The White Lightning Series is nearly upon us!

Happy end-of-August, all you Fistful Faithful!

There’s a lot going on, and about to go on, and I wanted to spazz out in front of an audience. First of all, WOODEN NICKELS, the first book in the new White Lightning series, is scheduled for release on Amazon on September 18th. That’s just two-and-a-half weeks away!

But I got one better for you… if you’re on the Nook reader, you can get an advance release for your pre-order on September 5th. That’s just SIX DAYS FROM NOW! Six days away from a brand new urban fantasy series set during Prohibition, co-authored with the estimable Debra Dunbar. And if that’s not soon enough, grab yourself a teaser right here.

And… I’ve got another one for you. The second book, BUM’S RUSH, is already available for pre-order on Amazon, B&N, and other fine book sites.

I had the opportunity to meet with Debra last night to sign some swanky swag for the series. The covers are phenomenal!

40332159_1803733986411744_855425616982310912_n

We’re hard at work, about to wrap up the first draft of Book 3. The idea is that you won’t have to wait long to take this journey. No long pauses between books… because we KNOW you’ll love this series!

In other news, I’m stacking up my writing projects for 2019. I’m starting it off with more White Lightning series books, and then on March 26th, book 5 of the Dark Choir series, THE DARK PRINCIPLE, releases on Amazon and elsewhere.

Meanwhile I have a whole new project I’m cooking up, but I’m keeping a lid on this one. It’ll involve a whole new science fiction series, plus some new stuff you haven’t seen from me yet. I’m abuzz for 2019… looks to be a breakout year for sure!

*knocks on all available wood*

Dark Choir Book 5 is Official!

Howdy folks! Just wanted to pop in for a couple quick updates.

First… the next book in the Dark Choir series has now been officially contracted! Ink’s still wet on the contract, but the good folk at Curiosity Quills Press will be launching digital and paperback editions of The Dark Principle in March of 2019. This book is a sort of culmination of everything Dorian’s gone through, taking him on a figurative, and literal, road to redemption. Will the promise of securing his soul finally be realized? Or will it be stolen away, once again, by the Dark Choir?

In other news, my work in the White Lightning series continues. I’m only four chapters away from wrapping up Book 2 before sending it to my partner for her tender mercies.

If the White Lightning series sounds like your brand of gin (Urban fantasy during Prohibition? Gangsters and wizards? Tommy Guns and time pinchers? Who wouldn’t?), then I have some nifty little links for you. Book one, WOODEN NICKELS, is already available for pre-order on the following sites:

Apple
Kobo
Barnes & Noble

Amazon links will be forthcoming as we approach the scheduled release date of September 18th.

That’s it for now… enjoy the final days of Spring, and I’ll be here writing!

New Series Announcement – White Lightning

Hello friends, neighbors and Internet drifters!

It’s been one hell of a year to date. I’ve had some personal tragedies this year that have derailed me only a little. I’m happy to say that I’m bootstrapping like a champ, and am back on the Word Count production machine!

First off… a little update on the Dark Choir series. Book 5, The Dark Principle, has been in the hands of the publisher for a couple months, now. As I keep in contact with the folks at Curiosity Quills, I understand that they are revising their contract boilerplates… hence the long pause. Everything sounds positive, though, and I expect to be able to announce a publication date shortly. So hang in there! I know that Book 4 ended on a hell of a cliffhanger. Rest assured, Book 5 will be a breakneck road trip from (and possibly to) Hell!

Now on to more exciting news…

For a while now, I’ve been dropping hints on social media that I’ve been working on a secret project. This has been the case since January, and I’m happy to be able to finally pull aside the curtain and show you guys what I’ve been working on.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the White Lightning Series!

wl book 1

I’m freakin’ stoked for this series, you guys! I’ve partnered up with best-selling author Debra Dunbar to bring this Jazz Age Urban Fantasy series to you. Deb’s wheelhouse overlaps my own… if you’ve read her Imp series, you’ll know what I mean!

The White Lightning series is set in Baltimore during Prohibition, as bootleggers and boat-leggers vie for the illegal liquor trade. To gain the upper hand, the mob families make use of natural-born magic users called “Pinchers.” Vincent Calendo, a Time Pincher with the ability to slow or freeze time, was sold to the mob as a child, dutifully serving them while searching for a sense of self-worth. Hattie Malloy, a Light Pincher wielding the powers of illusion, runs hooch over the waterways as an independent agent. She was born free… and must fight for her life every day to stay that way.

In the brutal world of mobsters, crooks and demons, the only weapon better than a Tommy Gun is a mage!

Book 1, WOODEN NICKELS, will release this September 18th. We’re shooting to release six books total in this series, so keep your eyes peeled!

COVER REVEAL – YEA THOUGH I WALK (re-release)

Well, it’s been a while since I had an update for you. Happily, I have one heck of an update today!

As the Fistful Faithful are aware, I have a standalone western/horror… or Weird Western, as I understand the genre is more accurately called… titled YEA THOUGH I WALK. This sucker was a bear to write, but was worth every ounce of effort. It was a labor of love, and I consider it to be my best work yet.

Downside is that it hasn’t reached its audience.

And so, in an effort to get this grimy, gory, gift-wrapped package of cowboy vs vampire vs wendigo madness into the hands of horror fans, the publisher has re-branded Yea Though I Walk… fresh with a new cover! And here it is:

ytiwcoversmall

This book is no simple exercise in monsters and men killing one another… it’s a cranial exploration of the nature of existence and loyalty, wrapping itself in the changing social structures of the mid-19th century. Themes of friendship, lust, avarice abound… even the question of how a merciful God would treat a flawed humanity after the Civil War, and whether justice is morally correct.

If you haven’t picked it up, jog on over to Amazon to read a sample chapter!

Aspiring Authors… Be You, Not Them!

I’d like to take a quick break from updating the latest in my personal news, and revisit one of my old bugbears… social media.

When I first embarked on a serious effort to transition from part-time hobbyist to a full-time fiction author, I did what anyone else would do in my position… I read every piece of advice on the Internet. Author’s blogs, publishing blogs, magazine articles, Facebook groups… my brain was awash in the prescriptive advice doled out like bucketfuls from front-end loaders. It was overwhelming.

Fun fact: to “overwhelm” is the same as to “whelm.” It’s like “flammable” and “inflammable.”

Anyways, part of the life as an aspiring author was the daily consumption of social media. This involved the search-and-follow scavenger hunt for the best and brightest. My social media of choice has been Facebook and Twitter. Twitter, in particular, suited my love for brevity-as-wit.

It wasn’t long until I realized that the usual wash of updates, photos, celebrations and new book launches had begun to grind my self-worth into a fine paste. WHY, THOUGH? These people are doing well. You’re taking their advice. You should go and do likewise.

Which was the problem.

It’s far too easy for an aspiring or struggling author to replace reasonable and meaningful personal goals with the lives of the successful and prolific authors on Twitter… especially those who spend a good deal of time crafting informative blog posts for public consumption. And this can suck the wind out of your sails without your realizing it.

It’s not that we authors view one another with some Machiavellian sense of mutual suspicion.

It’s that we see WhatsHerName posting a group selfie of fifty people at her latest book signing… and we think back to last Saturday when we sat at a table for two hours, and the only person who stopped at the table was just looking for the bathroom.

We see WhatsHisName Tweet out about some recent political faffery, and the thread goes on for days… while we Tweet something marginally clever, and we receive crickets.

We see the author/agent love on Twitter, and we wonder what we’ve done so wrong.

We read the latest How to Write blog post, and we recognize that these people put out four books a year… and we’re struggling to find two hours a night just to get some word count in between screaming infants, barfing poodles, and lather-mouthed political in-laws.

Here’s the problem… WE NEED TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF OURSELVES, NOT ANOTHER VERSION OF THEM.

These NY Times Bestsellers and six-figure indie publishers are at a different place in their journey. It’s all too easy to succumb to human nature and hold ourselves up to their particular limelight. But you, dear author, are at your own place in your journey.

I urge you to return your focus to the manuscript in your hands. Eyes on your own paper. Attend to your craft, and where you are here and now. Don’t try to be Scalzi or Wendig or Stiefvater or Howey or Dawson or Schwab.

Be you… where you are.

And most of all, don’t despair. The more advice you hear, the more you come to feel that you NEED that advice. Comes a point, however, when you need to stop planning and start doing. Get those words down. Finish those rough drafts. Then read and re-read and re-re-read. The only way to get better is to write more and read more.

Which is really the point… writing better stories. Not gaming the Amazon algorithm. Not finding the magic bullet or fantasy formula. Focus on the story in your head. Focus on the craft of getting that story down in the best vehicle for the reader.

If the rest comes… the awards, the street teams, the sales numbers, the reviews… then they come. And guess what? If you don’t allow the Twitter machine to grind you down?

They will.

Holiday Sale & Some News

Hello one and all, and happy holidays to each of you!

I have two items of interest for your eager ears. The first of which is that I have finished the first draft of Book 5, THE DARK PRINCIPLE! For those of you wondering whether Dorian will find some way to redeem himself from the darkness into which he’s descended… or if he will truly descend into evil… this book will be your answer!

So, what now? Well, finishing the first draft is nowhere near “finishing the book.” I have several passes to go through before I even send this out to beta readers. To paraphrase some wise soul whose name I can’t remember, and thus can’t adequate attribute… I’m not making sand castles, I’m just shoveling the sand into the bucket.

Time to start carving this castle!

Second item of news for you… my publisher is having a house-wide sale for all of my titles! Between today and December 24th, you can buy the Kindle edition of ANY OF MY BOOKS for only $0.99!!!

If you’ve been interested in trying out my western, YEA THOUGH I WALK, or if you just read The Curse Merchant, and are interested in pressing on but the cost was putting you off… now’s your shot to rack up without breaking the bank! So, please do spread the word. All of my books for just a dollar!

Happy Holidays once again, and I’ll see you next year!

Fall Update, Dark Choir Series & Ballgowns

Happy Fall, one and all!

Jesus… I really didn’t mean for that to rhyme.

Now that the weather is chilling off rapidly (I’m currently shivering in my office, because the space heater by the window has elected in an abundance of caution never to actually operate), I thought I’d touch on the last few months around these here parts.

I’ve had the opportunity to join fellow Curiosity Quills authors at a benefit gala for the Fairfax County Library Association. It was a Hollywood-themed event, and we all dressed to the nines! We met several interesting folk, had some wine, and generally geeked out over books… and all of it benefited the mission of supporting the public libraries.

22552563_1433859593399187_3121682725064908599_n

Later this month, I’ll be manipulating the minds of future writers guest speaking at Frederick Community College to discuss life as an independent author. I always enjoy a microphone. Getting me to shut up is the trick!

Aside from that, I’m looking forward to a holiday season which bears down upon us like an avalanche. I honestly still feel as if it’s July.

Writing-wise, I am still hard at work on Book 5 of the Dark Choir series, THE DARK PRINCIPLE. There’s a lot of action in this book, and I’m folding elements from each of the previous novels in addition to a few new characters. This process proves to be time-intensive… so bear with me!

Having just rounded 50k words on the manuscript, I feel I’m a little more than halfway there. My goal is to have a cleaned-up copy to send to beta readers by Christmas. Beta readers love distractions during family get togethers!

Alright all… stay safe and warm out there. Go to a public library and show them your support, and maybe ask them to order in some of my books. Cheers!

23405983_1751830394841592_4458527813292712109_o