Caulborn 6, TORMENT, is done being edited and is off to be formatted. I’m hoping to have it published by the end of the month. Stay tuned! Meantime, I wanted to share the cover and blurb with you:
The promise Vincent Corinthos made to Megan Hayes has been hanging over his head like the proverbial sword of Damocles. And now that sword has fallen. When Megan is murdered, Vincent gets a one-way trip to Hell, is cut off from his friends and followers, and will be locked away in a forgotten corner of the Pit.
All appears lost until a loophole is found in his promise, and Hades himself offers Vincent a way out: A demon that Vincent knows all too well is on the loose, and Hades wants him back. Vincent has just twenty-four hours to return his quarry to the Pit. If he succeeds, he’ll do what’s never been done before, and walk out of Hell scot-free. If he fails, he’ll spend the rest of his existence in eternal torment.
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I am proud to announce the release of Caulborn 3, SHADOWS, which is available now from Amazon.
Four years ago, Caulborn agent Vincent Corinthos stopped a hellish ritual intended to transform Ulysses Pendleton into a creature of utter darkness. With Pendleton safely imprisoned in Ashgate Penitentiary, Vincent and the rest of the Caulborn figured the world was a little bit safer.
Until now. A catastrophic failure with the prison’s security systems sends Vincent and the rest of the Caulborn into Ashgate to try and prevent the inmates from escaping. They secure all but one. Pendleton.
Now, Vincent’s in a race against the clock to find Pendleton before he can finish the job he started four years ago, and smother Boston in shadows.
Caulborn 3 is off to the editor and, with luck, will be available later this month. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at the cover.
Lots of self-published authors offer different advice on what it takes to succeed. But there are three things they all agree on:
- Have great cover art
- Have a great editor
- Have a great blurb
I’m going to focus on #1 in this post. When I originally published IMPERIUM back in 2011, I knew I was going to hire a cover artist. I have no artistic abilities at all, and anything I tried to create myself would undoubtedly look like it had been drawn by a drunken chimp using MS Paint. So I hired an artist and thought, cool, #1 on the list is taken care of. The artist I hired did a good job and I was happy.
Problem is, I missed one critical bit of info related to Having Great Cover Art. Namely, your great cover art needs to fit in your genre. It sounds obvious, and I’m embarrassed to say this didn’t occur to me until much later. The original cover art for the Caulborn series looks much more like historical fantasy, or epic fantasy, but not urban fantasy. I’ve been told that some readers thought my work was miscategorized as urban fantasy because of the artwork. Other readers told me they didn’t realize these books were all part of the same series, because there weren’t common elements across them.
This was not the fault of the artist. This was my fault for not doing my homework. If I had, I could have had him retool the original cover back then. It took several years for this realization to dawn, but once it did I enlisted a new cover artist (as my old one went out of business) to develop a new set of covers for the Caulborn series. Check ’em out:
These covers were done by the talented folks over at StreetLight Graphics and are much more in line with the covers you’d see on a book by Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, or Illona Andrews. So they fit the genre. Also notice the consistent use of the title font and Caulborn insignia. In short, these new covers are in-line with what readers expect a UF cover to look like, and it’s obvious they’re part of a series.
So, lessons learned:
- Your cover needs to fit with the genre you’re writing
- If you’re writing a series, there need to be common elements to tie the books together
- Even if you make a mistake, it’s never too late to fix it
In the next post on the series, I’ll talk about working with an editor.
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Caulborn 2, PROMISE, is at the editor now and is on track for publication in June. I’m proud to share the cover and blurb.
When gods fail to keep their promises there’s hell to pay. Literally. After a slip of the tongue, godling Vincent Corinthos is obligated to keep his partner, Megan, “fine” forever. Enter the Keepers, who fulfill promises for a fee. Vincent agrees to their bargain, but will Megan be the one who pays the price?
I’m proud to announce the latest installment in the Caulborn arc, SYNC:
When an omniscient demon corrupts the Chroniclers and taints time itself, it falls to Vincent Corinthos to set things right. Along the way, he’ll face deadly enemies who have plotted his death for years. Problem is, he hasn’t met any of them yet. Time travel is such a bitch…
SYNC is a 15,000 word short story and is available from Amazon and B&N.
In KRAMPUSNACHT, Gearstripper is given a thermos full of some very special hot chocolate. Regular folks like us can’t get hot chocolate like that, but the recipe below comes about as close as you can get outside of the North Pole.
- 6 oz shaved milk chocolate (I recommend Callebaut)
- 1 pint heavy cream
- Pinch cinnamon
- Whipped cream
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Slowly stir in the cream. Heat the cream until warm, stirring constantly. Add the cinnamon and top with the whipped cream. Put a candy cane in for good measure.
Warning: This is extremely rich. You may not be able to drink a mug all by yourself, so snuggle up with someone to share it.
KRAMPUSNACHT is now available from Amazon and B&N!
As an added bonus, if you purchase Krampusnacht between now and 12/3, I’ll give you a free virtual autograph. And you’ll also be entered in a drawing to win an autographed paperback copy of my debut urban fantasy novel, IMPERIUM! Just forward your Amazon or B&N receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll send out the autographs and announce the winner on 12/4.
I’m very excited to reveal my secret holiday project! So here it is: KRAMPUSNACHT!
An 8,000 word collection of short stories, featuring:
Santa’s been kidnapped by his demonic ex-partner, Krampus! Can Gearstripper the gremlin and Jake the security guard free St. Nick in time for Christmas?
Time’s been frozen on Christmas eve and two Chroniclers are dispatched to investigate. Find out what happens when they encounter someone dressed as super-hero Commander Courageous!
A mysterious figure known as Stranger Wolfram prepares to summon a creature from the pits of Hell on Christmas Eve. Will fortune teller Mrs. Rita stop him?
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