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.

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.

Station Identification Time

Who Am I?

I’m a writer originally from Falmouth, MA who now lives in Oxford 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, and the ninth book, Hell Hath No Fury, reached #1 on an Amazon best-seller list.

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. The first three books are available in audiobook format.

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.

Copyright 2018 Tessa Beatrice/Underdog Comics

Freedom Winds is a mini-comic I wrote for Underdog Comics, and you can read it for free at any time here, here, or here.

 

 

Well-Behaved Women is an urban fantasy trilogy for feminist audiences. After returning to work following a near-fatal shooting, Sergeant Rose Booker encounters a woman claiming to be the reincarnation of Julie d’Aubigny, the infamous 17th Century French swordswoman. Things only get stranger from there as Rose and Julie cross paths with a crime boss with a knack for exacting bloody revenge on his enemies. This is more serious and mature than my other projects — not recommended for young readers. Book one, Awakening, is now available. Book two, Transition, was released in April 2019, and book three, Endtimes, was released August 2019. The entire trilogy is available in audiobook format.

The Final Summons is the first anthology from the New England Speculative Writers. The collection features 14 fantasy, horror, and science fiction stories by NESW members, including my story The Going Rate for Penance, which is set in the world of Strongarm & Lightfoot.

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

Weekly newsletter

Amazon author page

Facebook

Twitter

BookBub

Instagram

Goodreads

LinkedIn

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.

Weekly Update – August 25, 2020

The most important thing to tell you this week is this: we have a new cat!

Ingrid joined the family over the weekend and is settling in nicely. The other fuzzies still aren’t quite sure what to make of her, but she was immediately comfortable around me and my wife, which we consider a strong start. Her previous owner fell ill and could no longer take care of Ingrid, who was then surrendered to a kill shelter in New York. Fortunately, Paws 4 Life Animal Rescue of Bolton, CT got her out. My wife chanced across Ingrid on Petfinder, and the rest is history.

On a more writerly note, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about my fantasy anthology project. The Call for Submissions page has had more than 150 views since it went live, so even if a quarter of those visitors actually submit something, my co-curator Lyndsey Luther and I will have an embarrassment of riches to choose from.

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 almost finished! Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse – Thursday, September, 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.

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 – August 18, 2020

A couple of cool things to talk about this week…

First, a couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by Franklin Kendrick for superhero-fiction.com’s “Behind the Mask” podcast, and that’s up now. Listen to it for free, if you can stand the sound of my voice for an hour (I know I can’t).

Second — and granted, this is likely of more limited interest — I’m pulling the trigger on a new project, but not as a writer this time. I am working to put together an anthology of fantasy stories to benefit the RESCU Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to those who work within the renaissance faire community. If you’d like to learn more, and maybe even submit something, click the tab at the top of the page for the full details.

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 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.