Percival Constantine stays so fargin’ busy that I could easily do an update interview with him every three months and he would always have some new project to inform us about. It’s taken me awhile to catch up with him to find out what he’s up to 17 MONTHS LATER…
Derrick Ferguson: How do you feel your career as a writer has grown in the past year?
Percival Constantine: I’ve gotten more serious about it, I think. I’ve started planning out a release schedule in advance and have that roughly set for the next two years or so and I make it a point to try to write every day. Although I still miss some days, I succeed more often than I fail, even on days when I feel like I won’t be able to get anything done.
DF: You’re somewhat unique in that you not only write; you design logos, format print books for a number of publishers and have done lettering work for comic books. Was this a deliberate career plan or did you just fall into these various creative arenas you operate in?
PC: It just sort of happened. Formatting, lettering, logo design, this all came about out of necessity. Someone had to do it. When I was putting together FALLEN for publication, I was a poor college graduate without the money to afford for formatting and Microsoft Word was just too frustrating to use.
So I read a lot of guides and taught myself how to do it with InDesign. And while the first few books took days or even weeks to format, I eventually did enough of them and got to the point where now I can format a book in under an hour or so.
Lettering as well came about because of necessity. When I was putting together my first comic book project, I found an artist who could pencil and ink, but he couldn’t letter. So with the help of the fine folks over at NinjaLettering.com, I learned how to do it myself. And I was surprised to find out that not only could I do a pretty good job at it, but I enjoyed it, too. I then began applying for lettering positions and was able to make some extra cash doing those jobs. And logo design just grew out of the lettering work.
In this day and age, I think it’s important for authors—especially indies—to learn as much about the production process as humanly possible. For one, learning new skills is always a healthy thing. Two, you never know what you might be good at or enjoy doing until you try it. And three, it can save you a lot of money in the long run.
DF: Where do you see yourself in five years?
PC: Hopefully with a PhD or close to achieving one and able to make a living from my writing.
DF: Do you think you have found an audience? Or has your audience found you?
PC: I don’t think they have yet. But it’s building slowly, little by little.
DF: Tell us about your latest project.
PC: Right now I’m finishing up the first season of VANGUARD. It’s a superhero team in the vein of the X-Men and the Avengers, and I’m a huge fan of the Bronze Age comics. When I first discovered people were doing serialized prose stories through e-books, I thought it was a great idea and I felt like it would suit a number of concepts I had in mind which didn’t quite lend themselves to novels or novellas. Vanguard definitely falls in that camp. The serial format really lends itself to the types of comics I’ve always loved to read, the ones which are pretty much self-contained stories, but have overarching sub-plots that stretch out in the background. So I’m having a lot of fun with it.
The concept behind the series is that the world has changed through a mysterious occurrence called The Event. No one knows what it was or how it happened, but what we do know is that humanity has been changed on a genetic level. For the vast majority of the population, this mutation hasn’t resulted in any obvious change. But a small percentage have developed superhuman abilities as a result of it. The President sees the potential for problems and secretly authorizes the creation of Vanguard, a team of specials overseen by Colonel Leonard Thorne. It’s their job to police the specials who would threaten humanity.
The first season ends with the release of Vanguard #5: Rise of the Red Fist coming out on May 18th on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Soon, the episodes will be made available on all e-book retailers and I’m also going to release a compilation of the first season in print and digital formats, probably in the fall. I’m already in the middle of writing the second season and if all goes well, it will also debut in the fall.
Curse of the Necronomicon comes out on June 22nd, and this is the third book in THE MYTH HUNTER series. Elisa Hill is tasked with tracking down her former partner, Lucas Davalos, who disappeared while seeking out the Necronomicon. Of course, as is usually the case, things aren’t always as they seem and Elisa, Lucas, and Asami will soon find themselves hip-deep in a world of trouble.
Gentleman Rogue has a release date of July 20th and it’s the third book in the INFERNUM series. In this installment, a heist by a thief named Dalton Moore causes some losses for Infernum’s mysterious leader, Dante, and so he tracks down Dalton and offers him a choice—work for him on a job, or face the consequences. Dalton is paired with Dante’s right-hand woman, Tauna, and sent to retrieve a deadly biological weapon.
I’ve also got the third LUTHER CROSS story coming out from Pro Se Productions sometime in the near future, called Bloodlust. Some other work coming out through both Pro Se and Airship 27, but if I say anything more about that, Tommy Hancock and Ron Fortier might team up to do some unspeakable things to me.
DF: Hollywood calls and says that they’re going to give your $500 million and the director of your choice to adapt one of your books into a movie. What book do you choose and which director?
PC: Good question. I think I’d choose The Lost Continent, the first MYTH HUNTER book (and now free on all platforms). Now as for director, that’s tough. I might have to go with Joss Whedon or the Russo Brothers. Through “The Avengers” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” those directors have clearly demonstrated that they understand the pulp mindset. They understand that these movies can be fun and don’t have to take themselves super-seriously. So I think they’d be wonderful to handle my work.
DF: Recommend a book, a movie and a TV show.
PC: I’m in the middle of reading Russ Anderson’s “Myth World” right now and really digging it. It’s a wonderful book that deserves more attention, so everyone head over to your e-book store of choice and buy it. For movie, I just saw “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and really dug it. I thought Joss Whedon and co. upped their game from the first film by a massive degree and it’s now my favorite Marvel film. And as for TV show, I’m really tempted to say “Daredevil” because it was just balls-out awesome, but I don’t want to seem like too much of a Marvel zombie. So instead, I’ll recommend “Sons of Anarchy”. The last season is finally on Netflix and I just started watching it.
Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we should know?
Percival Constantine: Both The Lost Continent and Love & Bullets are available for free on all platforms and if you go to percivalconstantine.com and enter your email address, you’ll get more free stuff.