FULL BLEED: 100% OVERFLOWING SUPPORT
Okay, I never really went away. But I did stop blogging. Which is something they say you should never do. Writers should always be out there, promoting their brand, building their brand, out there giving success advice and being any potential reader's best friend. You should be photogenic and performative and smiling on Insta and TikTok. Come on. You've got books to sell. You've got to be a personality. People have to want to be you or be around you. Better stronger faster happier healthier. Not drinking too much. Not eating too much saturated fat. Working every day. You've got a job to do and it's a job you love more than life itself, for it is a sacred trust. That's better than getting paid, right? Satisfaction. Knowing that you brought something new into the world to light the way for all these lost souls. Think of all the likes you can rack up. All those retweets and respouts, excess tooting, increase that reach. Go out in public and talk. Hustle hustle hustle. Always be closing.
Like an ourboros. Closing in on itself. One day it's gonna eat that tail. You bet.
So I'm back. Got a plan. Not sure it's a realistic plan, or even a particularly good one. But it's what I've got.
Last year I parted ways with the publisher of my first contracted novel, Queen of No Tomorrows. This in the middle of getting the follow-up to that book published. It just wasn't going to come together and both of us knew it, only it took a bit of work to make both parties understand that. It was a draining and expensive process on my part. I paid him for his editing work. I paid him for the cover that he contracted. He was already reeling and I didn't want to be the guy kicking someone when they're down. For what it's worth, I believe he's still publishing currently. Just not publishing me.
After that, I checked around with a few publishers. Publishers who said they wanted series. Who said they wanted something new and different, not the same old same old. Publishers who said they were hungry and ready to take a chance.
Granted, I've got a few obstacles that I put in my own way. I'm writing intergenre stuff, somewhere between horror and weird fantasy and crime. Which just disappoints purists in all three genres. Oh well. I've been doing this too long to change now. It's amusing more than anything else. I mean, how horror is simply fantasy (or crime or drama or historical) with a particular emotional effect, a particular emotional destination and not even a particular tone. But without those trappings, the flayed bodies or otherworldly creatures or whatever else, it's like you're not acutally writing horror.
So yeah, there's that.
There's also the fact that I turned Queen of No Tomorrows (that's the published title, omitting the article at the start, which I fought over and how silly was that) into the first book in a series. Now, horror typically doesn't go well with series books. And that's understandable. Horror tends to chew up characters and spit them out (unless you focus on the antagonist, or is Freddy the hero of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies? Is Michael? Are the zombies?) So series are a tough sell. But there's no way that I can separate the follow on books from one another. They all feed directly one into the other, etc. So that's a setback.
And I suspect some of this is the fact that the books are not tonally downers. Nor are they triumphalist (which is indeed the standard mode of most genre fiction these days. And triumphalism is whatever. It's fine. It's not what I write. You need emotional contrast and when you have a positivity distortion field running, well, that takes out some emotional depth.) So it's back to the egg and self-publishing.
But are you self-publishing if you're not actually publishing? Nope.
So I'm re-releasing The Queen of No Tomorrows with its preferred title. Also another edit pass to open up some lines that get explored in future books, and to, uh, knock out some commas and dashes and other things that were textual tics of the editor and not part of my voice. I'm also adding a new novella to the book, entitled "Dreams are Made of Us." For the same low price as before! It's a steal!
If your're curious about the books, read to the end to find a link that'll take you to the announcement page. Strangely, the whole world isn't beating down my door to have me on their podcasts or write guest columns or feature cover reveals or previews. It's weird right? Specially when you've been told that the indie world is always 100% overflowing support.
Which is not to say there hasn't been. Or I wouldn't be here. Just that it's not... usual. I know. Everyone's always hungry. There's bills to pay. Ain't nobody doing this for free. Except, well, most of the writers out there, hoping that their books get picked up and sell more than fifty copies. At this point, I'm not counting copies sold. That's a great road to despair. You gotta not do it.
I know. If you don't quit your job and write full time, you're a coward. You saw those stories too. The exhortation to just follow your bliss and take that leap and damn but gravity's a bitch. It's always there. No matter how many people tell you there's a feather bed just waiting and you only have to believe. It's exausting to deal with this stuff. After more than thirty years. Granted, the Writing Triumphalism thing wasn't so bad until about ten years ago. But that's what happens when you have a marketplace that doesn't buy books so much but does buy writing advice. Oh boy, do they ever.
I don't have any of that. I only have books to sell.
The Queen of No Tomorrows arrives 7/5/23.
All Waters are Graves will happen about a year from now. Maybe even Valentine's Day. Why not.
Asphalt Tongues will hit in probably September or October of 2024.
The fourth Hazeland book, tentatively titled The Missing Pieces will be early in 2025.
The fifth, tentatively titled Fake Believe, in the summer or fall of that year.
In theory, this will close out the first round of Hazeland books. The second round will be a proper trilogy, starting with a trilogy of books: The Mirror Wolves, The Enigma Lens, The Glass Diamond. I strenuously doubt there will be a twice-a-year release schedule with these, but who knows. Probably going to once a year past that.
I'm no longer interested in pursuing traditional publication with these books. They're not going to fit neatly into anyone's categories and I'm just done with trying to shave edges down so these square pegs can fit into round holes. There's no money in this. There's barely money in it now for people who are able to do this full-time. If something crazy happens, that's something else. Crazy things do indeed happen, but not crazy like this.
I'm still here. Still too dumb to quit.
Just head to the main page - https://highway62press.com for the information and full PR regarding the re-release of The Queen of No Tomorrows.