Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2012 October Reading List

The Winds of Marble Arch vol. 2 by Connie Willis – I fell in love with Willis' prose during volume 1 last year and nearly fell out of love during volume 2 now. Too much war and too many churches and too little sci fi. 3/5 stars

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks – It’s space opera so of course I loved it! I had some issues with the characters and plot, not to mention the ending, but I liked it as a whole. 4/5 stars

Cele 1001 de scorneli ale Moshului SF edited by Stefan Ghidoveanu – Since one of my stories is included in this original story collection, I got to read an advanced copy, tee-hee! My favorite were Adrian Buzdugan, Antuza Genescu, Narcisa Stoica, and Florin Pitea’s stories, but they are all good, really! *proud*

The Dark Tower 4: Wizard and Glass by Stephen King – Beginning and ending so so, but the middle was good. Who would have thought that King could write YA? First love and all that crap. But he writes it well so we’re forgiving him for that. 4/5 stars

The Jaguar Hunter by Lucius Shepard – Less sci fi and fantasy and too much mysticism and war. It left me with the same dreading feeling like Eternity and Other Stories. Can’t he write any happy stories at all? 3/5 stars

Wool 1-5 by Hugh Howey – Great first time experience with an indie writer. Good quality sci fi and well written prose. 4/5 stars

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Wolverine Official Poster

Monday, October 29, 2012

Human Instincts Review (10)

Thanks to Wendy for reviewing Human Instincts for Minding Spot.

"I wasn't sure how Visan was going to pull off an apocalyptic novella in only one hundred pages, but she has a gift for writing, and she does it superbly. [...] I like reading apocalyptic novels, but I haven't quite read one like this.  It has a very unique and clever premise, with wonderfully developed characters moving it along.  It's quick paced and I finished it before I knew it; I was so engrossed in the story.  Definitely recommend this one - Highly enjoyable!"

Human Instincts is available on, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Sony, Smashwords. 

If you read it, please take the time to review it on Amazon and rate it on Goodreads. Thanks!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

About: Defazaj

The Making of my story "Defazaj", included in “Cele 1001 de scorneli ale Mosului SF”, has appeared in Galileo Online. Here's a rough translation:

Sometimes it happens that I write solely for myself. I don’t sit in front of the pc thinking “this story would fit in this magazine” or “this story is for this anthology.” In the absence of theme and size constraints, I write for my own enjoyment. This was the case with “Defazaj” (Phase Shift or Head Hopping as this was the working title).

In the spring of 2011, I had just finished a zombie story and I had started working on “Adevarul din privire” (The Thruth in Their Sights) for Venus anthology, only that I didn’t have a clear idea where I was going with it and there was plenty of time until the deadline in the summer. So I started to write something totally different.

The initial idea was based on a dialogue between two people, one of which had to be somehow controlled by the other one. I like to write dialogues, to see the conflict developing through an exchange of playful, snarky, wary, or hopeful lines. If I could get away with writing no description at all, I couldn’t be any happier.

At one point, I considered introducing some aliens, but I resisted the impulse. I wanted the attention to be focused on the two lead characters and their interior conflict. I’m not saying more about the plot, meet Eddie and the presence investigating his mind and see for yourselves.

How the story ended up in “Cele 1001 de scorneli ale Mosului SF” (The SF Old Man’s 1001 Inventions) is another story. In the begining of this year, Mr. Ghidoveanu had the amability to publish on his blog my story entitled “The Invasion”, and at the time I thought that my contribution to the “inventions” was going to be limited to that. Only that he contacted me again in the spring and asked for another text for the printed edition of the “inventions”.

All was nice and well, there was no word limit and no theme—exactly the way I liked it. I started writing and… it didn’t work out. I started about three texts and they either didn’t come together well or I didn’t find them good enough for what I needed. I was working on several different projects at the time and I was quite stressed by the fact that I couldn’t get it right.

Then I remembered about this one text I had saved for good keeping, one so dear to me that I couldn’t find the heart to give it to anyone. It was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I knew the story was going to find a good home among the “inventions”.

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Cele 1001 de scorneli ale Moshului SF" is featured on...

"Cele 1001 de scorneli ale Moshului SF" is featured on Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews. Thank you, Mihai!

And the "Making Of" of my story is up next on Galileo Online.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Cele 1001 de scorneli ale Moshului SF" Cover Reveal

Well, this is it! As revealed on Galileo Online, this is the cover art for "Cele 1001 de scorneli ale Moshului SF". Any thoughts?

"Cele 1001 de scorneli ale Moshului SF" Foreword

It looks like the promo campaign for "Cele 1001 de scorneli ale Moshului SF" is ready to begin.

The editor's foreword is posted on Stefan Ghidoveanu's blog and the Making Of for each story will be published on Galileo Online starting with tomorrow so stay tuned.

The image at the left is just one of the cover arts proposed by Moshul SF, and it's my favorite so... :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Evolution Vol. 2 on sale at Amazon

Big promotion including several Evolved Publishing books!

Starting with today and until Friday, Evolution Vol. 2 is available at the discounted price of $0.99 at Amazon. Don't miss this bargain!

Evolution Vol. 2 is available on Amazon, Smashwords, BookieJar.

If you read it, please take the time to review it on Amazon and rate it on Goodreads. Thanks!

Friday, October 12, 2012

About: Human Instincts

I was writing the Making Of for my story included in "Cele 1001 de scorneli ale Moshului SF" a few days ago and I realized I never wrote one for Human Instincts. I said a few words at the end of the book, but I didn't get into too many details. It's time to rectify that.

As I said before, the text was meant for an apocalyptic anthology planned by Nemira publishing house. The project never came to life and I can't say I regret it much since I ended up with a story twice as long as it should have been so it probably wouldn't have been included in the book anyway.

I started writing it in December 2009 and finished it in January 2010, with a break in the middle because of the winter holiday. It was the first time I was implementing my 1,000 words daily quota except for weekends system, which I've been using ever since. It works well for me.

Now the thing is I don't care much for apocalyptic stories, I find them to be way too depressing. So to write this I had to find a different angle to make the process more enjoyable for me. I decided not to focus on the entire apocalyptic setting or the causes and effects, although those were of course explained as well. My goal was to focus on the characters and their internal drama.

How can you fix the world after you broke it? Is it even possible to fix it? How far would you go to achieve that? Where do you draw the line? How long can you live fueled only by hope and not give up? These are all questions Deanna is facing every day and somehow she still finds the strength to go on.

On the opposite side, we find Tom who is literally fighting for his life every single day inside that maximum security prison. His options are limited, but very clear: he can continue to run the mad house, or he can escape and try his luck in the outside world, or he can turn tables and join Deanna in her quest to save the world. What will he decide?

And let’s not forget General Mackenzie who is the evil mastermind behind this whole plot and cannot be ignored.

What will these people trapped in these impossible circumstances do and how will they react to the other's decisions? It was an interesting character study. Add to this the secret each of them carry, a secret heavy enough to alter the entire course of events. Tricky enough for you?

One last thing I feel is worth mentioning is that while I wrote Human Instincts I was listening to all of the Muse albums on repeat (yes, I discovered them late, I must have been living under a rock all this time) until they gave me a headache. I think it reflects in the writing and the created atmosphere. There are dark parts, desperate parts, gritty parts, down right scary parts, but there is also hope, a sense of achievement and, why not, wonder. At least I hope you can find all these in there.

Human Instincts is available on, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Sony, Smashwords

If you read it, please take the time to review it on Amazon and rate it on Goodreads. Thanks!

Update: Almost a year later, Millennium Books is publishing the Romanian edition of Human Instincts at the end of May, yay!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Human Instincts featured on Butterfly-o-Meter Books

Today, Human Instincts is featured on Livia's Butterfly-o-Meter Books blog.

For those interested, I'm still working on a "Making of" post. It will probably be ready tomorrow or the day after.

Human Instincts is available on, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Sony, Smashwords. 

If you read it, please take the time to review it on Amazon and rate it on Goodreads. Thanks! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Human Instincts Review (9)

From lovely Alina who took the time to review Evolution Vol. 2, too:

"Second thing, the novella is very to the point and, at the same time, the characters are very well shaped. Such a rare combination!"

Read the full review here

Human Instincts is available on, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Sony, Smashwords. 

If you read it, please take the time to review it on Amazon and rate it on Goodreads. Thanks!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Beneath the Skin Review / Evolution Vol. 2 Review (4)

This new Evolution Vol. 2 review is done by a Romanian reader and it's written in Romanian. It explains how the book was evaluates, what the expectations were for short stories, and each story is briefly commented and rated. "Beneath the Skin" got 5 stars, yey!

I'm glad that this way Evolution Vol. 2 got exposure to the Romanian public too, so thank you for that.

Read the review here.

Evolution Vol. 2 is available on Amazon, Smashwords, BookieJar.

If you read it, please take the time to review it on Amazon and rate it on Goodreads. Thanks!

Monday, October 1, 2012

A bit of recap

Summer has come and gone, and so did my vacation. It's time to get back to work. Wait, what? Haven't I just finished working? Now it's time to play!

OK, let me explain...

It was around Easter, when I was in the process of translating Human Instincts, that all my plans had to change. I was all set on going the self-publishing way, with the entire rest of the year mapped out with what I would write and when. And then a bunch of projects fell into my lap out of nowhere. As a result, I spent the entire summer writing. I'm not saying it wasn't fun, it's just that it would have been much easier without the pressure of deadlines. At this point, here's where I'm standing:

Project no. 1 - manuscript submitted, waiting for feedback
Project no. 2 - text for "Cele 1001 de scorneli are Moshului SF" story collection that will be published by Millennium Books this fall. See announcement here.
Project no. 3 - texts submitted, not sure of the status of the project, though.
Project no. 4 - text submitted, waiting for decision
Project no. 5 - text submitted, waiting for decision

Not bad, I guess, only that the entire summer I wrote in Romanian, while promoting Human Instincts and Evolution Vol. 2. Now I'll switch things around, write in English while promoting Romanian works, so none of my readers feel neglected.

What's on the agenda next?

October - finish "The Blue Moon Cafe Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks". Five of the stories are in the editing stage already, with only two left to finish writing. Depending on how the editing goes and if I find a cover in time, I might have it out by the end of the month.

November - I think I'll pull a NaNoWriMo, well, my version of it since I'm not crazy enough to try to write a novel in 30 days. But 30 days feel just right for a 30k novella. After plotting it all summer, miffed that I couldn't work on it, writing "The Impaler's Revenge" will be piece of cake. The editing process will take a little longer for this one because of Christmas, so I'm not expecting it to be out before the beginning of next year. And then Vlad Tepes will be revenged.

December - month reserved for a text commissioned for another Romanian anthology. There's plenty of time to plot it until then.

In between, there's a tentatively labeled project no. 6 I would like to take on. It shouldn't take much time if the inspiration hits, but it hasn't so far. I would also like to correlate the Romanian version of Human Instincts with the English one and see if I can do something with it. Serialize it in a magazine maybe? Hmm. We'll see.

This means I won't have time to return to book 2 of the Stolen Wings trilogy until 2013. Bummer. My characters would have a year long pause to rest after their last fight, when I get back to them. Maybe this will bring them some fresh ideas, who knows?

The problem is I'm already plotting a space opera saga and I'm tempted to write that one first. But I won't. Ah, a writer's mind never stops...

Update: Project no. 4 is a go. Project no. 5 is not. Shrug. Yay for no. 4!

Beneath the Skin Review / Evolution Vol. 2 Review (3)

Evolution Vol. 2 reviews seem to pour in at the moment:

"Ioana Visan gives sci-fi an elegant twist with her story "Beneath the Skin," which in addition to its adeptly developed tension asks us to consider what it means to be human."

Read the rest of the review here.

Evolution Vol. 2 is available on Amazon, Smashwords, BookieJar.

If you read it, please take the time to review it on Amazon and rate it on Goodreads. Thanks!