Weekly Update – February 19, 2019

The Final Summons gang at Boskone: editor Trisha Wooldridge and authors Errick Nunnally, me, and Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert

Boskone 2019 is in the books (ha), and what a great show is was.

Despite being a much smaller show than Arisia, people were dropping money more freely and it ended up being a profitable con — not by a lot, but any profit is better than a loss. I’m already planning to go back in 2020, and hopefully next year I’ll make it onto a panel or two.

In other good news, the audiobook version of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich is finally available! You can grab it on Audible now and enjoy Heather Auden’s ridiculously fun reading of the first book in the S&L series.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Fully edited, waiting for cover art.

Well-Behaved Women: Book two is heading to the editor this week!

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

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

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

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing currently scheduled.

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.

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The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

Derek Strongarm and Felix Lightfoot are a pair of hard-luck adventurers for hire with an unfortunate knack for landing jobs that pay too little and threaten their lives too much. Erika Racewind is a hardened elven warrior who doesn’t like people, except maybe when she’s killing them. Winifred Graceword is a kindhearted elven priestess skilled in the healing arts. David is a young sorcerer on a path to discover who he really is – and whether that person has a last name, because going by just David is getting old fast.

Together these companions travel across the land of Asaches looking for adventure and the glory and riches that come with it. Mostly the riches, though, because you can’t buy food and beer with glory.

Who is this Series For?

Sword-and-sorcery fantasy fans looking for something a little lighter than most of the fare currently on the shelves. If you want heavy, dark, serious stories with lots of death, destruction, torture, rape, and political intrigue, go read something else because you won’t find it here.

What you will find is a fast-paced adventure filled with colorful characters, rip-roaring action, humor, and gentle jabs at the classic elements of fantasy fiction.

Which is not to say this series is a comedy or parody. There is still drama aplenty, but as a rule I don’t take things too seriously. You can read these books and not feel like you need a hug and a room full of puppies afterward.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Not really. The series is a hard PG-13/light R for violence, language, and sexual content. It is suitable for older teens, but not for the YA crowd.

What are the Books in the Series?

Scratching a Lich: Derek and Felix find themselves entangled in an urgent quest to slay a legendary lich before he can trigger a world-ending apocalypse – as insane undead sorcerers are wont to do. Together with Erika Racewind, bodyguard for a mysterious young wizard named David, and Winifred Graceword, they head out to discover lost cities, recover long lost magical artifacts, and slay great evils in order to fulfill curiously specific prophecies – as mismatched, ragtag groups of adventurers are wont to do.

Assassins Brawl: The companions are hired to safeguard a spoiled brat of a princess targeted for death by the assassin Ruined Isys, but as is often the case, there’s more going on here than meets the eye. Now all they have to do is determine who is behind the plot before they get caught in the crossfire.

Blades of Glory: Derek, Felix, and company are up for a job that seems a little too simple for a payday that seems a little too generous – but unfortunately, so are the famed adventurers of fortune known as the Noble Blades. Which of them will be the first to find a stolen ceremonial mask that is absolutely positively completely normal and not at all some lost artifact possessed of dark power?

Untitled fourth book: The heroes take a job to dispose of a potentially dangerous magical artifact only to become snowbound in an isolated city besieged by flesh-hungry beasts — and under assault from within by a secret cadre of assassins.

How Long Will the Series Run?

Unknown, but tentatively ten books.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Scratching a Lich, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Weekly Update – February 12, 2019

Release week for The Final Summons got off to a solid start when the New England Speculative Writers anthology hit number one on Kobo’s best-seller list for fiction and literature anthologies. Woo-hoo!

To keep up the post-release momentum, I’m spotlighting other books by my fellow contributors you might be interested in. Go check them out!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Book eight is fully edited and formatted, so now it just needs its cover art!

Well-Behaved Women: The current drafts of books two and three are done. Book two is ready for my editor and book three is ready for test-reading.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: Still waiting. ARGH!

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

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

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

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Boskone 2019 – February 15 – 17, Westin Waterfront Hotel, Boston. It took forever to nail this down, but I’m in! Come visit me in the dealers room this weekend!

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group is preparing a NEW preview book for newsletter subscribers! It should be ready later this week, so I’ll provide an updated signup link when it’s good to go.

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.

Action Figures – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

The series focuses on Carrie Hauser, a 15-year-old girl who one summer experiences two life-changing events: her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and she gains superhuman abilities after encountering a dying extraterrestrial after he falls to Earth.

Her adventure begins after Carrie and her mother Christina move back to Christina’s childhood home town of Kingsport, Massachusetts, and Carrie meets four teens with powers of their own: superhero fanboy Matt Steiger, who owns a pair of magic gloves that can produce any object he can envision out of thin air, like a living cartoon character; Sara Danvers, a telepath and telekinetic who is afraid of her own abilities; the easygoing Stuart Lumley, who possesses superhuman strength; and Missy Hamill, an adorable motormouth with enhanced strength and reflexes.

The teens form a superhero team almost on a whim, but soon find themselves fighting for their lives against very real super-villains – much to the dismay of Kingsport’s hometown hero Concorde, leader of the super-team The Protectorate.

Who is this Series For?

Fans of superhero comics, TV shows, and movies in general, but particularly of titles featuring teen heroes such as Young Justice, Teen Titans, Young Avengers, and Champions.

The tone is generally lighter than a lot of YA books out there now. While there is drama and conflict, and some later stories deal with darker issues, I try to keep the series fun, upbeat, and optimistic.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Action Figures is a PG-13 series that contains mild to moderate profanity, non-graphic violence, some mature themes, and later on in the series mild sexual content.

An added word about the violent content: while the violence is not graphic, the consequences are not downplayed. This isn’t sanitized Hollywood violence. People get hurt just as they would in real life and do not easily shrug off injuries, and in some cases the characters have to deal with the emotional trauma of their experiences.

What are the Books in the Series?

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret OriginsCarrie and her new friends in the Hero Squad (yes, they know their team name is awful) find themselves caught in the crossfire as the deadly mercenary Manticore comes to Kingsport, on the hunt for the rogue artificial intelligence known as Archimedes.

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women – The sorceress Black Betty threatens to raise hell – maybe literally – as she pursues her vendetta against the Protectorate’s resident paranormal expert Dr. Enigma.

 

Action Figures – Issue Three: Pasts Imperfect – Missy’s life is turned upside-down when she learns the truth about the source of her powers, and her connection to the bloodthirsty killer Buzzkill Joy.

 

Action Figures – Issue Four: Cruel SummerSara finds herself in the crosshairs of the mysterious hero killer the King of Pain, but to save herself, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear.

 

Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-UpsThe Hero Squad, still reeling from their devastating encounter with the King of Pain, get a little help picking up the pieces from their friends in the Protectorate and the Quantum Quintet.

 

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play – The Squad finds itself outnumbered and under-powered after one of their members goes missing – and at the worst possible time as foes from their past reappear, more dangerous than ever and ready to exact revenge.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War – On Earth, Carrie Hauser is a hero, but on the far side of the galaxy, she’s just another soldier on the front lines of an interplanetary war against the terrorists in the Black End.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage (spring 2019) – Carrie returns to Earth to reclaim her life, but life has moved on without her. Does she have a place with her team, her friends, or her family anymore?

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to ten books but might run one or two books longer. In any event, it will come to a firm end at some point and not run on indefinitely.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Secret Origins, short stories set in the Action Figures world, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Weekly Update – February 5, 2019

The Final Summons is here!

This project has been close to two years in the making, but now the anthology from the New England Speculative Writers is here, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes in softcover, hardcover, and e-book formats.

Thanks to everyone who supported this project during its Kickstarter phase, and to everyone who pre-ordered their copy. And please remember to leave a review on your favorite retail site and/or Goodreads to help spread the word!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Book eight is fully edited! Now comes the tedious work of formatting it for print and e-book, and then it’s just a matter of waiting for the cover art.

Well-Behaved Women: The current drafts of books two and three are done. Book two is ready for my editor and book three is ready for test-reading.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: ACX is taking its time on the final processing, but the audiobook should be ready any day now.

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

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

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

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

Nothing currently scheduled, but I have a couple of things in the works I hope to announce soon.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group if offering not one but two free books to new newsletter subscribers. Simply click on this link and sign up for the newsletter, and you’ll receive e-book versions of the two collections pictured here, featuring novel samples from NESW members. The fantasy collection includes the first two chapters of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich.

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 29, 2019

It’s the final countdown for The Final Summons!

You have until February 4 to pre-order your copy now and then go to TheFinalSummons.com to collect your free swag, including laptop wallpapers and a collection of short stories by the New England Speculative Writers group.

The price of the e-book version will be going up after release day, so if you want to get it for 99 cents, do it now!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: I got my edits back from Julie over the weekend, so this week will be spent working on a final draft and formatting. And then I just need my cover art and I’m good to go!

Well-Behaved Women: The current drafts of books two and three are done. Book two is ready for my editor and book three is ready for test-reading.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: The audiobook is done and in final processing! It should be available by the end of the month!

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

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

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

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

Nothing currently scheduled, but I have a couple of things in the works I hope to announce soon.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group if offering not one but two free books to new newsletter subscribers. Simply click on this link and sign up for the newsletter, and you’ll receive e-book versions of the two collections pictured here, featuring novel samples from NESW members. The fantasy collection includes the first two chapters of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich.

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 22, 2019

Arisia happened this past weekend, and as always I met lots of cool people and the panels were a blast. Sales, however…

Doing these shows is always a crap shoot. I know from helping out my wife back when she vended cons, you can do a great at a given show every year and suddenly, boom, bad sales year — for reasons you can almost never really pin down, so you don’t even know what to fix.

Had there not been so many extenuating circumstances that significantly increased my costs — namely not having a table partner to split the vending costs and moving to Boston Park Plaza, which was MUCH more expensive to park at — it still wouldn’t have been a fantastic show, but the financial hit I took would have been much smaller.

But I’m not here to complain. I post things like this to provide a glimpse into the world of life as a professional writer, which isn’t always as sunny as some indie authors make it sound. It’s work, and sometimes that work doesn’t always pay off as hoped, but all you can do is learn, adapt, and forge ahead.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: The current drafts of books two and three are done. Book two is ready for my editor and book three is ready for test-reading.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: The audiobook is done and in final processing! It should be available by the end of the month!

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

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Final draft in process. Tentatively scheduled for a February/March 2019 release.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

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

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

Nothing currently scheduled, but I have a couple of things in the works I hope to announce soon.

MISC.

The Final Summons is two weeks away! Pre-order your copy now and then go to TheFinalSummons.com to collect your free swag, including laptop wallpapers and a collection of short stories by the New England Speculative Writers group.

The New England Speculative Writers group if offering not one but two free books to new newsletter subscribers. Simply click on this link and sign up for the newsletter, and you’ll receive e-book versions of the two collections pictured here, featuring novel samples from NESW members. The fantasy collection includes the first two chapters of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich.

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.