Monday, October 30, 2017

Pulp Stories Galore!

October has been pretty good to me so far, not too hot, not too cold and books and books and more books are coming!

So, quite a few short stories of mine came out this month and it was a surprise.

All right, I knew this one was coming, I just wasn't sure when it would drop but Story Hack #1 is here! It's full of great pulpy stories and the man behind it Bryce Beatty, is going all out on the art!

I could n't be more pleased with both the cover and the interior art. I love this rendition of Porter Rockwell he has for it! My tale is UNDER THE GUN a creepy weird western about a possessed gun. Check it out!

The next one was a big surprise as I thought the anthology had just vanished into thin air, but Rogues Blade Entertainment which put together some top notch Sword and Sorcery collections a few odd years ago kinda went into hibernation.

I'm very pleased to see that Jason Waltz has awoken and is putting out material again. This one is the Challenge: Discovery collection. This one was begun in 2010? and features quite a list of S&S and has my tale THE SERPENTS ROOT about a thief who will do anything to save her sister, even facing down the dreaded cockatrice!
This pic of the cover is sans text, and I really wanted to share it because all of our stories were supposed to be inspired by V. Shanes art work. So I added in panthers to a story that hadn't had them before.

And another surprise is the Pulp Rev Sampler this was a collection asking for short pieces in the pulp revolution vein.
All of them are supposed t be under 2,500 words so it is literally a sampler. I turned in one titled Wings in the Night, it does say from the forthcoming Walking Through Walls and that's my bad it should read Gods & Robbers, I screwed up but such is life. It is a never before released story, so that' cool.

Its a glimpse into the escape of a prisoner and ties into some things I had previously written in The Mad Song collection and its all part of a bigger work I have planned, set in the same world as BRUTAL albeit quite far away from that setting.

In any case, hope you'll check them out while you're waiting for more novels.

All the best

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Grimtoberfest Has Arrived

Grimtoberfest is here and I have joined the dark horde of grimdark fantasy writers in doing an siege on our own pocketbooks with this joint slashing of prices on our respective books.

I've got my own novel BRUTAL cut down to .99 cents for the next few days. Check out the rest of the catalog from these rogues HERE

I should also mention I've re-released a collection under the pen name that some of you may already be familiar with - what was Whispers of the Goddess has been rebooted under the James Alderdice banner as The Slayer

I just wanted that to be clear, so nobody grabbed the book twice. I meant to add another Tyr story to the collection but just didn't quite get around to it - this has been a hard month for writing and I'm still way behind.

Til next time


Monday, October 9, 2017

All the Cons

I didn't get much writing done this last month, as I had two cons I was at as a guest, Salt Lake Comic Con and the first annual Snake River Comic Con.
Salt Lake is great as it is so big and has some phenomenal guests and I always enjoy being there and hanging with friends and meeting new people, but at Snake River I had one of the best times with friends in forever.

Me and the Space Balrogs (D.J. Butler, Jason King, James Wymore, Holli Anderson and Daniel Swenson - not pictured Bob Defendi and Craig Nybo) spent a whole lot of time together laughing and selling books and speaking on panels and then we even got a makeshift game of Dungeons and Dragons together for Holli's benefit - she had never played before and I gotta tell you I haven't laughed so hard in a very long time. It was a great con and we met some great people and I can't wait to go back next year.

So I'll throw in a swath of pics from both. Here ya go.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Walking Through Walls

A writing experiment I did across 2014-2016 was  Walking Through Walls, an ongoing fantasy noir serial that ran in Utah Geek Magazine. My tale ran for the first 13 issues and came out to just about 30K words. Not too long, not too short.

I was sitting on it for awhile but with the relative success of BRUTAL and my pen name of James Alderdice, I decided I might as well release Walking Through Walls too just to build up a backlist for the fantasy based pen name.

It is set in the same secondary world as BRUTAL but is centrally based in Tolburn, the biggest dirtiest city in that world, whereas BRUTAL is taking place in a dirty backwater far removed from the rest of the goings on. There are no character crossovers or mentions yet, maybe just some very simple geographic references - And I don't even have an official map made up yet.

In my mind it is a prequel of sorts to something I have been working on for ages and brainstorming that I'm calling GODS & ROBBERS.

I looked at the project as a writing exercise since I had to come up with a quick tale of around 2,000 to 2,500 words an issue and hook the reader each time, have a wrap-up but also a cliffhanger for the next chapter. It was fun but perhaps lacks the flow of a novel. Most of it is first person featuring a character named Kenaz, who is no secret prince, no chosen one waiting to be called forth, no great fighter, no man of means or anything special, but he can travel outside his body and gather information. So that's his semi-criminal profession, but then he gets wrapped up in a job for multiple employers that all conflict with one another and that's where he gets smacked with a fistful of trouble.

Toward the end though I really wanted some scenes with a side character so the narrative drifts from first person to third and back again. Probably not the best format and definitely something I won't do for the continuation of the Gods & Robbers saga.

I've been having it available at 2.99 but think I'll do a promotion to .99  for Walking Through Walls by the weekend just to give it a little more traction. So if any of you feel like checking it out, that'd be great. And as always reviews are forever appreciated.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mirages and Speculations

A short weird western of mine has just been reprinted in Mirages and Speculations: Science Fiction and Fantasy from the Desert - available here

Many of you are likely as not, already familiar with it - Garden of Legion - a weird western about Porter Rockwell dealing with the evil spirits of Legion inhabiting an ocean of tumbleweeds.

It is a favorite of mine and I'm pleased to see it out in another collection of local authors. Thanks to Jay Barnson for recommending me to the editor and thanks to the editor Lyn Worthen for enjoying it enough to include it.

Thus far, I think the only other tale I have read yet is Dave Butler's, SEVEN STARS because I got  to read it at least two years ago, when we were talking about stories for a Western Eldritch collection that still has not happened - poke, poke, poke at Nathan Shumate.

Its delightfully weird and creepy, and I highly recomend it to any and all who like a little Lovecraft in the american west.

I personally know at least half of the other authors but haven't read any of the others as yet. I'll remedy that soon.

Til next time.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

At The Highways of Madness

I've been remiss in keeping up with the blog, letting things slide as I try to accomplish the "real" writing.

In any case, besides BRUTAL - which has been receiving some great reviews - Thanks Keith and Fantasia Reviews! I also put out At the Highways of Madness along with a few semi-related bonus stories - (all previously released) in part I just thought the story was long enough at 22k to warrant its own book and I loved my own idea for the cover which I commissioned the indomitable Carter Reid to do.

So I'm pretty stoked, yet - it hasn't been selling too well. Though I did have a great review by the Injustice Gamer, so that was cool. Maybe enough people already bought Redneck Eldritch or perhaps my sense of humor isn't too pc these days.

The fun for me was working on what is essentially the Dude and Walter from Big Lebowski as truckers who meddle with something that crashes beside the highway in the remote desert and then find themselves pursued by a host of Lovecraftian monsters and also get a beautiful hitchhiker who just happens to be the daughter of Nyarlathotep.

I had a so much fun writing this one (ore than I initially believed I could writing rednecks) while not making fun of them so much as showing the situational humor and the difference in how salt of the earth types might react as opposed to be maddened and going insane like stuffy types from Miskatonic. Check it out!

On the horizon.
I will have another Porter Rockwell weird western short story "Under the Gun" in the forthcoming Storyhack #1

Whenever they get round to it I have a short S&S tale "Stygian Black"  about Abdul Alhazared in a forthcoming Skelos mag - I was told either issue 3 or 4.

A Beowulf retelling is coming in a mythology anthology (no idea on its status)

And "Garden of Legion" a popular Porter Rockwell short of mine is getting reprinted in Mirages and Speculations, later this month.

Oh and another fantasy noir novella "Jia of Luck" is coming in October part of the the Valcoria Awakenings anthology - stories set in the world of Jason King's Valcoria - that was a lot of fun. I took a lot from Dashiell Hammett for that one too!

And of course I'm still working at cranking out novel's via pulp speed as best I can - but I'll have to see how that goes - it can be hard to tell sometime.

How goes your guys pace?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

It's Gonna Get BRUTAL

My latest book BRUTAL is out now!

So I decided to try my hand at a pen name - I'm not too worried about the secretiveness of it because either you all are gonna know anyway or you're the type of person that doesn't care who wrote the book.

MY biggest motivation was to see how it might affect my work with the Amazon algorithm. BECAUSE

David J. West is known for writing weird westerns, Lovecraftian horror, viking historical's, action-adventure, weird LDS tales and fantasy. That kinda messes with all the things the algorithm is supposed to do to help me sell more books.

So I thought I'd experiment and see if James Alderdice - my dad's first name and my maternal grandmother's maiden name. (And no one is using it on Amazon and hey its an "A" name - West is always at the end of the list, bottom of the bookshelf)

That also brings me to doing "Pulp Speed" to write this latest book. I wrote about 78K in about 6 weeks. I did follow the plot of RED HARVEST pretty footloose and fancy free and there are loads of other inspirations in the book. A whole lot of Robert E. Howard, Karl Edward Wagner, Dashiell Hammett, Sergio Leone's - Fistful of Dollars and Akira Kurasawa's - Yojimbo in here. I was also pretty inspired by a recent Hawaii trip to Maui too - that's where the whole dark goddess thing came from.

Hammett's book took place in a mining city called Personville/Poisonville by the locals and I found out it was based on Butte, Montana - guess who is pretty darn familiar with Butte - me - my Dad grew up there, I have been there many, many times. I used a lot of real Butte in the book too - albeit fashioning it to fit a medieval fantasy landscape.

Much thanks to editor Jana Brown for keeping the pace flowing on this one and doing a great job with my breakneck writing goal.

Here is the Description etc:

A man of violence. A duchess with dangerous desires. Two warring wizards. Things in Aldreth are going to get Brutal.

A man known only as the Sellsword has come to the border city of Aldreth, where rival wizards struggle for control of a weak-willed duke. Amidst murderous conspiracies and a scandal plagued dynasty, the Sellsword plays all sides to his advantage, bringing about a full-scale gang war between the two ambitious and unscrupulous men, while wooing the reckless and willful duchess.

Though corrupt paladins, demonic adepts, and a surprisingly formidable assassin stand between the Sellsword and the unwholesome truth, spells and blades might not be what take the Sellsword down. It could be plain old bad luck...

BRUTAL is an powerful sword and sorcery tale with colorful characters and wit straight out of a 80's flick. If you like humor in your pulp, gritty heroes, despicable villains and grimdark fantasy then you'll love this riveting debut by James Alderdice.
Grab a copy now!

This was a lot of fun and I think I need to keep pushing myself and getting out a lot more of these quick reads.