As you can see, I am in fact a real author. You can tell by the pipe and smoking jacket.

Hi, I’m Brian Jones, and I write stuff. Like, all the time. I love words. Also paragraphs and sentences. Oh, and punctuation. Love those things. They're great for telling stories, and I'm all about telling stories.

But as much as I love words, I have to confess: I’ve been unfaithful to them. You see, I also love pictures. My brain is inhabited by twin demons, both demanding that I create, and for most of my life I’ve acquiesced to the demon of drawing. So far I’ve been more successful as an illustrator, but now the demon of words demands satisfaction. I’ve tried to appease it by drawing comics, a dramatic visual medium that allows me to tell stories with pictures, but the Word Demon isn’t fooled.

I discovered I had a Word Demon when I was in middle school, and let me tell you, it was a shock. It was a demanding little bastard, too, and it had me writing all kinds of things. Mostly stories, though, ‘cuz if I hadn’t let them out, my head would've exploded. Over the following years I wrote a lot of short stories, just for the fun of it. I wrote bad song lyrics, which I tried to convince myself was poetry. I wrote unpublished opinion pieces, satire, stage show scripts and mad rants. I wrote gaming modules for D&D games. I wrote comedic scripts for jousting shows, back when my wife and I had a jousting performance troupe called the Warhorse Guild, and we found our performances were far more engaging when there was a story to them.

These days, I sometimes write political rants on Facebook when I’m feeling particularly annoyed by what I read in my newsfeed. But for the past few years (is twenty still considered a “few?”) I’ve been practicing writing the types of stories I most enjoy reading: fantasy novels. My first fantasy novel was called The Demon’s Honor. It was an epic fantasy about a baron’s daughter who makes an unholy bargain with a very unusual demon to help her rescue her father from the Imperial dungeons. I labored over that book for years, but even after five re-writes I decided it wasn’t good enough to publish and gave it up. It had potential, but my writing skills just weren’t up to it. I still had a lot to learn about writing a novel.

My second attempt at a fantasy novel was called The Shadow of the Necromancer. It was about halfway finished when my computer suffered a catastrophic crash, and I lost everything I’d written. I just didn’t have the heart to start over after that. Instead I began a graphic novel version of the story, but I ran out of momentum on that after a dozen pages. Perhaps I’ll return to that story some day.

My third fantasy novel was Fade the Thief. I had learned a lot from my first attempts, and right about this time I joined a local writer’s group. We critiqued each others’ work every week, and I learned a lot from them. Fade was a humorous action adventure tale of an urban thief in a high-fantasy city, a thief who robbed sorcerers. He didn’t use much magic himself, but he had a unique advantage; due to unlikely happenstance, Fade was haunted by his own ghost.

The book was coming along nicely, and I was well into it when I had a great idea for yet another novel, this time a modern urban fantasy that I called Charlatan: City Full of Ghosts. It was about a guy who makes his living pretending to banish ghosts from haunted houses. It was inspired by a ridiculous reality show called “Ghost Hunters,” and relied on a couple of tropes that the show had popularized. I decided if I was going to publish Charlatan before the show, and all its imitators, died away and those tropes were forgotten, I’d better get it written first. So I left Fade hanging and turned all my attention to Charlatan, and in just two short years, it was finished. Too late, of course, as the Ghost Hunter reality shows hadn’t lasted that long. Still, I thought Charlatan turned out well, despite references to TV tropes that no longer existed.

I began submitting Charlatan to publishers, a glacial process. I don’t know if you know this, but most publishing houses require that when you submit to them, you’re not allowed to submit to any other publisher for six months. I guess they don’t want to find themselves in the uncomfortable position of liking your story, then being told someone else was quicker on the uptake. So, instead, the author sits on his thumbs for half a year, waiting to hear back from that one publisher. At the end of the six-month period, if you’re lucky, they might send you a boilerplate rejection letter. Only then were you free to submit to another publishing house.

Years went by, in six-month increments. Meanwhile, I went back and finished writing Fade the Thief. Then I started submitting that, once every six months.

I’m not a young man. I’ve begun my career as a novelist late in life. At this rate I’ll be dead before my career gets off the ground. And so it is that I’ve decided to self-publish.

I’m fully aware of the downside of this approach. Being successful as a self-published author is almost entirely dependent on self-promotion, an enterprise at which I suck tremendously. I could never sing my own praises as a free-lance illustrator, and I expect it will be the same here. Self-promotion goes against my nature; my inclination is to do my best work, then step modestly back and let the work speak for itself. Which it will do only if someone actually reads it. Which no one will do if I don’t promote it.

I’m also not especially good at social media. I’ve been on Facebook for years, but I’ve always taken the word “friend” literally, and only friended people I actually know. I have a Twitter account too, but I don’t think I’m using it correctly. It seems to be a platform for celebrities to toss crumbs of attention to their armies of fanboys, and I’ve never been inclined toward fandom. I’ve heard there’s supposed to be more to it, so I guess I won’t give up on it just yet.

But in the meantime, I can’t seem to stop writing (Curse you, Writing Demon!). I’ve got five more novels I’m working on, each very different from the others, and I add to them when inspiration hits me.

“Ass Goblins From Outer Space” (working title) is a quirky, action-packed adventure with a competent, two-fisted ex-marine hero up against subterranean aliens intent on enslaving the human race, inspired by my favorite space-opera author, Keith Laumer. It’s coming along nicely.

“Lenore” (also a working title) is as different as it could be, an episodic comedy in the form of a journal written by a thirteen-year-old girl. Lenore’s family immigrated to America after angry villagers burned down their ancestral mansion in Rumania. Now they live with Lenore’s mad uncle Fedore in a Victorian house in the ‘burbs, with an infernal portal in the basement, ghosts and invisible demons roaming the halls, and a giant undead hound in the yard that Lenore is not allowed to bring to school ever again.

“Incubus” is a semi-romantic supernatural fantasy with a strong erotic bent. The vampires in Los Angeles are up to something, and John, a guilt-wracked 150-year-old Incubus, is going to get to the bottom of it. He will have to team up with a female mage, an investigator for a secret international monster-control organization, and the only woman immune to his supernatural power of seduction.

“Jance the Assassin” is the tale of a lowly vore-catcher who lives in a city so far underground that no one’s ever even heard of skies or sunlight. Sometimes, Jance dreams he is a deadly assassin, sneaking about and killing powerful sorcerous nobles with supernatural skill. When he wakes from one of these dreams with a real wound, he begins to suspect someone is using his body for assassination while he sleeps. What’s more, sorcerous imperial investigators are closing in on him. It’s a mystery he’ll have to solve quickly if he hopes to survive.

“Being an Ultravillain” tells the story of Luthor Brindlestern, The Necromancer. Luthor is an ultravillain, and the ultraheroes are coming for him. Luthor drains the life from other murderous ultravillains, then uses that life to save dying patients in the hospital. He believes what he does is a good thing, but the heroes don’t agree. When he learns how corrupt the heroes are, he adds them to his list.

So you can expect those to pop out of the pipe pretty soon. If you’re interested in my comics projects, you can read them for free right here on the site. Just go back to the top of the page and click on "Crylock's Comics." There's also a blog up there, if you're really bored.

So hey, thanks for caring enough to read all this! My demons and I appreciate it!

-Brian Jones

Hey, I'm a real person with a life and stuff!

Yup. So right here is where there would be some candid photos of me going places and doing things, having fun, hanging out with friends, eating and drinking in public and interacting with other people. Yeah. That's what I'd be doing. Sigh.

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Amet nullam fringilla nibh nulla convallis tique ante proin sociis accumsan lobortis. Auctor etiam porttitor phasellus tempus cubilia ultrices tempor sagittis. Nisl fermentum consequat integer interdum.