Book News (and stuff)

I must agree with Viktor on it this time.

The rough draft of Hunting the Dragon (Waves of Darkness book 8) is in the bag. The first 10 chapters are with my alpha reader, and she’s promised feedback notes, hopefully by next week.

The remaining chapters are still in handwritten form and need to be typed up. I will start on that soon. I have to admit that the back half of the rough draft is a hot mess and in need of some scene rearranging and serious polishing.

Meanwhile, I’ve completed inking all the Dragon Poker portraits. I will be doing a color accent version of them for special edition sets of the cards. I’m told those will be offered in a wooden case.

Next on my agenda is the reformatting and revision of Blood Curse (Waves of Darkness book 1). The new edition will be in the 5×8-ish (not sure of the exact measurements right now) size rather than the 6×9 trade paperback version it was previously published in. I plan to snazzy up the interior as well. All this is necessary before I can order a new cover design, since I need a page count to determine the width of the spine. The size change will change the original page count, of course.

Finally, happy news: someone bought one of the 6-episode mini-omnibus ebooks in my The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe steampunk serial. This is the first sale of the year and the first sale in months!

That is all for now. Thanks for reading!

Coming Up for Air

I think everyone out there already knows what a crazy, fly-by-night carnival roller coaster ride 2020 was, so I won’t dwell on it.

I hold hope but no expectations that 2021 will turn out better. It’s already off to a rocky start. Still, there is some promise. (Just try to ignore the ongoing political $#!t storms. Hurricane season has nothing on U.S. politics.)

Time for a personal progress report.

ART: I’m almost done with inking the Dragon Poker card art. Just 2 of the 17 left to ink. There has been some discussion of making a top tier version of the game available with color accents on the face cards (not full color). I will probably add those digitally. Antiquarian Boardgames plans to debut the cards at this year’s LibertyCon, provided it doesn’t get postponed another year or go virtual.

I will be putting some sort of promotional video for the cards on my YouTube channel later this year.

WRITING: I’ve made some progress on Hunting the Dragon, but not much lately. I’ve been concentrating on the Dragon Poker art during the longer winter shutdown of my day job. I do have plans to attack reformatting Blood Curse later this month. This is a necessary step before contracting for a new cover. The reformat may change the page count, especially since I haven’t decided whether to stick with the trade paperback size of 9×6 or a slightly smaller page size. The page count determines the thickness of the spine and is required data for most of the cover artists I’ve researched.

I also plan to have new cover art for the episodes of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe as well as The Girl Who Fell from the Sky done prior to publishing episodes of season 2 later this year. I apologize for the extended delay of the serial, but I’m still learning the tricks of self-publishing and the marketing of such.

YOUTUBING: Yeah, I think I have been a little over ambitious with my plans to revive the channel in relation to actual available time for all this. I’m not giving up, just not gonna promise a lot of content in a short time period. The new videos will be added as I can manage.

CONVENTIONS: So far, LibertyCon is the only regular convention I’ll get to attend this year. Chattacon is virtual this year. My dealer table/membership is supposed to roll over to next year. I do plan to check out the online program content, but I won’t be presenting any this year. ConNooga is canceled this year due to COVID. I have no plans for any other conventions at this time.

That pretty much sums up my updates for now. See you here again soon, hopefully.

Brain Hurricane

Had more ideas for this second Waves of Darkness story arc storming through my head this week. Given the nemesis I’ve given Viktor, I figured I needed to up the stakes for him in these second 7 books. (The rough draft of book 8 is nearing completion, so I need to get with my beta reader and hopefully recruit a few more.)

I won’t list the details here, since they would be spoilers spread out over books 8-14. I’ll just say to expect things to get personal between Viktor and Dragon. At least one main supporting character will be taken out of the picture. Allies will be attacked or subverted. Nobody will be safe.

All I can say is it’s a good thing my mask has been hiding my maniacal grin from my coworkers when these ideas start playing out in my head. I don’t want to scare them too much. Mwahaha!

Yet Another Farewell

I am at an age (and in my hometown) where I usually read the obituaries in my local newspaper. I saw in Sunday’s paper that one of my old high-school teachers passed last Friday.

William Joseph “Jody” Norris, age 70, was the sponsor for the school newspaper during my sophomore and junior years at Soddy Daisy High School. Most of the time, journalism class was more like a study hall. Coach Norris is partially responsible for The Adventures of Pigg &Woolfe existing.

In order to give us a grade once, he gave us a creative writing assignment. We were to take a nursery rhyme or classic children’s story and rewrite it. I chose The Three Little Pigs and wrote a space opera short story. I was very into Star Wars at the time.

Decades later, I took the names of my two main characters, Clyde Pigg and Draeyger Woolfe, and concocted a steam punk serial for them.

You never know how you will touch someone’s life. …Or how they will touch yours.

New Additions to the Site

As anyone who’s recently visited this site may have noticed, there’s a new addition to the navigation menu: The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe Character Profiles.

I was finally able to upload character images to go with most of the profiles I’ve created thus far. Please feel free to check them out. I will also be doing some “Meet the Characters” videos on my Youtube channel in the near future. (read: before the end of the year, hopefully.)

Here There Be Dragons

Ruth, the white dragon from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series.

I’ve finally been given the go-ahead to talk about the art commission I’ve been working on since last year. I’m doing the art for the face cards of a 5-suit Dragon Poker set based on Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern books. This is an authorized card game to be published by Antiquarian Boardgames. (The link is to their FB page, as their website is currently down.) It is in conjunction with a Dragonriders of Pern LARP.

Ruth will be the Joker for the deck. The Kings will all be Weyr Women, the Queens will be Weyr Leaders or wing seconds, and the Jacks will be crafters or holders. The aces will be a dragon in the each of the five dragon colors from Anne’s books: gold, bronze, brown, green, and blue. The dragon for the aces will also be miniaturized for use as the pips on the numbered cards.

I already have all the art done in pencil and have started the inking process. In addition to the cards Antiquarian Boardgames will be selling, I am authorized to sell prints of the artwork. I plan to have some sort of purchase link set up for the prints by convention season next year. I will keep you all updated.

“Young Queen and Rider”, which I did for Dragon*Con 1989, was the artwork which earned me this commission. This print was signed for me by Anne at a book signing in Longwood, FL for the release of Masterharper of Pern.

I’ve been a fan of all her books and various series ever since the early 1980s, when Donna Akehurst (then Varner) gave me a copy of the Harper Hall trilogy.

I even found my first publisher, Gypsy Shadow Publishing, because of Anne, indirectly. I saw their Facebook post about publishing the back list of Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, who wrote the Peytabee and Acorna the Unicorn Girl series with Anne. That led to looking them up, querying them, and the eventual first publication of my Waves of Darkness series.

As I said above, I will keep you posted about the progress on this project and my writing, as well.

In Passing

The teacher who originally inspired me to major in print journalism has passed.

I hadn’t thought of the man in years, then I saw his obituary in yesterday’s newspaper. I did the math to make sure it was the same man I remembered and verified that I was one of his pupils the year he retired from teaching (but not from sports writing).

Farewell, Coach Johnson. you’ve more than earned your rest.