Friday, October 20, 2017

The Fast Friday Interviews: Tabitha Caplinger

Tabitha Caplinger

Tell me about yourself, Tabitha?

Hi! I’m Tabitha, but I guess you figured that out already. I love coffee and tacos and tv. I really love tv. I have a husband and two daughters, both of which are super sassy like their mom. I spend most of my time binge-watching or talking about Jesus.(I’m also a pastor which is the Jesus part and I covered the tv obsession already.) Weird fact, I took fencing classes in college and I don’t run. I can run, but I don’t. If you see me running, you should run too because a wild animal or hoard of zombies are chasing me.

Tell me about your current Book: 

I have a ya trilogy, The Chronicle of the Three, out in the world. Well, the first two parts of it are out in the world, the third installment is coming soon.

When she finds out demons are real and she is one of the few humans who can see then, Zoe Andrews must join her Aunt Claire and the other chosen to stop the Destroyer from gathering the darkness, or else the apocalypse begins and we all become demon food.

TCO3:Bloodline (AKA Book 1)

Zoe thought the loss of her parents would be the most difficult thing she'd ever have to endure. When she began seeing things she couldn't explain in her new home of Torchcreek, Virginia, she was sure the grief was driving her mad. Instead Zoe discovers she is part of an ancient bloodline, one destined to prevent the powers of darkness from condemning the world. But Zoe, the daughter of the three, isn't just another descendant-she's the key to humanity's salvation. In this first installment of the supernatural fantasy trilogy The Chronicle of the Three, Zoe Andrews learns that not all shadows are harmless interceptions of light. Some are a more sinister darkness that wants to torment the soul.

TCO3: Armor-Bearer (AKA Book 2)

Darkness creeps around every corner as demons gather in the small town of Torch Creek, Virginia. The Destroyer has arrived, and the Reaping is coming closer by the day. Zoe knows it’s her duty as the Daughter of the Three to hold back the shadows, but she doesn't know how—and time is running out. Zoe and her friends turn to the ancient text of The Chronicle for help. Are they strong enough to withstand an enemy who exploits their deepest fears and doubts? Will they find the answers they're looking for before all of Hell is unleashed? Zoe’s journey as the prophecy’s promised Daughter continues in this second installment of the fantasy trilogy, The Chronicle of the Three.

What are you working on now?

Final edits are about to begin on the third installment of this spunky little TCO3 Trilogy. But in the meantime I just started a new project which I think will be sci-fi/dystopian. I think. There are aliens and a group of outcasts, who might turn rebellious, who live in the mountains. Someone died already and I’m trying to work in a pet falcon. That’s really all I got so far.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

I usually write at home, curled up in my comfy chair with a hot cup of coffee. I like to be alone when I write. I would get too easily distracted outside or at a coffee shop.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?

Book Marketing sucks. I know it is a necessary evil but I hate it. That’s not really a favorite lesson but it’s been a valuable one. I wish I had known the marketing part of things before I started writing so I could have been more ahead of the game there. I think knowing some of what I know now, back then would have saved me a little frustration at least.

What is your favorite Website?



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Quotes of the Week

“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”
― Confucius

There were times when I was afraid I would never sell another book, but I never doubted I'd write another book.
—George R.R. Martin

If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.
—Mik Everett

Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.
—Steve Martin

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
—Cyril Connolly

I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die.
—Isaac Asimov

Some moments are nice, some are nicer, some are even worth
writing about.
—Charles Bukowski

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
—Thomas Jefferson

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
—Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday Tips: When Life Happens

Every now and the something happens. I call this kind of thing The Monkey Wrench.

Last week my wife broke her leg. She was walking down the stairs carrying a laundry basket and stepped on a pile of magazines (she had left there). She only fell three steps but she badly broke her fibula and dislocated her ankle.

The good new was that the EMTs were there in only three minutes after I dialed 911. The bad news was it was broke bad. Surgery was required. Recovery will be slower than a simple break.

Family first, writing second.

This happened on October 1st, our wedding anniversary. Today is October 17th. This may be my longest hiatus from writing since 2014.

So what have I learned?

  • Monkey Wrenches happen.
  • Don't sweat it. Worrying about it won't help.
  • Stay organized. This allows you to pick up where you left off easier.
  • Forgive the Monkey Wrench. Because it's not IF shit happens, it's WHEN shit happens.
  • Family First. Let the Monkey Wrench bring you closer to those you love. Not become a wedge.

As far as Monkey Wrenches go, this is a minor one (Sorry, Brenda.)  Remember that time when Steven King was out for a walk and got hit by a guy in a van? Now that is a MAJOR Monkey Wrench. I just have to do all the cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry, home maintenance stuff and caring for my poor, pitiful, frustrated wife. It takes more time than you think! It sure make me appreciate all she does for me.

Be prepared against Monkey Wrenches:
  • BACKUPS! Computer issues are the most common Monkey Wrench.
    • Hard drive failure
    • Loss or stolen laptops
    • FIRE!
  • Stay organized.
    • Outlines that will keep me on track
    • Notes consolidated in one place
  • Stay flexible.
    • “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” --Confucius

--REMEMBER: Never leave a stack of magazines on the stairs to take up later...  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Reading: The Collapsing Empire

Last week I read The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Our universe is ruled by physics, and faster-than-light travel is not possible - until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transports us to other worlds, around other stars.

Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war - and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.

The Flow is eternal - but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it's discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster-than-light travel forever, three individuals - a scientist, a starship captain, and the empress of the Interdependency - are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

--Book one of a series. I liked it.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Fast Friday Interviews: Adam Martin

Adam Martin

Tell me about yourself?

I'm a Fire Horse, according to Chinese astrology, born Dec 2, 1966. Each sign has a 60 year window. So, the next batch will be born in 2026. Since, I wasn't born in China, nor a Chinese citizen, I'm not sure if I lost all those benefits, whatever they may be.

Tell me about your current Book: Xenoman

When ex-pole dancer/model Trianne is abducted in the Klownburger parking lot, Xeno, her ex co-worker from The Shoki Pao dance club, is hired by secret service agency Intellegella to locate her with the black box, a new experimental device used to detect missing persons via synthetic sensory perception. Xeno's mission is to locate Trianne and bring her back to Intellegella rehab,  before she suffers the effects of Black Magic abuse, a designer drug that results in spontaneous human combustion, just like the tabloids tell it in the supermarket. It's all true . . . including the alien conspiracy . . . and the coming of artificial humans . . .

There's even a character named Tab Lloyd . . .

What are you working on now?

I'm working on a cautionary tale about the video game industry. The idea of kids wearing those video game helmets at the expense of looking at a real tree is just plain wrong, and it looks creepy.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

I go to the civic center. It has a nice open atmosphere, and there's places to take walks, and there's a couple coffee shops with big vinyl booths that I enjoy. I also like to write in my folks kitchen, and there's a couple of upper scale Del Taco's and Mc Donald's that I kind of like. I rarely write in my condo. It feels like being in a gray tomb. I never go to Starbucks. It's full of rickety little kid's furniture, and they're cramped and expensive.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?

Writing isn't lonely. There's a confusion. You don't have to be a writer to be lonely, and you don't have to be lonely to be a writer. The two have nothing to do with each other. They're two separate problems, and you have to solve them over time as such. The reason I continued writing is that I like the conversation that goes with people that think farther out than just the veneerof  posting Dancing With the Stars videos on Facebook, and boring the hell out of everyone with their Morning Cup of Joe posts, pictures of their dog, their cat, then their dog again, then the "Here's-me-drunk-at-a-bar-in-(your south of the border country here)" post.

What is your favorite Website?

I read the free version of  The National Enquirer online, just to catch up on what I'm missing with the print version at Wal Mart. When I go to Wal Mart, I always read the print version in ten minutes and put it back without buying it. I catch up on news with Yahoo and Google. I don't need to see someone speak it on TV. I just need to know what happened in print. I like Metacritic for movie reviews, etc.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Quotes of the Week

If you know from whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations on where you can go.
—James Baldwin

Writing for me is a kind of compulsion, so I don't think anyone could have made me do it, or prevented me from doing it.
—Joanne Rowling

The road to Hell is paved with adverbs.
—Stephen King

Forget what you think about it and tell what you feel about it.
—Stephen Crane

Read widely...and sometimes while immersed in the multitude voices of others, you just might find your own.
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Dialogue has to create a life. It has to be self-sustaining. Conversation is definitely not dialogue.
—Sam Shepard

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
—Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Come and Visit!

I will be appearing at Great Writers, Right Here 2017 – a local author fair, hosted by the Fauquier County Public Library on Friday, October 13 from 6 – 8 p.m!

Come and visit! Bring coffee and chat! Or just point and laugh!

Great Writers, Right Here will bring together local published authors and readers who will have the opportunity to stroll from table to table and meet the authors. I will share and discuss my work with the community and sign and sell books.

There will be over 40 authors are participating in this celebration of local talent. In response to the increased interest, this year’s event will be held at the Family Life Center, First Baptist Church, 39 Alexandria Pike, Old Town Warrenton. This is located across the street from the Warrenton central library.

When: Friday, October 13, 2017, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Family Life Center, First Baptist Church, 39 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton VA 20186

--Admission is free. Door prizes will be awarded.

Just leaving this here...

Monday, October 9, 2017

Reading: My life as a White Trash Zombie

Last week I read My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She's a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she's made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay "alive".

--This book was a lot of fun. Recommended.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Meet the Author: Book Signing!

I will be appearing at Great Writers, Right Here 2017 – a local author fair, hosted by the Fauquier County Public Library on Friday, October 13 from 6 – 8 p.m!

Come and visit! Bring coffee and chat! Or just point and laugh!

Great Writers, Right Here will bring together local published authors and readers who will have the opportunity to stroll from table to table and meet the authors. I will share and discuss my work with the community and sign and sell books.

There will be over 40 authors are participating in this celebration of local talent. In response to the increased interest, this year’s event will be held at the Family Life Center, First Baptist Church, 39 Alexandria Pike, Old Town Warrenton. This is located across the street from the Warrenton central library.

When: Friday, October 13, 2017, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Family Life Center, First Baptist Church, 39 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton VA 20186

--Admission is free. Door prizes will be awarded.

Always need more bacon!

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Fast Friday Interviews: Robyn Bennis

Robyn Bennis

Tell me about yourself, Robyn.

I grew up in Florida, where I was co-raised by my grandparents and a biker gang. No, really. Buy me a drink, prove you’re not wearing a wire, and I can tell you some great stories. I moved to Boston for my first biotech job, where I stayed with gay furries for a year. I then moved to San Diego and worked down the street from Mitt Romney. From there, I went to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I learned more than I ever wanted to know about venture capital—which, for the record, is an infinitely weirder and more absurd world than that of biker gangs or furries.

Tell me about your current Book:

When a vast army conducts a surprise attack, a nation’s first female airship captain must bring her unwieldy ship under control and gain the respect of her yet more unwieldy crew, or else they’re all totally boned.

Think Stargate SG-1 on an airship. Or Red Dwarf on an airship. Oh, or Firefly on an airship! Or Stargate meets Red Dwarf meets Firefly meets Battlestar Galactica on an airship! Ahem. Sorry, someone gave me an Amazon gift card recently and I’ve been using it to rewatch my favorite shows.

In all sincerity, if you like witty dialogue, hard fantasy, military fiction, and fart jokes, you’re going to love The Guns Above. Also, if you don’t read it, I’ll send roving bands of bikers, furries, and/or venture capitalists out to find you.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on the sequel to The Guns Above, to be released next spring. Once that’s on its way to print, I’ll be writing a supernatural fantasy about a woman who speaks to the devil. It’s semi-autobiographical.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

Anyplace that has good coffee and tables that don’t wobble. I therefore write mostly in coffee shops, but I won’t kick a donut shop out of bed.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?

My favorite lesson? That there’s no right way to conduct the business side of it. There are wrong ways, certainly, but there’s no single right way. I’ve seen writers successfully build a following via social media, events, reviews, blogging, and even word of mouth. It’s not about finding the right way, it’s about finding your right way.

What is your favorite Website?

Based on the frequency with which I access it, that would have to be It’s the perfect link for any occasion that involves epic fail. And let’s face it, epic fail is on the rise these days.



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Quotes of the Week

Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can come together.
—Marilyn Monroe

The time to begin writing a story is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.
—Mark Twain

The best stories don’t come from good vs. bad but from good vs. good.
—Leo Tolstoy

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
—Albert Einstein

Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.
—Isabell Allende

Let the readers do some of the work themselves.
—Fyodor Dostoevsky

If you’re a writer, you sit down and damn well decide to have an idea. That’s the way to get an idea.
—Andy Rooney

If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.
—Terry Pratchett

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Socialize

One thing that has helped me almost more than anything else is hanging out with other writers.

Here is a simple list of the various ways:

  • Take a class about writing.
  • Join a writers critique group.
  • Use and find groups of working writers.
  • Meet aspiring writers.
  • Drink lots of coffee.
  • Do NANOWRIMO meetups.
  • Go to lit conferences.
  • Join FB groups.

I attend one group of writers that meets monthly. They call themselves a group of drinkers with a writing problem. They just meet and eat and drink and talk about writing. It's fun and social and not only do I enjoy the interaction and learn something now and then, I can study all kinds of people.

Another group I know talks exclusively about screenplays. Another is all about editing. Another is dedicated to the genres I love.

I get energized by interacting and talking with other authors. Some of them are introverts and it may be the only outside human interaction they ever get!

All work and no play makes Marty a dull boy.

Get out there and talk to other writers about the craft and the business of writing. It will make you a better writer.

--It will also make you a happier person.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Reading: To Fire Called

Last week I read To Fire Called by Nathan Lowell.

I love these characters and this series.

Here is the description from Amazon:

A dead ship returns to the Deep Dark with a live crew.

Captain Ishmael Wang finally gets the Chernyakova out of the yard and embarks on a voyage into the Toe-Holds where the Confederated Planets Joint Committee on Trade has no authority. Where the law is whatever you say it is as long as you can enforce it.

Where he learns that some will do anything to hide their secrets and everybody has a secret.

--This is a great series. I will keep buying them as long as he writes him.

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Fast Friday Interviews: CW Lamb

Charles Lamb

Tell me about yourself?

So, my name is Charles Lamb and I live in Jacksonville, Fl. where I am waiting out Hurricane Irma as I am writing this. Be safe in the knowledge that the generator sitting idle in my garage will see that it is completed. I am probably the most unexpected Author you will find. A “C” student in English, the last thing I ever imagined was writing a novel. For those of you that are English Majors, you can imagine the problems my name creates when publishing a book, thus I went with CW Lamb.

I am a Mechanical Engineer by education, computer geek by profession and a former Marine by the grace of God and several Drill Instructors. My stint in the Corps was not typical, short by anyone’s definition, but it left a lasting impression on me.

My hobbies are only limited by my bank account. We boat extensively, with trips to the Florida Keys as frequent as possible. That goes nicely with SCUBA diving, something I’ve done for almost 40 years. I have a vintage vette that I can only afford because I do all my own work and a newer Harley that is my daily driver. I used to teach both diving and shooting on the side but don’t really have time for that any more.

I am into Photography and play the guitar (poorly). My wife and I have three kids and three dogs, all over the age of 21 (Kids that is).

Tell me about your current Book: 

My latest release is book 4 of the ALICE series. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale that is intended to entertain, but some people take these things far too seriously!

When the NeHaw Cruiser appears at the edge of the solar system, Jake must take his single fighter up to meet it, or else the planet could lose the rest of its population.

The ALICE series is a mixture of Science Fiction and Social Science. Imagine yourself, Captain Jacob Thomas, a 21st century warrior. You are trained by the United States Marine Corps to be a leader of men and women in the most stressful environment possible, combat. Due to failures in your personal life, you place yourself in the hands of those at DARPA, the Defense Research people willing to sacrifice you in the name of military advancements.

In a mixture of bad luck, some stolen Alien Technology and an ill-tempered Alien Race, you are awakened 150 years in the future. There you find an Earth with more than half its population bombed out of existence, all major cities are lawless battlegrounds for survival. The planets technology has been rolled back to pre-industrial revolution.

On top of all this, you discover that an Artificial Lifeform, created by humans and feared by the Aliens, is both your savior and your benevolent Svengali. Manipulating your every move, it continuously works in the background, playing on your sense of honor while insuring its own continued existence.

Imagine a world where law and order have been replaced with the need for survival, a place where men and women are forced to fend for themselves. Think of all that’s wrong today and envision what might be, the good, the bad and the extremely ugly. What would you do to survive?

What are you working on now?

I am really excited about my current project. Entitled The Dowry, it’s a bit of a Paranormal Romance where I split the storyline into two streams. Each chapter starts in the past and then cuts to the present.

In the now, I have Robert Garrison, former Army Corps of Engineers Officer, now an Architect that specializes in Historical Restorations. Newly divorced and looking for a fresh start, he is drawn to a late 1850’s Queen Ann Victorian that is on the river and has been left for ruin. Unable to explain his attraction to the place, he acquires the house only to learn it has a bit of a reputation.

The other stream is about Charlotte Foxworth, the daughter of a riverboat Captain, now businessman with several boats to his name. Looking to build her own house on the river, she convinces her father to sponsor her own business as a Landing far south of the Port Of Jacksonville. Her demise is the key to the entire story.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

I have learned I can write just about anywhere so long as I am left to my own world. In my home office, on vacation, and even at work (SHHHH! I do sneak in some pages at lunch or early before the day starts) I have been able to spin tales of fiction and fantasy. Most of the time though, I just sit at home.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?

Don’t follow the rules. I have probably broken every rule passed on to me as “Good Advice.” I reply to my reviews and engage with criticism, doing my best not to take offence. I use each as a teaching moment, both for me and the reader, relying on the thick skin I developed in IT to filter the feedback. In all but one instance the tone of the reviewer softened as they discovered I was honestly interested in what they had to say about my work. That one instance? I disengaged the moment I realized they were not interested in anything but having their opinion aired.

What is your favorite Website?

Two actually. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, a huge help to a newbie. everything you ever wanted to know about boating.



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Audio edition is now available!

Now available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes!

The audio edition of Virtues of the Vicious!

Elizabeth Cruze came to Earth for one reason: to buy weapons. She never counted on ending up in prison. Never fear, though, she's not planning on staying there long.

Special Investigator Neal Locke has made a career out of catching the most elusive and dangerous criminals. He's never failed to "get his man".

When Cruze escapes from prison, Locke is tasked with tracking her down. She should be easy to find...all he's got to do is follow the trail of bodies.

But Locke has been an investigator for a long time. It doesn't take him long to figure out that there's more going on than what he's been told....

--Narrated by A.T. Shore.

Quotes of the Week

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
--Susan Ertz

I violated the Noah rule: Predicting rain doesn't count; building arks does.
--Warren Buffett

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.
--Frank A. Clark

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Stress

I am a big believer in routine. I write at the same time every day. I don't wait for inspiration or the muse. I just do it without it being optional. Like seat belts or brushing my teeth.

As you can see from recent posts I have been in a stress filled time that has badly disrupted my routine. My daily writing, blogging, attending my writers groups and even conferences.

This is compounded by the fact I am working on more than one project at a time. That violates one of my other rules. Focus on a single thing.

So here is how I will handle the stress:

  • Forgive myself for the disruption. I won't let the regret of lost time add to the stress.
  • Get organized. I will literally update my calendar and planner. Prioritize and plan.
  • Eat right and exercise. This always makes my writing time more productive.
  • Just do it. At risk of sounding like a sneaker commercial, just do it. This is often the toughest step. I could do all the other steps and if I didn't just do it, nothing would get done. That would add to the stress.

--Avoid the snowballing of stress. The "Just Do it" step will let the air out of your stress bubble.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Last Road Trip

This weekend was difficult for me.

When my brother Carl knew he was dying, he and I plotted out all his funeral arrangements. He wanted a Big Lebowski style scattering of his ashes. Folgers can and all. He made me promise to use an old school metal Folgers can. We laughed. I agreed. I eventually found the coffee can. I even made and drank the coffee.

I divided his ashes four ways. I drove one portion all the way to California. My Brother Russ will scatter those in the Pacific. My sister Amy will scatter her portion in the Atlantic. My sister Wanda will scatter her portion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Carl loved the water.

The water he loved the most in the world was in our home town of Indian Falls New York. We grew up on Indian Falls Road. Plus the actual Indian Falls flowed next to his favorite bar in the world. The Log Cabin.

Just above the Falls, there is a bridge.

I had decided that I would scatter his ashes from the center of the bridge. The closer the time came the more difficult I knew it would be for me. I was initially going to invite a pile of people, then just family, then just my wife, and then, in the end, it was just me. My wife Brenda understood. It was a beautiful day. A perfect day. I parked my car and walked onto the bridge. It was quiet and calm and I took the picture you see on the right above.

I had a private conversation with Carl.

I was glad there was no wind blowing. I slowly began to pour the contents from the can, and something magical happened. Half of the ash dove straight for the water. It was like it was eager to ride the waterfalls again. The other half drifted and was more like smoke in the sunshine. It danced on the breeze below the bridge. It swirled gently like a flock of starlings in the sunshine. It even made a rainbow in the sun as the cloud drifted toward the falls.

I leaned on the railing, for physical and emotional support. My tears followed him into the water below, into eternity.

--I love you, bro. Thanks for being part of my life. Thanks for the Road Trip...

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Fast Friday Interviews: Niel Bushnell

Niel Bushnell

Tell me about yourself, Niel.

When I was ten years old I made a long list of things I hoped to achieve later in life. One of my main ambitions, lodged in between becoming an astronaut and drawing comics for a living, was to write a novel.

The plan was to do this before I turned thirteen, but it’s taken me a little bit longer than that. My early love of comic books eventually took me in a slightly different direction: a career in animation. I’ve worked as an animator on several feature films including Space Jam and Lost in Space, computer games like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Driver, and lots of TV shows.

But I continued to write until my first novel, Sorrowline, was completed . . . some decades after my thirteenth birthday. Since then I've written six more books and I'm about to launch a new sci-fi series in October with the publication of Arkship Obsidian.

I live in my native north-east England, and I still plan on becoming an astronaut one day, but it might take me a few more decades to tick that one off my list.

Tell me about your current Book:

When the arkship Obsidian is attacked, Wynn must recover his memories and find out who is behind the attack, or he'll be hunted down and killed.

"Dune meets Battlestar Galactica, with a pinch of Asimov thrown in for good measure."

Earth has been destroyed, the entire solar system turned to dust by a cataclysmic event known as the Fracture. Now, the last survivors of humanity live on vast arkships drifting through the Cluster, doing what they can to survive in a hostile ever-changing environment.

When the arkship Obsidian is attacked, Wynn awakes in an escape pod fleeing from a huge space battle, unable to remember who he is. Hunted by a killer robot, the forces of a rival arkship, and the Church of the Infinite, Wynn must survive long enough to unlock his lost memories, discover who is behind the attack and take his revenge.

What are you working on now?

I'm starting book two in the Arkship Saga. It's called Arkship Vengeance and should be out in December.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

I mostly write in my tiny office at home, but I love a long train journey where I can stare out the window and lose myself in the story.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?

Self-belief is so important, but can be elusive and fragile. It's taken me years to build up my confidence and know that I can write and finish a good story.

What is your favorite Website?

Right now I'm spending a lot of time on YouTube watching pages like Fully Charged (, Tested ( and Trekyards (



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Quotes of the Week

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.
—Anne Lamott

The ability of writers to...familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.
—Toni Morrison

Create your own visual style... let it be unique to yourself and identifiable to others.
—Orson Welles

Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
—Virginia Woolf

As long as you can start, you are all right. The juice will come.
—Ernest Hemingway

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can write anything good.
—William Faulkner

Just set one day’s work in front of the last day’s work. That’s the way it comes out. And that’s the only way it does.
—John Steinbeck

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Stand Up

I have been on a strict fitness program. I have actually already lost over 100 pounds and still dropping.

The more fit I become the clearer I think and the better, easier, faster my writing is.

I got to weigh 296lbs mostly because of my sedentary life working on the computer all day at work and then all evening at home.

Everyone at work stared getting stand up desks and I jumped on that bandwagon with a stand-up portable desk at home!

It allows me to work standing while watching TV, outside, in my office, anywhere really.

I got it on Amazon and it was only $46 delivered!

--My legs are already sore!

Sign up maybe win a Million$!

I am have an Email Notification list that I will use to keep you informed of new releases, book signings or other events. I promise not to spam the hell out of you!

Plus you will have a chance to will $1,000,000 twice a week! Seriously!

*indicates required

--Fun stuff!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Reading: Departure

This week I read: Departure by A.G. Riddle.

Here is the description from Amazon:

En route to London from New York, Flight 305 suddenly loses power and crash-lands in the English countryside, plunging a group of strangers into a mysterious adventure that will have repercussions for all of humankind.

Struggling to stay alive, the survivors soon realize that the world they’ve crashed in is very different from the one they left. But where are they? Why are they here? And how will they get back home?

Five passengers seem to hold clues about what’s really going on: writer Harper Lane, venture capitalist Nick Stone, German genetic researcher Sabrina Schröder, computer scientist Yul Tan, and Grayson Shaw, the son of a billionaire philanthropist.

As more facts about the crash emerge, it becomes clear that some in this group know more than they’re letting on—answers that will lead Harper and Nick to uncover a far-reaching conspiracy involving their own lives. As they begin to piece together the truth, they discover they have the power to change the future and the past—to save our world . . . or end it.

--Good stuff. Fast easy read that kind of reminded me of LOST!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Spanish Edition

The Spanish language edition of Virtues of the Vicious is now available on Amazon!

Virtudes de los Feroces

Elizabeth Cruze llegó a la Tierra con un sólo propósito: comprar armas. Nunca pensó que terminaría en prisión. Pero no teman, no planea quedarse allí por mucho tiempo.

El Investigador Especial Neal Locke ha forjado su carrera capturando a los criminales más evasivos y peligrosos. Nunca ha fallado en “capturar al hombre”.

Cuando Cruze se escapa de la prisión, Locke se encarga de encontrarla. Debería ser fácil hallarla… sólo necesita seguir el rastro de cuerpos.

Pero Locke ha sido investigador por mucho tiempo. Y en poco tiempo notará que está sucediendo más de lo que le han dicho...

Video: Advice from Stephen King

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Fast Friday Interviews: Bryan Nowak (a.k.a. Bryan the Writer)

Bryan Nowak

Tell me about yourself, Bryan.

Born at a young age, I was destined for greatness when I learned how to be a shrewd business-baby. Pretty soon I had my own crib-based empire.

Mostly kidding or course. I was born in the south Chicago suburb of Steger, IL. A poor urban suburb, my mom worked as a nurse in a local hospital. I moved to Minnesota at the ripe old age of fourteen with my parents. It was in Minnesota where I met my wife, finished my bachelor’s degree in Geography, and my first child was born.

I also joined the US Army Reserves (34th Infantry Division, Go Red Bulls!) in Minnesota, and over a seventeen year career I spent almost four years on active duty doing a variety of interesting things.

My wife, kids and I spent three years living in Berlin, Germany where we traveled to over fourteen different countries in Europe. My personal favorite city is Venice. I could spend weeks in Venice doing nothing and it would never be enough time. A close second is the city of Prague. With its amazing food and beautiful architecture, Prague is a must see.

I have been writing seriously for the last three years and loving every minute of it. I started during a meeting where I got bored and started jotting down story ideas and just never stopped.

Tell me about your current Book: 

My latest novel is called, Riapoke. Riapoke is an Algonquin word meaning either the devil, or evil, depending on the translation and regional dialect you use for that translation. The book is set on fictitious Lake Oleander which has on its west side, an upscale resort and on its east side, the town of Riapoke which is known for being less than friendly to strangers.

A lucky series of events leave an opening at the resort for a single mother and her son who want to spend time together before he heads off to college. A series of unfortunate problems lead to their having to swim for their lives. Making the shore of the lake, they come up the boat ramp to find themselves in a mess of trouble in a town which really doesn’t like strangers.

When a mother and her son become stranded in a town that has institutionalized serial killing, Meghan must find a way to stop an ancient prophecy, or become the latest victims.

Meghan and Kyle head off to spend some quality mother-son time at a resort along the idyllic Lake Oleander. The picturesque and secluded escape promises a nearly perfect summer vacation. The seemingly placid lake also holds a dark secret; the bodies of those sacrificed to the local deity.
Their arrival sets the gears of an ancient prophecy in motion. They find themselves suddenly set against unimaginable forces, ancient and evil, hoping to either forestall or accelerate the prophecy’s fruition.

Deep beneath the bedrock of the town of Riapoke, an evil lay festering for hundreds of years. It waits patiently for the inevitable day it will taste freedom and claim its rightful heritage.

What are you working on now?

For about two years, I have had a manuscript I have been working on which was never quite right. It needed a complete reworking and I am approaching the point where I am happy with it. I am thrilled to introduce Crimson Tassels to my readers sometime this year. I’d like to get it out before Christmas, but I won’t rush to get it out. I’d rather have it right than on time.

I also have several story lines I am working on I am constantly getting questions about when I am going to write the second book in The Dramatic Dead series. The book is mostly outlined and I am planning to start it soon.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

Home! Honestly, I hate being away from home if I don’t have to be. I like having my stuff around me, access to my tea, my extensive Xbox game collection, and the places I know and love. I take vacations when I have to, but mostly avoid it if I can.

As far as location in the house, I have a corner I took over as my writing nook. When one of my kids finally flies the nest, I intend to outfit a bedroom as a writing alcove. I have dreams of soundproof walls with every wall covered in bookshelves!

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?

Get involved! You cannot possibly be a writer in these modern times if you don’t participate with other authors. You have to get out there and beta read, give lectures on what you know, read to audiences, offer advice, take advice, and generally get to know the authors around you. You may not think you have anything to offer, or know enough, but here is the big secret. No one truly does. And the old saying is absolutely true, a rising tide raises all boats. Collectively we can make life a better place for all of us, but we have to work together. Get in there and get involved.

What is your favorite Website?

Oh gosh, that would have to be Honestly, I want to write full time and doing it from the deck of my own 30’ long cruiser sounds wonderful. And yes, I know the old joke about the best days of a boat owners life, so spare me. I’ve loved the water since I was a kid and I’m working toward having my own little piece of solitude. Who knows, maybe I will name the boat “Riapoke”.



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Quotes of the Week

After the game, the King and the Pawn go in the same box.
--Italian Proverb

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can write anything good.
—William Faulkner

Just set one day’s work in front of the last day’s work. That’s the way it comes out. And that’s the only way it does.
—John Steinbeck

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
—Ernest Hemingway

I want to be read. I want to be valued. That is perhaps the only shot at immortality a human being can have.
—Anne Rice

Have a belief in yourself that is bigger than anyone's disbelief.
—August Wilson

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tuesday Tips: The First draft

The first draft of everything is shit. 
-Ernest Hemingway

This tip will be harder to execute than you will believe. It sounds simple.

Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft. I say it all the time. Hammer through without looking back. Focus. Don't revise.

Read these quotes now and then to remind you:

Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly.
– Joshua Wolf Shenk

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
— George Orwell

Monday, September 11, 2017

Reading: AL:ICE

This week I ready AL:ICE by Charles Lamb.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Captain Jacob Thomas, USMC, is a divorced combat veteran just trying to get his life back on track. Returning to the marine corps after a failed attempt at reconciliation with his estranged wife, Jake volunteers for a DARPA experiment that catapults him into a future where humanity has been stripped of 200 years of technological advancements and more than half its population. With the help of a faceless benefactor named Alice, he escapes the confines of an abandoned lab facility and starts a journey to put Earth back on a path to recovery. Jake's path begins in the rich farmlands of central California and eventually places him in orbit and face to face with the very evil that started it all.

--This is book one of a series!

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Fast Friday Interviews: Melonie Purcell.

Melonie Purcell

Tell me about yourself?

I recently crossed what I call the Cheaters, Bleaters and Seaters barriers. In other words, I now require reading glasses, I snore like a congested goat and I opt for sitting over standing when given the option. That said, I love to hike and backpack. I recently did an in and out hike along the Highline Trail in Glacier NP, USA. I won’t lie. I did consider the tactical challenge of getting a S&R helicopter up there while I was crawling up the Garden Wall leg to the Continental Divide, but I made it. Not sure what it says about me that the highlight of the hike was being chased by a mountain goat, though.

I live in world famous Las Vegas, NV. I will tell you now, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. It goes on Youtube and will haunt you ‘till your death. So, if you are coming here, we don’t judge you, but clothing optional on the Strip really isn’t a thing.

I have three dogs, one of whom I’m certain was spawned by Satan, and a cat who is an asshole and only answers to ‘Your Majesty’. I love them all, though.

Tell me about your current Book:

When Krea discovers she is a shapeshifter, she must survive evil faeries, hostile elves and a magical forest as she stuggles to reach the capital, or else she will lose her human form forever and the Empire will lose their freedom.

Steal the bag. Don’t get caught. Repeat. Not the most glorious existence, but Krea likes it just fine.

When Sorin, a cranky old soldier, barges in and decides to take over her life, Krea is less than enthused. Sure, he saved her from a brutal death at the hands of the guards, and he did stop decrepit faerie monsters from eating her. But declaring she isn’t human and dragging her through a cursed forest to the Royal City is going too far.

Now, she is eyeball deep in magic wielding nobles, shapeshifting dragons, assassins and an ancient elf war that could destroy the Empire. Her cloak is too small. Her horse thinks she wants to eat it and her companion resents her very existence.

And then there’s Dane.

What are you working on now?

Don’t tell, but I’m halfway finished with Dagger of Drani, book two in my World of Drani series. I know I’m supposed to be writing Feather and Bone, book two in the World of Kyrni series, but Nevvis and Taymar won’t shut up and leave me alone, so I have to finish their story first. They are the eldest after all.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write? 

My office. Boring, I know. But I just can’t write as well anywhere else. I have two monitors and pictures of my maps and characters all around me, so it works.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?

Write it. Look it over once, only once, and then leave it alone until you are finished with the whole book.

Also, keep a bible and add to it continuously. If your character farts on some dude named Rectarius while using the loo, add that name and page number to your bible, because I promise you, Rectarius will later have possession of the spell that unlocks the gates of Toridor and you will spend four days trying to figure out how he spells his name and what color shoes he was wearing.

What is your favorite Website?

I’m not sure if it’s my favorite, but I am fascinated by It somehow houses a time vortex and it always ends in cats. You can go to Youtube looking for a video on how to fix your dishwasher and six hour and forty-six videos later, you are trying to figure out how that cat managed run up that wall. I’m mostly sure somethin’ shady is happenin’ there.