Michael Reyes’ Clock’s Watch Out Now in Paperback and Hardback

Fun stuff worth supporting!

Cirsova

Awhile back, I’d mentioned that I’d helped Michael Reyes, one of Cirsova’s contributors, put together an anthology of his Clock stories. I did interior formatting and cover layout (though not the front design/layout).

It’s now available in paperback and hardback.

The next story in the sequence, The Iynx, will be featured in the Spring 2018 issue of Cirsova. Pre-Order Today!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1161542777/cirsova-2018-spring-summer-subscription

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Book Signing (and Xmas Sale) Today

Book-Sale

Kind of late notice now (sorry, worked night shift last night and internet was out this morning), but if you’re on or near Yokosuka Navy Base, we’re having a big “garage sale” without the garage. Since we’re moving next month, we’re purging now. That also means an opportunity to pick up author signed paperbacks from Yours Truly. (Thank my wife for that—I didn’t even think about it! Working night shifts at a hospital blanks the mind of most other things, you know.)

garage-sale

Thanksgiving Treat: Free Superheroes in Time for Justice League and Thor

Just in time for Superhero season–oh, and Thanksgiving and Black Friday too. All these occasions combined, plus my desire to try out BookFunnel as a free ebook delivery service.

MASKS-Kindle

So right now (and in the near future) you can click on this easy link and–BAM!–go straight to the landing page to download an epub or mobi/kindle file for Masks. Here’s the story on the story:

A doomsday cult has risen in Mesa City.

Signs of the Never-Ending Serpent haunt alleyways and nightmares, and the police seem powerless to stop it.  Medicine Man and Coyote stood against them and Coyote paid the ultimate price.  Her partner hasn’t been seen since.  Gone off the deep end, they say.

Is there no one who can save us from the End of Days?

Red Mantis doesn’t have a lot of experience, but he’s no stranger to combat.  And the mysterious Shadow Puppet appears impervious to death and everywhere at once.  But when faced with the true horrors of the Never-Ending Serpent, will these rookie saviors prove friends or foes?

Nakai and Nizoni Proudtree are Native American kids growing up on the wrong side of Mesa City, where it’s not cool to root for superheroes.  No wonder: the patron cape of the neighborhood is currently on a rampage.  Probably not a good idea to steal his car, then, even if it is for the right reasons…

Masks is a triple play of action, adventure, and pure pulp fun.  Combining the classic conventions of the genre with gritty new twists, this trio of superheroic tales is sure to please comic book fans young and old.  The featured story “Medicine Man” also earned an honorable mention in the Writers of the Future Contest.

So THANK YOU for reading, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, good luck fighting the starving masses on Arena Day (Black Friday), and when you’re all done, sit back and relax with a free digital copy of Masks!

Fuegan: Eldar Phoenix Lord of Fire Dragons

fuegan.jpg

Monday was my birthday and I made a resolution for the day: “I will square off a time slot to paint and finish Fuegan’s cape!” And that’s what I did.

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I had some idea in mind when I set about to paint it, but it evolved with each color added. I started with shades of green and imagined some blue on the back but was reluctant to try it. But as I mixed greens and blues and layered stuff (not intending to layer, just to find the right color that suited my mind’s eye), I realized that I did indeed have to use that brilliant electric blue!  And I really like how it came out. I then hit the edges with a lighter green and that really punched it up! Really happy with it.

I then hit the eyes again and watered down some green for the sword, mostly to tie all those greens together. If I had a green cloak on his back, I needed some other point of green at another angle somewhere to bring it full circle.

So my “Black Phoenix” fire dragon lord is not armed with the “Fire Axe” but the “Dragon’s Talon,” a sword that smolders with the heat of emerald plasma and cuts through everything it touches, yes, “like a hot knife through butter!”

So then I got camera happy again…

Here’s “The Prom King and Queen.”

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I call this one “The Color Purple” or “The Prom King and Queen (with Chaperone).”

thecolorpurple

And here’s the whole gang, all themed together, “The King and His Court.”

thekingandhiscourt.jpg

I also have a warlock I’d like to knock out that was a former dragon with the same color scheme. I think I could get him done pretty quickly, but I doubt that’s going to happen tonight. I’m also inspired to experiment with Howling Banshees but with all the stuff I have to do, I don’t think I’ll be doing any more painting until after the epic move in January. (Except maybe assembling some models and spray basing them, since I can’t take these expensive spray paints I inherited with me.)

The Resurrection Sequence: Hitting the Return Key

portrait of a brutal warrior with sword in smoke

Amidst the swirl of life-changing chaos that is the maelstrom of my life right now (we’re leaving Japan in 2 months with no solid job, house, or fool-proof plan at this point!), I also at work on the next phase of my writing career.

Kind of the next phase.  It’s also partly the old phase.

“Okay, hold the phone. You don’t have a job, but you’re screwing around with writing?!”

“Well, we have a semi-plan and some good prospects, but we’ve managed to save enough that we can float for now and not drown. We’ll be fine in the short term and once we’re back in the States, we’ll be in a better position to figure out the long term.  But thanks for your concern!”

Anyway, after having attended and learned so much and been inspired by the Oregon Coast Masters Class, I have some proto-plans forming.  One aspect of those is what I call “sequencing” or “burst publishing.”  (It’s not that I invented the idea, it’s just that I don’t know what other people call it.)

The gist is this: instead of publishing stuff here and there as they come ready, and then having months in between releases, you save up related books/stories and release them in sequence, one a month, in a nice, neat string.

This has two advantages:

  1. It gives readers a nice steady feed, so if they buy and read book 1, book 2 is coming right along behind, followed right away (a month later) by book 3.  (I, for one, am so far terrible about releasing–or writing–series in any fashion that allows for steady following. Hopefully once I’m out of the Navy I’ll be in a better position to avoid that problem.)
  2. On the Amazon side of the house (which is just one side, by the way–they might be king shit in America, but they certainly aren’t king shit of the world), having a steady release, like once a month, activates something in their mechanism that says, “This person is a regular publisher, let’s push his books more.”  The algorithm likes that.

So my first sequence in this new vision unto the future is “The Resurrection Sequence.”  It has a few aspects to it, as well:

  1. The main “resurrection” thing is bringing back a couple of books I’d previously published but retired for different reasons. Namely, A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley (terrible title, but a nice, genre-specific cover) and the Thunderstrike Edition of Tarnish, which is basically a four-book omnibus. A Long Walk became Eating in the Underworld (perhaps not a severely improved title, either).  The collection has now reverted back to Walk and Eating is it’s own standalone story from that collection. Tarn-TS is still in the works. I also made a new, much cooler cover for my story Puppet Theatre and relaunched that.
  2. Republishing several (and eventually all–probably) of my titles in a new format using Vellum and with improved front and back matter.  (If you don’t know what the hell any of that is, don’t worry about it.  That’s more writer-speak than reader concern. The stories are still the same.)
  3. Launching my first single-author bundle on Bundle Rabbit, which will basically be all my titles Fugitive Fiction published in 2017, gift-wrapped as kind of a readers’ introduction to my work.  Buyers will be able to get $30+ worth of ebooks for less than 10 bucks.

Detective walking at night city lights.

But to get there, and in reformatting to Vellum, I am hitting an issue.  I am being haunted by the Return Button.

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

You may have noticed that I sometimes tend to write in big blocky paragraphs.  (Or have tended to write–past tense, as I’m trying to be more conscious of it.) As I’m re-upping older work, especially the 125,000 words of Tarnish, I’m finding that the asshole perfectionist in me wants to spend lots of time combing through and breaking up those huge half-page long blocks of text.

I think doing so will make for a smoother, easier read, but holy shit does it take time!  Time I could be writing new stories, of which I have hundreds to go!

Dean Wesley Smith would probably say, “Those old books are snapshots of how you wrote then. Stuff you write now show you’re improvement. Don’t waste your time on the past. Move forward.”

And I would agree.  Or at least I’m trying to.

But it’s hard for me, in good conscious, to republish those big ugly blocks when I could improve on them.

On the other hand, some of that stuff is 5 years old. And I am definitely feeling the withdrawal symptoms of not writing new, fun stuff. This old shit is getting to be like an anchor around my neck! I have to move on!

We’ll see how this inner struggle goes. Either way, I’m hoping to get it all out well before the New Year. But if I allow my insecurities and neurosis to drag me back through 400+ pages, I might not make it!

Silk Spider, Wasteland, and Sky

silk spider-mini

Thanks to a tweet that’s now about 3 months old, I found that Mr. J. D. Cowen had reviewed my Silk Spider story on his blog, Wasteland and Sky. (Or maybe it’s called “And between the Wasteland and Sky” or is that just a quote…?)

I only hit up Facebook occasionally, and Twitter rarely. Back in August, Mr. Cowen reviewed Astounding Frontiers magazine, as well as my story and one by Dominika Lein, all as part of his quest to find more pulp fiction. He tweeted about this and included me in the tweet. Today, November 4th, I discovered that tweet from August.

Oops.

That’s me and my cyber aversion.

Better late than never though! Thanks J.D. for the kind comments–glad you liked it!