Marvellous Adventure

I was planning a big, splashy Special Announcement post with bold headlines and lots of italics. But it may be better to just go with the simpler, down-to-earth approach. Especially since this is going to be simpler and more down-to-earth than it sounds like at first. Those of you who follow this blog regularly were told that Marvellous Adventure was coming in 2012, and so it is.

It so happens to be the title of my upcoming online fiction magazine.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a thing for the 1930s. For someone who’s as interested in history as I am, the decade offers endless fascination. The popular culture of North America from the period has come to be known as the Golden Age. Radio, comic books, Hollywood…and of course the pulps. Escape cost nothing but a dime from most newsstands. I won’t pretend to be truly nostalgic for an era I’ve only read about, but I grew up with some of its descendants; Star Wars and Indiana Jones are love letters to the Saturday matinee serials their creators enjoyed in television replays. And of course The Adventures of Tintin are an actual product of the time.

Two years ago I found myself writing my own love letter to that old-time style of action and escape in the form of my own blogged and serialized novel, The Whitehawk Legion. The heroine was Emily Monroe, the young head of her family’s industrial company who fights crime on her own terms. When she discovers that her late father was a member of a worldwide secret organization dedicated to making the world a better place, she becomes embroiled in a mystery that takes her all the way to the Caribbean. The inventing and plotting of it; having actual readers and hearing their responses; and finally writing “The End” on a full-length novel. It was incredibly gratifying — but most of all it was fun. And I discovered how much I really loved, had always loved, the genre that isn’t quite action and isn’t quite drama, but a strange mix of both: Adventure.

So I decided I wanted to write more of it. And to simply write more, period. After a great deal of thought, I decided finally to produce a regular periodical that would let me build a discipline of writing short stories. Making a deadline for yourself is one thing. But giving it teeth is something else.

Marvellous Adventure will appear quarterly, beginning in March of this year, absolutely free. Each issue will have two short stories, for a total of eight stories a year. The current plan is to make them available as PDF files right here on this blog, but the details of “distribution” are still being worked on. Everything will be announced in due course.

And now comes the most exciting part of this whole business, at least for me — which means it should be for you too.

I always wanted to return to Emily Monroe and her world, and now I get to do that in the pages of Marvellous Adventure. The headline feature of each issue will be The Adventures of Emily Monroe, a series of stories that treats the original novel as something like a pilot episode or proof-of-concept. The story starts fresh, and with plenty of differences. In short there’s no need to read the original novel to enjoy these stories. And to be honest, I’d rather you didn’t anyway. It was very much a first draft!

As time goes on, and if Marvellous Adventure does become a long-term concern, there are ideas for other ongoing series bubbling away in my brain. But for now it will be just The Adventures of Emily Monroe and a separate standalone story each issue. Look for the first instalment on March 31.

Spread the word! Tell your friends! Warn your enemies! The more people reading the merrier. Watch for updates and news, and probably even an official Facebook page. And remember the motto: Adventure With A Capital A!

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