East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Leave a comment

Researching far and wide

Something I often discuss on these pages is the joy (and pain) of doing research when writing.
Being a naturally curious individual, I actually enjoy doing research, and quite often I see writing as an opportunity to explore some issues that interest me.


Also, the amount of research is connected with the volume of work I am planning.
For a quick short story, say, set on Titan, the moon of Saturn, a selection of articles on the topic, plus the usual resources found online are normally more than enough.
Something particularly interesting and useful for the story might emerge, and then I’ll go in deeper on that single detail, usually while revising the first draft.
But in general, let’s say that, as a rule of thumb, a 6000-words story should be based on no more than one weekend of reading and note-taking. “For Dummies” books are a great resource when writing short fiction1. Continue reading

Leave a comment

The first Corsair: Chasing the Mermaid

I am very happy to announce that the first story in my new series, The Corsair, is out and available for purchase.
Called Chasing the Mermaid, it is the first novella in the planned series1 of stand-alone yarns in the style of the old adventure pulps.


chasing the mermaid cover small

The Corsair, Chasing the Mermaid is published by the fine gentlemen of Raven’s Head Press, and it is available through Amazon2.

In the next few days I’ll bore you to death with details and stuff, but right now I’m happy to leave you with the words of the great Bobby Nash…

Davide Mana’s Chasing The Mermaid is pure pulp fiction in the truest sense of the world. Tough as nails hero, hard-core action, nail-biting suspense, adventure and danger around the globe, and of course, a vile villain and beautiful women. Who could ask for anything more? This is a fun pulpy read.
— Bobby Nash – Author: Alexandra Holzer’s Ghost Gal: The Wild Hunt, Domino Lady: Money Shot

Sounds good, right?

  1. the second volume already in the works as I write this, and there are two more stories outlined. 
  2. an it is free on Kindle Unlimited! 

Leave a comment

I’m stupid, but it’s all right

Yesterday I decided I am stupid, and it’s all right like that.
You see, I was handed a book for review purposes; the thing’s printed by a major Italian publisher and touted as the Second Coming of adventure writing. So yes, I was curious.
Pity the research backing the action was probably limited to re-watching a pair of old movies to get the fake accents right – there’s mountains smack in the middle of the greatest floodplain on Earth, there’s a lot of made-up archeology and anthropology that do not even try to look plausible, there’s a main character so derivative even his name is second-hand. The book apparently is selling in cartloads.

All of this, and I’ve been spending the last week looking for the floorplans of the Cairo Museum in the ’50s, to get the opening scene of my new Corsair story just right.

Cairo and district, Egypt. The Egyptian Museum. Interior of m...

So yes, I felt stupid, but I decided it’s all right like that. Continue reading