hembeck_smallerIt’s been one of those mornings — and it’s not even 8:30 am here! First, I wake up to an email from one of my publishers, saying that a book is already being sent to press and they somehow have lost the most recent version of my story! So I had to hurriedly scrounge that one up and mail it to them. Then I recorded The Shadow Fan Episode 21 but halfway through my Audacity program started acting up so I had to start all over again.

Let’s hope it gets better from here!

I continue to make good headway on Lazarus Gray Volume Four. I’m currently writing a scene that uses Mayor Rainsford Byles, who previously appeared in The Adventures of Fortune McCall by Derrick Ferguson. Fun character and he fits very well with what’s happening in this particular story. Writing in a shared universe has its good and bad points — there are times that it can really limit you because you have to think of the effects your plans might have on others. But on the other hand, it can be a major boon. In this case, I knew Derrick had already created a character that would fit my purposes, so I didn’t have to do that on my own. I just re-read the scenes that Derrick used him in to refresh my memory (thank you, Kindle Fire, for that search feature!) and I was off!

Over on Facebook, Mark Beaulieu tagged me in a post where he said:

OK, so I’ve read through The Rook volume 5 and some of The Rook volume 6. I liked them quite a bit. The 5th volume is good once you realize it’s not just a Rook book. The best parts of the book are where the Rook is present and the weaker parts are with the other characters. Having said that, I liked the other characters, just too many at once. I haven’t read the Lazarus Gray story in the 6th volume because it’s in the Lazarus Gray book and I’m going to read those in order. No reason to possibly spoil something.

I should mention I’m really liking the Lazarus Gray book so far. I’ve finished the 1st three short stories.

Barry Reese has done some good stuff here. While I said some negative stuff above about the 5th volume, I did enjoy it. There’s some good bad guys in there and the stories have quite a bit in each one. I just prefer the solo Rook stories.

Once I’m done with the Lazarus Gray book, I’ll be starting Derrick Ferguson’s Fortune McCall book. Looking forward to that one quite a bit. I love his Sebastian Red stories and the one Dillon book I’ve read was fun.

I wanted to thank Mark for the kind words — I think that Volume Five is the weakest in the series. That book just got away from me, I’m afraid. While I really enjoyed the Claws of The Rook team, they did kind of dominate book 5. Originally, their stories were for a spinoff series that I was going to do for Wild Cat but when that fell through, they ended up running in The Rook series proper — which was probably a mistake. Anyway, I do think the series returns to form with “The Scorched God” that leads off book six.

Our art today is by the amazing Fred Hembeck. Fred has been delighting comics fans with his fun style and swirly knees for many years and it was so amazing to have him draw The Rook. I felt like I’d ‘arrived.’


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