Weekly Update – January 10, 2017

Arisia is this weekend!

For those of you in the Boston area this coming Friday through Monday, Arisia starts the fun on Friday night, and if you haven’t already registered online I’d strongly suggest you go do that right now. Then come visit me and fellow author J.M. Aucoin down in the merchant area. We’ll be there selling and signing books and talking about writing — and I’ll be talking about the craft more at four panel discussions over the long weekend (my full schedule is below).

I’ll be posting stuff all weekend long, and you can follow my shenanigans through my social media outlets.


Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play and Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Final drafts are done and formatted! Now all I need is my cover art and book six will be ready to go!

I am making a small number of advanced reader copies available, so if you’re interested, drop me a line and let me know. I can give you full details then, but I’m looking for people who have read the entire series to date (book six pulls heavily from other events in the series, especially book one), can read book six before it’s released to the public in late February/early March, and will post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or their own personal websites, so serious inquiries only, please. ARC readers will get a finished copy of the book when it’s released in their preferred format.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft in progress. Got some more work in over the weekend. My goal is to get through the first draft, then tuck it aside and go develop something else for release later this year.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Rough plotting in progress.

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


  • Friday, January 13 – Monday, January 16: Arisia 2017 in Boston, MA. J.M. Aucoin will be in the dealers room at table A18 selling and signing books and talking about writing. I also have four panels on my schedule throughout the weekend.
  • February 17 – 19: Boskone at the Westin Waterfront Hotel, the same location as Arisia.
  • Saturday, September 16: The Connecticut Renaissance Faire in Lebanon, CT (time and exact location TBA).


For those interested in my panel schedule at Arisia, here’s where I’ll be over the weekend and what I’ll be talking about:

Writing Swordfights, Knives, and Hand-to-Hand Combat

Saturday, 2:30 PM in Otis

Violent encounters are a good way to up the tension in your story. Our panel of martial artists will not only explain the phases of combat, what goes through their mind prior to ‘going at it’, and what makes a realistic swordfight, knife-fight, stick-fighting or hand-to-hand encounter, but they will also demonstrate a few basic moves, answer questions, and help one lucky attendee work out the mechanics of their work-in-progress.

Getting Into Character

Sunday, 1 PM in Faneuil

From the way you walk, to the way you talk, getting into character is key to making your cosplay shine. Our panel of performance-minded costumers share with you their secrets for bringing their costume to life.

Writing a Worthy Adversary

Sunday, 8:30 PM in Douglas

Nothing brings a story to life like a worthy antagonist, but how do you figure out the yang for your protagonist’s yin? What is your villain’s backstory? What are some of the ways they can twist, torment, and temper your main character? And how can a good antagonist act as your protagonist’s mirror? Boo! Hiss! Come learn how to write bad guys your audience will love to hate.

Imaginary Friends: Crafting Memorable Characters

Monday, 10 AM in Marina 3

Even the most gripping plot will fail if you don’t have memorable characters. How do you create a sympathetic protagonist? How much backstory should you give them? How do you develop interesting supporting characters to accompany them on their journey? There are many ‘tricks’ you can use to flesh out characters, as well as ways to juggle multiple character viewpoints. Come learn how to write characters so realistic your audience will be talking about them long after they finish your story.


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