25 Aug

Hope all is well.

As of today, here are my next three (large) gigs:
1. 9/16 – 9/17 “Monroe Pop Fest” https://www.monroecomic-con.com/
2. 10/6 – 10/9 “Con on the Cob” https://cononthecob.com/
3. 10/22 – 10/23 “How-To Halloween” https://how-tohalloween.com/

Latest word:

1. The Antagonists’ Cookbook, Vol. 2 rough draft should be done by week’s end. If booking the 2023 gigs doesn’t break the bank, I’ll reach out to the cover artist and put this masterpiece to bed.

2. Tyrant’s Bane should be back from my other editor’s hands within a week or so. Once the changes are digested, I’ll dump a copy into a spreadsheet file and outline it. Why outline at the end? ‘Cause I’m a pantser. For us, outlines are only worth a damn after the book’s done (to account for possible plot holes). If all goes smoothly, this should be my next release. Hopefully, it’s in 2022.

3. The Scorched Mind cover is almost done—and a thing of twisted beauty. I won’t show it until the story’s done. What’s satisfying is that I know Cly’s fate now. It’s a sad necessity for what’ll come next: a villain’s last scheme that will change the world forever.

Twisted thoughts of the week:

1. “Brother’s Vow” – A fantasy tale, perhaps. Something where an infamous swordsman violently dies. By custom, he’s to be buried with his sword. For some odd reason, since he’s been murdered, the swordsman’s soul cannot find peace until his killer’s been slain—by that very same sword. The weapon’s delivered to his estranged kid brother, a traveling priest with no interest in payback. Sadly, his older brother (possessive prick/ghost that he is) won’t take “no” for an answer . . .

2. What if all the world’s top mystical defenders vanished/died off? Worse, the forces of arcane evil came crawling out of the woodwork—to the point where a mundane hero team is forced to step up and fight them. Like . . . the Fantastic Four having to stop Hela, in her own realm. Powers, gadgets, and wits aren’t enough—or are they?

3. I was at a gig by Lake Erie. During the event, someone asked me to use The Antagonists’ Cookbook to create a magic spear. I started flipping pages at random. In under a minute, I had this result:

A nigh-indestructible weapon that was made for a mystical bloodline. When the wielder dies, it should teleport to a pre-designated heir. No one else can wield it until the wielder and his/her heir are both dead.

Whoever wields the spear can see the future with perfect accuracy. It’s the perfect weapon for a tyrant, right? Yet . . . the weapon’s lost because the chain of succession was broken. Maybe the bloodline’s dead. Whatever the reason, the unclaimed spear’s up for grabs now, which could make for an interesting story.

I could’ve stopped there but decided to randomly pick one more power. What did I end up with? An “addictive drug” ability.

Now convert this to a weapon. Thus, if someone even scratches you with this spear, then the wielder could hit you with a variable-yield “high.” In battle, a minor wound might make your heart explode. An “overdose” wound, if you will.

Or, the spear’s wielder can lessen the effect to something more benign. Yet, when it wears off, the withdrawal might be enough to induce a mad craving or even death. Perhaps the wielders “rewarded” their top lieutenants with a scratch from the spear. Something like a beneficial, months-long high that made them better servants. Naturally, they’d do anything for that next scratch. Maybe the last wielder was killed by a “junkie” minion.

Needless to say, this “heroin spear” thingy must be retrieved and destroyed for the greater good. Evil GMs, feel free to make this the object of a fantasy-style quest. Fantasy/urban fantasy writers, use this warped idea as you see fit.

Well, back to work.

As always, if you wish to see my current list of published works, please hit this link: https://www.talesunlimited.net/current-titles. Each book is available on Amazon and Kindle.

‘Til next time . . .


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