Had various communications with the publisher about my new novella project. Just routine matters like whether there's going to be an about the author page and a few housekeeping matters. I'm looking forward to seeing it. One thing I noticed in my bio is I've written over 100 short stories. Actually, I crossed that milestone quite a few years ago. I've shifted to longer works and I've done more editing, but my output is way down. I used to really crank out stories--not so much these days. Of course there used to be a whole lot of magazines that published regularly. Not so any more. The number of markets, mostly anthologies, has really shrunk. There are just not as many places to send short fiction to.
I digress, "The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung" is a novella, that's a short novel in author speak, is a story about some of Ling Fung's adventures in America and a little bit about some things he did in China. He's not the first Chinese character I've used. In my Miles O'Malley novels, Miles' friend Wing Ding also tries to make it in America. But, thus far, Miles and Ling Fung have not crossed paths. Although a mutual villain, Ah Puch, appears in both stories. Ah Puch is a Mayan god of death who's decided he likes 1880s California and wants to rule it for himself. Both Miles and Ling Fung end up, reluctantly, taking him on.
In the Two Devils [now reprinted in The Devil Draws Two] Miles goes after Ah Puch and meets some interesting people along the way. One of them is a very sexy fallen angel named Mabel. Mabel, I just love her. I've never seen a character like her. She lives in hell and comes along now and then to entertain herself with Miles. I rarely talk about her and she's not mentioned in reviews because she's kind of back story. Described as a stunning redhead, she can pretty much charm poor Miles into doing whatever she wants. And Miles knows she's manipulating him and doesn't care. He's a guy. Still, Mabel never really hurts him and is becoming a more irresistible character on her own. I've been writing some stories about her as a much more expanded character. If I can find some markets, my readers [both of you] may soon see more Mabel in action.
To counter Mabel, I also have Buffy. While Mabel may seem like an 1800s name, Buffy may not. Buffy is a real angel. She lives in heaven and is not a fallen angel, but the real deal. She also likes Miles, although would never have physical relations with a mortal the way Mabel shamelessly does. So, this is a little different type of weird western and even I don't know how it's going to turn out. But the Mabel stories are turning into a lot of fun. I know weird westerns don't generate the sales other types of speculative fiction do, but they sure are fun. Stay tuned.