Monday, December 31, 2012

Wrapping up 2012

Happy new year’s eve!

I hope you’ve had a good year.
I’ve had an interesting one, writing-wise. My 30 thousand word Ki-Gor story, “The Devil’s Nest,” appeared in print in Jungle Tales Volume1, with stories by Peter Miller and Aaron Smith. This was published by Airship27 just in time for PulpFest 2012. I’d written my first Ki-Gor story for Airship 27 several years ago. For one reason and another, that story--“The Moon of the Demon Men”--was eventually published by WildCat books in Ki-Gor: JungleLord in 2007. So, five years later, I finally have my first story in print with Airship 27. And the anthology performed well sales-wise, remaining in the Top 10 of the New Pulp Best Sellers list for several weeks, as compiled and reported each Monday by Barry Reese.

Speaking of PulpFest, I had a wonderful time. I renewed some acquaintances and met a lot more folks for the first time this year. I sat on a panel of adventure writers working in the New Pulp realm, and enjoyed the discussion and the audience's questions thoroughly. The pulp community is a warm and friendly place, and I encourage any pulp fan who hasn’t yet attended a pulp magazine convention to do so. The convention organizers--for PulpFest, Windy City, AdventureCon, DocCon and others--work hard to make sure the attendees have a great time, and the programming is always a lot of fun and informative.
The focus of this year’s PulpFest was particularly delightful: the centennial for two of Edgar Rice Burroughs' most famous creations, John Carter of Barsoom and Tarzan, and the 80th anniversary for the first appearance of Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

After PulpFest, I published two more eBooks. The first was Three Witches: An Adventure of El Tigre Azul. This gave me the opportunity to play in a world of humor and horror featuring a luchador enmascarado, a masked Mexican wrestler of the type seen in the films of El Santo and The Blue Demon. Filmed in the 1950s, ‘60s, and early ’70s, these movies pitted their masked heroes against witches, vampires, mummies--you name it--all between defending their titles in wrestling matches. I had a lot of fun writing this story, and the readers I’ve heard from have said they were entertained by it. It has sold more copies this year than any of my other releases, and it was published just in November.

The second eBook is a short story, The Dream Stalker. This mystery features a consulting investigator, Shalimar Bang, who operates in a slightly different reality than our own -- much as Spider-Man, Superman, and other heroes operate in a slightly different universe than the one in which we live. Shalimar's headquarters is on Alcatraz Island, and she takes on cases the regular authorities aren't quite able to tackle.vThis story first appeared in one of Tom Johnson’s neo-pulps in the 1990s. I’ve updated and expanded the story, and it’s intended to kick off a series of adventures about Shalimar.
I’d had two stories available exclusively at Amazon through its Kindle Select program, “Pretty Polly” and “A Quiet Night in the Dark inLaPlata, Missouri, 1942.” Although they had sold at least one or two copies each month of the year, I’d not seen any particular benefit to having these two stories remain limited to Kindle sales only. So I opened up a Smashwords account, and in December released them both there. I experimented with releasing “The Dream Stalker” separately through Kobo and Barnes & Noble, but Smashwords appeared to distribute the stories as quickly to those sites as Kobo and the Nook released the versions I published through those two sites. So I may just stick with Smashwords in the future for all non-Kindle releases. (By the way, the links to my books above go to Amazon for Kindle editions. You can find my work for all other eReaders at Smashwords by clicking here.)

I will say that compared to Amazon’s Kindle publishing site, B&N’s Nook publishing site, and Smashwords multi-platform site, Kobo’s site is about the easiest and user-friendliest when it comes to uploading and publishing an eBook.

I expanded my marketing position by adding a page to InterroBang that lists all my books and links to them at various sites; building an author page at Amazon and at Smashwords and at GoodReads.

Finally, I wrapped up the year by joining the gang of writers who will be contributing to Amazing Stories, the 21st Century incarnation of the first magazine that was dedicated solely to science fiction. I’m looking forward quite a bit to participating in this adventure.
This has been a year of building. I have a variety of stuff out there. While I had published a straightforward pulp-hero story (Ki-Gor) in a traditional print format, I also experimented with eBook publishing and played with pulp magazine history a bit (in “A Quiet Night,” wherein actual fictioneer Lester Dent met his house name doppelganger, Kenneth Robeson), launched an adventure heroine (Shalimar Bang), and delivered an action hero of a type no one else had yet developed in a prose narrative (El Tigre Azul in Three Witches).

Overall, I’m pleased with how 2012 turned out. What will 2013 bring? Stay tuned.

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