Welcome to Do It Yourself, the serial novel where low fantasy meets high soap opera. This is the first volume in the projected South Hertling Chronicles series. Updated weekly, usually Wednesday-ish, AEST.
Somewhere in the depths of Australian suburbia the Handy Pavilion, a big-box hardware store drifts towards war with its rivals in the DIY Barn. Join the eccentric Pavilion employees as they live, learn, mangle the very nature of causality and love. A fantasy, superheroes, scifi, romance, suspense, comedy, Western action series, and I'll probably get around to adding self-help, Japanese cuisine and naval history eventually. Got to his all of those Amazon categories.
New chapters published weekly.
Characters Cheatsheet - Contains spoilers.
Chapter 1 - The Reunion - Handy Pavilion employee and reformed supervillain Axel Platzoff meets a man he'd hoped never to see again.
Chapter 2 - A Wooden Chorus - Lovelorn Gwen Harper is offered romantic assistance by the mysterious Pennington
Chapter 3 - The Mystic Spring - a plumbing accident reveals a hidden secret that Fiona never knew she had
Chapter 4 - Coffee Break - Fiona questions her role at the Pavilion while we learn more about Gwen's deal with Pennington
Chapter 5 - The Shirts - Axel enlists the help of Norman to escalate his struggle against the DIY Barn
Chapter 6 - Luminiferous - What is the mysterious secret behind Sadie and Angela McGregor's feud?
Chapter 7 - Diversion - Can Belinda or Axel help Captain Stellar deal with the consequences of his breakup
Chapter 8 - The Newsletter - Conspiracy theorist Carl Wintergreen attempts to explain an armoured car robbery in his weekly newsletter with mixed results
Chapter 9 - The Phial - Just what is going on between Norman and Fiona? Will Gwen make a deal with Pennington to win Norman's heart?
Chapter 10 - A Dilemma For Wellsey - Wellsey suspects that Fiona may have been involved in the armoured car heist... But dare he ask her?
Chapter 11 - Silver Men in Moonlight - The Pavilion comes under attack. Can Seamus the Gnome and unemployed ape-man Zorbar save the day?
Chapter 12 - Tea and Scandal - Pavilion Manager Ms Shan returns to work... but has she changed? And what is Norman's sudden interest in her about?
Chapter 13 - Axel's Day - Axel's role in the armoured car heist comes back to haunt him
Chapter 14 - Zorbar and the Ute - Zorbar Ofthechimps comes to an important decision, just before being hit by a truck
Chapter 15 - Light and Dark - What is Angela's interest in the lovelorn Captain Stellar?
Chapter 16 - Management Conference - Mrs Lebeaux from Centre management gives Ms Shan a reason not to abandon the Pavilion just yet.
Chapter 17 - A Bad Deal, All Round - The alchemist Pennington comes to collect a bill
Chapter 18 - From Across the Veil - In an attempt to locate Zorbar, Carol organises a seance to summon Bruce, the Handy Pavilion's resident ghost.
Chapter 19 - Origin Story - It's Laura Cho's first day on the job and already she must deal with a rogue superhero and an exploding death ray
Chapter 20 - The Return - Laura uses her newfound super-powers to combat a series of baffling 'accidents' in the Pavilion.
Chapter 21 - Newsletter 2 - Mrs Lebeaux is not pleased by Karl's attempts to get to the bottom of the Pavilion accidents
Chapter 22 - No Way Out - Can Wellsey find a way to return to work without being drawn into the struggle against the Barn? Read the chapter title to find out!
Chapter 23 - The Chase - Fiona and killer cyborg/art teacher Nalda hunt for the saboteur who is causing the accidents -- the deadly Phantasm of the Pavilion.
Chapter 24 - One Day at a Time - Will Norman tell Captain Stellar about Axel's role in his downfall?
Chapter 25 - Underground - Christian is the rising star of power tool sales... but who is he really working for?
Chapter 26 - Ghost in the Machine - The DIY Barn launches another attack, and the safety of the Pavilion is in Bruce's immaterial hands
Chapter 27 - Terror from Tomorrow - A version of Laura from the future travels back to give a warning to her past self. It sort of makes sense. Promise.
Chapter 28 - Axel's Enemy - Can Nalda help pull Axel out of his spiral of hobbies in time to defeat the Phantasm?
Chapter 29 - Escalation - Ms Shan tries to defuse the growing tension with the DIY Barn. But is Marlon listening?
Chapter 30 - Showdown at Loading Bay Gulch - Buck Dusty's mother moseys into town.
Chapter 31 - Crossed Words - Fiona attempts to wallow in guilt. The MacGregor sisters don't mean to let her.
Chapter 32 - Transformations - Karl's search for the truth leads him to discover what happened to Bruce
Chapter 33 - Family Business - Norman's father makes a visit. Hilarity ensues.
Chapter 34 - From Bad to Wurst - Nalda -- the killer cyborg from the future -- meets Fanaka -- a scientist from an alternate Afrocentric steampunk past.
Chapter 35 - Toilet Humour - Christian is shocked to discover that the Phantasm's lair has completely vanished
Chapter 36 - Where Have All the Pulleys Gone? - Present Laura's budding romance with Carlos is complicated by her future self.
Chapter 37 - Intervention - Wellsey decides that Axel's hobby mania must end
Chapter 38 - Between Two Doors - The ascendancy of the Barn seems nearly complete. Will Ms Shan follow her conscience or give way to her anger?
Chapter 39 - Testing Times - Fiona's moral quandary is sidelined in favour of an action sequence.
Chapter 40 - Belinda is Helpful - Not in a big way, or anything. But it is Belinda we're talking about so any amount of helpfulness is something
Chapter 41 - The Night Talker - Bruce seeks Karl's help to take on the Barn
Chapter 42 - Time Considered as a Helix of Gossiping Retail Employees - In seeking to help Nalda and Fanaka, Axel dooms the Earth
Chapter 43 - Never Pay Retail - It will take all of Christian's sales skills to win the help of Pennington without incurring an impossible debt.
Chapter 44 - The Party - Zorbar and Carol's pre-wedding party is crashed.
Chapter 45 - The Barn Door is Open - Christian discovers Buck Dusty's secret -- but can he get the information to those who need it?
Chapter 46 - Farewell - Old enemies part for the last time
Chapter 47 - Hearts and Skulls - Fanaka discovers a source of unimaginable power, and also gets a job in Cleaning Products.
Chapter 48 - Timing - As Sadie MacGregor spars with Norman's father, she finds herself morally compromised for the first time
Chapter 49 - Newsletter 3 - In the absence of Karl, a marginally less bizarre Centre newsletter is produced
Chapter 50 - Third Wheels and Fifth Columns - Ms Shan learns what Buck has been up to. Is she too late?
Chapter 51 - Incoming! - Seamus helps Laura and Carlos fight off an aerial incursion
Chapter 52 - Inside Your Mind - Pennington fulfills his arrangement with Christian. The Phantasm is back on the warpath
Chapter 53 - A Very DIY Valentine's Day - The Handy Pavilion is attacked by Mushroom Creatures from CDimension X -- and yet, all Nalda can think about is Fanaka
Chapter 54: Deliver Us Not - Will Donna's attempt to live up to Sadie's standards be thwarted by Angela?
Chapter 55: Principles of Retail Management - Mushroom Men, Phantasms and impending war -- Ms Shan has had enough
Chapter 56: Tall Tales Part 1 - Laura and Bruce confront Buck -- but Buck has backstory to deliver
Chapter 57: Gnome Time to Lose - Seamus attempts to free Axel. It sort of works
Chapter 58: Tall Tales Part 2 - Fearful that Buck will deliver more exposition, Laura and Bruce let him go
Chapter 59: The Call - Ms Shan rallies the troops
Chapter 60: Cat and Mouse (and Vole) - Nalda and the Phantasm hunt for the rogue Professor Devistato
Chapter 61: On the Practical Applications of Cosplay - Belinda is extremely helpful
Chapter 62: The Breakroom of War - Christian's report on the Barn's defenses reveals a weakness... or a trap
Chapter 63: Twilight at Dawn - Battle is joined
Chapter 64: Apotheosis Now - Norman's struggle takes an odd turn, and his father steps in
Chapter 65: Scars - As Axel fights the Barnlings in the street, Devistato attacks the Barn from the rear
Chapter 66: War Correspondent - Buck explains matters to Karl
Chapter 67: Gaslight - As the battle rages, can MacGregor sisters finally agree?