw two typos, I better go and correct the manuscript before I forget – just in case they escape the eagle eye of the two aforementioned people! πŸ˜‰

I’ve also sent Star Minds 3 to betas, so that’s all set too – the main pseudonym is not sleeping, don’t worry! πŸ˜‰ She has 200Facebook likes, so she’s got to feed them – although I doubt any of those 200 people ever bought one of my books except a couple (and I know who you are, so no need to comment, LOL!)… I’d like to hear from other authors if they ever sold anything through Facebook likes! πŸ˜‰

A few links again – Kris Rusch on editors for self-published authors. Which includes me. Mine are mostly copy editors, as the line edits are more the beta-readers’ domain. I mean, from a beta-reader I want to know if the story flows, if there are plot holes, if I was too fast or too slow, that kind of stuff, while the editor takes care of the grammar and typos and all that nitty-gritty. Although Mighty Katy is also very good at pointing plot holes or other inconsistencies, so I really recommend her! πŸ™‚

But then, I’m hardly a beginner. Even if it’s unpublished, I still have a huge backlist. Even if half of it is unpublishable, it did teach me how to write a story. And as I can’t help you with motivation, because I’m way too deep into habit already, I’ll point you to David Farland’s post on motivation vs habit. Hope my friend who asked me to do a post on it catches up with his e-mail and reads it, LOL! He’s just back from AngoulΓ¨me – the French BD major comicon – so I’m guessing it will take him a few days to go through his backlog.

Colleen Doran for aspiring artists, but it works for aspiring writers as well, so go check her post. If you want to be a professional, learn to act as a professional. Work is good, Spam is not – and I think indie writers who keep giving away their work for free should read this as well.Β  And check the financial reality of a genre novelist while they’re at it – including the comments.

Kobo022013As for my own sales numbers, I got one sale on Kobo (the second since I went direct) and one on Smashwords in February, while Amazon (who won hands on in January) is still at 0. It’s a slow slow rise… but I’m not giving up! πŸ™‚ As for Kobo, it seems to be strong in Switzerland, as both sales were there – the first an Italian title, the second English, so I’m guessing it’s not the same person (unless he/she is trilingual like me)! πŸ˜‰

Yeah, I know, I won’t get rich with Kobo yet, and they won’t pay me until I get that 100$ minimum, but I might have reached that with Amazon in 1 year and a half… so maybe in 3 months I’ll have that Amazon check (2 months to get paid and 1 to get the actual check, in case you’re wondering – third world country for snail mail, sigh)…

Now back to translating and typing… have a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

Writer Wednesday

Okay, writer’s news first. End of Draft 0 of Star Minds 3 – 10 days. Now to the keyboard, and already I’m making changes, LOL. Happens when you have those a-ha moments mid-draft but you don’t stop to rewrite what you’ve already written. Quite happy with the result, but I’m always happy with the new baby – until a beta-reader says something or a few days pass and I go “Yikes, how could I write that?!”. Anyway, “The End” is written on this series. Now I need to write the prequels, as at least one will be added to the Omnibus/printed edition this summer.

Now, because I sold another copy of SKYBAND 12 (Killius’s nakedness sells, can you believe it?), I guess I should go back to drawing chapter 13. As I need to alternate sitting at the laptop, typing, and some other position, it’s just perfect! πŸ˜‰ I’ll prepare the sheets and start the pencils ASAP. Having less writing planned this year, hopefully I’ll manage to finish the darn graphic novel. Then we’ll see…

Writers links – this week Kris Rusch’s round-up of links, including Patricia Cornwell suing her accounting firm and business manager because she couldn’t bother her pretty head with business matters. Poor Pat. Not feeling sad for her. I also hate finances – and DayJob is at a bank… – but this doesn’t mean I’ll let a stranger handle my own… I hate the business part of indie publishing (love everything else because I’m a control freak, haha), but I still handle it myself.

And I don’t believe in the “ability to write is dependent upon the ability to avoid distractions. A quiet, uninterrupted environment, free of the distractions of managing her business and her assets, including her investments, is essential to her ability to write and to meet her deadlines.” My friend (who just turned 30 – another generation, sigh!) suggested I write a “how to” book on motivation for writing, but I can’t help you there, because I never needed a motivation. Okay, maybe I grew up with less distractions (read: no internet) so I disciplined myself to write, but I always wrote full stories.

Then in the 1990s I started meeting writers who never finished their stories because they wanted them to be perfect. They can’t be perfect if you don’t tell them all – you can’t see what needs changed and what’s fine if you don’t write it all down. And then on Goodreads someone started a thread on the death of the novel as we know it and someone else complained that you can’t be prolific because you’d write crap – to this I say “Wrong! The more you write, the faster you become!” I’m this prolific precisely because I never stopped writing new stories. And I always poured them out as fast as I could. And yes, the first 10 to 20 years of writing were pure crap, but they allowed me to grow as a writer and be able to be what I am today! πŸ˜‰

So prolific doesn’t mean you write crap. And yes, I write shorter-than-traditional-publishers-guidelines novels (Star Minds might reach 100.000 words when I combine the 3 books), that’s why I’m glad to be indie. But then, I’m prolific to the point that my aforementioned friend (who is also the one who calls me control-freak) says I’m not human. I am – I just don’t have a human life, because I’d rather stay in and write than waste time meeting people. Nobody is as interesting as my characters, LOL! Besides, I’m a megalomaniac, and I like being a creative goddess with rights of life or death on her creatures… πŸ˜‰

Dean Wesley Smith on counting numbers – you’ve read my post about my numbers. I’m not whining, even if sometimes I despair I’ll quit DayJob, but then, I already adjusted my expectations. Originally I thought it would be a 5 years plan, but both Dean and Kris are right, it’s more like 10 years. I’ll be very happy if by 2015 I’ll cover all the expenses (at this time I’m way in the red, if I didn’t have DayJob to pay the bills, I’d probably have to quit).

That’s why when I’ve been contacted by a translator I had to turn him down. I cannot afford him at the moment as I’m giving all my money to beloved editors *waves at them – you know who you are!*, but if you’d like to try to break into the German and Spanish markets, please e-mail me and I’ll put you in contact with him. I’m keeping his address for when I’ll be able to afford a translator – while I wonder how much market there is for fantasy books in Germany and Spain, LOL! He seems to be a nice guy with competitive rates, so if you want his name, just drop me a line! πŸ™‚

Two more links and that’s all for the week – John Scalzi on the state of a genre title in 2013 and what authors want (re: traditionally published writer turning self-published). Now back to writing and wishing you all a wonderful week! πŸ™‚

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