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I received the proof copy of The Lycanthrope Club: Book II Full-color edition print yesterday. Unlike the grayscale edition, it turned out great. You can now purchase the full-color print edition at Lulu (and only Lulu).

www.lulu.com/shop/tristan-eifl…

Fair warning, it costs 35.00 USD (not including shipping!), which is a lot to ask for some color illustrations and high quality paper. As I said, Lulu charges a premium for color even if only a couple of pages ARE color. Unless you have a great deal of disposable income and really, really want a deluxe hard copy of book II I'd actually advise against buying it and wait for the grayscale edition. It would have been even worse had I tried to distribute it through retailers (i.e. Amazon) as they would have demanded the base price be 52.00 USD! Hence the reason the full-color edition will only be available through Lulu. 

All that being said, this is probably the nicest, most professional-looking book I've ever published (apart from the DSRB). 
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A bit delayed again, sorry, but I just uploaded the latest episode to YouTube. In this Podcast we discuss the metaphysics of magic and psionics in a variety of media. Fair warning, this one is a bit off-the-cuff.

[link]
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The Lycanthrope Club: Book II is out!!!

link


That is, the full color PDF is complete and now available to those who contribute at least 3.00 USD to the project via PayPal. This edition will feature five color illustrations and six black and white illustrations by Lobo Leo, Dirk Tiede and Jean Harrell as well as production sketches (with character concept art!) and two exclusive short stories, First Night and A Nurse in Wolf's Clothing parts I and II. A free for download PDF edition is available at daemoneye.net.

Again, please note the contributor reward PDF version will be sent to you via email and may take several hours to a day to arrive. Be sure to check your spam folder. If you do not receive your contributor reward after 48 hours please contact kiojan@daemoneye.net

Please comment on the book; I'm interested in feedback, positive and negative.

* * *

UPDATE 07/18/2015

I just received the proof copy of The Lycanthrope Club: Book II grayscale edition. Unfortunately, there were issues with the images. I made some adjustments that should resolve said issues (hopefully) and ordered another proof copy. The full color proof copy is still in the mail. With any luck it won't require another revision.


* * *

UPDATE 07/16/2015
Apparently Lobo Leo is busy promoting his comic.

twitter.com/alphalunanet/statu…

No, I didn't hear back from him; I just learned about the tweet. While I'm still a little unhappy he flaked out on me again and wish he'd have just told me he was too busy to complete the commissions on time it's good to hear he's working on his own project. He has a lot of talent and I'm just glad it's being put to use.

* * *

Welp, it's been a week since the release of The Lycanthrope Club: Book II. Time for a retrospective. That is, I look back on the journey and wonder what the hell went wrong.

Okay, I exaggerate, but re-writing the second book was far more tortuous than the first. Granted I was often preoccupied with other concerns during the process - finishing my dissertation, finding a job, moving to San Francisco - but it shouldn't have taken this long. I freely admit there was a degree of procrastination on my part. In addition, the second book required a more thorough rewrite. Not only did I have to account for plot changes in book I but I also wanted to expand the story. Each novella was originally written and released chapter by chapter and so suffered from disjointed transitions, which became more apparent as the chapters were combined into a single narrative. I had to write entire new scenes and rework old plot elements to fit the story. I think this version is indeed an improvement over the original novella. But it could have been better. Without spoiling anything, the ending employed a device that was a holdover from the original story. I wanted to remove it altogether but couldn't do so without drastically changing the climax. As it result, it feels a bit like a cop-out, a deus ex machina, with little foreshadowing or connection to the rest of the story. I did manage to link it with a minor theme towards the very end but it felt insufficient. And there are still a few passages in there that make my internal editor wince when I read them. Then again, no author worthy of the title is ever truly satisfied with their work so at a certain point you just have to pack it in and move on.

Getting the art was a real bitch this time around. It was a bitch during book I, but this was worse. Part of it was my fault. I should have started looking for artists earlier on and started commissioning art earlier on. Money was an issue, but not that big of one in hindsight. I generally accumulated just enough spare funds to pay for the illustrations as they were completed. Had the Kickstarter been successful I probably could have afforded to hire another artist or two to make up for the delay; the book would have come out a couple months earlier and featured more art. All that being said, yes, some of the delay does fall on the artists' heads. Not all of them, mind. Some were very professional. They kept in touch and finished their assignments within the allotted time frame. Others...not so much. One fellow offered his services and then didn't respond after I accepted and assigned him a couple of illustrations. No idea why (he was still active; I checked his website). Another kept getting delayed but at least let me know what had happened and was very productive in the long run.

You'll notice I haven't referenced any of these artists by name, nor did I when I announced delays due to unfinished commissions. This is because I didn't and still don't want anyone bothering the artists; that's my job. More to the point, it comes across as me, the commissioner, putting pressure on them in a rather sneaky, indirect, passive-aggressive way. I don't want that. However, I will make an exception for one individual - Lobo Leo.

To those of you who aren't aware, he has an unfortunate tendency to disappear suddenly and without warning or explanation in the middle of projects - both his own and others' - not returning for months or even years. He drew half the art for book I and then just vanished as he was getting started on the cover; I had to hire another artist to finish it up. I swore I would never work with him again. However, during the production of book II he contacted me saying he wanted to contribute to it. After some soul-searching I agreed to give him another chance. Everything else aside, he's a nice guy and a fantastic artist. After nearly five months he produced precisely one color illustration - a very nice color illustration, mind - and delayed the book nearly two months while I waited for him to wrap up the last commission, which he never did. To be fair he did have an excuse this time around. He was busy publishing his own comic, Alpha Luna, in his country and attending several conventions to promote it. Still, I think he could have managed more than one illustration in half a year. I would have forgiven him if he had just told me he didn't have the time to finish the commission(s) or given me a time table! It's not just that he disappears but he doesn't tell you what's going on! And when he does announce a delay the delay is often twice as long or longer as he says it will be! It's like he's afraid to say no. I don't like speaking ill of him, I really don't, but this is getting beyond the pale. I won't say I'll never work with him again as I've broken that particular oath once, but it's far, far less likely now.

I said it once and I'll say it again: Given the choice between a reliable decent artist and an undependable fantastic one I'd chose the former over the latter without hesitation, at least for commercial projects. If you're just interested in getting a profile image of your OC and don't care if you have to wait a couple of months or years, by all means commission it from the gifted unreliable one. Otherwise, go with the dependable artist. Go with the artist who clearly states how long it will take to finish a particular commission and has a history of following through on that promise. Go with the artist who agrees to keep you updated on his progress and always lets you know when there will be a delay. Go with the artist who employs a contract. He may charge more and probably asks for a premium to use his art in commercial work but you will suffer from far fewer headaches. All that being said, please don't take this as an excuse to harangue or pester artists when they're a day late or something, let alone beg them for free art. Treat them with respect and expect the same from them.

On a more positive note, book II's release has gone very well so far. Criticism has been positive and I'm still receiving contributions to the project. I ordered a proof copy of the print edition and it should be arriving any day now. Assuming there are no problems with the hard-copy it will be available on Lulu by the end of this week and Amazon sometime in the next couple of months. The full-color print edition will only be available on Lulu due to pricing issues and should be up sometime in the next month.

As for the future...rewriting book III will be more difficult than books I and II combined. For one, it has to take all the plot changes from prior books into account. Second, it's a mystery novel, which means the story is very intricate and therefore demands a very meticulous edit. Lastly, the next half-year will likely, hopefully, see a major transition in my life. Needless to say I won't have much time to work on the book. I will try not to delay it as long as I did book II, but nothing in life is ever certain, especially in these times.

I've been toying around with several ideas for new projects but none have coalesced into anything tangible. I've been in a bit of a creative and emotional funk lately. The success of book II has been one bright spot in a rather dreary recent series of unfortunate events. Hopefully things will improve as the summer progresses.

Thank you all for your support, both emotional and financial.
  • Mood: Thanks
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Fixing the file took a lot less time than I thought it would...That's right...

The Lycanthrope Club: Book II is out!!! 

link


That is, the full color PDF is complete and now available to those who contribute at least 3.00 USD to the project via PayPal. This edition will feature five color illustrations and six black and white illustrations by Lobo Leo, Dirk Tiede and Jean Harrell as well as production sketches (with character concept art!) and two exclusive short stories, First Night and A Nurse in Wolf's Clothing parts I and II. A free for download PDF edition is available at daemoneye.net.

Again, please note the contributor reward PDF version will be sent to you via email and may take several hours to a day to arrive. Be sure to check your spam folder. If you do not receive your contributor reward after 48 hours please contact kiojan@daemoneye.net

Please comment on the book; I'm interested in feedback, positive and negative.

This is, unfortunately, only 2/3 of the art I had originally planned on incorporating. A combination of artist troubles and sheer cost prevented me from commissioning all the illustrations I wanted to. I also originally planned on launching the print and digital editions simultaneously like book I, but owing to multiple delays this is the only way I could get the book out in some form by the first week in July as promised. Print copies should be available on Lulu and Amazon sometime in the next month and October-ish, respectively. To those of you don't have PayPal, can't send money to the U.S. via PayPal or can't order books on Lulu, I apologize. Just be patient. 

I'm going to post a retrospective on the project in the near future. This was an...interesting experience.

UPDATE 07-08-15
I've ran into a bit of a problem.

As some of you may recall, the reason the full-color edition of Book I is relatively expensive is because the printer -Lulu - charges by the page number and there still isn't an option for color inserts. It doesn't matter if there's only a single color page in a 300 page volume; you'll be charged for a 300 page color book, i.e., as though every page had color illustrations. Now, the full color edition of LC: Book II is 160 pages long and its base cost 26.00 USD. This is the minimum cost for Lulu to print it - what I would pay for a copy. Unfortunately, in order for it to be distributed through Amazon and other retailers the list price has to be DOUBLE that - 52.00 USD! Basically, retailers will only carry it if their profit on the sale of a copy is the same as the cost of printing it! And the list price on Lulu has to be the same as it is through the distributors - 52.00 USD! And I'd have to raise the list price even higher to see any income whatsoever through Amazon (at 52.00 USD Lulu and Amazon would take ALL the profit from copies sold outside of Lulu!). This wasn't a problem with LC: Book I since it was only ~90 pages . 

So...here's what I'm going to do. The full color edition of The Lycanthrope Club: Book II will ONLY be available through Lulu. I'll charge the same as I did for Book I - 30.00 USD - and see a return of 4.00 USD per sale. The black and white print version of LC: Book II will be cheaper and will be on Lulu and Amazon; the only difference between the two print editions will be that the 5 color illustrations will be grayscale in the black and white edition. I really wish I could have gotten more color illustrations to justify the price difference but...well, that's a rant for another day. Artists...gah!

UPDATE 07-08-15
Because the release of The Lycanthrope Club: Book II has been such a great success I've decided to upload the free for download PDF edition early! It can be found at link

I've ordered proof copies of the grayscale and full color print editions. Once they arrive (assuming there are no problems with the books) they will be available for purchase through Lulu. The grayscale edition will be up on Amazon roughly a month or two later assuming it passes muster for distribution.
  • Mood: Relief
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  • Playing: NOTHING!!!
  • Eating: Farfalle pasta and broccoli
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I had just finished the finalized manuscript of The Lycanthrope Club: Book II when MS Word crashed and the file wound up being corrupted! Couldn't recover it. No idea what happened, though the high resolution embedded images probably had something to do with it.

Luckily I had backed up the final text but now I have to completely reformat it again AND add the pictures! It'll take two or three days! Looks like the book will be delayed. AGAIN!

...These last couple of weeks have been goddamn excruciating. Not just because of the slow progress of the book and artists, either.

Oh, happy Fourth of July. I spent most of it trying to fix the file and questioning my lot in life.
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We're so close to releasing The Lycanthrope Club: Book II I can taste it.

I said I wouldn't be posting another preview of the book, but again, I lied.

Here's a snippet from "First Night" - an exclusive short story detailing Melinda and Phillip's first night in the woods as werewolves. It will only be included in the full-color edition PDF available to contributors and print copies (both color and greyscale). It's a description of the first male werewolf in the series, post-transformation.

Yes, he does have a bit of a bishie vibe to him.

* * *

Phillip's pelt was grey. Slightly light grey, in fact - almost silvery without looking aged. [Melinda] found herself gently gliding her paw along his shoulders, feeling his hairs run between her digits.

"Phillip?" she said apprehensively.

There was no response. Phillip's shoulders slowly rose and sank as he breathed.

Melinda frowned, thinking. She had passed out the first time she transformed. Maybe he was unconscious.

"Phillip?" she repeated, this time louder.

"Yeah, yeah...I'm OK."

Phillip's speaking voice had gone from a tenor to a resonant baritone. Steeling herself, Melinda slowly lowered her arms and stepped back. Phillip turned to face her. Melinda's jaw dropped.

In truth she had half-expected to see some kind of hulking lupine brute, particularly after feeling how much he had grown. Yes, he was taller than her, but leaner. She actually had an inch or two on him in terms of raw mass yet his physique was still quite masculine. Undeniably masculine, she noted as she gazed downwards, blushing. Her questing eyes traveled up his body. His fur was lighter around his tight, sinewy stomach and torso. His nose and muzzle were short but sharp, a mask-like coloring of darker grey encircling his eyes, which had turned yellowish-brown. His hair - or the fur around his head, Melinda still wasn't sure what to call it - had lengthened and turned pure white. It shone gently in the alabaster light of the moon. His ears were noticeably large and long, drooping forward slightly. Though his face bore traces of his human self there was something else there - a strange, quiet nobility Melinda had never seen in him before.

"Melinda?" intoned Phillip.

Startled, Melinda wiped the drool from her mouth and spoke.

"Is that you?" she whispered in awe.

Phillip stared down at his paws, flexing his padded, clawed digits.

"I guess so," he replied.
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The Lycanthrope Club: Book II is now only a single illustration away from being completed. If the last image isn't ready by next week I'm cutting it and ordering a proof copy. So yes, I can finally give an estimated release time with some certainty: First week of July, 2015

Just saying. 
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I just uploaded the latest episode of the Daemoneye Podcast. Apologies for being so late with this one, but Tyler was dealing with technical problems and I've been swamped at work lately. In this episode we discuss the writings, themes, and influences of H.P. Lovecraft.

Check it out! [link]

As for The Lycanthrope Club: Book II...still waiting on the artists. Sigh.
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OK, I have some good news and bad news.

The good news is that I'm pretty sure the last few illustrations I commissioned for The Lycanthrope Club: Book II will be done by the end of this month or early June at the latest. Furthermore, the second editor has finished going over the manuscript and I'll have a chance to meet with him over the coming weekend. Once I have all the art and incorporate the final corrections and changes into the draft it'll only be a week or two before the book is FINALLY available for download/purchase. 

The bad news is that I had to cut a couple of illustrations from the book. See, I set the end of July as a hard deadline for publication. Not that I made any commitments or promises to anyone, mind; setting a deadline simply helps focus me (and prevents my projects from dragging on forever). Anyways, as it stands I'd probably have to push the release date into August or later if I tried to squeeze every last illustration I had originally planned into the book. This is the reason I tried to raise funds for the project via Kickstarter. I only have x amount of spare dollars per month and x is a variable in every sense of the word; some months were lean so I could only afford to commission one (or even less) illustration. Plus, I failed to take into account the possibility of multiple delays on the artists' end. As it stands there will only be six colored illustrations (not counting the front cover) and five black and white illustrations; the first book had five colored illustrations and seven black and white ones. I had originally planned nine colored illustrations and six black and white illustrations, minimum. So, actually, the second book won't have more pictures than the first. I'm very, very sorry about this, particularly after the long wait. 

The one thing book II will have more of than book I is bonus stories. Again, there will be a sequel to my short story "A Nurse in Wolf's Clothing" and an epilogue of sorts to book II entitled "First Night" depicting Melinda and Phillip's first night together in the woods as werewolves. Both bonus stories will only be included in print and full color PDF editions, the latter of which will be available to those who contribute at least 2.00 USD to the project via PayPal at Daemoneye.net (please wait until book II is finished, though!). 

Here's one last teaser: an excerpt from the draft of "First Night"

* * *

Melinda glanced over at Phillip. He was seated in the passenger seat quietly staring at nothing in particular. Frowning, she scanned his resigned expression for some sign of emotion, some hint of excitement, anger or fear. Seeing none, she turned reluctantly back to the road.

Melinda slowed the car to a stop and looked around. The roads ahead, behind, and to her right were empty. She tapped her fingers on the wheel. The soft rumble of the engine hung in the air. She peered down at the car clock radio and out the front window. Though barely past five the light was already fading. The western horizon was little more than a bright orange gleam beneath a restless grey sky. She could still make out the expanse of trees a little ways ahead and the speckled lights of Pinebrook to the right but little beyond that.

She hesitated a little while longer and, after making certain there were no approaching headlights, turned back to Phillip.

"Are you feeling alright?" she hazarded.

"Uh, yeah," said Phillip after clearing his throat.

Melinda frowned.

"It's just..." she began.

"Yeah?"

"...Never mind," sighed Melinda.

"No, no, wait," said Phillip suddenly, sitting up. "What is it?"

Melinda bit her lower lip.

"You just seem sort of...spaced out," she said, almost apologetically. "I know this is really, really awkward and weird but, well, I wasn't expecting this."

"Well, what were you expecting?" asked Phillip.

Melinda sighed.

"Shit, sorry, that came out wrong," said Phillip quickly. He rubbed his forehead. "I mean, I just don't know, Melinda. This is uncharted territory."

"Yeah," said Melinda softly.

"Look, I, uh, I really don't know how I feel," said Phillip. "Anxious? Freaked out? A little excited? All of the above? I don't think there's a word for it."

Melinda said nothing.

"Let's just get to the preserve and see how things go from there," he said. "I'm sure everything will work out. And even if it doesn't..." he trailed off.

"Yeah," said Melinda softly.

Melinda released the break and tapped the gas pedal. The car roared to life. They crossed the intersection and continued along the narrow road.
The two teenagers were silent for a while. The sky grew steadily darker. Not a single car passed them by. The small country road was seldom used apart from local residents, rangers, and the occasional lost visitor; Melinda and Phillip were none of the above.

Gradually, the road curved to the right, bringing it closer to the forest. Phillip watched the mixed greenery of pines and broadleaves pass them by with distracted interest.

"Alright, look Melinda," he said suddenly, turning from the window. "We've been over this. There's no reason to assume I'll wind up any different."

"There was no reason to assume Yvette or Sophie would wind up the way they did," said Melinda.

"Well, yeah, but you said yourself there were other factors," said Phillip. "Yvette was, er, really depressed and angry at the time and Sophie was off her meds. Literally."

"There is another factor at play here," said Melinda.

"Christ, Melinda, just because I'm a guy-"

"It's probably nothing," interrupted Melinda in an almost reassuring voice. "But it's still...uncharted territory. I don't know if it affects males differently. Please don't tell anyone else I said this, but I'm kind of relieved the girls still outnumber the guys 3 to 1."

"Well, shit, I don't know," said Phillip. "Maybe you just should have just tied all the guys down or something to be on the safe side."

"I considered it," said Melinda.
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...I was hoping to have The Lycanthrope Club: Book II nearly completed or even released by now. The story's been re-written, I've incorporated all the changes recommended by the first editor and the second editor is nearly finished. The only thing that's really missing is, well, the art. I have over half the pieces I need but the remaining illustrations are slow coming. That, and my limited art budget means I can't afford to commission additional artists to speed things up. I only have so much spare cash every month and the lions' share of what I don't spend on food, rent, utilities, and other niggling details of life generally goes to the book. Not much else I can say or do at this point. 

On a, er, lighter note - though the phrase is somewhat inappropriate given the topic - I've been playing an Indie roguelike game called Sunless Sea. Regular followers know I rarely directly recommend a game, book, artist, song, etc. in my journal but I'll make an exception for this. It's not that the gameplay or graphics are stellar; it has a laboriously slow pace and much of its art is inappropriately flat and cartoonish. What's really exceptional about the game is the sheer level of originality, creativity, and imagination that went into the setting and story. It's heavily inspired by, among other things, H.P. Lovecraft's lesser known and appreciated Dreamland cycle tales but has a somber, wistful mood all its own. This alone is worth the price of admission, particularly if Victorian gothic horror and eldritch wonders are your cup of tea...or mushroom wine.

That said, substituting 'z' for 's' gets irritating after a while. One doesn't have to voice every goddamn alveolar fricative!
  • Mood: Irritated
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  • Playing: Sunless Sea
  • Eating: Meatball Sandwich
  • Drinking: Diet Coca-Cola
...When you wake up one day and aren't even aware it's Easter Sunday until someone tells you it is, you seriously need to get a life.

Don't worry. I'm working on it.

Oh yeah, Happy Easter.
  • Mood: Distracted
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  • Reading: The Drunkard's Walk
  • Watching: Let's Drown Out (Yahtzee19)
  • Playing: Clockwork Empires
  • Eating: Corn Chips
  • Drinking: Diet Coca-Cola
EDIT: For the 5% of my fans who thought this was serious or even entertained the possibility that it was...

APRIL FOOLS!!!

I actually just got the penciled previews from Dirk Tiede and should get the inks very soon, Lobo Leo is working on Sophie at the Dance, and VanchaMarl is working on another piece (I think).







After careful consideration I've decided to draw the remaining illustrations for The Lycanthrope Club: Book II myself. While the artists I've worked with up until now have been fantastic, I feel it's time to move on. After all, it's only scribbling shapes on a blank screen. How hard could it be? Plus, by doing the artwork myself I'll save a little bit of money. I might even be able to finish the book a little faster this way.

In fact, I've already started work on one of the illustrations and, barring a bit more polish, it's basically done! I've posted a preview below. It depicts Sophie Mason terrorizing the students at the high school. Not bad, eh?

Sophie at the Dance by Heliotroph
  • Mood: Artistic
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  • Reading: The Necronomicon (trans. Esperanto)
  • Watching: Those lights you see when you press your eyes
  • Playing: Desert Bus
  • Eating: Hyena livers
  • Drinking: Liquid yttrium
This month's topic is Building Character - how to write, design, and develop interesting, complex, and well-rounded characters for table-top roleplaying games and fiction.

Check it out!
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  • Listening to: NOTHING!!!
  • Reading: H.P. Lovecraft Tales
  • Watching: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Playing: NOTHING!!!
  • Eating: Strawberry Tarts
  • Drinking: Diet Coca-Cola
I just finished writing the long-awaited, frequently requested sequel to the short story "A Nurse in Wolf's Clothing" [link] It will be included in all print editions of The Lycanthrope Club: Book II and the full color pdf edition, available to those who contribute to the project.

Now, on to First Night...
  • Mood: Peaceful
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...Goddamn it. Not him too.

Sir Terence David John "Terry" Pratchett

1948-2015
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One of the editors finished proofreading The Lycanthrope Club: Book II manuscript (thanks, Brynn!) and I incorporated their corrections and suggested changes into the text. My other editor prefers to work with hard copies (and lives nearly a hundred miles away) so it'll probably take a little longer for him to wrap things up.

I just signed a contract with Dirk Tiede to provide inked illustrations for The Lycanthrope Club: Book II, so it's official: both of the original artists from book I are returning for book II! 

In the meantime I've been working on the oft-requested sequel to A Nurse in Wolf's Clothing and an original short story depicting Phillip's first night as a werewolf with Melinda, creatively entitled First Night. That along with The Last Recruit. Both of the former stories will be included in the full color edition of The Lycanthrope Club: Book II.

In addition, I've had an idea for another series banging around my head for the last couple of weeks: Mythanthrope. Without going into too much detail, the central concept revolves around the re-emergence of magical beings - griffons, satyrs, kitsune, succubi, genies, minotaurs, fairies, etc. - in the modern world. Not very original I, know. The twist would be that all these mythical beings were originally humans who voluntarily underwent a simple treatment to'awaken' latent bloodlines. And everyone on the planet has some mythical blood in them. Still not particularly original, but I think what I have in mind would be a fun, relatively lighthearted series. I may or may not start working on a few stories soon...
  • Mood: Neutral
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  • Reading: Uranium, Tom Zoellner
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  • Playing: Clockwork Empires
  • Eating: Meatballs
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Leonard Simon Nimoy

1931-2015
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  • Drinking: NOTHING!!!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4yb5b…

Episode 5, We Built This City

Our fifth podcast where we discuss realities of life in medieval (or thereabout) Europe and how to incorporate these facts into your game, campaign, setting, or book, particularly in the context of city building. Also known as the podcast where we get a lot of little details wrong and enrage fanboys and historical buffs alike.

Corrections:

The Picts, though quite widespread, primarily inhabited parts of Scotland, not Ireland.

The character Holo from Spice and Wolf was a wolf god, not a fox god.

The early plot element in Spice and Wolf mentioned involved silver coins, not gold coins.
  • Mood: Isolated
  • Listening to: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
  • Reading: NOTHING!!!
  • Watching: Sage Vs.
  • Playing: NOTHING!!!
  • Eating: Rice Pilaf and Peas
  • Drinking: Diet Coca-Cola
Still recovering from an odd little bug and waiting for my laptop's screen to be repaired (thank you, ThinkGeek, for making an excellent, durable messenger bag with a horrible, breakable strap). Here's another teaser image for The Lycanthrope Club: Book II: The Argument

Oh yeah, one more thing.

Remember how I said I would never work with Lobo Leo again and he would not be working on this book?

Well, I lied.
  • Mood: Big Grin
  • Listening to: NOTHING!!!
  • Reading: NOTHING!!!
  • Watching: Parks and Recreation
  • Playing: Darkest Dungeon
  • Eating: Chocolate Chips
  • Drinking: Diet Coca-Cola
As I write this, I'm recovering from a nasty bout of eye-strain that periodically hits me when I a) don't get enough sleep due to insomnia b) am stressed and/or c) have spent too much time staring at screens. It doesn't make composing this post any easier but here we go.

The Kickstarter for The Lycanthrope Club: Book II failed. We did raise a little under 1,000 USD from 38 supporters which, actually, is very impressive. I said it once and I'll say it again: To those of you contributed - whether through cash, plugging the project and/or asking other people to plug it - from the bottom of my heart, thank you! 

I confess I started expecting this to happen a week following the project's commencement. Why? Simply put, a target of 3,000 USD was too high, too much to ask. That said, let me walk you through my reasoning for setting such a lofty goal.

First, let's do some math. I plan on having a minimum of 9 full-color drawings (including the cover) and 6 black and white drawings. The average/expected commission fee for these (which is indeed more or less what the artists I'm working with charge) is 150.00 USD and 75-100 USD, respectively. Thus the total cost for the illustrations alone will be around 1500.00 USD. This is significantly more than what I paid for the first book for two reasons: there were only 12 illustrations in book I and Lobo Leo, being a fan of the series, gave me a discount on his regular rates. There are also some minor, miscellaneous costs involved such as ordering proof copies, marketing, ISBNs, etc. Finally, there's the cost of the rewards had the Kickstarter been successful. I calculated the price of each reward and subtracted it from the amount pledged to determine how much the rewards could cost. I estimated it would be 1000.00-1500.00 USD for the shipping, printing, etc. depending on what rewards were claimed. Finally, take into account Kickstarter takes 5% of any successfully funded project and that 3,000.00 USD becomes 2850.00, leaving only a little wiggle room for a couple hundreds dollars for myself at the end (maybe). Suddenly, 3,000 USD doesn't seem so outrageous.

Maybe I should have set a lower goal so I could at least partially fund the book. The thing is, it took me a year just to break even on the first book after its initial release and while making money isn't the point of this project, my financial situation has changed since then. My cost of living is much higher and paying for all of this out-of-pocket isn't terribly attractive, especially since I'm trying to build up my savings. I could do it, but realistically I could only commission, say, one or two illustrations a month. I couldn't do this earlier while writing the revision because my income was even tighter then (hell, I was doing private tutoring on the side just so I could actually save a little each month!). A successful Kickstarter would have accelerated things greatly and made the second book much less risky financially.

Finally, I did some research on other publication Kickstarters before starting my own. Many of them had goals in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars and were reaching them; I can only recall one with a goal below 1K. And some of these, to be honest, didn't look much better or worse than The Lycanthrope Club in terms of the author experience, book, rewards, professionalism, subject, etc. Maybe they owe this success to aggressive social media advertising. As soon as I started the Kickstarter I received several messages from individuals and companies offering to promote the project via Facebook, Twitter, etc. I passed on all the offers as a) these people are usually scammers and b) I dislike most major social media networks, but perhaps that was the secret to their success. In any case, this, along with the reasons above, is what convinced me to set the 3,000 USD goal for the Kickstarter. 

I still think it was worth the effort. I've learned a bit about crowdfunding and raised the profile of the series (or at least I hope I did!) It also reminded me that, while I only have a small number of fans and readers, they are extremely dedicated and supportive ones. 

The book is still going to be published, but I'm not going to attempt to fund it through Kickstarter again. Apart from the fact working through KS is a bit of a pain during and following the fund-drive, I got the impression many of you couldn't contribute because they don't let you pledge through PayPal. Instead, it's going to be the same process as book I. I'll steadily commission illustrations as money become available while working on the final draft. I won't be able to add any of the extra stuff I wanted (I had even planned on commissioning a short comic strip had the fund-drive gone particularly well) but you'll still get the 15 illustrations, bonus stories, and concept sketches in the full color edition. It's just going to take longer. In the meantime, I'm going to try to get back to writing original stories in both The Lycanthrope Club universe and elsewhere. I've been focusing too much on this damn Kickstarter and book II and need to sit down and do some actual writing!

I want to thank the folks over at FA for providing me with free large banner advertising space for the last couple of days of the Kickstarter; it was extremely generous. I'd also like to thank the artists, Jean and Ashley, for plugging the Kickstarter on their respective social media outlets. 

The fifth episode of the Daemoneye Podcast has been recorded and should be up in a couple of days. 

One last note. Once in a while, someone in the comments suggests I should try to do this professionally, i.e. dedicate myself to writing and try to make a living off it. Well, after this I think I can say that's really not an option. The series and my work simply aren't popular enough. I'm quite satisfied with my small but loyal reader base and being a hobby author and publisher. 
  • Mood: Pain
  • Listening to: NOTHING!!!
  • Reading: NOTHING!!!
  • Watching: NOTHING!!!
  • Playing: Darkest Dungeon
  • Eating: Chicken Taquitos
  • Drinking: Diet Coca-Cola