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marzo 28, 2014

A couple of blog posts!

Hi everyone :) I have a couple of guest posts out about my latest release, the steampunk - gun kink Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders! I thought I'd list them here...

• Why did I set this story in a Victorian-esque circus, @ Amethyst Daydreams

A William Tell-like pistoleer offered exciting possibilities. I was immediately drawn to the danger and the tension that come with standing before a target while somebody is shooting at you (although I would never, ever do it). It must be thrilling and frightening at the same time; it must require infinite trust and familiarity with your partner. And what about being the one who pulls the trigger, what about knowing the life of the person before you is in your hands, that they are entrusting themselves completely to you? And what about doing all of this in public, for the entertainment of hundreds of strangers?...

• Writing an extended 'director's cut' version of a story, @ Pants Off Reviews

Benjamin Pepperwhistle – Director’s Cut features over 7500 words of new material, and has evolved from a short story into a novella. It’s the first time I had the chance to go back to a story after over a year to add more to it, and I was a little concerned – what if I could no longer slip in the characters’ heads? What if I had forgotten about them?...

• How I come up with characters, @ Novel Approach Reviews

Over the years, I have accumulated a ton of inspiration pics – for settings, props, fantastical creatures, and for characters as well. So I like to browse around them for a bit, in case any of those jumps out, because I really like having visual references for what I’m working on...

marzo 08, 2014

February Report

So! Only two months into the new year and I already suck at these monthly reports.... ;) will try harder with the March one!

So, let's see how I did in February. The list was:

finish revision on Circus of the Damned DONE! Submitted at 94.500 words.
★ finish reading book for research - failed
★ write 1 chapter of PhD novel - miserably failed
★ write 1 blog post - totally failed
★ finalize job and get started - annnd failed

However, I embarked on a new enterprise, since I don't have enough to do already:

★ started a Fantasy and Sci-Fi online course on Coursera!
★ wrote four essays - Brothers Grimm, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Dracula, Frankenstein

It took the whole month to finish the endless rewrites and edits on Circus. It's my first novel-length manuscript - as you know, I usually keep in the 12K / 30K range - and it was definitely a challenge. The requirements of the format are obviously very different, and I'm actualy looking forward to relaxing with another novella or short story before tackling novel length again!

Also in unrelated news, I became an aunt! My sis-in-law had a beautiful little girl called Greta. I got to hold her for the first time Friday night and she's an absolute doll! Not to brag, but when I took her she settled down immediately and her hiccups passed, then she dozed off sprawled on my chest. Awwww!

Now, for the March to-do list (even though we're like 1/3 through already, but whatever...)

★ MUST write something for the PhD (since I need to send something to my tutor next week)
★ get started on Steampunk Inventor (and maybe find a title for it)
★ edits on the Benjamin Pepperwhistle extra scene
★ write the next four essays for Coursera: Poe, H.G. Wells, Gilman, Bradbury
★ (maybe) line edits for Circus of the Damned?
★ read 1 book (since I started about 5 but haven't managed to finish one since Jan)
★ write 1 blog post (before my blog gets buried under spider webs)

I'm going to keep adding the book and blog entries even though I've already botched them twice, because I'm an optimistic person... ;)

febbraio 05, 2014

January Report

So, this year I've decided to keep public lists of my monthly goals, and review them at the end of each month to see if I manage to stick to them or not. So, let's start with January...

The list was:

edit and submit bonus Benjamin Pepperwhistle scene: Done!
★ revise and submit Circus of the Damned novel: Not finished yet. It turned into a big structural revision and I'm working on the second act structure with the editor before completing the revision.
★ revise outline of PhD novel + write 1 chapter: Failed
★ finish translating 1 book: Failed
★ read at least 1 book for research: I read half, but it's still better than nothing... ;)
★ write 1 blog post: This one counts as half done. I wrote on this blog but not on my other one, so I'm not striking it.
apply for more jobs: Done! Almost secured an assignment for February/March.

Things accomplished that weren't on the list:
★ record video interview for Bitten by Books, which you can see HERE!
★ write two guest posts for blog tour

I should have considered that here in Italy the holidays continue until January 7th, and they are full of relatives and visits, so it was kind of hard to work good hours. There was also my birthday, as well as my aunt's and my grandma-in-law's and uncle-in-law's (do those words even exist? XD)... I need to be more realistic with my schedule.

The wordcount for January is 37'650, which is pretty good. Will have to work to keep it up in February because I usually alternate productive months and absolutely terrible ones... :)

So now, let's see the revised plan for February, trying to be less ambitious (since the month is also shorter):

February

★ finish revision on Circus of the Damned
★ finish reading book for research
★ write 1 chapter of PhD novel
★ write 1 blog post
★ finalize job and get started

See you in about a month to see how I did ;)!

febbraio 02, 2014

Readers' Appreciation Awards at the blog of Sid Love!

Readers-Appreciation-Awards-Elimination

What a lovely surprise! I just discovered that the handsome devil Farfarello, from my book Devil at the Crossroads, has been nominated in the Best Antagonist / Villain category of the Readers' Appreciation Awards over at the blog of Sid Love. So excited - who knew that making dodgy deals chasing after the souls of wannabe bluesmen would make him so popular ;)...

Check out the other nominees and cast your vote at The Blog of Sid Love!

gennaio 15, 2014

Video interview + contest now LIVE!

My video interview is now LIVE at Bitten By Books - Paranormal Fiction Review Site!

Would you like to hear my cool Italian accent as I talk about my Devil at the Crossroads novella, and its two upcoming sequels 'The Circus of the Damned' and a still untitled Steampunk Inventor story - and also enter a contest to win a $20 Riptide Publishing gift card?

Join me over at Bitten by Books!

And here is the magic Rafflecopter to enter the contest :)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

gennaio 12, 2014

Bitten by Books video interview!



Join me on January 15th at Bitten by Books for my very first video interview, a chat and a contest! This event post goes up at 12:00pm Central and runs into the evening. For those visiting from outside of the US, here is the time conversion link. http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

I will be talking about my paranormal novella Devil at the Crossroads!


The devil covets more than his soul …


Six years ago, Logan Hart sold his soul to the devil to become the greatest bluesman of all time—and now the devil has come to collect.

The irony is that Logan squandered his gift. High on fame, money, and drugs, he ignored his muse and neglected his music. And despite escaping showbiz in a moment of clarity, it’s too late to redeem himself. All that’s left is to try to go out with some dignity. Alas, the prospect of an eternity in Hell isn’t helping much with that goal.

But Farfarello, the devil who bought Logan’s soul, isn’t ready to drag him down to Hell quite yet. He’s just spent six years working his ass off to whip a bluesman into shape, and he refuses to let that—or the opportunity for more sinful pleasures with Logan—go to waste.

CONTEST INFO: Open to readers worldwide!
Prize: $20.00 Gift Card to Riptide Publishing


RSVP on this page and get 25 entries to the prize portion of the contest when you show up on the day of the event. If you don’t show up and mention your RSVP your points won’t be entered into the contest. Be sure to tweet and facebook this link: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=69349 so your friends can RSVP too :)!

dicembre 28, 2013

Here's to a busy 2014!

I can't believe I'm already here writing the 'end of 2013 post', when it feels like just yesterday I was writing the one for 2012! This year has really flown by. (Years speeding by faster and faster are one of the favourite topics of conversation when I hang out with my grandma. It feels like one moment it's July and we're sitting on the balcony enjoying the sun, and the next it's winter and Christmas is already gone and then before we know it we'll be on the balcony again... and let me tell you, I wait all year for those meager three months of sunshine! But I digress...)

So, 2013 was definitely packed. I started my Phd in February, went on my graduation trip to Japan in April, moved back to Italy, bounced back and forth from London a few times, saw Spain and Tangiers... did A LOT of research, translated a bunch of books, applied for dozens of jobs, took care of grandma when she was unwell over the summer. I also had to handle the most toxic familiar situation we had since my dad's death almost ten years ago (luckily, even though the issue is not solved yet, things are looking up now). I did really have my plate full. According to my logs, I even managed to write almost 200.000 words.

And yet, somehow - as always - I find myself feeling vaguely unsatisfied, like I haven't accomplished everything I was hoping to last year at this time. Of those 200k words, only around 30k ever made it into the publisher's hands (and, subsequently, the readers'!), and I'm not really sure what I did with all the others! Real life got in the way (and I have to say, being back in Italy really doesn't help, since at least when I'm abroad I can drop family drama and take care of my life and my work) and things got messy, and my best laid plans got thwarted.

So I'd like to write down a few bullet points for 2014, because I like having things pinned down and I hope it will help me structure my time and my work a little better!


★ ★ 2014 to-do list ★ ★


January
★ edit and submit bonus Benjamin Pepperwhistle scene
★ revise and submit Circus of the Damned novel
★ revise outline of PhD novel + write 1 chapter
★ finish translating 1 book
★ read at least 1 book for research
★ write 1 blog post
★ apply for more jobs (;__;)
(starting out with a packed month, eh? I'm kind of already freaking out)

February
★ finish and submit Bounty Hunter III
★ start writing Steampunk Inventor novel (or novella?)
★ read at least 2 books for research
★ write 1 chapter of PhD novel
★ write 1 blog post
(hopefully I will have a job by then so... doing that! :P)

March
★ finish Steampunk Inventor
★ (maybe) line edits for Circus of the Damned?
★ write 2 chapters of PhD novel
★ read at least 2 books for research
★ write 1 blog post

April
★ revise and submit Steampunk Inventor
★ line edits for Circus of the Damned
★ write 1 chapter of PhD novel
★ read at least 1 book for research
★ write 1 blog post

Things are a little more vague after that. I want to really try and blog at least once a month, since I suck at that; there will be line edits for Steampunk Inventor in May/June; I'd like to finish the PhD novel by September, even though I'm not so confident about that; I'd also like to write at least two more stories, but that will depend on whether I come up with any cool ideas in a timely fashion... ;)

Anyway, I'll update with the plans for the following months as they take shape, and I'll update every month letting you know whether I managed to get everything done (feel free to scold and whip me if I don't!). And now... now I'll be a good girl and go to sleep since it's almost half past 2 in the morning and tomorrow morning I gotta head to Genoa  to celebrate my mom's 50th birthday ♥!

Big hugs everyone, and good luck with your New Year's resolutions :)!