Weekly Update – January 30, 2023

I’m dropping the weekly blog post a day early to remind you that the Superhero Fiction Writers “first book in the series” promo begins today!

All these titles will be available for free on January 30, and you can go here to browse the titles and then jump to their respective retailer to get them.

You’ll notice that Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins is on the list. If you’re already a fan, the sale day would be a great time to send a copy to someone as a gift. If you haven’t read it yourself, correct that horrible, terrible oversight now, and then you can get started on the series in advance of the final book, Zero Day, dropping later this year.

Even though the group sale is one day only, I am making Secret Origins free for the whole week! That’s five days in which to pick up the book for yourself or a fellow reader.

Speaking of Action Figures, work continues on the cover for book eleven, Zero Day. It’s taking more time because it’s going to be a double-sized wraparound cover to commemorate the double-sized finale of the series. And I am calling this a blessed venture, because my cover artist Tricia recently posted the WIP image you see on your right, and it received praise from no less than Randy Milholland, creator of the beloved webcomic Something Positive!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Awaiting cover art. Scheduled for an early 2023 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a 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 24, 2023

Starting this week on a positive and self-promotional note: the Superhero Fiction Writers group is planning a series of quarterly promotions for 2023, and the first of those launches next week with a “first book in the series” promo.

All these titles will be available for free on January 30, and you can go here to browse the titles and then jump to their respective retailer to get them.

You’ll notice that Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins is on the list. If you’re already a fan, the sale day would be a great time to send a copy to someone as a gift. If you haven’t read it yourself, correct that horrible, terrible oversight now, and then you can get started on the series in advance of the final book, Zero Day, dropping later this year.

Even though the group sale is one day only, I am making Secret Origins free for the whole week! That’s five days in which to pick up the book for yourself or a fellow reader.

On a more sober note, if you were at Arisia last weekend, you may not have heard that (as of this writing) ten people who were at the event tested positive for Covid despite the show’s vaccination and mask mandates. In light of that news, I’m feeling more comfortable in my decision to take a pass on Boskone. I’m negative for Covid, thankfully, and I don’t feel like pressing my luck.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Awaiting cover art. Scheduled for an early 2023 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a 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 17, 2023

Arisia is behind me, and unfortunately, I mean that in a larger sense.

Event organizers warned us that attendance would be down this year as people were still squirrelly about attending large gatherings (especially if they were resistant to mask and vaccine mandates while attending). They were right and the foot traffic in the dealers room was not what it usually is, which meant sales were, to put it diplomatically, disappointing.

If this was a one-time occurrence I might be inclined to try and ride it out and return in 2024, but frankly, my ROI at Arisia has been falling for the last few years. Breaking even is acceptable, but doing the show at a loss several times, even a small loss, is simply not good business sense. I’ve always said that if you’re serious about making a go at writing professionally, you can’t take a loss at conventions just because they’re “fun to do.”

Now it’s time to take my own advice.

It’s not an easy decision because I do enjoy the show. I like the social aspect, I like talking shop with other writers, I love doing panels, but I don’t love paying that much in membership fees, dealer fees, parking, gas, and food to do it.

With that in mind, I have also decided to withdraw from Boskone next month. Boskone went ahead with the 2022 show despite the Omicron surge, and everything I heard from folks who were there was that it was a ghost town. I can’t imagine this year will be any better, especially in light of how thin Arisia was, so I’ve cancelled my appearance there too.

Will I ever return to either event? Can’t say. Maybe things will improve and I’ll be willing to give the shows another chance, but for the foreseeable future, I’m done with them and moving on to other adventures.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Awaiting cover art. Scheduled for an early 2023 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a 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 10, 2023

It’s the final countdown to Arisia!

My first author appearance since 2019 is this weekend, and you’ll find me in the dealers room from Friday evening through early Monday afternoon, as well as on the Crafting Memorable Villains panel at 11:30 AM Saturday, and the Mushy Middle: Conquering the Midpoint Swamp panel at 4 PM that same day.

It’s not too late to register, BTW, but do know that the event has strict vaccination and masking requirements.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Awaiting cover art. Scheduled for an early 2023 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2023: January 13 – 16, Westin Boston Seaport District Hotel.
  • Boskone 2023: February 17 – 19, Westin Boston Seaport District Hotel

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 – February 22, 2022

In a typical year, I’d be talking about how well Boskone went. Seeing as I skipped the show this year, there’s not a lot to say, but it looks like I made the right choice in taking a pass, at least from a business perspective.

One early attendance report from the organizers indicated that the in-person population was in the low three figures — a tiny fraction of the normal body count — and some friends who regularly vend at the show posted on social media that activity in the dealers room was nonexistent and they were almost certainly going to take a loss.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator. Yay!

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

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 – February 1, 2022

New release announcement! The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses is now available for the Kindle and in print!

The sixth book in the series picks up some time after the events of The Going Rate for Penance, my short story from The Final Summons – An Anthology of the New England Speculative Writers, and features that story’s protagonists the Summerland sisters (which would be the two dangerous-looking ladies you see on your right, rendered by my crack cover artist Tricia Lupien).

Don’t worry if you haven’t read the short, because it’s included in Twins and Losses — but I’d nevertheless recommend picking up The Final Summons because there are a lot of great stories there besides mine.

Art by Patricia Lupien

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

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 25, 2022

The sad con-related news continues. I received a vendor acceptance email Sunday from Boskone, and I promptly replied that I would be passing on the 2022 show.

It was tough decision to make because I desperately miss doing shows, but in another sense it was an easy call. Omicron appears to be on the decline, but I had no confidence that things would be safe enough to justify doing an event with a crowd, and I know way too many people who have tested positive in the past few weeks alone. I’m not ready to risk being around a lot of people quite yet.

Not that there would necessarily be a lot of people there, which was my other motivation for sitting out this year. Boskone is doing a hybrid live/virtual con this year, which means in-person attendance will be lower than normal, and that means fewer people in the dealers room to spend money. It would have been a significant financial risk on top of a safety risk, and I don’t need to be dealing with either monetary loss or getting sick right now.

But let me end this week on a more upbeat note, and that’s a glimpse at the nearly finished cover art for The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses! It just needs its logo and title added and it’ll be ready for the world! Look for that announcement soon!

Art by Patricia Lupien

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for an early 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Print and Kindle editions have been formatted and are now awaiting finished cover art! Scheduled for January/February 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

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 18, 2022

Got a lot of good work in during my non-Arisia Arisia weekend. The next Strongarm & Lightfoot book is fully edited and formatted and now awaiting its cover art, and I got through a key scene on the next Action Figures book.

Normally I would now be looking ahead to Boskone, but one, I haven’t heard back from anyone about my dealers room application, and two, the Omicron wave is still forging ahead and the live portions of the event might be cancelled anyway. And even if they weren’t, my confidence in making it through a con is low, considering that in the past two weeks more than a dozen friends have tested positive for Covid — all mild cases so far, thankfully, but it doesn’t inspire me to go out in public at all.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for an early 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Final draft is finished! Tentatively scheduled for early 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

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 11, 2022

This week is a bit of a downer for me because of Arisia cancelling. Normally I’d be checking my bank, making sure my Square reader was charged, updating signage, packing — all that good pre-show prep stuff, but instead, I’ll be locking myself in my office all weekend to grief-write. So, yay productivity?

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Production is about to begin on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for an early 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootTwins and Losses: Final draft is process. Tentatively scheduled for early 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2022 – Cancelled due to pandemic, 2023 show tentatively scheduled for January 13 – 16, 2023.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

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.

Arisia 2022 – An Unfortunate Addendum

In yesterday’s blog post, I announced that Arisia 2022 was still on but a final progress report was forthcoming.

That report came only a few hours later, and the organizers announced that this year’s event was cancelled in light of the Covid Omicron surge. You can read the full report here, but the long and short of it is, the surge made the event too dangerous for participants, so Arisia 2022 was cancelled and there are no plans to take any of the panels to a virtual environment.

To say this news was disappointing would be a gross understatement. I was very much looking forward to being at a live event again, to sitting on (and moderating!) so many great panels, and selling book, so having the rug pulled out from under me — even for completely understandable, responsible reasons — sucks hard.

My expectation at this point is that Boskone will follow suit. I’ve not heard anything back from them about vending and I’ve suspected the organizers were waiting to see what happened with the Omicron surge (and, perhaps, with Arisia). At this point, I fully anticipate Boskone will pull the plug on 2022 and look ahead to 2023 as well.

That means I have quite a bit of stock on-hand that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, so feel free to visit my Buy Now page and grab some signed copies.