Weekly Update – March 21, 2023

This is a quiet week, in part because I am on staycation with my wife, and I’m using the time to get some good work in on the next Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot book, which I am tentatively thinking of calling Draconian Measures. My goal is to finish up the first draft by the time I have to go back to my (ick) day job next Monday.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

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Weekly Update – March 14, 2023

The good times continue to roll as Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Zero Day returned to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list for Teen & Young Adult Superhero Fiction ebooks.

Zero Day sat in the number one position for the weekend, which was a nice ego boost, so thank you, readers, for putting it there, and thanks to those who already left reviews!

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – March 7, 2023

Maybe you missed it, maybe you didn’t, but if you did somehow miss the news the final book in the Action Figures core series, Issue Eleven: Zero Day, is finally here!

You can get it now for the Kindle and in print, and when you finish reading the book — which should only take a day or two despite its length, based on how quickly a few readers have told me they finished it the same day they bought it! — please make sure to leave a review on Amazon. Maybe not a review like this, though…

I had to chuckle at this one, honestly. The lament about the political statements amused me because it suggests someone hasn’t been paying much attention to the series — the politics have always been there — but the reader’s assumption that everything takes place between 2013 and 2016? I guess that’s understandable if he did start reading when the series first debuted, but it never specifies in any of the books when the series takes place. The Thunberg nitpick feels like an extension of the “politics” complaint to me. If not, this guy better not read any actual comic books or he’s going to be horrified by things like Vietnam vet The Punisher still looking like he’s forty or the fact it took Franklin Richards (of The Fantastic Four) fifty-five years to become a teenager.

It’s not the first time someone has wagged a finger for what one critic called my “Massachusetts mindset” (translation: putting queer characters front and center). Frankly, I’d rather be criticized as an author for my liberal politics than…oh, say, for random example, for my TERF-iness.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – February 28, 2023

It’s almost here!

The final book in the Action Figures core series, Issue Eleven: Zero Day will release on Thursday — as in this Thursday, as in March 2, as in my birthday! The Kindle edition is still available for preorder at Amazon, and the print edition will drop that same day.

I’m happy to report that in the first week of presales, Zero Day hit number one for new releases in the Teen & Young Adult Superhero Fiction and Teen & Young Adult Action & Adventure ebooks categories! That makes the third Action Figures novel to hit #1 on an Amazon best-seller chart, so thank you, readers, for making that happen!

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – February 21, 2023

My birthday is coming up on March 2, but you get the present in the form of — drumroll, please — Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Zero Day! Cover reveal time!

My cover artist Tricia Lupien channeled her inner George Perez for this one. I figured since the story is twice as big as the typical Action Figures novel (and since this is the series finale), the cover should be double-sized as well. We’ve got our classic line-up on the front cover and the Hero Squad’s backup team (clockwise from top left) Ylena Johr, Scout, Skyblazer, Chaos Theory (a.k.a. Nikki Morgan), and Meg “MegaWatt Quantum” Quentin.

The Kindle edition is currently available on Amazon for presale, and will be released on March 2, along with the print edition.

And now, the official blurb:

Heroes versus villains. Good versus evil. The Hero Squad versus ShadoWorks.

Winner takes all.

For three years, the Hero Squad has held the line against ShadoWorks, a mysterious underworld cabal working toward a sinister goal: nothing less than the complete subjugation of the United States. With its prize at last within reach, ShadoWorks launches its final assault against the Squad and their allies — and if they fall, America falls with it.

America, and then the world.

It’s Zero Day — the day everything changes forever in this, the epic final chapter of the Action Figures saga.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – February 14, 2023

Another slow writing week. Real life has been getting in the way lately, and shall continue to do so for a while. Fortunately, real life has been leaving my cover artist alone, and Tricia is now plugging away at the back cover for Zero Day, which features the cover debuts of Ylena Johr and Scout Mills. Any guesses who else will be on the back cover with them?

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Awaiting cover art. Scheduled for an early 2023 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – February 7, 2023

It’s back to a slow news week here. I’m picking away at the next Strongarm & Lightfoot book as time becomes available and waiting for Zero Day cover art and…that’s about it. As you were.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Awaiting cover art. Scheduled for an early 2023 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a 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 30, 2023

I’m dropping the weekly blog post a day early to remind you that the Superhero Fiction Writers “first book in the series” promo begins today!

All these titles will be available for free on January 30, and you can go here to browse the titles and then jump to their respective retailer to get them.

You’ll notice that Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins is on the list. If you’re already a fan, the sale day would be a great time to send a copy to someone as a gift. If you haven’t read it yourself, correct that horrible, terrible oversight now, and then you can get started on the series in advance of the final book, Zero Day, dropping later this year.

Even though the group sale is one day only, I am making Secret Origins free for the whole week! That’s five days in which to pick up the book for yourself or a fellow reader.

Speaking of Action Figures, work continues on the cover for book eleven, Zero Day. It’s taking more time because it’s going to be a double-sized wraparound cover to commemorate the double-sized finale of the series. And I am calling this a blessed venture, because my cover artist Tricia recently posted the WIP image you see on your right, and it received praise from no less than Randy Milholland, creator of the beloved webcomic Something Positive!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Awaiting cover art. Scheduled for an early 2023 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a 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 24, 2023

Starting this week on a positive and self-promotional note: the Superhero Fiction Writers group is planning a series of quarterly promotions for 2023, and the first of those launches next week with a “first book in the series” promo.

All these titles will be available for free on January 30, and you can go here to browse the titles and then jump to their respective retailer to get them.

You’ll notice that Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins is on the list. If you’re already a fan, the sale day would be a great time to send a copy to someone as a gift. If you haven’t read it yourself, correct that horrible, terrible oversight now, and then you can get started on the series in advance of the final book, Zero Day, dropping later this year.

Even though the group sale is one day only, I am making Secret Origins free for the whole week! That’s five days in which to pick up the book for yourself or a fellow reader.

On a more sober note, if you were at Arisia last weekend, you may not have heard that (as of this writing) ten people who were at the event tested positive for Covid despite the show’s vaccination and mask mandates. In light of that news, I’m feeling more comfortable in my decision to take a pass on Boskone. I’m negative for Covid, thankfully, and I don’t feel like pressing my luck.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Awaiting cover art. Scheduled for an early 2023 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a 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 17, 2023

Arisia is behind me, and unfortunately, I mean that in a larger sense.

Event organizers warned us that attendance would be down this year as people were still squirrelly about attending large gatherings (especially if they were resistant to mask and vaccine mandates while attending). They were right and the foot traffic in the dealers room was not what it usually is, which meant sales were, to put it diplomatically, disappointing.

If this was a one-time occurrence I might be inclined to try and ride it out and return in 2024, but frankly, my ROI at Arisia has been falling for the last few years. Breaking even is acceptable, but doing the show at a loss several times, even a small loss, is simply not good business sense. I’ve always said that if you’re serious about making a go at writing professionally, you can’t take a loss at conventions just because they’re “fun to do.”

Now it’s time to take my own advice.

It’s not an easy decision because I do enjoy the show. I like the social aspect, I like talking shop with other writers, I love doing panels, but I don’t love paying that much in membership fees, dealer fees, parking, gas, and food to do it.

With that in mind, I have also decided to withdraw from Boskone next month. Boskone went ahead with the 2022 show despite the Omicron surge, and everything I heard from folks who were there was that it was a ghost town. I can’t imagine this year will be any better, especially in light of how thin Arisia was, so I’ve cancelled my appearance there too.

Will I ever return to either event? Can’t say. Maybe things will improve and I’ll be willing to give the shows another chance, but for the foreseeable future, I’m done with them and moving on to other adventures.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Awaiting cover art. Scheduled for an early 2023 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Untitled Seventh Book: First draft underway.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None scheduled

MISC.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.