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

Learning stuff


It’s that time of the year again, and I’ve enrolled in two new courses – well, I meant to enroll only in one, but then, you know how it happens, and I clicked on the button and… OK; so today I took the first lessons in two new online courses on Futurelearn.The first is a six-weeks course in Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology, hosted by Durham University, and I find it particularly interesting because it works for me on three levels.It works professionally: back in the day I took a master in Applied Micropaleontology that included a section of Forensics Micropaleontology, and I later followed up with a few books on the subject. The archaeological and anthropological side of the forensics s...
Continue reading
0
  466 Hits

Running camels


Here at Karavansara we love camels, and we are surprised of the fact that they are sometimes considered indolent animals.A camel can run at 70 km/h on the desert floor.And here is a beautiful photo, from the IPA Awards 2018.Original link
0
  343 Hits

Pandora in Krasnojarsk


For my next story, that will be part of the Seven Lives Project, I have put together a handful of pieces, like cards in a solitaire, or pieces of a puzzle. I will start writing the story tomorrow, and work on it for the whole week, and once it’s ready (hoping it’s ready in a week) I will translate it in Italian, and post it to my patrons.This, at least, is a plan.But right now, these are all the pieces I have…Krasnojarsk at the end of the 19th centuryI have a place, called Krasnojarsk, somewhere in Siberia, just north of the Mongolian border. It’s the winter of 1918, and the city is the base of the Battaglione Savoia, a highly irregular unit of the Italian army.I have a bit of obscure histor...
Continue reading
0
  342 Hits

Modesty


Today is Monica Vitti’s 88th birthday, and I decided to celebrate by watching again the 1966 movie Modesty Blaise, based on Peter O’Donnell’s character of the same name.Now two things I need to make clear: I always loved Monica Vitti, and I always found the Modesty Blaise movie hard to digest.Monica VittiAnd it is weird, because we are talking a film directed by a giant of British cinema, Joseph Losey, and featuring a cast that includes not only Monica Vitti, but also Terence Stamp, Dirk Bogarde, Harry Andrews and Clive Revill. The problems are others. First, much as Monica Vitti’s voice has always been one of her assets, her accent stops very soon being exotic, and turns out to be just irri...
Continue reading
0
  495 Hits

Anger

Conveying emotions in writing is particularly tricky but also an essential skill if you want to write. The basic rule of thumb should be that you do not declare the emotion of an action or a line of dialogue, because doing it explicitly is not elegant, and the clear mark of the amateur.“Two sugars and no milk,” she said angrily.… in other words, is not the best we can do as we write a scene in which an afternoon tea turns into a duel with cake knives.We need to find a way around it.This is not, of course, an unbreakable commandment – but as usual when writing, we need to keep an eye out and try to suggest tone and mood tot he readers without telling them.This is the notorious show-don’t-tell...
Continue reading
0
  417 Hits

The need for secret histories


As I am writing this, huge crowds have gathered in Lucca for what is the largest event in Europe centered on Comics and Games. For the long Halloween weekend, hundreds of thousands of visitors will crowd the narrow alleys of medieval Lucca, prowling the stands of publishers big and small, meeting artists and authors, trying new videogames, ogling cosplayers, and suffering the bad weather, the crowd and the noise.Then they will come home, will arrange all that they bought on their beds or on their living room floor, and take a picture, that they will post on their socials, showing the world their “loot”.Which is curious, because looting implies taking without paying, while the merchandise on ...
Continue reading
0
  193 Hits

My nipples are different


For the first time in my online life, I had a post blocked by Facebook, together with a prim and rather icy pop-up that informed me the post violated the Community Standards for nudity and sexual activities.Of course I laughed out loud about the sole idea of that circus that is Facebook having standards of any kind, community or otherwise, but then I had to accept the fact that, yes, I had just broken the Facebook laws of decency.And on the eve of Halloween, of all times…What happened is – to make a long story short – I was discussing the late, lamented Burt Reynolds, while chatting with some friends, and I posted the classic Playgirl photograph from the ’70s. This photograph…And the Faceboo...
Continue reading
0
  488 Hits

Halloween in an old village


It’s the 31st of October, early afternoon. I’ve just put the chicken and potatoes in the slow cooker, and acknowledged the fact that a story I had submitted in June was rejected. It’s OK. This month I submitted 13 stories, more than reaching my quota.The sky is battle-cruiser grey, and there is a faint mist that will probably get thicker as the day progresses.I am taking a couple of days off. There’s a story I should finish but I’ll never make it in time for the deadline. Pity.The last few weeks have been complicated, and now that the worst part is over, I can slow down a bit and have some fun.Fun to me these days means chiefly reading a good book, and I am currently enjoying very much Lawre...
Continue reading
0
  518 Hits

Into the Empty Quarter

The full documentary of Alastair Humphreys’ and Leon McCarron’s adventure across the Empty Quarter was released yesterday on YouTube, and it’s absolutely mind-blowing.Check it out.Original link
0
  529 Hits

Free Imps & Minions

The anthology Imps & Minions, that features my short story “Bottled Up”, is free on Amazon for Halloween. If you feel like reading a massive volume of fantasy stories about imps and other small-fry minions of evil, please download it.I hope you’ll enjoy the stories, and feel like reviewing the book!Original link
0
  542 Hits

A story that needs to be written


Illustration by Art Adams.Original link
0
  554 Hits

This is not the cat goddess you are looking for


Growing up in Turin, and spending a lot of time in the halls of the old Egyptian Museum, I became acquainted early on with Bastet and Sekhmet, the two cat-goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon.Both goddesses started out as lionesses, but later Bastet (or Bubastis) was characterized more as a cat, while Sekhmet retained her lion aspect and her fierceness.But there was a third cat goddess, I was surprised to find out, one whose acquaintance I made only in the last few days, as she became instrumental in resolving the plot of the latest story I wrote.I am talking of Pakhet.O You of the dawn who wake and sleep,O You who are in limpness, dwelling aforetime in Nedit, I have appeared as Pakhet the Gre...
Continue reading
0
  297 Hits

Knave RPG


After years of roleplaying, my brother and I have put together a huge collection of … stuff. Rulebooks, sourcebooks, supplements, scenarios, campaigns, maps… We do not play much anymore (here where we live polyhedral dice are considered a tool of the Devil, or something) but we still occasionally buy and read games, and dream of building our own, homebrew system.Yesterday, to celebrate the launch of my new Italian ebook, I treated myself to two bucks and change of gaming handbook, and bought Questing Beast’s new roleplaying game, Knave.And I read it all in a single sitting.Which is not hard, because Knave is exactly 7 pages.Now, it’s true that we are talking about seven very tightly packed p...
Continue reading
0
  559 Hits

Belle, Buck & Candle


There’s a thing that happens when you write, and it’s that story ideas keep coming at you, like hailstones, like bullets, like drops of rain during a monsoon. This is something non-writers often fail to see – they come to you and they tell you “You know? I’ve got a great idea for a story! Let me tell you, so you can write it and make lotsa money…”And you think, “No, please, not again…”Then they wink and mention their share of the profits.Ideas are everywhere, you only need to keep your eyes and ears open.And then you need to learn to filter them, and keep the good ones, and know which goes with what to build a story.It takes some experience – you need to read and write a lot.Then one day you...
Continue reading
0
  583 Hits

Werner Herzog’s Rules

By a film-maker for film-makers, but also valid for writers and thegeneral public at largeAlways take the initiative.There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief.Learn to live with your mistakes.Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern.That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it.There is never an excuse not to finish a film.Carry bolt cutters everywhere.Thwart institutional cowardice.Ask for forgiveness, not p...
Continue reading
0
  327 Hits

Back to the Valley


Today I wrote a short story.This has been a busy month, and indeed in the last two weeks I have submitted ten stories – but wait, I’m not that good.The fact is, between August and September, I had to work on a couple of big projects that took up a lot of time. The little time left I used to relax, or to start working on a few shorts, that languished in various states of completion while I put much effort in the big ones.By October the big projects were out of the way, and so I picked up the various half-finished things I had laying around, finished them and mailed to various editors. One already bounced back, but that’s part of the game.Then, yesterday, two things happened.Thing one – a maga...
Continue reading
0
  580 Hits

Fear of the Unknown


Yes, I know, this is not an overly original title, and we all have heard or read that classic H.P. Lovecraft quote, from his Supernatural Horror in Literature. They even made a documentary film with that title.And in case you missed it, the quote is…“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” H.P. LovecraftBut I have another quote for you, and it’s as follow…“I don’t see why I should read this book you mention. I read [Asimov/Heinlein/Tolkien/Howard/King/Lovecraft] back in 19**, and I don’t need to read anything else in the genre, because nothing’s better than that.”A lot of SF/Fantasy/Horror fans I knowThis came up ...
Continue reading
0
  605 Hits

Writing 1000 words


Between yesterday and today, I wrote and submitted two flash fictions.The respective mags guidelines were pretty clear: not a single word above 1000.Now I always have a problem with that… including the title, or not?But apart from that, why not?I have been working on polishing my flash fiction skills – for what they are – for quite a while now. I am normally a long-winded guy: I feel more comfortable writing a 4000-words story rather than a 3000-words one, 6000 is even better, 8000 is really good.Publishers’ guidelines usually leave a certain margin – they tell you 4/6000, and maybe note that the sweet spot is 4500.Flash fiction does not leave much room for wriggling about – if it’s no-more ...
Continue reading
0
  326 Hits

Raiders of the Lost Franchise: The People that Time Forgot


I first saw 1977 The People that Time Forgot at the local parish cinema. It was probably 1979, I had not yet seen the previous movie in the series and yes, I was thirteen and I was quite impressed by Dana Gillespie’s, ehm… presence.So sue me.The movie is the direct sequel of the 1974 film scripted by Moorcock and Cawthorn and based on the first of the three Caprona novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Moorcock & Cawthorn were no longer on board, but the movie still could rely on the production of John Dark, the direction of Kevin Connor, and on Doug McClure in a supporting role akin to the one played by Charlton Heston in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.And the comparison is not so out of place.In...
Continue reading
0
  435 Hits

Just kids having fun


You really can’t take a moment off.Back online, and people are bickering on facebook.Big news, uh?Only in this case is something that touches upon my job (for what it is), my livelihood (ditto), and something I like very much, and therefore I consider “my own”.Now, I have mentioned in the past how Italian politics have been trying to polarize popular culture since at least the fifties – from music mags labelling prog rock as right wing and singer-songwriters as left wing, to the old classic SF is left, fantasy is right, to the opening of “Hobbit Camps” where like-minded individuals could debate the merits of J.R.R. Tolkien, Julius Evola and Mussolini.It would be silly, and ridiculous, were i...
Continue reading
0
  597 Hits