Weekly Update – August 1, 2017

 

What’s this about? you might be asking yourself.

This is about a new group promotion the Massachusetts Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors group is running throughout August. If you want to grab some free e-books (including a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest), go to the MASFFA website and sign up for the participating authors’ newsletters, and you’ll get free e-books as a thank-you!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I got a LOT of work done on this last week. Draft one of book one is up to 29,000 words. I’m taking a little time to hash out some story issues and then I should be getting back into it soon enough.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: I spent the weekend finishing up the latest draft and it is out to my editor Julie! I’ve also begun discussing cover art with Tricia, and we have a fun concept that might be getting a lot of mileage as a general promotional image as well as the book three cover.

So, what is book three about? Here’s the (draft) back cover text:

Adventurers Wanted!

Good pay for simple recovery job, payment to be rendered upon successful completion of contract. Interested parties please report to the Woeste City Council. Be ready to provide credentials upon request. No mercenaries, please.

***

Desperate for a little excitement and a big payday, Derek Strongarm and Felix Lightfoot and their companions respond to a call to adventure from the city-state of Woeste, recently victimized by a band of raiders who stole an ancient iron mask of historical significance but no intrinsic value — or so the city council claims.

Even though the council’s story doesn’t quite add up, it’s willing to pay good money for the mask’s return — and all the companions have to do is cross a cursed forest, search a lost necropolis, and recover the mask from a gang of armed bandits.

Easy.

But first they have to convince the council not to award the contract to a rival party, the legendary adventurers known as the Noble Blades.

That’s easier said than done when a sin from Felix’s past rears its head in an unexpected way — but if Derek, Felix, and their friends wanted easy lives, they’d go herd sheep or something.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory is the third book in the irreverent fantasy series by author Michael Bailey (Action Figures), a tale of bold heroes, dastardly villains, terrifying beasts, magical artifacts, dark pasts, mysterious circumstances, deceptive motives, atmospheric locales, and a healthy dose of sex and violence.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Second draft finished, third draft in process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Second draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC

Just a reminder, I now have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Go click this link to sign up.

Weekly Update – April 25, 2017

The spring New Bedford Book Festival is done and gone, and thank you to the readers who came out and to my wife for covering my table while I was at Robin Hood’s Faire rehearsals. PS: come to Robin Hood’s Faire.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: I managed to finally get through an action scene that was giving me some problems. The first draft is now up to 44,000 words.

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

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: I sneaked in some work on this last week, enough to wrap up the second draft. I’m waiting a while before sending it out to my test readers, who haven’t even finished work on book seven.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

My cover artist Tricia Lupien has launched an official Patreon account. Go check it out and support her!

Cover Reveal! Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play

As I write this, I’m getting ready for day two of Boskone, but I’ve already been quite productive, thanks to my body deciding that sleeping until 5 AM on a Saturday was late enough (and I say “thanks” in the most sarcastic way possible).

I’ve received my finished cover art for Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play, and I spent the morning prepping the print and Kindle editions for release, and by the time you read this, the Kindle version may already be available for pre-sale. I’ll post a link on Monday, but you can go check for yourself on Amazon if you’re impatient.

For now, check out the finished front and back covers, and grab Power Play on Kindle when it drops on Tuesday, February 28!

Art and copyright 2017 Patricia Lupien.
Art and copyright 2017 Patricia Lupien.

Weekly Update – January 17, 2017

arisiaArisia 2017 is a wrap!

This year’s show, unfortunately, wasn’t terribly successful from a financial perspective. Sales were below last year’s, for both me and my tablemate J.M. Aucoin, but I got to participate in four panels over the weekend, and those were a lot of fun — and educational, for the attendees and for me. I picked up a few new techniques and learned some new approaches to writing, which I’ll never complain about.

Nor will I complain about the fact my last sale of the weekend was to a young girl who walked away hugging her new copy of Action Figures. That made an otherwise slow day totally worth it.

Speaking of Action Figures

WRITING PROJECTS

meg-quantum
Copyright 2017 Patricia Lupien

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play and Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Edited, formatted, awaiting cover art. Speaking of which, check out this color rough of the back cover art, which features Megawatt Quantum, who plays a prominent role in book six. I thought it’d be fun to portray her in the style of a WWII-era pin-up girl, a nod to her penchant for retro fashion. Tricia has some fine details to add but this is basically what you’ll be seeing on the back of book six.

Remember, folks, 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. Arisia took up my weekend so nothing got done on this or anything, but I hope to get back to it soon.

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

MISC.

rejected-princessesBook recommendation time! I’m currently reading Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Hereticsby Jason Porath, partly for fun but partly for research and inspiration for one of my future projects (currently going by the working title of The Well-Behaved Women Trilogy), and I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to give this book a try. And you can keep up with Jason’s ongoing Rejected Princesses project at his website, on Facebook, and on Tumblr.

Cover Art Reveal – Assassins Brawl

It’s here! Tricia was an art machine over the last few days, but it was all worth it, because here is the finished art for The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl, which hits Amazon in two weeks and is available for pre-order now!

Copyright 2016 Patricia Lupien
Copyright 2016 Patricia Lupien

Readers will of course recognize Derek and Erika, but if you want to know who the other figures are — especially that ominous one lurking in the background — you’ll have to pick up the book.

Or make an educated guess based on the back cover text, but I’d love it if you got the book.

I expect to see the finished art showing up on Tricia’s Redbubble store soon, so if you dig it, you’ll be able to go buy a print or some merchandise featuring this image, and you’ll be supporting an independent artist in the process!

Tricia’s going to take a well-deserved break for a few months before I send her notes for the next project (which, FYI, will be Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play).

September is Strongarm & Lightfoot Month!

Happy September, everyone – or as I’m calling it, Strongarm & Lightfoot Month!

Today I begin the process of making my final edits on The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl, and the goal is to have a final draft fully edited and formatted by the end of the weekend (preferably sooner, since I have a couple of other books that still need to be written).

Part of the Assassins Brawl cover, in progress. The little critter in the handbag may or may not appear in the final version. We'll see. Copyright Patricia Lupien.
Part of the Assassins Brawl cover, in progress. The little critter in the handbag may or may not appear in the final version. We’ll see. Copyright Patricia Lupien.

Meanwhile, my cover artist Tricia Lupien will be hard at work on the cover of Assassins Brawl, which riffs on the classic fantasy novel trope of the lusty princess at the feet of the mighty sword-wielding hero — which, in this case, is going to be Erika Racewind.

Tricia is drawing inspiration from the original Star Wars poster, with elements from classic John Carter – Warlord of Mars covers (both novel and comic), the Army of Darkness movie poster, and Legally Blonde, although that last one is more a joke that I cracked when Tricia sent me the WIP shot on the right.

If all goes well, the whole process will be wrapped up this weekend and the Kindle edition of Assassins Brawl will go up for pre-sale, and the final release date will be Tuesday, September 27.

SandA Ad SquareWhy September 27? To give people time to grab their free Kindle edition of book one, Scratching a Lich! The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot: Scratching a Lich will be available for free through Amazon from Monday, September 19 through Friday, September 23, so if you’re a fan of my Action Figures series but haven’t picked up Strongarm & Lightfoot yet, or you’re a brand-new reader, now’s your chance to check it out and get ready for Assassins Brawl.

To wrap up the first post of Strongarm & Lightfoot Month, here is the official synopsis/promotional blurb/back cover text from Assassins Brawl. Enjoy!

You’re invited to the wedding of the year! In lieu of gifts, the bride and groom humbly ask that you do not try to murder them.

After barely surviving Habbatarr the lich-lord and the Dead City of Hesre, Derek Strongarm and Felix Lightfoot and their companions are ready for some well-deserved rest. All they want now is good food, cold beer, a warm bed, and maybe a few days without someone trying to kill them.

And then they encounter a damsel in distress and, well, so much for that idea.

The damsel in question is the Lady Alyssa Spendle, a spoiled noble promised to Lord Paradim as part of a brokered political marriage, and the distress comes in the form of a determined group of kidnappers looking to make a quick profit off Alyssa’s ransom.

Derek and Felix learn there’s much more to this plot, and the heroes soon find themselves entangled in a vast conspiracy that threatens to topple a kingdom and take them down in the process.

Get ready for another wild adventure with Strongarm and Lightfoot as they fight for their lives against backstabbing thieves, cutthroat mercenaries, the crime lords knows as the Seven Jewels, and the mysterious assassin Ruined Isys.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl is the second book in the irreverent fantasy series by author Michael Bailey (Action Figures), a tale filled with noble heroes, dastardly villains, a colorful secondary cast, mildly interesting background characters, a bunch of people who don’t even get names, political intrigue, thrilling action, and snarky asides that don’t advance the plot much but keep things from getting too serious.

Weekly Update – August 16, 2016

Not too much to report this week, as I was busy as hell helping my wife prep for Boston ComicCon.

However, I do want to announce that as I ramp up for the release of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl next month, I will be making the first book in the series, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich available for free through Amazon for five days! You’ll be able to get the Kindle edition for free from Monday, September 19 until Friday, September 23, so grab a copy for yourself or gift one to a friend.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl: With my editor, still on-track for a September release. Plus, draft cover art has begun to appear in my inbox! Tricia and I came up with a fun concept and I think you’ll love the end results.

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: Pre-editing revisions are done, in the queue for editing.

Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Pre-editing revisions are done, in the queue for editing.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War and Action Figures – Issue Eight: No progress to report. Alas.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

Speaking of my wife Veronica, this week she made a major announcement regarding the future of her business, Storied Threads. You can read it here on her blog.

What does this mean for me? Hopefully it means I’ll have more writing time, but I’m not counting on that until we see if this new approach works overall. We might have to make some adjustments, so consider this a work in progress.