East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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The League of Extraordinary Lady Writers

Looks like I chose the right time to brush up my French: yesterday, French publisher Les Moutons Electrique (which is the French for Philip K. Dick’s Electric Sheep) announced the launch, in March 2020, of a new line of novels, collectively known as La Ligue des √©crivaines extraordinairesThe League of Extraordinary Lady Writers, that is: five novels written by five popular French writers, featuring a bunch of popular writers against a bunch of popular creatures of the night, the lot currently open as a crowdfunding.

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Off with a bang

Yesterday, the crowdfunding for the Italian-language edition of my game Hope & Glory was funded, with still over a week to go for some little extra – we’ve got a brace of stretch goals to unlock. Considering I had been told less than two weeks ago that it would be a disaster and we’d never make it, this is a great moment for me, for my partners in crime in developing the game, and for the team that worked on the crowdfunding.

And less than one hour ago I learned that my science fiction short story Sapiens has been accepted for publication in a magazine. This is a professional sale – the first this year, and the third in the batch of stories I have submitted between October the 1st and December the 31st. There are still eight stories in the loop being evaluated, and I have three more slated for submission by the end of the month.

Let’s hope this is not a flash in the pan, and that 2019 will see more of my stuff reaching the public.

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Crowdfunding Hope & Glory

We have just launched the crowdfunding for the Italian edition of Hope & Glory, my steampulp/adventure roleplaying game.
While this is of little immediate interest for the readers of Karavansara (you can already get the game in English, via DriveThruRPG), this is a big moment for me and the crew, and I want to share it with you guys.

Also, it’s likely that any extra development fueled by the Italian crowdfunding will then see the light, in a form or another, in English. But that’s for my publisher to say.

In the meantime, HERE IS THE LINK to check out our crowdfunding page.

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cookI’m currently reading Kicking It by Monte Cook and Shanna Germain. A nifty little guide to crowdfunding projects, that goes to complement the crowdfunding course I followed two years ago.

The book came with a nice bundle of game-design related handbooks, and is the right book at the right time.
The text is clear, and offers examples and pointers and instruction on how to plan a crowdfunding strategy.
How to think about crowdfunding, if you will.

I have two crowdfunding campaigns under my belt – the first, started as a lark, that resulted in a huge success, and the second, accurately planned, that failed to reach 50% of the target.
It is time to rethink my strategies.
I still believe that crowdfunding is the way to go for a lot of small creators – a category in which I think I belong. Crowdfunding a project is a great way to try and dare a little more: better cover art, professional editing, extra contents.
But for me, right now, crowdfunding requires more work, and more study.
So, let’s try and learn from the best.

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Crooks in history

I have just delivered a 33.000 unproofed manuscript to all those that last summer supported my crowdfunding for the fist Italian-language outing of BUSCAFUSCO.
The book is called La Storia Fatta coi Cialtroni (literally “History made with slobs”) and it is a first collection of eccentrics, adventurers, loose women and other assorted crooks and cranks across the last three centuries.

The proper book will come out (hopefully) for Christmas or (more likely) for Twelfth Night, and it was a hoot to put together and a cow to edit.
That’s why I sent off an unproofed version.

My Patreon supporters will probably get new excerpts of a second volume, and some English-language snippets of the first.

Because it’s fun.


Two weeks into my (first?) crowdfunding

I mentioned a while back that I was starting a crowdfunding for a story I’d be writing – the idea came from a few friends, and it sounded like an interesting experiment.
Two weeks have gone by as I write this,since the beginning of this experiment, and I thought some of you might be interested in a quick overview.

I’m currently 8000 words into a story tentatively called Santi & Fattucchiere – that is, Saints & Witches.
A thriller with some occult elements.
My friends offered as a story seed the idea of writing something set here in Astigianistan, and just as I was digesting the idea, something happened that offered me a story idea on a silver platter: somebody stole the holy relic of St. John Bosco from the church in which it was kept, a few kms from where I live.
The holy relic being the saint’s brain.

Sort of gives you ideas, right?
It certainly did give me ideas.
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Crowdfunding for fun and profit

I am about to launch my first crowdfunding.
Everything’s set, everything’s ready.

As I mentioned in a previous post, some friends had this idea, of setting me up on a crowdfunding platform (Produzioni dal Basso, an Italian website) and then sit back and watch as people throw me change while I write a story.


It was a shock treatment to get me move my backside – I’ve been toying with the idea of crowdfunding or Patreon for almost two years now, and without a good push, I’d probably still be fidgeting.

Instead, now the deed is done.
Or at least, the whole system’s been set up. Continue reading