Avengers? Avenge this!

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I created a Facebook Ad to run for the next 21 days. That’s through May 7th, which is the last day of my Kickstarter. I haven’t had much luck with FB ads before, but we’ll see what happens. (All Russian propaganda aside…)

Maybe they’ll help generate the momentum we need to get this project off the ground and pumped into the algorithm! The more “popular” a campaign is, the farther up on the list it appears to folks randomly searching for ways to help out on Kickstarter. 🙂



Mythology References


I’ve been a big mythology buff for as long as I can remember. I can still envision the cover of the Greek myths book I repeatedly borrowed from the school library when I was in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. An orange cover featuring Perseus holding Medusa’s head. The style was suspiciously similar to the Harry Hamlin’s pose from Clash of the Titans. (The original, classic movie, not that crap show they peddle now. Which was my fav movie from ages 5 to 8 or so.)

In Hungry Gods, I named the three major sections of the novel (I generally subscribe to the three-act structure) after aspects of Greek epic poetry: Gods and Monsters, Patron Goddess, and The Underworld (as in “journey to the underworld”). And the story fit these three headings quite nicely.


In Deus Ex Machina, I’m sticking to the pattern. This time, I leaned on Hindu mythology. Partially because the main bad guy is a James Bond-style supervillain from India. And partially because I plan to use that same thematic structure in all the books of this series, as well as a few other related books. (For example, I’ve already started writing Twilight of the Gods, which refers to and borrows from Norse mythology—you know, Thor, Loki, and Ragnarok.)

DXM’s three acts are called Brahma’s Oasis, The Tenth Avatar, and Shiva the Destroyer. (At least, they are right now. This could change in the final draft.) It helps that Hindu has a holy trinity of sorts and these refer to those three gods.

Not sure what the heck I’m talking about? Not a big Hindu buff? Neither was I. And it was great fun researching those stories and traditions in order to build my new novel. I won’t use everything I read about, but it all provides a background in my mind from which I can draw to make these characters. And to provide confusing references from the eccentric villain of the story that no one else in the book quite gets either.

Hopefully it’ll inspire you to look up some heroic Hindu epics yourself!

Deus Ex Machina, live on Kickstarter right now! Click here to become part of the legend!

Netflix: Altered Carbon and Santa Clarita Diet


I don’t get much time to watch TV, but we have managed to catch these two great shows.

Well, we caught and recently finished both seasons of “Santa Clarita Diet,” which is just good family fun.

Okay, maybe not for the whole family. My son probably doesn’t need to see gory cannibalism, even if it is from America’s sweetheart, Drew Barrymore.


And I am the only person who’s watched any “Altered Carbon,” but it’s pretty damn cool!

I’ve only seen two episodes, but it’s a great dark future detective noir with lots of potential. I’ve seen the novel in bookstores, which means it’s a finite story. I’m only two episodes in, out of ten for the “season,” but I’m hoping they don’t artificially stretch the story just to turn a buck. I kind of hope those ten finish the story and there’s only going to be one season to it. I hate when they water good material down just to milk it.

(One example would be the Hobbit movies. Haven’t seen them and I don’t plan to. I can’t imagine how a short children’s book gets turned into a NINE HOUR series. Ridiculous.)

But I don’t want to end on a downer. The good news is, if you haven’t seen either of these shows, give them a chance. You won’t be disappointed!


Superhero Kickstarter Launch!


At long last, it’s gone LIVE! 

YOU can be a part of the superheroic sequel to the zombies and spandex hit Hungry Gods. Contribute as little as two bucks and you’ll get a reward! (But more is encouraged.)

No sense in repeating on here what the Kickstarter page can tell you better. Check it out here.

And even if you choose not to support financially, please support this project socially: Share it! A nerd near you will be glad you did!

THANK YOU for sharing and for the support!

Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing a short story

Discovered this on Irevuo and thought I’d reblog it. Vonnegut is one of my favorite writers and I’d never heard these before. Can’t say I will subscribe to all 8 necessarily, but overall, good advice from a master!


Kurt Vonnegut, one of the most influential writers of this century, passed down a simple list of rules for writing a short story, though I think they can be applied to longer narratives as well.

He did say that Flannery O’Connor broke all his rules except the first and that great writers tend to do that, but I believe his famous eight rules can provide a skeleton to writing fiction.

And I think that this is what’s really important in art. A foundation. Simply by reading or following rules, or by taking creative writing courses, but it’s also crucial for the artist to make his own decisions. The moment rules start feeling like a cage, you should escape. It’s like strolling through a garden and picking the flowers you like. If you absorb too much or if you simply follow rules (someone else is choosing what flowers you should pick)…

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Last Day! Superheroes, Sci-Fi, & Fantasy


This is the LAST DAY to grab the Swords, Superheroes, and Space Opera Bundle, which includes hundreds of pages of said fiction for only $5.99. This bundle was originally created to include everything I published in 2017 (plus some bonus material), so I think pushing it three months into 2018 is far enough.

It includes:

  • Silk Spider: Behind the Eight-Ball
  • The Thorne Lagecy
  • The Scythe of Kronos
  • Medicine Man
  • Puppet Theatre
  • Frozen Heart
  • Masks
  • Secret Identities
  • Tarnish: Thunderstrike Edition, which includes all of Tarnish plus The Prince of Luster and Decay

That’s a lot of fiction! And if you were to buy them all individually, that’d be about 29 bucks!

Comes down tomorrow!!!

I’m Back! (In the Bat-Cave?)


With life being so busy lately, I have gone literally MONTHS without writing new words. I’ve done some revision work, going over old words here and there on some short stories as time allowed, but I hadn’t written anything new lately. Which then makes the idea of sitting down and starting again kind of intimidating.

What if I can’t do it? What if I try and it sucks? What if I turn on the faucet and no water comes out, just some coughs of dust and dirt and some unidentifiable rat parts?

Whenever I go back and read something I’ve written, I’m always kind of amazed: “I wrote that? Are you sure?”

Getting into the groove and writing is like going into a trance. I don’t remember much about it and there’s a big blank slate of time missing from my memory. Like being abducted by UFOs.

But this week, I finally got some time (and the courage) to write again.

It’s kind of like riding a bike, I suppose. You always know how to do it, but if it’s been a long time, the idea may be kind of daunting. You might be afraid that you’ll fall over and skin your knee. How does one maintain balance like that anyway? What keeps us up on those two narrow wheels? How is that even possible?!

But this week, I got back on that bike, or that horse, or that UFO, and it feels great!

First, I happened to find (by pure luck) that the Black Library currently has an open submission window. This is the fiction publishing arm for Games Workshop and thus Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy (now Age of Sigmar), etc. And I was excited to see that they weren’t just looking for Space Marines shooting stuff. On their seekers list of genres (still set within their own copyrighted universes, of course), there was also detective, police procedural, and mystery.

And since I enjoy writing noir gumshoe stuff, I decided to take a stab at it.

I found this right before lunch on Monday or Tuesday, and then spent my lunch break swimming laps at the YMCA. So between swimming and driving, by the time I got back to the office, I had a fully-formed idea ready to go!

Now, all they needed was 500 words and a quick blurb/summary, not a whole story. Which is great because who wants to write a whole thousands-of-words story when there’s only one publisher that can say yes or no to it? (Since it’s set in their copyrighted universe.) So I cranked out 500 words easily enough and, BAM, it was 90% ready to go!

After some revisions and some proofreading assistance, I sent that baby out. Now, the chances of it getting selected for a full write-up are pretty slim, but having only spent a few hours on it for an opportunity to get in front of scifi and fantasy readers around the globe? Well worth the time and the risk, if you ask me. I’m not afraid of getting shot down by then. Rejection is a natural part of writing (of life, for that matter), and my thick callus formed long ago. I can take it. It’ll be several months, before I hear back anyway, if ever. No response means—guess, what?—they don’t want it. It doesn’t fit what they’re readers generally pay for. Which, from what I can tell, is generally a younger audience than I usually write for anyway, so… Oh well.

If that happens, I’ll just change the elements of the story that belong only to the 40K setting and make it my own. The story is good without their stuff.

Moving on.

The bigger accomplishment—and much more intimidating monster—was getting back to writing Deus Ex Machina, my next big novel release. I’ve been back and forth on that so many times, and away from it for a very long time.

Last I remember working on it was in a Mr. Doughnut shop in Yokosuka, Japan, while I was on night shifts. This would have been about 10:00 at night and about the only place left open in town, save the bars, which are not quiet, conducive environments for writing. Mr. Doughnut was the only place open till 11:00 and when I was there, it was pretty much just me and the two young Japanese kids who worked there. And some strange, Mr. Doughnut-brand oldie’s station piped over the speakers in English.

Anyway, the submission package for Black Library was a nice distraction and excuse for avoiding DXM. But that was now done. And being Good Friday with nothing much happening, I squared off some time to make this happen.

It took me longer than usual, 2 or 3 hours all told, between reading to catch up, looking through old notes, checking back chapters for details, and everything, but I finally finished chapter 22, which I had started some months ago, and plotted out what happens next in chapters 23, 24, and 25. Which will then be the end of Part II. (I generally go with the three-act structure on my novels.) And it flowed well, I got somewhere, made some new discoveries about my characters and story I didn’t know before, and all was wonderful with the fictional world.


DXM is 60,000 words long now, and I project it’ll be no more than 85K when done. Which puts me about 70% of the way through. I had estimated 80% before, but I guess I was wrong.

Or I could be right—don’t know how long it’ll be until I’m done. But I can say with some confidence that Part/Act III won’t have more than 10 chapters to it. Once we crest that hill, I want it to be pretty much roller coaster speed from there to the end. Shit’s gonna turn bad real quick and force some hard decisions to be made by Spitball and his buds.

The writing should go faster at that point, too. And I hope that a lot of the deadly, hot lava formations from the volcano eruption that’s been my life these last few months will be cooled off by then, making it easier to find writing time.

Still on the Lava List: our damn taxes still need to be done(!!!), checking into the Navy Reserves, taking my semi-annual Physical Readiness Test with them, and finishing the purchase of and moving into our new house.

So, you know, nothing major… (YIKES!)

Also on my list is finishing up and launching my Kickstarter Campaign to help get DXM off the ground. Especially after the said volcanic eruption, I’m going to need some help getting cover art, editing, and voice narration done. That’s still coming, folks, so if you want to help, stay tuned! As soon as I can figure out what the hell I’m going to do for a video, it should be ready to go.

That’s all for now.

(Wasn’t that enough? you’re saying to yourself.)

Happy Easter and enjoy your holiday weekend!

(So what does the picture above have to do with anything? Nothing at all! I just needed some kind of image to go with this. *shrug*)