East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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On the road to find out

Sometimes, I think I mentioned this in the past, the best way to relax, for me, is just to fire up a Scrivener file and start typing, letting the ideas flow. A character – or two – some snippet of dialogue, a place, an idea. Just to get back the pleasure of imagining and putting in words a scene.
Yeah, I know, I’m weird.

That’s what I did this morning, because I knew I would spend the afternoon working on a dead end project (but it’s paid, so OK), and I wanted to enjoy my vacation a little more.

So, as a result, by the end of the morning I found myself with 3000 words of a new story, the general outline of a 40.000-words novella (but it’s likely to get longer), a working title, a list of characters, some reference images and I found the time to research…

  • casting calls for actors and for dancers
  • bra cup sizes and their differences between UK and US
  • the career of V.C. Andrews and her post-mortem career (and her incredibly expensive ebooks)
  • witchcraft in 20th century America
  • TV advertisement practices in the early 2000s
  • burlesque and exotic dancing
  • architectural terms

And it was a smash.

And while I have a lot of stuff in my file, part of the fun of this thing is that I am making it up as I go along, letting events branch out, and giving my characters ample manoeuvring space.
It’s like following a road just to see where it leads.
And right now it saeems to be leading in a fun, unusual direction.

So now I’m planning to write this baby, in my spare time, and with half a mind of getting it out for Halloween – this being a Gothic ghost story and all that – self-published, maybe both in Italian and English (I am writing it in English) possibly under a nom-de-plume.

Nothing very hush-hush – I might even go for “Davide Mana writing as … “
Because it’s a Gothic Ghost Story but it’s my sort of G.G.S.

But on second thought, not straight away. I’ll save that for the second edition – let’s give time to my anti-fans to buy the book and rave about its quality, maybe even post a few reviews and try to get in touch with my alter-ego to ask for (unpaid) stories. It happened in the past.
And then let them find out…

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Finding a giant monster

boy-throwing-baseball-c1930s-h-armstrong-robertsclassicstockI am about to pitch a new story to one of my long-suffering publishers.
I’m probably working on too many different projects at the same, but when a good idea and an opening appears, I like to jump at it. I can do without sleep for a few days, but not without a steady income – and as a freelance writer of genre fiction, this means writing a lot, and selling as much as possible.

And actually, I am currently working on three separate pitches, that will hit different publishers in the next few days…

  • One for a surreal fantasy story, put together upon request by a fine Italian publisher. I should call this an”urban fantasy”, because the setting is a city in the modern day, but my story does not share any of the basic elements today associated with Urban Fantasy – no teenage Goth girls in love with angels, no tattooed badass biker chicks hunting vampires, no witches bickering.
  • One for a collaboration, a very fun fantasy project we’ll pitch to both Italian and English-language publishers.
  • And one for a big monster novel.

And talking about big monsters… Continue reading