Wow, it's a whole new decade View in browser

Happy New Year, !

New Year’s Day is my favorite non-candy-related holiday, because January 1 always seems like such a wonderful opportunity to start fresh. I didn’t make any resolutions this year, did you? In 2019, I ended up reassessing and re-evaluating in September, and coming to the conclusion that I had to beat myself up less and enjoy myself more. I took a personality-test based course called Write Better-Faster that helped me see that everyone is wired to write differently, advice that works for some folks is counterproductive for others, and my own cognitive style is 95% thinking and 5% typing.

I also like that my exercise classes, which take a 2-week hiatus around the holidays, have started up again. They give my days structure and keep me from being entirely sedentary, plus there are friendly faces there I look forward to seeing.

I expect 2020 to bring lots of good things. I’m especially excited that PsyCop 11, Bitter Pill, is releasing next week. It’s already my top preorder ever, so I’m guessing you guys must be excited about it too! Preorders are now up at many ebook sellers, and on release day it will be in all the usual spots. This link will take you to everywhere it’s currently available, and will update as sellers are added. The paperback should be available by release day and the audio (with Gomez Pugh, of course!) is currently in production.

Next month also marks the first anniversary of The ABCs of Spellcraft, with a new story arc and a new raft of whackadoo adventures for Dixon and Yuri to entangle themselves in. If the first arc can be summed up with, “What’s the deal with Uncle Fonzo?” the second is definitely, “What’s the deal with Pinyin Bay?” Expect a book announcement and cover reveal soon.

The PsyCop Series

1 Among the Living

2 Criss Cross

3 Body & Soul

4 Secrets

5 Camp Hell

6 GhosTV

7 Spook Squad

8 Skin After Skin

9 Agent Bayne

10 Murder House

PsyCop Briefs: Volume 1

Preorder Bitter Pill

Thanks so much to Brian, Andy, Christina, Johanna, Kelly, Meredith, Cheri and Edrickia for submitting questions.

Q: What would Vic and Jacob’s perfect vacation be?
A: Vic would imagine that he wants to go somewhere off the grid—a cabin in the Wisconsin Northwoods, for instance—somewhere outside cell phone coverage where work couldn’t tap them for an “emergency.” As interconnected as most people feel, there are still spots like this in Wisconsin. I used to live in one. But I think once Vic got there he’d realize he felt isolated and fairly freaked out once he settled in and realized they were actually cut off.
Jacob’s main concern would be that the place not be haunted. Except once he got there, he might admit that it would’ve been okay if it was just “a little” haunted. He’d also miss his creature comforts more than he’d admit.

Q: Does Vic still keep in touch with Maurice? I loved the little glimpse we got of them fishing together, and how Maurice is so laid back. It seemed like he really cared for Vic.
A: Maurice is a good guy! There’s a scene in the prequel story Inside Out (in PsyCop Briefs, Vol. 1) that really shows how easy Vic and Maurice were with each other. Maurice didn’t make Vic feel inadequate, is the best way I can put it. I imagine Vic calls him now and then to ask him a question that would be too embarrassing to ask anyone else. Calls, doesn’t text. Because Maurice can’t be bothered with that texting foolishness.

Q: Will there be more novels from other characters’ points of view?
A: Other than the demise of Sticks and Stones, there shouldn’t be any parts of the PsyCop storyline that really need to be told through another character’s eyes. But I do have a second volume of short stories in the works—very gradually, as scenarios occur to me between other projects. It’s possible I’ll have some more Jacob-narrated stories in that collection.

Q: I miss Carolyn and Lisa. Will we hear from them soon??
A: Without giving away any spoilers…oh boy, I can’t wait for you to read Bitter Pill. Some old friends return to help Vic and Jacob with their investigation and it’s wonderful to see certain old partnerships click into place.

The ABCs of Spellcraft

Q: How do you switch gears between two very different types of stories, e.g. PsyCop and Spellcraft?
A: It’s difficult and it takes several days to switch over—I’m thinking of a big lumbering freight train that’s really hard to nudge onto a different track—so I need to work on one until either it’s finished, or I’m really stumped and I need to let it simmer for a while until my subconscious is ready to tackle it again. It helps to relisten to the audios. Gomez and Nick each do such stellar jobs with their respective characters that hearing their voices really helps put me in the mood to work on the project.

Q: I’m interested in where you get your ideas for a whole new world and set of rules for the paranormal aspects of that world. Do you create the world whole before you write? Do you create the world first? Or create a character with certain abilities and then build the world up around the characters?
A: The ABCs of Spellcraft began as a Valentine’s Day story in a challenge that started with the line, Nothing good ever came of a valentine. From the notion of a valentine card with an image and a sentiment, I got the idea for the way Spellcraft magic works, with a painting setting the magic on paper and magical writing directing it.
My writing process is probably a lot like improv. Once I state something is the case, then that’s how it is, and the rules evolve from there. Yes, and.,_and...
As much as I try to plot and plan, I’m a discovery writer. I just found a whole sheet of notes for the first three chapters of the current Spellcraft I’m writing. None of the particulars happened—the story just showed up in a different way once I sat down at the keyboard. This might be distressing if it meant I was writing myself into blind corners or off on useless tangents. But invariably, I end up in a more interesting and organic place, so I’m fine with the fact that the majority of my plotting gets tossed out.

Q: What phobias does Yuri have?
A: I’m not sure if I’d classify them as phobias exactly, though I know what you mean. Funnily enough, the way Yuri evolved as I wrote him, he’s just really easy to squick. It might have had its start in the tarantula scene in Quill Me Now. Then as other things presented themselves in the narrative (a bug pupa, a puppet, a clown) my inner Yuri just shuddered and said, “Nope.” (or, probably, “Nyet.”) I like the depth it gives his character. He may be a big, strong bruiser who’s not intimidated by anyone, but you could ward him off with a squirming earthworm or a creepy doll.

Q: Do you have plans for the return of any secondary characters from the first volume when you write the second?
A: Absolutely. I’m having a lot of fun re-introducing characters we met in the first arc. It makes the word seem more cohesive to have familiar faces popping up now and again.

Narrator News

Nick Hudson - the voice of Dixon and Yuri - is now on Facebook. 

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WI 53081 United States

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