Weekly Update – January 16, 2018

Arisia 2018 is a wrap!

I had what was, financially, my best show ever. This is not to say I am rolling in money, but the weekend was profitable — which can be a big deal to an indie author. These shows are not cheap to do and it’s easy to lose money — which is what happened in previous years — so it’s nice to be able to go home even a little in the black.

But the best part may be yet to come. I’m currently chatting with someone who is interested in having me work on a project for her small company, and the concept I’ve been pitched is intriguing. We’ll see where that goes, but I’m feeling hopeful.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I managed to sneak in a little bit of work during my busy week, but I’m mostly hashing out some plot issues for a while.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress. Got some work in on this last week, and I’ll pop back to jot down stuff as it comes to me.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

For a variety of reasons, some voluntary and some out of my control, I am going to be passing on Boskone this year. I don’t have any other shows on the horizon quite yet, but I’m on the lookout.

MISC.

I’m taking part in a month-long cross-promotion with several other superhero fiction authors, and until January 31 you can grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 32 other titles for free!

It’s the final countdown for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, so get cracking! Go here to get the full details.

Finally, 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 – January 9, 2018

It’s Arisia prep time, but you can read all about that down in the Appearances and Events section.

Today I’m going to give you a peek at the behind-the-scenes work on my March 31 photo shoot for Well Behaved Women. It’s a rather ambitious project that requires me to assemble six full costumes, complete with the appropriate props, for three models.

Last week I purchased all the things I needed for Jen MacPherson, the woman who will be modeling for the main character, Sgt. Rose Booker of the Worcester Police Department. This was probably the most demanding outfit to assemble since it has to look reasonably like an actual WPD uniform.

I have to give a big shout-out to Trippi’s Uniforms of Shrewsbury, which helped me acquire the appropriate uniform shirt and hat, and a few key finishing touches, such as the little WPD pins on the collar. A bonus thank-you to the unnamed cop at the counter who pointed out a critical detail, that ranked officers (sergeants and higher) have gold-toned uniform accents, not silver-toned. I never would have guessed that on my own.

I had to poke around the Internet for some of the other finishing touches, such as the badges for the shirt and hat. You can’t buy authentic badges without a police administrator’s permission, I learned, so I had to search around for replicas that looked authentic-ish and accept that these specific details wouldn’t be perfect matches — although I suspect that only actual WPD officers would notice.

My wife will be putting her embroidery machine to use to duplicate the other unobtainable element, the official uniform patch. Add to that the non-firing prop handgun I found on Etsy — most places will not ship realistic firearm replicas to Massachusetts — and I should have a pretty damn good-looking WPD uniform.

As for the other models’ costumes, I’m not going to tell you who the characters are in the interest of preserving the mystery for a while longer, but here’s a photo of one of the other costumes. Any guesses who it is?

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I indulged in a great three-day writing weekend and I got a LOT done. Having the cover shoot coming up is giving me some great motivation to finish this series up.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • THIS WEEKEND! Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia 2018 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (in Burroughs, Saturday, 10:00 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (in Faneuil, Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (in Otis, Sunday, 4 PM).
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

I’m taking part in a month-long cross-promotion with several other superhero fiction authors, and until January 31 you can grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 32 other titles for free!

It’s the final countdown for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, so get cracking! Go here to get the full details.

Finally, 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 – January 2, 2018

Happy New Year, everyone!

Things are off to a brisk start here. After taking a year off, the Worcester Writers Collaborative resumed its annual tradition of getting together for New Year’s Day dinner and drinks and shop talk, I finished getting the e-book versions of all my novels up on both Barnes & Noble and Kobo, I finished editing and formatting Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War, and I have secured my new tablemate for Arisia. More on them next week.

 

In other news, I am taking part in a month-long cross-promotion with several other superhero fiction authors, and until January 31 you can grab Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins along with 32 other titles for free!

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: With the day job on hiatus for a while, I was able to plug away and finally get some good work done. I’m creeping up on the 30,000 work mark and hope to keep up the momentum despite a busy January.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Edited and formatted, waiting on cover art.

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • UPDATED! Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia 2018 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and speaking on three panels: We Got Movie Sign! Mystery Science Theater 3000 (in Burroughs, Saturday, 10:00 PM); Stage Presentation: A Minute or Less to Impress (in Faneuil, Sunday, 11:30 AM); and Fight Science for Writers — Hands-On Demos (in Otis, Sunday, 4 PM).
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

It’s the final countdown for the New England Speculative Writers group’s open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. The deadline for submission is January 31, so get cracking! Go here to get the full details.

Finally, 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 – June 20, 2017

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: First draft is done! I punched out another 7,000 words since last week to bring the story to its conclusion, and got a lot of work done on draft two. My goal is to finish the second draft this week and send it out to my beat readers — and then get to work on an all new project (mwa ha ha).

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.

The Worcester Writers Collaborative is back up and running after an extended hiatus! A bunch of us met last week to talk about where we all were individually and hatch some future plots, and it looks like the group is officially back in action. Woo!

Sharing The Love: The Random List Edition

I haven’t been as good about keeping up on this as I should have been, so in the interest of getting the new year off to a good start, I’m going to throw out a quick list of cool things I’ve discovered recently.

  • I’m going to start with the Worcester Writers Collaborative, a group I recently found and joined for its New Year’s Day group dinner. Long story short, I’m usually not comfortable around strangers so attending this gathering was a big step outside my comfort zone, but I met some cool people and I’m looking forward to joining future get-togethers.
  • Star Wars – The Force Awakens. What’s left to say? It was a Star Wars movie in the classic sense.
  • Castle Panic. One of the many games my wife and I got for Christmas. It’s quick and easy to learn, light, fun, and surprisingly challenging. Veronica and I have played this several times since we got it, and we’ve had some real nail-biter sessions.Descent
  • Descent – Journeys in the Dark. Another game, this one a board game-style dungeon crawler. It took me a while to digest the rule book and our first game was definitely a fumble-through, but once I got used to it I found the quests move along quite smoothly. Veronica and I are in the middle of a campaign-style game, which takes about 20 hours to complete and, thanks to the branching storyline, can be replayed several times with different individual quests.
  • Macallan. Single-malt Scotch. I like it. Scotchy Scotch Scotch.
  • Ms. Marvel. Still my favorite Marvel title.
  • Skyrim. I know, I’m very late to the Skyrim party, but I’m enjoying it…not as much as I could, but I have books to write.