Friday, July 30, 2021

New Release: "Lost Media"

This week's new short story is a murder mystery called "Lost Media." The idea came from investigations and deep dives I've run across into real lost anime like Kamen Senshi Lavithunder vs possibly fake lost anime like Saki Sanobashi. Mixed in is a conspiracy involving a deadly cult out of 20th Century Boys.

I actually did the bulk of the work on the cover before I realized I'd drawn the book facing the wrong direction. Manga is printed in reverse from Western comics, after all. So I flipped the whole thing and adjusted the text. Looking back, I probably could have done the same thing with the text alone, but it's too late now!

Linda's brother is dead, murdered during a livestream for his fellow anime fans. Somehow his death seems to be related to the rare animation cel he recently purchased, the only tangible evidence anyone has found from a video long thought to be a hoax. But who pulled the trigger? Why do they want this anime forgotten?

Will Linda become their next target?

Saturday, July 24, 2021

New Short Story, "Meet Skippy the Sports Squirrel!" Now Available!

This is what happens when I watch one too many MST3k or Rifftrax shorts. I literally got the idea while watching the Rifftrax channel on Twitch, and seeing Ricky Raccoon talk about neighborhood safety in a way that explains the existence of helicopter parenting. Basically, the premise became, what if these educational mascots were real, what if they were proliferating, and what if they were just as dangerous as Mike, Kevin, and Bill's riffs made them sound. I even allude to some of the actual mascots that have appeared in real shorts.

Other aspects of the story came from thinking, "What else do I know that has mascots? Of course, magical girls!"

So here it is, "Meet Skippy the Sports Squirrel!"

It's time for a Painful Suffering Announcement!

As Mikey skulks home after a losing baseball game, he is accosted by Skippy, a talking squirrel that wants to teach him about good sportsmanship... or else. "Educational" mascots like Skippy have been terrorizing kids all over the continent, with dire--even fatal--consequences if they don't learn their lesson. Can Mikey escape in one piece? Will his friend Masha and her kitty hawk be able to help?

Wait, kitty hawk?!

Available now on Kindle!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

New Release: "Word Associations" Now Available!

This week's release is also the first collection for this year's short stories. Presenting Word Associations:


You never know what sort of connections you'll find within a set of words. In this collection of short fiction, you'll encounter a psychic in an unconventional job interview; a little girl and her robot sister on their first beach vacation together; a rescue worker on a distant war-torn planet; and an enigmatic and powerful entity in the subways of Tokyo. Whether it's science fiction, fantasy, or a simple slice of life, there's something here for just about anyone to connect to.

This book collects the following short stories from my "Quick Fiction" series:

  • A Meeting of Minds (Science Fiction)
  • Marisa at the Beach (Science Fiction)
  • Stormbolt Turns It Around (Superheroes)
  • Same Faces (Science Fiction)
  • Advanced Color Theory (Science Fiction)
  • Blackout At Irene's (Slice of Life)
  • The Emperor (Fantasy)
  • The Door Up There (Fantasy)
  • This Wasn't Part of the Lease (Fantasy/Paranormal)
  • First Defusion (Science Fiction)
  • Escape to Sanctuary (Fantasy)

As such, I've lowered the price of all these stories to $0.99. If you'd rather pick up each story individually, you can still do so at less than the cost of a soft drink. If you'd rather pick up the whole collection, it's available here on Kindle for $4.99. There's also a paperback version for $9.99!

Thank you for reading!

...

Oh yeah, the next giveaway. Here are the stories that will be free next week:

Free Monday and Tuesday:


And free Monday only:


Thank you for reading!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

"Collectors' Item" Now Out In Paperback! Finally!

It took two weeks of wrangling with the dimensions and margins, but you can now buy my small collection of comics in glorious print for $4.99

Speaking of collections, I'm planning to put one out this weekend. for my first eleven short stories from this year. It'll be called "Word Associations." Be sure to keep an eye here for the announcement!

A Small Experiment (*Updated*)

I'm not much of a coder, but I know how to look stuff up and bang my head on the wall until I find what I want, and just now I managed to do something I think is pretty cool. I've always felt that one of the problems with reading fiction online is the way it's displayed. It's not the same when you scroll through instead of leafing through pages, either in a physical book or on an e-reader. 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

New Kindle Short Story: "The Meadow Launch"

Earth has been at peace for decades. A generation has grown up without war. A missile base has become a meadow.

He wants to propose to Ashley, and takes her to the meadow for a picnic. But tensions between Earth and the colonies on Mars are coming to a head.

When the meadow opens up and the missiles launch, he frantically reaches out to his father on Mars, as he debates whether he can go through with his proposal. How can he think about his own joy now that war is inevitable?

"The Meadow Launch" is $2.99 on Amazon. Go check it out!

I've also got yet another giveaway coming up on Monday. The following stories will be free Monday and Tuesday:

The Winding Worm of Wind

The Wolf Heist

And "The Fortuna Givers' Festival" will be free Monday only:

Monday, July 05, 2021

New Giveaway! Which stories? Click to find out!

It's Monday, so it's time to give away some short fiction!

Free today and tomorrow:

First off, "Across the Street From What," in which two boys sneak into a house under construction, only to find space twisted around on the inside. 

Then "The Souvenir," about a scrap from a mysterious explosion with alien properties.

Free today only:

"Inappropriate Content," about a comic store owner discovering a pair of strange customers have been inserting themselves into the comics to play pranks on the characters.

As a reminder, Thresholds of the Grand Dream is still free on Smashwords throughout the month, and my small comics can be purchased as "Collectors' Item," in both ebook and print!

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, July 04, 2021

On Naming Characters

Most of the time, I just use the first name that pops into my head. This is how I wound up with Sonia, the main character of Thresholds of the Grand Dream. I picked a name at random, and it stuck. It's also how I got most of the other names, although some of them (Erin, Isaac) changed between drafts. Usually I'll go through the alphabet until I find a letter that gets me a name I like.

On the other hand, sometimes the name might be a reference to something. In my stories about Alice & Marisa, I borrowed their names from Alice Margatroyd and Marisa Kirisame from Touhou Project. But I'm not just drawing from anime and video games. In "The Invisible Wall Outside the School," I swapped the names of Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora to get Ted and Justina. 

In that case, the names had no real thematic importance. But in the case of The Wolf Heist, every single name is related to true crime or mystery fiction in some way.

So the story involves two thieves, Ron and his wife Claire Devereaux, going undercover as stagehands at the Gilbert Theatre so they can steal one of the treasures in the basement donated a hundred years before by the actor Arsenio Wolf. However, one of the actors turns out to be teen detective Shinichi James, who's been trying to catch the Devereauxs for years, without knowing their true identities.

Ron and Claire are a twisting around of Bonnie and Clyde, the legendary robber duo of the 1930's.

Devereaux came from taking the Japanese word 泥棒, "dorobō," meaning "thief, burglar, robber," and twisting it around a little.

The Gilbert Theatre is named for Gilbert Keith ("G.K.") Chesterton, author of the Father Brown mysteries.

Arsenio Wolf is named for Maurice LeBlanc's gentleman burglar, Arsène Lupin (and, by extension, his globetrotting grandson, Lupin III).

Shinichi James is named for Shinichi Kudo, the main character of the manga and anime series Detective Conan. When the series was first brought to the US, he was renamed "Jimmy Kudo." Since Jimmy isn't much of a surname, I went with Shinichi James.

Finally, late in the story, there's a reference to an Inspector Gatchit. Just say it out loud.

And that's more or less how I deal with names. I hope you find this helpful!

Thursday, July 01, 2021

New Comic and New Kindle Release and New Non-Kindle Giveaway!

Item 1:

I just put a new comic up under "artwork": Threshold Break, revisiting Sonia, the main character from my novel, Thresholds of the Grand Dream. This time, it's about a crazy dream where a guy's being put on trial by the video game characters he's defeated over the years. Go check it out!


 Item 2:

Now that all three of the comics I've drawn are up and running, I've collected them and put them up for sale on Kindle as this week's entry into my Quick Fiction series. You can now purchase them together as "Collectors' Item." A paperback version is on its way—it just takes longer for Amazon to approve those.

Item 3:

Speaking of Thresholds of the Grand Dream, it's free throughout the whole month of July as part of Smashwords' Summer/Winter sale. So if you don't get what's going on in Threshold Break, you can go over to Smashwords, pick up an epub, and read where it all began.

Item 4:

Finally, this coming week's Kindle Giveaway will include Across the Street From What (7/1 - 7/2), The Souvenir (7/1 - 7/2), and Inappropriate Content (7/1).

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 26, 2021

New Story: "The Wolf Heist"

 My latest story is a foray into crime fiction. Check out out!

 
 One hundred years ago, the renowned actor Arsenio Wolf willed all his wealth and possessions to the Gilbert Theatre. Now the thieves Ron and Claire Devereaux have decided to celebrate their wedding anniversary by infiltrating the backstage crew and pilfering Wolf's greatest treasures, hidden deep in the basement. But can they escape detection when one of the actors just happens to be the teen detective who's been trying to bring them to justice?

And just what is hidden in that basement, anyway?


As for the next giveaway, on Monday "Mausoleum," "As Seen From Above," and "Escape to Sanctuary" will be free to order for Kindle!

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

New story, "As Seen From Above" is now available!


 Henry Charles is a teenager who lives near an airport. When a friend flies out and sees someone burying a strange box from the plane, Henry ventures to the Orthodox church around the corner to find out more. Together with the priest and his wife and granddaughter, Henry stumbles on a strange invention and its anxious inventor, who wants it buried for a reason.

You can order the story right here.

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Some site updates, plus a new comic!

First off, I've added some overdue updates: covers and Amazon links are up in "My Writing," and new illustrations are up in "Illustrations."

More importantly, I've also added a new comic, "Life With Alice and Marisa," a set of 8 comic strips featuring characters from a couple of my previous stories. You can click the link there or click on the image below. For some reason, the idea of having these girls say the dialogue from the first-ever Garfield strip gave me the giggles.



Monday, June 14, 2021

One Giveaway, One Countdown Deal, Coming Up

Only one giveaway today, of "In-Flight Encounter." I would have scheduled my latest story, but I, um, kind of forgot until late last night. So that'll be next week. 


However, I'm also doing a new Countdown Deal this week. "Advanced Color Theory" is only $0.99 until Thursday, then $1.99 through next Monday!



Friday, June 11, 2021

New Release: "Life's Other Plans"

 This week's new addition to Quick Fiction is a slice-of-life story called "Life's Other Plans."

It's his day off, and Glenn just wants to stay home and paint a picture. But between friends calling him out to lunch, work calling him in for overtime, and his sister having him look after her kids, will he be able to get it done?

This time, for the cover, I used a painting by my late grandfather, Rufus S. Morgan, that I have on my wall. It's also the basis for the painting Glenn is trying to finish in the story. You can find more of Dr. Morgan's artwork at the link. 

Thank you for reading!

Monday, June 07, 2021

New Story Plus New Giveaway!

First off, "The Winding Worm of Wind" went live on Saturday, so don't worry, this is all still weekly. And it's also part of my latest giveaway: free today (6/7) and tomorrow (6/8)!

Rhonda and her daughter Leslie are huddled in the basement during a storm when they discover they're not alone. A bizarre giant worm has burrowed in, and is trying to call a tornado to the house so it can hitch a ride to the sky. It's up to Rhonda to protect her daughter—and possibly the entire human race—from this creature.

 The other stories are "Inappropriate Content" (free 6/7 and 6/8) and "First Defusion" (free 6/7 only):


Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

New Countdown Deal: "Same Faces"

 The giveaway is over, but now I have a discount to share!


"Same Faces" will be $0.99 for a few days, then $1.99 for a few days after that, before returning to normal price next Monday. Go check it out!

Monday, May 31, 2021

New Release: "The Souvenir," plus latest giveaway!

 Sorry for the delay; the story was released on time on Friday, I just haven't had a chance to get the link posted:

When an explosion on the tracks forces his train to stop and evacuate, Nelson Reed decides to take a piece of debris with him on the way out. But the scraps at the crash site have begun to reassemble themselves, and Nelson realizes his piece wants to join them. And if he doesn't return it to the crash site, the piece is going to make him.

"The Souvenir" is also part of my latest giveaway! It's free 5/31 and 6/1, along with:



  (Free 5/31 only)
 

Monday, May 24, 2021

Belated New Release Announcement, Plus Giveaway!

I just started a new job, so I haven't had time for a proper announcement, but "Mausoleum" is the latest addition to my Quick Fiction series! And it's one of the stories in this week's giveaway!


Trapped inside a mausoleum by a pair of neighborhood bullies, left with only a flashlight, Marty and his little brother Phillip butt heads over how to get out while dealing with the terror of being surrounded by dead bodies.

The giveaway also includes "The Door Up There" and "Escape to Sanctuary."


 

 

Monday, May 17, 2021

New Giveway, and of all things, a comic!

 So first, this week's giveaway covers "The Emperor" and "Stormbolt Turns It Around."

"The Emperor" is free today only:


 And "Stormbolt" is free today and tomorrow:

And finally, I've made a comic! I originally wrote it a couple years ago, never intending to do anything with it. Then last fall while working from home I drew it as a 16-page comic. Then over the last few weeks I retouched it, toned it, and lettered it. And now here's "Sick Day"!

I've also added a link from my Artwork page.

Thank you for reading!


Friday, May 14, 2021

New Release: "Across the Street From What"

I was originally going to publish something else this week, but I was behind on the illustration, and this one happened to open up. It's a science fiction story called "Across the Street From What."

On a dare, Jack and Oscar sneak across the street to a house that's been under construction far too long, and with far too many scientists and guys in hazmat suits involved. Inside they find a structure twisted in on itself, with rooms and hallways leading where they couldn't possibly go. Can they find a way out while avoiding the mysterious man in the gas mask patrolling the site?

 You can order it on Amazon here. And of course, a paperback version should be ready later today!

*UPDATE*

I've also finally set up a fanart section. So far, I've got drawings of the monsters from the NES Final Fantasy, but more is to come.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Latest Giveaway: "In-Flight Encounter" and "Blackout at Irene's!"

 On one hand, a meeting with an old (and regretted) teacher during a bout of airsickness:


 

On the other, three sisters running their parents' diner when a blackout hits:

If you order these stories, be sure to leave a review! And if you really like them and want to help out a little further, just click that "Support Me" button in the corner to donate!

Thank you for reading!

Friday, May 07, 2021

New Release: "In-Flight Encounter" now available!

The flight is bumpy, and Peter is sick to his stomach, when his ninth grade algebra teacher Mr. Glick turns up wanting to talk about old times. But Peter's once-fond memories of Mr. Glick are now tainted by betrayal. Mr. Glick wants closure before it's too late, but is Peter ready to give it?

Order now on Amazon!

 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

New Short Story, "Inappropriate Content" is Now Available!

 

Eric's comic book store has a problem. A strange pair of tricksters have somehow inserted themselves into several of the comics, as if they were penciled and inked there in the first place. First Eric has to figure out how many of his books now feature their antics. Then he has to figure out how to stop them. Will he still have a store when this is through?

Click here to order!

The paperback is also on its way shortly!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Two Giveaways and a Discount

First off, I'm doing a Countdown Deal on my short story "Marisa at the Beach." It's only $0.99 now, then will increment up to $1.99 in a couple of days, before going back to its original price. So for less than the cost of a convenience store bottle of Coke, you can get an original short story about robots!


In addition, "The Fortuna Givers' Festival" and "This Wasn't Part of the Lease" are free today and tomorrow!


All three books are also available in short paperbacks, if that's more your taste. And if you get one of the free stories and want to show some support, you can order any of the other books in my Quick Fiction series, or come back here and click on the "Support Me" button in the corner!

Thank you for reading!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Now Available: The Fortuna Givers' Festival

 

Mount Me has erupted, choking the town of Fortuna in smoke. Harold Garland and his wife are about to move out when Harold is chosen by lottery to present an offering to an ancient beast that's believed to live inside the mountain. He's given no choice, but if this creature is real, will Harold make it home in one piece?

For this one, I'm trying something of an experiment: I also whipped together a paperback version, so if ebooks aren't your style, you can still order this story in print!

"The Fortuna Givers' Festival" is available here!

Monday, April 19, 2021

This Week's Giveaway: A Door in the Sky, and a Monster Chase through the Streets

Escape to Sanctuary and The Door Up There are free today and tomorrow, and Same Faces will be free tomorrow only! Go give them a look, and if you want to chip in and help me out a little, check out the rest of my Quick Fiction series, or just click "Support Me" down in the corner of this page!




Saturday, April 17, 2021

New (Old) Story Now Available!

Allergic to Astroturf

Dara adores her new pet, a strange critter from outer space. But her friend Keli can't stand him, and starts claiming to be allergic to him. Will Dara have to choose between her friend and her alien?

This is actually an old story I've published before. I had it on Kindle for a while, then included it here on the website and in my collection, Unheard Of. I decided I needed something of a break this week--I've been preoccupied with drawing--so I decided to make it part of the Quick Fiction series as well. As such, I'm (possibly temporarily) taking it off this website, except for a preview.

And since it's already available in other venues via Smashwords, I sadly won't be able to do any giveaways for this one.

The cover is actually the same artwork as before, just recolored. And it actually went up on Amazon yesterday, but I wanted to change the background color before I started promoting it. Naturally I'll be adding the cover art to the gallery.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Today's latest giveaway: A blackout, a supervillain, and a man in a mask.

"Blackout at Irene's" and "The Emperor" are free today (4/12) and tomorrow (4/13), while "Stormbolt Turns It Around" is free today only! Just follow the links below, and if you want to show any further support, you can check out the rest of my Quick Fiction series, or click the "Support Me" button down in the corner!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Updated Cover For One Story, Updated Price for Another

I made a few tweaks to some of the Quick Fiction stories.

First, as of now, the first story in the series, "A Meeting of Minds," is now only $0.99—permanently!

Second, I've modified the cover art for "The Emperor." Amazon doesn't seem to have quite pushed it through just yet, but here it is right here:

Thank you for reading!

Friday, April 09, 2021

"Escape to Sanctuary" now available!

Monsters roam outside Pearl's apartment, but she's through letting them keep her prisoner. Accepting an invitation to meet up with her brother, she slips out and leads the monsters in a chase through town. The journey is perilous, but Pearl knows if she finds her brother, only then will she be safe.

"Escape to Sanctuary" is available only on Amazon Kindle for $2.99, and once again, Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read for free! I'll also be adding the cover art to the gallery shortly. Just click here to buy!