Last spring, my first-ever audiobook happened. It was a perfect-storm project where the ideal narrator submitted a random audition for a novella she deep-down wanted to land much more than she cared to admit at the time, whose reading blew away the anxious author who fretted that his vision be dramatized by a kindred spirit who “got it” (and knew that boy-howdy did she!). And they were backed by a supportive publisher making their first ventures into audiobook and who knew they had something special.
What this is: The new Webstore allows you to pick selections from my personal stock of books for personalized signatures and gift giving. Credit card transactions are handled through GooglePay and go directly to me. I personally will handle fulfilling orders.
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!!
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!
I’m super-excited to announce my plans to “go hybrid” with new projects under my own imprint label DarkWhimsy Books! The logo, being unveiled here for the first time, was created with the assistance of Section 28 Publishing’s Bryan Donihue, who is also helping with page layout duties and other tasks that go over my head.
The name and logo refer to the title and visuals of my 2015 Seventh Star Press short story collection Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy. Artist Enggar Adirrasa created the original idea from my concept (translation–doodle) of a dark cloud raining down smiley faces. The combination of the grim and the silly has been a niche that I’ve fit in comfortably, and I look forward to expanding those realms as I start this new chapter of my publishing life.
Speaking of Seventh Star, this does not mean I am leaving the publishing house where I started. Nor does it mean the end of my paranormal thriller series nor the Red Lotus adventures. In fact, I believe this transition will offer me greater freedom than ever to bring my patient readers more Blue, Rebecca Burton, and Commander Sayuri than ever before. More on that in a bit.
The first release under the DarkWhimsy Books banner will be a holiday paperback of two short stories, the previously released “Blue Christmas” (featuring the return of Rebecca Burton and Blue) and the annotated script to my original SF comedy Christmas play “The Beacon.” The paperback version will be offered in a special fun “double front” format.
Scheduled for early next year is the release of the first part of Lawgiver’s Crisis, a new epic science fiction adventure series with Book I titled Fall of the Sky Citadel. It’s a concept I’ve had on the back burner for awhile and it’s ready to come out. I’m super-excited to bring this story to you.
For those that don’t quite get the distinction, the difference between Seventh Star and my own imprint is that Seventh Star has covered the bulk of publishing expenses, distribution, marketing, editing, and of course their especially remarkable cover art. In exchange, they collect royalties on my titles in perpetuity.
Titles under the DarkWhimsy Books label will be entirely self-funded (with….perhaps a little assistance through Kickstarter and/or Patreon at some point, but… baby steps). It also means I can play with offering readers flash fiction, short stories, and other material that a publisher could not necessarily invest in. So, just a random example, I might write 10 or 12 Rebecca Burton and Blue short stories or a couple of Red Lotus novellas as exclusive material to my supporters under DarkWhimsy Books, and then bundle them under a new Seventh Star title once I have a book-length release.
Just a… y’know… totally random example.
Along with the help of Section 28, I’ll be re-teaming up with some old friends, including cover artists Nell Williams and Ash Arceneaux, who have agreed to provide the double-front covers for Blue Christmas/The Beacon.
And I’m very excited to say that my old friend and Maxine marketing model Lily Monstermeat will also return as a model (this time I should say cover model) as the title character “Lawgiver” of the Lawgiver’s Crisis series. And maybe… every now and then…I might be able to talk her back into donning that Maxine Marie white wig. 🙂
I look forward to starting this exciting new chapter in my career as an author, bringing my loyal readers along with me. and hopefully picking up a few along the way. Watch this space for more announcements, exciting new projects and stories under the DarkWhimsy Books banner!
Today I’m turning the spotlight on R.S. Craig, or as I know him. Steve, the leader of the Avon Writer’s Group. I’ve been associated with the group for a few years, which cultivates a supportive. can-do attitude toward all its members, encouraging members to always move forward and keep on writing, because the process matters.
I’m pleased that Steve has taken that brave first step and put Children with White Knuckles out there. The novel is terrific. Though it reads as a fairly standard literary drama, there’s a sense of dread throughout, giving it a Gothic undertone for a satisfying finish. It presents an understated foreboding from the perspective of of an elderly couple who sense that something is being kept from them by members of their own family. It’s a slow burn that really catches on fire! Check it out.
Here’s an excerpt.
Sara spent the rest of the day in the back yard under the elm tree near the garden with Sparky lying in her lap. I thought I could hear him whimper as Sara petted him and whispered in his ear and hugged him. She came in for supper, helped Jenny with the dishes again, took a bath and came into the living room. She bent down, kissed me on the forehead and smiled. “Thank you for a wonderful day, Grandpa.”
I was thunderstruck. I had just received an unsolicited kiss from Sara, dear sweet little Sara Christine. I reached up and grabbed her shoulders. “Oh no Sara, thank you for a wonderful day and for getting my granddaughter back for me. God love you honey, Grandma and I love you so much.” I gazed into her eyes as she stood up and looked back at me with a big smile across her face. It was a precious moment that I relished as I watched Sara turn away. She walked to her room to watch TV for the rest of the evening, and I thought I actually heard her whistle as she went down the hall.
“Whatever spell has come over her, I sure hope it lasts,” said Jenny.
I said nothing. An uneasy feeling was beginning to creep up on me and I couldn’t figure out what it was about. I took a shower and came back into the family room. Jenny had gone down the hall to the office to spend time on the computer.
I walked in and asked her if she had seen Sparky.
She told me, “He’s with Sara.”
I watched a Saturday night movie and went to bed around 11:00. I was so tired and sleepy but I still had an uneasy feeling that I couldn’t seem to shake or reason out. I was missing something. There was something I was supposed to worry about. What was it? I stared at the ceiling and tried to think of what was wrong. I could think of nothing. I closed my eyes, willed myself to go to sleep, opened my eyes and glanced at the digital clock on the dresser—12:20. I was so tired and so sleepy. Why wouldn’t sleep come?
There was something more important than sleep that night; and it came as a thunderclap of remembering about something Leslie Sawyer had told me about dogs and how they can smell everything from heart attacks and seizures to fear and sadness. But Sara wasn’t sad; she was happy, more than happy, she was…what? There had to be another piece to the puzzle. What was it? Jenny and I would soon learn that Sara’s happy face and euphoria had blinded us to a terrible plan that Sara was about to carry out at that very instant.