Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

may the new year bring you nothing but joy, prosperity and good health! Oh, and lots of good books to read.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Les Edwards/Edward Miller

Les Edwards is an illustrator, one of my favorites, in fact, He's actually illustrated a total of three covers fro  me, including what is, hads down, my all time favorite cover, the piece he did for BLOOD HARVEST (The Earthling Publications Edition).



Les also does work as Edward Miller. Because he's really amazing, and because I happen to adore his work I thought I'd share the news that he revamped his site to make it even more user friendly.



Want to see some really, pretty stuff? Go check out his site: Les Edwards. Now, how to convince my publishers to use this man as my artist more often....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Joe Abercrombie


Now and then I just like the idea of talking about other writers' works. So, today, because I’m on my fourth book by the same author, I thought I’d mention Joe Abercrombie. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting the man, but if I do I’ll likely shake his hand. His writing is some damned fine work.

Not all that long ago I was talking with Charles R. Rutledge about fantasy and the fact that I hadn’t read it in a very long time. Mostly because I kept running cross the same bloody story and not much of anything else.  Basic premise I saw far too often came down to something like this: a boy who dreams of being a famous warrior lives in a peaceful land and longs for adventure. In the standard issue twist of fate, he gets his wish the hard way when an Ancient Evil (it could be a single sorcerer or an evil warlord, but inevitably there would be minions of that Ancient Evil) would come back from the distant past and start destroying the peaceful kingdom of Nothing-Exciting-Ever-Happens-Here. That boy would then experience a coming of age that likely involved the destruction of his peaceful little town (and possibly the enslavement of all his friends and family, plus that cute girl he just knows he’s destined to be with) and said boy would run away and happen across the inevitable magic item that was foretold to save the world from the return of the Ancient Evil. Along the way he’d likely meet a bitter nobleman, a wizard or two, a few archers and a thief. They would all be an important part of his coming of age experience and would all prove to be the best allies a young man could ever have. Also, there would either be another girl, even feistier than the one he left behind, or the one he left behind would show up and they would end up together in the end. Oh, and some sort of critter that would endearingly be like the team mascot and save the day a few times.

Now, to be fair, I probably only ran across five or six variations of that theme, most of them involving elves, dwarves, dragons and the occasional wizard. But it was enough to turn me away from the fantasy genre for a long, long time.

Charles told me he had the cure for that. And the nest time we got together, he brought me a few books to read. At the top of that stack was a trilogy of books by Joe Abercrombie, THE FIRST LAW Trilogy, comprised of THE BLADE ITSELF, BEFORE THEY ARE HANGED and THE LAST ARGUMENT OF KINGS. For lack of a better way to put it, Abercrombie apparently looked at all the same books I did when I was younger and used them as a perfect example of what not to do.

The FIRST LAW trilogy weaves the tales of multiple main characters—I hesitate to call them heroes, when some of them are really not very nice people—and spins them together into a tapestry of political intrigue, warfare and sorcery and, gasp, realism. The story is about a world in the process of upheaval. Things are changing, though for better or worse is anyone’s guess. But there are players involved in making things happen, there’s a barbarian, there’s a swordsman, and there’s a torturer. Oh, and there’s a wizard. Maybe. He could just be bluffing, really. He’s behind a lot of machinations, but he’s also the last one to tell anyone at all what he’s up to.
The characters are fleshed out, living, breathing figures, some of them brave, some of them cowardly, some of them heroic some of them damned near demonic, and very few of them at all what I expected. I, who had sworn off of reading fantasy ever again, could not put the damned books down. I, who read at a snail’s pace these days (listen I work a fulltime job, and I write full time and there are only so many hours in the day) burned through the books at four to five times my normal reading speed and hungered for more.

I thanked Charles, of course. And he in turn showed up with more books, but we’ll get to those later. Right now I’m still going on about Abercrombie’s works. Well, actually, I have my own writing to get back to, so I’ll only say a little more. Recently Charles suggested BEST SERVED COLD to me. It’s a book that takes place in the same world. I’m just over halfway through the story and once again I find I’m reading more than I really should, and gleefully giving up sleep to make up the difference. It has been a very long time since I willingly sacrificed sleep for a novel, but BEST SERVED COLD is well worth the sacrifice. Once again the characters are delightfully human, and sometimes brutally flawed.

About two weeks ago Abercrombie’s latest in the same world, RED COUNTRY, came out in hardback. I’ll be buying it. And I’ll be buying it soon. Mister Abercrombie has pretty much gotten a fan for life in me. Unless he suddenly starts writing about elves and long lost rings, that is.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Next Big Thing Redux

So I was asked by another author to do another NExt Big Thing. Last time it was Charles R. Rutledge and this time around it's G N Braun and, by golly, I'm doing it again. Last time around it was SEVEN FORGES. This time around it's CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD, which, ironically, is the sequel to the book that Charles wrote about on his Next Big Thing Meme. BLIND SHADOWS (See Charles' Next Big Thing) just came out and already sold out and will soon be released in e-book format and as a trade paperback from DarkFuse Books. Time will tell about CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD. 

Apparently I'm supposed to ask several people to follow after me on this endeavor and I'm doing it wrong. Consider this an open challenge: I have done two in a month,because I have two projects recently finished or still being worked on. What are YOU writing? Let us know....



What is the working title of your book?

CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD

Where did the idea for the book come from?

Well, I did a novel with Charles R. Rutledge called BLIND SHADOWS and we liked the characters so much that we wanted to do another. Charles came up with a quote from the Bible that we both thought was interesting and the two of us kicked around a few ideas and started writing.

What genre does your book fall under?

Hmm, One part crime novel, one part horror novel, one part southern gothic with a twist of weird. Shake well and serve chilled.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version.

That’s genuinely hard to say. The two main characters aren’t exactly the usual leading man material. They’re a couple of big bruisers. I could sort of see Josh Brolin in a part, or Joe Don Baker, Or Ryan Hurst, Taylor Kitsch, Thomas Hayden Church…a lot of variables and most of them not quite in the same age bracket, so, you know, it’s not easy to come up with the two guys who would play the leads.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of the book?

   A private investigator and a local southern sheriff work on separate missing children cases that lead into a dark conflagration of troubles.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Though nothing is written in ink at this time, we’ve got an eye towards using the same publisher as we did for BLIND SHADOWS, Arcane Wisdom for the limited edition and Dark Fuse for the trade paperback and e-version and I hope that’ll work out as I always enjoy working with that team.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About 6 weeks. Maybe 8, but I think 6. We’re sort of prolific along those lines. He writes a scene, I write a scene and we bounce it back and forth that way.

What other books would you compare this story with in your genre?

I’m going to give the same answer that Charles gave in a similar series of questions: The best comparison I can think of is the Joe R. Lansdale “Hap & Leonard” books, only with monsters.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I have a love of crime novels and a love of horror stories. The same could fairly be said about my co-author. We just wanted to have a bit of fun fusing the two together. The influences are numerous, to be kind. Weird fiction and crime fiction rolled into one.

What else about your book might pique the interest of readers?

There’s a solid mystery going on here, and there’s a lot of action sequences. We both of us have a love of the old pulps and that’s the sort of feel we were going for.

   So there you go. Be sure and swing by Geoff Brown’s site and check out the other writers involved.








Wednesday, December 12, 2012

James A. Moore, Word Whore

Yep. I'm going to be a regular on the Word Whores blog. You can expect a new article from me every Monday, right here. Been a while since I've been a regular contributor, but what the heck. Besides, I've been a word whore for a long time, but never been a part of a word brothel!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Seven Forges meets Angry Robot

Well, that pretty much sums it up, really. Angry Robot Books is going to publish SEVEN FORGES and the rest of the series. The contracts are being worked out, the ink will be signed soon, and there's a tentative release for sometime next summer.

That puts me in some mighty fine company. How fine? Check them out. I have. My buddy Charles R; Rutledge suggested them to me as a publisher and suggested several books by them as examples of the sort of work they do. The front page shows several books and gives links to many, many fine authors.

I am extremely pleased to make the announcement.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Meme

So, as is often the case with this sort of thing, I was told about this by my friend and co-author Charles R. Rutledge. You can find his version of this here.  The idea is to talk about something you've been working on recently. The "Next Big Thing" you have coming out. Charles was told about this and invited in by his friend Howard Andrew Jones. You can check out Howard's answers right here. See the links? I like links. You get to explore so much more that way, you know?

Anyhow, here's my answers to this particular meme. Charles invited me in and I asked him if I should report on BLIND SHADOWS, the sequel to the same, CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD, or my new fantasy novel SEVEN FORGES. He said to go with SEVEN FORGES, because he covers BLIND SHADOWS pretty well in his answers. On the off chance that you've forgotten, BLIND SHADOWS is out collaborative effort that has just been released. 





What is the working title of your book?

SEVEN FORGES, which is also the name of the trilogy it belongs to.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I love fantasy novels. Well, I love the idea of fantasy novels. When I was younger I read a lot of them. Most of them seemed to me to be the same story after a while and I became disillusioned. I moved on and found other genres. But I still have an abiding love of the genre and I wanted to explore a few ideas that didn’t really fit with horror as well. In this case, we’re talking culture clashes, religious differences, radically different lifestyles and, of course, revenge.

What genre does your book fall under?

Decidedly fantasy. In particular, I’d call it sword and sorcery.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version.

We’re talking a very large cast. Gerard Butler, Vin Diesel, Scarlet Johansson, Molly C. Quinn, Andrew Garfield and at least a dozen more.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of the book?

   A thousand years after a world war ends with a cataclysm, the victors run across the survivors they thought couldn’t possibly exist.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Barring a catastrophic failure in negotiations, SEVEN FORGES will come out from a major publishing house. I really can’t say who yet, as the ink has not yet been placed on the contracts.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

   I spent about a year kicking around ideas, wrote the first part of the novel over the span of a month or so, and then when a publisher said they wanted to see the rest of the novel, I kicked into high gear and finished in around another month, so actual writing time was about seven weeks.

What other books would you compare this story with in your genre?

Honestly, and I’m sure there are a few, I don’t know of any to compare to it, because I’ve been out of the genre for a very long time. I can say that Robert E. Howard was very influential in my approach, and so were Fritz Leiber and Michael Moorcock.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I had a few discussions with Charles R. Rutledge, and we chatted about what we liked and what we didn’t like about most modern fantasy. I think as much as anything else those conversations started me thinking seriously about tackling the idea that until then had just been a notion on the back burner.

What else about your book might pique the interest of readers?

   Carnage, violence, a side of romance, a dash of horror and, hopefully, a few tricks no one has seen in the genre before.

   So there you go. Be sure and swing by Charles and Howard's sites and check out the other writers involved.

Monday, November 26, 2012

BLIND SHADOWS is now in print.

My first collaborative effort with Charles R Rutledge BLIND SHADOWS, is now available in a signed limited edition.

Because this is a limited edition of 150 copies, I feel it necessary to point out that the book is now here. Also, I'm just delighted. Here's pictures to PROVE that the book exists.




In the event that you could not get to ordering a copy before they sold out (hey, it happens), you can also go to the website for Doctor No's Comics, where I have been known to shop, and so has my co-author, and try to get a copy there. Naturally, there's a Link.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Seven Forges

So it's nothing solid yet, but things are looking positive for the SEVEN FORGES trilogy.  We've reached the negotiation stage. They like the book, I like them, we seem to be getting along swimmingly. This is, as they say, a good thing.

Now I just have to be patient. I can't go jumping the gun and announcing things when they haven't been finalized.

But I am pleased.

I recently had the publisher in question asking if I could manage to hand in the next two novels in the series within six months on each book. A friend of mine, co-author Charles R. Rutledge,  came close to laughing milk out of his nose at the question. He didn't actually laugh milk out of his nose, because he wasn't drinking milk, but if he had been, there would have been a need for tissues.

Why? Because Charles has worked with me. When I am in the mood to write, I tend to produce a great deal of words. Most of them are even coherent, and happily there are editors to help me fix the ones that aren't.  More news soon. First, however, I get to pace nervously whilst the agent and the publisher begin the Dance of Money and Rights.

I hate this part. I love reaching this part, but I hate this part.

Okay, but I only hate it a little. Mostly i'm delighted. I've sold a trilogy of books and that makes me happy.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tom Piccirilli

Tom Piccirilli is my friend. We don;\'t talk often, but we TALK when we talk. You know what I mean? He's going through a few things right now and because he's a writer, he does what a lot of us do. he WRITES about it.

The link below is Tom writing about his brain tumor issues.

The link is on Brian Keene's blog.

I'm sharing it because it's the sort of thing I think everyone should read.

Tom Piccirilli

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Word Whore: Put up or Shut up, Or, the great Dr.Doom Versus Barbie Caper

So, for years now, I've had no trouble calling myself a word whore. Why? Because I AM a word whore. If prostitutes are paid for sex and that makes them whores, than by simple math, I am a word whore as I get paid for writing.

I'm currently at the 2012 World Fantasy Convention in Toronto. I'm having a wonderful time. I was having a wonderful time last night, too, when my roomie at the con, Christopher Golden, actually referred to me as a word whore. He was speaking to Allison Pang, who contributes to a blog called Word Whores (that's okay, I don't mind sharing) and I nodded and gave my usual answer. I have, for the record, used this answer since I was beginning my career. My pat response, while nodding, has always been, "I will gleefully write Doctor Doom Versus Barbie if there's money involved, but I'll make it the best damned Doctor Doom Versus Barbie story you've ever read."

Allison Pang, upon hearing my comment, looked right at me and said, "I've got five dollars I'd pay to read that." While I was laughing it off, Chris Golden looked over with THAT look on his face. Anyone who knows him knows the look. He is that kid. The one who looks at you and says "I double-dog dare you." But he takes it one step further. He's the ultimate enabler. It isn't the first time he's gotten me in trouble it likely won't be the last.

Chris smiled and said, "Hang on a minute." We were at one of several parties and Chris went off in a flash and came back a moment later waving Canadian bills. "We're up to twenty dollars," he said. And went off again. I just started laughing. I mean, seriously laughing. But because I know Chris, I also started plotting.

A few minutes later he comes back with $55.00 dollars (US and Canadian alike) and a coupon for a free popcorn. And the next thing I know, I have 40 minutes to write a complete story, at least two pages long. I went back to the room and turned on my computer.

The audience was substantially larger than the original 11 people who had put their money up to see if I could, in fact, write the story. I handed my laptop to Chris (I had no printer with me, as I'm not THAT anal) and made him read it aloud instead since he'd gotten me into this mess.

In his finest reading voice, which, to be fair is pretty damned amazing) he recited the tale below. Technically this is a professional sale as I made more than five cents a word (in US and Canadian both), so for the consideration of all literary awards, the Stokers and the Hugos I now offer you....


Dr. Doom Versus Barbie (Trademarked where appropriate): as demanded by Allison Pang

Victor Von Doom stared past the grim mask that forever hid his scarred face, and looked out across the Latverian hills. He stared across the landscape but saw instead only the darkness that scarred his life. Years of struggle and conflict, a seemingly endless run of battles against the enemies that refused to bow to his iron will and would, given the chance, stop him from achieving his lifelong ambitions.

The Fantastic Four were not a concern, not at the moment. They were off world, exploring other realities, perhaps, or merely examining the secrets of the universe that eluded them. Doom had other secrets in mind. With a moment of peace, a brief time in which his enemies were gone and the world understood that Doom was to be feared, he instead focused on the goals that had eluded him for as long as he could remember.
Somewhere beyond Death’s veil, his mother’s spirit still drifted in darkness, lost to him, her beauty, her brilliance a faded memory.

That would not do.

He turned away from the view of the world beyond his castle and stepped back into the chambers where he kept his darkest secrets, his greatest experiments and the books of lore that he had accumulated.

It was time. He merely had to find the right woman, the perfect vessel to sacrifice in exchange for his mother. The cost was nothing to him, negligible, really. What was the soul of one woman in exchange for the return of the woman who had gifted him with knowledge and power and who deserved to serve beside him.

Distantly he remembered a conversation with his nemesis, Reed Richards, from their days in college. The man had dared presume to be his friend and had spoken his mind in a fit of hubris. He Compared Victor with Oedipus. Remembering that conversation, Doom paused long enough to write himself a reminder to make the insufferable fool scream in agony when next they met. He’d work out the exact details later. One maniacal plan at a time was the best way to handle the matter, really.

Hours of scrying, contacting demons and calculating the paths of the stars in the heavens had lead to one simple conclusion. The woman he needed to capture, to dominate in order to bring his mother from the netherworlds was an American, Barbara Millicent Roberts. Everything had been worked out, of course. Doom left nothing to chance. Barbara Roberts was on her way to his castle even as he prepared his devices.

All he had to do was wait for her.

***

Barbie looked around the village with wide, blue eyes, excited by the change to finally meet Ken’s family. She’d never guessed, never dared hope that the man she loved could be a real prince, but here they were, coming to meet his father!

Ken smiled at her, his perfect mouth dimpling as he flashed his pearly teeth.

“Ken, are you sure your dad is really ready to meet me?” She pouted just a little.

Boris, the elderly man who chauffeured them from the airport, climbed wearily from his seat and came around to open the door for her. She smiled her thanks and climbed out quickly. She was still nervous about her outfit. A million dresses and none of them seemed right for meeting with a real life king.

Ken laughed as he climbed from the car. “Barbie, you worry too much. Dad said he couldn’t wait to meet you.”

“I thought you said your dad was like a super genius.” She looked down at the ground and then back up as Ken slipped one muscular arm around her shoulders. The air was chilly, but Ken made her feel so safe.

“He is, but what’s that matter?”

“I thought maybe you were embarrassed to have me meeting him. I mean I’m always saying math is hard and you always talk about how your dad thinks being smart is the most important thing ever.”

“Well, it’s important, but there are other things that matter more.”

“Like what?”

“Like being happy.” Ken smiled again and hugged her to him and she let herself sniggle in closer.

“Oh, Ken. Is your dad happy?”

“Well, he will be. He’s been looking forward to meeting you for a long time.”

“I can’t believe how perfect this day is, Ken. I’m the luckiest girl in the whole world.”

Ken’s eyes travelled along the cobblestone path that lead to the castle’s gate. From within the darkened passageway a glint of metal shone and the heavy tread of Doctor Doom clanged heavily.

Barbie looked toward the figure and her eyes grew a bit wider.

“Ken?” Her voice was a whisper. “What’s wrong with your father?”

“What?”

“He’s wearing some kind of suit….”

“It’s armor. He has many enemies, Barbie.”

She stared and her heartbeat increased. Was he joking? The man coming toward them looked like a freak!

Doom’s voice called out from within the dully armored mask that hid his face forever from the eyes of the insolent underlings. “This is her? This is your Barbie?” His words were cold, filled with a seething hatred.

“Yes, father.”

Barbie stared in as he towered over her. He held a small box in his hand and waved it in her direction with callus regard for decency.

“You are unpure.”

“What?” Barbie felt a cold fear grip her heart.

“You’re not a virgin.” Doom spoke as if to a slow child.

“Well, I was going to save myself, but….”

Before she could finish Doom held out one hand and unleashed a torrent of power that ripped the flesh from her bones. Meat burned and blood boiled, her eyes exploded from her skull and Ken stepped back for a moment, horrified, before he tried to run. Doom’s hand continued on tracking him until the energies fried the flesh from his form leaving a puddle of bones and blistered remains.

Another failure. His clone had failed him. Like most men the clone had a libido and like Doom himself, his was too beautiful for a woman to resist.

Doom scowled at the remains and pointed to Boris. “Clean this up.”

“Master, not all is lost.”

“What do you mean?” Doom stopped and looked toward his faithful servant.

“She has a sister, a younger sister. Her name is Skipper.”

“Excellent.”


THE END

I need to clarify that I know there are typos in here. I get that. I'm not cleaning them up because this is EXACTLY as it was written and as it was read. 

According to Chris, this event will be repeated in Brighton next year. I will have no idea what the story is, only that I will have 40 minutes to write it.  

This story brought to you by Chris-Starter financing

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Heath Lowrance's THE SPIDER TRIBE

I don't normally do reviews, but now and then I read something I think everyone should know about. Heath Lowrance has a new one out and I did a quick review on Amazon.com. It reads just like what I wrote below, because that's where I published the review.

Heath Lowrance continues to please and surprise me. I am always pleased when I come across a writer with a strong, original voice and I am always pleasantly surprised when that voice also has the ability to come up with new and interesting stories. Lowrance does both each and every time I've read him to date. The Spider Tribe is no exception: Hawthorne is hero worthy of Robert E. Howard, strong and angry and determined. He is also, as all heroes should be, properly flawed. I look forward to the next book in the Hawthorne series and if I could claim any complaint it is merely this: Lowrance should write many more Hawthorne tales and he should do it sooner rather than later as I am already impatiently awaiting the next in the series. James A. Moore, author of DEEPER.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Penguin House, or Random Penguin?

So Random House and Penguin publications are merging. This should be interesting, in the Chinese sense of the word. Two of the biggest houses in publishing are merging, and between the two of them they arre roughly 25% of the publishing force for books in the US.

That could be a great thing, but I have doubts. I suspect a lot of people that I know are going to lose their jobs, and I suspect that a lot of publishing changes are going to come around as the new conglomerate considers where they want to "tighten their belts" as they consolidate.

This should be an interesting show to watch, sort of like a slow motion recapture of a head on collision.

We shall see.

In Boston and glad I dodged an airplane bullet!

So I'm heading up to the World Fantasy Convention with Christopher Golden, who is, frankly, wiser than me. Why is he wiser? because when he heard about the potential massive storm that was going to tear up the eastern seaboard, he called me and told me to change my flight plans. I listened. the airline swore that there was no news about a storm, but I listened to Chris instead. The end result? My original flight up here was cancelled. In  the interim I met a new friend on the airline, we chatted the entire way up. I NEVER chat on the plane but we had a merry old time. I'm also up here a day early and NOT waiting impatiently at the airport or waiting around to see how long it will take me to get back home.

The winds outside are howling mad and all the legendary fall foliage has already blown off of the trees, so my first autumn in New England is looking a little barren. That's okay, I'm in excellent company and looking forward to the convention. We will likely be driving through the remains of this super-storm on our way up, but that too is okay in my book. Good company and we have similar tastes in music.

There's BIG news on the publishing front, but I'll maybe talk about that the next time. For now, I can no longer dodge my responsibilities. If I don't finish my part of the BLOODSTAINED WONDERLAND manuscript, there's a good chance that Mr. Golden will be burying me somewhere in his backyard while the storm rages on above us. Comforting thoughts for a chilly October morning,

Have a great Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Iron Wolves are coming....



Now, see, I am officially delighted by the following news release. Why? Because I'm currently reading Andy Remic's The Clockwork Vampires, and loving the series. Lots of action, lots of fun, and lots of stuff I haven't run across before in a fantasy adventure. And believe me, that's a huge thing for me. 
As I stated a while back I've been writing my own fantasy lately and one of the rules I set for myself was it had to be something I haven't seen before. Once upon a time I read a lot of fantasy. Far too much of it came down to the following simple plot points: ancient evil comes to restomp the crap out of the the good guys who barely squeaked out a victory in the past, and then the one hero in a million happens upon the magical relic that can save the entire forest of elves, unicorns and gnomes. Along the way, there are bad guys aplenty, at least a couple of pretty girls and an of course, our one hero who must come from a humble beginning (possibly as an orphan, but often merely as a boy who longs for adventure). 
Nothing wrong with  that, but after reading a few dozen variations I gave up in disgust and moved on to different genres. I am always delighted to come across stories that break from that mold. They remind me that fantasy can be limitless, as it should be. So, yes, looking forward to this. 

Angry Robot Signs “Anti-Heroic” Epic Fantasy Series
Angry Robot is reeling with the news that maniac fantasy author Andy Remic is returning with a brand new series.
The Iron Wolves is the first of at least two novels set during a time of war and invasion. Riffing on The Dirty Dozen and The Magnificent Seven, the novel sees a disparate band of ruffians and renegades being reunited one last time to defend a key stronghold against overwhelming odds. But when they fight as one, the veteran warriors have a hidden power, and unleashing it one last time will have extraordinary consequences.
Andy Remic’s previous Clockwork Vampire trilogy for Angry Robot earned him the nickname “the Tarantino of epic fantasy” and the new novels will be loosely set in the same setting.
The first novel will be published in January 2014 in paperback, ebook and audio editions. The deal was done direct with Andy Remic by Marc Gascoigne, Angry Robot’s MD and publisher. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Seven Forges

Well, it's done. I have finished the first draft of my novel SEVEN FORGES. Gave it a line edit and now I'ver sent it off to the publisher who was interested in seeing the completed manuscript. Which publisher? I'll let you know if I and or when they decided they like it. Until then, that's like jinxing myself. What? I'm a writer. Of COURSE I have my little superstitions and idiosyncrasies.
In any event the first draft is done, 103,000 words later.

I am pleased.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Narrated by...

So V-Wars, the vampire anthology edited by Jonathan Maberry, with a story by yours truly is now available as an audiobook. My story, "Stalking Anna Lei," is included in the audio format, making it one of my very first audio books.

The first review is right here. I am pleased.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cadence In Decay

So there's a new anthology coming out early next year called Cadence In Decay. I'm one of the authors involved, and the illustration below is the cover. As soon as I have more details. I'll send them along. In the meantime, isn't this pretty?



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spooky Places

Okay, guys, how could I not LOVE this site? http://spookyplaces.us

An Audible Difference

So on October 1st, the audio book version of the V-Wars anthology, edited by Jonathan Maberry and with stories by Jonathan Maberry, Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, James A. Moore (That would be me), Gregory Frost, John Everson, Keith R. A. DeCandido, and Scott Nicholson (I THINK that's everyone) will be released. Looks like Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stand By Me and The Big Bang Theory will be reading my story, "Stalking Anna Lei." I am delighted. 
(All Sheldon every got was a signed Action figure. I Win!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

World Fantasy bound

So the  World Fantasy Convention  is in Toronto, Canada this year and after jumping through a few dozen hoops, it looks like I'll be going. I'm delighted. I need a few days away from the home front, I need a chance to see some friends and, of course, I need a chance to network (as as my wife used to say, a chance to Schmooze.).
 
With publishing going through so many interesting changes, I am looking to make new connections, reinforce previous associations and probably prove to a few people that I'm not really a stammering idiot, just one of those guys who tends to stare at walls at the worst possible times.
But let's be fair here, I'm also going for the dealer's room. Man, I haven't been in a gigantic collection of  used books, old magazines and bootlegged DVDs in MONTHS.

if you're going to be there, please feel free to introduce yourself. My favorite thing about conventions is meeting other people with similar interests and let's be honest here, if you're attending the World Fantasy Convention, the odds are amazingly good that we have a few things in common.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Breaking Genre Bonds

Brian Keene has beat me to the punch. He finished his weird western first, In addition to that, he made it to the top of the Amazon charts for Westerns. Just so you know, this is what I mean when I talk about breaking the bonds of genre. Writing what you want to write should be the first rule. Brian proves that beautifully, right here.

Nicely done, Mr. Keene!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The best laid plans

So I was doing my thing, working on multiple projects (it's a hobby. I really, really have to relearn how to focus) and plotting out the finish of my steampunk series, when a publisher I've been talking with very politely asked to see the rest of the Sword and Sorcery novel I've been writing.

Yep.

Sounds good. I am, of course, extremely excited by this very notion. I want to work with this publisher, because, frankly, I like what they've been doing a lot. Everything I've seen screams of the sort of dedication to publishing that I admire. Just one little problem.

I haven't finished the novel yet. Oh, sure, I did a LOT of it, but not all of it.

How to handle this: I could panic. That's always a viable option. Maybe not the best option, but definitely one of them. I could LIE and say that I'd sent the manuscript already, but you know what? In this day and age, that only delays for a short while, especially since we've been dealing with each other through emails, and those don't really get lost by the postman very often.

So, quick answer: I told the publisher I could send what I have and have the rest in about two to three weeks. Or he could just wait two to three weeks. To be fair, probably more like three.

He liked what he saw enough to not want to wait. I sent what I have.

Now I'm going back to writing. I have a novel to finish in the next few weeks.
I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Genrefied

So I was looking over a manuscript of mine earlier. It's not a full manuscript, just the first three chapters that the potential agent asked to see. The potential agent and I did not see eye to eye on this one. Such is life. I've had three agents. Two I fired. One left the agenting part of the industry. I've had a lot of novels sold. Mostly by myself, so, you know, it is what it is.

I bring this up mostly because the novel in question doesn't fall into the category of horror, where a lot of my novels end up. It is most decidedly steampunk, with a twist of horror, a dash of political intrigue, a hefty dose of action and just for kicks I've even got a bit of romance tossed in. Like I said, it's steampunk. Sort of.

Another book I'm working on is a post-apocalyptic young adult novel with zombies and worse thrown in. It's the first of three novels planned in a series, and by the time the third book is finished you're decidedly dealing with a fantasy setting.

And then there's the sequel to BLOODSTAINED OZ (BLOODSTAINED WONDERLAND), that I'm working in with Christopher Golden (Yes, I KNOW you've heard that before, but I AM working on it, I'm just taking waaaaaay too long to get my part done. But I mean it, I'm working on it actively right now.).

When I'm done with BLOODSTAINED WONDERLAND I'm going to finish off BOOMTOWN, you know, the western-horror-action fusion that I've been plodding away on for two years.

Of course I just finished my second collaborative novel with Charles R. Rutledge, which is best called a fusion of crime fiction and horror with a side of Southern Gothic thrown in.

and soon the ebook version of my novel FIREWORKS will be coming out. That's the science fiction political thriller I did a while back.

And then there's the SUBJECT SEVEN series. The YA series that's science fiction and action adventure.

A couple of the reviews for BLOOD RED said it was a good vampire story with a surprising romance thrown in. Imagine my surprise. I had no idea I was writing a romance. I'm okay with that, by the way. I had a lot of fun writing it, whatever it was I was writing.

Did I mention the sword and sorcery trilogy? Yep. Got one of those, too.

How about the horror mosaic novel? Or the science fiction mosaic novel?

I spin a lot of plates at any given time. I LIKE spinning a lot of plates the same way that I like playing with many, many characters and subplots when I'm writing a book.

Most people tell me I write horror. A few reviewers have corrected this to say that I write urban fantasy. I'm good with that. Really, at the end of the day, I write stories. I usually leave it for the publishers to decide what to call a story when I'm done. As long as they don't call it "rejected" I'm basically happy.

The thing is, I write stories. Some of them are horror. Some of them aren't. Most of them probably have a few moments designed to generate fear, because I think that fear is important as a driving tool and because I like a good spooky story.

Mostly I write stories. I don't care what label goes on them as long as there's a little logic to it. When FIREWORKS first came out, I suggested calling it a science fiction novel. The published decided to call it horror, because that was where I had the fans. I opted not to complain because, a) the publisher probably knows a bit more about marketing than little old me did at the time and b) I was made absolutely giddy by the notion that I might have fans.

I probably should have argued a bit in hindsight. The story really isn't horror, though, again, there are a few horror elements.

My point is that I write stories. Yes, I'm repeating myself. I think sometimes things should be repeated. I  write stories. Now and then I've had reviewers, fans (YAY!) and publishers who have been uncertain where something should go. I tend to think books are best served by going on nightstands and later on book shelves when the reading is done. Or if you read electronic books, in the proper storage spot where, hopefully, readers will want to revisit the tales I've told.

I have been genrefied. Well, me and bloody near every writer out there.

And I'm okay with that, too, as long as I'm still having fun writing. But I have to tell you, I'm no sooner going to limit what I write than I am going to limit what I read. It might be that I'll never sell some of the things I write, but I will write them just the same. I tend to think some of the best writers out there break away from writing in a single genre, and that in so doing they are pushing the boundaries of what can be written (Who do I mean? Well, for starters, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert RS. McCammon, F Paul Wilson, Tom Piccirilli, Christopher Golden, H.P. Lovecraft,  Tim Lebbon, Robert E. Howard, Karl Edward Wagner....the list goes on.)  Do I think I'm one of the best writers out there? Nope. But I want to be. So how can I do less than the ones I admire the most?

Besides, why would I want to limit myself by only ever telling one kind of story? Where would the fun be in that?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

NIght Eyes

So, Charles Rutledge and yours truly have pubished a short story through Amazon.com, called "Night Eyes." It's a tale of Wellman, Georgia, the fictitious town that is also the setting for BLIND SHADOWS and the follow up novel CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD. The story is free for the next few days, from 8/26 through 8/30.

You can get it right here: Night Eyes

And just for fun, here's the cover art:

Neil Armstrong

I just heard that Neil Armstrong has passed away and I am a bit saddened by that fact. Only a bit. I must confess I never met the man. I am saddened not because he has left the world, but because I never got to meet him. And I am saddened, of course, for his family.
He was and is one of my heroes. He and Buzz Aldrin, along with every other astronaut ever to brave the stars, inspired me and millions of others. And at times when my life has seemed truly overwhelming, I have looked at the accomplishments of those folks and realized that no matter how daunting the world may seem, obstacles are made to be overcome.
And they can be overcome. That's the important part. So a moment of thanks for the fine folks who have reached for the stars and found them. Thank you so very much for the inspiration.
And welcome back to the heavens, Mr. Armstrong. We never met, but you will be missed.

Neil Armstrong

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Night eyes

So a while back Charles R. Rutledge and yours truly wrote BLIND SHADOWS and then we wrote a small promotional story last year and put it up on my website for all of a month. And then it went away. 

And now, we're gonna put it up as a free read on Amazon.com. 

Why? Because we can. And because stories should be read. And because it promotes BLIND SHADOWS. And because we can. 

I'll post the link as soon as it becomes actively available. 

And just in case you feel like surfing a bit, here are a couple of links to reviews for BLIND SHADOWS. 

http://famousmonstersoffilmland.com


http://horrorworld.org

And from Baryon-Online:


Monday, July 2, 2012


Blind Shadows

BLIND SHADOWS, James A Moore and Charles R Rutledge, Arcane Wisdom, $49, limited to 150 signed and numbered copies, 300 pages, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

I’m more impressed with the writing of James A Moore with each new book of his that comes into my library. He has also had some marvelous collaborations and this one is no exception. This may be the best of all and I’m ready for a sequel or three featuring the characters I met in this Gothic Georgia tale.

Sheriff Carl Price calls his friend, Wade Griffin - a sometime private investigator, to the scene of a murder outside the town of Wellman, Georgia. The victim is a friend of theirs and has been ritualistically killed with stakes through his eyes and genitals, lashed to a St Andrews’ cross and embellished with strange characters carved into his body. The worst thing about it was that he was still alive when it took place.

Wade takes pictures of the carvings and seeks help from Charon, who runs the local magic shop and has knowledge of many arcane subjects. Sheriff Price follows his investigation by questioning Merle Blackbourne, the patriarch of a clan well known for meth making and other lawless pursuits.

Charon uses her computer skills and knowledge to track down an expert in the arcane and she and Wade visit him to gain more information. Carter DeCamp aides them in translating parts of the symbols, but does appear to know more than he lets on.

The backstory of the history of the area and the Blackbourne family make for interesting reading and give an historical feel to the events of today and make it more real to the reader. Moore and Rutledge do a delightful job in the creation of the setting and for those of us who live in Georgia can almost pinpoint where the events take place.

Meanwhile Sheriff Price receives a clue, but is attacked by Frank Blackbourne, a mountain of a man who has supposedly been dead for over twenty years. Other strange things begin to happen and the story gains speed and begins to move at a breakneck speed as stolen cars, missing people, the Old Ones, and interdimensional beings enter the puzzle.

Moore and Rutledge have created a marvelous tale that would find a home in the tales by Lovecraft or Manly Wade Wellman. It is a story of re-opening gateways, human sacrifice, the return of the Old Ones, and plenty of action.

Don’t let this one get away. There are only 150 available and it should sell out quickly. Check out the specifics at www.miskatonicbooks.com

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Copper

BBC America aired the first episode of Copper on Sunday. I was very suitably impressed. Not only do they have the settings down beautifully--relatively as a lot of the settings are slums--they also seemed to have a no-holds-barred mentality on handling the darker aspects of the show. There are police shoot outs, murders, racial tensions, prostitutes, child prostitutes, class warfare considerations and, of course, police corruption, and none of them done in a sensationalist way, but rather handled with a sort of quiet determination.

I genuinely can't imagine a show quite like Copper running on regular television in the US. I don't think it would have been handled as well. Premium cable channels, maybe, but not on regular television.

The show is set back when the western expansion was in full swing, but it takes place in New York City. It's interesting to see someone take on the wild wild east for a change of pace.

I'm looking forward to watching the show develop. If you have chance to catch it, I'd recommend you give it a shot.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lovecraft Territory

So today marks the birthday of H.P. Lovecraft, a man called by none other than Stephen King "The twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." Considering the source, that's some mighty high praise.

It's also justified. There have certainly been a plethora of influential writers, but I think anyone remotely familiar with the genre can see Lovecraft's influences (though I've run across a few writers who vehemently denied being influenced even as they were following in the man's footsteps.).  He's had an impact on Hollywood, on video games, on comic books, television and fiction in general over the years. I will not say he stands alone in his influences, but he most certainly had an impact on me over the years. My short story "A Place Where There is Peace" and the novel DEEPER would not exist without Lovecraft's seminal tale "A Shadow Over Innsmouth," and I daresay a good number of other authors have been heavily influenced over the years. I'll do youi one better: one of my favorite movies of all time is the old classic "The Creature From The Black Lagoon, (Universal, 1954) and I know a lot of other writers who would agree. I don't think that movie could exist in the form that was eventually presented without that very same tale by Lovecraft, and that's just one example of how much influence the man has had over the years.

One of the things I always liked best about Lovecraft (or at least the tales I've heard about him) was that he genuinely seemed to enjoy the notion of having people dabble in the areas where he was defining himself as a writer. He encouraged a good number of younger writers over the course of his life, and he corresponded with many a fellow writer to the point where volumes of his collected letters have been put together over the years and published repeatedly.

Here's the part that  like best: 122 years after he was born, I saw dozens, literally dozens, of notes posted to Facebook reminding people that today was his birthday.  I like to think Mr. Lovecraft would have been pleasantly surprised by the influence he's had.

Sometime within the next couple of months, by the way, I'll be starting the sequel to DEEPER. It's called FROM A LOWER DEEP and I've already written it in my head. I just have to get it down in a more easily accessible format.

I truly hope I can do justice to Lovecraft's legacy.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tony Scott

Tony Scott, the director and producer of countless movies, many of them blockbusters, has apparently committed suicide.
What a misery. He was a brilliant man. He created some truly phenomenal works and I hope he is remembered properly for those and that his passing doesn't create the sort of footnote that takes away from the life he lived, the works he created and the people he touched through the years.
My condolences to his family and his loved ones, for what little that might be worth.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Attack of the Funky Werepig

So, I'll be online tomorrow night for an interview with the Funky Werepig.
Yes, the Funky Werepig.

Actually his name is Greg and he does online interviews.

I'm to be his latest victim. Friday night at 9 PM

Anyone interested in joining in can listen in to the bloodshed via www.tmvcafe.com.

Just so you know.

Jim


Sunday, August 12, 2012

THE LONG BLACK TRAIN

Okay, I'll make this short and sweet: Most of what I want to say can be found here: Singular Points review-The Long Black Train.

I need to add a few things though: Damn. What a wonderful surprise. It's nice to see a tightly written, dark tale from time to time and even nicer when it surprises me with the intensity of the writing. Before I read the above review by Charles R. Rutledge (you know, my coauthor on BLIND SHADOWS and CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD) I had never heard of Heath Lowrance. Not surprising, really, as there are a lot of good authors I've never heard of. What was surprising was just exactly how good he is. Mr. Lowrance has won an instant fan. And like my coauthor before me, I broke down and bought the previous story with Hawthorne, our anti-hero. I'll be reading it soon, too. It went right to the top of my list.

Should you want to know more about the author or his works you can check out his blog right here: Heath Lowrance.

What? You thought I was kidding about reading a few westerns?

I'll also be watching the season finale of LONGMIRE tonight, when I'm done editing on BOOMTOWN, and then I'll be watching HELL ON WHEELS, the season two premiere.  I am an equal opportunity geek. If I like it, I'll watch it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Going West

A while back I started a novel called BOOMTOWN. I got a good ways into it and was moving along at a solid pace. Okay, I wrote 74,000 words worth of novel. I was cooking hard and fast on this bad boy. And then I stopped.

The biggest problem I had with the process was me. The publisher was happy with the progress and the story and the work you see above is the cover for the novel. Seriously, the book was almost done when I stopped. I didn't lose interest exactly, but I lost faith in the work. The problem came down to this: I simply was not happy with the way the story was going: Lots of action, some nice character development, subplots, etc. But the damned story wasn't working for me.  And when I don't have faith in the work, I can't continue. To do so would make me a liar. I can't abide liars. It's one thing to tell a tale and another to lie in the process. If that doesn't make sense to you, I'll simply have to ask you to trust me on that one.

And now it's time to get back to it. I have people who have been waiting for the final book for a while now and the biggest challenge for me is whether or not I'll be starting from scratch or working through what I'd already written and deciding whether or not I should try to salvage any of it.
I'm not sure yet. I have to actually read the entire bloody thing first and decide.

This much I know: it's a western and there are cowboys, indians, gunslingers, undertakers, miners, dynamite, horses, monsters, skinwalkers...Yeah, I know. But it's still mostly a western.
Either way, it's going to be the same basic story. I know what I want to say. I just am not sure exactly how I want to say it.

As an added bonus, I'm having fun watching a lot of westerns to get me in the proper mood. Tonight's fare was True Grit by the Coen Brothers. As directors and writers they have never done me wrong. I'm also reading a lot of westerns right now. Why? Inspiration and to avoid duplication. Same as I read almost anything. I want to write a western, but I want to write MY western. And I want to make sure that what I'm writing isn't a bad pastiche. So to that end, I'm doing a lot of reading. And I'm loving every bloody second of it.

Back in the saddle again, indeed.

I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, if you suddenly find you want to read a few westerns of your own, there are places where you can look. Here are a couple of links to add to the numerous ones you'll find to the right of this blog entry: http://westernfictioneers.blogspot.com and http://westernfictioneers.com are good starting points with a few more links to help you along the way.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Homestead

Now and then you write a story and you think "Well, that was different," and you hope it turns out all right.

And then somebody comes along and says it doesn't suck. Example given: this review from Baryon about Homestead.

I am officially pleased.

The illustrations that I've sen for it are gorgeous, but that's no surprise. Alex McVey is amazing.

Should you be interested in checking this one out for yourself, you can order it here.

SERENITY FALLS BOOK ONE: WRIT IN BLOOD

So the limited edition of the Serenity Falls Trilogy will be coming out soon from DarkFuse Publications. By soon, I mean early next year. 


With that in mind I thought I'd pull out some of the reviews from when it was first released and show them to you. Well, snippets, really. But here they are:



"In Serenity Falls, James A. Moore has written a novel where all hell breaks loose-literally. His descriptions of small town quirks and foibles hit the mark on all cylinders. DO NOT be intimidated by the phone book size of this one. The book is a quick read with very little filler." -- James Argendeli, CNN Headline News

"Moore creates and develops a whole population's worth of memorable characters, dealing with a myriad of personal and societal ills through their experiences. Chief among those characters is the appealingly enigmatic Hunter, Jonathan Crowley, previously introduced in Under the Overtree. He's also created an entire history for the town: working in the past incidents that haunt the town in just the right places to maintain suspense and menace, yet not derail the forward momentum of his narrative drive. Indeed, the novel's structural integrity is among its finest points. The shear complexity of his numerous plots and subplots, set in the present and the past, could have overwhelmed his story had he not pieced it together so perfectly. Imagine a book with the scope of Stephen King's It not hampered by clumsy construction (something King himself readily admits to) and you might get some idea of the magnitude of Moore's accomplishment with this book.

"As of this writing (June 3, 2003), this is easily the best horror novel to appear this year. It's more ambitious and thorough than the last three horror novels you've read put together. If there's any justice in the world, James A. Moore will be the genre's next superstar. He's the only horror author out there who's already writing at the level of the modern greats, with the same mainstream sensibilities that made bestsellers of them all. There really hasn't been a new horror superstar to take that leap into big time mainstream success since Dan Simmons. So remember, you heard it here first: the name James A. Moore will soon be spoken in the same reverent tones we now speak of King, Straub and Koontz. Count on it."-- Garrett Peck--Cemetery Dance Magazine


"Although this might sound like a steep price tag for a paperback novel, you're going to get your money's worth with this one, in terms of both quality and quantity. It runs well over eight hundred pages, and for the most part it's very tightly plotted and integrated. A comparison to early Stephen King is inevitable, because it's the kind of novel King might have written. A mysterious force arrives in a small town and occupies the body of one of its residents. Once established, it sets out to bring about the systematic destruction of the entire community through violence, mistrust, hatred, and fear. The relentless efforts of the antagonist are opposed by a young boy who slowly wakens to the danger while those around him remain oblivious. You'll become immersed very quickly, and once caught up in the story, you'll find it difficult to put the book away until you've finished it."--Don D'Ammassa, Chronicle Magazine issue 234 



"SERENITY FALLS is quite possibly the best horror novel since SALEMS' LOT. How's that for a strong recommendation? I have solid proof to offer - 800+ pages that will grab and horrify you while maintaining a death grip on your interest throughout. This is the ultimate page-turner." -- Jim Brock, Baryon Magazine



Oh, and just to add to the fun, I have a neat new cover piece for it!

See? 




Saturday, August 4, 2012

The home stretch

We're almost done with the collaboration. Charles R. Rutledge and me, that is. The second collaboration. We're planning a few more, because we're both having a blast working with characters of Griffin and Price.
And messing with them.
Half of the fun here is the realization that the characters you're creating are as flawed and frail as the people who created them. I know that sounds odd, but I think it's the truth. In this book particularly we've sort of opened a few running wounds and watched the characters bleed. And I need to clarify something here, I don't just mean we've put a hurting on them physically (that's almost guaranteed with the sort of book we're writing) but also that we've made them reassess themselves as human beings. Sometimes that happens and you're aware of it and other times it sneaks past you, but in this case it's been different because we've actually had discussions about it. Okay, some of those came down to Charles looking at me and saying "You're not being very nice to Carl." Often followed by me nodding vigorously because, damn, I've been beating on the lad this time around. What can I say? Sometimes I'm an angry god. Sometimes I'm just not at all nice to the characters I create.
That's okay. They always get out of it alive.
Well, okay. That's just plain a lie. Sometimes they get out of it alive. Seldom unscathed.
At any rate, we'e on the home stretch of a book that deals with a lot of darkness. We'll be doing a bit more rewriting this time around, because the story isn't quite as straightforward as the lat one. This too is okay. it's not the same book. It was never meant to be the same book. What would be the point of writing the same book twice?
And yes, as I said we're already planning more books with the same characters and you know what? They won't be the same book either.
By the time we get together in the middle of next week the odds are good the first draft will be finished.  We'll discuss what changes we think we need to make while we're signing the signature sheets for BLIND SHADOWS.




Which is due out in October from Arcane Wisdom.


The second book, by the way, is called CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD Where does the title come from? Proverbs 21:16: "The man who wandereth out of the way of wisdom shall abide in the congregation of the dead." That should not be taken to mean that the book is a careful analysis of the Bible, just for the record.