This is an author's blog written by Pico Triano. 'Pico's Profile' will tell you a little about me. 'Pico's Stuff' will lead you to links and information on how you can access all my publicly available writing. 'Friends and Family' advertises websites on behalf of family and friends. The 'Friend Book Reviews' page is where I review materials written by the many friends I have made as a writer. Finally I recently added a review page for general reviews.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Anyone Can Write a Book Review

Why bother writing a review at all? Why not just leave it to professionals, who get paid to write reviews? Writing reviews about books you have read that you like will help promote the writer. Believe me they appreciate it. Not only that your review may encourage someone to read a book that they will enjoy or on the other hand help them avoid a book that would be a waste of time and money for them. Professional reviewers have opinions and so do you. Your opinion is just as valid as theirs. As an author, I try to write my books for people who enjoy the stories I write NOT professional reviewers. If my readers buy and enjoy my stories I’m happy. I care what they think. Don’t get me wrong. I want the pros to be impressed but they aren’t my primary audience.

There is only one prerequisite required for writing a book review. You have to read the entire book. Sounds like a no brainer, but the fact is that there are a significant number of reviews written where the reviewer not only didn’t read the whole book, some of them didn’t read any of it at all. As a reviewer that is not fair to the author, your audience or yourself.

So how do you go about writing that review? Here are the basic steps I go through when writing mine.

1)      Read the entire book.
2)      Think about what you liked and what you didn’t like for a couple of days. You’ll write a better review if you give it that time. On the other hand if you drag it out longer you’ll be procrastinating instead of just letting your thoughts organize themselves.
3)      Start writing. Some reviewers will write a thorough synopsis of the book. I don’t. I only write enough to make my observations clear. Why take the magic of discovering the story from your audience? 
4)      Cover the things you liked about the book first. Be honest.
5)      If you have criticisms to offer make sure you are honest and fair. I try to temper mine knowing that my opinion is just an opinion and I might be wrong.
6)      Finish with your recommendations.

It is as simple as that. I’ve never publicly trashed someone’s writing online because of step number one. If the book was that bad, I would not have finished reading it. I have better things to do with my time. If I read the whole book, there was enough good there, in my opinion, for it to receive a positive review. Besides that I don’t see myself as some kind of literary executioner looking for authors to shoot down.

If you’ve read a book lately, go for it. Write a review. Tell everybody what you think. You might lead people to enjoy a good book. You might also make an author’s day.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

I'm Officially Published.

Time for only a brief note here. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie is now available for purchase through Amazon. Right now only the Kindle version is available. It will be available as a paperback as well. This is all new for me so I'm not sure how long that will take to be available as well. I will ask my publisher but not tonight. I still have a regular job and I start bright and early tomorrow morning.

A sample is available at this link here:

To purchase the book the link on Amazon is:
Have a link for the United Kingdom as well:

Link for paperback edition:

InknBeans says it should be available through most online bookstores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple before the week is out. Press releases have been sent out in New Brunswick and to the Toronto Star.

Hope all my readers enjoy the book!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Convoluted History Of My Penname

It started with a science fiction book idea with the working title “Squadron 289”. The book never got past the first chapter to this point in time. Pico was created as a sassy hot-tempered female starfighter pilot. I gave her the family name Triano because it rolled off the tongue. Her name was short for Piccolo, a name given her by her father. She hates it and won’t let anyone call her that.  She was a long black-haired sharp-tongued beauty. The book got shelved but her character took on a life of her own.

While I was still kicking the story around in my head, my children discovered online role-playing games: Specifically Runescape. I started playing with them in an effort to kill two birds with one stone. Pico seemed well suited to the role of discovering what kind of people my kids would be dealing with especially my daughter. This also would give me a chance to interact as one of the book characters I created theoretically improving my writing while screwing around online. Incidentally I did create three other characters from that story on Runescape for the same purpose. Whether it really taught me anything is a matter of debate.

Still not done with her. I found work online writing forum content and needed both male and female pseudonyms to maximize my earning potential on the site. Pico quickly filled the role again. To stay in character I wrote up a fictional contemporary profile for her. I kept her basic appearance and personality and gave her a hometown. As per her profile she worked in a call centre (poor thing) and lived in Pierrefonds, Quebec. She remained drop dead gorgeous but had a very unfortunate looking birthmark high on her right calf, which looked like something unsavoury dropped out of her shorts. Her full name became Piccolo Viola Triano, a play on pvt being short for private.

For some reason people react more positively to this particular name than any other pseudonym I’ve written under over the years (and there have been many). I do not understand why. I’m not one to fight something that just plain works and so when joining Pico Triano officially became my penname.

Pico is actually a masculine name but it doesn’t really matter. I am in fact a man but I don’t have any qualms about writing from either perspective. My favourite avatar shows Pico in her original incarnation with a chameleon tattooed on her shoulder. I think as a writer I need to be a bit of a chameleon to get inside the heads of the many characters that I need to create to make stories come alive. 

My first novel gets released on Saturday. I’ll begin trumpeting the news all over Facebook and anywhere else I can think of late that evening. I hope my readers like my work. It’s been an exciting wild ride to this point.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

New Contact Pico Page Added

In advance of the release of my first novel at the end of this week, I have added my resident writer email from InknBeans Press to my blog here. I'm not sure what to expect here as a newly published author, but I would enjoy hearing what my readers think. The page is listed in the pages list in the righthand column. The email address is

Friday, 17 May 2013

My Personal Dream Home

A week from now, I will achieve a dream that I've held since childhood. Getting my first novel published is a monumental achievement for me. The realization of that dream may give me the means to fulfil some other dreams of mine. If the book does very well it could give the financial means to move forward to owning our own home again.

What I want in a home is a place in the country two to ten acres. A place where we can hobby farm the way we had begun in Ontario. More importantly, it needs to be a place where I can have a small woodshop where I can do my woodturnings and other creative projects. We couldn't do that in Ontario. Frankly the real estate agent who sold us the property in Ontario misrepresented it to us. I'm not very trusting in that regard anymore. I believe I have the ability and the work ethic to make a decent living between my woodworking and writing on my own piece of dirt. This dream is not completely selfish. Such an arrangement would allow my wife to pursue her artwork with less day to day stress. Would also provide us with the means to help our children to move forward. We've hit a lot of snags along the way but the dreams are not dead. I'm still breathing after all.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Release Date For LSDL Announcement

I sent back my last round of editing and now have a release date. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie will be released by InknBeans Press May 25, 2013. At that point it will be available for purchase online through websites like Smashwords, and others. Better get after the sequel now.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo Success!

Congratulations are in order for my three participating children. Mieke completed her manuscript "Shadow Alliance". Andrew finished his called "The Lost Medallion". Finally Brandon completed his first book manuscript ever with "Galdathor: Legacy of the Lost King". I got seriously derailed. My goal wasn't to complete a full manuscript but to finish one I already started. Too much life got in the way of my efforts. Between housing concerns, kidney stone pain and work on LSDL, I just didn't get it done. Progress was made though so I'm not complaining. Next Camp NaNoWriMo is in July. We will all likely try to participate again.

NaNoWriMo is a terrific organization that promotes the art of writing. It has led to a lot of new published writers. Personally I am not in a position to make a direct financial donation. There are things that anyone can do to help whether you are a participant or not. If the urge strikes you take a look at the following link: Since myLot no longer pays me to use their search engine, I will be using the GoodSearch one that donates to NaNoWriMo. As a writer I do a lot of researching online. It's great that worthy cause can benefit alongside me. I would add them as a search option here on my blog but I haven't figured out whether that can be done or not.

For those interested in reading the material my children have produced, right now you're out of luck. They don't maintain online portfolios like I do (I can't afford that either). They also haven't created their own writing blogs like I have. Not to worry. Sooner or later at least Mieke will do all those things. My portfolio is maintained on  I earn my upgraded membership there by doing a considerable amount of review work for other writers. I've never actually shelled out any money there. It is a lot of work though and I just don't have the time to earn enough points for all of them.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The End of MyLot As We Know It

I joined myLot about a year ago for the second time. Primary purpose was not to make money but to support my wife who hoped to make a few dollars online and improve her written English. She made payout once and then more or less let it slide. Me, on the other hand, established some friendships and made some money while enjoying my time there. For the last few months I'd been considering writing an article on how to make money on that site and push for referrals. I figured with a little effort I could easily make the ten-dollar payout each month and more. Why not? I was having fun. Can’t write that article anymore. MyLot has been revamped and they dropped the part where they pay for participation. My last payout will be the middle of this month and then nothing. Will myLot survive? I'm pessimistic.

There were a lot of good reasons to participate on myLot and I can't say that money was the main reason I was there. It was an important reason though. From the responses my friends had to this change, I'd say it was an important reason for everyone. Like myself most of them will sort of stick around because of their friends but won't put a lot of effort into participation. Well if members aren't participating much the site is going down the toilet. I'll go back. Probably even make a rare post here and there. I want friends there to know when my first book is released. After that though I expect my participation there to slowly dwindle to nothing. My real friends will come and visit my blog here or find other ways to contact me. I don't really need much more than my link sitting there in my myLot profile. If they can’t find that, then they aren't too worried about staying in touch. Money is not the main reason for being on the site but without the money all the other reasons I had will be greatly diminished. Can they survive removing a primary driver for participation and remain the same? There comes a point where my limited time is better spent somewhere else.

For my many friends on the site, I still look forward to hearing from you. A few of you are already friends on Facebook or I've exchanged emails with others and by all means drop me a line. If another site is created to take up where myLot left off, let me know. I'd be happy to devote some of my time to participate in something similar. It’s sad that a site I really enjoyed felt the need to make this type of a drastic change. See you while I lurk around the Internet.