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Fall Update

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Greetings! I hope you all have been well. Today's post is a general update on two projects that I have been excitedly working away on. 2024 is shaping up to be a big year, so thank you all for your continued patience for my upcoming titles!


The first upcoming publication will be the ABCs of Battle, my first children's book! ABCs will feature a collection of twenty-six battles from world history, one for each letter of the alphabet (as you might have guessed), presented in quick, hopefully memorable poems. This was a project inspired by my recent ventures as a parent of young children. Naturally, our family has been inundated with several ABC books already; they are a great staple of early picture and reading books, but one does read enough about the zippers and xylophones that I felt I could contribute something different and new to this venerable genre.


Therein lies one of the great strengths of history (and in this case, battles); there are so many events and examples to choose from that an author really isn't forced into using the same tired suspects for every case. When the pool of potential battles spans all of world history and thousands of years, there is a great abundance of choices even for those rarer letters that give great scores in Scrabble or Words with Friends.


Teresa Carlson will be continuing her collaboration with me from my novels as illustrator, and it has been fantastic seeing her renditions for each page. It's been great getting to work with Teresa to this extent- 26 unique illustrations is quite an expansion from cover design + a handful of in-text sketches! Apart from how fun it is to see certain concepts are interpreted and imagined by her, you really do get a sense of how incomplete a story is for this age level until all of the art is ready to accompany the words on the page.


This is a truly special project that I cannot wait to share with you all, and to hopefully instill a love of history (general, military, any kind really) in the younger readers of the book. It was further gratifying to directly tie in my background in history into the book's development, and the intersection of children's books and history is one I am hoping to explore further.


The manuscript for ABCs has been finished for a while, but the artwork and interior assembly are ongoing. The projected release date for this book will be late spring or early summer of 2024.




Pictured above: sketches for selected battles (bonus points if you can guess for which events/ battles)

And now for the other project! I am pleased to announce that my third Lovecraftian novel working title- Visage of the King, which continues the story and characters established in Spring City Terror and Ocean's Grave is also around the corner! I completed the first draft last week, and will be submitting it for publication in October. This third entry is set in Europe in 1911, and will prominently feature major characters from the first two books, as well as introduce new players, monsters, mysteries, and Great Old Ones (some already established by earlier authors, and some new, as is my preferred interaction with the Cthulu Mythos). The central theme of this book- the search for none other than the Holy Grail!



Source- Getty Images

Grail stories have been done countless times, but there's a reason for that- they effortlessly take on an air of adventure and epic importance. Any grail quest is going to bear some similarities to others, so I think the important thing is just to follow the trail presented in your own imagination, and I can say I remained faithful to that notion throughout writing my interpretation. Indeed, the collection of origins and earliest examples of grail stories of the medieval period already displayed great variations, and the earliest ones did not even focus specifically on the cup of Jesus from the Last Supper. Tying in the search for the artifact with the Lovecraftian themes and universe established by my earlier books presented a concept too tantalizing to refuse. I hope that you enjoy taking on the journey as a reader.


The projected release date for the third novel in the Lovecraftian series will be the fall of 2024.


As always, this website and blog will be the best space to visit and check for further updates, which I hope to again be sharing with you soon, along with new progress and previews. Happy spooky and cozy season!


-SMM-

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