Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Next book

I've been working hard and fast on my next book in the Dark Seas Series, On the Shores of a Dark Sea.

Tonight I was editing and got to the point I don't think I was catching much.  Time to shift gears when that happens, so I got to work on the cover for that book.

Here it is, in preliminary form.  Changes happen, but I sort of like this one.  It grows on me as I look at it.

All of the art is original, of course, except the galaxy image that I lifted from my friend the Hubble Telescope.  The ocean was originally a photograph as well, but I edited it so heavily it doesn't look very much like the original photo. 

This book has a gas giant, although it would probably be a lot darker than the one pictured. It would be the color of coal most of the time. There is a scene by the ocean, in fact it's a fairly pivotal part of the book. The sky is green, the star in this star system is a K4 orange dwarf and the atmosphere of Refuge is different than Earths. Since the star is one step down on the spectrum from our G2 class yellow dwarf, I stepped the sky down on spot as well.  From blue sky to green sky.  Just a whim thing, I don't have any idea if that would actually happen.

Tomorrow I'm back to editing text.  If nobody has any objections to this cover on here or Facebook, I'll probably be published in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Got proofs for the print copy in today.  Now to get them looked over and upload corrected text.  I found a couple of typos, and will give the books to friends to find others.

Ebook sales are running along better than I expected, to be honest, which is a great surprise.  The print version will be available on Amazon only, which is both to keep the price down ($9.99) and also because I'm well aware that Amazon is the 800 pound gorilla in this market.

So I'll get reading and get the book in place for those who don't want a Kindle copy.  Which is $2.99 or Free to Kindle Unlimited users, btw.

Here's what the print version looks like.  I did my own cover, but am immensely pleased with it.

Yep.  I'm pretty hyped.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


The Anvil of Dust and Stars released today, at 12:01am EST, a mere three hours ago. 

This is a very exciting time for me personally, and a milestone in my life. 

If you like military sci-fi and/or space opera, give it a shot and let me know what you think.

If you like it, please leave a good review. It's the measure of success that will motivate more output and a continuation of Sarah Dayson's story.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Signs of Progress

I plan on releasing my 2nd book in my sci-fi series in a few months.  Few might be anything from 2-6 in this case, however.  It certainly needs a going over and an application of the lessons I've learned in the last year. 

I was hoping it would be easier. But nooooo, I have to work for it. :)

The good news is I've got the bug not to let the bad stuff hit the market with my name on it, hopefully that's the case. 

But another book is coming.  Then another. And so on.. just like that hair shampoo commercial from oh so long ago. And so on, and so on, and so on....

Monday, January 12, 2015

Shallow Hal

I go to critique group every Sunday.  Most people go to church, I sit in the temple of words known as Pike's Perk Coffee Shop and go over the words of my peers and they go over mine.  We discuss how we can make ourselves better at our art, and talk about our personal lives. We're both friends and professional partners.

With that said, my critique group showed me just how shallow I am as an author yesterday. One of the stories of my fellow authors contains a woman who has lost a child in her womb and is fleeing from her life. In doing so, she puts herself in danger.

One of my compatriots said, "I understand that her reflection on the empty beach house as a reflection of the emptiness of her womb."

I'm pretty sure I did a double take.

To be fair, I don't read women's fiction except what my critique partners share with me. It's not my cup of tea, but then I'm sure they're not all fans of my sci-fi and thrillers either. 

But I realized, I suppose, that I'm shallow. Empty house, empty womb? Really?  I read those words and thought, at best, "Oh, the house will remind her that this is where she wanted to raise her child."

I read the words. I take them pretty literally. It's the same when I write the words. If, someday, someone is reviewing my works and says, "Here, when the spaceship is penetrated by the missile, he's talking about Sarah Dayson's vulnerability as a woman..." Bullshit. I mean, and you can quote me, that the SHIP got hit by a MISSILE. LOL!

I have not hidden any meanings. I do not consider my story to be a metaphor for some other state of human existence. I simply write the words to tell as good of a story as I can tell. Not to really educate anyone about anything, but simply to entertain.

That's called commercial fiction, in my case.  I didn't pick up any life altering lessons from Indiana Jones. Or Luke Skywalker. Or even James Bond. What I was, quite frankly, was entertained. Which, as a guy, is one of my top priorities. Simply not being bored is good enough for me.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Been a while.

Sometimes life gets out of control.  Gets a bit confusing, and we let some things drop through the cracks.  That's what I've done with this blog.

I created another site that I intended to use for my blog, but that really wasn't so convenient. Apparently, for the largest part of 2014, this wasn't either.

A lot has happened in a year.  We moved to the west side of Colorado Springs.  Love it, we're going to move again in May and upscale our house choice a bit.

I have the first book in the Dark Seas series done.  It's available on Amazon on 1/31/15.  Here is the link.

If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free. I'm not sure I've mentioned on here before, I'm a huge Amazon fan, so I have gone exclusive with them. The Anvil of Dust and Stars is part of Kindle Select, which means Amazon has exclusive rights. In return they do a bit better promoting me and I still get paid even if the Unlimited crowd read my book.

Book 2 is done, but I want to make just a few more editing passes through it.  I also need to make a cover for it, I designed the one for Book 1 as well.  I'm going to keep a similar theme.

One of my kids got moved up a grade, that's a huge deal.

That's it for now.  Now that I'm published I'm going to try to pick up my blog posts again.  It's easy to let things slide when you're hammering away at novels.

'Til next.