Monday, December 30, 2013
So as we bid aloha to 2013, I guess I'm supposed to do some resolutions to improve myself or some bullshit. Look ... I'll try. Okay? I'll TRY to lose a few pounds. I'll TRY to be a better parent. I'll TRY to lay off the hooch (not really.)
But honestly ... what have YOU people done for ME?
So I present my 2014 wish list. ALL SELFISH! Let's all pull together and try to make this happen, people.
1. A creator-owned ongoing comic book. I can't tell you how happy I am with my creator-owned efforts this year. Both KISS ME, SATAN and CLOWN FATAL. Also, SALLY OF THE WASTELAND hits next year. I've been fortunate to have great publishers and awesome artists. But those are all 4-5 issue gigs, and I really think I have an ongoing in me.
2. Sequels to INK MAGE. I feel very positive about how readers have received INK MAGE so far -- LOTS of 5 and 4 star reviews. I'm hugely grateful. But we all know these fantasy things come in trilogies, right? I'd love to sell a boat load of books so Amazon's 47North imprint will green light two more books.
3. Disney. I want to get back. Soon. I'm not sure you people have anything to do with that, but I thought you should know.
4. Write for a video game. I just LOVE games like Elder Scrolls and Fallout that have a strong narrative element. Come on, video game mofos. Give a guy a chance.
5. A few of my books are on the edge of becoming films. Come on, Hollywood. Stop being dicks and get it done.
6. A new charcoal grill. Again. SHUT UP.
7. Just to get caught up. Seriously. So much work.
8. Space Ghost and / or Red Dwarf work-for-hire comic book gigs. Let's get on this, comic book industry.
9. Would love to do a comic for Image.
10. Get invited to more comic cons. Pony up and I'll show up!
11. A rock solid 2-week vacation during which I do not write AT ALL.
12. Saints win the Super Bowl.
13. I'd like to take a father-son-grandson trip with my dad and 10-year-old son.
14. New Underwear.
15. Get jiggy with it.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Vicki Hendricks is one hell of a fantastic novelist. Sometimes I think my fave novel of hers is VOLUNTARY MADESS ... but it might be CRUEL POETRY. Either would make for a cracking good read on a rainy weekend, but today I'm proud to offer her some space on my blog to talk about her new work. So without anymore blah blah blah from me, here's Vicki ...
I never thought I’d give up the gritty, depraved world of Florida-noir that started with Miami Purity in ’95—not for a minute —lose all those rough-talking bad boys and fatal women. How could I? But now Fur People, an animal-obsession novel with a dash of science fiction, was almost as much fun to write as one of my perverse romps. Of course, there were moments when I couldn’t escape my sleazy self—a horny rooster here . . . cunnilingual hamsters there . . . Those who have read my books shouldn’t be surprised. Dogs, cats, iguanas, rats, snakes, apes, and dolphins have always peopled my writing, often in strange roles, and I love them more than murder.
So I’ve left the tropical delights and sleazy characters of Miami to bring to life some nonhuman beings in Fur People. Thirteen dogs, eight cats, rabbits and ferrets—numbers rising—are some of the important characters. The main human, Sunny Lytle, piles them into a camper-school bus and heads for central Florida, hoping to build a life for her fur family and reconnect with her high school sweetheart. She wants to live among nature and avoid people with “more sense”—sounds so peaceful. It took writing the novel to convince me not to try it.
The story takes place in Deleon Springs, Florida, and one of the fun parts of writing this book was drifting down the spring run in a canoe, taking notes into a tape recorder, pretending I was accomplishing something. I never used any of it. But over the years, I’ve seen alligators and manatees in there, although I keep missing the devilish otters that my character in the book enjoys. Lately, bears have been spotted in the park, so I’m hoping for a bear encounter one of these days. The “man-eaten-by-bear” genre is one of my favorites—I’m sure I would be inspired.
Besides the pleasure of absorbing nature I also spent a lot of mornings in the Old Sugarmill Pancake Restaurant, just off of 17, north of Deland—I mention the location because you want to visit this place if you’re ever in the neighborhood. I spent many breakfasts gathering research, often in the form of chocolate chip, pecan, and banana pancakes. I have friends up there, so I built some of them in as minor characters.
I lived through many bittersweet memories writing this novel. My old roommate from college, who died a couple of years ago, lent me the personality of her German shepherd, Rufus. Pancho, the Chihuahua of my childhood, has a key role and Schmeisser, the German shepherd who was sent to join the Air Force when I was in high school. My sisters’ and mother’s dogs are there, my ferrets Sula and Ajax, as well as special cat and dog companions of friends. All of the animals are named to commemorate wonderful fur people I’ve known.
I guess don’t need tons of sex and murder to keep myself grinding away at the computer—they help, but there are many other delights.
-- Vicki Hendricks
* * *
Check it out everyone by clicking HERE or HERE.
On a side note, I was supposed to have this post up yesterday and totally dropped the ball. My bad, Vicki.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
We're well into the third installment of INK MAGE, my epic fantasy novel being serialized by Amazon Publishing's 47North imprint, and this seemed like a good time to check the box score and answer some frequently asked questions.
1. I don't like waiting for the next installment, will it be collected into a "normal" book that I can read all at once?
Gischler says -- Yep. The serial installments come out every 2 weeks, but once that's all said and done, the book will "graduate" to a novel that comes all in one nice package. But keep in mind, the price might go up a few bucks. I suggest buying the serial, ignore it for now, and then when it's all collected on your kindle, start reading!
2. You new fangled kids and your "eReaders." Bah. Why can't it just be a regular old-fashioned paperback?
Gischler says -- We hear you, mighty Luddite. Again, once the book graduates, it'll be available is a sturdy trade paperback made of actual paper.
3. INK MAGE is awesome and you are the new master of the genre and I want to give you a back rub, but are there going to be sequels? Everyone knows these fantasy things come in trilogies.
Gischler says -- INK MAGE is written to be a satisfactory stand-alone read, but it also leaves a few doors wide open, encouraging us to revisit the Duchy of Klaar and the Kingdom of Helva again. That's largely up to you fine people, how many good reviews the novel gets, how many copies sold, etc. But it sure would be cool to give Rina a chance to collect some more interesting tattoos .
4. Hey, there is somebody in my life important enough to get a cheap gift, but not so important that I want to leave my house and go shopping. What are my options?
Gischler says -- Go to the INK MAGE page on Amazon.com and look for the "Give as a Gift" button up in the corner. You know what to do from there.
So far, there has been a smattering of discussion in the Amazon forum about Ink Mage, and it's all positive. That means a lot to me. And we're out of the gate with eleven 5-star reviews versus two 1-star reviews ... one for "foul language" (what the fuck?) and one from a guy who doesn't like the serial format. So ... not bad so far. As I've mentioned before, these Amazon pub books are big on feedback and reviews directly from readers. Not a lot of attention in Booklist and Publisher's Weekly and the normal review places. So anyone who leaves me some stars and some feedback ... well, you're tops in my book. Thanks.
In the comments section, feel free to ask any questions I didn't cover above ... or make any comment you like.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
As I've already mentioned, my hardboiled pulp novella BIG STUPID is available on Kindle and Nook from the fine folks at La Case Books. I wanted to pause and just talk for a few minutes about their new Popcorn imprint (they are the ones who published BIG STUPID.) This imprint is committed to delivering slam-bang pulp fun in quick novella-sized reads.
FIND SKULD is written by the dynamic duo of Matteo Strukul and Marco Piva Dittrich. These are already a couple of pretty great guys in my humble opinion. For starters, Matteo is my editor in Italy, and a respected Italian author. Marco translated my novel Shotgun Opera. Now they show their pulp skills as a team, offering up a story about two-handpicked soldiers on a mission to ... you guessed it ... Find Skuld. Full of NAZI KILL ACTION.
My main man, Anthony Neil Smith has penned a pulp masterpiece of macabre craziness with SIN-CRAZED PSYCHO KILLER! DIVE, DIVE, DIVE! Neil has already proven himself as a hardboiled pulp guy, but I honestly think he was channeling one of those old 1940s dime novel authors with this one. Each page was a new grotesque delight.
I haven't had a chance yet to read Hal Duncan's THE TAKING OF THE STAMP yet, but I'm looking forward to it. If you're looking for high octane hold nothing back pulp fiction, then keep your eye on La Case's POPCORN imprint.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
So ... this month is kind of big for me. Maybe that's why I've felt a jittery combination of excitement and nerves. INK MAGE came out nearly a week ago, and I've been watching it bob up and down the Amazon rankings and biting my nails hoping people will like it. It's my first novel since THE DEPUTY and I won't lie. I really, really hope INK MAGE makes a splash. Since I was a kid, I've wanted to write a fantasy trilogy (I mean, it's universal law these thing come in trilogies, right?) and so I really want the novel to do well so 47North will green light me for two more books.
And speaking of THE DEPUTY, the folks at Tyrus Books have seen fit to drop the price to 1.99 for October only! So you still have a few days to jump on that.
And while I am pretty jazzed up about my new fantasy genre efforts, I haven't given up on fun pulpy crime stuff. October also sees the debut of BIG STUPID a crime novella from La Case Books new Popcorn imprint. Get some!
Finally, issue #2 of KISS ME, SATAN came out this month also. This is my first ever creator-owned comic book, and I'm thrilled that Dark Horse Comics gave me a chance with this project.
So yeah. October is big. I have all fingers and toes crossed, and there's a TON of stuff in the works still that I can't quite talk about yet. Frankly, I need a vacation. But no rest for the weary. Not yet.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
So, my new obsession is my Amazon rank and how many stars I can get.
Okay, maybe not a new obsession. I mean, that's what authors do, right? They look at Amazon.com to see how they are doing. I know some authors who've sworn off this time consuming and largely useless practice. Kudos. And I generally only check once in a while.
Until this past Tuesday when INK MAGE was published by 47North as a Kindle serial. That means it's only available as an eBook. On Amazon. And while it will eventually be collected into a handsome paperback, the novel right now lives only as digital whatnot on a website. That means you won't find it on shelves at your local book store. To the best of my knowledge, the book won't be reviewed by the usual places like Booklist and Publisher's Weekly. These are not complaints. 47North has been great to me. I'm simply acknowledging the reality that if I want to have any idea at all how INK MAGE is doing, I have to go to Amazon.com.
So I sit at my computer. Click. Click. Click. I probably check about every 90 seconds. Okay, that's an exaggeration.
But not by much.
Drink coffee. Wring hands. Try to write. Click.
At the time of writing this blog post, my Amazon rank for INK MAGE is 3,346. I've seen it as low as 2,200 and change. I have no idea what these numbers mean, but I keep looking at them as if they will communicate something to me.
The first review was a nice, reasonably thoughtful 4-star review. Okay. Broke the ice. Not bad. The next review was 1-star. Here is the review in it's entirety:
"The language was to foul for me...but I am a 70 year old woman who likes sci-fi. I only got to page 2 before I returned this book. This the first book I have ever returned or reviewed."
SHIT SNACKS! I mean, is that a review or a tantrum? What's a guy to do?
Nothing. Just laugh. I mean what can you do?
And yet all people know before purchasing the book -- aside from the description -- is the stars. The reviews. The ranking.
So this is my stupid life now, staring at a computer screen, watching a number go up or down, hoping for stars. Eventually, life will return to normal. But not yet. Click. Click. Click.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Guys, I hope you will all give my new epic fantasy novel INK MAGE a chance. This is me, hat in hand, sincerely asking you to buy it and give it a read. Often when pimping on this blog, I simply make you aware of the new thing I've just published, I put it out there and you can pick it up or not as you see fit. No big whoop.
This is different. INK MAGE is my first novel of epic fantasy, and that's something I've wanted to try all my life. Yes, I've published seven other novels, but not like this. My first aborted attempts at writing a novel (back when I was a super nerdy teen) were stabs at a fantasy novel. And now ... decades later ... I've finally written the novel I've always wanted to write. (And for the record I am now a super nerdy adult!)
The cool folks at 47North (the Amazon imprint for science fiction and fantasy) are publishing the novel in serial form for a 1.99. just to be clear, you get ALL 8 episodes for 1.99 ... it's NOT 1.99 for each episode. Each episode will be delivered automatically to your kindle -- no fuss. Super easy. And when all 8 episodes are complete, it will be collected into a "regular" novel, BUT the price will go up a bit, so really, now is the time to pull the trigger on this baby. (But please don't pull the trigger on babies.)
Ahem. I digress.
So yeah, today is exciting and nervous for me. I sincerely and humbly ask you give INK MAGE a try by clicking right here. I believe I've pulled off the nice trick of making INK MAGE a complete story all on it's own while also leaving it open for two more books -- I mean, these things are supposed to be trilogies, right? But for that to happen, I need you awesome people to pick up the first one. I hope you do.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
BIG STUPID is HERE.
As the name of La Case's new Popcorn imprint might indicate, they are specializing in fast, pulpy down and dirty reads in eBook form. I was thrilled to write one for them. Big Stupid is about a dumbass redneck named Payne who teams with a huge black dude who is a little slow ... or is he? They call him Big Stupid. Payne and Big Stupid are trying to find some stolen cash from an armored car heist. Things go bang. It's set in Baton Rouge and New Orleans and ... oh ... did I mention that all of this is happening as a Cat-4 hurricane is coming straight for them? Yeah. That.
If you're aching for a fast, pulpy read, then give BIG STUPID a try.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
As many of you may have noticed (because I won't shut up about it) I have a brand new novel coming out in October, a fantasy story called INK MAGE. While I'm not new to the genre as a reader -- I cut my teeth on Tolkien and now love current work by writers like Brent Weeks and Mark Lawrence -- I am VERY new to the genre as an Author.
I feel like what I've written is good. I hope you think so too, and I hope you click the link above to pre-order.
But any author who's been through "the process" can tell you that the battle isn't over when the book is finished. How do you get the word out? Where do you go to interact with your peers? You have a number of novels under your belt, but not this kind of novel. Are you a rookie again?
I feel like I've moved into a great new house in a cool neighborhood, but I don't know where anything is ... the supermarket, the movie theater,
If you have a blog and are a fantasy fan with fantasy readers and would like me to guest blog ... ? Cool. Is there such a thing as a "fantasy press"? How do I get in on that? In short, I simply want to connect with the appropriate readers.
Any and all suggestions are welcome.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Folks, I'm pretty excited. Since I was a little kid and knew I wanted to write stories, I ALWAYS wanted to write a fantasy novel. For the past couple of years, I've had an idea brewing for a fantasy novel. It wasn't until the the Amazon publishing imprint 47North gave me the green light that my idea could see the light of day, and so I'm humbly asking you to order INK MAGE. It's an Amazon serial which means you get a new installment every 2 weeks. Here's the thing: eventually it will all be collected into a "for real" novel -- paperback or eBook. But if you wait until then the price will go up. If you order now, you get it for the El Cheapo price of 1.99.
The first installment hits in October, but you can pre-order NOW!
Rina Veraiin has been given a gift, a tattoo that unlocks the special power within her ... and allows her to get other tattoos each of which affords her a new and exciting magical power. With this power, she can hopefully avenge her parents and reclaim her rightful place as Duchess of Klaar.
Wizardry, sword stabbings, romance, adventure!
I'm asking you to jump on board now for 1.99 ... click HERE.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
(Pictured: Juan Ferreyra's variant cover. Click to make the bigness.)
Hey, guys! I've been a lucky fellow since I started writing comics, and I've had the chance to work on some great books. But at long last my debut CREATOR OWNED book is about to hit shelves. It's a pulp action fun romp with gritty horror trappings, and it's called KISS ME, SATAN.
So ... the FINAL DAY TO ORDER is August 26.
Readers, if this seems like a book that would caress your enjoyment spot, then do a guy a solid and march into tour local comic shop in the next few days and pre-order. I'm waiting to spray you down with the karma hose. (ew.)
Retailers, I'd love for you guys to give this a push if you think it's something your patrons would dig. Simply toss a copy at them when they walk in the door and scream "YOU JUST BOUGHT THAT."
Thanks for your time.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Earlier today Dark Horse Comics announced my next creator-owned book CLOWN FATALE.
You're all going to want to read it.
Well ... okay ... maybe that's not quite true.
Some of you are going to want to read it. Since this is my blog and many of you are familiar with my work, then I'll assume there is a higher percentage of fellow sickos reading this than exists in the general population. The fact is if you like Spiderman and Superman (nothing wrong with that!) or other "mainstream" comics then Clown Fatale is probably not for you. That's cool. Not looking to shove anything down anyone's throat who doesn't want it.
But if you think a little bit of "that's so wrong!" can liven up your comic reading, then I've got something for you. You'll see two images above. One is from Clown Fatale.
The other is a movie poster from Russ Meyer's "masterpiece" Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! The film was one of the motivating factors for Clown Fatale. It was as if Russ Meyer was thinking, "We're going lowbrow and we're not going to pretend it's anything else. We're going to OWN it and have fun with it."
So that's what I've done - four issue of unapologetic crass uh ... fun.
And honestly it IS fun, and if you're like-minded (and have the stomach for it) then I'll hope you'll join me in the fun this November.
Here's a little something to get you in the mood.
UPDATE: Oops. In an orgy of narcissism, I neglected to mention the amazing Maurizio Rosenzweig on pencils and Moreno Dinisio on colors. Tim Seeley has come up with 4 awesome grindhouse style covers for the run.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
It seems a lifetime ago that my story "Hitting Rufus" was included in the 1999 edition of The Best American Mystery Stories. I was surprised and proud my story was picked.
Now, a little bird has whispered in my ear that the anthology isn't getting as many submissions as it used to from online publications. So if you're a writer or editor with mystery / crime stories to show off (if published in 2013) then consider submitting to the address below:
Best American Mystery Stories
58 Warren Street
New York NY 10007
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
So, as already announced, 47North will be publishing INK MAGE my epic fantasy novel. Here is one of the maps from artist Tazio Bettin.
(click to embiggen.)
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
In case you missed it, Titan Comics announced at San Diego Comic Con the book I'm doing with artist Tazio Bettin. It's called Sally of the Wasteland.
Set aside the money for this now.
(Click image to make biggish.)
Friday, July 12, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Folks, I'm happy to announce that Amazon's 47North imprint -- which handles science fiction and fantasy -- will publish my novel INK MAGE as an Amazon serial. (Later to be collected into a "for real" novel.) It's the story of a young duchess who collects magical tattoos that give her power as she seeks to become strong enough to avenge the death of her parents and reclaim her duchy from foreign invaders and traitors from within. It gets real stabby with swords and stuff and also cool magic and junk. Details coming soon.
(Above illustration by Tazio Bettin.)
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
My pal Anthony Neil Smith published his new novel today THE BADDEST ASS #3 in the Billy Lafitte series. This is some seriously good, gritty hardboiled stuff. Click HERE to get it on Kindle. (Or get it on Nook if you want.)
If you haven't read the first 2 novels in the series then GOOD NEWS! #1 is free on Kindle and #2 is only 99 pennies.
Go get some!
Sunday, June 16, 2013
As I've posted before, I'm not really a writing advice kind of guy ... but I felt inspired to share some things in lazy bullet-point format.
* Is your fiction "realistic?" What does this mean really? My neighbour mowing the lawn is very believable. Also boring. Your characters and their actions should be "realistic" in the context of the story you're writing ... not boring junk just because boring things are easy to believe. If you want a cyborg crocodile with laser eyes in your story, then do what you need to do to make THAT believable.
* Capitulate early. We often go into a story thinking it's going to turn out a certain way. But the story wants to be something else. Stop beating your head against the wall. If the story is fighting you, its just a part of your brain that knows better.
* The first law of multiple deadlines. The closer a deadline for a project, the more you want to work on some OTHER project. This is because writers are dumbasses and always doing crap like this to themselves.
* Take yourself seriously.
* Get over yourself.
* Don't be afraid. If you're getting into something bloody or sexy or both, do you find yourself backing off because of your own instinct or because you're afraid of what others will think. It's important to recognize the difference.
* Imagine what YOU would like to see the characters do or say. Not an editor or some imagined reader in Little Rock.
* Less is more? Sure. But MORE can be more too. Know when to be big and loud.
* The more the story depends on the "secret thing" that you're holding behind your back out of sight of the readers and the longer you keep it hidden, the more super crazy fantastic it has to be when you finally reveal it. "It was all a dream!" or "They were really aliens!" Might be best not to use this gimmick. It often ends in eye-rolling disappointment.
* When you finally finish that novel, turn up "Tubthumping" as loud as possible and dance around your house.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Private Eye Dean Murphy takes on things that go bump in the night -- supernatural whatnot meets hardboiled shamus goodness. All proceeds of this book go to orphans ... okay, not really. It goes toward beer and BBQ. What can I say? Click HERE to spend the money. Less than the price of a happy meal.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Hey guys! As already announced a few days ago, Dark Horse will publish my new creator-owned book WITCH HUNT about a demon trying to earn back his halo by body-guarding some witches who are on the run.
Well, it looks like CBR is running a poll about which Dark Horse book you're most looking forward to reading. I'd love your vote RIGHT HERE. Thanks!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Recently the above photo was released during a Buffy twitter chat, so I guess it's cool to share now. At the Dark Horse Season 10 writers summit all the writers were privileged to have the participation of Joss Whedon and Nicholas Brendon. I was very lucky to be part of this great think tank. Coolness.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Well, I had a great time at the comic book show in Dallas.
I espcially want to thank Jason Adams a really cool artist who gave me a picture of Mordecai from The Regular Show to give to my son. Very cool and generous.
Jason works with spray paint. You heard me. Run of the mill hardware store spray paint. But he can do some awesome stuff with it.
Check out his website HERE.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
So I'm having one of those times when a bunch of stuff is just hanging out there. Things that theoretically should click into place any minute but ... well ... haven't yet. So, I offer some bullet points which are mostly useless:
* Film stuff. This has been a crazy roller coaster. One deal that looked like it was about to click went belly up. But two "dead" projects have suddenly found a pulse again. Yet another is hovering in the wait-n-see zone. I don't know what to think about you, film industry.
* THE SHADOW. I have a real appreciation for Dynamite Comics who were cool enough to turn me loose on The Shadow. Great pulp fun. A joy to write. #11 comes out today and wraps up the "Revolutionary" arc. If you've been thinking of giving The Shadow a try (and I hope you do) but don't want to stumble into the middle of a story, then I suggest you ask your local comic shop to reserve you an issue of #12 which is a self-contained one off. Then if you like it, you can always go back and get the rest.
* Other COMIC BOOK stuff. I am just itching to spill the beans on some creator-owned stuff. Two very cool projects under contract. Contract expected soon on a third. I don't want to be this mysterious. I'd rathing be blabbing.
* Fantasy novel progressing nicely. I've been gearing up for this one a long time, so it's really going fast now that I'm actually writing it. GO-GO sequel is coming along too ... although there are stops and starts because of other projects.
* I'll be HERE on April 13. Come get your funny books signed if you live in or near Dallas.
* I can't believe it is April 10. Didn't we just have Christmas?
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
For the cheapo price of 99 pennies you can get five of my grittiest, toughest short stories for your kindle in a sampler called SWILL. Click here! If you want a hot, wet smack of noir upside the head, then give these stories a try.