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Issue 22: Lost and Found
Cool stuff afoot... and not just mine!
Did you have a relaxing Labor Day? I sure hope so.
These last few weeks kicked my butt. My daughter started at a new school when we moved, thus she’s been exposed to a whole new set of germs. This equates to her being sick constantly. Nothing terrible, just low-level stuff that her immune system is recognizing and fighting. However, those germs often find their way into my weak and frail body, so I’ve been all been moving and shaking with some constant low-level crud that prevents my brain from working at max capacity.
But the worst thing that happened since we last spoke? In the span of about four days I lost both my wedding ring and my debit card.
Despite its being kind of, sort of loose, I’ve successfully kept my wedding band on my hand for the past 12 years, but recently I looked down and it was just… gone. I had no idea how long it had been missing, or where I might have been when I lost it. Since the ring wasn’t a family heirloom or anything, my wife and I shrugged it off and talked about replacing it eventually. Then, three days later, my debit card disappeared from my wallet. No clue when it up and left. Thankfully I was able to lock it before anyone found it and did any serious damage to my (laughable) financials. But, losing two equally important things in such a short period of time? I worried what might disappear next. My daughter? An important computer file? The cats?! The mind spun.
Now, here’s the funny part—last week, two weeks after the ring went missing, my wife found it. Apparently, it had fallen deep into the lush carpeting of our bedroom and as she walked around, the ring stuck to the bottom of her bare foot. I’ve asked her to use the same tactic to find my debit card, but so far, no results. (So I got a new one and all is well with the world.)
Have you ever lost something and found it weeks, months, or years later? I’d love to hear your story.
What Happened Last Issue?
In This Issue:
My Talented Friends!
Following last month’s newsletter, I began pitching my Middle Grade graphic novel to literary agents. To-date, I’ve sent it out to three of those publishing gatekeepers. The first agent was a referral from a fellow writer, so I wanted to give them some time with it before I started canvassing the neighborhood. However, in my research, I ran across two other agents who seemed like a really good fit for the project, so I wanted to get it in front of their eyes as well. I’m still researching agents as time permits and look forward to finding an excellent partner who will represent the vision I have for Molly’s Oddities.
THE STATS AS THEY STAND:
If you didn’t check out the first 13 pages of Molly’s Oddities: Dimension of Danger (which Aleks Jovic and I worked really hard on) click here to give it a free read!
PLUS - If you read the Molly’s Oddities pitch in the last newsletter you were probably really confused! Somehow, after I sent it out, two pages went mysteriously missing! They have been since added back at the link above.
My Talented Friends
I have amazing friends. Many of them just happen to be writers, too! If you’re sick of me and my business, below is a quick rundown of what my pals currently have going on. If something sounds cool, I hope you’ll consider supporting them.
Research Randy and The Mystery of Grandma's Half-Eaten Pie of Despair
My former writing professor-turned-friend Tom Lucas has a new book coming out for Halloween! Tom is an amazing, hilarious author who we should all encourage. He even wrote the introduction to The Writer’s Path 2023!
What’s Research Randy about?
Research Randy reads like YA, and can be if you want it to be. It's also a weird mash-up of cosmic horror, eldritch terrors, nostalgia trip and a meta love letter to Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos.
The stars of a beloved series of children's books, the clever Research Randy and his supernaturally sensitive sister Charlie, solved many cases in the idyllic coastal town of Serenity Bay to the delight of many readers over the last 30 years. But now, suddenly transported to the creepy hamlet of Effingmouth, they find themselves in a bizarre place where nothing is what it seems, people are strange and secretive, and something awful lurks in the shadows.
This might be a mystery they don't want to solve.
My former writing professor-turned-friend (I see a theme!) Sidney Williams has written so many novels in the horror and thriller genres. His latest, Long Waltz, is out now!
What’s it about?
An unsolved mystery upends Si Reardon’s sunny Florida plans to recover from the events of Fool’s Run and reconnect with his daughter. Si’s strange luck throws him into a bizarre sometimes zany maelstrom of Hollywood stars, sleazy producers grim practical jokers and a ghostly presence that won’t let him rest.
Gretta Carr disappeared years ago, just after a standout turn in a big-budget film. Now that film’s fading stars and producers are back on Florida beaches for a lower-budget sequel to jump-start careers. Gretta’s sister sees it as an opportunity perfect for Si’s unconventional investigation style. Someone from Hollywood knows more than they’re telling. A premium fee makes it too promising to pass up. It might just be enough to stake Si for a custody fight.
Trouble on the film set soon draws Si into a security gig, and as the production’s bedeviled by escalating mishaps and worse, Si’s faced not just with unlocking secrets from the past but protecting troubled actors with dark secrets of their own. He’ll again need the muscle of the bayou-dwelling McCluskys, the brains of gender-neutral hacker Jael and new allies too if he’s going to come out the other side of a perfect storm of mayhem and wickedness.
The Road Trip Method: A writer's guide on how to start a story with the end
I love a good nonfiction book about writing! The Road Trip Method is by my pal Keldrick T. Mobley. Not only is he a talented screenwriter and an alumnus of Full Sail University, but we were in the same graduating class! I got to sit next to this dude during our graduation ceremony and enjoyed every minute of his company. Pick up a copy of his ebook and take his writing advice to heart!
What’s it about?
Discover "The Road Trip Method": Your guide on how to start with the end!
Are you seeking a guide to help you navigate the intricate world of storytelling? Look no further than "The Road Trip Method." This concise yet powerful guide is designed to steer you in the right direction by emphasizing the importance of knowing your story's ending from the outset. With this invaluable resource, you'll unlock a treasure trove of insights and techniques to shape your narrative exactly as you envision it.
Inside "The Road Trip Method," you'll find a wealth of practical tips on the diverse storytelling approaches available to you. Explore the boundless possibilities and let your creativity flourish. Moreover, gain profound understanding of how harnessing the knowledge of your ending empowers you to spin tales that captivate your audience.
Crescent Earth: Scatter Plot
A fellow alumnus of Full Sail University, development editor and writer Ilia Epifanov is currently crowdfunding the second book in his Crescent Earth series. If you’re into big sci-fi, consider helping Ilia toward the finish line!
What’s it about?
Scatter Plot, the second book of the Crescent Earth sci-fi series, follows James as he stumbles through the many plots in time set to prevent the rise to power of Haywood Williams. While James is still reeling from loss and grief, there is solace in Safia’s companionship. Yet as they near the end destination, James begins to wonder who she really is, and what is waiting for him. There’s something strange about the speech of his hosts, the unfamiliar faces that seem to know him too well. Will this all really be enough to stop Williams? And is there really no price too high to pay?
Not sure if you heard the news, but preorders for Unit 44 #8: A Brush with Death fell below our sales goals. *Cue sad deflating music*
I jumped on a phone call with the publisher of Alterna Comics last week to discuss the future of my sci-fi/comedy series. I’ll be honest, I was ready to throw in the towel. Cut my losses. Walk away. The call was a lot of my hemming and hawing and apologizing for being an accomplice in dragging the company down.
But instead of the publisher chastising me for failing to meet the sales goals, he shared words that were… uplifting. He went so far as to tell me not to discount my efforts, as the sales of issues #5 (when we brought the series back) to #8, have steadily increased. In his eyes, Unit 44 isn’t failing… it’s growing.
The conversation turned my entire day around. That’s the mark of a good publisher. I’ve been working with Alterna Comics for nearly 10 years now, and to have a friend who can lift you up when things appear to be falling down… that’s someone you want in your corner.
The plan moving forward is that we will release issues #9 and #10 later in the year (both have been completed) and gauge sales and interest. If things don’t keep the upward trend, we can put the series to rest. If the issues do well, it’s up to me whether or not I’d like to keep it rolling.
Do you give out candy to trick or treaters? Consider giving out comics, too!
Each year, Alterna Comics runs the “Alternaween” sale, allowing folks to score comics for all ages, young adults, or mature adults to hand out alongside their sugary goodies. Grab 25 comics for just $20 and become the most popular door on your block. After all, every comic book is someone’s first. Let’s keep encouraging kids (and adults) to read!
NOTE: Orders close on September 25 to ensure shipping by Halloween!
The Incoming Storm
Following a quiet summer, I heard back from my editor at Penguin Random House. Edits on my young readers nonfiction book will come back my way at the end of September. I’m so excited to revisit this text with fresh eyes and see how I can improve it and usher it another step closer to print.
It’s always fun working with editors, especially when you can learn from them. Back in my newspaper days, there was nothing more electric than rereading a column after the editor did his pass. I love seeing how someone can punch up my words to make them more impactful. Many fear editors. I embrace them. Everything is a learning experience.
C’mon, Wes, just end this thing like you always do…
My pleasure! I’m Wes Locher. I’ve been writing professionally for more than a decade. I write comic books, video games, fiction, and nonfiction. I write whatever seems fun, cool, and inspiring. I also love helping other writers to demystify the process of making a living through words. This is my newsletter.