Saturday, July 9, 2016

CATCH-UP TIME!



You'll all be happy to know I've been keeping myself quite busy writing. And yes, so far it has been a productive year.

First of all, as announced on the COMPANION DRAGONS TALES blog, the third installment of the series, COPPER'S CHOICE, was just released. Isn't this a gorgeous cover?




Info over there will tell you where to get your copy. Just follow the link above to the blog.

Also, backing up a bit, I have a short story in the May 30th release of SINGULARITY: RISE OF THE POSTHUMANS.




This one is a mashup of steampunk/cyberpunk with superhero elements in a post apocalyptic setting. This is a multi-author anthology that I share with some very talented folks including comics legend Mr. David Michelinie. You can find this one, as you will all of my Pro Se releases, in all the usual places, including Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Smashwords.com too.

It's worth a mention here, that MONSTER ACES VOLUME TWO is now available as an audiobook. Yes, I have a story in that one. 





Now, as far as what's possibly coming next for me in projects that have been completed...

I still have a Keener Eye short story due out from Pro Se as a SINGLE SHOT, which is their direct to E-format line of short pieces. I'll let you know if I hear anything about this one.

Airship 27 still has my Sinbad novella, but that has been such a popular series with both writers and readers, it fills up fast. I doubt we'll see it before next year. They also have the second pirate novel, JEZEBEL JOHNSTON—QUEEN OF ANARCHY, of which I have not heard anything about a release date. I'm busy finishing up the third book right now.

Likely slated for early next year, BY THE WAYSIDE TALES will be a debuting anthology from Pro Se in my Hansen's Way imprint. All the books in that imprint take place in the same overarching fantasy world, so you will see familiar settings and themes, and occasionally crossover characters. The two main characters along with their dependable mounts and a very big dog named Tagalong first appeared in the last story in TALES OF THE VAGABOND BARDS.

THE SONG OF HEROES was a series I started for the Pro Se magazines that has now been turned into an anthology. Two of the stories were published in different versions of the magazines, the third one never saw print, and to fill out the book I wrote a brand new fourth story. That got turned into Pro Se earlier this year and I hope to see that sometime in 2017.

And for the next installment of Companion Dragons Tales, earlier this year I turned in to Pro Se a four story Lazlo Dragon anthology that should be out sometime next year. Look for LAZLO AT HOME under Pro Se's Young Pulp imprint.




So what am I working on these days?

I've been picking away at the third pirate novel for Airship 27. I'm just writing the big climatic scene now. The tentative title of this one is JEZEBEL JOHNSTON—SEA WITCH. It was Air Chief Ron Fortier's idea to subtitle each of the Jezebel Johnston novels with whatever ship she is sailing on during the course of the novel. While it's been challenging because of the amount of research I've had to do for a historically accurate nautical tale set in a defined time and place, I've had a lot of fun with the series and I've learned a ton of things I never would have known.

For Pro Se, I just finished and turned in my next installment of what I'm now calling The Greenwood Cycle, which is the series of novels that began with FORTUNE'S PAWN back in 2011. THE DARK GLASS continues the story of everybody's favorite red haired barmaid Callie and her new baby as well as the rest of the world around them. As the child grows up, there are new dangers to face, and plenty of intrigue. The idea here is to shift the emphasis of the tales to the next generation, and so as the series goes on, you will be meeting all the junior contemporaries. You'll find familiar faces in this one as well. Hoping to see it come out sometime next year too, but I already have several books awaiting a publishing slot at Pro Se, and I'm far from their only author.


I am working on a horror short story for another publisher, but I am not going to say any more about that except that the first draft is done. I'll let them break the news first.

Have a bare start on what looks to be a Western Romance with plenty of action and adventure thrown in. It's an idea based on a song I like, in a genre I've barely scratched the surface of and want to revisit. Hope to get a little farther on that later in the year. Not sure yet where this one is going, but I'm hoping to wring a novel out of it.

Coming up late this year or possibly early next year, I plan to write a second anthology for the TALES OF THE VAGABOND BARDS series. I have a couple ideas for stories I'd like to include, and it's just a matter of clearing out the things I'm already working on before I get to this. I always have some project going.

Lee Houston Jr. and I have a couple projects we want to collaborate on. I can't say much about them right now, because we're still in the 'talking about it' stage. One is an idea we've had for a while that will expand his writing into a new direction, the other is just a thing we'd both like to do and decided to work together on. Lee is working hard to clear up some of his own writing obligations right now, so the earliest I expect to get down to work on one of these mystery projects is sometime next year.




Of course I never know what else is brewing in the back of my mind until something bubbles up to the surface, or someone else offers me an opportunity to write outside the box. 

Until next time,
~NANCY




Friday, March 25, 2016

Getting back in touch with you all...

Wow, 2016 is going by just as the last few years have. Part of that of course is how busy I am. Since I'm only babysitting the two little grandkids on an as-needed basis this year, my focus has gone back to catching up on writing. And that I have been doing with a vengeance!



First of all, I've had my first novel release of the year. FORGED BY FLAME, the first Sudarnian Chronicles book, came out around the beginning of the month. This book is published by Pro Se Press under my HANSEN'S WAY imprint. So happy to see this one out at last! 



This is a book that started being written when my sons were very young, and they are now both in their 30s. There's something to be said for perseverance, as well as hanging onto a dream. It's a grand adventure that opens a series that is accessible to advanced readers 12 and up, and totally appropriate for adults as well. And it has dragons! Everybody loves big, nasty-tempered, fire-breathing dragons. These dragons are no Smaug; willing to exchange banter in a battle of wits with you. These dragons are intelligent predators like wolves, except that some of them fly and all of them want to flambĂ© you and have you for dinner right now, with no prior warning or exchange of unpleasantries. Interestingly enough, it's the actions of 4 young people that make a world of difference in just how successful this new pestilence of the realm of Sudarnia becomes. Yeah, I'm quite proud of how this story turned out.


FORGED BY FLAME is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.



Now what else do I have going on?

Glad you asked! So far this year I have sent out two anthologies, both of them going to Pro Se Press. Both have been previously mentioned, but because they are now in the publisher's hands, I'm going to bring them up again.


LAZLO AT HOME is completed and has been turned in to Pro Se for their YOUNG PULP imprint. It's a novella-sized collection of 4 Lazlo Dragon stories, and boy can that little blue guy get himself involved in some interesting misadventures! You can read a bit more about it on this blog's sister site, COMPANION DRAGONS TALES


I also recently turned in THE SONG OF HEROES anthology. That is a story line I started for the old Pro Se magazines, and in fact two of them ran in different issues a couple years apart. There are four stories all told; the third one never saw print and the fourth is brand new, written this year. 


Hoping to see that TSOH and the aforementioned Lazlo antho next year (2017), but only time will tell. Once I send them off to the publisher, the matter is out of my hands.



Now before I go on about what I am currently working on, I'd like to mention an editing project near and dear to my heart. One of the nicest things about writing these days is being able to network with other writers and keep up with what they are doing. So when dear old online pal and writing/editing buddy Lee Houston Jr. came to me with his second ALPHA superhero tale wanting input and advice, I was more than happy to help out. Hey, I get to read it before anyone else does! And I'll tell you folks this book is a great read. I had the privilege of being able to do the first big content edit on it, and I devoured the story, it's just that good—and me not a big superhero or comics fan. There's so much heart and soul in this tale you can't help cheering for the caped man in sky blue and white as he struggles to find his place in a world that is not his own. Lee is finishing up his final pass before he turns it in to Pro Se, so keep an eye on his blog or his Facebook and G+ accounts for news. You don't want to miss out on this one. 



And if you haven't as yet read the first book in the series PROJECT: ALPHA, make sure you nab a copy of that too. That's also a great read.


So what's on my hard drive right now you ask?



Well I've been toggling back and forth between two novels: the next Greenwood Cycle fantasy novel for HANSEN'S WAY (the series that started with FORTUNE'S PAWN) as well as my third pirate book for AIRSHIP 27. I'm still toying with title ideas for the fantasy, though in very rough draft format it is about 4/5 complete. I'll know by the second pass what to call it. The pirate tale is just past the halfway point and is tentatively titled JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: SEA WITCH


I've been switching back and forth between both novels lately as the spirit moves me.



In the wings I have a bare-bones start on a western adventure romance. I kinda got the western bug when I wrote that Senorita Scorpion short story a couple years ago, and I've been itching to do another. The lyrics to a favorite song kind of inspired me to get some words down on a page. This one looks like it might want to be a novel too. We'll see how that turns out. It's something I pick away at now and then. 


Because the learning curve in writing westerns is about as steep as in nautical adventures under canvas, it's not a project to be taken lightly. I want to do a good job on not only making it a good western adventure, but also a great story with likable and unforgettable characters. A little romance never hurt anyone none either, ya know.


Things I can kind of talk about...


I have been asked to write a short story for an anthology project that I can't elaborate on except to say it is horror and I was graciously invited in. I've submitted three possible ideas for that one, so that the people behind it can cross-check with other authors involved and make sure we're not all writing the same scenario. I'm waiting to hear on that now, but I am keeping so busy with what I already have  on my plate, I'm not the least bit impatient. You want these multi-author things to come together well, and that takes a lot of planning on the part of the folks hosting it.


Which reminds me, we are all still awaiting the arrival of the Steampunk Superhero altiverse anthology SINGULARITY. The fellow behind it, Mr. Jaime Ramos, has set up a readers page on FACEBOOK that you can join and access HERE (you'll need to sign in to FB first). I hope you do go look it over, Jaime has put a ton of work into both getting this anthology together, and promoting it. 


I will update you here on the blog whenever we get news about this interesting world of transhumans, mutated gifted folks, evil monarchs, and nasty poisonous gas that fills the air. If that is enough incentive, I don't know what will be, other than comics writing legend Mr. David Michelinie as well as a passel of other talented folks are involved in this project along with Your's Truly.



And yes, I am still writing the monthly column for my town newsletter. This June it will begin my 4th year of doing that without ever missing a deadline. That is what separates the hobbyists from the passionate pro—that urge to sit down at the desk each day and pound something out on the keyboard.



Other than making sure I update folks on what I am doing on my Facebook and Google+ walls almost daily, that's about the extent of my writing. Of course I still read just about every night on my Kindle, in bed before I go to sleep. A good writer is always a voracious reader, and there's something to be learned from every book. Life around me is a great inspiration in itself, and I hope I never get tired of this. I love what I do, and look forward to it each and every day. I hope you all enjoy reading it at least half as much as I did writing it.



Writing onward,
~Nancy

Monday, February 29, 2016

Writing stuff I should be talking about!

You know, one of the toughest things about being an author is doing the balancing act between establishing writing time, giving enough attention to your regular daily life demands, and getting in some self-promotion. I always tend to come out on the low side of the latter category because I get so wrapped up in creating new stories, the real world comes knocking and it's time to leave the fantasy behind. So I figured since I have a weekend where no one plans on stopping over, I owe it to myself and those of you who loyally follow my late life career choice to set down what's going on in my writing life these days.




First off all, January and February tend to be award months in the small but feisty publishing world that is known as New Pulp. Most of what I write these days gets published under that heading, though for the sake of clarity I often refer to my offerings as action adventure fiction in several genres. So I'm happy to announce that for the 2015 awards, Your's Truly has been nominated for both PULP ARK and PULP FACTORY awards as well. First time I've believe that has happened, and it's pretty much over the same book. In the PULP ARK awards, my first novel in the pirate series, JEZEBEL JOHNSTON—DEVIL'S HANDMAID, is up for Best Novel, and I am on the list for Best Author. In the PULP FACTORY awards, JEZEBEL JOHNSTON—DEVIL'S HANDMAID is also nominated for Best Novel. This is a real honor folks, and the competition are all very talented peers with amazing offerings of their own. Just to make the final ballot is an award in itself. It tells me some readers really enjoyed the book that took 9 months to be birthed. That's what I do this for.




Just in case you're wondering, the second pirate novel, JEZEBEL JOHNSTON—QUEEN OF ANARCHY has been in the hands of publisher Airship 27 since last November. I am hard at work at the third JEZEBEL JOHNSTON novel as I write this; just before the halfway done point. No official title on that one yet.




I'm also currently working on a new Greenwood Cycle novel, which picks up where MASTER'S ENDGAME left off. The story now gradually shifts in emphasis from red-headed Callie and her era of people and beings, to the next generation—including that all important babe that was born at the end of ME. This one had a ton of previously written material so I would say at this point it's about 2/3 complete. That is slated for next year publication as well under the HANSEN'S WAY imprint.





I just finished going over the final galley to FORGED BY FLAME, the first installment in the SUDARNIAN CHRONICLES series for my PRO SE HANSEN'S WAY imprint. I have seen a preliminary sketch on cover artwork as well. I have to tell you, that after not reading this book for months, I was blown away at how good it turned out. I started the seminal story back when my two sons were very young, and the baby of the clan just turned 30 on Thursday last. When they asked me way back when, "What are you writing Mommy?" and I told them it was a book with a dragon in it, my two little video gamer nerds begged me to write them in as heroes. So... I did. 





When you meet the orphan brothers Ethan and Nicholas, you'll be reading my now grown up sons' avatars. Don't ever let anybody tell you that you can't hold onto a long time promise and see it through. You'll also bump into a very well-known wizard of mine in this novel, and there will be some off-camera references to other characters from the imprint books—which all take place in the same overarching world backdrop. Hope to be making the announcement about this one being out soon.




I have an inkling we'll be seeing the next COMPANION DRAGONS TALES novella, COPPER'S CHOICE sometime in the first half of this year as well. Like the first two releases (A FAMILIAR NAME & FINDING WAXY), that will be under the PRO SE imprint YOUNG PULP. I recently completed and turned in another CDT offering for 2017, an anthology of Lazlo Dragon stories titled LAZLO AT HOME. Two of the stories in that one were previously written and never released: Lazlo At Home & Ambassador Lazlo. One came as the prose version of a cartoon script I wrote for Lazlo: Finder's Keepers. The other is a brand new tale written this year: Thunder Boomers and Gully Washers. All are a lot of fun, and they have the base setting of the witch Nancy Bittergreen's magical home environs, with all the cats, fairies, elves, gnomes, and madcap adventures a little blue dragon with big feet and a somewhat muddled view of the world can get into. These are fun stories for all ages.



Back in November I turned in an anthology for my HANSEN'S WAY Pro Se imprint, for a brand new 
series called BY THE WAYSIDE TALES. That novel-length anthology contains three short pieces: The Reluctantly Betrothed, The No-Count Count, and The Winsome Maid Of Trypton Lane. If you read the last story in the anthology TALES OF THE VAGABOND BARDS (The Cavalier In The Cathouse), you meet the duo Alexandre Louis Edouard Lebeau and the lovely half-Elven con artist Danika, AKA The Phantom Rose. They're back as fugitives now, along with their faithful mounts Camille and Ghost, and that lovable but very large canine, Tagalong. Three good stories in this one and lots of rapier wit and adventure. I've heard it's going into editing now, so that's good news. I have no idea if it will be out this year, or in 2017. 



One of my other projects this year was to get my SONG OF HEROES series back in print. Two of the stories, Lori's Lament (which opened the series) and Dark Eyes Of Night have appeared in two different versions of Pro Se magazines, two years apart in 2010 and 2012. While those are still in print, a third tale, Turtle Key, never made it into those magazine pages. I spoke with Pro Se headman Tommy Hancock about putting them together as an anthology and he agreed. Along with those three original pieces, I wrote a fourth story, Goodbye Noreen McPherson. In case you've never read any of my SONG OF HEROES tales, this is a contemporary setting with a supernatural force of scum busters taking on anything from waterfront serial killers to vampires, poachers, and murderous drug smugglers. Every setting is different but the tie-in is access to the ocean waters, for the team leader is a lovely immortal with ties to the sea, and the world's most captivating voice. Challenging writing for me at times.



VERY EXCITING NEWS!!!!  






Airship 27 and Radio Archives have gotten together to release SINBAD—THE NEW VOYAGES Volume 1 as an audiobook! Imagine 7 hours of dramatic storytelling by the uber talented gentlemen Mr. Derrick Ferguson and Mr. I. A Watson as well as one penned by Your's Truly. I'll tell you, it sounds amazing folks. This would keep you alert and entertained on a long car trip, a flight with layover, or any time you just want to check out of the world and slip into another one where there's adventure and excitement on the high seas. I can't begin to describe to you the feeling of hearing your own words come to life under the skillful rendition of a talented voice artist. You really need to check that out.




Also, I have heard recently that the long awaited Superhero Steampunk anthology SINGULARITY: RISE OF THE POSTHUMANS is close to coming onto the launching pad. This is wonderful news because series creator and all around good guy Mr. Jaime Ramos has worked tirelessly to make this book live. Jaime now has a special Facebook Page for readers to join, and there you can get updates and meet some of the creators, as well as learn about what went into putting this extremely special multi-author anthology together. I hope you do take the time to check it out, we're all very excited about this creation of ours. 







Everything I write can be found on my Amazon.com author page HERE. My books are also on Barnes & Noble and my Pro Se books and stories are in other E-formats on Smashwords. So keep your eye right here on my blog—or you can either friend me on Facebook or put me in your circles on G+. Any way you want to keep in touch, I will do my best to update you when new material is released.






Be well my friends and readers all, and always be assured, I am still very hard at work turning out the best fiction I know how to write.

~NANCY





Monday, December 28, 2015

A BENEFIT BOOK LIKE NO OTHER!



Doesn't this Doug Klauba cover just blow you away?

Find it HERE

Now look at that list of contributors. Yeah, I'm in there.



Now let me tell you a tale about this big & important book...


Now and then, someone does something special for you, by offering a hand up the ladder. That happened to me some years back when Tommy Hancock of (then) fledgling Pro Se Press accepted both of my short story samples for his company's inaugural magazines. I was an unknown and unpublished author at the time, and so he went solely on gut instinct and the strength of what I had sent him. He must have seen something in there, because not only did those two stories finally get published but he began needling me about coming up with a novel. Oh I had one, but it was far too long, so I split it up in thirds, sent him a proposal, and we were off to the races. I currently have 6 Pro Se novels or novel-length anthologies in print or on various devices, two books I authored or co-authored in a children's series as well, and numerous short stories in various multi-author anthologies or Pro Se magazines. Believe me, there's more on the way as I write this. Through the intervening years I also did some editing for Pro Se. I proved prolific enough as an author that I was awarded my own author imprint—something I would never have dreamed of happening. 

Along the way, I've been picked up by several other publishers and I've made some dedicated fans who purposely seek me out for my work. Not bad for 5-1/2 years of consistent writing. Yay me... 


I am eternally grateful for that opportunity to do what I love and see it become a reality, and I never forget that first time I saw my name on a cover. The hard work and dedication was my own, but there had to be someone who thought I had something worth sharing on his dime to give me that boost. Tommy Hancock did that for me.


I'm sure there are a lot of similar Tommy Hancock stories, because Tommy is just one of those people who thrives on making things happen. Which is why when things began to get tough for him, there was a great outpouring of support. Hey—he's one of our own, and usually one of the first out of the trenches to take on the latest challenge.


The bigger story here is how wonderfully supportive the indie publishing companies that deal with New Pulp and action/adventure style genre fiction have become. While we are all competitors in a small but gradually growing community of fans, there is always a sense of camaraderie among us. This is about the tightest group of creators I have encountered in the 26 or so years I've been banging out stories. You could argue that the internet with it's social networking sites is the reason for it, and that's partially true—it has at least become the medium for bringing like-minded people together in the first place. But more than that is going on here, because I've belonged to other writer's groups online and I never felt this welling of true affection. We are a band of brothers and sisters of the swashbuckling pen. If one of us hurts, we all bleed.


This book I'm going to tell you about is a perfect example of that.

Now and then, we're all handed a chance to give back. That came this year, when our Tommy ran into some serious health challenges that led to financial difficulties. These were big things that are life changing and result in high medical expenses and no outside employment. This is something we all know could happen to any one of us, and it's probably our greatest fear. As much as we love writing and putting out great volumes of fiction, that's the first thing that gets set aside when financial difficulties strike. It's a wonderful craft, but down here at the indie level, not always very lucrative. For most of us, the day job or whatever other means of support we have are financing the writing career, which is a labor of love no matter what the circumstances.


Now Tommy Hancock is one of the big movers and shakers of the group, and he's a well-loved guy. Within mere days of notifying us, a benefit anthology was proposed and most of us who know and have worked with him gladly signed on, while Ron Fortier of Airship 27—a competing publisher no less—agreed to publish it with all proceeds going to Tommy for his medical bills. If that doesn't say something about friendship and respect for one's own peers, I don't know what does. 


The amazing thing here too is the incredible response, with an overwhelming amount of creators of both the written word and art devoting some of their time and talent to the project. Every story within has an associated piece of black and white illustration, which is an Airship 27 signature feature. Short story or artwork—all show the same generous donation of skills that could have been working on something more personally lucrative. Nobody even gave it a second thought. It was for Tommy after all...


In a long run, this was for us too. "Us" in the community sense, where we do what we can to support one another because therefore but for fortune go you or I. "Us" as in we are an army of people throwing high action and thrilling adventure stories at the world, and Tommy has been one of our generals for as long as many of us have been in the battle to have our stories read and enjoyed.

Now that you've seen the wonderful cover art and read my version of how it came to be, please read the press releases below. Then consider picking up a copy because this is an amazing book as well as a great example of a community helping one of its own. My understanding is it has been released on Kindle, and will eventually be also be offered as a 40 hour length audiobook. So there will be a little something here for every taste!

http://airship27.blogspot.com/2015/12/legends-of-new-pulp-fiction.html

Make sure you look for it HERE on Amazon as well. And if you really enjoy it, please leave a review, so that other folks can find it and enjoy it too. Tell them Tommy Hancock sent you to the front.