East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Killer job

The toughest writing job I’ve had in ages is writing a script for a Murder Party.


This is a sort of live roleplaying game: the guests become involved in a murder, and follow the development of the story, and in the end they have to guess the name of the killer, based on the clues and the behavior of the actors laying the suspects.
Quite fun to take place in, but… Continue reading



Caveman names

Let’s talk about names.
And not just any name – primitive names.
Names for cavemen – and I don’t mean Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.
My primitive fantasy story requires a hero, and a heroine, and what else… and if I have a way to play fast and loose with Atlanteans and Lemurians and assorted campers, the name of the hero is too important an element to improvise.


So, for “lost civilization” cultures, I’ll use a few Minoan names, shuffling a few consonants about.
And if Didikase and Kubaba are a silly name for bad guys, Kitanetos might work with a little adjustement.
And the female name Kitane is quite good.
But when it comes to the primitive Homo sapiens, that’s a territory that’s been explored in the past, and it’s hard to be original and effective. Continue reading


Two good ideas at the same time

Don’t you hate it when it happens?
Here I am, with tons of stuff to do, and two huge ideas that push on my brain to get to my fingers and through my fingers and the keyboard on a page and then get printed, and published, and read.


Two ideas.
Two whole worlds.
Two potential new series.
Heroes, or at least a decent substitute for heroes, already there, ready to have a go at whatever I will throw at them.
So now what? Continue reading


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A fantasy story, something completely different

So, the votes are in (had we not just left this party?), and unless some last-minute, momentous turn of events happens, it looks like I will be writing a whole new fantasy story for my Patreon supporters.

Screenshot from 2018-03-06 13-03-25

Which is fine with me – obviously, or I would not have listed it as an option.
I’m a bit sad about Asteria, but she was always the outsider in my catalog.

But I got more than votes – I got suggestions, too.
And I had plans and ideas of my own, so let’s see what’s on the plate. Continue reading



Books (and art supplies) for fighting

I’m reading a lot about writing these days.
Helps keep my mind off the Italian political situation.
But let’s not get into that.
I’m re-reading a number of books about fighting – because the sort of stories I write sometimes… heck, often feature a few rounds of fighting.
Bladed implements, usually, are involved.


And I’m not very good at writing fight scenes.
But I’m improving, and here’s my essential bookshelf of fighting references for writers. Continue reading


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A few things I know about her: Valerie Cazaret

Amarna preview smallThe second episode of AMARNA is about to hit the shelves, and I thought I’ll do a series of posts, over the next few weeks and months, as the other episodes come out, about the characters, the good guys and the bad guys and all those in between.
There’s a bit about them in the press book I created for the launch of the series, but as it usually happens, I am finding out more about my characters as I write about them.
That’s the way I work – a quick sketch, a photo reference, a list of details, and then I let the guys run away with the story.

And when it comes to running away with the story, nobody beats Valerie Cazaret. Continue reading


Question: where do you get your ideas? Answer:

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