One step at a time

It’s been a little while, right? I apologise for that. 2018 was a year full of ups and downs, with things happening at an alarmingly fast pace. So much so that at times it was hard for me to keep up. Those of you who know me in person, know that I like things to happen slowly over time. But such is life; it rarely does our bidding. Which is probably why I write fiction, I guess. Anything can happen there.

Though I’m not a big fan of new year resolutions (in other words, I don’t like them at all), this year I decided to stick to at least one that I feel is extremely important to me: reduce my stress levels considerably and, in doing so, enjoy writing once again. Between publishing my début novel, The Darkening, dealing with family-related health issues, trying to learn new skills (anyone willing to teach a Photoshop newbie like me some things in record time?), and other things that life often throws our way, I neglected a lot of things that I shouldn’t have, but most importantly, I drifted away from much of social life.

So what are this year’s plans? First of all, acquire the necessary funds to publish book 1 of my upcoming cyberpunk trilogy, then publish said book. I have decided to worry about funding books 2 and 3 after book 1 has gone live. The reason for that is in part that I have not yet written books 2 and 3. Chances are that all three books will be funded, in part or full, through crowdfunding, assuming the campaigns are successful.

As for other plans… drum roll please…

I have started drafting book 2. I believe I have a solid story, as well as strong and interesting set of characters.

After that, I’ll start outlining book 3… for the sixth time (!!), since nothing seems to be good enough. Again, I’ll worry about that in due time.

The Darkening is here!

When I was a kid at school (way back, around the age of six, when I still had hair on my head), I realised I was a little bit different from the other kids. I had an edge in English classes.Thanks to my father and his side of the family, I could speak the language before the teachers taught us anything about it. During most of my academic years, I was an average student, mostly because I found everything boring or the teachers didn’t make the classes interesting enough. But that was not the case with English classes.

The way my life unfolded before me, led me into a path that eventually, a few decades later, brought me to the point of authoring a novel with two more on the way, and a dozen or so short stories published on various markets. In a language other than my native: English. Who would have thought?

It’s amazing how little and seemingly unrelated things can end up defining a person and their careers. A few years back, I would have laughed at the idea of me becoming a writer. Five years ago, my friend Panos, said to me, “Well, why don’t you write a book? Are the others who do it better than you?”

That last question is something that can only be answered when my career in writing has come to an end and only in retrospect. It also involves a lot of subjectivity.

Fast forward to today: I published a full novel! And I’m thankful for it to all those people who unbeknownst to them nudged me a little further down the path I’m currently on. Nudges that were caused by events completely unrelated to each other.

And look at that! Even though the book has just been released, it’s already getting positive reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.

And this one

This writer is pleased he has made his readers happy 🙂

As an extra bonus, you can get your electronic copy of The Darkening at a discount for only $2.99 (or €2.99 if you’re in Europe) until Thursdsay, November 1. After that, the ebook goes back up to its standard price of 4.49, so hurry up and get your copy before the offer expires!


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Don’t fear the dark. Fear the light.
The end came when light changed. It decimated humanity, leaving scattered bands of survivors stumbling in the dark.
Faced with saving himself or his family during the apocalypse, John Piscus made the wrong choice, and has been living with the guilt ever since.
When a glowing girl shows up at John’s shelter begging for help, his instincts tell him to kill her. After all, light kills.
But when masked troopers tasked with capturing survivors come after them, it’s up to John to protect himself and the girl. Not only may she hold the key to reversing the lethal effects of light, she could also be the one who can save his soul.
If you love dark settings and characters faced with tough choices that result in horrific and sinister outcomes, don’t miss this post-apocalyptic horror read.
Discover the dangers in the world of The Darkening today.

The Darkening is a post-apocalyptic horror novel and is available as an ebook and paperback from all major retailers.


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Ground Floor, Second Room To The Left

My fourth short story, Ground Floor, Second Room To The Left, is now available worldwide. This is a horror short piece that tells the story of Joe and Lucy, a married couple of scavengers, who enter a derelict building to steal copper pipes, only to realise they’re locked in. Things are getting heated up because Lucy is claustrophobic and can’t stand the idea of being trapped. But the real problem is the messages that begin to appear on the walls, floor, and ceiling. More importantly, what the messages tell Joe and Lucy they need to do to get out.

Here’s the blurb.

Be careful where you venture.

When Joe and Lucy, lovingly married, enter a derelict house to scavenge, the door locks behind them, trapping the couple in a half destroyed room. Lucy is claustrophobic and needs to get out. When Joe tries to break the lock, unnerving messages written in blood appear on the walls, asking the same thing from both. The price for freedom in steep, and unless they act fast, they will die trapped.

Yep, you guessed it right: it’s a haunted house horror story and it already got a five-star review.

You can also read the review on Wickedjr89’s book blog here and Inkandblotting’s review here. Featured there, you will also find a review of my previous short story, Wisps of Memory.

Ground Floor, Second Room To The Left is available through Amazon as well as other retailers.

And as a personal request, if you do read it, please consider taking five minutes of your time to review it. It will not only validate my efforts and my work (regardless of whether you like the story or not), but it will also add to the necessary attention my work needs. Your reviews matter, because they are the most important way a writer (and that’s true for indies even more) can build and strengthen his/her career.

I hope you enjoy it. Happy reading, everyone!

Publishing contracts – Editing clauses

I hope you all had a great time with your loved ones, and that you found the time to recharge your batteries. Hopefully, 2017 will bring you more finished manuscripts, more published material, perhaps an agent (if you’re after getting published traditionally), and even more readers.

Speaking of getting published, I think it’s time to end this somewhat long-ish string of reblogged posts I started, that dealt with the process of getting published, the different paths one can take to see his/her work in readers’ hands, and of course a tiny portion regarding legal aspects. I may get back to some of these at a later time, but for the time being I think that’s it.

Today’s post deals with what to look out for when dealing with clauses in a publishing contract that deal with how a publisher edits your manuscript. On her blog, Victoria Strauss, writer and co-founder of Writer Beware, lists a few clauses she has encountered in real contracts, that should alert every writer that something’s not right. You can also find the same article on Writer Beware‘s blog.

Please keep in mind, that publishers are not trying to set a trap for the writer. They are not malevolent beings, lurking in the shadows, cackling and rubbing their hands every time they receive a manuscript. That’s not why I think such articles are necessary. The reason I’m posting this is because once we choose to publish our work, we put our artistic and creative hats away, and put our business hats on. It’s always safe, for both sides, to have a contract upon which they’ll build a healthy business relationship. Just as the publisher doesn’t know you or how determined you are to see this business partnership flourish and wants to be safe, you don’t know the publisher and, as a result, should be safe. Good contracts mean good business deals.

Hope this helps.

Publishing contracts – Tips regarding the Grant of Rights clause, by Sidebar Saturdays

So you’ve chosen which publishing path is the right one for you, you’ve weighed the pros and cons of each, and are now faced with the legal technicalities. If you can afford a lawyer who specialises on publishing contracts, or if you have an agent to back you up, kudos! Agents are there to support writers and deal, among others, with the legal stuff. The rest of us, who struggle for traditional publishing, envy you, turn makeshift dummies of you into pincushions cackling in the gloom, and covet what you have.

But what about those who opted for traditional publishing without an agent or a lawyer to back them up? How many of you can honestly say they have a solid understanding of legal terms? Specifically, publishing legal terms? Chances are not many of you. It’s okay. In all my academic years, I only had to attend one legal class and I still don’t know how I passed that class.

I recently stumbled upon a website that covers many aspects of publishing law. Sidebar Saturdays is a blog where the practice of law meets the profession of writing, posted weekly by writers who are attorneys, and it’s designed to provide fellow writers with a general understanding of publishing law and help make their fictional legal scenarios realistic. One article in particular drew my attention, which had to do with the Grant of Rights clause. The writers of the article provide ten basic tips that should help those of you who are, or thinking of being, traditionally published without an agent or legal assistance, and want to have a better understanding of what happens when you grant certain rights to the publisher.

I hope you find it as helpful as I have 🙂