Proud to say I completed the manuscript for The Odd Pizza Place, my first urban fantasy written for adult readers. This book seems to be blessed with good fortune, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s available to readers within the year. Although the story takes place in the Despair ‘verse, it stands alone very well. No need to read the rest of my books to follow the story.
The concept was simple: Jake Li, known as On-break Jake, is an alien who manages a pizza place on Earth. Appearing to be an Asian man around 30 years old, he is actually a super-powerful psionic mystic from the dimension of 37.5 CZ. When the Earthlings aren’t looking, Jake finds jobs for other off-worlders, maintains interdimensional portals, and keeps track of an information hub that looks to Earth eyes like stacks and stacks of indie ‘zines.
Jake encounters a mystery in the person of Coney Idyll, the famous editor of the deadzines, who briefly worked at the Odd Pizza Place before disappearing. Trying to track Coney down and avoid losing his job, Jake meets a cast of colorful characters, including a feline hominid woman who goes only by “X” and who takes a liking to him.
The deeper Jake goes into the mystery of where Coney went, the more he has to look at his own past, until he’s forced to admit–the company who sent him to work at the Odd Pizza Place may have had ulterior motives. To solve the mystery, Jake will have to face his own demons and reckon with the trauma of his past–all while trying to keep the pizza place running.
I’d love to see this out by summer, if I can get a beta reader and editor on it. I’ve got a cover designed already! Really excited about this one, and I’m looking forward to writing more urban fantasy novels.