The Immortal Conquistador

August 1, 2019

Sorry about the silence and the spotty posting. I had family visiting this weekend and so was off on adventures like hiking Garden of the Gods and taking my 7 year old niece to Casa Bonita. She’s the perfect age for it because Black Bart’s Cave was too scary.

And now I’m back, and getting ready for Worldcon in Dublin. I’m on a bunch of programming and hope to have some good adventures.

Meanwhile, I have a cover reveal.

(Art by Rebecca Harp.)

The Immortal Conquistador is all stories about Rick the vampire, who has become one of my favorite characters to write about.  Half of this is reprints — “El Conquistador de la Noche,” “El Hidalgo de la Noche,” and “Dead Men in Central City.”  Taken together these stories have a great western frontier flare that are a big reason why I keep writing stories about Rick. I love that milieu, and he’s got 500 years worth of stories to tell.

The other half of the book is a brand-new novella that jumps back and forth in time. It tells what happened to Rick immediately after the events of Kitty Rocks the House, and back to 1848 and that one time Rick ended up in Santa Fe…

But I say too much. You’ll have to read about it. It’s due out in February from Tachyon Publications.

Barnes and Noble did a write-up on the whole thing here.

Stay tuned. More announcements are on the way. I don’t have a novel coming out this year, but I do have 5 novellas coming out over the next year. Apparently I’ve been busier than I thought…



So things are happening, and I’ve got stuff to promote.

Patrick Swenson of Fairwood Press and I talked back and forth about something fun and cool and different we could do, and we came up with this:  a limited, special edition hardcover of my novella Paranormal Bromance, my story set in the Kitty series about 3 Gen-X vampire roommates (that I wrote WAY before What We Do in the Shadows came out, I’d just like to say.) I published this as an ebook a few years ago, and an audiobook earlier this year. But this will be the story’s very first time in print. We’re only doing 500 copies, signed and numbered.

The edition will be out in October, but you can preorder and get a special discount over at the Fairwood Press site.

And the new cover:

“You know, it’s exhausting,” Ben said, and took a long draw on his bottle of beer. “It’s like every other month there’s this new ‘Once every hundred years’ super-special moon-related event we’re supposed to be paying attention to. How do we know? How do we really know if it’s important? Are we really letting Facebook decide this stuff for us?”

We were naked, sitting next to each other, backs propped up against rock, part of a pile of boulders slumped up on the hillside. He offered the bottle. I took a drink and handed it back. The beer wasn’t cold anymore, but it was still bubbly and sent calm through my limbs as it went down.

“Yeah,” I said. “Before social media no one really paid attention to this stuff. But it’s not like it isn’t *interesting.*”

“Interesting, sure, but is it *relevant*?”

Across the clearing a wolf howled. The sky wasn’t full dark yet but had that rich deep blue edging to twilight. Soon, the fat full moon would rise. Our werewolf pack had gathered, like we did every month — or every now and then, on a blue moon, twice a month. A few of us had already turned, and the wolves yipped and played. Others were still in human form, pacing, resisting the call of their other selves demanding to burst free.

All of us were waiting to see what it meant, this super blood moon thing or whatever the hell they were calling it. What supernatural forces we’d be subjected to, out of our control and knowledge. Ben was right, it really was exhausting.

He continued. “What if Earth had five moons, hm? What if we were on, like, Jupiter, with thirty moons? Then what would happen? What would it be like being a werewolf on Jupiter?”

“We’d be crushed under the massive pressure of its atmosphere and tremendous gravitational forces,” I answered.

“Oh. Yeah. I suppose so. So everyone who’s ever talked about a cure for lycanthropy–has anyone suggested just blowing up the moon?”

I looked at him, his scruffy brown hair and his scrunched-up, thoughtful expression. He was awfully cute.

“No, honey, I don’t think they have.”

We were waiting for something–something else, apart from the usual full-moon madness to happen. A few more of us shape shifted. The clearing had more wolves than people now. Another howl burst out.

“Are you really worried?” I said, turning so I was curled up next to him. Ben set down the bottle and put his arms around me.

“I’m always worried.”

Yeah. Couple of werewolves in this crazy world? A lot to worry about.

I said, “Maybe. . .what if. . .just this once. . .we didn’t worry about it?”

An oversized wolf raced up to us, yipped eagerly, and darted away again. The moon was rising. It was time to go.

Ben bent his forehead to mine. “You know what? That’s so crazy it just might work.”

And then we all howled at the moon, the inconstant moon, together.


two months!

September 11, 2017

Bannerless has been out for two months!  It feels like forever. It’s been a really long summer…

Later in the month we’ll be having a cover reveal for the sequel:  THE WILD DEAD.  I just broke the latest revision so I know what I’m going to be spending the next couple weeks doing…

In the meantime, the new issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction has my story “Dead Men in Central City,” which is about that one time Rick the vampire met Doc Holliday (as briefly mentioned in I think it’s Kitty’s Big Trouble).  This is a story Kitty doesn’t even know, y’all!



April 22, 2016

It’s like something in the universe decided Planet Earth had too much glam, and 2016 is the year the ledger got balanced.


FYI:  In the Kitty universe, it’s totally, totally canon that Prince and the Revolution are Fae.  Prince just went back Underhill.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


El Hidalgo de la Noche

November 11, 2015

You guys want a new story about Rick, don’t you?

I thought so.


Behold, “El Hidalgo de la Noche,” which is a sequel to “Conquistador de la Noche” and tells the story of what happens when European vampires arrive in colonial Mexico — and find Ricardo de Avila already there and rather surprised to see them.

Ebook only for now, but I’ve been thinking I have enough stories to put together a second Kitty collection. . . as always, stay tuned!

In the meantime have some links:

Kindle edition.

Nook edition.

Kobo edition.

iTunes edition.


I’m having a bit of a to-do list crisis.  This is what comes from being gone for about half of September.  And now September is over, and maybe I can finally get back to work.  Until I get my head back on straight, here’s a post to tide you over.  So during all the hullabaloo over various Moon Things over the weekend, a bunch of werewolf-related stuff came up on Facebook, which lead to me writing and posting this:

Kitty and the Full-Super-Bloodmoon Thing

“So what are we expecting to happen?” Ben asked.

“Same as any other full moon. . .but more so,” I said. “I’m kind of hoping we all spontaneously break into a synchronized lip-synch of ‘Day-O.'”

Even Shaun gave me an annoyed look from across the clearing. So I guess that only sounded like fun to me.

We were at our spot in the national forest up in the mountains, all of us in the pack, waiting. The place — a clearing by an outcrop of granite, surrounded by miles of pines, usually felt like home. Any other full moon night the pack would gather, and as dark fell we’d shed our clothes. As the moon rose our skin would sprout fur, our bones break and stretch, our four-legged selves taking control. We’d run, we’d hunt — wolves, summoned by the full moon.

This night, however, we nervously waited and watched the sky.

“Supermoon,” Ben said, arms crossed, squinting through the trees. The moon — full, silver — was just starting to rise. “So we should all get x-ray vision or be able to fly or something.”

“Listen to you,” I said. “Like turning into a wolf every four weeks isn’t enough of a superpower.”

He frowned, clearly dissatisfied. “You’re right. Not enough superpower.”

“Well, next time get bit by a radioactive spider instead of a werewolf.”

He gave me this look like he couldn’t tell if I was joking.

People kept asking me: supermoon. Blood moon. Did anything change? Was it all different? I didn’t know why everyone was worked up. The supermoon happened when the moon’s orbit brought it closest to earth — a pretty regular occurrence. The lunar eclipse happened whenever the Earth came between the sun and moon — another pretty regular occurrence. Even both together happened every thirty years or so. I had to be honest — the philosophical underpinnings of the whole thing weren’t at the forefront of my mind when my fingers were sprouting claws and my mouth stretching to fit a predator’s set of teeth.

Which they were about to do right now. My skin itched. I flexed my fingers. Elsewhere in the clearing, others of the pack were stripping down while their backs arched and a sheen of fur grew down along their skin. Ben and I watched our pack, and a shadow took a crescent bite out of one side of the moon.

“It’s time,” he murmured.

I felt it, too. The animal inside of me pressing at the bars of her cage, waiting to break free.

But there was something else. Something. . .kind of tingly. Weirdly, I felt more relaxed, when this time during a full moon I ought to be feeling more than tense, like my body was ripping apart.

Then I saw Becky in the shape of her sandy-colored wolf charge across the clearing, stumble, and roll over on her back, paws batting at the air, tongue hanging out the corner of her mouth. Shaun’s dusky wolf sat nearby, teeth bared, face pointed upward — almost like he was laughing.

Ben watched, squinting. “Does that look kinda weird to you?” He spoke slowly–his words were almost slurred. I couldn’t really focus on what he was saying. Claws sprouted from my fingers. I was Changing. But the whole thing felt kinda. . .blurry.

I looked at Ben, and both of us starting laughing. The laughs turned into lupine whines.

“I think we’re drunk,” I managed to gasp out.

“So. Less Blood Moon and more ‘nice dry, merlot moon’?” Ben said, and it was the last thing he said, because his body slipped and the Change washed over him. His wolf emerged — teeth bared, laughing.

I was about to follow. And you know what? That was all right.

The question I’ve been asked over and over again for the last month:  Am I sad that Kitty has ended, that I reached the end of the series?

No. No I’m not. What’s more I feel no need to be sad. First off, I finished writing the book more than a year ago. I finished the galleys about six months ago, and that’s when I really said goodbye — that was literally the last piece of actual work I was going to do on the content. I knew it was coming, I was prepared, and that was that.

But now that Kitty Saves the World is out, how do I feel? Well, I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m still not sad. I’m triumphant.

I’ve been working on these books since 2002. That’s 13 years. I’m forty two, which means I’ve been writing Kitty books for over a quarter of my life. In that time I produced over a million words of cohesive story. I’m so incredibly proud of that.

The older I get, the Kitty books will comprise a smaller and smaller percentage of my life.  But right now, and forever, and whatever I accomplish moving forward, I have done this huge, meaningful thing that I know made an impact and that I know is good work. A lot of people never get that. A lot of people never get to experience that, having something huge to point to and say, to announce, to proclaim: I DID THAT.

I am triumphant.


I figure it’s not a spoiler if I don’t actually mention the book by name.  But here’s a pic of the Norris Geyser Basin from my Yellowstone trip a couple of years ago. (Click on it to see it REALLY BIG.)

Norris geyser basin

Yeah, I was inspired.


new and old and new again

August 14, 2015

I really was worried that people wouldn’t like Kitty Saves the World.  Would it live up to expectation?  Would it be a satisfying close?  Well, it’s got a 90% five star rating on Amazon.  I think that may be the best of any of them.  So I guess people liked it!

To celebrate, I posted a new G.I. Joe story that I wrote on a roadtrip last month.  It just kind of happened. And I thought, why not let people read it?  So here it is: G.I. Joe: That Famous Silent Issue.  (Which will make sense to you if you’re a real old-school fan.  Yes, it’s a Scarlett and Snake-Eyes story!)

In other news, both my parents and grandparents are in a downsizing phase, which means lots of boxes are going back and forth, to the thrift store, and so on.  The last bits of childhood stuff that my parents had stored in their basement are finding their way back to me.  Which means, my entire run of original Wild Cards novels are together again:

wild cards

Aren’t they pretty?  And yes, well-read indeed.  But I think they’re pretty because they’re well read.