A 2021 Update

Wow. 2020, eh?

But it’s a new year full of hope, wonder, and new projects!

Before I get too far along here, yes. Monsters in the Park is still on my radar. The Timberhaven Chronicles is still very dear to me. When I’m stressed out, and, I mean *waves arms back at 2020* I don’t work as well (see: nearly at all) on certain projects, and, for whatever reason, Timberhaven just isn’t flowing for me right now. I could force it – and tried to – but the work that came from it wasn’t very good.

I went through a phase of not being able to work at all until I revisited a comic book world that I had a hand in creating as a kid, the NVCC.

What’s that stand for? We’ll maybe get around to that eventually. The point is, a universe of stories that jumped from three southwest Missouri boys’ imaginations back in the early 90s pulled me out of my creative funk. I started writing short stories set in that world again, which led to an idea:

What if I still wrote these stories in the late-80s/early-90s comic book style of storytelling that they’d been designed for but presented them in that pulp fiction of the 40s, 50s, and 60s layout that I love? What if I told the stories that take place between the panels?

And thus, the book series Harrowed Earth was reborn, and Jeremy Bohannon made me a logo to mark the occasion:

Which caused me to make this little teaser:

What is Harrowed Earth, you may be asking? I’ve gotten the question a lot since the teaser above dropped.

Ahem.

The planet of Harrowed Earth is an Earth in the year 2026 that has plummeted from the heights of a golden era that included superheroes, earthlings visiting other planets, and peace. That age ended when beings from other worlds took the planet as their own, rearranging the geography and ecosystems in their wake. Picture the world of the human race of Star Trek having devolved into that of Thundarr the Barbarian.

The series of Harrowed Earth will tell the sagas of people trying to find their way among monsters, aliens, and scientific anomalies.

Debuting in March, the first novella, Appalachian Blues, tells the story of Jedidiah Coalstream. A practitioner of a unique brand of magic, Jedidiah is making his way back from the Unknown Land, what used to be the east coast of the United States. As a Nomad, Jedediah is tasked with mapping this new earth and trying to establish a radio network – since technologically, humanity has been sent back to the early 20th Century due to their alien conquerors – maybe allowing humans to begin standing up again. Plagued by a mysterious message in his dreams, Jedidiah will contend with countless dangers – giant monsters and restless ghosts – to get answers and return to what passes for civilization.

Daniel Moler, another who, as a child, helped create NVCC, did this fantastic cover!

Coming in at 50-70 pages per novella, Harrowed Earth will start in March, and will continue monthly through December. There will be three ways to read the sagas:

  1. My patrons on Patreon who are on the Visiting Timberhaven tier or higher get to read each novella at no additional cost (and a month before anyone else!)
  2. It will be available for purchase on most ebook readers.
  3. But, if physical copies are more your thing, I will collect each novella into either one big omnibus with all ten novellas or two separate omnibi, five novellas each, once all of the ebooks for 2021 are published.

PLUS, as you likely may have noticed from the picture of my beautiful bride and me above, there’s Harrowed Earth merch!

Other Creative Pursuits

2020 led to a lot of Zoom meetings and drinking, not in that order, but one feeds into the other pretty well and, when you’re a creative sort, you find yourself in like company. Relaxing while drawing over a drink has become a Friday night staple here at home, so I decided to make a show out of it! Drinks Around the Table is an idea in its infancy, but it’s been fun so far.

There we have it, the projects that I’m working on (that I can talk about), and a little update of what’s to come. I hope you’ll follow along and join me for them.

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