Saturday, October 29, 2016


I’ll be doing a signing this coming Saturday, November 5th, at 2nd and Charles Bookstore in Covington, Louisiana. The address is: 401 Highway 190, Covington, Louisiana, 70433. The phone number is 985 867-8010.

The signing will be from Noon to 3:00. I won’t be the only author there. From what I understand, there’ll be a number of local authors signing. I believe they are going to put up announcements but I’m not sure exactly where. They also have a facebook page.

What I’ll have available:

Copies of the first Talera Trilogy: Swords of Talera, Wings Over Talera, Witch of Talera.
Cold in the Light: My horror/thriller
Adventures of an Arkansawyer: Humorous Memoir
Bitter Steel: An anthology of sword and sorcery stories.
In the Language of Scorpions: An anthology of graphic horror
Midnight in Rosary: An anthology of vampire and werewolf fiction.
Wanting the Mouth of a Lover: A chapbook of vampire haiku

I’ll have a few copies of
Write With Fire: my book on writing.
Mage, Maze, Demon: Sword & Sorcery novella from Beat to a Pulp
Harmland: a collection of short noir/horror stories,

And a few surprises.

If you’re local, this sounds like a great day to visit 2nd and Charles!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Puppet Masters Strike

The Puppet Masters, by Robert A. Heinlein, 1951, New American Library

I've read quite a lot of Heinlein's early work but this is one I've missed. Until now. I really enjoyed it. But then I like all of Heinlein's early work, especially those considered to be his juveniles. This one isn't quite a juvenile but it still has the same flavor of adventure and excitement. 

Most of you know that this is an alien invasion story, of course. A ship lands containing what come to be called "slugs," which attach themselves to the backs of people , through the spinal cord, and then take control over them. At first no one knows who is controlled and who isn't. But the human race soon comes up with countermeasures, such as having everyone strip to the waist. The war is on but there are many more twists and turns before the end, which I won't give away.

One thing a little different about this tale is that it takes place at an undefined future time after some great earthly war and after humans have begun to settle on both Mars and Venus. They have blasters and flying cars as well as space ships.

In 1994, there was a movie made from this book starring Donald Sutherland, but as I remember it was set in the modern day, without the futuristic elements. They don't necessarily have to be there to make the story a good one.

The slugs essentially appear to be single cells that function almost like a composite brain and I'm pretty sure this was a big influence on the Star Trek original series episode called "Operation Annihilate!" That first season episode featured single 'brain cell' looking parasites that rode the backs of people that they had taken over.  The similarity is too close to imagine that it was accidental. The episode aired in 1967. 

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Can I Quote You on That?

Here is a passage from an international bestseller. I changed two words. The name in the book is not “Smith,” but I didn’t want to give the title away by citing the name, which would be easy to google. Other than that, this is exactly as it’s written in the book.

By the way, this is the second time I’ve tried to read this book. This is about where I quit last time, but since everyone tells me I need to read it, I’m going to push on a little further. I’m reeling already, though, so we’ll see how far I make it. I’ll reveal more about this book later.

“Smith straightened sharply when he spied the tiny silver cross on the other side of the chaplain’s collar. He was thoroughly astonished, for he had never really talked with a chaplain before.
‘You’re a chaplain,’ he exclaimed ecstatically. ‘I didn’t know you were a chaplain.’
‘Why, yes,’ the chaplain answered. ‘Didn’t you know I was a chaplain?’
‘Why, no. I didn’t know you were a chaplain.’ Smith stared at him with a big, fascinated grin. ‘I’ve never really seen a chaplain before.’
The chaplain flushed again and gazed down at his hands.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Richard Hescox

A  nice little treat for me at CONtraflow Con was getting to meet Richard Hescox, who was the artist guest of honor. Although he has done much wonderful work since, I’ll always associate him with the covers for the Dray Prescot series of Sword and Planet novels published by DAW between about 1972 and 1988. This would include A Sword for Kregen, #20 in the series, my first exposure to the books, and still my favorite. Hescox didn’t do all the covers. There were 37 books published originally in that series in English, which was written by the British author Ken Bulmer. They were definitely an influence on my own Talera series.

I chatted with Mr. Hescox several times and he was charming and friendly, and very knowledgeable about art. I sat in on a panel where he showed images of some amazing fantasy art from around the world that has very seldom been seen. Many of these would make great covers. Check out his webpage to see what he is up to these days.

Here are some more of his covers for the Prescot series: