Minor updates & paperbacks are BACK

  • The dead tree version of both Fade and Night’s Black Agents are available from Amazon in the links in the sidebar if you prefer the heady smell of library paper to pixels on a screen.
  • I just rounded the 72K mark on A Place for War. Planning on having that out to the editor and alpha readers by early October for an early November release.
  • Audiobook narration for A Place Called Hope has begun with a new narrator, hopefully for a late Q4 / early Q1 release. The audiobook of A Place For War will start production based on his schedule after that point.
  • My current (heavily-penciled in) schedule after I finish my current WIP consists of Come, Seeling Night in Q4 of this year, then beginning work on my contribution to the Heroes Unlimited shared universe (tentative title of Vigilance unless the Silver Empire folks decide on something else). Spring and summer will be the first Paxverse spin-off book, Tombstones, and I’ll start the next Pax trilogy once I’m done there. There may be an anthology in there as well depending on what happens. I think that’s enough on my plate, but who knows what else will come my way!
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The cat’s out of the bag! My publisher’s been cooking up something interesting: a shared literary superhero universe. We need to come up with a cool shorthand like “lit-RPG.” Any ideas?

From the launch website:

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Cross-post: The Transparency of Zombies

A few weeks, ago, I participated in a blog-tour round-up for the “Summer of Zombie” on Jay Wilburn’s blog site. If you’re a fan of the Z-Day series, the content, snippets, and discussion posts are well-worth checking out. I added a few names to my ever-growing ‘to-be-read’ list and had a grand time participating.

I’m often asked some variation on the question ‘why write about zombies?’ Fairly or not, the genre tends to be looked down upon. I disagree with that assessment. Original, slightly revised and expanded post:

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#FreeAwfulNovel Part 10: The Farce Awakens, and some tidbits

Jim McCoy had a great review of Night’s Black Agents. Check it out if you’re still on the fence. It’s a definite change of pace from my zombie stuff, but as soon as I’m done with A Place For War the Paxton universe will be my main focus for a while as I have, at minimum, the next four books in the series sketched out. That’s not to say I won’t ever step back into the world of Z-Day (I’ve learned to never say never, heh) but sometimes it’s good to switch gears and let the ideas mutate on their own.

Anyhow, on to the awful–

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Home from LibertyCon & Night’s Black Agents is OUT!

Last year was my first time at a con with pro obligations, and we didn’t get off to a great start. We left the morning the con was scheduled to begin, hit traffic, got behind, and things didn’t get much better than that for the rest of day one. I did my first panel with the most horrible migraine of my life (not recommended at all), but things did get better as the weekend progressed.

This year, forearmed with knowledge, I took the day before off as a travel day, which made for a nice and relaxing mini-vacation for my wife and I. If last year was classified as a ‘good’ experience, this year was most definitely great.



Make Science Fiction Fun Again

In one of the more interesting offerings this year, the con staff arranged for long-time editor and author Bill Fawcett to conduct one-on-one mentoring with some of the younger writers. I jumped at the opportunity when it was offered, and it was truly a great session. Bill is an all-around-awesome guy with a wealth of experience in the business. I’m looking forward to utilizing some of his tips and strategies moving forward.

Saturday night, I was on a panel debating the merits of vampires versus zombies in fiction. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that part of my recent ‘Vampires Suck’ blog past was a preliminary ordering of my thoughts on the subject, since I’ve been pretty zombie-focused these past few months.


Either my forehead is getting bigger, or my hairline is receding . . . 

Great panel, lot of fun interaction with the audience, and thankfully there were no Twilight fans in the house. One of the more interesting points raised was the zombie horde or vampire as apex predator as an explanation for why they are so terrifying, and popular in genre fiction. I feel, and said as such, that’s an oversimplification. Humans are pretty good at taking out other predators, and if we’ve learned anything from Blade, silver, sunlight, and stakes are a pretty easy set of weaknesses to leverage.

For me, what make both sets of monsters terrifying is the concept of loss of self. Zombies, depending on the story, are former humans become mindless cannibals, which is frightening enough. Vampires, in most fictional examples, still retain sapience, even while turning into parasites driven by their need for blood. In that regard, you almost have to wonder if such creatures would retain that which me might call a soul . . .

Which dovetails nicely with the second half of this post. Night’s Black Agents, the sequel to Fade, is out now for your reading pleasure. To say I’m pretty proud of it is an understatement, though the reasoning behind that might seem a little strange. The larger … Paxtonverse, I guess you could call it, has been wandering around in my head for a while now. My full intention a couple years back was to get A Place Outside The Wild out of my idea factory so that I could focus on other things. That didn’t work out the way I’d planned, of course, which is why I’m currently working on the second sequel to a book I always intended to be standalone.

Minor spoilers for Fade, but it doesn’t really end where you’d expect. There is a pretty good chunk of story left after the final confrontation. It’s an important chunk, both in terms of future payoff, as well as setting up the launch point for Night’s Black Agents, but I’m fully aware many readers and reviewers saw it as odd or possibly indulgence on my part.

Here’s the thing, though. When I first started sketching out this parallel version of our own world, Pax wasn’t really the first character I walked into it with, nor was Fade where I initially planned to bring you, the reader, into it. Those pesky plans, again.

But, for all that, the sequel continues to open the window, just a peek. And trust me when I say it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

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Heading to LibertyCon

Some time soon I’ll be loading up the family ‘truckster’ and heading south. Unfortunately the con is sold out (like always) so unless you’ve already got your ticket, you are out of luck. I’ll be hauling along plenty of books and swag, so hope to see you there!


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#FreeAwfulNovel Part 9: A Return to Sanity

In the last post, I shared with you a, well, let’s face it–stupidly long chapter. This time around things are much shorter at a mere 26 pages. I’m guessing I was worn out back in the day when I first wrote it.

We’re a bit over halfway through Warhawks. I’m only re-reading as I post, but I’m fairly certain the action is right around the corner.

In other news, I’m making good progress on Z-Day book 3. I’m trying something a little new this time around and working on the next Paxton book at the same time. It’s not an equal distribution — I’ve written about eight times as many words in the Z-Day book as I have for Pax, but I feel like it’s been a solid tool so far.

Sometimes as a writer I tend to be a bit hyper, and I bounce around from scene to scene when I lose focus. The only issue that tends to crop up is in editing, where I find that the transitions in the middle of scenes I put on pause aren’t always smooth. So by working on another project at the same time, it turns my easy distraction into more of an asset.

So far, so good. I’m on track to get A Place for War out in the last three months of 2018, and Come, Seeling Night will be out in early 2019, depending on how my publisher’s schedule shakes out.

Hit the read more button for the next chapter of #FreeAwfulNovel!

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