Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Think fast: outlining a novella in two hours

So what happened was this: after posting about my idea of writing a story based on a character like Captain Katanga in the Indiana Jones movies, I was discussing details and possibilities with my friends online.
Stuff like who’d be part of the crew, would they operate only in the Mediterranean or extend their activities to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, would they kick Nazi ass exclusively or would they also punch some other occasional colonial bad guys… stuff like that.

And one of my publishers dropped me a line…

“You know where to send this one once it’s finished, right?”

And so, considering the pitch had already happened and worked without me doing nothing, I went and sent him a proper proposal and an outline for a 30.000-words novella.
Straight away.
No barrier between thought and action.
That sounds damn smooth, but first I had to put together a 1000-words/4 pages outline, and do it fast.

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Going Noir in Faeryland

42989848_10215692319757653_2014258310848446464_nLess than 12 hours after the paintings by Astor Alexander started making the rounds, a call hit the usual suspects, for an anthology of pulp retellings of faery tales.
The only rule: not the ninbe princesses portrayed in the original paintings.
Which is a pity, because I love Pocahontas – Private Eye.
Anyway, that’s what writing to a call means – you go with the publisher’s requests.
And so I did some research, dug out Giambattista Basile, and sent a pitch straight away (and this makes three submissions to three different publishers this week). Continue reading


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Writing a serial? Or a series?

So, it’s been proposed I may write a series – a supernatural horror series.
Which is no big deal, one might think: I always write thinking in series.
Aculeo & Amunet is a sword & sorcery series.
The Corsair is an adventure series.
The Ministry of Thunder was conceived as the first book in an adventure/fantasy series (and yes, I have the second book growing here on my hard disk).
And my Italian language bestseller, Gli Orrori della Valle Belbo is a supernatural horror anthology series.
And so on and so forth.

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It comes, I think, with the sort of books I grew up with. Cycles of novels, series of short stories. Characters with continuing adventures.
And then of course there were all those BBC and ITC TV series I grew up with as a kid – from The Avengers to UFO and all that.

So, basically when I write I think in terms of series.
Even the story in Alternative Air Adventures was developed as a possible pilot for a series (not that I told that to my publisher). Continue reading