COVER REVEAL: The Beacon

Production is in the final stages of my first-ever self-published endeavor, a pair of Christmas-themed short stories. One story is Blue Christmas, a paranormal thriller in the tradition of A Christmas Carol, and discussed in detail here.

Beacon Cover WebThe other story is a science fiction comedy presented in its play manuscript form; a Christian faith story with a cover that makes this aspect clear, so no potential buyer is blindsided. So without further ado, check out this awesome “Christmas Card with a Spaceship” front cover by Ash Arceneaux! Ash is the cover artist of the original edition of Haunting Blue (long out of print after I yanked the rights back from that disreputable-entity-whose-name-I-do-not- speak-and-not-JUST-because-its-name-is-literally-a-mild-curse-word-though-that-doesn’t-help.). Ash also created the slides for the very ambitious Haunting Blue Book Trailer. Ash is an amazing artist and talent (and truly a good friend). I’m thrilled to have her work represented in my titles once again. Link to the current edition of Haunting Blue.

“The Beacon” follows the three-person crew of the United Galaxy Corps Scoutship Starprobe: brave but hotheaded Captain Remmer, the logical but clueless cyborg engineer Gault, and the frequently panicky pilot Lanson. The ship arrives in orbit around planet Earth to investigate why a bright glowing star-like beacon has lit up the planet’s skyline.

Their ship barely has time to scan the horizon before they’re attacked by a renegade space pirate. Their incompetent captor, Ted the Merciless (because it sounds better than Theodore the Merciless), hoped to steal the treasure that the beacon represents, only to find he’s attacked the Starprobe way too soon. Can this group of misfits find a way to work together long enough to solve the mystery and message of…The Beacon? (Spoiler: It’s baby Jesus).
Continue reading

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RJ at Imaginarium this Weekend

MainPromoBanner-1_FacebookPageThis weekend I’ll be wandering the panels, parties, and workshops of the Fifth Annual Imaginarium Convention at Louisville , KY! What makes this year different from previous years is a lack of a vendor table base of operations. My  books will be available at the Seventh Star Press table and I’ll check in frequently, but I’m using this weekend to network and learn, so just keeping it real, finding me may be a bit tricky if you are shopping for books and doing little else. Continue reading

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COVER REVEAL: Blue Christmas

I’m super-excited to reveal Cover One to the first-ever DarkWhimsy Books release. The book will be presented in a retro-innovative binding I’m calling DoubleFront. The method of laying out the two stories offset 180% means that this collection of two Holiday stories “Blue/Christmas / The Beacon” will have two front covers (print version only). If you have ever seen the classic science fiction paperbacks Ace Doubles, you’ll get it. If not, you’ll just have to check it out in person. It’s cool. So enough about that, here’s the cover!!

Bluer Christmas final lowrezCover One is for “Blue Christmas,” created by awesome 3D rendering artist and long-time marketing collaborator Nell Williams. The story features my paranormal thriller series protags Blue Shaefer and Rebecca Burton. The story originally appeared in the SFG Publishing holiday collection Gifts of the Magi.

Blue and Chip are enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve-ning together when the mysterious paranormal investigator Rebecca Burton knocks on their door… holding a peace offering. Blue and Rebecca had last parted ways furious with each other.

On the other hand, Rebecca had saved Blue’s life. Blue decides to hear her out–and hopes she won’t regret it.

Coming soon: the reveal of Cover Two for “The Beacon: An SF Comedy Play in Two Acts.” The cover is currently being created by RJ’s long-time awesome artist collaborator Ash Arceneaux.

Blue Christmas / The Beacon, a DoubleFront Holiday Book will be the first release of R.J. Sullivan’s indie press label DarkWhimsy Books. The mini-read will be available in plenty of time for Christmas. Watch this space for more announcements!

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RJ’s Obsession (Recreated)

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Cyndi and RJ partying like it’s 1999–because it was.

RJ’s Obsession
(Or, seriously, what’s with the constant Cyndi Lauper posts?)

This blog was originally written and posted in 2012 on the awesome Kriss Morton blog Cabin Goddess as part of my Haunting Obsession Book Tour. Through the years, sharing the link to that article would be my go-to answer  to anyone who’d ask me about my “Cyndi Lauper Story.” Sadly, Kriss took down Cabin Goddess and has no plans at this time to bring it back. That article is re-posted here (lacking her graphic awesomeness) with her permission. Tweaks have been made to update links and information.

Since Haunting Obsession features a thinly veiled homage to Marilyn Monroe, and is the story of someone who takes his fandom way too far, it’s easy to assume I’m an over-the-top fan of Monroe. And yes, I do fixate on many things Marilyn. But she is not the person I am most obsessed about.

I also love pop music of all eras. But I am a child of the 80s. I was in the tenth grade in 1983, a couple years after M-TV debuted, so the woman who stands above everyone else in my pop music universe is Cyndi Lauper.

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1997, my first backstage visit. Mrs RJ, me, Cyndi, and my local Cyndi buddy Michelle.

Yes, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, She-Bop, Money Changes Everything, and the most awesome ballad of all time Time after Time. [Edit: I considered linking each song, but come on, kids, Google them. I can’t do EVERYTHING for you.] THAT Cyndi Lauper. Her rendition of Unchained Melody performed live in 2003 in a small Chicago dinner theater is the only time this six-foot four inch man ever swooned. Were I not already sitting down, it could have been embarrassing.

I see you. Yes, you. Hovering your pointer on the back-button, ready to bail out of this post. I know what you are thinking. I will say it for you. Cyndi Lauper. What a kook. RJ’s hopelessly stuck in the 80s. Isn’t she just for girls? See, I’m psychic that way.

I remember in 1983 the first time I heard Girls Just Want to Have Fun. My exact thoughts: “Wow, fun song, too bad it will never catch on.”

Hmmm. . . so much for my psychic powers. Continue reading

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InConJunction and RJ’s Cupcake Giveaway

19601594_1588902567786667_8753918644092991283_n.jpgWow, it’s been a busy few months, and it’s been a long time since I’ve checked in. Business writing has been taking off, I ‘m outlining a new book series I’m very excited about, and many other things are taking shape. In the meantime, I’ve had some wonderful events, including Comic Con Indy, which ended up being my most successful weekend as a book vendor to date!

A couple milestones have already hit since the start of 2018. I’ve celebrated 25 years of marriage to Mrs RJ, and our oldest child graduated high school with academic honors and was pre-accepted into the school of her choice, proving I married smart and well. 🙂

But I’m not here to tell you all that. Because before I knew it, here we are with InConJunction 38, one of my very favorite cons, just on the horizon, specifically July 6-8 on the east side of Indianapolis.
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InConJunction 38: July 6-8, Marriott East Indianapolis, Click this link for details and to register

Speaking of milestones, July 6 is not only my birthday, but this Friday, July 6 at InConJunction, marks my 50th birthday, so I’ve decided to celebrate the day with a 50 cupcake giveaway at the convention starting at 8 pm! (And likely wrapping up about 10 minutes later or I don’t know my SF geeks).

That’s right, If you are a guest of InConJunction, or if you are not a guest but you are near the hotel, you can find me in the Reagan-Kennedy conference room by the restaurant, where, at 8 pm sharp, I’ll begin giving out cupcakes. You don’t need to be a badge to come in and get a cupcake!

81fBP6ORydL._SX425_Cupcakes will come in varieties of chocolate, vanilla and swirl. The provider of the cupcakes wishes to remain anonymous, so I can’t tell you they are made by the Mysterious Cupcake Fairies Who Make Deliciously Awesome Cupcakes.

Ah, dang it, that slipped out.

But seriously, the cupcakes are gonna TASTE AWESOME.

Click here to see the Facebook event page created for the cupcake giveaway.

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Special occasion bookmarks as shown above will also be given away all weekend (thanks to Paul Uhls and BNC Graphics).

Do you know another place where you don’t need a badge at Inconjunction? The vendor’s room, open all weekend long. I’ll be at the SFG Table all weekend long with awesome authors: John F Allen, R.S. Craig, E. Chris Garrison, and Peter Okeafor. And the room will be filled with many many more incredible authors and vendors of toys, games, jewelry art, and other awesome oddities, but since I’ve been putting links to names for over two hours, I need to leave it at that. Take time, shop around.

10559760_826374430706155_4917441266674967879_nMy books will be sold competitive to Amazon or buying directly from me. Autographs are as always totally free and worth every penny you pay.

Haunting Blue: $15. Haunting Obsession $12. Virtual Blue $15. Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy $12. Commanding the Red Lotus $12.

You do need a badge to attend the panels. My panel schedule this year:

Friday

3 PM Star Trek TOS: The Worst of the Worst
Indianapolis Ballroom A-B.  With: Beckie Margedant

5 PM From Manuscript to Convention – Becoming a Published Author
Main Programming. With: Bryan Donihue, Barbara Doran, T. Lee Harris, JM Lee, R.J. Sullivan, JW Troemner

8 PM: R.J. 50th Birthday Cupcake Giveaway
Reagan-Kennedy Conference Room (no badge required)

Saturday
Noon Frankenstein at 200
Indianapolis Ballroom C With: Matthew Barron

6:30 PM Independent Author 101 – Making Conventions Worth It
Indianapolis Ballroom A-B With: Marian Allen, Bryan Donihue, Rob Howell, JW Troemner

So let’s face it, you might as well get a badge and stay the weekend.

chrissygarrisonAnother exciting personal note that affects our table, my friend and awesome author E. Chris Garrison is renewing her vows with her wife Amy on Saturday, so our booth will probably close late afternoon.

Finally, I’m excited for this year for so many reasons listed above, but also because for the first time ever, my entire immediate family will be able to attend. So come on out, it’s going to be a blast. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!

And watch out for Bird Woman. 😉

InConJunction Photo albums:
2017, 2016, 2015, 2014,

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NEW INTERVIEW With Carl R. Moore

376743_10151060948417591_639062236_nNew Seventh Star Superstar Carl R. Moore wrote this spiffy new review of Haunting Obsession and asked me a few questions about it. I was pleased and honored at the kind words and the attention Maxine continues to draw after all this time. Check it out.  Carl’s article follows:

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I’m very excited to announce my new review series, Review-Interview, a combination of a book review and short interview with the book’s author. It is in part a continuation of my blog’s original “Is that an Old Book?” review series. Adding a dialogue with the author brings in an exciting new element. The first featured book is Haunting Obsession, and the interview is with its author R.J. Sullivan. Without further ado, please enjoy the first installment of Review-Interview, brought to you by Carl R. Moore and Seventh Star Press:

Carl Moore

RJ and Carl at Imaginarium last month.

A gifted young computer programmer has a passion for collecting movies and memorabilia featuring his hallowed idol—the elegant and alluring Maxine Marie. His colleague and girlfriend, Loretta, tolerates his obsession, but only to a point. When Daryl pays a high price for an old rent check signed by the famous actress, not only does he push his hobby and his girlfriend too far, he also summons an entity that is beautiful and dangerous, electric and evil, arousing and voracious—the ghost made flesh of Maxine Marie herself.

In Haunting Obsession, author R.J. Sullivan crafts a novella about a supernatural love triangle that draws its power primarily from its well-wrought characters. Flawed, somewhat geeky heroes likeable for their brains and sense of humor, protagonists Daryl and Loretta come across as a couple you might know and root for. You can see the attraction between them, Loretta’s affinity for the “mind behind the Star Trek posters”, as it were, and Daryl’s understanding that the woman he loves has the right combination of brains and easy-going tolerant spirit to be long-term material.

Read the rest of the article here.

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