Well folks. It’s officially been one year since I published ‘Ordnance,’ and I’ve got some things to say about it.
It started with a dare dare from my father at a time when my job allowed for many nights in hotel rooms in which to write.
I had never really written any long form fiction before, but I knew what I wanted to write about immediately. The character of Roland had been banging around in my head since high school. He is little more than a combination of all my favorite literary heroes of pulp sci-fi and comic books. It’s not hard to find chunks of Tarzan, Conan, Frank Castle, John Carter, and the Incredible Hulk rolled into the big lug. A generous dollop of RoboCop topped off the recipe and a protagonist was born. Other characters were spawned from my own relationships. I can tell you that everyone you meet in ‘Ordnance’ is in some way or another modeled after a real person. Some of those people even know who they are.
I finished it, polished it as best I could, and hit “publish.” I never expected to sell a single copy. That’s the truth. They say that most independently published books will never sell 200 copies in their lifetimes. But sell it did, and now people wanted to know about “the next book.”
Next book? I never intended for there to be a next book. The series didn’t even have a name, and I had no idea where I wanted to take the characters. But I sat down, and ‘Hell Follows’ happened in about three months of furious typing. Then ‘Hammers and Nails’ and ‘Escalante’ were written simultaneously. I had been bitten by the bug, it seemed.
Twelve months later and Ordnance has found its way into the e-readers of 4,400 people. Another 568 have sprung for the paperback version and 300 people have enjoyed the dulcite tones of Jay Ben Markson’s audio version. If I never pick up the pen again, I’ll still feel like I did something pretty cool.
But I ain’t stopping now. We are at four novels, one novella, and a fifth novel is 2/3 done. There will be more.
The Fixer series has sold more than 7,000 e-books, paperbacks, and audio-books in just one year. If you are reading this, then there is a good chance you are part of the reason this journey has been so incredibly rewarding. I can’t thank you enough.
I’m not a writer because i wrote some silly stories about a churlish goon and the misfits he collects. I’m a writer because a bunch of people think those stories ain’t half bad.
Thank you all so much for being part of this!
All the News that’s fit to print!
Just a quick Check in. Aphrodite’s Tears audio files are off to Audible. Here’s hoping they don’t need three and a half weeks like last time…
Book five is about a third of the way done, and I’ve been fiddling with cover design so as not to have that hold up the publishing later. Let me know what you think!
Lot’s of new faces here on the old mailing list. Welcome all! I think we need a name for this group. Suggestions welcome!
Just a quick update:
Aphrodite’s Tears is now available for preorder pretty much everywhere. Here are some handy links…
If you requested an advance review copy, expect it early next week.
Roland and the crew are heading off to Venus to take care of a pesky little issue with an infamous group of terrorists. Of course, if it was as simple as that the book would only be thirty pages long. So what’s it about?
Roland Tankowicz hates Venus.
The last time he went there, he died. So, no one could really blame him if he never went back.
Nevertheless, when a squad of Venusian assassins ruins date night, everybody’s least-favorite Army-surplus cyborg decides to take a trip to Earth’s sister planet and have a sit-down with an infamous group of terrorists.
Perhaps it’s because he really likes date night. Maybe he just wants to keep the promise he once made to a troubled young man. It is even conceivable that he might still have a heap of unresolved issues with the separatists who blew his body apart years ago. For whatever reason, the big man and his motley crew of misfits strap on their guns and hurl themselves into murky world of interplanetary terrorism.
To his dismay, Roland discovers that Venus has changed since his last visit. The black-and-white politics of the fanatics and governments he remembers have now merged into complicated shades of gray. Cyborg killers walk the halls without fear, and the soldiers stationed there seem no better than the thugs they fight. The sweltering underworld of Venus holds terrors and trials that will test the old soldier in ways he is not prepared for, while a crafty assassin stalks them all from shadows both real and imagined.
The team must to walk a narrow path between terrorists, soldiers, and their own dark pasts if they expect to get out of this one alive. Is The Fixer strong enough to pull an entire population from the ashes of civil war?
If he isn’t, they may all drown in a flood of:
Once again, thank you all for reading my little stories. I hope you enjoy this latest one. If you love them, feel free to leave glowing reviews on amazon and other vendors. If you don’t love them, don’t feel like you need to go to any trouble on my account…
This doesn’t happen often…
So I know what I’m going to call the next book, even before it’s done being written. this never happens to me. But since I know, I went ahead and put together some cover designs when I should have been writing. I presnt them to you here, folks. Take a look and feel free to shoot me an e-mail with your opinions!
Hammers and Nails is on its way to Audible!
If you are the kind of person who holds out until the the audio version of your favorite books are ready. all is not lost. The incomparable Jay Ben Markson has completed the recording and mastering of Book 3, and all those greasy little files are off to the cyborg overlords who run things at Audible. It took them two weeks to get Ordnance to market, and four days for Hell Follows. Who knows how long they will be with this one.
Christmas approacheth, folks.
Hope you are stocked up on eggnog and booze. Lord knows I am. Just thought I’d drop some updates here, in case anyone cares.
Hammers and Nails continues to sell briskly, which is filling me with holiday cheer. The audiobook will hopefully be ready before Christmas, (Cross your fingers) but one does not rush the work of the incomparable Jay Ben Markson if one wants a quality product.
Speaking of audibooks, November was a tie for the best month ever on Audible for me, so thank you all for that!
The next book is well underway. Sitting at 36,000 words and counting as we speak. Without giving too much away, I can tell you this much: Assassins, terrorists, face-punching, and gunplay. Will Roland act like a curmudgeon? Will Lucia kick Rodney in the face? Will Mindy ever wear appropriate clothing?
Expect the answer to all these questions and more before Valentine’s Day!
(It has no title yet, because I hate titles and never know how to pick one until ninety seconds before sending it out for editing. It’s seriously that bad.)
So, in a nutshell, thanks for everything, and new book is coming soon!
Yeah. It was time. I have a website now.
It’s OK if this does not excite you, it’s not exactly blowing my mind, either. But at least I’ll have somewhere of my own to spout off and jabber at those unfortunate souls who happen to find this place.
So: On to the news!
My short story “Sleeping Giant,” will appear in the forthcoming anthology titled: “The Guardian” due to drop on November 26. Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Guardian-science-fiction-stories-Anthologies-ebook/dp/B077CMP44M . It’s only $.99, so it’s a nice cheap way to experience a bunch of great indie authors and the worlds they create. Probably the best bang-for-your-buck out there.
Book 3 in ‘The Fixer’ Series-Hammers and Nails will be live on November 21. Please buy it, read it, and leave a review so other people will buy it. That’s how they tell me this author shtick works.
Since some of you have asked, I plan for a total of six books in this series before I move on to other worlds and other stories. But hey, if this series is selling wildly, I’ll stick with it longer. I am not one of those authors who feels that telling their story is more important than telling stories that the readers want to hear. I really hate that, actually. I love to write, and I love to tell stories. But my job is to please the reader, not smugly nod and smile at my own intelligence while those I have engaged to entertain look aghast at what I’ve done. I adhere to the wise words of Gene Simmons on this matter. When asked why KISS did not branch out more artistically over the decades he responded with something along the lines of the following:
“KISS exists to serve it’s customers, not itself. We are like your favorite restaurant. If you went into your favorite restaurant to order your favorite steak, and found out that the place wasn’t doing that anymore, would you ever come back? No. You would not. Well, welcome to your KISS concert. My name is Gene and I’ll be your server tonight. I’d like to recommend the steak.”
Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Andy, and I’ll be your server tonight.
Try the steak.