Author, Fantasy, Science Fiction, AD&D

Archive for November, 2015

Excerpt From Chapter 2 Atolovus

I find myself with little time today. Between  Atolovus’ edits, writing the beginning of chapter thirteen of the second book,  and continuing  on with chapter two of a third book unrelated to the first two, well, ninty-nine percent unrelated anyway, and a dozen other things poking me in the back of my mind, I have elected to keep this post simple. This is the most updated version of chapter two before our current run of edits, which by the way, should the final. We are still playing with the book cover, and our cover designer has introduced some nice beginning versions, but I’m still looking for the right images to complete it. Anyway, I hope you all have a great week, and thanks for reading!

Chapter 2


“Holy Quorydun, what is that putrid smell?” Druhahn exclaims, glancing about as his hand retreats to his sword handle. He then turns and calls back good-naturedly, “Sarge, you been eating bergin again or what?” The other six soldiers begin laughing quietly as they smile at each other and their leader. Sergeant Sarcius Konstantin and the other five mon catch up to Druhahn and the hair on the back of Sarcius’ neck rises the moment the stench of death reaches his nostrils.

Sarcius forces himself to ignore it as he replies in tandem with shifting and suspicious hazel eyes. “Druhahn, there is nothing I would eat that would make me smell like this—inside or out!” Their leader raises his broad tip spear and motions toward the vegetation around them, his eyes shooting back to his mon. “Stay focused,” he growls, “We need to determine the source of this smell. I reckon this’ll get worse before it gets better.” Sarcius’ mon nod in agreement before they begin looking around.

Each soldier pulls a square piece of green material out from within their armor, quickly wrapping the cloths over the lower half of their faces then tying them off behind their necks. Without further word, they split up in pairs and begin poking about with their spears and swords among the undergrowth to each side of the road while two young mon stand guard back to back in the middle of the road, their quivers uncapped, arrows nocked, and bows drawn.

After a short time and from further into the orange brush, Sarcius comes to an abrupt standstill, all color draining from his face as the red-orange hair on his arms stands up. He starts looking around wildly as panic rises in his chest and neck for just a few moments before his training takes over. “Mon, get over here—now!” All the rangers quickly converge on Sarcius’ location as their imaginations swim. When they finally break through the sudden clearing, even the most seasoned mon stops and gags.


The Results

Not surprisingly, I survived my first signing. I think there were about fifteen of us in all. In the two hours I was there, I sold two copies—better than none! I had a lot of people asking if I’d created the anthology to which I honestly said no, but that a number of authors locally had stories of their own in it. Most people looked, they flipped through it, read the back cover, and asked me an assortment of questions about it. About a third looked interested enough that I thought they might purchase it. I think the first thing I learned is that most people are looking for a single book produced by one or two authors.

I did meet plenty of people, mostly locals. I also learned that I’m more known than I thought I was. I think that is encouraging. And many of them were asking if this was my first novel before they got a good look at it. I’m betting most of those people have seen me at the local writer’s conference I attend every year. I guess that means the writer’s conferences are doing its job in more than one way.

I’m going to have to jot down some notes about the type of stories in Babyshoes. That was one of the problems that I felt sent people away. The usual question, “What is the book about,” is much trickier for me.”

“It’s about lots of things, perspectives from all the world,” I told them. This isn’t the normal novel spanning a single plot line or just a few. I think that might have attributed to a number of them walking away from it.

I also found out there are two signings per year, and I’m hoping to participate in the one in spring. It wasn’t as bad as I expected, and it wasn’t like people were staring at me as if I were holding a sign on the corner, begging for money, or trying to pass me by uncomfortably as their eyes seek any other object to cling to until they’re past the table. Overall, was a good experience, and I’ll be more prepared next time.

“Think Local-Author First” Book Buzz 11:00am to 1:00pm


Every year Pybus market hosts a two hour book signing  event created by Bookbuzz. This year, it’s being held from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday, November 7th. Local authors from all over the area who wish to participate are welcome to attend if they meet the qualifications. Thankfully I do. I also have a local writer who is a part of my writing group attending with me. Her name is Jane Nagler, and she will be signing her memoir titled, By The River. Another member of my writing group, Robbie Scott will be there too. I will be signing our flash fiction anthology, Baby Shoes: 100 Stories by 100 Authors. My story, titled How Many Leaves, can be found on page 200.Janes’ is on page 255.


This will be my first book signing anywhere, and I openly admit I’m rather nervous about it. I’ve never been much of a salesperson mostly because I feel like a hypocrite. Why? Because people trying to push me to buy things I’m not really interested in annoys me. Ironically, I now find myself in a similar situation. I think I’m going to try the Q&A approach, meaning I’m going to try to treat this more like a social event and less like a selling event. I’m hoping there be enough curiosity that I can do that, and in the process, I can sell the rest of the books that I have. I’m coming with twelve copies and Jane has some as well. In fact, there a number of other local authors who also have short-stories featured in our Baby Shoes Anthology. If nothing else, it will be a good experience for me.

If you are another one of Babyshoes authors, I’d be honored to meet you. We can trade signings if you are interested. Should any of you have time to drop by, please do! I hope to see some of you there! Also, if for some reason anyone is interested in my book, or wants your copy you bought signed, but can’t make the signing, my wife and I will be enjoying the wine-walk event downtown afterwards. Feel free to catch me there.

I’ll talk more about the signing Monday when I’ll relate my experiences, and how I felt about it, and what I learned. Have a great weekend!

The Conduit

Winter is coming. George R.R. Martin gave this phrase a life of its own. I’m using it as it has always been used. The mountians above us have been buried in white over the weekend, and is only a matter of time now before it drifts into the valleys. I’ve been trying to catch up on all things I should’ve done over the summer. I’ve done fairly well, I’ve gone through three full lists, and I’m on my fourth. Most of it is remodels to the interior of the house and some yardwork on the side. I’ve only gotten about a third of the fence watersealed, and I still need to touch up areas of the backyard decks.

But that is not what is really on my mind right now. With winter on its way in and all my projects coming to a close whether I like it or not, the new project list contains the seven separate books that I’m working on. The reason my current project’s list brings this up is because I find very often that I spend a great deal of time thinking about what I could be writing in my books. I think about characters. I think about their personalities, I even think about their backgrounds, but what I find myself doing the most is listening to dialogue between them. Unfortunately by the time I get done with what I’m working on, there’s no way for me to remember all of it or even get it written down.

I do this at other times as well, like when I’m running. It seems like when I’m off doing something else, the keyboard is not in front of me and my recorder is not near, I feel much like an artist staring at a blank canvas. As I think about what to say or what to think or what to explain or describe, it all becomes very clear. Sometimes it’s a lot like watching a movie. I can see the characters, and I watch what they’re doing and listen to their conversations. I can even feel what they feel, but the moment I turn about to pick up the brush, it disappears like a clear dream upon waking. Perhaps it’s true what they say: the best picture is the one never drawn, and the best book is the one never written, or perhaps it’s simpler than that. Maybe when we are not trying, our mind is more open to what we’re being sent.