Category Archives: Intelligence Reports

Intelligence Report: Becoming Hero

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!


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Intelligence Report: H.G. Wells, Secret Agent – FREE for 2 days!

You guys know I take my humor seriously.  Fun stuff comes along so infrequently you know, and I’ll be damned if I write it all myself.  So when Alex Shvartsman, the driving force behind the Unidentified Funny Objects  anthologies, puts a fun action novella out for free (FREEEEEE) not only do I pick it up, I tell you guys to pick it up.


H.G. Wells, Secret Agent is a romp through Victorian-era England, with Wells as a steampunk style James Bond.  Fun, Fast-paced, Frivolously anachronistic.. for FREE!

Get it here!  Read it!  Leave a review or just come back here and tell me what you think.  But you guys gotta act on it A.S.A.P. – the free status only lasts today and tomorrow.


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Intelligence Report:

Making sense of the whirlwind of blog topics

Making sense of the whirlwind of blog topics

Have you guys been saying good things about me, telling folks you like my blog?  Reason I ask is because I was approached by a representative from, asking me to take a look at it and let my readers know what I think.  Well, I’ve browsed the site, looked at some of the advice, enjoyed some of the fun pictures and I’m pleased to report that it’s worth checking out if any of you are interested in blogging.

They cover the gamut of blogging, from the history, to why people do it, what kinds are out there, how to make money from blogging, you name it.  Maybe I should look at the chapter about monetizing the blog… who couldn’t go for more of that right?

If you have an inkling of a kernel of a nugget of an idea you wouldn’t mind blogging about, I definitely recommend checking them out.  When I first started fictigristle, I wanted to document this war in the trenches, the journey from selling my first story at token pay to becoming a pro to (now!) working on getting a book deal.  I remember when I thought it up I wasn’t sure of how to really start, what things to include, where to host it, etc.  Having something like that back when I posted my first blog would have helped make the war in the trenches feel less like a war.

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Intelligence Report: The Gilded Basilisk


Hey gang,

I’m almost in the swing of things Stateside, and I promise I’ll tell you all about my comings and goings and happenings in a short while.  In the meantime, while you’re waiting on new content from me, I wanted to direct your attention to a book I just finished.  I present to you The Gilded Basilisk by Chet Gottfried.

It only took me a couple days to devour this book.  A high fantasy story filled with intrigue and unpredictable magic, it tells the tale of Hugin, a scheming hustler and aspiring innkeeper and his best friend Gier, street brawler and all around man’s man, who find themselves thrust into the middle of a nobleman’s plot to not only seize the reign of their land, but the neighboring kingdom as well.  Which nobleman?  You’ll spend pages upon pages guessing!

Chet Gottfried has a real talent for edge of your seat twists and turns.  Not only do you not see the end coming, you’re taking wildly guesses at the middle and who you thought you knew has a totally different face when the chips start falling.  Having read a wealth of short stories and novels, I have to say that I was wholly unprepared for what felt an unrelenting assault on where I thought the story was going, with plenty of pleasant surprises along the way.  The author keeps the tone light and intersperses humor throughout, making a fully foreign world easy to approach and get completely immersed into.

I highly recommend this one.  Check out The Gilded Basilisk by Chet Gottfried on Amazon, where you can take a peek inside to see what I mean, or buy it in any format over at ReAnimus Press.

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