Weekly Update – January 15, 2019

My first show of the year is in the books, so to speak. Imagine Books & Brews was happily profitable, which is always nice. And now, onto Arisia 2019!

Now, for any aspiring or working audiobook narrators out there, the New England Speculative Writers is auditioning narrators for The Final Summons now on ACX. Head on over and let us hear what you’ve got!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: The current drafts of books two and three are done. Book two is ready for my editor and book three is ready for test-reading.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: The audiobook is done and in final processing! It should be available by the end of the month!

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Final draft in process. Tentatively scheduled for a February/March 2019 release.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • THIS WEEK! Arisia 2019 – Boston Park Plaza, Boston, MA, January 18 – 21. My panel schedule is as follows:
    • Over-the-Counter Culture: Kevin Smith and Clerks – Whittier, Friday, 5:30 PM: Twenty-five years ago, the no-budget B&W indie comedy Clerks was released theatrically and immediately catapulted writer/director Kevin Smith to the pantheon of Gen X icons. Hailed as an important new voice, Smith spent the next quarter century building and catering to a rabid fanbase. He’s still held up by the media as a nerd king, but some look at him today and see wasted potential. We’ll revisit the man and his work, figuring out why Clerks in particular inspired so many.
    • Creating Cover Art – Cabot, Saturday, 2:30 PM: We’re all told not to judge a book by its cover, but in reality, a cover’s artwork plays an important role in attracting new readers. Learn what goes into the design of these covers, including how artists are chosen and what they are given to work with so that they can design artwork that attracts interest, even though it is partially obscured.
    • Writing Fights That Matter – Newbury, Sunday, 1 PM: Fight scenes take many forms in speculative fiction–space battles with improbable physics, wizard duels, and your classic bar scene dust-up, but at heart, a fight is an argument fought without words. This panel will focus on convincing readers that no matter what form your battle takes, the stakes are clear, enormous, and compelling. How can a writer make every fight not just plausible, but memorable?
    • The Best Villains: Creating Satisfying Baddies – Cabot, Sunday, 8:30 PM: Abhor Sauron? Loathe Joffrey? Detest Fred? Speculative literature is filled with antagonists, villains, and scoundrels. How do writers create villains with understandable motivations without romanticizing their terrible deeds? Panelists will use examples from literature to discuss the techniques and challenges of writing memorable evil-doers.
    • Bad Movie Night – Cambridge, Sunday, 10 PM: Sometimes the most fun you can have with a movie is to laugh at it. It’s a longstanding tradition for many to spend a long evening enjoying the work of such production companies as Troma, Full Moon, and The Asylum. Online commentators like Allison Pregler and the folks at RedLetterMedia have made careers out of celebrating the experience of picking apart (while still being entertained by) substandard films. We’ll talk about our favorites, and what makes a movie ideal for this sort of treatment?

MISC.

The Final Summons is on pre-sale now through all major book retailers! Get your copy now and then go to TheFinalSummons.com to collect your free swag, including laptop wallpapers and a collection of short stories by the New England Speculative Writers group. You have a little over a month left to act before The Final Summons is released!

The New England Speculative Writers group if offering not one but two free books to new newsletter subscribers. Simply click on this link and sign up for the newsletter, and you’ll receive e-book versions of the two collections pictured here, featuring novel samples from NESW members. The fantasy collection includes the first two chapters of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich.

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.

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Weekly Update – January 8, 2019

My first show of the year is this week!

If you’re in the Manchester, CT area — it’s in the Hartford area — come by the Army & Navy Club at 1090 Main St. between 6 and 9 PM to say hello, buy some books, and have your copy of Well-Behaved Women – Awakening signed by me and Jen MacPherson, who appears on the front and back covers!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: The current drafts of books two and three are done. Book two is ready for my editor and book three is ready for test-reading.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: Audiobook in production.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Final draft in process. Tentatively scheduled for a February/March 2019 release.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • THIS WEEK! Imagine Books and Brews – An Imagine Main Street Manchester Event – Multiple locations, Manchester, CT, January 10, beginning at 6 PM. The evening includes a writing workshop, bookmaking class, and vintage book display.
  • Arisia 2019 – Boston Park Plaza, Boston, MA, January 18 – 21. My panel schedule is as follows:
    • Over-the-Counter Culture: Kevin Smith and Clerks – Whittier, Friday, 5:30 PM: Twenty-five years ago, the no-budget B&W indie comedy Clerks was released theatrically and immediately catapulted writer/director Kevin Smith to the pantheon of Gen X icons. Hailed as an important new voice, Smith spent the next quarter century building and catering to a rabid fanbase. He’s still held up by the media as a nerd king, but some look at him today and see wasted potential. We’ll revisit the man and his work, figuring out why Clerks in particular inspired so many.
    • Creating Cover Art – Cabot, Saturday, 2:30 PM: We’re all told not to judge a book by its cover, but in reality, a cover’s artwork plays an important role in attracting new readers. Learn what goes into the design of these covers, including how artists are chosen and what they are given to work with so that they can design artwork that attracts interest, even though it is partially obscured.
    • Writing Fights That Matter – Newbury, Sunday, 1 PM: Fight scenes take many forms in speculative fiction–space battles with improbable physics, wizard duels, and your classic bar scene dust-up, but at heart, a fight is an argument fought without words. This panel will focus on convincing readers that no matter what form your battle takes, the stakes are clear, enormous, and compelling. How can a writer make every fight not just plausible, but memorable?
    • The Best Villains: Creating Satisfying Baddies – Cabot, Sunday, 8:30 PM: Abhor Sauron? Loathe Joffrey? Detest Fred? Speculative literature is filled with antagonists, villains, and scoundrels. How do writers create villains with understandable motivations without romanticizing their terrible deeds? Panelists will use examples from literature to discuss the techniques and challenges of writing memorable evil-doers.
    • Bad Movie Night – Cambridge, Sunday, 10 PM: Sometimes the most fun you can have with a movie is to laugh at it. It’s a longstanding tradition for many to spend a long evening enjoying the work of such production companies as Troma, Full Moon, and The Asylum. Online commentators like Allison Pregler and the folks at RedLetterMedia have made careers out of celebrating the experience of picking apart (while still being entertained by) substandard films. We’ll talk about our favorites, and what makes a movie ideal for this sort of treatment?

MISC.

The Final Summons is on pre-sale now through all major book retailers! Get your copy now and then go to TheFinalSummons.com to collect your free swag, including laptop wallpapers and a collection of short stories by the New England Speculative Writers group. You have a little over a month left to act before The Final Summons is released!

The New England Speculative Writers group if offering not one but two free books to new newsletter subscribers. Simply click on this link and sign up for the newsletter, and you’ll receive e-book versions of the two collections pictured here, featuring novel samples from NESW members. The fantasy collection includes the first two chapters of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich.

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 2, 2019

Happy New Year, everyone!

Let’s start things with an official countdown to the start of Arisia 2019! It’s a little over two weeks away but they’re going to be a fast two weeks. I’m already making sure everything is packed and ready, and I’ll probably do that again several times before the show.

So far there’s been one last-minute change, and that’s to the dealers room. It’s been relocated from the messanine level to the ground level, and will take up studios one and two and the Loft. I am now at table 54, which is dead center of the dealers room.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: The current drafts of books two and three are done. Book two is ready for my editor and book three is ready for test-reading.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: Audiobook in production.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft is back in the works! Time to get cracking on this again and hopefully have a new S&L adventure ready by the fall!

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Final draft in process. Tentatively scheduled for a February/March 2019 release.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • NEW EVENT! Imagine Books and Brews – An Imagine Main Street Manchester Event – Multiple locations, Manchester, CT, January 10. I’ll be there with several other indie authors. The evening also includes a writing workshop, bookmaking class, and a vintage book display.
  • Arisia 2019 – Boston Park Plaza, Boston, MA, January 18 – 21. My current panel schedule is as follows:
    • Over-the-Counter Culture: Kevin Smith and Clerks – Whittier, Friday, 5:30 PM: Twenty-five years ago, the no-budget B&W indie comedy Clerks was released theatrically and immediately catapulted writer/director Kevin Smith to the pantheon of Gen X icons. Hailed as an important new voice, Smith spent the next quarter century building and catering to a rabid fanbase. He’s still held up by the media as a nerd king, but some look at him today and see wasted potential. We’ll revisit the man and his work, figuring out why Clerks in particular inspired so many.
    • Creating Cover Art – Cabot, Saturday, 2:30 PM: We’re all told not to judge a book by its cover, but in reality, a cover’s artwork plays an important role in attracting new readers. Learn what goes into the design of these covers, including how artists are chosen and what they are given to work with so that they can design artwork that attracts interest, even though it is partially obscured.
    • Writing Fights That Matter – Newbury, Sunday, 1 PM: Fight scenes take many forms in speculative fiction–space battles with improbable physics, wizard duels, and your classic bar scene dust-up, but at heart, a fight is an argument fought without words. This panel will focus on convincing readers that no matter what form your battle takes, the stakes are clear, enormous, and compelling. How can a writer make every fight not just plausible, but memorable?
    • The Best Villains: Creating Satisfying Baddies – Cabot, Sunday, 8:30 PM: Abhor Sauron? Loathe Joffrey? Detest Fred? Speculative literature is filled with antagonists, villains, and scoundrels. How do writers create villains with understandable motivations without romanticizing their terrible deeds? Panelists will use examples from literature to discuss the techniques and challenges of writing memorable evil-doers.
    • Bad Movie Night – Cambridge, Sunday, 10 PM: Sometimes the most fun you can have with a movie is to laugh at it. It’s a longstanding tradition for many to spend a long evening enjoying the work of such production companies as Troma, Full Moon, and The Asylum. Online commentators like Allison Pregler and the folks at RedLetterMedia have made careers out of celebrating the experience of picking apart (while still being entertained by) substandard films. We’ll talk about our favorites, and what makes a movie ideal for this sort of treatment?

MISC.

The Final Summons is on pre-sale now through all major book retailers! Get your copy now and then go to TheFinalSummons.com to collect your free swag, including laptop wallpapers and a collection of short stories by the New England Speculative Writers group. You have a little over a month left to act before The Final Summons is released!

The New England Speculative Writers group if offering not one but two free books to new newsletter subscribers. Simply click on this link and sign up for the newsletter, and you’ll receive e-book versions of the two collections pictured here, featuring novel samples from NESW members. The fantasy collection includes the first two chapters of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich.

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 – October 30, 2018

Happy Halloween Eve, everyone!

This week I’m thrilled to announce that The Final Summons, the New England Speculative Writers group’s first anthology, is officially available for pre-sale at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes, with Amazon pre-sales to begin next month.

Visit the official website for more info on the anthology and its contributors, and to place your pre-order. The collection is scheduled for a February 5, 2019 release.

This is one bandwagon you’ll want to jump onto, because the book is already hitting the charts. Within hours of pre-orders going live on Kobo, The Final Summons was the #1 title on three lists. Check it out!

Now, on a much more serious note…

Last week I came very close to withdrawing from Arisia 2019. I won’t go deep into the details, because it’s a very ugly account, but it became public knowledge that a past Arisia participant was allegedly raped by the president of Arisia’s board of directors. After looking into the allegations (which I personally believe are credible), the board returned this man to his position, which happened to put him in place as the man ostensibly in charge of safety and security at the event.

I viewed this outcome as grossly unacceptable on many levels. I wrote directly to Arisia, shared the situation on social media, and encouraged others to do the same. I also announced that if the president remained in his position, I wouldn’t do the show as a merchant or panel participant. I just couldn’t support an event that so badly mishandled such an incident.

Late Friday, Arisia announced it had removed the president and would take steps to prevent a re-occurrence of the situation. I think a lot more has to be done here, but I do believe this is a good first step for the organization.

However, I don’t want to go back and pretend it’s business as usual. I’d like to try and do some good here, so at Arisia I will be selling all full-length novels for $15, with $5 from every sale going to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) and the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC).

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: Audiobook version of Well-Behaved Women – Awakening in production.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: Audiobook in production.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Fourth draft written. Tentatively scheduled for a February/March 2019 release.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2019 – I’ve been accepted into the dealers’ room, so I’ll be there selling books once again, and I hope to hear about any panel assignments soon.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group if offering not one but two free books to new newsletter subscribers. Simply click on this link and sign up for the newsletter, and you’ll receive e-book versions of the two collections pictured here, featuring novel samples from NESW members. The fantasy collection includes the first two chapters of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich.

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 – October 23, 2018

The Final Summons, the New England Speculative Writers group’s first anthology, is gearing up for its big pre-release publicity push! The website is about to launch and we’re going to be hitting the media hard in the hopes of landing the collection on the USA Today best-seller list.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: Audiobook version of Well-Behaved Women – Awakening in production. I should be getting the raw audio files soon for initial review! Meanwhile, the first draft of book three is almost done! I’m hoping to finish it up by the end of the month.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: Audiobook in production.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Fourth draft written. Tentatively scheduled for a February/March 2019 release.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2019 – I’ve been accepted into the dealers’ room, so I’ll be there selling books once again, and I hope to hear about any panel assignments soon.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group if offering not one but two free books to new newsletter subscribers. Simply click on this link and sign up for the newsletter, and you’ll receive e-book versions of the two collections pictured here, featuring novel samples from NESW members. The fantasy collection includes the first two chapters of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich.

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 – October 16, 2018

Let me tell you a story.

Last week I was working on draft two of Well-Behaved Women – Transition. I hit save after finishing a passage — when I write I save obsessively — and MS Word locked up, which it sometimes does. It usually clears up after a few minutes but this time MS Word totally crashed.

I restarted the program and tried to reopen the document. MS Word said (paraphrasing), “I can’t find that file.”

That’s because MS Word deleted the whole thing.

Let me make this clear: it didn’t delete all the work I’d done that day; it deleted the file entirely. I lost two weeks’ worth of work.

I have never come so close to actually flipping a table in rage.

Fortunately, I kept my shit together long enough to think to look for an auto-saved copy, which I found. All my work was there and I was able to salvage the file.

So how was your week?

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: Audiobook version of Well-Behaved Women – Awakening in production. The current draft of book two is almost done and ready for test readers.

The Going Rate for Penance – Editing phase complete, on-track for a February 2019 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: Audiobook in production.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Fourth draft written. Tentatively scheduled for a February/March 2019 release.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2019 – I’ve been accepted into the dealers’ room, so I’ll be there selling books once again, and I hope to hear about any panel assignments soon.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group if offering not one but two free books to new newsletter subscribers. Simply click on this link and sign up for the newsletter, and you’ll receive e-book versions of the two collections pictured here, featuring novel samples from NESW members. The fantasy collection includes the first two chapters of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich.

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 – October 9, 2018

WRITING PROJECTS

Well-Behaved Women: Audiobook version of Well-Behaved Women – Awakening in production. I’ve jumped back to work on book two after FINALLY figuring out how to patch a nagging plot hole.

The Going Rate for Penance – Editing phase complete, on-track for a February 2019 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich: Audiobook in production.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Fourth draft written. Tentatively scheduled for a February/March 2019 release.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Arisia 2019 – I’ve been accepted into the dealers’ room, so I’ll be there selling books once again, and I hope to hear about any panel assignments soon.

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group if offering not one but two free books to new newsletter subscribers. Simply click on this link and sign up for the newsletter, and you’ll receive e-book versions of the two collections pictured here, featuring novel samples from NESW members. The fantasy collection includes the first two chapters of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich.

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.