Monday, August 8, 2011

Such predicaments...we must forge ahead!

The moment I got my copy of The Breaking, I was happy. No matter how many books I've written, it's still a thrill to see the finished product. It's even cool to see the ones I've ghost written without my name (or even my own pseudonym) anywhere on the covers. Skinners has always been something special for me. They're the books that I've ALWAYS wanted to write. Sure, they were released in a time when the greater reading public wanted their vampires cute, cuddly and brooding. And sure, the majority of folks looking for Urban Fantasy wanted werewolves to be ripped, sexy and...well...brooding. That's the way it goes. I was just glad to be in the mix and I've always been beyond grateful to the readers who've enjoyed what I've had to offer. All of that rushed through my head as I flipped through The Breaking and lasted right until the preview page. "The final book in the Skinners saga"??? Oy.

Here's the deal. EOS Books (now Harper Voyager) has been great. The covers have been great. The books have been out there on all the major shelves. Some ads showed up in major magazines. My editor gave me free reign to take the series wherever I wanted it to go. Most importantly, EOS gave Skinners a chance when so many others had rejected it for whatever reasons. When it came time to renew the option for more books in the series, they passed. It was a business decision, I'm sure. If Skinners was a New York Times Bestseller, it would say so on the cover. It doesn't. Them's the breaks. I poured a lot of blood, sweat and tears into them and think they're pretty damn cool. I don't know all the money figures (the bean counters don't share everything with me just because I'm the writer) so I guess EOS decided to move on to something else. I found out about this a while ago and have been trying to convince EOS to change their mind or shop Skinners around to another publisher. I kept it quiet because I didn't want it to stir anything up with you guys.

Now, by that I don't mean there's been this big backlash or panic. I just wanted the transition from one place to another to be relatively seamless. It's about the story, not the publisher. Like I said, I'm no business guy. And that transition brings me to my next big point. There will be more Skinners. Perhaps you've noticed my current fascination with ebooks? Well, I see that as a great way for writers to take control back, write what they want and put it out there to sink or swim. I'm about to turn in my Dead Man book (Which I mentioned in earlier posts. Definitely check that series out if you haven't already.) and have been starting a new project of my own that will be an ebook exclusive series. It's an idea that's been kicking around in the back of my head for some time and I literally just started writing the initial groundwork last night. When I have some more of it pieced together, I'll post about it here. I'm even working on a website with a few other authors so we can all do our own ebook exclusives and give readers one spot to come and see what we have to offer.

Sounds exciting, right? A little scary for me, to be honest. Working with a contract and advance money is a nice way to go for someone who doesn't have a day job. This doesn't mean the picture is bleak. I've got plenty of other projects with several different publishers and things are looking really good on a few different fronts. I've always had a scattered mind, which means there's a TON of stories rolling around in my noggin. The process of working with big publishers (even when things are looking good) is a slow one. As I wait for those to bear fruit, however, I've decided to take my destiny into my own hands and strike out for myself. Because of this, I can tell you for certain (as I've been saying this whole time) that there WILL be more Skinners.

I knew EOS had passed on the series when I was working on Book 6. I've always dealt with Skinners as an ongoing world with story arcs covering each contract. That way, I would know I had so many books to wrap up an arc without bringing the entire thing to an end. One of my favorite things about Skinners is watching its world and characters evolve. Some is for better for the characters and some is for worse, but the world moves on. Rather than change my plans for the overarching story so Book 6 truly was the final one, I wrote it as if there was still another contract. That way, the story is what I truly wanted and not what I clipped and twisted around to fit the circumstances. The way I ended Book 6 is definitely the end of that story arc and paves the way for the next one. There are MAJOR changes with the Skinners world and I'm excited to continue the story in a new format. If I get an offer in the meantime from a big publisher...great! If not, the show will go on. I will still write the stories with all of the care and effort I put into the first 6. It's still my world, they're still my characters and I won't do anything to make any of them less than what they were. They will still go through hell (after all...they ARE Skinners) but the story is mine and I'll tell it the best way I know.

So there you go. Book 6 comes out in October and I love it. Hope you guys do as well. In the meantime, I'll be informing you about my new series (plural, mind you) and tell you when you can expect the next Skinners and how you can get it. My other projects include science fiction, adventure, and steampunk. Hope you guys come along for those as well because they're gonna kick ass. The website I talked about will be up and running early in 2012, but I'll put my first ebook offering into the various online marketplaces as soon as it's ready (which should be sometime in the fall or early winter of this year).

Change is good. There are great things on the horizon. I'm excited (and still a little scared...but in a good way) about branching off on my own and in new directions. But that's what life is all about. The path that's easy to walk usually doesn't take you anywhere worth visiting.

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.