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The End

Ah, how I love typing those words: THE END. I did so yesterday, as I finally ended Gravedigger’s first novel. I think it turned out pretty well but the ultimate judges will, of course, be the readers. I was able to work The Rook and Lazarus Gray into guest-starring roles, featured a whole host of Sovereign history courtesy of Tommy Hancock and even managed cameos by a bunch of supporting characters from New Pulp universe — Assistance Unlimited, Inspector Cord and various staff members of the Sovereign Museum all pass through the book. Even with all the tight continuity, I still hope that it will stand alone for those readers who don’t follow the rest of my universe.

Pro Se EiC Tommy Hancock says he wants the book out by Pulp Ark 2013, which means April or earlier. With the story itself complete, we just have to get in the cover and interior pieces (by George Sellas & Will Meugniot, respectively) and then get the whole thing edited and formatted. Given all the books Pro Se has in the pipeline, April 2013 is pretty quick.

Next up for me is a licensed project, where I novelize a graphic novel. Turning it from a visual story to a prose one should be an interesting experience. I’m hoping (fingers crossed) to be able to do this project in the month of December and have it finished before the end of the year.

Now I’m off to testify in court — it’s an assault case and I’m one of the witnesses. Fun day, I’m sure.

Tuesday Tidings

I should finally type THE END on Gravedigger today. I’ve lived with Charity Grace and company for quite awhile now – whenever I end a project, it’s a mixture of relief and sadness. I love knowing it’s completed but there’s always a sense of losing touch with good friends. Back in the “good old days,” I’d take a week off after finishing a novel. Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?), I don’t have that luxury anymore. So I’ll be starting work on a licensed project in the next few days — one that I would love to complete in December. I’m taking a graphic novel and adapting it into a novelized form, which is a first for me. I’ll be adding some new wrinkles and fleshing out what’s already in the graphic novel, hopefully giving it some new layers. Hopefully, Pro Se will announce this thing soon and I can talk about it more fully.

Got my PulpArk invitation today — I’m not sure I’m going to make it but I’d like to. Since it moved to April, it’s very inconvenient for me — but I’m sure it’s better for everyone else, so I can’t complain.

I’m also chairing the planning committee for the 2013 Georgia Literary Festival  that will be held in November 2013 and it was decided yesterday that we’re going to have a New Pulp Thrillers track. I’m going to be sending out a small number of invites to take part. So far, we have one “Yes” — Mr. Bobby Nash will be attending the Festival and taking part in all the fun. More updates on this to come.

Recently read the first two chapters of Mike Bullock’s new Death Angel serial on the Kindle. Good stuff. We need more Death Angel, Mike!

Currently reading an old Shadow novel — I should be recording a new episode of The Shadow Fan later this week.

Art for today is George Sellas’ sketch layout for Gravedigger’s cover. I really dig it!

Gravedigger… Revealed!

Today we take a look at a sketch by George Sellas, showing the basic look of the Gravedigger cover.

I love it!

George perfectly captured the adventure and mystery of the story – he’s always so good at that but I’m still impressed each time.

I’m less than 5,000 words from the end of the story (well, 2,000 of that is actually an essay entitled Grave Matters that details the origins behind the project).

Can’t wait for you guys to read this. I’m very proud of it!

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The Next Few Months are *Packed*!

I’m going to be finished with Gravedigger in the next week or so — after that, it’s just a matter of waiting for George Sellas to finish the cover and Will Meugniot to deliver the interior pieces. I’m really proud of the story and I love these characters — but for the next month, I’ll be living with a licensed character. After that, it’s back to Lazarus Gray — and then, maybe, I’ll get to my new Rook story that will run in Tales of The Rook.

After *that*, I need to deliver a Phantom Detective story to Airship 27.

When I’m done with that, I might return to Gravedigger again.

It’s good to be busy… right?!

Gravedigger Preview Art

Today we get our second look at Will Meugniot’s Gravedigger sketches — this one shows Charity shortly after her rebirth, having crawled from the grave. Will is able to capture the moment in a way that seems both spooky and sexy. I’m very excited to have both Will and George Sellas involved in this project (George is doing the cover and designed the Gravedigger costume), as they’re going to ensure that the book looks fantastic — and of course, I can’t forget Sean Ali, who will be doing the graphic design. Talented gents, one and all.

Oh, and after lots of teasing, I suppose I should tell you Charity’s last name, right? I mean, I’ve said she has ties to a  member of Assistance Unlimited and that this is a book that ties a lot of things together, right?

So, what else COULD she be named?

Gravedigger is Charity Grace. If you remember Samantha Grace’s origin story, as given in the Lazarus Gray series, you might even be able to figure out how directly these two women are related….

Feeling Kind of Stabby Today. Stab, stab.

So I’m currently writing the scene where Gravedigger and Lazarus Gray come face-to-face for the first time. It’s close to the 40,000 word mark on the Gravedigger novel and I’ve certainly teased this for most of the book. How will the characters get along? Here’s a hint: there’s stabbing involved.

Gravedigger is a book where I wanted to tie a lot of things together — as such, The Rook is in the first 1/3 of the book and Lazarus pops up in the final third. In between, we get lots of details about the founding of Sovereign City (a good bit of that info was gifted to me by Sovereign creator Tommy Hancock). I think that fans of my shared pulp universe will really enjoy this book — if I can successfully finish it off in November, it’s just a matter of getting a cover done by George Sellas and the interior pieces from Will Meugniot… and then it’s off to the editors at Pro Se.

To celebrate the progress, I’m sharing with you one of Will’s sketches. This is NOT a finished piece but it’s still a beautiful piece of work! the decapitation kind of fits in with a recurring theme of the book — and it gives me a good moment to release the full title of the book: The Adventures of The Gravedigger – Headless. Yep, the first novel is entitled “Headless.” Why? Well, those of you who read the free fiction I posted on Halloween might have a good idea about who the main villain for the story is (though there’s actually several villains and several adventures to be had in the story)… plus, a major character dies early in this novel and he was basically the “head” for the Gravedigger’s organization. Without him, the group is “headless” and in need of direction.

If you’re confused about what I mean by “group,” then you haven’t been paying attention! Gravedigger will forming a network of spies and agents, a la The Shadow.

Anyway, feel free to get excited now.

Because you should.

 

Wednesday (cue dramatic music)

A smattering of topics this morning:

Still making good progress on Gravedigger, which I need to have finished by the end of the month. I’m supposed to start work on a licensed project on December 1. That project still hasn’t been announced by the publisher so I can’t go into too many details yet — but I will certainly be a chatterbox regarding it once I have the green light.

The Shadow Fan Podcast returned early this week, with an in-depth look at all four issues of Howard Chaykin’s Blood and Judgment series from 1986. Enjoy!

I need to get back to reading some New Pulp — I’ve only read two of the books in the top ten on the best seller’s list! Those happen to be the top two books, lol. One of the titles, Monster Aces, has a story by me included but I haven’t seen a hard copy yet.

Anybody remember Dr. York, the villain from my Rook story that ran in All-Star Pulp Comics # 1? He’s also the bad guy of the animated script I wrote the other day. I’ve asked George Sellas to do a nice image of him — the animated script also features Princess Femi and name-drops Lazarus Gray!