Story Time

Book Talk, Friends, Making Things Up

A little while ago, three writer pals and I put together an ad-hoc reading series. We showed up at Belmont Books in PDX, read some stories, and then went and had drinks around the corner. It was fun. Books were sold. We’re going to do it again in September. What did we read? Bits from Space Cocaine, of course.

Space Cocaine cover

Space Cocaine: | Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo |

My bit was from “The Vacation Not Taken,” which is the first section of The Cosmic Game, a serial that I’ll be working on throughout this year. In fact, another section of that book can be found in An Interpretation of Moles, which is out now. It’s a collection of stories about moles, and we were given a Venn Diagram visual aid to help us. I went for all quadrants (like I do).

An Interpretation of Moles cover

An Interpretation of Moles: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo |

Meanwhile, I’ve just about finished up the relaunch of Underland Press, and I’m still reading for XVIII, the next volume in the Underland Tarot project. Yes, it’s actually got a project name now instead of that vague “tarot-thingie that I’m doing.”

Submission Guidelines for XVIII are here.

Get on the Space Cocaine mailing list here. We’re only using it to inform folks of new readings and publications, so it’ll be very low traffic.

Listening: Bill Laswell is dumping a lot of content to Bandcamp these days, which is making it easy for me to find groovy new stuff to listen to.

Reading: Lisa Lutz’s The Swallows is fantastic, as is David Koepp’s Cold Storage. Both are out in September, which means y’all will have to wait. Sorry. Perks of being a bookseller. However, Mick Herron’s Joe Country is out, and you are all reading his Slough House novels already, aren’t you?

Playing: I’ve discovered Dinosaur Island, Wingspan, and Gizmos, which are making me think about game design again. Also, the clever folks at Gearbox have put out a new pack for Borderlands 2 which leads into Borderlands 3. Naturally, I need to be up on the narrative, right?

Instrument

Book Talk

A long, long time ago, there was a character named Mistral, who was a private detective in an unnamed city. The first story with him was something called “The Air in the Jar,” and it revolved around a killer who was trying to destroy the concept of Plato’s Cave by whacking philosophy professors.

What? I was in college at the time. You should see what my thesis ended up being.

Anyway, he was an interesting character, and there was a secondary character named Clio, and the whole thing became this quintessential noir set-up, and I eventually wrote a novella called “Instrument,” which featured Mistral. At that time, the novella market was a wasteland. You did not write novellas. I tried to expand it into a novel a couple of times, which lead to writing a prequel novel, which led to other things, and oh good lord, look at the time!

Over the years, bits and pieces of this city and its characters cropped up in some of my short stories. Some of them got published. But never Instrument.

Until now.

I’m re-launching these stories (under the umbrella of “Stories from the SPRAWL”). Instrument is the first, and since it is new content, I’ve gone and made it available in print and ebook because I have that sort of mercenary relationship with your wallets. Other stories in the SPRAWL will be released over the coming year.

If you’re on my Mailing List, not only will you get notified when they come out, but you’ll also get a dose of free content now and then.

You can get your copy of Instrument at all the normal outlets. Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Finish Your Novel!

Book Talk

Once upon a time, I wrote a writing book. It was a book that came out of a lecture, and it was all about starting a book. There were questions and exercises and hoops to jump through, but when all the wailing and gnashing of teeth was done, you had an outline. I smiled, waved, and left the room, leaving behind all those questions about what happens next.

Well, what happens next is a lot of fussing and procrastinating and figuring out how to get your butt in the chair and write. The heavy lifting, as it were. And, as I’ve been having a bout of “how the heck do I do this writing thing again?” myself this summer, I figured it was time to finish the follow-on to Jumpstart Your Novel.

This one is called Finish Your Novel!, and as Kristene Perron (co-author of Warpworld) says: “Leave your excuses at the door because Teppo has heard (or used) them all and he’s not going to let you quit until The End.

It’s available at all your favorite retail locations, both on and off the Intertubes. If you enjoyed Jumpstart Your Novel, this is similar in blunt talk and hyperbolic asides. Plus it has charts and coupons.

[ Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo ]

Solitaire

Books

The first book in my Weird Western series is out. It’s called Solitaire, and it follows the adventures of Elmore Stonebrook and Judge Willard Vernon Wallace as they roam about the West in the 1870s. Fighting monsters. Saving the good folk. Righting wrongs. You know, the usual stuff.

Here’s the marketing copy:

1872: The shattered South is struggling under the yoke of Reconstruction; the North has turned its attention to lands west of the mighty Mississippi. The United States is haunted by the blood that has been spilled, and only a few are ready to stand against the coming darkness.

During the War, Elmore Stonebrook was a celebrated Sharpshooter for the Army of the Potomac. Known as God’s Finger for the deadly accuracy of his rifle, Stonebrook fought for freedom for all men, but lost his way in the process.

Judge Willard Vernon Wallace once sat on the high bench in Louisiana. He loved the law; he served the law; but the law betrayed him. Now, his gavel is the butt of his revolver and his courtroom is anywhere he can sling a rope over a tree branch.

In the small Missouri town of Bitter, they run into an old friend of the Judge’s, Isadora Van Horn, whose ranch is threatened by a greedy landowner. He wants everything—her land, her cattle, her body—and he’s willing to do anything to get what he wants.

Including making a deal with the Devil himself, a deal that includes a wolf that walks on two legs . . .

Buy it at your favorite outlet, real or virtual. If you’d like to support me directly, consider joining my Patreon. I have it set up so that it’s mainly a funnel for new titles. You only get charged when a new book comes out, and I’ll send you an autographed copy.

[ Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo ]

Rewiring

Books

I write books. The latest one is Sit the F*ck Down and Write, a collection of thoughts and observations that have been the backbone of a number of seminars, workshops, and presentations over the last few years.

Portions of this book appeared in Jumpstart Your Novel and Planning, Plotting, and Progress, which are both now out of print. The remaining material from Planning, Plotting, and Progress will appear again in the near future, with more like-minded content. The writer evolves, after all, and so does his approach to sharing his knowledge.

Sit the F*ck Down and Write is available wherever fine books are sold, and it is also available as an ebook in all the usual formats. Please visit your favorite bookstore or retailer and inquire about a copy.

[ Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | iTunes | Kobo ]

Bilal’s Immortel

Film

We started watching Immortel last night. I found a Blu-Ray edition in the cheap bins the other day, and as the old DVD I had was a somewhat suspect Russian-made all-region DVD, I snapped it up. I’m glad I did. Blu-Ray makes for much better viewing, and a lot of the animation is more seamless than I remember. Unfortunately, we were tired enough that we didn’t make it far into the film, but it is a film that tried–rather faithfully–to translate the graphic novel to the screen while still leveraging some of the aspects of film that you can’t do well with a graphic novel.

Plus it’s Enik Bilal. The Nikopol Trilogy was one of the first book reviews I ever had published.