Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Wine, sex and folk horror (and other things)

Despite the general sleepiness that comes with Spring, I’m trying to clear my desk of my backlog of stories, articles and translations I need to deliver to my clients, and in the meantime I’m trying to work on a pair of submissions and a couple of self-published things.
The new Buscafusco story is 75% done, and I’d like to nail its box shut by the end of the month.
acheron_the__ministry_of_thunderAlso, the Dean Wesley Smith book Writing a Novel in Seven Days is making me itchy to try. As I mentioned, I did it once already, and the novel I wrote in eight days later became The Ministry of Thunder, of which I am well pleased, as are my readers (eight 5-star reviews! hooray!)
Now I’m wondering if it would be feasible to try and do a 42.000 words story about Aculeo & Amunet.
And then there is the bit about local traditions and folk horror. About six months ago I promised a friend a novel a-la Dan Brown to stimulate interest in the territory and lure tourists in these hills. Part of that project became the Buscafusco series, but the idea of a horror story set in the Piedmontese vineyards sounds more attractive every day. And as per original plan, might make enough people curious to give a minimal boost to local tourism.
Now, as I think I mentioned, the local spook-du-jour are the masche sort of witches/hags of peasant tradition – and my friend Fabrizio Borgio is an expert on the subject.
BUT, in a twist of research madness, I decided to look at another tradition that might provide ample food for stories… even Aculeo & Amunet stories.
Because this is a wine country, and wine means Dionysus. Continue reading


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Ron Fortier reviews The Ministry of Thunder

acheron_the__ministry_of_thunderNow this feels… strange.
But good, too!

You see, Ron Fortier‘s Pulp Fiction Reviews was the first blog I started following when I decided to get deeper into this pulp thing. You’ll find a link in the blogroll here on the right, and Ron’s reviews blog is still my first stop when I’m looking for something to read.
Heck, the man has sold me dozens of books! – including a handful that have become my faves.

So try and imagine my reaction when, checking my feed today, reader, I found this…

“The Ministry of Thunder,” is a rollicking tongue-in-cheek over-the-top pulp winner that completely won me over within its first few chapters. It’s Indiana Jones meets Bill Barnes with a touch of Kung-Fun thrown in to spice things up. It is the first Davide Mana book we’ve read and we certainly hope not the last.

This is more than graduating.
This feels like getting a PhD in pulp writing.

And yes, I do hope Sabatini will be back, too.

Check out Pulp Fiction Reviews‘ full piece about The Ministry of Thunder.

Me, I’m throwing a little party.
Later!


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The Ministry of Thunder – a 16-words review

I do not normally share the reviews of my novel, The Ministry of Thunder, here on my blog.
I like to keep things classy, you see.

But when one of the most popular and well-loved authors of science fiction out there takes a moment to write a review of my book, what the heck… I know it’s not classy at all, but I have to share it.

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I spent many summers reading S.M. Stirling‘s books.
I am proud, and moved, that he now read my novel.


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Riding the Leviathan

World-building.
So far I’ve had it easy – most of my fantasy is historical fantasy, after all, and the action takes place in historical settings or pretty close to them.
World-building means a good history reference book (or five) and a few pages of notes on what’s hiding in the cracks of what we consider historical.

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I’ve worked like that on the Aculeo & Amunet stories (set in the Third Century AD), on my novel The Ministry of Thunder (set in 1936 China), and on my current Le Corsaire project (set in the Mediterranean area, in the 1950s).
And the Corsair stories are not even fantasy – they are action thrillers.
Yes, even on my science fiction novel, The Hunt for Tethys1, I did most of my worldbuilding on a handful of post-its. Continue reading


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Five Things I learned Writing “The Ministry of Thunder”

acheron_the__ministry_of_thunderMy first novel, The Ministry of Thunder, is six months old this week, and I thought it was high time I did some new post to bore you to death about it.
This will be a week of celebrations.

In case you missed it, The Ministry of Thunder is a pulp/fantasy novel set in 1936 China, in which a stranded Italian mechanic tries to recycle himself as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer.
Cue to mysterious artifacts, beautiful women, evil masterminds, Taoist magic, Chinese ghosts, lost cities, and the Ministry of Thunder and Storms.
And ninja.

So, I normally say that everything is part of the learning process – what did I learn (if I did), writing The Ministry of Thunder? Continue reading


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The Ministry of Thunder Scrapbook

As I often mentioned in the past, I use Pinterest as a tool for collecting visual references while writing.
I did so while working on The Ministry of Thunder, setting up a secret Pinboard to keep all my visual references in one place.
Now that the novel is out (both as an ebook and a paperback), I no longer need to keep my reference material secret – so here’s a selection from the aforementioned Pinboard.

Enjoy.