Weekly Update – September 5, 2017

It’s taken a while to get this done, but it’s going to be worth the wait: the audiobook version of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins has finished recording! I’m spending the week reviewing the files and Tricia is prepping some new(ish) cover art, and hopefully I will have a release date for everyone very soon!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Not much to report here. It was a slow week due to my faire commitments, but I hope to get back into the project this week.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: In the editing phase. The cover art is coming along nicely, as you can see from this work-in-progress shot.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, ready for editing.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Second draft finished, third draft in process.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Finished, in final approval process.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC

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Weekly Update – January 10, 2017

Arisia is this weekend!

For those of you in the Boston area this coming Friday through Monday, Arisia starts the fun on Friday night, and if you haven’t already registered online I’d strongly suggest you go do that right now. Then come visit me and fellow author J.M. Aucoin down in the merchant area. We’ll be there selling and signing books and talking about writing — and I’ll be talking about the craft more at four panel discussions over the long weekend (my full schedule is below).

I’ll be posting stuff all weekend long, and you can follow my shenanigans through my social media outlets.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play and Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Final drafts are done and formatted! Now all I need is my cover art and book six will be ready to go!

I am making a small number of advanced reader copies available, so if you’re interested, drop me a line and let me know. I can give you full details then, but I’m looking for people who have read the entire series to date (book six pulls heavily from other events in the series, especially book one), can read book six before it’s released to the public in late February/early March, and will post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or their own personal websites, so serious inquiries only, please. ARC readers will get a finished copy of the book when it’s released in their preferred format.

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

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft in progress. Got some more work in over the weekend. My goal is to get through the first draft, then tuck it aside and go develop something else for release later this year.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 13 – Monday, January 16: Arisia 2017 in Boston, MA. J.M. Aucoin will be in the dealers room at table A18 selling and signing books and talking about writing. I also have four panels on my schedule throughout the weekend.
  • February 17 – 19: Boskone at the Westin Waterfront Hotel, the same location as Arisia.
  • Saturday, September 16: The Connecticut Renaissance Faire in Lebanon, CT (time and exact location TBA).

MISC.

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

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

Saturday, 2:30 PM in Otis

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

Getting Into Character

Sunday, 1 PM in Faneuil

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

Writing a Worthy Adversary

Sunday, 8:30 PM in Douglas

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

Imaginary Friends: Crafting Memorable Characters

Monday, 10 AM in Marina 3

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

Weekly Update – January 3, 2017

Happy New Year, everyone!

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

WRITING PROJECTS

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

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

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

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

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 13 – Monday, January 16: Arisia 2017 in Boston, MA. J.M. Aucoin will be in the dealers room at table A18 selling and signing books and talking about writing. I also have four panels on my schedule throughout the weekend.
  • February 17 – 19: Boskone at the Westin Waterfront Hotel, the same location as Arisia.
  • NEW EVENT! Saturday, September 16: The Connecticut Renaissance Faire in Lebanon, CT. I was contacted by the producers this week about returning for the third annual Meet the Authors program, which brings in local authors for afternoon book signings and I am currently down for Saturday of the third weekend, which will be Fantasy & Romance Weekend. Looks like I have some great incentive to get cracking on the next Strongarm & Lightfoot book, huh?

MISC.

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

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

Saturday, 2:30 PM in Otis

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

Getting Into Character

Sunday, 1 PM in Faneuil

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

Writing a Worthy Adversary

Sunday, 8:30 PM in Douglas

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

Imaginary Friends: Crafting Memorable Characters

Monday, 10 AM in Marina 3

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

Weekly Update – December 27, 2016

The last update of 2016, and I get to end what was at times a difficult year on a high note.

Like a lot of you, I feel like 2016 was a big dumpster fire of a year, from the election of He Who Shall Not Be Named (Bad Hair Edition) to more personal challenges that made the last 12 months more stressful than they really needed to be. But over the last several weeks my wife and I were able to put our lives back on an even keel and we’re heading into 2017 on a solid foundation. Plus, I am looking forward to participating in panel discussions at Arisia for the first time, which is a great way to start things off.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00009]My aforementioned high note? The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich received the Gold Award in science fiction and fantasy writing from BellaOnline Literary Review‘s 2016 e-book awards competition. This was a complete shock because I never even knew I was up for the honor. I don’t as a rule submit my work for awards but I received one anyway. Go figure!

WRITING PROJECTS

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

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: In the editing process, on-schedule for a winter/spring 2017 release.

Action Figures – Live Free or Die: In the editing process, will be included as a bonus story with Power Play.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft is DONE! I managed to slip in some solid writing time over the holiday weekend, which included tackling the last chunk of the epic climax, which was rough. Fair warning, this is going to be a darker story, perhaps on-par with Action Figures – Issue Four: Cruel Summer, but it’s necessary to tell the story honestly and I’m pleased with what I have. I’m sure I won’t feel quite so good about it when I revisit it for the second draft, but that’s the writing process for you.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft in progress, and since The Black End War is out of the way, I can go back and try to finish this story up and move on to something non-Action Figures for a while.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Rough plotting in progress, but boy do I have incentive to get to work on book three now!

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 13 – Monday, January 16: Arisia 2017 in Boston, MA. J.M. Aucoin will be in the dealers room at table A18 selling and signing books and talking about writing. I also have four panels on my schedule throughout the weekend.
  • NEW EVENT! I was accepted into Boskone this year! That will be held February 17 – 19 at the Westin Waterfront Hotel, the same location as Arisia.

Weekly Update – December 20, 2016

WRITING PROJECTS

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

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: In the editing process, on-schedule for a winter/spring 2017 release.

Action Figures – Live Free or Die: In the editing process, will be included as a bonus story with Power Play.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft in progress. I’m in the climactic scene now, and that took up all of my weekend. I’ve set up a lot of pins that need knocking down and I have to take care everything makes sense and holds together, so it might take me a while to get through it.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 13 – Monday, January 16: Arisia 2017 in Boston, MA. J.M. Aucoin will be in the dealers room at table A18 selling and signing books and talking about writing.

MISC.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00056]In case you missed the announcement last week, Cheap Thrills Digest is now available as an e-book. You can click on the preceding link to buy it for the Kindle via Amazon or go to the Buy Now page on this site to buy it directly through me.

I originally planned to make Cheap Thrills Digest available exclusively in print since it was such a short book, but I’ve had several requests for it in e-book format, and I like to try to keep my fans happy.

Speaking of which, I hope to have a little surprise for everyone right after New Year’s Day, so stay tuned.

Weekly Update – December 13, 2016

WRITING PROJECTS

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

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: In the editing process, on-schedule for a winter/spring 2017 release.

Action Figures – Live Free or Die: In the editing process, will be included as a bonus story with Power Play.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft in progress. Got back to work on this over the weekend, and I’m now in the thick of the climax! Woo! I am hoping to get the first draft done by the end of the year, but book six already so close to completion I might put work on book seven aside for a while and focus on another project for the start of 2017.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 13 – Monday, January 16: Arisia 2017 in Boston, MA. J.M. Aucoin will be in the dealers room at table A18 selling and signing books and talking about writing.
My OtherWhere set-up, under the supervision of my dog Beatrix.
My OtherWhere set-up, under the supervision of my dog Beatrix.

MISC.

I had my final show of the year Saturday, the OtherWhere Market in Lowell. It was a nice way to end the year, especially in light of the excited young  lady whose mother bought for her the first two Action Figures books. She was absolutely thrilled to find a superhero novel featuring a young girl as the protagonist, so much so she was literally bouncing as he mom purchased the books. That was a great ego boost and great way to wrap my 2016 show season.

Weekly Update – November 29

abs-displayI spent my Saturday at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, which hosted a small, low-yet, but fun Small Business Saturday event featuring local authors. There were readings, a lot of shop talk, and a few book sales, so I’d say a good time was had by all — certainly by me.

Thanks to Trisha Wooldridge, who put this event together, and fellow participants Jessie OlsonCameron GarriepyLisa Shea, Brian McKeown, and H.L. Dancler (in absentia).

WRITING PROJECTS

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

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: In the editing process, on-schedule for a winter/spring 2017 release.

Action Figures – Live Free or Die: In the editing process, will be included as a bonus story with Power Play.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft in progress. Got a little more work done over the weekend, despite the chaos of the holiday. I might not get a lot done this weekend because my wife and I are moving (not far, just to a new unit in the same condo complex), but that only motivates me more to get the move done and over with ASAP.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • otherwhere-promoNEXT! Saturday, December 10: The OtherWhere Market at Mill No. 5 in Lowell. I will be there, sharing space with my wife. This will be Storied Threads‘ last show for the foreseeable future, so come visit and grab some great holiday gifts from us.
  • Friday, January 13 – Monday, January 16: Arisia 2017 in Boston, MA. J.M. Aucoin will be in the dealers room at table A18 selling and signing books and talking about writing.

MISC.

Speaking of Arisia, I received my panel assignments last week, and I am quite happy with my schedule. Here’s where and when you’ll be able to hear me yammer on about writerly things (plus each panel’s official description):

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

Saturday, 2:30 PM in Otis

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

Getting Into Character

Sunday, 1 PM in Faneuil

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

Writing a Worthy Adversary

Sunday, 8:30 PM in Douglas

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

Imaginary Friends: Crafting Memorable Characters

Monday, 10 AM in Marina 3

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