I had the opportunity to talk with James McCann of the Richmond Public Library about Dungeons and Dragons and the creative process, and it was probably the most fun I’ve had during the pandemic. D&D has always been a big part of my life and probably one of the reasons I became a writer — if you can handle creating a D&D campaign, you can probably write a novel or at least a short story! Check out the video interview where we talk about the magic of writing, world building, and why I secretly want to be a necromancer. Also, we come up with the idea for a Beholder Ranch adventure! It’s all fun and games until something kills you with a magic eye….
By now some of you will be aware of the controversy surrounding ChiZine Publications, the publishers of my Cross series of supernatural thrillers under the pen name Peter Roman. In light of all the information that has come out, I requested the rights back to my Cross series through Cooke McDermid and CZP agreed, so the rights have now reverted back to me. It’s a difficult situation for many reasons, not the least of which is I had a new Cross book ready to go in the series. I love Cross’s world and I do want to keep writing those stories, but I’ll have to figure out a new way to do that now.
My heart goes out to all the other writers and the readers affected by this situation. CZP published and employed many amazing, incredibly talented creators, so it’s a really heartbreaking time. I sincerely hope everyone lands in a good place for them and are able to keep following their passions. I urge you all to check out their works now if you haven’t already done so. (You should be able to do so by searching ChiZine on Google or your relevant social media networks.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me and read the Cross books to date. At the end of the day, you are why I write and will continue to do so.
Neil Gaiman’s American Gods seems to be getting a lot of attention these days, which makes me happy. I had the chance to interview him over sushi many years ago, when I still worked in the media, and he was one of the nicest and most honest writers I’d ever met. Plus there’s all that creative stuff. He’s the kind of writer you really like to see succeed and blow up in mainstream popularity, especially given all the work he does on behalf of others.
I also like seeing American Gods get lots of attention because of that time Robert J. Wiersema went on the CBC’s Next Chapter and suggested readers of American Gods may also like my first Cross book, The Mona Lisa Sacrifice. Check it out if you haven’t heard it already – the segment starts around the 41 minute mark.
My first Cross book, The Mona Lisa Sacrifice, is included in The Bad Fairy StoryBundle. Pay what you want for 10 books! Find out why The Mona Lisa Sacrifice is “like if Quentin Tarantino made Howl’s Moving Castle”!
My book aside, it’s a pretty good deal. 10 books for less than the price of a coffee each – and no DRM! It’s almost too good to be true, like some sort of fairy trick….
My calendar reminds me it’s been three years since the publication of The Mona Lisa Sacrifice, the first in my Cross series of supernatural thrillers. I wasn’t sure where the tale of Cross and his angel enemies and mythical friends would lead me, but it turned into a wild and unpredictable journey. Shakespearean spirits and faerie intrigue! Strange, magical libraries! Undead Atlanteans, literary vampires and crazed angels! The difficulties of being a single parent to a ghost child! The horrors of monstrous royal families! The complications of love among immortal beings! And a host of characters that seem to have been born more from their own imaginations than mine – including, of course, Alice.
I think as a writer the thing you hope for most is to create a world that hasn’t been done before – and that wouldn’t have been made up by anyone else. Something that is a unique creation, a world that other people want to visit for a time and return to at different points in their lives, be it for discovery, nostalgia, comfort or joy. Those are the books that live on in my imagination. Hopefully Cross and his friends are creating such a world for some of you.
Also, I have recently finished the first draft of the fourth book in the Cross series. With any luck, you’ll have a chance to spend more time with Cross and his friends – and enemies – in the near future. Which, with Cross, always means a trip into our secret pasts….
Happy Canada Day! It’s been 150 years since our ancestors were banished from the Elder Lands and exiled to Canada, where they built the Great Tomb of Parliament to imprison the Sleeping Horror, which awakens once every, you guessed it, 150 years. And you thought those screams were from the fireworks.
Anyway, my publisher ChiZine is offering all its Canadian-authored books for free or pay what you can today, because there will be no tomorrow. Get them while you still can.
Tired of misplacing your Cross books during arcane rituals? Can’t remember the order of the Cross series ever since that angel melted your mind in the movie theatre because someone texted you? Interested in new Cross tales to give you some hope or at least distraction during these dark times? Then you may want to check out the new Cross omnibus.
The omnibus features the first three Cross books — The Mona Lisa Sacrifice (No. 1 Amazon.ca Fantasy and Historical Fiction bestseller), The Dead Hamlets, and The Apocalypse Ark — plus two new Cross stories never before published! In “The World Will Drown in Tears,” Cross stumbles into a strange battle in a frozen wasteland that some history scholars will recognize. And “A Different Kind of Wolf” puts Cross at the centre of a very famous fairy tale, but with a few diabolical twists all of his own.
The omnibus is ebook only, because to put it in print form would be to risk breaking the eighth seal. It’s available at fine online book emporiums everywhere, except for where it’s not. Buy it now, before the world ends! (It will also be available after the end of the world.)
Plus, there are hidden tentacles on the cover!
Praise for the Cross series:
- “If you liked Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, you’ll love The Mona Lisa Sacrifice”: CBC
- “The Mona Lisa Sacrifice is a deliriously unhinged roller coaster of a novel, blending fantasy, history, horror and humour with the aplomb of an overfull blender, but all of it smarter than it, truly, has any right — or need — to be”: National Post
- “Never lets the reader pause for breath . . . fans of the genre will find one of its ultimate expressions here”: Publishers Weekly
- “Sweeps you up with its gallows humour, whether you’re revelling in the pleasures of two-fisted, angel-punching action or the cleverly rendered language.”: Quill & Quire
- “Takes urban fantasy to a different level”: Library Journal
- “A pulp novel with genuine depth and wisdom, insight and consummate skill”: Regina Leader-Post
- “There are few writers, in this country at any rate, quite as unhinged and skilled, simultaneously, regardless of genre”: Saskatoon StarPhoenix
- “A fun, and whip-smart, read” – Vancouver Sun
- “A Rewarding, Witty, Hot Mess of Angel-Pummeling, Action and Noir Detective Fiction” – Pop Bop on Goodreads
- “Resembles something written by Neil Gaiman at times with its somewhat mystical imagery and at other times it reads as a full-blown work of bizarro fiction.” – Minneapolis Books Examiner
- “A spiritual relative to Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim and Lavie Tidhar’s Bookman series, meaning that anyone (and anything) in the literary universe is fair game. Mythological beasts, Lovecraftian allusions, pirates, and characters from Moby Dick and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea all fuse together to form a vastly entertaining, fantastical, breakneck hodgepodge quest novel” – Publishers Weekly
- “One of Canada’s finest literary writers” – CBC
- “If you like your literature with a nitro fueling, you’ll love these” – CBC
- “One of the strongest, and strangest, literary creations this country has ever seen” – The Vancouver Sun
- “Is he still making up those crazy stories? When is he going to get a real job?” – Mom
I’m happy to announce that ChiZine, the publisher of my Cross series, will be publishing an omnibus edition of the first three Cross books this coming spring. Which is really just an excuse to show off another supernaturally good cover by Erik Mohr. Bonus content will be one or two Cross short stories, depending on their length when I’ve finished editing them.
The omnibus will be ebook only, because print is dead and we learned our lesson after people reading The Apocalypse Ark in bookstores raised all those ghouls in that hidden graveyard under the Barnes & Noble.
It’s the very first time I’ve seen all my Cross books together in a bookstore! Thanks, Chapters!
Well, that’s the Sixth Seal broken. On to the next one.
I’ll be appearing at Word Vancouver, Sunday, Sept. 25, at 2:30 in the Suspension Bridge venue, as part of the Adventures in History session. I’ll be reading from The Apocalypse Ark or my teenage journal or something like that. I’ll be followed by Ronald Wright at 2:50, who will be reading from his book The Gold Eaters. Unless, of course, the time travel experiment goes awry, and then all schedules are off.