FAQ: The Blackfire Series

If there was one question I got on the Fall Deathmarch more than any other, it was, "When do we get the next Sara Harvey novel?"

This is meta-funny, since the real Sara Harvey has written a marvelous novel called Music City and you should all go buy it. But they're asking about the Blackfire series, the books I've written about the fictional Major Sara Harvey, leader of a paramilitary crew of supernatural-critter-fighters.

(Note: I need some help on this side point. Sara Harvey was a U.S. Marine before she was recruited into Blackfire. Always diligent with research, I asked several real Marines who told me you never say "ex-Marine" unless the officer in question was kicked out; once a Marine, always a Marine. The proper term for one no longer on active duty is "former Marine," they told me. But after a panel at ... um, somewhere, can't remember which time zone ... a Marine came up and told me even "former Marine" doesn't exist. Now I'm in trouble, because if I just say "Marine," the reader thinks she's still in the service, and she works for Blackfire. Help!)

For those joining our program already in progress: The Cold Ones was a novella following Harvey and her crew as they attempt to stop a zombie outbreak in progress, with flashbacks to previous adventures fighting (among others) a British redcap, a Philippine aswang and a critter of my own devising.

It began life as part of an anthology of novellas, focusing on traditional monsters written in nontraditional ways. By the time I finished it, the anthology had been canceled, and eventually another publisher picked it up.

It sold out the whole print run in 48 hours. That was a good weekend. By the end of the convention, the publisher had ordered a sequel.

Oops. I'd killed off most of the cast. Time to get creative. Thus was born Blackfire, which deals with the aftermath of The Cold Ones, introduces some new characters and some of them even make it to the end. Like the first book, Blackfire focuses on one troublesome case, with flashbacks to previous adventures. Featured this time: a springheel, an Incan demon, a Brazilian kuru-pira, a vrees demon, Tanzanian popobawa and other critters from my endless fascination with monsters from many mythologies. It was delightful fun, spinning the story in new directions, and structured as part two of a trilogy.

I had the rough outline worked out for part three when the publisher went out of business. This was a bit of an issue, since Blackfire ended on a cliffhanger. The rights reverted to me last year, and all this year I have been selling off the last of my print stock for The Cold Ones and Blackfire.

The next book? The vampires came first, and they were beautifully packaged into a compendium release by Seventh Star Press. You might've heard of it. But a compendium release for the Blackfire series is on my docket as well, combining both books and the third, unpublished story, completing the trilogy.

I know how it ends, I know how it ends... and don't bother torturing Jimmy, I haven't even told him. Muahahahahaha.

For the record, we are totally sold out of The Cold Ones, though I believe there are still copies available at some bookstores, including BSR Books, Afterwords Books and The Book Loft in Columbus, to name a few. I still have a dozen or so Blackfire copies, and for anyone who purchases Blackfire from me, I am offering a free ebook of The Cold Ones until my supply runs out.

When does the next book come out? I suppose that depends on you. And, y'know, a publisher, my Muse, time to write it and make it good... but nah, mostly you guys. Readers ask, and I try to provide.

Except Sanctuary. That book's gotta sit in the corner and think about what it's done.