Shooting for a December Release!

After being mired down in the lousy Afghanistan nightmare, it’s time to return to this site’s roots. Science fiction and writing!

The above image is the rough-draft cover of my upcoming novel “The Storyteller’s Heaven” in my latest trilogy, “The Promised Land.” The premise is that we ride along during the birth of interstellar travel, and our voyagers are… unconventional humans. The first book is available right now in serial form on my Patreon site, and now that the dust has somewhat settled I can tentatively say that I’d like a pre-holiday release in December. Of course, I don’t know if that is feasible, and here’s why.

First, this is my first truly indie release, and my first independent title release since 2017. Yes, it has been that long. By first real indie release I mean I do all the work more or less myself. In the past I relied on Amazon’s CreateSpace service, and that hurt me in a couple of ways. First, when they went belly up I lost access to my master files, but at least I still had the originals as edited Word docs. Second, my original trilogy has their ISBNs. Finally, their service was ruinously expensive and I will probably never make my money back. So, this time I’m doing something else.

Alright, a major obstacle is getting this release edited, but I think this is under control. To everyone out there who is considering writing a book, make sure you have a good editor! Nothing guarantees one-star reviews like bad editing. So you must get your baby edited properly. There are no shortcuts, there is simply the question of how much you are willing to pay.

There are also some administrative issues that I need to make myself smart on, for example getting my own ISBNs and copyrights. Pretty sure this won’t take too long to figure out, but these are details that must not be forgotten. Another important task is getting a cover design finalized. Once again, be prepared to spend a little bit of money for a quality product. I have the good luck to know my cover designer, and so far I have been happy with her work. But it will cost you a bit. However, a good cover is worth every cent! People do judge a book by its cover. Seriously. So what you see above still needs a bit of tweaking, and I won’t let up until I have what I want, and my artist knows that.

Finally, let me say that I released this cover behind my paywall some six weeks ago, and I thought the time was right to spread the word on the free internet as well. After all, I think we’re well within the ninety day window, so it’s time to drum up a little interest.

Personally, I’m pretty excited about this, and I can’t wait to try out the software I’m using to produce this book, Vellum. It’s a pain, but it is nice to control the process. If you control the process, then you can get some stuff done.

Well, I intend to get this done.

December timeframe, hopefully in time for the holiday reading season. I’ll keep you posted.


A new addition

Hey readers!

It is with a glad heart that I can announce the latest decision in my writer’s journey, the launch of The KIng’s Ohio Rifles in serial fashion on my Patreon page.

I’ve been dying to release this completed trilogy for the better part of a year, I think I completed Book Three back this past winter. I decided to create the paywall site a couple of months ago, and the thought occurred to me that maybe some more peeps would like to come aboard if I threw in my alt WW1 history into the mix.

Would you like to know the premise? Sure.

The American Revolution didn’t happen, and Bill Strohmeier, a private in the King’s Ohio Rifles, fights for his life in a different World War One.

So if this interests you, you can get aboard for three bucks a month. Lemme tell you what three smackeroos buys you; two series for the price of one, plus ebooks at the end of the cycles. There is The Promised Land, about the dawn of interstellar travel, and The Ohio Rifles, where it’s 1915, but it’s not our 1915.

Five bucks buys you both series, of course, as well as bonus material and my commentary.

And the grand poo-bah, ten bucks? All the bennies of the lower tiers plus you get to pick which series to name your very own character! Or even to write a quick short, and I’ll blend it in somehow.

I’m not going to say otherwise, I’ve picked up a lot of this technique from my friend and mentor John Birmingham. He has a fantastic site himself over at Patreon, if you are not a member over there I’d recommend that you become one.

And it wouldn’t hurt if you wanted to get aboard my site, too.

Catch you soon!


One Single Step

It has been said that the hardest moment of any journey is the very first step, overcoming the inertia of doing absolutely nothing.

I agree with this idea.

You see, I’ve really been struggling with this as of late, I have a mountain of stuff to do both with my Patreon site and straight-up writing in my new trilogy.

There are many reasons for this, along with a few stupid excuses. We all know that the kill radius of an excuse is zero meters, right? So I won’t do excuses.

Here is what needs to happen.

I need to schedule the narratives in my Patreon site, the first book of the Promised Land Trilogy is created.

Here is an obstacle.

Around the drama and horror of what happened in Afghanistan I’ve been dwelling on what I want to capture in the opening moments of Book Two of the trilogy. Believe it or not this has slowed me down for two months. My protagonist needs to act a certain way, and I need to capture his emotion, his sense of wonder and fear. However, I worry that my efforts will be inadequate.

It’s time to kick self-doubt in the dick, to paraphrase the words of advice from John Birmingham in his amazing how-to re: being an author.

This is ridiculous. The last thing I wrote was on the 25th of June. The 25th of June. Seriously?

Yeah. Seriously.

Alright, I know this has been a totally distracting summer. Vacations. Road trips of discovery. The fkn debacle in Afghanistan. All of it added up has definitely screwed up my side gig, this writing thing. I am sure that you guys have noticed on this website, because I neglected this place as well. If it were a building there would be a broken window, weeds on the sidewalk and a wet basement.

So let’s get cracking, shall we?

It is time to drop in on my protagonist, Joe. I need to do some reading (and I have. My verdict? Probably not the crap I had feared). After the reading, to re-establish the mood, it will be time to write.

Chapter One of Book Two.

Everyone knows that the second work of a trilogy is the toughest one, the traditional bridge novel.

Well, this is my third trilogy, so it’s old hat. In theory.

BTW, after consulting with my friend, I have decided to release my unpublished trilogy on Patreon as well.

There is a lot to be excited about! I am looking forward to this fall; hopefully I can pull some of you along on the journey as well.


No, I’m still here.

And no, I’m not getting drunk a bunch. If any. But there have definitely been times over the past month where I really wanted to reach for that can, or a bottle. It’s been a real adventure around here, and maybe not in such a good way.

Times have been tough.

Writing has been close to a mission impossible, especially with the Afghan drama last month. One bright spot has been the success of the GoFundMe by some other advisors for our interpreters. That worked out well, with three times (nearly) in pledges then the requested amount. So that was cool.

Besides that I’ve really just been watching the seasons change, with the days growing inevitably shorter and crisper as we head into the fall. There’s a lot going on, but curiously there isn’t, also. It’s just being one of those years, and I thought it was something to do to at least give you, my readers, proof of life.

Yes, I am still here. No, I have not disappeared.

I need to return to the keyboard, there’s a lot of work that’s waiting on me to get done.

Especially on my Patreon website. I have enough material for now, but that stuff doesn’t write itself.

So a return to work is past due.

Stay tuned.

A Worthy Cause!

So all of us know the story about the sudden, chaotic and rushed departure from Afghanistan by US and Allied forces.

I think all of you know my opinion about how the withdrawal was handled.

However, this does not take away from the fact that there were desperate, heroic and valorous acts involved with getting our service members, civilian personnel and friends out.

I pull out my hair at the thought of those left behind. It is scandalous, and pure incompetence and treachery.

But many made it out, and today I celebrate this.

With great pleasure I’d like to announce a GoFundMe page for the interpreters and family of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 209th ANA Corps.

Word has reached me that what remains of our battalion, the 3rd, have retreated into the Panshir and are still doing battle with the Taliban. How long this lasts, who knows. But it fills me with a somber pride that my men are giving it their all.

This. This is the least I can do for the living.

The dead cannot be helped.