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LUCIUS FOGG: WHERE HAS HE BEEN AND WHERE IS HE GOING.

Okay, maybe we should start with “Who is Lucius Fogg” for those who don’t know. Fogg is a series of novels that I started writing live on twitter a couple years back. They feature occultist Lucius Fogg and his personal detective Jimmy Doyle set in a 1950’s New York City where the supernatural exists in every shadow and dark alley. Doyle is the every-man brought into this bizarre world and he narrates the cases he takes on behalf of his enigmatic boss. Originally Fogg was created to be a chapter book series for Cellar Door Publishing back in 2005 and I wrote the equivalent of a novella that I called: “Three Little Ladies All in a Morgue.” The chapter book project never took off but I enjoyed writing the characters so much that the desire to do more with them never left me. Years later a few things happened. In 2009 I needed something for my table at Comic-Con so I printed up fifty copies of the novella. The feedback I got on the book was so positive that the desire was rekindled. My best friend, Lisa Worby, kept asking when there would be more Fogg and author James A. Owens came by to tell me that there needed to be more Fogg.

It was in my mind, but the final piece needed came a year later as I met Salome Jones. She had a desire to be an editor and in our discussions I got the wild idea that I should do another Fogg story, but I was going to do it live on Twitter. I used the original novella as the base and started writing every day with the world watching. Having the instant feedback was exciting and pushed me to complete it and by Halloween of 2010 I had a completed novel professionally edited by Salome. I started shopping it around to agents and got a few positive responses but overall no one bit. So in the summer of 2011 Lucius Fogg: Deadly Creatures became an e-novel. And a few months later, with Salome’s help, it was joined by Lucius Fogg: Malicious Intent and a third novel began to form in my mind. I had a plethora of story ideas I wanted to get to. And then around March of 2012 a few things happened that knocked the wheels off the Fogg express.

My wife, Debbie, had lost her job and money was getting tight. I had the novels out there but spreading the word of their existence would be time consuming and I needed to focus on projects that would pay quickly. My time to focus on promoting the e-books vanished as well as the time to work on the next novel. I was made aware of a few different print publishers that were looking for projects and I submitted the books… but most of them weren’t interested in anything that had been e-published previously, so Malicious Intent went right back offline and sent out while Deadly Creatures floated in the ether. I spent the majority of 2012 writing comic books for Zenescope and looking for more work. I think this catches everyone up on where he has been…

So where is Fogg going? That’s what I’m in the process of figuring out. I want to write the characters again. I want to hear Jimmy’s voice in my head and on the page once more. And by the reaction I got there are plenty of you that want to read more about the boys. So there are some things I’ve already put into motion and things that I’m trying to decide. First are the covers. I have used two different covers for the books so far. The original black & white covers drawn by Tone Rodriguez and Brent Peeples respectively and then the photos covers featuring models Sara Liz and Divinora Darling. Well, two days ago I posted about needing an artist and an old friend responded immediately that he would be happy to do new ones for me. He’s a painter and can do some amazing work. I’m very excited to see what we can come up with. He’ll be doing covers for the two completed novels and the next one. If it all works out I may have enough dirt on him to keep him around for any future Fogg novels as well. So the first part of my plan is for the novels to get a facelift.

Second part has to do with the e-books and the availability. Amazon has some amazing promotional tools that you can use if you go exclusive with them. I’ve decided to do just that. For at least the next 90 days both Deadly Creatures and Malicious intent will be available exclusively through Amazon.com. And with that I’ve put together this weekend’s Fogg Event or as I like to think of it, “Introduce Your Friends to Fogg”; but more on that in a minute. Bottom line, I’m going to be pushing the e-books again and would love any help I can get on that.

I also want to get the books into print. Yes, I want there to be physical copies of Fogg out there in the world. Now I just have to figure out how to do that. I’ve tried the ‘get an agent and let them find a publisher’ route but being an old comic pro, that way just doesn’t work for me. Jumping through hoops to get someone to then go out and try to sell my book for me. I’m more of a hands-on guy. So my options become find a publisher myself (maybe a comic publisher), fund a print run on my own or go with a print-on-demand website. All of these are viable options that I am exploring and I hope to have a decision on that in the next few weeks. I’ve got a few publishers I’m trying to talk to and a couple P-o-D sites I’m checking out, but the other option leads us to the next thing I have to think about: Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is an amazing tool that when used right allows a creator to do work that might otherwise never be seen. So how do I use it? Do I put together a campaign to raise enough money to do a print run on Deadly Creatures? Maybe I should print Malicious Intent? Shoot for enough to print both? All of them are good possibilities. Another option would be to use Kickstarter to fund the writing of the third novel. Other authors do that. Ask for enough to cover the time it would take to write the book and to pay the editor then release a digital copy to everyone who donated. There are so many options that I’m really not sure what the best approach may be. I’m going to ask around for advice on this.

So this is where we are at, new push on the e-books along with going exclusive with Amazon for at least a while. There will be new covers and maybe even some pin-ups if I can twist a few arms from some other friends. There will be printed copies of the first two novels available in the near future with how and quantity to be determined. And there will be a new Fogg novel this summer. I will most likely fire up the Fogg Twitter account again and tease some of the work on there. I may even put together an audio version of Deadly Creatures read by… ME. I’m told I have a good voice. I may even have another surprise up my sleeve, but I’ll save that for later.

That leaves us this weekend’s event. Starting at midnight tonight and running through Sunday March 17th, Lucius Fogg: Deadly Creatures will be available for free on amazon.com. If you read the book when I wrote it on Twitter, there is so much you missed. If you haven’t gotten a copy for your kindle yet, now is your chance. But this is also a great time to introduce your friends and family to Fogg. Send them the link or even gift them the book. Convince them that their life isn’t complete until they know about Lucius, Jimmy, Sea Bass, Conrad, Ravenstorm and Tiny. The more people that read the first novel help improve the chances of a fourth, fifth and more. I will post a specific link to the book once the price drops so you can introduce Fogg to the people you care about. Please help me spread the word.

And I have to acknowledge that Fogg exists because of you, the readers. You inspire me, you drive me and you make me want to be better and work harder. You are as much part of this as I am. Together we can make Fogg successful. You tell your friends and I’ll write more stories. 

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