The Ballad of Mrs Maloney by C S Boyack @Virgilante

Hi everyone. Today, it gives me great pleasure to host fellow author and friend, Craig Boyack to showcase his latest book in the fab and funny The Hat Series. I’ve enjoyed both The Hat and Viral Blues and look forward to feasting my eyes on The Ballad of Mrs Maloney. If you’re a fan of magic and mayhem and humour, then you’ll love Lizzie and The Hat in all their incarnations. 

Take it away, Craig >>>

Thanks for having me back, Harmony. Always nice to stop here. 

{It’s a pleasure to have you come visit. Please, help yourself to drinks and nibbles.}

I’m promoting a new book with a Halloween theme to it. It’s called The Ballad of Mrs. Molony, and it’s the third book in The Hat Series.

Don’t let that put anyone off, because I worked hard to make sure people could read them out of order. It’s a series, but each one can be read as a stand alone tale. 

{They’re great to read as stand alones and in order! I enjoyed both previous books immensely.}

I’ll let the cover and blurb do their job down below, as far as the specifics are concerned.

Today, I want to talk about one of the issues that’s coming to light in writing an ongoing series. There are some things I’m going to have to wrestle with to keep these stories as stand-alone books. Today’s topic is recurring locations.

There are a couple of places I’ve fleshed out, because they keep coming up. Lizzie’s basement apartment on Melton Alley is one example. It was an urban reclamation project and now it has a brick gathering area with tables and food trucks. Her band, Lizzie and the Pythons, keeps playing a bar called The Trippy Parrot, or a street venue called West Zephyr Boulevard. I designed that one after Fremont Street in Las Vegas, or 4th Street in Louisville.

Lizzie and the hat use the band as a way to hunt the monsters. As an example, the vampires in the new book are former rodeo cowboys, so Lizzie starts working country music venues to try spotting them. This allows me to explore and concoct a lot of fun locations, but some are probably going to get used more than once.

I’m pretty solid about the next three books in the series. I got several requests to flesh out the witchcraft world that appeared in book one. As I delve into that, some interesting places are going to show up. This is a point of concern.

I will try to make these places wonderful for my readers. However, if the story returns to one of these locations in a subsequent book, how much detail should I add on the return visit? I don’t think there is a right answer.

My mindset is to create intriguing places, but in the following books, I’m still going to have to flesh them out for new readers. It may not be over the top, but new readers need to have some detail to make it all real.

Remember, my ultimate goal is to have these stories accessible no matter where someone starts. On the plus side, after we reach a certain age, a few reminders are helpful for the long term readers, too. That’s the bullseye I’m trying to hit.

So what kind of places am I cooking up for the future? I want a modern, industrial themed bar. This is just a venue for the band, but it will add some depth to the city, because we’ve been to some country bars, and The Trippy Parrot a few times. I might add that one to the next book. Sounds like a good place to have a massive shootout somewhere down the line.

My witches and wizards are kind of eclectic, and I want some diversity there. I want one creepy old house, but another one that’s quite modern. These people all have to be a special kind of strange, but they have to be different, too. Their residences should reflect that. I already know there will be repeat visits to these houses.

Then there’s Good Liniment. I’ve already decided to use that as a book title about two books down the line. This is an old tavern. I want to style it after an English pub, with a residence upstairs. I have some images saved on Pinterest to help me with the description. This is where the coven gathers. I am going to design it somewhat like the famous Flatiron Building, mostly because I want five streets to make the intersection, kind of like a pentagram. (I think it’s cool.) I can see this fitting into multiple stories.

Stick with me folks. Lizzie and the hat have a lot of monsters to deal with down the trail, and I hope to keep them coming for a long time. The stories are going to happen in some interesting locations.


Blurb: Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exists? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.


Purchase your copy here: The Ballad of Mrs. Molony

Other stories in the series are:

The Hat


Viral Blues









You can contact Craig at the following locations:


BlogMy NovelsTwitterGoodreads | FacebookPinterestBookBub


47 Comments on “The Ballad of Mrs Maloney by C S Boyack @Virgilante

  1. What a great post, Harmony! I must, must dive into my Kindle and meet Mrs. Molony. Congratulations, Craig, another winner!

  2. I like the idea of 5 streets coming together to make a witch’s bar. So apropos. I love series, and even in the ones that I’ve read book after book, I like a little reminder about people and locations because, let’s face it, sometimes it’s 6 months to a year between books. Authors live with those books for months when they write them, but readers might only spend a few nights with them. It’s nice to have an author jog your memory.

    • That’s very helpful to me. As an example, we had Kevin’s adventure. I think I can reintroduce him without recapping the other story. That’s kind of the angle I’m taking.

  3. All these venues sound exciting, Craig, and fun additions to your story. I can see why you need to be careful when they are locations that will pop up in future books, but I’m pretty sure you’ll get it right. In the meantime, TONIGHT is the night I start Mrs. Molony, and I can’t wait. I’m putting aside the read I’m on, too, just so I can read it before the end of Halloween weekend. I think that will make it even more fun. Great post, Harmony & Craig. Sharing!

  4. Craig, I am looking fowarward to reading your new book. I loved and reviewed the first, missed the second (I’ll make up for that) and will have this one queued soon!

    • I’ve been telling everyone to take their time. These are ebooks, so it isn’t like the bookstore will clear them out to make room for shiny new titles. I just hope you enjoy them when you get to them.

  5. How awesome to know that there are more Lizzie and The Hat adventures ahead, Craig!! I love the title “Good Liniment.” It’s perfect for the setting you described. What fun! Thanks for hosting Craig today, Harmony!

    • I’m excited for that one, but have one ahead of it. That’s a part of the balancing act. I want to put Lizzie through the emotional grinder, then kind of fix it. Trying to keep both volumes easy entry is going to be tricky.

  6. Hi Craig
    I’ll be watching these books with great interest. Until now, my books have been series that really are better read in order. Now, I’m planning one like yours – different genre, same principle. Two or three characters who will always appear and others only once.

    • It’s been a learning curve, but it’s been really interesting. Glad you’re taking up the banner.

    • I love these character arcs that links otherwise separate tales. Best of luck, Sarah 🙂

  7. The ongoing plans for this series sound SO GOOD! I loved all three of the Hat books, and am glad there are plenty more waiting in the wings. Wishing Craig all the best with Mrs. Molony. Thanks for hosting, Harmony!

  8. It’s so cool that a guy who was hesitant to write a series now is three books in and has plans for expansion. Loved this book (and the series) and am eagerly awaiting more. Congratulations, Craig.

    Thanks for hosting, Harmony.

    • It’s partially your fault. I think this kind of series appeals to me. I feel real stress to sail Lanternfish home in the trilogy, but that pressure isn’t present here. People seem to enjoy both, so I have that going for me.

    • It’s great to see Craig and his books getting so much love on the web lately. Thanks, Joan 🙂

  9. These locations all sound terrific, Craig. I always enjoy reading your thoughts about writing.

      • You’ve done a great job making it so they can be read out of order, Craig. I appreciate a bit of a resfresher because I’m a bit forgetful. I love all the ideas you have for upcoming stories. Can’t wait;)

    • I really should snipe from a couple of tour posts and use this stuff on Story Empire. I came up with some interesting topics our readers over there might like.

  10. Oh, my gosh! Look at all those sparklies. Thank you for that, and for hosting me today, Harmony.

    • I had fun making that little graphic. Glad you like it. It’s great to have you come viist today, and I hope you see much success, Craig 🙂