Okay. So most people do this kind of “sneak peek” thing in January, at the start of the new year. But I’ve been busy. After this post, you’ll know why (besides the regular day-to-day duties of a forensic death investigator and owner of a successful small press, that is). And I have a sneaking suspicion, you may be just as excited as I am when you hear about all I have to tell you. At least, I hope you will be…’cause 2014 and 2015 are going to be AMAZING years. These next two years are going to be a real game changer in my writing and I want you guys to be part of it from Day 1. So sit back, take a gander into my crystal ball, and be amazed at what’s to come! And as always, share with all your friends too. Let’s get them just as excited as we are!
GUARDIAN (A Jack Sigler Continuum Novella)
So, let’s see. Where should I begin? Oh, that’s easy! How about my upcoming collaboration with the awesome Jeremy Robinson? That’s right. I just finished my portion of the brand new “Jack Sigler Continuum Series”, that follows the adventures of Jack Sigler, AKA “King” from Robinson’s Chess Team series, as he survives in the wasteland of the distant past.
How on earth did that happen you ask? How does a member of the United States elite military end up in the past? Well, I can’t give that away…you can read all about it in OMEGA by Jeremy Robinson and Kane Gilmour. But GUARDIAN (as well as the entire Continuum series) picks up somewhere in the middle of what happens to King in that book.
So what exactly happens in GUARDIAN? Well, once again, I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say it involves ancient Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar, a crazed high priest bent on the destruction of the world, the goddess Tiamat, and some way cool monsters. I’m pretty proud of it and I truly hope Robinson’s fans (as well as my own) love it as much as I do.
Not sure when this novella will be released, but I’m pretty sure it will be in the next month or so. I’ll keep you guys posted.
The next big bit of news I need to share with everyone is the creation of my brand new imprint, TERAS PRESS. In the coming days, I will no longer be publishing through Seven Realms. Instead, I plan on diversifying just a bit. A few stories, I plan on trying to go the more “traditional” route. I’ll be looking at selling stories and novels to other publishers (both big and small). I’ve already got one short story (called THE NECROMANCER’S BULLET) lined up to be appearing in an anthology that will be released by pulp superstars PRO SE. A few more short story ideas have been proposed to a few others as well. In addition to that, at least one of my upcoming novels will definitely be marketed to the larger publishing houses via the traditional agent route. Can’t say too much about that just yet…but wish me luck!
But that brings us back to Teras Press. Teras, the Greek word for “Monster” will be my own special publishing imprint used to publish my own books, short stories, and novellas exclusively. As you all know, I have a special affinity for monsters and I daresay they will always feature to some extent in any of the stuff I ever write. So the name seemed appropriate somehow. Most of the stuff I’m about to preview in the rest of this blog post will be published through Teras.
Way back around November or early December, I made a prediction on my Facebook page. I told the world (or at least, anyone who actually would listen) that 2014 would be “The Year of the Short Story” for me.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved short stories. Why? Because they’re fast and easy to read. But their brevity often leaves a much more powerful impact on our psyches…especially when such short stories are tales of the bizarre. Horror. Don’t believe me? Just think about one of the most famous short fiction writers of them all? Poe. I guarantee you can’t think of his name without getting a slight involuntary shiver. Another such author was H.P. Lovecraft. His stories would leave the reader with open-mouthed awe as they tried to ponder the true nature of the universe as revealed by such a very tiny tale of terror.
And so, I set out to see if I could capture something similar. Something evocative in the form of short fiction. I came up with HAUNTED MELODY, the first in a line of short stories centered on a strange little coastal town in North Carolina called Meikle Bay.
Meikle Bay (named, by the way, after one of my favorite authors William Meikle) is a very odd town. On the surface, it’s as American as mom and apple pie. But peel back a layer or two and peer into its underbelly for too long, and one might never return. It’s a strange place, where even stranger nightmares can come to life. And I intend to take up residence there for a while…with a long series of short stories I hope gives you the heebie jeebies.
To give you a taste, just take a look at the covers for the next two short stories in the series and tell me what you think:
Besides the Meikle Bay short stories, I also plan to write a few, less spooky ones too. Of course, there will be more ENIGMA Directive short stories (as I gear up to write the next book in the series tentatively titled GREMLIN’S RUN). I also have one planned for the Dark Hollows series in which you’ll get to see the witchhunter Eli Smith and his Leechers in a hunt for revenge against the Willow Hag and her sisters (that will be available as we approach the third novel in the series). And a few other ideas I have stewing around in my old noggin.
Point is, be looking for plenty of short fiction from my in the coming days.
THE KRINGLE CHRONICLES
|Promo Image. Not actual cover.|
This, perhaps, is my most beloved piece of news to share with you. The Kringle Chronicles began more than six years ago and was my first foray into writing. The story began with a simple idea…what if everything we thought we knew about Santa’s origins were turned upside down on its ear? What if we got to see the wonderful adventure of a young man who would one day travel the world in a single night to bring such joy to children everywhere. And the one idea above it all…what is Kringle’s true place in a holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ?
Now don’t get me wrong…the three novels that will comprise the Kringle Chronicles will have VERY little to do with Christmas. As a matter of fact, you should be able to read them in the scorching heat of August just as easily as the chill winds of December. These stories will be straight up fantasy…set in 4th Century Germania. But wait…here’s a brief synopsis for you to get a taste of what it will be about:
BEFORE THE LEGEND OF KRINGLE, THERE WAS ONLY KRIN…
In the final years of the Roman Empire, a teenage orphan named Krin, narrowly escaping capture from the merciless centurion who arrested his mentor, discovers a strange valley nestled in the dark mountains of lower Germania. The valley, known to its inhabitants as Polengart, is ruled by a secret order of Magi, the protectors of the Alfienn Gates…the portals that bridge our world to the realms of the Fae.
But the gates are now besieged. Sair’n Kryl, an evil vizier and former member of the Magi Council, seeks the Horns of Nandur, the antlers of the second oldest living being on earth…a creature of both the physical world and the spirit, born in the Great Garden itself…and the key to unlocking the gates that lead to the Fairy world.
Krin, a Visigoth bounty hunter, and a ragtag army of candy-chomping dwarves must find Nandur’s antlers before Sair’n Kryl opens the Gates and unleashes the great Dragon King and its army of malformed Dark Elves in a bid to re-establish the Babylonian empire on earth.
This series, in all honesty, is my baby. As I said above, I started it more than six years ago. Then, in a horrible chain of events, I lost the entire manuscript when my computer crashed (and no, I didn’t back it up like I do religiously now). I was devastated over this loss…and so, I pretty much gave up on trying to rewrite it. Then, one day recently, an old friend came to me and told me that I had emailed him the manuscript to read years ago and that he had recently run across it. Instantly, the manuscript was saved! And so was my dream of bringing this great story to life.
The first book in the series, THE CROWN OF NANDUR, is scheduled to be released this year, just in time for Christmas! More will be revealed in the coming days on this book (including phenomenal full colored artwork by Christian Guldager, who will be providing the cover, as well as interior illustrations (FYI, the above images are simply promotional images I designed…the real deal will be so much better!). Stay tuned!
THE RETURN OF THE DJINN!
There’s hardly a week that goes by in which I’m not asked by someone whether there will be another DJINN novel. My response to this is easy: I’d LOVE to! I certainly left the book open to an ongoing series. However, the more I write, the more I realize that it’s best to only write a book within a series when a story comes to you that MUST be written. All too often, as an author, we feel obligated to give the readers what they want and we end up writing something sub-par. I NEVER want to do that. Every subsequent book I write, I want to be better than the previous. Because of that, I knew that unless I came up with an amazing story for the Djinn, he’d probably be left as a stand alone novel.
Then, I had the epiphany. Why not open the series up to a collection of amazing authors and see what they could do with it? Why not let some fresh blood at it and see where the series could go?
And so, I selected a group of eight awesome authors. Some of them are pretty well known and have a fantastic catalog of books of their own under their belt. Some are only currently working on their debut novels. So why would I trust this series to someone who hadn’t proven themselves as an author yet? Simple. First, I just love helping new authors. Love giving them shots. Love helping them develop as I, myself, develop and improve. But also, refer back to that “fresh blood” comment from before. These are fresh authors! They are excited and full of energy. They have so many ideas brewing inside their minds that are just waiting to be tapped.
And let me tell you…it’s working. As the group plots and plans this series…as they throw out ideas and work on the series legend…I’ve been floored by the ideas that have been proposed. Things I would have never considered in a million years have been bandied about and it’s all BRILLIANT!
So what exactly will this series be? Easy…I intend to have at least ten books in the series (including the first book, THE DJINN). Each author in the cadre will write one novel set in a different time period and will follow the adventures of the Djinn’s heirs…his “Knightshades”. Depending on the era or setting, the mythological themes will develop and we’ll see an entirely new take on the Djinn mythos. I’ll be there every step of the way, assisting in the writing and will be the editor of the books. Finally, I’ll wrap the series up with my own new Djinn story set in present day for the 10th book in the series.
Needless to say, I can promise you…this will be a series you won’t soon forget!
OTHER BOOKS AND THINGS
Wow! That’s a lot of stuff going on for the next two years now that I think of it. And it’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are other projects I’ve already shared with you. There’s my collaborative thriller novel INTERSTATE 0 (I-0 for short) that I’ll be co-writing with the amazing Kane Gilmour. We’ll begin writing I-0 just as soon as the first Kringle Chronicles novel is finished.
After that, I’ll start work on the third and final novel in The Dark Hollows series NIGHT OF THE WILLOW HAG. Wait a minute! You might be saying. Did you say “final” book? Have no fear. Ezekiel Crane is going nowhere. I have way too much fun with him. The Dark Hollows mystery was always intended to be a trilogy. However, Crane is a worldly man. He’s a wandering spirit and although you can’t take the mountain out of the man, you can certainly take the man out of the mountain. So don’t worry. Ezekiel Crane will have lots of paranormal mysteries to solve in the future. But before he can do that, he has to deal with the Willow Hag once and for all.
And don’t think I’ve forgotten about Spook Malone and his time traveling adventures. The graphic novel (and short story series) is still in the works as well. It’s just a much slower process (especially with both mine and Christian Guldager’s schedules). But it will happen and it will blow your socks clean off!
There’s more. So much more. But I think I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment. I think I’ll stop here. I think it’s enough, don’t you?
Please comment below. Let me know what you think about these plans. Tell me your thoughts. Or even better, let me know what kind of stories you’d like to see more of. I always love hearing from you guys, so comment away and please…share this blog with your friends.
Oh, and by the way, in the next week or so, I’ll be going back to the author interviews you know and love! I’ve already got a few awesome interviews lined up, starting with the amazingly funny author of fantasy A. Lee Martinez. Stay tuned for that! And thanks for stopping by.