Weekly Update – September 15, 2020

Last week marked a sad moment for me, personally and professionally, when Renaissance Magazine announced that it was ceasing publication after almost 24 years.

The magazine, geared toward renaissance faire enthusiasts and European history buffs, ended due to financial difficulties so severe it told subscribers they wouldn’t be receiving refunds. It came close to folding a few years back but managed to hold on a little while longer, only to become 2020’s latest victim.

This one stung because my first professional writing credit was for Renaissance Magazine — an article about King Richard’s Faire “apprentice program,” which trained people to fill the faire’s street cast. I wrote a piece on the program, of which I was a part, and that was rolled into a related article, an interview with the program’s directors — my friends, David and Paul Stickney.

(Adding insult to injury here, David passed away earlier this year, and Paul passed last year.)

I’d write for the magazine a few more times over the years, but that first article was my “big break,” because within weeks of selling it, I landed my reporter job — and my article was one of my writing samples.

The rest, as they say, is history.

On another quick note, I’d like to remind everyone that I am running a sale on print books purchased directly from me while supplies last. You can visit the pinned post on this website for full details, but basically, if you buy print copies of any book from me directly, you’re getting a freebie — a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest if you buy one novel, and a copy of any full-length novel of your choosing if you buy two or more. And of course, they’re all signed!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is underway! Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art!

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date late summer/early fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five is finished! Time to let this sit so I can focus on anthology stuff for a while. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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 – September 8, 2020

In case you missed the announcement on social media, I’m holding a special sale on print copies of my books through…whenever I run out of inventory, I guess.

You can visit the pinned post on this website for full details, but basically, if you buy print copies of any book from me directly, you’re getting a freebie — a copy of Cheap Thrills Digest if you buy one novel, and a copy of any full-length novel of your choosing if you buy two or more. And of course, they’re all signed!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: Second draft is underway! Tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One – Stepping Up: The omnibus is fully edited and formatted, and is now awaiting cover art!

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date late summer/early fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five is finished! Time to let this sit so I can focus on anthology stuff for a while. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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 – September 1, 2020

The Call for Submissions for Faire Times – A Fantasy Anthology to Benefit RESCU, is officially open!

The page has had about 200 hits since it went up, so my co-curator Lyndsey Luther and I are braced for a jam-packed inbox any day now. If you’re among the authors who plan to submit a story, we look forward to reading your work! If not, we hope that you’ll support the project when it moves on to the fundraising stage early in 2021.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft complete, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: In the final editing and formatting phase, awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date late summer/early fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five is finished! Time to let this sit so I can focus on anthology stuff for a while. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Nothing 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 – August 25, 2020

The most important thing to tell you this week is this: we have a new cat!

Ingrid joined the family over the weekend and is settling in nicely. The other fuzzies still aren’t quite sure what to make of her, but she was immediately comfortable around me and my wife, which we consider a strong start. Her previous owner fell ill and could no longer take care of Ingrid, who was then surrendered to a kill shelter in New York. Fortunately, Paws 4 Life Animal Rescue of Bolton, CT got her out. My wife chanced across Ingrid on Petfinder, and the rest is history.

On a more writerly note, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about my fantasy anthology project. The Call for Submissions page has had more than 150 views since it went live, so even if a quarter of those visitors actually submit something, my co-curator Lyndsey Luther and I will have an embarrassment of riches to choose from.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft complete, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: In the final editing and formatting phase, awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date late summer/early fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording is underway. Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five is almost finished! Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse – Thursday, September, 7:30 PM. The next session in my ongoing free-form discussion via Zoom about writing, self-publishing, marketing, etc. We welcome all experience levels, all writing interests, and all questions about any part of the writing and publishing process.

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 – August 18, 2020

A couple of cool things to talk about this week…

First, a couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by Franklin Kendrick for superhero-fiction.com’s “Behind the Mask” podcast, and that’s up now. Listen to it for free, if you can stand the sound of my voice for an hour (I know I can’t).

Second — and granted, this is likely of more limited interest — I’m pulling the trigger on a new project, but not as a writer this time. I am working to put together an anthology of fantasy stories to benefit the RESCU Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to those who work within the renaissance faire community. If you’d like to learn more, and maybe even submit something, click the tab at the top of the page for the full details.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft complete, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: In the final editing and formatting phase, awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date late summer/early fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording has begun! Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse – Thursday, August 20, 7:30 PM. The next session in my ongoing free-form discussion via Zoom about writing, self-publishing, marketing, etc. We welcome all experience levels, all writing interests, and all questions about any part of the writing and publishing process.

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 – August 11, 2020

Summertime and the pandemic slow progress on this project a little, but we’re finally entering the final stages of publishing the Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One!

This is a collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — that features new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges, author of the James Madison series and an Action Figures super-fan.

The omnibus will be available only in Kindle format through Amazon, and hey, I’m just going to point out that the holidays will be upon us before you know it, so this might be a great gift for someone. Hint, nudge.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft complete, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: In the final editing and formatting phase, awaiting cover art.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date late summer/early fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording has begun! Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse – Thursday, August 20, 7:30 PM. The next session in my ongoing free-form discussion via Zoom about writing, self-publishing, marketing, etc. We welcome all experience levels, all writing interests, and all questions about any part of the writing and publishing process.

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 – August 4, 2020

I wish I had some good news to report regarding the audiobook version of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glorybut unfortunately, ACX continues to be a pain.

When an author submits a project to ACX, it undergoes an audio quality review that is supposed to take up to ten business days. The review for Blades of Glory began on May 11 and ended last week when it was rejected because, somewhere within the audio, there was not at least five seconds of silence following the end of the narration for one or more chapters.

That’s how picky they are.

My narrator Heather fixed the problem that same day and the audibook has been resubmitted, along with a request to expedite the process so I’m not waiting another two and a half months for the thing to clear. Fingers crossed.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft complete, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Blades of Glory: Undergoing second audio quality review, release date late summer/early fall 2020.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook recording has begun! Tentatively set for a fall 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse – Thursday, August 6, 7:30 PM. The next session in my ongoing free-form discussion via Zoom about writing, self-publishing, marketing, etc. We welcome all experience levels, all writing interests, and all questions about any part of the writing and publishing process.

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 – July 28, 2020

At last week’s Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse session, the topic of finding time to write came up, so I’m going to share some thoughts I shared with the group.

Fair warning, I’ve said this kind of thing before, so feel free to skip it if you don’t need me wagging my finger at you. Otherwise…

Whenever I chat with aspiring writers, I frequently meet people who have book ideas that they’re really excited about. They’ll go on at length about how the idea came to them, and how much they think about it, and what a great novel it would make — the enthusiasm for the idea is there.

These encounters frequently end with, “As soon as I find time to write it…” or some variation thereof.

I won’t belabor the point here. If this is you, the “I don’t have time to write” non-writer, I can pretty much guarantee that you DO have time to write and you’re simply choosing to do something else with that time.

Get past the mandatory time commitments — work, school, shopping, household chores, etc. — you have countless things taking up potential writing time: hobbies, working out, social time with family and friends (coronavirus notwithstanding), sleeping in…

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with spending your time on things you want to do, things that bring you happiness and relax you, but if that’s your choice, then you need to stop lying to yourself — and that is what you’re doing when you claim you have no time to write. You’re divesting yourself of all personal responsibility and shifting the blame onto life in general.

“I don’t have time to write” isn’t a reason; it’s an excuse.

“But I’m serious! I want to write!” you say. Well then, something’s got to give somewhere. Cut back on your daily gym time. Take a pass on the weekly game night with friends. Take a walk in the woods every other weekend instead of every weekend. Wake up an hour earlier each day.

Make time to write.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft complete, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook in final processing — still! Scheduled for summer 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • No events 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 – July 21, 2020

Another slow week, sad to say. ACX is STILL dragging its feet on the audiobook version of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs and shows no signs of changing, despite a second e-mail promising “we’ll look into it.”

On a more upbeat topic, I’m hosting another Writers’ Virtual Coffeehouse session this week via Zoom, and we’ve had a request to discuss villain characters, which is always a favorite subject of mine. If you want to learn how to craft fantastic villains, join us Thursday evening at 7:30. Here’s the Facebook event page for more info.

As always, we’re open to other topics as well, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner with questions about the basics, a more experienced amateur getting ready to release a book, or a pro with expertise to share. Everyone is welcome!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Release date TBA.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft complete, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook in final processing — still! Scheduled for summer 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • No events 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 – July 14, 2020

Not a lot to report this week, as I’m still waiting for other people to finish up their end of the process on several projects. Last week was mostly about me plugging away at the next Strongarm & Lightfoot book.

I did (finally) get some print copies of The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs in, so if you’re in the market for a signed copy (or that or of any of my other books), hit the Buy Now page. I’ll get it to you faster than Amazon gets them to me, promise.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Secret Origins: Audiobook recording continues with narrator Jennifer McPherson. Tentatively set for late summer release.

Action Figures – Issue Ten: Unintended Consequences: First draft complete, tentatively set for a winter/spring 2021 release.

The Action Figures Omnibus – Volume One: This collection of books one through three — Secret Origins, Black Magic Women, and Pasts Imperfect — with new cover art by Tricia Lupien and a foreward by Patrick Hodges (the James Madison series), is set for a mid-2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Sworded Affairs: Audiobook in final processing — still! Scheduled for summer 2020 release.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Elfish Motives: First draft of book five in progress. Tentatively scheduled for a late 2020 release.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • No events 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.