Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Various disasters

The 15th of August looms closer, the countryside is deserted and wet under sudden showers that do nothing to lower the temperature, but only increase humidity.
And in the last two days we’ve been struck by a number of minor but painful catastrophes, so sorry if I am not updating the blog with “proper content”.

Please be assured that we are all fine, and nothing serious is going on.
It’s just that all our schedules and plans and things have been scrambled for good.

Hold on out there, we will hold on in here.

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Ruth St. Denis

e1304c33db9a1336312a4b6d2f846ad0I am not a fan of ballet. I grew up on radio and 45s. I grew up with pop, rock and, a little later, with jazz. I can dig folk and country (of the non-truck-driver sort). My tastes in classical music are still considered “quirky” by those in the know, and I had a hard time coming to terms with opera.
Ballet–no, not yet.
Let’s say I’m working on it.

But I write, and so I do searches for reference images, and I was looking into old photos of Oriental costumes and so I stumbled on Ruth St. Denis. Continue reading


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A house in Venice

Have you ever spent a whole afternoon looking for the plan for a Renaissance Venetian house in order to use it as the setting for a few scenes in the story you have written already, but is missing that extra something?
Well, I did.
And thank goodness for domestic refurbishing companies, because otherwise all I had been able to find was a detailed plan for the Palazzo Ducale. A little too upscale for my purposes.

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But architecture studios today are quite proud to put up the plans of the buildings they have worked on. It took me the whole afternoon to find the plans, but now they are here on my desktop.
The following step was ditching three thousand words of my 10.000-words story, and go back to redesign the whole action scenes at the core of the story.
Because now I have reality to work with.
That is the reason I did my research in the first place. Continue reading


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Autumn & De Lint

I am longing for Autumn.
I’m a guy for half-seasons, Spring and Autumn are fine with me. Winter is too cold and dark here where I live, and summer is too damn hot and lonesome.
But in Spring and Autumn temperatures are acceptable, and it rains, and the countryside has wonderful colors. And I tend to prefer Autumn because it comes without an extra of hay fever and allergies.

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I was thinking about autumn last night as I was writing a scene in which two gypsy wagons cross a hilly country in late September. I knew what I was looking to achieve, but I failed to. Continue reading


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Asteria in the Court of the Great Khan

asteria khan engMy Italian readers had to wait two years for the second adventure of Asteria: Minos was published in August 2014, Great Khan in July 2016.
The foreword to the English language edition explains a bit of the background on that hiatus.

And my English readers are getting the Second Asteria Adventure, Asteria in the Court of the Great Khan barely one week after the first, both on Gumroad (for those that do not like Amazon, or prefer a different file format) and on Amazon.
Nice and smooth1. Continue reading


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Eighty

asteria khan engI have just uploaded on Amazon my 80th self-produced ebook – you might have heard about it, it’s called Asteria in the Court of the Great Khan and it is the second episode in the Adventures of Asteria, my sword & sandal series.
The story was originally published in Italian in the summer of 2016 – almost exactly two years ago – and was the last thing I wrote in Italian for years.

Now the series is coming back in English – you can get the first book, Asteria in the Court of Minos either on Amazon or on Gumroad.

asteria 1 engConsidering the times that Amazon usually has, I guess volume two will be out by the weekend – and I’ll upload a zip file with the mobi, epub and pdf versions on Gumroad too.
My Patrons will get a discount, but you knew that already.

Eighty ebooks is a lot of words.
And that’s not counting my traditionally-published work – those should be nine volumes, if I am not mistaken, not counting my participation at multiple-author anthologies and collections of essays.
A whole lot of words.

And there will be another dozen titles coming out before the end of the year.

A fair chunk of this work – 26 titles, to be exact – were published under an alias.
They are selling better than the remaining titles in my name.
I guess that should tell me something.

Indeed, my next big project – should the publisher accept it – will be published with another alias.
Diversify the offer, you know.

But in the meantime… eighty ebooks.
Not bad, all things considered.
But the best, of course, is yet to come.

And now, a little music…