Doc Wilde Update: Running Late, Still Working On It…

WILDEmadskullCoverMockup

Advance cover mock-up by Gary Chaloner

Okay, the bad news first: Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull, which was targeted for release right about now, ain’t ready yet.

There have been delays at both ends, writer and artist. I’m not satisfied with the manuscript as it stands and have been trying to wrestle it into its proper form while also dealing with matters related to importing my lovely lass Nydia and her son from Brazil and installing them in my cave, getting married, and preparing all the paperwork for immigration in order to make Nyd legal so that Donald Trump doesn’t spaz out about it on Twitter and sic the DHS on us. Meanwhile, Gary Chaloner has had a lot on his plate that has slowed his progress on the art and book design.

But, we’re still at it, and other Wilde adventures are in the works. For one, I have a chunk of the third book, Doc Wilde and The Dance of the Werewolf, already written and Gary will be getting a jump on the cover design for that. For another, he is about to begin publishing a quarterly comic magazine, Adventure Illus., which will focus on his comic book work and characters but which will also feature serialized original Doc Wilde stories. More news on that as it happens.

Now, I’m gonna relax and enjoy my family the rest of the year, then really get cranking again in January to get all this Wilde goodness out to the folks raring to see it.

Happy Holidays to you all. Stay Wilde!

See The Cover Art For DOC WILDE AND THE MAD SKULL!

WILDEmadskullCoverMockup

I am thrilled, at long last, to reveal to you oh so patient readers the cover design for Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull, the long-delayed second Wilde adventure novel. The art is, naturally, by the great Gary Chaloner. This is in grayscale, of course. The final version will be in glorious color.

In this book, my long-awaited follow-up to Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom (KIRKUS REVIEWS: “Written in fast-paced, intelligent prose laced with humor and literary allusions ranging from Dante to Dr. Seuss, the story has all of the fun of old-fashioned pulp adventures…”) the Wildes face a sinister mystery and a truly bizarre villain in a battle that rages from New York City to a scorching wasteland and maybe into the realms of death itself…

The book is suitable for all ages. Publication planned for the Christmas season.

Also, those snakes? Fire snakes. As in snakes made of fire.

Get ready to Go Wilde again!

The Once & Future Wilde: GREAT News About The Doc Wilde Series!

Wilde Adventure!

Today, I get to share some huge news with you about the future of Doc Wilde.

As you may know, the first book in the series, Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, was published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 2009. It was very well reviewed and sold well enough that Putnam contracted me for two more books toward building a regular series. The safe (and possibly sane) course of action would have been to stick with Putnam and all the benefits of publishing with a big house. My experience with Putnam was largely positive, and I’d beaten the odds by landing with them in the first place. But…

But I wasn’t satisfied with the book Putnam put out or their support of it. There were some editorial dictates I allowed myself to be persuaded to follow that I felt weakened the story, the book was pigeonholed by the publisher as a middle-grade work rather than a tale for all ages as I intended, and the publisher put very little effort or money into promotion (this is, alas, mostly par for the course these days).

Additionally, I was simply more ambitious about the Wildes than Putnam was, and had wanted the books to be fully illustrated. With this in mind, before I’d even finished writing the book I’d sought and found the perfect artist for it, a hellaciously talented Aussie named Gary Chaloner. Gary read what I’d written to that point and fell in love with the characters and agreed to join the Wilde team. While I finished the book, he put a lot of time and work into getting the characters just right, and I loved his take on my heros. A fellow pulp-fan, Gary understood the Wildes in his bones, and his images were dynamic and clever and made my story look good. The picture atop this post is one of his.

When they bought Frogs of Doom, Putnam disregarded all the work Gary had already done and my aspiration for nicely illustrated volumes. The book they put out replaced illustrations with goofy typographical effects in the text which made it look expressly aimed only at younger readers, and while the painted cover was nice, it did not capture my characters as I saw them and I never got so much as an email consultation with the artist.

Doc Wilde, 1st edition

Now, that’s not unusual, not many authors actually have much say in the covers that get stuck on their books. But since I’d been through months of collaborative effort with my artist of choice, who had labored meticulously to honor my vision, I was naturally even more dissatisfied by the outcome.

So, inspired by the independent publishing revolution, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I managed to work some loophole sorcery and not only wriggled out of the contract for the next two books but regained full rights to Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom. I brought Gary back on board and we set out to create the books I’d wanted all along. After lots of work and some delays, in 2013 we rereleased the first book in a gorgeous new edition that was not only packed with great Chaloner artwork but also featured my preferred, extended “Author’s Cut” of the story.

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM

Working with Gary on this book was the most enjoyable creative collaboration I’ve ever had, and the resulting volume is a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, just after its publication, Gary was forced to resign from the series due to scheduling concerns. This was a crushing blow, but I rallied and hired a new artist, Tess Fowler, which was a terrible mistake. She took my money and dragged ass for months without producing anything but a few rough sketches then, as we approached the originally agreed upon release window, threw a neurotic fit and ceased all communications. She kept the cash. I later found out that I’m not the only victim of this sort of behavior on her part.

Being ripped off by Tess Fowler didn’t just cost me money, it cost me all the months she was allegedly working on the next book. And it triggered my depression, which I’ve battled for years, making further progress impossible for many months more. All the creative and logistical issues of creating these books were further exacerbated by the anxiety of my trust betrayed and depression’s leaden shroud. I entered a period of convalescence, realizing I needed to get a handle on my daily life again before I could even begin to think about getting back to work on the Wilde books.

Well, the time has come to get back on that buckin’ bronco. The Doc Wilde series is finally continuing. And the really big news is: Gary Chaloner is back as the official Wilde artist!

HURRAY!

Gary is still very busy, so we’re taking it at a slower pace than originally intended, but it’s worth it to do these books right. The new release schedule will be a new Doc Wilde book every year. This will allow him to fit Wilde work into his schedule without overwhelming him, and it will allow me to alternate Doc Wilde books with other writing projects.

We plan to release the second book, Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull, by Christmas 2016, with a yearly release around the same time each year thereafter. And we hope you’ll join us on all our adventures for years to come…

ADVENTURE!

I Love My Readers: Doc Wilde Now At A Lower Price! Buy It In Print, Get The Ebook Free!

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM

I write to be read. And the more people who read my writing, the happier I am. (And, admittedly, the more solvent I am).

So I’m always looking for ways to make it easier for readers to get their hands on my stuff, and lately I’ve made some changes I hope will do just that.

First, I’ve dropped the price of my all-ages adventure novel Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom in paperback. This is a very well-reviewed, cliffhanger-packed tale (“Written in fast-paced, intelligent prose laced with humor and literary allusions ranging from Dante to Dr. Seuss, the story has all of the fun of old-fashioned pulp adventures.” — Kirkus Reviews) in a gorgeous volume full of beautiful illustrations by Aussie comics whiz Gary Chaloner. Its original price was $13.99, for the foreseeable future it’s $11.99. I’ll be making less per copy, but I hope that the change will make it easier for more folks to decide to purchase (especially since vendors sometimes cut the price even further: at the moment, Amazon has it for $10.79).

The ebook drops from $6.99 to $5.99, and contains all the fantastic Chaloner artwork of the paperback.

Kindle MatchBook

Also, a while back I entered the book into Amazon’s Kindle MatchBook program. The way this works is, if you buy the print book (or have bought the print book  in the past), the author can allow you to get the ebook for a reduced price. I’d initially set the price at $1.99, but I ultimately decided that I wanted to be even nicer to my readers, so I’ve set the price to $0.00. Buy the print book, get the ebook free.

This works even if you bought the original Putnam hardback. If you bought it from Amazon, you can now read the expanded, improved text of the Outlaw Moon edition, and see all the Chaloner artwork, for free.

By the way, you don’t need a Kindle to read the Kindle format. Amazon has Kindle apps for just about any gadget you can read on — smartphones, Macs, PCs, tablets — and you can get them here.

DOC WILDE AND THE MAD SKULL Cover Reveal!!!

Doc Wilde

Okay, the work is done and Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom is on the verge of its rebirth as a much improved, fully illustrated edition. We even have the bar code.

One of the final delays was that we wanted to include an excerpt and the cover from the second book, Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull, in the back of Frogs, so Gary Chaloner actually had to paint the thing. Seems like that takes time. Who knew?

Anyway, though it will get some tweaking between now and its actual  publication, it is effectively done, ready for your eyes…

UPDATE: Getting this book out took longer than expected, and we opted to go with another cover design. You can see it here.

Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull Cover Art

Doc Wilde: The Final Update Before Publication!

A World of Adventure

I’ve been keeping quiet, mostly, since my return from Brazil, and since announcing the “imminent” release of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom at the end of January. This is because I’ve been very busy working, but also because even I’m weary of my pattern of optimistic-announcements-followed-by-some-more-interminable-waiting. That said…

The release of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom is imminent.

I just finished a complete overhaul of the Doc Wilde website, and you can read the details in this blog post there. I’ll be shifting a good share of Doc Wilde-related posts to the official blog in the future, as well as availing myself of the newsletter, which you can sign up for to make sure you get the latest news. Don’t fret, I’m not going to spam you with lots of emails; anyone who follows this blog knows how sporadic I can be. For the moment, the newsletter will be used just for practical updates on the books, but over time I plan to do some fun things with it (though still on a non-spammy basis).

While we’re talking about subscriptions, I may as well point out that you can also subscribe to this blog via the button in the sidebar. This is my personal space, and I’ll continue to talk not only about my writing and publishing adventures, but all the weird and wise and sometimes inappropriate things that occur to me.

Back on the subject of the Doc Wilde site, I’m very pleased with it. Swing by and take a look, check out the gallery of Gary Chaloner’s awesome artwork, read the reviews Frogs of Doom received when it was first published by Putnam, sign the guestbook. Go Wilde…

DOC WILDE ADVENTURE HEADQUARTERS

The Imminent Return of Doc Wilde

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM

Whew. Finally.

Months later than originally announced, artist Gary Chaloner and I are almost ready to release the new improved edition of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom under the banner of Outlaw Moon Books. The book layout and design are done, most of the art is ready, and the remaining art is done and inked with just a bit of toning to finish it up. And it all looks beautiful. Gary has really knocked it out of the park, and I can’t wait to see what he does on the next book. (I’ve shared some of the art, in various stages of completion, in this album on Facebook, but there’s still a lot that no one has seen yet).

For those new to our saga, this novel is the first in an all-ages series of high adventure novels which I initially published with Penguin/Putnam. They contracted me for the first three, with more to follow, and published Frogs of Doom back in 2009. For various reasons I’ve covered at length on this blog, I then opted to negotiate my way out of my contracts, pulling Frogs from print and regaining full rights to all the books, in order to take advantage of the new self-publishing ecosystem to release the books in a nicer format, fully illustrated by Gary, with full creative control.

This new edition of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom is not only gorgeously illustrated by an incredible artist, it contains my “Author’s Cut,” preferred (and expanded) version of the text. It is in every way superior to the first edition, and I’m excited to be able to share the book in the form I originally intended.

I have been helped along the way by a sizable group of angels who supported my Kickstarter nearly a year ago, providing funds to aid us in producing books of a quality not just matching the job Putnam did with the Wildes, but radically improving on it. They have cheerfully and stalwartly remained positive through months of delay and setback, and I’m humbled and grateful and thrilled to finally be able to give them something back.

So, when is the book due? ETA: any time now. And this time, it’s for reals.

HURRAY!