Happy World Goth Day!

world-goth-posterNow celebrating its sixth anniversary, World Goth Day (always held on May 22) puts a spotlight on Goth culture and all its perks (it’s not all about black clothes and clichéd dour attitudes, you know). To quote the official website:

Goth Day is exactly what it says on the wrapper—a day where the Goth scene gets to celebrate its own being, and an opportunity to make its presence known to the rest of the world. It all started off as “Goth Day” just in the UK back in 2009—originating as a musical subculture weekend on the BBC 6 music station which focused on punk, Brit-pop and Goth (the Goth feature was on May 22)—but the following year we decided to push the idea across the globe.

For more information on World Goth Day, including links to the many events being held to celebrate the occasion, visit the WGD website.

Hoover_PandoraAnd who better to celebrate World Goth Day than our resident Goth adventuress, Pandora Zwieback? Generally a happy Goth (yes, they exist) and major horror fangirl who likes to paint and write and hang out with her friends and her new boyfriend, Javier Maldonado, Pan also has her hands full these days battling monsters in her novel series The Saga of Pandora Zwieback—written by yours truly. And you can check out her adventures in these titles:

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

“Pandora Zwieback and the Bloggy Thing”: A 1,300-word mini-adventure at the site Writing Belle that involves Pan racking her brains to find something to write about herself for the fictional horror site The Society of Classic Monsters—the major problem being she’s never written a guest post before. Coming to her aid is her best friend, Sheena McCarthy, who has an idea or two about how the Goth adventuress can promote the books. Think of it as a sequel to The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0.

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 her friends, 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 faces even greater challenges as the 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 Pan’s monster-hunting mentor, Annie—who, back in the day, was Zaqiel’s lover!

The 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).

Blood Feud, Blood Reign, and the Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual are available in both print and e-book formats. Visit each of the titles’ product pages for more information, including sales links and sample pages and chapters.

Pandora Zwieback Mini-Story at Writing Belle

Blood-Reign-FinalCvrThe promotional tour for Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2 continues today at author Summer Lane’s site Writing Belle, where as part of her Spring Author Program, you’ll find a guest blog post from author Steven A. Roman (that’s me) in the form of a (very) short story about Pan being asked to write a guest post for a horror site’s blog, to promote the book series about her. How meta can you get?!

“Pandora Zwieback and the Bloggy Thing” is a 1,300-word mini-adventure that involves Pan racking her brains to find something to write about herself for the fictional horror site The Society of Classic Monsters—the major problem being she’s never written a guest post before (like her creator!). Coming to her aid is her best friend, Sheena McCarthy, who has an idea or two about how the Goth adventuress can promote the books. Think of it as a sequel to the non-canonical The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0, the free digital comic in which Pan introduces herself to the reader and shills for the first novel, Blood Feud. In this marketing “splinter universe,” Pan is very much aware that I’m writing books about her—because StarWarp Concepts is paying her royalties for her monster-fighting life story! So head over to Writing Belle and check out her latest effort to help spread the word.

Speaking of promos for The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, over at my Goodreads author page I’ve activated the “Ask the Author” function. So if you’re a Goodreads member and you’ve got a question about Pan’s saga, Lorelei: Sects and the City, X-Men: The Chaos Engine Trilogy, Final Destination: Dead Man’s Hand, or any of the other projects I’ve written over the years, head over there now and ask away!

Happy Children’s Book Week!

cbw_2015_posterIn case you hadn’t heard, this week marks the 96th anniversary of Children’s Book Week, the longest-running national literacy initiative in the USA. Events are being held all around the country to encourage young readers of all ages (that includes you teenagers out there) to either discover the joys of reading, or reintroduce you to them.

Speaking of books for teen readers, have you met Pandora Zwieback, star of my young adult novel 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 a shape-shifting monster hunter named Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin 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.

blood_feud_largeBlood 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 her friends, 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 faces even greater challenges as the 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 Pan’s monster-hunting mentor, Annie—who, back in the day, was Zaqiel’s lover!

And for lovers of illustrated fiction (in other words, comics and stuff), we have a collection of titles you might be interested in:

pan_annualSnow White: StarWarp Concepts’ presentation of the classic story by the Brothers Grimm features full-color illustrations first published in 1883 (and they really are beautiful drawings), and is available for immediate download for the low price of just 99¢!

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0: A free, downloadable comic that serves as an introduction to both Pan—with an 8-page story written by me and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia—and her first novel, Blood Feud (via a preview chapter).

The 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).

troubleshooters_lrg_coverTroubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings: Perfect for superhero fans, this graphic novel is about a supernatural team of superfolk-for-hire, consisting of a wizard, a sorceress, a female ninja, a high-tech-armor-wearing rock concert lighting designer, and a werewolf. Written by the husband-and-wife team of Richard C. White (The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special) and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman, Night Stalkings presents the TSI members on their first mission: protecting a multimillionaire from a trio of Middle Eastern demons out to raise a little hell!

The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special: Available for just 99¢, this 48-page one-shot stars the mysterious Captain Asheera, his elven first mate, Safir, and the rest of the crew of the privateer Sea Dragon in a rousing, swashbuckling adventure perfect for fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise and other classic sea-faring epics. Written by Richard C. White (Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings), with art by Bill Bryan (House of Mystery, Dark Oz), the special features cover art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback).

Snow White, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0, and The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special are digital-exclusive titles, but the Pandora Zwieback novels and annual, along with Troubleshooters, Incorporated, are available in both print and digital formats. Visit each of the titles’ product pages for more information, including sales links and sample pages and chapters.

Happy Birthday, Alex Nino!

Today, comic artist supreme Alex Nino turns 75. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, then do yourself a favor and check out his website for some of his amazing art. His most recent projects included Image Comics’ zombies-on-the-high-seas miniseries Dead Ahead (the first-issue cover is reproduced here) and Bliss on Tap’s metaphysical series God the Dyslexic Dog, but his long list of credits include comics for Marvel (Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian, Power Man) and DC (Thriller, House of Mystery) and design work on the animated series The Real Ghostbusters, and the Disney animated features Mulan, Treasure Planet, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

dead-ahead-2008And if you head over to the StarWarp Concepts blog, I have a two-part post—one that appeared yesterday, one that’s up today—that covers the time when Alex and I worked on the graphic novel Sunn, about a teenaged boy with superpowers inherited from his Superman-like father. The twists involved were that the boy was a huge manga fan whose costume is somewhat demonic-looking (based on Japanese oni); that the guy writing the book (me) wasn’t a manga fan; and that Alex, a Filipino artist with decades of credits to his name, was asked to draw in a manga-esque style! Head over to the SWC blog and see how it all turned out.

Happy birthday, Alex!

IndyFest Magazine Shines Spotlight on StarWarp Concepts

IndyFestThis just in: It’s been confirmed that StarWarp Concepts—publishing home of The Saga of Pandora Zwieback and a host of other great novels, graphic novels, and comic books—will be the cover feature of IndyFest Magazine #85, coming this June!

IndyFest is a monthly celebration of independent creators in various media, such as comics, novels, children’s books, music, painting, and film—and now it’s SWC’s turn to get some attention, courtesy of Managing Editor Ellen Fleischer, who’ll be interviewing me about The ’Warp and its inner workings.

And to make this a really special occasion, I’ve commissioned Eliseu Gouveia—artist of The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, and Lorelei: Sects and the City—to provide an all-new cover illustration of Pan, her monster-hunting mentor, Annie, and Lorelei! Stay tuned for more details!

Blood Reign: Author Steven A. Roman Interview at Smashwords

Blood-Reign-FinalCvrThe promotional tour for Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2 continues at the site of digital book distributor Smashwords, with an interview with author Steven A. Roman (that’s me). That’s where you’ll find me discussing Pan’s adventures, as well as topics like the benefits of being an indie author and publisher, my favorite books, and what’s my greatest joy as a writer.

Smashwords is the company through which StarWarp Concepts makes Blood Reign and its preceding volume, Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1, available for sale through iTunes, Kobo, Scribd, and Oyster Books (as well as at Smashwords itself). Head on over to Smashwords and give the interview a read.

And in case you hadn’t heard the news, Smashwords isn’t the only place you’ll find me chatting about my work. Over at my Goodreads author page I’ve activated the “Ask the Author” function. So if you’re a Goodreads member and you’ve got a question about The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, X-Men: The Chaos Engine Trilogy, or any of the other projects I’ve written over the years, head over there now and ask away!

Happy Birthday to the Late, Great Tom Sutton

Today, monster lover and horror artist supreme Tom Sutton, who passed away in 2002, would have turned 78. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, let me tell you, the man was one of the kings of horror art, especially in the 1960s and ’70s: the original artist of Vampirella; artist for Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider, Werewolf by Night, Godzilla, and Man-Thing, as well as the one issue of Marvel Premiere that starred Alice Cooper; and the writer/artist of many original stories—as well as occasional cover painter—for Charlton Comics (some recently reprinted in the collection Tom Sutton’s Creepy Things), and adaptations of H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe stories for other publishers.

marvel-premiere-50

And if you head over to the StarWarp Concepts blog, today’s post details some of the interactions I had with Tom, including one of the last projects he worked on before his death. As the saying goes, the guy was a real character—and that’s part of what made him so awesome.

Happy birthday, Tom!

Author Steven A. Roman on Sci-Fi Saturday Night This Weekend

scifi-satnite-brainA special programming reminder: This Saturday, April 18, I’ll be appearing on the popular podcast series Sci-Fi Saturday Night. It’s not a live event, though—we’ll be taping the show on Wednesday night for broadcast on Saturday. Showrunner The Dome and his crew of pop-culture lovers will be interviewing me about Pan’s latest adventure, Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback: Book 2, and probably a few other topics as well. Don’t miss it!

In case you’re interested in hearing my previous appearance, which took place back in December 2011 to promote Blood Feud, the first Pandora Zwieback novel, you can check it out by visiting the Sci-Fi Saturday Night website and downloading it from right here. I come in along the thirty-minute mark. And then be sure to tune in on April 18, 2015 for my triumphant return!

And in case you hadn’t heard the news, over at my Goodreads author page I’ve activated the “Ask the Author” function. So if you’re a Goodreads member and you’ve got questions of your own about The Saga of Pandora Zwieback or any of the other projects I’ve written over the years, head over there now and ask away!

Taliesin Meets the Goth Loli Vampires for Blood Reign Review

Blood-Reign-FinalCvrThe first review has come in for Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2—and naturally it’s a positive one! Over at the vampire-centric site Taliesin Meets the Vampires, reviewer and site owner Andrew Boylan—who also gave a glowing review to Blood Feud, the first novel in the series—shares his opinion of Pan’s latest adventure:

“If the first volume took some deliberate pacing steps to build Pandora’s character, this volume eschews that as it thunders along at breakneck speed, barely pausing for breath at any given time (and, I must say, the volume was devoured at speed as well). The book doesn’t suffer for this…I thoroughly enjoyed this volume.”

You can read the entire review here.

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with this project (and if you are, how did you wind up at this site? :D ), The Saga of Pandora Zwieback is my young adult, dark-urban-fantasy novel series, starring 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 a shape-shifting monster hunter named Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin 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.

Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1 is the beginning of Pan’s story, explaining how she, her parents, and her friends, 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 faces even greater challenges as the 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 Pan’s monster-hunting mentor, Annie—who, back in the day, was Zaqiel’s lover!

Visit each of the titles’ product pages for more information, including sales links and sample chapters.

StarWarp Concepts to Attend NY’s Walker Stalker Con 2015

walker-stalker-con posterThe latest edition of New York and New Jersey’s zombie-tastic Walker Stalker Con returns to New Jersey’s Meadowlands this December, and StarWarp Concepts will be making its debut appearance there!

A spin-off of the popular Walker Stalkers Podcast, this mega-con franchise—with stops in Atlanta, Boston, and other major cities—mainly celebrates the shambling pop-culture juggernaut known as The Walking Dead, but it’s also a gathering spot for horror fans of all types. And with Blood Reign: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 2 and Lorelei Presents: House Macabre released this year, it sounds like the perfect venue to introduce horror aficionados to the magic of SWC’s other titles. And wait’ll they find out that among the dangers Pan faces in Blood Reign is an attack by a zombie horde—only these ravenous monsters are addicted to sweets!

Walker Stalker Con takes place at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, in Secaucus, NJ, from Friday, December 4, to Sunday, December 6. As always, look for the distinctive Pandora Zwieback banner. For more information, including travel directions and ticket purchases, visit the Walker Stalker Con website. I won’t know the location of the SWC booth until we get closer to the event, but when I find out, so will you.

Hope to see you there!