Super Teaser

Remember a while back I mentioned that I had sold a superhero story which would be published as a standalone electronic short? That is still in the works, but progress has been made. Final edits have been completed, and I wrote the official synopsis the publisher will use to market the tale:

All Rick Ormond ever wanted was to help save the planet; he never expected to have to do it with his bare hands.

Earning an advanced degree in environmental engineering seemed like the right path for an idealist intent on making a difference. But as obstacles and frustrations mounted, Rick lost his sense of purpose, culminating in a cold, dark night when he hit rock bottom. The same night, he was transformed into Snow Wolf, a super hero on a mission to preserve the ecosystem of Earth against depredation and defend every life it encompasses.

The goal was clear but the means by which it could be achieved were not. Just when Rick thought he had hit upon a positive way forward, he encountered a challenge from an unexpected quarter, one which only he and his unique abilities could hope to oppose – and one which would call into question the fundamental nature of his crusade.

More updates to come as the publication date approaches!

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Hidden in plain sight

My latest Table of Contents appearance comes courtesy of Lycan Valley Press, in their new anthology Final Masquerade – now available in Kindle and paperback formats!

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My contribution to the book, a tale entitled “Another Night in Paradise”, is one of those stories that came together in my head and demanded to see the light of day, even though at the time I had no particular destination for it in mind. Once it was written I shopped it around at what I thought were a few likely markets, but struck out the first few (like, six or seven) times. And then Final Masquerade opened up, in one of those serendipitous moments I truly enjoy when they cross my path. The theme of the anthology … well, let me share the introductory lines of the submission call:

“The world is a masquerade in which we all dance with the devil.” J.L. Russell

Masquerade by definition states: “A false show or pretense.”

Wouldn’t you know it, my story was all about pretense, about the false show of self we present to the world as our identity and the falsehoods we tell ourselves as we struggle to believe it enough to sell it with conviction. My story even had a bit of dance in it, and a touch of the devil as well, in the sense that it was all about criminals, degenerates, strippers, the shows they stage and the deals they make with one another. Yes, it’s a dark one, even before getting into the explicit horror story elements. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but as I said, it was just one of those stories with a life of its own, and I faithfully followed where it led me, however bleak the surroundings.

The editor must have noted at least some of those same qualities as I did, since “Another Night in Paradise” made it into the book. I’m looking forward to checking out all of the other ruminations on the theme between the covers, and I hope you’ll give it a spin as well.

Loose serial

I have made reference now and again – here and here and here – upon the release of certain stories to the fact that each one is another installment in the ongoing adventures of Kellan Oakes. But who, you may ask, is this Kellan Oakes fellow, and where did the chronicles of his career begin, and how can one avoid getting lost in the woods when jumping into the latest dispatch?

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Wonder no longer! All of those answers and more have been gathered in one location for your convenience. Presenting the Kellan Oakes mini-wiki, a brief overview of the character, his world, and the published works detailing his exploits. The page will be updated and expanded as future tales are released into the world, so bookmark it today and return to it often!