Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


And here you have Kol-ian in all his might in another great bundle! 🙂 Love Magik Glow is now live with 7 great QUILTBAG stories, including the trilogy about the technological angel and his gorgeous brother-in-law! 😀 Get it now!

So, in spite of the heat and a weekend away from home, I still managed to get some writing done. I’m adding the last of the meat and hope to do a final pass next weekend, after which another novel will be off – not just to the beta-reader of the challenge, but to the cover artist, who is also a necessary beta-reader, and maybe another beta if she has time, but she’s probably busy with her fan-fiction contest…

We’ll see. I might just leave it at 2 – the cover artist because she’s from that culture and she can point out cultural mistakes, the “paid” beta because it’s his challenge! 😉 BTW I got a sketch of the cover, it’s going to be a great addition to the Vampires Through the Centuries covers! 🙂 And I might send an excerpt to Unusual Historicals again, hoping they don’t forget the second half of the bargain – the giveaway – like they did with Kaylyn last year…

I have written stories based on illustrations or covers in the past, in fact I might do it again in August, since I’m already thinking about the cover of that novel… and it is indeed fun – writing a novel from a cover or a story from an illustration. My two latest examples are Star Minds Third Generation – Iso-bel Aya Shermac and Starship Pilot (link to the inspiration art by Techie Bro)… Even though the second has only been used to illustrate the story for Patreon patrons, it still started from there! 😉

The writerly links of the week! The Newbie Author Marketing Manifesto – not sure what platform I have since some of those I have high and some I have very low for having been 7 years at it, but well…  As for the 3 tools, I have a website with a byline and this very blog. My email list is still lagging behind, but I’m waving madly to all of you blog followers and Facebook fans! 😀

If you’re having a bad writing day, read this post. Happens to everybody. I often flirt with Mr Procrastination, in spite of being married to Mr Writing. But it’s a muscle, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. So practise, practise, practise and you’ll forget what Writer’s Block is! 😉

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I never joined KDP Select and KU… it’s because it’s broken. And Amazon doesn’t seem to realize they’re pissing off customers too. Mighty Zon might fall soon if they don’t the address the scammers breaking the Kindle Store! 😦 If you’re an author, don’t use clickfarms. Or even better, don’t be Amazon exclusive – I do have sales on Kobo, D2D and Smashwords, and you’re missing on readers by ignoring everybody else.

And if you’re a KU subscriber, please please please tell Amazon to do something about these people. Or soon all the indie authors will leave KU and your subscription won’t let you read anything… Have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Happiness is…


Writer Wednesday


Ta-daan!

So yes, you can go and grab it now! On BundleRabbit or on the retailer you pre-ordered it! 🙂 Book trailer here, in case you missed it… I look forward to reading all those amazing books, but I’m still on the previous bundle and had to stop to read non-fiction for the current project. And have you seen how many bundles are available for your summer reads?

I’m also prepping flyers for Worldcon, even though the final calendar hasn’t reached my inbox yet. There you go, busy gal folding paper stuff… I printed 50, but I’ll display only 10 at my first panel, since only 20 can get the free bundle… look me up at Worldcon! 🙂

Wordcount for June was 63K. Currently working on the July novel and since it’s historical fantasy, I have a batch of books to read and some quick Wikipedia checks every now and then. But my paper books pile is going down (I prefer non-fiction on paper)…

of these 3 – 2 are read and the third can wait, yay! 🙂

Some writerly links! 12 truths about publishing – if you want a writing career, that is. Customize your produtcivity to fit your life – for those of you who still have trouble finding time to write. I have a part-time day job and Monday I didn’t write a word of fiction, but I didn’t panic. I usually catch up on weekends (Sunday night I had already 20K in the new novel)… 😉

Some thoughts on writing a scene because terrible minds sometimes say absolute truth, like #0 says

As always, writing advice is bullshit, but bullshit can be fertilizer. Maybe this page of scene-writing advice helps something grow in your narrative garden, or maybe it’s just something to shovel out of the way. Use or discard at your leisure.

And ways to stay motivated in this shit-shellacked era of epic stupid because you never have enough motivation do you? I know I can beat Mr Procrastination if I put my mind to it, but can you? 😉

Now I better go back to writing. 18th century stuff… but ideas keep bouncing in my head like popcorn kittens! Have a great week! 🙂

 

Sunday Surprise


And it’s another author of the Sci-fi July bundle! Yes, surprise! 🙂 I am honored to have an award-winning and bestselling author on this very humble blog. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Tracy Cooper-Posey!

Where do you live and write from?
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I haven’t always been here—I was born in Perth, Western Australia and grew up in the country, running wild and barefoot. I miss the ocean. The Canadian Rockies are nice compensation, though.

Why do you write?
The answer to this has changed over the years. Right now, I write because it’s my profession. This is a particularly satisfying answer to me. For years I struggled to pay bills, ditch the day job, and do what I really wanted to do. Now I’m doing all that. I was singularly unsuited to day job work—I wasn’t qualified for anything. Now, I’m a professional writer. I earned my degree the hard way and it took twenty years.

When did you start writing?
I started writing, as in mucking around with stories and characters, when I was 14. I wrote the unofficial sequel to Star Wars. They didn’t call it fanfic then. I didn’t even know people wrote fanfic. I thought it was just me, being weird and strange. My English teacher caught me at it, told me to write something original and he would submit it for publication. I did, and he did. It didn’t go anywhere, of course (I don’t have those nine exercise books anymore, but I cringe to think what the writing was like)—but the seed was planted.
Fifteen years later, I started writing for publication. It took another four years to get published, then I sold two books in one week

What genre(s) do you write?
Space opera science fiction
Science Fiction Romance
Paranormal Romance
Time Travel Romance
Historical Romance
Romantic Suspense
Urban Fantasy Romance
Epic Norse Urban Fantasy Romance
Plus several varieties of mash-ups and oddities that really don’t fit anywhere, except that I wrote them, so there you have it.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
To entertain readers for as long as my mental faculties hold together.
To pay the bills with my writing, which will let me entertain readers for as long as my mental faculties hold together.
What I’m doing to achieve it? I think I’m pretty much doing it already, by writing my knuckles off, every day I can. Reader reviews confirm I’m managing to entertain them, most of the time.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Perfect writing technique doesn’t exist and even if you get close, if your story sucks you’ve still failed. Story rules.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Oh, Outliner. To the max.
I’m considered kinda fast as a writer. I usuall do slightly more than one million words a year. Having said that, I know writers out there who have stockpiled 1.4M words for future publication. They make me feel very tortoise-like. It’s all subjective.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle
Faring Soul was my first attempt at juggling science fiction and romance in the 50/50 melding that the new science fiction romance sub-genre calls for. I think I pulled it off – the Galaxy Award it won seems to say I do. But it’s a tricky balancing act and not for the faint-of-heart.
Of course, now I love the stuff. I finished the series with three books, will probably start a spin off series in the near future, and have completed eight stories (so far) in another SFR series.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)
The very latest book, Soul of Sin, came out yesterday (as I write this). It’s historical romance and is getting some great reviews.
My latest SF or SFR to be released was the SFR novelette, Evangeliya, which came out a couple of weeks ago. It’s part of the eight books (so far) series I mentioned above – The Endurance series – and is set on a generational ship heading for a new home 1,000 years away from Earth.

Any other projects in the pipeline?
Do you have a few hours?😊
All my current series will have new books added by the end of the year, (here, for series information) and I’ll be adding a couple more series in 2018. Readers who would like to keep up should join my newsletter list. They can get a four-book starter library to sample my work and figure out if I do, indeed, entertain them.

________________________________

find Tracy online:

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Tracy Cooper-Posey is a #1 Best Selling Author.  She writes science fiction and romance.  She has published over 90 books since 1999, been nominated for five CAPAs including Favorite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award.

She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated four times for Book Of The Year and Byzantine Heartbreak was a 2012 winner.  Faring Soul won a SFR Galaxy Award in 2016 for “Most Intriguing Philosophical/Social Science Questions in Galaxybuilding”  She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught writing at MacEwan University.

She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together. In her spare time she enjoys history, Sherlock Holmes, reading science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian Canadian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.

Writer Wednesday


Aaand… here we go!

Star Minds Next Generation

It’s available for pre-order on all retailers and will come out soon! So you’ll have both fantasy and sci-fi for your summer reading! 😉 I’m very happy with the authors in this bundle – this time I have met most of them personally.

You have a great variety – from my Goodreads friends Steph Bennion and Ubiquitous Bubba, who were interviewed on this blog for Wyrd Worlds, some workshop buddies I met on the Oregon Coast (Rebecca Bates, Michael Lucas, Russ Crossley, Blaze Ward, Robert Jeschonek), to the man who made us meet (Dean Wesley Smith – the kind of writer I want to be when I grow up) and a few more that I found browsing the awesome content marketplace at BundleRabbit.

So I’m still riding the fantasy bundle, reading all the other books, and already I’m starting a new journey, a trek to the stars with these wonderful fellows. I made a book trailer for it and it will come out on Independence Day (which, by the way, is the birthday of my Australian friend, maybe she’d like one as a gift? 😉 ), so stay tuned…

The indie community is really great. Because there’s no such thing as a self-published author – that’s so 20th century thinking! 😉 And also this small post on negotiation is a good way to remind us that traditional publishing is still tricky. And if we want to tackle the audio market independently it’s getting easier every year. Now Draft2Digital offers audiobooks as an alternative to ACX…

It’s really a great time to be an author. Final wordcount for this month in July, but know that I finished and sent out the first novel of the challenge. Onward to the vampires novel that must be finished by the end of July… have a great week! 🙂

 

Sunday Surprise


Some words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever you want to call it before the next batch of guests – if any! 😉 Have a great Sunday! 😀

So my advice to you is ignore what society tells you that you must do, ignore what friends tell you that you should do. Do what you want. So when you get to my age, you might be having as much fun as I am.

Ain’t easy, but it is worth it.

Dean Wesley Smith

But here is my point: you need to set goals that are realistic for you under the circumstances that you find yourself in.  If writing a page a day is all that you can manage with a busy schedule, it will still get a novel draft done in a year.  Setting goals that are difficult or impossible to reach will just stress you out, making it more difficult to write, and they’ll take a toll on the finished product.
Writing fifty pages of unusable prose in a day is no better than writing nothing at all.

David Farland

You have to surrender to your mediocrity, and just write. Because it’s hard, really hard, to write even a crappy book. But it’s better to write a book that kind of sucks rather than no book at all, as you wait around to magically become Faulkner.

No one is going to write your book for you, and you can’t write anybody’s book but your own.

I’m not really a sports person, but there’s that saying, ‘Keep your eye on the ball.’ I would imagine it’s easier to hit something if you’re looking at it, right? Well, in writing you have to keep your eye on the ball too, but some people mistake what the ball is. The ball is not the New York Times Bestseller List; the ball is not even publication. Your writing is the ball. Focus on writing your very best – your writing, and nothing else. Because no matter how brilliant your work is, there will always be some people who are going to hate it and tell you it sucks, so focus on making your work important to you, and at least to some people, and that’s perfectly good enough.

Cheryl Strayed

You go up the mountain of your idol, but when you get to the top, you realize they’re already there, and that mountain is never going to belong to you. So, you go do your own thing and it’s more of a shit-pile than a mountain at first, but it’s yours. It’s your shit pile. And that’s not nothing.

You can’t run from who you are. Not your brain, not your inclinations, or your experience. So accept your shit – run toward it, use it.

George Saunders

And so, my fellow aspiring-literary-superstars, if Cheryl Strayed’s advice boils down to “surrender to your own mediocrity” and Saunders’ advice is “go with your natural mode,” then my advice will be this: if you write, be brave enough to call yourself a writer, out loud and not just in some dark corner of your brain. It reaffirms what you’re here to do, what you love, what you’re working for, and what you should be doing instead of watching all those cat videos on YouTube (I just had to force myself to deactivate my Wi-Fi in order to finish this conclusion, I feel your collective pain). Because if Genius George Saunders says I’m a writer, then you sure the fuck are too, and I want us all to achieve greatness together.

Wes Janisen

Writer Wednesday


So, it’s official, I’m in the Worldcon Programme! I can’t be more specific right now, but stay tuned for days and times. Great panels coming ahead, really great panels. Looking forward to them! If you happen to be in Helsinki for Worldcon 75, let me know! 🙂 I will post my schedule closer to the dates…

Aaand… three months after the Anthology Workshop, I made a sale! My first professional sale! So, time for a little happy dance! 😀Ahem! Where was I? Ah, yes, the novel challenge. Probably three-quarters done, but I’ll need to go back and add the meat during the weekend. Some things never change, some things do. I still have to print it out and make the additions on paper. At least I don’t do the first draft longhand anymore! 😉

A good reminder that writers (or any kind of creative person) are the worst judges of their works (besides giving it away for free or cheap, that is). I currently think my novel is a mess, but I’ll let the first reader and proofreader be the judges.

For a good laugh, how to fail as a writer – let’s not forget writing by committee. If you don’t write by committee, you’ll never make it! And on a more serious note, what makes a $100K Author (don’t look at me!). I am currently running an Amazon ad, but so fare it’s only expenses and no sales. Will report after I complete 3! 😉

I shall leave the announcement for the next bundle for next week… when I’ll have changed the pictures on the Facebook page! 😉 But if you want a hint, just head there! 🙂 Have a great week! 😀

Writer Wednesday


Some writerly wisdom about books needing time to cook. Even mine are not always as immediate as they used to be. Yes, I’m still mostly a pantser, but since Technological Angel sometimes it takes me months before I start the actual writing. That’s why I decided beforehand which novels to write for the summer challenge – because they were already on my ToWrite list and ready to be jotted down.

I discarded one idea because I had a novella that was already almost a novel itself, so I postponed that one to after the summer. I knew I had to write the vampire novel during the summer anyway, I simply had to write it all in a month instead of two. Which is perfectly fine.

If I keep going like this, I might even be able to start it this month. Knowing I’d miss a week of writing in June, I chose a novella to expand as first novel, so it’s going quite well. I’m almost halfway through and if I can read it all in one sitting over the weekend to make the necessary adjustments (I’m aiming at the 17th, not this Saturday), then I can send it off with a few days to spare for the next one…

Busy writing summer, but since the heat is starting to show up, I’m very happy to just go home and write. And make covers. I like hiring other artists, but sometimes I like doing my own covers as well, so… Experimenting with transparent PNGs and art nouveau frames and stuff like that. It’s a Silvery Earth novel, of course! 😉

Patreon update! I decided to start uploading the rewards even if there are no patrons. So on the 5th of every month I’ll post the “5 things I learned” posts (one is already live) and on the 10th I’ll post the monthly free short story. At least people reaching the page now can see there’s stuff behind the  paid wall! 🙂 I know “curiosity killed the cat” but since you’re not cats (are you?), you’ll be fine… just poke around and see if you find anything you like! 😉

And if you like sci-fi, here’s another bundle of books… while you wait for the next one with yours truly, of course! 😉 Should be out July 4th, the mighty Bundle Rabbit is working on it (and changing stuff around so when I get to the dashboard I go “AUGH!” like Lucy Van Pelt. I’ll get used to it! ;)), just stay tuned. If you like giving to charities, go to Story Bundle (or other curators on BR, I honestly don’t pick a charity since I’m in Italy and I wouldn’t know which one to pick).

And where are we going with e-books? Check Amazon’s latest… I don’t mind a moving cover – I had considered it myself and thought it would be cool on e-books – but everything else… nyeh. They say I can switch that off… well, I have an old Kindle Keyboard, so I doubt it would work anyway. And I certainly won’t use the laptop version (or the smartphone… that small screen makes me want to scream most of the time!)…

But well, maybe younger readers will enjoy that. Although… can this still be considered a book? The EU had decided for lower VAT on e-books, but if they’re like that, can they still be considered books? Mini-movies? What? Who knows. On DeviantART they were already doing motion comics, but this is something else.

And Mighty Zon is still in trouble – it might be customer-friendly but it’s really pissing off authors and publishers. And soon even customers will feel cheated by the fake books that climb the Amazon charts. Don’t put all your eggs in their baskets is still sound advice. I’m still toying with their AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) but it’s probably my last attempt in that department too.

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