Las Vegas Paranormal Police with John P Logsdon

Before I wrote a word of Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk, I was a fan of Urban Fantasy. My favorites included silly humor as well as genuine thrilling action. So when I found the Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department series, I was hooked. Besides sharing a sensibility with my newborn book, I am in awe at the marketing community John P Logsdon has created. It’s a master class for writers in the field. All I need now are 10 more Johnny Lycan stories and it will all be fine.

To celebrate the final episode in the LVPP series, I got to fan-boy and talk to John. This is a long interview but worth the read.

Okay, let’s start with the basics. What’s your deal?

Oh boy. Well, I guess I’m kind of what you’d call a renaissance person. I’m an author, entrepreneur, programmer, game designer/developer, musician…basically, I can’t seem to sit still for more than five minutes without going insane. My wife simply loves the fact that I have this many hobbies. It’s great for the pocketbook. ::cough::

The way I see it is that we’ve only got one trip through this thing called life, so why not do as much as possible during the ride?

Still, of all those things, writing is the one that sits at the core. The characters living in my head all want their stories to be told. That makes writing so much fun for me because it feels like I’m just a conduit for typing their words. Now, anyone who has read my stuff probably feels bad for me, seeing that I’ve seemingly been gifted with a bunch of characters who have their minds perpetually in the gutter, but I love it! It’s how I tick, and it’s how all my steady fans tick as well.

Some of those fans hide in the closet, secretly chuckling, but I tell them to not be ashamed! Nobody should be. If you giggle when you hear the number 69 get called out at the donut shop, be proud! It’s funny! And if you do find yourself find laughs in the silly or downright naughty, you are one of us. Become part of my Dysfunctional Family, put on your Homer Simpson slippers, and join us in relishing the ridiculous in life. It’s much more fun than focusing on the crap…unless that’s in the form of a bird crapping on someone’s head, which is hilarious (assuming it’s not happening to you, of course).

I admit when I switched from historical fiction to UF, I was a bit embarassed so thanks for letting me know there are others out there like me. For the uninitiated, tell us about Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department. (And since I live in Vegas you’re not far off the mark from the real thing here.)

This is the wrap-up book for the Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department mini-trilogy. It’s actually book number ten, but it’s the epic conclusion of Ian’s battle with his sister, Wynn.  It’s available for Pre-Order October 29th.

I’ve brought in major players from other PPD precincts to help with the show down. We’ve got Zeke Phoenix and his crew from the Badlands PPD, Piper & Payne from the Netherworld PPD, and Evangeline and the gang from Sinister.

So it’ll be one big mama of a war!

Since I get asked this all the time, it’s your turn: where did THAT come from?

Honestly, I’d never even considered writing urban fantasy before. I’d been doing some mentoring work with a few authors who happened to be all about UF. They were ramping up and doing really well, and they kept pushing me to try my hand at the genre.

I gave it a shot, but after seventeen iterations of Ian Dex, I just didn’t like it. Note, it wasn’t seventeen full books, just some super short stories that were used to give me the feel of things.

I was just about to give up when one of the gang said I should just bring my normal crazy comedy feel to the series and just have fun with it.

So, I did.

The series took off like gangbusters, which honestly shocked the hell out of me. Since then, there have been nearly fifty books written in the Paranormal Police Department, including books by some great authors in the UF space.

The root of the character came from the fact that I was allowed to just play and not worry about “doing the genre perfectly.” I knew I couldn’t do that, so instead of just picking a vampire or an immortal or whatever, I decided to create a character (Ian Dex) who had all of the genetic pieces from the various supernatural races.

Doing that gave me the freedom I needed to get my feet wet in the genre. I got to experience different aspects of his makeup across a bunch of supernatural backdrops. It gave me a canvas that was incredibly free to paint on.

Who did this to you? Who do you read that inspired this madness?

Everything started with Isaac Asimov for me. The book cover for Robots of Dawn drew me in instantly and I devoured everything by Asimov at that point, along with tons of other s.f. writers…a massively notable nod going to Douglas Adams. 

I didn’t really move into fantasy until reading the Myth Adventures series by Robert Asprin, though. It was fun and full of laughs. From there, I got my hands on a bunch of different comedy authors, including John DeChance, Harry Harrison, and John C. Moore. Surprisingly, I didn’t find Terry Pratchett until I’d already written one and half books in my Ononokin series. A lot of people assume Sir Terry was the influence for that series. He wasn’t, though. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Discworld (why can’t there be another 500 of them to read?!?!?), I’d just not read any of them until well after Ononokin was underway.

Another author who majorly influenced me was Steven Erikson. His Malazan series taught me that multiple character POVs was not only awesome, it was also incredibly fun. I use that style all over my writing because it’s freeing and I totally love writing that way. You won’t see it in the early Vegas, Netherworld, or Shadow PPD books, but it’s in the latest three Vegas books and Sinister, and I’ve even gotten a few of my co-authors on the bandwagon with their PPD precincts as well. Honestly, though, it’s not really book authors who are my major influencers. My actual muse comes from TV shows and movies. Favorites include a mixture of TV and movies, such as Benny Hill, Monty Python, Airplane!, Naked Gun, Loaded Weapon, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Archer, and so on and so forth. Those are the true foundation of my nutty brand of humor.

I suspect that, like me, Mad Magazine may have contributed, too. Your marketing is amazing and you’ve created a real community I can only aspire to with what I’m jokingly calling The Johnnyverse. Where can people see what I’m talking about?

Here are all the spots you can find me:

Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/John-P.-Logsdon/e/B00EWNWLSK

Audiblehttps://www.audible.com/search?keywords=john+p+logsdon

I have my Dysfunctional Family group on Facebook here, for those of you who want to really belong to something that fits who you are (even if you remain in your juvenile-minded-humor closet).

Facebook Dysfunctional Family Grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/john.p.logsdon.books/

And if you head over to my website, you can sign up for my newsletter and get a bunch of freebies. Plus, you can also join my community, which is via an old-style message board system that’s got a bunch of nifty bells & whistles, including realtime chat!

Look, I’m not ashamed to ride coattails here. If you enjoy John’s work, may I humbly suggest Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. Werewolves, haunted relics, and silly jokes. Preorders available now, it comes into the world November 19.

The Steel Dragon and a Vegas Publisher- Michael Anderle

One of the most surprising things about living in Las Vegas is the depth of writing talent that spends at least part of their year here. I was surprised, when reading a new series called Steel Dragon, to learn that it’s co-author and head of LMBPN Publishing is a Vegas-ite. (Still looking for the right word. I’m guessing Las Vegan is wrong, it sounds like a Mexican vegetarian taco stand)

Another surprising thing since jumping deep into the Urban Fantasy waters is that the business model is different from most other publishing–this is all about series and shorter books. Given that, I thought I should learn a bit more about Michael and his work…

You are a busy dude. I really enjoyed the first Steel Dragon book and the series is getting stronger as it goes (I’m 3/4 of the way through book 3.) What’s your deal?

I’m both an author, CEO of LMBPN Publishing, and creator of the indie author group 20Booksto50k(R). My first series did amazingly well and now LMBPN has over 700 titles out, with over 200 audio titles produced by LMBPN and about 300 or so licensed to other audio companies. One of our stories is presently being shopped for possible video consideration. We typically release the equivalent of about 24-28 60,000 word titles a month.

For most authors, What’s your book about?” is a simple question. For you not so much…

Which one?  LOL  Let’s go with Steel Dragons.  This book is a collaboration between Kevin McLaughlin and myself. We decided to consider what would have happened in the present day if a shapeshifting super-government of dragons ran Earth. While the dragons didn’t get into the fiddly-bits of human politics (the United States Government still exists for example), they do scheme amongst themselves and have to deal with the occasional uprising of powerful humans who seek to overthrow their power.  In comes a unique dragon, born as a human…
This is a unique story, what is it that appealed to you? Besides, you know, dragons.

In this story, our main character slowly learns about her powers and how they help her protect her ‘people.’  As a dragon (which is new to her) she has an overwhelming sense of being protective and it makes her go a tad berserk upon occasion.  She must learn how to deal with the extra emotions while growing up in the SWAT job right out of Law Enforcement college. She is getting an extra leg up, and no one in her group knows why, yet.

It is a unique take on the tropes to be sure. Who are you reading?

I enjoy John Conroe (I recently interviewed him for our podcast – fanboy moment). Others outside of LMBPN include John Ringo (some series), Dakota Krout, C.R. Daems, Christopher G. Nuttall, Laurence E. Dahners, David Weber, Elliot Kay and many many others.

I look forward to attending 20 Books in November. Where can we learn more about you and your work?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Anderle/e/B017J2WANQ 

LMBPN: http://www.lmbpn.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LMBPNPublishing/ Kurtherian Gambit: https://www.facebook.com/TheKurtherianGambitBooks/

And if you haven’t already joined my email list, you should do it and get a FREE story that few have ever seen, and is available on my site only to those who subscribe. Signup is on the left side of this page. You’ll have links to cool interviews with other authors and learn all about my upcoming book (a werewolf detective, no Zombies!) Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. it’s coming November 19 from Black Rose Writing.

Join Me In Person on November 16th

Las Vegas types, please join me on November 16th at Copper Cat Books, in Henderson Nevada. 1570 West Horizon Ridge Pkwy Suite 170
Henderson NV 89012

I’ll be there from noon-3 PM signing (and hopefully selling!) my award-winning novels including:

The Count of the Sahara

Acre’s Bastard

And Acre’s Orphans, the exciting, prize-winning sequel;

Stop in to say hello and support local booksellers Wendy and Anthony. See you there!

Join me June 29 at B&N Henderson

HI all. My first Las Vegas area book signing will take place Saturday, June 29 at the Barnes and Noble in Henderson, NV from 1-3 PM.

I will be there with copies of my award-winning “Lucca le Pou” novels, Acre’s Bastard and Acre’s Orphans. Stop by, grab a cup of coffee and get a signed copy of these books. I’ll also be dropping big greasy hints about my next novel as well.

A 1960s Childhood Reimagined Joe Van Rhyn

One of the exciting things about moving to a new city is the chance to meet a whole new crop of writers and artists. Las Vegas has a thriving writing scene, as you’ll learn over the next few weeks as I interview new friends and people I’ve crossed trails with.

One of the first writers I met here is Joe Van Rhyn. He’s written a number of historical novels including his newest, Born Yesterday. I’m not happier realizing that the 1960s were nearly 60 years ago than you are, but they qualify as history. I have managed to come to grips with that.

Joe, tell us about you.

I’m a “late bloomer.” I didn’t start writing seriously until I retired. Over the years, I toyed with the idea of writing a book, retirement just freed up the time. I had written things like press releases and news articles. My first published work came as a contributor to another author’s book on the town we grew up in. My first solo project was a twenty-page history of my wife’s family’s one-hundred-year ownership of a tavern in Berlin, Wisconsin. I considered myself a good story teller, but wondered if I could hold it together long enough to finish a full-length novel? I’m proud to say, I not only finished the first book but have completed two more, since.

So much of my writing is drawn from the things I’ve experienced in my life. I grew up in a small resort town in Wisconsin. My family owned a Supper Club. We aged and cut our own steaks. I started tending bar when I was eighteen. I loved it. It gave me a master’s degree of knowledge in human behavior, both good and bad. Every night I’d get a new cast of characters to study. (Editors note: the Wisconsin Supper Club is its own little world, and someone needs to write a novel about it. Not me, you understand, but someone.)

I did a lot of acting in school and summer theater. Writing and acting come from the same part of the brain. Scenes are built on action and dialogue. In both, you have to be able to climb into your characters’ skin to fully expose their strengths and weaknesses.

In a nutshell, what’s Born Yesterday about?

My first book, “Born Yesterday,” is set in 1964. It’s how life and relationships change when a stranger is found unconscious in the park of a small resort town, and how fate brings two people together.

What is it about that time period that intrigued you?

When I began writing it, the thing I knew for sure, Pine Lake, the fictitious town, based on the one I grew up in, had to play a large role. I wanted to capture the flavor and values of the community as I saw then. The story is made up. The characters are composites of people I knew.

What’s your favorite scene?

Growing up I spent my entire summer on the lake, swimming, fishing, boating, and water skiing. On weekends we had competitive sailboat races. People said, in the race scene, they felt they were in the boat and caught up in the excitement of the race. I guess it would be my favorite, too.

What more should people know, and where can they learn it?

In the usual places, I have three books on Amazon in both paperback and for Kindle. Along with “Born Yesterday,” I have the follow up book, “Battle Born,” and my latest, a novella, called Life Along the Humboldt.” This last one has no relationship to the first two. It is a pioneer story set in the 1860’s.

The idea came out of the blue. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Everyday I’d be adding new parts to the story. Finally, I just had to put everything aside and write it. Nutshell? “Even in the midst of tragedy and hardship, love finds its way.” I’m also on Facebook and have a website. www.joevanrhyn.com

You mentioned “Battle Born,” what’s it about?

One of my editors, loved the character of Nora, the crusty head nurse, in “Born Yesterday”. She suggested I should do something more with her.  “Battle Born,” the second in the series, is Nora’s story going back to 1945. She a headstrong Army nurse, with a caring heart. A chance meeting with a fifteen-year-old girl sends Nora on a path, loaded with conflict, murder and mayhem.

So, what’s next for you?

I’m well into book three. (still untitled) Our fifteen-year-old becomes the protagonist and she brings everything full circle back to the wonderful town of Pine Lake.

 

Subscribe to my newsletter and get a chance to win a signed paperback copy of  my upcoming novel.  Each month you’ll receive links to interviews with great authors, news about upcoming events and previews of my work in progress, Acre’s Orphans. Look at the bottom left of the page for the sign-up sheet. No spam, just once a month updates and a chance to learn about great new Historical Fiction of all types from around the world.

Big-ass plans for 2018

Anyone who knows me, knows I hate New Years Eve. Always have. The week between Christmas and New Years is traditionally a time of self-flagellating reflection, semi-soul-numbing-regrets and non-clinical depression. That generally comes complete with a lot of whining and binge-eating the remaining butter tarts. With the Duchess working retail, and my customers inconsiderately on vacation, I have too much time to think about stuff. Nothing good happens when Wayne starts a sentence with, “I’ve been thinking.”

This year is (slightly, ever-so-slightly) different though.

For example, this year my resolution is to save more money. One way I am going to do this is by using more coupons and promo codes when shopping online. You see, one of my friends has been encouraging me to get into couponing for some time now and I have decided that I need to make some major changes to my spending habits, especially as we have a big move planned very soon.

We do most of our online shopping on the Target website so my friend has sent me a target coupon to get me started. To be honest, I was surprised by how much money you can save by using promo codes. I had never even thought about using coupons when shopping online, but this year is going to be different. Are you a fan of couponing? Or, do you have any other money-saving tips? Let me know your thoughts if so.

By the way, this is not a request for “attaboy” Facebook messages or offers of assistance or your therapists’ contact information. I go through this every year and come out the other side. It’s just a way of setting up what I have to say next.

As I look forward to 2018, there are three things to look forward to.

  1. In May, the release of “The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership.” Co-written with my boss and friend, Kevin Eikenberry, this is a very real book from a real publisher and the hope is that it will kick-start the whole “paying the rent” thing. It’s available for Pre-Order now. Just saying.
  2. This summer will see the release of “Acre’s Orphans”, the second story in the Lucca series. I’m guessing August? I had hoped to have it out by now, but hubris is a terrible thing. “How hard could it be to do a world-class business book AND the next novel in the same year?” I can now answer that: way more than I thought. For those of you awaiting the next adventure. It’s coming. By the way, I killed off someone major in Chapter 15. Can’t wait to hear the complaining…..
  3. After 17 years in Chicago, the Duchess and I are planning to leave Chicago for Las Vegas. Now, I’m well aware that if you want to hear God laugh, tell Her your plans, and nothing is set in stone. Still, that’s the plan. No more frigid winters. And it’s time to start the next chapter of our lives. I love Vegas but that’s not to say I won’t miss living in Chicago. I’ve been playing on some of the best online slots UK websites to try and improve my gambling skills and I’m slowly getting better. I can already tell I’ll be spending a lot of time in the casinos haha. The casinos are a huge perk of living in Vegas, but I’m fine with playing online for now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to win some money to fund the move. Of course, if anyone wants to buy a few copies of my books to help fund the move, we’d appreciate it. While I love Chicago, and Her Serene Highness will be staying behind, it’s either move or be murdered in my sleep by a woman raised in Miami and still pining for Los Angeles after all these years. I’m already packing boxes.

You never really know what a year holds, but I am excited for the challenges I know I (and we as a family) will face.

My own self-absorbed whinging aside, I wish for you an exciting 2018 of chasing your dreams and fighting the weasels to at least a draw.