East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Five things to do after you send your final draft in

Ok, so the final draft of my second novel, Tethys is in the mail, and on its way to the editor’s desk.
Now what?

Because me, at this, point, I normally feel a sort of post-whatever depression.
Like I had to say goodbye to old friends, my life is empty and all that.

So here’s a few things that might help – certainly they help me. Continue reading

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On the writer’s need for a garish Rippingtons T-shirt

Last week someone I hardly know added me to a facebook group dedicated to I can’t remember what heavy metal band.
The rationale – I read (and write) fantasy, therefore I am obviously a heavy metal fan.


Sorry no.
I do have rather varied musical tastes (or lack thereof)… just two nights back I discovered Kazakh pop music, for instance1.
But I do not listen to a certain genre because I read/write a certain genre, or vice-versa.
And if subscribing me to any group without asking is the sort of aggressive, bounder’s act that’s granted to make me get out of said group just for the pleasure of being contrarian, this bit about heavy metal is really getting on my nerves.
Not to the point of losing any sleep, but… Continue reading

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It’s fantasy, I can do as I please

We call'em hillocks hereabouts

We call’em hillocks hereabouts

Yesterday I had a brief but highly instructive discussion with the author of a book set in the mountains of Devonshire. Here, in a city of chalets crowded around a Medieval castle, the local sheriff and his deputy have to investigate a series of mysterious murders.

Now the thing that caused some perplexity is, of course, that the highest peak in Devon is about 600 meters high (not exactly a mountain, especially for us that live in the shade of the Alps), chalets are very scarce in the area, and law enforcement in Devon is handled by the Devon & Cornwall Police, not by a rather American-sounding Sheriff’s Office.

When these observations were vented, the reaction of the author was – “this is a fantasy novel, I can do what I please”.

I beg to differ. Continue reading

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Raphael Ordoñez’ Dragonfly, a biased review

Dragonfly-by-Raphael-OrdoñezI promised a review and here it is.
I spent the weekend immersed in one of the most intriguing, baffling and intelligent books I read in a long while.
The book is Raphael Ordoñez’ Dragonfly, a novel I discovered thanks to the Black Seal blog.
The review published by Black Gate promised much – and the novel delivered in full, and possibly more1.
What was an impulse purchase, based on a great review and a great cover (by the author himself), turned out to be one of the best reads of this year.

The novel takes place on the Counter-Earth at the Cosmic Antipodes, whatever that may mean, and indeed much of the setting is shrouded in mystery.
Is this the past, the future, some place else or our own world? Are the strange individuals the hero meets aliens, members of different human branches of evolution, or something completely different? Continue reading

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The Saint

Ah, the joys of old time radio!
here’s an episode from the radio version of The Saint – based on the caper stories by Leslie Charteris.
While I’m quite familiar with the classic Roger Moore TV series, I just found out that no less than Vincent Price played the role of Simon Templar on the radio.
And indeed the witty tone of Price suits quite nicely the character.
Here’s an episode.

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Recharging the batteries

tumblr_mwjlmfJ1vx1rkiuhro1_500I’m tired.
I spent these last three months writing, about 5 hours a day every day on the average – without weekends or any other relief.
Mind you, I’m not complaining1 – if there’s something I’d like to do, is increase my output, which means hitting the 8-hours-a-day mark, and the no-less-than-5000-words-per-day mark.
Let’s say I’m working on it.

The problem is, sometimes we need to recharge the batteries. Continue reading


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