Stories In, Kickstarters Out, and More News

Well, I’m getting a slow start on blogging in 2013. In fact, I was so busy the last half of the year, it was hard to stick to even my steady schedule of two posts per week (Mondays and Thursdays). But 2012 ended with the sale of another children’s book and 3 anthologies to publishers, including 2 which involve Kickstarters, and the marketing of several more anthologies and a fantasy trilogy. I’m still working on prepping the fantasy trilogy for agent queries, in fact. Just a few more polishes. Add to that steady editing and blogging work for a number of clients, and I was pretty exhausted.

AbeLincolnDino_CoverV2But at this point, some of that is moving to the next stage, which is a good thing. Abraham Lincoln Dinosaur Hunter: Land of Legends, the first early reader chapter book in a new adventure series is due out this month (delayed due to cover art issues), and stories for Beyond The Sun, the colonist SF anthology I funded on Kickstarter, are rolling in (with the January 15th deadline fast upon us). So far I have great stories from headliners Robert Silverberg, Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress, along with stories from Jamie Todd Rubin, Jennifer Brozek, Autumn Rachel Dryden, Jason Sanford and Maurice Broaddus. In the queue awaiting decisions are stories by Cat Rambo, 2012 Philip K. Dick Award nominee Jean Johnson, Dana Bell and Anthony Cardno. It looks like I’ll have a harder time choosing whose stories to reject than finding good ones to fill the remaining 9-10 slots here. It’s a nice problem to have, as they say, but I hate rejecting writers, especially friends. Comes with the territory though.

The Kickstarter for Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age is supposed to launch next week, and we are working on the Kickstarter page now.  That will run for 6 weeks with hopes we can start finalizing story contracts and get the headliners working on some great new tales. Plans include an OryCon 35 launch this November, and it will be my first hardback release. Some great writers involved (see the link under the title).

Additionally, Jennifer Brozek and I are awaiting a contract on a military fantasy anthology which sold to one of the big pro publishers. We can’t announce until the contract is final, but for me, it’s my first pro-qualifying book sale, and we have some amazing authors involved. Can’t wait to get that going. It will be turned in by December and released in 2014.

I also am getting gamma comments in on Duneman, my epic fantasy, book 1 of The Dawning Age trilogy, and I am going to do some clean up and polishing and query agents later this month. One of my writing heroes, AC Crispin is kindly helping me polish my query, so that’s also a thrill and quite good fortune. I’m hoping to enter the next phase of my writing career quite soon.

Triumph Over Tragedy cover

I have a story out tomorrow (1/08/13) in Triumph Over Tragedy, which is raising funds for Red Cross efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy. An ebook only release, it will be available for only a limited time but has stories by Robert Silverberg, Timothy Zahn, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Elizabeth Bear, Michael J. Sullivan, yours truly and 20+ others. Some great stuff in there. I was one of four editors helping put the project together. My story is titled “Duncan Derring & The Call Of The Lady Luck” and is a tongue-in-cheek science fiction story about a demolitions expert who must help a starliner escape space tumbleweeds. Originally written for Wandering Weeds, which came out in November, it’s an updated, more polished version. My first resold story.

The Exodus, Book 3 in The Saga Of Davi Rhii, is 3/4ths done first draft but I’ll have to get back on that as soon as Duneman is finished. I may not send it out to a publisher if I can get a mass market deal explored via agents. That all has to wait on that process. I had already decided, for various reasons, not to go with Diminished Media Group for this one. I have interested from another small press, but since The Returning is not selling very quickly, it may just have to wait a while so I can focus on that.

Speaking of The Returning, I will be doing a review blog tour for that soon. I really need more reviews on Amazon to boost sales. Book 1, The Worker Prince, is getting regular sales via Amazon now because of it’s 24 reviews, and so I need to catch up The Returning and get that moving as well. The more people who discover and like The Worker Prince, the more likely it will be to sell, of course, so I’ll be continuing to promote that as well.

Last, but not least, I am marking a future Olympics themed anthology called Galactic Games, which the publishers I approach all seem to like but which no one has bought yet. It’s headlined by Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick, Esther Friesner and Robert Reed. I’m hoping to push it out for release during or just after the 2014 Winter Olympics, but for that to happen, I suppose I’ll need to find it a home first.

In any case, lots going on here. I’ll do my best to get the first Write Tip going for 2013 on Thursday. And be sure and check Finish The Story, my editing site, where we have new 2013 rates and some specials going on, including a nice coupon or two on our Facebook page for $100 off. Three published authors and editors at your service with a good track record and developing client list. It’s what we do to support ourselves while writing, so we’d love to help you if we can.

Thanks for checking in.


News 3/10/11

Thought I should take a moment and fill you in on the latest with me. It’s been a while since I’ve done that and, in case anyone wants to know, here it is.

I finally signed the contract for my first book deal Monday after three months of negotiations and delays. “The Worker Prince” will be released in August from Diminished Media out of Hudson, Michigan. YAY!

Meanwhile, I am on chapter 4 of the first sequel in the series. Things are going well, about a scene day, with a few breaks to do other stories and such. This week, I am a sponsored attendee at Rainforest Writer’s Village on Lake Quinault, Washington. I hope to get more than my usual writing done. Lots of cool people here, including Kat Richardson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jennifer Brozek and several Twitter friends. Good to be with them.

I also sold my first story to an anthology this week. It’s “Cats & Dragons” from Dreamzion Publishing and comes out in April. Yep. It’s a fast edit by my friend Dana Bell. So I’ll soon have an anthology to see you with my story “Amélie’s Guardian” about a dragon’s friendship with a little girl. It’s told in fairy tale style and, I’m told, a moving story.

I just submitted a story with a newly developed comedic character to the “Wicked Weeds” anthology edited by Jaleta Clegg. It’s for Cyberwizard Productions, on the companies which was interested in my book. This story is about a demolitions expert named Duncan Derring with a ship name Trini, after the words for TNT. It’s told in a noir style and was a lot of fun to write. I’d like to do a whole series. In the story, Duncan has to save a passenger liner from doom amidst space tumbleweeds.

I have stories currently out to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Port Iris Zine, Daily Science Fiction and Tales Of The Talisman, which makes five submissions total.

I am hoping to finish two short stories here: one a revision, the other half complete, so that I can send them out as well. Hoping for my first semi-pro and pro sales very soon.

Beyond that, the “Space Battles” anthology is a go but held up negotiating a contract with the publisher. So once that’s completed, I’ll move things along with the invitations to writers. Also, I am trying to sell my “World Encounters” anthology which has commitments from some name writers.

Lastly, waiting to hear this month if I got accepted to UTEP’s MFA in Creative Writing.

That’s pretty much the latest on my writing. For what it’s worth…


Hello, blogosphere.  I know I’ve been neglecting you, at least as a contributor.  I have been visiting other blogs and reading.  But that’s not the point, right?  This is supposed to be my blog, so I’m supposed to regularly post here.  Apologies.  Tomorrow will be a new chat log from our chat with Mike Resnick but today, here I am.

I’ve been doing a lot of different things lately.

First, I am still tweaking my novel manuscript as I wait for the publisher to read it over and approve the contract, so he can send it to me.  I have another small press insterested but I’m debating whether to go back to them because they are less on the same page with me than this one is and that’s important.

Second, I am still trying to get the editing I’ve taken on rolling at a good pace.  I work some each day but the nonfiction job is complicated and history, so accuracy in facts is really causing me to spend a lot of time working slowly to be sure I don’t edit out the wrong things.  But that just delays me getting to other projects.

Third, I am working on outlining novel 2 in the space opera series of which Book 1 is about to sell.  The first was a coming of age/adventure story, but the second is shaping up more into a chase thriller/murder mystery.  So I am working hard to outline it in a way which can help me capture the right pace and page turning effect needed.

Fourth, I am revising some short stories with the hopes that I might finally place on with a paying market.  Three are priority, the first being my prequel to the above mentioned space opera novel series.  What better way to promote the book than get the world and characters out there, right?

It frustrates me how much my crazy, out of control world is effecting my writing.  I used to be so much better disciplined.  I wrote through a major health crisis with my wife a year ago.  But right now, I am just really fighting depression and such loneliness, and so it’s been difficult to keep myself on the same keel as I have previously known through hard times.  It’s weird to “not have time to write” when you are unemployed and spend a lot of time sitting around the house all day.  But somehow I manage to do that.  I do get some reading done, some outling and editing, but not as much as I should be and am capable of.  I can only hope this will change.

In any case, still here, still pushing on, and I hope to have more exciting and useful blog entries soon.  In the meantime, if you’re looking for an inexpensive book for Christmas, my “North Star Serial” is a great buy and appropriate for all ages.  Find it at and click the Pay Pal link.

Blessings, For what it’s worth…

Ruminations on a Fresh Start

Okay, took a little hiatus after the last post, for obvious reasons.  I am feeling better, although life isn’t.  In two weeks, I will be totally unemployed, and although neither of my recent employers will go down on my list as pleasurable memories in most ways, co-workers and others will be missed.  We do feel ready for a fresh start, however, and I am hoping that begins with a book contract.

Yet a third small press is now reading “The Worker Prince,” and their first comment was “You write really well.”  Makes me feel good, of course.  They loved the opening and said it sucked them right in, which is exactly what I wanted, so I am hoping they love the rest of it as much.  It would be good to have some options on this thing, especially since it’s my first and smell presses and will require a big commitment on all of our parts to make it a success.

Another part of the fresh start will be attending two trips.  I leave tomorrow for Phoenix to attend Christian Musician’s Summit Southwest, a conference I tried to attend twice last year and had to cancel due to my wife’s illness.  I have dreamed of attending for several years, so it seems I will finally get to do that.  A lot of big name worship leaders and musicians will be there offering the chance for me to attend 8 classes, some keynote speeches, and a couple of concerts.  It will be a nice break from the mundane routine.

On the 28th, I am off to Columbus, Ohio for World Fantasy Convention, my second speculative fiction convention ever, and my first Worldcon.  I am quite excited to meet so many friends from Twitter, Facebook, etc. as well as attend lots of learning sessions, get books singed by known authors, and hopefully meet lots of other authors, agents, publishers, etc.  My old friend Eric Reynolds of Hadley Rille will be there, as will Mike Resnick and Blake Charlton, Christie Yant, Sandra Wickham, John Remy, Erika Holt, and Moises Siregar.  It will be a great chance to solidify online friendships and to be with people who are pursuing and living the same dreams I am as a writer.  I also look forward to seeing Columbus again, as I had visited there years ago on my music touring.

With the church Music Director job ending, we will also be seeking a new church home, which, along with the new job I hope materializes soon, should also make for a fresh start.

Lots of opportunities for new experiences here, and I hope to get back on and finish the First Draft of “Sandman,” my epic fantasy, in the next week also, so that I can start a new book as part of National Novel Writing Month in November.  It will be good to have a push like that to get back on track with the writing.

Meanwhile, it has been good to have a break from Tangent stuff to work on reading for fun.  I am about to finish the last Majipoor book at long last (fighting tears — these books are so fantastic) and will soon read “Windup Girl,” “Boneshaker,” and several others I have lined up and waiting.  Since starting at Tangent, reading for fun has been something I had little time for and I have been bummed to fall so far behind on this huge backlog.  Glad to get a little chance to catch up.

Well, that’s the latest.  I’ll try and write another writing cue photo post and writer’s tip soon as well.  Thanks for stopping by.

For what it’s worth…

Life or something like it’s got a hold on me

I am so behind on so many things. I even got behind on applying or jobs, although that had to, by necessity, go back to the top of the list and I am currently caught up. Needless to say, I am behind on blogging as well. I do have some things I want to blog about, including more author tips, but for now, I am just dropping in to say don’t give up on me.

I’m still awaiting offers for the “Worker Prince” space opera trio. One of the publishers is done and putting together the offer. The other is reading the entire manuscript again with both changes they requested and changes I initiated myself and will get back to me.

I am close to finishing the first draft of book 1 in my epic fantasy series as well.

My North Star Serial stories continue running monthly at and can be read there, or on my website as soon as the webmaster updates it (she’s fallen behind).

Beyond that, I have also accepted the position off Assistant Editor, E-zines at Tangent, an award winning fanzine known as the top source for reviews of short fiction. Check it out at I have several reviews posted already: Asimov’s August 2010, Analog November 2010, Mike Resnick’s Blasphemy, and Interzone September-October 2010. Our new format will launch soon and include all the e-zine stuff which I and my dedicated reviewers are working hard on to get ready.

One interesting thing about reviewing is it teaches me to examine stories more critically from a number of different aspects, and that can only help my own self-editing and the editing I do for others. I am also learning a lot about what I don’t like, which is why it has taken me a while to get into short fiction and read some of the magazines I’ve been subscribing two now for over a year and am way behind on. I don’t care at all for slipstream. I like my SF and F much more straight forward. I like sword and sorcery, high fantasy, and I like space opera. I am not impressed by writers who try really hard to invent complicated science and to teach us some moral lesson. I am much more impressed when they actually tell a good, involving story with dynamic, interesting, relatable characters. Those stories draw me in, whether they have complicated science or a moral or not. Perhaps that’s why I tend to worry first about character and plot in my own stories and let the rest of it fall in place where it may.

In any case, my involvement with Tangent will no doubt continue to involve me in the SFF community in new ways and teach me things which will be reflected in my writing, including my musings here. I hope you’ll find that interesting. And I do thank you for reading.

For what it’s worth…


I haven’t written more than 1000 words in a month. Shocking considering how productive I had been before that. But between editing a friend’s novel, critiquing for my group which I was way behind on and still am, moving, job interviews and other responsibilities, I just have not been able to focus enough to sit down. I also started this month as a reviewer for Tangent Online, so busyness is my life.

My goal though is to get Sandman‘s first draft finished by mid-September or at least in time for World Fantasy at the end of October. I’ll start on it tomorrow, though I’ve been away long enough, it will probably take some reading time to get back into. In the meantime, I have had time to think about some things I haven’t resolved and did come up with a good reveal for the ending which will help push it into the sequel and explain unanswered questions from throughout.

I also have my SF novel The Worker Prince being read by three small presses. Hopefully one of them will pick it up. It should be the first of a series. I have at least three in mind and the second is already partially outlined.

I also have ideas for a novella or two and some short stories. I did revise and get my WOTF losing entry back on the market, and a friend who just went through Clarion is looking at it as well. But I have others awaiting revisions as well, and I need to get back on these and revise them and get them sent back out.

In the meantime, I am putting together an anthology with some pretty cool people and hope to find a publisher for it. More on that later.

I am hoping the editing, proofing and critiquing, especially of the short stories, will help me learn my craft better. It will also help me make use of magazines I have subscribed to for a year now and never been good about reading cover to cover. I need to change that and this motivates me to push forward. My first assignment for Tangent was Asimov’s August issue and I am now working on Analog’s November issue while awaiting the Mike Resnick collection Blasphemy.

I am enjoying it so far and have discovered some amazing stories. More on this later as well, but you can find my Asimov’s review at

For what it’s worth.