Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Update!

My next release!

It's been quite a year! Hope it's been good for you. 2019, and the '10s, are about to draw to a close, so I thought you might enjoy an update on what I've been up to, and have planned for next year. This isn't everything on the docket, but I can let you in on what I hope to get out there as of this date.

And yes, this Thursday will still have my third, and final, post in my look into Ron Goulart's Cheap Thrills, so please look forward to that giant piece. I haven't forgotten about you!

So how was 2019? For me, it was a step up from 2018.

First, Gemini Warrior, the debut book in the new Gemini Man series, as part of Silver Empire's Heroes Unleashed, came out this year. I hope you got yourself a copy, but if not I can say it is easily my most action packed adventure yet! Two down-and-out guys acquire special bracelets that end up giving them incredible powers. Oh, and they end transported to a whole new alien world, and must have their way out again through lizard men and a crazed woman with insane magic of her own. It's a blast, and it's getting really good reviews.

The sequel to Gemini Warrior, entitled Gemini Drifter, has gotten past the first draft stage and is in edits right now. You'll know when it's out when I do. For now, you will have to wait for 2020 for any updates! I promise, it will be worth it. If you've read my stuff, you know you're going to get some curve-balls in the sequel.

Oh, that's right. We're entering the '20s! Hard to believe. The twentieth century had an interesting '20s. Did you know that Black Mask magazine was created in the 1920s? I suppose if you're reading my post series on Cheap Thrills you would know. This was the pulp magazine where you first got writers as big as Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett--writers who invented the hard-boiled noir you know so very well. It was one of the most influential pulp magazines in an era where influential pulp magazines were everywhere.

Well, that has something to do with my first (yes, first!) book coming out at the start of 2020. I'm going to get this one out quick. Someone is Aiming for You & Other Adventures, an anthology of stories, will be out on January 23rd, 2020 if all goes as planned. Yes, that is soon.

The Kindle version of the cover is at the top of the post. The very work-in-progress paperback edition is here:

Not final.

It's a bit more elaborate than the Kindle version. I like to give a bit more to those willing to go with a physical product since it does cost more. Either way I quite enjoy the design I came up with to match the stories inside.

This is a collection of my Hero Magic short stories, of hard-boiled heroes in a city where a war between powers and magic rages on in the shadows. It's very dark, but not nihilistic, and stars a wide cast of characters in the city of Summerside, which is the center of this war. I was very inspired by the old pulp works with these tales, and as such these aren't so much superhero stories as they are vigilante tales, where Justice operates on a harsher scale. This anthology is about the battle between those who wish to devour the city, and those who wish to save it from destruction.

These took a good bit to come together here, considering the period when they were written. Those who have written shorter stories know that length doesn't make them any easier to write than novels. They still take time. I've been trying to get this anthology out for awhile, and I'm very excited to present it to you today.

I wrote these 7 stories over the last four years. It started ever since my first book, Knights of the End, came out in 2016, up to more recently after finishing off the first draft for the Gemini Warrior sequel, Gemini Drifter. These were written amidst many other projects and short stories, but I always kept coming back to this series as my first attempt at pulp-inspired material. The dark city with light shining from the shadows just kept attracting me back again and again for more visits.

These tales range in different lengths from between just over 2000 words to full novelette length, and form an overarching story centering on a handful of heroes as they deal with diabolical demons, desperate gangsters, and sinister magic, as the world is falling down around them. Still, these men will fight back against the darkness regardless.

Included stories:

  • Someone is Aiming for You -- The very first short story I ever wrote, which ran both in Volume 3 of the Crossover Alliance and in Silver Empire's Paragons. This is about a vigilante named The Seeker, a Crusader (term for vigilante) with haunting green eyes who can change your life with a single touch.
  • Endless Nights in Villain City -- The tale of a man who wishes to be a monster, and instead becomes something much worse. This is a dark one, and rather gruesome. It ran in the first issue of DimensionBucket Magazine.
  • Under Suspicion in Summerside -- This poor story was supposed to come out about two or three times over the previous two years, but something always fell through at the last moment. Now it finally gets its time to shine here. Meet Flatline and Concrete, heroic hired muscle that are a force to be reckoned with, as they deal with a bank robbery!
  • Knives in the Night -- Released only on Amazon and as a bonus for mailing list subscribers (I'll try to get you guys something else as a replacement!), my editor helped polish this one up further, making it even sharper than the original version. Pun not entirely intended. In this one, an invisible man fights a force no one believes exists.
  • Last Exit to Shadow City -- The longest story here, a private problem solver finds himself lost in the deep end of a shadow world after crossing the wrong end of the tracks. For those who want to know about the dark side of the villain city of Summerside, this one is for you. It's not for the feint of heart.
  • Lucky Spider's Last Stand -- Written for the PulpRev Sampler, this is suitably the shortest piece here. A gangster finds himself with his back against the wall and confronted by a Crusader who wants him dead. Does he have a chance, or will he have to face the music?
  • When the Sunset Turns Red -- The story of an ex-hitman who finds himself back in Summerside and entangled in something deeper than even he thought possible. This is the conclusion of the anthology, and is almost as long as Last Exit to Shadow City as a result. I guarantee you'll be thrilled at the craziness in this novelette. I had a bit of fun finally putting a bow on this group of tales with this story.

There's a lot to dig into here, and I know you'll enjoy the whole thing. This package has been a long time in the works. Big thanks to Kukuruyo for the cover illustration--it is just what I needed to complete the design, and L. Jagi Lamplighter for being my editor on these stories. These two are very good at what they do!

If everything goes according to plan, you won't have to wait that long for this anthology! The end of January is the plan. 2020 will start with a bang.

In other news, I am currently more than halfway through the first draft of Brutal Dreams, which I hope to have out by next year, as well. I also have an outline for a Grey Cat Blues sequel, if I can get to that amidst the many things on the way! I also have other ideas to decide if I want to write or sit on for now. Time management is tricky when you're a writer.

But two things I can confirm is that I will have stories in both StoryHack #5 and Planetary Anthology: Uranus, both of which will be out in the very near future! More on those stories when their releases are confirmed. I also have a host of other completed shorts to submit to other magazines, as well as one I am debating turning into a free newsletter perk. Needless to say, I won't be slowing down with short story writing anytime soon.

So there's a lot of content on the way, with even more to come beyond that. I'm aiming to have three books out in 2020 starting with Someone is Aiming for You & Other Adventures at the end of January. Cross your fingers and give me a prayer that I can manage all this!

Whew, that was an update! I hope you have a Merry Christmas, and I will see you again on Thursday. There we will conclude our exciting series on the pulp magazines before we welcome the end of 2019.

The Roaring '20s are sure to be interesting!