Ah, but blogs are dead, right? It’s all about your free contributions of content to #branded platforms so that you can extend your reach and find like-minded individuals to help broadcast your thoughts, beliefs and most-importantly, your projects.

Pretty sure it’s clear where I stand on all that. If not, well, Facebook wants to harvest your clicks to use you as a product. Twitter would too, if they could figure it out. Tumblr is about the same. Geez, look up one DJ rig on Amazon for research purposes and suddenly you’re swamped with ads for them. Which you’ll never ever buy because you’re not ever going to be a DJ. That’s some good work, algorithms! You’re on the case.

Okay, I’ll ease down here. At least long enough to point you towards my Wizard World Portland/Emerald City Comic Con report that went up on Comics Beat last week.

Embedded within this are two announcements. A little more on each.

1. I’m writing a crime/horror novella for Broken Eye Books entitled THE QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS. Crime stories set in a world that’s going Lovecraftian, but very unevenly. This first one’s set in [DATE REDACTED] Los Angeles, featuring Cait MacReady, a forger of rare and suppressed texts. Her latest project has turned out to be far more interesting than anyone, especially Cait herself, suspected. Now she’s attracted the attention of a group of magician-criminals called No Tomorrows, their shadowy Queen and the goddess she professes to worship. It’s due out sometime after the summer and I’ll keep you all posted on developments here.

2. I’m also working on a comics project entitled 20XX: THE FUTURE AMERICA. There’s a pitch and first script ready right now, which I’ll be taking around to places. Though part of me wonders if perhaps this might be better served with a couple of one-shot issues that tell single stories to help set the stage. I guess part of the question here is whether or not I’m committed to the single issue as a story delivery form. The marketplace seems to really want that, mostly because single issues are used as loss-leader advertisements for the collected versions. Then there’s the whole notion of Kickstarter, which I find murky for a whole variety of reasons. I know. Lots of people use it effectively and without any of these concerns, so perhaps I’m just overthinking things. I do that sometimes.

Note that many of my concerns may actually stem from the fact that it’s entirely likely I couldn’t get this funded, which is a pretty big black eye. That and even if I do get it off the ground, lots of retailers look at KS projects and say “well, those are sales I’ll never see, so why bother to push this, even if it comes from a bigger publisher?” There’s more, but I’m not going to plumb those depths right now.

Oh, I should talk about what THE FUTURE AMERICA is about. Toné Akron is the last man who can’t be bought in a world where everything is for sale.

After World War Short, both Washington and Moscow are smoking glass parking lots. But life grinds along. A generation has been on constant alert for a war that never came, seeking comfort and solace in television and the knowledge that law and order are being dispensed swiftly and without favor. The world is right. They’ve been bought, something that Toné Akron never will be. When one of his last friends on Earth gets blown up on live TV, Toné jumps at the chance to get sprung from the prison known as “The Shoe” to find out why. The first storyline is entitled “Benign Neglect” and it’s about urban renewal, conflicting attempts at molding the master narrative, folk heroics, criminality and letting friendships die. There is, however, a good chance that there will be a series of one-shots following Toné through his fame in the Battle for the Aleutians, criminal infamy in robbing The President’s Banks and how he ended up in the Shoe in the first place (featuring America’s Top Cop and CrimeBot 3000). Like I said, I’m exploring options on this, and I want to make sure that the story (and storytelling by Jok and Estudio Haus) get a shot at a wide audience, and maybe even a chance of paying back production costs (hence my looking at KS.)

There’s been other work, mostly short stories for a few anthologies (which also falls under the umbrella of putting up your content to fill out someone else’s platform in return for greater visibility–and maybe some payment.) This is what it is. Most of my best short story work (if I do say so myself) hasn’t been bought, and likely won’t ever be, especially if I get a bunch of them together and self-publish. It’s weird, huh, how short story markets don’t want “reprints” even if none of them have really been read. I know. Legal definitions and such.

Otherwise, what’s going on? Things on a general upward trendline, at least outside work. And really, even inside, given that THE QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS is actually happening. Maybe there’ll even be a series of them, plenty of territory to work over.

Winter’s almost over, flowers are opening and the hills are green, maybe to be so for a few more weeks.

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