East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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And for my next trick…

This post goes online… everywhere – first on my Patreon page, and then on my blogs, both in Italian and English.
So here’s the thing: I’m reading a book called The 5 Days Novel, by Scott King.
And as you can imagine, the title got me thinking.

Can it be done?
Well, I wrote the first draft of The Ministry of Thunder in 8 days … and then worked for months to get the definitive draft.
Can I make it in 5 days, and get a final(-ish) draft?

I have five bucks here that say I can make it – the price of a pizza at Casablanca’s.
A wager with myself.

So here is what I will do: I’ll finish the book, and take notes, and set up the experiment. And then I will do it.
I will write a new novel in 5 days, give or take one day (because you never know).

I will post about the progress on my Patreon, with excerpts and stuff, and will also do a shorter real-time review on my blogs.

And when the novel’s ready, all my Patrons will get a copy – as a thank you for their continued support, and as a way to celebrate the third year of my Patreon.

I’ll have to make it fast, because soon I’ll start working on the Brancalonia translation, and I have other projects going.
But I really want to do this.
So, keep an eye out for the proper announcement, and wish me luck.
Or if you like, buy me a coffee to keep me up during the five days writing marathon.

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A work (as yet) without a title

Three weeks ago I started writing just for the fun of it. Writing has always been a relaxing thing for me, a good way to quiet the mind and just let the words go from the brain, through the fingers and the keyboard, to the page. I did it as a kid, when I was learning to type on my mother’s Olivetti Lettera 32, and for a long time it’s been a way to get away from it all for a moment.

So I started writing, and for starters there were just two things – a piece of diary-like writing about an out-of-work actress/dancer looking for a job, any job, and an old dark house. That, and the idea that this would be a ghost story.

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Write or Die

As I think I mentioned a while back, one of those “memories” that Facebook serves us daily to make us feel miserable (that’s my explanation of this “feature”) made me aware of the fact that in 2019, by the 15th of August, I had submitted 55 short stories and articles to various magazines and anthologies.
By August the 15th 2020 I had only submitted 33.
That scared me as hell.

It was a sign of the HUGE amount of time I had wasted (so to speak) to follow the ghostwriting job from Hell that, as I mentioned a few days back, ended this September, with me not being paid.
I was also scared because a drop of 40% submissions could be a sign I was losing my ability to write a lot, and write fast – and by doing so, manage to pay the bills.

So I sat down, and started writing.

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The killer whales of the Peruvian desert

I’ve talked about books about ancient mysteries and how I used to read them when I was a kid, and how I sometimes still use them as sources of inspiration for stories and games.
Easter Island, lost continents, ancient astronauts, spirits of ancient Egypt… and of course the Nazca Lines.

nascawhaleI went back to the Nazca Lines because the first chapter of Livyatan, my new book currently in the very early stages of development, opens in somewhere between around 500 BC, when we first catch a glimpse of the monster.
I remembered the obsession of the Andine Cultures for the killer whale, that they portrayed in a number of statuettes, and that was probably a deity/nature spirit for them. And I also remembered there is a killer whale among the famous Nazca geoglyphs.
So, I wanted to use this as a hook for my story. Continue reading

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New contract, new book

Boy was it fast!
I am happy to announce that my pitch for a big sea monster story (see previous post) has been accepted1, and the contract signed and delivered, so yes, I am going to write a book about a rampaging Livyatan melvillei… or half a dozen of them.


The general story, plot and structure are well defined, and I have a list of characters. So I’ll devote two hours each day, staring today, to outlining and to the preliminary documentation of the book – I’m writing science fiction, I want to get the science right. Continue reading