On arrivals and departures

Tuesday, September 15 will see the release of “Bugged Out Babblings”, a collection of “flash fiction” stories–short titles envisioned between 500 and 1,000 words, with an introduction by yours truly.

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Let’s talk about Black Friday

The original version of A Place Outside the Wild was, believe it or not, much more massive than the doorstop I eventually put out.

Early on in the editing process, I realized that the core of the story that I wanted to tell was the time period well after the early days of the apocalypse. Stories of surviving the initial event are fun, but they can also be redundant. It’s one thing that the lion’s share of post-apocalyptic movies or books all do, and I was more interested in what happened after, because there weren’t many satisfactory examples that I’d run into.

That left a lot of the book on the chopping block, and while it was the right decision to do, the character of Sticks took the biggest brunt of that, because he didn’t make it to the “current” period of the Z-Day universe. I got an opportunity to resurrect one of Sticks’ stories for the Places Beyond the Wild anthology, and after some changes to the status quo (more to come soon), I’m happy to share it here for you now.

More stories down the road? I am a digital packrat, so it’s certainly possible. You’ll just have to wait and see.

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Update time!

Dove into Chapter 1 of The Dragon and His Wrath this evening after finishing up a Paxton short for an upcoming anthology. It’s a prequel of sorts, looking back to the time when Pax was on his own and stumbled into a haunted house with a not-so-friendly owner. I had a lot of fun picking up the references I made in Fade to fill out the backstory a bit and look forward to you reading it.

Beta feedback for The Sacred Radiance has been positive, and it’s in the hands of my very-capable editor now. As soon as I have a cover and release date, it’ll be up here.

Until then–read on, my friends.

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Recharging the batteries

I had a nice opportunity to get away for a week with the family recently. COVID made things a little weird – but half-empty airports and beaches aren’t all bad. It was nice to get a break, and it was my kids’ first time on a plane. Time seems to sneak up on you. The first time I flew, it was before the TSA, so my grandparents took me straight to the gate and put me on, and I had someone waiting for me at my connection and final destination. Doesn’t work that way anymore, and it was definitely an experience getting a teenager and pre-teenager through security. Herding cats comes to mind.

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Breaking radio silence

Unless you’ve been seriously out of the loop like these lucky folks, you don’t need me to tell you that 2020 has been a crazy year thus far.

In a lot of ways, my experience over the past few months has been more fortunate than most. In my day job I work in a hospital, and I thankfully haven’t had any concerns about furloughs or layoffs. Of course, essential work has been, needless to say, bonkers.

My kids never physically went back to school after Spring Break and did eLearning until school officially ended for the year last week. In a strange way, it was a good thing for my oldest — he struggled a bit adjusting to his first year of junior high, and school-from-home was an opportunity for him to focus purely on academics and not be stuck into group projects, which his school seems to be in love with for some reason.

My own experiences were far from enjoyable.

Between all that, and the accompanying lockdown and disruption of routine, my writing output cratered. Say what you will about the quality of Starbucks’ coffee (I’m an iced tea guy, myself), I didn’t realize just how much work I got done sitting in there. There’s more to a routine than I guessed, and I’ve struggled to adapt. As a result, I’m a bit behind schedule. On the bright side, we’re talking about a few months rather than a few years. I’ve been waiting for the next entry in a few series for a long time now, so I know the feeling.

Plans, at least, haven’t changed. I’m about 75% done with Pax book 4, The Sacred Radiance. As soon as I finish my first draft and passthrough, I’ll hand it off to the publisher and start work on Pax book 5, The Dragon and His Wrath. After that, it’s time for the next book in the Z-Day series.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and let’s hope that the second half of 2020 makes the first seem like a bad dream!

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Tags and tunes for the Paxtonverse

There were plenty of new visitors to the world of Paxton Locke today, courtesy of the eBook promotion site BookBub. If that’s what led you here, welcome! And thanks for the support, it means that nearly three years after release, Fade is now a bestseller.

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The wait is over …

The Audible audio version of Come, Seeling Night is out now!

Click here to nab your copy now!

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The Sacred Radiance Tidbit

Work proceeds, which means it’s time for a free sample. Book four of the Paxton Locke series starts off with a bang, picking up where Come, Seeling Night left off.

Enjoy.

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I haven’t been slacking, I promise

Life has a tendency to sneak up on you when you least expect it, and things have been crazy busy for the last few months. Since my last post, Places Beyond the Wild launched and got a coveted Amazon “orange tag” signifying it’s best-seller status for its category. I’m more than a little proud of that, but I’m also happy for the authors that contributed to the anthology and made it such a resounding success. If you haven’t read it, go do that now, and then come on back. I can wait.

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Release date roundup!

Places Beyond the Wild will be out for a  Z-Day (October 18)  November 15 release. I was hoping to have it out sooner, but it didn’t work out. Link in the sidebar will go live as soon as I have it. I’ m planning on writing a longer post closer to release day detailing how the project came together, but in terms of canon, Places is, indeed, book 4 of the Z-Day series. That’s partly to keep things organized on Amazon, and partly to make it simpler for the reader. All things considered, it’s easier than finding a recent book, going through the series checklist in the front, and having the bookstore or library special order it, right? Maybe someday I’ll write a retrospective on all the time I spent going through Publisher’s Guide at the circulation desk. End aside.

On Halloween, the shared universe anthology JTF 13 drops. It’s a bit like the Paxtonverse, but with less magic and more high explosives. You can order it here.

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