For a bunch of years now, Christopher D. Abbott has been writing new Sherlock Holmes stories, and last year, he put out a collection of novellas by himself, Aaron Rosenberg, and Michael Jan Friedman called Cases by Candlelight.
In July 2023, we’ll get Volume 2 of Cases by Candlelight, and I’m joining the gang! The second volume — which we’re hoping to debut at Shore Leave — will feature novellas featuring the great detective by Christopher, Aaron, Mike, and me! I’m very excited about this. I’ve done two Holmes pastiche stories featuring Shirley Holmes and Jack Watson in modern NYC — this is my first time writing the canonical Holmes, and I’m very much looking forward to the game being afoot, as it were…..
This is a piece I wrote on my LiveJournal in April 2015. After I mentioned my Stargate SG-1 novel Kali’s Wrath on Twitter, Alana Dill asked me how I wound up “in a position to be paid essentially 4 writing fanfic.” I couldn’t answer that in a tweet, so I replied on my blog. I’m running it again seven years later, as it still applies…
First of all, there’s no good way to answer the question of how you break into writing, whether it’s writing tie-ins, writing mysteries, writing newspaper/web site articles, or whatever. There’s no “right” way to do it, there’s certainly not one way to do it. You ask any ten writers how they broke in, you’ll get a dozen answers.
However, in the interests of answering Alana’s question, here’s how I broke in: as an editor.
From September 1993 to May 1998 I was on the editorial staff at Byron Preiss Visual Publications and Byron Preiss Multimedia Company, and then I went freelance, continuing to work for Byron on and off between May 1998 and April 1999. One of the projects I worked on for Byron was a series of novels and short story anthologies featuring Marvel superheroes. The project kicked off in the fall of 1994 with a Spider-Man novel (The Venom Factor, first of an eventual trilogy by Diane Duane) and a Spider-Man anthology (The Ultimate Spider-Man, which predated Marvel’s “Ultimate” line by six years).
For the latter, we had the cover done before any of the stories even came in (it was kind of a rush project), which featured Spider-Man and four of his foes. We had stories featuring three of those four foes, but we did not have a Venom story. I should explain that the process for every media tie-in work is as follows: the writer comes up with a story first, and that story outline has to be approved by both the editor at the publishing company who has the rights to the property and (more importantly) by the people who own the property, in this case Marvel Comics. The person at Marvel doing the approving was an assistant editor in the Spider-Man office, and he rejected six different Venom proposals that we sent in by six different authors. It’s now past the eleventh hour, and we need a Venom story because a) the character’s on the cover and b) Venom was by far Spidey’s most popular villain in 1994. In desperation, we ask the editor in question what he wanted to see in a Venom story. He gave us a sentence.
Now for this project, I started out as the assistant, working for John Gregory Betancourt (guru of Wildside Press, among other things). John left Byron in late 1994, and I took over the project solo, but he and I worked together on those first two books. At this stage, it’s too late to even hire another writer, and I offer to write the Venom story. I do a draft in two days, give it to John, he takes it, rewrites it from the ground up, gives it back to me, I rewrite it from the ground up, we both take a final look at it, and the end result is “An Evening in the Bronx with Venom,” and that’s how I broke into writing media tie-in writing.
Being an editor also helped me with my other early sales, mostly because the job put me in touch with people in a position to hire me to write stuff. Besides doing other work for the Marvel line (which was always edited by another of Byron’s editors on staff, either Steven A. Roman, Ken Grobe, or Howard Zimmerman), my talks with the upstart company Wizards of the Coast about possibly hiring some of their artists (which never actually came to fruition) led to me pitching a story to a Magic: The Gathering anthology, my hiring Andrew Lane to write a few short stories (including one for The Ultimate X-Men) led to me pitching a Doctor Who story to him that wound up in Decalog 3: Consequences, and so on.
(My favorite was Greg Cox calling me because he couldn’t find Dean Wesley Smith’s phone number and he wanted to hire Dean to write a movie novelization. But Dean was working on a novel for me at the time and I knew he wouldn’t be able to fit it in his schedule, so I offered myself in Dean’s stead. Dean forgave me when I finally told him later on, as he really couldn’t have fit it in his schedule. In any case, that was how I wound up novelizing the FOX TV movie Gargantua in 1998 under the pseudonym “K. Robert Andreassi.”)
That should answer Alana’s question — except it doesn’t, really, because what she asked was how I got to be paid for writing essentially fanfic.
And I’ve never ever been paid for writing fanfic, and neither has anyone else, because fanfic by definition is unpaid.
I’ve been down this road before, and I stand by what I said on the subject eight years ago. I’m not writing fanfic, I’m writing media tie-in fiction. That doesn’t make what I do better, necessarily, but there is a difference between the two, which is why they have different names. *wry grin*
Fanfic, besides being nonremunerative, is also completely freeform and not beholden to anyone — including the readership. If a fanfic is read by four people or four thousand, it’s of little consequence to the writer and doesn’t necessarily have any impact on whether or not the writer continues to write. If a tie-in isn’t purchased by enough people to make a profit for the publisher, more tie-ins won’t happen.
Fanfic can take any shape or form — drabble, vignette, scene, eight-million-word novel, whatever — while tie-ins are in a proscribed format — novel, novella, short story. Fanfic doesn’t have any kind of oversight by the owners of the intellectual property while tie-ins must have every step of the process approved by the IP owner. Fanfic also doesn’t have any kind of editorial oversight required, where tie-ins are professionally edited (this doesn’t mean that there aren’t excellent beta-readers of fanfic and this doesn’t mean that there aren’t tie-ins that are poorly edited, but the general principle remains the same that professional editing is better than not having that, for the same reason why when my toilet breaks I call a plumber rather than try to fix it myself). Tie-ins have to appeal to a mass audience of viewers of the show (not, I hasten to add hardcore fans of the show, as if you just appeal to the hardcore fanbase, you don’t have enough people to support a mass-market book), while fanfic only really has to appeal to the person writing it, and if other people like it, awesome!
And fanfic is illegal, for all that most IP holders turn a blind eye to it (especially as long as no money is changing hands at any point), tie-ins are legally licensed.
None of the above is meant to show that fanfic is superior to tie-ins or vice versa, merely elaborating the many differences between them.
Kali’s Wrath is not fanfic. MGM has to approve it (they made copious notes on the outline), Sally Malcolm at Fandemonium Books has to like it, and the readership has to buy it and like it. Oh, and I have a contract that says that Fandemonium will pay me a certain amount of money once MGM approves the final manuscript.
Coming soon from TokyoPop is my triumphant return to the world of Resident Evil, in this case a manga-style comic book that will serve as the prequel to the Netflix animated series Infinite Darkness. Entitled The Beginning, this five-issue miniseries will focus on the fan-favorite character Leon. In the first episode of Infinite Darkness, Leon is helicoptered to the White House, having just come from stopping a terrorist attack in Pittsburgh. This miniseries will chronicle that untold tale, helping set up the events of the animated series.
This is the cover to issue #1, with art by Carmelo Zagaria. Enjoy!
While putting this together, I realized I’m approaching two writing milestones…
When Feat of Clay and Phoenix Precinct are finished, I’ll have written 60 novels (or novelizations) for publication. That’s pretty fabulous. (I’m not counting my second collaboration with Munish K. Batra until it’s sold, nor am I counting two movie novelizations I wrote that were cancelled and will likely never be published.)
I have six short stories in the queue to be written, and once they’re done, I’ll have written 100 short stories for publication.
That’s pretty cool……..
Anywho, here’s what I’m working on:
Precinct series. The plan is for eSpec Books to do a three-way Kickstarter for Phoenix Precinct and novels by Ef Deal and Aaron Rosenberg this fall. This means I have a 1 October deadline for Phoenix Precinct. It’s pretty much plotted, so I just have to, y’know, sit down and write it. It should be out either by the end of 2022 or in early 2023, depending on how eSpec wants to handle the release. In addition, I need to start thinking about assembling More Tales from Dragon Precinct.
Bram Gold Adventures. I’m still halfway through Feat of Clay. Sigh. Really will finish it one of these decades. Hoping to have the book out this year, but 2023 is looking more realistic. In addition, I’m going to be doing another Systema Paradoxa novella that will take place in this setting.
Science fiction novellas. I’ve written five of the novellas in this series, and just starting on Book 6 now. I promise to say more about this as soon as the guy who hired me to write them says it’s okay…..
Phenomenons. With the successful crowdfund of the second volume, Season of Darkness, I’ve started brainstorming my second Luminosity story with editor Michael Jan Friedman and a few of the other writers. This is gonna be fun….
Anthology editing. Wrenn and I have been struggling to get moving on The Four ???? of the Apocalypse, but it’s gonna happen in July, dagnabbit. If all goes well, we’ll have copies of the book ready to go in time for Dragon Con. In addition, I’ve somehow been talked into co-editing two more anthologies, one of which will be announced soon, the other of which is being shopped around to publishers. I will also have stories in both of those (which will be edited by my co-editor in each case).
Medical thriller. This collaboration with Dr. Munish K. Batra is being shopped around by our agent. Cross fingers, please! Also, Munish and I are going to be doing more collaborations…
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness–The Beginning. I’ve written all my scripts for this one. The art is coming along nicely. Looking forward to seeing this in print….
Star Trek Adventures: Incident at Kraav III. I’ve done what should be all my work for this. Just waiting for CBS to approve it and Modiphius to publish it. I also have some mission briefs to write for them…
Ragnarok and a Hard Place: More Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet. I still have to write this collection’s one original story, “Stop Dragon My Heart Around,” but once that’s done, it will go off to Plus One Press for publication. The rest of the collection is reprints.
Short stories. I’m doing a story for another Crazy 8 Press anthology, which will be announced (and set up for crowdfunding) soon. That’s due at the end of July, and I’ve already outlined it. I’ve written my story for The Eye of Argon and the Further Adventures of Grignr the Barbarian, edited by Michael A. Ventrella, which Fantastic Books should have out in time for Philcon in November. I’m slated to write a tie-in short story for an anthology, assuming the publisher is able to work out the contract with the rights-holder. I’ve also sent several short-story pitches to a magazine that is publishing tie-in work, and waiting to hear back from the licensor.
Medical thriller. My second collaboration with Dr. Munish K. Batra is in the midst of revisions requested by our agent. I’m hoping to have those revisions done in the next week or so said agent — who absolutely loves the book, but says it’s too short to be saleable, which has been an issue throughout my career — can start shopping the book around.
Space opera novella series. I’ve completed the first four of these novellas. Not ready to announce what it is yet in any detail. The current plan has Books 5 and 6 done by mid-June.
Precinct series.Phoenix Precinct now has an actual deadline from my publisher: 1 October! So I damn well will write it by then….
Cassie Zukav. I still have to write “Stop Dragon My Heart Around,” which will be the final story to go into Ragnarok and a Hard Place: More Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet. It’ll be the only wholly original story in the collection, which will otherwise include all the stories that were published in magazines and/or anthologies and/or collections since 2013, as well as all the Cassie vignettes I posted to Patreon.
Bram Gold. I’m still halfway through Feat of Clay. Sigh. Hoping to get this done before summer is over. Blorfle. Meantime, I’m also scheduled to write another Systema Paradoxa novella in this universe.
The Four ???? of the Apocalypse. One of the two stories we were waiting for has been turned in. Hoping to finally make progress on this…..
Various bits of short fiction for anthologies. Waiting for the go-ahead on one tie-in anthology that I’m really looking forward to. The stories for Zorro’s Exploits and Three Time Travelers Walk Into… are done and awaiting, respectively, proofreading and publication. My stories for the upcoming Tales of Grignr and Ludlow Charingtons charity anthologies are both turned in. I have forthcoming stories to write for Phenomenons: Season of Darkness (which is crowdfunding right now!) and Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022. And finally, I’m co-editing and writing a story for a tie-in anthology that’s going to be incredibly cool. It’s being shopped around to publishers right now.
Nonfiction. I’m still doing the weekly Enterprise Rewatch for Tor.com, as well as reviews of each new episode of Trek (currently Strange New Worlds) as they air also. On top of that, I’ll be reviving “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch” in June and July with eight new movies (well, five new movies and three older ones), and I’ll be reviewing The Umbrella Academy season three when it drops near the end of June. I’ll also be doing a piece for Outside In Regenerates on “The Curse of the Fatal Death.”
Star Trek Adventures. Still waiting for the final approval on Incident at Kraav III. Meantime, I have ten mission briefs to write for this…
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness–The Beginning. I’ve done all my script work for this, and I think it’s all been approved. At the very least issue #1 is approved. I’ve seen some of the artwork for #1 and it looks fantastic. The series should start being published this summer.
There’s other stuff, too, but it’s all back-burnered while I get the above stuff done. Wheeeee!
Last night, I finished my second Zorro story. My first one, “Letter from Guadalajara,” was published in 2011 in More Tales of Zorro, edited by the late great Richard Dean Starr, and is one of my favorite works in my entire bibliography.
This second one is “A Lovely View,” and — assuming Zorro Productions approves what I wrote over the last few days — it will be published in Bold Venture Press‘s anthology of Zorro stories, tentatively titled Zorro’s Exploits, which will be out in June of this year. BVP has done a whole mess of Zorro stuff, and I hope this story will lead to more, as both the Fox and his foe Capitán Monastario are tremendous fun to write.
Finishing the story is the start of a very busy week for me. Shuseki Shihan is taking a one-week vacation, so teaching karate this week is primarily falling to Sensei Charles and I, as well as Kyoshi Gustavo. I’ll be assisting Sensei Charles tonight, tomorrow night, and Thursday night, and I’m on my own Monday. (Sensei Charles is on his own Saturday, as I’ll be at HELIOsphere…) This is on top of my afterschool program on Wednesday afternoon, not to mention three private lessons I’m teaching this week.
On the writing front, there’s my review of this week’s Picard, my overview of the fourth season of Discovery, I’ve gotta write some stuff for my Patreon, I have to revise a proposal, and I’ve got a bunch more short stories to write, and I need to pick one to start this week. Bleeeeeeeeeeeee….
On the personal front, there’s been some medical craziness with my parents (they’re in their 70s, this happens), but so far it’s been in the not-as-bad-as-we-feared category. And Wrenn’s job has been absolutely bonkers, but there’s an endpoint to it — it’s a January-April gig — and she has had some really good interviews for a full-time position that would be amazing if it happens. She’s got a followup interview tomorrow, so please keep those fingers crossed, those prayer hamsters spinning, or whatever.
Resident Evil. I’ve written all my scripts for Infinite Darkness: The Beginning. The script for #1 is approved, and we’re waiting on approval of the art and of the next four scripts. Barring major revisions requests, my work is pretty much done on that. Not sure what the target pub date is…..
Phenomenons. Editor/creator Michael Jan Friedman is gearing up for the second volume in this shared-world superhero anthology series, and I will be doing another Luminosity story for it, as I did for the first anthology, Every Human Creature, which is on sale now from the cool cats at Crazy 8 Press.
Dragon Precinct. Phoenix Precinct is on the list of things to be written, hopefully before 2022 is done. Also, I’ve changed my mind, and I will be doing something other than a Flingaria story for Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022.
The Bram Gold Adventures. March’s goal is to get back to Feat of Clay (only a year late!). I want this book to be published this year, dadgummit! In addition, I’m cogitating on another Systema Paradoxa book that will be set in Bram’s world, though I’m not sure yet if it will feature Valentina Perrone or another Courser.
The Four ???? of the Apocalypse. We’ve been slow to move on this, but both Wrenn and I are determined to get the stories edited in March (and also get our two stories written).
Tie-in anthologies. In the last week, I was invited to two different tie-in anthologies, one for a milieu I’ve written in before, one for a milieu I’ve always wanted to write in. I’ve written pitches for both. For the former, I have to write the story, for the latter I have to wait for some paperwork stuff to happen.
Star Trek. Nothing currently happening on the fiction or comics front, though there are potential conversations. I emphasize “potential” here — it’s 90% likely that this will come to nothing, but there’s always that other 10%. Meantime, I have to do some revisions on my Star Trek Adventures RPG Incident at Kraav III, and I also am doing a package of mission briefs for STA. I’m still awaiting editorial notes on my Gold Archive: Birthright monograph (my editor has had major health problems, and he’s focused right now on getting better, which I’m totally on board with, as he’s also a dear friend and I want him to be healthy, please). Meantime, the Enterprise Rewatch will continue on Tor.com every Monday and Paramount+ will have at least one (and sometimes two) new episodes of Trek every Thursday between now and the beginning of July at the very least, and I’ll be reviewing every one of them…
Science fiction novellas. This series of novellas is going well so far. I’ve written the first three, and will get back to them after I get Feat of Clay done.
Collaborations with Dr. Munish K. Batra. Our agent has asked us to add to Pigman‘s word count, so that’s also on March’s (very crowded) docket. Meantime, Munish and I are batting ideas around for our next book. While Animal was set up for a sequel, WordFire Press has declined the option to do one. Munish is working on getting an Animal film made, so that may change the calculus, but we’re not there yet.
Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet. I still have to write “Stop Dragon My Heart Around,” which will be the one story in Ragnarok and a Hard Place: More Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet that won’t be a reprint. Once that’s written, Plus One Press will publish the collection.
Super City Cops. Still waiting on editorial notes on “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” my story for the Tales of Capes and Cowls anthology. Meantime, I’m still under contract to write four SCC novellas. Maybe I’ll even write them some day!
Other short stories. I’ve been invited to an anthology being edited by Michael A. Ventrella to be published by Fantastic Books that looks to be an absolute blast. I’ve done final edits and proofreading on my story for Three Time Travelers Walk Into…, ditto my story in The Fans are Buried Tales (which has been successfully crowdfunded). I’m going to be doing either a mystery story, a detective story, or a Western story for Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022.
Nonfiction. I’ve done final edits on my essay for Unauthorized Offworld Activation, which is about how Stargate Atlantis didn’t do right by its three leader characters (Weir, Carter, Woolsey). Over on Patreon, I’m continuing to do TV and movie reviews. On Tor.com, besides the Trek stuff, I’ll have a lot to talk about in June’s revival of “4-Color to 35-Millimeter,” as not only will there be a bunch of new movies to discuss (Spider-Man: No Way Home, The King’s Man, The Batman, Morbius, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), but some older movies I missed the first time around (I’m saving the titles for the summer, though, evil grin).
Tie-in anthology. I’m editing a tie-in anthology, for which I’m also writing a story. This is still in the proposal stage, but it promises to be an absolute thrill to work on. It’s a world I’ve never written in before, but am a huge fan of.
Back in early 2013, I did a thing on my LiveJournal where I listed all the first lines of all my novels. I thought I’d update that and present it here….
“C’mon, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is the best rock and roll song ever.” —Gargantua
The night before the kidnappings, Betty Brant dreamt of Ned Leeds, her husband, lying next to her in bed, asleep and alive. —Spider-Man: Venom’s Wrath (full disclosure: that line was written by my collaborator on that novel, José R. Nieto)
The argument started when Cordelia saw what Xander was wearing. —Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Xander Years Volume 1
Iolaus never saw the staff coming. —Young Hercules: Cheiron’s Warriors
“So where are you guys going for spring break?” —Young Hercules: The Ares Alliance
Captain Klag’s right arm itched. —Star Trek: The Next Generation: Diplomatic Implausibility
Rygel flipped his cards over. “Four priestesses. I win again.” —Farscape: House of Cards
“Shields 1 and 2 are now down, Shield 3 is buckling, and warp drive is down!” —Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Demons of Air and Darkness
“Captain, I believe you should come down to see this.” —Star Trek: The Brave and the Bold Book 1
Tharia didn’t cry when his three mates died. —Star Trek: The Brave and the Bold Book 2
Matilda Dixon had been baking a lemon cake when she was told that her husband was dead. —Darkness Falls
Everyone I know is dead. —Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda: Destruction of Illusions
The boy could taste the scent of the lIngta’ on the wind. —Star Trek: The Lost Era: The Art of the Impossible
The faces of the greatest warriors of the past ten centuries stared down at Klag, son of M’Raq. —Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon Book 1: A Good Day to Die
“I am Klag, son of M’Raq, captain of the I.K.S. Gorkon—and I summon you, my fellow members of the Order of the Bat’leth, in a call to honor.” —Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon Book 2: Honor Bound
Gan Brightblade’s last thoughts before his neck was broken were about how happy he was. —Dragon Precinct
Aaron Vricella regarded the younger man sitting opposite him with a combination of awe and outrage. —Resident Evil: Genesis
Major Timothy Cain didn’t take any shit. —Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Sunrise on Qo’noS had lost its appeal for Ambassador Worf. —Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Time for War, a Time for Peace
“Dabo!” —Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed
Before the alarm sounded, Shipmaster Vor Ellis had thought it was a good day. —Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon Book 3: Enemy Territory
Ele’er sat impatiently on her stool in the learning room. Mother was late, of course—she always was late for their learning sessions, which meant they ended later, which meant that Ele’er was always late for sky-singing. —Star Trek: Articles of the Federation
Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds’s life had reduced itself to the critical imperative of running as fast as he could. —Serenity
Peter Parker looked at the clock on the wall, smiled, and said, “We’ve got a few minutes, so let’s go to the next chapter: the Periodic Table of Elements.” —Spider-Man: Down These Mean Streets
Erik had been cleaning ale off the demon skull mounted behind the bar when the stranger walked in. —World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred
Spike was looking forward to a pleasant evening. The grocery store had restocked the Weetabix shelf, giving Spike the opportunity to clean it out again, the butcher had plenty of blood, and the little trick with the tree branch in the Blockbuster returns bin had nabbed him a videotape of Henry V—Branagh’s version, thankfully, not Olivier’s. —Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Blackout
As soon as she felt Cliff Nadaner’s mind, Nova knew that she could destroy her family’s murderer with but a thought. —StarCraft: Ghost: Nova
Kes tried to screen out the voices in her head. —Star Trek: Mirror Universe: The Mirror-Scaled Serpent
“Do we really need to be just hangin’ here, B?” —Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Deathless
The tank screamed over the ridge, crushing the grass and bamboo under its treads, guns blazing as it spit bullets and shells into the large temple and its occupants. —Command and Conquer: Tiberium Wars
Dr. Jim Knable stood on the Ravens’ Gate Bridge, a seething tide of humanity heading straight for him. —Resident Evil: Extinction
A chill November breeze blew John Soeder’s hair into his face, Mother Nature’s reminder to get a haircut in the absence of his actual mother being around to nag him about it. —Supernatural: Nevermore
They held off on letting this universe die in the hopes that it would provide something interesting. —Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q & A
The bat’leth sliced through the air, heading straight for Captain Klag’s neck. —Star Trek: Klingon Empire: A Burning House
Detective Don Flack stared at the one pill that rattled around the bottom of the prescription bottle. —CSI: NY: Four Walls
The chief priest sat in the canoe as the boy rowed to the sacred island. —Supernatural: Bone Key
“I can assure you, Dalin, that I am but a plain, simple clothier. I’ve no idea where the shapeshifter might be.” —Star Trek: Myriad Universes: A Gutted World
The Zirkiv only looks like a three-hundred-and-fifty-year-old Earth Cargo Service vessel. —Star Trek: A Singular Destiny
The rain had not let up for the better part of an hour. —Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon
Vaspar had been thinking about how much he’d been enjoying the calm and quiet of the past five weeks when he found the dead body. —Unicorn Precinct
The Eso swung its deadly claw at Folami’s head. —Guilt in Innocence
When you’re immortal, you literally have all the time in the world to craft and implement plans. If one plan fails, it matters little, for there is plenty of time to try another. —Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Sun: Under the Crimson Sun
A yellow streak flew overhead, stirring up the litter on 20th Street. —SCPD: The Case of the Claw
Oddly, given how miserable he’d been the past few years, Elthor lothSerra was happier than he’d ever been in his century-plus of life when he died. —Goblin Precinct
Zoë Kerrigan held up her cell phone, currently in picture-taking mode, finger poised over the camera icon, waiting for the red panda to wake up. —Leverage: The Zoo Job
Lord Albin was late. —Gryphon Precinct
The great contradiction of Ichabod Crane’s life was that he was constantly surrounded by people, yet had never been more alone. —Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution
The skies are sometimes blue, sometimes black, sometimes gray. —Marvel’s Thor: Dueling with Giants
The great world tree Yggdrasil sits at the center of the Nine Worlds, linking each world to the other eight. —Marvel’s Sif: Even Dragons Have Their Endings
Captain Kirti Patel had thought it to be a good day up until the blast came out of nowhere and made a smoking hole in Sergeant Castro’s chest. —Stargate SG-1: Kali’s Wrath
At the center of the Nine Worlds is Yggdrasil, the world tree, linking them all via its mighty roots and powerful branches. —Marvel’s Warriors Three: Godhood’s End
I would like to state for the record that starting Shabbos with a crazed unicorn charging at you horn-first kinda sucks. —A Furnace Sealed
Henry Marlow sat in the cramped mess hall of the salvage vessel Anesidora and tried to come to grips with his seventeenth straight meal of slop. —Alien: Isolation
An early morning breeze tickled Lieutenant Danthres Tresyllione’s blonde hair as she stood impatiently on Albin Way wishing Lord Doval would hurry up and finish his speech. —Mermaid Precinct
Doctor Julia Gaujot sat, waiting and nervous, outside the office of the North American Union President. —To Hell and Regroup
Detective Michelle Halls stared at the monitor on her desk, wondering why she had thought it would be easier to deal with the paperwork first thing Monday morning than last thing Friday afternoon. —Animal
“Why are we even coming to the office? It’s freezing!” —Systema Paradoxa: All-the-Way House
It all started twelve years ago when my parents were killed. —Feat of Clay (still in progress)
The ones I’ll be doing include a Business of Writing workshop on Tuesday the 4th of May at 4pm Eastern, a Writing in Licensed Universes workshop on Wednesday the 5th of May at 1pm Eastern, and a panel on the Importance of Setting on Wednesday the 5th of May at 4pm Eastern alongside Mario Acevedo, Dan Alatorre, Russell Davis, and Jim Nesbitt.
Besides me, Mario, Dan, Russ, and Jim, the guests include Kevin J. Anderson, Chris Barili, Jeff Bowles, Anthony Dobranski, Paul Kane, Kevin Killiany, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Geoff LePard, Radha Marcum, Ellie Raine, Erin Robertson, and Rick Wilber.
It took a week longer than anticipated, but I have finally finished the first draft of All-the-Way House, the fourth volume in the Systema Paradoxa series of novellas about cryptids that’s being released by the NeoParadoxa imprint of eSpec Books, in association with Cryptid Crate.
I’m gonna let it sit for a day while I write Monday’s Voyager Rewatch and an article on WandaVision, both for Tor.com, and then and then look it over tomorrow before sending it to my editorial goddesses, GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido (a.k.a. The Mom) and Wrenn Simms (a.k.a. The Wife), both professional editors, and both invaluable helpmeets in my writing.
All-the-Way House is, as you might gather from the cover, about the Jersey Devil, and it was a lot of fun to dig into the various legends about the creature also known as the Leeds Devil in general, and the mass hysteria regarding the Devil during a weird winter week in January 1909. The novella takes place in three different time periods — the origin of the Leeds Devil in 1735, the aforementioned week in 1909, and in the present day. It takes place in central New Jersey (Camden, the Pine Barrens, Atlantic City, etc.) and eastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Chester). It takes place in the same milieu as the Adventures of Bram Gold (A Furnace Sealed, the upcoming Feat of Clay, “Under the King’s Bridge”) and the Yolanda Rodriguez short stories (“Materfamilias” in Bad Ass Moms and “Unguarded” in the upcoming Devilish and Divine).
It’s not up for preorder yet, but hopefully soon…..