Two New Stories by Dan McGirt

by RDM on August 13, 2017

Greetings, Loyal Readers!

A quick note to let you know that I have two news works of fiction out to the public. One is my novel Jack Scarlet: Deepfire, now on sale wherever fine ebooks are sold. I’ve gone on about Deepfire in earlier posts, so I won’t rehash the summary here.

The second is my short story ‘Glass Darkly and the Skull in the Box’ which is included in The Rise of the Phoenix anthology from Gilded Dragonfly Books. This is a collection of stories by more than a dozen authors, all set at the fictional MagnaCon fantasy convention in downtown Atlanta. My story is the debut of one of my longtime Story Vault characters, Glass Darkly.

Black Cat Cigarettes [click to continue…]

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Jack Scarlet: Deepfire Launches July 22

by RDM on July 22, 2017

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

My new book, Deepfire: A Jack Scarlet Adventure is now available worldwide as an ebook on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other retailers.

Jack Scarlet: Deepfire by Dan McGirtJack Scarlet is a modern spin on the classic pulp adventure heroes of yesteryear, mixed with influences from comic books, 1980s action-adventure films, and the over the top James Bond films starring Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan. (Gadgets. It’s all about the gadgets.) Deepfire is a fast-paced , fun, free-wheeling tale of derring-do and bravado – and the occasional bad pun. Here’s the blurb:

Danger waits beneath the waves…

A desperate call for help propels action ace Jack Scarlet to the Gulf of Mexico to stalk a sea monster, battle an army of ruthless mercenaries, outwit a scheming dictator, and find a vanished research ship and the sexy scientist who disappeared along with it.

Jack Scarlet and adventuring partner Galahad plunge into the deep end of trouble when their search leads to a mysterious offshore drilling platform controlled by a sinister energy company — and then to the secretive island republic of San Marcos, whose president has plans to topple the world order. That’s bad enough.

But the greatest danger lurks beneath the sea, where an ancient power man was not meant to disturb is now awake — and angry. Is the kraken a myth from old sea stories, or is it real? Jack and Galahad are about to find out in a nautical adventure that may be their last.

Heroic genius inventor Jack Scarlet loves to test himself and his creations against the most extreme challenges. But this time he may be in over his head, and not even Jack’s sentient super-yacht, railgun pistol, and other death-defying gadgets may be enough to save the day.

A special thank you to all the Loyal Readers who pre-ordered Deepfire. Your copy should have been automatically delivered to your reading device by your retailer of choice. Everyone else – here’s where you can get Deepfire today:

I hope you enjoy Jack Scarlet: Deepfire!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

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Deepfire and Other Stories

by RDM on March 7, 2017

Dan McGirt holds a copy of his book Hero WantedGreetings, Loyal Readers!

Oh, and Happy New Year! We’re well into 2017. I have not posted in a while. I thought I’d give you a quick update on what I’m up to. I have been plugging away on various projects, which I will bullet below.

New Year’s Resolutions

  • In 2016 I resolved write 7 novels, 3 novellas, and 1 short story, doubling my lifetime output. It was a grand goal, and one I fell far short of. Some of that was due to unforeseen personal matters – life keeps happening. Some was due to travel and other distractions. But I like the goal, so I’m renewing it for 2017! Because I’m crazy like that.

Short Story Review

  • One resolution I did achieve was writing a short story in 2016. In fact, I wrote two. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, neither story was published last year.
  • ‘The Red Hook Incident’, written for the Strange Arcana: The Stars Are Right anthology, sits in limbo, as the anthology was delayed until further notice. See my September 2016 post for more on that.
  • ‘Glass Darkly and the Skull in the Box’, also written for an anthology, is also in limbo. The anthology has seen production delays. Again, no firm publication date has been set.
  • You can see why I don’t usually write short stories.
  • I hope both these stories will be released at some point this year.
  • Meanwhile, I have a 2017 short story to write! Thinking ahead, I’ve already arranged to not get paid for it…

Novel Matters

  • The goal is again to write seven new books this year. Fortunately, I have several books already in progress. (It’s not that I didn’t write anything last year. I just didn’t finish any books.)
  • Jack Scarlet: Deepfire – my first full-length 21st century technopulp adventure thriller! I this very day finished a round of revisions on the manuscript. It will go into editing later this month, targeted for a Spring release.
  • Boltblaster – Long awaited, long delayed. The tale of Mercury Boltblaster’s early adventures, before he teamed up with Jason Cosmo to save the Eleven Kingdoms.  The story is plotted. The first few chapters are written. Lots of magic and mayhem to come! This should be the next book release.
  • Saving Max – This is a book I chip away at every so often between working on other things. I’ve got more than ten chapters written. You can read the first nine chapters of Saving Max at Wattpad. I don’t want to say much about this one yet – except to say things are not always as they seem!
  • Dirty Deeds – #4 in the Jason Cosmo fantasy adventure series. This will be the (fairly substantial) revision of the classic Jason Cosmo title Dirty Work. Aiming for a Fall release.
  • Threat of the Talon – A Rex Carson adventure. This is a revision and expansion of a six page handwritten story I wrote when I was 13. I dug it out of the Story Vault and it wasn’t bad! Rex Carson was my juvenile self’s Indiana Jones rip-off (with a swordcane, not a whip!) who had a harrowing adventure in the jungles of Peru (running from Hovaras, not Hovitos). Obviously, the story needed a little work. I’m treating my youthful effort as the first draft and have been quietly plugging away at a new treatment, while keeping as much of the original settings and characters as I can. It will be a fun story – again, no definite release date.
  • Two Books TBD – I’ve got a few other books in various stages of completion: A paranormal chick lit spoof. An Arthurian comedy. Another Jack Scarlet adventure. An adventure involving a group of 80s kids investigating supernatural doings that I swear I started before the producers of Stranger Things started high school! A few more. If I meet my goal, I’ll finish two of them this year, in addition to the titles listed above.

Novella Matters

  • Somewhere in there, I have to write three novellas too! We’ll talk about those later.

That’s what I’m up to right now, and my road map for the year on the writing front. Thanks for reading!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

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UPDATED: The Legacy of the Phoenix anthology release date has apparently been pushed back to October 2016. Stay tuned.

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Today I’m recovering from Dragon Con, still in a groggy haze as the accumulated sleep deficit of five straight days of late nights catches up with me. As usual, I spent most of my time in sessions of the Writers’ Track, organized by the indefatigable Nancy Knight, taking notes and jotting down ideas, with some side trips to the Paranormal track to glean ghost story ideas and some pure fan activity to see actors from some of my favorite shows.

As you may recall my short story “The Red Hook Incident” was expected to be released in August, as part of the Strange Arcana anthology. That project has been delayed – for what are actually quite good reasons and great news for the organizers – and will most likely be out in 2017, but with no firm date yet.

What that means for those keeping score is that while “The Red Hook Incident” was my first professional short story sale, a different story will see publication first: “Glass Darkly and the Skull in the Box”. This is a story I wrote over the 2015 Christmas holidays and submitted in January for a forthcoming anthology from Gilded Dragonfly Books.

Gilded Dragonfly (GDB to friends) is a small press based in Georgia, co-founded by Nancy Knight (there she is again!) and several other writers/editors . Last year GDB released Legends of the Dragon Vol 1, featuring fantasy and horror short stories set at Dragon Con (and with a great cover by Georges Jeanty for any Jeanty compleatists). I thought it would be fun — and a challenge, given my aversion to writing short stories — to submit a story for the planned Volume 2. Which I did.

For good and sundry reasons, Volume 2 morphed into The Legacy of the Phoenix, an anthology of stories set at the fictional MagnaCon held (fictionally) in Atlanta every Memorial Day weekend. MagnaCon is similar to Dragon Con, but far stranger…

Anyway, my story was accepted and I made the needed minor revisions to fit the new MagnaCon frame. The anthology should be out in paperback and ebook in about two weeks (Sept 24). I’ll share more details about “Glass Darkly and the Skull in the Box” soon.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Greetings, Loyal Reader!

My short story “The Red Hook Incident” will appear in the STRANGE ARCANA: The Stars Are Right anthology from Sigil Entertainment. There is a Strange Arcana Kickstarter campaign ongoing to fund the project – and I want to share the video trailer with you. One, because it’s cool and two, because I got to write the script for it!

STRANGE ARCANA: The Stars Are Right is a mind-bending collection of eldritch horror stories set in a weird, dangerous universe, where superheroes must face immensely powerful ancient beings, crazed doomsday cultists, and a dark secret they all share.

The finished book will be an 6.75 x 10.25 inch, 128-page, color volume with a collection of eight original illustrated short stories and an epic 24-page comic finale. There will also be ebook editions and related art prints available. Even a deck of cards!

All that said, I hope you enjoy the video. And if you want to get your hands on my story “The Red Hook Incident” (and, gosh, I hope you do) consider supporting the Kickstarter project, which ends July 22. You’ll get my story, plus seven more. The ebook will be out in August. The hardback edition is set for February – it will take a little longer, since it also includes a comic book story not yet written.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

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Greetings, Loyal Readers!

My official sale of a short story! My story “The Red Hook Incident” will appear in the upcoming anthology Strange Arcana: The Stars Are Right, from Sigil Entertainment. More on that soon.

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I know what you’re thinking – Dan, you’ve published multiple novels. You’re telling me you’ve never had a professional sale of a short story before now?

Yes, that’s what I’m telling you. When I first set out to be “a writer” in my teens I wrote and submitted a couple of fantasy short stories because I thought that’s what you were supposed to do: start with shorts and work your way up to writing novels. None of my short stories sold, Jason Cosmo did, and I decided I’d stick with novels, which are much easier to write!

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Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I was recently profiled in Vital Speeches of the Day, as part of their “The Speechwriter’s Life” series. Here is the link:

The Speechwriter’s Life—Dan McGirt

From mid-2002 to mid-2013 my day job was working as a speechwriter for various executives. It was a different kind of writing than composing novels, with its own set of challenges and rewards. I enjoyed being a speechwriter (usually…). I enjoyed helping leaders I admired communicate their goals and ideas effectively. I liked the hunt for the right facts, the best examples, the right quote or anecdote to bring a speech together. I enjoyed picking the brains of really smart people, experts in various topics, and trying to translate their ideas for different audiences.

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Neil Hrab, an editor for VSOTD, who asked if he could interview me for a profile. We had a good, wide-ranging phone conversation about my speechwriting days and various aspects of the job. He asked good questions which made me think about my speechwriting experiences for lessons learned.

I haven’t written a speech in the last couple of years and I’m not itching to do one now, but I appreciated the opportunity to chat with Neil and I hope you’ll take a look at his article.

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

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Greetings, Loyal Readers!

We’re well into 2016 and I’ve yet to post here, so it’s well past time to give you a peek at my writing plans for 2016. Back in January I made two writing-related new year’s resolutions, which I’ll share below.

My 2016 Writer Resolutions:

1: Double my career output (which would require I publish a minimum of 7 novels, 3 novellas, and 1 short story this year)

2: Be meaner to my protagonists. I admit it – I’m a big softie when it comes to my characters. I hate to do anything too terrible to them … I hate to see them suffer, I always give them an out from impossible situations, the good guys always win in the end with only cosmetic consequences. But this year, no more Mr. Niceguy…

I actually think the second resolution will be harder to keep! I freely admit I prefer stories with happy endings, the good guys winning, evil-doers being punished, and all that hokey stuff. That probably won’t change, barring some radical shift in my world view.

But I can do a better job of putting my characters through the wringer along the way. I have a hard time doing truly awful things to them … but deep down I know that making things tougher for Jason Cosmo and my other protags makes for a wilder, more thrilling, more compelling, more gripping story for you, my Loyal Readers. So I’ll do my best to go full Job on them this year.

Regarding the first resolution, I have to date published seven novels (three in the original Jason Cosmo series, three in the new rebooted series and one media tie-in novel), three novellas (Rainy Daze, Sarah Palin:Vampire Hunter, and One Night in Zanfar) and one short story (Beginner’s Luck).1

As a 2016 writing challenge I want to double my lifetime published output before December 31. That means putting out at least seven novels, three novellas, and one short story. This will require unprecedented focus and dedication to getting the words done (as I am sometimes easily distracted by shiny objects) but I’m up for it!

What will those titles be? I am currently writing Deepfire, the first book-length Jack Scarlet 21st century technopulp adventure tale. Next will be Boltblaster, the long-awaited tale of Jason Cosmo’s wizard friend Mercury Boltblaster. Also on the list is Dirty Deeds, book 4 of the Jason Cosmo fantasy adventure series. That accounts for three of seven novels. I’ve not yet decided what the other four will be.

On the novella side, I’ll write another Jason Cosmo Tale, similar to Rainy Daze. The other two novellas are TBD.

I already have the short story covered – I submitted a story to a forthcoming anthology. If it is accepted, it will be published as part of the collection later this year. If not, I’ll release it myself. Either way, I can check off the short story category!

That’s the plan. Stay tuned for updates!

What are your reading or writing or other creative resolutions for 2016 – and how is it coming along so far?

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

 

  1. I’m not counting the Jason Cosmo Omnibus or a couple of Jack Scarlet mini-tales that are really no more than single scene vignettes. []

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Jack Scarlet: Deepfire preview, Chapter 3

by RDM on January 11, 2016

JS- DeepfireGreetings, Loyal Readers!

For my first post of 2016, I continue the preview of Jack Scarlet: Deepfire with Chapter 3. The below will make more sense if you  read Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 first … Chapter 3 starts to connect the dots between the mysterious disappearing ship in Chapter 1 and our hero, Jack Scarlet, whom we met in Chapter 2. Let’s tune in…


Jack Scarlet: Deepfire

3: Unofficial Channels

“Jack, I can’t tell you how much we appreciate you coming on such short notice,” said Jeff Settles.

“Of course,” said Jack, as he shook hands with the older man. “I wish I’d been here sooner.”

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Jack Scarlet: Deepfire preview, Chapter 2

by RDM on September 10, 2015

JS- DeepfireGreetings, Loyal Reader!

If you didn’t read Chapter 1 of Jack Scarlet: Deepfire last week, go do that first. Then join me below for Chapter 2, as we meet our hero Jack Scarlet and his adventuring buddy Galahad on the verge of doing something crazy, yet awesome…


Jack Scarlet: Deepfire

2: Above the Chief

 

“The wind is right,” said Jack Scarlet. “Let’s do it.”

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