This group is made up of mostly of high school-aged young adults who have interests in many different types of writing – short stories, novels, comics, scripts, etc. They meet after school at the area activity center and are led by a talented and enthusiastic teacher by the name of Kelli Fitzpatrick who is doing a terrific job with them. (Incidentally, after looking at Kelli’s social media outlets I see that she has had some short stories published so she is also walking the path.)
It was a great night. I read a short excerpt from my YA thriller, JACKED, and then answered questions from the group for nearly an hour. They asked good questions that ranged from technical writing to more generic issues on finding agents and becoming published.
During the reading, one of the young ladies kept her head down and I thought she was taking notes. Afterward, however, she came to the front of the class and presented me with this drawing. While she listened to my mumbling and pathetic reading skills, she created her vision of one of the gang members from the book. Her name is Taylor Rybkowski and I think she did a great job.
Today I was at the Delphos City library reading excerpts from my YA thriller, “Jacked,” to the Teen Reading Group and a handful of adults. After the reading, I talked a little bit about the path I took to becoming published.
Then I did the scariest part: I opened the floor up to questions.
Now, I have four teenagers at home and you can never quite be sure where a conversation is going to veer off to when you put them in charge of steering the talk. But the group did a great job of asking pertinent questions about the writing process, how I come up with my ideas for books and characters, and the kinds of books I read.
There were some especially interesting points like when I heard gasps about how long it takes for a book to hit shelves once I finish writing it (1-2 years) and also when they asked how much input I was able to give about the cover art (almost none).
A big pat on the back goes to Library Director Kelly Rist for offering programs like this to young readers. These are the sorts of ideas that help to get teens to enjoy reading and hopefully keep them reading the rest of their lives. Thank you, Kelly, for allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful program.
Oh, and the adults chipped in as well. While the students received copies of JACKED for participating, the adults asked questions about my adult anthologies and my horror novel, “Dreams of Ivory and Gold.” They even purchased a few for their own reading.
In addition, I have written several blog posts for other sites, not only about “Jacked”, but also involving several aspects of writing:
April 1, 2016 – Well, this is an April 1st entry but it is not a part of some April Fool’s joke. The interview I did with Armand Rosamilia for the Arm Cast – Dead Sexy Horror Podcast is now live on Armand’s Project iRadio site. We talked about a wide range of topics including plotting or pantsing, organization, scheduling, and how to get words down on paper on a daily basis. Here is a link to the podcast:
If you listen to the podcast, you will hear me talk about a novel release that was scheduled for late April. Unfortunately, I just found out this will not be happening due to circumstances that are too long to explain in this post. Suffice it to say that I am still very excited about the release of “Jacked” from Ragnarok Publications in September. Keep checking back to this spot for more information over the next couple of weeks.
“Dreams of Ivory and Gold” received a tremendous review from author C.T. Phipps on his United Federation of Charles blog. I did not even know he had a copy to review so when I say I was surprised, I was actually floored. Charles really got the tone I was going for and I believe accurately described the type of audience that would like to read Dreams. Even more gratifying is the fact that I have seen his own works and I respect what he has done so his words mean a great deal to me.
But even more than getting the word out about the review, I wanted to stress again just how important reviews are to authors, especially authors who are at smaller publishing houses. Reviews can fuel a book’s success or fall into obscurity. Amazon, for instance, places a book higher or lower on its recommendation lists in part by the number of people who have taken the time to write a review about the book. People who land on a book’s page can peruse through the reviews to see if it is a book they might like to purchase but until they get to that page, they may never know it exists.
I urge everyone who buys a book in a brick-and-mortar store or on a digital outlet like Amazon to take two minutes and comment on the novel. It only takes a few moments to write three sentences saying why you liked the book. Even if you didn’t like it, still take the time and say why. If nothing else, it might help the author correct the problems before their next work.
Here is the link to C.T. Phipps review:
Oh, and this STILL isn’t the announcement I have been waiting to make this week. I promise I will just as soon as I am allowed.
March 20, 2016 – Well, this was a surprise that came out of left field tonight. Ragnarok Publications has released the cover art for my novel, “Jacked,” that they will be publishing in September. (For those of you who do not remember, Ragnarok Publications is the publisher who produced the second edition of my horror novel, “Dreams of Ivory and Gold,” last year.)
I had seen an early version of this a few weeks ago but I think the semi-finished product is amazing. I say semi-finished only because well-known author Samuel Sattin received an early release of the book and wrote a very flattering blurb for the cover which has not been placed yet. Except for that change, however, this should be the way the book appears when it hits the shelves at your local bookstores and with online stores like Amazon.
Here is a link to the Ragnarok Publications page giving details about “Jacked” and a short excerpt:
I am obviously very excited about this and but this still is not the last of the announcements I was hoping to make this week. Stay tuned for more.
March 17, 2016 – This is a photo of Armand Rosamilia and myself at the Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, Kentucky last fall. We were both appearing at the convention on multiple panels and I thought it was a great time. (Plus, I got to spend some time at Louisville Downs, but that’s another story.)
This photo took place right after a podcast taping at a local White Castle. Yes, White Castle. Armand is the man behind the popular Arm Cast Podcast that specializes in discussions on horror, dark fiction, and all the day-to-day issues that writers face. He gathered together six or seven of us for an hour-long discussion on a variety of topics – some of which made the regular patrons of the restaurant stare at us in a mixture of fear, disgust, and well, horror. Let’s face it. You go out for a few sliders and a bunch of people are gathered around recorders talking about how to cut apart a body on a page to make it realistic to readers tends to throw you for a loop.
(By the way, Armand also runs the Authors Supporting Our Troops project. This program takes donated books from authors and publishers and sends them to U.S. troops stationed overseas. It is a great cause that I have contributed to personally. Even if you are not an author or not yet published, you can still help by donating money for postage which right now comes out of Armand’s own pocket. Please check out the Facebook page.)
Anyway, I am running this photo of us again because this week Armand and I taped another podcast together. In this one we talk about our writing methods, working in multiple genres, and organizing enough time to write. We also talk about my novels, “Reset” and “Jacked,” that will both be coming out this year. The podcast will be played on the Arm Cast Podcast in April. I will post a link when I have the exact date.
March 15, 2016 – I will have a couple announcements to make in the next few days. It is all good news that means more books being published.
Oct. 12 – The news has been made public so I can share with everyone that Ragnarok Publications, with its horror imprint Angelic Knight Press and science fiction imprint Per Aspera, has signed a national distribution deal that will allow their entire book list to be in bookstores across the country.
Here is the link to Ragnarok’s home page where they made the announcement:
I can not explain how excited I am about this development. With “Dreams of Ivory and Gold” and its sequel, “Valleys of the Earth,” publishing through Angelica Knight Press, my YA dystopian novel, “Jacked,” printing through Per Aspera, and my fantasy series, “The D’Alikar Tales,” printing through the main title of Ragnarok, this is a tremendous turn of events for distribution of my novels through the company.
As with any great news, however, there is a price to pay. Jacked was slated to publish the first week in December, Valleys’ slot was in early 2016, and D’Alikar was to begin at the end of the first quarter of 2016 with one book in the eight-book series publishing every quarter for two years. All ten books’ publication dates will be pushed back by 6-9 months because of the realities of placing them on the distribution lists, order systems, stocking of stores, etc.
Despite the wait, I believe the benefits of the changes will greatly outweigh any small disappointment I may feel. To alleviate the gap in between publications, I am considering self-publishing another completed work. I am not sure about this, however.
As soon as I have more firm dates on the new publication schedule, I will post them here and on my Facebook and Twitter accounts.
October 9 – WOW! Terrific, stupendous, amazing, wonderful news has just reached me. Hopefully I will be able to share in the next few days.
Currently I am scheduled to speak on four panels. On Friday I will be discussing the difference between Plotters vs. Pantsers with Michael Knost, Teresa Reasor, Katherine Wynter, and Dave Creek. Michael is the Guest of Honor for this year’s event and I am looking forward to meeting him.
Also on Friday I will be on a panel for Multi-Genre Madness with Tim Waggoner (someone else I have been looking forward to meeting for quite a while), J.H. Glaze (whose artwork is with this post), Katherine Wynter, and Elizabeth Donald.
On Sunday one of my panels is on YA and Speculative Writing, something I feel very strongly about with Jacked being published in December. I will be discussing the topic with Katina French, Leah Pugh, J.L. Mulvihill, and Violet Patterson.
Finally, my last panel is on Cross-Genre Writing and I will be fielding questions with Terri-Lynne Smiles, TammyJo Eckhart, Katherine Wynter, and J.L. Mulvihill. I hope Katherine, J.L. and I hit it off because it appears we will be spending a lot of time together.
I also plan on crashing Armand Rosamilia’s Arm Cast Podcast which will be held on Friday evening. In addition to being a terrific author, Armand is also the person in charge of Authors Supporting Our Troops. This is a program that collects books from authors and publishers and sends them to our troops overseas, hopefully to give them a little bit of entertainment while they are putting themselves in harm’s way for us. I have contributed books to ASOT in the past and look forward to doing it again.
Anyone who is in the Louisville area next weekend (Sept. 11-13) should take the time to stop by the Crowne Plaza Hotel Center for the Imaginarium Convention. Even if you do not sign up for the panels or discussion groups, the dealer room is open to the public so it will be very easy to buy some books, get a few autographs, and probably even spend time with some of your favorite authors.
Here is a link to the Imaginarium website for more information:
I am looking forward to this event because I will have the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some authors that up until now we have only known each other online.
I don’t know yet if Ragnarok Publications/Angelic Knight Press/Per Aspera will have a table in the dealers’ room but if they do I am sure I will be on hand to talk to and sign books. One item the organizers of this convention do is to open the dealers’ room to the public – which I like. So if you are near Louisville but have not signed up, you can still meet and greet with some of your favorite authors and buy books.
June 1, 2015 – I am sorry to report the “Demon Rum and Other Evil Spirits” anthology will not be published in July following a conflict between the editor and the publisher. I have been contacted by the editor and they are currently in the process of placing the anthology with another publisher and as soon as I know something concrete about a publishing date, I will post it here.
All of my other previously announced publishing dates are still current.
May 3, 2015 – It has been a while since I had the opportunity to update the latest events happening with my writing and I have some terrific news to share.
First, the anthology “Demon Rum and Other Evil Spirits” is still on schedule to publish in July. My short story, Buaidth no Bas (Victory or Death), appears in the collection of stories where the plot of each one revolves in some way around liquor. I am looking forward to reading the other stories to see how the authors handled the theme.
Second, my YA dystopian novel, “Jacked,” is on the schedule to be published by Ragnarok Publications in early December of this year. This was a book that I wrote for my son so I will be very happy to see it in print.
Third, I am progressing on the sequel to Dreams, “Valleys of the Earth.” A false start and some serious life interruptions have put me behind where I wanted to be at this point but the words are flowing now and the novel will be ready for publication through Ragnarok’s Angelic Knight Press after the first of the year.
Finally, the big news that happened just this last week: My eight-book fantasy series, The D’Alikar Tales, has been accepted and will be published. The schedule has not been set yet but we have discussed publishing the books on an aggressive – some would say suicidal – schedule that will produce one book every quarter beginning in early 2016 and finishing at the end of 2017. This means that from December of 2015 to December of 2017, I will have 10 novels appearing in print. Words cannot express how excited I am about these events. When I began writing, it felt like an outlandish dream to hope I could have just one book be published.
I will try to be more diligent about updating the news portion of the website as I move forward with these and other projects. In the meantime, I have a lot of words that need to be put down on paper.
And here is the surprise that I promised a few weeks ago: included with the second edition of the novel is an excerpt from the sequel, “Valleys of the Earth.” For those of you who have already read Dreams and recognize the phrasing of the title, you will have an idea of the direction of the sequel’s plot.
As far as other book news, “Jacked” has landed at Ragnarok Publications (previously announced) and “Reset” appears to be getting close to finding a publishing home. I am also working on a massive project that would involve committing to a series of books that would publish from next year through late 2017 or early 2018. Nothing is finalized and any formal announcement on this may be some time away but I am excited about the prospect.
January 26, 2015 – Good news all the way around as I received word that my author page is now up and functioning on the Ragnarok Publications website. Featured right now is the release of the second edition of “Dreams of Ivory and Gold.” Here is the link to the page:
There are two big news items included on the page. The first is that the release of the second edition of Dreams will take place on February 9. The new artwork is amazing and I am really excited about having the opportunity to work with the people at Ragnarok. (There may also be another surprise to go along with the release. More details to follow when I can talk about them.)
The second part of the news is way down the page in the little author blurb. My YA dystopian novel, “Jacked,” has been optioned by Ragnarok Publications. It is a little too early to talk about publishing dates at this point but having received a peek at their schedule (which has some unbelievable titles and authors on it), I can’t see Jacked hitting the public before late this year at the earliest. Again, more details to follow as I get them.
And for those of you who have asked, the sequel to Dreams is moving along and I feel very good about the direction it is taking.
December 28, 2014 – In the last few days there has been desperate little to celebrate because of a family tragedy but it does feel good to be able to relay at least a little happy news. I was told today that my YA dystopian novel, “Jacked,” will be picked up for publication in late 2015. No more details available at this time until items like the publication schedule are announced but this is extra special for me because I originally started writing “Jacked” for my son and it was great to give him the news today.
December 16, 2014 – Here is the news I have been promising: Ragnarok Publications has purchased the publisher of “Dreams of Ivory and Gold,” absorbing Angelic Knight Press as their horror imprint. Just as importantly, Dreams is one of the handful of AKP products they have decided to re-sign and bring into the company.
This means that sometime in January of 2015, Ragnarok will re-release Dreams with the new cover art shown here. Also, the Demon Rum anthology with my short story, “Buaidh no Bas,” is on the Ragnarok schedule for July.
Another bonus for me in the news is that Stacey and Danielle from AKP will be moving over to Ragnarok as employees as well. This means I will be able to continue to work with them in the future on the Dreams sequel and other projects.
Here is a link to the full press release: Ragnarok Publications Purchases Angelic Knight Press
I was told about the impending sale earlier this fall but, as business often does, it took several weeks to complete the transaction. Even though the official announcement had not been made at the time, this sale was also one of the reasons why it was so important for me to go to the World Fantasy Convention in November. It allowed me a chance to meet the administrative crew and some of the authors from Ragnarok and for them to get to know me as well. I cannot say how excited I am about this news.
I will be attending the World Fantasy Convention in Washington D.C. from November 6-9. This is one of the largest conventions for authors and promises a great meeting place for ideas and discussions about what is going on in the industry. I will write a journal entry before I go and will try to update while I am at WFC. On a side note, I hope to come home with good news about my future projects.
My short story, “Buaidh no Bas” (Victory or Death), is included. Every story in the anthology adheres to a theme where alcohol plays a key role in the tale. It should be an entertaining read to curl up with by the fire as a fall chill settles over the area.
***More news to follow on this anthology***
Just a reminder that I will be attending ConText 27 in Columbus, Ohio on September 26-28. Angelic Knight Press, the publishers of “Dreams of Ivory an Gold” and “Manifesto UF,” will have a table in the dealer room and I will be hanging around throughout the weekend. Please feel free to stop by and talk or grab me in between panels.
AUTOGRAPHED COPY WINNER ANNOUNCED (July 11, 2014)
Pictured is Bob Meracle, the winner of an autographed copy of “Dreams of Ivory and Gold” from Angelic Knight Press as a part of the cover reveal contest. I hope Bob enjoys the book.
GOODREADS: ASK THE AUTHOR (July 7, 2014)
For those of you who are frequent the site Goodreads, they have started an interesting program where readers can ask the author questions. Here is the link to my Ask the Author page where you can read the questions and answers from others or ask your own question.
UPCOMING EVENT SCHEDULE (June 30, 2014)
My schedule has started to firm up for the next few months. I will be attending the following events and will update here for any changes or additions. Please stop by and talk in the dealer rooms or as a part of the convention.
ConText 27 – September 26-28 in Columbus, Ohio
World Fantasy Convention 2014 – November 6-9 in Washington D.C.
World Horror Convention 2015 – May 7-10 in Atlanta, Georgia
I just received notice that “Dreams of Ivory and Gold” received a five-star review from noted reviewer Frank Michaels Errington. Click here to read what he has to say about the book:
Print editions of “Dreams of Ivory and Gold” are now available.
DREAMS OF IVORY AND GOLD RELEASED (May 16, 2014)
I was just informed the e-edition of “Dreams of Ivory and Gold” has been released by Angelic Knight Press. It seems the terrific staff at AKP conspired to surprise me by releasing it on my birthday! This included a lot of last minute hard work on their parts, including one of them who stayed up most of the night completing the formatting. Needless to say I am extremely grateful for the gesture and think their work turned out great.
The print edition of the novel will be released on the original publication date at the end of the month.
Please go to the “Books” portion of this website to read about “Dreams of Ivory and Gold.”
Today is the cover reveal day for my novel, “Dreams of Ivory and Gold.” I believe the talented Rebecca Treadway did an outstanding job.
For a chance to win an autographed copy, please go to the Angelic Knight Press Facebook page and “Like” or “Share” on the cover between now and publication day to be entered in the drawing.
PUBLISHING DATE DELAYED (April 15, 2014)
I just found out today the “Demon Rum and Other Evil Spirits” anthology has had its publishing date pushed back until this fall because of a scheduling conflict.
TRAVEL SCHEDULE (March 20, 2014)
My travel schedule has changed. I will not be attending the World Horror Convention in May in Portland. However, I will be at ConText27 in Columbus, Ohio in September. Angelic Knight Press will have a booth at the convention and I may also be helping on a couple of the panels. There is also one more major convention I am looking at for later in the year so check back for more details.
STORY ACCEPTED FOR ‘DEMON RUM’ ANTHOLOGY (February 7, 2014)
The official announcement was made on Thursday that my short story, “Victory or Death,” was accepted for the anthology, “Demon Rum and Other Evil Spirits.” The theme of this anthology revolves around alcohol and how it could be incorporated into horror stories. One example of the type of work the publisher was searching for would be Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado.” The book will be published by Angelic Knight Press and will be available in April of 2014.
MANIFESTO UF MAKES ‘BEST OF’ List (December 17, 2013)
Unexpected news on Manifesto UF as we reach the end of the year. The anthology made the online review site, Bibliotropic, Top 5 Urban Fantasy reading list for 2013. This is a big deal because we are on the list with some big names, including Tad Williams.
Here is the link:
The official 2014 publishing schedule for Angelic Knight Press was released today and my novel, “Dreams of Ivory and Gold,” is still slated for an April release. This is good timing as I have been talking with the Angelic Knight folks about going with them to World Horror Con in Portland in May and the release in April works out very well.
This is an exciting time and I will try to keep everyone up-to-date on what is happening as we get closer to publication day.