And...we did it!

So tomorrow, March 6th, 2014, will see the publication of Few Far Fallen, my first novel. I'd like to thank everyone at Morning Rain Publishing for everything they've done to help me get to this point.

Here's hoping that at least a few of you read it, and enjoy it.

Whatever you're thoughts might be, I'd love to hear them. Please feel free to contact me via the links on the "About" page, in the "Contact" section of this website, or as a comment below.

Now, off to see about Book 2...


almost there

So structural edits on FFF are complete. Line edits are almost done. There's been some discussions that revolve around cover images, marketing, and the like.

It's so close I can smell it.

And it smells good.

Stay tuned for more news. I hope to update more regularly now that there's actually going to be some news that 1 or 2 people might actually be interested in.


it's official


so this was a fine way to start the week..


more details in the coming weeks


Opened my email last night to discover I'll be offered a publishing contract. Details to follow in the next few days/weeks, but suffice it to say I'm tremendously excited. 


a fickle mistress

A busy week for the first novel. Well, about as busy as it could reasonably be, given my notoriety. The complete manuscript now sits with a publisher, and I still await hearing back from the agency which had requested a partial. Its received some feedback from various reading groups, almost all of which is blushingly positive.

Sometimes I find that the whole process is depressing. Then small mercies appear from thin air, and reinvigorate me to the point where I get excited again enough to keep tapping on the keys. 

Its precious little, really. But just enough. 


So I'm beginning to realize that writing is a waiting game. Nothing moves fast. Everything takes anywhere from six week to six months - just to hear back from someone as to a passing level of interest which then requires another long span of weeks to either potentially blossom into support or rot on the vine.

Patience is a virtue that I need to more fully develop. 


A Request for Partials

So I woke up this morning, checked my email, and discovered that an agent has requested a partial manuscript. 

Perhaps that doesn't sound like much to some people. I suspect those people have never tried to procure an agent. 

There's clearly no guarantee that this will amount to anything, however I couldn't help but feel excited. Couldn't shake the slightly giddy feeling all day. 

A long way yet from having representation, but it's the first step. 

We shall see, friends. We shall see. 


So a week or two ago, I uploaded the manuscript from the first novel in the Rone series to Authonomy. It's a pretty interesting site, with the premise being that popular books amongst the membership will rise to the top, eventually to be presented to the editors at Harper's Collins. 

More, there are a number of various critique groups that will provide thoughts and insight on each others' work. 

It's a useful place for someone like me, who's primary motivation at this moment is getting other people to read and provide feedback on the writing. 

I'd encourage others to check it out. Well worth it so far. 

(Although truth be told, it's taking some of my limited time away from the task at hand...) 

a Library of our Own...

So once of our dreams is to one day design our own home. The money it would take to do it as we would want is almost beyond dreaming.  

A critical element will be the library. As it stands now, we don't have the space to shelf, must less display, all of our books. Can you imagine having a library that was spacious enough that one could shelf all of one's books, organized alphabetically by author?  

A small slice of heaven, it would be. 

Nonetheless, I'm always on the lookout for images and ideas of libraries.  You may seem them appear here from time to time.

Imagine curling up here with a book?  (You'd have to imagine the inclusion of a more comfortable chair, however, but regardless...)

A small slice of heaven, it would be.

New Site

So as of today I've now got this website. Still tweaking it, trying to figure out what everything does and how to make it look reasonable. It'll be a work in progress for some time, I imagine, but I'm excited nonetheless. 

I've pasted in some blog posts before this one from the previous tumblr incarnation. If you've noticed a string of them with the same date as this post, that's why. 

Hopefully there will be some visitors in the days and months to come. Hopefully, there will be some stronger reasons to come to the site - whether that be book reviews, novels of my own that have generated interest, news on future projects, etc. 

Perhaps someday soon there will even be a feature by which you can buy the published work of yours truly. We can all dream, can't we? 


Stay tuned, and thanks for coming. 

Most, and Not Enough


The last day of my 2 week vacation is tomorrow. One more day until I return to my day job, one more day until I return - for the time being, at least - to writing nights and weekends, the odd lunch hour. Back to being a part time writer, full time worker be.

I had some grand aspirations, writing wise, for this vacation. I had thought that, hey! at last, I have some uninterupted time to write. I can pretend for a couple of weeks that writing is what I do full time. I can practice that life, and try it on for size. I had aspirations of pounding out 40k words on the next book, minimum. Go for a long walk each day and think about what to write tomorrow. Drink some wine, and shop second hand stores for berets and vintage cigarette holders.

I didn’t get there.

Emily got sick. We rearranged the furniture in two bedrooms, including the complete disassembling and reassembling of various Ikea spawn. We went to the cottage for the long weekend. Attended a couple of barbeques and a birthday party for a 2 year old.

In other words, life intervened.

However, I did write 12k words of the new book. I edited about 100 pages of the second. I edited twenty words in the first. I spent some time on Authonomy. I read 2.5 novels.

And I started a blog on tumblr.

I guess that’s enough.

The Old Days

I’ve often wondered, with no small amount of amazement, how it was people used to write books before word processing. Are there people who sit down and write a book - a good book, mind you, one that stands the test of time - by starting with the first word, then proceeding through until writing ‘The End’?

I mean, did Tolstoy write everything out long hand, cross bits out, add notes or additions to the margin, then write it ALL over again in long hand?

Don’t know about anyone else, but I’m always editing. Sometimes in small ways, searching out typos or grammar errors. Most of the time re-writing scenes, deleting scenes, adding scenes, tweaking the plot line….

How would you ever do that long hand?

Makes the Classics even that much more impressive. I’m sure there was some degree of editing, but I suspect that in the Old Days (tm) there was a lot of good work being written essentially from start to finish, the first draft highly reflective of the final draft.

Boggles my mind.

Daily Count

Just so it’s official, blog posts and other internet time wasting DOES NOT count towards the daily word count quota. See that, self? It’s official.

If it’s on the internet, it must be true.


My little girl has a fever. We were up in the middle of the night when she woke and complained about being hot. I think the exact quote was “I’m hot."

There’s nothing quite as anxiety-inducing as having a two year old who’s sick. Every manner of ailment crosses your mind, every possible cause.

We toyed with the idea of going into the ER, but after giving her some Advil she seemed a little better, so we opted to stay at home.

We watched some reruns of Dora the Explorer while waiting for the meds to kick in. If anyone would have told my 20 year old self that one day I’d be watching Dora at 4am with my daughter on my lap, I’d have laughed.


So, as the title of this post implies, I’m torn.

You see, I’ve spent a good few years working on a book series, of which I’m a little less than halfway through. Unless something new comes to me in the next months and years, I think it’ll be seven books long. Seven fairly hefty books, not the doorstop ‘Martin-esque’ type, but still a solid 150k-200k words a piece.

I write pretty fast (and edit very slow), but just to physically put that many words into a computer takes a while. It’s not a small investment of time.

I suppose the generic term for the genre I’m working in would be ‘fantasy’, although I cringe a little at the word. Not because I don’t love the genre. Not even because I think there’s a better word to describe the genre as a whole. It’s more to do with the fact that while my world is different than our own, and that things like swords and monsters feature prominently, I think calling it fantasy makes people think of something different than what I’m trying to write. I’m guessing most people would think of things like elves and dwarves and princesses.

Spoiler alert: there’s no elves. No dwarves either. Any princesses would be much more likely to run you through with a rusty knife than curtsey.

I’m not a fan of labels.

I suppose at the end of the day what I’m trying to write is fantasy as much as Steven Erikson’s work is, or Glen Cook’s. That’s the section of the bookstore that they’ll end up in, should I ever manage to get them published. I think a more accurate label might be a tragedy set in an alternate earth. A myth.

In any event, I digress. To recap: I’ve been writing a series of books. And I’m about halfway through. To finish it up - which I very much want to do - I’d need at least another few years. Maybe as many as 5 more years. Especially so as I’m writing ‘part time’, needing to keep my day job so I can pay the mortgage and buy food and diapers and gas for the car. That’s fine. I’m happy with that. Comes with the territory.

Here’s the problem though, at least as far as I’m imagining it. Someone tell me if I’m being an ‘authorial hypochondriac’.

If an agent or publisher expressed some interest in the series, there would be no issue. No case of me being torn. As it is though, after trying off and on for 18 months to get someone to reply to a query letter, I’m wondering (aside from how bad my query letter must suck) if perhaps I shouldn’t put the series aside and work on a stand alone novel for a while.

I have a great idea. I’ve got it mostly outlined. I think I could finish a first draft in 6 or 8 months, give or take.

Question: Are agents/publishers more likely to react to a stand alone novel, coming as it might from an unpublished writer? Or should I not get distracted with a new project until I’ve finished out the series?

What if no one cares either way?


Martin on Fantasy

The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle Earth.



George R.R. Martin

Snipe Hunting


So it seems that the actual writing of books is the easy part of trying to be a writer. At least for me. The hard part is trying to find someone who is willing to read what you’ve written.

Now I’m not talking about family, or a helpful (if secretly dubious) friend. I’m talking about the sort of people you need to have read your writing if you ever want to become published-at least published by a publisher. You know, agents. Editors. Those sorts of people.

Part of me believes that such people don’t really exist. They’re really the fictitious, digital creations of mailerdaemons and adbots, meant to simulate something tangible, something fleshy. As elusive as the unicorn. It’s like when your slightly drunk uncle hands you a canvas bag and tells you to keep an eye out for snipes.

I do realize that such people-if they exist-are likely very busy. I’m sure there are tens of thousands of people like me out there, sending in query emails at all hours of the day and night, industriously packaging unsolicited materials into oversized envelopes and remembering most of the time to include a SASE. Still, you’d think that the statistically inclined among us could determine just how many queries one must send before getting a non-automated response. Is it fifty? Is it one hundred? Two? Someone let me know if they’ve figured it out.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll keep emailing.

It Begins

And so it begins.

A journal, of a sort.

A diary, like the kind explorers used to keep as they sailed in search of new lands. A blog to document thoughts and experiences as I attempt to find a seemingly secret and arcane world that I’ve dreamed about since I was a boy. This first post is made as we leave safe harbor, a limp wind at our back, loud gulls overhead looking for a free meal, the wide open unknown ahead of us in all its potential.

I’ve been a closet writer for most of my life. Think of this as my outing myself to the world.

As I work on finishing the third novel in a series that perhaps no one other than my wife will ever see, with further ideas and outlines incrementally filling up my last generation hard drive, I thought that the time was ripe to start a blog. It’s cheaper than therapy, after all. And maybe one day, like that unnamed explorer’s first day at sea with pen and parchment in hand, my humble efforts will not be wasted. History is a tough old dog, and he’ll be the judge.

So here it is.

There may be some personal stuff that finds its way in here, from time to time. Perhaps there will be a few of you who find some interest in following my journey. Who knows, maybe-just maybe-if i beat the odds and find the promised land, then you can say you knew me when.