BOUNTY Book Trivia!

Some random odds and ends about my books, just because:113526_1220471073309_full

-Ezekiel, one of the principle villains in Blood Ties, is based largely on System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian. Specifically, this look:

-I didn’t decide Paul Andersen’s ultimate fate until it was time to write that chapter of Blood Ties. My thinking was that by keeping it even from myself, it would add to the mystery within the narrative – and if it was surprising and emotional for me, it would be the same for my readers.

-I first created Bounty back in 1997, whebounty-colorn I was still in high school. Suffice it to say, she has changed quite a bit over the years. For one thing, she wears a lot more clothing.

-I created Detectives Watson, Blankenship, and Stevens for Blood Ties solely to make the book longer and give me more options for subplots.

Bounty was originally a spin-off from Notna. That’s obviously changed, but both stories inhabit the same fictional universe. In fact, there will be a few Bounty Easter Eggs in Notna (mid-2017).

-The main plot in Behind the Badge is based on the real-life case of Freddie Gray, the African-American Baltimore man who died from injuries he suffered while in police custody – where he was subjected to a “rough ride.”

-I chose Baltimore as the setting because I wanted a major metropolitan city that wasn’t New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles (all of which are overused, IMO). I like Baltimore’s location on the East Coast, and its proximity to Washington, D.C. gives me a lot of interesting plot options going forward.Beckett gun

-The similarities between Jill and Castle’s Kate Beckett are no accident; discovering that TV show and character were a big reason I was finally able to finish Bounty and get the series rolling.

-In her original incarnation,Jill had a bounty hunter aspect to her character – hence the name Bounty. That went away over the years, and now, her vigilante name comes courtesy of a writer for The Baltimore Sun (see the digital short Boundless).

My Experience at Hampton Comicon

This past Saturday, I attended my first ever comic book convention: Hampton Comicon in Hampton, Va. I had a table, roughly 20 copies of all three img_20161015_083848of my novels, and a slew of business cards, flyers, and bookmarks — both for my work and the work of some other self-published authors I enjoyed. From 9 a.m. until roughly 6 p.m., I sold far more books than I expected. I sold out of my allotment of Bounty (the first book), and I damn near sold out of Behind the Badge (the third book), too.

In all, I more than tripled what I paid for the table space.

But as great as the short-term gain was, what excites me most is the long-term potential. Just about everyone who stopped by my table, whether they bought a book or not, took a business card and a flyer (which had my website, email address, Amazon link, and Facebook and Twitter pages on them). A lot of them perked up when they found out my books were also on Kindle, and just about all of them loved the premise of the series.

So it’ll be interesting to see what my online sales, website hits, and social media follows look like in the coming days and weeks. But perhaps more importantly, I also made connections — meeting several other writers, discovering potential new works to check out, and maybe an artist with whom to work if I decide to dip my toe back into the comic book world.

One man20161015_083959 approached my table saying he was looking for novels he could pitch to movie studios. He took a business card. Another man later approached about potential TV series ideas. He also left my table with a business card. Will those go anywhere? I have no idea (I’m accounting for the possibility that they were both blowing smoke up my ass), but just having the conversation was cool enough.

These were conversations I wouldn’t have had staying home, and they’re conversations I normally don’t get to have through social media or on a platform like Goodreads.

So all in all, I had fun — and clearly I’ve got a potential audience in the comic book and genre fiction crowd (which I kinda already knew). I have a library event later this month, and in May I’ll be at Tidewater Comicon (Virginia Beach, Va.). I can’t wait for both of those, and I love that I’ve sold so many books in-person that I now have to order another box or two of author copies.

It’s an added expense, but it pays for itself in the long run.

So anyone who has events like this in their area and never considered them before… maybe give them a chance. I grant my experience likely isn’t typical, but it was eye-opening the way people seemed excited about my stuff — and just how much interacting with someone in-person truly matters.

National Superhero Day

Apparently, today is National Superhero Day.
Bounty ebook
Which is cool… mostly because my protagonist, Jill Andersen, just so happens to be a superhero. “But J.D.,” I hear you saying out loud in front of your monitor, “I thought she was a cop?”

She is. She’s actually both. How does that work?

Read Bounty to find out.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget the prequel Boundless and the sequel Blood Ties.

I can think of no better way to celebrate National Superhero Day than heading over to Amazon and introducing yourself to my superhero.

But aside from plugging my own superhero, I want to take this time to talk about a hero I wish got a little more love: Batwoman (not to be confused with Batgirl; they are two completely different characters).

Batwoman is, to my knowledge, one of the few openly gay superheroes in mainstream comics (meaning Marvel and DC). She’s also Jewish — a fact that a lot of people gloss over when referring to Batwoman’s status as a strong representative of diverse representation.
Batwoman_(52_11)
Kate Kane is former military, having been discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell… and for a time, her book was one of the few DC books I read (we’re talking the New 52 timeline here). But she got engaged to her girlfriend, then DC editorial decided the wedding wasn’t gonna happen… cause apparently, queer characters can’t have happy endings?

Anyway, when her character’s not being screwed around, Batwoman is a lot of what people want in a character. She’s fierce, she’s loyal, she continues to soldier onward in spite of whatever’s standing in her way… in the right hands, Kate Kane has the potential to be one of the most interesting and dynamic characters in all of comics.

Instead of giving us yet another solo Batman movie, how about a Batwoman film instead?

In one of life’s great ironies, Batwoman was originally created long ago as a love interest for Batman — DC’s way of responding to allegations that Batman was gay.

All of the usual suspects will be getting plenty of love on National Superhero Day, but let’s take a few moments to recognize some of the great heroes that don’t get as much recognition… Batwoman among them.

And while you’re over at Amazon, perusing my own works… go on and give Batwoman: Elegy a read. It’s a fantastic introduction to the modern incarnation of the character, and I can virtually guarantee that you’ll fall in love with Kate Kane after reading Elegy.

And if you wind up liking Jill, too… well, then Happy National Superhero Day to me.