My Liberty Guard novel… is kaput.

noooooo-god-nooooI now have an entire novel written in someone else’s universe that won’t see print. Wonderful. Ah, well. I enjoyed working with these characters and feel that I brought something interesting to what I was given to work with. Some of the characters I have to admit struck me as incredible losers at the beginning but I really liked them by the end. TNT, Blue Fire, even that wacky version of Cat-Man that I think I took in some odd directions from where Jeff Deischer intended… I had fun ideas for one and all. I’ll probably repurpose some of those ideas for other characters down the road.

I hate that you guys won’t get the chance to see it.

It’s awful when things like this happen but that’s life.

All Kinds of News

The Second Book of Babylon is literally just days away – and I’ve already gotten a look at the cover, though I can’t share it with you just yet. Looking forward to you guys seeing this one – it’s been a little over two years since I finished writing it and sent it off to my publisher and I hope you think it’s worth the wait.

In addition, I’m expecting to finish writing the Liberty Guard novel for Westerntainment next week. I’m close to 50,000 words on it now. Hopefully they’ll like it and it won’t go through too extensive of an editing process.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do after Liberty Guard and I haven’t firmly decided but I’m anxious for something different. 

The Halfway Point – or, the land of Meh.

camifinalfinalThe Liberty Guard novel is meant to be around 60k in length and I’m currently closing in on 32,000 words. That means I’m over halfway home… but this is also the point in every novel where I begin to loathe the project, I’m anxious to do something else and I’m questioning why in the hell did I agree to do this in the first place.

So what does a writer do? He soldiers on. He keeps adding words. He looks for things that could inspire a bit more passion.

When I was a young guy just looking to become that mythical creature known as an “author,” I would write until I got bored or some shiny new idea entered my brain and then I’d jump to do that. I left a string of unfinished manuscripts in my wake. I see that with my students all the time – it’s that dedication, that drive, that will that they lack now and that I lacked then. You have to say, “Sorry, I can’t write you, project X… not until I finish the current work.”

Wish me luck. These are the dark days. If I can just hit 40k… then 50… then the momentum will drive me to the finish line.

Accompanying this post is an image of Camila Mendes, the actress that plays Veronica Lodge on Riverdale.


Yeah, it’s time for an update

27858577_10155082550917181_8118617840494930262_nHello, one and all – work continues on the Liberty Guard novel. I’m over 28,000 words into it right now and have reached that point where I’m wondering why I started on it in the first place. It’s not a reflection of the work or subject matter — I do this around this mark on every novel I write. You get hungry for something different and the knowledge that you’re only halfway through makes it worse. I’ll keep pushing through it. Once I hit the 40k mark, it’s usually a sprint to the end.

Still waiting on Babylon to arrive from Pro Se…

Had a few ideas for Lazarus Gray Volume 11 but I refuse to work on it until Volume 8 is published. I’m not going to be four novels ahead!

Currently reading THE SAVAGE TALES OF SOLOMON KANE. The Puritan avenger has always been a character I liked but he’s no Conan. Still, I love these stories.

Been in a bit of a writing snit overall lately – no new reviews, no new books being published, feels like I’m sending these books out into the void. There are definitely days when I want to delete the blog and just vanish into the ether – not sure anybody would really miss me in what passes for the New Pulp scene. Is there even such a thing anymore?

Ah, well – I’m gonna go spend some more time with Solomon Kane. See you soon!

Current Works

41228_900I’m over 17,000 words into the Liberty Guard novel, which features some of the old Centaur Comics’ characters. It’s going well so far and at this rate, I expect to finish up sometime in April or May. I am that point of the novel where I have ideas for things to do after this, though, and it always takes self-control to avoid giving in to them. I’ve been kicking around ideas for a Gothic romance with some pulp elements tossed into the mix. I’m so far ahead of publication with Lazarus Gray that I don’t plan to return to Sovereign until I at least see THE SECOND BOOK OF BABYLON or the eighth book in the Lazarus series in print.

Approved the edits on my story for the Johnny Dollar collection coming from Moonstone… I’m proud of that tale, which I wrote waaaaaay back in 2011, so I’m glad you’ll finally be able to read it.

The lady accompanying our post today is Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica Lodge on one of my favorite television shows – Riverdale.

Announcing… The Liberty Guard!

TNT_Todd_004Back in the 1990s I was a big fan of a series called Protectors. It was written by R.A. Jones and revived a number of public domain heroes originally published by Centaur Comics. When that series ended, most of these characters returned to publishing limbo… until R.A. Jones revived them in a series of novels set in the Golden Age. The first of these, The Steel Ring, was a tour-de-force of superhero prose… and it was followed by The Twilight War and House of Souls, two more instant classics. I loved these books… and it was with no small amount of excitement that I accepted an offer to write a companion series set alongside R.A.’s incredible work with the Steel Ring.

I’ll be writing a series of novels that will appear in alternating years to the Steel Ring books – the first of which will be published in the fall of next year. I’ll also be using heroes originally featured in the Centaur publishing line and while my series will be self-contained, there will be inevitable “Easter eggs” that connects my work to R.A.’s.

This is what my editor Jeff Deischer posted today in announcing my association with the project: Some very exciting news! Barry Reese has agreed to write a new novel in RA Jones’ Steel Ring universe, tentatively titled The Liberty Guard. When RA told me he wanted to continue the series (it had started off a a one-shot), I pitched him a number of ideas. He’s reached the point in the series when Liberty Guard fits chronologically, AND coincidentally it meshes well with his plans for the Steel Ring. I knew he didn’t want to write Liberty Guard, focusing on his own series, so I asked Barry if he’d be interested, since he is a well respected pulp AND superhero writer. The plan is to release this next autumn. Updates as we progress. To be clear, this novel will stand separately from the Steel Ring — in the same universe but using different characters. Glad to have you aboard, Barry!

I’m looking forward to working alongside one of my favorite writers in R.A. Jones – and I’ve long been a fan of Jeff Deischer’s works so this is a nice opportunity to collaborate with him.

Look for more details – including a list of the character that will be appearing in LIBERTY GUARD – in the near future. You do get to see the team’s leader accompanying this post (that’s TNT TODD) so let that whet your appetite!