MEMBER LOGIN

DON'T HAVE AN ACCOUNT?

Register & Login HERE

Here at AUTHORSdB we've formed the only database of authors, including social media, book listings and much more, for today's mine-field of thousands of aspiring and established writers.

We are a dedicated website that helps authors for free.

Author Blogs

Syndicated blogs on AUTHORSdb

49 cents worth of Pulp

51TTaxtf7NL._SY346_
Last night I completed a long and heavy writing job (because sometimes insomnia is good for you), and to celebrate a job well done I invested 49 eurocents in a 1200 pages ebook. Because I’m cheap. But who said that expensive ebooks are better?The book I gave myself as a good job, old man! gift is called SCIENCE-FANTASY Ultimate Collection: Time Travel Adventures, Sword & Sorcery Tales, Space Fantasies and much more. Which seems to be just the sort of stuff I like. And sure is, because the guy that wrote all that stuff was Otis Adelbert Kline – pulp writer, amateur orientalist and frequent contributor to Argosy,  Weird Tales (of which he was the editor for one issue) and Oriental Stories....
Continue reading
0
  553 Hits

Another sprint

21844978
I’ve devoted a lot of space recently to my writing, which I realize is boring to a lot of people out there. Sorry ’bout that. This is my last writing-related post for a while. Fact is, you know, that talking publicly about what I am about to do forces me to stick to my guns, and actually do it. It’s good motivation. So here is what I am about to do: I am about to spend tonight revising the last bits of Hope & Glory – the plot point campaign called The Flight of the Ostrich in particular. Then I will drop everything else for two days and spend those 48 hours doing a short story about Aculeo & Amunet. I have a few ideas I need to sort out, I can do that tomorrow morning while I am queu...
Continue reading
0
  514 Hits

The wisdom of the hack

81sjDZU2pxL
I’ve been asked by a friend a few suggestions about setting up a pulp-themed scenario for a roleplaying game. And who am I to deny the masses my wisdom? Especially when the masses acknowledge me as a pulp guru? So here’s what I wrote him…Writing pulp means pleasing your audience by giving them what they do not expect while promising them what they expect. In roleplaying, your players are your audience, so the first thing is to know your players, their tastes and expectations. And then surprise them. Easy, right?The balance between familiarity and surprise is mainly achieved through the manipulation of clichés and tropes, with a few gimmicks to put the pressure on.Clichés, Tropes, and Subvers...
Continue reading
0
  491 Hits

Other people’s pulps: with Dray Prescot on Kregen

Transit_to_Scorpio
I mentioned planetary romance, yesterday, and one thing led to another and I ended up browsing Amazon, using “planetary romance” as a search string. And I chanced upon a fat list of Dray Prescott/Alan Burt Akers novels set on the planet Kregen, orbiting Antares, in the Scorpio constellation. The series was originally published by DAW between 1972 and 1988, and that’s how I remember it: thin books with yellow backs and garish covers. The digital omnibuses are pretty expensive at 9 bucks per shot, but I was happy to see they are still available: when first published in Italy in the ’70s, the series stopped at volume 3 – that is exactly 49 volumes before the end of the series, or 2 books away f...
Continue reading
1
  499 Hits

I’m writing a planetary romance (so there!)

brackett
I think I mentioned in the past how much I like Leigh Brackett’s stories. I loved the Skaith books, and I actually read Bracket’s The Sword of Rhiannon well before I discovered Edgar Rice Burrough’s Marian novels. You can find a few of Brackett’s stories for free download out there, and I’ll provide links at the end of this post, but the reason I’m writing this is because I’m putting together a 5000-words story I plan to submit to a magazine next month. It’s going to be a planetary romance sort of thing, and it will be set on Mars, and so last night I went to the shelf and took down Sea Kings of Mars1 for a quick recap. To soak-up Bracket’s language, if you will, to see if I can learn her se...
Continue reading
0
  590 Hits

Karavansara Free Library: 2+1 by Richard Halliburton

halliburton-2
Something for the weekend.Adventurer, world-traveler, daredevil, there was a time when Richard Halliburton was a household name, and families would sit around their radio to hear his tales of far-off lands and wild adventures.His books were popular too, and are now almost completely forgotten. Which is a pity, because Richard Halliburton was good at telling a story. In 1939, Halliburton – the man that had crossed the Alps riding an elephant – disappeared at sea while trying to cross the Pacific ocean in a Chinese junk.Now, the Karavansara Free Library, as usual with the help of the Internet Archive, is here to offer a small selection of Halliburton’s intelligent, highly entertaining books. A...
Continue reading
0
  590 Hits

Other people’s Pulp: Arsène Lupin (2004)

arsene_lupin_decrieres
I mentioned in a post a while back how my tastes in literature and movies were influenced – among a myriad of other things – by the 1970s French/European series about the exploits of Arsène Lupin. Maurice Leblanc wrote 17 novels, 39 shorter works and 5 comedies about Arsene Lupin, between 1907 and 1941 (and one was published posthumously), and he created for the French audience a character with the cultural impact and weight of a Sherlock Holmes or a Tarzan, with a touch of Gallic anarchy and darkness. Like Raffles and more than Raffles, Lupin was the archetypical gentleman thief. The character was brought to the screen a number of times, and as portrayed by the late, great Georges Descriere...
Continue reading
0
  681 Hits

A bag marked swag

1118full-to-catch-a-thief-photo
I’m just out of a day in which I wrote about 15.000 words, so I’m a bit intoxicated by the fatigue and all that, and I’ll be rambling. You’ve been warned. And I’ll start this with a song, a song I already posted in the past (I’m pretty sure about it), but believe, it’s on topic, and you should listen to it before you go on. It’s good, isn’t it? I love this song, and I was absolutely surprised and delighted when a while back I caught an interview of Paddy McAloon, the author and singer (and the guy that plays all instruments on this track), and he was saying that this song is not about jewel heists, but actually about writing. And I thought, damn, yes!1 And not just because I’d love to be the...
Continue reading
0
  662 Hits

Karavansara Free Library: 7 books by Sven Hedin

sven hedin
The Karavansara Free Library does Sven Hedin, and it’s quite a feat. A true explorers’ explorer, Hedin had a colossal output of writings, and he is certainly one of the essential authors when it comes to Central Asia and the Silk Road. “Geographer, topographer, explorer, photographer, travel writer, and illustrator of his own works”, to quote Wikipedia, Hedin did more than anyone else for the exploration of Central Asia, and his accounts are a collection of sharp scientific observation, anecdotal narrative and adventure. Sometimes more academical than the works of Rosita Forbes and Emily Hahn, Hedin’s books can sometimes sound a tiny little bit self-celebratory, but really, the man was all o...
Continue reading
0
  709 Hits

The strange case of the vanishing post

Jeremy_Brett_as_Sherlock_Holmes
… which would make for a good, if derivative, Holmes pastiche. But after all, aren’t all pastiches derivative?1The fact is, my scheduled post from last night vanished without a trace come the morning – which is somewhat apt, in a fantasy/horror sort of way, but it also means I’ll have to rewrite it from scratch.It’s the second time something like this happens in ten years of blogging. The first was about two years ago, on my Italian blog. I was going through a massive writing bout back then, too.Rule for survival: NEVER schedule your post late at night when suffering from sleep deprivation.In other news, I’ve started re-watching the Jeremy Brett Holmes series, and might, one day, write about...
Continue reading
0
  720 Hits

Better Never Told: day 3

BloomCountySDCC
Third day, and five thousand words done, and it was harder than I expected. In part because all of a sudden I found myself lost, with the classic “where do we go from here?” moment of panic, and in part because my friend Marina (that will be a beta reader when this adventure is over) found a way to distract me at about 500 words from the finish line. But I made it.Now Rose, the main character, is fully rounded, and motivated. We know her background, and know she won’t give in when faced with darkness. The seeds of future discoveries have been planted, and evil has made its first incursion in the ordered and quiet life of Rose. Now the dread “first third” of the novel lurks – and tomorrow I’l...
Continue reading
0
  624 Hits

The Road of Kings: Conan and Italian Opera (probably)

MBDJOTO FE010
Sometimes good ideas are not. Foreign-sounding names for characters, for instance. Apart from the vaguely Welsh/Gaelic/Tolkienoid elves and the alphabet soup of Lovecraftian monsters (of which my favorite, if apocryphal, remains “Shuub-Wankalot”), a name can make or break a character. A basic trick I was taught long ago when naming secondary characters in my fantasy stories is to select a geographic area that somehow has the same feel of the place from which my character comes, get a map, jot down a few place names, and then tweak them a little, moving vocals around or cutting and pasting names. Et voilà, instant names for characters.The method can backfire spectacularly – in the 1959 versio...
Continue reading
0
  781 Hits

Blogging from A to Z: T is for Lt. Col. George H. Torney

Eye Of The Storm Cover_revised
Maman also went to visit Lieutenant Colonel Torney, the commander of the general hospital, to see how we could all help out. Between the regular hospital and the field hospital, they were horribly short-handed. The Presidio General Hospital was the first to allow women from the Army Nurse Corps, and so Colonel Torney, whom Maman called Georges (his first name was the English George) accepted Maman’s offer of assistance.  So, many mornings, Maeve, Maman and I would be on the wagon over to the field hospital in Golden Gate Park. We helped distribute food, write letters … whatever was needed. Maman’s staunch attitude in the face of horror saw her helping out the orderlies in surgeries. Maeve Ka...
Continue reading
0
  857 Hits

42K words in 7 days? OK, let’s do it.

deathisnoobstacle
It must be an April sort of thing. In April 2012 I wrote a novel in six days – I started on the 25th of April and finished on the night of the first day on May.I did it because I wanted to test what Michael Moorcock said in the lengthy interview he did with Colin Greenland, published as Death is no Obstacle. Moorcock talked about writing a fantasy story in three days – and I planned taking twice as much to be on the safe side. I was also pretty fed-up with the talk about art, inspiration and the writer being some sort of mutant that taps some unknown source of writing power and blah blah blah. To me writing is skill, dedication and hard work. It’s a craft, it can be learned. There’s nothing ...
Continue reading
0
  712 Hits

Wine, sex and folk horror (and other things)

acheron_the__ministry_of_thunder
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.Also, 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...
Continue reading
0
  668 Hits

Karavansara Free Library: Nine books by Rosita Forbes

rosita_2886011b
I was putting together my latest post, the one about the reading list, and I got back to thinking about Rosita Forbes. Old-time readers of Karavansara will remember that I did a post about Rosita Forbes in the earliest days of this blog, basically because I am in love with the lady. To recap: independent and adventurous, Rosita married young, divorced, sold her wedding ring and left for good. She did a gig driving an ambulance during the Great War. Then she embarked in a tour of the world with a friend, gatecrashed the Paris Peace Conference, did a bit of spying for the British, and was a pioneer of documentary cinema. And found a lost city in the Sahara desert. She met both Hitler and Musso...
Continue reading
0
  828 Hits

Planning a Silk Road adventure with (and without) Google Maps

Fiat_panda_1_v_sst
I chanced on one of those things that happen on Facebook, a guy asking his followersIf you cold go on a big adventure, what would it be?Or something to that effect. Now I don’t have to think a lot about it – granted, it’s a big world and there’s adventures everywhere, but my first, instinctive response is the usualFrom Paris to Shanghai by car, following the Silk RoadIf you’re here, you know I love the Silk Road, its history, its stories – going along the old road, driving leisurely in my car, would be a dream come true. Stop to look at the landscape, take a few photos, eat a bite…And when I say car, I’d mean my old reliable Panda – a tin can on wheels if ever there was one, so basic and str...
Continue reading
0
  648 Hits

On a country hike with Alfred Watkins

watkins
Today is Easter monday, and traditionally it is the day dedicated to field trips and picnics. With my brother, we are planning a short hike across the hills here where we live – a matter of a few miles, following dirt paths through the vineyards. We’ll take a few photos, taking our time and enjoying the quiet, and make it to a place where we will find ice cream. Because that’s our goal – ice cream! Once our ice cream raid is done, we’ll walk back. And I’ll be carrying in my small rucksack, my copy of Alfred Watkin’s The Ley Hunter’s Manual from 1927. That is a bogus sort of pamphlet, and scandalised my old colleagues back in the days of fieldwork for the university, but it’s a fun thing anyw...
Continue reading
1
  611 Hits

Wild West Spooks

Selection_614
I took some time with a good book this weekend – Undead in the West, that with the subtitle Vampires, Zombies, Mummies, and Ghosts on the Cinematic Frontier is exactly what the doctor ordered to lighten up my current black mood.Published in 2012 by Scarecrow Press, the 300+ pages volume edited by Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper is a collection of essays on supernatural horror movies and TV series set in the West, and/or using western movie elements or tropes such as John Carpenter’s Vampire$. Indeed, the films set in modern times covered in the book are just as many as those set in classical western age.The book is articulated in three sections – the first about how the supernatur...
Continue reading
0
  697 Hits

A mission statement of sorts

mission-statement
OK, let’s do it. You see, yesterday I commented on my friend Victoria’s blog, on a post she wrote about our personal mission statement – that is, what our life is about, what we are trying to accomplish, what we are trying to be.Victoria’s guidelines for writing a personal mission statement are straightforward and just a little macabre – imagine people talking about you at your funeral. What would you like them to say? That’s your mission statement.Now, I’ve been thinking about mortality a lot these last few months. It comes in part from losing my father and being there to witness it, in part from the approaching 50th birthday, in part because I feel my old carcass is no longer working prope...
Continue reading
0
  568 Hits