Weekly Update – January 16, 2018

Arisia 2018 is a wrap!

I had what was, financially, my best show ever. This is not to say I am rolling in money, but the weekend was profitable — which can be a big deal to an indie author. These shows are not cheap to do and it’s easy to lose money — which is what happened in previous years — so it’s nice to be able to go home even a little in the black.

But the best part may be yet to come. I’m currently chatting with someone who is interested in having me work on a project for her small company, and the concept I’ve been pitched is intriguing. We’ll see where that goes, but I’m feeling hopeful.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I managed to sneak in a little bit of work during my busy week, but I’m mostly hashing out some plot issues for a while.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress. Got some work in on this last week, and I’ll pop back to jot down stuff as it comes to me.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

For a variety of reasons, some voluntary and some out of my control, I am going to be passing on Boskone this year. I don’t have any other shows on the horizon quite yet, but I’m on the lookout.

MISC.

I’m taking part in a month-long cross-promotion with several other superhero fiction authors, and until January 31 you can grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 32 other titles for free!

It’s the final countdown for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, so get cracking! Go here to get the full details.

Finally, 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 9, 2018

It’s Arisia prep time, but you can read all about that down in the Appearances and Events section.

Today I’m going to give you a peek at the behind-the-scenes work on my March 31 photo shoot for Well Behaved Women. It’s a rather ambitious project that requires me to assemble six full costumes, complete with the appropriate props, for three models.

Last week I purchased all the things I needed for Jen MacPherson, the woman who will be modeling for the main character, Sgt. Rose Booker of the Worcester Police Department. This was probably the most demanding outfit to assemble since it has to look reasonably like an actual WPD uniform.

I have to give a big shout-out to Trippi’s Uniforms of Shrewsbury, which helped me acquire the appropriate uniform shirt and hat, and a few key finishing touches, such as the little WPD pins on the collar. A bonus thank-you to the unnamed cop at the counter who pointed out a critical detail, that ranked officers (sergeants and higher) have gold-toned uniform accents, not silver-toned. I never would have guessed that on my own.

I had to poke around the Internet for some of the other finishing touches, such as the badges for the shirt and hat. You can’t buy authentic badges without a police administrator’s permission, I learned, so I had to search around for replicas that looked authentic-ish and accept that these specific details wouldn’t be perfect matches — although I suspect that only actual WPD officers would notice.

My wife will be putting her embroidery machine to use to duplicate the other unobtainable element, the official uniform patch. Add to that the non-firing prop handgun I found on Etsy — most places will not ship realistic firearm replicas to Massachusetts — and I should have a pretty damn good-looking WPD uniform.

As for the other models’ costumes, I’m not going to tell you who the characters are in the interest of preserving the mystery for a while longer, but here’s a photo of one of the other costumes. Any guesses who it is?

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I indulged in a great three-day writing weekend and I got a LOT done. Having the cover shoot coming up is giving me some great motivation to finish this series up.

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

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • THIS WEEKEND! Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia 2018 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (in Burroughs, Saturday, 10:00 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (in Faneuil, Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (in Otis, Sunday, 4 PM).
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

I’m taking part in a month-long cross-promotion with several other superhero fiction authors, and until January 31 you can grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 32 other titles for free!

It’s the final countdown for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, so get cracking! Go here to get the full details.

Finally, 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, 2018

Happy New Year, everyone!

Things are off to a brisk start here. After taking a year off, the Worcester Writers Collaborative resumed its annual tradition of getting together for New Year’s Day dinner and drinks and shop talk, I finished getting the e-book versions of all my novels up on both Barnes & Noble and Kobo, I finished editing and formatting Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War, and I have secured my new tablemate for Arisia. More on them next week.

 

In other news, I am taking part in a month-long cross-promotion with several other superhero fiction authors, and until January 31 you can grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 32 other titles for free!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: With the day job on hiatus for a while, I was able to plug away and finally get some good work done. I’m creeping up on the 30,000 work mark and hope to keep up the momentum despite a busy January.

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

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • UPDATED! Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia 2018 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (in Burroughs, Saturday, 10:00 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (in Faneuil, Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (in Otis, Sunday, 4 PM).
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

It’s the final countdown for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, so get cracking! Go here to get the full details.

Finally, 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?

How Long Will the Series Run?

Unknown, but tentatively ten books.

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 – December 19, 2017

It’s taken a while, but all of my books are now available for the Nook via Barnes & Noble.

This concludes phase one of my winter project to make my catalog available through non-Amazon sellers. I have identified a few other outlets and I’ll be working to tap those markets as well, since the Kindle Select program has lost its financial luster in a big way over the past year.

I realize that for a lot of you all this is no big whoop, but I encounter a fair number of people who, for reasons ranging from totally legitimate to completely ridiculous, hate Amazon and refuse to buy anything from them, so it’s in my best interests to diversify retailers.

On another important note, this will be my last blog post for the year. I’m going to take a couple weeks off from the grind of shameless self-promotion and enjoy my holidays. Crazy, huh? My regular auto-posts are still lined up but the weekly update will be on hiatus until January 2018.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I’m optimistic that I am past the continual mental blocks I encountered in writing the first act of book two and things will flow a little more freely from here on out. In the meantime, I continue to prepare for the cover photo shoot scheduled for March. I have three excellent models lined up, along with my photographer, cover artist, and costumer, so it’s just a matter of gathering the costume and prop pieces I’ll need.

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

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: I got my edits back over the weekend, so I am spending tomorrow working on the final draft and formatting. I’m on-track for a late February release!

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia 2018 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Saturday, 10:30 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (Sunday, 4 PM).
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

First, a reminder that the New England Speculative Writers group is still holding its open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, 2018. Go here to get the full details.

Finally, 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 – December 12, 2017

Details for Arisia 2018 keep popping up on the official event website, and it’s shoving any holiday spirit I have right out the door and filling me with Arisia spirit.

Arisia recently posted a list of the folks who will be in the dealers’ room with me, and the list so far includes the talented women of Broad Universe, the always awesome Auntie Arwen’s Spices, the geeky jewelry and accessories of Emporium 32, and Tea and Absinthe, which has a lot of great teas but no actual absinthe.

I’m also finalizing plans with the folks who will be sharing my table space in the dealers’ room, so look for an announcement there very soon!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Made it to the one-quarter point in the story last week. Things continue to take shape slowly. In the meantime, I’m nailing down the details for the cover photo shoot, and I hope to have everything set by the end of the year.

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

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Saturday, 10:30 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (Sunday, 4 PM).
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

First, a reminder that the New England Speculative Writers group is still holding its open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, 2018. Go here to get the full details.

Finally, 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 – December 5, 2017

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Still plugging away at the first draft of book two. Middle books of trilogies are hard.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress. I got a decent chunk written last week while I was letting ideas for WBW percolate.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Saturday, 10:30 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (Sunday, 4 PM).
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

First, a reminder that the New England Speculative Writers group is still holding its open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, 2018. Go here to get the full details.

Finally, 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.