Friday, March 30, 2012

An Announcement of the Worst Kind

I've spent the better part of two days trying to figure out the best way to write this post. This isn't news I imagined ever having to break to my readers, but like ripping off a Band-aid, sometimes you just have to say it.

There will be no more Dreg City books.

As much as I want to qualify that statement with "for now" or "in the near future," I don't want to impress false hope when I cannot make those guarantees. What I know is this: Bantam has opted to not buy any more Dreg City books due to the sales numbers of the first four books.

Basically, the series isn't selling. Despite being reviewed well and despite you amazing, wonderfully loyal fans, the sales numbers just aren't there. This certainly drives home the point that no matter how artistic you may think writing is, publishing is still a business.

As Michael Corleone once said, "It's not personal, Tom. It's strictly business."

Intellectually, I know it isn't personal. Emotionally, though, it feels like I've failed somehow. I was raised with a "do the job you're given and do it to the best of your ability" work ethic. I did everything I was supposed to do as an author (wrote a good book, promoted it, interacted with social media) and I fulfilled my contracts--but it wasn't enough. I don't know what I could have done differently, or if the series was just too dark, too different from the start. I just don't know. But it doesn't stop me from feeling like I failed.

Worst of all, I feel like I failed you guys--my readers. While WRONG SIDE OF DEAD does not end at a cliffhanger, there are promises of things to come and stories yet untold. I adore writing for Evy, Wyatt, Phineas, Kismet, Milo, and the others. I adore playing in Dreg City. And I adore interacting with you guys.

As I said above, I can't promise anything right now.

Do I know where Evy's story is going? Yes.

Do I know how many more books it will take? Yes.

Do I know if/when/how they'll be written/made available? No.

This is my job, so right now I have to focus on other advance-paying projects. I have something new in the works (folks who follow me on Twitter have probably seen me using the #SekritProject hashtag recently). I still have CHANGELING releasing in June, and I have two new MetaWars stories releasing digitally next year. As much as saying good-bye to Evy & Company hurts right now, hopefully it's just temporary.

I'm going to close by asking a favor of you guys: if you've read and enjoyed the Dreg City books, tell someone else. Tell a friend or a neighbor, or a fellow book blogger, or the lady on your commuter train whose nose is always in her Kindle. Post reviews on Amazon and Post reviews on Goodreads. If your local library doesn't have it, ask them to stock it--or better, donate a copy, as many libraries work on very tight budgets.

And even if superheroes aren't your thing, give TRANCE a try. It's more urban fantasy than you might think.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Changeling


With CHANGELING (MetaWars #2) releasing in just under three months, I thought a snippet was in order. The scene below is taken from Chapter Two. Dahlia, Teresa, and Ethan have responded to a call from the city police regarding...well, a "dead body."

You'll see.



Trance approached the scene with confidence in her stride. Tempest and I flanked her, creating a perfect triangle. My palms were sweaty and not from the day's heat. I schooled my face into the perfect picture of calm as we approached. The wall of human bodies parted, and I gazed down at my first murder victim.

And almost lost my breakfast.

It wasn't a body as much as it was a body's case. Skin, hair and nails, in the perfect replica of a human being. The pink and tan body looked like an inflatable doll that had gone flat, but it wasn't plastic. The details were too perfect, from the lines around the empty eyes to the warts on the tops of the man's feet. There was no blood, no gore, no sign of the eyeballs or anything else that wasn't external.

A human slipcover.

"Oh boy," I muttered.

"You okay?" Tempest asked, a little pale himself. His good hand squeezed my shoulder.

I tore my eyes away from the graphic—yet oddly, not gory—sight. "Yeah, I think so. Wh-what could do that to a person?"

"That's why we called in you people," Detective Forney said. She wore shockingly red lipstick and matching nail polish. A scar ran the length of her left cheek, from ear to chin, thin as a pencil line, but noticeable in the bright daylight. Heavy makeup covered her face, thickest under her eyes and cross the bridge of her nose, which seemed slightly swollen.

"You people?" Trance said, shoulders tensing.

"Yes, you guys, you people," she said. "Christ, don't be so touchy. We're doing you a favor by bringing you into this case."

Trance squared off with the mouthy detective. "Funny, I assumed you brought us in because you don't have a clue what did this, or why, or how you'd fight it if you met it in a dark alley. Am I anywhere close, Detective Forney?"

Forney sneered. Detective Pascal placed a warning hand on his partner's shoulder. A good six inches taller than her, he was an intimidating presence, and she backed off. Her hand brushed mine as she swept past and stalked down the alley to the street.

"She's not very good with people," Pascal said. "That's why she works Homicide. Gets along great with dead bodies."

Tempest snickered.

Trance crouched over the skin. "I take it your Forensic team will inform us of anything they find? Any indication of how the skin was removed and why."

"Of course," Pascal said. "Forney might not like you, but this is far beyond our abilities to solve alone. Maybe if there was some sign that the skin had been cut, some evidence of a knife or scraping tool, but there isn't. Everything that was inside of the skin is just…gone."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Audio Books

I've received several email queries recently from folks asking if there will be an audio version of WRONG SIDE OF DEAD, so I thought I should do a quick post on the topic.

Tantor bought rights to do audio versions of only the first three Dreg City books, all of which are available right now. They did not buy rights to WRONG SIDE OF DEAD. I would love for fans of the audio books to have the chance to hear the fourth book, but unfortunately that's not up to me. Just like the future of the print books depends on sales, so does the future of the audio versions.

Someone asked what you could do to let Tantor know you want WSOD in audio. The best, easiest step (if you haven't already) is to purchase the audio books of the first three. If you borrowed them from the library, then write to another local library and suggest they also stock the books. Recommend them to a friend (or two or twenty). Review them online. Help get the word out so others can find them, too.

You can also drop Tantor an email and let them know directly that you're interested. Tell them you want the fourth Dreg City book in audio format! Xe Sands has already told me she'd be on board for it, if the deal ever happens and I'd love to give a talented performer more work.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Evy Needs Your Help!

So the Suvudu Cage Match has begun, and Evy's up against The Fool in round one. Someone at Suvudu seems to think that Evy will be susceptible to the charms of this fellow (or his friend, I'm not sure which). But if they think a pretty face will fool Evy into losing, then They Don't Know Evy! She is smarter than that, and she's never been one to be led around by her hormones.

Evy needs your votes! Head on over and vote for her to win!