Weekly Update – September 20, 2016

The free giveaway for SandA Ad SquareThe Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich is finally underway. There was some kind of screw-up or glitch on Amazon’s end that caused the giveaway, which I set up quite a while ago, to disappear entirely. Not the thing you want you want to find out on Monday morning, several hours after the giveaway was supposed to start.

It’s been corrected and the giveaway will proceed as planned. The Kindle edition will be free from until Friday, September 23, so grab a copy for yourself or gift one to a friend, and then go pre-order the Kindle edition of book two, Assassins Brawl, which comes out next Tuesday — assuming the Amazon gremlins don’t attack again.

If you can’t wait for next week or you’re a fan of hard copies, the print edition is available now!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: Pre-editing revisions are done, in the queue for editing.

Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Pre-editing revisions are done, in the queue for editing.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War and Action Figures – Issue Eight: Managed to sneak some work in on both last week, and I’ll get some more done in a few days, but my wife’s show schedule continues to be disruptive, but that’s okay — especially since the next show on the schedule is the Connecticut Renaissance Faire, and I’ll be the featured author on Sunday!

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins:  Audiobook recording in progress

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

ct-renaissance-faire-header2

MISC.

nbbf-promo-imageThe New Bedford Book Festival is posting author bios as they lead up to the big event, and I was featured in a recent post — complete with one of my book covers, which is flattering.

Finally, I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting up a newsletter, but then I realized I didn’t need to, because you can choose to follow this blog via e-mail, which is basically a newsletter subscription. Scroll to the top of the page and look right under the header, on the right, for the “follow” button. Click it and get the blog posts sent to you directly!

Alert! Giveaway May Be Delayed

Hi, everyone. Quick announcement: Amazon screwed something up. The free giveaway that was supposed to go into effect at midnight did not, for reasons I’m trying to determine and correct now. It’s still listed in the system as free starting tomorrow and running through Friday, but I am hoping to get Amazon to start the giveaway today as planned/scheduled. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Countdown to Freebie Week!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00009]Happy Sunday, everyone, and greetings from Granite State ComicCon in Manchester, New Hampshire!

I just wanted to take a few minutes out of the morning to remind you that the Kindle edition of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich becomes free for five days through Amazon starting at midnight. If you’re a fan of Action Figures but haven’t given Strongarm & Lightfoot a try, now’s the time. And if you are a fan, this is an opportunity to share the series with a friend by giving them a copy as a gift.

Weekly Update – September 13, 2016

In case you missed it from yesterday, the cover art for The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot: Assassins Brawl is out, and it looks awesome. Here is the original post if you’d like to see it unadorned, and here it is again in the context of the full cover wrap:

Copyright 2016 Patricia Lupien
Copyright 2016 Patricia Lupien

Remember, the book is currently available for pre-order and will be released in just two weeks! In the meantime, get ready for next week’s free giveaway for SandA Ad Squarethe first book in the series, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich. The Kindle edition will be free from Monday, September 19 until Friday, September 23, so grab a copy for yourself or gift one to a friend.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: Pre-editing revisions are done, in the queue for editing.

Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Pre-editing revisions are done, in the queue for editing.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War and Action Figures – Issue Eight: Got some more work done on both over an abbreviated weekend, which will be the last I get done for a bit as my wife and I have a show (Granite State ComicCon) this coming weekend.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins:  Audiobook recording in progress

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

As I mentioned above, due to the con and other upcoming commitments, I won’t be getting much writing done for a few weeks, but I will have two October events in there, so I’ll still be doing writerly stuff.

I’m also in a holding pattern on Arisia 2017. November will be the big month there, because that’s when I will (presumably) get confirmation on my vending space, as well as whether I made it onto any panels. I put my name into the mix for a half-dozen or so, but I’ll be happy if I at least get onto a panel to discuss writing swordfights and hand-to-hand sequences – especially since I suggested that panel.

Cover Art Reveal – Assassins Brawl

It’s here! Tricia was an art machine over the last few days, but it was all worth it, because here is the finished art for The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl, which hits Amazon in two weeks and is available for pre-order now!

Copyright 2016 Patricia Lupien
Copyright 2016 Patricia Lupien

Readers will of course recognize Derek and Erika, but if you want to know who the other figures are — especially that ominous one lurking in the background — you’ll have to pick up the book.

Or make an educated guess based on the back cover text, but I’d love it if you got the book.

I expect to see the finished art showing up on Tricia’s Redbubble store soon, so if you dig it, you’ll be able to go buy a print or some merchandise featuring this image, and you’ll be supporting an independent artist in the process!

Tricia’s going to take a well-deserved break for a few months before I send her notes for the next project (which, FYI, will be Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play).

Weekly Update – September 6, 2016

This week’s big announcement: The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot: Assassins Brawl is now available for pre-order!

The Kindle edition is scheduled for a September 27 release and will retail at $3.99. The print edition should be available around that time as well, and I’ll post price info when I get it.

SandA Ad SquareThe week before Assassins Brawl‘s release, the first book in the series, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich will be available for free through Amazon for five days, You’ll be able to get the Kindle edition for free from Monday, September 19 until Friday, September 23, so grab a copy for yourself or gift one to a friend.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: Pre-editing revisions are done, in the queue for editing.

Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Pre-editing revisions are done, in the queue for editing.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War and Action Figures – Issue Eight: Got some good work on both books done over my long writing weekend. The great thing about having book six already in the pipeline is that I can take my time working on the next two in the series, which is a big benefit in light of how very different book seven is going to be from the other stories.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins:  I received the first chunk of the audiobook this morning and it’s sounding pretty good. I asked my narrator, Jen, to re-do the exposition-heavy first chapter to punch up the pacing and energy a bit, but that’s a minor tweak. I’m eager to see how things sound once she really gets into the meat of the story.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

First, as a mere point of amusement, I stumbled across this German blogger who reviewed Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women. The Google translation isn’t perfect, but it works well enough to know this reader liked it.

Last week I learned that Secret Origins and Scratching a Lich had been nominated for something called the Summer Indie Book Awards. I don’t know how they ended up on the nomination lists — I have to assume a fan of the books submitted them — but they’re there.

While it’s nice to be nominated, I’m not putting a lot of stock in this. There are a ridiculous number of awards programs for indie authors to apply to, almost none of which are, in my opinion, worth anything. They’re too often backed by a for-profit outfit rather than an industry organization such as the Horror Writers Association or the World Science Fiction Society (which present, respectively, the Bram Stoker Awards or the Hugo Awards), charge a hefty entry fee, have extremely liberal guidelines for nominations (if they have guidelines at all), and aren’t judged based on a given work’s merits.

The Summer Indie Book Awards, for example, is a flat-out popularity contest. I could literally go onto the voting site every day and vote for myself. I could rally readers to go vote for me on a daily basis. The eventual winner is more likely to be whoever coordinated the best “vote early, vote often” campaign rather than who wrote the best book.

And what does the author get out of winning? Bragging rights, mostly, a chance to say they’re an “award winning” author — which is what so many of these awards are counting on. They’re preying on authors’ egos to make a buck, and there is too much of that going on in the industry.

Friendly word of advice for fellow indie authors before you fork over an entry fee for any kind of awards program: Google the award’s name and add the terms “Writer Beware” of “Water Cooler” to see if the program has been red-flagged by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America or Absolute Write. If it looks like a for-profit venture, avoid it.

September is Strongarm & Lightfoot Month!

Happy September, everyone – or as I’m calling it, Strongarm & Lightfoot Month!

Today I begin the process of making my final edits on The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl, and the goal is to have a final draft fully edited and formatted by the end of the weekend (preferably sooner, since I have a couple of other books that still need to be written).

Part of the Assassins Brawl cover, in progress. The little critter in the handbag may or may not appear in the final version. We'll see. Copyright Patricia Lupien.
Part of the Assassins Brawl cover, in progress. The little critter in the handbag may or may not appear in the final version. We’ll see. Copyright Patricia Lupien.

Meanwhile, my cover artist Tricia Lupien will be hard at work on the cover of Assassins Brawl, which riffs on the classic fantasy novel trope of the lusty princess at the feet of the mighty sword-wielding hero — which, in this case, is going to be Erika Racewind.

Tricia is drawing inspiration from the original Star Wars poster, with elements from classic John Carter – Warlord of Mars covers (both novel and comic), the Army of Darkness movie poster, and Legally Blonde, although that last one is more a joke that I cracked when Tricia sent me the WIP shot on the right.

If all goes well, the whole process will be wrapped up this weekend and the Kindle edition of Assassins Brawl will go up for pre-sale, and the final release date will be Tuesday, September 27.

SandA Ad SquareWhy September 27? To give people time to grab their free Kindle edition of book one, Scratching a Lich! The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot: Scratching a Lich will be available for free through Amazon from Monday, September 19 through Friday, September 23, so if you’re a fan of my Action Figures series but haven’t picked up Strongarm & Lightfoot yet, or you’re a brand-new reader, now’s your chance to check it out and get ready for Assassins Brawl.

To wrap up the first post of Strongarm & Lightfoot Month, here is the official synopsis/promotional blurb/back cover text from Assassins Brawl. Enjoy!

You’re invited to the wedding of the year! In lieu of gifts, the bride and groom humbly ask that you do not try to murder them.

After barely surviving Habbatarr the lich-lord and the Dead City of Hesre, Derek Strongarm and Felix Lightfoot and their companions are ready for some well-deserved rest. All they want now is good food, cold beer, a warm bed, and maybe a few days without someone trying to kill them.

And then they encounter a damsel in distress and, well, so much for that idea.

The damsel in question is the Lady Alyssa Spendle, a spoiled noble promised to Lord Paradim as part of a brokered political marriage, and the distress comes in the form of a determined group of kidnappers looking to make a quick profit off Alyssa’s ransom.

Derek and Felix learn there’s much more to this plot, and the heroes soon find themselves entangled in a vast conspiracy that threatens to topple a kingdom and take them down in the process.

Get ready for another wild adventure with Strongarm and Lightfoot as they fight for their lives against backstabbing thieves, cutthroat mercenaries, the crime lords knows as the Seven Jewels, and the mysterious assassin Ruined Isys.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl is the second book in the irreverent fantasy series by author Michael Bailey (Action Figures), a tale filled with noble heroes, dastardly villains, a colorful secondary cast, mildly interesting background characters, a bunch of people who don’t even get names, political intrigue, thrilling action, and snarky asides that don’t advance the plot much but keep things from getting too serious.