Johnny Lycan 2 is finished. Kind of.

I just put finished to the second book in the Johnny Lycan series. Well, an ugly, squawling, half-assed first draft anyway. Our boy finds himself in Las Vegas, and faces, among other things: a megalomaniac rancher, a honest-to-god Berserker, an ancient relic that may or may not be from Earth, a coven of bad-ass witches, and more about himself than he wants to know.

Believe it or not, book 3 is already outlined and will be started soon. Sorry about the delay between books. Turns out that between buying a house, navigating a global pandemic, a demanding day job and the general yukkiness in the air, I’ve learned something important. Existential dread is not great for the creative juices. You may quote me.

It’s aliiiiiiiive

Watch for Johnny Lycan and the Vegas Berserker coming in 2022 from #blackrosewriting (blessings upon them)

If you haven’t read Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk, there’s still time to be one of the cool kids who find stuff before everyone else and lords it over them. Read it here

The Orc is the Hero? James Jakins

One of my favorite things is when history writers take a minor character and make them the hero… or a person usually thought of as the villain is the good guy. So I was really surprised and unexpectedly amused by James Jakins, “Jack Bloodfist: Fixer” in which an Orc plays a kind of PI.

I shouldn’t be that shocked, after all I’ve made a werewolf the hero of Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk, but this was the first time I’d read something where an Orc was ever anything but a snarling bad guy. So, here’s my chat with James Jakins.

James, what’s your deal?

I’m honestly just a giant nerd. I run a weekly game of Dungeons and Dragons(or whatever system we feel like) I play video games, and I try to read as many books as my schedule allows. And I take all that stuff I love and I try to use it to make fun books for other people to enjoy.

Tell us about your book. It smells like the first in a possible series, and it’s unique to be sure.

My novel, Jack Bloodfist: Fixer, is about an orc in a suit who likes to think of himself as a Fixer. He does his part to help his orc and goblin cousins integrate into human society in a small city in Virginia. But he finds himself in over his head when an old enemy of his family shows up seeking justice for past crimes with a whole army of paladins and his angry god along for the ride.

I love that the Orc is trying to hard to be a good guy. What about that whole fantasy trope intrigued you?

In a lot of ways this series is my love letter to tabletop roleplaying games. And that’s really the appeal for me. I enjoy playing with the tropes and taking familiar character types and shaping them into a new but still recognizable shape.

I’d originally set out to just write a more traditional thriller novel. It had been meant as a way to teach myself pacing and outlining. Not as something I planned on releasing. But as I worked on it the fantasy elements started creeping in. I’d also pitched another story idea to a writer friend of mine. A book that would feature goblins. He told me he only liked the idea if I actually made the goblins the heroes of the story. With that thought in my head this particular story started to morph until it was the orcs and goblins, and other traditionally “evil” characters that were the heroes, and the holy knights of a god of justice became the villains.

Yeah, and there’s a hot Kelpie in the mix, but I don’t want to give too much away. You don’t sound like most UF writers. Who inspired you? Who do you read that others might need to know about?

This is a very long list… But to name a few: Michael McClung, Robert Jackson Bennett, Josiah Bancroft, RJ Barker, Rachel Aaron, Robert Jordan, and on and on. I have found as I get older I’m actually more inclined to venture out of my comfort zone, so I’m hoping soon that list can include more than just fantasy authors. Recommendations are always welcome.

Where can we learn more about Jack the Fixer and some of your other work?

I’m not very active on social media, but you can find my books on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14441255.James_Jakins,

Amazon: amazon.com/author/jamesjakins,

Or you can sign up for my newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bHromb,

And there’s also my rarely updated blog: jamesjakins.com

Not to crash James’ party, but Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is coming in November. Order now by clicking here and going to Black Rose Writing. Use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Audible coming in November. And look to the side of the page to sign up for my newsletter.

One Week to Get a Free Story

If you’re a regular visitor to these shores (and by shores I mean this dinky little corner of the interwebs) you may have seen some of my short stories that have been published elsewhere. If you haven’t you can find them here. Of course, all but one. That one you can only get if you subscribe to my newsletter.

See the newsletter signup on the left hand side of the page? Fill it in and you’ll get a link to a story no-one else has had the chance to read yet. I’ll send the super-secret link in next week’s newsletter.

“Sponging” took 3rd place in Storgy’s 2019 Flash Fiction competition and is available here. I’m also betting you didn’t buy it soooooo…

If you want a free look at this 995 word tale about horseracing and petty revenge, you have to be a subscriber to my newsletter. You’ll receive word about fun interviews and updates on the upcoming publication of Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

Go ahead. I promise not to bombard you with spam and you’ll continue to receive bonuses and updates on what’s going on in my writing world.

Of course, that still gives you plenty of time to read my other novels such as The Count of the Sahara, Acre’s Bastard and the thrilling sequel, Acre’s Orphans, all available on my Amazon Author Page.

A thousand blessings for being in my orbit. I’m doing all I can to make it worth your while. Don’t let the weasels get you down.

Submitted for Your Binging Pleasure- Korean Historical Fiction Zombies

Okay, you’re stuck at home (or at least have minimal choices for entertainment) and you’re thinking, “I wonder what Wayne’s watching right now?” As one does.

The answer is, I”m watching Season 2 of The Kingdom on Netflix, and if you’re not, what’s wrong with you people? It is the perfect mix of historical fiction (Korean history: Sword fighting, arrows flying, those HATS) and Zombies. Yes, Korean zombies. If you’ve seen Train to Busan, you know South Koreans do zombies better than anyone. Even if I’m compelled to make the worst pun ever. DAD JOKE ALERT: If you don’t want to hear it, skip to below the second picture now.

Image result for kingdom season 2

You were warned. It’s kind of the WOKKING DEAD. Okay, I feel better. I”ve been carrying that inside for a week with no one to tell it to. you were warned.

Kingdom

The Duchess won’t watch it because zombie shows have sound effects that gross her out. Her Serene Highness, who is a big zombie apocalypse prepper, won’t read subtitles ( # 4 on my parenting fails) so I’m inflicting that gag on you.

Did I mention those hats?

Image result for kingdom season 2

if you’re stuck at home binge-watching, give it a whirl and let me know what you think. Of course, there are other options to kill time:

Read one of my novels, The Count of the Sahara, or the 2-part Lucca Le Peu Stories, Acre’s Bastard and Acre’s Orphans.

You could enjoy one of my short stories, they’re listed here on this page.

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.

Living Forever is the Best Revenge- Craig Zerf

I have had my share of people who don’t like my work, but the idea of turning that negative feedback into a 7-book series has never ocurred to me. That is, until I discovered Craig Zerf’s work. The first of his works I read was Dead Declan, which is a concept so bonkers I had to read more. Here he talks to me about his popular “Forever Man,” series.

So what’s your deal? Your personal story is unique.

I grew up in South Africa. Got married there, had a son, left and moved to England almost twenty years ago. I only started to write when I got to the UK. And, because I have always been a huge fantasy fan, that’s the genre I went for.

How did you settle on fantasy and where did The Forever Man come from?

My first series, Plob, was an attempt at humour. It was okay, I suppose. You always look back at your first books and say, I could have done better. But it got me started and, for one brief week, it actually topped the charts in both the UK and Germany and was voted the year’s best read by BBC Radio 4 listeners.  It was around this time I learned an important lesson… there are some seriously strange folk out there!

I had one, fan? Stalker? Arch enemy? Not sure what to call them. They purchased and read every one of my books and then proceeded to give them one-star reviews with comments like… This one is even worse than the last. Finally, they left a review that simply read ‘Every day I scour the obituaries for Craig Zerf’s name in the vain hope that he has died. Even if I live forever, I will never recover the time I have wasted reading his books.

It was then that I came up with the idea of writing a series where the main character is immortal. I know it’s been done before. Dracula, various mages and fae types. But I wanted to portray a normal man, a reluctant hero, who gets gifted, or cursed, with immortality and supernatural powers.

How would he react? Would he be good? Bad? Indifferent?

What if it turned out that the very world was in trouble and he was the only one who could save it? What would he do?

I called the series The Forever Man and it’s been described as a genre-bending fantasy series with post-apocalyptic heroes, battles against mythical creatures, and wild temporal jumps.

Writing a whole series to piss off one critic seems extreme, but it worked. How would you sum up The Foreverman in a couple of lines?

I suppose one could say, Lord of the Rings meets Mad Max and Game of Thrones. It’s available on Kindle, paperback and audio. There are six books at the moment but I’m ready to release seven and eight in a couple of weeks.

What writers influenced you?

Obviously, whatever I write has been influenced by my favorite authors. My early reads, when I was five, six, seven years old, were Enid Blyton books. Especially the Magic Faraway Tree.

Next stage, and I’m talking nine or ten here, were books like Biggles, Willard Price and the Hardy Boys.

As I hit my teens I graduated to Wilbur Smith (I love his earlier novels. Gritty, over the top, verging on heroic fantasy). And I discovered David Eddings. The Belgariad. Well…talk about life-changing. This was proper fantasy. Epic stuff.

After that came David Gemmell. To this day, David remains my favorite author. Clearly, Terry Pratchett also has to be taken into account.

And, finally, Michael Marshall. His books like Only Forward, and Spares are proper modern classics. He is truly one of the writers that I stand in awe of. Genius.

Where can people learn more about your work?

The best place to see all my work is my Amazon Author Page.

In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

It’s Official: Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is Coming November 19

The Russian tasted like borscht and cheap cigarettes. Well, his blood did. It’s not like I actually ate him—I wasn’t that far gone. But with that much blood flying around, some of it got into my mouth and as nasty as it tasted, I licked my lips and felt it fuel my anger.

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk Chapter 1

Intrigued?

I hope so, because that’s how my new book opens and I’m thrilled to announce that my latest novel is coming November 19th from the good folks at Black Rose Writing.

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is an urban fantasy detective thriller. Okay, that’s a fancy way of saying the lead character is a Chicago PI with a concealed carry permit, a rich new client, and a case that gets so weird being a werewolf is the most normal thing he has to deal with.

Yes, you heard it. Johnny Lupul has issues. The book is exciting, scary, funny, and there may or may not be werewolf sex.

It might not be historical fiction, but it’s full of the same exciting action, unique plots, and humor in dark places you’re used to if you’ve enjoyed my other work. Come join me. I promise it won’t be dull.

Do you like free reading? Of course you do, so listen up.

In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

And you can see all my current work on my Amazon Author Page!

           

The First Draft is Done. Ta-Dah!

The first draft of a book is often malformed, ugly, and unfit for human consumption. Such is the case with the first draft of Johnny Lycan. You know what? I don’t care! It’s done. Let the rewrites begin.

Yes, Johnny Lycan. That might be a clue as to what it’s about. Or not. Stay tuned.

It’s done. It’s unlike anything I have ever written before, and I think it will be really good when it’s been whipped, prodded, dragged and mercilessly pounded into submission.

Here’s what it’s not: Historical fiction. Not even close. Those of you who read Count of the Sahara, Acre’s Bastard and Acre’s Orphans and have come to know me through those books, I really, really, really hope you stay with me. I get it if you don’t.

Here’s what it is: Nope, not ready to tell you yet. But it will be funny. And bloody. And more like some of my short stories than any book I’ve written so far.

Stay tuned for details, and of course, you can join my mailing list for updates. Just use the email link on the left-hand side to let me know you want to be added.

Now there will be a Templeton Rye and a Cigar. Because that’s how we roll here at Casa Turmel when milestones get met. Send thoughts and prayers for the ugly little bugger. He’ll need all the help he can get.