Wish I Could Be Part of Your World

The larger world shared by E. Chris Garrison and R.J. Sullivan (they even co-wrote this blog post)

E. Chris Garrison and R.J. Sullivan: two great tastes that taste great…

*screeeech*

Let’s start over.

chris-rj-for-blog
E. Chris Garrison takes a selfie and RJ crashes it.

Chris and R.J. met at an author’s retreat in 2011. At the time, Chris had released her first editions of the Road Ghosts Trilogy and Blue Spirit, and RJ had released the first edition of Haunting Blue. Through discussion and the group readings that happen during author retreats, they found that they tend to think in similar ways on such topics as character archetypes and styles, which made them fast friends.

Chris’ skills as a brewmaster may have also had something to do with this.

dazbooks
Blue and Skye holding RARE FIRST EDITION COLLECTOR’S ITEMS!! (Not really)

Their first venture into “crossing their universes” was a character to character fictional interview blog that proved a lot of fun. Eventually, they decided that using each other’s characters and settings in a shared universe made sense dramatically in certain instances. Over time, they found that telling tales that affected a larger world  also made for a fun marketing ploy to coax sales. They drafted a simple agreement between themselves to work it out, and they have been trading characters and building upon a shared universe ever since.

Having set the stage, let’s look at how Restless Spirit, Chris’ latest release and the reason you’re here,  is part of that world.

sinkingdown_web-smallerSinking Down by Eric Garrison

This second book in Garrison’s Road Ghosts Trilogy (written under a previous byline) marks the debut of Skye MacLeod, a cheerfully drunken gamer girl involved in a vampire live-action roleplaying game. The main cast encounters her as they attempt to save a poor little lost tween ghoul from a greedy opportunist who’s in league with a demon. Skye literally stumbles into trouble as she is possessed by the demon and forced to do its bidding. While this possession is temporary, Skye’s life and destiny are changed forever.

When the Trilogy ended, Garrison wanted to do something different. Skye was the first character she thought of to star in a spin-off series.

Haunting Blue by R.J. SullivanHaunting Blue

Set in 2010, the first novel by R.J. introduces flamboyant punk girl “Blue” Shaefer, her computer savvy boyfriend “Chip” Farren, and Chip’s best friend Phil Jenson. Against the backdrop of a creepy Indiana small town with a legendary secret, Blue and Chip meet, fall in love, and try to solve that legendary secret. Their efforts end up releasing a ghost and dark hi-jinx ensue.

bluespirit_cover1200x800Blue Spirit by E. Chris Garrison

The aforementioned spin-off of Garrison’s Road Ghosts Trilogy, this first book in the Tipsy Fairy Tales features Skye telling the story from her own point of view. She tells us a tale of her misadventures as a transplanted gamer girl whose life is permeated with the supernatural fairy world only she can see. Having grown up in Chicago, Skye never needed to learn to drive, so she takes the IndyGo buses or bums rides to get everywhere she needs to go. On one such bus, on an especially bad day, Skye meets a short, scruffy, gnome-like person who calls himself the Transit King. Skye sees past his sketchy appearance and recognizes him as a fairy lord. He proceeds to offer his assistance (in return for a promised favor) that further tangles Skye in high stakes supernatural politics.

In many ways, this first encounter not only drives the rest of the Tipsy Fairy Tales and provides Skye with a mentor, but introduces the Transit King as an unlikely favorite character from this book among readers and author peers. Chris was surprised and honored when later asked by R.J. if he could “borrow” the mysterious character for his own books.

376743_10151060948417591_639062236_nHaunting Obsession by R.J. Sullivan

In this sexy ghost story, frustrated geek girl Loretta Stevens boards a bus while fuming over how rudely she’s been treated by her boyfriend. She and Daryl had come to the local mall to shop for a birthday present and possible engagement ring for her, only to watch as Daryl instead buys a piece of overpriced Hollywood memorabilia connected to the long-dead gorgeous 50’s icon Maxine Marie. Disgusted, Loretta leaves him standing in the store, and she must now rely on public transportation to get back to her car.

On the bus, as she reflects on their relationship, a strange, creepy fellow with a thick accent advises her to wait for Daryl at his apartment. “Normally, I just…get travelers to their destinations…I’m just the Transit King, after all. …Follow yer instincts, not yer pride.” Yes, this is the same Transit King who plays such an important role in Garrison’s Tipsy Fairy Tales, making his “debut” in the R.J. verse.

Loretta ignores this good advice, to her regret. She learns that her boyfriend has been ensnared by the ghost of Maxine Marie herself. Maxine, now a sort of super-specter, is strengthened by the energy generated by her millions of fans, especially Daryl. The ghost is feeding off him, and he’s fading fast. Desperate, Loretta seeks aid from Rebecca Burton, an investigator of paranormal phenomenon who wields mysterious powers. Loretta learns that Rebecca’s role as a government agent is a cover that allows her to move about freely as she prepares to play a major role in an upcoming battle with the forces of evil.

Virtual Blue by R.J. SullivanVirtual Blue Final low rez

The year is 2013, and Chip Farren and Phil Jenson are now students at I.U., roommates living off campus and ambitious game programmers. They’ve released a beta of Fantasy Free-Form, their multi-player heroic fantasy computer game. Blue travels to Bloomington over Thanksgiving weekend to sort out her complicated feelings with Chip about their relationship.

The three of them are unaware that the game has been targeted by a cult of demon worshipers who think they can use the game’s virtual environment as a focal-point to summon a demon, creating a portal from their dimensional prison in hell to the video realm and then from there into the real world. Fortunately, Rebecca Burton is already aware of the situation, and she’s employed a talented young woman to assist her–Skye McLeod. Before the night is over, Blue will nearly lose her life and her sanity, and Skye will have to find the inner strength to confront Rebecca and force her to do the right thing. Phil and Skye will also begin an unusual friendship that continues in…

restless_spirit_coverjpg1200x800Restless Spirit by E. Chris Garrison

In the following summer of 2014, Skye finds herself still underemployed and dependent on her girlfriend, Annabelle. Phil Jenson has taken the step of promoting Fantasy Free-Form at Big Con, an enormous gamer convention in Indianapolis, and has hired Skye on to use her charm to draw con-goers to try out the game. She’s delighted at her apparent good luck when Rebecca Burton calls her. Rebecca has heard rumors of supernatural activity at the convention, and she wants to hire Skye to watch out and report on anything suspicious. Trouble soon finds her, in the form of one of her gamer friends somehow amassing a zombie army, some meddling trolls, and an ancient horror lurking underneath the center of Indianapolis. She goes to visit her old mentor, The Transit King, who has become far more powerful after the events of Blue Spirit, and he gives her some cryptic direction and magical aid–with his usual price tag. Unfortunately, Skye gets pulled into the supernatural events more than any of her employers care for, and when one problem crashes into another, she feels forced to set them against each other, unleashing a type of hell into downtown Indianapolis in the process. She loses the support of Rebecca and the Transit King, and puts other relationships at risk, but Phil sticks with her to the very end, helping her make slightly more sober choices to undo what she’s done.

The story doesn’t end there. Garrison reports that Phil, Blue, and Rebecca return for the climactic third book in the Tipsy Fairy Tales series, Mean Spirit!  So stay tuned for future Garrison/Sullivan character crossover fun!
___

chrissygarrisonAbout the author: E. Chris Garrison writes fantasy and science fiction novels and short stories. She used to publish as Eric Garrison, but has since upgraded.

Her latest series is Trans-Continental, a steampunk adventure with a transgender woman as its protagonist. Chris’s supernatural fantasy stories include the Road Ghosts trilogy and the Tipsy Fairy Tales published by Seventh Star Press. These novels are humorous supernatural fantasies, dealing with ghosts, demonic possession, and sinister fairy folk.

Her novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013.

Chris lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her wife, step-daughter and cats. She also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

chrissygarrisontourbadge

 

Author Links:

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EChrisGarrison
Twitter:  @ECGarrison
Website:  https://sillyhatbooks.com/

And because my computer is being stupid and refuses to copy and paste the links, click here to see the full Tipsy Fairy Tales 2016 blog tour schedule.

Red Lotus Launches during Indy Comic Con

RL BannerWhat an exciting few days! Commanding the Red Lotus is going live on various formats as I write this. The e-books are already live on Kindle and the iTunes store. You can see the progress as I share each link as it goes live by clicking here.

The paperback will be available in a matter of days, but if you have big plans to go to Indiana Comic Con this weekend, I’ll have the first paperback copies of Commanding the Red Lotus available anywhere, which can be signed by me, along with all my books. I brought plenty, but “selection is limited.” I mean, you never know, right? And signatures are always, always free and worth every penny you pay.

indiana comic con

I’ll be sharing a booth with my authorly cohorts John F. Allen, Chris Garrison, and Frank Smith III, so there’s plenty to check out. Indiana Comic Con is at the downtown Convention Center and is easily the biggest event I’ve attended as a seller, so I’m super-psyched about this weekend! By all accounts, there will be plenty to see and do. Check out all the details at their website, and I hope to see a few of you there!

Red Lotus to Launch next Week

RL BannerI’m very excited to announce that my first novel-length science fiction novel Commanding the Red Lotus has been finalized and scheduled by Seventh Star Press to go live over various formats next week.

Cover Commanding Red Lotus
Cover art by Enggar

Money Can’t Buy Respect

Sayuri Arai, privileged daughter of a corporate mogul, abandons a promising career to find her own path. She invests in a broken-down asteroid mining ship and steps in as the commander of its crew. Every day presents a new challenge just to keep her ship from falling apart and the bitter crew from killing each other. Can Sayuri unite the feuding factions, or will her rivals turn the entire complement against her? Commanding the Red Lotus offers a classic sense of wonder for today’s science fiction readers.

While exact times on internet publications are not so precise, what usually happens is the ebooks go live first, with Amazon/Kindle taking the lead and the rest following soon after, then over the next couple of days, the paperbacks show up and are available to order. That means we may see links go live as early as Tues April 26 and everything should be up by late in the day Thurs April 28. You can check the dedicated page on my site to watch for each link to “turn on.”
RJ Color Cmmndng Red Lotus Author picWhat is not so uncertain is that the books I ordered for Indiana Comic Con at the downtown Convention Center Fri April 29-Sun May 1 will be there and on site, and I’ll have lots of copies for sale, and it’s certainly the first place you can get your hands on a signed copy of Commanding the Red Lotus. I’ll be sharing a booth with my author pals John F. Allen and Chris Garrison, and Frank Smith III. Frank created my new author photo you see here.

You can expect to see a lot more promotion on the book after the event. I’m very excited to share this book, it’s a labor of love in the genre I love best, and I hope y0u dig it, too.

Red Lotus Novel Coming into Focus

RL series bannerIt’s time for an R.J. Friday Update, meaning, I have an update and it happens to be Friday.

Commanding the Red Lotus, my first official novel-length collection into spaceship sci-fi, has a tentative target release window. Seventh Star Press is closing in on the week of April 22 to launch the ebook and paperback. It might shift a bit sooner, but it lines me up to premiere the title at Indiana Comic Con the weekend of April 30th as the first event where I’ll have copies on hand!

At the same time as the release of the novel, Seventh Star Press will re-launch a revised edition of the first novelette of the collection, Fate of the Red Lotus, as a perma-free ebook download. That means you can check out the first 12K words of Commanding the Red Lotus at no risk whatsoever. Then you can purchase the novel to continue the story after you already know you love it.

I’m super-excited about getting this book out to my readers. In the meantime, after considering the choices among my basket of ideas, I’ve picked my next project and am rolling up my sleeves to settle back into drafting mode. I’ll say more about that in the months to come.

Two TowersAnd while I’m writing, I’m also partnering with my TV and movie loving buddy John F Allen to launch the first few episodes of our YouTube program The Two Towers Talk Show. Watch for a post linking you to the first show, coming in a week or so. I’m also prepping for the start of convention season and one of my favorite annual events, the That Book Place 6th Annual Authors Fair in Madison, IN for Saturday, April 2nd.

Details on all this excitement coming soon.

InconJunction 2015 Ahead!

This upcoming weekend marks my fourth year as a local author with InConJunction, a general SF/F con with a long and distinguished history in Indianapolis, and not for nothin’, the first con SF I ever attended waaay back in 199*mumble*.

Chris Garrison and Matthew Barron
Chris Garrison and Matthew Barron
John F. Allen and Chris Garrison
John F. Allen and Chris Garrison

Go here to get all the relevant hotel and location information from the con’s dedicated website.

This will also be the second year I’ll be a vendor as part of the author co-op group Speculative Fiction Guild. My books will be alongside many of my local peers, including author besties John F. Allen and Chris Garrison, plus Matthew Barron, Katina French, Davide Jobe, and Nathan Terhune.

My panel schedule this year is light but mighty:

All of my panels are in Indianapolis Ballroom C
Friday @ 9 PM @ Writing Dialog with Matthew Barron
Saturday @9 AM Small Press Publishing and Writer’s Expectations
Saturday @ 5 PM Building Your Brand: Promoting Your Work on Social Media

Inconjiunction is always a good time. I’m looking forward to seeing many old friends and making many new ones. Inconjunction will also be the first place ever that you can get a signed copy of my brand-new release Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy.

When it comes to endorsements, go big or go home,
When it comes to endorsements, go big or go home,

All of my books will be priced to sell,and the more you buy, the more you save.

Haunting Blue $15
Haunting Obsession $10
Virtual Blue $15
The Paranormal Trilogy (all 3 novels) $35

Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy $10
All four books $40
Signatures: FREE and worth every penny you pay.

“Lost Sole?” Ghosties $5

Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

More photos from Inconjunction 2014,

Whimsy Preview: The Assurance Salesman

DWACOW low rezClick here to read the introduction to this series.

Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy opens with “The Assurance Salesman,” a story composed as a creative writing assignment that later went on to win the IUPUI Rebecca Pitts School of Liberal Arts creative writing award and ended up in the school’s literary magazine. (“genesis” spelled with a small g because Liberal Arts Students) College was a prolific time for me, as I imagine it is for many young writers, but this is one of only two stories that survived to have a second life years later and make it into this collection. It was even picked as one of the “Best of” in a one-shot 25 year retrospective of the publication. Neat.

The story was rewritten in 2004 (major overhaul would be more accurate), sold to Midnight Graffiti, and tweaked yet again for DWACOW. The major plot points, however, have remained the same. Here’s a short excerpt.

The setup: Five passengers on a midnight train to London are interrupted by a mysterious cloaked “stranger” who inserts himself into their philosophical discussion on love and affection. He reaches into his cloak to withdraw… ?

The cover of genesis Spring 1990--clearly mine was not the only creepy material.
The cover of genesis Spring 1990–clearly mine was not the only creepy material.

Gary sees the transparent center of the rose cloud with swirling blue smoke.
The stranger shrugs. “This little beauty—diamond, pendant, crystal, charm, I don’t really know what—is rather special. It took away all my doubts about love.” His eyes harden. “It’s also why I’m currently without companionship.”
They all wait.

The stranger delights in the moment, letting it linger before continuing. “You see, this rose is magical. I don’t know how it works, I only know that it does. I found it on a train rather similar to this one, under a seat, and I was ready to give it to the stationmaster when I accidentally discovered its powers.”

“A charlatan.” Stewart speaks, shaking his head. “You’re a con artist. I should’ve known better.”

“Oh, no. No gimmick here. Although I’m sure you’ll think so at first. You see, somehow, the crystal center can tap into the mind’s eye of another person. I don’t pretend to understand magic. Imagine, though, an object that can read your mind, find out who you love, and present you with an image of yourself … from that person’s frame of mind.”

IMG_1102He extends the glowing blue rose, tantalizingly, in front of Janet’s widened eyes. As it inches nearer, she bites her lip.

There is a loud chuckle from Stewart’s corner. “Of course. And how much do you ask for this miracle?”

“Fifty pounds for one gaze.”
Gary’s excitement dampens at the offer. “That’s ridiculous. For a silly parlor trick?” But his voice cracks, exposing his lack of conviction.

“I’m sure it makes you feel better to keep insisting that, and I can even see where you’re coming from. Which is why—” The stranger spaces his words carefully, aiming them directly at the transfixed woman. “—Janet can have a free look. Once you’ve taken her word for it, I’ll take your fifty pounds, each in turn.”

“Really?” Gary says, feebly, “and what makes you think it’s really worth fifty pounds?”
“Fifty pounds to know the unknowable? To make faith fact? Isn’t that worth fifty pounds to you?”

Best of genesis 25 year retrospective. Printed sidewise with a comb binding because Liberal Arts College Students.
Best of genesis 25 year retrospective. Printed sidewise with a comb binding because Liberal Arts College Students.

Janet’s hands are already clasped around the folded petals, which direct the light to make her face shine an eerie blue. She looks at the stranger uncertainly.
“What do I do?”

The stranger releases the rose into her hands. As she leans away from him, the stranger blends into the darkness. “Close one eye, and focus directly into the center. Don’t worry about light, it works even in total darkness. The image will be perfect.”

Janet holds the rose close. The stem burns against her trembling fingers; she needs both hands to steady the crystal. She can see the center, not simply clouded, but filled with smoky, animated, swirling, mist. An actual light of unknown nature within the rose causes the blue glow.

She hardly has time to reflect on this when the mist clears, and she finds herself staring at an image … of herself.
****
  She is seated in the train, as she was moments earlier, leaning against her husband’s shoulder. Only Kevin is not in the picture, at least not his face.
   Her breath leaves her body as she realizes that she is seeing through Kevin’s eyes, looking down on his new bride. She can see her own face from his viewpoint.
   She remembers the daily routine of seeing her own face in a mirror, angry at the puffiness of her cheeks, at the way her hair would never settle quite right.
   In the rose, the flaws remain, but are filtered to the point of insignificance. She sees herself, all the features the same, but there is an image, a golden glow over her face and body that is almost angelic. A finger caresses her cheek, and the skin—her skin—feels the softest, smoothest, most beautiful silk she has ever touched.
   Images superimpose themselves rapidly over her body. She can see herself in her nightgown on their wedding night, a sense of pleasure mixed perfectly with tenderness.      Purity and passion somehow become one and the same, and she is the source. She tries to force the flaws she sees in herself, the hair, the weight, the temper tantrums. They don’t exist in this image. She sees herself, but now she is his perfect woman, sexy, funny, beautiful, giving,
   Everything.
****
The rose drops from her hands into the stranger’s. She buries herself in Kevin’s arms, the joy in her sobs tearing from her.

“iloveyouiloveyouohgodhowiloveyou …” Her arms squeeze her husband’s shoulders as she cries. There’s no shame left, nothing to hold back, not now and not ever again.

____

Click here for the next post in the series, an except from “Fade”.
Click here to go to the dedicated ordering page of Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy.

Book Launch Set!

DWACOW low rezI’m pleased to announce the ebook for Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy is set to launch Tuesday, June 16, with the paperback going live a couple of days later.  Watch for up to the minute updates on Facebook and an update of links on the book’s dedicated page though0ut the day.

I will also begin a series of 500 word story preview blogs to begin as soon as all formats of the book have gone live. The series will highlight and preview one short story from the collection per day for seven consecutive days.

Those looking for autographed copies will find me at these events throughout the rest of the year.  As always, signatures are free and worth every penny you pay.
_____

Collected for the first time since their initial publications, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy presents ten tales from the imagination of R.J. Sullivan. Thrills and chills await you, but you may also get blindsided by the absurd. This volume includes a pair of stories featuring Rebecca Burton, the mysterious investigator of R.J.’s acclaimed paranormal thriller series. Among the ten stories, you’ll find:

DWACOOW author low rez b&W“The Assurance Salesman” shows five strangers more about themselves than they ever guessed.
You don’t want to venture into Daddy’s basement in “Fade.”
Rebecca Burton tries to talk someone out of a bad idea in “Backstage Pass.”
A bullied police detective finally defeats his rival in “Able-Bodied.”
A desperate father finds the “Inner Strength” to save his young daughter, “Becky” Burton.
A child seeds his aquarium with a most unusual “Starter Kit.”
A brilliant robotics engineer creates a “Robot Vampire.”

Also includes: “I remember Clearly … “, “Do Better,” and “Grammetiquette 2030.”

“Science fiction, fantasy, paranormal thrillers, space opera– R.J’s talents are remarkable and diverse.” ~ New York Times And USA Today Bestselling Author Debra Holland, from the introduction.

“From a universe in a fish bowl to robotic vampire pop stars, R.J. Sullivan takes you to fantastical places that will chill your marrow and make your imagination soar.” ~ Michael West, bestselling author of Spook House and Cinema of Shadows.

“A short collection but with great depth and variety, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy is a coffee-with-bourbon collection: a pleasurable slow burn. R.J. Sullivan is a patient wordsmith, never rushing, always building suspense and tension. None of these stories are alike, except in having realistic characters and ample plots. Sullivan breaks stylistic “conventions” well, plays with form, and, yet, still feels like a throwback author, one who loves the authors he grew up reading. A highly-rewarding batch of stories!” ~ Brady Allen, author of Back Roads & Frontal Lobes

Blue Christmas part of Holiday Antho

Gifts of the Magi cover by John F. Allen
Gifts of the Magi cover by John F. Allen

After months of preparation and weeks of teasing, I can finally share the big news about the NEW ORIGINAL collection of holiday stories co-edited with my good friends John F. Allen, E. Chris Garrison and me.

The anthology is called Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection and features new tales by our friends and ourselves, most of whom have series’ in progress, and feature a story set in the world of that series. And yes, I have a new story in this collection.

That’s right, Blue Shaefer and Rebecca Burton are returning in a brand-new short story that takes place on Christmas Eve! In it, Rebecca gets word that someone is trying to cause trouble for Blue, so she crashes in on Blue and Chip’s celebration, and they’re off on another paranormal adventure. I think it strikes a great balance between addressing her past and setting her up for an exciting future. The title, of course, could only be Blue Christmas. I hope you all love it as much as I do.

Besides featuring a new story for Christmas, Gifts of the Magi offers a number of other firsts. It’s my first attempt at co-editing an anthology (a stressful endeavor that can test the strongest bonds and make them even more strong afterwards) and my first venture into  indie publishing under a new brand, in a co-partnership between John, Chris and me, SFG Publishing. It’s our first attempt at supporting a local charity. In this case, every cent raised goes toward Indy Reads Books and the good work they do.

Besides a new story by me, you’ll find a new Ivory Blaque tale by John, a new story set in Chris’ Tipsy Fairy Tales / Road Ghosts world, and stories set in several of my favorite worlds, created by authors Chantal Noordeloos, Katina French, Debra Holland, and an awesome standalone story by my good friend A.D. Roland that blew me away, and many more!

Copies will be sold at Indy Reads Books and online in both Amazon ebook and paper versions.

Click here to learn about the December 4 book signing at Indy Reads Books Indianapolis, with the editors and several of the authors present.

But don’t let me keep you from finding out more. Click here to read the official announcement with full details and the preorder link to get yours!

Haunting Blue, a look back, a look forward

Art by Bonnie Wasson
Art by Bonnie Wasson

I spent the last part of Memorial Day Weekend and thru Wednesday night re-reading Haunting Blue front to back, checking the publisher proof against all revisions, ensuring that this will be the final, most accurate version of the story. It’s an odd thing for a writer, looking back on an earlier work.

Because our craft is one of constant growth, I can say without apology that if I were to start over from scratch, if I were to pen the first book in the Adventures of Blue Shaefer today, it would be a very different book than what it is now. I’d like to think it would be a better book.

An author’s writing is like a time capsule, at least to the author. As we gain experience, beginner’s mistakes become more obvious, tangents that we might have thought better of stand out more clearly.  I have heard that some authors, at least privately, have a tendency to disown, or try to disassociate themselves from, their first works.

Art by Bonnie Wasson for the new edition of Haunting Blue.
Art by Bonnie Wasson for the new edition of Haunting Blue.

And while I “get it” to some extent, as I reviewed the work, head to toe, I can honestly say I am still very proud of Blue Shaefer’s premiere adventure. Yes, she’s melodramatic, over the top, and, yes, I roll my eyes at certain moments in the novel. When the time came to re-release the book, I had a choice to make–I could have gutted and rewritten the tale, or simply tweaked the text to address the bigger errors but otherwise let it stand as a time capsule of the start of my journey as a published author.

The great Harlan Ellison recently observed about his own early work (and I’m not comparing myself to a genius whose career goes back decades–this just happened to resonate) “I look back over my earlier stories and say, ‘eh, the kid did the best he could with the tools he had at the time.'”

I think this is very true, along with other factors. One that is obvious to me is my “everything plus the kitchen sink” approach. I thought of Haunting Blue as my one shot, maybe the only novel that I might ever put out, and I put my all into it, because who knew when the next book might get published. This is another factor that contributes to the drama of the tale.

Art by Bonnie Wasson for the new edition of Haunting Blue.

Of course, I now know, and am blessed to be assured, that I have plenty of readers and a publisher very anxious for my next story. And my next, and my next. I don’t need to “put it all out there,” which brings far greater focus to my later stories, a benefit to my readers as much as myself.

Another reason to tweak rather than gut: it’s fair to observe that when I drafted my angst-driven high school punk girl, I was much closer to her age than I am now. Who am I to second-guess how much of my narrative is genuine, when I’m much further from the source?

So starting tonight, and into tomorrow, courtesy of Seventh Star Press, Haunting Blue goes back into print, with the major ebook formats, and the softcover hits a couple days later. It is slightly tweaked, with a new cover and interior art by Bonnie Wasson, a new poem by Nicole Rinaldi, (who also wrote the pieces in Virtual Blue). The softcover will look quite spiffy next to Haunting Obsession and Virtual Blue, giving the trilogy a unified series look for the first time.

Haunting Blue is a paranormal thriller, an edgy first novel by a new voice who did the best he could with the tools he had at the time. Having just re-read it, it still moves me and accomplishes what I intended. I still love it, and if you’re experiencing the story for the first time, I hope you will, too.

Go here to watch the links go live.

Let’s get this party started!

So over the weekend I opened the two-story lounge where I will be hosting a big party over the next couple of weeks.

No, I didn’t rent a ballroom. There, obvious joke over.

Two of my stories are going live within a few days of each other and I’m super-stoked. The release dates are extremely fluid because Seventh Star is a sort of crunch mode after some unavoidable delays earlier this summer, and both of my books post Very Soon Now. We just don’t know….exactly when. So I said “what the heck” and decided to host an interactive party on Facebook.

Okay, it’s more like a virtual lounge. In fact, that’s what I call it, the R.J. Sullivan Two-Story Release Party Lounge. I’m so clever. Essentially it’s a temporary public group on Facebook where fans, friends and peers can drop in and out and see the latest news, play some trivia, and I’ll raffle for all sorts of prizes, thanks to my author buds.

Plus–its primary purpose–to make it easy for you to track the release of my new science fiction Singles novelette, the Fate of the Red Lotus, due out mid week. And of course, capping off with the long-anticipated follow-up in the Adventures of Blue Shaefer–Virtual Blue! We’ll have excerpts and art reveals before it goes live.

And with the convenience of being in a group, the update posts won’t scroll several pages off your feed in a couple of hours. So even if you can only check in once a day, you won’t miss any updates.

Oh no, you’re thinking, I can’t bear to hear RJ talk about himself for days and days. To which I say–FREE stuff! You love to read, don’t you? (Yes, RJ, why else would we be here, duh!) So I’ve asked several of my talented and generous author buds to help make it worth your while to stick around, including Eric Garrison, John F. Allen, Chantel Noordeloos, Debra Holland, Kat French, and James W. Kirk, and that’s just the folks I reached out to on short notice.

The list is growing. We’ll have lots of ebook giveaways–mainly because ebooks are so easy to handle in something like this, but don’t be surprised if some “actual” things may need to be boxed and mailed before it’s over. Wow, I have a way with words.

So why are you still reading this? The party’s already started and going on without you. Click here already!