Sunday, September 24, 2023

A Week in Writing #475 - Never Too Late for a Rejection

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing.

A few weeks back, due to the lack of reception, I decided to stop querying Broken People. The fact that I stopped doesn't mean the rejections would stop. I received this on Wednesday morning:

Thanks so much for letting me review your query. Unfortunately, your project isn’t the right fit for me. Since it's crucial that you find an agent who will represent you to the best of his or her ability, I'm going to step aside rather than ask to read more.  

Each query I read, I do so with my own list, preferences, and skills in mind. I encourage you to continue writing, editing, and looking for an agent whose tastes and interests align with yours.  

I’m happy to look at any future projects, so please query me again if you have new projects.

When I submitted my query on June 6, the agent's lead time was 6 to 8 weeks. I guess this points out that those timeframes are more guides than rule. And, you never know, I might even hear later from one of the agents I've given up on. Hopefully, if I do, it will be better news than this. So never give up hope.

Turning to more positive things, my rewriting of Getting Even continues and I'll think I'll be done this week with it. It still feels like the weakest of the books, a lot of moving parts but at this point, still necessry for the overall story. Next up will be Paperback Detective, a book I haven't looked at for five years, but I think still needs one more go through.

That will, of course, take second place this week to needing to get the next issue of The Hound Dogs' Howl ready for next Sunday. These weeks fly by and a pretty brisk pace. Time will be a little tighter this week with a couple of birthdays this week, mine on Monday and Paul's and Trevor's on Thursday. As much as I enjoy writing, there are some things that take precedent.

We had our 10th Comic Book Club podcast on Friday with Rachel Wells returning and joining in with Julia Canon, Jen Moreno and the Hankins to discuss Frieren: Beyond Journey's End, written by Kanehito Yamada and illustrated by Tsukasa Abe. As always you can listen to it now or watch it on Wednesday when it drops on our YouTube channel; 2:30 PT.

Making some progress on Issue #25, "Yuki-Onna". The hope is to be through page 16 by the end of the month. When we're done with that issue, I'm thinking of us doing The Great Escape, another one-off, which is sort of a continuation of Mocha and Raven. But that's getting too far ahead.

Trophy Unlocked is celebrating Batman Month, so my review of Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

was the Saturday morning review. On Sunday, Trevor's review of Elemental went up since it's a somewhat current title. Trevor's review of Stay Tuned went up on Thursday, which sort of took me by surprise. Apparently it was to celebrate Chuck Jones' birthday, who did some animation work on the film.

We're also working towards October and our annual salute to horror. Since I had the idea of watching it, I wrote a review of DrĂ¡cula, aka the Spanish-language Dracula, that was made at the same time as the more famous Tod Browning film, starring Bela Lugosi. I'm pretty sure that will go up next month, I just don't know which date.

I'm also working on a review of I Cover the Waterfront for sometime later. I would say "stay tuned", but that's already been used.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you again next week.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

A Week in Writing #474 - Already Feeling the Effects

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing.

So, we're already two weeks into the football season, and I'm aleady feeling the effects. As much as I love watching my team play, it's three-hours that I really can't write, so therefore lose. I know that writing is about making choices but this one, while fun, does hurt the output. So, there are only so many weeks to go and I'll have to figure out better ways of balancing.

Spending most of my time this past week on a couple of projects: re-reading and editing Getting Even and working on editing the pilot script. Of the two, most of the time has been spend with the former. I usually get about two hours a night so I have to make decisions where to spend that time. I'm enjoying going through the book. Of the three I'm working on, this might be the weakest of the three, but I'm still liking the idea of making the three books line up better so that the last two I've worked on will flow better.

There's another one that I'm going to also work on next, Paperback Detective. This one also includes Leanne as a character and I think, from memory, that it happens between Getting Even and The Runaway. Even though I query the book as stand alone with series potential, there's nothing wrong with getting the series in order and the four books: Public and Private; Getting Even: Paperback Detective; and The Runaway have elements that would build on each other.

As far as the pilot script, I'm still working through that but have been spending less time on it, at least, this past week.

On the subject of Powers Squared, I would say we're having some production bumps. Work is being done but sometimes there are edits which seem to be taking longer than I'd like to get made. I'm still hopeful that we'll get through Issue #25 this year, but this will be the first year when we've only produced two issues.

Issue #25, "Yuki-Onna"was the subject of our latest OAPS podcast, more of like a preview of the issue, which Paul wrote. It's a companion to one that Trevor wrote, "Gashadokuro", which was Issue #24. The stories take place at the same time with Marty ("Yuki-Onna") and Eli ("Gashadokuro") each fighting their own battles. You can listen to it here or watch it on Wednesday on our YouTube channel.

On Trophy Unlocked, my review of Batman: The Movie was the Saturday Morning Review. It was Batman Day, and it's Batman Month on the blog. I started working on a new review of Ruggles of Red Gap, so that will be something else I'll work on this week, too.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

A Week in Writing #473 - More Re-reading/Editing

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing.

Well, I'm still in rewrite mode. I've finished with Public and Private and The Runaway and am working on Getting Even, which actually comes between them. If you read this post last week, you might remember that the stories involve a private investigator J.D. Barrister, who, like yours truly, is from Texas. While he's working cases, he also has to deal with relationships. His longest had been with Debbie Estevez, a LAPD Robbery-Homicide Detective and his most recent has been with Leanne Wilson. It is in this book that he starts a relationship with Leanne. It's his relationship with Debbie that also changes as she gets engaged.

I'll report back next week when I get through it. I still need to get back to Skylar and the new story.

No new queries this week. I think I'm done trying to query Broken People, as that effort seemed to be a no-go. I think I'll regroup and try Public and Private again, avoiding agents I've already queried about it.

We dropped a new issue of Powers Squared this past week, our 18th, "Mocha and Raven, Part 3". I've already started looking toward our 19th, which comes out on December 6. This one, "Kamaitachi", was written mostly by Paul. I just dropped the first related peek-of-the-week with more to follow.

Work has started on Issue #25 this month. This issue, "Yuki-Onna" was written by Paul and is a companion to one written by Trevor, #24 "Gashadokuro". There are some tweaks still to be done, but #24 seems to be ready art-wise.

This past Friday, Paul and I did sort of a wrap on the Summer, discussing what had happened during the past three months, including two issues, San Diego Comic-Con, our podcast and Metallica. You can listen to it here and/or watch it here on Wednesday after 2:30 pm PT when it goes up on YouTube.

It's been a busy week on Trophy Unlocked. The latest post is a review of Gran Turismo written by Trevor. This was a film we finally managed to see on Saturday and the review went up on Sunday. Saturday's review was my review of Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, part of Batman Month. To that end, I reviewed Batman: The Movie from 1966, which is going up next Saturday. I also wrote a review of Isle of Missing Men (1942), which was part of drain the DVR Saturday.

Well, that about does it for me this week. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

A Week in Writing #472 - Reliving the Past

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing.

After last week's scare, I've been spending time this past week looking back at some of the books I've written. I started with Public and Private for some reason; I'm not sure why, but I've enjoyed reading and editing it anew. As I had mentioned in last week's post, the stories follow a private detective, J.D. Barrister, and his relationships at the time.

He is hired by an agent to retrieve some incriminating photos of an up-and-coming actress, Cassandra Leonard, whose Oscar chances might be thwarted if the photos are released. Cassandra, who knows the blackmailer, Ritchie Fisher, insists on going with J.D. when he tries to make contact. But when they get to his last known address, they find a murder victim, who is not Fisher. After sending Cassandra away with his gun, J.D. calls his ex-, Debbie Estevez, who is a Robbery-Homicide Detective with the LAPD. When J.D. is considered a possible suspect, Debbie has him go with him on a stakeout of Fisher's last known address before sleeping with him, even though she's engaged to Enrique Sepulveda, a defemse attorney.

J.D. also has a romantic liaison with Cassandra when she invites him to a Christmas Eve party she's throwing. When everyone else leaves, she insists that he stay the night with her. That is also the night that Fisher himself is murdered. And while they supply each other with an alibi, she is still considered a person of interest. Also, when it's discovered that her agent, who is on a sky-holiday with his family in Utah, made a quick trip back to L.A. on Christmas Eve, he becomes a suspect, too.

I'm giving the story in very broadstrokes, but I really enjoyed reading it, and I won't tell you who the actual killer is, that would be giving away too much.

Later in the week, I began a similar read/edit of the book I thought I had lost, The Runaway. This one comes after Public and Private, with another book in between, Getting Even. In that one Leanne, J.D.'s current lover, is introduced. (She ultimately become his wife in the new story I started but that's fodder for a later day). I think I'm going to be spending time over the next week or so doing more of this. Then it's on to finish Skylar and get back to the new story.

The new issue of Powers Squared drops on Wednesday, September 6, so just around the corner. This will be issue #18, "Mocha and Raven, Part 3". I sent out several press releases, but I'm only aware that it appeared on First Comics News, who have been very fair to us. The issue is the culmination of a three issue story arc and we discuss it on out latest On the Air with Powers Squared podcast with everyone involved in the issue on the show, including artist Rachel Wells, colorist Julia Canon and letterer Trevor Hankins on the show. You can listen to it here, or watch it on Wednesday when it drops on YouTube.

Of course, you could also buy the issue when it drops. The links will be added throughout the day on Wednesday when they become available, but they will be on The Campus Store on the website; "Where the Hound Dogs Shop."

As always, would appreciate it if you would sign up for the newsletter.

This is Batman Month on Trophy Unlocked. This got its official kick-off on Saturday with Batman: Mask of the Phantasm written by Trevor. I'm currently working on a review for Gotham by Gaslight, which will appear this month. I'm also working on one for We're in the Money (1935). I hope to get them done tomorrow.

I still need to get back to the Pilot script, you know, with my free time.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.