Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Leave a comment

The hit list

I’ve just completed a new BUSCAFUSCO story, that in a few days I’ll post to my Patrons in the Five Bucks Brigade – just the time needed to translate it in Italian – because my patrons get my stories both in Italian and English. It’s a bit of extra work, but I’m happy to do it for my patrons.
And as I’m at it, I thought I’ll post here a short list of what’s to come, in terms of short stories, for my Patrons in the next months.

First, as I said, in a few days, a 7000-words BUSCAFUSCO story set in Nizza Monferrato in the days before Halloween.
After that, and in no particular order (or, in other words, as the fancy strikes me)

  • a new Aculeo & Amunet sword & sorcery story
  • a new caper of The Corsair
  • a new Tale of the Frontier
  • a new Valerie Trelawney Edwardian ghost story (the character will make her debut in print some time in the next months)
  • the first Helena Saratova (if that’s really her name) solo historical adventure

And this keeps us covered (and me busy) until March 2020.
There will be more, of course, stuff that at the moment is so secret, I can’t tell you or then I’d have to kill you.
AND the Open Outline stuff my Patrons are helping (?) me put together.

And I have to admit, I am quite happy with how things are shaping up.
Going back to my old characters, for readers that I know appreciate them, is like taking a vacation.

And as I said, there’s more to come.
So watch this space for news and, if you feel like, join us on Patreon.
Because it’s good to be my patrons.


Leave a comment

The Open Outline experiment

I’ve started a new thing on my Patreon, and I’m calling it Open Outline – part of my push to grow my page and my fan-base, but also a way to play with writing. Also, my patrons are a great crowd, and it looked like a good idea to try and harness their smarts to my advantage.

The Open Outline works like this: on the first of the month, I post the start of a story, roughly the first page or so.
During the following week, my patrons are invited to play with it – ask questions, sure, but also offer hypotheses about what’s going on, about where the story is going. They can suggest details about the characters or the setting.
At the end of the week, the best suggestions go into the story outline, and I add a brief treatment, explaining what I’m going to do with the story, and then we start round two – given what we’ve decided is going to happen… then, what next?
And then again.

By the end of the month, I’ll have a set of story notes I’ll be able to use to write a short story, that I’ll then post to my Patrons, giving all the participants a nice round of applause.
And then we’ll move to the next story.

Many of those that follow me on Patreon have some sort of interest in writing and storytelling, and I hope they’ll like the idea of playing with me. The others can just enjoy the show, and then read the story.
And to me this is a great exercise – because it means working with ideas that are new, different and fresh, and without a set target or destination.
As I said in a comment here somewhere, it’s good to keep busy – it keeps the blues away.


Leave a comment

Things to Come, #5

As I’ve already mentioned, I’ll devote the next three months to try and grow my Patron page. I want to offer more benefits to my patrons, and possibly lure more Patrons.
In all fairness, I’d love should I be able to pay my mortgage with Patreon – and that means work harder, offer more quality and more perks to the brave souls that feel like gambling a few bucks every month on my ability to deliver.

For this reason I’ve decided to add a new tier to my Patreon page, a higher pledge level, well above the already heady heights of the 10 Bucks Lounge – something that I will cal the Writers’ Workshop, because this new tier will be writer-oriented.

The Writers’ Workshop hits you for 25 bucks per month, for a minimum of two months. That’s a lot of money – so what do you get?

Continue reading


Leave a comment

10 Minutes Till the Savages Come

So today is the day I’m recording my first podcast for my Patrons.
To celebrate, my neighbors are having a bbq party with loud Balkanian music.
But it’s all right: I’ve been wasting time looking for a title and a theme and an idea for the first recording, and suddenly I hit on all three within ten minutes – and I could bore you to death with my ideas and beliefs about inspiration, ideas and how they sort of come to us, but, really, I think I’ll spare you.

The blog will be called 10 Minutes Till the Savages Come, that is the title of a song recorded by Manhattan Transfer in 1991, in the record The Offbeat of Avenues.
My podcasts will be ten minutes long – because, reasons – and the title, now that I’ve decided, feels like a no-brainer.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Things to Come #3 – a new benefit for the 10$ Lounge

As I mentioned, starting with October and my third year on Patreon, I will be offering new perks and benefits to my patrons, both as a way for thanking them for being there, and to try and lure more innocent souls inside my lair. So here’s another peek at how it will be… in the future!

I’ve added the podcasts and the Open Outline to the 5 Bucks Brigade level, now it’s time to offer something new and special to the guys in the 10 Bucks Lounge, the brave souls that bet 10 dollars a month on my work.
Time to give something back to them.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

The Autumn of Patreon, episode 1 – Writing on Demand

As I think I mentioned – or I should have mentioned – I’ll devote this autumn to the development and growth of my Patreon. I want more patrons, and I want happier patrons.
So I am announcing a number of new perks for those brave souls that decide to gamble a few bucks on me and my writing, and show small glimpses of things to come.
The World of Tomorrow, if you will…

For instance,

You Outline It, I Write It (a.k.a. YOIIWI)

Continue reading