An October Read

I want to welcome C.S. Boyack back to my blog. I love having him here. He’s a friend and fellow writer, and I’m a fan. This time, he’s promoting his latest book perfect for October reading, THE BALLAD OF MRS. MOLONY. This is the third book in his Lizzie and the Hat series, but it can easily stand on its own. I’ve downloaded it, and it’s next on my TBR list. I visit Craig’s blog many times, and he’s a contributor to Story Empire, offering valuable tips on all things writing. Please show him some love while he’s here. And with that, I’ll let Craig take it from here:

Thank you so much for having me over, Judi. We’ve all had a good time on this tour, and the Ballad of Mrs. Molony is still only 99¢ for a limited time. I’ll put it at its regular price sometime in early November. Don’t miss out on this fun bit of Halloween reading at the introductory price. I’ll let the blurb sell the story at the end.

I like to make all my tour posts unique, and our topic today is the evolution of the series. Specifically, recurring characters.

As the series extends, it occurred to me that Lizzie and the hat don’t operate in a vacuum. They are going to revisit some locations and come across some people more than others.

In the first story, The Hat, it was all about getting acquainted and forging the bond they have. I mentioned some people from Lizzie’s life, but we didn’t really get to meet them. There’s Mike with the landscaping company, along with Dave & Sandi. All of them own places Lizzie works for. It was functional, because of the focus of that specific story.

Viral Blues was the second story, and because these are supposed to be campy and silly, I wrote my version of a comic book team up adventure. The participants all appeared in my previous books. It took some doing, but you can read this one without having ever read any of the other stories.

Then came The Ballad of Mrs. Molony, the current story. It dawned on me that Lizzie is going to need some recurring characters to take this much further.

Our heroes have a small cover band, and I fleshed that out in Viral Blues. These characters give some of the continuity I’m looking for, but they have nothing to do with the paranormal world. They wouldn’t even understand it. That leaves me with Evelyn, the witch from The Hat.

I needed some recurring characters that fit into the paranormal side of these stories. Welcome Kevin Mugford. He’s a vampire, and has to be the crappiest vamp in history. He has gnarly teeth to the point of deformity, and a speech impediment to go along with it. In Mrs. Molony, he’s a frequent target of the hat’s barbs. He might even be more trouble than he’s worth.

I figured if The Rockford Files could have Angel Martin, maybe Lizzie and the hat could have their own street informant. I probably won’t drop him in every book, but he’s going to stick around.

Since I decided to pull characters from other books, I decided why stop now? Once upon a time, I wrote a book called Will O’ the Wisp. One of the supporting characters was Pete Rogers. Pete earned a short story in one of my collections called Night Bump Radio. I brought Pete into this series with his late night radio show. Callers dial in to tell Pete what goes bump in their night. Turns out it’s Lizzie and the hat, who they’ve given a terrible nickname. This helps me add a bit of tension and keeps them looking over their shoulders. I intend to make this a regular part of the series.

I have more recurring characters planned for future stories. The trick is to keep the focus on Lizzie and the hat. These won’t be regular characters, but recurring. Think Inspectors Lestrade and Gregson from the Sherlock Holmes stories.

The even bigger trick is to keep writing the books in such a way that people can read them out of order without feeling lost. I’m determined to do this. I don’t want someone to discover these stories years from now and feel like they can’t pick up any volume they’re interested in because it’s part of a series.

I can afford a tiny little intro for Kevin whenever he appears and not lose the long term readers. They might appreciate a reminder if it’s been a while.

One example happened in Viral Blues. Lisa Burton, the robot girl, helped Lizzie out with some suitable outfits for her nocturnal monster hunting activities. The fact that Lizzie is wearing some of these things in Mrs. Molony doesn’t leave new readers feeling lost.

I’ve rambled long enough, and I promised you a cover and blurb to get you excited about the new story. I’ll also throw out a purchase link and some links for the previous stories. Hope you’ll give The Hat Series a chance for your Halloween reading.

***

Blurb: Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exist? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.

Purchase your copy here: The Ballad of Mrs. Molony

Other stories in the series are:

The Hat

Viral Blues

Image preview

You can contact Craig at the following locations:

BlogMy NovelsTwitterGoodreads | FacebookPinterestBookBub

Thanks so much for stopping by, Craig. I enjoy reading (and writing) series. When I like characters, it’s fun to see them in more stories. I’m excited about vampires and monster hunters for Halloween reading! Along with your ever present dose of humor. Have a great October!

23 thoughts on “An October Read

  1. Great to see you here at Judi’s this morning, Craig! The Hat is coming up VERY SOON in my TBR pile. It’s going to be my Halloween read, so I’m down to just a day or two away from enjoying it, myself, as I know I’m going to. Can’t wait!

    Thanks for having Craig here today, Judi. Great post, Craig. And best wishes for HUGE success with this one! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that Kevin is going to be sticking around and will be showing up in future books. He’s such a great character. All of your stories in the hat universe are excellent. I’ve enjoyed them all, including Mrs. Molony. What a perfect read for October and Halloween!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for that wonderful testimonial. I’ve added some interesting things that I hope will give continuity, but not require previous reading. It’s a work in progress. I think I can have some real fun with Night Bump Radio, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful introduction to Craig’s third in the series, Judi, thanks so much. Also congratulations to Craig. It’s been awhile since I read the first two books, so I really appreciate your determination, Craig, to keep them independently readable outside the series. That’s not easy to do, but much appreciated. Cheers to you both.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. As I might’ve mentioned a time or two, I LOVE this series! Viral Blues is calling to me (I read the books out of order), but I want to savor it since I plowed through the other two. Now that I know Lisa’s in it, I may have to rethink my plan and dive in. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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