Time To Start Getting That @RAGBRAI_IOWA Feeling #RAGBRAI

Ragbrai is my favorite thing to do by myself. It’s hard. It’s terrible. It’s wonderful. It’s insane.

I don’t change my biking look much from year to year.

See that smile? Look at that smile. That’s not my “Oh, I’m having my picture taken” smile. That’s my “This is the worst best thing ever!” smile.

This Saturday, January 27, while I’m in the Book Garden at the Tacoma Home & Garden Show, the fine folks running Ragbrai will announce the route. I’m excited!

…Except I can’t go this year.

*huge, dramatic sigh*

In addition to the struggle of job vs bike training, my mom needs me. Longtime readers know that my father passed away in November of 2016, a little over a year ago. He died one week shy of my parents’ 50th anniversary. My mom is now alone and has been struggling with that. So we’re going to take a trip together, and it’s going to be…a thing. It’ll be a thing.

Pop quiz! What’s the one time I can go on vacation?

If you guessed the last two weeks of July? DING, DING, DING, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re a winner!

And so, I’m not going in 2018. Odds are low I’ll return in 2019 or 2020, either, because the demands of my job keep getting bigger, not smaller. Being over 40 with knee (and wrist, and neck, and back) problems I’d prefer to keep minor, I may never return for another week in the corn.

But those five I had, man they were the worst best.

January Round-Up #amwriting #superheroes #cyberpunk

And look! There’s the branding for the superhero stories.

As promised, the January story is no longer available for free. If you missed it, Frigid Shame, a story from the Maze Beset universe, is now available on Amazon and Kobo for 99 cents.

Alice, a former medical school student turned ice-generating superhero, has some issues, and she needs to sort them out. Winter, it turns out, is her new favorite season, whether she likes it or not.

Next month’s story will take us to the Asian-inspired culture of Ilauris in a story titled The Price of Tea. If you’d like to make sure you find that story while it’s free, be sure to sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll get an email shortly after the story is posted every month. Link in the menu bar above.

In other news, the books of the Maze Beset trilogy have received a facelift. Again. Lots of folks complained because they liked the old blue cover for Dragons In Pieces. I heard you. That cover didn’t work because too many folks thought it said “epic fantasy,” but I’ve gone back to a simpler blue scheme, followed up with a simpler red scheme and a simpler green scheme.  Click through on the cover to find them all on Amazon.

If you purchased a copy of the yellow cover for the first book, I still have a few copies of the second and third, and will continue to bring them to shows until I run out for folks who want a matching set. I don’t have any more copies of the original red and white covers for book 2 & 3, though. There was an incident with an overwatered plant next to a cardboard box on my desk…and that was that for my small back stock of the old covers.

But wait! There’s more! The next Darkside Seattle novella is available for pre-order on both Amazon and Kobo.

Isabella lives in DeeSeat. She breathes it. People respect her family for doing the right thing and standing up when others would lay down and die. Even when it gets them killed.

Gangs rule DeeSeat, or so they want to believe. Isabella just wants to survive, and she’s tired of having to fight so hard for that.

Mechanic is the third novella, but you don’t have to read them in order. Street Doc, Fixer, and Mechanic each stand on their own. Next on my DeeSeat plate is Hacker, a story about a man with a VR problem.

And finally, if you like my stuff and want to help me out even more than just buying my books, Clockwork Dragon–the authors co-op I helped found and am part of–has launched a Patreon. We have no idea what we’re doing, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out. For just $5 a month, you’ll automatically get an ebook of every novel-length release from four different authors, myself included, at least two weeks in advance of the release. For 2018, we expect that to net you at least 7 books. Before publication.

Cheers!

Happy New Year 2018

Spirit Knights 5: Boys Can’t Be Witches is officially out of revisions. Probably. I have one more day to waffle over it before sending it for copyediting. There might be a few more minor tweaks. We’ll see. Cover reveal coming soon!

This marks the second time I’ve ended a series, the first being the Maze Beset trilogy. This time is different because it’s a 5 book series, and I didn’t go into it intending to write a series. I feel…unsettled, I suppose. Like I’m putting something behind me, which is something I have no trouble doing, but at the same time, it’s hard to walk away from a collection of characters who so obviously have cool things yet to do.

Currently, I have loose plans for three more books in the same world, but none of them featuring Claire as anything more than a background character. Hopefully, she won’t elbow her way into a starring or co-starring role for these. My feeling at the moment is Claire is done being a YA character. When I come back to her in the future, she’ll be an experienced adult, and the world will be a crazy place. A crazier place.

In other news, the exciting thing today is Clockwork Dragon’s new Patreon. In case you’re not already aware, Clockwork Dragon is an author’s co-op (or coop, which also seems appropriate to me) I helped found. Four of us penmonkeys throw all our books on a table at a bunch of shows and sell them together. It’s so much easier than all four of us going it alone. Our Patreon will help us work these shows without feeling so much of a crunch to push, push, push, push the books. The lower our effective costs for any given show, the more fun we can have, the more bills we can pay, and the more time we can spend writing, which is a win for everyone, because then you get more books.

If you’re not familiar with my fellow co-op authors, I present to you Jeffrey Cook, Nikki McCormack, and Sechin Tower, who are all amazing writers. I enjoy hawking their books at least as much, if not more, than my own.

2017 Wrap-up

Wow. What a year, eh? It felt like ten smashed together for me, flickering by in a haze of delirium and madness. Last year at this time, I felt like I hadn’t done much, then I wrote out all my releases and realized I’d been really busy. This year…not so much. Like many other creatives, my output suffered in 2017.

Here’s what I released, in order:

SK4: Ghost Is the New Normal
TGS5: A Curse of Memories
Darkside Seattle: Fixer
Blood of Witches

I edited Bridges for NIWA, and had a story appear in What We’ve Unlearned: English Class Goes Punk.

And that’s it.

Paltry compared to other years.

I have lots of reasons for that, but most of them boil down to the need for more downtime than I’ve had in previous years. The dumpster fire that is 2017 can die now.

On the bright side, I have a lot queuing for 2018. Right now, I’m most excited for Spirit Knights 5, which is on track for its scheduled release date of March 27. Stay tuned for a cover release.

The other exciting project is a Patreon for Clockwork Dragon, with the link coming next week!

Folks can also expect another volume in The Greatest Sin, at least one more Darkside Seattle, more stories in the Spirit Knights world, and at least three anthology appearances.

Right now, I’m going to mash some chocolate into my face and hope my body transforms it into brilliant plots with amazing characters and a satisfactory quantity of delightful setting description.

Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays

As promised, the story posted for free last Tuesday is gone from my website, replaced by links to purchase it. This will happen every month until my brain falls out and I can’t handle it anymore. Here’s the cover and links!

Available on Amazon and Kobo.

The top bar and name at the bottom of the cover will be the same for all short stories set in the same world as the Spirit Knights series. Next month, you get to see the branding for the supers stories! Yay!

Do you want to read these stories for free? I’ll post them for a week for free on this very website. You can follow the blog, which will get you whatever notification you select, or you can sign up for my newsletter (link in the menu bar above!) and get a handy email to let you know when the story goes live. If you do sign up for the newsletter, you’ll also find out about new releases and promotions before I post them here, there, and everywhere.

 

December 2017 Story

This story is no longer available on my site. Did you miss it while it was free? Sign up for my newsletter using the handy link in the menu bar and I’ll let you know when the next one goes live.
The empire of Rome has a gorgon problem.

Trapped in a loveless marriage to a heroic gorgon slayer, Iulia wants revenge for her husband’s thoughtless act of cruelty. She will do anything to see her husband laid low, even sacrifice herself on the altar of her own goddess. Trivia, the Queen of Ghosts, Mistress of Crossroads, and Blood of Witches is her only hope for justice.

Knight & Witch is a collection of short stories set in the world of SPIRIT KNIGHTS, a young adult urban fantasy series.

Available on Amazon and Kobo for 99 cents.