Slight Delay (But Only a Slight One!)

Happy Monday (hopefully)! When last I updated you on Bring the Fire, I mentioned that there may be a slight delay due to one of my production team members facing an impending baby-arrival. Well, now I can call it for certain: while the good news is that the delivery went great and mom and baby are both well, it is taking us a little longer than expected to wrap up the book and I have to push the expected release date back by about a week.

Right now, I’m hoping for a release around the weekend after next, somewhere between 11/9 and 11/12, and I’ll update you again as soon as I have a hard, confirmed date. We’re all excited to get this book in your hands (well, the team is excited, I’m terrified) but we’ve got to make sure it’s as polished and ready as possible before we unleash the trilogy’s conclusion.

Meanwhile, work is well underway on the return of Harmony Black. It’s too early to tell you much about the plot, save that there’s action, chills, occult espionage, and also maybe Jessie finally gets some overdue sexy-times. (Hey, it’s hard meeting that special someone when you’re a wolf-blooded undercover agent).



Bring the Fire -- New Cover Reveal!

Happy Tuesday, everybody! I hope it’s a happy Tuesday. I’m having a productive Tuesday, so that makes me happy at least. I thought today would be a nice day to…do a new cover reveal! The final art for Bring the Fire is done, thanks to the awesome talents of James T. Egan, and I think it’s a fine teaser of what lies ahead in the final book of the Wisdom’s Grave trilogy.

I’m still hoping for a Halloween release. That said, a critical member of my production team (not sure how public they want to be about this, so I’m gonna be vague about exactly who it is) is going through a most understandable delay – they’re having a baby! So I hope you’ll forgive me if we run a little late, but that’s one of the few production slowdowns that really can’t be argued with in any way, shape or form.

Believe me, I tried. I was like “Baby, do you know who I am?” And the baby was all, “No, idiot, I’m a baby.” And that was the end of the argument. Anyway, bottom line, still hoping for Halloween but we’ll see. I’ll give you a firm date the second I have one.



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...And Back Again

Happy Friday, everybody! I’m back from a research trip to New York, scouting locations for the followup to Ghosts of Gotham. Oh, did I mention my publisher put up a pre-order page? It’s not out until April, but you can check it out (and its snazzy new cover) over here.

I also had the pleasure of attending a showing of a new immersive theatre piece, Through the Wren, which I hugely enjoyed. Many of you know that I’m a big theatre fan, especially immersive shows, and this one didn’t disappoint. For those unfamiliar, immersive theatre is a medium where there is no stage/audience separation. You’re on the set, actually integrated into the show to one degree or another, and the story unfolds all around you at point-blank range. When done right, it’s stunningly intimate and often transgressive, and Through the Wren is done right.

It’s a small show, with only four main characters, following the course of one tragic night in a Gothic manor. I’ll say no more about the plot, but the crew of actors is absolutely top-notch and every one of them impressed the heck out of me. I believe the first, short run of the show is already sold out, but if you happen to be in NYC when it comes back again, check it out. I will be. (Disclosure: I don’t have any financial stake in the show, but if you happen to go and check out the manor’s hall of portraits, you might spot a familiar face among the cursed Galloway family’s ancestors…)

Soon it was time to return home, with fresh inspiration and a notebook crammed with new ideas. That’s when things got a little sideways. I was flying south, and the remnants of Hurricane Michael were flying north. We spent three hours on the runway at La Guardia, waiting for clearance to take off, wondering if the flight was going to be canceled. Eventually, we got the green light. The course took the long way around, doubling the one-hour flight, bouncing on turbulence all the way. Then we finally arrived at Raleigh-Durham and made what was supposed to be the landing approach.

If you’ve never been on a plane that’s slipping out of control, it’s hard to describe the sensation. It’s not just turbulence. There’s bouncing and chop, but it’s more than that — you feel the plane list like a boat in high waves, slashing to one side and then the other, wind roaring off the hull. You’re suddenly weightless, helpless. The plane tilted, dropped, then rose hard, as the engines screamed, banking upwards until we broke above the clouds once more.

“We can’t land here,” the captain said. I can’t say if he sounded shaken; we all were.

I’ll make the rest of a long story short. We made an emergency landing at Norfolk, medical personnel were on site waiting for us (no serious injuries, thankfully!), hours of waiting were followed by more hours of waiting, and then a late-night cross-state bus ride straight through the storm to finally make it back home again.

(Also, top praise to the flight crew, who were the absolute best — especially the flight attendants, who went way above and beyond the call of duty, trying to make sure everybody was okay. That’s one heck of a long and thankless job, and they deserve more appreciation than they get.)

As for today…well, today I’m freakin’ exhausted, but I’m home, safe, thinking a lot about mortality. I don’t know how much danger we were actually in, in that ten-second span of terror, but I know what it felt like. And I kept thinking about all the books I haven’t written yet, the stories untold, the art unmade. A moment like that definitely puts things in perspective. For me it’s a reminder to work hard, to stay healthy, to stick around as long as I can and give you all that I have. There’s a lot to be done.

Speaking of lots to be done, I’m still hoping for a Halloween release for Bring the Fire, the conclusion of the Wisdom’s Grave trilogy. We’re still in editing, so no guarantees, but we’re gonna try. You can look for a cover reveal soon. As for me, I’m going to crack open a bottle of wine and toast to the future.

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New Audio, and a Production Update

Good morning, everybody! I’m pleased to announce that the audiobook version of Detonation Boulevard, narrated by Susannah Jones, is available now! Susannah knocked her performance out of the park (like always), and I think it came out great.

Bring the Fire, the final book in the Wisdom’s Grave Trilogy, has been in my editor’s hands for a few weeks now and we’re hammering it into shape. I’m hoping to have it out in time for Halloween because…well, really, do I need a reason? Because Halloween is awesome, that’s why. No promises just yet, the manuscript needs a lot of work between here and there, but we’ll do our best.

Writing Bring the Fire was a bittersweet and purgative experience. After writing four series and over a dozen books all set in one connected universe, with lore and setting piling on and piling on, it was time to make a change. Time to pare some of it back and — just like Nessa sets out to do — burn some of it down. Not everybody makes it out of the story alive, and I had to write the final scenes for some people who have lived in my head for years. Not easy, but necessary.

Also, I’m showing you my cards this time. No new mysteries. Just answers. Want to know exactly what the Kings of Man really are? You’re going to find out. Want to know what happened to the creator of the universe, and why there seems to be a hell but no heaven (or for that matter, why there are hundreds of parallel worlds but only people from Daniel Faust’s earth seem to end up in hell)? I’m going to straight-up tell you, and reveal some secrets I’ve been keeping since I wrote The Long Way Down. So that’s happening.

Meanwhile, work is well underway on the next Harmony Black novel. I don’t even have a title to share yet (the working title is Found Footage, but that’s almost certainly going to change), and since the series is now totally in my hands after my publisher decided not to continue it, I’m trying to come at it with a fresh eye. The aim is to make book five an “on-ramp” for new readers, continuing the story while making it accessible for folks to just jump right in.

Part of that is getting back to basics. The biggest complaint about the later Harmony books was that the metaplot was getting seriously overstuffed, as I tried to give the series its own identity while also keeping it tied to the Faust novels. As a result, there was just so much stuff going on. We had the courts of hell, the Network, Bobby Diehl, Bobby and Nadine maybe teaming up to back Senator Roth, the whole metaplot about the real purpose behind Vigilant Lock…it was a LOT.

Obviously not going to spoil anything, but Bring the Fire is going to shuffle the board, change things up, and take a few pieces off the table. The next Harmony book begins with a time jump, picking up around six months after Cold Spectrum ended, and I’m aiming to go lean and mean with this one. It’s just Harmony and Jessie, one creepy mystery to solve, and a whole lot of dead bodies.

(And of course, I haven’t forgotten the angle I set up in the epilogue to Cold Spectrum. Bobby Diehl is in hiding, his financial empire in ruins, but he’s still dangerous as a cornered rat — and Team Evil has had six months to plot their big comeback.)

Okay, that’s enough chatter from me, I should get back to work. Have a great weekend, everybody!



Long-Distance Foreshadowing

Y'all know I tend to set plot points up in advance. Sometimes way, way in advance. I'll admit, part of that is because I play a long game, and part is for the fun of hiding little surprises for you. Now that Detonation Boulevard has been out for a few days, I can finally point out a tiny Easter egg I planted three years ago and have been waiting to unleash ever since. Don't worry, I'll keep it spoiler-free for people who haven't read it yet.

In chapter 22, Freddie Vinter shows up and makes a surprising statement, referring to an event that couldn't possibly have happened. Or...did it? Once you've read that, pick up A Plain-Dealing Villain, and check out the first page of chapter 36. Look for a name. It's even in all-capital letters.

Yes. Detonation Boulevard calls back to an event that was foreshadowed in January of 2015, because that's how I roll.

I hope you're enjoying the book, or will be enjoying it soon! Now I've got to get back to work on Bring the Fire. Given how it's the final book of the trilogy, you can only imagine how many moving parts and plot lines I'm juggling, trying to wrap everything up in a satisfying bow. We'll see how it goes!



Detonation Boulevard: Available Now!

It’s about seven hours ahead of the expected midnight launch, but this book just didn’t want to wait. Detonation Boulevard, the second book of the Wisdom’s Grave trilogy, is available now! You can grab the e-book version at Amazon now, and the paperback version should be available by this weekend. Meanwhile, Susannah Jones will be in the recording studio at the end of the month to perform the audiobook version.

What can you expect from this book? A doomed love affair, fast cars, explosions, interdimensional travel, a demon singing the blues, kissing, deeply improper uses of occult tools, and a shopping mall that isn’t quite right. And some other stuff. It’s a long story.

Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on Bring the Fire, the third and final book. I’ll be honest, this is scary. The Wisdom’s Grave trilogy is the biggest story I’ve ever written, in terms of scope and impact. It’s a personal story, where I have to put a lot of myself on the page, and it’s thematically about some concepts that are really important to me. So of course, I’m worried I’m going to botch the third book and screw it all up.

That said, the outline is holding up, and the work will get done. After that I’ll be turning my sights to the return of Harmony Black, though I don’t have a release window beyond “sometime in 2019.” And needless to say (but I’m saying it anyway), Daniel Faust will be returning as well.

So, that’s that. The book is out, and I really hope you enjoy it. I’ll be over in my office, pacing, nervous. What’s good for opening-night jitters? Wine, right? Wine sounds good right about now.



Release Update

Good morning, all! Just wanted to bring you a quick status update. I was hoping to have Detonation Boulevard, the second book of the Wisdom's Grave trilogy, in your hands this week, but I have to officially slide that back to August 15th or thereabouts (there's some wiggle-room in either direction). We're still in editing and rewrites, polishing the manuscript up the best that we can.

Y'all know my stance on editing: it's super-important, never to be rushed, and absolutely vital to the process. So right now we're thinking it'll be done around the 12th, at which point I just have to do layout and last looks before I can get it out there. There most likely won't be a pre-order period: I'm already making you wait for it, so once it's ready, it'll just go directly on sale and I'll give you a heads-up that it's available. And on that subject, here's the official blurb:

"When NYPD detective Marie Reinhart met Nessa Roth, a Manhattan socialite and dabbler in the occult, sparks flew. Then came the gunfire. Nessa and Marie are the Witch and her Knight, characters from a fairy tale brought to life and trapped in an endless curse: to meet, fall in love, and be torn from each other’s arms by violent death, again and again for all eternity. Now they have one slim chance to escape their doom. It lies in Wisdom’s Grave, the resting-place of the first witch who ever lived, and the wellspring of magic.

"To find it, they’ll have to cross over two thousand miles of hostile territory from New York to Las Vegas, pursued by the law, the criminal underworld, and a cult of demonic bounty hunters. Their enemies have political power and an army of ruthless assassins. They have a book of black magic, a Cadillac, and a gun.

"The American heartland is about to become a war zone. And as portals to other worlds tear open, showing the way to secrets buried since the dawn of time, Nessa and Marie prepare to make their final stand.

Oh! One last bit of news. It's official, my publisher has given next year's Haunted Palaces a new title. It's now going to be called Ghosts of Gotham, which is apt because while there are no actual haunted palaces in the book, there are most definitely ghosts. Awful ghosts. Ghosts that do things with people's teeth and eyeballs. So that's happening.



An Update from New York

Happy Thursday, everybody! Just bringing you a quick update while I'm at Thrillerfest in New York City. I'm not presenting or on any panels or anything, just attending in the hopes of learning some new things and improving my skills. That, and doing some more location research for the followup to next year's release of Haunted Palaces.

On that note, Haunted Palaces is getting a title change. I think we've settled on the final choice, but I'm not going to announce it until it's 100% certain. Basically, the publisher wanted a title that better reflected the story; HP kinda-sorta does, but in a metaphorical way that mostly registers after you read the final chapter -- which doesn't help sell the book. Also there is no literal haunted domicile, palace or otherwise, in the book, so I can see the concern.

Detonation Boulevard is in the thick of editing now, and I'm aiming for a release in early August if we can manage it -- less than a month away! And right now I'm working hard on Bring the Fire, the third and final book of the Wisdom's Grave trilogy.

My release schedule for 2019 is totally up in the air right now. Long story short, I've got two books coming from two different publishers next year, and they have first dibs with picking release windows. I can tell you, however, what my next indie project will be once Wisdom's Grave is finished. Let's make it official: next up is the return of Harmony Black. I've kept Harmony and Jessie's fans waiting for too long, and it's time for a big, explosive comeback.

Yes, that means there'll be a bit of a wait for the next Daniel Faust novel, but there's a method to my madness. We're at a point where the overarching plot in the Faust series is about to leap forward and some big developments are about to drop. Trust me when I say that you'll be happy I'm blocking out time to work on the next two books close together, even back to back if I can manage it, when you see how the next installment ends...

And that's all I've got for now. Time for me to leave my hotel room, go out there and be social. (Now that's scary.) Talk to you soon!


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Detonation Boulevard: Cover Reveal!

Happy Friday, everybody! I thought today would be a good time to update you on what I've been working on -- and to show off the snazzy new cover for Detonation Boulevard! The book is finished, it's in my editor's capable hands, and we're plugging away at polishing it up for release. Right now we're aiming for a release in early August; it's going to depend on how deep the revisions go but I'm pretty confident we'll hit the target. It's not up for pre-order yet, but I'll let you know when it is.

To have any hope of finding Wisdom's Grave -- and escaping their eternal curse -- Nessa and Marie have to cross over two thousand miles of hostile territory. Their enemies have political power and an army of ruthless bounty hunters. They have a book of black magic, a gun, and a Cadillac Eldorado. It's not a remotely fair fight, and I haven't even mentioned the inter-dimensional portals. Or the veiled murder-cultists. Or the return of some old enemies (and friends). Let's just say that large chunks of the American heartland may never be the same.

Meanwhile, no days off for yours truly; I'm already working away on book three of the trilogy, which now has an official name: Bring the Fire. I don't want to keep you waiting for too long, because...well, Detonation Boulevard doesn't end on an abrupt cliffhanger, as such (I wouldn't do that to you), but it is the middle book of a trilogy -- and as the captive storyteller Carolyn explains to her interrogator, trilogies have rules.

If I don't take you on an emotional roller-coaster with this one, I'm not doing my job right. So that's it from me, time to get back to it. Have a great weekend!


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The Neon Boneyard: Now in Audio!

Hey, everybody -- it's finally here! The audiobook version of The Neon Boneyard is live and for sale on Audible now. (And I do mean "finally," it was finished almost a month ago. Audible's gone back to approving books verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry slowly again, something I'll have to take into account in future. Sorry to keep you waiting!)

Meanwhile, I've just come back from a weekend trip to NYC, for field research on an upcoming book and to see the first staged reading of the new musical Bisland & Bly, from my friends in the Sycamore Theatre Co. -- lemme tell ya, folks, this play is going to be big. And as always, spending time with artists making great art leaves me feeling super-charged and ready to up my game.

I'm in the homecoming stretch of the first draft of Detonation Boulevard, dropping plot bombs and bringing back some old familiar faces. And I'm nowhere near quitting time, so I'd better get off social media and back to my word processor. Talk to you soon!

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