Weekly Update – April 23, 2019

Cover model: Kateri Chambers. Photography: Lauren Dubois. Graphic design and logo: Patricia Lupien.

This has turned into a very busy month! First I released Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling From The Wreckage, and now I’m a week away from dropping Well-Behaved Women: Transition! You can go pre-order the Kindle edition right now!

Important note here: the e-book version of book two is going to be available exclusively on Amazon, and will be available through Kindle Unlimited. You’ll be able to grab print editions through other retailers and, eventually, directly through me, but the e-book edition is not going to be available through Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or this website.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: Book three is getting its final beta-read, and will be heading into final editing soon.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: Got a little work in last week. Slow going, but it’s moving forward.

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

  • The Connecticut Renaissance Faire – Saturday, October 5, Lebanon County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, CT: I’ll be back again to sell and sign books as part of CTRF’s Local Authors Series!

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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Weekly Update – April 16, 2019

Where to begin?!

All right, I’ll start by announcing that the print edition of Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling From The Wreckage is now available on Amazon. I’ll be adding direct print edition sales on the website in the coming weeks. Of course, you can also get the e-book version at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo – for now. More on that in a minute.

Next, on the audiobook front, you might recall that I lost my Well-Behaved Women – Awakening narrator Darci Cole and had to find someone to step in for the rest of the trilogy. Well, that’s done and Heather Auden, who did the killer narration on The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich, will be taking over on WBW.

Trisha Wooldridge, me, and Steve Van Samson, being dorky for the camera. Photo by Steve.

Next, the New England Speculative Writers Conference was this past weekend, and what a great event it was! The conference (or “convergence,” as it was re-branded in the eleventh hour) offered a full day of presentations about the business of being an independent author interspersed with networking and general shenanigans (as seen at right).

It was an extremely informative day, and it’s led me to make some decisions about my own indie author business (and yes, being an independent author is absolutely a business).

For starters, I’m going to scale back my newsletter releases to biweekly so readers don’t feel quite as inundated — and I will be asking subscribers if they want to keep getting this newsletter to trim any dead wood from my mailing list.

The more notable change will be my withdrawal from Barnes & Noble and Kobo. I “went wide” — expanded beyond Amazon exclusivity — over a year ago in the hopes of expanding my exposure and capture new customers. Not everyone likes Amazon, after all.

In giving up perks like Kindle Unlimited, which allows users to “borrow” e-books, and the ability to do sales and giveaways, I sold all of three books each at B&N and Kobo. From a business perspective, that’s not a decent trade-off.

So I will be phasing out B&N and Kobo by the end of the month. If you want to grab the e-book versions of anything before I put all my eggs back into the Amazon basket, now’s the time to do it.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: Book two, Transition, is fully edited and formatted and is now awaiting its cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: Still cranking away. I am hoping to have it out this fall but I’m treating that as a soft deadline. Life too often gets in my way, and in the ways of my editor and cover artist, so I’m not going to force it.

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

  • The Connecticut Renaissance Faire – Saturday, October 5, Lebanon County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, CT: I’ll be back again to sell and sign books as part of CTRF’s Local Authors Series!

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.

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 – April 9, 2019

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling From The Wreckage is here!

You can get the e-book version today for $3.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo, and the print edition is coming soon! Please remember to leave a review on your retail site of choice and/or on Goodreads!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: Book two, Transition, is fully edited and formatted and is now awaiting its cover art!

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: Still cranking away. I am hoping to have it out this fall but I’m treating that as a soft deadline. Life too often gets in my way, and in the ways of my editor and cover artist, so I’m not going to force it.

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

  • The Connecticut Renaissance Faire – Saturday, October 5, Lebanon County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, CT: I’ll be back again to sell and sign books as part of CTRF’s Local Authors Series!

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.

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 – 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

Cover Reveal – Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling From The Wreckage

Copyright 2019 Patricia Lupien

At last! Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling From The Wreckage is ready to be unleashed on the reading public!

Tricia, my awesome cover artist, finished up the final color work last night, and here it is (sans the cover text, so you can appreciate what’s going on in full).

For you comic nerds, if the cover feels familiar, it’s because Tricia channeled a little Alex Ross and drew inspiration from his iconic Kingdom Come covers.

The e-book edition of Crawling From The Wreckage drops on Tuesday, April 9 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, and the print edition is TBA. Links will be posted as soon as they’re active!

Weekly Update – April 2, 2019

At last, it’s April, which means it’s almost time for the New England Speculative Writers Conference! Next weekend I’ll be heading to Maine for a very full day of presentations designed to boost any indie speculative author’s career. If any of you want in, I believe there’s still time to register.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Waiting on cover art. SO CLOSE!

Well-Behaved Women: I’ve received my edits on book two, Transition, from my editor Julie, so now it’s time to do one last pass and then move on to the tedious task for formatting.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: I had a serious streak on book four last week and I feel like it’s coming back together. My goal is to have it ready to go by the end of the year.

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

  • The Connecticut Renaissance Faire – Saturday, October 5, Lebanon County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, CT: I’ll be back again to sell and sign books as part of CTRF’s Local Authors Series!

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.