I’m visiting with Colleen today in what’s become a Halloween tradition for us. Colleen is a prolific lady who runs the largest poetry blog I know of. She’s always been a big supporter of independent authors, and I’m proud to consider her a friend. While you’re over there, please check out all she has to offer and consider following her interesting blogs.
Hello everyone! Welcome to the Halloween edition of Colleen’s Coffee Klatch. Since at least 2016, C. S. Boyack has spent every Halloween with me on the blog. He usually has a new book to discuss, and this year is no different.
I’m over at Harmony’s place this morning with my first stop on the tour. This is all about The Midnight Rambler, and the topic is keeping the humor in this series.
Harmony is a multi-genre author, and you should check out her books. She’s a prolific blogger and one of my partners at Story Empire. Check out her site and consider following her blog while you’re there.
I’ll be checking in when I can to keep up with comments, so don’t be afraid to leave one.
October is nearly upon us, and in typical fashion I have something to share with everyone.
Life has been busy, and I’ve had to target what I can do as opposed to what I’d like to do. I still have company, and I’ve dedicated a large portion of time to being a good son.
One of the things I did was to silently publish The Midnight Rambler last weekend. I didn’t make a big deal about it, because all my promo posts are targeting the month of October. What I really wanted was the purchase link to send out with my tour posts.
Old What’s Her Face is taking Mom home tomorrow, meaning I’ll have the whole house to myself. I sent out the first week of promo posts to make sure I didn’t drop the ball.
This weekend I’m going to send something to everyone I have scheduled. I think I have a couple of extra posts and might contact some of you directly to see if I can put them to good use.
If you’d like like to go hunting for an ancient monster with Lizzie and the hat, I’d appreciate everyone giving it a chance. This one goes down during a major flood event, and Lizzie might even have a pseudo-boyfriend out of the deal.
This series involves stand alone stories that make sure you don’t have to read the predecessors to enjoy the story. They’re also short novel length and readers seem to appreciate that, too.
I’ll be sharing the blurb and a bunch of points about the book during my tour. For tonight, you get a cover and a purchase link. Then I’m going back to being a good son for one more night.
I worked on Lizzie and the hat this morning, and am struggling with a few different things. This usually means it’s time to jump stories.
As I take this series further, I’m getting great mileage out of expanding the supernatural world around Lizzie St. Laurent. If you’ve followed the series, Good Liniment is a prime example. The witches coven is fertile ground to spawn new tales.
I’ve done some of that, but don’t want it to become a theme. I never want to feel like I’m dialing it in because I have access to more powerful characters to help Lizzie in her efforts.
My intent is for Goodbye Old Paint to be more light-hearted and geared more toward the humor side. Past tales did this with a scoop of graphic violence, but this one doesn’t really need that.
I finished my chapter this morning, and the monsters behind the story have all been dealt with. Problem is that I’m at just over 30,000 words. I want all these to come in at slightly over 40K. That’s one hell of a denouement.
I added a section about Night Bump Radio and that always seems to fit into these stories. What’s left is returning some of the blackmail to the government agents who forced Lizzie into this project, a gig with her band, then a girls night with her new besties. (Two witches)
At the outside, I could include an epilog about the government domestic spying. Kind of like horror films always show you the real monster still exists.
Including any or all of these things feels right, but I don’t know if there’s 10,000 words there.
Part of the fun of writing an ongoing series is all the new ideas. I came up with a cool character that’s going to force me to dive into philosophy, and a monster that’s kind of gruesome and unique. Fortunately, I have years to think about them and find a plot for them.
I’ll have to figure out how, with my monster killing the homeless people and leaving no evidence behind, how is Lizzie ever going to get on the trail in the first place. Right now my options are Detective Joe Yoder, or Kevin the vampire. Maybe something else will come to me in the next year.
I need to figure out my new unaffiliated witch/circus midget/former philosophy professor and what kind of monster Lizzie will be chasing to lead her to his door. Then it’s all going to lead to a bipolar talking toilet, because it is one of those stories.
I’ve started cheat sheets for both characters so I don’t forget anything.
It really does feel like time to switch back to Mari’s story in the swamp. Maybe something will pop into my head while I’m being more serious.
My path for the last couple of years has been weird. I get sporadic writing time, and try to make the best of it. Eventually, those sessions add up, which is why I’m posting today.
My work schedule put me in a strange place, because I could publish last weekend, then not talk about it all week, or publish this weekend and have the same problem ahead of me. I went ahead and ran it through Amazon’s mill last Sunday.
Good Liniment is now available on Amazon and has been for a couple of days now. I’ll be taking it out on tour for a few weeks to give it a good launch, and will be reblogging the posts here as a way to support my hosts and hopefully drive a bit of traffic. Lisa Burton, spokesmodel for my career, will be out there too handing out some book specific posters.
Getting sick didn’t help matters along. I missed a bunch of work this week with something like the flu on steroids. (I got the flu shot, so it’s probably something else.) At one point I was feverish and slept for 20 straight hours. The other four were spent in the bathroom.
That doesn’t leave a lot to talk about in a blog post, so let’s make this about the new book.
Someone is murdering members of the local witches coven. They turn to Lizzie and the hat for their unique skills that might help eliminate the killers.
A religious zealot might be a monster, but is still a human being. This task isn’t the same as staking vampires or shooting zombies. It isn’t the usual project Lizzie takes on for her night work.
This all takes place during a recovery period for Lizzie. She needs to keep her cover band together and find a new way of getting them gigs. More bands and less venues are making finances tight. The hat didn’t make things easier during her absence, by spreading rumors about why she took her sabbatical.
Someone killing others over a point of view insults Lizzie’s sensibilities. She has secrets to keep. Her employers have secrets, too. It doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment, but she agrees to do what she can.
Convincing her strong-willed employers to stay indoors during all this poses another problem. Can she keep them alive long enough to finish her task?
Good Liniment is full of magic, magical creatures, and an entire underground community living amongst us.
The Hat Series consists of short novels that can be read in a single afternoon. They’re full of snarky dark humor and can be easily read out of order.
I hope to give this one a good launch. It expands the world of Lizzie and the hat exponentially, and provides a base the next few stories will feed off of. I plan on making minor introductions in subsequent stories so you can still read them out of order should one grab your attention more than another.
I also have a finished manuscript for The Midnight Rambler that glances off some things in Good Liniment. Probably hold that one for the Halloween season.
I’m scheduling this post ahead of time and hope to be back at work by the time you read it. I might have to catch up with comments after hours.
So, there you have it. A new book in The Hat Series. Do all the things authors dream of. Pick up a copy, have fun, tell your friends, maybe share it on social media. Watch for the tour posts. I made every one of them unique and I think it will be a good tour.
Percy, the Space Chimp, leaped off the couch at the writing cabin as I entered. He regaled me with a recap of his visit to the warehouse and Ray Dongas who rules the place. He paused at the entrance to the paranormal office.
Lisa Burton, my robot PA waited inside. She wore a rain slicker and a sou’wester hat, but insisted on heels to go with them. Not so much the strawberry-blonde bombshell today as just cute.
“Wait a minute. What’s happening here?” Percy asked.
The hat atop Lisa’s head spoke. “Not your turn today, slick.”
I put a hand on Percy’s shoulder. “That’s how it works around here. Sometimes I need to give a story some time. You guys are gallivanting around the secret space city, but I need to figure out how much exploration is entertaining, and when to send you on the next leg of your adventure. Science fiction needs a bit of world building, but there’s a limit to it. This city will come back around in your tale, so I could get away with a bit more.”
“Come on, dude. I got a new shuttle I need to try out.”
“And, you will. Today isn’t the day. I need to ponder your next moves. Today is all about The Midnight Rambler.”
The hat said, “Take a break, kid. I’ve been through this a lot of times. You get used to it eventually. The Olympics are on somewhere. Maybe you can check those out.”
Lisa found a place on the couch, then crossed her legs. “What’s with all the rain in this story?”
“Couple of reasons. It’s big enough to be an obstacle to Lizzie’s success, and I have a secret plot to ruin her car.”
“She loves that car. Why would you do that to her?”
“Maybe she’s in line for a different car someday. Besides, it’s true to life. Lizzie struggles with her meaningless jobs, bills that never end, and trying to perform with her band. A paranormal tale needs some level of reality so people can relate. Then there’s the fact that some cool rain type songs have been made. Those can make it into her playlist.”
The hat spoke up. “She’s my partner, so I’m telling her. What are you going to do about her boyfriend?”
“I’m not telling you anything after that last comment. I’m still trying to make this a series of stand-alone noveloids. Anything that drifts across the titles has to be something the next book doesn’t have to explain.”
“Come on, you can tell me. I’m the hat.”
“No. I don’t think so. Success has been sparse on this caper. She can’t count on Kevin the vampire, and the Rambler is dug in to make her crazy. We’re going to initiate a few clues today that will nudge the end game forward.”
“It’s about time. She’s already crazy enough. This monster has to have an army at his disposal by now, and we’re going to have to slug our way through them to get to him. Maybe we can figure out a way to draw him out.”
“Maybe, but I don’t see it working that way. In fact, you’re going to have a little talk with her about how that last second victory only happens in the movies. Sometimes things don’t work out in the real world.”
“Well, I don’t like the sound of it. Is this going to be the Greek tragedy you’re always talking about?”
“That would be cool. Maybe I’ll give that some thought.”
The hat groaned.
Lisa took him off and placed him on the end table. “Relax. He’s already told you about his plan for a new car. If everyone dies, there’s no need for that.”
“Maybe, just the boyfriend dies. That could work.” The hat wobbled to look at my reaction.
“What do you think of this song?”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“That reminds me. I need to see what kind of help disaster areas really offer. Lizzie can’t work anywhere except where her band plays. The diner’s flooded and landscaping is at a standstill. Even her basement apartment has water inside.”
“Does this mean the Research Sirens are coming back here?” Lisa asked.
D. L. Finn is a wonderful author and one of my Story Empire colleagues. She’s generously offered to lend me her site today to talk about Wreck of the Lanternfish. While you’re there, check out her site and offerings. Denise is someone you ought to be following and reading.
I’m thrilled to welcome fellow Story Empire Author, C. S. Boyack here today to celebrate the release of Wreck of Lanternfish. I’ve been looking forward to the final book in this series and here’s my review.
Thanks so much for lending me your space today. Spreading the word about a new book is so important. Today is all about concluding my Lanternfish trilogy with ‘Wreck of the Lanternfish.’ Keep reading here…
It’s a book now. Lisa Burton and I will be touring it around for a few weeks, and I hope to see you along the route. I’ll be sharing those posts here so they’re easy to find. Each post is unique, so they won’t get repetitive.
I hope everyone will give it a chance. Short novel length, dark humor, characters that everyone has enjoyed before. Check it out.
I didn’t get to the writing cabin very early. I allowed myself to sleep in, took my time tending the dogs, then browsed through a bunch of sites.
By the time I got there, Lisa had already set everything up for me in the paranormal office. She wore one of her favorite bandage dresses with a cherry pattern and red heels.
“What’s all this?” I asked.
“It’s your first real writing day in weeks. I put the coffee in a thermos beside your desk, and disabled the WiFi in here so you won’t get distracted.“
“I won’t get distracted.”
“I know. There’s no WiFi. I’ll turn it back on so you can save to the cloud when you’re finished. Now see if you can help that poor girl find the killer.” She left to take care of other duties.
I read back over my last chapter, made a few corrections, then forged ahead. It felt like a slog, because everything is starting to come together. There were a couple of times I had to go back and adjust the plants that were starting to pay off in the story.
My detective character still can’t remember his encounter with Lizzie and the hat. His wife’s spirit talked him into asking his father for help, but that happened off the page. I spent some time with him going over the six silver bullets his father provided him, and kind of like the way that scene came out.
Because of this POV character, I’m using more section breaks now. As the story comes to an end that always seems to be the case.
Meanwhile, Lizzie finished blinging up her pawn shop jacket and earned some new snow tires, because it’s the little things that count. She also spent the evening with one of her bosses at the diner. When chasing a monster that only shows up a few days per month, she also tends to get a little grouchy.
I enjoyed her evening with Dave at the diner, and it’s a nice reminder that she had friends before the hat upended her life. The diner was quiet, it was a major snowstorm, and a killer is stalking their streets. Makes the dinner shift kind of slow. I’m not totally out of my mind, because right after they locked up, Lizzie went monster hunting on the first night of the full moon.
Because of the blizzard, their night was mostly a stakeout. They spent some time listening to the idiots who call in to Night Bump Radio, then checked what appears to be a favorite travel path of the monster. They just reached the drainage when the sound of distant gunfire pulled them into action.
That’s where I stopped for the day. While it felt kind of laborious, I’m happy with the scenes. I was surprised when my word count came in at 3000 words, because it felt like about half that.
Sundays usually make for lousy writing days. I need to put something together for Story Empire so I’ll dedicate my time to that. I have a couple of things roughed out, but I need to find some graphics. I know posts always do better with graphics, but rarely use them here.
I’m calling it a win. I got some words down, and actually like what happened. Tomorrow I’ll get my next SE post scheduled.