April: the public part of the writing year kicked off April 1 with the publication of two books:
- Three Witches – Expanded Edition: An El Tigre Azul Book
- Space Detective: A Science Fiction Private Eye Novel
The months prior to April were filled with lots of behind-the-scenes activity preparing for these books’ launches. That included getting in the art from Jeffrey Hayes (Three Witches) and Mike Fyles (Space Detective). For the former, Jeff’s cover captured perfectly the over-the-top quality of the book’s three stories; it carried a vibe similar to 1970s-era action movie posters. For Space Detective, Mike’s cover and interior art reinforced the retro mood from 1950s private eye novels and TV shows and the decade’s mass media fascination with UFOs, with a little B-movie SF spin thrown in for good measure.
Other pre-publication tasks included formatting each book; running through final editing and proofreading; and uploading the files to each of the publishing and distribution sites.
I want readers to be able to find the books even if they aren’t Amazon customers. Amazon has a global presence, but not everyone shops there. That’s why I made sure the books are also available through Barnes & Noble, Kobo—a popular eReader based in Canada—and other retailers in other countries. I set up the books’ distribution so they can be ordered and stocked by brick-and-mortar stores, and libraries also can purchase the books for their shelves.
What else happened before April? This website went live in March. I can’t thank Chuck Welch enough for his assistance, persistence, and expertise in transitioning this site from my vague descriptions to something that actually works.
April 21 – 23: I attended the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention in Lombard, Illinois. This was my first trip to this con. I sold some books, reconnected with some old friends, and met new friends. This was also a great occasion for meeting face to face with people I’ve known through Facebook for several years.
May: while I was wrapping up the prepublication work for Three Witches and Space Detective, I wrote a story that was accepted for a western anthology. Six-Gun Legends: Ten Rounds of Wild West Action will be published by Flinch Books and will be available later this month.
May and June: I’ve been working on a novel featuring a new character named Jack Dawson. It’s an adventure novel inspired by characters like Steve Canyon and Johnny Hazard (newspaper comic strips), Bob Morane and Biggles (prose adventurers). One way to think of him is to imagine a grown-up Jonny Quest. His codename is Jackdaw.
That’s the whirlwind tour of 2023’s first six months. Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting more updates here, so check back.