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Intro to Gaslamp Fantasy

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From the November 18, 2022 Newsletter Update: I'm continuously amazed with the trends and genres that have developed in speculative fiction over the years. recently I've become fascinated with a sub-genre I never knew existed--Gaslamp Fantasy. Gaslamp Fantasy employs a Victorian or Edwardian setting (between mid-19th and early 20th centuries--think Sherlock Holmes) in a blend of fantasy and historical fiction. It's a lot like Steampunk with less of an emphasis on science and technology and more centered in magic and the occult. Examples in comics and films might be The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen   and Arcane, the Netflix adaptation of the League of Legends game. Personally, I think I like this a little better than steampunk, and if you're interested in sampling the genre, I have a recommendation ... P.H. Solomon's The Order of the Dark Rose caught my eye with its cool cover. I'm about half-way through reading it--it's a pleasure read, so I'm takin

Writing as Therapy

From the November, 2022, Newsletter: Whenever I'm struggling to make ends meet--which is most of the time--I take a few moments to remind myself of the non-monetary benefits of my chosen profession. Thank God their are many, since ... well, like I just said ... One of those non-monetary benefits is that writing can be very therapeutic. Got someone irritating in your life? Create a character for them and make them suffer--maybe even die a horrible death. Want a second chance at that romance you screwed up way back when? Write about it--like I did in The Cargo .   Problem is, when I do stuff like that, most of the time the person or situation I'm trying to work out for myself turns out even worse in the story than it does in real life. That's okay though, right? I mean--it's just a story. Right? Well, okay. Maybe writing is not the greatest therapy after all. Which brings me to a segue into a secret I want to share. I'm going into therapy myself. Oh, I don't need

Half Empty Half Full Cover Reveal

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From the September, 2022, Newsletter Update Oh, boy! It won't be long now. I have the cover ready for the second installment of the Spaceship Huey Adventures. Take a look ... ... along with a (very brief) excerpt... He stood watching as she climbed into the rover and pulled away from the dock. Rivulets of water poured from the trailer, carving squiggly wet paths in the dust. "Eighteen," Lendwill said, sidling up next to him. "She said she was nineteen." "The age of consent," Lendwill clarified. "It's eighteen, in case you were wondering." Clifford grunted. "But I really think it would be a good idea for you not to give her anything to consent to," Lendwill added. "I have no intention of getting involved with that girl," Clifford insisted. Lendwill chuckled. "You already are." Update for Readers Half Empty Half Full is available in paperback now! You can preorder the ebook for only $0.99! Half Empty Half Full

Re-Launching the 'Nest'

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Excerpted from the September, 2022 Newsletter: Wow! The last few weeks have flown by. It's already time for another Red Wolf Pack Newsletter. Hmmm ... let's see what's in the news. Draculata Nest Re-launch Last month I published a revised version of my first novel, The Draculata Nest. I did it in response to a renewed interest in The Red Wolf Saga caused by readers of The Cargo and Half Human who wanted the back story of Clifford Crane. The original had been self-edited, and I felt I owed it to readers to have it professionally proofread. I'm glad I did. I think the updated version is better for it. I'm in the process of doing the same with  The Dragon of Doughton Park and--eventually--the whole series. Today I'm running a promotion--an official "re-launch" of the book--for only $0.99. It's a strategy to bump it up in the rankings and get some support for my ad campaigns--a marketing thing. <Get The Draculata Nest for $0.99> If you already re

My Very First 1-Star Review!

From my August Newsletter Update:   It had to happen sooner or later, right? Someone hated one of my books enough to share it with the world. I'm kind of surprised it didn't happen sooner. I've been very fortunate in my short writing career to have received mostly positive reviews of my work and constructive criticism from my peers. But I'd been warned by other authors this was coming. A few of them have encouraged me to look on it as a rite of passage--something every "successful" author has to go through. I mentioned in my last newsletter how the success of Half Human has stimulated interest in my earlier writing. Well, late last month, I noticed a fresh review had appeared on my Amazon product page for the first book I ever published, The Draculata Nest. (See the My Books tab to check it out.) "Cool," I thought--until I read the following ... JustAnotherOpinion: 1.0 out of 5 stars A Kindle Unlimited Review Ok, I'm not a touchy feely kind of gu
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 Hi, folks! I just sent the final draft of Half Empty Half Full , the second book in my Spaceship Huey Adventures series, to the proofreader for editing. Soon the brilliant Ivan Zanchetta will begin work on the art for the cover. I thought you guys might want to get a sneak peek at some of the story, so here's the Prologue! Let me know what you think   Bernie Cosner felt extremely confident. In fact, he was on top of the world. He stood with his hands on his hips, nodding in satisfaction as the flood lights illuminated the scene below, replacing the fading rays of the sun. Two giant excavation vehicles, each of their sixteen tires easily three times his own height, gouged away at opposite ends of the strip mine. A fleet of smaller trucks hauled meronium-rich ore back and forth between the excavators and a line of field smelters, each of which had been grinding away non-stop since morning, extracting the precious metal from the ore and converting it into ingots the size of bricks. E

How Do You Define Success?

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From December 3, 2021 Hi, Packmates! A little over three decades ago, when I was trying to kick a serious drug habit, my support group encouraged me to regard every day I made it through without using drugs a successful day. It was good advice. Especially since so much of my life at the time was crashing and burning around me, I needed something to hold onto that indicated a positive direction. But as the one-day-at-a-times accumulated into months and years, I needed to raise the bar on the definition of success. I wanted to succeed in my career, build a good marriage, raise a kid who didn't turn into a serial killer, stuff like that. Some of those things turned out successfully ... some, not. (I'm happy to say, there's not a single body part stored in my son's freezer - that I know of.) But, through it all, it was a good idea not to lose sight of that original success definition - each day without using drugs. Okay, I won't elaborate further on that. If you're