Jason Cosmo: Royal Crush is here!

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Royal Crush Amazon v3I’m delighted to let you know that Jason Cosmo: Royal Crush is here at long last! Book 3 of the Jason Cosmo fantasy adventure series officially launched at the major ebook retailers over the weekend. Thanks to all the early buyers, including those Loyal Readers who pre-ordered the book.

As I write this post Royal Crush is ranked #188 in the humorous fantasy category on Amazon. It is always fun to see a less than 5-digit ranking beside my book – again, thanks to all who purchased over the weekend.

I hope you enjoy the book. If you do, please take a moment to post a quick review at your favorite ebook store or on Goodreads. It really does help spread the word and help other readers discover Jason Cosmo.

For those who have not downloaded your copy yet, here are links to some of the major stores:

Again, I hope you will enjoy Royal Crush!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Royal Crush Cover Art is Here!

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Detail from Royal Crush cover artAs we countdown to the release of Jason Cosmo: Royal  Crush on December 5, I am assembling the pieces of the book, including a critical component — the cover!

Yesterday I received the cover art image. I’m not going to reveal it in full until the title has been added to make it a proper cover, but I want to share this sneak peek, a close-up of our fearless wizard, Mercury Boltblaster!

I also want to introduce the newest Jason Cosmo cover artist: award-winning illustrator and sculptor Mighty Mark Helwig. Mark joins the ranks of Richard Hescox, Josh Kirby, and Den Beauvais in providing covers for the Jason Cosmo saga. Mark give us his interpretation of a pivotal scene in Royal Crush, which I will share in all its glory when the final cover is ready.

Mark displays a quirky, sly, and slightly demented sense of humor in his work (and has a disturbing affinity for Cthulhu). I thought it would be fun to get Mark’s take on Jason Cosmo and company.  Stay tuned for the full cover soon!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

PS:  You can see more of Mark Helwig’s work at his website: Mark Helwig Art and Sculpture and on his Facebook Page: The Art of Mark A. Helwig – Facebook Page. Check it out!

 

Jason Cosmo: Royal Crush preview (Chapter 1)

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I realize it has been a long wait for Royal Crush. Even I am impatient! I thought you might like to see a sneak preview of Chapter 1. (Disclaimer: still a draft and you may find a few typos because I haven’t done my proofreading yet…feel free to report any errors and feel smug about it.)

For those who read my 1990 book Royal Chaos, you’ll immediately see a few differences, reflecting the events of Noble Cause. And if you haven’t read Royal Chaos…at this point I recommend you keep it that way. It’s one big spoiler for Royal Crush.

Excerpt begins after the break… Continue reading

Jason Cosmo Confusion

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

As I close in on finishing my first draft of Royal Crush, I took a break to do a little Cosmoverse maintenance.

I labeled the books Jason Cosmo and Royal Chaos as the “Cosmo Non-Trilogy” on Amazon (I haven’t released Dirty Work there yet for lack of cover art … which I hope to remedy.) and added a “From the Author” note on each book’s Amazon page to try to dispel confusion about the old series vs. new series.

I also took an hour or so to untangle the messy classification of the Jason Cosmo books on Goodreads. There I labeled Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, and Dirty Work as “Jason Cosmo original series” (eschewing my jokey “Non-Trilogy” label there in favor of maximum clarity) and marked Hero Wanted and Noble Cause as #1 and #2 of the “Jason Cosmo” series.

Longtime Loyal Readers know I took a do-over and rebooted the series with Hero Wanted but I can see how a new reader might read the book Jason Cosmo, then pick up Hero Wanted and think “What is McGirt trying to pull here, writing the same book over and over. Who does he think he is – Dan Brown?”

My original plan on releasing Hero Wanted in 2009 was to drop the original series down the memory hole. But some Loyal Readers wanted the originals in ebook form too! So I reconsidered and gave the Non-Trilogy a pardon from oblivion.

I knew confusion among newcomers would be the price of that decision, so I do have to patrol this issue from time to time. This latest burst of activity was triggered by a question from a new Loyal Reader about how all the books fit together and which order to read them in.

I hereby decree that Jason Cosmo and Hero Wanted are two different books telling the same story … just like there are many books telling the same story of King Arthur, Robin Hood, and other legendary figures! The original series ended with Dirty Work. The current series marches on!

If you already understand the Non-Trilogy/Current Series distinction – congratulations! You’re a hardcore Loyal Reader, part of the “in” crowd, and really could have skipped this entire post…but thanks for reading anyway!

If you’re a new Loyal Reader…welcome! There is a more extensive explanation of this mess on my Non-Trilogy page.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Royal Crush and Other News

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Hero Wanted (2009)

Hero Wanted (2009)

Happy 2014! I know, it is already March, but this is my first update of the year. I’ve been busy writing new stuff for you…and still am! So let me give you a quick update on what I’ve been up to.

  • ROYAL CRUSH: The third volume of the rebooted Jason Cosmo series, following HERO WANTED and NOBLE CAUSE, opens with Jason and the twins Sapphrina and Rubis in Rae City to attend the Royal Wedding of Queen Raella and the wizard Mercury Boltblaster. A joyous occasion! Which, of course, will soon go horribly, horribly wrong. ROYAL CRUSH is a revised version of my 1990 book Royal Chaos. I am revising line by line, keeping the gist of the original story, but adding new details and perhaps a new twist or two to keep longtime Loyal Readers on your toes. Just before composing this post, I finished the first draft of Chapter 17. (I think there will be 30 chapters in all.) This is going faster than NOBLE CAUSE because I am working from an existing text. I don’t want to put a definite release date out there, but I expect to be done with the principal writing before the end of March. That leaves editing, proofreading, formatting and cover art to be done in April. So ROYAL CRUSH may be ready for a May release … but that is only an estimate right now! I will keep you posted on my progress. I am reporting the completion of each chapter on Facebook (Dan McGirt Page) and Twitter (@JasonCosmo), so follow me there for the very latest updates.
  • BOLTBLASTER: I’ll hit pause on the main Jason Cosmo series after I finish ROYAL CRUSH and turn next to the long-awaited BOLTBLASTER, the story of Mercury Boltblaster’s early years. More to say on this later — one book at at time! But I can report this book is already under way. I wrote a prologue, three chapters, and a detailed synopsis more than 20 years ago. I pulled these files from the archives recently… and they hold up pretty well! BOLTBLASTER will be fun and I can’t wait to get to it!
  • COVER ART: I recently had a good meeting with a very talented fantasy illustrator to discuss covers for several Jason Cosmo titles. Specifically, we talked about Rainy Daze and Dirty Work, both of which have sad text-only covers prepared by me using Microsoft Publisher back in 2009. That was barely okay then, but I want to get both of these ebooks into wider distribution on Amazon, Apple, etc. so they need professional cover art. I don’t like to name names until the deal is done, but Talented Artist has some good ideas and I think you’re going to like the new covers.
  • COSMOPEDIA:  The Cosmopedia is my online reference to the Jason Cosmo universe (or Cosmoverse), also available for you to browse. It unavoidably involves some mild spoilers if you haven’t read the books, so be warned. I recently finished a page-by-page push through HERO WANTED, updating and adding entries to the Cosmopedia, so check it out while you wait for the next book!
  • MAILING LIST: I’ve launched a Dan McGirt News mailing list, so sign up to get an email alert when a new book is available. All I need is your name (which can be an alias…) and email address. I will not rent out, sell, mangle or otherwise misuse your email address and promise not to spam you. I’ll let you know when a new book is out, or other major news (like if there were ever a movie deal…) but I won’t be cluttering your inbox every day. I’ve got books to write! SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST HERE.

That’s the news from the Eleven Kingdoms!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Magicka: The Ninth Element

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Magicka: The Ninth Element by Dan McGirtOver the past year I’ve worked on — and occasionally mentioned — a “Secret Project” media tie-in novel. It is finally finished, published, and on sale now!

Magicka: The Ninth Element (A Tale of Wizards) is set in the world of the Paradox Interactive fantasy adventure computer game Magicka.

Now available at the Amazon Kindle Store and on the Apple iBookstore.

Also available at Smashwords and at Barnes  & Noble.

Also available at Kobo.

Read much more about it at DanMcGirt.com

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Dan McGirt at Dragon*Con 2013 – My Schedule

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Dragon*Con is almost upon us, coming up Aug 30-Sept 2 in Atlanta, Georgia!

dragoncon logoAs previously reported, I am a Dragon*Con Guest this year and have several scheduled appearances/events during the con. Here, for the benefit of any Loyal Readers attending who want to come say hello, is my schedule:

FRIDAY,  AUG 30

Reading and Q&A
Time: 4:00-5:00 pm (1 hr)
Location: University – Hyatt

At this session I will read a selection from Noble Cause and answer questions about my work. (If requested by attendees, I may read the selection aloud.)

SATURDAY, SEP 1

SFWA Table
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (1 hr)
Location: Not sure.

In an astonishing lapse of judgment, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is leaving me in charge of their table during this period. Where the table is, I do not know. But if I find out, I’ll be there. And if you find out, I hope you’ll drop by. Sitting at a table all alone is sad.

Autograph Session
Time: Sat 4:00-5:00 pm (1 hr)
Location: International Hall South – Marriott

This is your official chance to have me autograph your copy of one or more of my books. I will also sign books by other authors, napkins, programs, footballs, baseballs, human flesh, or anything else that fails its Save vs. Sharpie.

I share this session with several other writers: Jane Espenson, Brad Bell (TV writers, I think), S.M. Stirling (Dies the Fire, Island in the Sea of Time, etc) Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (the Saint-Germain Cycle and much more). The way this works, we each have our own table in a big room. I expect my line will the shortest, as I have a much more select and elite Loyal Readership!

Laws and the Writer
Time: Sat 7:00-8:00 pm (1 hr)
Location: Embassy D-F – Hyatt

The official description is: “How the law affects you as a writer, what protections it offers, and how to seek the help
of a professional.” I think that means the help of a legal professional. (There is a small chance this panel is an intervention and I am being set up.)

I will be moderating this session. My plan — assuming I am not wheeled away to a nice padded cell Hannibal Lecter style — is to share a few pointers about copyright, defamation, plagiarism, and contracts and then answer audience questions as best I can. I am a lawyer, but (as I will repeat several times) anything I say in this session is not legal advice, but is for informational purposes only. Every situation is unique and if you need legal advice you should retain an attorney of your very own.

[Fans of Michelle Hodkin — my information in the previous version of this post was out of date, and she is not scheduled to be on this panel. You WILL find Michelle at the Decatur Book Festival on Saturday and elsewhere at Dragon*Con.]

SUNDAY – MONDAY

On these days, and when I am not at the above sessions on Friday and Saturday, I will be wandering around Dragon*Con, attending sessions, admiring the cosplayers, cheering at the Parade, looking up friends, continuing my long-running feud with William Shatner, checking out artists, etc. If you see me, say hi!  I look forward to meeting you!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

[NOTE: Post updated to correct erroneous information about one of my panels.]

 

Jason Cosmo: Royal Crush Update

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

As I mentioned last week, the next book I will release in the Jason Cosmo series is Royal Crush (a revised edition of Royal Chaos).

In the next few weeks, I expect to be done with the still-not-yet-named media tie-in Secret Project I’ve been writing the last few months. (Again, I’d love to tell you more, but the timing of a public announcement is not up to me on this one.)

So, right after the 4th of July weekend, if not sooner, I’ll be diving into Royal Crush full-time.

The rest of this post is process talk, for those who might be interested. Because Royal Crush is a revision of an existing book, I won’t have to spend much time on dreaming up plot or characters — the basic story will follow the outline of Royal Chaos.

So what will change? What makes this a revised version? Most of the changes in this digital remastering will come under one of four headings:

  1. Correct errors: horror of horrors,  a few slipped through into the published version of Royal Chaos. I’ll fix those. (While no doubt adding new errors. So it goes.)
  2. Better writing: I’m a better writer than I was in 1988-89 when I wrote Royal Chaos. I’ll go through line by line and revise any sentence, paragraph or scene that needs it to my 2013 eye. Tighten the prose, stamp out passive voice, banish excessive adverbs, improve awkward constructions, etc.
  3. Harmonize: I will add or alter details in Royal Crush as needed to be consistent with lore and events previously established in Hero Wanted and Noble Cause — and to fit with what is coming in future volumes!
  4. New Scenes: I will very likely add a few new scenes, possibly even a new chapter, to the story. That way, even if you’ve read Royal Chaos, you’ll get some all-new never-before-seen action with Royal Crush.

There you have it, my plan of action for Royal Crush. But there is one more preliminary step I have to take before I can really dig in — I’ve got a little version control problem to solve.

Until recently, my only electronic version of Royal Chaos was the “final” version of the file I printed out and mailed – in a box! – to my publisher back in 1989. In the intervening years, every so often, I’d open a copy of the file and make little spot edits and revisions, more for my own amusement than anything else, as this was way before the Ebook Era.

But note — what I was editing was the version I mailed off to the publisher, not the post-editing as-published text (which I only had in print).

More recently, I scanned a print copy of Royal Chaos, cleaned up the file, and published an ebook version. So now I had an electronic version of the published text of Royal Chaos — and from time to time over the last two or three years, I’ve made edits to a copy of that file — more or less forgetting about the first file.

Two different sets of changes to two slightly different base texts. Oops!

So step one, before I get to my 4-point plan, is to “compare documents” and merge these two versions of Royal Chaos into one starting text that I will, over the next few months, transform into Royal Crush.

More than you wanted to know? If so, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Stay tuned!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

 

 

 

What’s Next for Jason Cosmo

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

If you haven’t read my Really Big Announcement at DanMcGirt.com go check that out first, because I don’t want to repeat myself here.

Back?

Continue reading

Smashwords Summer Sale until July 31

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Noble Cause (2010) by Dan McGirt

July means the Smashwords Summer Ebook Sale is here again (or Winter Sale for Loyal Readers in the Southern Hemisphere). Yes, you truly can beat the heat with an ebook–try fanning yourself with a Kindle! Works pretty well, huh? Just don’t get too close to the pool.

As usual, several of my titles are included in the summer (or, again, winter) sale fun:

25% off (enter code SSW25 at checkout to get your discount)

50% off (enter code SSW50 at checkout to get your discount)

100% off … yeah, FREE!

Only at Smashwords, only until July 31!  If you’ve already bought these books — Thank you! To share the fun, please leave a review and/or recommend to a friend.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt