Well-Behaved Women – Awakening — Now Available!

Cover reveal time! Behold, the front and back covers for Well-Behaved Women – Awakening!

Cover design copyright 2018 Patricia Lupien. Photographs copyright 2018 Lauren Dubois.

That of course means the book is now available! It’s already up on Amazon and will be going up on Barnes & Noble and Kobo soon.

Now, let me tell you the story about how this cover came together.

I came up with a concept back in December 2017, inspired by the triptych covers from DC’s Trinity series.

Copyright DC. Art by Jim Lee.

Yeah, I wanted something cool like that. And my idea was to feature the three main characters — Rose, Julie, and Anne — in their modern and original incarnations (that will make sense once you read the book). This is what I sketched out as a concept rough:

Copyright and art (reluctantly) 2018 Michael Bailey.

I recruited models Jen MacPherson, Kateri Chambers, and Renee Sutherland to be my Rose, Julie, and Anne respectively, and we did a daylong photo shoot at my place (briefly documented here).

Tricia Lupien, my crack cover artist, took those photos and got to work.

This is when the first in a series of happy accidents began.

The first thing Tricia produced was a series of cameo-style graphics — the character’s profiles in silhouette — she’d originally intended to put on the spines somewhere. I took those and started toying around with some promotional graphic concepts, and came up with this series of images:

I had no idea how useful these would become.

Meanwhile, Tricia forged ahead with the covers and came up with this, which employed my color scheme and cameo:

Artwork copyright 2018 Patricia Lupien.

My original concept would have had Rose in her original incarnation, rendered as a painting or illustration, behind modern Rose. Tricia got as far as actually creating that version (at right) when she decided that the entire concept wasn’t working — and I had to agree. It all sounded fantastic on paper, but once we got into the actual creation process, we realized its flaws and made the tough decision to start over almost completely.

Almost.

Thanks to my experimentation with promo graphics, we actually had a promising basis for a totally new concept, so Tricia springboarded off of that, and within a day or two she had the brand-new and MUCH more awesome cover you saw at the top of this post.

Addendum: we love the illustrated version of Rose and don’t want her to go to waste, so she’ll be popping up on some promo materials down the road.

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Station Identification Time

Who Am I?

I’m a writer originally from Falmouth, MA who now lives in Worcester (pronounced like the name of Hugh Laurie’s dim-witted socialite) with my awesomely talented wife Veronica, who runs a business called Storied Threads.

After 15 years with the Falmouth Enterprise, where I worked as a general and political reporter, blogger, and editor, I left the news industry to focus on my creative writing.

In addition to my novels (more on that in a minute) I’m a freelance writer, and I’ve produced scripts for Pastimes Entertainment of Revere, MA and the Connecticut Renaissance Faire.

What Do I Write?

Action Figures is a YA superhero adventure series featuring a team of young superhumans who set out to make a name for themselves in the superhero world and quickly find themselves in over their heads. Fun, full of humor and action, populated with likable characters (including some of the villains), and suitable for teen readers and adults who still love superheroes. Oh, and no love triangles. Ever. The first book, Secret Origins, reached the #1 spot on two Amazon best-seller lists.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot is my response to all the overly serious fantasy novels out there that have forgotten how to have fun. The series follows two hard-luck adventurers for hire with a knack for biting off more than they can chew and their friends as they explore ancient ruins, fight deadly monsters, go on epic prophecy-driven quests for artifacts of great power hidden in highly inconvenient locations, and cross a lot of rickety rope bridges along the way. The first book, Scratching a Lich, received a gold medal for fantasy fiction from BellaOnline, a resource for women in writing, which also recognizes feminist writers and their work.

Cheap Thrills Digest is a short story collection featuring introductions to my two series, plus an original novelette-length horror story, Lost Souls, which is exclusive to CTD. If you’re curious about my writing, you can grab this for just $6 in print or 99 cents in e-book format.

Well Behaved Women is a planned urban fantasy trilogy now in the early stages. Book one is tentatively scheduled for a 2018 release.

What Will I See Here?

I post weekly updates that include progress reports on various projects, cover art reveals, new release announcements, a schedule of appearances and book-signings, the occasion essay on writing, and whatever random bits and pieces capture my attention.

Where Can You Find Me Online?

Official website

Amazon author page

Facebook

Twitter

BookBub

Instagram

Goodreads

Google +

LinkedIn

And don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly newsletter!

Weekly Update – November 28, 2017

All right, Nook owners, time to head on over to Barnes & Noble’s website and start spending!

The entire Action Figures series and Cheap Thrills Digest are now available on B&N, and December 9 is when the Nook editions of the entire Strongarm & Lightfoot series will drop.

Why December 10? Because the first book, Scratching a Lich, is still in the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program. December 9 is its last day of enrollment so I have to wait for that to expire to avoid getting in trouble with Amazon.

I’ll continue to add all my books to other platforms in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Chipping away at the first draft of book two.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress. I’m jumping back and forth between this and WBW as the mood strikes me.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling 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 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels — detailed below!
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

All right, folks, here’s where you’ll find me at Arisia in January…

We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Saturday, 10:30 PM)

After a Kickstarter campaign that wound up becoming the most successful media-related effort in its history, Joel Hodgson brought his creation back to an audience starved for the opportunity to see puppets snark at bad movies. With new host Jonah Ray, the return of MST3K was an immediate success story for Netflix and precipitated a live tour. Join the discussion as we go over the new episodes, argue about the new cast, and speculate what a twelfth season might bring!

Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (Sunday, 11:30 AM)

A minute can seem so short when trying to put together a masquerade presentation, but it can feel like an eternity on stage. How do you use the time allowed to both entertain the audience and wow the judges? Can it be done in less than 30 seconds?

Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (Sunday, 4 PM)

Have you ever wondered how your fight scene would look acted out in real life? Here’s your chance to play with some toy soldiers, see your fight scene acted out with authentic weapons, and listen to our panel of martial artists and authors SHOW you what works vs. doesn’t work in your or other writer’s fiction. Submit your 800 word fight scene to fights@arisia.org for a chance to have your scene incorporated into the discussion, or just come watch.

Next, a reminder that the New England Speculative Writers group is still holding its 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 – November 21, 2017

This week! The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich will be available for the Kindle for 99 cents from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. I expect this will be the last time the e-book version will be on sale through Amazon (read this if you don’t already know why).

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Chipping away at the first draft of book two.

The Going Rate for Penance: The final draft is finished and is now in the hands of the editors of the upcoming New England Speculative Writers anthology, so now it’s time to stay busy with other projects so I’m not constantly checking e-mail for (hopefully) an acceptance letter.

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

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling 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

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels.
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

First, a reminder that the New England Speculative Writers group is holding an 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 – November 14, 2017

The process of bringing my e-books to the Nook continues. The first two Action Figures novels, Secret Origins and Black Magic Women are now available at Barnes & Noble. I hope to have the entire series available by Black Friday.

Speaking of which, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich will be available for the Kindle for 99 cents from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. I expect this will be the last time the e-book version will be on sale through Amazon (read this if you don’t already know why).

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Time to get back to work on this. It’s sat untouched a little too long.

The Going Rate for Penance: I’ve done three drafts of my short for the New England Speculative Writers anthology (more on that below) so it’s time to send it out to test readers.

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

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling 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

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels.
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group is holding an 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.

Thanksgiving Sale Ahoy!

As I’ve mentioned a few times recently, I am moving away from exclusivity on Amazon and making my e-book formats available on other platforms. I’ve already begun moving Action Figures over to Barnes & Noble, and once that’s done I’ll do the same with The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot.

One of the significant points here is that by removing my books from Kindle Direct Press Select, I won’t have the ability to put the books on sale or do free giveaways, so I am doing one last sales hurrah for Scratching a Lich during the post-Thanksgiving orgy of commercialism.

From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, Scratching a Lich will be available for the Kindle for just 99 cents on Amazon. If you haven’t given this series a try, now’s the time to do it. And if you are a fan, this is your opportunity to grab a copy as a holiday gift for a friend or family member. Spread the word!

Now on the Nook!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

As I mentioned previously, I’m moving away from Amazon exclusivity with my e-books and making them available on other platforms. As of today, I’ve officially expanded into Barnes & Noble, and Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins is now available for the Nook! I’ll continue to add the Action Figures series to the B&N catalog over the coming days, and then add it to other venues as I find them.