Action Figures – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

The series focuses on Carrie Hauser, a 15-year-old girl who one summer experiences two life-changing events: her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and she gains superhuman abilities after encountering a dying extraterrestrial after he falls to Earth.

Her adventure begins after Carrie and her mother Christina move back to Christina’s childhood home town of Kingsport, Massachusetts, and Carrie meets four teens with powers of their own: superhero fanboy Matt Steiger, who owns a pair of magic gloves that can produce any object he can envision out of thin air, like a living cartoon character; Sara Danvers, a telepath and telekinetic who is afraid of her own abilities; the easygoing Stuart Lumley, who possesses superhuman strength; and Missy Hamill, an adorable motormouth with enhanced strength and reflexes.

The teens form a superhero team almost on a whim, but soon find themselves fighting for their lives against very real super-villains – much to the dismay of Kingsport’s hometown hero Concorde, leader of the super-team The Protectorate.

Who is this Series For?

Fans of superhero comics, TV shows, and movies in general, but particularly of titles featuring teen heroes such as Young Justice, Teen Titans, Young Avengers, and Champions.

The tone is generally lighter than a lot of YA books out there now. While there is drama and conflict, and some later stories deal with darker issues, I try to keep the series fun, upbeat, and optimistic.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Action Figures is a PG-13 series that contains mild to moderate profanity, non-graphic violence, some mature themes, and later on in the series mild sexual content.

An added word about the violent content: while the violence is not graphic, the consequences are not downplayed. This isn’t sanitized Hollywood violence. People get hurt just as they would in real life and do not easily shrug off injuries, and in some cases the characters have to deal with the emotional trauma of their experiences.

What are the Books in the Series?

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret OriginsCarrie and her new friends in the Hero Squad (yes, they know their team name is awful) find themselves caught in the crossfire as the deadly mercenary Manticore comes to Kingsport, on the hunt for the rogue artificial intelligence known as Archimedes.

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women – The sorceress Black Betty threatens to raise hell – maybe literally – as she pursues her vendetta against the Protectorate’s resident paranormal expert Dr. Enigma.

 

Action Figures – Issue Three: Pasts Imperfect – Missy’s life is turned upside-down when she learns the truth about the source of her powers, and her connection to the bloodthirsty killer Buzzkill Joy.

 

Action Figures – Issue Four: Cruel SummerSara finds herself in the crosshairs of the mysterious hero killer the King of Pain, but to save herself, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear.

 

Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-UpsThe Hero Squad, still reeling from their devastating encounter with the King of Pain, get a little help picking up the pieces from their friends in the Protectorate and the Quantum Quintet.

 

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play – The Squad finds itself outnumbered and under-powered after one of their members goes missing – and at the worst possible time as foes from their past reappear, more dangerous than ever and ready to exact revenge.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War (spring 2018)

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage (spring 2019)

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to ten books but might run one or two books longer. In any event, it will come to a firm end at some point and not run on indefinitely.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Secret Origins, short stories set in the Action Figures world, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Action Figures – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

The series focuses on Carrie Hauser, a 15-year-old girl who one summer experiences two life-changing events: her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and she gains superhuman abilities after encountering a dying extraterrestrial after he falls to Earth.

Her adventure begins after Carrie and her mother Christina move back to Christina’s childhood home town of Kingsport, Massachusetts, and Carrie meets four teens with powers of their own: superhero fanboy Matt Steiger, who owns a pair of magic gloves that can produce any object he can envision out of thin air, like a living cartoon character; Sara Danvers, a telepath and telekinetic who is afraid of her own abilities; the easygoing Stuart Lumley, who possesses superhuman strength; and Missy Hamill, an adorable motormouth with enhanced strength and reflexes.

The teens form a superhero team almost on a whim, but soon find themselves fighting for their lives against very real super-villains – much to the dismay of Kingsport’s hometown hero Concorde, leader of the super-team The Protectorate.

Who is this Series For?

Fans of superhero comics, TV shows, and movies in general, but particularly of titles featuring teen heroes such as Young Justice, Teen Titans, Young Avengers, and Champions.

The tone is generally lighter than a lot of YA books out there now. While there is drama and conflict, and some later stories deal with darker issues, I try to keep the series fun, upbeat, and optimistic.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Action Figures is a PG-13 series that contains mild to moderate profanity, non-graphic violence, some mature themes, and later on in the series mild sexual content.

An added word about the violent content: while the violence is not graphic, the consequences are not downplayed. This isn’t sanitized Hollywood violence. People get hurt just as they would in real life and do not easily shrug off injuries, and in some cases the characters have to deal with the emotional trauma of their experiences.

What are the Books in the Series?

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret OriginsCarrie and her new friends in the Hero Squad (yes, they know their team name is awful) find themselves caught in the crossfire as the deadly mercenary Manticore comes to Kingsport, on the hunt for the rogue artificial intelligence known as Archimedes.

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women – The sorceress Black Betty threatens to raise hell – maybe literally – as she pursues her vendetta against the Protectorate’s resident paranormal expert Dr. Enigma.

 

Action Figures – Issue Three: Pasts Imperfect – Missy’s life is turned upside-down when she learns the truth about the source of her powers, and her connection to the bloodthirsty killer Buzzkill Joy.

 

Action Figures – Issue Four: Cruel SummerSara finds herself in the crosshairs of the mysterious hero killer the King of Pain, but to save herself, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear.

 

Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-UpsThe Hero Squad, still reeling from their devastating encounter with the King of Pain, get a little help picking up the pieces from their friends in the Protectorate and the Quantum Quintet.

 

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play – The Squad finds itself outnumbered and under-powered after one of their members goes missing – and at the worst possible time as foes from their past reappear, more dangerous than ever and ready to exact revenge.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War (spring 2018)

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage (spring 2019)

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to ten books but might run one or two books longer. In any event, it will come to a firm end at some point and not run on indefinitely.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Secret Origins, short stories set in the Action Figures world, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Action Figures – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

The series focuses on Carrie Hauser, a 15-year-old girl who one summer experiences two life-changing events: her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and she gains superhuman abilities after encountering a dying extraterrestrial after he falls to Earth.

Her adventure begins after Carrie and her mother Christina move back to Christina’s childhood home town of Kingsport, Massachusetts, and Carrie meets four teens with powers of their own: superhero fanboy Matt Steiger, who owns a pair of magic gloves that can produce any object he can envision out of thin air, like a living cartoon character; Sara Danvers, a telepath and telekinetic who is afraid of her own abilities; the easygoing Stuart Lumley, who possesses superhuman strength; and Missy Hamill, an adorable motormouth with enhanced strength and reflexes.

The teens form a superhero team almost on a whim, but soon find themselves fighting for their lives against very real super-villains – much to the dismay of Kingsport’s hometown hero Concorde, leader of the super-team The Protectorate.

Who is this Series For?

Fans of superhero comics, TV shows, and movies in general, but particularly of titles featuring teen heroes such as Young Justice, Teen Titans, Young Avengers, and Champions.

The tone is generally lighter than a lot of YA books out there now. While there is drama and conflict, and some later stories deal with darker issues, I try to keep the series fun, upbeat, and optimistic.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Action Figures is a PG-13 series that contains mild to moderate profanity, non-graphic violence, some mature themes, and later on in the series mild sexual content.

An added word about the violent content: while the violence is not graphic, the consequences are not downplayed. This isn’t sanitized Hollywood violence. People get hurt just as they would in real life and do not easily shrug off injuries, and in some cases the characters have to deal with the emotional trauma of their experiences.

What are the Books in the Series?

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret OriginsCarrie and her new friends in the Hero Squad (yes, they know their team name is awful) find themselves caught in the crossfire as the deadly mercenary Manticore comes to Kingsport, on the hunt for the rogue artificial intelligence known as Archimedes.

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women – The sorceress Black Betty threatens to raise hell – maybe literally – as she pursues her vendetta against the Protectorate’s resident paranormal expert Dr. Enigma.

 

Action Figures – Issue Three: Pasts Imperfect – Missy’s life is turned upside-down when she learns the truth about the source of her powers, and her connection to the bloodthirsty killer Buzzkill Joy.

 

Action Figures – Issue Four: Cruel SummerSara finds herself in the crosshairs of the mysterious hero killer the King of Pain, but to save herself, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear.

 

Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-UpsThe Hero Squad, still reeling from their devastating encounter with the King of Pain, get a little help picking up the pieces from their friends in the Protectorate and the Quantum Quintet.

 

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play – The Squad finds itself outnumbered and under-powered after one of their members goes missing – and at the worst possible time as foes from their past reappear, more dangerous than ever and ready to exact revenge.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War (spring 2018)

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage (spring 2019)

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to ten books but might run one or two books longer. In any event, it will come to a firm end at some point and not run on indefinitely.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Secret Origins, short stories set in the Action Figures world, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play Sneak Preview!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my editor Julie finished her work on Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play, and I spent Saturday implementing her corrections and suggestions. I have yet to do a final read-through and polish, but it’s ready enough to give you all a taste of what’s coming in a couple of months!

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read this if you haven’t read Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-Ups!

***

First, the official back cover text:

One of our super-heroes is missing.

It took a devastating attack on Kingsport to reunite the Hero Squad, but their reunion proves short-lived after Lightstorm vanishes following the battle, leaving the team without its most powerful member at the worst possible time.

Damage Inc. is back and more dangerous than ever, thanks to the mysterious mastermind known only as the Foreman arming them with enough firepower to take on the Hero Squad — but for what sinister purpose? The Squad is determined to find out, but the answers could cost them dearly.

Psyche takes center stage for this game-changing chapter in the Action Figures saga, which includes the bonus short story, Action Figures – Live Free or Die.

This is when everything changes!

PART ONE: ONE OF OUR SUPER-HEROES IS MISSING

I tap my headset. “Lightstorm? You there?” I say. “Lightstorm, respond. Lightstorm? Carrie?”

“Hm? Sara?” Meg mumbles, my rising panic rousing her from her nap. “What is it? What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know. Carrie went off with one of the aliens. I had her on the comm but she dropped off all of a sudden.”

“I’m sure she’s okay, hon. Carrie can take care of herself.”

“No. Something’s wrong.” I stumble to my feet as a painful burning sensation fills my chest. For some reason I look up into the sky, as if I expect to see Carrie hovering above me. I cycle through every channel on my comm system, listening for her voice. There’s nothing on the secure Protectorate channel, nothing on the military or police bands…oh God. Oh God

“Meg, something’s wrong!” I squeal, even as some distant corner of my brain argues that everything’s fine, I’m overreacting, there’s some rational explanation for this.

There isn’t.

Carrie’s gone.

 

ONE

“Sara!” Meg shouts. “Wait!”

Kingsport Heights Beach is still total chaos. The military works to clear the battlefield of debris and bodies both human and alien. Police officers try to clear space for ambulances to get in and pick up those lucky enough to have survived the fight but not so lucky they can reach the edge of the hot zone on their own power. Meg and I dash past Concorde as he confers with a group of men and women, all of them in some kind of uniform. He calls out to me. I don’t stop.

We weave through the maze of wrecked cars and demolished military vehicles, skirt past a cluster of black sedans bearing government plates, past a dump truck transporting alien battlesuits and weaponry to the beach to be secured inside the dreadnought, and jump down onto the beach itself, where the Vanguard stands watch over its prisoners. They’re all aliens — for-real aliens from outer space. They brought this war to Kingsport, and one of them must know where Carrie is.

“Where is she?” I charge at one of the Vanguard aliens, a thing built like a gorilla with leathery skin and a second set of T-Rex arms set into his chest. He’s big and intimidating, but he retreats as I run up to him. “Where’s Carrie? What did you do with her?!”

“Honey, easy,” Meg says, pulling me back.

“They took Carrie!”

Meg spins me around. “Sara, you’re not going to do Carrie any good if you’re freaking out. You need to cool down and think.”

Meg squeezes my arms, and I feel her strength flow into me, quite literally. It’s a smart move; she knows my empathic abilities pick up, sometimes involuntarily, on other people’s emotions, and she uses that to inject some much-needed calm into me. The adrenaline flushes out so fast my head spins. Meg’s grip tightens to keep me from falling over.

“Psyche, what’s wrong?” I look past Meg to see Concorde approaching. He’s hurrying as best as he can, but he took as much of a beating as anyone. He needs to rest but he’s not going to let a little thing like possible internal bleeding slow him down, not when there’s work to be done.

“Carrie’s gone. She went off with one of them,” I say, gesturing toward the Vanguard. “She hasn’t come back.”

“I’m sure she’s —”

“Don’t tell me she’s okay, Concorde, and don’t tell me I’m overreacting,” I snap. “Something’s wrong. Carrie’s gone. I know.” I turn back toward the gorilla alien. “Where’s my friend?”

Gorilla grunts at me. A squishy-looking alien, who reminds me vaguely of Patrick from SpongeBob SquarePants, says something incomprehensible to Gorilla, who responds with more grunts.

“This is a problem,” Concorde says.

“No it’s not. They can understand us. Do you have any more of those translator things?” I say to Gorilla.

He furrows his sloping brow at me. He’s considering it — I think. Whatever wavelength these beings’ brains operate on, it’s not compatible with my powers; I can’t read their emotions, much less their thoughts.

With a snort, Gorilla reaches into a belt pouch and hands me a pair of small, pale yellow blobs. I press them into my ears and — “Ohh, gross,” I moan. It feels like I’m shoving wads of cold snot into my ears.

“Not a pleasant sensation, is it?” Patrick says.

“No, it isn’t.” Oh, hey.

“Astounding. Why the matrices don’t fry their primitive little brains,” Gorilla says, his voice not quite matching the movements of his mouth. That’s distracting.

“I can understand you, you know, so start talking. Where’s Carrie?”

“Commander Do has escorted your friend to Kyros Alliance Central, on Kyros Prime.”

“Escorted? Or taken?”

“Your friend went of her own accord.”

“Yeah? Then when is she coming back?”

Gorilla hesitates. “I cannot say,” he says, and oh, I do not like his apologetic tone. “The Alliance is in the midst of a significant crisis, the likes of which we’ve not seen in generations. The Council of Generals has called in Vanguardians from every allied world —”

“Carrie isn’t part of the Vanguard,” I say, but Gorilla shoots that argument down.

“She possesses the astrarma,” he says, referring to the alien tech that gives Carrie her powers. “She is Vanguard.”

“But she is coming back.” I mean it as a question. It comes out as a demand.

“Maybe. If the council decides she’s —” Patrick begins. Gorilla makes a jabbing gesture. Patrick shuts right up. “Sorry,” he mumbles.

“The matter is out of our hands,” Gorilla says.

***

Gorilla abruptly dismisses us so his people can focus on securing their prisoners and all that tempting alien tech in the dreadnought — the Nightwind. The Kyros Alliance is supposed to dispatch another ship to remove the Nightwind, but Gorilla — Lieutenant Bote Maasuur — has no sense of exactly when that might happen. Optimistically, it could arrive within a few hours, he says, but Kingsport could wind up playing host to a crippled alien warship for a day or two.

“That’s one problem on a very long list of problems,” Concorde says, calling to order an impromptu meeting of the Protectorate, the Hero Squad, and the Quantum Quintet. “Entity. So glad you could finally make it.”

I jump when I realize the big leather-covered weirdo is looming right behind me. He wasn’t there a second ago, and I never felt his presence. How does he do that? Is he an alien too? That would explain a lot.

“I’ve been here the whole time,” the Entity says in his creepy monotone.

“We never saw you,” says Kilowatt Quantum, who may be the unsung hero of the battle. He can generate focused electromagnetic pulses, which generally aren’t very useful, but when your opponents are all wearing fancy powered battlesuits? Extremely useful.

“Exactly,” the Entity says.

“He was here,” Missy says, and that’s good enough for Concorde.

“All right. We have two big issues to address,” he says, “and the first is Lightstorm. She’s apparently gone off with the Vanguard’s commanding officer to Kyros Prime, wherever that is. It seems she went of her own free will but we have no idea if or when she’ll return.”

I expect an outburst, for someone to say, “There has to be a way to get her back!” or for Matt to throw out one of his so-insane-it’s-brilliant ideas, but all I hear is a heavy, resigned silence.

“That means we’re that much more short-handed, and that brings me to problem number two,” Concorde continues. “The Kingsport PD has been decimated. I spoke to the chief and his rough estimate is that two-thirds of the force is dead or injured. The governor plans to declare martial law in Kingsport in the short term, at least until the dreadnought’s been removed. Distasteful, I know, but it’s necessary.”

“And in the long term?” Mindforce says.

“That’s where we come in. The chief plans to call in some favors and see if he can borrow some officers from surrounding communities, but it won’t be enough. Until the department can rebuild, we’re going to be pulling extra duty.”

That’s a noble thought, but we’re in no condition to sub in for a school crossing guard much less the police. Most of us are so exhausted we can’t see straight, and a few of us took some nasty hits from the aliens’ hypervelocity weapons. Nina Nitro is toughing out a gunshot to the abdomen until all the injured civilians have been cared for; Rockjaw Quantum literally had chunks of his rocklike skin shot out; and Stuart is covered in bruises.

I tell myself it could have been worse. I glance over at the olive drab pavilion tent the military set up at the edge of what used to be a public baseball field. That’s where they’re storing all the bodies until they can be removed. It’s a harsh reminder that any one of us could have wound up in there.

“I have too much free time on my hands anyway,” Nina says, trying and failing to hide how much pain she’s in.

“You are going to heal first,” Concorde says. “We all are. As soon as we clear out, anyone with an injury is going to the hospital. Everyone else, go home and get some sleep. The National Guard will keep watch on the dreadnought until the Vanguard sends the recovery ship.”

“Which will be when?” Matt asks.

“Unknown, but from what I gather, the Vanguard isn’t thrilled about leaving advanced tech accessible to what it considers a primitive culture, so I suspect they’ll do their best to clear it out ASAP. I informed Lieutenant — Maasuur, was it?” Concorde says, looking to me for confirmation. “I informed Lieutenant Maasuur we’d guard the ship in the meantime, but he plans to leave a couple of his men — er, people — um…”

“Let’s go with people,” Doc Quantum suggests.

“He plans to leave two of his people behind to keep an eye on the prisoners and, I suspect, to keep us honest until they get back.”

“You mean they’re leaving?” Matt says.

“The Kyros Alliance has its own version of the Prime Directive,” I say. “They’ve already violated it, like, a thousand times over, but Lieutenant Maasuur doesn’t want to stick around and make it any worse.”

“Will he be returning to Alliance Central or whatever they called it?”

“I see where you’re going. Good thinking,” Concorde says. “Anyone want to sacrifice their phone?”

***

When Matt told me what he had in mind, I offer up my phone without a second thought.

I find a relatively quiet corner of the battlefield to record my message then give the phone to Lt. Maasuur. He promises he’ll deliver it to Carrie, but that’s all he can promise. It’s good enough. It has to be.

Lt. Maasuur orders First Rank At Mo Ke — a particularly bizarre alien with a cylindrical body, three stumpy legs, and a matching set of arms — and Lt. Commander Fast, who looks like a giant snake, to stay behind and keep an eye on things Earth-side. They decide to station themselves inside the Nightwind so they won’t distract the humans. Or maybe so we won’t distract them? I imagine we look as weird to them as they do to us.

I stand there on the beach and watch Lt. Maasuur and his people take off, rising into the sky until they’re tiny pinpoints of light, until those pinpoints wink out of sight. Meg tries to pull me away, but I don’t want to leave. I want to be here when Lt. Maasuur comes back. He could come back at any minute.

I feel so helpless and useless.

“Hey.” Meg wraps her arms around my waist and holds me close. “You’ve done all you can. Nothing left to do now but wait.”

“No. There’s one more thing I have to do,” I say. I’d give anything I had to avoid it, but there’s no way out of this. “I have to tell Christina her daughter’s been abducted by aliens.”

The Action Figures Diversity Report 2016

Two years ago, I decided to take a look through my Action Figures series to see how the cast was shaping up in terms of diversity and representation.

This bit of introspection was prompted by the American Gods TV series, then in the early stages of development (now in the casting stage, if you haven’t been keeping tabs on it). Neil Gaiman took a firm stand on the principle that the producers should honor the novel’s racial diversity, and that got me to thinking about how my cast of characters stacked up in terms of diversity.

I repeated the exercise last year to see if I’d stayed the course, if not improved upon matters. I’m doing it again this year for the same reason. I’m honestly not looking for any pats on the back for being mindful of presenting a variety of genders (and gender identities), races, sexual orientations, etc., but I do want to keep myself honest, and putting all this down in writing helps me better assess the state of things.

What I do find gratifying is how my readers accept cast diversity without question or, better yet, without resistance. Only once has someone chided me for being “too P.C.”, specifically because I made it clear some of my main characters were from the LGBTQ community — and at least that individual didn’t go the extra mile and accuse me of “pandering” to non-straight white male audiences, so I’ll file that one in the “There’s Still Hope” folder.

So here’s the main cast line-up as it stands as of the latest book (Issue Five: Team-Ups), so be warned there might be mild spoilers if you haven’t read too far into the series.

  • Carrie Hauser/Lightstorm: straight white female
  • Matt Steiger/Captain Trenchcoat: straight white male
  • Sara Danvers/Psyche: lesbian white female
  • Stuart Lumley: male, one-quarter African-American
  • Missy Hamill/Kunoichi: half-Japanese female
  • Edison Bose/Concorde: straight male
  • Bart Connors/Mindforce: gay white male
  • Natalie Guerrero/Nina Nitro: straight Hispanic female
  • Astrid Enigma/Dr. Enigma: bisexual white female
  • Dr. Gwendolyn Quentin/Doc Quantum: straight white female
  • Joe Quentin/Rockjaw Quantum: straight white male
  • Megan Quentin/Megawatt Quantum: lesbian white female
  • Kilroy Quentin/Kilowatt Quantum: straight white male
  • Farley Quentin/Final Boss: white male (sexuality TBD because he’s only six)
  • Tisha Greene/TranzSister: African-American transgender female (heterosexual by virtue of her current gender)

So really, nothing has changed here since last year. However, with Team-Ups I had the opportunity to flesh out the supporting cast a bit. I introduced Bo, Tynan, and Ashlyn, members of Kingsport High’s LGBTQ student group (they are, respectively, a bisexual white male, a bisexual African-American female, and a lesbian of unspecified ethnicity); Peggy, a potential love interest who has a mild physical disability; Zina, a Korean girl with an eye for Matt; and made Gordon, Stuart’s brother, a more prominent supporting cast member.

What still challenges and intimidates me is in how I present all these characters. I want their differences to mean something and not be throwaway elements of their characters, yet I often read how important it is for characters of color, LGTBQ characters, the disabled, etc., to simply be there. They don’t always need to have a flashing neon sign pointing out how they vary from a cis straight white “norm,” they just have to exist within the story, because visibility matters and readers will pick up on this.

Hopefully readers have noticed, and not just because I’m pointing it out now. If it takes posts like these to get readers to notice, I’d say I’m doing something wrong as a storyteller.

Weekly Update – March 1, 2016

Starting today, I’m going to try something new to help cut down on the long stretches of nothing that sometimes inflict this website. Every Tuesday, I’m going to run a quick recap of my various projects so readers can keep tabs on where everything is in their respective processes.

And I’d like to remind everyone that visitors can comment on any content on this site, so if any of you have any questions or comments about anything, the Tuesday update post is as good a place as any to hit me up.

WRITING PROJECTS

Cheap Thrills Rough 1Cheap Thrills Digest: My editor, Julie Tremblay, turned in her edits on my upcoming collection of short stories on Sunday, and I’ve finished implementing the corrections and formatting the book. Now all that’s left is the cover art, which Tricia is working on now. We’re running with a concept that invokes old pulp adventure magazine covers, as you can see on the right.

Action Figures – An Adventure in Babysitting: My first AF short is part of the aforementioned shorts collection, so I took advantage of the fact Julie gave it a new polish and posted the revised edition on the website, where it originally appeared.

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: I’m working on my final pre-editing stage revisions this week, but I’m not planning to send it off to Julie quite yet. I have to recoup some expenses from prepping Issue Five: Team-Ups (which is selling very well, I’m happy to report), and I’m hoping to get another project squared away first.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Assassins Brawl: This is that other project. My goal is to have the follow-up to Scratching a Lich finished in time for a fall release. I’m about a third of the way through the first draft, so we’ll see how it goes.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: About a quarter of the way through the first draft. I’m taking my time with this one because it’s a fairly radical departure from the series. No tentative release date set.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

I have three tentative and one confirmed book signings on my calendar. First, I’m on a short wait list for the New Bedford Bookfest this weekend. This is a new event that filled up very quickly, and the organizers are already planning a fall bookfest. With events like these there’s always a chance that another author might bow out and I’ll get a last-minute call to participate, so my fingers are crossed.

Next, I’m waiting to hear back from the organizers of the Worcester Local Authors Fair, hosted by the Worcester Public Library, and the spring OtherWhere Market at Mill No. 5 in Lowell. My applications are in and I expect to get into both, which are scheduled for the beginning and end of April, respectively.

Finally, I’ll be kicking off the 2016 Meet the Author series at the fall Connecticut Renaissance Faire. It’s the second year for this event, and I’m delighted the producers decided to make it an annual thing. I’ll be there on October 2, Sunday of the opening weekend, so come on by, say hello, and enjoy a great show.

MISC.

Fellow super-hero author and old friend Mark Aberdeen (the Dex Territory series) gave me a nice little shout-out during an interview with Rave Reviews with Nonnie Jules. Go give it a read!

Team-Ups In Print!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00018]Happy Monday, all. I’ll keep it quick: Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-Ups is now available in print!

You can go grab your copy now from Amazon, or purchase it directly from me by clicking the Buy Now tab at the top of the site. As a bonus for buying it directly, I’ll sign it for you and include an Action Figures bookmark!