Sunday, March 23, 2014

WAKE UP ON MONSTER EARTH!

Hey, gang!  Just wanted to let you know that Betrayal Of Monster Earth is finally here from Mechanoid Press in Kindle format on Amazon.com!

This is the second collection of a series where the major super-powers have invested their defense money into the discovery and training of cryptids.  Beginning with World War Two, battles are fought not with nuclear weapons, but with monsters.  This new volume covers the 80‘s and 90‘s, as the recovery of genetic material from a lost dinosaur in the Congo allows countries to tailor make future monsters...but the material also falls into the hands of a secret cabal conspiring to pave the way for something from beyond Earth itself!

My story for this volume, ‘Giants of Industry’ tells of a multinational corporation trying to manipulate world events for their own ends using their own monster...but the leader of this project soon finds out that the agenda of his bosses is much more difficult to carry out than he thought!

And if you haven’t done so, be sure to pick up Monster Earth, the first volume in the series, which chronicles the history of Monster Earth from the 40‘s to the 60‘s.

I’ve got my hand in another secret project from Mechanoid Press which I’m sure fans of The Shadow Legion will love...but more on that when it becomes available!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

An Abundance of Dreamcatcher!

So as we’re between the release of New Roads To Hell and the next Shadow Legion book, The Shadow Legion Casebook: The Shape Of Fears To Come, and something unusual has come to light.

Namely, that people want to read more about Maybelle Tremens, the Dreamcatcher.

I honestly did not expect Maybelle to be a breakout star.  New Roads was primarily Nightbreaker and Ferryman’s story.  I did manage to put in some time to sketch out Black Talon’s background, but Maybelle?  Outside of a conversation, not a lot was paid to Dreamcatcher or the Tremens family.  Add into the fact that ‘A Prayer For The Toy God,' the Dreamcatcher story for the Casebook took the longest to write (there’s literally four story fragments representing four false starts, including a baseball-themed tale I’m tempted to revisit), and you’d think our magic wielding maven would be the character least likely to generate interest.

But first Joshua Reynolds, the creator of Charles St. Cyprian and Ebe Gallowglass and author of their first full length adventure The Whitechapel Demon, requested that I provided a story for the anthology of occult detectives, A Grimoire Of Eldritch Inquests.  This resulted in my coming up with a little mystery tale involving greed, murder and the undead that, for some frustrating reason, is untitled.  Once a title becomes apparent, I promise I will reveal it.

At the same time, the great Mark Bousquet and I decided to produce Strange And Cozy.  This is an anthology of cozy mysteries (think of Agatha Christie) written in different pulp styles.  The original idea was for me to contribute a Don Cuevo story, but it became apparent that a Dreamcatcher story would be a better fit.  This resulted in me beginning ‘A Bullet For The Bride,’ where Maybelle and her paramore, Colin ‘Black Talon’ Palmersdale travel to the glamorous city of San Cristobal for a wedding....and end up having to solve a locked room mystery!  I’m working on that right now, and it should be available in the fall.

(And if you’re a writer who wants to contribute to our anthology, you can find more information here.)

So those of you who liked New Roads To Hell and can’t wait to read more Shadow Legion should feel secure--there’ll be more Dreamcatcher stories than you can shake a magic wand at soon enough!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

El Cuevo Rides Again In HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD VOLUME THREE!

This week, the esteemed Russ Anderson of Pulpworks Press announced the Table of Contents for the third entry in the How The West Was Weird series.  Check out this line-up!

Sorrowful Are the Souls That Sleep With Gold by Derrick Ferguson
A Night In Deadwood by Ian Taylor
The Steam Devil by Joel Jenkins
Ellie Froggett and the Charnel Pit by Dale Glaser
Sit By the Fire by Thomas Deja
Trail's End by Stacy Dooks
The Bone Picker by Kevin Ross
Pater Syn by Matthew Sylvester
The City of Hanged Men by Desmond Reddick
Death Comes For the Anglerfish by James Pratt
The Pulse by Kevin Thornton

In case you’re wondering, ‘Sit By The Fire’ features the return of frontier exorcist El Cuevo and his beautiful assistant Dolores set in the snowy Rocky Mountains.

If you haven’t read the first El Cuevo story, you can pick up the first How The West Was Weird on your Kindle here.

There’s more exciting news coming, including new stories featuring other members of the Chimera Falls Universe, but that’ll be showing up soon.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Do You Wanna Talk To Me Live And Other Updates

Hey, again, my fellow travelers, and Happy New Year!  Sorry for the radio silence.  Here's what's going down....

First off, just a reminder if you haven’t picked it up yet, but New Roads To Hell is still available through Amazon  and direct from Airship27.com.  I hope those of you who bought it enjoyed the first adventure of The Shadow Legion, and rest assured there’s lots more where that came from.

...like The Shadow Legion Casebook: The Shape of Fears To Come!  The book has been finished pending a polish of the last story, ‘A Prayer For The Toy God.’  This is a collection of four short stories, each one highlighting a different hero from the novel.  When you buy this amazing book, you’ll witness The Ferryman fighting a bizarre figure over the fate of a young girl; The Nightbreaker learning about the legacy of super-heroes in Nocturne as an old enemy comes looking for his mentor; The Black Talon facing a cult devoted to destroying the protectors of The City That Lives By Night; and The Dreamcatcher trying to unravel a mystery involving a young boy...and encountering the macabre protector of the city’s children.  If you’re looking for a preview, be sure to pick up Mystery Men and Women V. 4, which features stories by my good friend Derrick Ferguson and Joel Jenkins, and the first appearance of ‘A Waltz In Scarlet,’ the Ferryman story that will appear in The Casebook.

Before that comes out, we should see the appearance of Monster Earth 2 from Mechanoid Press, the anthology about an alternative Earth were the super powers wield giant monsters instead of nuclear weapons.  This book takes place in the 80‘s and 90‘s, and my contribution, “Giants of Industry,” witnesses an attempt to utilize a genetically created monster fabricated by a corporation to manipulate the affairs of a foreign country.  I had the most fun doing research for this story, and I hope you have a much fun reading it.

Also coming up is ‘Sit By The Fire,’ the new El Cuevo story that will appear in the third and final volume of How The West Was Weird from Pulpworks Press.  My hope is to write some more stories featuring my frontier exorcist and his beautiful assistant, with an eye towards producing a new collection in 2015.  If you like westerns with a touch of the strange, be sure to pick up the first two volumes of Russ Anderson’s excellent series, which features stories about El Cuevo and the steampunk scientist Doc Thunder.

And speaking of collections, I have started editing Amazing Alternity Stories, a collection featuring stories about historical personages in unusual roles.  This has been on my desk for literally years, and I am glad that it will finally see print from Pulpworks Press.

I bet some of you might have questions about The Shadow Legion, El Cuevo and the other denizens of The Chimera Falls Universe--and this Wednesday, February 12th, you’ll get the chance!  I’ll be appearing on my friend Viktor Aurelius’ podcast Whispers In The Dark, and I’ll be taking live calls from fans and readers.  The show will be live at 9pm, and if you want to call in, do so at (347) 884-9923.  I can’t wait to talk to some of you readers and find out what you think of my babies.

There’s other stuff in the pipeline, including new characters and adventures, but there’ll be more on that as soon as I know.  So keep watching this space, and be ready for more from The Chimera Falls Universe!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Meet Playmate

Happy New Year, Nocturners!

As you all know, I’ve been hard at work trying to close out The Shadow Legion Casebook V. 1.  Three of the stories are in house at Airship 27, ready to go--and hopefully you’ll see the Ferryman adventure, ‘A Waltz In Scarlet,’ in the upcoming Mystery Men and Women V. 4--and I’m hard at work on the final tale.  I’ve got roughly 8500 words to go before the book is closed out, and I’m really hoping that you’ll have it in your hands by the end of this year.

One of the cool things you’ll be seeing in this collection are some new characters that will add more depth to the city of Nocturne.  Now most of them are villains....but one of them is kinda, sorta a hero.  This was one of the characters I had included in my original pitch document I sent to Ron Fortier all those years ago.  There was no place for it in New Roads To Hell, but I’ve found a place for it in the new book....and now I’d like to give you a small preview of what’s in store for you, from the unvarnished initial draft of ‘A Prayer For The Toy God.’  Enjoy!

Standing over them, however, was the true answer.  It--if it had a sex, Maybelle could not see any indication--stood over what remained of the men who she assumed had arranged the kidnapping.  It was bent over like an animal, but the disturbing thing was how its limbs seemed...fluid.  There were no angles in its stance, just curves, as if there were no bones underneath.  It was dressed in a badly stained children’s costume, a mockery of her lover’s secret identity with the name ‘Black Talon’ written across its chest in a tiger-striped pattern.  The costume was too small, and it was ripped at the seams and frayed at the cuffs.  A thin cardboard mask hung from its too-thin neck, this depicting the Talon channeling Brother Lion, ripped at the eyes and mouth.

It had the head of one of the unfortunate criminals in one long-fingered hand.  The digits unfurled, allowing the corpse’s skull to fall to the concrete floor with a wet thud.  Its head raised up on a stalk-like neck and swiveled around, revealing a mockery of a face, contours fashioned by mismatched swatches and uneven stitches, eyes that could have been black buttons if not for the strange, dim glow within them.  A crooked mouth brightly colored like a crayon gash moved in what could be construed as speech.  

This, Maybelle knew instinctively, was Playmate.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Periodic Update Post

Hey, again, my fellow travelers!  Sorry for the radio silence.  Here's what's going down....

First off, I want to thank everyone who picked up New Roads To Hell.  The first adventure of The Shadow Legion spent the entire month on Barry Reese’s New Pulp Best Seller list, and contributed to one of the best months in the history of Airship 27!  If you’ve already read the novel, why don’t you take the time to leave a brief review on Amazon to help other people find the book.  Hell--over the next two weeks, I’ll randomly choose a reader who places a review on the Amazon page and gift them with a sampler that contains excerpts from three of the four novellas that will make up The Shadow Legion Casebook!  Just be sure to leave a link to your review in the comments below.

As for The Shadow Legion Casebook itself....a few weeks ago, my present laptop had a bit of a coma (the Best Buy Geek Squad member who helped me called it ‘the Blue Screen of Death’), and had to have its entire hard drive replaced.  This resulted in my losing a slew of data, including 6000 words of ‘The Ascension Of Indio Blaque,’ the Black Talon novella.  I’m presently doing a rewrite of the 9000 words I still have in anticipation of trying to recreate the rest of the story.  Finishing up this book so that it can be released sometime late in 2014 is one of my primary goals.

Remember--members of The Shadow Legion will be appearing in Mystery Men and Women 4 and 5, so if you’re still hungering for more Ferryman, Dreamcatcher and Nightbreaker, be sure to pick those books up.

Then it’ll be time to gear up for writing the next full length Shadow Legion adventure, Machina Ex Deus.  What’s it about?  Maybe knowing a little something about Greek Theater may give you a hint!

I’m presently at the end of my publicity podcast tour.  If you’re not tired of hearing me talk about the novel, you can hear me on The Gentleman’s Guide To Midnite Cinema, Earth Station One  and Dread Media!

There are, of course, other things I’ve been hard at work on.  My new Don Cuevo story, ‘Sit By The Fire,’ will be featured in the third volume of How The West Was Weird, available in 2014.  I also just submitted the first draft of ‘Giants of Industry,’ my contribution to Monster Earth 2, forthcoming from Mechanoids Press.  And I’m going to begin doing research for a novella that will witness my return to writing a blonde daredevil doll I had so much fun writing before!  And that’s just the most immediate stuff.

I hope you’ll keep following the Travel Agency to learn when these and other projects come out.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Secrets Of The Shadow Legion: Their Police Ally's Inspiration Retires!

By now, I'm sure a lot of you have read some, if not all, of New Roads To Hell. 

And I'm sure some of that lot have encountered, at least partially, Detective Munchen, who becomes a friend to The Nightbreaker and an ally to The Shadow Legion in their battle against Rose Red.

And I'm sure some of that smaller sub-group might have a suspicion that our urbane detective is based on another, more famous urbane detective who holds the record for appearing in more television shows than any other television character.

You'd be right.

Today, on the day of Detective John Munch's retirement from his present home as a supporting character on Law And Order: SVU, I can reveal that Detective Munchen was based on Richard Belzer.  I've been a fan of Belzer reaching back to his comedian days, and followed his career as a character actor.  Back when I was writing fanfiction, I needed a detective character based in Baltimore for GREEN LANTERN: YEAR ONE.  Since Belzer was playing John Munch in Homicide: Life On The Streets, I choose to create Munchen as a not-very-subtle tribute to the Belz.  And when I wrote FURY OF FIRESTORM for DC Legends and needed a detective character, it made sense to have Muchen transfer to New York as Munch transfered to L&O:SVU.

Of course, sending my own version of Belz back in time and relocating him to the New Orleans manque that is Nocturne is probably the most audacious thing I've done.  But it seemed right, given that Belzer had appeared on two super-hero shows in the past (Lois And Clark and The Flash), to place him in my own super-hero universe.  And I admit, he seemed to work real well with The Nightbreaker; so much so that he makes an appearance in 'Ghost of Steel,' the Nightbreaker novella that'll appear in The Shadow Legion Casebook V. 1.

I don't know if Belzer is aware of his alternative literary version of himself; I hope that if he is aware, he'll realize it was meant as a fond tribute to a performer I love, and look upon it as further proof that John Munch is the glue that holds the pop culture multiverse together.

Happy retirement, Munch!  Hope you enjoy your new posting in Nocturne!