My serial web novel, Silver Buckshot, is now complete: all 39 episodes worth!
Thirteen-year-old Princess Flavia has endured a lot recently. Polio crippled her legs and killed her mother, her father is sunk in grief, and her servants veer between negligence and cruelty. She takes refuge in her books and never complains. But she draws the line at being murdered. Fourteen-year-old Frank Barron conceals her when the shooting starts. This is no accident: a letter told him what to do. It’s signed, “Love, Flavia.” She has no memory of it. And she can’t tell the future! Can she?
You can read the whole shebang on Amazon’s Kindle Vella site. The first three episodes are free: the rest cost a nominal fee.
I wrote the book with the lofty intention of telling a rip-roaring adventure with fantasy elements balanced by realistic ones from my own experience. My dad had been lamed by polio when he was a kid, so I had a son’s-eye-view and wished a similar case on my heroine. I set the story in the year when I was the same age as my young protagonists. This gave me the zeitgeist for free. Since I spent my youth studying smartassery with diligence and zeal, I could bestow this upon my hero and turn the banter up to eleven.
I’m working on Book Two now. I’ll appear as new episodes in the same place as Book One, starting with Episode 40. But don’t wait! Book One is very much a complete, stand-alone story in its own right.
Flavia and Frank are still imprisoned in Rancho Vampiro, locked in one of the bedrooms. Things quiet down for a while, but they have a nasty surprise when a pair of vampires try to break in for a midnight snack. The intruders are dealt with in an unexpected manner. A Polaroid camera is involved.
I was under the weather for a while with that cold that’s been going around. The scheduled episodes all posted on time but I didn’t post anything on social media to let people know, so here’s a belated fourfer to catch us up.
Episode 28: Duct Tape. As you’ll recall, Flavia gave Fank a note informing him that they’ll be walking into a trap this evening. Frank finds a creative use for duct tape in the hopes of shifting the odds in their favor.
Episode 30: Rancho Vampiro. Well, with a title like that, you hardly need me to write a sentence as a teaser! Let’s just say it delivers what it says on the label. The die has been cast, the game is afoot, the time for preparation is over and the action has begun!
Frank arranges some target practice before lunch, since he and Flavia are going on a mysterious and dangerous mission in the evening but neither of them has fired their new pistols. Target practice involves leaving the palace and going to a range in the middle of nowhere.
Will this work as planned? Frank and Flavia don’t want to be the targets, they want to be the targees!
In the morning, Flavia discovers two letters she doesn’t remember writing. One, addressed to Frank, reveals that someone will try to lure them out of the palace tonight with a ruse that wouldn’t fool a child. It’s a trap! The letter announces that they’re going to walk right into it.