East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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shortstorymonthAnd so it looks like I did the right thing at the right time without knowing.
Sort of a serendipitous thing.

Fact is, I found out yesterday about the Write a Story a Day initiative – which is sort of the short-story equivalent of NaNoWriMo.

Now, of course, I blew it from the beginning – I wrote a short story in three days.
Ah, what sad a failure I am.

And yet…

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New Story Cover and #Giveaway

So, as you read this I’m writing the last 1000 words or so of my new story, a prequel of sorts to The Ministry of Thunder.
Then I’ll inflict it on my wonderful editrix1, and once she’s cut it with her steely knife, and I’ll have revised it, I’ll turn it into a .mobi and an .epub file – so everybody will be happy.

The short story will be given away for free to the friends that will join us on the 19th (or 20th, depending on your time zone), for the online Ministry of Thunder party on Facebook.

ministry party banner

We’ll be celebrating the new paperback version of The Ministry of Thunder, and the Chinese New Year.
And give away as many copies of the new story as possible.

Not sure yet?
Well, maybe you’d like to take a look at the cover of the new story. Continue reading


Planning for 2015

sextantI was reading this interesting post on Percival Constantine’s blog, the other day.

Now, I’m always thinking in serials, when I write.
Granted, I wrote a few one shots, but – probably due to my preferences in reading – I tend to prefer short fiction that goes in series.

Right now I’m working on my first English-language novel (I know, I know, I told you so already, ad nauseam), and I’m thinking of it in terms of the first episode in a serial.
I’ve two other stories featuring the same character – both currently in the form of a logline, but promising.
Then, of course, we’ll see what the publisher and the readers have to say about that.

As soon as I deliver the finished novel, I’ll start on my next project – once again, a serial. Continue reading

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All the right rules

support-authorDo you guys read reviews on Amazon, or Goodreads?
I do – not only those for my books, but also those for other people’s books.
I try and write a few reviews, too – feedback is important, and it’s good to try and help spread the word about good books.

So, yesterday, I was waiting for dinner time browsing a few amazon reviews, and I chanced upon a thing that sort of scared me.

No, really, I was scared.

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Short stories

dahlIn this weird summer that alternates suffocating humidity with cold showers, I have a craving for short stories.
Don’t ask me why.
Maybe it’s because I can start and finish a story in a single sitting, even after a long day spent writing, or translating, or doing stuff; it engages my brain at the right level, without being too demanding on my time, or eyesight.
Or maybe it’s because in the last few years I’ve been writing mostly short stories and I am curious about what the great ones did.
I’m trying to steal their secrets.

So, I went through John D. MacDonald‘s The Good Old Stuff, and right now I’m going through the Everyman edition of Roald Dahl’s Collected Stories.
Afterwards I’ll probably go through Muse and Reverie, by Charles de Lint.
And then some Sam Shepard.
As I said, I’m craving short fiction, and studying with the best. Continue reading

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The Good Stuff

john-d-macdonald-60sYesterday I wrote great writers are those that can actually write down what we feel, but we so far have been unable to express with the same economy and focus.

Here’s John D. Macdonald, from the introduction to his short story collection, The Good Old Stuff.

First, there has to be a strong sense of story. I want to be intrigued by wondering what is going to happen next. I want the people that I read about to be in difficulties–emotional, moral, spiritual, whatever, and I want to live with them while they’re finding their way out of these difficulties. Second, I want the writer to make me suspend my disbelief…. I want to be in some other place and scene of the writer’s devising. Next, I want him to have a bit of magic in his prose style, a bit of unobtrusive poetry. I want to have words and phrases really sing. And I like an attitude of wryness, realism, the sense of inevitability. I think that writing–good writing– should be like listening to music, where you pick out the themes, you see what the composer is doing with those themes, and then, just when you think you have him properly analyzed, and his method identified, he will put in a little quirk, a little twist, that will be so unexpected that you read it with a sens of glee, a sense of joy, because of its aptness, even though it may be a very dire and bloody part of the book. So I want story, wit, music, wryness, color, and a sense of reality in what I read, and I try to get it in what I write.

He makes it sound almost easy.