So you can read my books

Sunday, May 1, 2011


A KNIGHT AT THE CROSSROADS by Victor Vasnetsov has long been a favorite painting of mine.

It speaks to me now.

This morning I queried an agent for my Urban Fantasy, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE.

Thirty minutes, yes that's right, thirty minutes later,

she said she would have to pass as she has recently SOLD an Urban Fantasy SERIES set in post Katrina New Orleans.

A colorful metaphor came to mind and a dense fogbank of depression rolled across my chest.

Someone else was going to publish a New Orleans Urban Fantasy set after Katrina before me --

if ever I would be picked by an agent and then a publisher.
But I told myself that four agents had asked me to send them my novel : two asked for partials and two for complete manuscripts. That said something positive, didn't it?

I sat in front of my computer brooding when Vasnetsov's painting appeared in my mind's eye.
I was at the crossroads. Did I choose the path of my fears? Or did I choose the path of my beliefs?

Following my fears would lead me nowhere I wanted to go. Choosing to believe in myself had seen me out of a burning home, dragging my 80 pound unconscious Elk hound across a blazing floor,

my own face and hands badly burned.

In fact, believing in myself had led me through so many dark valleys, I couldn't picture them all.

This unknown writer might have lived through Katrina on the streets of New Orleans as I had. But he/she didn't have my voice, my perceptions, and my take on human nature.
It takes more than details to paint a moving picture of a locale. I saw the ragged edge of New Orleans during Katrina through my own filter of meaning and worldview.
Then the soft voice of my protagonist, Samuel McCord, seemed to whisper a reminder that the man who cleared leather first in a gunfight wasn't always the one to hit his target and live.

Besides, the adventures of my undead Texas Ranger, cursed with the blood of Death in his veins, aren't limited to just New Orleans of 2005. I have finished two earlier novels already --
You can buy them on Amazon and read them on your computer or your Kindle. I have many more in various stages of completion:

My Kindle historical fantasy details the haunted voyage of the DEMETER in 1853 from New Orleans, its destination Paris, a city it never reaches.
A fantasy TITANIC, it details how McCord's blood mingles with the blood of the angel of death and his first meeting with the great love of his life, the immortal Meilori Shinseen, and with DayStar, the being fated to be his life-long enemy.

the sequel to RITES where the DEMETER finds itself becalmed in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, where every door to the ship leads to a different time, a different place. And McCord must learn how to tap into the power of his altered blood to bend the fabric of time to save those he can. This dark historical fantasy you can also buy from Amazon.

describes the prison breakout of Oscar Wilde from Reading Goal and the literal Hell which ensues.
Of course it is McCord who does the deed, aided by his life-long friend Samuel Langhorn Clemens {Mark Twain}, the two having met Wilde during his American tour of the West in 1882.
And the adventures that follow Wilde's rescue give birth to Twain's famous saying : "No good deed goes unpunished." I have completed the synopsis and first three chapters of this fantasy.

set in 1929 Venice, it details the adventures of a reluctant McCord, Father Renfield, and Meilori attempting to derail a plot by Heinrich Himmler to switch souls with the Fuhrer based on a strange verse handwritten by Wagner himself on the composer's original notes for THE FLYING DUTCHMAN. I have completed the synopsis and first chapter of this fantasy.

I have completed this Urban Fantasy,

detailing McCord's struggle with politicians, revenant empires, and his lifelong enemy, DayStar, closing in for a final revenge on the days following Hurricane Katrina.

NOCTURNE's sequel that details the encroaching war between the American and European revenant empires
as McCord deals with a New Orleans struggling to survive the aftermath of Katrina and DayStar setting into motion his grand scheme to destroy the species of Man.
McCord must rescue the Angel of Death herself from the clutches of his lifelong enemy, DayStar, in the realm some call Hell. This urban fantasy is already completed.

is a Young Adult fantasy told through the eyes of ten year old abandoned Viktor Standish as he is befriended by McCord and the Ranger's undead circle of friends in the days prior to Hurricane Katrina.
Picture it as AUNTIE MAME meets HARRY DRESDEN meets JANE EYRE. This YA urban fantasy is also completed.

The adventures of Victor Standish and his Victorian "ghoul friend" continues as Victor battles evolved raptors, Empress Theodora, the ghost of President John Adams, and the revenge of the Old Ones for his killing of one of their hybrid children. I am half-finished with this YA urban fantasy.
So, all in all, the scope of Captain Samuel McCord's adventures
spans over two hundred years, criss-crosses the major continents, and delves into the arcane reality of most of the world's diverse mythologies.
So I am going to follow the path of belief in myself. I truly feel that whatever publisher decides to pick up my series will more than get their money's worth.

And speaking of Cowboys clashing with genres :


  1. Roland: I really can imagine how you feel. I guess that's why I'm not putting my dreams in anyone elses hands any longer. I beleive things happen for a reason - whatever that reason may be.

    You have proved what kind of writer you are and you should be proud of that.

    We'll have to make our own success.

  2. I once had an agent reject me within 14 minutes. I was still sending queries out when her rejection came in.

    I like your list of projects. I've always been secretly in love with Sam McCord, but then you always knew that. Some day, Roland, some day.

    And like Wendy says, we might have to make our own success. Which might not be a bad thing.

  3. First, kudos to you for not listening to the voices of doubt and following the path in your heart. Because of that, many of us (not just Anne) love your characters. They're rich, 3-D people who add an element of otherness to our lives. They help us shake off, or at least, forget the days woes.

    And WOW at the list you have going!!!! Persevere. It will pay off.

    And btw, I love love love that painting!!!! Tangi would be well expressed in it. Thanks for posting it and I hope your weekend is a good one.

  4. Bravo to you Roland! The path of belief is the way to go. Besides, the book that sold before yours may just garner more interest in yours and help with sales!

  5. Wendy :
    Thanks for the encouragement and the wise words. Yes, we will just have to be the change we want to see in the world, won't we?

    Anne :
    Your words were a balm to me this morning. Thanks for liking Sam. He likes you back. Much luck in your own publication dreams.

    WordsCrafter :
    Isn't that painting evocative and stirring? Thank you so much for saying how my characters touch your imagination and heart. It really helped today.

    Heather :
    I'm hoping that the Sci Fi movie, COWBOYS AND ALIENS, will be such a success that a Texas Ranger fighting supernatural enemies in the past and present will be more popular with readers and agents.

    If we do not believe in our dreams, how can we expect others to, right? Thanks for the encouragement. Roland

  6. Wow, that's a lot of books.

    Querying is such a scary process. I know I have to start doing that again, but all these rejection statistics are intimidating.


  7. Donna :
    Some are completed. Some have only several chapters done. Victor has been in my imagination, urging me to complete his second novel. He's tired of being trapped in Eden, awaiting his race against the evolved raptors.

    I'm with you, Donna. Those rejection statistics are depressing. And I look at who the agents represent and what storylines -- it seems to run counter to what they say in their interviews and blogs.

    An old counseling adage is : Listen to what they DO not what they SAY.

    Have a healing Sunday, Roland

  8. I hate it when I stumble across my ideas in other books.

    But no matter what you do--it will be unique.

    Like Sam, I say that first isn't always best. Your stories will stand on their own.

    Keep pushing. You have something that nobody else has-- your stories. (=

    I admire your higher thinking and positive attitude.

  9. Thanks, Jo :
    You always manage to make me feel better about myself. That is a true gift. I hope your week goes grandly. Roland

  10. Roland, this last year has proven to me that not only are you an amazing writer, you are prolific and tireless and, yes, fearless.

    You are a shining example of continuing on in the face of every kind of difficulty and disappointment. Reading your list just now (impressive indeed!) I couldn't help but think of Stephen King and the struggles he shares in his "On Writing".

    Chin up, my friend. As you yourself said, no one else has your voice, your experience or your particular talent. Only you.

    Sam's safe, that rebel, Olivia