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cornelia grey. a festival of fools
08 October 2014 @ 06:05 pm
Hello, everyone!

So, I barely had the time to finish putting my life in order and enjoy the prospect of a relaxing future when everything went BOOM and I was left stunned looking around the wreckage trying to figure out which way was up. So I dove right back into the big wide world! I travelled to Wales and England to help a few friends with some difficult personal circumstances (and bask in their love while I was at it), visited Paris and spent a few weeks working in Spain. The biggest deal though is that in a week I will be flying to Tokyo, where I will spend two months teaching English and Italian.

I am determined to make the best of my circumstances, and I am sure that somewhere down the line I will reach the point where I'll see it was all a blessing in disguise and I'll be grateful for it. As I was in Spain, often I found that the nugget of hurt and negativity I carry around like a lead ball in my stomach was buried more and more, and I actually managed to forget about it for a bit every now and then. Being home is still complicated, so even though I'm a little scared, I'm also incredibly excited about Japan!

I am lagging a bit behind with my writing schedule, I'm afraid, since writing about romance is very difficult right now. But The Circus of the Damned is about to come out - less than one month to go! - and ARC reviews are starting to roll in, and I'm very pleased with them! I don't want to leave my readers hanging too long waiting for the next instalment in Farfarello's mischievous adventures. I also have the pleasure of being the featured author of the month over at Riptide Publishing! There's a little interview if you'd like to check it out :)

Tell us about your recent Riptide release[s]. What was the inspiration behind it/them?

When I wrote “Devil at the Crossroads,” the first story in the “Deal with a Devil” series, I wasn’t planning on turning it into a series. In fact, it was about a year before that came about! Inspiration for the upcoming novel, “The Circus of the Damned,” came slowly. I had been wanting to write a long story about a circus and its ensemble cast for a while, and Farfarello – the devil from the first book – was still on my mind. I had that niggling feeling that there was more to his story, that he still had a few things to do and reveal... and so I started toying with the idea of combining the two.

The plot came to me very suddenly, as they usually do, and as always I am not quite sure where it came from. I was struggling with some changes in my personal life, some decisions I had to make for my future, and almost naturally those struggles influenced the journey of Gilbert Blake, the protagonist. He was an outsider, a wanderer, and I enjoyed exploring how he would learn to become part of a community – how he would learn to appreciate and love being part of a family.

Farfarello is an odd devil, a trickster of sorts, who looks for arrogant men and enjoys pushing them to grow and challenge themselves, hopefully learning a lesson or two in the process. He tends to become too involved for his own good, and in this book we begin to learn a bit more about his story and what pushes him to act the way he does. He’s conflicted, though, not nearly as detached and in control as a supernatural being should – and we will get to discover something more in the following book in the series, too. He’s the thread that connects all the stories together, and I hope readers will find him as intriguing as I do!


Read more!
 
 
 
cornelia grey. a festival of fools
07 May 2014 @ 12:28 pm
So! What a rollercoaster this month has been. Let's see how I did with the April to-do list:

finish edits on Circus of the Damned - DONE!!! Woohoo!
prepare Circus of the Damned blurb - actually my awesome editor did it. But it's done nonetheless!
hand in Phd material by Easter - DONE!
work on Steampunk Inventor story - not much.
write last Coursera essay (LeGuin) - in all the mayhem, I missed this one. Will re-take the course over the summer, though - I was so close!
sort out basement, attic and apartment - dropped it

Life threw a massive wrench in my plans, unfortunately. As it turns out, a few months of domestic life proved too much for my boyfriend of nine years, who promptly started cheating one me because he felt bored and freaked out about moving on to a serious relationship (at the ripe age of 33). So my world and my plans for the future pretty much came crashing down, and now I'm slowly trying to pick up the pieces. I left the house we'd just finished furnishing and am camping on a friend's floor in Wales trying to stop obsessing about it all and focus on work. Sigh!

So, my to-do list for May is pretty simple:

finish steampunk inventor novel
glue myself back together and sort out my new life plan. UGH...

At least I managed to soldier on and finish everything I had to do despite being in the biggest turmoil I've been since my dad suddenly passed away when I was 16. But if there's one thing I've learned how to do in my life is take the hits and keep going. So here's to that!
 
 
 
cornelia grey. a festival of fools
03 April 2014 @ 02:17 am
So! Let's see how I did with the March to-do list...

write something for the PhD - nope
get started on Steampunk Inventor (and maybe find a title for it) - title not found yet!
edits on the Benjamin Pepperwhistle extra scene - done!
write the next four essays for Coursera: Poe, H.G. Wells, Gilman, Bradbury - done!
edits for Circus of the Damned - still work in progress
read 1 book - read two in fact! I'm getting out of the reading slump...
write 1 blog post - I actually literally just did it, because I absolutely couldn't mark it as fail for the third month in a row... but still! ;)

I also did a couple of other things:

wrote three blog posts for Benjamin Pepperwhistle's release
started sorting out items in the house where my mother and her ex used to live, since it will need to be vacated at the end of April and mom can't bear to handle it, while he's just too out of it to do anything. It's tough for both of them, while for me this is actually a big relief. Throwing old junk away, shedding dead weight is therapeutic for me, it makes me feel so much lighter, like I can finally put this anxiety-filled, toxic period behind me for good. So really, I don't mind being the one to do it, but it does eat up a lot of my time.

It was a difficult month. My 94 year old grandma, who was still very healthy, had a sudden health crisis and she passed away within a week. Just a few months shy of the tenth anniversary of my father's (her son) death. I have been meaning to write about her, to get everything down on paper (or laptop) to unload some of the grief, but I am not quite ready just yet. It's just... sigh. Hard.

Anyway... let's see what's the list for April (how it's April already is honestly beyond me!)

finish edits on Circus of the Damned
prepare Circus of the Damned blurb
hand in Phd material by Easter
work on Steampunk Inventor story
write last Coursera essay (LeGuin)
sort out basement, attic and apartment

Let's see how it goes!
 
 
 
cornelia grey. a festival of fools
29 March 2014 @ 03:01 am
Hi everyone :) I have a couple of guest posts out about my latest release, the steampunk - gun kink Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders! I thought I'd list them here...

• Why did I set this story in a Victorian-esque circus, @ Amethyst Daydreams

A William Tell-like pistoleer offered exciting possibilities. I was immediately drawn to the danger and the tension that come with standing before a target while somebody is shooting at you (although I would never, ever do it). It must be thrilling and frightening at the same time; it must require infinite trust and familiarity with your partner. And what about being the one who pulls the trigger, what about knowing the life of the person before you is in your hands, that they are entrusting themselves completely to you? And what about doing all of this in public, for the entertainment of hundreds of strangers?...

• Writing an extended 'director's cut' version of a story, @ Pants Off Reviews

Benjamin Pepperwhistle – Director’s Cut features over 7500 words of new material, and has evolved from a short story into a novella. It’s the first time I had the chance to go back to a story after over a year to add more to it, and I was a little concerned – what if I could no longer slip in the characters’ heads? What if I had forgotten about them?...

• How I come up with characters, @ Novel Approach Reviews

Over the years, I have accumulated a ton of inspiration pics – for settings, props, fantastical creatures, and for characters as well. So I like to browse around them for a bit, in case any of those jumps out, because I really like having visual references for what I’m working on...
 
 
 
cornelia grey. a festival of fools
17 March 2014 @ 12:37 pm
LOL!





William Shakespeare

Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the Cornelia Grey of war.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?



Get your own quotes:

 
 
 
cornelia grey. a festival of fools
09 March 2014 @ 06:54 am
So! Only two months into the new year and I already suck at these monthly reports.... ;) will try harder with the March one!

So, let's see how I did in February. The list was:

finish revision on Circus of the Damned DONE! Submitted at 94.500 words.
finish reading book for research - failed
write 1 chapter of PhD novel - miserably failed
write 1 blog post - totally failed
finalize job and get started - annnd failed

However, I embarked on a new enterprise, since I don't have enough to do already:

started a Fantasy and Sci-Fi online course on Coursera!
wrote four essays - Brothers Grimm, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Dracula, Frankenstein

It took the whole month to finish the endless rewrites and edits on Circus. It's my first novel-length manuscript - as you know, I usually keep in the 12K / 30K range - and it was definitely a challenge. The requirements of the format are obviously very different, and I'm actualy looking forward to relaxing with another novella or short story before tackling novel length again!

Also in unrelated news, I became an aunt! My sis-in-law had a beautiful little girl called Greta. I got to hold her for the first time Friday night and she's an absolute doll! Not to brag, but when I took her she settled down immediately and her hiccups passed, then she dozed off sprawled on my chest. Awwww!

Now, for the March to-do list (even though we're like 1/3 through already, but whatever...)

MUST write something for the PhD (since I need to send something to my tutor next week)
get started on Steampunk Inventor (and maybe find a title for it)
edits on the Benjamin Pepperwhistle extra scene
write the next four essays for Coursera: Poe, H.G. Wells, Gilman, Bradbury
(maybe) line edits for Circus of the Damned?
read 1 book (since I started about 5 but haven't managed to finish one since Jan)
write 1 blog post (before my blog gets buried under spider webs)

I'm going to keep adding the book and blog entries even though I've already botched them twice, because I'm an optimistic person... ;)
 
 
 
cornelia grey. a festival of fools
05 February 2014 @ 06:32 am
So, this year I've decided to keep public lists of my monthly goals, and review them at the end of each month to see if I manage to stick to them or not. So, let's start with January...

The list was:

edit and submit bonus Benjamin Pepperwhistle scene: Done!
revise and submit Circus of the Damned novel: Not finished yet. It turned into a big structural revision and I'm working on the second act structure with the editor before completing the revision.
revise outline of PhD novel + write 1 chapter: Failed
finish translating 1 book: Failed
read at least 1 book for research: I read half, but it's still better than nothing... ;)
write 1 blog post: This one counts as half done. I wrote on this blog but not on my other one, so I'm not striking it.
apply for more jobs: Done! Almost secured an assignment for February/March.

Things accomplished that weren't on the list:
record video interview for Bitten by Books, which you can see HERE!
write two guest posts for blog tour

I should have considered that here in Italy the holidays continue until January 7th, and they are full of relatives and visits, so it was kind of hard to work good hours. There was also my birthday, as well as my aunt's and my grandma-in-law's and uncle-in-law's (do those words even exist? XD)... I need to be more realistic with my schedule.

The wordcount for January is 37'650, which is pretty good. Will have to work to keep it up in February because I usually alternate productive months and absolutely terrible ones... :)

So now, let's see the revised plan for February, trying to be less ambitious (since the month is also shorter):

February

finish revision on Circus of the Damned
finish reading book for research
write 1 chapter of PhD novel
write 1 blog post
finalize job and get started

See you in about a month to see how I did ;)!
 
 
 
cornelia grey. a festival of fools
Readers-Appreciation-Awards-Elimination

What a lovely surprise! I just discovered that the handsome devil Farfarello, from my book Devil at the Crossroads, has been nominated in the Best Antagonist / Villain category of the Readers' Appreciation Awards over at the blog of Sid Love. So excited - who knew that making dodgy deals chasing after the souls of wannabe bluesmen would make him so popular ;)...

Check out the other nominees and cast your vote at The Blog of Sid Love!
 
 
 
cornelia grey. a festival of fools
21 January 2014 @ 08:42 pm
I'm happy to announce the winner of my contest over at Prism Book Alliance, who won a title of her choice from my backlist. And the winner is...

Martina!


Check your inbox ;) and thanks to everyone who participated!
 
 
 
cornelia grey. a festival of fools
My video interview is now LIVE at Bitten By Books - Paranormal Fiction Review Site!

Would you like to hear my cool Italian accent as I talk about my Devil at the Crossroads novella, and its two upcoming sequels 'The Circus of the Damned' and a still untitled Steampunk Inventor story - and also enter a contest to win a $20 Riptide Publishing gift card?

Join me over at Bitten by Books!
And here is the magic Rafflecopter to enter the contest :)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway