Seeing as the second book in the series is now out, I figure you all have questions and instead of being barraged with emails, here's to expediency!
Q: What's with the Pulpanormal tag you gave to the series?
A: It's a catchy marketing gimmick but it also comes out of the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal genres being so beaten down by clones of clones of clones. My attempt to carve out my own niche in the nichey niche. The King Henry Tapes returns to the heart of Urban Fantasy and brings back some of that original spirit. It's pulp, it's got some New Weird blood running through it, but it doesn't go overboard. It's a healthy mix of the old creativity and the new vampire/were/fae/magic school stories that readers want. Hence Pulpanormal.
A: If all goes to plan then there will be 12 books in the series. Actually this number is pretty concrete based on carrying "Session" numbering from book to book. If one did math--which I do not recommend--they'd find that at 8 sessions per...okay, I'm not doing math either.
Q: I did the math and it actually adds up to 13 books worth, so are you stupid or something?
A: Stupid or crafty, you'll have to decide when all this is over.
Q: Are you going to keep up the two storylines of "School" and "Shop" throughout the whole series?
A: Yes, however the "Shop" stories will gain prominence and complexity the further along we go.
A: It's not a mess, it's just coded. Have fun.
Q: Where's my Annie B?
A: She'll return, keep reading.
Q: Are some of the classmates like Welf, Pocket, or Valentine going to pop up in the "Shop" story?
Q: Where's Susan Price at?
A: Read and find out...
Q: How did you come up with King Henry?
A: There's a lot of influences for this series. Lost for narrative structure, any Tarantino film for absurdity, I went with a straight up Magic System that's Epic Fantasy in style, but the idea for King Henry actually came from a reread of Wheel of Time. Wait, what? Yeah, really. Wheel of Time has these magic items called ter'angreal that have all these weird uses and I thought...gee, a character that was using nothing but a bunch of ter'angreal would be interesting...
Q: But what about the obvious Harry Potter link?
A: Right, that was next. Over ten years and still America didn't have itself an American Wizard. We had Dresden but he has more in common with DnD than Potter. What really worked with Potter was that you begin young and he grows. That's what I wanted. Plus...that meant I got to write a School Story, which are the most absolutely addicting type of story in existence. (Just ask Buffy, Ender, Veronica Mars, Kvothe, Peter Parker, the X-Men, or Percy Jackson to name a few)
Also, outside of the wizard school aspect...Potter is such a classic Hero's Journey Goody Goody that I just had to mess it up with a tire-iron. No kid raised in a cupboard is going to turn out that nice. So I made the screwed-up version of how that character would have actually been. It helps that I live in a part of the United States with a high Redneck to Normal Person ratio and grew up with plenty of kids just like King Henry.
Q: So you're not like King Henry at all?
A: No, it's important for people to realize that just like Christian Bale isn't Batman (we think) no I'm not King Henry. He's a character I put on and kind of perform. We do have some similarities...um...um...well, I'm a 20-something white guy living in Fresno, there's that...
Q: Why name him "King Henry" of all things?
A: This starts with the vampires and the realization that I wanted the female vamp in the series to be a famous person from history. I thought about it for a few days... Cleopatra? Too old. Helen of Troy? Even older. Joan of Arc? No, but... Anne Boleyn? Bingo! Once Annie B was in then our hero had to be named King Henry.
A: When it comes out... My goal is one a year. But, I'm an Indie. So my writing time can hugely fluctuate. Cat Killing Coyotes was set for March 2012, then I got a huge respiratory infection and was in bed for four weeks so it got pushed back all the way to May. Then editing went insanely awesome (no rewrites) and we ended up back in March. I can't give you readers exact days, just guesses.
Plus, while King Henry is my current main focus I do have other ideas I like to pursue. I have SIX fully outlined stand-alone highly-awesome Fantasy novels that are just sitting in a queue waiting for me to write them. They deserve loving too.
So, best guess: one a year. Which means Book 3 = some time in 2013. Estimate. No promises. Don't chain me down!
If you're a King Henry fanatic your best bet to get more than one a year is spread the word and actually create more King Henry fanatics willing to buy the books and gnash their teeth along with you when I work on side projects.
If you have any other questions, post a comment already.
Main Focus: Gush (Fantasy YA) Novel, First Draft = 11k out of 80k estimate (14%)
Side Focus: King Henry Short Pack 2, Three Novella Pack, First Draft = 34k out of 60k estimate (57%)
Back Burner: Where do Dreamers Go to Die? (Fantasy/Spec Fic Trip) Novel, First Draft = 3k out of 80k estimate (4%)
Other Stuff I Need to Get To: FM1-FM5 print-on-demand editing and formatting, FM3-FM5 concordance updates
Thursday, April 26, 2012
The BETROTHAL ended up my experiment book for practically everything. Learning how to finish a project, editing a project, formatting a project, making a cover, putting it through the system, seeing it utterly bomb and not realizing for a few months that hey, you need to tell people about it and get people to review it, silly writer.
Doing promo work has been the largest task with the biggest learning curve over the year. It's not fun, it's not what I like. I'm a mad scientist in his lab, not a salesman. It's not in my personality. But still, for my pretties I do try. Book bloggers remain the bane of my existence. Nice ladies all (99% of book bloggers are female...probably because they kill the males after mating with them) but the entire system is chaotic...I felt my small bit of German DNA calling for codes, standardization, and order as I looked, searched, and hunted for review policies. It has a lot in common with trying to decipher forgotten languages, especially if the blogger in question has a thing for curly fonts.
This is because of THE KING HENRY TAPES, the first book releasing in September 2011 and the second March 2012. My Urban Fantasy series is still struggling to get its name out in a crowded, if insanely popular, genre, but has received highly positive marks from everyone who has read it. I know eventually people will find it and they will buy it and they will devour every novel I put out with King Henry Price in it over the next decade...but waiting...knowing you're sitting on the next big thing...it can be agonizing.
Looking forward to the next year in my Indie career it's going to be different. Three novels in one year...that won't be happening for Year Two. I've got nothing sitting here to edit or ready for publication. The table I print and stack finished chapters on is completely bare. This year will be about writing. About starting and finishing my next round of novels and stories.
Because I'm still as hungry as when I started this...and I'm not stopping for nothing.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
"Conquering Hero" is a short story set in the King Henry Tapes world. It takes place after the School Story of "Cat Killing Coyotes" and revolves around December Evaluations. Nice little slice of life story, told in third-person, and using a couple of POVs we don't get to see in KHT.
If you love all things King Henry, you'll love this as well. If Welf is your favorite character...first of all, what is wrong with you? Second...your guy's pride might be getting stomped on a bit.
Conquering Hero by Richard Raley at Amazon