Category Archives: Blood From a Stone

Tempt the school librarians

Yesterday I attended the first (possibly annual) Providence Book Festival. In terms of sales, I didn’t do too well, but in terms of networking and finding out information (and helping other authors) I did really well.

One nugget I learned was that librarians go to these things. It’s not a bad thing to try to cater to a school library. Because Grimaulkin is young adult, and that market is hot (not hot-hot like middle grade) I can get the book into the hands of high schoolers. I also offered myself up as a speaker to school librarians in case they ever wanted to put together a panel of authors.

Meanwhile, I am now doing the rewrite for Blood From a Stone. I did all the background work, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, what characters to keep, what scenes to redo and add in. I hope to have it done in the next two weeks and ready to send out to the editor by then. My self-imposed deadline is June 1.

May 1 is when Grimaulkin Tales comes out. We titled each of the stories like Canterbury Tales, which is kinda neat. I’ve sold one copy already, and I may have someone ready to get it in June.

My next appearance will be June 1, at the Woonsocket Meet & Greet in the Woonsocket library.

Next Saturday, I will be appearing at the Providence Book Festival in the Renaissance Hotel. It’s a fancy joint, so I might have to dress up. and I have to pay an insane amount to park. Oh well; at least I’ll be with other Pulitzer Prize winning local authors (though I never heard of them). It should be interesting.

I might have one appearance in May, but on June 1 I’ll be in Woonsocket for their second annual Meet and Greet. I hope to participate in Pridefest on June 15 – it depends on when I get my tax ID. It’s the little things.

In the meantime, healthwise, I don’t feel like I’m getting better, and some days are better than others. Today is already rough; I can imagine what next week will bring. I have some tests the following week to decide whether or not I’ll need oxygen. If that happens, I might as well give up doing the outdoor events. Nevermind how the heck I’m going to get around.

Progress on Blood From a Stone is excellent. I’ve plowed through my manuscript, fluffed up some scenes, taken out some worthless characters, and told a story. It’s the how that is going to be the problem. I know what I want to say now, what I meant to say in the first draft; now I need to figure out how.

It’s going to take some significant rewriting on my part to get it to be the story I wanted. But it has some hope, unlike Yellowtree which has the only hope of a good title.

Speaking of good titles:

Review: Clean
I didn’t finish it. Maybe I’ll go back to it. Why?
The main character (A Level 8 telepath, whatever the hell that means) is a recovering junkie. I thought, okay, that’s interesting. But he brings it up in every chapter. In every other chapter, he keeps asking his superiors for help from “The Guild” and the superiors keep saying no. By the fifth time of all this happening, I’d had it. (Remember the rule of three, people. Reject it three times and then do something about it, or your reader will think you’re dragging it along like a dead horse.)

Review: Hot Lead, Cold Iron
I’m still reading it, though I’m getting really close to not finishing it.
The main character, Mick Oberon (probably that Oberon, I wouldn’t be surprised) is a 1930’s noir PI fae. I thought that was a great idea, too, except the narrator’s voice keeps switching from period voice to a more modern voice. It’s like hearing a high Victorian lady spout the f-word like a soldier. We’ll see if I finish it.

Health is Everything

It’s true. I went to the Association of Rhode Island Authors’ meeting (which didn’t have an elevator) so I had to climb stairs. It took me almost a half an hour to get from my car to the meeting, and out of the meeting to my car.

And I have an event in two weeks. At first, I was going to do it by myself, but just thinking about carrying all those books in on my own, setting them up, and tearing down–when I can’t even walk down stairs!–just scares me. I do have a helper who is being forced to come with me, but I have nothing for him to do so he’ll be bored.

I certainly hope that by August, when appearances ramp up for me, I’ll be able to do more things on my own.

Grimaulkin Tales is ready to come out on May 1, with some advance copies at the Providence Book Festival on April 27. At that, all the table real estate will be taken up by books, because I have a 3′ table space. Only two spots for business cards, a spot for the Corporate Catharsis flier, and the rest is all ten (YES, TEN!) of my books.

I am working on Blood From a Stone and will be working on it for a while. What happened is that in the middle of the book, I started dictating and there’s tons upon tons of dialogue that have nothing to do with the story. Not to mention NO QUOTES. Six pages of doing laundry. That’s going to get excised, for certain. And I repeat myself a lot. Characters don’t do what they’re supposed to, or they just do an awful lot of thinking.

Yeah, it’s a mess. It will be Maxwell’s story, but it’s still a mess.

Death card

The Death card in Tarot means endings and new beginnings. I’ve just finished Grimaulkin Tales (not Grimaulkin Collected – that’s the omnibus edition) and it will be available May 1.

Now I’m working on Blood From a Stone, doing the long and detailed rewrite of the story. It’s not as wrecked as Yellowtree. Yellowtree needs a total rewrite, I think. I might end up parking it in the drawer and starting something entirely new, but I love the title and I can’t let it go.

My next event, hopefully, will be the Providence Book Festival on April 27. I may have copies of Grimaulkin Tales there – no promises. Regardless, they will be available at PrideFest (if the Association of RI Authors has a presence).

Brother of the Zodiac omnibus should be available soon as well. Here’s the first draft of the cover..

The second draft has some Easter eggs and this will be available soon. Blood From a Stone will be under Maxwell’s name because of the subject matter.

I am trying to think of a different story to do. I liked the character of Turbo that I developed in Champions. His brother was a superhero and got injured, so Turbo took up the mantle himself without his brother knowing. I’m not sure if the superhero market is any good when it comes to stories–I know that the urban fantasy series is still going strong. I want to write to market a little bit, because otherwise the book will end up in the remainder pile somewhere. But I don’t want to sell out. It’s a fine line.

I want to write something that I can enjoy writing because after all, I’ll be with it for months. And you, Gentle Reader, will be with it for hours. I don’t want to waste your time on it, either.

Well, first thing’s first – finish Blood From a Stone and then take a look at the landscape to see what’s next. As with the Death card, every ending is a new beginning.

Home again

So while at the hospital, I thought I could get some writing done.


I was so sick. So I know better now. Going into the hospital is not a vacation.

I’ve finished about 2/3 of the stories for the Grimaulkin Collected anthology. I have submitted for Corporate Catharsis. I’m not submitting for the ARIA anthology this year, though–mostly because I can’t think of anything to write.

Max’s next novel was sent to the editor for a quick read-through. He approved, so I’m planning on working on that next.

I’m trying to think up a new work, and I’m tempted to go back to my first novel that I wrote when I was fifteen, pulling out that character and rewriting that story.

A week of nuthin’

This week, I finished the final edits of Air, so that’s on track to be published in February. I also printed out Blood From a Stone, looked at it, and realized that editing it was too daunting, considering the editing I was doing for Yellowtree.

Oh, by the way,. I quit editing Yellowtree because I kept getting so disgusted about what I had written. I kept thinking the whole thing is a piece of crap, so I might as well just rewrite the whole thing, and go back to my original story line of fairies and unseelie and seelie fights, instead of throwing in mermaids and sea tales.

I decided this week I’d take a rest from editing. Instead I started writing up character descriptions and histories from the game I play. I want to write something, anything, daily, so this is a good idea to start. I have three pages of characters to plow through.

I’m also trying to write the Grimaulkin Collected stories, at least part of one a day. I have eight stories that have to be at least 5,500 words each. I have a total, right now, of 3,000 words for two stories. Needless to say I need to add more. Not padding, but subplots.

Oh,, cover reveal!

Pretty, huh? That means it’s real…

Research and twisting history

I am doing research right now for a story for Air.  I’m taking history and twisting it around. Two men worked together as Washington’s spies. What if they had relations between each other? I won’t go into the whole thing, but I am taking liberties with history.

There’s nothing wrong with taking history and putting a spin on it for fictional purposes. But it has to be believable. In my case, the story is inspired by Washington’s Spies by Alexander Rose. The book itself is interesting, but I’m making assumptions about the two men in the Culler ring, assumptions that probably never happened. But it’s an inspiration, not fact. It’s not narrative non-fiction; it’s fiction, with some history thrown in.

Personally, I love little history nuggets. Although Air is an erotica series, I want to make the settings just as important. Air will have the spies, a vigilante marshal in the American West, and an abolitionist teacher of freed black slaves. All of these require some research. I can get away with some things, I’m sure, but if I put in that the marshal is using a 9 millimeter gun, I’m doing a disservice to my readers. It’s like a clunky stop that throws the reader out of the story. So I try to be as accurate as possible.

Fire is coming out on Tuesday. I already have the preview for it on my L.A. Jacob FB page. My favorite in that book is Leo (for some reason, I really like the first-person narratives). I’m thinking of putting Blood From a Stone – which needs some heavy-handed editing – be Max’s next novel.

Meanwhile, I am going to do NaNoWriMo this coming November. As usual, it’s based on a character from Champions Online. The character’s name is Vegas Fey, and his story in Champions is going to be different than the story I’m developing. I want it to take place in Jamestown, RI, because I’m familiar with it and a trip to Boston is required, but I also want to broaden my reach and horizons. Maybe it takes place in Florida, at Fort Pierce (which I am familiar with, also). A drive to Tampa might be in order there…I have almost three weeks to decide.

I hope to have Marc Ducrow, who did the covers for Homecoming and War Mage, do the cover for this upcoming novel. I really want this story to be told, and I think with some editing, it my be out next year.

And then the first weekend in November, I will be at RI ComicCon. So that kills 24 hours of writing time. But if it means I sell books or gets my name out there, then it’s worth it.

A new Dark Mystic Quill podcast is out as well. It’s about magic, not writing this time around, being that it is October and the time of year for weird and magical things.