Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 Year in Review:

I was looking back at 2023, and it was an eventful year. And not in a good way.

It started off ambitious. I was planning to be far more physically active. I had purchased a fancy new mountain bike with fat offroad tires and power assist, and I was having way too much fun trail riding with it. I was solo camping in mid-January in Shannondoah River State Park when I crashed my mountain bike. I shattered my right collar bone, broke two ribs, and dislocated my shoulder. The worst part was I was two miles away from my truck, and there was NO cell service.

Collarbone Repairs
I managed to get my shoulder back into the socket, straightened the handlebars on my bike, and road the bike two miles back to my truck. Those two miles were a nightmare of pain, but I knew I was alone in that park and had to do it, no matter the pain. I drove myself to a hospital as my vision narrowed in shock and inability to breathe. After they stabilized me and filled me with pain meds, I called my wife, Brenda, and she and my sister Amy drove the two hours to pick me up at the hospital. Soon I had a new titanium collar bone installed and six weeks of shallow breathing.

That wasn't the last time Brenda saved me in 2023. Less than six months later, once again while camping, I had a heart attack. I was being bull-headed, but Brenda convinced me that my chest pain might be more than reflux. Boy, was she right. The quick trip to the ER discovered a 90% blockage of my right coronary artery. Emergency surgery followed, and a shiny new stent was installed.
My dog Whiskey

In the second half of the year, I humbly got my shit together. Dancing at the edge of the abyss can do that to you. I got very serious about my health. All my "numbers" have improved. Diet and exercise have improved. I am riding my bike again but sticking to the roads these days. I got a dog named Whiskey that I walk every day, who also lowers my blood pressure. I even bought a camper so I can enjoy solo camping (with my dog) and be more comfy.

All of that adventure seriously cut onto my writing goals for 2023. 
  • I only managed one writer retreat. Not two.
  • I only published two books: Blood Heretics and Peck's Halfway
  • I only produced one new Audiobook
  • I only wrote two new 1st drafts of books to be published in 2024.

It's New Year's Eve today. My goals are ambitious for 2024. I hope to publish four books this year. I believe I can do it, as two of them are already written in 1st draft. The third has a verbose outline and will be the project for my spring Writer Retreat. And the fourth will be drafted in my September Writer Retreat. At least, that is the plan. Stay tuned, and hope for no ER visits this year!

--Wish me luck. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2023

Saturday, December 23, 2023

The year comes to a close...

I want to thank everyone for all the birthday wishes as I begin another lap around the sun. Several people asked what was in store for me this coming year. So here is a quick accountability list:
  1. Spend more time outside. Camping, dog walking, bike riding. 
  2. Spend LESS time in the ER. Just saying.
  3. Keep Writing/Publishing and having fun doing it.
  4. Spend more time with friends. Maybe even you.
  5. Be more amused and less angry at the world.
  6. Make sure the people I love know it.
  7. An occasional relaxing cigar and bourbon.

--Got any other recommendations?

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Buy signed copies! Including Hard Cover editions!

 Paperback signed editions are on SALE now for $15 with shipping included!

--Thanks for your support!

Monday, December 18, 2023

Now available for Pre-Order!

This Quick-Read contains all three of the Stonebridge short stories packaged together for the first time.

-Watch for news about a future novel that has all these characters...

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Want a signed copy of one of my books? My new store is open!

 My new web store is open and it's the best place to get signed copies of my books!

--You can even get the classic edition of Still Falling. Original cover first edition!

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Sign up and I will send you a link to a free short story!

I am putting together 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!

*indicates required

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Do you want to review my new book?

I am looking for honest reviewers for my new Novel: BLOOD HERETICS

If you are interested, send me your email address and I will send you a Promo code to obtain a reviewer copy of the Audible Edition!  Let me know.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Upcoming Works

Tentative Release Schedule:

  • Peck's Halfway - December 2023
  • Revenger of the Render - February 2024
  • Blood Sky Dreams - June 2024

Friday, November 17, 2023


 Audible edition will be available soon!

The horrors of the Iraq war led Timothy Beck to become a simple parish priest…until that day when his life changed forever. Now, he’s a member of an elite team secretly funded by the United States government to hunt vampires.

Maris Hodge was a police detective, and a damn good one, until a vampire seduced and tried to enslave her. Now free, she’s the newest recruit for the team…and she’s looking for payback.

Rhys Valmunin, the vampire who terrifies all the other vampires, is active again after over a century… he always gets his chosen prey.

The question is: Who’s the hunter, and who’s being hunted?

Monday, October 9, 2023

Eat Local Read Local Festival

 Come on out and see me and lots of other local authors! Plus, food trucks! Rumor has it you can even buy some magic honey...

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Quotes of the Week

The purpose of writing is to make your mother and father drop dead with shame.

The whole labor of writing is to make it look like it just came off the top of your head.
--Paddy Chayefsky

I look upon literature as an art, and I practice it as an art. Of course, it is also a vocation, and a trade, and a profession, and all kinds of things; but first it’s an art, and you should practice it as that, I think.

The worst thing you can do is censor yourself as the pencil hits the paper. You must not edit until you get it all on paper. If you can put everything down, stream-of-consciousness, you’ll do yourself a service.

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
--Stephen King

I rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, 39 times before I was satisfied ...
--Ernest Hemingway

Whenever you write, whatever you write, never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are.
--Rod Serling

Go a little out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.
--David Bowie

The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.

The first draft of anything is shit.
--Ernest Hemingway

Friday, September 22, 2023

Capclave: Sept 30th to Oct 1st

 I will be there selling and signing books all weekend.  I  will also be giving a talk on Saturday afternoon: Audio Books for Fun and Profit.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Event: Bluemont Fair

 Had a great day at the Bluemont Fair!

I was there with follow authors: David Keener and S.C. Megale

--Thanks for stopping by and seeing us!

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Selling and Signing at the 53rd Bluemont Fair!

 I will be selling and signing at the Bluemont Fair!

Here is the Event flyer. Lots of cool stuff happening! Family Fun!

Monday, June 12, 2023

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 10am to 4pm

Come see me! The Park is finally finished! Bring a picnic lunch, buy books, read in the sun!

Monday, May 1, 2023

Drink Coffee and Make Stuff Up!!

I jumped on another Author bandwagon today! All the cool kids are doing it! Sign up to follow my shenanigans. Maybe every now and again you can buy me coffee!

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Manassas Reads Book Festival

It was a good day for a book signing. It started off cool but warmed up nicely. Lots of books were sold and signed. Met lots of old and new friends. My feet hurt by the end of the day!

--Thanks to everyone that came out!

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Manassas Book Festival! Come see me on April 29th, 9am-2pm.

 I'll be there signing books! Come out and see me!

--The Prince William County Public Library System, the City of Manassas, and Manassas City Public Schools joined together to host the first community-wide book festival in October 2014, at the Harris Pavilion. The event now takes place in the spring annually. It continues to offer many activities and giveaways, including LOTS of free books for all ages, prizes, special community guest readers, the chance to meet published and local authors, student presentations, live music, and so much more!

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Writing Workshop

Writing Workshop—The Craft of the Novel
Sunday, April 23, 10 AM – 3:30 PM
Tysons-Pimmit Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA
Meeting Room 2

Organized by the Loudoun Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers, this workshop is specific to the special craft and needs of writing the novel. It will not consist of lecture but “the working talk of fellow writers sharing their experience with the writing process” (to borrow the words of Don Murray, Pulitzer Prize winning author and columnist).

We will look at creating a novel from the beginning idea to the working-out of a story that will grab and keep the interest of readers until the end.

Join us from 10 AM until 3:30 PM at Tyson’s-Pimmit Library, Meeting Room 2, on Sunday, April 23. There is no charge. Questions? Contact Donna Royston,

Monday, April 10, 2023

Shepherd is reader supported...

 Check out this review on

--Click on the image and check it out!

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

March 29, 2015

 I published my first novel eight years ago today, and my life changed forever.

Friday, March 10, 2023

22 Tips from Pixar

These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coates, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list - When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.

1.You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

2.You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.

3.Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

4.Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

5.Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

6.What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

7.Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

8.Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

9.When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

10.Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

11.Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

12.Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

13.Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

14.Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

15.If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

16.What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

17.No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

18.You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

19.Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

20.Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

21.You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

22.What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

I don't recommend This Old Guy Camping Adventure...

On January 18th, 2023, I was solo Camping in Shenandoah River State Park.

When I crashed my mountain bike, I was wearing my GoPro when I went over the handlebars and got busted up. I dislocated my should, shattered my collarbone, cracked two ribs, and bruised a lung. It all happened so fast...


Thursday, January 12, 2023

Quotes of the Week

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
—Katherine Hepburn

You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
—Robin Williams

Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.
—James Baldwin

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
—Stephen King

If a writer falls in love with you, you'll never die.

Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? And no one had to die.
—Anne Enright

Monday, January 9, 2023

Coming Soon!

 This collection will contain my short story: Justice in the Mist

Now available for eBook Pre-Order on Amazon!!

Sunday, January 8, 2023

I'm back.

Hey everyone. I took a month off for Christmas and now that the decorations are down, I'm back to work. 

It should be a good writing year if I don't encounter too many monkey wrenches.

First up is a short story submission, that I will send out today. I have three novels in the queue for this year, two writers' Retreats, my podcast season 3, and a lot of adventures planned.

But only after I get this cat off my lap...