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?

Sworded Affairs: 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 dark conspiracy. Late spring 2020 release.

Elfish Motives: Winifred Graceword is called home under mysterious circumstances, which lead to the company revisiting the lost even city of Wihend. But what do the four clans want with their long-abandoned ancestral home? Tentative 2021 release.

How Long Will the Series Run?

Unknown, but tentatively ten books.

Are They Available As Audiobooks?

Scratching a Lich and Assassins Brawl are currently available on Audible. Blades of Glory and Sworded Affairs will be available in 2021.

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 – January 19, 2021

After a necessary hiatus for the holidays and to recharge my brain, I’m back at it, and work on the sixth Strongarm & Lightfoot book has begun!

I hit the 10,000 word mark over the past week, which I consider a strong start after so many weeks of writing nothing. Taking these breaks, I’ve learned over the years, is necessary, but I hate taking them — especially during the pandemic.

Let me ‘splain.

Due to precautionary lockdowns and restrictions (all of which I support wholeheartedly, by the way), our lives have been disrupted in a big way — which I know is painfully obvious to everyone, but I’ve noticed that it’s hit my creative friends and colleagues especially hard. I know a lot of performers, and being unable to indulge their craft for so long has taken a toll. They’ve fallen into a creative, emotional, and mental stupor that’s deadened their creative spirit.

The problem within this problem, I’m very familiar with. Creative souls need to create, and when they don’t (or can’t) for too long, they can fall into emotional funks — which do nothing to spark creativity, so they continue to not create, which strengthens their depression, which continues to smother their creative energy…it’s an awful cycle to get stuck in, and can be very hard to break.

I experienced this cycle years ago, after an agent rejected what eventually became the first Action Figures novel. My high hopes for a career breakthrough had been thoroughly crushed, which caused me to stop writing for several months — the first such major dry spell I’d ever experienced. I eventually climbed back on my creative horse, but it was an imposing challenge. I’d become too comfortable not writing and had to force myself to get back to work — which did not result in quality material, which threatened to push me right back into my pit of artistic despair.

Obviously, I eventually got my creative life back on an even keel, but ever since, I’ve resisted taking any kind of planned, extended break from writing for fear I’d fall back into those old habits and mindsets. I know on a conscious level that I need to rest my brain every so often (The Oatmeal discussed this in its own inimitably, delightfully crass and goofy way) but subconsciously, I worry I’ll stop writing and never start back up again.

If I might end with some advice for those who might be dealing with this problem right now: stay creative. Force yourself, gently, to get back to doing what you do, in some form, even if that form is imperfect and far from ideal. Rest is good, resting necessary, but indefinite inertia is NOT resting; it’s slowly dying inside.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Editing and cover art in progress. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

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

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology: In final production, scheduled for a February 14 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None 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 – January 12, 2021

Looks like we have an official release date for Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology, and it is, appropriately, Valentine’s Day!

There’s been no word yet on the full lineup of authors and stories, but I’ll throw all that your way as soon as I know, along with a preorder link so you can grab this collection when it drops and maybe help us score a number one position on Amazon’s best-seller list? It’d be a nice way to start off 2021 after what’s been — to put it very mildly — a rocky start.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: The current draft is off to my editor Julie so she can do her thing, and cover art notes have been sent to Tricia so she can do hers. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

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

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And I’ll be appearing on the Muppets: Most Wanted! virtual panel on Monday, January 18 at 11:30 AM.

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 – January 5, 2021

Welcome back, everyone! Hope you all had a fun but safe New Year’s Eve!

I took the last couple of weeks of 2020 off to rest and recharge my creative batteries a little, and think about the year ahead for me as a writer, and one of my goals is to ease off the throttle a little. I tend to push myself when working on a project and try to cram in as much writing as possible, and this year that led me to burn out a bit.

It also led me to neglect an important part of indie authorship, and that’s the business end of things. While sales this year were up overall, especially on the entire Action Figures series, I really didn’t do as much as I should have to promote my work, so I want to focus more there in 2021.

I’d also like to find time to work on some other ideas I’ve had knocking around in my head, but I’m not going to force that for the sake of my creative health.

And to get that particular ball rolling, let me first remind everyone that my short story Action Figures – An Adventure in Babysitting is part of The Superhero Mega Anthology, a massive collection of superhero short stories and comics now available for free! And each contributor is offering up additional bonuses, perks, and free giveaways, so download it now and check it out.

If that’s not enough, in a few months Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology will be available. That one will feature Like a Knife in the Heart, a new original pulp hero-style short story featuring my new character, the Sapphire Silhouette. Check back for release date announcements there!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

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

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

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Third draft of book five is finished. Tentatively scheduled for a spring/summer 2021 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And I’ll be appearing on the Muppets: Most Wanted! virtual panel on Monday, January 18 at 11:30 AM.

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.

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?

Sworded Affairs: 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 dark conspiracy. Late spring 2020 release.

Elfish Motives: Winifred Graceword is called home under mysterious circumstances, which lead to the company revisiting the lost even city of Wihend. But what do the four clans want with their long-abandoned ancestral home? Tentative late 2020 release.

How Long Will the Series Run?

Unknown, but tentatively ten books.

Are They Available As Audiobooks?

Scratching a Lich and Assassins Brawl are currently available on Audible. Blades of Glory and Sworded Affairs will be available in early 2020.

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 – December 15, 2020

Folks, this is going to be my last blog post for 2020. I plan to spend the rest of the month relaxing and getting ready to have a quiet holiday with my wife and our fuzzies and not worrying about business stuff. See you in January!

In the meantime, please remember that all through December, audiobook titles produced through ACX purchased through Audible will pay authors and narrators a 5% bonus on their royalties. The first three Strongarm & Lightfoot books and the Well-Behaved Women trilogy are available, so now’s a great time to give them a listen!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

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

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

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: Third draft of book five is finished!

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And they’re now getting the panels assigned, so hopefully I’ll have news on that before the end of the year.

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 – December 8, 2020

Good news, everyone! A story I wrote has been accepted into “Beneath the Mask: A Superhero Romance Anthology,” which is set for a first quarter 2021 release.

The story, “Like a Knife in the Heart,” is a pulp-inspired short featuring a brand-new character, the Sapphire Silhouette, as she hunts a spree killer whose next target may be her ally (and love interest) Dr. Evelyn Baldwin, an ambitious pathologist who may know the killer’s identity.

The full lineup of authors and stories is TBA, but knowing the curators and the writers we all know, there should be a goodly amount of queer representation in the collection.

In the meantime, please remember that all through December, audiobook titles produced through ACX purchased through Audible will pay authors and narrators a 5% bonus on their royalties. The first three Strongarm & Lightfoot books and the Well-Behaved Women trilogy are available, so now’s a great time to give them a listen!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

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

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

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: Third draft of book five is underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room, which is active now! And they’re now getting the panels assigned, so hopefully I’ll have news on that before the end of the year.

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 – December 1, 2020

So much news this week, starting with a new release alert!

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: Stepping Up collects the first three books in the series, revised and updated, and adds a new introduction by me and a new foreward by fellow indie author and Patrick Hodges. This collection is now available for the Kindle at the bargain price of $6.99 — a $5 savings over buying Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect separately!

Of course, you can always buy Secret Origins separately for 99 cents through the end of the day today. Head on over to the Superhero Fiction writers website to browse all the titles that will be available for 99 cents during the sale.

You can also grab The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich and Well-Behaved Women – Awakening for the Kindle for 99 cents today.

If you’re in the market for signed print editions, you can still take advantage of my inventory clearance sale — but act fast, because quantities are limited and you want to leave extra time for shipping!

As the saying goes: BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Beginning today and running all through December, audiobook titles produced through ACX purchased through Audible will pay authors and narrators a 5% bonus on their royalties. The first three Strongarm & Lightfoot books and the Well-Behaved Women trilogy are available, so now’s a great time to give them a listen!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

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

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

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

  • Arisia 2021 – January 15 – 18, 2021: This year’s convention will be a virtual event, and I’ll be part of the event’s virtual dealers room. Hopefully there will be some news on the panel schedule soon, too!

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 – November 24, 2020

Here’s your final pre-Black Friday reminder that the members of the Superhero Fiction authors group are teaming up for a big 99 cent sale. Head on over to the website to browse all the titles that will be available for 99 cents during the sale, which runs through the end of November.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook on hold until 2021.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Third draft is underway. 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.

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?

Sworded Affairs: 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 dark conspiracy. Late spring 2020 release.

Elfish Motives: Winifred Graceword is called home under mysterious circumstances, which lead to the company revisiting the lost even city of Wihend. But what do the four clans want with their long-abandoned ancestral home? Tentative late 2020 release.

How Long Will the Series Run?

Unknown, but tentatively ten books.

Are They Available As Audiobooks?

Scratching a Lich and Assassins Brawl are currently available on Audible. Blades of Glory and Sworded Affairs will be available in early 2020.

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