Weekly Update – August 8, 2017

Starting off this week with a reminder about the Massachusetts Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors group promotion going on through the end of the month. If you want to grab some free e-books (including a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest), go to the MASFFA website and sign up for the participating authors’ newsletters, and you’ll get free e-books as a thank-you!

Next, a big thank you to K.R. Conway for organizing and inviting me to participate in the Author Panel Night that capped off the Cape Cod Teen Writers Conference. More than 70 people, mostly (but not exclusively) teens, sat in on our rotating roster of discussion groups. Mine was “Heroes, Villains, and Lovable Losers,” and I had great co-panelists in Kim Savage, who is not what she seems (in-joke), and goth unicorn Hillary Monahan, who stepped into the role of moderator.

The Teen Author Night lineup.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I passed the 36,000 word threshold over the weekend and hashed out most of the rest of the plot (I am a pantser by nature so things like plot points tend to come to me in fits and spurts).

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: In the editing phase, and I’m seeing some rough cover art coming in. It’ll be a fun image, reminiscent perhaps of old Dragon magazine covers.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: With WBW stuff still percolating in my brain, I used last week to go through Black End War again, and I now have a draft that is ready for editing! Obviously my editor has her hands full for a while, but once Blades of Glory is done, I’m shipping this right over to her so it will be good and ready for a late winter/early spring 2018 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Second draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC

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Weekly Update – February 21, 2017

af6-cover-ebook-editionFirst, I’d like to reiterate yesterday’s announcement that Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play is officially available for pre-order on Amazon. The Kindle version will be released next Tuesday, February 28, and the print edition should also be available on or around that date.

If you’re new to the Action Figures saga, or an AF fan who wants to introduce someone to the series, mark Monday, March 13 on your calendar, because that’s when Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins will be available on the Kindle for free. Actually it’ll be free all week (until Friday, March 17), so that gives you five days to grab a copy for yourself or gift one to a fellow reader.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: I managed to sneak in a little work here and there but was mostly away from the laptop due to Boskone (more on that below).

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

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

Boskone is behind me, and while it was a decent weekend I’m doubtful whether I’ll try to go back in 2018.

The benefit of doing pop-culture-related conventions, especially cons like Arisia and Boskone, which tend to be more reader-oriented, is that you’re immersed in a target audience and the potential for sales and positive exposure is excellent. The drawback is that these shows can be very expensive. A table at Boskone is $70, plus they require people to basically buy an admission to the show (I personally despise that practice; I worked numerous comic cons with my wife and they didn’t hit vendors for a fee and then admission on top), and that almost doubles basic expenses. Then you add the unavoidable costs of parking, which can be considerable since they’re in Boston, and travel (gas and tolls). Even if you avoid superfluous expenses like food and lodging, you’re still dropping a couple hundred dollars just to be there.

In order to recoup those expenses, I have to sell at least 17 books at their convention price (I offer a small discount at shows to encourage sales), and that’s to barely break even. That might not sound like a huge number, but consider that there are several other authors there also selling their books, plus new and used book sellers, plus vendors selling non-book items. There’s a fair amount of competition for the patrons’ limited spending money.

The long and short of it is, Boskone did not provide a respectable ROI, and that is for me the deciding factor on whether to return to a given show. I’ve met several indie authors who do shows planning to lose money but do them anyway for the exposure, but I view this as a poor business model. Exposure is fine, but if it doesn’t lead to sales, it’s a waste of time, effort, and money — and the people I’ve spoken to admit they don’t know for sure that attending a con has directly resulted in later sales, and they certainly can’t connect any sales that do occur after a show to their appearance at said show. They might have correlation but they can’t prove causation.

 

Weekly Update – February 14, 2017

Welcome to the full o’ love edition of the weekly update — and what I love is that Boskone is this weekend! I’ll be down in the dealers’ room all three days, so come by to say hi, talk about writing, and buy signed copies of my books.

WRITING PROJECTS

Copyright 2018 Patricia Lupien
Copyright 2018 Patricia Lupien

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play and Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Edited, formatted, awaiting front cover art (in progress, at right).

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

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Another solid weekend’s worth of work is in the bag. I’ve put down more than 19,000 words in about two weekends’ worth of work, so about a quarter of the way done already.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

I’m saddened to announce that I won’t be at the spring New Bedford Book Festival in April. I had this on my calendar since the fall show was good to me and I’d heard the first spring show was really strong, but the organizers pushed this year’s spring show back from March and it now conflicts with my Robin Hood Springtime Festival rehearsal schedule. If you’re in the area you should go anyway to support local indie authors and maybe find a new favorite book.

I do have another possible event cooking for April, however. The details are still being hammered out, but when things are official, I’ll let everyone know the date, time, location, and possible big name fellow guest (tease tease).

Finally, I’m planning to do a giveaway of Secret Origins for the Kindle next month to support the release of Power Play. It’ll run on Amazon from Monday, March 13 to Friday, March 17. I’ll say a little more about this next week, but consider yourself fore-informed (forewarned doesn’t sound quite right).

Weekly Update – February 7, 2017

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play and Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Edited, formatted, awaiting front cover art.

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

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: First draft is underway! I’m off to a good start thanks to a solid writing weekend, and I’m hoping work on this will clip along so I can have it ready for a fall release.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

flowers-and-rainbowsMISC.

To end on a cute and flattering note, apparently my cover artist Tricia’s daughter has decided she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and illustrate book covers, and she drew one that she’s declared is for my next book — which she has also declared will be called Flowers and Rainbows.

Lance Flowers is a male model by day, a vampire by night. Allison Rainbows is a down-and-out MMA fighter with a grudge. They’re detectives.

I could make that work 🙂

Weekly Update – January 31, 2017

Art and copyright Patricia Lupien 2017
Art and copyright Patricia Lupien 2017

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play and Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Edited, formatted, awaiting front cover art. Tricia sent me a very rough rough over the weekend, and it looks like she’s going to have some fun with it. The central figure, by the way, is Sara, who is also the central figure of the story.

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

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished! Mostly. I still have to put a button on the very last scene, but I’m going to call it done for now so I don’t waste time agonizing over one or two final paragraphs.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: And here’s what I’ll be working on next! I have a fun concept in mind for the plot, so expect another rollicking adventures with Derek, Felix, and company later this year!

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

Nothing to report here, citizens.

Weekly Update – January 17, 2017

arisiaArisia 2017 is a wrap!

This year’s show, unfortunately, wasn’t terribly successful from a financial perspective. Sales were below last year’s, for both me and my tablemate J.M. Aucoin, but I got to participate in four panels over the weekend, and those were a lot of fun — and educational, for the attendees and for me. I picked up a few new techniques and learned some new approaches to writing, which I’ll never complain about.

Nor will I complain about the fact my last sale of the weekend was to a young girl who walked away hugging her new copy of Action Figures. That made an otherwise slow day totally worth it.

Speaking of Action Figures

WRITING PROJECTS

meg-quantum
Copyright 2017 Patricia Lupien

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play and Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Edited, formatted, awaiting cover art. Speaking of which, check out this color rough of the back cover art, which features Megawatt Quantum, who plays a prominent role in book six. I thought it’d be fun to portray her in the style of a WWII-era pin-up girl, a nod to her penchant for retro fashion. Tricia has some fine details to add but this is basically what you’ll be seeing on the back of book six.

Remember, folks, 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. Arisia took up my weekend so nothing got done on this or anything, but I hope to get back to it soon.

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.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

rejected-princessesBook recommendation time! I’m currently reading Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Hereticsby Jason Porath, partly for fun but partly for research and inspiration for one of my future projects (currently going by the working title of The Well-Behaved Women Trilogy), and I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to give this book a try. And you can keep up with Jason’s ongoing Rejected Princesses project at his website, on Facebook, and on Tumblr.

Weekly Update – December 6

WRITING PROJECTS

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

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: In the editing process, on-schedule for a winter/spring 2017 release.

Action Figures – Live Free or Die: In the editing process, will be included as a bonus story with Power Play.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft in progress. Didn’t get anything done this past weekend because my wife and I were moving into a new place. On the upside, the routine of moving stuff between floors in the same building gave me plenty of time to figure out all the details of the climax.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • otherwhere-promoTHIS WEEKEND! Saturday, December 10: The OtherWhere Market at Mill No. 5 in Lowell. I will be there, sharing space with my wife. This will be Storied Threads‘ last show for the foreseeable future, so come visit and grab some great holiday gifts from us.
  • 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.

MISC.

I’m talking to my cover artist Tricia for the front and back of Power Play. Going with a bold but simple concept for the front cover, but the back cover image might be the scene stealer.