Updated Release Plans for the Dark Choir Series

Hello again, one and all!

Last month I broke the news that the Dark Choir series was back under my control, and that I intended to re-publish those titles under my personal LLC. I also pledged to keep the original release date for book 5, The Dark Principle, intact.

Well, I lied. Not so much lied as changed my mind. Rather than simply re-packaging the same novels under new covers and thrusting them onto the Amazon Jumble without so much as a hey or howareya, I’ve decided to really overhaul each of these manuscripts and give them proper releases.

The Curse Merchant was my first published novel. Originally self-published in 2012 on the Smashwords platform, it and its sequel were picked up by Curiosity Quills and published back-to-back with their in-house editors. I’ve learned a lot since that manuscript, and have released eight more titles under my name and co-authored. I’ve also come around to certain social truths these past few years to which I was blind when I first wrote these manuscripts.

In that vein, I intend on doing a complete re-edit on each of the Dark Choir books, on top of new covers. Nothing major… the stories will remain the same. I just intend on shoring up some language, catching some errors that slipped through multiple house edits, and tweaking a name or location here and there in order to address insensitivity that escaped my notice due to my state of privilege. I’ve learned, and I want to take this opportunity to improve the series.

That said, I have talent lined up for the new covers. Due to his waiting list and backlog, the re-release dates will be pushed back later this year. Here is my preliminary schedule for releases:

The Curse Merchant – August 6th

The Curse Servant – September 3rd

The Curse Mandate – October 8th

The Dark Interest – November 5th

The Dark Principle – December 3rd

The Dark Choir – January 6th

Thanks for bearing with me during this transition period. The White Lightning books are proceeding unabated. Look forward to Trouble Boys, book 5, soon!

A New Direction in 2019 for JP Sloan

Happy New Year, all you Fistful Faithful!

I promised a major update on my Facebook page, and here it is. I have a lot of work in store for 2019, for a very good reason.

My publisher, Curiosity Quills, has navigated a difficult patch this past year. In response to the changing market and the intensity of competition, they’ve pulled out their quadrants for some celestial navigation and have charted a new course. This means some changes in their business model. To be fair to the authors who’ve been with them for some years (such as yours truly) they’ve offered out clauses in case the authors didn’t agree with the new course.

I was one of those authors.

Shortly, both I and my wife, Courtney Sloan, will have the rights to all of our titles reversed, and we will no longer be with Curiosity Quills.

What does this mean for you, dear reader?

First, you may find that our titles will become temporarily unavailable on Amazon and elsewhere. Paperbacks may linger under the CQ banner for a while, as the resellers who provide these copies must sell out before the links are taken down.

Second, what is the future for the Dark Choir series? Book 5, The Dark Principle, was set to release in March of this year before this major disruption in plans. I’m happy to announce, however, that Book 5 WILL release on schedule.

Third, does this impact the White Lightning series at all? The short answer is no. That series is a co-authored endeavor with Debra Dunbar, whose responsibilities include the publishing of that series on Amazon. Furthermore, this morning I’m beginning work on Book 5 of the White Lightning series, Trouble Boys.

So, what now? I was waiting to make this next announcement until later this year, but this is as good a time as any. I plan to wrap up both White Lightning and Dark Choir series in the first half of this year. After that, I have quite a project ahead. For about ten years now I’ve been working on a tabletop roleplaying system (think Dungeons and Dragons or Vampire the Masquerade) based on some of my early “scratch” work before I began the Dark Choir series. The time has come to begin serious work toward developing the system as a retail product. Hence I’ve formed Infraluminous Entertainment LLC towards creating rules and sourcebooks with supplemental novel titles.

I’ve expanded the scope of this company to now include the re-publishing of my original Dark Choir titles, as well as Courtney’s American Scions series. She also has a science fiction series in the works, which we’ll ramp out as well. In the meantime, I’ll take advantage of this period to re-edit the original Dark Choir books and re-package. You should see them back on Amazon under the Infraluminous banner soon. I’m even kicking around the idea of creating hardcover omnibus editions combining the entire series into two trilogies.

So, I’ve got a ton of work to do. Let me get to it. In the meantime, Jake Walk, the fourth White Lightning novel, is now available on Amazon and elsewhere. Gangsters and wizards… it’s a real pumpkin-puncher, see? Twenty-three skidoo!

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!

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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.