Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote about 6K of new words, including a complete rewrite for a submission. And I already had one rejection to the first submission. We’ll see if they’re as fast for the second submission, LOL! These guys wanted .docx, which forces me to jump through hoops and using the office wordprocessor, but I no longer have access to Dropbox from the office, so I send docs back and forth between emails. Glad I have many! 😉

A nice post on the state of social media (as it pertains to writers in particular) by Chuck Wendig. “Books don’t require social media to exist” – no doubts about that. I haven’t really sold anything through my FB posts, boosted or not. Or because I posted a video on TikTok – that Booktok hashtag is hard to catch. But I did send out my bi-monthly newsletter, and of course there’s still this very blog that doesn’t depend on algorithms – if you subscribe to it, you get it.

It might be a wondrous new world for writers, but there’s still some chaos in the discoverability department. Therefore I shall keep writing, and soon I will also take a break to figure out when to publish the stuff I’m writing or I have written at the end of last year.

Considering my low levels of energy, I will need a week off the day job to put on the publisher’s hat and start programming this year’s titles. Hopefully the first will come out in spring, but I don’t know yet which ones. Stay tuned! 😉

Now I better go back to my challenge and finish this week’s story, so I can move on to the next! Have a great week!

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Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote an almost-7K story for an anthology and started programming the next ones. I found a couple of interesting calls that work fine as writing prompts, so I’m going to use those as well as my photomanipulation “covers” for the next stories. Hopefully this week I’ll manage two stories and start accumulating wordcount! 🙂

I also need to get back to my TBR pile, especially on the new Kindle (the no-name Kindle, sniff. I wish I could still use K.K. for new books!). I keep backing Kickstarters and more eBooks are piling up to be uploaded… panic attack! Just kidding. I have other kinds of panic attacks during the day job.

I hope this week to start programming the travels for the year. I wanted to do some in-person workshop, but maybe I should just be a tourist while I still have a steady salary and keep those as reward when I’ll manage to quit. There are still a few places I want to explore, although I’ll probably stick to Europe for now. We’ll see.

Not much else is going on, so I shall go back to writing! Have a great week!

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! And he has a book out! Yes, we’re not all lazy like me! 😀 People, let’s welcome and cheer J Andrew Corbett! Let’s see what he has to say, and don’t forget to check out his book! Ain’t it a neat cover (below)? Happy Sunday!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Michigan in the middle of nowhere, a place called Munith.

What genre(s) do you write?

I started off years ago writing horror, but I’ve moved into science fiction / fantasy.

What does your writing routine consist of?

Most importantly, I can’t have on a radio or a television. Has to be nice and quiet to get started. After that, I usually read the last paragraph or two I wrote, then let the story come out.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

To me, dialogue is what drives a story. Narrative is necessary, but I’m part of the “show me, don’t tell” me school of writing. The stories I write have been kicking around in my head for many years usually before they go down on paper. The characters become almost real to me as they flesh themselves out long before a sentence is ever written.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Some of my greatest inspiration has come from music. When you hear a song and you see a movie playing in your head… only it’s not a movie you’ve seen, but one you’ve created. Putting myself into my writing does happen. I’ll give a character a personality trait of my own (see Gaius gnawing on his thumb, for instance). It’s a way I heard of to endear your characters to yourself a bit more as a writer.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I do try getting together an outline prior to writing, but it’s usually a very loose one. I know the ending, I know the beginning, but the characters will dictate the pacing and the path to get there. Sometimes I travel in a straight line; other times they travel elsewhere, like Sam and Frodo on the trek to Mordor. Flying the eagles to Mount Doom would’ve been a great idea, but think of all those stories we would have missed out on.

Once the story gets going, I tend to write pretty fast. Sometimes I’ll sit down at midnight and tell myself ‘Self, write for about an hour.’ Around four in the morning I realize that I’m ten pages into a great side story that I don’t want to stop and have to pry myself away.

Tell us about your latest book

Simple Tricks and Nonsense. The best way to summarize the plot: Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad survives an alien invasion. Fifteen million years passes. This is his story.

Ok, it’s a bit more detailed than that, but it’s the quick and dirty way I like to explain it. It’s a sci-fi story about an Empire that was formed under the best of intentions, but has become a mockery of what it stood for. I set out to tell the Julius Caesar story in space. Let’s hope it comes through in the writing.

“Laws followed for fifteen million years are disregarded by a demagogic Emperor in favor of remaining in power. With absolute control over the courts, he is only steps away from seizing power forever…

And forever is what it would be.

For a people who have conquered the stars, traveled to more galaxies than stars in the night skies, who have transcended mortality and made order out of a disordered universe, the sunset of everything they’ve ever known may be at hand. The enemy within is a far greater threat than the enemy without, and it falls upon a now disgraced hero to rise once more and combat the monster he helped to create at the beginning of time. Do you love a thing so much that you will help tear it down and remake it in its former glory? Or would you simply go along to get along? Traitor or hero, those words are defined solely by the victor.”

It can be purchased now at www.allofuspublications.com and on Amazon (link to .com).

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Simple Tricks and Nonsense is part one in a six book series. So yeah, there’s a lot of projects coming down the pipeline.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Write for yourself, not for others.

Anything else you’d like to add?

To add to that last question, I’ve always written things that I wanted to see. When I find one other person who gets my vision and enjoys what I’ve written, it’s the best feeling in the world.

FIND J.ANDREW CORBETT online

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Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I write a little over 4K, or one story as per challenge. Except this challenge isn’t doing much for me. I waste way too much time procrastinating, because I know I can write the story in a couple of days. So from this week, I’ll try to do it differently, and possibly write two, like I did on the first week of January.

Monday and Tuesday are a little busy, but hopefully this week’s story will be done by Thursday, so I have time to start on something else. When I’m done with the prompts from my Photomanipulation challenge, I’ll move back to the projects I want to complete as soon as possible so I can set up a Kickstarter for them.

I’m not sure about my partner in crime, but in my case, I’m going to write 12 short stories, probably in much less than three months, and then I’ll consider the challenge done. And then I’ll move on, unless I find an open call I want to write for, since I’m still in a Facebook group with open calls and I have friends who sometimes post open calls for anthologies.

The research trip for the next novel will probably be in the late spring, but I do have at least another novel that I want to write before the summer. And after the summer we’ll see. Hopefully I’ll have read a few more books from my TBR pile (although I backed a few more Kickstarters, so more books coming, ARGH!) and will be able to dive into new stuff.

Also, in the final part of the year I hope to get good news from DayJob and start to organize my life after 35 years in the trenches, so to speak. More workshops, both for the writing and for other things I want to learn and that I’ve been postponing for lack of energy. The past couple of years have really drained me.

Today Dean Nephew turns 18! Seems like yestarday I was in Angouleme for a comic convention and I got the text message that he was born! Now he is taller than me (but then, so is Techie Bro – those little brothers who become taller than you, grunt!) and has some problems, much like his aunt/godmother, but we shall overcome!

Now I better go back to writing and stop wasting time with Hidden City and Bubble Witch Saga, LOL! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 5K, or just one story, but I’m really not in a hurry this year. I’m exploring new subgenres, so I usually need a couple of days of “research” before I start writing. I either rewatch movies or grab an old non-fiction books to nail some details and then I write.

Plus I had the creative weekend this week, so no time for another story, I was busy preparing the “strip” for Instagram (and later male a TikTok video with the same panels). Here’s some “making of” and the latest Wave.

This week I won’t start writing until today, probably, but maybe I’ll manage two stories, or maybe just one again.

If you like short stories, check out these Kickstarters: 100th Power: Limited Edition Haul of 100 Powerful Stories, Make 100 Short Stories: Spun Yarns Unwound and Make 100 Magical Short Stories With Me. All the writers are friends of mine, so I can vouch for their good writing! They have already funded or are close to founding, so check them out!

If you haven’t already, subscribe to the IASFA newsletter… you’ll get free books and will find one of mine in the upcoming monthly promo… don’t miss this opportunity if you love SFF! 😉

I guess that’s all for now… have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


So, last week I wrote 10k+, so I’m off on a good start. And it’s two short stories, not one, but don’t tell my challenge mate (although he might read it on this very blog, LOL! I sent him just one!). I still don’t have a publishing schedule, but at least I’m writing – and I booked Mighty Editor for this week, so who knows, maybe you’ll get something to read next month! 🙂

I started the new “strip” on Instagram and even made a video for TikTok with the same images. I also got a new graphic tablet for Christmas, but I haven’t started using it yet… I gew up in the age of the typewriter and prefer to draw on paper and then scan and do the digital coloring, although I’m determined to learn to draw directly on those tablets at some point.

I guess I have another thing to learn this year! 🙂 Also, after hearing this conversation about what do you need to quit I’m glad I decided to quit a regular publishing schedule. This year I need to try new stuff and don’t want to be encumbered with deadlines. Like they say, “sometimes it’s just about letting things go so that something new can come in.”

A wonderful quote from that link:

I think it’s easy enough to know you should quit if money is falling, but actually, if money is still fine and you’re selling reasonably well, but you know that creatively you’re in a rut and you know you’re bored or worse; you can really have quite negative feelings where you turn your writing into the worst sort of day job and you have to whip yourself in and all of that. That too is time to quit.
If you’re not balancing both the commercial and the creative, then that is a sign that something needs to change, for sure.
Maybe not all out quitting the full thing, the full series or the full genre, but something needs to go. So, it’s not just about commercial reasons, which can make it easier to make that judgment. (Orna Ross)

I’ve been saying for some time now, that I needed to slow down the publishing to have fun with the writing again, so now I’m doing it. I have enough books out for readers to discover me (and it seems the rebranding I did last year is starting to work), and I still do the mock covers to inspire me, even if I won’t actually use them in the end.

This year I don’t have a publishing schedule because I want to surprise both the readers and myself with what I accomplish. I still aim to write 500K, but when I’ll publish them is still a mystery. And I won’t give up this blog, since I’ve gone to weekly posts and it’s still my main way to talk with you guys (although it looks like a conversation between me and Tori, but I know you’re listening). I’m not leaving Facebook either, although it’s mostly to send these posts to my page, LOL!

Anyhow, hope you’re all set for the new years now that the Holiday Season is finally over. Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Happy New Year! I’m glad 2022 is over, since it was a rough year for me personally. Although I did manage 524K words, which is more than last year! 😉 Also, it’s the first time I actually earned some money – the Kickstarter paid for the workshops, and the Storybundles I participated in paid the editor’s fees.

Here’s to hoping the new year will be as successful on the indie side – and that it will be the last with a day job that gives me nervous breakdowns. Last week I wrote 1330 words, mostly wrapping up projects and editing them. I shall start slowly, since writing shorts doesn’t necessarily hit the 10K/week wordcount, but I still hope to reach 500K by the end of the year.

This week is the first of the challenge. I already have a few stories in mind to cover the first weeks, but not for the whole three months. I shall improvise, LOL! And hopefully my next novel will be rich with details after a reserch trip in spring – fingers crossed.

Now, looking back to the past year, I did a few things. After the rebranding that messed up titles and editions, I decided to start a brand new inventory sheet for the years to come. I also did a count of final sales numbers on the unpublished titles – that’s 61 stories that are no longer available in that specific format, but are probably bundled in other ways.

12 had sales in the 2 digits, 3 of which were in bundles at PubShare (one is still live, and it’s currently a bestseller – Beautiful is available only in two bundles, Love& Magic and Cats Cats Cats, or paired with Lovers in Warriors of the North). 29 sold zero copies. I still have 180+ titles live (some in Italian) and 32 still have zero sales.

My bestseller is still Body Switches. On Storybundle, the best seller is Adventurer. On PubShare, like I said, Beautiful. And my newest series, Immortaland Dragons is off to a very good start. I’m planning a few sales this year, so watch this space! 🙂

Off we go into the new year… And I found out a bunch of authors are doing a Make 100 Kickstarter of SFF stories, check them out! Happy reading (and/or writing) and have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


As you may know if you’ve been following this blog for a long time, December is my least favorite month of the year. And this year was even worse than the previous ones, which means that I didn’t write at all during the working week because I was completely drained.

I caught up during the (Christmas) weekend when I wrote almost 6K on a new story. I have reached my yearly goal of 500K some time ago, so I don’t worry if I don’t write much in the last weeks of the year. In the end I wrote more than last year, despite the two months dedicated to rebranding old titles and less titles out.

But I don’t have a publishing plan for 2023 yet, and to make sure I keep writing, I challenged a friend. We will write one story a week for three months and swap them. Accountability, LOL! Also, if we find a story of the other person that tickles our fantasy, we might work on a collaboration (either a novel or a shared world) and expand it.

I also hope to explore other subgenres and find the spark for the next series. Then in spring I hope to be able to do a short trip to find inspiration for a novel that I want to write, and after that I’ll improvise, either expanding short stories into novels, or writing sequels or added books to pre-existing series.

At the worst, after this challenge I’ll have enough stories to do a Make 100 Kickstarter in January 2024, when I hope to celebrate an early retirement from the day job! 😉

I also hope to do more “marketing” work, meaning I’m planning short strips of presentation of my works for Instagram and TikTok. We’ll see how those go, but, like I said, Happiness is ends next Sunday, so I want to keep the IG page going, and with those pics I can make TikTok videos.

We’ll see. I’m mostly in survival mode at the moment, and my energy levels are very low. Here’s to hoping they get back up next year! Have a wonderful week and talk to you in 2023! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote less than 3K, namely a short story for a closed call and a few words of editing on a couple of projects. DayJob was testing, and in the afternoon I didn’t have much energy left to write. Plus, I was worldbuilding, so now I have a clearer idea of what I want this next story to be.

KDP now allows to archive titles…

So I also spent Sunday archiving many books (although they still show up in the reports, but at least they’re no longer in the bookshelf. Here’s to hoping this archive thing is more effective than Smashwords. I still get sales reports from Scribd of titles that I unpublished years ago. I no longer send books to Scribd now, not even with D2D.

And in case you missed it, the Smaswords End of the Year Sale is now ongoing! As I mentioned last week, all my titles are 50% off – although it’s not all of them, since some were taken down for the rebranding. But a good half of them is half-price for the duration of the sale, so check it out! 🙂

Yes, even the newest series is discounted, in case you were waiting for it! 😉 The only one missing is Otherside, since I didn’t upload the new books on Smashwords… they’ll get there when the merging with D2D is complete.

I don’t have plans for the new year yet, so I’ll leave this for next week. I wish you all a wonderful week and a happy Holiday Season to you and yours!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote 15K, most of which were on a new novella that may or may not spark a new series while I took a break from my futuristic story. Two days had no writing at all, but a cold kept me at home on Sunday when I was supposed to go out, so I managed to finish that story.

Half of one of the non-writing days was spent at the small and medium publishers fair here in Rome. A friend of mine had a thriller out, and I talked to the owner of Future Fiction about a project. You should check out what he does, with multi-lingual books and even comics. And if you’re curious about Italian sci-fi, he published an anthology (link to Amazon.com).

I found this video of the world’s first artificial wombs and it made me think of my Rainbow Towns. The series in question is, of course, Future Earth Chronicles.

Tomorrow is the start of Smashwords End of the Year Sale. My books are all 50% off (except the ones that would become free, that’s just a couple of them). D2D announced the distribution to the Smashwords store, but when I enquired, they told me if would create a second profile, since I already have a Smashwords account, so I’ll just wait until the merging is final to send back the books to Smashwords.

So only some of my books are discounted until the end of the year, and only in the Smashwords store, where I’m sure you can find plenty of other deals. And if you’re only on D2D, add your books to the sale and see how it goes! 🙂

That’s all for now… have a great week!

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