Randy McCharles – an update on a new fantasy novel

Macbeth

Much Ado about Macbeth
by Randy McCharles

Genre: a contemporary fantasy published by Tyche Books

Quick description:
When drama teacher Paul Samson decides to put on a High School production of Macbeth, he forgets that it isn’t just The Scottish Play, it is The Cursed Play. And Paul soon learns just how cursed. After grappling with his principal, the PTA, his family, and his students, he must contend with witches, ghosts, and skeletons from his past. The show is destined from the outset to end badly, but no matter how desperate or dangerous circumstances become, Paul cannot cancel the play. Theatre has but one rule and one rule only: the show must go on.

RandyMcCharlesColour Randy McCharles has been publishing humorous speculative fiction since 1997, slowly graduating from short stories to novellas, and finally to novels. He has even received a few contest and award wins along the way. Much Ado about Macbeth is Randy’s first full length novel and is, in his opinion, his best work to date. In his copious free time Randy organizes literary events including the multiple award-winning When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers. (I wrote a post about this event recently for my other blog.)

Links to buy Randy’s latest book:
Tyche Books
Amazon
Kobo
Smashwords
Randy McCharles has previousy been featured on Reading Recommendations, both for his own publication and as part of The Apocalyptic Four.

What are you working on now?
Since January 2014 I have been focused on novels and am working on several projects round-robin style. Yes, it initially takes longer to produce a book this way, but I like to let a project sit for several weeks between drafts. In order of furthest along:
The Day of the Demon, a sci-fi-horror about demon possession and the end of mankind (with comic relief).
A Connecticut Gumshoe in King Arthur’s Court, a mash-up of The Maltese Falcon and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
A Murder in Wood Buffalo: the first of what I hope will be a series a mainstream detective stories featuring Peter Galloway, PI, who appeared in Murder at the Mall in the AB Negative crime anthology.
The Children of Cain, the first book in a planned urban fantasy series. I leave the premise to your imagination.

Randy’s reading recommendation:
This is a tough one because I read so many excellent books. The first that comes to mind right now, however is The Thieftaker Chronicles by D.B. Jackson, which in part inspired me to write The Children of Cain series

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Axel Howerton

Axelheadshotbw2wbAxel Howerton

What is your latest release and what genre is it? AB Negative – Crime anthology, fiction

Quick description: AB Negative is an anthology of Alberta-based crime stories, by Albertan authors. This is a labour of love for crime writers from across the province, focusing on our beloved home province with stories ranging throughout time, geography and stylistic bent. There are dark noirish tales of sin and revenge, drug deals gone wrong, homey stories about neighbourhood killers, humorous tales of bumbling mafiosa, detectives on Stephen Avenue, and futuristic visions of sexbot domination.

AB NEG COVER Ebook

Brief biography:
Axel Howerton is the author of the darkly funny detective novel Hot Sinatra, a finalist for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Axel is a former entertainment journalist, award-winning poet, and editor. His short fiction has recently appeared in such weird and wonderful publications as Fires on the Plain, Steampunk Originals, Clones Fairies & Monsters in the Closet, Big Pulp, Night Shade, Dark Eclipse, and Sleuth Magazine. He is the editor of the anthologies, Death by Drive-In, Tall Tales of the Weird West, and AB Negative.

Axel is a member of the CSFFA, Calgary Crime Writers, The Kintsugi Poets, and serves on the board of the Crime Writers of Canada. He recently brought the “Noir at the Bar” #NoirBarYYC event to Calgary, Alberta, and he is the owner and publisher of Coffin Hop Press. Axel spends most of his time roaming the untamed prairies of Alberta with his two brilliant young sons and a wife that is way out of his league.

Links to buy Axel’s book:
All the links can be found on the Coffin Hop Press website.

Axel’s promo links:
Coffin Hop Press
Axel Howerton website

What are you working on now?
After having produced, edited and published two anthologies this year, as well as publishing new fiction in great new venues like Sleuth Magazine, I’m going to take a little time for myself and get back to some novel-length projects. One is a humorous action-adventure-style historical look at Fort Whoop-up and the formation of the NWMP in Alberta. The other is a sprawling crime saga involving several characters that have appeared in some of my short fiction.

Axel’s reading recommendation:
The Friends Of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins, which was a formative influence on the crime writing of Elmore Leonard. It’s very quick and snappy writing, a lot of dialogue and very little in the way of descriptive prose. Solid crime-writing and excellent criminal characterization from a man who was, at the time, an assistant US Attorney.

Randy McCharles, who has previously been featured on Reading Recommendations, has written one of the stories included in this anthology.

Randy McCharles

Today’s Reading Recommendation is an author living in Calgary who I have known for several years. In fact, I met Randy McCharles at a talk I gave at the Calgary Public Library when he was the first person to buy a copy of my (very) recently released eBook! I wanted to give Randy an extra shout-out here at the beginning of his promotion because, as is typical of him, he has been very humble in answering my questions regarding his non-authorial accomplishments in the Calgary writing community. For instance, Randy conceived and has become the Grand Poobah of the extremely successful annual conference, When Words Collide, that dares to promote and celebrate authors, books and writing of ALL genres. This year’s conference takes place next weekend, Aug. 8-10, and it sold out in record time, long ago, so even if you happen to be in Calgary you won’t be able to attend unless you’ve already registered. However, keep this conference in mind for next year – it’s a good one, and is growing with every new year! Now, here’s Randy to tell you about the authorial side of his life!

Randy McCharles Randy McCharles

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Necromancer Candle – Contemporary Fantasy

Quick description: The Necromancer Candle is a collection of 3 contemporary fantasy novellas that combine mystery and humor. Everyday people face ancient evils while dealing with modern relationship troubles. Emotions run from horror to despair to anger to laughter. Enjoy the ride!

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Brief biography:
Randy McCharles is active in Calgary, Alberta’s writing community with a focus on speculative fiction, usually of the wickedly humorous variety. A multiple Aurora Award-winner (Canada’s most prestigious award for speculative fiction), Randy’s fiction can be found in various publications from Edge Press, CreateSpace, House of Anansi, Reality Skimming Press, and Year’s Best Fantasy 9 (David Hartwell and Kathryn Kramer, ed). Randy’s 2014 titles include The Necromancer Candle (Edge Press) and Capone’s Chicago (CreateSpace). In addition to writing, Randy organizes events for readers and writers including the When Words Collide literary festival, A Taste of Local Authors reading series, and the Rocky Mountain Writers Retreat. Randy also teaches courses for writers at the Alexandra Writers Centre.

Capone's Chicago

Links to buy Randy’s book:
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy

Randy’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

What are you working on now?
I work on multiple projects at once. Much Ado About Macbeth is a contemporary fantasy in its final draft. When drama teacher Paul Samson decides to put on a High School production of Macbeth, he forgets that it isn’t just The Scottish Play, it is The Cursed Play. And Paul soon learns just how cursed. After grappling with his principal, the PTA, his family, and his students, he must contend with witches, ghosts, and skeletons from his past. The show is destined from the outset to end badly, but no matter how desperate or dangerous circumstances become, Paul cannot cancel the play. Theater has but one rule and one rule only: the show must go on.

In earlier stages is A Connecticut Gumshoe In King Arthur’s Court. Sam Sparrow was a bad cop and a worse private detective. But when he is miraculously whisked away from certain death at the hand of hoodlums, only to find himself working cases in King Arthur’s Court, it may just be the chance he needs to address his trust issues while at the same time proving himself worthy of his elusive idol, Sam Spade.

Randy’s reading recommendation:
I just finished Plague by C. C. Humphries, a brilliant historical mystery set in black plague London.

Randy McCharles was previously featured on Reading Recommendations, Jan. 23, 2014, as collaborating member of The Apocalyptic Four.

The Apocalyptic Four

253460_10151030239276603_469225808_nThe Apocalyptic Four
– AKA Eileen Bell, Randy McCharles, Ryan McFadden and Billie Milholland

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Our latest release was The Puzzle Box — a collaborative contemporary fantasy novel.

Quick description: It is a box that you can hold in the palm of your hand – but the contents will change your life forever. There is no simple way to open it: no hinges, locks, or clasps. To some, its six surfaces gleam like polished gold. To others, it appears dull and tarnished like a forgotten antique. For every person, solving the box will be different, with life-altering consequences.

“I have a great gift for you. Now I ask you: what do you want? What do you really want? You don’t have to tell me. It already knows.”

Albert Mallory, a down-on-his-luck archaeologist, begins to discover the true secrets of the Puzzle Box as revealed through four tales belonging to the the previous owners. As each story is told, the mystery of his own life slowly unravels until he is left with the biggest question of all: What’s Inside?

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Brief biography:
Eileen Bell has written most of her life (usually as an antidote to whatever day job she had) and has had short fiction published in magazines and several anthologies, including the double Aurora Award-winning Women of the Apocalypse.

Recently, she and three other writers had a collaborative novel, The Puzzle Box, published through EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. In 2014, she will have her own paranormal mystery, Seeing the Light, published through Tyche Books.

When she’s not writing or editing or thinking about writing, she’s living a fine life in her round house (even if it is in a perpetual state of renovation) with her husband, two dogs, and a gold fish.

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Randy McCharles is active in the Calgary, Alberta, writing community with a focus on speculative fiction, usually of the dark and humorous variety. In 2009 he received Canada’s most prestigious award for SF & F, the Prix-Aurora Award, for the novella Ringing in the Changes in Okotoks, Alberta which appeared in Tesseracts 12 (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing) and was also reprinted in Year’s Best Fantasy 9 (David Hartwell and Kathryn Kramer, ed). Additional short stories have appeared in Tesseracts 11 & 16; as well as in the Urban Green Man, Okal Rel Opus 2, and Okal Rel Opus 6 (Absolute XPress).

In addition to writing, Randy chairs the When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers.

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Ryan McFadden is an award-winning fantasy/SF author living in London, Ontario, who happens to be a full e-reader convert, and now uses those powers to help code books for publishers and authors.

His novella, Deus Ex Machina, was part of the Aurora-winning Women of the Apocalypse released in 2009. His recent publications include stories in Evolve 2, When the Villain Comes Home, Blood and Water, and Expiration Date. He is busy working on his next project in the always popular Neo-Noir Supernatural Crime Thriller category.

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Billie Milholland is a Western Canadian writer of fiction and non-fiction. Non-fiction titles include They Came and North Saskatchewan River Guide. She has had short fiction produced on CBC Radio, articles in Harrowsmith Magazine, children’s fiction in Chickadee Magazine, flash fiction in Seven Deadly Sins. A novella in Aurora-winning Women of the Apocalypse (Hungersnot). Short Fiction in Ride the Moon Anthology (Small Seven’s Secret)

Facebook
Twitter

Links to buy The Apocalyptic Four’s book:
Amazon Worldwide – eBook and paperback
Kobo – eBook
Chapters/Indigo – paperback

What are you working on now?
Right now, we are all working on individual projects.

Eileen Bell’s first “on her own” novel, Seeing the Light, will be launched in late 2014.
Randy McCharles’ novel Capone’s Chicago will be available spring 2014. His collection of three novellas, The Necromancer Candle, will be available August 2014.

Eileen’s reading recommendation:
Eileen’s reading Reamde by Neal Stephenson and she’s enjoying it immensely.