My almost-ex super villain story "Coffee Shop Crisis" has been popular with readers. It was a fun story to write, one that started out simply as a test-drive for what became the Empowered series, only this one was much more classic superheroes and super villains with flashy super powers and even flashy costumes. I've received emails and my reposting of the story here has gotten a lot of comments. People want more about Zoe Steele, the hero of the story. They loved her attitude and the four-color superhero world, and the fact that she was an "almost-ex" super villain. I'd like to know if you agree. So, I've set up a short survey here. To the left is a possible cover for a possible novel featuring Zoe. Please help me decide whether I write more about her, and how much!
Eight years ago this month, my first story sale, "Dead Wife Waiting," appeared in K.C. Ball's 10Flash Quarterly. I met K.C. when she was the editor guest at the Long Ridge Writer's online writing forums, a few months earlier. I learned she edited a magazine which had a theme for each issue, based around a different story prompt. She mentioned the upcoming issue's theme was "an encounter at a lonely crossroads at twilight," and BAM!, "Dead Wife Waiting," popped into my head. A weary, determined hex-slinger pursuing a nasty sorcerer, encounters his supposedly dead wife guarding a crossroad, sword in hand. I'd already written a lot of unpublished short stories, but "Dead Wife Waiting" had a spark the others lacked. It just felt cool to me. K.C. loved the story when I submitted it, but wanted two small changes, which made it a much stronger story. I listened. The story appeared in the January 2010 issue, and gave me my first fan letter as a writer. I wrote two sequels, "Skinning the Sorcerer" and "Last Hex Sacrifice," which also appeared in 10Flash. I later republished the three stories as my second eBook, in 2012. In August 2016, I republished the collection with a new cover on instaFreebie, and picked up new readers. I wrote a novel in 2013-14, The Hardscrabble, featuring Thomas and Mira, but it didn't quite work. It just didn't capture the epic of the short stories, or do justice to the crackling setting. I hope to return
The first three Empowered novels, Empowered: Agent, Empowered: Traitor and Empowered: Outlaw, were all published in 2017. Whew! It was a busy, eventful year for me. Agent was released on January 31st, Traitor on March 21st, and Outlaw on November 20th. I also published Spice Crimes, a space opera novel set in Lindsay Buroker's fantastically fun Fallen Empire universe for Amazon's Kindle Worlds. It was a very fun challenge working with Lindsay's characters. I'm currently working on the final book in the series, Empowered: Rebel, due out (hopefully) in late March.