Weekly Update – August 8, 2017

Starting off this week with a reminder about the Massachusetts Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors group promotion going on through the end of the month. 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!

Next, a big thank you to K.R. Conway for organizing and inviting me to participate in the Author Panel Night that capped off the Cape Cod Teen Writers Conference. More than 70 people, mostly (but not exclusively) teens, sat in on our rotating roster of discussion groups. Mine was “Heroes, Villains, and Lovable Losers,” and I had great co-panelists in Kim Savage, who is not what she seems (in-joke), and goth unicorn Hillary Monahan, who stepped into the role of moderator.

The Teen Author Night lineup.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I passed the 36,000 word threshold over the weekend and hashed out most of the rest of the plot (I am a pantser by nature so things like plot points tend to come to me in fits and spurts).

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: In the editing phase, and I’m seeing some rough cover art coming in. It’ll be a fun image, reminiscent perhaps of old Dragon magazine covers.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: With WBW stuff still percolating in my brain, I used last week to go through Black End War again, and I now have a draft that is ready for editing! Obviously my editor has her hands full for a while, but once Blades of Glory is done, I’m shipping this right over to her so it will be good and ready for a late winter/early spring 2018 release.

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

Here’s your reminder that I 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.

Station Identification Time

Who Am I?

I’m a writer originally from Falmouth, MA who now lives in Worcester (pronounced like the name of Hugh Laurie’s dim-witted socialite) with my awesomely talented wife Veronica, who runs a business called Storied Threads.

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 am a freelance writer, an occasional contributor to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 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.

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.

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.

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

Amazon author page

Facebook

Twitter

BookBub

Instagram

Goodreads

Google +

LinkedIn

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 – July 25, 2017

This coming weekend is a big one, in a sense, as it’s the last completely free weekend I have before I’m eyeball-deep in rehearsals for the Connecticut Renaissance Faire. I’m returning as fight director and will be in the cast, on top of making a special split personality appearance as part of the Local Author Series (more on that below).

Fortunately, I started a new part-time job that actually gives me some more writing time during the week. The job involves short bursts of activity interspersed with long periods of sitting and waiting, and I’m free during the down times to read or write. On that note…

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: The first act is coming along nicely, and I had two days last week in which I banged out 2,500 to 3,000 words, which is a good day for me.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Second draft of both the main story and the back-up short are finished. Heard back from another test-reader last week and I’m waiting on two others, and then I can get to work on the next draft. Sadly, chances are this won’t be ready for my day at CTRF but I do expect the book to be ready later this fall.

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.

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 (fall 2017): 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 – July 18, 2017

Thank you to everyone who signed up for the Innsmouth Look Publishing newsletter! I got a good initial response, and you should by now have received the first one.

While the giveaway part of the subscription drive is over, the drive itself is an ongoing project, so if you want to sign up, click this link. Hopefully as I get used to this new tool I’ll find a better way of integrating it with the website.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Work has begun on this long-in-planning secret project. I’m keeping the details quiet for a while, until I make some solid headway on what I plan to release as a trilogy.

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Second draft of both the main story and the back-up short are finished.

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

Speaking of the Teen Writers Conference, I have a few more details on the Author Panel Night. Because we have so many authors on-board, the session will feature five breakout groups, each group discussing a specific topic. Hillary Monahan, Kim Savage, and I will be discussing “Heroes, Villains, and Lovable Losers.”

Finally, thanks to Linda Kepner for giving me a guest spot on her website.

Weekly Update – July 11, 2017

Some of you might have seen the early bird announcement on my social media outlets yesterday, but I am finally launching a weekly newsletter.

My goal is to offer some of the same material you see here every week, but offer some newsletter-specific content to make it a different experience than the website.

To sweeten the pot, I will send a free copy of Cheap Thrills Digest to everyone who signs up for the newsletter this week! Simply submit your name and e-mail address, and the first 500 people who sign up will get a free e-book!

So follow this link and sign up today!

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Second draft of both the main story and the back-up short are finished.

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

My Book Echoes interview is now live! Go here to give it a listen!