Announcing: The Frogs of Doom Typo Challenge!!! [UPDATED! AGAIN!]

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM
When I left a multi-book contract at Putnam and decided to publish my Doc Wilde adventure series independently, it was for various reasons including getting the lion’s share of the profits from my work and full creative control. Part of the latter was a desire to produce books that were at least as professionally wrought as those coming out of a publishing house, and of which I could be proud.

We see a lot of insult hurled at the indie publishing community. The fact that it has become so easy to publish has undeniably opened the gates to a lot of lazy, shoddy, unedited books. Some people refuse to see the other side of the equation, that a great many very talented writers who have either not been fortunate enough to break in with a traditional publisher yet, or who have opted to leave the old system as I have, now have the chance to share their work and possibly even make a living from it.

I’m not the first to set out to do things right, by any stretch. But I wanted to be one of the writers who prove that indie publishing can result in wonderful books, a group that gets larger all the time.

One of the most common complaints I see about self-publishing is that the books are terribly edited, full of typos and bad spelling. As a writer who slaves over his prose with a goal of not needing to be edited, I was determined that no one be able to sling that particular brickbat my way. Which brings me to:

The Frogs of Doom Typo Challenge

From Monday, June 17, 2013 through Monday, June 24, 2013, everyone who emails  me (at docwildekickstarter@gmail.com) identifying a typo or misspelling in  Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom will be entered into a random drawing to win an autographed first edition hardback of the book, an autographed copy of the new deluxe second edition, and my thanks for pointing out something I can correct to make my book even better.

This applies only to the new edition from Outlaw Moon Books, and doesn’t include the excerpt from the next book in the back (that book is still being developed, so the text of the excerpt is essentially still in first draft form).

Any submissions which arrive prior to noon on Monday will be deleted. Likewise, any typos pointed out beforehand (in comments here or elsewhere) will disqualify you; I want people to have a fair shot at getting their entry in when the time is right.

If anyone wins the challenge, I will update this post with the news as well as writing a new post to announce it.

Good luck, intrepid readers!

UPDATE: It was pointed out to me that I really wasn’t allowing much time for the contest, so I’m adding a week and a few hours to the starting time. It will now begin Monday, June 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm EDT. I had also originally said the first person to identify a typo would win; now everyone who enters between 6/17/2013 and 6/24/2013 will have a chance to win.

CRY “HAVOC!” AND LET SLIP THE FROGS OF DOOM!!! [UPDATED]

Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom is DONE, the epic battle raging across the world in both digital and print form. Read the news in the latest post of the official Doc Wilde blog:

CRY “HAVOC!” AND LET SLIP THE FROGS OF DOOM!!! 

UPDATE: Just to be clear, the book is not quite out yet, as we’re still jumping through the hoops to place it on sale through the various major venues. The actual details on this, and other stuff, is in the post at the link.

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

Shadowy News For Pulp Movie Fans…

The Shadow

Some news on the Doc Wilde blog for fans of pulp action movies in general and 1994’s film version of The Shadow in particular:

Shadowy News

Which reminds me of one of my better Twitter statuses last year:

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

CHASE ME (A Charming Animated Short)

Chase Me

This is for Nydia…

A lovely animated short from the creators of the classic Batman animated series, silent movie style, all elegant art and sleek action, with a great musical score.

Enjoy.

The Mother Fucking Space Marines

SPACE MARINES

So corporate bully boys Games Workshop are now insisting they own a trademark on the term “space marine,” which first appeared back in 1932 in the story “Captain Brink of the Space Marines” by Bob Olsen. They had a book by writer M.C.A Hogarth kicked off of Amazon for her use of this common, stock, standard, downright cliché science fiction trope.

From her blog:

Today I got an email from Amazon telling me they have stopped selling Spots the Space Marine because Games Workshop has accused me of infringement on their trademark of the word ‘space marine’.

If you go to the Trademarks Database and look up the word “space marine” you’ll find the Games Workshop owns a trademark on the term “space marine,” but it only covers the follow goods and services: IC 028. US 022. G & S: board games, parlor games, war games, hobby games, toy models and miniatures of buildings, scenery, figures, automobiles, vehicles, planes, trains and card games and paint, sold therewith.

Fiction isn’t included in that list, which means Games Workshop has no grounds on which to accuse me of trademark infringement.

I didn’t get my use of that term from Games Workshop. I got it from Robert Heinlein. Apparently the first use of the term was in 1932. E.E. Smith used it, among others. Also there are other novels on Amazon being sold that have “space marine” in the title. I don’t know why Games Workshop decided to complain about Spots in particular, but my guess is because the Kickstarter made it a little higher-profile than the average indie offering.

This is as bad as Marvel and DC Comics conspiring to share a trademark on the term “superhero,” barring all others from using it. It’s pointless and ridiculous and downright unfriendly to the creative community at large.

As for Games Workshop? Fuck those guys.

(Note: Like that cool pulpy cover I posted up there? You can make your own with the Pulp-O-Mizer at Bradley Schenck’s Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual website, which is a very cool place to visit…)

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!

Doc Savage Vs. King Kong!

Doc Savage vs King Kong

I have returned from the jungled mountains of Brazil, renewed, a silly smile on my face, and ready to get back to work on the Doc Wilde adventures. I have a lot to write about, and will get to it as I can, but I wanted to share this cool news from friend of the Wildes and fellow pulpster Will Murray:

Eighty years ago in February, 1933 the Street & Smith company released the first issue of Doc Savage Magazine, introducing one of the most popular and influential pulp superheroes ever to hit the American scene. Doc Savage was the greatest adventure and scientist of his era, and while his magazine ended in 1949, he influenced the creators of Superman, Batman, Star Trek, The Man from UNCLE and the Marvel Universe—to name only a few.

While that first issue of Doc Savage was fresh on Depression newsstands,  Universal Studios released one of the most important fantasy films of all time. Everyone  knows the story of how King Kong was discovered on Skull Island and hauled back to New York in chains, only to perish tragically atop the world’s tallest  skyscraper, the Empire State Building.

As it happened, that was where Doc Savage had his world headquarters. For decades, fans have wondered: Where was Doc the day Kong fell? Continue reading

Where, Oh Where, Is Doc Wilde?

Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom

Time for what will hopefully be the last update before we start getting Doc Wilde books into precious readers’ hands…

Artist extraordinaire Gary Chaloner is polishing up the last bits of art for the long-awaited rerelease of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, and it has been worth the wait. The cover above is nicely representative of his work, and if you glance to the image of the previous iteration in the sidebar on the right, you’ll notice he’s made it even better (though it still needs a bit of fine-tuning).

I’m doing a few final alterations to the text and end matter (the acknowledgements and author’s notes, that sort of thing), then that goes to Gary and he will polish the whole thing into a shiny, shiny book.

I hope to at least have ebooks into folks’ gadgets (and hopefully for sale) by Christmas. No guarantees, but I hope that. The proofing process for the paperback will likely take more time, as will Kickstarter special bits like posters. But we’re on the job, and as we finalize this book, we’re already getting a start on putting together a great edition of book 2, Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull.

This has been a major learning process for us, but that was to be expected. I’m disappointed we’ve had the delays and obstacles, but I’m more sanguine about it all now that we’re about to actually have the first book rereleased into the wild where it belongs. In the future, I’ll scale my expectations back somewhat when announcing release schedules, because “they” are right: it always takes longer and costs more.

But the final result is going to be something to be proud of.

I want to once again thank all of our friends who’ve supported us in this project. Your patience has been humbling. Your help has been crucial in allowing us to take the time to do things properly, in order to release the books to a high standard of quality. You’re all a part of the Wilde family and I hope you’ll join us on many more adventures for years to come.

The Wildes

Hush, Hush, Hush, Here Comes the Bogeyman… (Song of the Week, Halloween 2012)

I love Halloween.

Reflecting that, our song of the week is  “Hush, Hush, Hush, Here Comes the Bogeyman” from 1932, by Henry Hall’s Orchestra with vocals by Val Rosing. Enjoy.

The Spider Is Dead! Long Live The Spider!

For the past few years, I’ve subscribed to Girasol Collectables’ “Spider Pulp Doubles” series reprinting the classic adventures of one of pulp’s greatest heroes, The Spider. Four times a  year, I’d receive a nicely produced magazine-sized trade paperback containing two of these apocalyptic wonders which were originally published back in the thirties, and I’ve enjoyed reading them and watching my shelves sag with my growing pulp collection.

The latest, pictured above, arrived today, but with it came a dire note: Continue reading

A Note From Doc Wilde’s Workshop

Wondering about what’s happening with Doc Wilde?

You’re in the right place. As you may know, I pulled the series from Putnam in order to use the tools of the new indie publishing revolution to produce the books the way I’d originally envisioned them, including covers and a lot of incredible interior art by comics maestro Gary Chaloner. The original plan had been to have three of Doc’s adventures out by the end of this year, but as I’ve explained previously, this plan has fallen to Murphy’s Law.

I’m not at all happy with that, but the situation is what it is. Gary and I are working steadily on getting the first book, the re-release of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, out in time for Christmas. I’d say even sooner, but such statements seem to like to come back and bite me on the ass.

As you can see above (as well as in previous posts, and in my “Doc Wilde” photo album on Facebook, which is viewable by the public), the work Gary is doing is amazing, and well worth the wait.

In other exciting news, we’ve added a brilliant new member to Team Wilde, taking an important step toward global domination. My lovely friend Nydia Macedo has contracted to translate Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom into Portuguese for release in Brazil. The Brazilian edition will include the same Gary Chaloner design and art as the English edition, and will be just the start of worldwide availability of Doc Wilde’s astonishing adventures.

Welcome to the family, Nyd.

PANCAKES

In certain circles, there has been a royal stink the past few days about, of all things, pancakes. I don’t actually know the particulars and feel like my brain cells are better occupied with other things, but as an antidote to that particular venom, and any other you may be suffering from, I offer up this classic Hellboy tale by Mike Mignola. I hope it’s okay to do so, as these two pages are widely available on the net, and I originally read the tale as a free digital comic on the Dark Horse Comics website. If I hear otherwise, I’ll remove it.

Continue reading

Doc Wilde Is On His Way!

The end of August is nigh. According to our original plan, the first two books in the Doc Wilde relaunch should be out by now. That hasn’t happened, as I’ve explained previously, because of schedule conflicts artist Gary Chaloner had to deal with.

I hate that the plan has gone awry, not just because I’m losing possible income every day that goes by without these books being available, but because I feel bad that I said I was going to bring them out now and failed to do so. I was too optimistic, or unrealistic, or both. And it’s conceivable that had I made certain choices I might have managed to stick to the schedule, or at least closer to it. I could have found another artist for the books, and that might have sped things up…though maybe not, because I’d have had to find them and negotiate the deal with them and familiarize them with the world of the books, and then might have had timing issues on their end as well. And it would have meant not having Gary’s art in the books, which would have been a shame.

I could have opted to forego the interior illustrations, and just have covers by Gary. We almost certainly could have had the books out on time doing that, but I promised illustrated books all through the Kickstarter, and I’m wedded to doing it that way because I want the books to be everything they can be. That was part of the big appeal in going independent in the first place.

So the decisions I’ve made have been to the detriment of the original schedule, rather than to the detriment of the books themselves, and I think most would agree that’s the wise choice. I’m loathe to give a publication date at the moment, considering the way things have gone, but Gary is hard at work finishing up the interiors for Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom and painting the cover of Doc Wilde and The Mad Skull. Here’s an early peek at that, complete with cackling skull, unfriendly dead people, and snakes made of fire:

We’re also producing a book of supplemental Wilde material including deleted scenes, historical notes, personal essays, and lots of Chaloner art tracing the artistic development of the characters and their action-packed world. And we’re going to give a free digital copy to every one of our Kickstarter friends as a token of appreciation for your patience.

We’re sorry for the delays, but we remain excited about the Wildes and committed to producing all the books as promised in as timely a manner as we humanly can. When the books are in your hands, I’m confident you’ll think they were worth the wait.

Some Modern Pulp/Science Fiction You REALLY Need To Read

As most folks who know about my character Doc Wilde are aware, Dr. Spartacus Wilde was originally conceived as a contemporary homage to the classic pulp hero Doc Savage whose exploits I, and quite a few others, grew up on. I like to think that Doc Wilde is his own man though, with my fond memories of Doc Savage as the foundation on which I’m building something very much my own. Sort of the way that Robert B. Parker started writing his Spenser novels pretty much as an update of Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, then let Spenser grow and become a distinctive character.

Doc Wilde isn’t the first Doc Savage-inspired hero, and he won’t be the last. Heck, Superman, Batman, and James Bond were all influenced by him in significant ways. Race Bannon on Jonny Quest was a Doc Savage ringer. And there have been many pastiche versions of him of varying levels of authorial ability. I’m currently rereading one I read in high school, A Feast Unknown by the great SF writer Philip Jose Farmer, which basically pits Doc Savage against Tarzan and  is as over-the-top a piece of transgressive, pornographic fiction as I’ve ever seen (and a pretty rollicking tale, if you can take the content).

There’s a new take on Doc out now that you need to know about. I’ve mentioned the Old Man stories by William Preston before, and in the time since, I’ve gotten to know Bill online and consider him a friend. The stories have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction and he is now offering the first two as an ebook on Amazon.

These wonderful stories are great science fiction with pulp trappings, written in a smart, literate style that far transcends the more juvenile style of the original Doc Savage tales. And they are stories which explore some pretty hefty themes, like redemption and the place of heroes in the post 9/11 world. The ebook is a scant $3, and you really owe it to yourself to read it.

DOC WILDE AND THE CHARIOTS OF THE FROGS Added To Doc Wilde Kickstarter

“The Astonishing Adventures of Doc Wilde” Kickstarter project is kicking butt, at 146% of its initial goal with a week still to go. It encompasses the first three Doc Wilde novels, all to be published by year’s end. It allows people to get involved with the series, and with me (the author),  early and to contribute donations to help make the books (which will be fully illustrated by maestro artist Gary Chaloner) as awesome as possible. In return, they can get copies of the books, posters, signed sketches by the artist, all sorts of goodies. The reward levels range from the paltry $5 to the epic $400, and you actually get something at every level.

Previously, I’d announced the first three Doc Wilde novels would be released this year, to be followed by two more next year. Then I added the Dark Avenger Option that allows supporters to add the fourth book, Doc Wilde and The Daughter of Darkness to their rewards package at a special rate.

Now, several supporters have asked me what I have planned for the fifth book, and if there’s any way to add it as well, to round out the pentalogy as it were.

So, with eight days left and me still hoping to get as close to my ideal goal of 200% as possible…why not?

In the fifth book, Doc Wilde and The Chariots of the Frogs, the Frogs of Doom return to our world on a much more epic scale, ready to turn back the tide of warm-blooded evolution once and for all with armies of batrachian monstrosities, dark amphibious magics, and the eldritch power of their dark god. Also really wanting to eat the Wildes, who got in their way last time.

And, yes, supporters can add the book to their rewards if they like by adding this new option:

(NEW) THE MONSTRO FROG OPTION

You can now get the fifth Doc Wilde novel, Doc Wilde and The Chariots of the Frogs, as part of your Kickstarter package, at a special rate. Add $5 to your pledge and you get the ebook; add $13 and you get the ebook and the trade paperback; add $20 and you get both plus a bookplate for the paperback signed by both Gary and me. (For international orders, an additional $10 will be needed to cover shipping on the paperback).

As special thanks for their high level of support, supporters at SERIAL DAREDEVIL level and higher who add the trade paperback for $20 will have it upgraded to a numbered limited edition to match those already in their rewards package.

(As with the Dark Avenger Option, if you choose to do this, just add the appropriate amount to your pledge without changing your chosen reward level; I’ll be sending out a survey after the Kickstarter ends that will allow you to specify which options you’ve pledged for.)

Click the image below for all the information about the Kickstarter:

Looking for Adventure? GO WILDE!!!

DOC WILDE: Looking for a Doc Savage pastiche and a Lovecraftian adventure all in one? Look no further.

As we enter its final week, The Astonishing Adventures of Doc Wilde Kickstarter is at 141% of its original goal and (hopefully) still climbing. After building the project around three novels (all being published this year), in recent days I added an option allowing supporters to also get the 4th book, Doc Wilde and The Daughter of Darkness, which will be released in the first half of 2013.

The most popular option supporters are choosing gets all four novels in ebook format for only $20. Higher level rewards include trade paperback copies, signed limited editions, several additional short Doc Wilde adventures, and other cool stuff.

I also added a bonus reward that all supporters will get for free if we pass 200% of goal, which you can read about here.

Over the course of the Doc Wilde Kickstarter (which ends April 28th), I’m sharing a few of my favorite reviews that the first book, Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, received when it was originally published by Putnam. Today’s is by novelist Bill Crider:

Looking for a Doc Savage pastiche and a Lovecraftian adventure all in one?  Look no further.  Tim Byrd has it for you right here.  Doctor Spartacus Wilde and his two kids, Brian and Wren, are plunged into action almost from page one when they learn of the disappearance of Grandpa Wilde.  They go from the top of what’s obviously the Empire State Building to the South American jungle, tangling with all kinds of weird frogs, not to mention frog-men, along the way.

Wilde is so much like Savage that I expected to him to start trilling on any page.  He never did, but his shirt is always ripped.  So is Grandpa Wilde’s, for that matter.  Like their dad, the kids are fluent in many languages, know more science than a college prof, know more literature than your average English teacher, and are as agile as monkeys.  Doc’s other companions are the ape-like Declan mac Coul and the cultivated Phineas Bartlett (he’s “good with quotations”).  The whole crew speeds from one cliffhanger to the next so fast that you’ll hardly be able to keep up.

Byrd is clearly out to hook both the youngsters and the older folks who’ve read Doc Savage.  Who else would he expect to get this joke: “The impact rattled the man of brawn’s skeleton, . . .”  I’ll bet Byrd’s been waiting years to get that one into print.

It’s all in good fun, and you should know by now if this is your kind of thing.  If it is, you’re probably already waiting for the sequels, which should come along very soon.

Looking for Adventure? GO WILDE!!!

Tim On The Radio: Talking With PULPED! About Doc Wilde, Indie Publishing, & Kickstarter…

Last week, I was interviewed by Pro Se publisher Tommy Hancock for the Pulped! podcast (which, as you might imagine, is all about pulp fiction). We discussed the relaunch of the Doc Wilde series, the Kickstarter I’m currently running to help with that (which ends April 28th), self publishing vs. traditional publishing, and other pulpy things. While my radio face is only slightly better than my internet face, I think the interview came out pretty well, and you can hear it at:

Tim Byrd Gets Pulped!