I haven't done one of these in a while. Honestly, it's because there hasn't been much to say. I'm just here, typing away. Nothing terribly exciting, or profound. That being said, I think it's time to say something!
I am currently 60k words deep into the draft. I was hoping to be done with this book by the end of the year, but that is very unlikely. I may be done with the draft in that time, but not published, or edited. Basically, I have had a lot of ground to cover, a lot of stories to wrap up, things to mention, cameos to make. It's a huge ordeal ending a long running series like this, and I don't want to ruin it. I hate watching a really good show only to be disappointed by the ending. I don't want that for this series, and I don't want that for you.
That being said, we both know it's not the absolute end. More like End Game was for the MCU. Not a true ending, but one all the same. I may, one day, revisit this period and add more (I occasionally think Mai/Hitori needs another book). We shall see what the future holds.
As for this book. Well, we're at the final stretch, the last act, the final stand. It's going to be full of action, humor, and an ending where you'll be flipping through the series trying to see figure out how you got where you're at. In short, if I do this well (and I will do everything in my power to do so) this will be my favorite book out of the whole series.
It's been a few weeks since I posted, but that's mostly due to how busy I've been. First off, I had a table at Fountain City Comic Con for one of those weekends. If you follow me on Instagram, or Facebook you likely saw some of the pictures I took. It was a blast. I sold some books, talked to a prop master about his work on Army of Darkness, and I may have lined up some new side projects. It never hurts to network!
I started the writing of Book 8 today. Not going to lie, this is going to be a tough one to write, for a number of reasons.
For one, it's the end of a 10 year long series. While some of the characters will move into the next series, not all of them will. It's hard, to be honest. It's like finishing a book series you've been reading for the first time. Except, I made it and I've had to live with these characters in my head a lot longer than what it takes to read the series.
The content is going to be tough to tackle as well. It's really 3 stories in one, set in different time periods, but explaining how it all started, how it's going to end, and where it's going from there. I'd love to separate these out into different books, but my fear is that in doing that someone new to the series will pick up one of these books first, read it, and ruin the story behind the series. For semi-clarity, and a little bit of a hint: even the writing style of the series is explained.
Lastly, I have a lot of things to wrap up, and I want to make sure to include everything, and do so in a pleasing manner. I hate watching/reading a long running series, only to be disappointed with the ending. I'm going to do my best not to do that here.
At present, I'm only 2k words in, and am going to do my best to keep a 1k word a day momentum. Assuming work and life don't get in the way too much, I'm shooting for a 4-6 month release window. Don't yell at me if that doesn't happen. :)
As the main series ends, two new ones will rise from the ashes! Okay, that was a bit Ed Wood dramatic, sue me.
However, there is truth to it. The "plan" is to begin a series as a sci-fi space romp, while the other covers the aftermath of the main series. Not directly tied to CoM, this will take place (likely) thousands of years later. This will be a Conanesque world in this series. By that I mean you'll be getting a world of magic, monsters, varied races (frog people), and crazy characters. I don't have too many specifics written out, but I have a pretty good idea what I want to do and where to take it.
I wouldn't expect too many obvious ties to the main series. What I've found with long running series, like CoM, is that it's increasingly difficult to sell someone on a series that seems to never end. I can understand and appreciate that. So, rather than advertising this to newbies as a spinoff, it'll simply be a new set of stories, set in the same universe. However, if you have read CoM you'll likely pick up on a few things that will make the experience a bit more enjoyable. Think The Mandalorian to the Star Wars movies.
I don't know specifically when I'll get to this series. I'd like to do Dwarves in Space first, but seeing as I have some other projects I'd like to do as well it may be a while before this comes to fruition. Those things I'll start to cover in the next post(s).
If the in Spaaaaaace thing doesn't make sense, Youtube "Pigs in Space". It was an old Muppet Show skit. Anyways, moving on...
One of the things I've very much tried to keep going in these books is a relaxing of genres. I'll read just about anything handed to me, and from that, my style is a bit eccentric. M tends to have a quirky noir, satirical style, Hitori (or Mai in the COM series) is more of a old samurai/manga style, Domitianus was straight horror, and the Death Squad book was a mixed back of documentary, mythology, social commentary, and action. What I haven't dealt with is science fiction, which was very much on purpose.
I wanted to ease into it. I know sci-fi is not everyone's cup of tea. COM starts in modern times and gradually works its way into the future. The idea being that time must pass, but in developing the characters and showing the progress of time through their technology and a bit through language, I hoped that the steps into space ships and planetary adventures wouldn't be as off-putting. If I drag you into space with existing characters, maybe the trip won't be so painful. Hopefully, you're up for the journey.
I'm going to break this post into a few parts, because I dislike writing 50 page posts for people to read. It makes me think of those ridiculous stories before a recipe. Just get to the point and give me the good stuff.
Firstly, or perhaps eightly, the next book in the Chronicles of M series (book 8) will be the last. Not the last of M, but the last of what makes up the "Chronicles" portion. I have written an intro, lots of notes, and pondered the crud out of the book, but the actual progress has been small. This is in due in part to wanting to finish this series correctly, work through all the plot holes I've left behind (mostly on purpose), wrap up character stories, etc. I'm also lacking in progress because of Truckstop Hipsters, creating a video game (I'll talk about at a later date), and the usual adulting things we all love and cherish (insert eyeroll here). There's also a super secret project in the works that I must be super secret about, but if it shall come to fruition...well, we shall see in due time.
Once we're beyond book 8, there are two paths I'm taking this world I've created. One, in spaaaaaace, and the other will continue the path that these current series begins. Saying more will potentially be spoilers for book 8, so I will remain silent. All you need know is that parts 2 and 3 of this blog post will cover the two directions this will go....generically speaking.
I've been working with Eric Wright on a brand new comic, Truckstop Hipsters. It's about 4 friends and their (mis)adventures while hanging out at their favorite locations....mostly a truckstop.
This is in "coming soon" phase. Eric is doing ALL the art work, which includes water coloring the entire thing. It'll be amazing when it's done and I'll post some pictures going forward.
Click on the Truckstop Histpers image to go to Eric's Facebook page. He's an amazing artist who does an array of art (ie not just comics). He also does commissions!
It's been almost a year since I did one of these, and for those of you who were reading these I apologize. The last year has been a little nuts and I'm finally starting to get a grip on all of it. Firstly, I started a new position at work that requires a lot more thought and time than my previous position. Because of that, I was coming home feeling like I had been in an all-day test and I was mentally drained. Now, add the usual adulting items of wife, kids, house maintenance, you get the picture. I'm not complaining, just explaining my absence. I seem to have gotten use it, so here we are. On to brighter things. What is new?
Well, I'm currently lettering a comic called Enigma Inc. It's a fun read. Think Scooby Doo, but years later and psychologically broken on a few levels. The artist is still inking and coloring the comic, so I do not have an ETA on this one. Before the end of the year would be my guess. You can find his work here: https://www.facebook.com/417thecomic/ and https://www.instagram.com/seanfolly7/
The same Artist, Eric Wright, and I also put out the first issue of One Flag. This one I wrote and lettered. It's about a group of desperate people that rob a train and set a chain of events in motion. Lot of humor and action, set in a world that asks the question: what would happen if a Superman like character ruled the world?
I am working on Damsals and Dinos, the newest book in the Chronicles of M. This is going very slowly, because there's something bugging me about it, but I can't quite figure out what it is. Overall, it's about 90% written, but I want to be 100% happy with the story before I go forward. It's about M and Iris going back in time to visit the dinosaurs and end up in a fantasy based kingdom....with dinosaurs. It'll be a very fun story that can be read solo, or after book 6. Something about injecting a superhero(ish) character, and an android into a world of elves and orcs amuses me, especially when a triceratops can come out of nowhere and kill someone!
I am working on a board game called "Maniacs Stole My Biscuits!" It's in the playtest phase, and so far has gone quite well. The game is for 2-5 players, ages 8+. It's a survival based game where a group of survivors are trapped in a house where monsters are attacking. All characters and creatures have special abilities that should greatly change the overall tactics of the game. The objective: survive the attack and not let the baddies steal your biscuits. Just think of the biscuits as your high score. There's a lot more going on here than I'm stating, but this will do for now. I'll eventually start doing playthroughs via live streams and recordings, I did set up a Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/ManiacsWantMyBiscuits It's the bare minimum right now, but it'll be updated soon. You can also see a few pics of my prototype set on Instagram.
There are a couple other things in the pipeline, but neither is concrete at the moment. Thanks for reading!
A week in New Orleans and I still have a lot to cover. Let's do this!
Domitianus comes out on 7/1, so get your pre-orders in on Amazon. The paperback is ready to go, I just have to hit the accept button and it'll start assaulting the world like Godzilla. Okay, maybe more like a paperback on the interwebs, shhhh, let me pretend.
The Five Man Midget Death Squad comic, "The Giant Problem" is steadily coming along. I've been lettering it as the artist is inking it, so that we can finish this up quicker. If you haven't joined the Facebook page I'll have it at the bottom of this blog post. I don't have a release date as of yet, but I'm also not rushing the artist into something. He does fantastic work and I'm not about to jeopardize that with unnecessary goals. I will say that 9 out of the 22 pages are inked and lettered. I believe we still have a grayscale mode to go through, and Kris Harris (artist of Dom's book cover) is coloring the cover for this comic - who is also the artist for Char13. A great comic you should check out. Who doesn't like post-apocalyptic westerns with robots?
Last bit of current news, and I apologize for not being very specific here. Domitianus is being picked up by a podcast! At least a chapter will be done, possibly the entire book. It's entirely up to the person in charge, I'm just here for the ride. Again, no specific details at this time, as it's still very early in the talks. You now most of what I know. Once this is more set in stone, I'll pass it along.