The Official Kyle B. Stiff Update

Hey everyone, thought I’d give you an update. I’m sure the few but formidable fans of Demonworld and Heavy Metal Thunder are wondering when the next book is coming out. These days I’ve started the process (once again) of finding an agent. I have to accept that I’m not very good at self-promotion, so self-publishing is never going to take off for me. I need the hideous strength of the established world of publishing. Instead of fighting for one reader here and one reader there, I need books with nice covers spewing out of giant bookstores where people can’t even get in the door without being assaulted by posters and displays telling them that buying Demonworld is not a choice, but a necessity. That’s our path to victory, readers.

synthwave wasteland

But to get there, I need an agent. It’s been a while since I took part in the cycle of looking / finding / submitting / being rejected, so things have changed. I have to admit… agents have gotten weird. Sorry, but it’s true. Back in the day, they used to say, “I publish science fiction. Send your manuscript to this address” or “I publish literature, here’s where I can be found.” These days, there’s a bit more dictation up front. The modern day superagent wants to find “the next big thing” rather than the next great read, and they’re getting specific. “I would love to receive a manuscript about a reluctant space pirate with a wise-cracking dog in a wheelchair!” or “Writers, I’m looking for a superhero zombie story with a sarcastic granny and a gay Vietnamese good-guy serial killer. Also must be reminiscent of Breaking Bad.” Uh… I’ve got six Demonworld books that readers seem to like, how’s that sound? No? Okay – see you later!

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As you can see, it’s a little frustrating. Obviously they want the humorous, quirky, short-lived cash cow, but I think it’s the dark stuff, the complicated and tragic tales, that endure. Lots of readers agree. Nobody ever read Game of Thrones or Stephen King or Dune or Wool or Joe Abercrombie because they wanted a light-hearted romp. Lots of readers want to see characters pushed beyond their limits. They don’t want the sitcom version of Tolkien. They want something that can grow with them.

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But I’m rambling. Basically I have to find an agent who believes in Demonworld just as much as I do, just as much as my readers do. Any help would be appreciated… maybe a collection of signatures? I don’t know. Like I said, I’m bad at this.

hmt promo stuff

But there’s only one path to victory, dear readers… and that path is guarded by the agents.

Don’t forget, the first Demonworld book is still free if you click here!

 

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4 responses to “The Official Kyle B. Stiff Update

    • Hi Cris! Apparently I’m the worst at planning what’s coming out when, so I don’t want to even guess at a date. Right now I’m wrapping up the third Heavy Metal Thunder book, but after that, I’ll jump back into Demonworld. Book Seven is already planned out. It’s going to end up as long as Book Six, so it’ll be a beast.

      There was a huge delay between the fifth and sixth books, but it won’t be like with the next one, so don’t worry about that. I’ve gotten really good at figuring out ways to write at my day job, so no matter what I’m doing, I make progress every day.

      Thanks for the support, Cris! Leave some short reviews on Amazon if you feel like it! Keep believing in Demonworld because soon Demonworld Book Seven: THE DEMON WAR will be available!

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  1. I loved the Heavy Metal Thunder series book 1 and I just purchased the second one. I have always wanted to read this type of book and I loved it! I don’t know how the story ends as I just started reading it but I was wondering if there is going to be a third book. Also I was wondering if you could recommend similar books that are in the same format as yours were. I am having trouble finding anything like it where the reader (me) gains stats and abilities that carry over from book to book.

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    • Hello Thomas, so glad you’re enjoying HMT! And yes, I’m working on the third book right now… Slaughter at Masada!

      It’s so cool that you’re getting into gamebooks. It’s definitely a niche interest. I wish there were a lot more available, but I can definitely point you in the right direction. One thing that’s helping gamebooks make a comeback is the app market. If you have a smartphone, it will broaden your horizons a lot. First, anything made by Cubus Games is going to be great, and no, I’m not just saying that because they make Heavy Metal Thunder apps. I got to know the guys at Cubus when they were just a bunch of dreamers. They worked hard to get where they are. When they started on the first HMT app, I really didn’t know what to expect. They blew me away with their professional execution; the art, music, presentation, gameplay, it’s all top-notch. Check them out at http://www.cubusgames.com if you haven’t already.

      I grew up reading gamebooks, and the series that influenced me the most was Lone Wolf by Joe Dever. I have no idea how hard they would be to find and buy, but if you have the means, I can’t recommend Lone Wolf enough. It’s very similar to HMT in that you play as the same character over the entire series. There’s always one ending (well, besides the death endings), but how you get there is up to you. Plus the story is great. You play as Lone Wolf, a warrior monk (a “kai lord”) in a sort of magical medieval world. Some truly scary assholes called the Dark Lords go to war with your homeland and massacre all of your comrades. You’re alone in a scary world and have to learn how to survive and fight the dark lords. It’s so good.

      Also, anything by Dave Morris is always really creative and fun and a good read. He wrote a lot back in the day, and he has an app with Cubus Games. Heart of Ice is one of my favorite books by him, but you can trust anything by him.

      Like me, Jeffrey Dean is a new contender, but he makes good stuff too. He even makes his own apps, which is really astounding. I mean, it seems so unfair that someone should be blessed with writing skills AND the ability to code! But you should look him up. He’s a great writer and a great guy, too.

      Also, I’ll tell you about another series that a lot of people like, but I’m kind of ashamed to say that I’m not a big fan. Just thought I’d put it out there because so many people love this series – it’s called Fabled Lands. The premise is really cool. It’s all open-world. There are twelve books, and as you journey from place to place, you can hop from one book to another, in no particular order, and even return to books you’ve already been to. You travel through a magical world and do whatever you want: Get into fights, become a trader, learn magic, explore, get lost, ride around in a ship, or whatever. I like the idea but I have to say… and this might make me sound like a huge wimp… but the books are too hard! Anytime I started to get a little stronger, a disaster would happen to wipe out my gear, burn my house down, lower my stats, or even kill me over and over. It’s a little too much like real life for me to really enjoy it!

      A lot of people also like the Tin Man Games apps. Some of them are pretty good, but their presentation is a lot more simpler than the epics made by Cubus Games. However, Lloyd Stuart wrote one of them, and it’s worth checking out. Anyone who writes gamebooks knows the name of Lloyd Stuart. He’s done more than any other human being to help popularize gamebooks and help them make a comeback, plus he’s just a great guy all around. When I was a kid, there were a ton of gamebooks available, and then they all just disappeared. Lloyd tirelessly fights to help bring them back, so he deserves a seat at Valhalla for that.

      Anyway, I hope this helps. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the books. And whenever you’re in the mood for a non-gamebook read, consider checking out my Demonworld series. The first one’s free on kindle. I love working on it just as much as HMT, and there are already six books available, so you won’t have to wait as long between installments! Anyway, thanks for commenting, and good luck in all you do!

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