Friday, April 7, 2017

Upcoming Stuff

Upcoming Stuff



Some may have noticed that I’ve released very little work over the past year or two. Aside from a few short stories, I’ve written far less than I’d have liked. But, having said that, I’ve not stopped completely.
So what can you expect from me this year? I have short stories, coming up in a pair of anthologies from Pro-Se Productions, hopefully, later this year. One will be another Black Wolfe story in Black Pulp 2. The other will be a World War 1 adventure, featuring the notoriously sexy, Mata Hari.
More exciting is a series of six novellas, being released one a month, starting in August or September of this year. The novellas will feature a Nashville detective named Thomas Dietrich. Set in 1951, Dietrich’s cases deal with the paranormal elements that infest his city. Werewolves, vampires, ghosts and demons, all attempt to find ways to make The Music City a Hell on Earth, but the city has a savior fighting for its very soul.


Dietrich’s Nashville will be a dark noir-styled, paranormal series. If the first set do well, there will be a ‘1952’ series.


On down the road, there are more stories coming. A revamped version of one of my first stories, Kaylana is in the works for both ebook and audio. 


An audio version of History Now is underway. An outline for the next Snowflake Garden book is just waiting on me to pull out of the archives and get started.


Stay tuned for more.

Monday, March 6, 2017

History Now! Apollo 11

Latest release!



History Now! Apollo 11 is a sci-fi tale about a journalist who bounces around in time, chronicling some of the most dramatic events in human history. But with every trip through the timestream, there is a danger of tweaking some little something that causes a massive, sometimes disastrous change in the time line.  
History Now! is available in ebook form, with an audible version coming soon.

Available now!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016 and the Uncertain Future

2016 and the Uncertain Future


I think everyone can agree that 2016 was a terrible year. Terrible in so many ways that I’m not going to try and list them, but not many are talking about the good things from the past twelve months. No matter had bad things may be, there are always some bright points.
I did a little thinking about my own life, my own experiences, and the positive side of 2016. So if I can bore you for a moment, I’d like to list out some of the better things for me from this past year.


  • For starters, I had a serious health issue that’d been around for a long while but finally needed attention. Thanks to the support of my friends and many acquaintances, I was able to afford treatment and feel better than I have in years.


  • As the Literary Director at the Steampunk Expo & Gothic Con, I got to pick the guest authors. So, getting a weekend to dine and chat about writing with two of my favorite authors, Alex Bledsoe and David B. Coe, was freakin’ awesome.


  • Although my writing has slowed down drastically for a number of reasons this year, I did get a couple of short stories published, along with the anthology, Capes & Clockwork vol.2.


  • My children, my girlfriend, and friends are all healthy and doing well. Plus the Lewis household gained a member, a pup named Chewie.


  • I got good news from L.A. regarding the Snowflake television series and the option was renewed for another year.


  • I watched as several of my writing friends achieved their dream and got their first book/story published. Many were folks who I’d worked with over the years in the NWMG, so seeing their hard work end in success was wonderful.


Now we look to 2017 and the ascension of a reality TV star to the White House. Things are uncertain and there is a lot of fear in the nation. Still, we need to focus on what is important.

So here’s to 2016, so long and thanks for all the fish.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2017 Plans. Wait, I'm actually planning something?

2017 
Is it really almost 2017?

I mean seriously. It seems like yesterday that we were celebrating/hiding under the table as the 21st century began.

Anyway...

I recently read an article for writers about the importance of keeping your Amazon Author ratings up. For those who don't know, the higher an author's ratings, the more likely the author is have the Amazon Overlords (ALL HAIL THE OVERLORDS) promote the author through various means. This could mean including your books in the 'Suggested Reading' or the 'Customers who bought this item also bought...' sections. Which is actually a big deal as it promotes much needed book sales for us struggling writers.

So, the article went on to suggest that authors should plan on releasing a new novel every three months. Let me repeat that. A NEW NOVEL EVERY THREE MONTHS.

Needless to say, the comments section of the article was a rather fun read as authors from around the world were losing their freaking minds at the idea of churning out a new book every three months. But it got me to thinking. I can't do a full length book that quick, but maybe something else would work.

With that in mind, I've set up a tentative schedule for 2017. The plan may be too ambitious, but let's see what happens. My goal for 2017 is to release something new every month of the coming year. Some will be books that I've been working on during 2016 while others will be 99 cent ebooks/short stories. Some will be in print, or ebook formats and some will be in audio.

So, if you are reading this, I expect you to pester me and keep me on track. I'm not sure if I will post a schedule of the planned projects, but I might, just to keep myself on track.

Anyway,

Thanks and Happy Reading

Alan

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Good days and better days


Good days and better days


So, there are days when being a writer sucks. I mean in my case, it sucks the life out of me, draining me of ideas, words, and hope. There seem to be a lot more of those days lately. But from time to time, something happens that shakes up the dreary routine and puts a spring back in my step. I recently had a Saturday that was one of the latter.
Some of you may know that my first novel, The Blood in Snowflake Garden, was optioned by a production company a couple of years ago. I’m not allowed to disclose much, but things are on track and it looks very promising that it’ll be picked up as a television series. If all goes to plan, next year is going to be big.
A couple of Saturdays ago, I met with Brian Buckner about the project and heard about how the TV series will look and feel. While there are certainly some big changes from the book, I’m exceedingly happy they are taking it in the direction he spoke about. The new direction will open up a world of possibilities.
Some characters will change a little, some minor folks will be bigger and while others didn’t make the cut. The timeline is different, but I love the new take on it.
I wish I could share all the detail, but I can’t for now. But when I can, trust me, I’m not going to shut up about it. J

For now, get a copy of the book and see what all the fuss is about.


Thanks for subscribing.
Alan

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Capes & Clockwork 2 Author Interview: Jeremy Hicks.

Capes & Clockwork 2 Author Interview: Jeremy Hicks.


As a way of celebrating the release of Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam, Volume 2, I’m interviewing some of the contributing authors.


Today, we talk with Jeremy Hicks.

1.          Tell us about yourself and how you got started writing.

Born and raised in the country, books became a refuge from boredom early on in life. Writing followed soon after, and thanks to people like my Uncle Danny, I had a lot of encouragement. He used to pay me a quarter per page for short stories, which is the best money I’ve made writing professionally. My first publication came in 5th grade when a short story I’d written about a mummy and an archaeologist appeared in my school newspaper. In high school, I worked on the school newspaper and yearbook and submitted stories to our literary magazine. After high school, college dominated my life, so I didn’t write for pleasure for a number of years. Finally, as an archaeologist bouncing around on the road, I found myself writing cooperative Star Trek fanfiction with a number of people in our fleet. Fanfiction helped me sharpen my dialogue and learn to work with co-writers from around the globe, from active collaboration to back-end editing.
My career as a professional writer evolved from there. In 2008, when my job evaporated and our industry—heavily tied to infrastructure—collapsed, I talked my friend Barry Hayes into pairing his imagination with my own to produce faraway Faltyr and the Cycle of Ages Saga. We started a production company, wrote a few screenplays, shopped them unsuccessfully due to their budget requirements, and then tried to build a fan base for our property. The biggest blow happened when our attempt to have our franchise licensed as an official Dungeons & Dragons product failed because of our representation at the time. But we persevered. As a result, we wrote our first novel, the Cycle of Ages Saga: Finders Keepers, and Dark Oak Press published it in 2013. Since then, we’ve published a sequel novel, and I’ve had a number of short stories published in anthologies or through KDP.

2.          What genres do you prefer writing and why?

Professionally, I’ve written fantasy, horror, and steampunk. My space opera and science fiction tales have been limited to fanfiction for now, but I have a Star Trek novel I’d really like to pitch. Regardless of what I’m writing, I feel like I’m drawn to darker, horrific storylines with good imagery and lots of action. However, I find that my dark, twisted sense of humor works its way into whatever I write, but I doubt most people will ever find all of my weird Easter eggs, paraphrases of writers and works that have influenced us, and private jokes shared among geeks, nerds, or even my friends and family. Like musicians and artists, I tend to imbed my influences within my work works.

3.          What drew you to Capes & Clockwork?

I owe my involvement in Capes & Clockwork to one man, our tireless editor and friend, Alan Lewis. He has worked his ass off making sure that these two anthologies made it to publication despite all of the odds. Few people outside of the industry realize the challenges to publishing a single story, much less pulling together a pool of creative talent to submit enough stories appropriate for a themed anthology. It’s been said that herding writers is much like herding cats. Having arranged several dinners for us at conventions and literary events, I believe that to be true. Alan has displayed patience and determination in realizing these anthologies and helped me to grow as a writer in the process. Thanks to him, my catalog contains steampunk stories now. Without him, I may never have taken the plunge into this genre, or injected that element into our fantasy world of Faltyr. For those who have not read my story in the first Capes & Clockwork, it’s called “Deep Diving Death Defying Dwarves of the Deep.” I crafted that story after Alan asked me to submit a story for the first anthology. It really revolutionized my ideas for how to handle our world’s Underworld and Hollow World aspects.

4.          Give us a quick blurb about your story?

My story for Capes & Clockwork 2 is my first “proper” steampunk story, although it contains a fair bit of Teslapunk elements too. It’s called “The Fluff and the Fury”, and it’s a simple story about love, loyalty, and the lengths we go to for those we hold close to our heart. My tale takes place in the early 20th century, in the uncertain years before the U.S. is pulled into World War I. When unsavory agents want to lay hands on advanced technologies being squandered on a travelling circus, but they underestimate the determination of one of its smallest performers.

5.          Tell us about your hero and what drives them to be a good guy or gal?

I wrote this story as a tribute, to enshrine some of those I love in fiction, so the hero of my story is Ginger, a smart, savvy circus poodle based on our family dog. She is owned by Madame Technique, co-owner and operator of the Carnivale Fantastique, a woman who rescued her and trained her to participate in the extravaganza. The Madame and her primary technical assistant are based loosely on my parents too, though Dad is the mechanical whiz in the family. Mom, like Ginger, is the little spitfire, though. She engenders such love and loyalty from Ginger that the poodle does not hesitate to do whatever it can for her Madame, whether it involves suffering lightning bolts arcing over its fluffy head or hounding those who seek to ruin and steal from her.

6.          Were there challenges for you in writing a cross-over genre (steampunk and superhero)?

Enough that I cheated last time and used the closest thing to a superhero on Faltyr, the elven war-mage Yax’Kaqix (Blue Macaw) as a point-of-view character. I figured the story would have more impact if someone as badass as him recognized the courage and sacrifice of the dwarven submariners. For this story, I relied on a lot of research, mainly reading about canine senses, perception, and cognition. For inspiration, I drew primarily on the eccentric behaviors of our tiny dog. But I did rely on every canine hero and ally from fiction, from Benji and Lassie to Scooby-Doo and Krypto, too. Ultimately, I ignored the four-color comic aspect and embraced a more heartfelt, intimate hero whose primary strengths include keen senses and intellect, bravery, unconditional love, and unshakeable loyalty.

7.          Who do you prefer writing? The heroes or the villains.

For this story, it was all about the hero. Writing it became an emotional rollercoaster for me, so I hope that effect comes across in the story itself. In my other stories, though, I prefer darker, more flawed characters, whether they are anti-heroes, scoundrels, rogues, or outright villains. It is even more fun to write those character types once you realize most of those baddies or selfish types do not realize those truths about themselves. They tend to be the heroes of their own stories. I find it makes for complicated characters which I feel is much more realistic.

Check out Jeremy’s story, The Fluff and the Fury in Capes & Clockwork, Vol. 2
And his story, Deep Diving Death Defying Dwarves of the Deep in the original Capes & Clockwork.