Friday, December 30, 2016

Obligatory end of the year navel gazing.

So here comes 2017.  What is it I want exactly out of the coming year?

First, some obvious things.  Like be healthier.  I am signed up to run two 5K races (with a third likely as soon as registration opens) so my hope is that with these races looking me in the face, I'll actually "train" ... meaning get off my fat ass a few times a week and ease off the potato chips.

A more difficult question is what exactly is next for my writing career?  As a writer, I usually have to strike some kind of balance between "the projects that currently excite me" and "the projects that pay the mortgage."   Sometimes I'm fortunate when these things coincide.  If you know me, then you know I juggle novel writing and comic book scripting.  I'm also dabbling in screenwriting, and while there are some glimmers of optimism on the horizon, I'm not counting screenwriting as significantly contributing to my income.

I will also continue to throttle back on comic book work.  One of the reasons for this is that comic book publishers are not exactly ringing my phone off the hook with offers ... although the fact is I'm not calling them either.  Don't get me wrong, if DC called and said they really needed me to do Batman ...  But that's not happening, and that's fine because the only comic book work I'm really eager about is some creator-owned stuff.  For example:

 Will we have some more of that?  I think so.  Stay tuned.

But mostly, I will be moving back toward novels.  I love the "team effort" of comic book writing, but often getting an artist and colorist and letterer all together only to find that certain publishers want you to pitch but prefer to pick their own artists ... ugh.  It can be a headache.

My fantasy trilogy A Fire Beneath the Skin has reached more readers than all of my other novels put together.  (I haven't actually run the numbers on this ... but it's close.)  Furthermore, fantasy is where my head is right now.  So it's a no-brainer that I would continue to write in this genre.  The one thing I'm struggling with is if I should return to the world I created for my trilogy and write more Ink Mage stories ... or if I should start with a clean slate on something else.   I just don't know yet, but I'll need to figure it out soon.

And of course I'll be writing other things too.  I'm fortunate to be able to write for a living, but I'm not one of those authors that can leisurely work on one book at a time.  I need to have other irons in the fire at all times.  I'm currently grinding hard to deliver a thriller, and I will be looking ahead to the next thing even as I'm writing my next fantasy novel.  I have a handful of things optioned, so there's always the chance of some giant Hollywood check ... in which case why would I write anything I didn't want to?  But experience has taught me not to hold my breath for such things.  Who knows?

In the meantime, I need to think fast about what's next.  The novel I'm currently working on will be done soon.  And then ...?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Your Gischler Holiday Shopping Guide.

It's that time again, when Americans rise from their turkey comas to fling themselves into the deadly embrace of Black Friday.  If YouTube videos of previous Back Fridays are any indication, many of you will not survive.  Imagine being one of the lucky few to make it through unscathed only to return home and realize you forgot a gift for some uncle or cousin.  You don't want to go back out there, do you?

The answer?  eBooks.  That's right, from the comfort and safety of your home, you can gift one of my books to that friend or relation with a Kindle or other reading device.

The cost of my FANTASY TRILOGY is far, far less expensive than the average Lexus.

Prefer something gritty and hard-boiled?  Then try my first novel Gun Monkeys!

Prefer something strange and offensive?  Then grab yourself a copy of Gestapo Mars!

Comics?  Perhaps my B-Movie creator-owned Sally of the Wasteland is what you need.

The above is a selection.  There's plenty more.  And since writing is how I pay the bills, I feel like I need to go all carnival barker once in a while.  Hopefully you've been inspired to give the gift of reading.

Good shopping, and happy holidays!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

I Have / I've never ...

I HAVE ...

Been around the world.  Twice.
Written for Marvel Comics.
Gained too much weight.
Been guest of honor at a convention.
Broken my collar bone.
Been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award.
Beered myself "around the world" at Epcot.
Been to the top of the Tower of Pisa.
Earned a PhD in English.
Seen a moose in the wild.
Seen Warren Zevon in concert.
Eaten rattlesnake.
Reluctantly made myself into a morning person.
Run a 5K.
Had surgery after an automobile accident.
Been an extra in a movie.
Read Lord of the Rings multiple times.
Met Joss Whedon.
Ridden a horse on an Alaskan Mountain trail.
Been on a chase team for a hot air balloon.


Been south of the equator.
Written for DC Comics.
Won any of the awards I've been nominated for.
Flown in a helicopter.
Ridden Expedition Everest.
Been arrested.
Learned to tune a guitar.
Been white water rafting.
Been selected for jury duty.
Had a cavity.
Played hockey.
Been scuba diving.
Made "beer can chicken" on the grill.
Seen the film Sophie's Choice.
Been to C2 E2.
Played Pokemon Go.
Had a perm.
Served in the military.
Contributed money to a political party.

So ... okay.  That's twenty in each category.  If you take the I HAVE / I'VE NEVER challenge, leave a link in the comments so we can check it out.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

I see I haven't done anything with this blog for quite a while.  And my last post was about Epcot. So this one will be about Animal Kingdom.  If I have only limited time when visiting the mouse, I always hit Epcot.  The World Showcase is my fave place.  I like to eat and drink my way around the nations, catching singers and acrobats and whatever entertainment I happen to stumble upon as I go.

I have almost an opposite feeling for Animal Kingdom. Sort of.  Almost.  Which is to say I don't DISlike the park, but if I have limited time, Animal Kingdom is always the park I cross of my list first.  For starters, the rides are fine but not my favorite.  Kali River Rapids is all well and good, but if you're going to go on this ride, make it the last one of the day.  Walking around a theme park soaked to the bone is no treat. Dinosaur is the single loudest ride I've ever been on.  SO LOUD.  I feel like I was happy to see the various shows.  Once.

Also, there are no boats or monorails that go to that park.  Does this mean the park is too difficult to find?  Not really.  But I'm always more inclined to hop on a monorail than I am to board one of the buses.  I'm not a fan of the buses.  I would probably just drive myself before bothering with a bus ... but, that would mean driving back after having a few beers which is never the best idea.

And at busy times, several bottlenecks form at various crossroads.  On more that one occasion, I've crossed a bridge and found myself at a sudden standstill in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd.  Maybe I've just always had the bad luck to be there at the wrong time.

But it's the very fact that I've avoided Animal Kingdom for so long that I feel ready to go back.  Also, I'm wondering if I can approach it like Epcot and map out a Drink Around Africa similar to Beers around the World at Epcot.  There do seem to be some cool places to kick back, nurse a beer and people watch.  Examples:

So what do you think, folks?  Should I venture back into Animal Kingdom?  If so, where should I drink/eat?  Where should I start and end?  Tell me the best way to make a day out of this park.

Thursday, June 30, 2016


There is actually no point at all to this blog post except to talk about Epcot.  Why?  Because I like Epcot.  It's really that simple.  It's my favorite of the Disney parks in Orlando.  My good pal author Anthony Neil Smith tells me Epcot is his least favorite park because it is woefully out of date and showing it's age.  I don't completely agree with this, but I do see his point when I'm over by the 3D show (are they still reviving Captain Eo?) and that terrible Figment imagination ride.  So, yeah, I get it.

But the reason I love Epcot more than the other parks (although I like them too) is that as I am now squarely into middle age (which may or may not have anything to do with it) I find that I am much more about relaxation and entertainment than I am about rides.  I mean, I like the rides, and I wouldn't want to leave Epcot without hitting Test Track and Soarin', but I'm much more keen to wander at a slow crawl around the World Showcase with a beer in my hand, taking in the entertainment.

I was sorry to hear that Canada's rock-n-roll bagpipe and kilt band (I don't remember their actual name) had moved on.  Used to love those guys.  But there is still plenty of good entertainment opportunities around the World Showcase.  A mariachi band in Mexico sounds a little corny and cliché, but why not while you're enjoying a cold Mexican beer?  In China they have acrobats.  There are street performers in the UK and a British Invasion band at the rear of the pavilion.  The band shell across from the American Experience usually has something going on.  The Japanese drum show is cool.  I like to start around lunch time, make an afternoon of it, and then finish before the wave of evening tourists. Staying through dinner is a good option, but often I leave before then.

And when Epcot hosts the Food & Wine Festival, you can crank the whole experience up to eleven.

The last time I was in Epcot I was all by myself (I was there to run a 5k) so I eased through the World Showcase at my own pace, taking it in at my leisure and NOT standing in line for an hour for rides.  So ... like I said.  No real burning need for this blog post. No amazing insights.  I just like Epcot.

Monday, June 20, 2016

In the film racket, "stupid" and "hopeful" probably look the same from a distance.

What do I mean by that?  I guess what I mean is that most writers know getting his/her work made into a film is a long shot.  Such a long shot that putting any time or energy into it probably seems ... well ... stupid.  And yet writers do it all the time.  Are we stupid?  Hopeful?  Both?

Example:  A few months ago I put the scripts for all five issues of my creator-owned comic Sally of the Wasteland into a single file and then dumped that file into Final Draft  the popular "industry standard" screenwriting program.  I would like to say that the program instantly transformed the comic book scripts into a film screenplay, but that would be a whopper of a lie.  Still, if you squinted just right, the document did look a tiny bit screenplay-ish.  I spent some time (time I should have been spending on other projects ... because I'm stupid and hopeful) hammering the thing into shape, making it look less like a comic book script and more like a screenplay. 

It worked.  After all my efforts, I sat back and looked at what I'd done.  A 90 page feature screenplay.  Cool.  So .... now what?

At the time of writing this blog post, three of my novels are currently under option.   I'm grateful for this, but all of these projects are happening "way over there" and I don't really feel connected to them at all.  I'm keen to be hands on, so maybe Sally is my chance.  Maybe.  Who knows?

I hooked up with a like-minded fellow (I won't out him here in case he does not want to be thought of as stupid and hopeful) who liked the script and did a break down.  We've discussed casting and funding and all that.  It's all in the very early stages.  As a comic, we billed Sally as "B-movie" and "grindhouse" and I'd love to approach the film version the same way.  This could all end up being a stupid waste of time, but if I shunned everything difficult or unlikely, I'd never get anywhere.  I guess that's the point.  Hey, Gischler, you're wasting your time.  Yeah?  You might be right. I think I'm going to hit my head against this brick wall anyway.

In the meantime, Sally of the Wasteland still exists as a graphic novel.  Check it out HERE.

Friday, June 3, 2016

This is how I pay the bills.

So in order to pay the mortgage, I feel obligated to harass you fine people every now and then into spending some money.  I've been mostly pimping my fantasy trilogy recently since that's my latest thing, but just to mix it up, let's reach into the bag of forgotten stuff.

My first novel was Gun Monkeys, and it was nominated for an Edgar Award.  After being published by the fine folks at UglyTown, Bantam Dell picked up mass market and eBook rights.  I found out recently that the book has finally earned out after a 39 dollar check arrived in the mail.  BIG BUCKS.  So if you want to see the book that got me started, well, have a look maybe.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


It's been a little over a week since A Painted Goddess was published, completing the epic fantasy trilogy A Fire Beneath the Skin, the story of young Rina Veraiin who is gifted with magical tattoos that give her extraordinary powers.  Three novels full of magic, sword stabbings and steamy romantical whatnot.  Check out the trilogy HERE.

The feedback has been awesome so far, and I am hugely grateful to all my readers.  You guys rock and/or roll.

This is the part of the process where I come to you hat in hand and ask, "If you really liked the books, please consider writing a short honest review."  And I hope you do.  Reviews help authors.  You don't have to do this.  Obviously.  That you read the books is already pretty cool.  So I wouldn't put you on the spot to do more.  But if you felt like leaving a review ...

And a few quick updates:  For those asking if I will return to the world of Helva for more books, yes, I'd love to.  I have PLENTY of ideas.  It just depends on how well this trilogy sells.  Ink Mage sold very, very well.  We're waiting to see if the other two books catch up.  Fingers crossed.  For those asking about a paperback version of A Painted Goddess, the answer is yes.  It's coming in March.  Audio book?  Yes, that's on the way too.

I've enjoyed writing these books immensely.  Again, thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A FIRE BENEATH THE SKIN ... almost finished!

A PAINTED GODDESS hits Kindles Tuesday, January 19, meaning the epic adventure that began with INK MAGE will reach it's exciting conclusion.  Keep in mind, A Fire Beneath the Skin is a trilogy, yes three novels but all one big story.  So if you're not a reader yet then get started HERE with book one.  If you're already caught up with the first two books, then it's time to order A PAINTED GODDESS!

As a writer, it has been a long time dream for me to write a fantasy trilogy.  I'm glad I was able to finally achieve this ambition, and Ink Mage is my most read novel. Readers are still steadily ordering the sequel and pre-ordering the final book.  I'm hugely grateful to all of you out there.