Monday, April 30, 2012

Almost here!!!!

I know you guys have heard me go on about ebooks for a while now. Sounds like a cool idea, right? I hope so because my first book is so close to being released that I can taste it! Since I'm responsible for putting it all together, I've been taking my time to make sure it's all ready before putting it out there. Editing is almost done, the cover is coming together and I seriously think it should be ready to be unleashed onto the ebook market by mid-May.

I also know I've been saying the next Skinners book will be coming out in ebook format. The mid-May release is not Skinners, though. There's lots of reasons for this and NONE of them involve me turning my back on that series. Honestly, it took a lot out of me to write the last three and I pretty much did them back-to-back. Rather than try to get the next one out right away before it feels like the proper time, I thought I'd let it all gestate for a while. Also, Skinners is my baby and I'd rather get comfortable with the ebook process before throwing my baby out there.

That being said, the book that's almost ready to roll isn't just something I slapped together to test the waters. It's EXACTLY the sort of thing that made me want to publish in this format for such a loooong time. I've been describing it as Indiana Jones mixed with Flash Gordon and a dash of The Untouchables thrown in for flavor. It's retro sci-fi set in an alternate version of 1935 where a hard boiled PI deals with gangsters, feds, mad scientists and inter-dimensional vortexes. The more I read through this, the more I love it. Even if it would be given a chance in traditional publishing, I like the thought of handling it myself. It's first in a series and a hell of a lot of fun. I REALLY hope you guys enjoy it.

Next on my agenda is Skinners! For those of you who read Book 6, you know the Skinners world got turned on its ear. The next steps taken from there are important and the last thing I wanted to do was rush them. I've been pondering it a lot, coming up with tons of cool stuff and am PUMPED to move on with the monsters and bad-ass hunters I love so much. The next story arcs will take place some time after Book 6. They'll be a little shorter, action packed, and will branch out in several different directions. Also, I can move forward on some other Skinner stuff I've been meaning to do. For example, I've wanted to write an anthology or perhaps shorter fiction released separately (for cheaper) focusing on pivotal moments in the history of our favorite monster hunters. This series is tentatively called Skinners: Legends  and would be set in different time periods including tales of the early hunts of Jonah Lancroft, the exploits of different Full Bloods from centuries past, and accounts of Skinner pioneers like the one responsible for their shapeshifting weapons. Stuff like that. I told ya! I'm NOT leaving Skinners behind.

So that's the big update. I cannot express how grateful I am that you have stuck around. There's still a ways to go and every time I hear from a reader about how they're looking forward to something new from me, it puts wind in my sails. Thank you so much for that. I'll let you know when the first book in that new series is out and of course I'll keep you updated on any and all things Skinners. Oh, and I'm also working on another website with two other like-minded authors venturing into ebook territory for the sole purpose of writing the cool stuff we love. It's been a long time coming, but things are about to get REAL interesting!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It's NOT the same!

Wednesday is new comic book day. Way back when I was in college, it used to be Thursday but it's been Wednesday for a while now. Anyway, New Comic Day is great. Like any comic book fan, I love seeing the new books on the racks. I love gathering them into a stack and then taking them home. It's just nerdy bliss. So this last Wednesday, I was talking to the owner of my local comic store. He's not anything close to the chubby weird dude from The Simpsons. He's actually got more of a "cranky old neighbor" vibe going on. Instead of screaming for me to get off of his lawn, he hands me stuff from my reserve list. Big difference. We talk about a great many things. This week, it was digital comics.

Now, I'm the last person to speak against digital publishing. It took me a while to wrap my head around ebooks, but once I got a Kindle and started diving in to all the great stuff out there I was hooked. Sure I miss the actual books sometimes, but there are plenty of offerings in the digital arena that simply can't be found on shelves. And with publishers floundering along with every other industry lately, ebooks make plenty of sense. You see quirky titles that would never get a shot otherwise and in the end, the written word still shines through. So...I get digital publishing. For COMIC BOOKS??? Nuh-uh.

I have a Kindle Fire and I do purchase some digital comics. Yes, they look sharp and clear. Yes it is pretty cool to have them electronically delivered. But my insider source (comic book store owner dude) pointed out that the big companies are aching to go digital all the way. That's easy to see with their apps and their general push in that direction. The way things are headed, comic stores will start drying up completely in less than a decade. Is this just speculation? I hope so. Unfortunately, I could easily see this happening.

I still read plenty of comics and the experience is significantly better (and different) between digital versus print. With regular books, that difference boils down to a format thing. The words are still there and I still enjoy reading them. For comics, the difference is in art. There's something vastly different in seeing the picture on the screen as opposed to having it there in your hands. There's also the ads. What's that, you say? Ads?? Yes. When I dig deep into my collection and read an issue from the early 1980's, I see ads for Atari 2600 games and candy that doesn't exist anymore. I see membership forms for dopey fan clubs whose  cards used to take up space in my cheap little plastic wallets when I was nine and DON'T exist now. That stuff really takes you back and it has nothing to do with a story that could be reprinted in digital format. Even ads now are specifically targeted to a comic book audience and are stuff I really want to see. Well...mostly. This is a general thing. I'm not in love with ads. You get where I'm going with this.

The thought of comics being exclusively makes me sad. It will probably take a long time for print comics to be phased out all the way, but they WILL become harder to find. There simply aren't as many comic stores now as there were years ago. I've seen entire chains in cities where I've lived dry up and blow away. Could it just be a dip because of the recession? Is it a shift in times and people like me will just have to deal with it? Probably some from both columns.

Right now, I read some comics on my Kindle. I even tried reading some on an app for my phone (which wasn't bad during prolonged bathroom visits). Those are ok. When it comes to my favorite books, though, I want the print version. I've come to terms with ebooks. If comics start going purely digital, I can honestly say I'd rather trim down my purchases to a fraction of what they are now and get my fix with back issues.

Bah! Freaking technology. GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!!!

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.