Pandora Zwieback: Blood & Iron a Real Treat for Halloween

blood-and-iron-cvrThe wait is almost over!

She’s been shot at by vampires, killed by a fallen angel, come back from the dead, and nearly trampled in a zombie stampede for sweets, she’s maybe started to fall in love with a boy named Javier, and her mother’s been turned into a vampire, but teenaged Goth Pandora Zwieback has a whole new set of challenges facing her in the latest volume of her adventures: Blood & Iron: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 3!

When we last saw Pan, she, Javier, and their friend, the immortal, shape-shifting monster hunter named Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin, were trapped on a remote South Pacific island, and the fallen angel Zaqiel—not just Annie’s former lover, but the creature who had killed Pan and turned her mother vampiric—was leading an army of monsters to free his fellow bad angels. Could things possibly get any worse? Well, if you asked Pan, she’d probably say that’s a rhetorical question when it comes to her increasingly complicated life—and she’d be right!

Blood & Iron: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 3 is scheduled for release in late October, during the Halloween Countdown celebration we’ll be hosting all month long at this blog. Hey, what better treat for All Hallows’ Eve than curling up with the conclusion of Pan’s first literary adventure—the vampire war begun in the novels Blood Feud and Blood Reign?

Stay tuned for further information!

Happy 2017, Panatics!


Believe it, skeleton man—that’s what you get for sleeping through Christmas! Still, I hope Santa and the Krampus brought you—and you Panatics—everything you wished for (or wished on others…mu-ha-ha).

blood-and-iron-cvrTwo thousand seventeen promises to be a busy year for Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts, whose plans include—you guessed it!—the much-anticipated release of Blood & Iron: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 3 this October. It’s the conclusion of Pan’s first literary adventure, which began in the first novel, Blood Feud, and continued into Blood Reign, and pits Pan, her family, and her friends—including immortal monster hunter Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin—against the forces of monsterdom, who are led by the fallen angel Zaqiel—who’s also a former lover of Annie’s!

But starring in a new novel isn’t all that’s in store for Pan this year, and if you check out today’s post at the StarWarp Concepts blog, you’ll learn what SWC has in mind for our favorite Goth adventuress, as well as its other publishing plans. Head over there now and give it a read!

Sugar and Spice and Everything Goth

powerpuff-girlsHere’s something I forgot to post some months ago, but it’s a goofy enough image that I thought you might enjoy it. Or at least groan and roll your eyes at it!

Back in April of this year, when Cartoon Network was set to broadcast its revival of their popular animated series The Powerpuff Girls—about a trio of superpowered little girls created in a lab through the combination of “sugar and spice and everything nice” plus Chemical X—one of the promotional tools set up to get the word out was a website called Powerpuff Yourself (which is still active). The idea is that you create your own character from a selection of skin tones, hair colors, clothing, etc. and see what they would look like if they appeared in The Powerpuff Girls.

pandoraz-townsvilleWell, how could I resist?

So say hello to the Powerpuffed version of Pandora Zwieback, dropping by the city of Townsville (where the girls live) for a bit of cartoonish monster hunting. She’s accompanied by her pet cat, Vlad, who’s not interested in fighting monsters—but he wouldn’t mind fighting you for that last bit of food on your plate!

So…how hard did your eyes roll? 😀

Start Your Summer Reading Early


Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1 is the critically acclaimed novel that starts Pan’s story, explaining how she, her parents and friends, and her monster-hunting mentor, Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin, 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!

Visit the Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1 product page at Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts, for ordering information, as well as a free downloadable sample chapter.

Looking for a Different Kind of Comic?

pan_annualIt’s Comic Book Wednesday! Sure, you could head to your local comic shop and pick up the latest superhero slugfest, but why not check out a one-shot special of a different variety that critics loved?

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is a spinoff from the novel series, and this 56-page, full-color comic special finds the teenaged Goth adventuress battling vampires and a jealous, man-stealing siren. Behind that striking cover by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella), it features:

* “Song of the Siren,” written by me, with art and color by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), in which Pan and her boyfriend Javier attend one of his family’s picnics in Central Park, and run into Javi’s ex-girlfriend, Sophia—who turns out to be a mythological siren!

* “After Hours,” written by Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up) and illustrated by comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld). It tells the tale of a most unusual New York City bar—and the demon who walks into it after a hard day on the job.

* And “Shopping Maul,” a short story by me, with title page art and color by Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), in which Pan and her friends run afoul of a group of Elegant & Gothic Lolita vampires in a shopping maul.

And like I said, critics sure loved this comic:

“Roman demonstrates yet again his ability to write in the voice of a teenage girl without resorting to the petty whining and needless angst that seem to plague a lot of the female teenage characters in books today… I would readily and heartily recommend this comic to anybody.”Word of the Nerd

Roman mixes young adult fantasy with themes like ‘young love’ but also with equal parts of ‘female empowerment’ and lets Pandora be a real and true voice. The art by Eliseu Gouveia is just stellar and makes a perfect match for the main story.”Comics For Sinners

 “Pandora is so three-dimensional that you feel you’ve known her your entire life.”Krypto Dies!

Visit the Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 product page for ordering information and sample pages.

Welcome, Big Apple Con 2016 Attendees!

Thanks for stopping by the StarWarp Concepts table today, and for your interest in my Goth adventuress, Pandora Zwieback. If you’re here because you spoke with me, then click on the cover you see to the right and download the Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0 digital comic that I showed you. Not only is it an introduction to Pan and her world, hosted by Pan herself, but it contains two sample chapters from her first novel, Blood Feud. Give it a read.

blood_feudThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback is the young adult, dark-urban-fantasy novel series that I write. It’s the story of 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, in the first critically acclaimed novel, Blood Feud, 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. But before Pan can learn more about what she can do, she and her parents are drawn into a conflict between warring vampire clans that are 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.

Blood Feud is far and away one of the best young adult supernatural fantasy novels released in the last few years. Pan is exactly the kind of teen heroine that readers should be standing up and cheering for.”—Melissa Voelker,

“One of those fabulous books that manages to straddle the young adult/adult fiction divide, catering equally for teens and more, ahem, ‘mature’ readers alike with a light touch that makes it a joy to read.”—Kell Smurthwaite, BCF Book Reviews

Blood-Reign-FinalCvrPan’s debut adventure continues in the second novel, Blood Reign, in which she and Annie face challenges from not just vampires but legions of monsters led by a fallen angel—who happens to be one of Annie’s ex-lovers! Blood Feud ended on such a shocking cliffhanger that Blood Reign picks up right where the previous novel left off and hits the ground running, in a story filled with danger, high-speed car chases, vampire hit squads, and a generous helping of romance—all while Pan tries to make sense of her increasingly weird life. Pan fans (I call them “Panatics”) can’t seem to get enough of StarWarp Concepts’ resident Goth girl, so feel free to join their growing ranks—we love adding new members to Zwieback Nation.

“If Blood Feud, the first volume, took some deliberate pacing steps to build Pandora’s character, Blood Reign 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)… I thoroughly enjoyed this volume.”—Andrew Boylan, Taliesin Meets the Vampires

“If you thought the first book, Blood Feud, was high powered, you’ll love this book! To paraphrase movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn’s quote: Blood Reign starts with an earthquake and builds to a climax…. This was one fun read!”Dwight Jon Zimmerman, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Lincoln’s Last Days

pan_annualAlong with Blood Feud and Blood Reign, on sale right now is The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, which features two brand-new adventures (written by me) of Pan and her friends that are separate from the novels: a full-color comic story drawn by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), in which Pan and her boyfriend, Javier, run into one of his ex-girlfriends…whom Pan can see is really a mythological siren that can enrapture men with her voice; and a short story that pits Pan, Annie, and Javier against a trio of Elegant Gothic Lolita vampires—in a shopping mall! An additional backup tale, “After Hours,” is provided by DC Comics writer Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo! Team-Up, Action Comics, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and drawn by comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld).

Give the site a look-over—we’ve got plenty of free stuff you can download, and a gallery called “The 13 Days of Pan-demonium”: 13 unique drawings of Pan and Annie by a host of talented artists. And when you’re done, don’t forget to Like Pan’s Facebook page, so you can keep up-to-date with all the latest news.

A special shout-out to teen readers and Pandora Zwieback fans who are budding authors, but who may think their work isn’t all that good and worth continuing: Check out “Again, He Who Stalks”—a science-fiction story I wrote for my high school’s literary magazine when I was 16. Take a look at that and tell me you can’t do better! 😀

And speaking of short stories, there’s “Pandora Zwieback and the Bloggy Thing,” in which Pan is asked by a horror site to write a guest post for their blog, to promote her book series. I originally wrote it as a real-life guest post for a site called Writing Belle, and Panatics enjoyed the meta aspect of it.

And please keep in mind that Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts, is not just a YA fiction house. It also publishes illustrated classics (including J. Sheridan’s Le Fanu’s vampire romance Carmilla and Edgar Rice Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars); graphic novels for superhero fans and adult horror aficionados; digital and print comic books; artist sketchbooks; and writing guides. Give them a visit and check out all they have to offer.

Panatic Fan Art!

File this under The Things You Find on the Internet. Just for the hell of it, I was Google-image searching “Pandora Zwieback,” just to see what might come up that wasn’t officially released by Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts. And what did I find? The first piece of Pandora Zwieback fan art I’ve ever seen!


Nice, huh? I think the artist—who goes by the single title Rosario—did a fine job of depicting Pan taking on a werewolf. And why wouldn’t she fight a lycan? Those rings she wears make for a great set of makeshift brass knuckles!

Thanks, Rosario! I appreciate the artistic compliment.

Given the date on the piece, it stands to reason that Rosario was probably one of the many people who checked out the freebie comic The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0, which I handed out in print form in 2010 and 2011 before making it a digital exclusive (still free, of course).

You can get your own copy, too. Just click on the “Download Free Comic” link you see over in the sidebar, and then save the PDF to your device. Who knows? Maybe it’ll inspire you to create your own fan art!

Darth Zwieback: The Vampire Strikes Back

That’s right, Star Wars fans, today is the U.S. release date for Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens—the latest entry in the space-fantasy series that changed blockbuster movies forever. So, what’s an epic space opera got to do with Pandora Zwieback? Well, who better to be Dark Ladies of the Sith than a couple of Goth girls like Pan and her bestest friend, Sheena McCarthy—right? And with Marvel publishing blank “sketch covers” for its Star Wars titles, the Darth Vader #1 blank was, I thought, the perfect canvas for my latest “masterpiece”:



Surprised I’d try to tie in Pan to the biggest sci-fi movie franchise of all time? As a wise Muppet once said, “There is no try. Only do…or do not.” 😀 Also, I was in a drawing kind of mood, and once the sketch idea popped into my head I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see how Pan and Sheena would look in the Star Wars universe.

So, hey, Marvel, when do the girls get their own spin-off series…?