Dear Diary: Epic Coolness on the Way

Week 2

So I’ve officially launched. (Woot!) Which is to say, I’ve started with my regular posting schedule. Pretty exciting, right? I might still fiddle around with some of the art design and logos a bit, but overall I think it does the trick. For now, I’m focused on settling into the writing routine.

On to that.

Mondays will feature blog posts, aka Dear Diary, like the one you’re reading now. Still working on a format to organize it, and make it easier to convey things at a glance. I might end up breaking it into sections like: progress report, to-do list, etc. Haven’t decided yet. Anyone seen a blog with a cool format that made it more fun to read? Ideas are welcome in the mailbox, or in the comments below.

Tuesdays and Thursday I will be rolling out new Merc Rules. Axioms and idioms of the wasteland as decreed by the legendary merc himself, Coyote Joe. They include anecdotes and stories following his madcap exploits that explain how these wild rules came to be. The characters and settings covered in these antics are all drawn from my Bitter Bullet universe. More on that below.

Fridays are for flapjacks—as they should be. Let’s call it Flapjack Friday. Every Friday I’ll be posting flash fictions (1000 words or less) that take place in the Bitter Bullet, Primora, or Unworthy universes. They’ll all tie together, eventually. For now, they’re just setting up the prime movers for the serialized books I am feverishly working on.

Expect to see familiar faces in different situations, and consequences carrying over across stories. Having said that, it’s not exactly going to be posted chronologically, as I’m currently writing whatever tickles my fancy most. Eventually, when I put together compilations, the stories will be organized. They’ll function as interconnected one-offs for now.

So… at this point you’re probably wondering about the three universes. And if you ain’t you damn well should be. Because it’s exciting stuff. Electrifying, I tell you!

Before I go further, I must give credit to Alex (and to a lesser extent Chris) a dynamic dudebro who’s helped carve out the lion’s share of the worldbuilding, planning, and feedback that’s gone into these projects.

Ready to hear about it? Did I overdo the drum roll?

First, the oldest and most coveted of my brain-babies… the Bitter Bullet. It’s a zany post-apocalyptic western comedy with heavy cyberpunk—and even fantasy—influences. Imagine dusty saloons where server robots zip around with your whiskey. Imagine tattooed street samurai roaring around on hoverbikes. Imagine mega-cities where every low-jacked citizen is a walking zombie in their own personal matrix. Oh, and let’s not forget a dystopian Venice built on flooded skyscrapers, an urban jungle where it rains perpetual ash, and a moon-tropolis that lights up the night sky.

Tip of the iceberg, my friends.

The Bitter Bullet is a mashup of cyber cowboys, cannibalistic mutant assassins, flamboyant android CEOs, and telepathic librarians in power armor. It has always been intended to be my flagship content, and therefore, the universe that I’ll focus most heavily on.

The second, and probably largest universe, is Primora. It’s a vast a high fantasy world. It features cultural spheres with the classic Eastern and Western European staples. But the majority of the settings feature cultures less often seen in fantasy. Influences include pre-colonial Americas, Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, and Southeast Asia. Not to mention a few original surprises. Expect everything from tiger monks in floating monasteries to tribal barbarians with metal skin. From interdimensional fae to epic beasts with entire eco-systems on their backs.

Technology will range from Stone Age to Steampunk influenced mechanisms. Although, steam power isn’t really a thing in this universe the way it is in traditional Steampunk, “magic” is used to create similar effects. So you can expect swords and sorcery, but also airships and machines that can harness lightning right out of the sky. “Magi-tek” you might say, to borrow a term from the ’94 classic Final Fantasy VI.

The third universe is Unworthy. It’s a modern day urban fantasy. The vast majority of it takes place in New York and surrounding areas. It will feature beings and creatures that have come through from other places and how they have influenced the modern world.

Every universe will feature heavy doses of comedy, but this universe is special in its ability to harness elements of pop-culture. It’s a cornucopia of zeitgeist-ian material. A couple examples, to give you an idea of what to expect… An Irish priest turned assassin follows the bidding of the Archangel Gabriel, who’s disguised as an eight-year-old boy. Pharmaceutical company Graille Industries tests bio-engineering on animals, accidentally producing a psychic rat with genius level intelligence and a cranky chimp with a proclivity for fast cars.

Need I go on?

Connections between the universes will emerge through the flash fictions and books. Until eventually, many aspects of them merge completely as story arcs take the heroes across time and space.

Further down the road, they will combine with several more universes—eight total—intersecting and merging into one magnificent beast. (Though there’s no point in detailing any of that now, as it would just be confusing and/or overwhelming.)

For now, grab hold of the ‘oh shit handles’ and enjoy the ride. There’s a lot more mayhem on the way.

Go forth and conquer,

J. D.

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