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.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Posting over at On An Underwood 5

In case you missed it, I did a guest post over at the On An Underwood 5 blog

Talking about my affinity and kinship to Robert E. Howard.
 Thanks to Todd Vick for inviting me over.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

States of Deseret

I love alternate history. And of course I love my peculiar faith, so I have to be all about a bizarre mixing of the two whenever possible. So, just like he was a driving force behind Monsters and Mormons - William Morris put together this alternate history collection States of Deseret featuring tales of what if featuring the Mormon Church.

I wanted to do something different than the usual - so no Porter Rockwell tale this time. (though one is hinted at) I let my mind wander when the call for submissions asked for different ways of telling alternate history. I was struck with the idea of an obituary as a framing device and luckily - William and Theric liked it enough to include The Electric Apostle.

I've always been fascinated with Nikola Tesla, so this was a good place to mess around with a What IF. I even found out a bit more interesting history while I was in the middle of double checking my research.

I'm sharing the table of contents with some great writers including my good friend Dave Butler, here is the TOC.

Forwrd by Theric Jepson
The Guns of Perdition by D. J. Butler
Latter Day Confederacy of Nations by Lori Taylor
Richard Meets the Missionaries by Anneke Garcia
Not Even the Names Have Been Changed by Marion Jensen
Another Meadow by Eric A. Eliason
The Father by Inari Porkka
The Electric Apostle by yours truly
Subject to Kings by Lee Allred
Cover by Casey Jex Smith


If you get a hankering for some weird fiction by a peculiar people - Check it out!



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Crazy Horses Riding Everywhere

Crazy Horses is LIVE!

And get this - I set it up on pre-order - in part to push myself to hurry up and finish = pulp speed don't you know, and it worked. Just really glad I found a great editor who works fast - thanks Jana.

But as I was saying, it was on pre-order and STILL hit #1 already in the Old West category - I'm stoked! That's a first for me a #1 before anyone can even read it!

As always much thanks to everyone who has helped me out - you are acknowledged in the back. ;)

here is the back cover description.

A kidnapped girl. A desperate father. A murderous slaver bound for old Mexico. And a certain untouchable gunslinger. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

Infamous gunslinger, Porter Rockwell made a blood oath with the Ute War Chief, Redbone, to help him no matter what. Now that the Chief's daughter has been kidnapped by the desperado Matamoros, and that favor is getting called in at a most inopportune time. Of course, Porter's closest friends--buffalo soldier Quincy Cuthbert Jackson and card sharp Roxy LeJuene--are coming along too. Too late, they learn that chasing down the kidnapper is only the beginning of a deadly path.

As they follow the Old Spanish Trail, secrets threaten to tear the rescuer's bond apart and an unexpected stowaway increases the danger. Clues to a more sinister plot quickly unfold, and dark native magics breath terrible spells over their mission. Can Porter and his friends resolve their differences and save the girl or will they sacrifice more than life somewhere along the dark trail?

Crazy Horses is a Western with colorful characters and wit straight out of an Eastwood flick. If you like strong, admirable heroes, surprising action and eerie weird Westerns, then you'll love the second book in David J. West's Porter Rockwell series.

Buy Crazy Horses to ride the trail today!

I am so happy with artist Anna Stansfield's cover for me and as a bonus here is a the new cover for Cold Slither she did too - and I am so excited to see what she comes up with for the next one in this series - YOU ONLY HANG ONCE! It is gonna be epic!



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Pulp Revolution with STORYHACK! JACK!

Bryce Beatty contacted me on twitter awhile back and came over to my palatial office and interviewed me back here (I just looked it up for the link - that was June of last year! Wow! Time flies)

Anyhow, when I heard Bryce wanted to put together a pulp themed mag, I was like OH Yeah! I need to be in on that. So I sent him a story and then tweeted the hell out of it - I wanted to be first in line for that massive submission pile!

So I finished off a pulp S&S story that had been sitting on my drive for a little while and viola - Bryce accepted it into Storyhack vol 0.

Guys! This first issue is only a buck for some top notch pulp ridden action tales! don't just grab it for mine you need to read all of these. The Pulp Revolution is live!

I think Bryce found a great cover for the issue - spotlighting Alexandru Constantin's tale.

So proud to be a part of this one! Many more to come I hope Bryce!?

I've got my copy now and am gonna dig in!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Pulp it Up!

I've been on Spring Break vacation with the family all week - we saw some real cool sites all over the Arches, Canyonlands and Capital Reef National parks - I got some great pic's, found a few cool souvenirs and books for inspiration purposes, but did not get much of any writing done nor was I online much at all to check on things or post any updates.

I think I regret missing out on writing the most - I did a little but certainly not at my Pulp Speed this last month - I think I did at least 100K!

But in relation to this post in the first place - I'll be teaching a class on Writing Pulp Fiction with the indomitable Jay Barnson tomorrow at the League of Utah Writers Writing Conference.

Jay and I have been friends for a couple years now and found we had a lot of shared interests and such and when he asked if I would like to be a part of this pitch he was putting together I said sure!

Borrowing from Jay's post: We’ll be sharing:

What was pulp fiction?
What is “modern” pulp fiction?
How do you write it?
How do you sell it?
Tomorrow’s event is a half-day (plus!) of classes like this one covering all kinds of writing topics, from craft to business to lifestyle and health. If you are a local writer in Utah, come join us if you can! Here’s the big not-a-secret: The discount to League members on the ticket is *exactly* the same cost as a league membership for the year. So if you want to attend, it makes sense to pay for a membership and then buy a ticket.

Monday, March 27, 2017

FanX 2017 Recap

I'm a week late, that's life. But hey, in that last week, the dictation software = Dragon, I have talked about for years now - is actually working for me. So I'll do a post about that very soon.

Back to the Con. It went pretty well, I signed a lot of books and even sold out of my copies of Redneck Eldritch, The Mad Song and Weird Tales of Horror.

The Saturday panel I did with the Space Balrogs was a lot of fun. I was the Undead and while I had some super dedicated fans and really enjoyed my last minute art round of demonstrating how death works to people = its eerily similar to duck, duck, goose. - James Wymore was dragons and had a singalong with some friends that was awesomely bad yet Dave Butler won with a phenomenal round doing an audience induction to becoming an elemental sorcerer via the Hokey Pokey - maybe you just had to be there.

Oh and that's me, a confused dinosaur and my the friend up and coming movie star, Wren Barnes.

Looking forward to the next one this September. And of course, here are some pics of the con.
This was the Space Balrogs on the panel.

Twilight Zone classics.

Me and the fantastic fitness model Dana Tracy. I first met her as Red Sonja at FanX two years ago.

Awesome Willow cosplay.

I don't know who she was but she looked fantastic.

the Lone Ranger turned up!

Jedi

I told them I was Dave but they were confused.

Me and rising cosplay superstar Joanie Brosas.

My son Mathias and one of his favorite Dr. Who episode folks.

Swedish Chef!

Ragnar and Lagertha.

Amazing Spawn and Angela.

Agent Carter

Odin and Son.

Chewie Dude and Walter Solo.

Poison Ivy just as I first reached my signing table.

View from the Green Room

Got my Flash Gordon poster signed by the man himself! Sam J. Jones!

Sam J. Jones - such a cool dude. I got to talk with him for a bit. Awesome guy!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

FanX 2017!!!

I'm a guest at my pseudo-hometown Comic con = Salt Lake's Comic Con .2 Fan X.

It's always a little smaller, a little more intimate - and thats only in comparison to the September comic con which is huge. FanX is still bigger than most I'd imagine at 50K+ attendee's.

I'll be signing books with some of my writer friends at table Gold 2 -its pretty close to the entrance - which can be both a blessing and a curse. You're the first and last person they see.

I'm going to be doing another improv audience participation game/panel with the other Space Balrog's. I get to be The Undead vs Dragons vs Elementals. I think I'm going to do a suave vampire thing or I might go for broke with an evil Ash persona. Its always a lot of fun.

I watched What We Do in the Shadows again to think about character but now maybe I'll rewatch Army of Darkness again too.

On the home/writing front. I have not quite been able to keep up the pulp speed I would have hoped for, but progress is being made nonetheless. I can talk about these plans within plans more sooner than later. I'm excited for the possibilities.

Oh, I'm stoked! I'm going to see Flash Gordon in theaters tonight with Sam Jones - who is a guest of FanX. It's been one of my favorite pulpy sci-fi movies since I was in the second grade.

I wanted to be Flash when I was a kid, but genetics deemed me Ming.

I'll have more to report soon!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

LTUE Late Night Follow Up

I was so busy chatting with friends - new and old, that I didn't take very many pics, nor record too much of what went on for those three days last month.

It was a blast, I love talking and hanging with other writers.

I was on a bunch of panels on Thursday and on some I felt a little out of my element. Like the one about the Hottest Women Writers of Sci-Fi. Luckily Jana Brown more than made up for my ineptitude. I had tried to catch up on more women writers before hand - I did a lot of cramming thanks to Audible, but still felt I was the weak link on that panel.

I'm kinda irritated I didn't get to be on the Pulp panel, and I didn't see it - just heard about it afterward, sounds like I should have been there to tell some people that they don't know what they're talking about but cest la vie.

The Art of the Hook with Larry Correia and Andrea Pearson was great - always got to love Larry dropping his wisdom. In a nutshell - Larry says who cares about defining genre or anything so cerebral = write what people want! Make them come back for more and you'll get paid.

I'm working on that.

In the meantime I have been very pleased at Scavengers and Six-Gun Serenades sales numbers on Amazon. I'm not breaking the bank but it is nice to actually be making hundreds of dollars a month. I need to do better but its a hell of a good start.


My friends the Space Balrogs had a great Choose Your Own Apocalypse panel, and the mass book signing was very cool too.

Oh and it was a great feeling to be recognized by other literati - for the sake of an anthology that isn't even out yet - made me feel good just to know there are at least a few people paying attention to that kind of thing.

I did get a load of new books abut I still love grabbing old favorites from an ancient dealer that shows up to this every year.

All in all it was great seeing everybody, and now I gotta wait til FanX to do it all over again. - Granted That will be a little more hectic and won't deliver as much quality time - but then that's what makes LTUE so great.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Get Hexed with Witchy Eye

My good friend Dave Butler's big epic flintlock fantasy Witchy Eye is out today!

Here is the description:
Sarah Calhoun is the fifteen-year-old daughter of the Elector Andrew Calhoun, one of Appalachee’s military heroes and one of the electors who gets to decide who will next ascend as the Emperor of the New World. None of that matters to Sarah. She has a natural talent for hexing and one bad eye, and all she wants is to be left alone—especially by outsiders.

But Sarah’s world gets turned on its head at the Nashville Tobacco Fair when a Yankee wizard-priest tries to kidnap her. Sarah fights back with the aid of a mysterious monk named Thalanes, who is one of the not-quite-human Firstborn, the Moundbuilders of the Ohio. It is Thalanes who reveals to Sarah a secret heritage she never dreamed could be hers.

Now on a desperate quest with Thalanes to claim this heritage, she is hunted by the Emperor’s bodyguard of elite dragoons, as well as by darker things—shapeshifting Mockers and undead Lazars, and behind them a power more sinister still. If Sarah cannot claim her heritage, it may mean the end to her, her family—and to the world where she is just beginning to find her place.

***
Her Mother was a Queen
Her Father was a Hero
Her Uncle wants her Dead

I got to read an early version of Witchy Eye and as always whatever Butler touches turns to gold. He is a writing Midas with an imagination, wry sense of humor and depth to rival anyone.

Witchy Eye is a bold re-imagined American crossroads of empire with various magical characters all in a place that might have been. Maybe should have been.

Something I think is great is that we get to go somewhere outside of the usual psuedo-European fantasy and encounter a mythos that is decidedly American, including the fae, mound-builders and beast-men while also acknowledging the magic and legends of the newcomers from the old world - which are a major source of conflict. I had to chuckle to myself over Oliver Cromwell, (who gets a bad rap about everywhere) because once he becomes a necromancer it gets serious. Full of action and surprises this is not to be missed.

This is also one of those books where I know I'll want to read it again because there are dozens of references and in jokes, that I may have missed. Butler just has so much knowledge and wit to share that it's impossible to get it all in one go round. Its the book that keeps on giving. Good thing my hard copy is coming today.

He also has a prologue of sorts available at the Baen website that tells a key moment in the Witchy Eye backstory, in which John Churchill takes England pagan, for arcane defensive reasons. So check out,
DEI BRITANNICI
A Prologue to Witchy Eye

Friday, March 3, 2017

Three for Three: Pulp-Ridden Reviews

A new twitter acquaintance Jesse Abraham Lucas posted about doing a three for three indie review challenge here. He even posted a great review of Fangs of the Dragon here

So I'm joining in and posting a few quick reviews of some shorts. Novels are coming soon, because I'm long overdue.

Here we go:

Horishi Tom: Tales from the Storm  by C. R. Langille

from the description:
Utah Territories, 1867

Jeremiah Redford lost everything when his family was brutally taken from him. His quest to bring them back from the dead lands him in the abandoned mining town of Angus, Utah. What he finds in the town tests his sanity and his very soul. 

Be careful what you wish for because you might just find it.

This is a quick dark western-horror read. I found out about it at LTUE from Cody himself, He stopped by and grabbed copies of Scavengers and Cold Slither, so I'm grateful. We started talking western horror and that's when he told he me this was out. So I grabbed it. It is short, but Langille has a gift for spine chilling language and atmosphere. I'd love to see something longer from him. 4 stars

Moonlight in the Valley, by Wilson Harp

I'd been meaning to check this one out for awhile too. This had a different take than the usual tale, letting us in on the monsters (werewolves) point of view I liked the pack dynamic, in fighting and such. Plus it had a nice twist on their antagonists - the good guys. A certain LONE masked man and his Indian sidekick who both go unnamed but you can figure it out. It's not without its faults, though, the language didn't grab me and I didn't care for the lead werewolf. 3 stars

Weird Menace Volume 1, by James Reasoner, Bill Crider, John C. Hocking, Robert E. Vardeman, Scott Dennis Parker, and Keith West

This collection of new tales headed up by James Reasoner is an awesome new collection done in the spirit of the weird menace tales of the thirties and forties, all the action adventure, mad scientists and spicy danger with a damsel in distress you can shake a stick at. I bought it awhile back to support my friend Keith West (no relation) and finally got around to reading - sorry I took so long.

These stories grab you by the throat (with zombified hands) and you gotta fight to let go and move on to the next one. A lot of fun for anyone who enjoys the old school pulps. I need to grab the next one.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Life The Universe and Everything for the Weekend

Its that time of year again, Life The Universe and Everything the annual science fiction/ fantasy writers convention.

This is one of the best, mostly because there are so many writers and other creatives to rub shoulders with. You'd be hard pressed to come up with any con where you could hang with more. I have been to some other big writer conventions, but this one is full of my people - everything Spec-Fic!

And of course I'm a guest once again, so I'll be on panels, lounging in the green room and trying to even get a little more writing done to fulfill my "pulp speed" expectations.

Here is my schedule - its a little Thursday heavy.

Thursday, February 16
9am
Novel vs. Short Story
Arches (Provo Marriott), 9am - 9:50am
Tags: Writing
David Boop, Christopher Husberg (M), Terra Luft, Eric James Stone, Scott R. Parkin, David J. West
The novel vs. the short story. How can they benefit from each other? How are the skill-sets different? How do you know which to choose?

11am
I Can't Believe You Haven't Read This . . .
Juniper (Provo Marriott), 11am - 11:50am
Tags: Books
Kenna Blaylock, C.H Lindsay (M), David J. West, Jessica Day George,
Not-to-be-missed middle grade and young adult books from writers of the genre and those who know it best.

12pm
So You Want to Write Horror...
Arches (Provo Marriott), 12pm - 12:50pm
Tags: Writing
Courtney Alameda, Larry Correia, Steve Diamond, Terra Luft, David J. West (M)
Get tips for writing horror. How do you know if horror is for you? Tips for beginners.

4pm
Making a Living on the Macabre
Bryce (Provo Marriott), 4pm - 4:50pm
Tags: Books
Courtney Alameda, Cheree Alsop (M), David J. West
Fantasy horror writers and how they create their works. Let's look at the works that hit a homerun and the writers that created them.

5pm
The Art of the Hook
Arches (Provo Marriott), 5pm - 5:50pm
Tags: Writing
Larry Correia, James Ganiere, Scott R. Parkin, J. Scott Savage, Andrea Pearson (M), David J. West
First lines and first chapters matter. How do you get readers interested in your story? In your characters?

Friday, February 17
10am
Hottest Women in Science Fiction
Bryce (Provo Marriott), 10am - 10:50am
Tags: Books
Jana S. Brown, Adam McLain (M), David J. West
It's not your sexy cover babe. We're talking women writers and their works, but you knew that already, right?

6pm - 8pm
Book Signing
Zion, Bryce and Arches

I'll have print copies of Scavengers, Six-Gun Serenade and others - but this is the first time I'll have those to sign.

So for all my long-distance friends - this would be the one to someday make it too.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Happy Birthday Frank

Its no surprise my all time favorite artist is the Frank Frazetta.

I've heard of ungodly amounts of money paid for his work (not that he didn't earn that and not that I wouldn't pay it myself if I could) but the closest I've been able to manage myself to own in my personal collection aside from several calendars, books and of course prints is an actual signed poster! One that was meant to be part of some exclusive collection of Robert E. Howard's work - probably with Wandering Star but I'm not sure.

It is one of my favorite pieces and of course I have the fill print hanging in a place of honor in my study, but the signed print is right behind me, looking over my shoulder.


Today would have been Frank's 89th birthday and I'm just saying my Thanks and how grateful I am for the amazing works of art he put into the world, we are surely all the better for his unique vision.