Legal Termination of a Warlock... and Other Tales
I think urban fantasy can be a bit too serious and portentous at times, don't you? Be warned, we're about to proceed with all due sarcasm.
Mister Lewis calls himself a "physics consultant," but what he really consultants on are problems that defy the laws of physics. Problems like whether there's a supernatural reason all those musicians are dying or how to build an ironclad legal case for firing a warlock from your company. And like any consultant, he frequently finds himself doing unpleasant work for unpleasant people.
It's a genre bender filtering urban fantasy, horror and detective fiction through a sardonic worldview. The influences are The Night Stalker by way of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Art Buchwald.
I've already written a couple stories about Mister Lewis and I'd like to try something a little different as I move forward with the series. I'd like to write a story each month - a novelette or longish short story. I'm calling it novelettes, but if you wanted to call a monthly e-zine, I wouldn't argue with you. The idea is to have a new story show up each month like an issue of Batman... except without the serials and annoying crossover events.
What will these read like? Lucky you, I've already written two adventures and they're online for free, so you can make an informed decision:
All the Dead Musicians: Why were so many musicians suddenly dying? Why was a certain aging rocker infamous for his overindulgence still standing and the younger musicians weren’t? Something is very wrong in the music industry and this time it’s not a publicity stunt.
The Curse of the Goat: The baseball team was poised to go all the way, but there was a problem: they played in a cursed ballpark. As the curse spills out of the ballpark and into the drunken throngs surrounding it, an alderman obsessed with redevelopment is drawn into conflict with a sinister and entitled group of NIMBYs bent on a sports-free neighborhood. Mister Lewis has been hired to clean up the mess, but the Curse of the Goat wants blood.
The Stories for This Project
What I am looking to write? Topics and titles are subject to change if inspiration strikes, but the current slate is:
Legal Termination of a Warlock: The tech startup really needs to fire somebody before the sexual harassment suits start dropping, so why not that employee they're sure is a warlock? After all, nobody wants an older employee at a tech company, but how do document cause for termination on a warlock?
The Gentrified Bodega: The building was sold. The neighborhood was said to be improving and those condos were going to fetch a pretty penny. There's just one problem - the bodega on the first floor wasn't always a bodega and there was something that didn't want to move out.
The Hipster From Hell: You expect hipsters to worship irony. You don't expect prayers to irony to get answered, but then again, who makes a blood sacrifice to irony?
Surveillance From Beyond the Veil: Wire taps? Fine. Computer viruses? Fine. Corporate spies that literally haunt the walls? That's a different type of clean up.
The Soul Tariff: A tax on departing souls causes a backup at the funeral parlor.
Term Limits Don't Matter If You Have Enough Children: An old acquaintance resurfaces and takes nepotism to unheard of levels.
How would I be receiving these stories? With a download code for a .PDF or .ePub file. And you'll be getting it a month before anything goes up on the major bookstores sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
What are the Premium offerings? Three things: at the $50 level, your name will be included on a patron's page at the beginning of the ebook. At the $100, a character in one of the stories will be named after you and said character will die a horrible death. Be warned: your namesake might not be a pleasant person. And if you really, really want some Lovecraft material... look to the bottom of the rewards list.
Have I done this writing thing before? I'm a member of Mystery Writers of America, best known on the fiction side of things for writing a webcomic for the Chicago Tribune Media Group. Over on the journalism side, I was a contributing editor to one TIME's Top 25 Blogs of 2012 and written for Chicago Tribune, New York Resident, Publishers Weekly, Startup Grind, The Next Web, The Beat and Comic Book Resources. I get around a little.
How did you arrive at that number for the goal? I need to redirect time from other projects to adhere to a monthly schedule. It's not that big a deal to reallocate my time, but those student loan people want their money! So I'm essentially calculating that minimum as a percentage of my grad school loans. (Education being the gift that keeps on giving... you a bill each month.)
Go ahead and have a look at the first two stories. If you like what you see or you like what's on the menu, please consider making a pledge.
Risks and challenges
You've seen the topics. You've seen the covers. You've seen the samples.
I just need to sit down and do some writing.
The general risks are me being hit by a bus or similarly incapacitated.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)