They like me! They really like me! ;)

Well, someone must be liking The Dark Leopard. Just glanced over at Amazon and saw it was #663 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superheroes.

Hey, I know as well as anyone, you can slice the Amazon rankings enough to make anything look good. Still, it’s nice to get into triple digits with the book.

And speaking of liking things, I’m making progress on the secret project. I’m pleased with the tone I’m capturing with this story and hope to get at least the first draft finished by the end of the week. Definitely need to take advantage of the Friday holiday (one of the advantages of being a defense contractor is getting the Federal holidays off). Added another 1300+ words to the story and really getting into the swing of where I want this to go.

But, given the lack of sleep the past couple of days, I really should call it an early night. Nodding off at home is one thing, nodding off in the client space is quite another. *eeps!*

Besides, my cat just fell asleep on top of my mouse. I’m going to take that as a sign.

SoonerCon Day 3 and aftermath:

Sunday started out way too early after surviving being on the party floor on a Saturday night. *grin* Between the blues band playing outside my window in the patio below and then the party drifting in to finish off the last “night” of SoonerCon, it’s was a tad noisy. Thankfully, my military training taught me how to sleep through damn near everything, so I eventually drifted off to sleep.

The Kaffeeklatch went well. I had an opportunity to visit with several other authors and their families as well as some fans. The fact that there were that many people awake and ambulatory at 10am on Sunday was impressive.

The last panel I had was “Overcoming Writer’s Block”. We spent part of the panel defining what writer’s block was, and how to differentiate (or was there a way to differentiate) it from procrastination. We also found while each of us have different ways to deal with it, the carrot and stick method seemed to be rather consistent (albeit we all seem to use different carrots). There were good questions from the audience too, and I think it went very well.

Afterward, I had the last autograph session of SoonerCon. As anticipated, since it was my first time at the show, not many people (read “one”) came over specifically to see me there. However, I did get a few nibbles from people who’d been at one of my panels and I sold a few Full Moon Affairs. Apparently, there is a market for fantasy noir and that tells me I need to get some more Theron Chase stories knocked out in the near future.

I dashed into the dealer’s room for one last pass and snagged an anime figurine for my daughter and then off to the airport. Had a great visit with Leonard Bishop, one of the con chairs, on the way there and definitely complimented him (and hopefully it got echoed back to the entire SoonerCon staff) on a very well run convention and one I can easily recommend to anyone who has wondered about going there.

While at the OKC airport, I had to treat myself to a Schlotzsky’s sandwich – I hadn’t had one since the last time I was in San Angelo, TX, which was 2004. It was as good as I remembered, even if I did forget to tell them to hold the black olives.

Unfortunately, that’s where the fun stopped.

Arrived at Dallas Love Field, and knew we were in trouble when the plane we were supposed to be boarding at 1935 was just discharging it’s passengers at 1945. 2015 rolled by and they announced there were a few issues and we’d be departing shortly. Then 2100, and they were still working on the issues and we’d be departing shortly.

We finally boarded the plane at 2300. Now, I can appreciate the pilot told us he was going to push for “ludicrous speed” on the way back to Regan National, but folks, it was still 0245 when we landed in DC. So, Joni had to drive down from Central MD to get me (the DC Metro was NOT running that late). It was almost 0400 when I finally arrived home. I had to call in at 0700 to tell work I wasn’t going to be in and I think I slept until 1200 today.

I really hadn’t planned on blowing another day of leave for this trip, but whatcha gonna do?

However, all in all, it was an outstanding con, the Writer Beware panel went extremely well and I met several authors I’ve seen on-line before but never met – especially want to sent a shout-out to Tommy B. Smith, Rachel Acks, and Lou Antonelli – as well as the others I enjoyed getting to meet for the first time.

Sinking her claws into evil . . .

And a few words from my publisher:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HEROINE PAYING HOMAGE TO GOLDEN AGE OF COMICS DEBUTS! RICHARD C. WHITE’S ‘DARK LEOPARD’ FROM PRO SE PRODUCTIONS!

A Publisher of Genre Fiction and New Pulp, Pro Se Productions proudly announces the debut of a new character, one whose roots are firmly planted in the early years of Comic books for inspiration. Author Richard C. White recalls the daring heroines of the Golden Age of adventure with his own character, springing to life in New Pulp prose.

The Dark Leopard: Mouse Trap is now available in print and digital formats!

“There is so much,” says Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “to be said for reaching into the past, back to stories that have come before and seeing what modern writers today could do with such concepts. It’s not simply nostalgia. It’s about not only showing a respect for our literary past, but introducing the concepts that drove those stories, that inspired those characters, to modern readers and to find their significance today. With The Dark Leopard: Mouse Trap, Richard harkens back to more than one four color masked maven and definitely adds in his own flair to what is, all in all, a double fisted tale of action and intrigue.”

Rachel Black is known to millions for many reasons—her hit movies, her glamorous lifestyle, and her reputed romances with Hollywood’s leading men. But Rachel also leads a secret life far away from the hot spotlights as the terror of criminals, saboteurs, and spies…because with the donning of a mask and risking of her life, Rachel is The Dark Leopard, Hollywood’s glamorous detective star.

Rachel, her father, Langston Black, and Mark Stone, a journalist and some-time partner with the lovely masked heroine, are in Monaco to make a movie about Nancy Wake, the World War II’s most celebrated British Special Operations agent. It’s the chance of a lifetime for Rachel and she’ll do anything to make the picture successful. However, when things start going wrong on the set, she begins to wonder whether it’s a rival movie company or perhaps something more sinister—something that may call for a certain feline super-hero. Then, a shadow from the past makes Rachel remember the reason she became the Dark Leopard in the first place.

The Dark Leopard from Pro Se Productions

The Dark Leopard from Pro Se Productions

Paying homage to classic Heroines of the Golden Age, Pro Se Productions proudly presents the debut adventures of The Dark Leopard, created by author Richard C. White.

Featuring a stunning cover by Rock Baker and print formatting and logo design by Forrest Bryant, The Dark Leopard: Mouse Trap is available now at Amazon at and Pro Se’s own store for 10.00.

The debut of White’s catlike heroine is also available as an EBook, designed and formatted by Bryant for only $2.99 for the Kindle at  and for most digital formats via Smashwords.

For more information on this title, contact Morgan McKay, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at directorofcorporateoperations @prose-press.com.

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

SoonerCon Day 2:

First panel of the day was the Writer Beware presentation. We had twelve people show up at 10am on a Saturday and more drifted in as the presentation went along. I think we had a max of twenty people at one time. It felt like the presentation went well and there were a number of good questions from the audience, lots of note taking, and several people hunted me down afterward to ask questions they didn’t necessarily want to ask in a group setting. All in all, probably the best single session I’ve had this year so far. So, go team!

The second panel of the day was “Military Service and it’s Role in SF”. We had two Vietnam Veterans (to include Elizabeth Moon), two Desert Shield/Storm vets, and one Gulf War vet. We talked about different things like “do you really have to have been in combat to write a good fight scene?” “Can having been in combat inhibit your writing?” One of our vets replied he couldn’t write combat for the longest time, even for a magazine article, because of the flashbacks at night. However, when you get five veterans together, there was a lot of “No, kidding, there I was . . . ” stories, which the audience really seemed to enjoy. We had a huge crowd – room filled to capacity which was a fantastic sight, because I’ve done a panel like this before at other cons where we only had two to three people in attendance.

My last panel was “Kaiju, Unicorns, Bigfoot, and Dragons”. While the proposed topic was plausibility (either in actual existence or in design), we deviated a bit to discuss pet peeves about monsters, the two artists on the panel brought up while a monster might make sense in writing, it was tough to make them look real visually, esp. for movies/TV, and yes, we even talked about the actual topic about which cryptids could actually exist, whether or not they really do. Fun panel and some good questions/comments from the audience.

Had a good time talking with Rachel Acks, (she had the reading right before mine). I found out she was a fellow former Musa author, so we spent some time talking about steampunk, how tanks work (she’s doing a screenplay for a class about a tank crew), and general writing stuff. I had a ball visiting with her and if you like steampunk fiction, I recommend tracking down her stories.

Also, after the show, SoonerCon arranged for some food trucks to come out to the show. I hit one called St. Paddy’s Cakes (they specialize in Irish-style meals served atop a huge potato cake). I had their con special which was chocolate rubbed pork with shitake mushrooms and cauliflower atop a white Cheddar potato cake and served with German Mustard. Holy kraut was that good!

And, after my last panel, I went outside to find a gentleman who was restoring an old Model T. He was also giving rides in it, which I certainly took advantage of. I went back out to get some pictures, but he’d left, which was rather disappointing, but I walked by there just as things were wrapping up for the day and he’d returned, so I was able to snag some shots of his vehicle.

So, all in all, it was a fantastic day yesterday, and I look forward to wrapping everything up today and getting home.

383 385 384

A nostalgic look at the past

My latest story from Pro Se Press is an homage to the heroes of the 1940s, where my hero meets a real life hero that many people haven’t heard of before.

The Dark Leopard from Pro Se Productions

The Dark Leopard from Pro Se Productions

From the Pro Se Productions Teaser posted today: “Another Super Heroine Kicking Her Way into the Present from the Past. Coming VERY Soon from Pro Se Productions! Cover by Rock Baker, Colors by Marc Haines!”

_______________________________________________

And in something else writing related, I booked my room for Rocket City Lit Fest tonight and am working with the panel coordinator for what panels I’ll be at on Shore Leave.  Now to start packing for Sooner Con this weekend.

Ah, the whirlwind life of a writer.

Forward progress

Been busy the last couple of days.

1) Finished the first round of edits to the book, the acknowledgements, the dedication, the back cover material and fired all of that back to my editor. I’m hoping round two of the edits will be a little better, but we’ll know when I open his email and see whether my computer catches fire or not.

2) Talked to a couple of reviewers and fired off copies of some of my work.

3) Talked to one of my publishers about a couple of projects near and dear to my heart. Movement is happening and I’m a very happy writer about that.

4) Found out a Kickstarter I was supporting not only hit their goal, but nailed most of their stretch goals! Fantastic job Champions of Aetaltis! Maybe some of that mojo will rub off on my own Kickstarter this fall.

5) and best of all, I received the first bit of art for the Kickstarter. This is going to be one of the posters we’ll be giving out as a reward. But, we’ll give you guys a sneak peak now. This is a cropped version of Shane Braithwaite’s stunning art. And this is just the poster. I can’t WAIT to see what he does with the cover.

6) And now, time to go off and work on my secret project and listen to the Royals/Mariners game.

Shane Braithwaite's poster of Yuki for the upcoming Kickstarter

Shane Braithwaite’s poster of Yuki for the upcoming Kickstarter

Score: Technology 1, Me 0

And for something completely different, I had my first turn as an on-line disc jockey tonight for the Gaming World Entertainment Network. It was fun, frustrating, and a bit nerve-wracking.

Now, mind you, I haven’t DJ’d since college which was more than a few years ago (aka, who here still remembers how to queue up a 45 so it ‘s up to speed as you go on air with it?). I’m more used to dealing with mixer boards and slider bars in real life, not in a virtual studio, but luckily, the gw-en DJ’s were more than patient with me and helped me get set up for my show tonight.

The biggest problem I had tonight was I purchased a really good microphone and pre-amp set up years ago. At the time, they were not necessarily top of the line, but about as close as I could afford. Unfortunately, as we learned this evening, WIN7 doesn’t play well with them. And, it reads the microphone as a mono system when it’s definitely not.

So, needless to say, this drove the DJ on duty with me crazy as he was trying to fix things mid-stream. Finally, we just decided to punt back to my good ol’ Logitech headphones/microphone and voila, the issues cleared up. Why? Don’t ask.

Luckily, the in-game audience seemed to appreciate the playlist I had put together and I got some encouraging words from other former DJs who happened to be there. So, while tonight’s performance wasn’t going to win any awards, at least I didn’t completely fall on my face.

It looks like I may be doing this one evening a week for three hours. I think once I get my feet back underneath me (and get some patter down for the audience), it’ll be a lot of fun. And heck, since it’s a volunteer position, if it’s not fun, why am I doing it? *grin*

Once I know what my actual schedule is, I’ll let you know when to find me if you like “classic rock with a twist.”

Writing sprint completed

Spent some time writing a couple of new sections the editor wanted to see for Terra Incognito. Added 582 words to Chapter 14 and 2800 to Chapter 15. So, barring more additions/deletions from the next round of edits, the book should just about be at its final length.

This was a good writing day. Over 3300 new words and they might even be good ones, which is always a good feeling. *grin* I’ll give this a once over this weekend and get it back to the editor for the next round on the chopping block.

Then it’s on to the “secret project” and also finishing up a few stories I’ve still got hanging around.

There’s always more work to be done. Always.

Now, this is more like it

Writing (and other stuff) was accomplished tonight.

Practical writing first – finished the first drafts of the dedication, the acknowledgement, and the back cover material for Terra Incognito. Yes, even dedications and acknowledgements get drafts because everything needs to be edited at least once.

Fun writing – added another thousand words to a story I hope to pitch to a new publisher later this summer. It’s one of those things I pick at from time to time to recharge the batteries. It’s coming together rather well. Hopefully the publisher will think so too.

Under other stuff, I had a good conversation with Delfin Barral, who’s going to be designing the new Nightwolf Graphics logo and a logo for the For a Few Gold Pieces More collection. We kicked around some ideas and I think we’re on the same sheet of music, so we’ll see how things go.

(Besides, Del used to work for WaRP Graphics. I think he knows a thing or two about drawing wolves. *grin*)

However, the evening was topped off by an email I received. An anthology about a property I really am passionate about approved my pitch for a short story. *inserts fireworks here* I’ve really wanted to do something with this property for a long time and hopefully, this will be the first of many opportunities to do that.

So, it appears going to Origins Game Fair may have just paid off.

Of course, now I have to actually write the story. Yeah, I know, there’s always a catch.

Still, even with my own projects looming on the horizon, I’m really pumped about this. More information as soon as I’m allowed to say more about this.

So, I count this day as pretty win/win.

Publishing happened. Writing? Not so much.

Came home tonight with the express purpose of getting some writing done—then came the phone calls:

1) My editor for Terra Incognito
2) The designer for Terra Incognito
3) The graphic designer for For a Few Gold Pieces More
4) The editor for Terra Incognito again
5) My web designer

Now, mind you, these were all phone calls that needed to be made/handled, and a lot of good information was passed on during them.

The editor and I discussed the first round of edits for Terra and also how things need to go to get ready for round two.

After I discussed things with the designer about how we wanted to lay this book out and get it ready to go once the editor is done, I had to talk to the editor again and coordinate with him.

Talked to the graphic designer about a new Nightwolf Graphics logo that would be more book friendly than my earlier logos (they looked great on a comic, but not to much on a book cover).

Then finally with my web designer about setting up the Nightwolf Graphics page separate from my author web page to support both Terra Incognito and For a Few Gold Pieces More.

So, the publishing side of getting these books out the door is moving along, but writing must happen too. *sigh*