JUNE 2017 update on my writing

A heads’ up on where I’m related to on my various projects:

THE KINGDOM OF SUPERVILLAINY: I am at 22K writing this, which is a lot more impressive than it sounds as I haven’t “officially” started writing it. I planned to start writing it after I finished Lucifer’s Nebula but I keep writing a little bit more here and there as the jokes and plot come to me. It’s poor Gary enjoying the height of his success as a supervillain only to discover that comes with the cost of the heroes in retreat. Can he live in a world dominated by evil or will he decide he has to give the heroes a little push? I expect it to finish around 70K.

KINGDOM OF SUPERVILLAINY STATUS: INCOMPLETE

LUCIFER’S NEBULA: The sequel to Lucifer’s Star is 55K now and should be about 90K when done. The story will pick up a year after the events of the first book as Cassius finds its impossible to escape his past, no matter how far he runs. He must confront his doppelganger and wayward family, who are presently the heads of the galaxy’s ever-successful rebellion. But there’s a darker hand behind the Spiral’s civil war and if humanity doesn’t unite then it may simply join the legion of other extinct races across the universe. Cassius woudl rather just engage in some not-so-good-natured smuggling.

LUCIFER’S NEBULA STATUS: INCOMPLETE

100 MILES AND VAMPIN’: The sequel Peter Stone’s original adventure. 100 Miles and Vampin’ picks up with him being in a slightly-better but still pretty poor place in the vampire hierarchy. In this case, he’s assigned to look after the equivalent of Stephanie Meyers and immediately botches the job when she’s killed by an unknown assailant. Forced to solve the murder before he’s thrown up as a sacrifice to the masses, Peter needs to decide if success among the undead is worth it. I’m about 50K into this out of 70K so another almost done volume.

100 MILES AND VAMPIN’ STATUS: INCOMPLETE

WRAITH LORD: It’s taken just about forever to get my books right back for both Wraith Knight and the Red Room series. However, I have successfully done so. If you were interested in the my take on Tolkien-esque fiction then you might enjoy the fact I have a second volume coming out as soon as the cover is finished. Alex Raspad is working on it now. Jacob has consolidated his rule over the Formori and other “evil” races but does he really want to begin war with the “light” species? It turns out he doesn’t have much of a choice as they have begun their own invasion.

WRAITH LORD STATUS: COMPLETE

AGENT G: SABOTEUR: The sequel to Agent G: Infiltrator, we pick up with G now working for the United States government to hunt down his former comrades. Kept on a leash by the fact they have an offer to fix his condition before he dies in a few years (if he has that long), he’s less than happy with being one of the “good” guys. It gets worse when he realizes what he found out was true of his past was just the tip of the ice berg. It’ll be released as soon as I can get approval for it from Amber Cove.

AGENT G: SABOTEUR STATUS: COMPLETE

ELDRITCH OPS: The sequel to ESOTERRORISM is ready to go and should be coming out in a few months. I just want to get the book in a place where I’m not competing with myself. In this case, Derek is bored out of his skull as a member of the Committee and wishes he hadn’t given up his field agent status. Stupidly agreeing to investigate a diplomatic incident between the Red Room and the Vampire Nation, he ends up getting himself in the crosshairs of forces which want a war between the two powers. Oh and Dracula, himself, has decided to become involved.

ELDRITCH OPS. STATUS: COMPLETE

As for upcoming projects? I have plans on continuing the SUPERVILLAINY SAGA with not only Kingdom but an upcoming crossover book called WORLDS OF SUPERVILLAINY which will visit the universe of LUCIFER’S STAR and CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON. I also intend to continue both the LUCIFER’S STAR universe as a series while the majority of the others listed here will be capped off as trilogies. CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON is a special case as it was meant to be a stand-alone but I’m working on a third book and may have more as ideas come to me.

I’m also sketching out a collaboration with DAWN CHAPMAN for a Lit-RPG science fiction novel.

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Book Writing Update 5/22/2017

My current progress on multiple manuscripts:

Agent G: Saboteur (Agent G 2#): Complete and submitted to Amber Cove publishing. Jeffrey Kafer will be doing the audiobook. Cover complete.

Lucifer’s Nebula (Lucifer’s Star 2#): 41,000 Words (90K estimate for completed manuscript). Cover complete. Eric Burns will be doing the audiobook.

100′ Miles and Vamping (Straight Outta Fangton 2#): 51,000 Words (65K estimate for completed manuscript). Cover complete.

nocover

The Kingdom of Supervillainy (Supervillainy Saga 5#): 11,900 Words (65K estimate for completed manuscript). No cover.

The Tree of Azathoth (Cthulhu Armageddon 3#): 17,000 Words (90K estimated word count at completion). This is a low priority at present because I want this one to be perfect but it is still in the works.

nocover

Wraith Lord (Wraith Knight 2#): Completed and submitted to Crossroad Press but held up by *grumble grumble* issues. No cover.

Eldtich Ops

Eldritch Ops. (Red Room 2#): Completed and ready for submission to Amber Cove but held up by *grumble grumble issues* Cover complete.

I have a few other irons in the fire as well with a YA sci-fi novel and a upcoming Lit-RPG space opera.

Excerpt of Agent G: Infiltrator available

Here’s a sample chapter from my recently released book:

Chapter One

I was sitting in the driver’s seat of a 2017 Mercedes Benz S-Klasse, staring at a handheld computer screen tapped into the security feed of the Everhope Hotel. It was a cold Chicago night and the tomb-like atmosphere of the parking garage didn’t help. Still, it was appropriate for my job: to kill very rich and powerful people for money.

The target, Marshall Redmond, was fifty-two, possessed a net worth of sixty hundred million dollars, and was currently attending a fundraiser for a cause only the one percent of the one percent could care about. Conservation of a breed of salmon or something. The fat blond man was sitting at the table in the front of the ballroom with his unhappy-looking spouse beside him.

I was dressed in a chauffeur’s outfit, deep in the identity I’d established for myself, and doing my best not to be bored out of my mind. I was G, just G. Once I had a human name and background, but that’d been scrubbed from my brain along with the rest of my past. Real Total Recall stuff. Despite losing almost the entirety of my life, I didn’t sweat the details too much. I was paid exorbitant amounts of money to do what I did and would get the details back after ten years. Supposedly. One thing you learned when working for the—finger quotes—”International Refugee Society” was paranoia. It was the most valuable skill they could teach you.

To allay my boredom, I often tried to figure out why the Society had sent me to kill a target. I mean, obviously, it was because someone had paid them, but I mean the reasons behind the hit. Usually, it was depressingly simple: A target was having an affair and their spouse was a client. A target was a witness to a crime that could bring an end to a multimillionaire’s business. Or a political activist working for some group’s rights, or a political activist working against another group’s (many times the same group. Or someone who had made the mistake of betraying their employer in some way.

Not Marshall Redmond. No, he was special. To look at him, you’d think he was being targeted by his wife for decades of unhappy marriage or by someone he’d bilked out of millions. He looked like Bernie Madoff, not Osama bin Laden. However, it was closer to the latter than former. Marshall Redmond was a terrorist, or at least a terrorist financier. The difference was academic, really, since the former could kill a few hundred people in a bombing while the latter could kill thousands by organizing dozens.

Honestly, that had caught me off guard. People weren’t complex. Nine times out of ten, they were exactly what they appeared to be. It made me curious to see how a guy who’d grown up in the country club circuit had ended up dealing with everyone from ISIS to Red Sword.

“Well, I’ll find out soon enough,” I muttered. “Dead men tell no tales, but the about-to-die are remarkably chatty.”

After waiting twenty minutes for them to arrive, I saw Redmond and his wife part ways and move to their separate cars. Redmond and his bodyguard moved toward this car, the former looking distressed with the latter. Redmond’s bodyguard was a tall, thirty-two-year-old, muscular black man named Charles Dulcimer. Dulcimer was an ex-Navy Seal who had done contracts for Universiti and was currently working for the world’s largest security corporation. He looked violently ill and seconds later threw up on Redmond’s shoes.

“Tsk-tsk-tsk,” I said, shaking my head, adjusting the side view mirror. “You should always watch what you eat, Charles. You never know what someone might have slipped into it.”

Wow, I was so bored I was talking to myself.

Redmond backed away in disgust, yelled some obscenities at the man, and climbed into the back seat of the car. According to the profile, Redmond had never been comfortable with Dulcimer as his bodyguard. At the risk of pulling the race card, I suspected the ex-mercenary’s looks had a large part to play in it.

I was biracial myself, at least per my medical records, but light-skinned enough to pass as a white man. Doubly so since I dyed my hair blonde. Really, my appearance was perfect for putting people like Redmond at ease. These things I could disguise with the right wigs, contacts, and prosthetics, but tonight I was going as something close to the “real” me. It was dangerous, but the FBI didn’t exactly collect information on the Society either. Hell, they were one of its biggest clients.

“Take me home, David,” Redmond said, looking at his shoes. “God almighty, those people. Do we have a napkin or something in here?”

I reached into the glove compartment and removed some McDonald’s napkins I’d collected just in case this sort of situation happened. Putting on a stereotypical Southern drawl, I said, “Here, sir. I hope these help.”

Redmond took them before shooting me a dirty look. “Have you been eating in my car?”

I continued speaking like the expected hick. “No, sir, I ate outside, washed my hands, and came back in. I put the napkins in because you can never have too many napkins.”

“Good,” Redmond said, patting his interior lovingly. “Do you know that fucker actually wants to rezone the city to attract more foreign investment?”

“That fucker” I assumed to be the mayoral candidate. “Really?”

“Ugh. I’d tell him to go to hell, but I’m getting first dibs on several of those projects.”

I’d been working for Redmond for the better part of a week, having arranged for his previous driver to take a preferred assignment with an ex-fashion model known for banging her chauffeurs. I’d then taken over his job after making sure my name was at the top of the list via my Assistant’s computer hacking. Breaking into the limousine service Redmond used wasn’t exactly a challenge for a woman who had cracked the International Refugee Society’s servers, but Marissa was itching for work as much as I was.

I pulled out the car into Chicago’s busy streets. The most difficult part of the mission was over, and I could dispose of my target at any time. However, as I mentioned before, I was curious about what made a man like Redmond throw away a privileged life for something so ephemeral as politics.  “Do you ever give any thought to the matter of identity?”

Redmond reached into his jacket and pulled out a bottle of prescription pain killers before popping three into his mouth. “What the fuck are you going on about?”

It was over now. Redmond just didn’t know it. I’d managed to replace the contents of his bottle with a much, much stronger dosage, plus several other recreational pharmaceuticals that would kill even a healthy man Redmond’s age. That was just the backup plan, really, to make sure he didn’t get away. Not that I was afraid he would, but I wasn’t a Letter because I took chances. I also had something more . . . elaborate planned for his demise.

“Memory. It’s the basis of our identities, but so much of it is malleable. We recast events how we want them to be and how our present-day opinions influence them. For example, a person who commits a terrible crime might think of himself as completely justified in the events and recall things that drove him to it—even if they never happened. It’s why eyewitness testimony is so unreliable. Because a lot of times, what people recall happening didn’t happen at all.”

Redmond started coughing, unable to respond.

“For me, I can’t help but think it raises some interesting philosophical questions. Do we ever really know a person? Are all the various wars and conflicts of history because we interpret events solely through our own perspective? If you are a person without a memory, do you have an identity at all, or are you simply a hollow shell? I prefer to believe we’re like cups, emptied and waiting to be filled anew, but retaining some semblance of our past selves.”

“You . . . “ I heard a gasping, labored voice speak behind me. Looking over my shoulder, I watched Redmond clutching his chest, sweating like a pig and reaching for his cellphone. He was desperately trying to enter the number for 911.

I lifted up a small black box. “This is a cellphone jammer. You can buy them at almost any electronics store. It’s hilarious.”

Redmond dropped his cellphone on the ground. “Why? Is it . . . is it Mahad?”

Mahad al-Malik was a Saudi Arabian real estate developer who was suspected of having ties to Red Sword, but was so low on the totem pole he was allowed to conduct business in the United States. I couldn’t make up this shit if I tried.

“Do I look like the kind of guy who works with terrorists?” I said, chuckling “Then again, you don’t exactly look like that sort of fellow yourself. By the way, my name isn’t David, it’s G. I know—that’s a letter, not a name, but it’s as close as I’ve got. No Men in Black jokes, please.”

“I can pay—”

I rolled my eyes. “I hate when targets say that, I really do. First of all, if I spared your life, then you wouldn’t pay me because you’d call the police or the FBI. Next, if you paid me beforehand, there’d be nothing to stop me from killing you afterward. Use your head.”

Redmond looked at me with pure hatred in his eyes. “You’re . . . insane.”

“Possibly,” I admitted, shaking my head. “The people who employ me put me through a fairly punishing

regime of mental conditioning and drug therapies. Things designed to remove those qualities that don’t find humor in your situation, for example.”

Redmond started to cry. It was kind of sad, really. I usually felt better about these things when my target was dirty as fuck. Then again, Redmond was a racist white-collar criminal terrorist, which was a trifecta of things I loathed.

“I would like to know why, actually. That might change a few things.” It wouldn’t, but he didn’t know that.

“The money,” Redmond said, raising his hand into the air. “Red Sword robbed the banks of Mosul of . . . four hundred million dollars . . . they . . . needed someone to launder it.”

I stared at him, frowning. Such a disappointing motive. “Money? Really?”

“I had no choice.” Redmond wheezed, giving the excuse so many other targets gave. “They would have killed me and my family if I’d refused.”

“I’m sure they would have, once you took their money.” I shook my head and turned on the lights again before driving toward Chicago’s industrial district. It wouldn’t be long, now, until Redmond’s heart gave out. I’d have to work quickly if I wanted to make sure I got this whole thing resolved the way I wanted to. A good hit was like a work of art. If it was done properly, it was a remarkable sight and could be talked about for hours. It had to be done just perfectly, though, or the whole thing was ruined.

Redmond proceeded to surprise me again. “You . . . you work for the International Refugee Society.”

I looked into the rearview mirror. “Really? A twit like you knows about the Society?”

Redmond bitterly laughed. “You fucking bastard, they’re the people who arranged the meeting between Mahad and me.”

“As bad as I think my employers are, I don’t think they finance terrorism.”

Terrorists, by and large, couldn’t afford us.

“They’re going to steal . . . the money.”

“Good for them.”

“I can arrange for the . . . CIA . . . to help you. To protect you. They can . . . get you your memories back.”

Redmond knew way too much to be what he appeared. Worse, he was dangling the one carrot in front of my face that might entice me.

The chance to know who I was.

Pulling onto a set of train tracks just moments before the barriers moved down both in front and behind

me, I heard the warning bells as the flagger began flashing. I could see the train coming down from my left. I turned off the headlights to make sure the car wasn’t visible to the engineer. I had to make a choice now. Eh, who was I kidding? There was no choice. “The CIA won’t go against the Society.”

I stepped out of the car, went to the back of the trunk, and pulled out a drugged and confused-looking David Johnson, a.k.a Josh Harden. He was the man whose identity I’d stolen. An ex-convict and registered sex offender who was operating under a false identity while he sold pills to rich clients. We had a vague resemblance. Especially when you put as much effort into not being noticed as I did.

Putting him in the driver’s seat and adjusting his hat to be perfect, I shut the door and walked forward as

the 11:30 train barreled down the tracks.  I was fifty feet away before I heard the screeching, smashing, and crushing noise that was the death rattle of Redmond and his driver.

I confirmed both kills before walking away from the crime scene and turning my chauffeur’s attire inside out. The black suit top became a Chicago Cubs sports jacket and the hat a ball cap. The pants would become blue jeans, but I would wait until I was somewhere more private to change those. I also needed to contact the Home Office to confirm my kill.

Cramming my tie into my pocket, I pulled out my cellphone before removing a thin metal wire from its side with a needle at the end. I jabbed the needle into the right side of my temple, linking it up to the IRD implant they’d removed part of my brain to install. Cybernetics came with being a Letter.

The International Refugee Society had access to a lot of technology well above what regular humanity did, and instead of using it to help people, they used it to make better killers. Says something about the world, doesn’t it? I wasn’t the Six Million Dollar Man or anything, but I could run sixty miles per hour without breathing hard and recovered in two days the last time I was shot. OK, maybe I was the Six Million Dollar Man, adjusted for inflation.

“Hello, G, is the mission completed?” A woman’s voice interrupted my musings.

A holographic image of an older, white-haired woman in a white business suit appeared in front of my vision. It was Persephone, the Society’s Director. It was unusual for her to be the one answering this sort

of call. Usually, Marissa was the one to check on my progress and relay it to my superiors.

“No, I just love stabbing myself in the head with an information jack.”

“You should learn to watch your mouth. If you weren’t my favorite, I’d have it sewn shut.”

“I bet you say that to all the Letters.”

“Yes, but you should at least have the courtesy to not point that out.”

“Yes, Mom.”

I could feel Persephone’s irritation. I had to wonder what sort of person I was to continually challenge my superiors like that. I didn’t want to. I wanted to just serve out my ten years and retire with the ungodly amount of money I’d made during my contract. Preferably some place with large amounts of sunshine and rum. Yet I just had to push. It was unsettling.

“Now, I repeat, is the job done? No complications?”

“None. Tomorrow the headline will read a suicidal chauffeur decided to kill himself and his boss after deciding he couldn’t live with his crimes. Add in the business with the pills in Redmond’s stomach, and his businesses will be radioactive for the next few months. Just like the client wanted.”

Technically, they’d just said Redmond should die in “infamy,” but I’d interpreted that to mean something

like this.

“We’ll be sending in financial cleaners to his office tomorrow for the next part of the contract. Did he mention anything of importance before you completed your mission?”

“No, ma’am,” I lied, thinking about the whole Red Sword and CIA business Redmond had mentioned. Was it true? Maybe. It didn’t matter now. He was in a hundred pieces and any connection to the Society in his files would be erased tomorrow. It wasn’t my problem, though. I needed to stay loyal. I’d served five years of my ten years of service. I would make it to Reassignment.

“Good. Your payment is awaiting pickup with a bonus for prompt delivery. I’m afraid you’re not going to be able to enjoy spending it on your usual orgy of alcohol, hookers, and cocaine, though.”

“I don’t use cocaine.” I’d also rapidly cut down on my alcohol and hooker intake since beginning my relationship with Marissa. I wasn’t about to tell Persephone that, though, since I didn’t know how that would affect our working relationship. They might reassign her, or worse, and I didn’t want to imagine what life would be like without her. Marissa was one of the few things that made me feel human.

“I need you to come in to the Home Office as soon as possible. This is a time-sensitive issue,”

Persephone said, shaking me out of my thoughts. “High priority.”

“Understood.”

“Say hello to the wife while you’re in town. I’m sure she misses you.”

“Like a bullet in the head.”

“Be prompt. Those can be arranged.”

Persephone’s image vanished from view and I removed my information jack. The encryption built into my head meant no one, short of the supercomputers at the NSA, could decrypt our conversations. Theoretically. I couldn’t help but think the Society’s overreliance on technology was a weakness rather than strength.

“Fuck, I need to get cleaned up,” I muttered, disappearing behind some empty rail cars as police sirens buzzed in the distance.

I was gone before they arrived.


Purchase your copy today

Agent G now available in Kindle, audiobook, and paperback format

 I’m pleased to say AGENT G is now available in the three formats which I intend to release it. The science fiction thriller is a work which I’m very proud of and I hope will be the first of several books chronicling the cyberpunk adventures of my transhuman assassin.

“Black Technology has made murder a billion dollar industry.”

The International Refugee Society has twenty-six cybernetically enhanced “Letters,” and for the right price, they’ll eliminate anyone. They’ve given up their families and their memories for ten years of service with the promise of a life of luxury awaiting them.

Agent G is one of these “Letters,” but clues to his past are starting to emerge while he’s on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the Society’s most dangerous competitor. In the midst of all the violence, subterfuge, and deceit, he’ll need to keep his wits about him and trust sparingly.

After all if an organization will kill for money, what would they do to keep the truth hidden?


Purchase a copy today.

Agent G: Infiltrator paperback and Science of Supervillainy pre-order available

Hey folks,

I’m pleased to say AGENT G: INFILTRATOR is now available in paperback format and the ebook as well as audiobook version (narrated by Jeffrey Kafer) will be released on April 1st, 2017. I really love the cover to this book and everyone who has purchased a copy is enjoying the book so far. It’s my hope Agent G will be one of my two on-going series along with the Supervillainy Saga.

“Black Technology has made murder a billion dollar industry.”

The International Refugee Society has twenty-six cybernetically enhanced “Letters,” and for the right price, they’ll eliminate anyone. They’ve given up their families and their memories for ten years of service with the promise of a life of luxury awaiting them.

Agent G is one of these “Letters,” but clues to his past are starting to emerge while he’s on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the Society’s most dangerous competitor. In the midst of all the violence, subterfuge, and deceit, he’ll need to keep his wits about him and trust sparingly.

After all if an organization will kill for money, what would they do to keep the truth hidden?

Speaking of the Supervillainy Saga, I’m pleased to say the SCIENCE OF SUPERVILLAINY is going to be available on April 15th! Best of all, it’ll be the paperback, ebook, and auidobook copies as well.  You can now pre-order the Kindle version now!

Gary Karkofsky a.k.a Merciless: The Supervillain without MercyTM returns in the fourth volume of the popular Supervillainy Saga. Having discovered the world’s greatest superhero slain by his doppelganger from another reality, Merciful: The Supervillain with MercyTM, and the arrogant President Omega, Gary dedicates himself to overthrowing both. 

Unfortunately, this is harder than it looks since Merciful has all of Gary’s genre savviness while President Omega has the entire brainwashed United States military behind him. In the end, though, there can be only one ruler of the world and two of these three feuding villains will have to go. 

Pre-Order your copy of Agent G: Infiltrator today!

Purchase your copy of Agent G: Infiltrator’s paperback today!

Pre-Order your copy of The Science of Supervillainy today!

Agent G: Infiltrator is available for pre-order

Hello my wonderful fans,

My science fiction assassin series, AGENT G, is now available for Pre-Order from Amazon.com. We’ve got a lot of faith in this story and we’ll be doing a simultaneous release on Audible, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback form for those who want to check it out. Jeffrey Kafer will, once more, be doing the voice work for my series and I can tell you it’s probably his best work yet.

What is Agent G about? Well, let’s share it’s blurb.

“Black Technology has made murder a billion dollar industry.”

The International Refugee Society has twenty-six cybernetically enhanced “Letters,” and for the right price, they’ll eliminate anyone. They’ve given up their families and their memories for ten years of service with the promise of a life of luxury awaiting them.

Agent G is one of these “Letters,” but clues to his past are starting to emerge while he’s on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the Society’s most dangerous competitor. In the midst of all the violence, subterfuge, and deceit, he’ll need to keep his wits about him and trust sparingly.

After all if an organization will kill for money, what would they do to keep the truth hidden?

The Agent G series is set in a pre-cyberpunk world in the far off future of 2018. The world is full of dueling spies, assassins, and mercenaries who are all for sale to the highest bidder. These groups have access to Black Technology which allows them to test and use it for their employers but comes with the cost of a ticking clock until it all comes out in the open.

Eventually, the world is going to change in this series and transition to the kind of cyberpunk dystopia found in stories like Ghost in the Shell and Deus Ex. The question is whether G will manage to survive it and protect those few people he cares about. Also, whether he deserves to be able to. Expect to see the sequel story, Agent G: Infiltrator in June. Yes, only two months from the first novel’s release!

Pick up your pre-order today!

An interview with C.T. Phipps (me) by my fans

Hey folks,

I posted on my Facebook page a request from my fans to give me their questions. It’s been a year since my writing debut and I wanted to see what people thought. They gave me some amazing questions and I’ve answered them all here to the best of my ability.

Writing

How do you write so much?

Simple answer. I don’t. I actually got started writing in 2010 but it took two years to get my first books done and ready for submission. They were picked up by Permuted Press for a year of non-publishing before we decided to part ways. Then it took another year for Amber Cove and Ragnarok Publications to publish The Rules of Supervillainy and Esoterrorism. I’ve been writing that whole time. Authordom is not for the faint at heart. It’s also why you shouldn’t quit your day job.

Supervillainy Saga

What was the deciding factor to make Gary Jewish?

Gary is a singularity of comic book influences. The decision to make Gary Jewish seemed natural with Siegal and Schuster as well as Jack Kirby all being brought in. It felt right for his character and gradually helped shape who he was. It also felt more appropriate than just making him another WASP protagonist.

There are many characters who are of the LGBT community on both sides of the Hero/Villain line. There seems to be a greater percentage that are in the real world. What prompted the push?

I don’t actually think it’s all that different from reality with the LGBT characters being Mandy (bi), Cindy (bi), Adonis (bi), The Human Tank (trans), The Bronze Medalist (g), and the Black Witch (lesbian). This is in comparison to all of the dozens of other straight characters spread throughout the book like Diabloman, Ultragod, Ultragoddess, Guinevere, Tom Terror, and so on.

I did make a conscious effort to avoid making everyone lily white and cis straight as is typical, though. I figured my universe should be representative of reality and if there’s more gay or bisexual characters in my world than normal then it’s a balance against all the other fiction where they’re nonexistent.

In an endless series like the Villainy Saga, where do you decide to end one book and begin another rather than just one huge novel?

I generally try to do a resemblance to actual comic books. I try to divide the books into two-parters with the first book setting up the plot and the second book finishing it. Each book containing micro-plots which play into the larger plot. While some might argue it would work better as a single large volume, I feel these work better for a comic book feel. Also, it helps get them out quicker.

The dead don’t just stay dead in this world. Just like the comic books.  Is this going to be a recurring theme?

Actually, I’m going to genuinely keep the dead dead in these books because, unlike Marvel or DC, I have total control in my book. Certainly, Gary is going to try to break the rules as much as possible but actual resurrections are always going to be rare. It’s also going to have lasting consequences for the world as the deaths of heroes and villains results in dramatic changes to the status quo of the universe. Is the end of the Age of Heroes and Villains or the the start of a new one?

As an example, Arthur Warren a.k.a Cloak is never going to come back as the Nightwalker. While I routinely brought back the supervillains Gary killed in The Rules of Supervillainy and The Games of Supervillainy, that was for humorous effect and they’re dead-dead now. Likewise, Falconcrest City is going to be permanently affected by the zombie apocalypse which happened there. So, death isn’t an absolute in my books but it’s not a revolving door either.

Once you’ve saved all of creation, what’s next to top that?

I don’t think you actually need to always go up and at em in terms of comic book plots. I think you can mix them up as much as you want. Superman saving the world is fine but so is Superman saving Lois Lane or a bunch of guys threatened by gangsters (with Kryptonite I presume). I generally think of Supernatural as my go-to-example. The Winchester Brothers defeated Satan in Season 5.

They didn’t need to keep fighting equally powerful evils in subsequent seasons as personal enemies would do just as well. It’s not like a hero is going to be less motivated to save one person over a hundred.

When Death appears to have affected a powerful character, it appears they may not stay that way. Why isn’t Death more jealous of her charges?

The Supervillainyverse’s Death is a cosmic inevitability. She knows she’s eventually going to get everyone even if there’s sometimes reversals. It is, however, Gary’s “official job” (when he’s not robbing banks) to eliminate the undead as well as help souls cross over. Raising Mandy from the dead as a vampire seriously screws with his power level for example and damages his connection to his “kaiju-toasting” fire powers.

Gary has his work cut out for him, making the entire Society of Superheroes submissive enough to hear the truth and killing POTUS.

The Society of Superheroes’ opinion of Gary is less than glowing after the death of a certain character. As far as they’re concerned, he’s just another criminal and none of them are particularly interested in defending his Batman/Catwoman (in reverse) relationship with Gabrielle. Ultragod knew Gary was fundamentally harmless, for some definitions of the word, but most of the others only see his body count. It doesn’t help that the Shadow Seven, the team Gary most often works with, is primarily composed of ex-supervillains itself. As for the POTUS, he’s not the real President. There’s a clause in the Constitution against time-traveling Nazis from the future.

Diabloman appears to be loyal to Gary, but he also seems to be doing many things in the background. Should Gary be more attentive to him?

Diabloman was in a very bad place in The Rules of Supervillainy which Gary helped him out of. Gary also successfully saved the world (so he could conquer it for himself) and made billions from the events of The Games of Supervillainy. As a result, Diabloman is back in the game and has even had some of the black magic damage done to his body repaired.

In a very real way, Diabloman would be comfortable going back to being an A-list supervillain destroying lives and taking names. However, he’s come to view Gary as a kid brother substitute for his dead sister Spellbinder and is determined not to torch that relationship.

The thing is, Diabloman is pretty much a Satanic Deathstroke meets Bane and that’s not really a good combination to ignore the dangers of. But yeah, as far as I’m concerned, Diabloman is back to attending Legion of Doom meetings off-camera.

Esoterrorism

What are the fast rules for the world of the Red Room? 

The Red Room universe is a combination of action movie spy universe and urban fantasy universe. As such, you could probably say it’s best thought of as what you’d get with the Dresden Files merged with the Illuminati/Men in Black/X-Files and James Bond. Magic is a functional tool in this world and the House has used it to become the movers and shakers behind the scenes of a hostile violent supernatural world.

Unlike what the conspiracy nuts would say, though, the House functions like any other bureaucracy with lots of incompetence as well as underpaid civil servants. The House basically does its best to intimidate or kill the supernatural threats of the world so they don’t “come out of the coffin” like in Anita Blake or Sookie Stackhouse but this is an ongoing job for them. Plenty of monsters resent this and strike back at the House or humanity in general. Worse, the House is corrupt with its upper tier members using their position to enrich themselves and their families.

I loved the main villain. Can his legacy continue through the series?

In a very real way, the Wazir won when he arranged for Derek to start his war against the House’s corruption. Karl Bjornson’s goal was to destroy the House and eventually lead to the revelation of the supernatural to the public. This is a goal which Derek is not opposed to and he hates the House every bit as much as the Wazir, just is also protective of the people involved. In a very real way, the enemy has moved from the terrorists to the corruption in the government.

The accent of Shannon changing, hints of something, but what?

It’s a statement that Shannon isn’t who Derek thinks she is and much of her personality is a construction. Shannon appears to him as a redheaded Irish woman meant to appeal to Derek’s preference for them. This is because she’s trying to seduce him. Only when they’re closer and the barriers have begun to fall does Shannon reveal she’s actually Scottish with dark hair as well as hint everything she’s told him is a lie. Really, Shannon has been living so many lies and false identities, even she doesn’t know the truth anymore.

Now that Derek is in a position of power, how is he going to have any adventures?

In Eldritch Ops. we find Derek has been ice-skating uphill the entire time he’s been in the Committee. He hates what the job is turning him into and jumps on a chance to personally oversee an investigation he should have no business getting anywhere near. This mission will lead to events spiraling out of control for the House and dramatic world-changing events in the final volume of the series, Operation: Otherworld.

Agent G

So what is Agent G: Infiltrator all about?

Agent G is a science fiction espionage series starring the titular character. G is a assassin working for the Society which is an organization that contracts for the government, corporations, and other groups as long as they can pay their exorbitant fees. The Letters are twenty-six agents who have had their lives taken away from them by memory-erasure and cybernetic enhancement.

Rather than being remorseful about his actions as his past is used to blackmail him into compliance, he’s all too comfortable with the decadent murderous life provided him. This all changes when he’s sent undercover with the murderous Carnivale where he faces just what his life might be like if freed from the Society’s control. Oh and he finds out just who he was before the Society made him into the world’s most dangerous killer.

What’s its genre?

Agent G is a present-day cyberpunk series. It’s sort of the reverse of your typical urban fantasy series with all sorts of monstrous critters underneath the world. Instead, the world is full of science fiction technology, conspiracies, and weird organizations. The ManTM is doing his best to keep the Little GuyTM in his grip and the best part is they don’t even suspect just how much they’re under his thumb.

Straight Outta Fangton

Can you tell me the flavor of your Straight Outta Fangton book? Horror comedy, um horror, mystery, comedy?

Fangton is a horror-comedy in the same vein (hehe) as The Rules of Supervillainy. The world is entirely serious and a homage to Dracula, Underworld, Anite Blake (pre-porn), Blade, True Blood (or Sookie Stackhouse), and even a little Twilight. However, the characters are overthetop in the same way Gary and company are.

In the case of Peter Stone, he’s a poor black vampire wondering why he’s working minimum wage despite ultimate power in a world where other vampires live like celebrities, including his also black sire. Peter gets his chance to make his mark and its sadly against an angsty vampire hunting vampire who has wiped out large portions of his race. This may not have been a very good idea.

Wraith Knight 

Tell us about Wraith Knight again. Every time I hear it, it makes me think of Ready Player One or the Play to Live series.  Those are 2 of my other favorites. Do you have any plans on writing a Virtual Reality series?

Wraith Knight is one of my non-comedy series and a straight dark(ish) fantasy novel. It’s premise is deconstructive, though, as it’s basically from the perspective of a Ringwraith. Jacob Riverson was once a legendary hero before he fell in battle and got raised as a general of the King Below. Centuries later, the Dark Lord is destroyed and he regains his free will in a world where the former good guys have run the world into the ground as well as lost the peace. He ends up teaming up with a woman, Regina Whitetremor, who hasn’t quite grasped the solution isn’t overthrow the ex-heroes as the new villains.

It was partially inspired by my thoughts the orcs were every bit Sauron’s slaves and victims as everyone else and either the heroes would try to commit genocide against them or have to learn to live with them in peace.  Just about everyone who has read it basically says it does read like the classic Warcraft 3 plotline, only Thrall is Arthas. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult. 🙂 I was also inspired by Rhianna Pratchett’s Overlord games.

Is Wraith Knight a stand-alone or the first in a series?

Three novels. WRAITH KNIGHT, WRAITH LORD, and WRAITH KING.

With the upcoming series being released in November, what is the status of the other installment?

WRAITH LORD is finished and with Ragnarok Publications and WRAITH KING is still in manuscript form. Current plans are to release them roughly the same time every year so it’ll be 2019 when the series is finished.

Purchase The Rules of Supervillainy

Purchase The Games of Supervillainy

Purchase The Secrets of Supervillainy

Purchase Esoterrorism

Pre-Order Wraith Knight

JULY 7TH, 2016 UPDATE FOR WRITING

Hey folks,

I wanted to give you a heads up on the progress of what’s going on in the wonderful world of my imagination, writing, and business sense.

New Releases

THE SECRETS OF SUPERVILLAINY is out today with the audiobook coming in just a week or two. Stay tuned to this website or my author page for updates on that. The third volume of the Supervillainy Saga accompanies Gary Karkofsky on his quest to cure his wife of her fangy affliction as well as accidentally attracting the ire of the President of the United States (whose secretly a supervillain, who knew). We also get to meet Gary’s surviving family! Oh dear.

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New Projects

I have another book series in the works along the lines of the Supervillainy Saga in STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON. This is a novel about a poor black vampire dealing with the fact his transformation into an undead creature of the night hasn’t exactly improved his prospects but has given him a whole lot of new enemies.

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Worse, everyone in the undead world is afraid when the world’s most terrifying slayer of the undead arrives in town to claim their blood. Add a newborn vampire being found in the bathroom of his place of business with no maker in sight and you have a really bad day for Peter Stone. It does for the supernatural what The Rules of Supervillainy did for superheroes. Which is to say not much but with a lot of laughs.

I submitted LUCIFER’S STAR (A Spacer’s Saga) to Tor Books but, sadly, it was rejected. Thankfully, this may be a blessing in disguise as I’ve submitted the document to Amber Cove. With any luck, we’ll slice the 100K book in two and round it out to have two more books for 2017. Describing it in simple terms, I go with, “What would it be like to bea TIE pilot after Return of the Jedi when you realize, hey, Hans, are we the baddies?”

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More precisely, it’s a dark space opera following a ex-pilot drawn into a massive conflict between the occupiers of his nation and the terrorists who seek to revive a government which doesn’t deserve to be revived–plus romance, bioroids, and sword-fighting aliens.

Novels

The fourth Supervillainy Saga book THE SCIENCE OF SUPERVILLAINY, is currently in the works.

ESOTERRORISM’s audiobook has been released to great success and I’m very pleased with Jeffrey Kafer’s handling of my first novel. Technically, The Rules of Supervillainy was released first but I wrote Esoterrorism first. The sequel, ELDRITCH OPS will be released early of 2017, and follow Derek’s dealing with piratical vampires, his new position as a Committee member, and the fact his brother is kind of the Antichrist. Oh and the Horseman of War is in love with him. You know, the usual.

The Red Room series will then finish in an explosive finale to the trilogy in OPERATION: OTHERWORLD, set for release in 2018.

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WRAITH KNIGHT is still set for release on 11/8/2016 by a combination of the Independent Publishing Group and Ragnarok Publications. Wraith Knight is the first book in the Three Worlds trilogy which will chronicle the adventures of Jacob Riverson, a heroic figure of the previous age who wakes up in the new one cursed as a ghostly Ringwraith-like being.

AGENT G: INFILTRATOR is set for release this November by Amber Cove Publishing. That is my science-fiction spy novel following an agent with a missing memory working for a murderous corporation that promises to restore it after ten years. All he has to do for his next assignment is take down a ring of Italian cyborgs and their small army of minions. The sequel, AGENT G: SABOTEUR is set for next year.

Novellas and Short Stories

I’m going to have a short story in the anthology collection, HUMANITY 2.0: EMERGENCE, which is about a Wildcards-like event which bestows superpowers on millions of humans worldwide before leading to a transformation of society. I, of course, write about one of those individuals who decides to turn to crime. 

Conclusion

Now you may wonder how I’ve managed to get all these books out or ready to be coming out and the answer to that is simple: I didn’t get anything published for my first three years of writing. That gave me ESOTERRORISM, ELDRITCH OPS., THE RULES OF SUPERVILLAINY, and THE GAMES OF SUPERVILLAINY. It’s a lesson to all you writers out there that you sometimes (as in almost always) have to sit on a manuscript before you find a home for it. I also advise you to write when inspired, no matter how far off genre. It helps that I write relatively short 60K novels for the most part instead of 100 or 150K ones like some fantasyists. Whatever the case, thank you for your interest and I hope you’ll check out my upcoming work.

2016

THE SECRETS OF SUPERVILLAINY: NOW AVAILABLE!

AGENT G: INFILTRATOR: 9/15/2016

WRAITH KNIGHT: 11/08/2016

EMERGENCE (Humanity 2.0): 09/13/2016

2017

THE SCIENCE OF SUPERVILLAINY: 3/15/2017

ELDRITCH OPS: 4/15/2017

AGENT G: SABOTEUR: 5/15/17

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LUCIFER’S STAR

STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON

Update for May 2016

Okay folks, it’s time for another update on what I’ve been up to as an author and what sort of stuff is going to be happening in the future of C.T. Phipps. Things have been going very well for me and while there’s setbacks, I’ve got to say things are all on the up and up when it comes to writing.

AMBER COVE: My relationship with Amber Cove Publications is especially good as I’ve signed an agreement with them to produce four 60K word books a year. Two AGENT G and two SUPERVILLAINY SAGA for the next few years. It’s a pretty hectic schedule but I believe I can hold onto it. It’s my hope to eventually produce twelve books for both series but we’ll see how that works out.

The Supervillainy Saga has sold well in combined audiobooks, ebooks, and paperback, with no sign of stopping. Indeed, its equal to a store release during the “heyday” of such things and that couldn’t make me happier. Not bad for an indie publisher.

RAGNAROK PUBLICATIONS: Ragnarok Publication’s deal with IPG (Independent Publishing Group) is closer than ever. It’s meant delays in releasing some of my books but is going to change the nature of publishing for all of my works with them as well as their existing prints. One consequence is you’re going to be able to see ESOTERRORISM and WRAITH KNIGHT in stores come 2017 which is something I’m ecstatic about. We’re also going to have them promoted very heavily by their reps. A small downside of this is we’re not going to have as quick a release period as Amber Cove. We’ll have roughly one book a year released from both series.

Now here’s some updates on individual series:

AGENT G: The first novel in the series, AGENT G: INFILTRATOR, will be released on October 15th, 2016 with present schedule plans. It follows the adventures of G, a assassin who has had his memory erased by the mysterious Society. He’s supposedly signed a ten year contract with them in exchange for fabulous wealth as well as a return for his memories. Is any of it true? Even if it isn’t, does he have a choice? What about when he’s sent up against a dangerous group of cybernetically enhanced assassins in the Carnivale? Sci-Fi espionage and murder action awaits! We’re hoping for a simultaneous ebook and audiobook release with Jeffrey Kafer set to do this volume as well. The sequel is already ready to go as well with AGENT G: SABOTEUR.

SUPERVILLAINY SAGA: The next book in the series, THE SECRETS OF SUPERVILLAINY is set for release on July 15th, 2016. Gary Karfosky a.k.a Merciless: The Supervillain without MercyTM is scouring the globe for secrets to restoring his now-cursed wife Mandy. Unfortunately, this has brought him closer to his partner Cindy a.k.a Red Riding Hood and he finds himself conflicted about his feelings for both women. Worse, both their lives are rudely interrupted by the news of a great superhero’s death as well as the fact they’ve made an enemy in the deranged new President of the United States. THE SCIENCE OF SUPERVILLAINY, Book 4# in the series. is set for release in early 2017.

RED ROOM: The Red Room series will continue past ESOTERRORISM but the first big news there is Jeffrey Kafer is also doing the audiobook adaptation of this work. He’s just finished it up and it’s set for release in the upcoming few months. The second book in the series, ELDRITCH OPS. will be released in Spring of 2017. This will follow newly promoted Committee member, Derek Hawthorne, on one last field assignment for the Committee to investigate “A House within the House” which is threatening to start a war against the Vampire Nation. Werewolves, pirates, and vampires menace our hero as well as a threat among his own family. Worse, the most famous vampire of them all in Count Draculs is coming to threaten him.

WRAITH KNIGHT: This is a book I’m immensely proud of and follows the basic premise of, “So, the Dark Lord is defeated and the heroes return to their homes. What would happen if, after five years or so, everything went to hell?” Jacob Riverson is a creature not-too-dissimilar to a Ringwraith and after regaining his free-will, finds himself in a world centuries older than the one he left behind. Recruited by a young heroine to try to defeat the very heroes propelled into power by the previous generation, he must deal with the fact it’s a much more complicated and grayer world than the stories of his now-legendary adventures depicted it. The first book is scheduled for release on November 8th, 2016. Like Esoterrorism, it will be released on audiobook but we haven’t picked an audiobook narrator for it.

So, our schedule for 2016 looks like:

2016

THE SECRETS OF SUPERVILLAINY: 7/15/2016

AGENT G: INFILTRATOR: 9/15/2016

WRAITH KNIGHT: 11/08/2016

Early 2017

THE SCIENCE OF SUPERVILLAINY: 3/15/2017

ELDRITCH OPS: 4/15/2017

AGENT G: SABOTEUR: 5/15/17

AGENT G and SECRETS OF SUPERVILLAINY approved for publication!

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AGENT G: INFILTRATOR and SECRETS OF SUPERVILLAINY have been tentatively accepted for publication by Amber Cove. I was pretty sure there was no real doubt on either but it never hurts to receive official confirmation after your boss returns from his cruise where he read them.

For those unaware, AGENT G is a a series about an assassin for an organization called the Society which removes the memories of its agents for a ten year period before promising their return if they succeed in fulfilling their contract. It also promises amazing wealth and an end to all pesky moral issues via conditioning (which our antihero isn’t very good at despite).

SECRETS OF SUPERVILLAINY is the 3rd novel of the Supervillainy Saga which follows Gary Karkofsky as he deals with a recent loss in his life…badly. Trying to find a cure for his wife’s vampirism, he ends up attracting the ire of the time traveling despot who has set himself up as POTUS. Oops. Special guest star: THE GARY OF EARTH-B!

We can expect Secrets to be published sometime around July. I’m not sure about Agent G but will make sure everyone is kept in the loop.