The Psychic on the Jury Cover!

One week from today, as long nothing goes wrong with shipping, I should have a book in my hands with this cover:

I think it’s great! I only had a few notes for the cover artist (Niki Lenhart), which went through Steven Radecki. He didn’t have that much to pass on, actually. Niki nailed it very quickly.

I love the “A Mel Walker Story” banner on the top, and all the implications that go with it. Obviously, The Repossessed Ghost was the first, and if all goes as I hope and as I plan, there will be more.

If you’re curious about the San Francisco ballcap on the table in the foreground, you’ll just have to read the story. There’s a reason that The Repossessed Ghost features a ’74 Chevy Nova. Similarly, the cover for this story needed to feature the ballcap.

It’s a short read. A bit longer than One for the Road, and 1/5th the length of The Repossessed Ghost. As I’ve said in a previous post, this story serves two purposes. The first is to offer a cheaper introduction for readers new to my work and the world of Mel Walker. The second is to act as a transition between The Repossessed Ghost and the next novel.

Speaking of which, I’m at a new Shut Up and Write. As soon as I hit Publish on post, I’m going to get out my notes and try to make some progress on the new novel. I still have some gaps to fill in the outline. Soon, perhaps after Baycon, I dive into drafting.

Wish me luck! And let me know what you think of the cover!


New Cover for The Repossessed Ghost!

Check it out!

For those of you that purchased the book already, thank you so much! And congratulations! You now have a limited edition.

I still really like the old cover.

The new cover should look better in person, though. It’s higher contrast. The Moon is amazing on it. Plus, the new cover now says across the top “A Mel Walker Novel,” which it needs to do because as of the middle of next month, it’ll be the first in a series.

Steven Radecki suggested it during Sacramento Comic-Con, and to be honest, I was reluctant. I like featuring the car on the cover. It represents Kate, the actual repossessed ghost. It’s a picture right out of the scene which is the inciting incident.

Very soon, I’ll post the cover for The Psychic on the Jury, which again, will be available at Baycon as a pre-release, with its official release being July 12th. If one were to search The Amazon, they would find the kindle pre-order link here.

What do you think of the new cover? Which do you like better? New or old? Let me know!


My Baycon 2024 Schedule!

They’re letting me on panels again! Here is the schedule:

July 4th, 14:45 – 16:00 — The Business of Writing

The business of writing is daunting, with many paths leading to that first published work. Professional writers discuss their experiences beyond the craft of writing. The panelists will entertain questions from the audience on navigating the path towards success.

July 4th, 20:30 – 21:45 — How Do I Get Published?

These authors have done it all, from successful query letters, book proposals, and finding an agent to formatting advanced review copies, books, and ebooks. We’ve written everything: book proposals, query letters, short stories, articles, essays, novels, nonfiction books. We advertise and sell too! Bring your questions and discover how to do it all yourself.

July 5th, 12:00 – 13:15 — Love that Book? Do Tell!

The simplest, easiest thing that a reader can do for writers, especially less-represented authors, indie authors, and niche storytellers) is to post reviews. We’re not talking about a deep literary analysis on your blog … just a short-and-sweet “what I liked (or didn’t) about this” note on your favorite digital bookselling sites. Let’s get together for a brief chat about what does and does not belong in a review, how to anonymize your reviews if you want to, and a little Q&A. Sure, we can talk about the difference between a negative review and a bad one. But then let’s unlock our phones and actually create a few reviews in a fun, social writer-boosting game, then return to the rest of the con having crossed a few items off our to-be-reviewed lists. Yes, of course there will be prizes.

July 5th, 8:30 – 21:45 — Can We Survive AI Assisted Disinformation?

We are already dealing with a cyberpunk level of disinformation swamping our channels. We now have AI available to to make the flood both larger and more convincing. How to we respond?

That’s the schedule, including the descriptions from the program. Also on July 5th, from 2:45PM to 5:30PM, I’ll be participating as one of the pros in a Writer’s Workshop. It’s very similar to the workshops I attended back when Convolution was still happening.

It’s all very exciting!

On top of that, I’ll be bringing my microphone and recording some Live From Baycon 2024 content for the Small Publishing in a Big Universe podcast. Here’s a link to the first Live From Baycon 2023 episodes.

When I’m not in the events listed above, you’ll be able to find me in the dealer’s room. The Psychic on the Jury will be available there as a pre-release. After that, it can be ordered online. When I have a link, I will provide it there.

Have a great weekend!


The Next Mel Walker Story Available Soon!

Have I mentioned that I have another book coming out next month?

The Repossessed Ghost served as the first introduction to Mel Walker, a young scoundrel with a heart of gold and a psychic gift. Next month, in the middle of July, The Psychic on the Jury will be out, continuing the story a few years after the events of The Repossessed Ghost.

It’s a novelette, around 13,000 words in length.

“But Brian, how many pages is that?”

Assuming around 225 words per page, that’s about 58 pages. It’s a short story. By way of comparison, The Repossessed Ghost is just under 80,000 words.

Why a short story? Why not a novel?

There are two main reasons. First, a story should be as long as it needs to be, based on the number of characters, settings, and plot elements. I had the idea quite some time ago, wondering what it would be like for someone like Mel to serve as a juror. It’s a perfectly fine idea for a story, but it doesn’t inspire a particularly long tale unless I pad it a bit. The Psychic on the Jury is relatively streamlined, and I think just the right size for what I wanted to say.

The second reason for putting out a shorter story is to give people a cheaper alternative to starting the Mel Walker series. I don’t think $15 is that much for a trade paperback, but that’s still more than some people are willing to invest in checking out a little known writer like myself. I don’t know what the price will be for The Psychic on the Jury, but I assume it’ll be around $5 like so many of the other Dragon Gems.

One can read The Psychic on the Jury first, as it contains no significant spoilers for The Repossessed Ghost. However, they’re probably more fun reading them in chronological order.

If you’re attending Baycon, you’ll be able to buy the book early, just like last year with The Repossessed Ghost. If you’re not attending Baycon, you’ll still be able to pre-order it around then.

This is exciting! A sequel!

And, I’ve made a little more progress on the outline for the next sequel novel.

As I get more concrete information, I’ll share it here. Soon, I’ll post covers, anecdotes about writing The Psychic on the Jury, and other stuff.