Happy Teen Read Week 2017!

teen-read-weekTeen Read Week 2017 is happening right now, October 8–14. What is it? Well, to quote the event’s website:

Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.

Teen Read Week’s 2017 theme is “Unleash Your Story,” in which “library staff and educators are encouraged to leverage this theme to encourage teens to tell their own stories as well as find stories, biographies, autobiographies, folktales, and more in their local library.”

 For more information on this annual event, visit the Teen Read Week site.

The theme of “unleashing your story” for teen writers reminds me of “My First Published Story,” a blog post at the Pandora Zwieback website about a science-fiction story I wrote all the way back in high school. As I say in the post, looking back it’s a little cringe-worthy, but it proves something I always tell young writers: Everybody’s gotta start somewhere. Go give it a read!

And speaking of books for teens, are you familiar with my young adult, dark-urban-fantasy series The Saga of Pandora Zwieback? Pan is a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets an immortal shape-shifter named Annie that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world. You’ll find Pan in the following titles:

Blood FeudThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0: A free, downloadable comic that serves as an introduction to Pan and Annie—with an 8-page story written by me and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia—as well as Pan’s first novel, Blood Feud (via a pair of preview chapters).

Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1: This critically acclaimed novel is the beginning of Pan’s story, explaining how she, her parents and friends, and Annie are drawn into a conflict among warring vampire clans searching for the key to an ultimate weapon (or so the legend goes)—a key that just so happens to have been delivered to the horror-themed museum owned by Pan’s father. It’s a character-driven action-fest that leads immediately into the second novel:

Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2: Pan and Annie face even greater challenges as the vampire clans draw up plans to go to war with humanity. Leading the charge is a fallen angel named Zaqiel, whose previous attempt at subjugating the world was stopped by Annie—who, back in the day, was Zaqiel’s lover! But Pan isn’t about to let some ancient monster win the day, not when the lives of her parents and friends—along with those of every human on the planet—are at stake, so she leads a charge of her own. But whose side is going to emerge the victor remains to be seen…

Blood Feud and Blood Reign are available in print and digital formats. The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0 is a digital exclusive. Visit their respective product pages for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.

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Harbinger of Darkness Now On Sale!

Harbinger-of-Darkness-FinalCvrOn sale today is Harbinger of Darkness, a brand-new fantasy novel by Richard C. White, author of Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers: Echoes of Coventry, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy: Paths of Evil, and the SWC titles For a Few Gold Pieces More, Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination, Troubleshooters Incorporated: Night Stalkings, and The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special.

In this original novel, a thief named Perrin steals an extremely valuable—and magical—gem from the evil king ruling her home country. With thugs and fellow thieves and the king’s assassins hot on her trail, Perrin finds just staying alive is becoming a full-time occupation, which directly conflict with her secret life—and identity—as a humble bookseller’s daughter.

Harbinger of Darkness is available right now in print and digital formats. To start, you’ll find it at the Kindle Store, the Nook Store, and at Smashwords, with iBooks, Kobo, and more to come. And then there’s the print edition! If you enjoy fantasy adventure, be sure to order a copy today!

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Harbinger of Darkness Press Release

Harbinger-of-Darkness-FinalCvrFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A TALENTED THIEF BECOMES A “HARBINGER OF DARKNESS” FOR ONE FANTASY KINGDOM

Ravens are birds of ill omen—cross this one only if you’re willing to deal with the consequences…

Coming October 3, 2017 is Harbinger of Darkness, a fantasy-adventure novel by Richard C. White, author of the StarWarp Concepts titles Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination, For a Few Gold Pieces More, Troubleshooters Incorporated: Night Stalkings, and The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special.

In Harbinger of Darkness, White introduces readers to Raven and Perrin. One is an accomplished thief, and an enigma. Never seen in the light of day, no one is quite sure where she goes or where she hides the bounty of her crimes. The other is a bookseller’s daughter, trapped by expectations and circumstances but with dreams of exploring the lands she’s only read about. And both share a great secret: That Perrin and Raven are the same person.

A magic pendant allows Perrin to disguise herself, keeping her other life as Raven hidden from everyone, even her closest allies. But after the theft of a mystic gem, which unbeknownst to her is the lynchpin for a cruel king’s upcoming military campaign, both of her worlds are upended, with potentially fatal consequences for friends, family…and Perrin herself.

With bounty hunters and the king’s personal assassins pursuing her darker half, Perrin finds herself swept her into a conspiracy against the throne she despises. Add in the complication of an apprentice thief she never wanted to train, and the odds of Perrin living long enough to pursue her dreams are steadily shrinking!

Cover art is provided by fantasy painter John Stone.

Packaged by NightWolf Graphics, published by StarWarp Concepts, and distributed in print by Ingram Content Group, Harbinger of Darkness (ISBN: 978-0-9982361-2-4) goes on sale October 3, 2017, and can be ordered from brick-and-mortar bookstores and online retail sites, as well as from the StarWarp Concepts website. Ebook editions will be available for download from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, the iBookstore, and other online retailers.

For more information, please visit www.StarwarpConcepts.com.

Praise for the Work of Richard C. White:
“Richard C. White knows how to spin a yarn.”—Bobby Nash, author of Domino Lady: Money Shot, on For a Few Gold Pieces More

“A solid introduction to the subject of world building. The book succeeds in helping the aspiring writer in creating a skeletal framework on which to hang the moving parts required of a believable fictional setting.”—The Gaming Gang, on Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination

About the Author:
Richard C. White is the bestselling author of the novels Gauntlet: Dark Legacy: Paths of Evil and Star Trek S.C.E.: Echoes of Coventry; the writers’ reference book Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination; the fantasy-adventure collection For a Few Gold Pieces More; the superhero graphic novel Troubleshooters Incorporated: Night Stalkings; and the digital comic The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special. His short fiction has appeared in such anthologies as The Ultimate Hulk and Doctor Who: Short Trips: The Quality of Leadership.

About the Book:
Harbinger of Darkness
by Richard C. White
Published by StarWarp Concepts
336 pages, trade paperback (5.5” x 8.5”)
U.S. $14.95 (print edition) • $4.99 (digital)
ISBN: 978-0-9982361-2-4 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 978-0-9982361-3-1 (digital)

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‘Warped Week: October 1, 2017

Reviews-SheDevil-CvrWelcome back to ’Warped Week, a recap of what we’ve been up to at ’Warp Central during the past seven days. If you missed anything, now’s the perfect time to catch up!

Monday was the 2018 celebration of National Comic Book Day, a holiday whose origin is shrouded in mystery—but it was the perfect time to remind you of the great comic titles we have to offer!

Tuesday, we told you about a late addition to our 2017 publishing schedule: Reviews of a She-Devil: A Look at Red Sonja Adventures Past and Present, an e-book collection of my Red Sonja comic book reviews that first appeared at the site Comics for Sinners, plus bonus material exclusive to this release. It’s our way of celebrating the 45th anniversary of Robert E. Howard’s redheaded She-Devil With a Sword, who debuted in Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian #23, way back in 1972.

On Wednesday, we let you know that Richard C. White—author of the SWC titles For a Few Gold Pieces More, Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination, The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special, and Troubleshooters Incorporated: Night Stalkings—would be appearing at the Archon 41 convention, which should be wrapping up this weekend even as you’re reading this post.

And for Thursday, we reminded you of Tales to Sorta Tremble By, the next release in our SWC Horror Bites imprint. This one’s a collection of long-lost mini tales that first appeared in the pages of 1950s horror comics, when publishers needed to insert text pages in their releases to meet U.S. postal requirements for mailing magazines (weird, right?).

And that’s the week. What’s coming next? You’ll have to keep checking this blog during the days ahead—or join us on Sunday for the next installment of ’Warped Week. See you then!

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You Can’t Celebrate Halloween Without Some…Tales to Sorta Tremble By!

Tales-Sorta-Tremble-CvrHey, horror fans! On October 13, we’ll be releasing Tales to Sorta Tremble By, the second title in our new SWC Horror Bites series of dark-fantasy chapbooks. It’s a collection of little-known mini terror tales that first appeared during comics’ Golden Age. To quote the back-cover copy:

The Flower of Evil. Jardini’s Jaw. The Living Brain. The Walking Dead.

These, and many others, are the tales you’ve long forgotten—or never even heard of before. They were the text stories, sometimes written anonymously or pseudonymously, that 1950s comic book publishers inserted in each issue of their macabre series to meet postal mailing requirements in order to be considered magazines.

This collection spotlights a baker’s dozen of those time-lost terror shorts, so gather round the jack-o’-lantern and prepare to be a little bit shocked and a tiny bit horrified by these…TALES TO SORTA TREMBLE BY!

Includes: The Walking Dead • Jardini’s Jaw • The Lonely Place • Call for Claws • Land of the Dead • Call of the Werewolf • The Flower of Evil • The Lady in Black • The Living Brain • The Shadow in the Moonlight • Just What the Doctor Ordered • Death and the Maiden • The End of the Line

Just as with our debut Horror Bite, Clemence Annie Housman’s White Fell—The Werewolf, Tales to Sorta Tremble By will only be available through the StarWarp Concepts webstore, so be sure to order a copy when October 13 rolls around!

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Author Richard C. White at Archon 41

Rich-New-PicThis weekend, science fiction and fantasy fans from across the United States will be gathering at the 41st annual Archon convention, being held at the Gateway Convention Center and DoubleTree Hotel in Collinsville, Illinois. And among the guests in attendance will be the busiest man in con appearances, SWC’s own Richard C. White, who’ll be there to promote his two 2017 releases: For a Few Gold Pieces More and the upcoming Harbinger of Darkness.

For a Few Gold Pieces More is a collection of ten critically acclaimed short stories by Rich, who’s the author of Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers: Echoes of Coventry, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy: Paths of Evil, and the SWC titles Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination, Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings, and The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special.

pieces_gold_large_book_cover2017For Gold Pieces, think Lord of the Rings meets the “spaghetti Westerns” of director Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), as a Rogue With No Name travels a world of epic-fantasy adventure, looking for treasure—and revenge against the woman who sent him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit (but she did).

Harbinger of Darkness goes on sale next Tuesday, October 3. In this original novel, a thief named Perrin steals an extremely valuable—and magical—gem from the evil king ruling her home country. With thugs and fellow thieves and the king’s assassins hot on her trail, Perrin finds just staying alive is becoming a full-time occupation, which directly conflict with her secret life—and identity—as a humble bookseller’s daughter. It’s sword-swinging adventure at its finest, and Rich is sure to be talking up the book—so be sure to ask about it!

For a Few Gold Pieces More, on the other hand, is available right now in print and digital formats; visit its product page for ordering information. And if you’re attending Archon this weekend, be sure to purchase For a Few Gold Pieces More and Terra Incognito directly from Rich, who’ll be selling copies all weekend!

Archon runs Friday, September 29, through Sunday, October 1. For more information on the convention, visit the Archon website.

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Celebrating a Comic Book She-Devil

Reviews-SheDevil-CvrOn November 14, 1972, comic book readers and fans of Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian series were introduced to another memorable character from Conan creator, pulp writer Robert E. Howard. This new warrior fought as hard as Conan, drank as hard as Conan, and hated wizards just as much as Conan—and she did it all while wearing nothing more than a chain-mail bikini! Red Sonja, She-Devil With a Sword, quickly became just as popular with comic fans as Conan, and it’s a popularity that remains to the present day, in her new adventures at Dynamite Entertainment.

So what better way to celebrate Sonja’s 45th anniversary in comics than with a special StarWarp Concepts release?

Coming November 14, 2017 is Reviews of a She-Devil: A Look at Red Sonja Adventures, Past and Present, written by yours truly. An e-book exclusive, it’s a collection of my comic reviews that originally appeared at the news site Comics for Sinners, with bonus material written especially for this release—including my examination of the only Red Sonja movie ever produced (so far), which starred Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger. And the best part (at least where you ’Warp fans are concerned)? It’ll be an absolutely free download! Stay tuned for further updates!

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It’s National Comic Book Day 2017!

pandoracomic-1Today is National Comic Book Day, an unofficial “holiday” that’s celebrated every year on this date…although no one seems to know why that is, or who exactly started the tradition. Nevertheless, if you’re thinking that the friendly fiends at StarWarp Concepts must have some illustrated fiction that would be perfect for this occasion—you’re absolutely right!

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0: A free, downloadable comic that serves as an introduction to the adventures of Pandora Zwieback and her monster-hunting mentor, Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin, with an 8-page story written by me and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia, and a preview of Pan’s first novel, Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1. Pan is a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets Annie that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world.

pan_annual_lgThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1: A spinoff from the novel series, this 56-page, full-color comic special finds the teenaged Goth adventuress battling vampires and a jealous, man-stealing siren. It features stories by me and Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up), art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld), and Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), and cover art by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella).

Heartstopper: The Legend of La Bella Tenebrosa: Long before she met Pan, Annie was the star of this short-lived, Mature Readers “bad girl” comic book miniseries published in the 1990s. Here you’ll find Annie doing a bit of research for an article about gentlemen’s clubs in Times Square—research that includes actually performing as an exotic dancer (I did say it was a ’90s comic, didn’t I?). It’s that part-time gig that brings her into contact with Corum de Sade, a heavy metal singer with a deadly secret: he’s a soul-devouring incubus! All three issues—written by me, with art by Uriel Caton (JSA Annual), Holly Golightly (School Bites), and David C. Matthews—are available for free from this very website, so download them today!

Lorelei: Sects and the CityLorelei: Sects and the City is a Mature Readers graphic novel in which Lori battles a cult of Elder God worshipers attempting to unleash hell on Earth. Basically a love letter to 1970s horror comics like Vampirella, Tomb of Dracula, and Ghost Rider, it’s written by yours truly, and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia (Vengeance of the Mummy, Lady Death), Steve Geiger (Web of Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk), and Neil Vokes (Flesh and Blood, Fright Night). It also features a cover by legendary artist Esteban Maroto (Vampirella, Zatanna, Lady Rawhide) and a frontispiece by original Vampirella artist Tom Sutton (Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night).

Lorelei Presents: House Macabre is Lori’s debut as the hostess of a horror anthology comic. Behind that eye-catching cover by bad-girl artist supreme Louis Small Jr. (Vampirella, Vampirella/Lady Death), you’ll find stories by me and Dwight Jon Zimmerman (Iron Man, Web of Spider-Man). Art is provided by Uriel Caton & “Chainsaw” Chuck Majewski (Heartstopper: The Legend of La Bella Tenebrosa), Lou Manna (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents), John Pierard (Graphic Classics: Horror Classics), and Juan Carlos Abraldes Rendo.

Heroines and Heroes is another free digital comic book. It’s a collection of stories (and a few pinups) that I’ve drawn over the years, featuring mainstream and indie comic characters that include the superheroic Blonde Avenger, the anthropomorphic Motorbike Puppies, the half-human/half-rabbit superspy Snowbuni, and my “legendary” Wonder Woman-meets-Harley Quinn three-page tale that was meant to be my entrée to fame and fortune as a DC Comics artist (it didn’t work out, though).

seadragon_lrg_cov_revThe Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special is a digital pirate-fantasy comic created and written by Richard C. White, coauthor of SWC’s supernatural-superhero graphic novel Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings. Drawn by Bill Bryan (artist of Caliber Press’ Dark Oz and DC Comics’ House of Mystery), and featuring cover art and color by Eliseu Gouveia (SWC’s The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual), it’s 48 pages of high-seas adventure perfect for fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, as well as classics like The Crimson Pirate, Against All Flags, Captain Blood, and The Sea Hawk—and it’s available for download for just 99¢!

troublshooters_lg_cover_revTroubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings is a general readers’ graphic novel about a group of supernatural-superheroes-for-hire taking on their first case. The team consists of a wizard, a female ninja, a sorceress, a werewolf, and a rock ’n’ roll lighting designer wearing high-tech armor. Sure, they might not be on a power level with the Avengers or Justice League of America—they’re more like superpowered Ghostbusters—but they get the job done. The graphic novel is written by the husband-and-white team of Richard C. White (Terra Incognito: A Guide to Building the Worlds of Your Imagination, For a Few Gold Pieces More: Tales of the Rogue With No Name) and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman.

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual, Lorelei: Sects and the City, Lorelei Presents: House Macabre, and Troubleshooters Incorporated are available in print and digital formats. Pandora Zwieback #0, Heartstopper, Heroines and Heroes, and Chronicles of the Sea Dragon are digital exclusives. Visit their respective product pages for ordering information, as well as sample pages.

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It’s Banned Books Week 2017!

Banned-logoGot a favorite book? Well, odds are good there’s someone out there in the United States who’d liked to see it censored. And that’s where Banned Books Week comes in—an annual celebration of literacy in which the spotlight is shone on the problem of censorship in U.S. libraries and bookstores. To quote the Banned Books Week website:

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries.

This year’s focus is on “the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees [American citizens’] inherent right to read.”

According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)…there was an alarming 17% increase in book censorship complaints in 2016. Since most challenges are not reported, the actual number is probably much higher. Even more disturbing, while only 10% of the titles reported to OIF are normally removed from the institutions receiving the challenges, half of the most frequently challenged books were actually banned last year.

Banned Books Week 2017 is happening right now, September 24 to September 30, so visit the BBW website for more information, including a list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016 that they’re celebrating this year.

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Happy Harley Quinn Day!

harley-quinn-dayFollowing an edict issued by DC Comics, today is officially Harley Quinn Day, which marks the 25th anniversary of the debut of the Joker’s equally psychotic girlfriend in Batman: The Animated Series. Cocreated by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and introduced in the September 1992 episode “Joker’s Favor,” Harley has risen through the ranks of super-villaindom to become DC’s answer to Deadpool, Marvel’s popular Merc With a Mouth. And, of course, there was actress Margot Robbie’s memorable portrayal of Harley in last year’s movie blockbuster Suicide Squad that introduced her to a whole new generation of fans.

So how can you celebrate this special date? Well, how about by downloading a free digital comic that’s only available right here, at StarWarp Concepts?

heroines_large_coverHeroines and Heroes is a collection of comic stories and pinups all drawn by me, dating back to my days in the early 1990s small-press movement—that age of dinosaurs in which creators like me used to make our comics by printing them out on photocopiers and then stapling them by hand. In H&H you’ll find mainstream heroes and small-press heroines, a couple of anthropomorphic bikers—and a certain member of the Justice League.

“V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N (in the Summertime)” is a three-page Wonder Woman vs. Harley Quinn story that I wrote and drew in the late ’90s as a sample for a DC Comics editor who thought I’d be a good fit for their Batman: The Animated Series comic (it didn’t work out). It’s followed by an adventure of small-presser Jeff Wood’s rabbit-eared superspy, Snowbuni; three pages from the long-canceled indie comic Motorbike Puppies; and an adventure of the indie superheroine The Blonde Avenger.

Heroines and Heroes is available for free download right now, so visit its product page for more information, including sample pages. It’s a small-press wonder!

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