Sworn to the Night: Now on Audio!

Hey, everybody! Well, I made it to North Carolina. My furniture hasn't, yet, and won't be here until Saturday, but otherwise I'm loving the new place. And most importantly, I'm back to work. The endless distractions of the house sale and move are finally over (except for the furniture thing), and I'm finding my stride again. Also, the new place has twelve-foot ceilings and acoustics that do amazing things with the clacking of my mechanical keyboard. I'm easily amused.

Beyond that, I'm thrilled to announce that the audiobook version of Sworn to the Night, narrated by the fantastic Susannah Jones, has finally been approved by Audible and is available for sale. I'm so happy with how this turned out, and I hope my audiobook fans will be as thrilled as I am!

Meanwhile, my editor should be done with the manuscript for The Neon Boneyard in another week or so, and I'm ready to raft through an ocean of red text. Editing is never fun, but always worth it in the end.



Looking Forward

Well, I’m three days from my move to North Carolina. My computer is propped up on a box. I’m sitting on a box. The house is boxes. Last month I had an amazing, revitalizing trip to New York, attending an artists’ salon held by the Sycamore Theatre Company, and it left me itching to create big things…which is hard, when your house is boxes. There comes a point, preparing for a cross-country move, when even the simple day-to-day business of life demands ridiculous mental exertion. Total burnout.

But it’s almost over, and soon I’ll be ensconced in my new WriterNest. Let’s talk about some short-term business first: The Neon Boneyard has an official release date, April 10. I’ll try to get a pre-order page up around the first of the month, once we’re closer to finished with the editing. Adam Verner is on board for the audiobook version, and he’ll be recording in early May. Speaking of audiobooks, I’ve finished reviewing the files for the audio version of Sworn to the Night and it’s fantastic. I mean, the words are okay, but Susannah Jones’s narration is fantastic. That’s currently under review at Audible, so it could launch any time between tonight and next week (we never really know how long it’ll take). I’ll put up an announcement when it goes live. And after that?

Wisdom’s Grave
My next project is writing the second and third books of the Wisdom’s Grave trilogy, back to back. I’m currently working my way through the first draft for book two, Detonation Boulevard – in fact, when I head for my new home on Monday, I’m rerouting some of the trip to take me to a few key places from the outline so I can research them first-hand. Possibly some scary places. Let’s hope I don’t get murdered! I don’t have a firm ETA on either book yet, but those will almost certainly be my next two releases after Neon Boneyard. Once the trilogy is wrapped up, we’ll be looking to the future…

New Stuff
As I mentioned last update, in 2019, 47North will be publishing my novel Haunted Palaces. This isn’t a new series; it’s a big brick of a book, and a one-and-done, self-contained story. It’s also not connected to the Faust-universe novels. Writing this thing was a tremendous experience, both from the perspective of trying something risky and new, and creating a one-shot story that wraps up clean in a single book. I’ll be sharing some thoughts about that, down the pike, once I’ve finished processing them.

And you know me, I’ve always got to be trying new things in the hopes of improving my craft. I can now announce that I’ve signed a contract with Thomas and Mercer Publishing for a brand new series that will also be kicking off in 2019. All I can tell you right now is that it’s a crime-thriller series with no fantasy elements, existing in its own continuity. I’m really excited to see how it’ll be received, and where we can go from here; I love weaving fantasy and horror elements in my work, but I grew up reading Elmore Leonard and Lawrence Block, so it’s been a heck of a thrill to finally work in their wheelhouse.

(Before anyone panics, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing fantasy, but I’ll be stretching my wings as a thriller author as well. As the meme says, get you a writer who can do both. That’s what the meme says, right?)

Harmony Black
47North has canceled the Harmony Black series. Long story short, many publishers base a series on preorders even more than live sales, and fewer people were preordering each new installment. They still sell great, as far as I’m concerned – but for me, “great” means my rent is paid, so there’s a certain difference of scale involved. This isn’t the end of my relationship with them (like I said above, they’re backing Haunted Palaces, and we’re talking about some other projects). It is also not the end of Harmony.

Way back when, I made a promise to you all: I never start a story without finishing it. I know it’s popular to say writers don’t “owe” their readers anything, and I don’t have any beef with people who feel that way, but for me, it’s not true. If I start a story, I do owe you an ending. And because my publishers are awesome people, I can make that happen. I’ve got the green light to take the series over and self-publish the continuation. They’ll still own and publish the first four volumes, and anything after that is in my hands.

So here’s the bottom line: I am committing, here and now, to writing three more books in the Harmony Black series and paying for it out of my own pocket. I’m early in outlining, but the plan is that they’ll form a trilogy of sorts, culminating in what I hope will be a satisfying conclusion. Will there be anything after that? Right now, I can’t say – my crystal ball doesn’t stretch that far. But there will be at least three more books, with a big finish. Because of the changeover, I want you to be aware of a few things up front.

1. The Covers Will Change
The first four Harmony covers were done in-house by my publisher, so I’m on my own there. I’m hoping James Egan, the fantastic artist who does the Faust and Wisdom’s Grave covers, will be on board for the project, and we’ll come up with something super-cool. They’re going to look different, though, and if you collect the paperbacks, the spines won’t look the same. (I will make sure the paperbacks are printed in the exact same size as the current ones, though, so they’ll at least line up neatly on a shelf).

2. The Audio Will Change
Like the art, the audiobook narrator’s deal was with the publisher, not with me (and there are some middlemen involved, it’s all complicated inside-baseball stuff). Bottom line is – and I apologize, I know how many audiobook fans hate when this happens – we’ll be switching narrators. I’ve asked Susannah Jones to step up and take the wheel; given her amazing work on the Revanche Cycle and Wisdom’s Grave adaptations, I’m confident she’s going to do an incredible job. All I ask is that you give her a chance, and I think you’ll really be pleased.

3. The Story Will Change – A Little Bit
File this under “maybe.” Now that I have 100% control over the franchise, I’m looking at the first four books and doing a post-mortem of what I did right, what I did wrong, what I wanted to do but couldn’t, what I was asked to do by the publisher, and so on. I’m mulling some changes to really make these follow-ups fire on all cylinders.

(Remember Casino Royale? It didn’t redefine the basic concept of what made a James Bond movie tick, but the shifts in tone and portrayal made it a dramatically different kind of movie from, say, Moonraker. I want to Casino Royale this series a little.)

One thing I’m contemplating is a shift from first to third person. There are a few reasons for that. For one, I think I can do a better job portraying Harmony herself from outside her head. She’s not neurotypical, and my attempts at capturing that from inside her own thoughts have been…eh, clumsy, by my estimation, though I’ve got a better grip on who she is now. Thought it may seem counter-intuitive, I suspect I can get you closer to her from a small distance.

Secondly, it’s due to the structure of the series. The Faust books are first-person because I’m mining the traditions of pulp fiction and noir detective novels (just don’t call Daniel a ‘magic detective’, he hates that). Back in 2015 I made the choice to write the Harmony series the same way, since it’s a companion series set in the same world….and that was a mistake. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the Harmony series is drawing more from technothrillers and spy novels, and first-person wasn’t the right tool for the job.

Basically, tying the entire story to Harmony’s perspective, when she’s part of an entire team of specialists, was like writing with handcuffs on. Can I split Harmony and Jessie up as part of a mission? Nope, not unless I want to cut out whatever Jessie is up to. And that’s to say nothing of bringing April and Kevin into the field simply because otherwise they’d only appear on the other end of phone conversations.

With a third-person perspective, I can move the camera around. I can show you the cool science stuff April and Kevin are doing back at base, without pulling them into the line of fire for arbitrary reasons (one of the biggest complaints I get about the series). I can send Harmony and Jessie on a high-stakes operation where they have to momentarily split up or cover each other from a distance. I can zoom in on the bad guys now and then, outside of the usual prologue/epilogue bits, and capture more of the world. I can even show you what the team members are up to when they’re not on the job.

So that’s a little of what I’m thinking about. Trying some things, taking some risks, aiming to tell better stories. The real bottom-line takeaway from this is that there will be more Harmony books, and I’m going to do my best to kick it up a notch.

Okay, that’s enough from me, I’m going to go and find some dinner because my fridge has been cleaned out and everything in my kitchen is taped up in boxes. My house is boxes, did I mention that?



State of the Schaefer, February 2018

Hey there, friends! We’re snug in the quiet spot between book releases, so I figured it was time for a general “State of the Schaefer” update. Maybe I should say “states,” since most of my time these last couple of months has been taken up with trying to move. I put my house on the market, aiming to relocate from Illinois to North Carolina. A number of my friends live out there, plus it puts me a short/cheap flight from my friends in NYC, so win-win.

Unfortunately, my productivity (and my blood pressure) has taken a beating in the process. Moving has been described as one of the most stressful events we can undergo, and I believe it. Beyond living out of packing boxes, nothing kills workflow like being immersed in writing a big scene only to find out that a realtor is coming to show the house and I have to clear out in fifteen minutes. Then coming home, getting back to work, and having to do it again twenty minutes later.

The process leaves an emotional residue, this continual uncertainty that leaves me feeling rootless, restless. Getting anything done requires constant effort, and mental exertion feels like rolling a boulder uphill. That said, I’m plugging away. There’s light at the end of the tunnel: the house has a buyer, it’s passed inspection and legal review, and if nothing goes haywire between now and then, the closing is on March 19th. Later this week I’m flying out to hunt for an apartment, and after that I’m winging up to New York for a mini-vacation and a salon being held by the amazing talents behind the Sycamore Theatre Company. (Yes, I’ve made an executive decision to take a couple of days off and relax – it’s a shock, I know.)

Fortunately, the manuscript for The Neon Boneyard is already finished, so it was immune to any moving-stress-induced delays. It’s still in editing, and I think we’re looking good for an April release. This is going to be a fun one. As the Man with the Cheshire Smile and the Network forge a (very) unstable truce, they turn to some out-of-town help to deal with their Vegas problem. And by “out of town,” I mean “from a parallel Earth.” Not one of the nice, friendly ones, either. As for Daniel, he’s been challenged to hunt down one of his most dangerous enemies…and save her life. Come April, things are going to be weird all over.

I’ve been talking with 47North Publishing about the future of the Harmony Black series, and I’ve got some news to share in the near future (this is going to demand a lengthy post of its own, it’s a long story) – I’ll try to bring you up to speed next month, ideally with info about the next book. In the meantime, we’ve signed a contract for an epic contemporary fantasy that’ll be out either very late this year or in 2019. It’s called Haunted Palaces, and it’s not quite like anything I’ve done before. It’s kind of this giant love letter to New York City, gothic romance literature, Hekate, and romantic comedies. I’m incredibly thankful that they’re taking a chance on publishing it.

On that note, feedback on Sworn to the Night is still coming in strong, and I’m so grateful that so many of you are enjoying it! We were hoping to have the audiobook version out by now, but Susannah came down with a cold and, well, you can’t get around that. I can write sick, but nobody can (or should) narrate sick. Her amazing voice is getting back into full health, and we’re hoping to have the audio ready by early March. I promise, it’ll be worth the wait.

And on my end, I’m currently working (slowly, under the circumstances, but doing my best) on the first draft of Detonation Boulevard, the sequel to Sworn to the Night. Our antiheroines are somewhere between Jersey City and Chicago at the moment and driving fast through the night. Then again, if you saw what was chasing them, you’d drive fast too.

That’s the update! There’s a big, exciting year ahead, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.


A Word of Thanks


A Word of Thanks

This book almost didn't come out.

It was a long road to the creation of Sworn to the Night, and what held me back more than anything was that old familiar companion of doubt. As a writer, I want to take chances, to push my boundaries, to create new and exciting things for you; as a businessperson, on the other hand, I know that the path to financial reward is marked by the stale and familiar. The last time I took a big artistic risk was the Revanche Cycle, which remains my lowest-selling, least-known series.

But you know me, that's not enough to stop me. Even when I could play it safe, I generally don't, which is why the Daniel Faust series has become less about magical powers and fighting monsters and leveling up, and more about a man finding his place in the world. From the feedback I've been getting on the last few books, that wasn't the safe choice, but it was the right one. Not every book I write is a hit, but this is a journey, you know? I'm still figuring this stuff out.

So, Sworn. I knew from the moment I started outlining that it would be a step outside my wheelhouse and outside my comfort zone. I was going to have to take a lot of risks and put my heart on the chopping block. When I shopped it around to a few publishers, the feedback largely boiled down to "we can't sell this." It's a book that involves a romance, but you're told on page two that there's no guarantee of a happily-ever-after (and also, the presumed-missing heroines just might have hunted down and murdered God, for reasons unknown). It's a book involving a dominant/submissive relationship, but it's not erotica. It's a dark contemporary fantasy almost guaranteed to disappoint someone hoping for a "good guys battle monsters while making snarky quips" urban-fantasy romp (i.e., exactly what sells right now). One of the women we're supposed to be rooting for avoid spoilers, let's just use her preferred nomenclature, "lovably quirky."

It's a complicated salad of a story.

But real artists take chances. So last week I took a deep breath, hit the button, and unleashed Sworn to the Night upon the world. And you know what? One week's arguably the best-received book I've ever written. As I write this, it's sitting at #3 in LGBT fantasy, has a plethora of five-star reviews, it's at an unprecedented (for me) 4.70 on Goodreads (my previous best-rated book, the Faust novel Double or Nothing, is 4.40), and readers seem to really dig it.

So thank you. Thank you for showing me that I can take chances. Heck, thanks for showing me I need to take chances, because when I have the courage to dig deep and paint these shadows on the page, you're willing to join me in the dance. It's gratifying and wonderful and makes my heart swell. Again, thank you.

You've also shown me that I need to knock the next two books in this trilogy out of the freakin' park. I mean, these things have to be printed on gold plates, to live up to book one. That's a tall order. But in times like this, I look to my spirit-guide Barney Stinson, and echo his timeless words of wisdom: "Challenge accepted."


Is it early, or late? Both?


Is it early, or late? Both?

Well, it was supposed to come out on Monday, then it was rescheduled for Friday, so of course we ended up splitting the difference: Sworn to the Night, the first book of the Wisdom’s Grave Trilogy, is out right now. The e-book version is live, the paperback version is being processed now and should be available within a day or so (if it’s not already up), and Susannah Jones is booking studio time at the end of the month for the audiobook adaptation so we’re hoping to have that available around mid-February.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been this nervous about a book launch before. I’m trying to do something new with this trilogy, to stretch my wings, hone my writing style and improve my art. Sworn to the Night is the longest book I’ve ever written and easily the darkest; please don’t go in expecting a light, snarky urban-fantasy romp. More than that, though… you know how, on some cooking-competition shows, contestants always say, “This dish is me on a plate?” This trilogy is me on a page. I’ve had to take myself to some very vulnerable places, writing this thing – had to allow myself to BE vulnerable, exposed in the words – though of course I don’t even know if any of that will come across on a reader’s end. Maybe it’s all in my head. We’ll see.

So I’m nervous but doing it anyway. Which is how many of the best things in life begin.

In other news, we’re working hard on the next Daniel Faust novel, the Neon Boneyard, which is still on track for release sometime in April. The manuscript is all done, and we’re just beginning the editing and cover design process. I’ll have an announcement with some details about the next book in the Harmony Black series in a couple of months, most likely, but it’s too early to talk about a release date.

And with that, I’m back to work.



Friday. We're doing this.

Happy new year, everyone! Here's hoping that 2018 is filled with delight for you and yours, and at the very least a marked improvement over 2017. We can make this happen. And speaking of making things happen, the final edits for Sworn to the Night are in my hands and my one and only new year's resolution is to get this book out this coming Friday, January the fifth. It's a timeline one might generously call...a bit on the tight/stressful side? But I'm going to get this done.

While I go and dive into a lake of red ink, working through about a million edits, I figured it'd be a good time for an official cover reveal! And with it, though I'm still tweaking it some, here's the more or less official blurb:

"Marie Reinhart is an NYPD detective on the trail of a serial killer. When she sleeps, though, she dreams of other lives; she dreams of being a knight, in strange wars and strange worlds. On the other side of the city, Nessa Roth is a college professor trapped in a loveless marriage, an unwilling prop in a political dynasty. She's also a fledgling witch, weaving poppets and tiny spells behind closed doors.

When Marie's case draws her into Nessa's path, sparks fly. What comes next is more than a furtive whirlwind affair; it's the first pebbles of an avalanche. Nessa and Marie are the victims of a curse that has pursued them across countless lifetimes; a doom designed to trap them in a twisted living fairy tale, with their romance fated to end in misery and death. 

They aren't going out without a fight. As they race to uncover the truth, forces are in motion across the country. In Las Vegas, a professional thief is sent on a deadly heist. In a Detroit back alley, witches gather under the guidance of a mysterious woman in red. Just outside New York, an abandoned zoo becomes the hunting-ground for servants of a savage and alien king. The occult underground is taking sides and forming lines of battle. Time is running out, and Nessa and Marie have one chance to save themselves, break the curse, and demand justice.

This time, they're writing their own ending."



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One More Week

Good morning, everybody. It pains me to do this, but Sworn to the Night has to be delayed -- just one week, though. Now we're looking at releasing it somewhere between Friday, January 5th, and Monday the 8th. The exact dates are still up in the air, so I don't want to give anything firmer than that until we're 100% certain.

Long story short, a member of my team had some unavoidable life-getting-in-the-way issues, as happens to all of us once in a while, and as a result the manuscript is still in editing. Not going into details because I'm the captain of this particular ship and any delays are my responsibility. I was really looking forward to sharing this new adventure with you on New Year's Day, and I'm sorry it's not going to happen, but we're almost there. I promise, it'll be worth the wait.

The e-book version will be out first, with the paperback available on the same day or within a day or two of release. The audio version will be delayed further (since Susannah can't start recording until the finished book is in her hands), but hopefully we'll start rolling on that shortly. And I'll be taking this as a learning experience, refining my production flow and trying to ensure this doesn't happen again. Thanks for your patience, and as soon as the book is ready to go, I'll be shouting it from the rooftops. Or just, you know, writing a message about it. That's probably more efficient.

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Holiday Sale? Why Not?

Before we get to the good stuff, I wanted to bring a quick update on Sworn to the Night. I'd hoped to have it done, locked in and even up for pre-order by now, but we've had some delays in the editing process and it's still being worked on. There's a chance we might miss the New Year's Day release date, but I'm going to do my absolute best to get it done. If it does slip, it'll only be by a few days -- it's definitely coming out in January, no matter what. I'll let you know as soon as I know for certain.

Meanwhile, how about a sale? The Complete Revanche Cycle is on sale for $2.99, down from the usual price of $9.99. That's all four books in one, over 400,000 words, and many of those words are in the correct order. It's also on sale on Amazon's UK site for a commensurate amount of...pounds? Pence? Quid? I don't understand British money. But it's definitely on sale, on both sites, until 12/27.

Also on sale until 12/27, The Long Way Down (first book of the Daniel Faust series) is going for ninety-nine cents. And because I feel like it and I said so, the novella The White Gold Score is free until Sunday. Download it, read it, bake it in a pie, do whatever you want, it's free.

Right now I'm plugging away at the manuscript for The Neon Boneyard, and I think it's going to be a fun ride. Though I have to warn you, there's a scene in this thing that made me stop writing, stare at my screen and say, "Oh, that's not right. That's not okay. That's not okay at all. Who writes something like that?"

Also, Nicky and the Twins are back, Daniel goes to the worst party ever, and Freddie Vinter flies in from Chicago to help Caitlin with a Very Important Dress. Also there's some gunfights and magic and explosions and such. And with that, I'm back to work!


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The Cutting-Room Floor

Just like movies, not everything that goes into a book makes it to the final page. Sometimes this happens during the editorial process, where an editor will point out how a story angle isn't working or could be reshaped to come across more strongly. Other times (most of the time, in my case), it's stuff that's cut and reworked during the first draft or even during the outlining stage. It's interesting to look back over my old notes and think about what might have been, if I'd made different decisions along the line.

To that end, I thought it might be fun to do a periodic series where I reveal some changes from past books. Before we start, I wanted to give a quick shout-out; Maggie Riley Harper is my steadfast assistant (who you can see thanked as Maggie Faid in the afterword of all my novels). She also writes poetry, and she's started a Patreon -- so if you like good poetry, check her out.

So, without further delay, here are five items from my cutting-room floor.

1. There were two Daniel Faust novels before The Long Way Down.

The Long Way Down was roughly my seventh completed novel. The first six were practice and don't count, nor will they be seen by the light of day. As much as I cringe, looking at some of my earliest published work (and still do now, but I keep working and trying to improve), these were -- as most writers' first books are -- just plain lousy.

That said, two of them were proto-Faust novels. They were set in Chicago (the city I was most familiar with, and research was just a car ride away), and Daniel actually worked for the Mancuso Family (who would eventually find a place in print, opposing him and the Vegas crew in The Castle Doctrine). When I decided to take some of the basic elements of the books for the first "real" Faust novel, the setting was the first thing to change. As Maggie pointed out, "You're writing a first-person novel about a modern-day magician who does detective work. No matter what, people are going to accuse you of ripping off the Dresden Files. Why make it harder on yourself?"

Of course, that turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the Vegas setting fits the characters and themes far better than Chicago ever could have. I also had to laugh when I later watched an interview with Jim Butcher and he revealed that the Dresden Files were originally going to be set in St. Louis, but friends told him he was already going to be accused of ripping off Anita Blake, so why make it harder on himself?

Everything is a circle.

2. Daniel Faust had a familiar.

This was an element from the proto-novels that almost made it into the real series. Daniel had a familiar, a feathery floating serpent-spirit that, when it wasn't following him around, lived in a wax dinosaur souvenir from the Field Museum. It was interesting, but not much of an actual character, and its only real ability (shorting out electronics by flying through them) turned out to be seriously overpowered.

The power issue could be easily fixed, and there was nothing horribly wrong with the concept, but the end of the day, I couldn't really come up with a reason for it to be in the story. So, out it went.

3. In the Revanche Cycle, the witches' glade was in New Jersey.

When Mari is brought to the coven glade in Terms of Surrender, her first reaction is one of horror: Nessa has been teaching her the stars by night, and the stars over the glade aren't the ones she knows. The Dire Mother's cairn is clearly Elsewhere, maybe very far elsewhere.

Maybe...the New Jersey Pine Barrens?

The original draft did, in fact, strongly imply that the glade was right here on our Earth. There was even a bit, outlined but never written, where Mari saw the shadow of a plane passing overhead (and lost her shit, as one would). This was a case of a change made because of the rules of the fictional universe. Readers have noted that despite being set in the same multiverse, magic doesn't work in Revanche like it does in the Faust/Black novels. It's markedly more powerful, and users have to guard themselves against Shadow-sickness (a concept that mages from our Earth aren't even aware of).

There's a reason for that, one that will be explored in next year's Wisdom's Grave Trilogy. Suffice to say, though, the differential made it impossible that Nessa's coven would hold their gatherings in Jersey. Everyone would have noticed the bizarre shift in the currents of magic (and the Dire Mother, held together by sorcery and hate, probably wouldn't have even been able to exist in our world). So, that was an idea I really liked, but it had to go.

4. There was a longer My Little Pony reference in Double or Nothing.

I try to avoid using too many pop-culture references in my books; they can date a manuscript fast, and come off as jarring or worse, pandering. And of course, the craze that everybody knows about today is a "huh?" to tomorrow's reader. (Remember when Harlem Shake videos were all over the internet? That was huge. When's the last time you even thought about the Harlem Shake?)

Of course, sometimes they still slip in there. When Daniel brings Circe to his apartment in Double or Nothing, she discovers the wonders of television along with "the cartoon with the singing horses." There was originally a bit, cut for the above reasons, that took it a step further. Daniel, distracted, tells her "I think you'll like the pink one best." Then later in the book, once Circe regains her grasp of language, she tells him: "Your assessment was incorrect. I did enjoy the antics of the pink pony, but I prefer the purple one. I find her situation...relatable."

5. Harmony Black was supposed to be a dragon.

Yes, a freakin' dragon. This was another element from the proto-books, which didn't make it into the final story because... c'mon. Because she was supposed to be a dragon. That's why.

Seriously, though, the Faust series originally had a completely different cosmology and backstory. God and Lucifer weren't missing and the Kings didn't exist, nor did the endlessly reincarnating characters of the First Story, or even the idea of a multiverse of parallel worlds. It was, instead, a kitchen-sink "all the gods and monsters of every culture ever are real" kind of thing, tied in with a mystery about a cataclysmic event that drove most of them underground centuries ago.

It was pretty boring.

When I started serious work on the "real" books, I wanted something weirder, scarier, and tighter. More Twin Peaks than the D&D Monster Manual. So, everything changed, the old cosmology went out the window -- and with it, the dragons.

And that's it for the cutting-room floor! Thanks for taking a trip down the halls of What Might Have Been with me. If folks dig it, we'll do another of these soon. Now I'm back to work on the first draft of The Neon Boneyard...and I can't wait to tell you what changed between the outline and the story this time around, but I'd better wait until the book comes out.

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Cold Spectrum: The Truth is Now

Good morning and happy Halloween, everybody! I have something a little better than candy this year -- Cold Spectrum, the fourth novel in the Harmony Black series, is available now. This book marks the culmination of the first big series story arc, with plenty of twists and turns (or, dare I say it, tricks and treats?)

Okay, I'm getting a little corny with the Halloween stuff there. (Maybe even...candy corn-y? Okay, okay, I'll stop.)

I do hope you enjoy it! Meanwhile, I'm still working hard on the first draft of the next Daniel Faust novel, The Neon Boneyard, which should be coming your way in April of 2018. And as we speak, my editor is lashing her red pen across the pages of Sworn to the Night, the first book in the Wisdom's Grave trilogy; we're still on track to have that one out around New Year's Day.

And with that, it's time for your faithful scribe to get back to work. No rest for the wicked (though I'll be fueling myself with coffee AND chocolate peanut-butter cups.)