Weekly Update – February 13, 2018

Planning continues for my appearance at the AuthorStock 2018 event (details below).

I learned this week that I’m supposed to make a presentation at the event, which caught me off-guard. I thought I’d be there mostly to sign books — which I will be — but apparently the participating authors are expected to do something for 15 minutes. Some are doing readings, others are doing hands-on activities for kids.

After kicking ideas around, I decided I’m going to talk about something not strictly writing-related, but still very important to indie authors: cover art. I’m going to talk about the importance of having strong covers and the process that goes into having a cover made for you. And fortunately, I have plenty of visual aids courtesy of WIP pics my awesome cover artist Tricia has sent me over the years.

Speaking of which…

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art. And here’s the latest work-in-progress version! FYI, those oddly out of place photos are placeholders for where lovingly hand-drawn aliens will go. Oh, and I hope you don’t get too attached to Eye Guy on the lower right. He’s gone. He was a little too out there for my tastes. Also? He was looking at me funny.

Well Behaved Women: Lots of progress over the weekend!

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

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Weekly Update – February 6, 2018

Hey, you. You busy on Saturday, March 3?

If not, then come on down to the Barnes & Noble in Millbury, MA, in the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley, for AuthorStock 2018. I’ll be there from noon until 2 PM doing…something. I’m actually not sure what I’ll be doing, but as soon as I find out from event organizers, I’ll let you all know.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Hit 42,000 words on book two…and 2,000 words on book three. Yeah, I jump around.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 30, 2018

Still pretty sore from a weekend of stage combat seminars, which I take every winter to freshen up my skills for the forthcoming spring renaissance faire season. I have a pretty heavy fight load for the spring show (more on that below) so I need to scrap the rust off so I’m ready to craft some quality fake violence.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: After several weeks of slow-going, I’ve finally hashed out the plot issues and got back to serious work last week. The first draft is new creeping up on the 40,000 word mark, and once I finish book two I will be ready to plunge right into writing book three.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress. Got a couple thousand words in last week, in-between thinking over WBW stuff.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art — which is in progress! Tricia is playing around with Carrie’s new look a little, and this is one of the concepts she’s experimenting with.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Saturday, February 17, 5 PM to 9 PM: Connecticut Renaissance Faire/Robin Hood’s Faire Meet the Directors Mixer. The producers of the Connecticut Renaissance Faire in Lebanon, CT and Robin Hood’s Faire, which has relocated this year to Lancaster, MA, are hosting a special promotional event at their Southbridge, MA headquarters to drum up interest in this year’s auditions for the two shows. If you’re interested, stop on by to meet with the directors — including me! I’ll be returning to the spring show as fight director.

MISC.

The end is nigh!

You have until the end of the day tomorrow to grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 33 other titles for free as part of a superhero fiction cross-promotion.

You also have until tomorrow to submit a story for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. Go here to get the full details.

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 23, 2018

Big announcement time!

Over the weekend I signed a contract with a Boston-based indie comic company, Underdog Comics, to write a mini-comic for them. It’s a steampunk adventure called Freedom Winds and features a crew of women pirates fighting the so-called “triangle trade” during the Golden Age of Piracy.

Underdog Comics’ overarching mission is to increase diversity in media, and that’s a mission I can get behind.

I met the company’s founder, Tessa, at Arisia 2018, and after talking about Action Figures and what I try to do with that series in terms of representation, she asked if I’d be interested in writing a script for her. She had a couple of concepts in need of a writer, one of which was “steampunk pirate women.” By the end of the day I’d come up with some characters and a basic concept, and I spent the following week fleshing it out. I finished the script this past weekend and submitted it on Sunday.

Tessa herself will be the artist on the mini-comic, and I’ve already seen some of her character sketches. They’re looking pretty damn cool.

Freedom Winds is scheduled for a March release. I’ll keep you all updated as things progress.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Got some more work done but, for time constraint reasons, not as much as I’d hoped. My day gig is back in full swing, though so hopefully I’ll return to pounding out more than a page a day. In the meantime, I managed to finish work on one of the costumes for the March photo shoot, and I think it looks pretty damn good.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Saturday, February 17, 5 PM to 9 PM: Connecticut Renaissance Faire/Robin Hood’s Faire Meet the Directors Mixer. The producers of the Connecticut Renaissance Faire in Lebanon, CT and Robin Hood’s Faire, which has relocated this year to Lancaster, MA, are hosting a special promotional event at their Southbridge, MA headquarters to drum up interest in this year’s auditions for the two shows. If you’re interested, stop on by to meet with the directors — including me! I’ll be returning to the spring show as fight director.

MISC.

I’m taking part in a month-long cross-promotion with several other superhero fiction authors, and until January 31 you can grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 32 other titles for free!

It’s the final countdown for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, so get cracking! Go here to get the full details.

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 16, 2018

Arisia 2018 is a wrap!

I had what was, financially, my best show ever. This is not to say I am rolling in money, but the weekend was profitable — which can be a big deal to an indie author. These shows are not cheap to do and it’s easy to lose money — which is what happened in previous years — so it’s nice to be able to go home even a little in the black.

But the best part may be yet to come. I’m currently chatting with someone who is interested in having me work on a project for her small company, and the concept I’ve been pitched is intriguing. We’ll see where that goes, but I’m feeling hopeful.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I managed to sneak in a little bit of work during my busy week, but I’m mostly hashing out some plot issues for a while.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress. Got some work in on this last week, and I’ll pop back to jot down stuff as it comes to me.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

For a variety of reasons, some voluntary and some out of my control, I am going to be passing on Boskone this year. I don’t have any other shows on the horizon quite yet, but I’m on the lookout.

MISC.

I’m taking part in a month-long cross-promotion with several other superhero fiction authors, and until January 31 you can grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 32 other titles for free!

It’s the final countdown for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, so get cracking! Go here to get the full details.

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 9, 2018

It’s Arisia prep time, but you can read all about that down in the Appearances and Events section.

Today I’m going to give you a peek at the behind-the-scenes work on my March 31 photo shoot for Well Behaved Women. It’s a rather ambitious project that requires me to assemble six full costumes, complete with the appropriate props, for three models.

Last week I purchased all the things I needed for Jen MacPherson, the woman who will be modeling for the main character, Sgt. Rose Booker of the Worcester Police Department. This was probably the most demanding outfit to assemble since it has to look reasonably like an actual WPD uniform.

I have to give a big shout-out to Trippi’s Uniforms of Shrewsbury, which helped me acquire the appropriate uniform shirt and hat, and a few key finishing touches, such as the little WPD pins on the collar. A bonus thank-you to the unnamed cop at the counter who pointed out a critical detail, that ranked officers (sergeants and higher) have gold-toned uniform accents, not silver-toned. I never would have guessed that on my own.

I had to poke around the Internet for some of the other finishing touches, such as the badges for the shirt and hat. You can’t buy authentic badges without a police administrator’s permission, I learned, so I had to search around for replicas that looked authentic-ish and accept that these specific details wouldn’t be perfect matches — although I suspect that only actual WPD officers would notice.

My wife will be putting her embroidery machine to use to duplicate the other unobtainable element, the official uniform patch. Add to that the non-firing prop handgun I found on Etsy — most places will not ship realistic firearm replicas to Massachusetts — and I should have a pretty damn good-looking WPD uniform.

As for the other models’ costumes, I’m not going to tell you who the characters are in the interest of preserving the mystery for a while longer, but here’s a photo of one of the other costumes. Any guesses who it is?

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I indulged in a great three-day writing weekend and I got a LOT done. Having the cover shoot coming up is giving me some great motivation to finish this series up.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • THIS WEEKEND! Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia 2018 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (in Burroughs, Saturday, 10:00 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (in Faneuil, Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (in Otis, Sunday, 4 PM).
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

I’m taking part in a month-long cross-promotion with several other superhero fiction authors, and until January 31 you can grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 32 other titles for free!

It’s the final countdown for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, so get cracking! Go here to get the full details.

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – January 2, 2018

Happy New Year, everyone!

Things are off to a brisk start here. After taking a year off, the Worcester Writers Collaborative resumed its annual tradition of getting together for New Year’s Day dinner and drinks and shop talk, I finished getting the e-book versions of all my novels up on both Barnes & Noble and Kobo, I finished editing and formatting Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War, and I have secured my new tablemate for Arisia. More on them next week.

 

In other news, I am taking part in a month-long cross-promotion with several other superhero fiction authors, and until January 31 you can grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 32 other titles for free!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: With the day job on hiatus for a while, I was able to plug away and finally get some good work done. I’m creeping up on the 30,000 work mark and hope to keep up the momentum despite a busy January.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • UPDATED! Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia 2018 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (in Burroughs, Saturday, 10:00 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (in Faneuil, Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (in Otis, Sunday, 4 PM).
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

It’s the final countdown for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, so get cracking! Go here to get the full details.

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.