"A Peculiar Paradise" is now available as a Kindle stand-alone short story.
A drug dealer finds himself stranded in an idyllic oasis with only his childhood pet and a grizzled stranger for company. What a bad man with a good dog might expect in the great hereafter. A short story by the author of the best-selling Witching Savannah series.
Next Friday, I will be appearing with some very cool writers (Rysa Walker, Gwenda Bond, Amy Bartol, and my separated at birth, much younger and much prettier twin, Alys Arden) at BookCon at New York Comic Con. The panel will be moderated by editor (and poet) Jason Kirk. Immediately following the panel (3:15 -4:15), I'll be available to sign books in the Autographing Area on the 6th floor. From New York Comic Con Schedule:
October 07, 2016, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
BookCon @ NYCC - 500 W 36th St
From hyper-drive star ships to swords and sorcery to lustful vampires, science fiction and fantasy novels imagine worlds with infinite possibilities. But frequently, these worlds are remarkably similar to our own. Come hear bestselling science-fiction and fantasy authors discuss their imagined worlds and the impact of the collective SFF brain on the “real” world. Authors Rysa Walker (The Delphi Effect, Timebound), Gwenda Bond (Girl In the Shadows), Amy A. Bartol (Kricket series, Secondborn series), J.D. Horn (Witching Savannah series), and Alys Arden (The Casquette Girls) will debate and discuss, led by Senior Editor Jason Kirk of 47North and Skyscape.
If you're an unpublished writer looking to build a following on Twitter, here's a chance for you to learn from my mistakes before you make the same ones. I got started trying to build a social media platform about six months before my publisher picked up my first book. Anyone who's trying to get their work published knows this is what you're supposed to do. Get out there. Build that platform. Pick up followers. Show people are interested in what you have to say. It struck me as putting the cart before the horse, but that was the advice I was given, so I did my best to make it happen. Not knowing a thing about social media, I turned to Professor Google to see what advice I could find on growing a platform. The fastest way, it turned out, for an unknown and unpublished writer to pick up followers was to join the #followback groups. So I did, and I did find a quick swell in my number of Twitter followers. But what I ended up creating was the illusion of a social media platform, rather than a place where I could interact with people who were truly interested in my work...and more importantly where I could connect with people in whose work I have a genuine interest. There were thousands of people I'd followed simply because they had agreed to boost my number, too. That meant I was being disingenuous with a whole crowd of people. So now I'm going back and doing the work I wish I'd done in the first place to build an organic following. I'm clearing out those with whom I've never had any interaction. Nothing personal. If someone chooses to unfollow, then I know they were part of the artificial base. So here're my Twitter tips:
Only follow those people in whose work you have a genuine interest.
Interact with those you follow. They may not follow you back, but you may get a chance to learn something from them, or share something you know with them.
Don't sacrifice quality for quick quantity.
If you've already made the same mistake I did, don't sit around grumbling for for years--like I have--before you do something about it. (This would count as my second big mistake.)
My new series, The Witches of New Orleans, is coming from 47North in 2018.
Wait? Witches in an enchanting Southern setting? Haven't we seen this from you before, Mr. Horn?
Well, yes. And no. The new series is entirely unrelated to the Witching Savannah series, and features a new cast of characters as well as a new mythology. (SPOILER ALERT: No evil aliens.) The Witches of New Orleans world exists on an entirely different plane from that of Witching Savannah. The new series will also have a different feel from Witching Savannah, and be written not in first person, single point of view like WS's first three books, but in multiple POV third person.
So this isn't just Witching New Orleans?
No, no, and definitely not. This series is the Witches of New Orleans, and the word "Witching" has been discarded for a few reasons, the most important reason being that I want to make it clear the two series are different and are in no way connected.
But I liked Witching Savannah, and now you're telling me this new series will be nothing like it?
Well, yes. And no. There will be magic, and atmosphere, all the twists and bendy turns, and big, I mean, BIG family drama. But the story will be grittier and, thanks largely to the multiple points of view, richer.
But no crossovers? We won't see Oliver making his way down Bourbon Street? Iris in the Garden District? Mercy in the Merigny?
No one--and I do mean no one--loves the Taylor/Wills/Poole family more than I do. They are my children. But I've spent many years with them now, and it's time for me to give some of the other voices in my head a chance to speak. (Yes. All writers are crazy. Some of us more than others.)
So there won't ever be another Witching Savannah book?
I didn't say that. If I'm ever struck by a compelling enough story to make it worth undoing the happy endings my kids got at the end of The Void, I'll see if the publisher of the series is interested. I would like to revisit that Beekeeper character and share the secret of her origin. So perhaps some point down the road, we'll spend more time with Mercy Taylor and family. (And, just in case anyone is worried, I've always been #TeamEmmet.)
Oh, all right. What is this new series about then?
Glad you asked! Here's the elevator pitch for the first book, The Final Days of Magic:
A young witch investigating a string of disappearances in New Orleans’s magical community must defeat the demon who claimed her mother’s soul, or be trapped herself in his nightmare realm.
But you all know me. It's gonna get all Southern Gothic twisty in about seven seconds flat with family secrets and betrayals. The mask will become a theme in the Witches of New Orleans in much the same way lying did in Witching Savannah.
But you get that 2018 is like a million years away, right?
I'm just getting started writing the first book, and can already feel a deadline breathing down my neck, so it feels more like seventeen minutes to me. My publisher wants to minimize readers' wait between books, so the plan is to debut the first book in January 2018, then summer for the second (The Book of the Unwinding) and fall/winter for the third (The Last King of Mardi Gras).