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Author Archives: Heath Stallcup

About Heath Stallcup

Creator of the Monster Squad and other supernatural tales.

Surprise!

Last blog update I hinted at a project that I was working on and hoped to have finished in time for the holidays. I’m here to announce that I did it. I finished. yay me

So here’s the backstory.
Years ago I saw this picture online and it planted a seed.

An idea for a story started to grow but I never acted on it. I always had an excuse, I was too busy, too lazy, too tied up in other projects…whatever. And every holiday season, the Hallmark Christmas movies would come out and the holiday decor goes up and I’d kick myself for not writing the story.

Fast forward to this year. As I explained in the last blog post, I was sorta kicked out of my office for a few months. But once I got it back, I hammered out Nocturna Six to wrap up the series and I was left with a wee bit of free time on my hands. So, I decided why not? Even if I couldn’t get the story done in time for this holiday season, there’s always NEXT year, right? So I started world building in my mind. It just so happens that my graphic artist, the magnificent Jeffrey Kosh was hitting me for details on the cover for Nocturna Six and I mentioned to him that I wanted to do this story. I outlined the idea for him and he laughed. Said it sounded like a movie script. Then I sent him the picture that planted the seed and he got excited. I believe his reply was, “You have GOT to let me make this cover!”
So I did.
And, like every other cover he’s created for me, it spurred me to action. Now I REALLY wanted to get this project done.
But it was the end of October. Could it be done? I reached out to my editor and my publisher. I asked if I could complete this project by November 15th, could we get it to market in time for Christmas? They both said yes, so, on October 25th I jumped into it with both feet.
Now, I recall writing one of the Hunter stories in a week, but I had already created that universe. My characters were fleshed out and had already been through quite a bit. This was new. I had roughly three weeks to lay the foundation, create the story, flesh out the characters, and…basically everything. In three weeks? I feared I had bit off more than I could chew.
I chewed it.
I chewed the sh!t out of it! I finished ‘Ain’t No Saint Nick’ this morning and emailed it to my editor. That’s roughly TEN days.
And that’s fantastic as long as it doesn’t suck.
So, yeah. There’s that.
Anyway, I just wanted to let the world know that, hopefully in time for Christmas this year, Ain’t No Saint Nick will finally have come to fruition!

Oh, and here’s the cover Jeffrey Kosh made for me. He had to tweak it a couple of times until he found one that we all loved.
Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

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Coming Soon!

About every six months I remember that I have this webpage and then panic because I haven’t been keeping it updated. Well, in this case, there wasn’t much to update.

We had a tiny bit of family ‘issues’. One of my kids had to move in with his family and the only ‘free’ space was my office. I didn’t realize just how much I depended on this space for everything. I keep all of my important records, bill paying stuff, car keys, etc in my office and when a family of five had to temporarily take it over? I was lost!

I tried moving my writing back to the dining room table but that didn’t work. Moving from a desktop computer with an ergo keyboard and my Lazy Boy office chair to a hard wooden chair, an antiquated laptop with a dead battery that had to be plugged in all the time…yeah, no. So my writing was on hold. However, once the day came that I got my office back? I plunged into Nocturna 6 head first and did my darndest to get it done!

I’m happy to tell you that it survived the first round of edits and is waiting for round two. Jeffrey Kosh stepped up again to create the cover and with any luck it will be out by Thanksgiving.

I wish that was all I had to report. You all know me too well and know that I can’t keep a secret. At all. There may be something else in the works that I’ve tried to keep up my sleeve but the suspense is killing me. I want SO desperately to tell you, but there’s a caveat. I want it released before Christmas so I have to buckle down and put fingers to keyboard to get it hammered out. I have to have it to the editor no later than November 15 and although I was able to pound out one of the Hunter stories in a week, there’s no way I can do that with this one. This is a stand-alone story (though who knows what the future may hold).
I mentioned it to Jeffrey Kosh and at first he laughed and said it sounded like a movie script. Then I sent him the photo that planted the seed in my mind and his tone changed. His words were, “You HAVE to let me do this one!” He then created a series of covers that…well, they were all awesome. But we were able to whittle it down to one and…I REALLY love it.
I really wish I could share it with you, and I will. Eventually. Just not right now. His artwork was enough to spur me into overdrive and I’ve been doing my best to get it hammered out. It’s hard enough to create a story in a world that I’ve already established, but to create a whole new cast of characters in an area that I’m unfamiliar with? Not the easiest thing to do. All of the regular self-doubts are amplified by the fact that I’m treading in unfamiliar waters with all new characters and I start to question if I’m letting the story tell itself or if I’m trying to force it. It’s always seemed that when I let the story tell itself and I just type it, it all goes much more smoothly and it’s better received by the readers. Trying to pen this in such a short amount of time has me stressing over the project a lot more than I normally would.

So, the cat is still in the bag, but at least you know that there IS a cat. In a bag.
Okay, bad metaphor.
Just know that I’m plugging away at a project that I HOPE will be available by Christmas. Once I have it finished and it’s off to the editor, I’ll drop another post on here and share the cover. Hopefully, you won’t laugh at the idea.

Until then, here’s wishing you much love, luck and bacon!

Heath

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

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I’m So Bad At This

Guess what I did?
Rather, guess what I didn’t do…I didn’t announce that Nocturna 5: Sacrifice was available for pre-order. I also didn’t announce that it became available last month. Oh, I threw out a weak announcement on Facebook. But I didn’t Twit it. Or Tweeter it. Whatever. I have an Instagram. I know I do because I get notifications from it. I just don’t use it. I’m an old dog that hates new tricks and can barely stand most social media so you’d think I’d take better care of this blog. I mean, there are a handful of you in the same boat as I am. You’d rather get poked in the eye with a sharp stick than hang out online. So you follow my website or subscribe and then…I drop the ball. Hey, you should be used to me letting you down by now so why am I hashing over it now, right?

Okay, so yeah. Nocturna 5 is out!

Also, I am working on Nocturna 6 and the plans are to wrap up this story with it so I can pay more attention to some other projects I have in the fire. I’m actually getting a little excited about Nick’s storyline. It’s the ‘Ain’t No Saint; Nick’ I mentioned in the previous blog post. I’m hoping it becomes sort of a Die Hard meets Hallmark Christmas Movie kind of story, but we know how characters take on a life of their own and take over the whole dadgum thing. Remember when I made Tufo a ‘bit’ character in Monster Squad and he nearly took over the whole thing? Yeah. Well, in all fairness, Mark is kind of like that, so…I had it coming.

Anyway, I felt guilty for not announcing N5 and realized I hadn’t updated my Works page in like…forever. So I got that done as well.

For those who are curious, I actually have a few chapters into Bridger 3. I keep thinking that I got off on the wrong foot with it and I’ve gone back to change it numerous times, but every time I read it, it just FEELS right. So, I guess we’ll just have to see where that story ends up going, too. Who knows? Maybe if Nick takes off, I might put him and Bridger in the same room and they’ll either team up or kill each other.
Now wouldn’t that be something…

So, there ya go. You’re updated now. I know I always say I’ll try to do better in the future, but obviously I totally suck at it, so…cross your fingers and we’ll both HOPE that I can keep this thing updated in the future.

Good luck, God bless, and here’s wishing you all of the love, luck and bacon that you can handle!

Heath

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

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Apologies

For those of you who enjoy my stories and occasionally slip by here to check on upcoming projects, I owe you an apology. I know as well as anyone that I’ve been AWOL for some time now. It’s not the first time, and knowing me as well as I do, I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last. BUT, I’m back now and doing my best to get back on track.

I realize it’s been a year.
Not my worst, by any stretch. The first time I went AWOL was for over two years. I was convinced that I’d quit. It wasn’t worth the time, effort or heartache. But Tracy reached out to me and asked for something…anything that I could submit for her to publish. I piled together all of my short stories that had been donated to different charity anthologies over the years and let her have them.
Then I felt bad. I knew that most weren’t my best and she was getting the short end of the stick.
We talked. She suggested (rightly so, it turns out) that I turn Caldera into a series. So, with her gentle nudging, I found myself back in the world of trying to put ideas to words and words to paper. Burning the midnight oil became the norm and I was officially back in the game. Along with Caldera, I created other universes with other heroes and villains. I got back on course and stayed there, usually taking the holidays off since they’re so busy around here and…well…this last time I just couldn’t bring myself to sit back down and delve into the worlds I had created. Like anything, the longer you stay away from it, the easier it becomes. Two months turned into four turned into twelve turned into…too long.
Tracy didn’t hound me. She knew how I was and gave me the time she felt I needed. Until she was tired of waiting. I’m quite certain that it was her idea, but Jack Wallen reached out to me during the holidays and asked if I’d be interested in working on a new story idea with him. Like many others before us, two well known writers team up and put their heads together and with a little luck something incredible begins to take shape. And that’s exactly what happened here.
Jack contacted me and I put him off until after the holidays. Once they were done, I knew that he’d be ready to work so I forced myself to sit down and try to wrap up Nocturna 5 so that it would be off my plate and I could concentrate on the task at hand. And it worked. Maybe a bit too well. I decided to go on and work on Nocturna 6 while Jack and I built worlds. But with my return to world building, I stumbled upon a new creative energy that had me diving into other projects as well. While working on Congregation with Jack, and wrapping up the Nocturna series with number 6, I decided to break ground on a new Bobby Bridger story. And another story that I envisioned as kind of a bloodier, grittier version of a Hallmark Christmas movie that I’m calling ‘Ain’t No Saint; Nick’. Depending on the mood I’m in, that dictates which story I work on. Between those and the audible versions of Nocturna that Eric A. Shelman has so brilliantly brought to life, I’ve actually been staying kind of busy these last few days. I’m even trying to keep myself on task by keeping tabs on work with an online writer’s group that I’m a member of. Sort of my version of announcing online that I’ve started a diet and then tracking my goals for the world to see. Except it’s easier to create worlds than it is to lose weight so that may not be the best analogy.

Anyway, for those who care…I’m back. And I hope to stick with it this time.
At least long enough to bring some closure to the stories you’ve been following. And if I’m lucky enough for you to stick around, maybe you’ll enjoy some of the worlds I’m creating.

Thank you for your patience and your kind reviews. Sometimes those words are just the fuel we need to keep on keeping on.

Now, back to work.
As always, I wish you all much love, luck, laughter and most of all, BACON!

Heath

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

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Audible Updates

Nocturna 1: Begining of the End has been approved for retail sale through ACX. Click the image below for the link to Amazon.

For those of you who are willing to provide an honest review, email me at heathstallcup@gmail.com and I’ll provide a code for you.

Now, for other news. Eric Shelman is wrapping up N2 and we’ll be mashing the button to put it in ACX’s hands any time now. I am working on number 5, but the going is slow. As most of you know, I have a hard time getting back into the swing of things after the holidays but this year has been particular rough. I don’t know if it’s the weather or maybe Time has caught up, but the arthritis in my hands has been steadily worsening. I’m still trying though, it’s just slow going.

Max Zener wrapped up Bridger 2 recently and it should be approved through ACX any moment. As soon as he can get studio time again, he’ll be diving back into the world of Caldera and getting that series wrapped up for you.

I’ve been toying with the idea of possibly (key word there…possibly) diving back into the world of the Monster Squad and continuing with the characters in a new series called IMPACT. Yes, I did leave a teaser at the end of MS10 hinting at that, but after a million words spread over ten volumes, I needed a long needed break. I guess my question to you would be, should we attempt such a feat or let our imaginations loose and see what other worlds we can create? If you’ve read through Hunter or Caldera or Nocturna, then you know that there are TONS of ways we could possibly go that wouldn’t involve reentering that universe.
Anyway, I’m curious your thoughts.

That’s it for now.
Here’s wishing you much love, luck and bacon!

Heath

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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A Little Update

I had no plan to have Nocturna made into an audible. One of my boys approached me and asked if I would consider allowing him to try his hand at narrating it and I thought, “Why not?”
Well, life being what it is, he wasn’t able to adequately create a recording space so the plan was set aside… until he came back and asked if I could recruit Eric A. Shelman to do it. Apparently, he was a big fan of Eric’s style.

I’d like to say that I had the chops (or clout) to seduce Eric into picking up the gauntlet, but that’s not the case. We’d been friends for some time now and when I approached him, he was like, “Sure. I can turn on my magic and make your story actually sound interesting.” 😉

How could I argue?

Anyway, we’re wrapping up things on our end and very soon we’ll be mashing the button and putting it into Audibles hands. For those of you who prefer to listen to your books, Nocturna 1: Beginning of the End should soon be available for your listening pleasure.

Don’t thank me. Thank Eric. It’s his magic that makes it sound interesting.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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ANOTHER Something a Little Different

ANOTHER Something a Little Different

I caught the bug.
Not COVID…the children’s book bug. I’m pretty sure that’s a real thing.
I can’t really help it, so don’t blame me. I blame the time of year. The Christmas season. The fact that we currently have thirteen grandchildren might play a small part, but nonetheless, I bounced another idea off of Jeff Kosh. He loved it. My missus (also my biggest, best and hottest critic) absolutely adored it! In fact, she said it gave her chillbumps.

I tried to ‘Dr Suess’ it up a bit and make it rhyme. So many children’s books rhyme and I thought, ‘Pfft, why not?!’
OMG
I have such a new respect for Dr Suess, AND, now I know why he invented his own words.

Yes, it’s another Christmas book and no, the paperback won’t be available this season. In fact, I doubt that Littlest Christmas Tree paperback will be available before the holidays either, BUT…the e-book should drop any time on Amazon. I know, it’s not the same, but it is what it is.

I will say that the style is different than Little Tree. Jeff did some pretty cool 3D graphics stuff and I think it came out pretty cool. Let me know what you think.
Hopefully, I’ve got this out of my system now. I hope.

The Littlest Star
Little Star has no idea why there is a new star in the sky that cold winter night.
Follow along as she goes to Earth to see what all of the excitement is about and discovers her very own destiny. Perfect for all ages.

And for those of you caught up on Nocturna, I broke the halfway point on N5. Just so you know.
I know, I was really hoping to have it finished in time for Christmas but it doesn’t look like it’s gonna make it.

And, as always, here’s wishing you much love, luck and bacon!
And the Merriest of Christmases and a Happy New Year!

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Something a Little Different

So I just mashed the button on a new project. And this one is a bit…different for me.

Here’s the back story, but in a nutshell. Have you ever had a dream and thought ‘Wow! That would make a grand story!’ or something along those lines? I do all the time. Except, I usually forget what it was before I can get up and pee. Don’t judge…I’m old.

Well, I had one of those dreams again, except…I remembered it. And I thought, that would make a really neat children’s book. Yes…children’s book. From a guy who brought you every form of horror, torture, murder and mayhem that I could think of, a children’s story crept into my dreams. And it took root. So to speak.

So, I bounced the story off Jeff and he actually liked it. Enough that he started playing with his software and sent me a couple of ideas he had. Before I knew it, we were up and running with it. I sent him the ‘script’ and he worked day and night and whipped this puppy out in a matter of days. His goal was to get it out BEFORE Christmas. I didn’t think it was possible, but…this is Jeffrey Kosh we’re talking about here. The man is a machine.

Anywho…fast forward a few days and…I just mashed the button on The Littlest Christmas Tree.

We wanted it available for print and Amazon – well, they’re just not as graphic friendly. So I tried Lulu and they are stupid simple to use. The only problem is, they require that I okay a physical proof before they’ll release it. We may not hit the Christmas season this year. But the digital version will be populating to Amazon soon and once it does, I’ll make sure the links are posted on Facebook, Gab, Wimkin and Parler.

Things always slow down writing wise around the holidays for me. There’s just too much going on and things to do in prep for the different events and longer nights and colder days and blah blah blah. So yes, writing took a back seat as it always does and I fell behind on N5. But this project was something that I wanted to try mainly because, I have forty some books out but nothing that my grandkids could really enjoy.
That’s now changed.

So, that’s it. My first children’s book is about to come alive. And, who knows? If it does well, Mr. Kosh and I may well have to team up and release more.

If I don’t get the chance to say it again before the holidays hit, I hope you and yours have the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years. Please, stay safe and remember to love.

Peace, Love and Bacon!

Heath

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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October Releases

October Releases

Yes, you read that right. Releases, as in plural.
Bridger 2: Burned Bridges is slated to drop 10/13!
I’m really excited for this one even though I still question my ability to develop stories in this incredible genre. To be able to craft a universe where Bridger and his cohorts thwart evil is thrilling to me, even if it’s not up to par with those who normally swim in these waters.

Another project that I’ve been toiling on is slated to drop 10/27 and it’s starting to populate for preorder on Amazon as I type this.
Nocturna is an exciting new series that…well, it’s been a whirlwind getting this one ready! I started this a little over two months ago and have been hitting it hard and heavy on the daily. I finished Nocturna 4 in the wee hours this morning and sent it off for editing. So far, my primary beta reader really loves the series and is eagerly awaiting N5 to fall into her greedy hands!

I want to take a moment to brag here. (Yes, I’m tooting my own horn but only because others won’t toot it for me!) The editor attached this to the email when she returned the first in the series: “Heath, this new one is amazing. So creative….you OWN this genre. Can’t wait to sink my teeth into book 2.” I wish I could add that to the dust jacket.
I hope that I’m not setting myself up for failure by sharing that. Just because the beta (my missus…who reads everything I write and is my best critic) and the editor loved it, doesn’t mean it will be well received by the reading public. Time will tell.

For those who are going to ask, yes, the plan is to drop all four of the Nocturna stories on the same day. Paperbacks may take a while longer to get formatted since we originally slated all of this to drop around Thanksgiving and I asked that it be moved up. Who knows if we’ll all still be around after the November election anyway, right?

I originally hoped to keep it all a big secret and then just throw it out there and let the readers be shocked, but we all know I’m the world’s worst secret keeper. As soon as Jeffrey Kosh creates a cover for me, I have to share it. His covers are just too awesome to keep under wraps anyway!
The idea that I could keep an entire new series secret? Pfft! Like that could ever happen! So, why not spread the word and let readers know about it from the get-go!

While it would be nice to pull off a surprise like that, I get too excited. Each new release for me is like Christmas. I know that I have a small but faithful following of avid readers who really enjoy the yarns I spin, and trust me when I say, “I love each and every one of you!” Seriously, if it weren’t for you, I’d have no reason to keep writing. It seems that every time I get down because of a bad review or somebody’s negativity, one of you sends me an email or a Facebook message and totally revitalizes me for the next story. That kind of support is worth its weight in gold!
Of course, reviews help too…hint-hint!

Oh, and for those of you who allowed me to use your name and/or likeness in this new series…THANK YOU! The hardest part for me in creating a new universe is coming up with names for people that sound ‘real’. Too many times I’ve found myself trying to use names that sound like they fell out of a comic book.
So, in no particular order, thank you to:
Devra Sackman
Dillon Sapp
Jascha Zimmerman
Jeffrey Kosh (Grant Kosh)
Steven Feasey
Dr. Jeff Norman
Mitch Goodkin
Brandon Visek
Josh Forrest
Lauren Thompson
Debbie Dillis (still sounds like a stripper name to me…)
Cheri Thomas
Mary Ann Peden
Brian Hinnenkamp
Beans McGee
William Hartman
Thomas Aurand
If I missed anybody, I’m sorry, but I’m flying by the seat of my pants on this one.

I think that about wraps it up boys and girls. Please know how much I appreciate all of you and really hope that you’ll enjoy my October offerings.

Until next time, here’s wishing you much love, luck, happiness and bacon.
Lots and lots of smoky bacon.
And coffee.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Bridger 2

Bridger 2

I’ve wrapped up the second edition of Bobby Bridger and his exploits.  It may still be a bit as it’s cleaned up and polished but hopefully soon, it will be available. I still question attempting to dive into the dark and murky waters of political thrillers and espionage, but it’s been such a fun project.

Bridger 2 promo

From the back blurb:

A deadly ghost returns after nearly twenty years to pick off old foes, one by one.

A voice from the past calls Bobby Bridger to warn him before the old team is brought back together to face the threat. After members were singled out for assassination, Bravo Team is pointed in the right direction and takes the fight to them.

Columbian cartels, Mexican Federales, militia members and even the CIA collide in the jungles of Mexico with Bravo Team stuck in the middle.

They all should have brought more guns.

Pro Tip: If you think you want vengeance for old wrongs, think twice before setting your sights on Bridger and his crew.

Yeah, it needs work, but ask anybody, the blurb is the hardest part to write. You have to describe the story without giving away anything. You have to TRY to entice with a hook in just a few short lines and…it ain’t easy.

I just hope that you, dear reader, enjoy the story.

On to other projects!

I actually broke ground on something new for me. It’s called Nocturna. I got a few pages into the story and decided I needed a little inspiration. I immediately reached out to Jeffrey Kosh and told him what the project was about and he whipped me up a cover that really inspired me to push through the tough spots. In fact, his work has planted the seeds and now I’m thinking seriously of making it a series.

Nocturna 1

I know, most authors like to sit on their covers and have a reveal party, but I’m not that good at keeping secrets. I loved his concept work and decided to run with it, so that means I HAVE to share!

Set in a near post apocalyptic future, man has faced numerous pandemics, two global civil wars and just when things seem to be at their worst, an asteroid strike that should have been an Extinction Level Event. But mankind does something that nobody expected…they pull together to recover. Things are just starting to look up when…well, let’s just say that there was a surprise hiding in that meteor.

This is still in the early stages but I hope to have it available by Halloween. Fingers crossed!

So, that catches everybody up. I hope you are doing your best during these strange and difficult times. Know that we indie writers are still out here wishing each of you much love, luck and bacon!

Heath

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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