STRAP ON THEM IRONS BOYS (or the announcement of a new project)


If you been paying attention to my social media (and if you haven’t then why not?) then you know I am a part of the Outlaws Of Fiction. We’re like the Four Horsemen of WCW. Four authors who write edgy stuff and buck the system making our own way. If you like my stuff, you will probably like theirs and vice a versa. We see eye to eye and all.

The Outlaws are: Yours Truly, D. A. Adams, Brady Allen, and Steven Shrewsbury. (click their names to go to their respective sites)

See what I mean? If you are familiar with any of them I can see you nodding your head and going: “Yep, them and James are cut from the same cloth.”  We got a BLOG, a FACEBOOK PAGE, and lot of fire in our bellies (but that might be the bourbon….or Brady’s chili.)

Well, this is the post where I tell you we ain’t all talk. We have decided, as writers are won’t to do, to collaborate on a new project. So allow me to introduce to the world formally:

LOWDOWN, DESPERATE, AND DAMNED Four Tales Set In The Weird West.

Blurb:

There was a time in America’s past that never happened. Where mythic heroes strapped iron on their hips and strode across the frontier and far reaches of the American West to make a name for themselves. A time of gunslingers and bounty hunters, outlaws and lawmen; a bloody age where you lived by the gun and survived by your willingness to use it. In this fictional past, the West was weird: heavy laden with bloodsuckers, skinwalkers, monsters not yet named, and dead men walking. Discover a West of old gods and dark magick, of demons and witches, where the razor-thin difference between life and death hung on being a ruthless bastard, a cunning cowboy, or having just one more bullet.

 

This is just a mock up to give you a taste. Not the final cover.

 

So the skinny is this: We each are writing a weird western novella. these novellas will be gathered into a 4-pack and published. We haven’t looked for a publisher yet, but we have a few in our sights. We’ll finish our part while it’s still winter, but it will be in 2013.

I’ll keep you posted with updates, snippets, and the like but my story will probably either be a Caleb Donner story (survivor of the Donner Party and now a bounty hunter with a dark secret living inside him), possibly a novella set in my WASTELAND world (more on THAT later), or a story about Robert McGee which is this guy.

This is a real picture of a real guy who survived being scalped AS A CHILD. Imagine the tough sunnuvabitch you have to be to live your life with your skull open to the world like that.

 

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HAVING A FRIEND OVER FOR THANKSGIVING (or A Guest Blog Up In Da House By Matthew W. Quinn)


Today we have my friend Matt Quinn on the blog. Matt is a member of my writing group and he has just sold a story to Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (“Nicor”) that will appear after the first of the year. He’s a fine fellow, a gentleman AND a scholar, so listen up as he tells you about researching as it pertains to writing.

Things I’ve Learned about Writing Research

The Author Himself Matthew W. Quinn

By Matthew W. Quinn

One of the most important aspects of writing is research. If an error throws the reader out of the story or provokes them to throw the book against the wall, you have failed.

For my novel Battle for the Wastelands and its companion novella Son of Grendel, I had to do a lot of research on Civil War battles and weapons. Both Wikipedia and YouTube proved quite useful, as I could quickly find out about different guns, then go to YouTube to watch them being fired.

However, my current hard science fiction project (which does not yet have a title even though it’s already spawning sequels) will require even more. There are plenty of books about the Civil War that won’t be hard to find, but finding a book from the 1980s about the Strategic Defense Initiative and in particular a proposed nuke-pumped laser is harder. Furthermore, it’s set in a future space-based United States Navy, so there’s an extra layer of research that simply Must Get Done if I want to sell to military and former military people.

My most helpful resource has been the public library system. Although you can get a lot of superficial information from the Internet, books are what’ll help you go deep. When I lived on the South Side of Atlanta, the statewide PINES library system was extremely helpful in getting me the information I needed. When I moved to the North Side, the Atlanta-Fulton library system became my new mainstay. Libraries often have books that bookstores don’t. One of my big research sources for Battle for the Wastelands was the series Daily Life In…, in particular the ones about Victorian England, the United States during the Civil War, and the 19th Century American frontier. Those books were apparently fairly limited in terms of press run, since the Amazon price for each one is around $50. They’re especially valuable because although many history books cover big-picture items like wars and the reasons behind economic shake-ups, they won’t go into detail about how people lived, what they ate, etc.

Writing groups are another source. Different group members often know a lot about particular topics. For example, James knows a lot about firearms. During a critique of Son of Grendel, he pointed out that I should depict insurgents firing modern assault rifles on full auto reloading, since this goes through bullets VERY fast. Although I’d depicted them having to fight the guns dragging upward, I’d forgotten about that even though it’s fairly common sense. Another group member is a retired Army sergeant who’s been quite helpful in areas of military protocol and tactics, including a scene in Son of Grendel where a colonel is directing soldiers during a firefight while on horseback — he might as well be wearing a sign that says “Kill Me” — and a scene in Battle for the Wastelands in which a sergeant oversees shooting drills.

Meanwhile, at least three members of my other writing group are retired military. One provided some good advice on portraying a military policewoman’s reaction to being hit on in a bar (probably not a good one), while another — a former petty officer on a submarine — provided a lot of material about Navy culture and protocol. He also informed me of the “one crew one screw” rule in which collective punishments are used to give all members of a unit incentive to keep troublemakers under control. I was sure to use this in Battle for the Wastelands when a sergeant makes all members of a squad do “gaspers” (what I describe as “an unholy mix of squatting, push-ups, and jumping to their feet”) when three members get into an argument.

However, you’ve got to make sure you’re using quality material for your research. I remember (hopefully incorrectly) a history of Anglo-Saxon England I read in high school implied the Normans imposed the infamous “first night” on England after their conquest, but the historical evidence for this “right” even existing is rather spotty. If something seems weird, I would recommend looking for corroboration in other sources.

Matthew W. Quinn is a published writer of short stories and currently shopping his novel: BATTLE FOR THE WASTELANDS. His horror tales “Melon Heads,”  “I am the Wendigo,” and “The Beast of the Bosporus” and his science-fiction story “Coil Gun” can be found on Amazon.com, while his licensed BattleTech story “Skirmish at the Vale’s Edge” can be found on BattleCorps.

Matt’s blog is HERE

SOME MOVIES FOR NEXT YEAR I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO (or careful James, your narcissim is showing)


Time for a new post up in here, up in here.

I’ve been writing my ass off today so I am going to jack in a bunch of trailers for upcoming movies I am looking forward to, maybe a few classics I aim to revisit, and there might even be a tv show or two.

Here ya go.

 

 

WHAT THE HELL HAS JAMES BEEN DOING LATELY? (aka: status report)


Hello Loyals and True Believers. I hope you are well. I love you all and it is good to see you again.

I have many writer friends and occasionally they post up what they are doing and how it is going so I figured I would do the same.
I am going to list things by project name, brief description, and then the status of the project.
So here goes:

RED RIGHT HAND:  Charlie, a survivor of something terrible, gets dragged into a mad hunt for elder gods who are breaking their prison on the other side of the universe and coming to our world.  Her hunting partners are Brad and The Crawling Chaos, Nyarlathotep himself. It’s dark urban fantasy based out of the Lovecraft Mythos and I freaking love the way it is going. Rough sketched for 3 books.  STATUS: 25% complete on first draft. I WILL finish the first draft over November.

THE CLOCKWORK COURTESAN:  Tesla’s nephew and a Clockwork girl in an action adventure/steampunk tale that has dirigibles, clockwork people, magic, Pinkerton Agents, mechanikal cyborgs, and a lot of romance. STATUS: 25% done but on hold. I think the story needs to gestate a little bit longer.

SUPER SEKRIT COLLABORATION WITH A NYT BESTSELLING AUTHOR: Holy crap y’all. I am so damn excited about this one I can barely keep it in…but I have to so no details except to say that this is an urban fantasy take on a classic tale, set in medieval times, and done in a totally fresh and new way. My collaborator is almost got her schedule clear (one more week) and then we start. IT IS GONNA ROCK!  STATUS: Character sheets done, outline 90% done.

THUNDER ON THE BATTLEFIELD ANTHOLOGY: I get to try my hand at editing! This is the sword and sorcery antho from Seventh Star Press that will hit 2nd quarter of 2013. The deadline isn’t for another 3 months but I have been getting some truly awesome submissions and it will be a terrific collection of heroic fantasy.  STATUS: Pre-selecting the submissions for acceptance.

WEIRD WESTERN ANTHOLOGY:  I am now a proud member of The Outlaws Of Fiction with Brady Allen, D.A. Adams, and Steven Shrewsbury. We are the Four Horsemen of the Writer-pocalypse. We are joining forces to compile 4 novellas (one each) for a collection. It will be a weird western theme and it is gonna rock. My story stars Caleb Donner, a survivor of the Donner Party Massacre who wanders the west as a pariah and a hired gun. He gets into some crazy stuff. We will be pitching a publisher in a few months. STATUS: Planning stage, but my story is outlined and in the que to be written. (20,000 words should be a 2 week turnaround, written and revised)
* check out the Outlaws Of Fiction on our BLOG and our FACEBOOK PAGE

THAT WAY LIES MADNESS: This is written and ready to roll. It’s the Lovecraft Mythos in space. It’s dark, spooky, and straight space horror. I love it. I love the world, I love the voice, I love the main character. I have the cover ready (art by me) and the rights to “He Stopped Loving Her Today” reverted in October so I am including it as a backup story. I am also including interior art drawn by me.  This one will available in both e-book and print.   STATUS: I have some interior art pieces to draw, after that I just lay it out and pub it. I plan to have this done by end of month also.

HE STOPPED LOVING HER TODAY COMIC BOOK SCRIPT: I am writing a comic book script based on my zombie love story as a way to pitch comic book companies to allow me to write for them. I LOVE comic books. I’ve been a fanboy since I was a kid and now the industry is looking for novel writers to write for them so I am getting this written as a sample script. Of course if someone wants to make it a comic book then I am totally game.  STATUS: 33% done. Also will be finished by months end.

 

So there you go. That is what I am doing. Along with doing some work on the tattoo shop to prepare for 2013. Its been open for near 4 years so its time for some newness. So far it is all on track for 2013 to rock your face off.