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Tag Archives: May December Publishing

World Horror Convention

Most of you are aware by now that the World Horror Convention is going on in Portland, OR.  Anybody and everybody that has anything to do with horror is converging on the city of Portland to rub elbows and hang out, have fun and network, visit with old friends and meet new ones.

While I won’t be there to enjoy the festivities, a lot of my friends and fellow authors will be.  If you are close, stop by and visit them.  If you are traveling there for the convention, spend some time at the different booths, but make sure you stop by May December Publishing and say hi to Todd and Denise Brown.  Then swing by and give the fellas from the Epic Apocalypse set a visit too.  Mark Tufo, Shawn Chesser, John O’Brien, Joe McKinney and Armand Rosamilia are manning a booth and if you are lucky, you might catch all of them at the same time.

Trust me when I say that it’s killing me inside to know that everybody is there and I’m not, but know that I’ll be there in spirit, wishing all of them the best of luck.  Plans are already in place for next year in Atlanta, but alas, that’s a whole year away.  Until then, if you want a set of autographed books, a Monster Squad coffee mug or bumper sticker you can find it at May December’s booth along with some other swag that I sent along to help spread the word.

So, have fun, see all of the cool things that Portland has to offer and enjoy yourself!

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Tipping Point

I really didn’t like my last entry.  It definitely felt like a ‘blog filler’.  This place is supposed to be my little place on the interwebs to come to be closer to you, the reader.  A place where I keep you up on how things are going, what’s new and what’s happening. Since nothing was new but it had been so long since my last entry, I felt compelled to put something up anyway.  The result didn’t sit well with me.

Since then, little has changed.  But the ‘little’ that has is still kind of cool to me.  So I thought I’d share it with you.

First, I’ve reached the tipping point on MS5.  Things are definitely picking up and will be accelerating quickly as I reach the cliffhanger conclusion of this installment of the new saga.  Old friends may or may not survive this next offering.  As many of you came to discover, nobody is safe.  There was a reason behind the losses in MS4.  It may not be apparent, but they are there.  I got a lot of hate mail over those deaths.  I’ve also gotten a LOT more negative criticisms over the last two books, as well.  I’ve actually debated coming here and trying to address them, but…that’s not what this blog is about.  I’ve stated before, the story told itself.  I just typed it.  There are reasons for why things happened the way they did.  We don’t have to like them.  I didn’t like them, how can I expect others to?  Anywho…

Second, I made a new friend.  A new friend that SHOULD play Laura Youngblood if the Monster Squad ever got made into a movie.  Well…if she’s close to six foot tall, she should.  It’s kind of funny, but we hit it off like old high school buddies.  She decides to help me ‘dress up my site’ and when I see a current picture of her.  I nearly fell over.  When I write of Laura…THAT was the face I saw.  It was spooky. Because when I say it was Laura, I don’t mean ‘she kind of sort of looked a little like her if you turn the picture sideways and squint a little…’ No.  I mean, it was as if somebody reached inside my head, pulled the Laura Youngblood file, yanked her photo from her service record and then posted it on Facebook.  Weird, eh?  Well, it was pretty cool, anyway.  Because this gal is really sharp and she’s going to make my website look really professional.  Rather than just a blog, it will have a splash page.  For those of you who are techno-stoopid like me (she had to explain it to me, too) it’s like a portal page with neat graphics and hyperlinks to my blog, links to my books and other stuff like that.  I don’t want to say any more about it because she may scrap the whole idea and go a completely different way.

So…that’s what’s new.  I’m still pushing against the September deadline, but I think it will be good.  Hopefully, I can get this saga pounded out while it’s all still somewhat fresh on my mind and then hand it over to Todd to polish.

Ooh…yeah.  Okay.  I wasn’t going to say anything about the other novels that have been kind of standing by the wayside while I concentrated on the MS series…but.  I sent Corson to a different publishing house for consideration.  No…I’m not upset with MDP.  Let’s quash that rumor before it ever gets started.  But the fact is, they’re swamped.  And it’s just not a high priority.  I understand that.  In fact, I’m okay with that. I talked with Denise and she’s given me her blessing so I feel good about the move with that one.
I also got the opportunity to submit both Whispers and Caldera to an agent via a friend of mine.  A real agent that deals with the big NY publishers.  While I’m not holding my breath, I am hopeful that they are well received.  After all, Whispers is my personal favorite and Caldera is my missus’ favorite. I have no idea how long it will take to hear back on those two, but I’m daring to hope.  The agent is just the first step.

So, that wraps up everything.  Unless you want to know about how well supper went?  We decided to use our new grill tonight.  I made steamed carrots and steamed corn, cheesy squash and grilled sirloin.  Chicken for the girls because that’s their favorite.  Then we had…huh?  Oh.  You don’t care?  Okay.  I can take a hint.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Input Needed

Yeah, I should be writing instead of penning this.  Sorry.  Even my brain needs to step away once in a while and sort of decompress.  In the meantime, I’ve been playing with different ideas for SWAG.  For those who aren’t too familiar, it’s the little freebie stuff you give out to folks to help promote your product.  In this case, it’s the Monster Squad.

I have a friend and fellow author who is also a graphic artist who designed a really cool ‘unit logo’ for me to use.  As some of you have seen, I’ve put this on some stuff like coffee cups and t-shirts and whatnot…just to get a feel for it.

MS Mug

While the coffee cups looked pretty darned cool, they aren’t really something that people carry around with them ALL the time.  Well, unless you’re a Chief Petty Officer in the NAVY and have a permanently hooked finger.  Sorry.  A little military humor there.

So…here’s the thing.  I talked with Jeffrey (he’s the aforementioned author and graphic artist) and he tossed together something for me to use for t-shirts.  Instead, I saw it as the cover of the hardback for the first four Monster Squads…a little project that Denise and I had been talking about for quite a while now.  With just a little tweaking, he gave me this:

Rise of the Sicarii - Heath Stallcup

I really liked it.  No.  Scratch that.  I LOVED it.  Simple, yet…striking.  At least to me.
So here is where I need YOUR input.  I mean, you guys are the fans.  You’re the readers.  You’re the reason the characters continue to grow and enjoy new life and new adventures. If you were to look for Monster Squad items, whether they be coffee mugs, t-shirts, pens, posters…whatever.  What design would you like to see?

Would you rather it be just the logo like the coffee cup above?  Or would you rather see something that reminds you of the book covers that you’re used to seeing? Something with the silhouette of the soldiers?  Both?  Neither?  Just the words ‘Monster Squad’?  Give me some feedback, please.  Because I’ll tell you, this stuff isn’t cheap and picking up little bits here and there just to see how I might like it is getting…well…expensive!  Help me decide which image best represents the squads.  What do YOU think of when you think of them?

You can message me here or on Facebook or email or drop by the house and we can chat over a cup of coffee.  However you choose, your input is valuable. Or should I say, invaluable?

 

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Surprise Surprise!

Well, originally we had MS4, Blood Apocalypse, scheduled to be released in May.  Then we moved it up to April because of the World Horror Con.  Release it early so that we could compile the first four books into one big hardback edition and present it at the WHC in Portland.  Then ACX reared its ugly head and stated that if your book wasn’t under contract by March 12th, it fell under their new terms and conditions.

In the immortal words of Gomer Pyle, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.  Guess what gets released 3/10/2014?

BA mini

If you guessed Monster Squad 4, Blood Apocalypse, then you’d be right!

Beside trying to hurry and get MS4 into the system and beat ACX at their own game, there are other reasons for publishing sooner than originally planned.  As mentioned, we want to compile the first four squad stories into one very large tome…one complete edition with each story re-edited and rechaptered and attached back to back, telling the epic story of the Rise of the Sicarii from start to finish as it was originally intended.  This new hardback edition will be released at the World Horror Convention in Portland and I hope that it will be well received.

Rise of the Sicarii - Heath Stallcup

I know this is a strange new twist for those who have been following the squads since Phoenix.  Usually we plan for a certain date and hold our breath, praying that we can hit close.  Something always seems to come up that throws it off, usually at the last minute.  But this time, not only are we early, we are WAY early.
So, enjoy it.
Because now the real work begins.  Not only do I have to try to promote this, I also have to get MS5 drafted and to Todd for editing.  And MS6 and MS7 and…>sigh<
Merry early Christmas y’all.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Spread Too Thin

Well, as I announced in my previous blog post, to get the creative juices flowing, I began working on a second story in tandem with the fifth installment of the Monster Squad, Homecoming.  I think I opened a can of worms.  Although the two stories were beginning to form up nicely, more and more ideas began popping into this echoing cavern of a noodle of mine.  The problem?  The ideas had nothing to do with the two stories I was working on.  They did, however, have to do with another story that I wanted to make into a trilogy…or a short series.

What to do??
Why, start a THIRD story as well.  All while doing some minor editing on the first three MS stories and putting them back to back and restructuring the chapters in them for a little World Horror Con surprise.  And breaking ground on a fourth little project that had been bouncing around in my head just so it would quit ricocheting off other ideas and really throwing me for loops.

So now, when I sit at my computer, the first major decision is…which one of these can of worms do I want to stick my hands into?  Which story is calling to me?  I had to draw a line in the sand.  No more.  No matter how many ideas flow from this stupid mind of mine, there is simply no way I could create them all.  I wish I could…believe me, I do.  There are stories just itching to pour forth, but my old arthritic hands can only pound out so many words at a time.  And not all of the stories are worth the effort.  At least, not to me.

Hmm.  Is it a focus problem?  Is it a time management problem?  Or maybe it’s just a sanity problem…too many alternate realities jockeying for pole position?  Regardless, it alleviates one problem.  When I sit at my computer and my brain draws a blank on a particular project, I can quickly switch to another and see if anything comes to mind.  While I absolutely DETEST doing things this way, I fear that at least for now, it’s how I’ll have to operate.

So there we have it.  The inane ramblings of an inane storyteller.  Oh yeah…I think I’m going to drop the whole ‘author’ thing.  Some people take the title way too seriously.  I don’t want to be one of those people.  So, I think I prefer the title ‘Storyteller’.  I feel it fits better.
For now, anyway.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Strategies

I’m trying something new.  I sort of had to.  I’ve been working on MS5 and it’s been an uphill battle the entire way.  This is unusual for me because the characters had literally come to life previously.  They told their own story.  Even after I had decided that the story was finished and I was moving on to other pastures, snippets of their continuing lives continued to bombard my mind at odd times.  Like, while driving.  Or in the shower.  Or while talking on the phone.  Key scenes of what ‘should happen next’ flooded my mind while I tried to write other stories.  My wife was right (again).  I should have written it down…because now that I’m actually trying to WRITE MS5…blank.  My mind turns into a wasteland and I can literally hear the winds blowing between my ears.  If I close my eyes, I can see tumbleweeds scampering across the dank recesses of my mind.

What to do, what to do??

Start a different book instead, that’s what.  And of course, the ideas start flowing again.
So, for the first time, I’m trying to write two different books at the same time.  Even though Caldera isn’t scheduled to be released until March, I’m working on the followup to it now and it has gotten the creative juices flowing once more.  After sitting at my computer screen and drawing a blank for so long, I’ve found that getting the story down isn’t such a chore.  It’s still slow going since I’m bouncing between two stories now and I’m constantly having to remind myself what occurred in the past, at least the creative juices are flowing again and progress is being made.

As pappy used to say, do what you gotta do to get it done.  If it means writing two stories to get one out, then so be it.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Bits of Tid…er, Tidbits?

Is there really a point to this late night blog entry?  Sort of.  Kinda, but not really?  Most of my blog entries are at such odd times.  While most ‘bloggers’ try to time their blog posts to where the most people will see them, I write mine when I can.  You see, I have a new full time job.  It’s as a full time Grumpy to my youngest grandson, Poot.  Yes, that is his name.  I know it is, cuz I gave it to him.  Sometimes being a grandpa has its perks.

Anyway, with mom having to reenter the work force and daycare rates being so high, I got voluntold that I get to watch him.  At 5 months old, he and I have a lot in common.  We both have few teeth, little hair, we cry a lot, have strange smells that emanate from our bodies and we both can be pretty whiny.  Really, we’re about even at the moment. While I’ve got him beat in that I’m not in diapers, he has me beat in the ‘cuteness’ department…but that’s sort of subjective.

And apparently, we both have the attention span of a fruitfly because I almost forgot the point to all of this.  Due to my new full time employment, my online presence will be greatly diminished.  Okay, it will be almost nil.  Unless it’s late at night.  Same thing goes for my writing.  But, since I did most of my writing at night anyway, that part won’t really take a beating.

Since I was roaming the halls of this blog tonight, cleaning up a few corners, updating the ‘Works’ page by adding Amazon links to COD, (which came out a day EARLY for those paying attention) and just generally making things a little more presentable, I thought I’d drop a line to those few who frequent here and let you know…I may not be around as much as I used to be.  I still intend to meet the deadlines as set forth by my publisher.  At least, I will do my absolute BEST to meet those deadlines.  We still have Caldera penciled in for a March release.  We’re still planning on May for MS4 Blood Apocalypse.  I’ve got folks looking at Forneus Corson to see if there is some way to salvage it.  I’m currently working on MS5 The Return, and we’re hoping for a January release for it.  It won’t be until 2015 that things really get messy.  By then, I’m supposed to have a new release every couple months…alternating between an MS story and (hopefully) the Caldera line.  That is FULL-TIME writing.  So unless I can figure out how to teach Poot the in’s and out’s to a word processor…I may need to invest in a Velcro wall and a special suit for the little guy…and some noise cancelling headphones.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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