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The End of Torquere

Well, it’s finally happened, though it’s not a surprise. Torquere Press is officially closing. McKay and I have requested the return of our rights for Blood Bathory: Be Not Proud. That’s the only story we had left with them due to it being released this summer and having to wait for the appropriate lapse before we could ask for it back. Alas, our audio rights for two of the Herc’s Mercs books are contracted differently, though, so I’m going to have to request those to be taken down from Amazon separately. 

It’s been a rough last few months for us and all the other authors over all this. Beyond the several thousand dollars McKay and I are owed, we’ve had to spend many, many hours of time when we could have been writing new material in getting old stories submitted to other places, and going the self-pub route for others. Like so many others of you, we also have day jobs and families, so our writing time is both limited and precious, and I, for one, greatly resent all the time I’ve had to spend doing this. It also delayed by months the release of Herc’s Mercs: Where Angels Fear to Tread and caused us to have to submit our new novella for Lawyers in Love elsewhere. That’s money out of our pockets at a time when both of us could really use it.

Both McKay and I are striving for the holy grail — being able to support ourselves completely from our writing, and this has definitely been a stumbling block in our path. We’re getting past it, but it’s slowed us down tremendously, and that really sucks.

There are so many things I could say about what happened. About how completely stupid and unnecessary it was. About how simple honesty and integrity could have made a difference. About how trust and faith were violated for completely selfish and avaricious reasons. About the sheer stupidity of running a successful company into the ground, pissing off hundreds of people, and sullying an otherwise good reputation and forever being branded a liar and a cheat. About pissing off family and friends and throwing away something that can’t ever be returned. But I’ll hold off because I have to go to work at my day job, then come back and continue dealing with the messes still on my plate.

I’m an engineer. I operate on logic, and I can find absolutely no logic in what was done. But it wasn’t my company, and my decisions didn’t make it happen. The fault rests squarely on the owners of the company — it’s just too bad that they aren’t the only ones who are paying the price.

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Plot bunnies everywhere

I’ve mentioned before that Ari and I use Evernote for our notes and ideas. It’s really useful because you can clip articles and images from the web, upload documents, and create your own notes, all saved in specific notebooks.

We have one note that’s just an on-going plot bunny list. Whenever one of us gets an idea for a plot or character, the standard response is “Put it on the list.” Although now that it’s pushing 100 plot bunnies, I think it might be deserving of capitalization: The List.

Since the Herc’s Mercs series seems to have taken off nicely, we’ve been thinking more and more about ideas for continuing the series. We’d been lumping the Herc bunnies in with all the other bunnies, but last night, we decided it was time to give the Herc series its own bunny list. So I pulled all the plot bunnies specifically earmarked as Herc ideas plus a couple of others that we’d discussed as being of potential use for Herc stories and added them to a separate note in our Herc’s Mercs notebook.

The Herc plot bunny list is already 7 items long, which doesn’t count the two stories we’re currently working on. So if our readers like the Herc’s Mercs series, I don’t think they need to worry that it’ll dry up any time soon!

We have two Herc’s Mercs stories going at once because we started one, realized it wasn’t working out the way we wanted, and decided to backtrack and do over. However, before we got started on the do-over, another insistent Herc bunny came along, so we decided to roll with that one and get back to the do-over afterward.

Right now, we’re probably about 3/4 finished with the insistent Herc bunny, which features a retired merc whose attempt at building a second career as a private chef is interrupted when the circuit court judge he works for is targeted by an ex-con with an axe to grind. Ezra “Ghost” Levin ends up calling in a favor to his former boss, Cade “Hercules” Thornton, and getting a team of mercs to help him keep his judge safe. For those who liked Herc’s Mercs: Bloody But Unbowed, Daryl “D-Day” Greer makes an appearance in this story as part of Ghost’s team. 😀