On a Gloomy Winter Day

By: Mike Jan4, 2014

The Tri-Cities has very mild winters, especially in comparison to Montana. Anything below freezing is considered "cold" and there's a only a couple of months of that. I don't mind the cold, but today my spirits are as leaden as the sky, and I don't know why.

It's been a grey day, in a grey week. The tinsel and Christmas decorations are looking tired. The children have gone back to their busy lives. The house is quiet, and there's way too much sugary food littering the kitchen shelves. We took the tree down earlier today, and the carpet still needs to be vacuumed to remove the lingering residue of holiday cheer.

So here I sit, my life as perfect as it's possible to be. Safe. Warm. So well-fed I'm fat. Surrounded by beautiful things, and I'm feeling . . . unsettled. The holidays are over, but the short days make it hard to get out and do much of anything. Patty's dreaming of the Spring's coming foals, but I still have to get a lot of fence up and build the necessary shelters. It's sleeting, and getting dark at 4:00 in the afternoon, so I guess it won't happen today. . .

The carousel building looms over the yard, stark in it's raw OSB exterior, waiting for work to recommence. Inside its unlit and unwarmed husk, leaves blow across the bare concrete floor, pushed by breezes from the giant openings awaiting garage doors still under construction. Snow falls through the gaps where skylights will eventually be installed. There's a giant pit in the side yard, with a heap of stone and dirt beside it, waiting for a buried propane tank to be installed. Progress has been slow over the holidays, for the same reasons the horse pastures are still unfinished. Christmas is over, and the coming spring is still several weeks away, and the cold and somber landscape dampens my enthusiasm for the tasks at hand. This is, if you can't tell, not my favorite time of year!

Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow, I'll get up and set my hand to useful purpose. Tomorrow Patty will go out to the ratty little office trailer and spin words into gold. Tomorrow bright and effervescent Ann will burst into the house, and bring life and cheer with her. Tomorrow the sun will come out again. Tomorrow things will be good. Tonight, I think I'll make a cup of herbal tea, listen to some music, and ignore the sound of icy sleet tapping at the darkening windows.

On a brighter note, we're giving away an ARC of Dead Heat. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mercy Is Back in Comics

By: Mike Aug 14, 2014

A few years ago we launched a series of Mercy Thompson comic books. The series launched with an origin story called Homecoming that was eventually released as a graphic novel, and then we tried to adapt the a couple of the Mercy and Alpha and Omega novels to the comic book format. We got to work with some very talented people, and it was fun to see the stories in graphic form, but there was something missing.

Almost two years ago, we called Nick Barruchi, the president of Dynamite, with a feeling of dread in our stomachs. We carefully explained that while we enjoyed working with him and his crew, we felt that final product was slightly lackluster, and that we would not be continuing. Much to our amazement, instead of anger and blame, Nick agreed with our assessment. He carefully explained that re-hashing the novels meant that we were playing to a limited audience. That meant production costs had to be controlled, which affected how much time the artists and writers could spend, which obviously affects the final product. Then he made us an offer — if Patty would come up with an original story idea, something that she would be comfortable basing a novel on, and let him base a graphic novel on it, he would do his best to blow her away.

We thought it over, and decided to take a chance. Patty thought up a creepy story that might have made a good novel, and sent it to Nick. Frankly, our expectations weren't too high. Then we saw the story draft, and it was good. We began to hope. The first art rolled in, Patty asked for a few corrections, and they were made promptly and the revised panels showed a great deal of promise. We got more excited. Then we saw the colored versions, and we have to admit that Nick has kept his word. This is a comic we're proud to be part of.

The original plan was to skip the comic medium, and publish this as a stand alone graphic novel, but after seeing the first dozen or so pages, it was decided to release it in comic form first. So, the first eposide of Mercy Thomposon: Hopcross Jilly will be available in October. You can find more information on Dynamite.com.