Steve Diamond is an old friend, met through our mutual friend Larry Correia. He’s a great storyteller, an aficionado of horror, and co-hosts the Writer Dojo podcast with Larry. This month, he joins us to talk about spooky stories. Because it’s October, so it just makes sense. Furthermore, The Alchemy of Treason came out this month, and it’s got some really spooky stuff in it (to the point that one reader told me he had to put the book down so he could finish his lunch). I got my start as a storyteller around campfires in the woods, giving Boy Scouts nightmares. It’s a tradition I like to continue from time to time, whether it’s in the Jed Horn series, The Lost, or some other upcoming series. So, come join us, on either FB or YouTube. (I have a Rumble account now, and the recording will be uploaded on Wednesday. I can’t stream there yet, because Rumble requires 100 subscribers before it’ll allow livestreaming.)
Some Writing Updates
Well, Crimson Star has been out for a little over a week and a half, and it’s doing pretty well. A few reviews are in, and some of you have said it’s actually your favorite of the series so far. Some of that seems to be because a lot of it is much more irregular warfare, more reminiscent of the American Praetorians series. To that, all I have to say is that as the war drags on, and more expensive (and irreplaceable) assets get taken off the board, the more irregular this next World War is going to get. I was planning for Hank and his section to head out into the Pacific after the Chinese following Crimson Star, but now that the first volume of his arc is done, it’s not looking quite so cut and dried. The state of affairs CONUS is bad enough that the response is going to take time. At any rate, we’ll be back to Matt’s Grex Luporum Team in the ETO with Strategic Assets later on this year. Before that comes Brannigan’s Blackhearts #8 – Enemy of My Enemy. That’s going to be fun (we may see a certain Russian mobster again from Fury in the Gulf). However,
“Older and Fouler Things” Chapter 2
The woman was in the lead, two steps ahead of the man. She was also half a head taller than he was, with a narrow, severe sort of face, blond hair pulled back into a tight ponytail behind her head. She looked around at us rather imperiously, her mouth pressed into a thin line. “Who are you people?” she asked. Her voice was clipped and slightly nasal. And her tone immediately set my teeth on edge. “Who wants to know?” I replied, shifting my Winchester to the crook of my arm as I folded my arms in front of me. I could see the badge on her belt and the big yellow letters “FBI” on her blue windbreaker. But her attitude put my back up, especially coming after what we’d just done. “I’m Special Agent Trudeau, and this is Special Agent Miller,” she replied, in the same clipped, arrogant tone of voice. “Now, tell me who you are.” “Lady, unless you’ve got a warrant, which the good police chief over there might object to, given what just happened, I suggest you get a lot more polite in the next five seconds, or you can pound sand,” I told her.
“Older and Fouler Things” Chapter 1
Had something else in mind for this post, but got too busy. So here’s a bit of a look at the work in progress. Chapter 1 Crossing the police line was like stepping into a sauna. It had been warm enough out on the street; it was the middle of August, after all. But Spokane was relatively dry and arid. This felt like we’d just walked into a swamp in the middle of Mississippi. In August. There was also a heavy scent in the air. It wasn’t quite incense, and it wasn’t quite burned blood, though there was a hint of that; something metallic. It was something I’d smelled before, and didn’t care to smell again. Cloying, sickening, and absolutely wrong. I had felt like we were being watched before we even set foot across the police line and onto the yard in front of the spruced-up old neo-Victorian house. And not necessarily by the swarms of cops, firefighters, EMS personnel, reporters, cameramen, and curious neighbors who were gathered on the street. There was someone, or something, up in that house, and it didn’t want us there. That was abundantly clear as soon as Eryn, Kolya, and I stepped
Authenticity vs. Reality vs. Story
A friend of mine just ran up against the fact that the research questions he was asking for an Unconventional Warfare story may or may not have run up against the brick wall labeled “Classified.” As in, “You’re not supposed to know the answers to those questions, let alone put them in a book. Stop asking.” This got me thinking about a few things I’ve run up against as an author over the last few years.
“The Canyon of the Lost” is Out!
The Canyon of the Lost is out today! Check it out for a short adventure with Jed Horn and Dan Weatherby, about a year after Nightmares and some time before A Silver Cross and a Winchester.
The Pre-Order is Up!
The Canyon of the Lost, the new novelette in the Jed Horn series, is now available for pre-order on Kindle (Kindle only, for now. It might get folded into a later edition of one of the paperbacks.). If you’re hoping for the further adventures of Jed, Eryn, and Frank Tall Bear, and more of the aftermath of the Walker’s rampage, I’m afraid that’s not here. This story takes place between Nightmares and A Silver Cross and a Winchester, when Jed is still learning the ropes from Dan Weatherby. From the book description: All too often, it starts with a missing kid. It has been a year since Jed Horn and Dan Weatherby confronted Professor Ashton and destroyed his homunculus. They’ve been busy in the meantime, roving the Intermountain West, fighting monsters and and the demonic, protecting people as best they can from the powers of the Otherworld and the Abyss. They are between jobs in Washington State when they catch wind of a missing kid in the mountains. There is enough weird about the situation that it sounds like their kind of work, so they volunteer to help out. As the hunt for the missing child progresses, it turns into
The Canyon of the Lost
I’ve talked about it a little on Facebook, but I’ve recently finished the Jed Horn novelette The Canyon of the Lost, which should be out soon on Kindle. The art is still being worked on, which is why there’s no pre-order yet, but it’s almost there. Here’s a peek:
Been pretty busy lately. Got the first (and second) draft of an Heroic Fantasy story done that I’m trying to sell to an actual publisher, but while I wait on Reader Force Alpha, I’ve embarked on a couple more projects. The big one is, of course, Lex Talionis, American Praetorians Number Five. I’m still outlining, as this one is going to be a bear and a half. But it’s getting there. In the meantime, I’ve started in on a Jed Horn short story/novella (probably going to end up about the same length as Rock, Meet Hard Place). It’ll be going up on Kindle exclusive once it’s done. (Though it might get included in a later edition of one of the existing novels for those who want to have a paper copy.) Now back to the word mines.
The Walker on the Hills is Loose!
At long last, The Walker on the Hills is live, for Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. Paperback can be ordered, but is taking longer than anticipated; Createspace is being slow, probably due to the proximity of Christmas. I’m kind of proud of this one; I think it’s the strongest of the series to date. It’s certainly the longest. There’s a lot going on, and a few hints of things to come for those who are paying attention. The Kindle can be found here, with the Nook version here.