Weekly Update – October 20, 2020

AT LAST! It took a LOT of waiting and no small amount of harassing ACX to get off its collective ass, but the audiobook version of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory is finally available! My narrator Heather did an awesome job once again, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear what she’s doing with the next book, Sworded Affairs.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of a trend of getting things that have been sitting on my plate forever off said plate.

Next, a reminder that I am running a sale on print books purchased directly from me while supplies last. You can visit the pinned post on this website for full details, but basically, if you buy print copies of any book from me directly, you’re getting a freebie — a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest if you buy one novel, and a copy of any full-length novel of your choosing if you buy two or more. And of course, they’re all signed!

Please remember that US Postal Service is already on the slow side, and will only get slower between the upcoming election and the holiday shipping season, so if you’d like to get anything as a gift, buy now and beat the rush!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is finished and with beta readers! Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

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

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Second draft of book five undergoing beta-reading.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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 – October 13, 2020

It’s been another slow week this week. I’m in a holding pattern on several projects as I wait for other steps in the process to shake loose, so I’ll just remind everyone that I am running a sale on print books purchased directly from me while supplies last. You can visit the pinned post on this website for full details, but basically, if you buy print copies of any book from me directly, you’re getting a freebie — a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest if you buy one novel, and a copy of any full-length novel of your choosing if you buy two or more. And of course, they’re all signed!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is finished and with beta readers! Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Work on draft one has begun! It’s mostly writing down a few key scenes I’ve already fleshed out in my head, but draft one is officially underway.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Second draft of book five is finished!

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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.

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?

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury – Black Betty is back, and ready to unleash Hell — literally, but can the Hero Squad trust Dr. Enigma to have their backs? Or does she have her own dark agenda?

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences – The Hero Squad learns that hard way that no good deed goes unpunished.

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to elven 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 – October 6, 2020

Slow week this week, so I’ll just remind everyone that I am running a sale on print books purchased directly from me while supplies last. You can visit the pinned post on this website for full details, but basically, if you buy print copies of any book from me directly, you’re getting a freebie — a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest if you buy one novel, and a copy of any full-length novel of your choosing if you buy two or more. And of course, they’re all signed!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is finished and with beta readers! Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Second draft of book five is finished!

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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 – September 29, 2020

If you’ve been considering submitting to the Faire Times anthology but find yourself in need of a friendly kick in the pants to get started (or perhaps, finished), remember that Anthology Writing Fortnight (AnthoWriFo) begins on Thursday!

Think of it as National Novel Writing Month in miniature, and dedicated specifically mentoring authors who’d like to submit a story to the anthology. We’ll have daily word count check-ins, advice, and I’ll be available to answer questions.

I do want to stress that first, this is not a competition! This is a cooperative, supportive initiative, and there’s no prize for achieving any goal attached to the process. On a related note: finishing a story doesn’t mean your submission is a lock for the anthology. You’ll still have to pass muster with me and my co-curator Lyndesy, but follow our advice and you’ll definitely improve your odds.

Next, I’d like to remind everyone that I am running a sale on print books purchased directly from me while supplies last. You can visit the pinned post on this website for full details, but basically, if you buy print copies of any book from me directly, you’re getting a freebie — a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest if you buy one novel, and a copy of any full-length novel of your choosing if you buy two or more. And of course, they’re all signed!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is finished and with beta readers! Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five is finished!

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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 – September 22, 2020

Because it was a bit of a hard week last week — namely due to long hours at work leave my wife at home alone while she recovers from foot surgery — I’m going to open on an ego-boosting note.

Fellow author Michael Kingswood sent me this email, which totally made my day:
I found your Adventures of Strongarm and Lightfoot books recently through a deal that Audible put on. Took me a while to get through the other books I was listening to, but finally this week I’ve been listening to Scratching A Lich.
And…dude. That’s awesome!
Hats off to you for penning a super fun story, brother. Loved it. Very much looking forward to the rest of them.
Well played, sir!

Much of the credit of course belongs to my narrator Heather, who made the books come to life in audio.

Next, I’d like to remind everyone that I am running a sale on print books purchased directly from me while supplies last. You can visit the pinned post on this website for full details, but basically, if you buy print copies of any book from me directly, you’re getting a freebie — a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest if you buy one novel, and a copy of any full-length novel of your choosing if you buy two or more. And of course, they’re all signed!

Finally, on another good note, submissions for Faire Times have begun trickling in, and one of them was very promising — which in turn gives me hope we’ll see a lot more strong entries come in in the coming weeks.

If you’re thinking of submitting a story but need some motivation, you can join the new Facebook group for Anthology Writing Fortnight (AnthoWriFo). Think of it as National Novel Writing Month in miniature.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is finished and with beta readers! Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art!

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall/winter 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five is finished!

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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 – September 15, 2020

Last week marked a sad moment for me, personally and professionally, when Renaissance Magazine announced that it was ceasing publication after almost 24 years.

The magazine, geared toward renaissance faire enthusiasts and European history buffs, ended due to financial difficulties so severe it told subscribers they wouldn’t be receiving refunds. It came close to folding a few years back but managed to hold on a little while longer, only to become 2020’s latest victim.

This one stung because my first professional writing credit was for Renaissance Magazine — an article about King Richard’s Faire “apprentice program,” which trained people to fill the faire’s street cast. I wrote a piece on the program, of which I was a part, and that was rolled into a related article, an interview with the program’s directors — my friends, David and Paul Stickney.

(Adding insult to injury here, David passed away earlier this year, and Paul passed last year.)

I’d write for the magazine a few more times over the years, but that first article was my “big break,” because within weeks of selling it, I landed my reporter job — and my article was one of my writing samples.

The rest, as they say, is history.

On another quick note, I’d like to remind everyone that I am running a sale on print books purchased directly from me while supplies last. You can visit the pinned post on this website for full details, but basically, if you buy print copies of any book from me directly, you’re getting a freebie — a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest if you buy one novel, and a copy of any full-length novel of your choosing if you buy two or more. And of course, they’re all signed!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is underway! Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art!

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date late summer/early fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five is finished! Time to let this sit so I can focus on anthology stuff for a while. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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.

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?

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury – Black Betty is back, and ready to unleash Hell — literally, but can the Hero Squad trust Dr. Enigma to have their backs? Or does she have her own dark agenda?

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences – The Hero Squad learns that hard way that no good deed goes unpunished.

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to elven 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 – September 8, 2020

In case you missed the announcement on social media, I’m holding a special sale on print copies of my books through…whenever I run out of inventory, I guess.

You can visit the pinned post on this website for full details, but basically, if you buy print copies of any book from me directly, you’re getting a freebie — a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest if you buy one novel, and a copy of any full-length novel of your choosing if you buy two or more. And of course, they’re all signed!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is underway! Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art!

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date late summer/early fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five is finished! Time to let this sit so I can focus on anthology stuff for a while. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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 – September 1, 2020

The Call for Submissions for Faire Times – A Fantasy Anthology to Benefit RESCU, is officially open!

The page has had about 200 hits since it went up, so my co-curator Lyndsey Luther and I are braced for a jam-packed inbox any day now. If you’re among the authors who plan to submit a story, we look forward to reading your work! If not, we hope that you’ll support the project when it moves on to the fundraising stage early in 2021.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft complete, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: In the final editing and formatting phase, awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date late summer/early fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five is finished! Time to let this sit so I can focus on anthology stuff for a while. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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.