And….we’re on Patreon now too!

What’s Patreon?

It’s a service designed to help people patronize artists, writers, and musicians that they like. For a small fee (the user gets to decide how much they want to spend), the patron gets certain benefits or rewards back, and the artists get a steady income from people who enjoy their work.

Why Patreon?

In my case – patrons will get first dibs on new books, BEFORE they are available in any store. Different levels will give ebooks, postcards of the cover art, or even print editions. Again, all before people buying from stores actually get to see the books. This is my way of reaching out to you directly and giving special bonuses to fans who love my stories. (more…)

Pushing for Amazon Top 100 on Dark Legends!

cvjwamjwgaao-drHi! Big news: I’ve got a book in a big boxed set of urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels. With authors from the USA Today and NYT bestseller lists, this ebook “boxed set” is a the collected work of talented writers from around the world. It’s an honor to have been included.

The set is full of some incredible books. I can’t wait to read them all myself – and yes, I have already pre-ordered a copy so I can start reading the other books as soon as it’s out! (more…)

21-Day Novel Challenge: Epilogue

Accord of Mars
It’s been a fun journey. I’m on Day 22 now, looking back. It’s been a challenging trip.

The goal: in 21 days, write, edit, and upload a novel.

Mission accomplished. The final book was uploaded to Amazon at about 10:30PM on the 21st day. A lot of other people were inspired to work hard over this 21-day period – HUGE kudos to Chris Fox for getting us all so motivated! A few other people completed first drafts in the challenge days. One other person – Chris, the originator of the challenge – finished his edits too. His book is off at proofreading and will be uploaded soon. We both hit every milestone right on track the whole way.

The editing process was especially odd for this book. I added 5000 words (bringing it up to 60k), which is a VERY big increase for my work – my final drafts are usually much closer to my first. I also changed up the order of the final three chapters, which resulted in heavy re-drafts of all three. It was a good learning experience, and I think the final book is much stronger than the draft form was. I’m still at the point where I am a better writer by the end of each new book than I was when I started it. Learning as I go is a wonderful part of this job – I hope it never stops!

I had to push myself harder and more consistently than I have ever had to before, just to get the work done. I still work full time at a NON-writing job. I have one day a week that is totally dedicated to time with my three small children. Oh, and I moved on Day 20 – so I was packing for a move at the same time all the rest of this was going on.

Working my way through this challenge tested every theory I’d written about in the “Coffee Break Novelist” book – and made me come up with some new ones, too. Maybe it’s time for another book on “writing in the time you have”…! I certainly have more to say at this point.

Do not EVER let yourself believe that you are too busy to write. If writing is what you want to be doing, make the work your priority. MAKE it happen.

Too often life is something that happens TO us. We drift through, going to work, coming home, idling away the few hours we have left until its time to go to sleep. Then we wake up and do it all over again. Unconsciously, most of us simply go with the flow, living our lives the way others tell us we should, rather than looking at what it is we actually want to be doing.

Those big dreams are for bucket lists, not for reality. We don’t have time. We have obligations. We have things we need to get done. And we’re so tired after doing all the things that we are supposed to do – where can we find the energy to write?

This is my standard advice for anyone who is wondering what they should do with their life: “Do what makes your heart sing.”

That thing you get excited about every time you get a chance to do it? That thing that you can’t wait to go do? That thing that brings you intense personal satisfaction after you’ve accomplished some milestone? That. Go do that thing.

Most human beings will never get the chance to do that ‘whatever it is’. Most of us simply live in the channels that life has carved for us, not even realizing it’s a rut, not a path. Make a difference for yourself. Go do the thing.

This book is done. I’ve already begun outlining Book 3, which will launch in April. Because that is what a writer does, the day after finishing a book: we start the next book.

Accord of Honor is on sale right now, at a special price of 99¢ (it’s usually $3.99 and will revert to that price soon).

Accord of Mars is already selling on Amazon. It’s in Select for now – I’m trying that out with some of my books.

Accord of Victory will release in late April 2016.

I’m also working on a special prequel short story… It’s about 1/3 of the way done. It tells the story of the incident where Nicholas Stein ended a world war with one fatal action – and in doing so set the stage for the Lunar Accords, and everything that followed from them in these books. I’ve told this story before (badly) years ago, but this is a complete rewrite with a lot more detail, done in the same first person style as the Accord books. That short will ONLY be available to people who sign up for the Accord series newsletter; it will not be available for sale in any store, but will be free to my readers. I’ll be posting about it here (and elsewhere) when it is finished.

21-Day Novel Challenge: Day 19 Update

Cover Art

Cover Art

Been a busy couple of days at the day job. Thursday, as seems to be the norm, was a “no writing” day. Didn’t get any time during the 17 hour shift to get any edits in. Friday was mostly a packing day, but I did manage to get a few more chapters done.

So at this point, I am about eight chapters from finishing the edits. I’ll be doing those Saturday after the move, and then doing a final proofing pass either Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

Then I have one more tweak for the cover. The book title is a bit smaller on this cover than on the cover for book one. I’d like to have very clear branding between the two covers – so that they are clearly the same series. To that end I plan to tweak the cover art just a little bit.

In other news, the first book – Accord of Honor – is 99 cents on all retailers right now, and picking up some nice sales. If you’ve been following along on the mailing list for this challenge, then you already got the rough draft sent to you. If you’re interested in reading book one, then now’s a GREAT time to grab it while it’s on sale.

You can find it here:            

I remain on target to launch Accord of War on Day 21 – Sunday the 13th! See you there.

21-Day Challenge: Days 15+16

Cover Art

Cover Art

The book didn’t end up getting finished Monday night. Monday is kid day – and it seems Minecraft (the computer game) has a new patch, one which makes the monsters hit harder and the whole game much more tough. So my three kids and I spent most of the day beating up monsters and building virtual tree-houses together.

Key moment: lightning strikes something, and creates a new monster none of us have seen before – a skeleton horse! One of my kids goes to investigate, but approaching the horse spawns a bunch of skeletons. She dies. We go try to recover her stuff. Lightning strikes the horse a bunch more times, making more skeleton horses… All of which spawn more skeletons as we approach. An epic battle ensues.

Pullquote, in the most deadpan voice a nine year old can attain: “The skeleton horse apocalypse has begun.”

Anyway, after kid time was done Liz and I went to the new apartment to get things set up a little there. We had new curtains we wanted to test, and were doing some light cleaning, setting up cleaning supplies, etc. Move in is on Saturday, after all! I got a very little bit of writing done afterwards, but not enough to count. I called it quits, exhausted, to finish in the morning.

Today – Day 16 – I finished the last 1700 words of the book and wrapped it up. Those of you who’ve been following on the mailing list, your copies of the first draft edition are on their way to you tonight! Enjoy. 🙂

The finish ended up being 54,821 words. About the 55k I thought I was going to end up with. Now the question is, how long will it be after I am done with the edits and cleanup? Am I going to make the 60k I was shooting for? I’ve started a first run through the manuscript, and have added another 300 words today. Not a great start for editing 5 out of 43 chapters, but there’s still a lot of story to go through. We’ll have to see how it goes.