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NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

Earlier this year, when we featured Blood Blade by Marcus Pelegrimas, I – and many of you – were blown away at how entertaining this story was. Publishers Weekly called Blood Blade a "campy, action-packed paranormal debut" with "plenty of cinematic gore and wisecracks [that] will keep readers coming back for future installments." (If you want to read the complete thread, which includes an author visit from the man himself, it's here – http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Paranormal-Urban-Fantasy/MARCH-FEATURE-2-Blood-Blade-by-Marcu....)

 

Well, after a frustratingly long 10-month wait, now we finally have the second novel in his Skinners saga, Howling Legion!

 

And to make the month even better, Marcus will be popping in throughout the month to answer any questions and reply to any comments so please feel free to post your thoughts!

 

Paul

 

Cover Image

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

Thanks for having me on the board again, Paul. I'll be checking in as much as possible. Hopefully, HOWLING LEGION was worth that frustrating wait.

"The skulls...the bodies...you give it all such a glow. I don't know if it's art, but I like it!"
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

Whoopie!!  I picked up this book on the weekend!  :-D

My name is Teresa, and I'm a bookaholic
Current book(s): The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison (The Hollows #12)
Just finished: Black Arts by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #7)
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

[ Edited ]

Hopefully you guys are enjoying the new book. If you come up with anything for me, let 'er rip! I'm anxious to see how the folks who read the first one like the transition into the second. For that matter, if anyone here hadn't read the first one but reads this one, I'd like to know about that too. This series definitely progresses from book to book, but I'm trying to write it so each one can be enjoyed separately.

 

I'll sit back and let you read.....Whoa!! I just noticed the picture on my little icon thingie. Deluxe!!

"The skulls...the bodies...you give it all such a glow. I don't know if it's art, but I like it!"
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LordRuthven
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

[ Edited ]

It's that dude Marcus who looks like me!

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paulgoatallen
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas


M_Pelegrimas wrote:Whoa!! I just noticed the picture on my little icon thingie. Deluxe!!
You're tha man, Marcus.

Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas


LordRuthven wrote:

It's that dude Marcus who looks like me!


 

Yeah, we of the awesomely shaved head and whiskered chin need to stick together.

"The skulls...the bodies...you give it all such a glow. I don't know if it's art, but I like it!"
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas


M_Pelegrimas wrote:

LordRuthven wrote:

It's that dude Marcus who looks like me!


 

Yeah, we of the awesomely shaved head and whiskered chin need to stick together.


QFT.
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

Of course we'll also have to add Brian Keene to that collective.

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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

Wow, it's really quiet here this time around. Should I take it as a bad sign that we've only had a few comments about being bald?

"The skulls...the bodies...you give it all such a glow. I don't know if it's art, but I like it!"
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

Marcus:

I'm reading Howling Legion right now. It got pushed back a little for me because I had to fit in Eoin Colfer's And Another  Thing... asap. But don't worry, the same thing happened with Ken Scholes last month in F/SF – the first week was dead but then suddenly people started posting like crazy. I'll have my review of Howling Legion as well as assorted questions for you soon!

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

Aw, no worries Marcus!  :-)  It's next on my list!!  Should be reading it next week...  :-D

My name is Teresa, and I'm a bookaholic
Current book(s): The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison (The Hollows #12)
Just finished: Black Arts by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #7)
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

Well, I'm almost done... and I'm impressed on a number of levels. This novel has not only reminded me of why I love paranormal fantasy but also of why it's so important for writers, publishers, cover artists, etc. to avoid the cliche pitfalls of this burgeoning genre...

 

More in a few!

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

Okay, for those of you who were around when we featured Blood Blade, much of this will sound familiar but for all those who are new to Marcus' Skinners saga, here are my comments, in no particular order:

 

• Paranormal fantasy, at its core, is about literary escapism. Entertainment. Marcus' novels are just that – filled with nonstop action, an ensemble cast of great characters, cool monsters...  Hey, it ain't rocket science! Reading these skinnrs novels is like being immersed in an ultra-realistic video game. And by that I mean as a reader you're always "on your toes." There really isn't any place in Howling Legion where the action flags – it's pedal-to-the-metal from the first page to the last.

 

• So much of the paranormal fantasy (or urban fantasy, if you wish) being released today features major romantic elements. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But with that romantic element comes more than a few cliches – the budding steamy relationship, the tough but sexy female protagonist (wearing leather, of course), the comedic supernatural sidekick, etc. Marcus stays away from the "formula" of some paranormal fantasy and in some cases seems to poke fun at the conventions. The skinners covers, for me, speak volumes – on the Howling Legions cover, Paige could've been portrayed in a much more sexual (ie: exploitive) manner but instead she's visualized true to her character – a butt-kicking monster hunter. And Cole is in the background, symbolizing to me the dual focus on the lead characters in the saga. The covers convey what the books are all about – gritty, gruesome literary fun.

 

Marcus:

• When exactly is Teeth of Beasts being released? And how many books do you have planned for this series?

 

• C'mon. admit it. You are Cole Warnecki.

 

• HBO struck gold with Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse saga.  I've heard that here's a Laurell K. Hamilton Anita Blake movie in production. Disney is close to doing something with Adrian Phoenix's Maker's song novels. In my humble opinion, your Skinners saga would be yet another perfect paranormal fantasy to either make a television show or movie out of. Have you been approached by anyone with any offers? If not, it's only a matter of time...

 

• Are you a big reader of paranormal fantasy? Horror? What's he last book you read?

 

• Do you own an unopened 12-inch, fully posable Boba Fett figurine?

 

More questions to come, Marcus, after I hear back from you. Congrats on another fantastic installment in your series!

 

Paul

 

 

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas


paulgoatallen wrote:

 

 The covers convey what the books are all about – gritty, gruesome literary fun.

 

Marcus:

• When exactly is Teeth of Beasts being released? And how many books do you have planned for this series?

 

• C'mon. admit it. You are Cole Warnecki.

 

• HBO struck gold with Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse saga.  I've heard that here's a Laurell K. Hamilton Anita Blake movie in production. Disney is close to doing something with Adrian Phoenix's Maker's song novels. In my humble opinion, your Skinners saga would be yet another perfect paranormal fantasy to either make a television show or movie out of. Have you been approached by anyone with any offers? If not, it's only a matter of time...

 

• Are you a big reader of paranormal fantasy? Horror? What's he last book you read?

 

• Do you own an unopened 12-inch, fully posable Boba Fett figurine?

 

More questions to come, Marcus, after I hear back from you. Congrats on another fantastic installment in your series!

 

Paul

 

 


Hey Paul! Glad you enjoyed Howling Legion. One of the things that I love to see in reviews for Skinners is that is was fun to read. Some of the not-so-great reviews still say this in a, "It was fun, but..." sort of way. I'm with you on this one. Isn't reading this stuff SUPPOSED to be fun? If there's always a "but..." I think the whole point of escapism is being missed. When I read something in this genre, I want to hand myself over to a world where monsters exist and do what monsters do. Now I get the chance to actually write the monsters that have been rattling around in my head for decades. I'm not kidding there. Decades. When I approached publishers, editors or what have you prior to getting Skinners published, I was met with rejections like, "This is great stuff, but it's not like what's out there now. How about you do something like [fill in the blank author] is doing?" Or, "This is too gruesome." Isn't this HORROR??? Aren't these MONSTERS?? How can you be TOO gruesome? So now that I finally have a shot with Eos and they're treating the series so well, it does my heart a lot of good to hear someone use the F word when describing it. Fun.

 

To your questions:

 

- Teeth of Beasts is being released on April 27th I believe. If not that exact date, it's at the end of April. I know they want less of a wait between the next batch of books.  I'm constantly thinking of new places for the series to go. Hell, I've got three spin-off projects in mind in case I hear the magic words, "What else have you got for us?" from Eos. Normally, the contracts come three books at a time, so I think of the series as arcs. That way, I can leave some cliffhangers between books without leaving much hanging between arcs.

 

-  Cole is more of a tech guy than I am. As for the geeky / videogame / music and movie references sort of thing, I am drawing from experience. He's also in better shape than me.

 

-  I was approached by an independent movie producer when the first word of Blood Blade appeared in Publisher's Weekly. My agent sent her the book, knowing that the movie project had a very limited budget. I wasn't too surprised that this producer passed because, reading the book, she must have just seen, "We'll need effects here, some more here, uh-oh BIG effects there, a lot of effects for this fight scene, I think I know an actress who could play Paige, MORE huge effects here...." Trust me, I would LOVE to see this as a movie or TV show! You know anyone?

 

-  I do love reading paranormal fantasy, but I don't have a lot of time for it lately. I've been having much better luck reading comic books because I can get a few of those in at a time when I have the time. I haven't abandoned reading, however. Probably the best thing I've read recently was Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry. I love the Noble dead series by Barb & JC Hendee, but that's more of a fantasy take on the whole vampire hunter thing. Also, Damnable by Hank Schwaeble caught my eye when I was in the bookstore and I'll be sinking my teeth into that pretty soon.

 

-  I do NOT own that Boba Fett figure, mainly because the Boba Fett / plastic lightsaber anecdote in Howling Legion is 100% true.

 

 

"The skulls...the bodies...you give it all such a glow. I don't know if it's art, but I like it!"
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

 


paulgoatallen wrote:
The skinners covers, for me, speak volumes – on the Howling Legions cover, Paige could've been portrayed in a much more sexual (ie: exploitive) manner but instead she's visualized true to her character – a butt-kicking monster hunter. And Cole is in the background, symbolizing to me the dual focus on the lead characters in the saga. The covers convey what the books are all about – gritty, gruesome literary fun.

 

 

I have to wonder if it is about "male covers" vs. "female covers."

 

I have a (legitimate) question for Marcus. I noticed that the Skinners books are labelled as "Horror." Have you noticed how that has affected your audience? While the line between urban fantasy and horror can be thin-to-nonexistent, I have noticed that some fans will gravitate towards one but not the other. Has EOS been marketing the books to "the horror crowd," or do they seem to be pushing them more towards urban fantasy readers?

Derek Tatum
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

If I had to describe Marcus's Skinners saga in one sentence, it would be this:

 


“Extraordinary character development, pedal-to-the-metal action throughout, and featuring some of the coolest monsters ever imagined…the Skinners saga is gritty, gruesome literary fun.”

 

That about sums it up....

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas

Marcus:

If memory serves me, when we spoke earlier this year (when we featured Blood Blade) you said that you've previously worked in several different genres – western, mystery, horror, fantasy, etc. With the phenomenal success of your Skinners novels, do you have any plans of writing any westerns or mysteries in the near future? Just curious...

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas


LordRuthven wrote:

  

 

I have to wonder if it is about "male covers" vs. "female covers."

 

I have a (legitimate) question for Marcus. I noticed that the Skinners books are labelled as "Horror." Have you noticed how that has affected your audience? While the line between urban fantasy and horror can be thin-to-nonexistent, I have noticed that some fans will gravitate towards one but not the other. Has EOS been marketing the books to "the horror crowd," or do they seem to be pushing them more towards urban fantasy readers?


I've been saying for a while (I think I even said this last time I was on) that the urban fantasy covers seem to be stuck in the "chicks with swords" rut. A lot of times, that actually fits the story. Since Howling Legion's cover also fits into this rut, I have to say there is something cool about a chick with a sword. Heh. Seriously though, there are a lot of female protagonists (as it should be) so there's a lot of females on the covers. I don't think they start drifting into "female cover" territory until you get hunky, shirtless dudes plastered all over the book.

 

When I wrote Skinners, I thought of it more as Dark Fantasy since I didn't have horror as my primary focus. My monsters, when compared to a lot of others in the Urban Fantasy genre, definitely are more Horror based though. A lot of Urban Fantasy readers I've heard from were expecting something more like the rest of what's out there, but got into Skinners just fine. Most of the Horror people I've heard from LOVE Skinners. Like me, they've been waiting for monsters to come back around to their dark roots and raise some hell without feeling guilty afterward.

 

As far as I can tell, Eos is doing a lot of marketing toward the Urban Fantasy crowd. That makes sense to me because that's just a bigger crowd right now. I've been trying to get the word out to everyone, but the big numbers of readers don't usually come until a series has been around for a while. I've been going to conventions, doing signings and everything else to get the word out and I'm not about to let it falter anytime soon. Hopefully, this series will be around for a good long while.

"The skulls...the bodies...you give it all such a glow. I don't know if it's art, but I like it!"
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Re: NOVEMBER FEATURE #1: Howling Legion by Marcus Pelegrimas


paulgoatallen wrote:

Marcus:

If memory serves me, when we spoke earlier this year (when we featured Blood Blade) you said that you've previously worked in several different genres – western, mystery, horror, fantasy, etc. With the phenomenal success of your Skinners novels, do you have any plans of writing any westerns or mysteries in the near future? Just curious...

 

Paul


 

Haven't been doing a lot in the mystery field. The ones I did before were all short stories. The westerns are still rolling. I've just completed another entry in the Ralph Compton series under my western pseudonym, Marcus Galloway. I've also done some ghostwriting in a few monthly series. Apart from those series, westerns have been in a bit of a drought. The big publishers are pulling back, but there are lots of great smaller presses carrying the torch. I'm sure New York will come around as they always do. For now, though, I need all the time I can get to write Skinners.

"The skulls...the bodies...you give it all such a glow. I don't know if it's art, but I like it!"