Back in the saddle

After a long hiatus, and some much needed soul searching, I’m back to the drawing board. I have several projects in the works currently, most notably will be Volume II of “The Reaper’s Opus” coming out at the beginning of October.

Until then I will be updating this blog periodically with information and status updates. 

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Wyrd Worlds II Interview Series – Victoria Zigler

Continuing my Wyrd Worlds II interview series I have another one of my fellow authors. Victoria Zigler contributed “The Quest for the Purple Pumpkin” in which a young girl travels to a world filled with wonders, and incredible dangers.

Where do you live and write from? 

“I live in a town by the sea in the South-East of England.  I write wherever I happen to be as long as I have tools on hand I can use for the purpose.  Although, most of my writing is either done while sitting at my desk, or while sitting in bed with my laptop on my knees.”

 When did you start writing?

“I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write.  I learned to read and write at the age of three, and started writing poems and stories as soon as I learned how; I know I was definitely writing them at the age of five, since I have a copy of one I wrote at that age.  I think I was about seven or eight when I decided I wanted to one day be a published author, but it was 2012 when I published my first book and could actually call myself an author.”

What genre(s) do you write?

“I mainly write for children.  Mostly fantasy stories, fairy tales, and animal stories, though I do also have an entire series of children’s books about a little boy named Toby’s struggles to adapt after losing his sight.


I also write poetry.  Mostly I don’t put a recommended reading age on my poems, though I do have one short collection that’s specifically aimed at children.”

What was your inspiration behind The Quest for the Purple Pumpkin?

“I was thinking one night about all the stories I’ve read where people end up in fantasy worlds after stumbling through magical doorways they didn’t know existed.  I thought about how those people seem to either manage to get back the same way, are sent back by someone in the world who has magic to do this, wake up and find it’s a dream, or stay there for good.  I wondered what would happen if none of those options was available.  What if the doorway disappeared, it wasn’t safe to stay there, or ask for help to get home, and it wasn’t a dream? I decided there’d have to be something in that world that could send you home.  I also decided that even if most people in a world had a problem with the idea of someone from another world coming to theirs, there would be some who didn’t feel that way.  Next thing I know, I’ve got the idea for ‘Quest For The Purple Pumpkin’ floating about in my head.

I don’t know why I used a world of elves, though I do like elves.  I guess elves were just right for the story.  I don’t know why I decided on a pumpkin either, but I do know the reason it’s a purple one is because I wanted it to be a different colour to your average pumpkin, and purple is my favourite colour.”

Do you have a specific writing routine? 

“I can’t do routines.  I sometimes wish I could, and have tried several times to make one work, but they’ve never lasted more than a few days.  This is mostly because I have an irregular sleeping schedule, and with a sleeping schedule that’s so random I don’t know from one day to the next when I’ll sleep or how long for, a routine would be difficult to say the least.  The nearest thing I have to a writing routine is the fact that I always try to write something each day, be it just a few words, or several pages.  There are days I struggle with this, and days the words flow so easily I can write an entire draft of a story without stopping.”

Tell us about your latest book outside of Wyrd Worlds

“I have two books I’m going to mention here.  One was published a little over a week before ‘Wyrd Worlds II’ was published, and the other is pre-released and will be available at the end of October.


‘Kero Crosses The Rainbow Bridge’ is the seventh and final book in a series of books about my own dog; a West Highland White Terrier named Keroberous.  The series is a semi-fictionalized account of some of the things that happened to him in his life, as I imagine they would appear from his point of view.  I originally only planned to write six books for the series, which were published in 2013, but I decided to write a seventh book after I had to put him to sleep in August.  It was my way of saying goodbye to a dog who was much more than just a pet to me.  I hope I did him justice with the story, and that the book will help someone else one day when it comes time for them to say goodbye to a furry friend.  It was both the most difficult thing I’ve ever written, and the easiest thing I’ve ever written.  Most difficult because of the subject matter; I was crying the whole time I was writing it.  Easiest, because I knew what I wanted to write without even thinking about it; the words just flowed from my fingertips.  The book was published a month to the day from the date I had to put the real Kero to sleep.


‘Vinnie The Vegetarian Zombie’ is a story about a little girl’s encounter with a vegetarian turned zombie, who breaks in to the fruit and vegetable shop where she’s waiting in hiding for her Mother’s return during a zombie apocalypse.  It’s my answer to a question that randomly popped in to my head about whether or not being turned in to a zombie would make a vegetarian suddenly abandon their dietry preferences from life.”

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

“Indie publishing.  If self-publishing my books wasn’t an option, I’d try my luck with a traditional publisher, but – to be honest – I’m glad I have the option to self-publish, since I like the freedom it gives me to pick my own publishing dates.  I also like the freedom to decide for myself what to publish next.

If, for example, I’m writing one story and another cries out to be written, and I finnish the new story first, I can go ahead and publish the new one while continuing to work on the old one.  But, if I was working with a traditional publisher, I’d have to focus on the one the publisher is waiting for, and the new story may not even get to see the light of day.  Which would be sad, since the whole purpose of a story is for it to be told, and – if written down – for it to be read.”

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

“My main goal as a writer is to write all the stories bouncing about in my head and begging to be written.  I’d also like to get enough recognition as an author that I have a decent sized group of people waiting eagerly for my next release; it doesn’t need to be thousands, but a few more than I have now would be nice.

As for what I’m doing to achieve those goals: I write a lot, which is all I need to do to achieve my main goal.  The second part is more difficult, but I’m doing my best with that one by offering my readers the best stories I can, and promoting my books every chance I get.”

A big thank you to Victoria for taking a moment to answer a few questions, and if you would like to discover more from this author click here.

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Wyrd Worlds Interview Series – Barbara Tran


The idea behind any anthology is two fold. As an author you get the chance to bring your work to many that may have never been exposed to your work. As a reader you get the, free, opportunity to discover new authors thus extending your to-be-read list. In an effort to help you learn a little more about the authors of Wyrd Worlds II, I bring you the “Wyrd Worlds II interview series”. Each week I’m going to, attempt depending on their schedules, bring you an interview from a different author.

This week’s interview is coming from Barbara Tarn. Barbara’s contributed Guisarme, a fantasy adventure following the title character. Guisarme is a female assassin in a guild on a mission to discover what happened to her friend, and mentor.

Where do you live and write from?

I was born in Rome, but having spent 8 wonderful years abroad, I consider myself international. I’m fluent in Italian, English and French, and wonder if I should learn the fourth language – considering my new movie passion I should pick Hindi!

When did you start writing?

I was still living abroad when I jotted down the first stories and poems in Italian or French. The first “official” illustrated story is from the summer of 1978 when we came back to Italy. I have “recycled” it half in the first Chronicle of the Varian Empire – The Spell, the other half in Books of the Immortals – Water.

What genre(s) do you write?

I started with… all of them! Sci-fi, fantasy, love-stories, mostly very dramatic and as I wrote what I knew (i.e. not much ;-)) most of them don’t make sense today, but I keep them anyway. In the second half of the 1980s I started writing sci-fi (my idea of sci-fi being Star Wars and Star Trek, not sci-fi literature), in the 1990s, after reading the Dragonlance saga, I switched to fantasy, in the late 1990s lots of M/M romance. New millennium I started writing in English, screenplays first, then novels since 2008. I went back to my first love (prose) and am now rewriting and translating (or writing new stuff) some of my babies. I started doing graphic novels in the late 1990s and I always had both the Italian and English version back then. Now I write adult fantasy and science fantasyl My other pen name writes contemporary stories and urban fantasy

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Mostly “What if” or turning upside down a situation. Like my Amazons who treat men like most men treat women (i.e. as sub-human). Or I have a “Male Sleeping Beauty” (I saw him called Sleeping Beau now, but in 1997 my English wasn’t as good as now). And I used to be in all my stories until my M/M romance period. Now sometimes I’m in it, sometimes I’m not. I used to be the Warrior Woman in the 1990s, now I tend to write more feminine parts for myself (Axelle of SKYBAND, Winged Jesminder in Air, and Brenda de Zorig in Books of the Immortals – Earth)

Do you have a specific writing routine?

Nope. Sometimes I don’t write for days because I read, draw or research, but when I start a story I don’t stop until I reach the end of Draft Zero. After so many years I know how to stick to my own deadlines.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser. Sometimes I tell the whole story to myself (supposedly to go to sleep, which of course works the opposite way and keeps me awake until late, LOL), sometimes I do a drawing and decide to tell the story of those characters (I’m very character-oriented). I have very loose outlines and can never tell how long the final work will be. My average novel length is now 60000 words. And yes, I’m a very fast writer. I waste time waiting for betas and editors’ feedback or I could write one story per month. That’s why I never did NaNoWriMo – don’t have time for that! 😉

Tell us about your latest book

Currently out is Guisarme in the anthology Wyrd Worlds 2 – a taste of ta longer story about the Assassins’ Guild of Godwalkar (which is actually a M/M romance of which Guisarme is a secondary character).

Indie Publishing or Traditional?

Indie publishing because I’m prolific and don’t want to wait for agent or publisher’s validation. The readers will be the judges. Also, I hate legalese and contracts. And I’d rather keep total control on my stories – yeah, I’m a control freak! 😉 I might look for a small publisher for the historical novel (other pen-name and British spelling) though, as I won’t write many of those anyway.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

The rest of the Assassins’ Guild stories – Saif & Kilig (which includes Guisarme) should come out in November. The sequels to Saif’s Legacy – that will form a trilogy of novellas will tell the story of Kilig & Hakeem – should come out in December. By Christmas I hope to publish also Star Minds Next Generation Book 1, sequel to the Star Minds trilogy.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I’ve been indie publishing for four years now, I have 80+ titles out in two languages and I’m still pretty much in the red with expenses (covers and editing), but I’m adjusting the five years plan to ten years. It’s growing and I’m in it for the long run, so not giving up yet. And even if I give up – it’s the publishing part that will get dropped, not the writing. Just sayin’…

If you would like to read more about Barbara, head on over to her blog here.

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Wyrd Worlds 2 Interview Series

In tandem with the release of Wyrd Worlds 2, I’m going to be posting interviews with participating authors for the next few weeks.

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Wyrd Worlds 2

Wyrd Worlds 2.

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Wyrd Worlds

Almost a year ago I reviewed an anthology on my review blog

It’s a Science Fiction collaboration made up of authors from the Goodreads website.


Its a strong collection of short stories that I highly recommended then, and I still do now.

This year the group, with a few member changes, is bringing the anthology back with a second installment. I’m happy to report that I will actually be taking part in this second installment with a story I submitted.

I’ll update as more info is made available, I’m also going to create a Wyrd Worlds II page on this site to give everyone a chance to meet my co-authors.

via WordPress for Phone

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Making Money From Writing, Part 1: Short Story Markets

David Gaughran

People write for all sorts of reasons, but today we are going to talk about how to make money out of your stories. Whether you write short stories or novels, or anything in between, there are a number of different markets out there. If you are aiming to make a living from your stories, or at least supplement your income, you should be aware of all of them.

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