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.
The 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).
I wrote “The Beacon” over the summer of 2017. The play was performed once on December 17, 2017, by my local church’s teen group (and some adults) as part of their annual talent show. The story is dedicated to Jennifer Perkoski, who directed the production and about whom I have lots of gushing things to say in the book itself, but that really would be spoilers.
Along with the full script, this edition collects oodles of notes and behind-the-scenes stories and rehearsal add-ons. This is the first time the story has been in print. I’m excited to include “The Beacon” as part of my first-ever DarkWhimsy Books release!
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. The print version will offer a unique (yet throwback) reading experience of a book with two stories and two “front covers” by offsetting the stories 180 degrees. (If you can’t picture that, trust me, it’s cool!)
Watch this space for more announcements!