December 2013 Update

I hope everyone is enjoying this time of the year.  It’s the middle of the holiday season as I write this, smack dab between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And while we have a tree up this year we don’t have any ornaments displayed or gifts under it.  That’s the reality of living with cats sometimes.  Last year we didn’t even set out our tree because we knew we’d have a kitten using it for monkey bars.  Now he’s way too fat to climb, but still enough of a youngster that ornaments would be too much of a temptation for him.  He also likes to chew on wrapped gifts as we unfortunately found out the hard way.

Anyway.  I want to wish all my readers a wonderful season of joy and love, no matter whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or the winter solstice, and to thank you for your support over the past year.  2013 saw the release of four new books, and 2014 is promising to be just as fruitful.  I can’t wait to share new characters and stories with you in the coming year!  Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list so you’ll be the first to hear of new releases and other announcements.  You can sign up by clicking here.

And now for the big news!  The Lost Treasure of Kilimanjaro and The River of Gold are finally available in paperback form with the gorgeous illustrations of Brian Bowes.  These editions have been over a year in the works, but I’m sure you’ll agree with me that they have been worth the wait!  Unfortunately there’s been a delay with The Mummy’s Tomb due to some permissions issues, but I fully expect that to be resolved before the end of January.  Brian has been great to work with and very open to my suggestions and always willing to answer my questions.  Check out his online gallery at http://www.behance.net/StudioBowesArt.  Brock Ford should also be back for a new adventure some time in the next year, so watch here for more details.

In other writing news, Devil’s Catacombs is with beta readers and should be released in January.  If you enjoyed the horror elements of The Island I think you will enjoy this new book.  No zombies this time, but dark caverns, a shapeshifter, and six unwitting college students should keep you plenty entertained.

Moon Shadow is coming along nicely and is clocking in right now at around 24,000 words. I’m very happy with how this story is turning out.  The characters have made a great transition from my original 1983-84 manuscript and have developed a depth I didn’t know they had.  One thing about writing this that I never expected — having to research the culture of the mid-’80s.  After all, I lived it; shouldn’t I have all that knowledge store away somewhere?  Unfortunately, no.  I keep finding myself looking up pictures and old TV schedules and other tiny details that had long left my brain.  For instance, I had forgotten that cars of the era had two keys – one for the door locks and one for the ignition.  How could I forget something that was such a part of everyday life back then?  I’m sure purists will find some something else I’ve missed, but to them I say see my previous post on perfection.

So until next month, I wish you the best.  Enjoy the holidays!

Writing Updates

I finished the first draft of the new novel today.  This is a crime novel with a bit of the paranormal thrown in.  Not scary, but more of a thriller.  I have been working on this book for more than six years, so when I say it’s done, you have to imagine me doing some kind of happy dance.  Right now the plan is to put it away for a while, at least until after the holidays, before I start revising and editing.  This will allow me to put some distance between the story and myself.

In the meantime, I hope to start outlining the next idea I’ve got in mind, which is an out and out horror novel.  I’m really looking forward to that one.  I haven’t tried to write horror since high school, so this should be fun.

Reading night at the Dawson Springs Library went well, and I enjoyed connecting with a few of my readers and signing some books.  Let’s hope we get to do it again really soon!

On the Brock Ford front, Brian is now working on the third and final cover for the completed books in the series.  Once this is done he will begin the interior illustrations for the chapter headers.  He has been great to work with, and I’m hoping this is the beginning of a long partnership.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

More new cover art!

Last month I posted the new cover art for the repackaged Lost Treasure of Kilimanjaro.  These new paperback versions of Brock Ford are moving right along.  Today I’m sharing Brian’s artwork for The Mummy’s Tomb.  If anything, I think he’s managed to outdo himself, and this time he included Sparky in the mix!  I am so happy with Brian’s artwork, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the next book.

In other news, I will be appearing at the Dawson Springs Branch Library with fellow author/illustrator Mark Wayne Adams on November 14 at 6:00 PM.  We will be reading, answering questions and autographing books.  It’s sure to be a grand time, so join us if you’re in the area.