Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Happy 40th to My Favorite Rock Album of All Time!


I've listened to this album more than any other. Few bands can create a wall of sound as interesting and haunting and powerful as the E Street Band back in the day.

The tracks on here range from the youthfully optimistic to the utterly tragic, but all of them have a romantic, restless quality about them. The message here, if any, is this: life is worth living the s--t out of, even if doesn't go according to plan. (And it won't.)

Hard to argue with that sentiment.

Thank you, Bruce and co. for the endless hours of entertainment.

Monday, August 24, 2015

(Maybe) Vesuvius Day

In researching Ancient Rome for one of my works-in-progress, I came across an interesting tidbit that will probably be familiar to historians...

We typically mark August 24th as the day that Vesuvius erupted catastrophically, way back in 79 AD, and ravaging the nearby countryside and towns. That date comes to us from the writings of Pliny the Younger (not to be confused with his uncle, Pliny the Elder), who wrote of the ordeal several years after the fact.

However, there is plenty of historical evidence that the destruction of Pompeii, situated southeast of the volcano, actually occurred two or three months later. For instance (from Wikipedia)...

"People buried in the ash appear to be wearing heavier clothing than the light summer clothes that would be expected in August. The fresh fruit and vegetables in the shops are typical of October, and conversely the summer fruit that would have been typical of August was already being sold in dried, or conserved form. Wine fermenting jars had been sealed over, and this would have happened around the end of October. Coins found in the purse of a woman buried in the ash include one which features a fifteenth imperatorial acclamation among the emperor's titles. These cannot have been minted before the second week of September. So far there is no definitive theory as to why there should be such an apparent discrepancy."

I'll leave it to folks much smarter than me to argue over the discrepancy though it remains one of history's fascinating open questions.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum in high school (back when I actually knew Latin) and as an archaeological site, it's totally cool. (Side note: For whatever reason, the tourist site was known for its stray dogs, which I can attest to!)

All this research has been a fun little diversion as I work through this latest novel, set during the time of Vesuvius's eruption. The aftermath features in the story, but isn't the central part of the narrative. It's just a stop along the way for the characters...

Anyway, just wanted to say Happy Maybe Vesuvius Day. (Though "Happy" probably isn't the right word...)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Release Day and More Updates

OtherWorld is available for purchase or borrow now on Amazon!

I've blogged about this book a couple times now so I won't belabor any previous points. But I will take this opportunity to reiterate how excited I am!

Thrillers are my favorite genre so The Unearthed books are in my wheelhouse. I also love historical fiction, so again, the Tomahawk & Saber series is a genre I have a pretty good grasp of. (As a reader, and hopefully as a writer...)

But YA is a different animal. I didn't read much YA growing up, making the leap pretty early on to adult mysteries and thrillers when I began reading in earnest. Looking back now, I've read more YA books as an adult in the last few years than I did as a kid.

I love the genre and the "challenges" of writing in it. I'm looking forward to reader feedback on this book.


Hard at work on (too many) several projects, as always. Nate Green and I are wrapping up the edits on Through the Narrows, book 2 in the Tomahawk & Saber series.

Aside from that, also working on my crime fiction collaboration (The Board) with Jann Gott as well as an unplanned novel that pushed, elbowed, jostled all the other works in progress out of the way to cut in line in my subconscious. Love how that's going, more to come soon.

And last but not least, the Kwahlah series has snuck up on me again. For those of you that don't know about it, check out the prequel short story, E, I put out last year. It gives a good sense of what the serial will be like. I've been putting that off for awhile but for whatever reason (some would call it The Muse), it's back on my mind and now I'm chomping at the bit to get going there.

We shall see....

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


This post is for writers.

Everything we do is habit.


From getting up in the morning, to eating, to exercising, to going to work, to being good friends, to being good parents, to being good spouses.

Everything we do is habit.

Writing is part of "everything."

Ergo, writing is habit.

It's difficult to form a new habit, but once you've got it, it's also difficult to break a habit.

Even modest goals will go a long way. Tonight, try writing 1,000 words.

Not that hard, right? It's literally four double-spaced pages. Four pages. That's all.

Now make that 1,000 words into a daily habit.

In three months you have a 90,000 word rough draft. (80k - 100k is the range for most genre fiction, excluding high fantasy.)

In a year you have four 90,000 word manuscripts. By year's end, two or three of those should be polished enough to either query agents or self-publish.

One year's work, four books.

Think about it.

All it takes is 1k words a day.

Slow and steady wins the race.

You can go really far on just 1,000 words a day.

Do I always get 1k words? Nope.

But let's assume I only hit my goal half the time. At the end of a year, I've written two books. In a few short years, of only reaching my goal 50% of the time, I'll build a sizable backlist.

Shoot for Mars, land on the moon as they say.

Habit wins the race.