Bodies Making Ghosts, Untitled Werewolves, and I Get To Read A New Hailey Piper Novel

I don’t normally lift content from the Rooster Republic Press site, but their newest post has quite a bit to do with me and what I have going on, personally, so here we are. And I wrote the original post anyway, so apologies to, uh, me, I guess. Apologies to you, too, if you already saw the post over at the Rooster site. I don’t steal very much, though, and I will elaborate here in ways I did not over there.

First thing, yes, there is a new Hailey Piper manuscript chilling out on my desktop. I began digging into this one, yesterday, and I am already liking what I am seeing. Methinks it’s nearly time to warm up the ol’ publishing contract. If all goes smoothly, then this book will be coming out from Rooster/Strangehouse in 2023. “More books” is always exciting. More books from Hailey Piper is . . . *EXPLOSION*

2023 title

And, at just north of 109K words, it is a beast of a book.

Appropriately, perhaps, this beast of a book will also be my last acquisition for Rooster Republic Press and Strangehouse Books for the next year or so (or longer, if need be).

I very much enjoy the publishing-side of writing. Helping writers get manuscripts into the hands of readers can be a delightful experience, and I’d say I have a pretty good track record, thus far, of acquiring strong titles, both for Rooster Republic and Journalstone’s eccentric imprint, Bizarro Pulp Press. But, no matter how much I enjoy that side of the business, my truest artistic pleasure comes from creating my own work.

Rooster Republic Press is a full-time job. Both Don Noble and I work every single day of the week, and we often find ourselves putting in plenty of hours over the weekends, as well. Now, that is to be expected, surely, as we are the sole owners and operators of this venture. If we did not work as we do, then Rooster dies on the vine. However, publishing books is not the only thing we do. There’s apparel, games, and our cover art and interior illustration production, to say nothing of the countless hours we spend nurturing freelance work that you may or may not ever see. That’s the nature of things in creative circles.

All that to say: I need a break from work in order to work.

This fall/winter, I will be helping see CHROMOPHOBIA come to life. Simultaneously, I will start working on the aforementioned novel from Hailey Piper, though I’d wager most of the heavy lifting for that won’t be until after CHROMOPHOBIA wraps and heads to printers. And once both are wrapped, then I am taking a much-needed hiatus in order to work on my own stories.

In previous years, all of this juggling of responsibilities was doable. Not easy, mind you, but doable. Then, Covid came along and bungled up the workflow, to say nothing of the greater personal losses, of which there were several. And if I thought I had been busy before, well, throw homeschooling a child on top of all that. However, all things considered, I think I was a pretty good 1st grade teacher. In a few weeks, I get to see how I handle 2nd grade.

Very quickly, I have realized that if I am ever going to finish another book, then I need to clear some personal space. I have, at this time, settled on the magic number of TWO. As in, I plan on writing two novels before I return to my acquisition and editing duties at Rooster Republic.

To give you a sort of timeline:

I finished GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST in the spring of 2019. I was pretty involved in its release, and that kept me busy for a good chunk of that year. Once GRIND saw release, I worked on titles for Rooster and Journalstone for the remainder of that year and into the next.

I had anticipated beginning work on THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS on July 6th of 2020. My father died on July 3rd, however, and new events were then set in motion which were not conducive to writing a novel, as one might expect. It then became increasingly clear that I would be homeschooling my daughter via a distance learning program, the worldwide pandemic being what it was (is). Time, then, was cut between her education and to the books we had already acquired for Strangehouse and Bizarro Pulp Press.

Presently, the world isn’t looking much better, and I will be homeschooling my daughter, again, this year. Rooster had already settled on releasing CHROMOPHOBIA in 2022, and there’s simply no way I am going to pass up the opportunity to again work with Hailey Piper. Add to all of this a highly likely cross-country move, in the near future.

I will soon finish my novella, OCTOBER ANIMALS, but even that novella has been like pulling teeth. I am simply stretched too thin, and there’s no end in sight. Now, my plan is to oversee production for CHROMOPHOBIA (for which I am very lucky to have Sara Tantlinger on board as editor) while I simultaneously begin working with Hailey Piper on her manuscript. I expect the bulk of the work for both books to be done by spring of 2022.

This means that when I finally sit down to work on THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS, it will have been three years since I finished GRIND YOUR BONES TO DUST. I couldn’t even begin to guess when GHOSTS will ever see the light of day. It could very well be five-to-ten years from now, maybe longer. My age will likely be very close to, if not older than, fifty years. This is a prospect that, at best, saddens me a great deal.

So, in honor of all that lost time, I am piggybacking a second novel onto THE BODY IS A MACHINE THAT MAKES GHOSTS. Technically, this other novel doesn’t have a title set in stone, though I have a “working” title of which I am very fond, but I am saving that for a later date. And that is about all I care to divulge, for now, except to say that it leans heavily into noir (it is a murder mystery at heart) and features a werewolf as the protagonist.

And that is where I’m at, now. Looking forward to taking a break from work so I can work.

Perverse, in its own way.


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