Something Wicked This Way Rides

When the mayor literally gambles away the town to the devil, how do you get it back? Well, lay down some wagers of your own…

On the trail, some things aren’t quite what they seem. What terrifies a hard of cattle might mean your death…

These two by yours truly, and twenty-eight more stunning tales of western strangeness now available in Something Wicked This Way Rides. Check it out!

Rising Tide

This week I got to sign a few books. One of these days I need to figure out what to write when asked to sign something. Oy!

I gathered with family for some time away, and some of them brought copies of books. And then I got to talk about writing and publishing and…

…well, it hit me. While I’m not a household name, and while I’m not making my living off writing (yet), I’ve done it. One novel bears my name, and another comes out in December. I have a plethora of short stories available for others to read. I have my own Amazon Author page. I know what it is to be published on multiple levels.

I know something by experience that many others don’t.

Weird.

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Faster than George R. R. Martin

I’m not George R. R. Martin.

I know, it’s a shock. If you see me in real life, you might be excused for mistaking me for the author of Game of Thrones. We’re both somewhat rotund. We can both be jovial. He’s got more hair than I do, but we both wear glasses.

But apparently I write much faster than he does. Of course, so do surly seventh graders who complain about having to write out two whole paragraphs for a school assignment, but that’s beside the point.

I realized it yesterday. I was chatting with my writing partner Nathaniel Peters. We had outlined Dinos of the Old West and divvied up the responsibilities months ago. It was time to take a look at what we were supposed to do next.

I told him, “Yeah, I need to revise two novels before working on the next part of the project.”

“Oh. Do you need me to write it so you have time to get that done?”

“Nah. I should be able to wrap all that up in two months at absolute most. Probably a lot more quickly.”

“What?”

He was a bit stymied. Revising two books in less than a month each? Who can live at that pace?!

Ah, but I’m not really anything special in that. I know some authors who write 18 novels a year.

So, how do you do it? How can you write so much?

Continue reading “Faster than George R. R. Martin”

Pulps are Back!

Someday this summer, Amazon will unveil Vella, a new method of reading Amazon stories. Readers can read the first three episodes of any story for free, and then pay per episode after. Each episode is designed to be a short bite of each story, between 500 and 5000 words. That breaks down to between a page and ten pages per episode, roughly.

I’ve decided to put a few stories on there that will be available when Vella goes live for readers. (Current rumor is that Vella will be promoted on Prime Day, on June 21, but that’s only a rumor.)

What kind of stories await?

Well, I figured that old pulp was basically designed for this kind of storytelling, so I followed that route.

First, we have Doc Passion and the Floating City. Doc’s experiment went wild and destroyed his orbiting space station… again. But when he and his assistant Brunt are rescued by a mysterious utopia floating on the edge of space, they know there’s something more going on! Join the adventure as the Doc, passionate for science, and Brunt, his long-suffering assistant, discover the terrible secret of the floating city and topple its nefarious master!

Then I’m co-writing an entry with my friend Nathaniel J. Peters titled Dinos of the Old West. Cowboys and carnosaurs. Stetsons and stegosaurs. Deputies and dinosaurs. That’s right, folks. What would make the wild west wilder? Dinosaurs. Follow the Sheriff of Golconda as he deals with raptor gangs, triceratops thieves, and a galloping gallimimus or two. Welcome to a Wilder Wild West.

Doc Passion is already complete at 14 episodes. It’s a wild science fiction ride with as many crazy ideas as I could pack into it.

Dinos of the Old West will be a continuing story organized into seasons. It’s sitting at 11 episodes at the moment, though that’s only a quarter of the way through the first season.

And this is one of the benefits of Vella. It’s designed for continuing stories. Nathaniel and I have plotted out the first season and have some solid ideas of what happens in season 2. Our plan is to have those 11 episodes up at Vella’s launch, and then put up an additional episode every week. That posting schedule may well change, depending how many people are reading and our personal schedules, of course.

And that’s also one of the benefits of writing in a pulp style. Those stories were intended to be read over the course of several months, with the action pulling readers along. Many of the stories hinged on over-the-top action and boundless creativity. I’m hoping these stories match that spirit.

Whenever Vella goes live, I’ll be letting you know here and posting links to the stories. If the format sounds good to you, make sure you check it out!

Publish? Perish?

The Keeper of Tales came out over three months ago now. I’m pretty proud of it. But something interesting has happened… sales have dropped off. It’s not getting all that much attention, as far as I can tell.

Now that’s not uncommon in the least. Most books make their best sales within the first month of release, and then they sort of piddle out. There’s a reason “publish or perish” is a saying. Course, I usually hear that in relation to college professors, but it applies just as equally to authors.

With every publication, authors get eyes on their words again. And if someone likes what they read, well, they might just check out that author’s backlist. I know I’ve done it before. When I first discovered Neal Shusterman, I started looking for other books he wrote. Same thing with Robert B. Parker. And Peter David. And… well, you get the idea.

In professional writing, generally the more you publish, the more each book makes as readers start searching up that backlist.

What that means practically for me is that if I want to make more sales of The Keeper of Tales, I need to get another novel out there!

Continue reading “Publish? Perish?”