Station Identification Time

Who Am I?

I’m a writer originally from Falmouth, MA who now lives in Oxford, MA with my awesome wife Veronica, our bulldog Beatrix, and four cats who don’t like to let us sleep in.

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 one 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 four books are available in audiobook format.

Beneath the Mask is an anthology of superhero romance stories. The collection, scheduled for a February 14, 2021 release, features ten stories, including my story Like a Knife in the Heart, starring a new character, the Sapphire Silhouette.

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.

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.

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.

Copyright 2018 Tessa Beatrice/Underdog Comics

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.

Meet the Innsmouth Look Publishing Team

Heather Auden is a professional actor and audiobook narrator. She narrates The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot series and did the second and third books of the Well-Behaved Women trilogy. You can find her other audiobook work on Audible.

Bethany Boles is a professional actor, a former PA for the Jim Henson Company, and is active in the children’s television production industry in California. She narrates the Action Figures series.

Darci Cole is an author and narrator, who narrated the first book in the Well-Behaved Women trilogy. You can find her other audiobook work on Audible, and buy her debut novel, Target, on Amazon.

Patricia Lupien is a graphic artists and designer who is responsible for the covers that grace all books produced by Innsmouth Look Publishing. Visit the Art Store page to buy her art on a variety of products.

Julie Tremblay began as a beta reader for Innsmouth Look Publishing before taking over as regular editor on all the company’s novels.

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 – May 3, 2022

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Zero Day is in the home stretch. The climax is teed up and ready to be written. My goal is to get draft one finished by the end of the month and jump right into the first round of revisions.

Now, onto something perhaps even more exciting! Want the chance to win 18 uncanny superhero novels? To celebrate National Superhero Day, Superhero-Fiction.com is giving one lucky winner the chance to win physical copies from 18 superhero authors. From action to romance and everything in between, this is a must-have prize package. If that’s not enough to get you excited, we are also giving away two sets of ebooks. Enter between April 28th – May 28th at https://superhero-fiction.com/nationalsuperheroday/ for your chance to win.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a mid-2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

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 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 – April 26, 2022

The “nothing reportable” series of posts continues, but I will mention that I am now within arm’s reach of the climax of Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Zero Day. Draft one has passed the 112,000 word mark and I’ll almost certainly break 120,000 by the time it’s done.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None 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 – April 19, 2022

Alas, friends, it’s been another week of writing and not much else. So, let’s fill space this week with a little shop talk about writing — specifically, about writing a series.

There are two big things I learned in writing Action Figures and The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot, the first of which is: have a plan. It doesn’t have to be a tight, intricately detailed plan, but you should know where the series is going in general, what story points you need to hit in building toward your goal (i.e., the final book in the series), how you want your cast to develop and grow, etc. A game plan helps keep you focused so your series doesn’t turn into a meandering mess that collapses in on itself (e.g., The X-Files).

As a writer, I am generally what’s known as a “pantser,” which means I tend to write by the seat of my pants. I don’t meticulously plot out my stories and I certainly don’t write detailed outline prior to starting a project. God, no. That would drain all the fun out of it for me and make it too much like work. But I do know where each series is going overall. What I don’t always know is exactly how I’m going to get there.

That brings me to my second rule, which is be flexible. The simple fact is, as you work on your series, you might discover that elements that sounded great in the planning stages aren’t working out. It happens. So, do you forge ahead in sticking with your plan even though it might compromise the story and characters? Or do you adapt and amend the plan, and end up with a series that isn’t quite what you had in mind but works just as well, perhaps even better?

If you remember the TV series Fringe, you’ll remember the big reveal at the end of season one that (spoiler alert, even though the series is nearly 25 years old) there was a parallel Earth. The show’s producers hadn’t intended to reveal that twist until much later in the series, but then they realized dragging that story point out dragged the whole narrative down with it. By pulling that trigger earlier in the series, they gave the narrative new energy and opened up new directions to explore.

The big risk with pantsing a series is in wrapping it all up at the end. When you make things up as a you go, you end up with a lot of smaller story threads that need to be tied off somehow, and do so in a logical, satisfying way. Leave them dangling and/or make the knot too messy and you tip the reader off that you were making it up as you went. Never let them see the magic.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None 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 – April 12, 2022

In the interest of avoiding yet another “nothing happened” post, I’m going to answer a few questions that have come up regarding the next Action Figures book, which is still very much in the first draft. Here we go…

What’s it called?

I’m leaning toward Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Zero Day, but that’s not 100 percent settled.

Is this going to be a big book?

Oh, yes. It’s currently clocking in at 110K words, which surpasses all other Action Figures books by 20K pages or so, and I still have quite a ways to go. The revision process will knock the word count down a bit, but it will still be a chonky book.

Why such a large book? Why not split it into two books?

Basically because it feels like a disservice to my readers. It means giving them a cliffhanger, making them wait several months before releasing the next book, and then asking them to buy a second book. Doing the story as a single novel means they get the whole story at once, and I can charge less for one big book than for two smaller books.

Is this the last book in the series?

Short answer: yes.

Longer answer: this will be the last book in the core series. I had a specific story to tell with Lightstorm and the Hero Squad and that story is coming to an end. Dragging it out for the sake of fan service or to keep the sales going — Action Figures is by far my best-selling series — isn’t creatively honest for me. I love the characters, but eventually the stories would become repetitive, hokey, ridiculous, and/or just plain boring to write for me and boring to read for you. I want the characters and the series to go out on a high note.

However!

That doesn’t mean we’ll never see those characters again. I have a spinoff/sequel story in mind featuring new characters in the same universe. In fact, the working plan is for the new novel to pick up immediately after the events of Zero Day and explore the fallout of that book through the eyes of two new protagonists. Whether it becomes a new series or is simply a stand-alone story is TBD.

There’s a second potential spinoff/sequel tale in my head featuring an established character, but again, I have to work out some particulars before I commit to that.

So what do I do once Action Figures ends?

Well, there are plenty of other indie authors out there to discover. You could always give them the same chance you gave me and maybe find a new series to love.

More selfishly, you could give The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot a try if you want more lighthearted action from me. And then there’s Well-Behaved Women for something more mature.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None 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, MA with my awesome wife Veronica, our bulldog Beatrix, and four cats who don’t like to let us sleep in.

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 one 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 four books are available in audiobook format.

Beneath the Mask is an anthology of superhero romance stories. The collection, scheduled for a February 14, 2021 release, features ten stories, including my story Like a Knife in the Heart, starring a new character, the Sapphire Silhouette.

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.

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.

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.

Copyright 2018 Tessa Beatrice/Underdog Comics

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.

Meet the Innsmouth Look Publishing Team

Heather Auden is a professional actor and audiobook narrator. She narrates The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot series and did the second and third books of the Well-Behaved Women trilogy. You can find her other audiobook work on Audible.

Bethany Boles is a professional actor, a former PA for the Jim Henson Company, and is active in the children’s television production industry in California. She narrates the Action Figures series.

Darci Cole is an author and narrator, who narrated the first book in the Well-Behaved Women trilogy. You can find her other audiobook work on Audible, and buy her debut novel, Target, on Amazon.

Patricia Lupien is a graphic artists and designer who is responsible for the covers that grace all books produced by Innsmouth Look Publishing. Visit the Art Store page to buy her art on a variety of products.

Julie Tremblay began as a beta reader for Innsmouth Look Publishing before taking over as regular editor on all the company’s novels.

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 – April 5, 2022

Yep, you guessed it, another slow week for me, so I’m going to fill some space productively with another book recommendation.

This week I started — and finished — The Cool Side of My Pillow – A Book of Essays by Bruce Campbell. Yes, THAT Bruce Campbell. It’s a quick, light read filled with thoughts and musings by the man himself, and made for a great palate cleanser in-between longer books. It now sits in my little Bruce Campbell shrine down in The Writer’s Block along with If Chins Could Kill – Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, and Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B-Movie Actor — all of which are a lot of fun.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None 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 Best of the Rest

If you enjoy Michael’s full-length novels, check out these anthologies, collections, and side-projects featuring his work. Available on Amazon, and signed print editions may be purchased directly from the author.

Beneath the Mask – A Superhero Romance Anthology features ten tantalizing tales of masked heroes saving the day and falling in love.

From sweet saviors to steamy angelic warriors, reluctant heroes to grumpy playboys, this anthology has something for everyone who’s ever fantasized about being a hero…or falling for one.

Do you dare to peek behind the mask and live out your sweetest, darkest, steamiest fantasies?

Each story includes superheroes and swoon-worthy happily-ever-afters!

Cheap Thrills Digest is a bargain-priced short story collection featuring tales from Action Figures and The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot, the original horror short Lost Souls, and the essay Critiquing Critiques – How to Leave a Review.

Freedom Winds is a mini-comic written by me, illustrated by Tessa Beatrice, and distributed by Underdog Comics and artist Tessa Beatrice. The comic follows the adventures of a crew of renegade pirate women fighting the Triangle Trade.

You can go read it on Underdog Comics’ Facebook page now, as well as on TapasWebToonBecomics and Tumblr. Please support this small press by liking the comic and sharing the link!

Copyright 2018 Tessa Beatrice/Underdog Comics

The Final Summons is the first anthology from the New England Speculative Writers. This collection of sci-fi and fantasy stories includes The Going Rate for Penance by me, a fantasy short set in the world of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot. Available in hardcover, paperback, and for the Kindle.

Weekly Update – March 29, 2022

It’s another slow week for me, but rather than waste space telling you that, I’m going to recommend a book I recently finished and absolutely loved.

The book is All for One by Lillie Lainoff, which is a gender-swapped reimagining of The Three Musketeers, but that summary is too simplistic. This is neither a riff on nor a pastiche of the Dumas novel, but its own entity with its own vibe.

It checks a lot of boxes — feminist fiction, queer and disabled representation, women helping and supporting women, all wrapped in a young-reader-friendly swashbuckling adventure — and lived up to my hopes and expectations, which doesn’t happen often. Highly recommended.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator.

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None 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 – March 22, 2022

Once again, this is a slow news week. I continue to chip away at the first draft of the final Action Figures novel, which passed 90,000 words last week, making it the fattest book I’ve ever written — and I’m not done yet!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women: Work on the audiobook edition has begun, with Bethany Boles returning as narrator. Yay!

Action Figures – Issue Eleven: Draft one underway. Scheduled for a winter/spring 2022 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: Work has begun on the audiobook edition. Tentatively set for a 2022 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • None 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.