Weekly Update – August 11, 2020

Summertime and the pandemic slow progress on this project a little, but we’re finally entering the final stages of publishing the Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One!

This is a collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — that features new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges, author of the James Madison series and an Action Figures super-fan.

The omnibus will be available only in Kindle format through Amazon, and hey, I’m just going to point out that the holidays will be upon us before you know it, so this might be a great gift for someone. Hint, nudge.

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 has begun! Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse – Thursday, August 20, 7:30 PM. The next session in my ongoing free-form discussion via Zoom about writing, self-publishing, marketing, etc. We welcome all experience levels, all writing interests, and all questions about any part of the writing and publishing process.

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 – August 4, 2020

I wish I had some good news to report regarding the audiobook version of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glorybut unfortunately, ACX continues to be a pain.

When an author submits a project to ACX, it undergoes an audio quality review that is supposed to take up to ten business days. The review for Blades of Glory began on May 11 and ended last week when it was rejected because, somewhere within the audio, there was not at least five seconds of silence following the end of the narration for one or more chapters.

That’s how picky they are.

My narrator Heather fixed the problem that same day and the audibook has been resubmitted, along with a request to expedite the process so I’m not waiting another two and a half months for the thing to clear. Fingers crossed.

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: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

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 has begun! Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse – Thursday, August 6, 7:30 PM. The next session in my ongoing free-form discussion via Zoom about writing, self-publishing, marketing, etc. We welcome all experience levels, all writing interests, and all questions about any part of the writing and publishing process.

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 – July 28, 2020

At last week’s Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse session, the topic of finding time to write came up, so I’m going to share some thoughts I shared with the group.

Fair warning, I’ve said this kind of thing before, so feel free to skip it if you don’t need me wagging my finger at you. Otherwise…

Whenever I chat with aspiring writers, I frequently meet people who have book ideas that they’re really excited about. They’ll go on at length about how the idea came to them, and how much they think about it, and what a great novel it would make — the enthusiasm for the idea is there.

These encounters frequently end with, “As soon as I find time to write it…” or some variation thereof.

I won’t belabor the point here. If this is you, the “I don’t have time to write” non-writer, I can pretty much guarantee that you DO have time to write and you’re simply choosing to do something else with that time.

Get past the mandatory time commitments — work, school, shopping, household chores, etc. — you have countless things taking up potential writing time: hobbies, working out, social time with family and friends (coronavirus notwithstanding), sleeping in…

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with spending your time on things you want to do, things that bring you happiness and relax you, but if that’s your choice, then you need to stop lying to yourself — and that is what you’re doing when you claim you have no time to write. You’re divesting yourself of all personal responsibility and shifting the blame onto life in general.

“I don’t have time to write” isn’t a reason; it’s an excuse.

“But I’m serious! I want to write!” you say. Well then, something’s got to give somewhere. Cut back on your daily gym time. Take a pass on the weekly game night with friends. Take a walk in the woods every other weekend instead of every weekend. Wake up an hour earlier each day.

Make time to write.

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: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook in final processing — still! Scheduled for summer 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • No events 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 – July 21, 2020

Another slow week, sad to say. ACX is STILL dragging its feet on the audiobook version of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs and shows no signs of changing, despite a second e-mail promising “we’ll look into it.”

On a more upbeat topic, I’m hosting another Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse session this week via Zoom, and we’ve had a request to discuss villain characters, which is always a favorite subject of mine. If you want to learn how to craft fantastic villains, join us Thursday evening at 7:30. Here’s the Facebook event page for more info.

As always, we’re open to other topics as well, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner with questions about the basics, a more experienced amateur getting ready to release a book, or a pro with expertise to share. Everyone is welcome!

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: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook in final processing — still! Scheduled for summer 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • No events 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

Weekly Update – July 14, 2020

Not a lot to report this week, as I’m still waiting for other people to finish up their end of the process on several projects. Last week was mostly about me plugging away at the next Strongarm & Lightfoot book.

I did (finally) get some print copies of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs in, so if you’re in the market for a signed copy (or that or of any of my other books), hit the Buy Now page. I’ll get it to you faster than Amazon gets them to me, promise.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Tentatively set for late summer release.

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

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook in final processing — still! Scheduled for summer 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • No events 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 – July 7, 2020

Hey, fellow writers! I’m hosting another Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse this Thursday evening, so if you’d like to join us, check out the event page on Facebook for details.

This is open to writers of all skill levels, all interest types, and it doesn’t matter if you missed previous sessions. You can ask questions, share information, or just sit and listen — and if you do have something specific you’d like to discuss, you can post it on the event page and I’ll try to dig up some relevant information.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Tentatively set for late summer release.

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

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook in finaly processing — still! Scheduled for summer 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • No events 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 – June 30, 2020

Still no movement on the ACX front, sad to say. The audiobook version of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory remains in limbo for the present, despite my noodging.

On another note, my friend Lyndsey Luthor is taking the plunge into indie authorship and plans to release her first fantasy novel, Greencloak, soon-ish. Last week she launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the audiobook production, and she killed it right out of the gate. So, congratulations!

But there’s still a month or so to go in this campaign and she has some stretch goals she’d like to hit, so I’d like you all to go over to the Kickstarter project page, give it a look, and if you like what you see, contribute!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Tentatively set for late summer release.

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

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook in process, scheduled for summer 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • No events 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 – June 23, 2020

Oh, ACX…

So, a bit of background for those unfamiliar with the audiobook creation process. It goes a little like this: I send an annotated (with pronunciations, mostly) “reading copy” of the novel to my narrator; she records the audio a chapter at a time; I review the “first draft” audio and send her any notes or corrections; she fixes the issues; I review it again; and once everything is up to snuff, I submit the whole thing to ACX so it meets their audio quality standards.

That very last part of the process is supposed to take six to ten business days.

The audio review for The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs has been in review since May 11, with no reason given for the delay.

I’ve contacted ACX to try and get this moving, but aside from one auto-response e-mail, it’s still stalled.

For those of you who’ve been waiting for this audiobook, sorry for the delay. Hopefully this will get resolved soon.

Also: I’m hosting another Online Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse this Thursday. It’s open to all writers regardless of experience or interests. Check out the Facebook event page for details.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Tentatively set for late summer release.

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

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook in process, scheduled for summer 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five is underway! Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • No events 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: 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