Tag Archive for powerless

Brain Dump

Storms have rolled through here every day for the past several days. There’s a lull in one right now, so I’m outside with a small Sancho Panza cigar, pounding at the keys and enjoying the cooler weather. The bugs and toads are singing again, and everything is shiny and wet. The sky keeps flashing to the east and south, and a nice rumble will roll through several seconds later. There’s an ominous beauty about it all: serene and quiet, but it could all go to hell at any moment.

I should probably be working on a short story, but I’m physically exhausted and the mind is going a hundred miles an hour in different directions, so it’s not happening. I owe an editor and a collaborator some email, but those responses need more thought, too. Instead, I’m going to exorcise some of this other nonsense right here and clear out the works.

  • Cats are a pain in the ass. Ours has been missing five days, so we’ve been worried he got himself killed. Today, the Rugrats were fairly sure they spotted him in the field behind our back yard. They went to get a better look and he got spooked and ran, the little dumbass.
  • Today I snapped up The Baddest Ass, the latest Billy Lafitte book from Anthony Neil Smith. The first books, Yellow Medicine and Hogdoggin’, were some great reads, and I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time. I wrote a review of Hogdoggin’ for Indie Pulp a while ago, and you can see a book trailer for The Baddest Ass on Smith’s site. If you haven’t read any of these books, Yellow Medicine is free. No excuses.
  • Because I’m told I don’t mention it enough: The Pack: Winter Kill is only $4.49 on Kindle, my friends. Expect news on the sequel, Lie with the Dead, soon. If the reviews won’t sway your purchase, you can get a free extended preview with the purchase of the Pack short story “Bravo Four” for only 99 cents.
  • I’ve got some more comics work lined up. Score. It’s too early to share any real info, but this is going to be a fun one.
  • The Jennifer Connelly Writing Motivator is my new favorite Tumblr blog. Okay, second favorite. But I can’t link my absolute favorite because I work for a school district and it would not be a wise move.
  • Of course, the day job doesn’t stop me from pimping my first novel, Deadliest of the Species. Only $2.99 on Kindle and it will also be available in trade paperback. No reviews yet, but it’s the book that won a Bram Stoker Award when it was first published. Try it. You’ll dig it. Find out why Edward Lee called it a “big, plush, hot, creepy, erotic gem.”
  • This cigar went sour quick. Not a fan. Pretty sure it’s a cheapo, though, and it may not have fully recovered in the humidor, so it may not be fair to Smoke Blog it. Let’s just call it caveat emptor.
  • Some of you may remember me mentioning a book called Powerless. It keeps getting back-burnered for other projects. I’ve come to the realization that while I still dig the plot and characters, the approach I had taken with it is way off. Time to scrap it and start fresh with a real outline.
  • Speaking of outlines, I’ve revisited the one for the third Pack novel and it will be off to my editor soon. I’m itching to start writing it.
  • While I haven’t always been a fan of outlining, I now find they are a huge time saver and can help avoid major rewrites.
  • The tub of Italian beef I buy at Costco tastes better than the Italian beef sandwiches offered everywhere I’ve tried in Peoria. That’s sad.
  • Holy shit. Sick Day was supposed to be a NaNoWriMo project a while back. Time moves way too fast.

That’ll do it for now. I hope to have that Chromebook review for you soon. Given a few recent conversations, I may put together something about how I use Evernote to support my writing, too. Tomorrow, I rewrite and resubmit a short story.

I’m out.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Project Updates

Now that I’ve spent two nights promoting other guys’ projects, I should probably catch everyone up on my own work.

The Pack is still my main focus this summer, and of course The Pack: Winter Kill is still available in trade paperback and in a Kindle edition. The short comic Big Bad Wolves will be going live I believe next month, and I’ve just finish scripting the second short.

Just as Big Bad Wolves is a prequel of sorts to The Pack: Winter Kill, the second short will be a prequel to the second prose book, giving readers a little more insight into one of the main characters and his behavior. And no, neither the second short nor book 2 have a title yet, just some working titles my editor and I are still kicking around. I usually don’t have a solid title until I’m done.

I’m already starting to talk to a potential artist for the second short as well. It’s a lot easier to find an artist for the short pieces than it is a longer project, especially for the kind of rates a new startup is able to pay, so the first comic book in the series, The Pack: Chimaera, will be delayed a bit longer. We’re taking advantage of the delay to do a bit more tweaking to the script for Chimaera, and I think those efforts will pay off in the long run.

Meanwhile, I’m pushing the deadline for the 2nd book, but I’m still confident I’ll make it. It’s going to take some extra knuckling down over the next several weeks, but I’m up for it.

There are a few more The Pack developments in store, but none that I can share just yet. Stay tuned.

I sold a short story last year that I hope will see print in an anthology soon. It’s not been announced yet, so I’ll keep quiet for now. I’ve got two more shorts sitting in a slush pile, and two more to write, one overdue and the other with a deadline imminent. It’s tough to make those a priority with my contractual obligations to Evileye for The Pack, but I’ve not written them off yet.

I’ll have some news on a webcomic soon. The artist is inking the strips, and we’re going to wait until we have several in the can before we launch. I don’t want to say too much right now because we’ve both fallen behind on it, but it’s kind of a new direction for both of us and the short strip format will be a new way to flex my creative muscles.

All of this has unfortunately back-burnered my novel Powerless. With The Pack taking center stage and so many other things going on, it’s been hard to revisit my older work. What’s written is edited on paper, but I haven’t been able to get the rewrite in gear. I had hoped to get back to it by the end of this year, but I think the next The Pack commitment may supersede it yet again.

I’m actually a little more interested in writing Sick Day, which also got preempted by The Pack, specifically the second draft of Chimaera. Crime thrillers have interested me a little more both in my reading and my writing, and Sick Day is a straight thriller with no horror or supernatural elements. Heck, I’ve even been tempted to go back and revisit An Ounce of Brass, an abortive first attempt at a thriller novel that has some good material at its heart but it needs to shed a ton of unnecessary weight.

I won’t even get started on the notebook. It’s got some good things waiting to come to light, like The Shattered Man, but I need to finish all this other stuff first and make some room. Until the writing can start paying the bills, I have to let the day job consume the bulk of my writing time. I’m a night owl and get most of my writing done then, but having to get up early makes it tough to do that consistently. Some see a romantic flair in the writer who forgoes sleep for the sake of his craft, but the fact is it actually harms the output in the long run.

Not to mention the toll it takes on one’s health. I’ve said many times I’d love to stay up late writing and then sleep well into the morning, but right now I just don’t have that luxury. It’s one of several reasons I look forward to Spring and Winter Breaks at work.

In the end it may look like it’s been a while since my last release, but never fear, the wheels are in motion.

Thanks to everyone for reading, and I hope you’ll keep coming back.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

NaNoWriMoreThanLikely

Next month is National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo), and I’ve been conned persuaded to try it again.

The idea is to write 50,000 words of a new novel. No continuing something that’s already been done, no rewriting an older piece. Outlining ahead of time is okay. I’ve tried it a few times in the past, but November’s always been a rough month schedule-wise and I never managed to pull it off.

Things are a bit different this year, though. For starters, I’ve got several friends (including most of the folks attached to Evileye Books) who are going to take a crack at it, so there will be a little more competition and encouragement going around. I’m also coming into the high of Winter Kill‘s imminent release and I’m feeling the creative rush of preparing for my next projects, both for The Pack and for other works. Finally, it’s high time I brought another novel to market.

Powerless is… languishing. Maybe it’s been sitting in the brain too long, but I’ve had a tough time getting up the energy to get back to it. I’ve also lost all confidence that it’s any good, but I suspect that’s a subjective opinion. I’m not ready to call it dead, but given it’s not eligible for NaNoWriMo anyway, I’m going to move on for now.

I’ve got two candidates for NaNoWriMo: Wounded Gods and Sick Day.

Wounded Gods may sound familiar to long-time readers, as I first developed it as a comic. After kicking it around a while, I realized it could easily be a prose novel, and the only reason I pitched it as a comic in the first place is I was trying to continue off the launch of Werewolves: Call of the Wild. It’s set in the Vietnam War and focuses on the conflict between a couple of soldiers and includes a supernatural element.

Sick Day is an idea that hit me over the summer as I read a few crime/thriller novels. I bounced the idea off a friend who digs on that sort of thing, and he gave it two thumbs up. This would be a straight-up thriller, possibly in the vein of what I was doing with Muy Mal and including a hint of the supernatural. Hell, maybe I’ll even set it in Port Ransom.

The advantage of Wounded Gods is it’s already plotted. I wrote a first-issue script and outlined the remainder of the mini-series, so it wouldn’t be tough to start fresh with prose and cruise along. Sick Day is still little more than a general idea, but given the concept, it could be a lot of fun to write. Decisions, decisions…

I’ve got two weeks to figure it out, and maybe to take some more notes. I also have an OGN script to deliver and a book to proof. Best get crackin’.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Work, Work, Work

The New Year is starting with promise.

At the moment I’ve got two contracts in progress, one on the verge of signing and the other under discussion. One’s a reprint, but the other is something I’m rather excited about and I look forward to being able to talk about it. It will also be nice to have solid deadlines again.

I’ve still got the Powerless work-in-progress rewrites to turn in. They’re a little more extensive than I expected because I’ve excised entire pages and need to pad out a few others. I’ll be begging a publisher’s patience as a result, but the book will be better for it. If it works out, I imagine I’ll have a deadline for it shortly.

It’s tough to say whether any of these projects will actually see print in 2009, but I think there’s a good chance at least one will. If it only lines things up for 2010, then so be it; I’ve been patient this long, I can be patient a bit longer.

When people ask, I often tell them yes, I’d like to write full time. Ideally I’d make enough that the Wife wouldn’t have to work, but I’d be satisfied at least with not having to piss around with stubborn computers all day. So far it’s just been a dream.

We’ve been discussing dreams in karate class. The problem with dreams is they’re too loose. Most people think “Gee it’d be nice if…” without actually putting any real effort — or at least constructive effort — into the dream. How do we change it? We turn the dream into a goal, the primary difference being a deadline.

Put a realistic deadline on a dream and you’ve got yourself a goal: a clear vision of what you want and when you will attain it. I’ve had a goal in mind for my black belt for some time now, but it dawned on me that I’ve never put a real deadline on the dream of writing full time. Sure, I’ve got some good publishing credits and I work on this project and that, but I have to admit it’s been rather haphazard the last few years.

I believe the next step we’ll be discussing in class is how to develop an action plan toward reaching those goals. The action plan for reaching black belt is rather simple because the curriculum for most styles is laid out before us. I know what I need to do to make yellow belt, to make blue belt, to make green, then purple, then progress through three steps of brown. Each belt is broken into three segments, and I know what I have to learn every step of the way, and I’ve been able to discuss a realistic goal for my black belt test.

At first I thought it’s not so simple for writing, but is that true? I may not be able to rattle off a list of titles to publish over the next few years, and I do of course have to get said titles accepted by publishers, but there’s nothing that says I can’t put together a list of items I want to complete. For example, I could say I’ll finish one novel, one novella, and one comic mini-series or graphic novel this year. Getting them into print would be a separate, ongoing task for each piece.

How do you achieve those smaller individual goals? It’s quite simple, really: do the work. How do you earn each stripe and belt in karate? Learn the material. Show up for class and practice at home. Learn the kata and drill them, learn the ippons and drill them, and so on. What’s the difference between a white belt and a black belt? A black belt never quit.

The same goes for writing. How do you get each project done? Do the work. Finish each piece and move on to the next. What’s the difference between a wannabe and a full-time writer? A full-time writer never quit.

In other words, keep your damn fingers on the keys!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Year to Come

Was there any doubt that writing would be a huge focus this year? Didn’t think so.

I solidified a relationship with a new publisher in ’08, and our goal is to do a mix of comics and prose work. It’s still too early to announce specific projects, but I’ve written most of the script for the first graphic novel and have the outline for the first novella ready to go. We have two properties we want to develop with the prospect of a third on the horizon. I’m itching to tell you more, but I really need to get some work in the can before either the publisher or I will be confident enough to make anything public.

Last month a small press publisher contacted me about a novel. I promised to send him what I’ve written of Powerless after I clean it up, which will be this week. It will also be pitched to Otherworld Verlag, my German publisher. Wish me luck.

The Top Secret Book is back on the path to publication, so I need to finish the novella that will go along with it. The publisher had asked that I not announce the publication or publisher, which worked in our favor when certain delays appeared. We’re going to have to stick to that policy until we have a release date.

My next goal, of course, is to get to the point I can actually announce these damn things. After that, the goal is to actually have something to sell at conventions this year. Otherwise 2010 will be the year I finally start reevaluating this whole writing thing. A secondary writing goal for 2009 will be to participate in NaNoWriMo in November. A lot more than previous deadlines and commitments affect that, so I’ll have to take another look at my schedule as Fall rolls around.

On the personal side, I have the luxury of being a little more specific. We’ve been talking about the difference between dreams and goals (not to mention resolutions and goals) in karate class, and that difference includes deadlines. Dreams and resolutions don’t count for much unless you have a plan and a firm deadline, and since I can’t really apply deadlines to publishers and contracts, I may as well slap them on my personal goals:

1) Cut another 20 lbs by October 1st. To accomplish this, I’m going to continue my karate training and I will start running again this Spring. Yes, I could probably run when it’s colder, but it’s tough to say I actually like running yet so if I’m out there and miserable, chances are that goal will be toast.

2) Make Nikyu in Shuri-ryu by Halloween. This is 2nd-degree brown belt. My original goal was to make Ikkyu, or 1st-degree brown belt, by Christmas, but there may not actually be time to do so, even if I nail every review between now and then. As such, Nikyu becomes a good goal and affords some realistic flexibility. We have review next week, and if I pass I’ll be up for Sankyu, or 3rd-degree brown belt, at the end of February.

3) Complete 25 themed photos by December 31st. The 52 Weeks Flickr group project was fun, but I felt self-portraits were a little restrictive and I had a tough time keeping up. This month I’m going to find a new Flickr group to join, one with a rotating or more flexible theme, and make sure I take at least 2 pictures a month.

Finally, I’ll close with a dream: I want a bigger motorcycle. Eve is great, but she’s a bit small. This dream will solely be dictated by financial capability, so this may or may not happen and thus is not a goal. I’ll be keeping an eye on the classifieds, but I haven’t ruled out a new Shadow or V Star.

Let’s get the party started.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Writing: Moving Right Along

It’s been a slow summer for my writing, but there are a few odds and ends worth reporting.

First, for those of you not already aware, Brimstone Turnpike is finally available. For the first time, my name graces the front page of Cemetery Dance‘s website. Bask in the glory while you can. If you’ve ordered from Amazon, however, I have bad news: I was just told Amazon is emailing people and saying the book won’t be available until January. I’m guessing there’s some marketing or distribution snafu in there somewhere, but the book is coming.

Second, CD has released the table of contents for In Laymon’s Terms, the long-awaited tribute anthology to Richard Laymon. In a newsletter distributed today, CD says “At this point, all of the signature sheets for In Laymon’s Terms have been signed (by around 50+ contributors!) and the interior of the book has been proofread several times. We’re waiting on one last contribution from one of the editors and then it’ll be ready to go to the printer!” With luck that means we’ll see it sooner rather than later.

Some of you may have noticed the page link for Wounded Gods has gone poof. This is because the WG title will now be used as the title for a different project under development with a new publisher. Discussions with that publisher got me thinking about the original premise, and I’m thinking that story may work better as a prose piece. It will be shelved for the moment and get a new title when I get back to it.

On a related note, there are developments for Call of the Wild and a third comics project, but it’s way too early to announce anything yet. Stay tuned. Unfortunately, I can tell you that those of you who were waiting for the trade on the Moonstone run of Call of the Wild are going to be out of luck, as there are no plans to do a trade at this time. I will try to have copies available at conventions where I have a table (such as this weekend’s Archon near St Louis), and you may also find it in the boxes at conventions where Moonstone has a booth.

Regarding my novels, work on Powerless continues. I haven’t touched it in a while due to the comics commitments, but I still want to get this baby out there. I will be sending it to my German-language publisher, Otherworld Verlag, as soon as possible, and then I will start submitting it to both mass market and small press houses in the US. I think this one’s a worthy successor to Deadliest of the Species in a way the other two completed (I use that term loosely) novels weren’t, and it’s about time I got a novel back on the market.

Meanwhile, the status of the top secret book I announced sometime back is undetermined. Writing on the novella for the book is on hold for the time being. Best case scenario is this book will be very late. Worst case is it will be canceled, but I feel it will be picked up by another publisher.

Then there’s Muy Mal. Wow, have I dropped the ball on that one. However, given it doesn’t pay the bills and wasn’t showing any future ability to do so, these other projects just had to supercede it. At this point I don’t know what’s in store for the future. I suppose it’s time to speak to John and Weston to see what, if anything, we’re going to do with it.

Hmm. I was feeling pretty good when I started this, but then it’s all non-news and bad news. I can even see a few of you coming to lynch me right now. I think a distraction is in order.

Look! A booth babe!

Can you tell me more about the boobies -- er, movie?

Can you tell me more about your boobies -- er, the movie?

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Ego and the Writer

It was a good ego stroke to get home and find people talking about me. If people aren’t talking about your books, people aren’t buying them. Not that I have any to sell right now… Maybe I should revise that: if people aren’t talking about your books, publishers have no reason to print them.

I almost never hear from readers directly, so it’s good to see things like this from time to time. Whether a writer is a hobbyist or is a dedicated professional, we all have one thing in common: we’re storytellers, and storytellers want their stories to be heard. Writing for pride, writing for money, and writing for validation all point to a necessity to be read.

No happy readers = no happy writers.

I should add, too, that if you’re waiting on publishers to print some Oliveri work, you should feel free to write publishers directly and ask them why they aren’t coughing up the Oliveri goodness. Brian claims at least two publishers read this blog, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to up and publish me just because I bitch about not getting published.

I write best with a deadline. Why is Powerless a priority? Because Otherworld Verlag wants more work from me. It’s that simple. I don’t expect publishers to come beating down my door; that’s just not how this business works. But if you pester some of these guys, maybe they’ll give a manuscript more than a passing glance when I drop it on their desk.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Hell Week Winds Down

You know it’s been a long week when you’re looking forward to going back to work and settling back in to a normal routine.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a good week. It’s always good to see Brian, Coop and Mikey and spend a few days with good food, good beer, and good cigars. I returned just in time to get the Wife up to see her family for the Joliet NASCAR weekend, then went back home yesterday for board breaking day in karate class. Then it was back up to the in-laws’ place to visit with family some more.

The Hell Week tag comes from all the travel between those events. Four flights and several hours of driving on both ends adds up fast, and this morning I’m dragging ass bigtime. The beer and restaurant food, combined with a failure to shoehorn workouts into the travel mix, resulted in a gain on the scale. Finally, I even had to abandon plans to visit Peoria’s annual hot air balloon festival, partly due to weather and partly due to my own exhaustion.

At this point, working will be easier than vacation, even if I do have to shuffle computers around classrooms this week. I look forward to jumping back on the motorcycle tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to getting back to karate workouts and resurrecting the running routine.

The good news is I did fit some writing-related work into the travel. I intended to work up some materials for The Shattered Man (a working title) for a publisher, but I couldn’t get Powerless out of my head so I rolled with it. On one flight I finished outlining the main thrust of the story, and on the following flight I was able to flesh out the secondary characters and their subplots. Sure, I nodded off in mid-jot several times, but in review the notes were solid and I’m very happy with them. I’m also energized after spending time with the guys, even though we probably spent less than 10 minutes discussing writing.

I had a great time, and I can’t complain about my writing progress. In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to getting some sleep tonight.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Building a Scary New World

I don’t think I’ve done any kind of worldbuilding since my roleplaying days, or at least since I wrote that dark fantasy trunk novel 15 years(!!) ago. It’s just not something I’ve needed to do, as all of my work so far has been self-contained and fits easily into the real world. Even Muy Mal has been more of a free-form reality that changes as needed for its stories.

However, as I was editing what I’ve written of Powerless, I started to realize I needed to get some geography correct. For example, characters mention the location of their houses in relation to a common geographical point, and then there are at least three more major points of interest in the same town in the novel. Add to that my decision a couple months back to set Top Secret Novella in the same fictional town and things get even more complicated.

Maybe it’s my fantasy roots coming to the surface, but I realized it would be of huge help to sit down and draw up a map of this town and surrounds and start drafting up its history and a timeline for the events in both Top Secret Novella and Powerless. This weekend I grabbed my Lap Desk and started drawing, frequently referring to the satellite and terrain features on Google Maps to keep things kosher. I added the important points, then threw in some bonus features and key elements related to the town’s history.

I had an absolute blast with it. I checked a few historical facts and was very happy to discover my ideas for the town’s history would work. I researched a major feature of the town and learned several things which will help me give this feature life in Powerless. I started throwing in locations and landmarks that gave me ideas for future stories taking place there. It may not be as extensive as the worldbuilding that goes into creating a fantasy world or a sci-fi environment in the distant future, but in the end it will be at least as helpful.

Even better, another long-form story idea hit me last week. I decided it would work best as a novel, then realized it could fit right in to the town I just created. It doesn’t even have a working title yet, but the characters are coming to life and, because of these characters, the fictional region surrounding my town just got a little bigger.

So what’s the name of this cool little place? Call me paranoid, but I’d rather not say yet. Things may change for the new novel, and one possible climax for Powerless may render the town’s future a moot point anyway.

And hell, I still have to sell the damn books. This is going to be a unique sandbox for my solo prose work, and there’s no point in laying out the details if I can’t get the work published.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Wiz World's Number One Question, Unanswered

As I wandered the con floor talking to people, by far the most often asked question was “What are you working on?” Looking back, I’m not sure I gave any of them the same answer.

Just how do I answer that when my productivity is in the shitter?

On the up side, the publisher meeting on Friday went well. On the down side, I’m still sans artiste and don’t see that changing any time soon unless I am able to cough up a page rate (which, sadly, I am not). I did get two pitches to the publisher in time, but with the artist situation being what it is, at least one of those pitches may become a prose project.

Then it’s a matter of cramming that prose project into my others. I’ve got a book sold to a good small press publisher, but he’s dealing with some family matters and there’s no telling when the book will be out. Top Secret Novella is also slated to go his way, but I’ve struck it several times and have yet to report any real progress on it.

Das Tödliche Geschlecht has been released on an unsuspecting German market, and I’ve been interviewed for a major German horror magazine called Virus. The publisher has already asked to see my next novel, and based on my present experience with them, I intend to deliver. (If only the English-speaking world were so interested in my work…) This bumps Powerless up a notch on the priority list.

Not to mention I could also sell Powerless to the aforementioned small press publisher. He’s called the upcoming book the first of many we’ll be doing together, which would make me very happy. The artwork on the first book is terrific, and I know he puts out a solid package that could later help lead to a mass market sale.

And oh yes, I still have Muy Mal hanging in the breeze, The Malice Engine outline to turn into either a graphic novel or novel, and two novels that I’m convinced are pieces of shit but could possibly be hammered into something useful.

So, what am I working on? Good question. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Gap Years

“How come you haven’t written any novels since Deadliest of the Species, Mike?”

I have, actually.

They just suck.

Okay, I’ll rephrase that: they’re far from ready for publication, because with both I decided their execution was off. Way off. So far off that they need to be rewritten from the ground up, and I don’t have time to do that because I started on Powerless, wrote a comic, and worked (or am working) on a handful of smaller prose projects. On top of which I’m thinking Powerless is the best of the three and will make a great follow-up (at last) to Deadliest.

I may still dust them off at some point, but I imagine they’ll remain trunk novels for some time. Hell, maybe they’ll become discoveries after I hit the big time and die early.

Though if that’s the case, I hope my wife and/or executors have the sense to hire a good manuscript doctor to work them over, because they’ll definitely need it.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Productivity Update

I get asked once or twice a week how things are going with my writing, and given it’s been a while since I’ve talked about things here, I thought I’d save a few emails this week. These are the most active and/or most asked about projects.

POWERLESS

I’m proofreading the existing material, which is about eight chapters long. There’s a lot of clean-up to be done, but not as many changes as I feared. About a thousand words will be excised completely, and then I’ll fill a gap back in and continue on with the rest of the book. I’m pondering a prologue as well.

The good news here is I have a publisher eager to see it. The bad news is it’s my German publisher, so my English-reading fans may have to wait a while. The middle news is I’ve got a project in the works with a US small press and, once things settle, he may be willing to take a look Powerless. That other project is still under wraps for the time being.

TO CONFRONT THE ENEMY/TO RISE FROM THE ASHES

The first draft of To Confront the Enemy is finished and one of my early readers responded with positive marks. To Rise from the Ashes is plotted but has not been started. Both are novella-length and I do have a publisher I want to send a complete package to. However, these have been back-burnered because I need to finish Top Secret Novella for the small press publisher mentioned above.

TOP SECRET NOVELLA

There’s not much I can tell you at this point, other than it needs to be finished before the Top Secret Book it is part of can be published. The publisher’s working through a few things which buys me some time (which is fortunate for my schedule), but I don’t want to keep him hanging much longer. This should have been done a long time ago.

MUY MAL

Poor, neglected Muy Mal. The sad fact is the pay projects have to be a priority, especially with at least one of those projects already under contract. No way I’ll finish by our June suspension date, but I’ll just leave it open until I can get the story of Troy and Delilah finished.

WEREWOLVES: CALL OF THE WILD

There are currently no plans to continue Call of the Wild in its current form, much as I would like to. I’ve been invited to contribute stories about the characters (including a few you haven’t met yet) in anthologies, but it’s just not feasible to continue the series. I’m feeling a lot of possibilities for the characters, though, and I have at least three more arcs in mind, so I’ve talked to someone about another possibility. Stay tuned for updates.

WOUNDED GODS

Wounded Gods is, in a sense, sold. It has a 90% chance of seeing print, though not quite in the same format originally intended. Unfortunately there’s not a lot I can tell you at this point, but there’s definite interest from a third party in seeing this sucker in print. As with Call of the Wild, stay tuned.

OTHER COMICS WORK

Another common question is “when is your next comic coming out?” Good question. I’ve got yet another project in the deep planning stages, and there’s interest in it as well. I’m glad to see a lot of people enjoyed Call of the Wild enough to keep chasing my work, but at the moment there’s not a lot to report.

OTHER PROSE WORK

As I type this, I was invited to contribute a short story to an anthology. I’m sure I’ll be taking the editor up on their invitation, but at the moment I’m exhausted and will crash out when this post is posted.

OVERDUE BOOKS

Yes, both In Laymon’s Terms and Brimstone Turnpike are very, very late. No, I don’t have any idea when they’ll actually see print.

SHORT STORY COLLECTION

It is to laugh. I’m flattered at the thought, but honestly, I’m not sure enough of my back catalog warrants a collection. I’d probably want to write all new stuff – or at least half new stuff – and I just don’t have the time to make that commitment right now. The closest to this will be the reprinting of “To Fight With Monsters” and To Travel Among Men with the aforementioned To Confront the Enemy and To Rise from the Ashes.

I think that about covers it. As always, thanks for the interest, it’s greatly appreciated it. Now I just need to get my sorry ass to work and live up to some of the expectations.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.