Weekly Update – December 19, 2017

It’s taken a while, but all of my books are now available for the Nook via Barnes & Noble.

This concludes phase one of my winter project to make my catalog available through non-Amazon sellers. I have identified a few other outlets and I’ll be working to tap those markets as well, since the Kindle Select program has lost its financial luster in a big way over the past year.

I realize that for a lot of you all this is no big whoop, but I encounter a fair number of people who, for reasons ranging from totally legitimate to completely ridiculous, hate Amazon and refuse to buy anything from them, so it’s in my best interests to diversify retailers.

On another important note, this will be my last blog post for the year. I’m going to take a couple weeks off from the grind of shameless self-promotion and enjoy my holidays. Crazy, huh? My regular auto-posts are still lined up but the weekly update will be on hiatus until January 2018.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I’m optimistic that I am past the continual mental blocks I encountered in writing the first act of book two and things will flow a little more freely from here on out. In the meantime, I continue to prepare for the cover photo shoot scheduled for March. I have three excellent models lined up, along with my photographer, cover artist, and costumer, so it’s just a matter of gathering the costume and prop pieces I’ll need.

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

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: I got my edits back over the weekend, so I am spending tomorrow working on the final draft and formatting. I’m on-track for a late February release!

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 2018 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Saturday, 10:30 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (Sunday, 4 PM).
  • 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 still holding its open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, 2018. 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 – December 12, 2017

Details for Arisia 2018 keep popping up on the official event website, and it’s shoving any holiday spirit I have right out the door and filling me with Arisia spirit.

Arisia recently posted a list of the folks who will be in the dealers’ room with me, and the list so far includes the talented women of Broad Universe, the always awesome Auntie Arwen’s Spices, the geeky jewelry and accessories of Emporium 32, and Tea and Absinthe, which has a lot of great teas but no actual absinthe.

I’m also finalizing plans with the folks who will be sharing my table space in the dealers’ room, so look for an announcement there very soon!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Made it to the one-quarter point in the story last week. Things continue to take shape slowly. In the meantime, I’m nailing down the details for the cover photo shoot, and I hope to have everything set by the end of the year.

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 speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Saturday, 10:30 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (Sunday, 4 PM).
  • 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 still holding its open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, 2018. 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 – January 3, 2017

Happy New Year, everyone!

The countdown to Arisia 2017 has begun and I’m very much looking forward to my first show of the year. I’ll be sharing a table with my friend and fellow author J.M. Aucoin, and sharing the vendor room with such fine folks as Auntie Arwen’s Spices (their ginger-infused sugar is amazing in a nice hot cup of lapsang souchong tea), Broad Universe, Emporium 32, Meloria Maille, and Tea & Absinthe.

WRITING PROJECTS

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

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play and Action Figures – Live Free or Die: My editor Julie submitted her notes over the weekend and I made the penultimate round of revisions on Saturday. The next step is to prep the final draft and do the formatting for the print and e-book editions, and then I wait with eager anticipation for the cover art. If you can’t wait to see what I have cooking with book six, you might want to keep your eye on this space tomorrow…

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

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft in progress. Got some work in over New Year’s weekend, including a little bit on the climactic scene.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • 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. I also have four panels on my schedule throughout the weekend.
  • February 17 – 19: Boskone at the Westin Waterfront Hotel, the same location as Arisia.
  • NEW EVENT! Saturday, September 16: The Connecticut Renaissance Faire in Lebanon, CT. I was contacted by the producers this week about returning for the third annual Meet the Authors program, which brings in local authors for afternoon book signings and I am currently down for Saturday of the third weekend, which will be Fantasy & Romance Weekend. Looks like I have some great incentive to get cracking on the next Strongarm & Lightfoot book, huh?

MISC.

For those interested in my panel schedule at Arisia, here’s where I’ll be over the weekend and what I’ll be talking about:

Writing Swordfights, Knives, and Hand-to-Hand Combat

Saturday, 2:30 PM in Otis

Violent encounters are a good way to up the tension in your story. Our panel of martial artists will not only explain the phases of combat, what goes through their mind prior to ‘going at it’, and what makes a realistic swordfight, knife-fight, stick-fighting or hand-to-hand encounter, but they will also demonstrate a few basic moves, answer questions, and help one lucky attendee work out the mechanics of their work-in-progress.

Getting Into Character

Sunday, 1 PM in Faneuil

From the way you walk, to the way you talk, getting into character is key to making your cosplay shine. Our panel of performance-minded costumers share with you their secrets for bringing their costume to life.

Writing a Worthy Adversary

Sunday, 8:30 PM in Douglas

Nothing brings a story to life like a worthy antagonist, but how do you figure out the yang for your protagonist’s yin? What is your villain’s backstory? What are some of the ways they can twist, torment, and temper your main character? And how can a good antagonist act as your protagonist’s mirror? Boo! Hiss! Come learn how to write bad guys your audience will love to hate.

Imaginary Friends: Crafting Memorable Characters

Monday, 10 AM in Marina 3

Even the most gripping plot will fail if you don’t have memorable characters. How do you create a sympathetic protagonist? How much backstory should you give them? How do you develop interesting supporting characters to accompany them on their journey? There are many ‘tricks’ you can use to flesh out characters, as well as ways to juggle multiple character viewpoints. Come learn how to write characters so realistic your audience will be talking about them long after they finish your story.