How would you fine folks out there like a story where a comic book hero, whose life is constantly besieged with enemies, lost loves, and insurmountable odds on a near-weekly basis, finally gets tired of it and decides to kill the person who’s always stacking the deck against him, namely his writer? If you raised an eyebrow or leaned a little closer, welcome to Jen Finelli’s Becoming Hero.
If there’s any one I can call my protégé in this business, it’s Jen. She’s been listening to my good but weird (or is it weird but good?) writerly advice for a few years now, soaking in the big points and tailoring the finer points to match her own witty and irreverent voice. You can see a great example of that in Brain Worms and White Whales, which is free to listen to and read over at Escape Pod.
Jen wants to bring to life this very meta story of a comic book hero getting revenge for all the torturous machinations we writers cook up, and when I say to life I mean full on color life. She wants to hire graphic artists and a voice actor to provide some high quality audio and kickass visual aesthetics on the ebooks, audiobooks and physical print copies. That costs a bit of coin and there’s a reason why the words “starving” and “artist” go together like chocolate and peanut butter. That’s where you guys come in.
I invite you to go over to Jen’s Indiegogo page for Becoming Hero. It’s very hard to not get excited by the premise and all the cool rewards she’s got in store for backers. Plus there are contests and games, no matter your backing pledge amount, coupled with a real and altruistic sense of community and plain giving back. At the time of this post, she’s about $1200 short of reaching that dream goal of fully funded. So head on over there and check out the project!
I meant to do this last week, but life got in the way… this time in the form of my nephew who came to visit. He’s 18 now, and because of my former life as a military servicemember and deployed defense contractor, I hadn’t seen him in years. So I spent a while talking to him about the Air Force (which he plans to join!), investing and life in general. Also, I spent a good minute aggressively trying to not get my ass whipped on my own PlayStation games. It was brutal, y’all. Meanwhile this is the stuff that happened in publishing last week.
Counting back from the most recent first, my story Yours in Heaven debuted in Sci Phi Journal. It’s the story of a sociopathic arms dealer who goes from being a captive in an interstellar zoo to Commander-in-Chief of an alien army. I wrote this awhile back and I’ve always loved it because of the voice and style. Unlike a good many of my stories, I think Yours in Heaven is uniquely appropriate for Sci Phi Journal, as they include the philosophical talking points which gives the reader much more to consider beyond what’s just going on at the surface.
Then earlier in the week, along my road to (hopefully!) J.K. Rowling fortune and glory, I accomplished one of my writing career side quests. My story Soliloquy in a Cheap Diner Off Route 66 debuted in Apex Magazine. These guys have, bar none, the BEST submission guidelines in the business. My story is about Lolonyo, a man with strange and awesome abilities, who is trying to brute force his will over the seemingly immutable laws of the universe. Not only was my story published, but Andrea Johnson over at Apex interviewed me, and it was a really awesome interview. Granted, I’ve only done a handful of interviews in my career as a writer, but Andrea had some really dope questions. Read the story, which is free on site, and then check out the interview.
‘Tis the season to use the word ’tis! Plus friends and fam come around or toss you invites for you to come around. I don’t know what it’s been about this year, but it’s been a woodwork type of season that everyone’s coming out of. I’m seeing family I haven’t seen in years and friends I’ve seen seldom enough to wonder if we’re still friends. Hell, one friend I met in person for the first time ever.
This is all to say I’ve been a bit busy. And having a great time, too.
I’m about to go back to that! Offline stuff. Seasonal stuff. ‘Tis stuff! But first, I wanted to give all you guys who check for me a little early present. I’m giving away my novelette, Dialogues with Talking Heads, for free temporarily. Not only that, it’s coming bundled with 4 other works from that are also being given away for free for a limited time. It’s a great way to get something I’d normally charge for while getting the opportunity to discover someone new… always great to do that without paying or just having a chinchy bit of “Look Inside” at the first 3 pages over at Amazon. Christmas means more than 3 pages, Amazon!
Go here and grab some free reads!
FREE I tell ya!
What up small yet loyal fanbase and random passersby! I’ve been behind-the-scenesing it, subbing my stuff, fine tuning other stuff, playing PlayStation VR to increase my pedigree for otherworldly accuracy, and a bunch of ad nauseums y’all probably don’t care about or can look in the mirror and see yourself doing. We caught up? Let’s get to the news!
Cat ate my name in headlines
I’m in the current issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction. My story “The Rhythm Man” is about a bluesman, a train, mojo spirit juju, pitching woo and a horn that needs tuning, all set to a beat. You’ll see what I mean when you read it. So go ahead and cop the issue. You don’t have a subscription to F&SF, you say? Try it free for 30 days I retort!
Although that’s my biggest news because it’s a brand new story you guys couldn’t have possibly read yet, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a reprint that recently got rereleased. What am I saying? I’m already remiss… this thing’s been out for like two months now! Any of you remember “A Lack of Charity”, a story about this demon powered, vengeance hungry, buick driving badass that got published with Triangulation? If that all sounds foreign, you can check it out in the rerelease with Mysterion: Rediscovering the Mysteries of the Christian Faith. The did a great job editing, and I think the Mysterion version reads a bit tighter and tauter. Excuse me while I insert a tantalizing pic.
Gate guardian ate my name in headlines
That’s about all I got. F&SF is a personal milestone in terms of sidequests… I’ve always wanted to get published with these cats. I aim to do it again because I had a blast working with their editor, C.C. Finlay. Again, check it out (no reason not to for at least a month) and let me know how you dug it.