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.

Weekly Update – July 26, 2016

You may have noticed a new tab at the top of the page. Go to it and you’ll find links to my cover artist Tricia’s Redbubble store, where you can buy items featuring her cover art, along with her own original pieces. Go support an independent artist!

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl: With my editor, still on-track for a September release.

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: Back in action, so to speak! I got  quite a bit done on this and on Action Figures – Issue Eight during my first full weekend of writing in a few weeks. My wife’s show schedule has kept us busy and August will pretty much a washout for me thanks to her having three conventions in a row, but I plan to get a lot done before then.

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

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • TOMORROW! The New England Authors Expo in Danvers, MA. Workshops, forums, and a daylong book fair for librarians, book shop owners, and starting in the afternoon, for members of the general public. I’m excited the day is finally here and I’m looking forward to a great expo. I’ll try to post a lot from the show, so keep an eye on my social media outlets.NEAE
  • Sunday, October 2: The Connecticut Renaissance Faire’s 2016 Meet the Author series, which runs from 1 to 3 PM.
  • Saturday & Sunday, October 15 & 16: The fall New Bedford Bookfest. Times TBA.

MISC.

Last week I taped my segment for Be My Guest, an Upton Community TV show, and had a great time. Jan Lewis was a lovely host and did a great job of helping me keep the conversation rolling. The video should be available soon.

Weekly Update – July 12, 2016

Ad SquareI’ll get the advertisement out of the way here. In celebration of the book reaching #1 best-seller status on Amazon, the Kindle edition of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins will be going on sale for 99 cents next week. Grab a copy for yourself, gift a copy to a friend, or just spread the word to fellow readers.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl: With my editor, still on-track for a September release.

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: Got a little bit more done here, but I’m in the middle of helping my wife with a busy show season, so my writing weekends are a little sparse right now.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: I don’t have a subtitle yet, but I do have a fleshed-out plot!

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Jennifer MacPherson is doing a read-through on the audiobook manuscript and should start formal recording sessions any day.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

I’d like to use this space to alert my fans of a case of art theft, and to encourage you to add your voice to the fight.

Pirate Coat
The original Chrononaut Mercantile Pirate Coat…

I learned this week that Chrononaut Mercantile, a small business, had one of its designs ripped off, and the knockoff version — shamelessly named “The Chrononaut Coat” (they have since renamed it to something more generic, so there’s that) — was being sold through By the Sword Inc. I contacted BTS and urged them to remove the item out of respect for Chrononaut Mercantile, and I posted a message on BTS’s Facebook page.

The company’s responses were, to put it mildly, disappointing.

EDIT: I had originally posted summaries of BTS’s e-mail responses to me, but that earned me — I kid you not — a threat of a libel lawsuit. So, to make absolutely sure that BTS’s responses are represented accurately and there is no possibility of me misrepresenting their replies, here are the actual screencaps of their e-mails to me:

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...and the By the Sword Inc. knockoff version.
…and the knockoff version.

Not only were my comments on the BTS Facebook page deleted, I was blocked from posting. As word started to spread, several other people in the New England renaissance faire community also posted on the FB page, and similarly saw their comments deleted and their access blocked.

I do not take art theft lightly. I’ve had my books pirated, as have many other indie authors I know. It’s happened to my friend Tricia, who does my cover art, and my wife. Big companies do this to independent artists all the time and expect to get away with it — and even try to make their actions sound somehow benevolent by telling the aggrieved artist how flattered he or she should feel that their art was worth stealing.

Fuck that noise.

Now, in the interest of fairness, this knockoff is being sold through other retailers. BTS happened to be the one brought to my attention. If you’re of a mind, send By the Sword or any other retailer you find selling this item a firm but polite e-mail asking them to drop the Chrononaut Coat from their line, and spread the word to others letting them know about this incident. Help dissuade retailers from encouraging art theft. Don’t let yet another independent artist get screwed over.

EDIT THE SECOND: Here is the libel threat, just so we have that on the record too.

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