Here we are finally at the end of 2016 - and what a tumultuous year it has been! I don't need to tell anyone how the world events have been rocky and ever changing, feeling more like a scripted show during sweeps than the more consistent and predictable years that preceded it. Lots of celebrity deaths too - famous people die every year, but somehow those who passed on felt even more meaningful than others. Or perhaps with the crazy see-saw of a year, we just tried to hold onto stability, and the death of those we love and idolize hurt so much more. Many would like to dismiss the whole year, saying nothing worthwhile came of it and to never speak of 2016 again. I'm not someone who can say that. This was the year my daughter was born, and I wouldn't trade that for any change to the year. In addition, on a more professional level, I put out some good work during 2016.
First in February was the second Dane Monday book, BURNING MONDAY. How do you follow up a quasi-ridiculous story with a manic investigator, robots, some magic, a megalomaniac, and two giant creatures fighting in a city? I don't have a definitive answer to that, but I did it with an occult Chinese fire cult, quasi-Daoist mysticism, some werewolf bikers, a giant serpent, and some mystic kungfu. Did it work? That's for better men and women than I to decide.
Next in May was the second New Avalon Case Files novel, THE CASE OF THE GHOSTLY RUNNERS AND THE TALL MAN. This mouthful of a novel title was the continuation of the mystery gang's encounters with the strange war of light versus darkness. It also turns into a haunted house novel in the last third, as if that is ever a bad thing. Interested readers will notice it has a tie in to MANIC MONDAY, but it is not essential; Dane Monday readers will not feel lost if they don't read this novel, Case Files readers don't need to have read Manic Monday.
In August came the third Nowak Brothers novel, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MONSTER HUNTER. Szandor resumes the narrating reigns as he details getting his life back together after the events of JABBERWOCK JACK. Of course, this doesn't work out so well as people's heads keep exploding, not to mention encounters with insectoid monsters, murderous revenants, and exploding trucks. And those sometimes feel less dangerous than his own failing relationship. However, rest assured, there's the same amount of cursing and Szandor hitting things with a lead pipe - these are franchise staples, after all.
December brought us the surprise of the year - and I mean I was surprised too, albeit earlier in the year than you. I hadn't intended to write a sequel to THE LOST AND THE DAMNED this year. Oh, I had notes and a partial draft, but I didn't think I'd be getting back to writing it anytime soon. But sometimes inspiration has a mind of its own, and I found myself pushing back the next Dane Monday novel to write PAPER MOON. The further adventures of John Keats, this novel has him back in Austin, searching for a missing person connected to a PBS studio puppet show. That itself is a path to dark things, but John's life is further complicated by the blackness that spoke to him in the bowels of Bellingham during The Lost and the Damned. And then of course there's an apocalyptic prophecy concerning him, which is just never good and a source of even more trouble.
What's 2017 going to bring? In general, I hope it brings a more stable year, maybe one where things aren't so chaotic and things going right for people. What can you expect from me? I've already announced the third Dane Monday book, MURDER MONDAY. Expect to see that possibly in March. There will be another Nowak brothers novel in 2017. You can bet on that. Beyond those, who knows what else? Perhaps I'll even be surprised at what else the year brings.
I want to say thank you to all of you who have read my books this year. I'm going to keep putting out the novels I have in me and I hope you enjoy reading them. I wish you all the best in 2017 from my family to yours!
Dec 31st, 2016
P.S. Want some free books? Until the end of today, you can get THE CASE OF THE DEAD GIRL IN MY APARTMENT! And thought Tuesday, you can get THE DEVIL TAKES HIS CUT!