Friday, March 31, 2017

The Gift

I am very happy to announce that my newest book is finished. It is titled Strange Visions: The Gift. Yes, I’m reviving the Strange Visions series, though I think it will probably only be for one book. This one is for all the people who supported me from the beginning and loved Trent and Ally’s stories.
Now, I should probably tell you what it’s about. There was always a time gap between the first and second Strange Visions books. Trent and Ally were in high school during The Beginning, and by the time Yesterday’s Sins began they were in college. There are a few months that we never got to see of their lives, and that is where The Gift starts. It’s a story about time and relationships that is filled with action and one all-important mystery that will change everything about how you look at the Strange Visions universe.
You’re probably wondering why I came back to this series after so long. The answer is simple. I missed the characters. I knew if I came back to it that it couldn’t be for more short stories or a side book, however. It had to be about something that mattered. These characters deserved that much, so I thought about what this story should be for a long time, and an idea finally came to me that fit so well that I knew I had to write it.
In this installment, the cast grows narrower, so I’m able to concentrate only on Trent, Ally, and Dan for most of the story, and I believe it serves the story well. There are also more revealing factors throughout the book that better explain the origins of Trent’s gift and why it works the way it does. To put it simply, The Gift ties up loose ends, but it’s also so much more. I think it might actually be my favorite Strange Visions, and I wish I could say more, but I might spoil the plot if I did.
Strange Visions: The Gift will be released on April 15th. I will put up a link to the preorder option at the bottom of the page, as well as a picture of the cover. I hope everyone likes it. This was a project that gave me so much joy and was a great reminder of why I love to write. I can’t wait to share Trent and Ally’s world with you once again!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


So it has been a while since I wrote a blog. I know. What’s my deal? I could at least update everyone on what’s going on once in a while. The truth is I’ve been really busy over the last couple of months, though. I’ve been working on a new series that is actually finished. It consists of four books, but I wrote them as one gigantic story before realizing that no one wants to read a 1,600 page book (who do I think I am . . . George RR Martin?), so then I split it up at logical points. I don’t know for sure what I’m going to do with this series, though. Normally, I would put them on Amazon to share with all of you, but things are a bit complicated.
Here’s the bad news. Emma’s Story, my last book, was pirated. In fact, the last 6 or 7 books I’ve released through Amazon have been pirated pretty quickly. It’s frustrating, and I don’t think the majority of people understand why, so I’m going to explain it. Imagine that you work on something for ten hours a day for two months, and then you have to work on it for several more weeks to make revisions and consider everyone else’s opinions on what you’ve written and how people will perceive it. To make a long story short, you end up spending about 1000 hours of your life on something, and then once it comes out you find that for every one person who purchases your book, 20 more steal it. Most authors do not make as much money as Steven King. We aren’t rich, and seeing our hard work being taken, altered in many cases, and then having absolutely no control over what we created is troubling, to say the least. Imagine if your boss told you that you can only have 5% of your salary because people broke in and stole the rest. I feel for people who can’t afford to buy books. Those aren’t the ones I’m calling out, but I would be willing to bet that 95% of the people who read Emma’s Story aren’t poor.
I don’t know if I can put this new series on Amazon if it’s just going to be pirated. I know. There’s no stopping it in today’s world, but I really believe in this new project. I started working on it about a year ago, and it has blown my mind how different it is and how much I have grown as a writer. I want it to mean more, so I’m considering writing a few letters to an agent and seeing what I can do. There are no guarantees in writing, and I know that, but I think I have to take a shot on making this series more than just a pirated effort that leaves me feeling a bit empty.
On a lighter note, I wrote a children’s book this morning. I didn’t know they were so short. It turns out they are only about a 1,000 words. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it or if it should be anything at all, but it’s certainly fun to think about where my writing journey has taken me. I started unpolished and clueless in so many ways, but I’m learning and exploring. With this new series, and maybe with this children’s book, it’s starting to click, however. I’m finding ways to use my voice in the best way for my readers. Before I just wrote what came into my head, and I suppose I still do that now, but these new four books were completely redone afterward with my readers in mind. This isn’t a story that’s a reflection of my daydreams, but rather what I believe will provide the proper balance of action, romance, and description to a level that I haven’t delivered on in the past.
Finally, I wrote at least one last book for my kindle readers. Even if my new series won’t be coming to you independently, there was one story left to tell. I want the reveal of it to be a surprise, but it’s a story I should have written a long time ago. In some ways, it’s a thank you to all of the people who have stuck with me and supported me through the most wonderful journey. PSV is the abbreviation I’m using for the title at the moment. It is finished, and it’s being edited as we speak. I think it’s very close to being ready for release. It’ll have action, a little romance, and one important mystery in it. Whether it’s pirated or not, I want to share it with you because I believe it’s just the type of book the people who have been with me from the start will love. It takes me back to my roots while applying everything I learned through writing my new series and taking some time off simply to study new techniques and styles, many of which I used and put my own spin on.
   I’ll have more news about PSV soon, and I’ll give you its actual name, along with a few teaser images. Stay tuned. The next month should be fun!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Emma's Story

The next book I release will be about an old character who surfaced in my very first series named Emma. No, this isn’t a continuation of the Wrong series. It’s a side story that turns out to have little to do with the original. In fact, I’m certain that you wouldn’t even have to read the original series to get the full enjoyment out of this book. That isn’t what I really want to talk about, though. I had this idea to let my readers, as well as anyone who just wants to know what the process of creating a book is like, in on my experience with this story. I’ll tell you about when I first had the idea for a story featuring Emma and Jasper, how long I waited to let this story out, the struggles and triumphs of writing this book, and what I believe the impact of her story will have on you, the reader. For starters, I guess I should tell you about when I was first inspired to write Emma’s story.
It all started when I finished up Wrong Life, which was one of my favorite books I’ve ever written. Without spoiling that book, I’ll say this. Emma is the daughter of two characters in the Wrong series. Back then, I thought I was done with the series, and quite honestly, that was a little depressing. I had hope, though. I thought that just maybe I could have some kind of spiritual successor to Wrong through her. First I needed to finish work on my other series, Strange Visions. I got to work on it and found myself lost in a whole new group of characters. I forgot all about the world of Wrong for a few weeks until my first batch of books from the Strange Visions series was out there. Then my thoughts drifted back to the story that started it all. Should I challenge myself to write Emma’s story now, I wondered. What did I really know about her? My idea for her story was a romantic one. I barely had romance in my own life, so how could I go there?
I chickened out and settled on a different idea that I had been toying around with called Wrong Regrets, which allowed me to revive the series through a character I’ve become very fond of named Zane Green. His story was so fun to write, and for a moment, I found myself lost in that world again. I wrote four more books in the Wrong series and two in the Strange Visions series, all the while thinking of the story that I had originally wanted to write. Pretty soon, I found myself wrapped up in a new book called The Divide, which took me to a totally different world that was darker and wonderful all at the same time. Then came the short stories that expanded upon the Wrong and Strange Visions’ universes. I even wrote a different spy series named The Unseen. After that, I decided it was time to finally write my romantic book, only I had been away from the Wrong series for a while, and I thought perhaps that I had written enough stories set in that world. I left Emma’s Story locked away in my brain as I instead turned my attention toward Destiny.
Destiny was an entirely new chapter in my writing journey that was more wonderful than I could have ever anticipated. I figured out that I could not only write romance, but I was in love with doing it. I had found a whole new passion to add to my love of action and sci-fi. At the same time, I wrote a prequel to The Divide, which underwent many changes that forced me to only put my attention on it for a while. It actually had two endings and a few other chapters. Maybe some day I’ll release an alternative version. From there, I dipped my foot back into the romance pool with A Magnolia Romance, a story that was for a younger audience and reminded me of home.
By that point, I had just about given up on returning to the series that started it all or any spinoff of it. I wrote Hollow and its sequel Revelations. I have to say that I had a blast writing it. The story was more challenging than any other I’ve ever written, but its subject matter and characters sucked me into a world that I didn’t want to leave for a while. When I was done, I was left with the question of what should I do next, though. I had some new ideas, one being a very complex sci-fi series, which we might be discussing some day, but it seemed so challenging. My brain was tired, and I just needed something easy. I thought back to how easy writing the Wrong series and Destiny was. It was almost like those books wrote themselves. It was then that I knew. Emma’s Story had to be written, but I couldn’t make it a continuation of my old series. This truly had to be her story. It was at that point when I started brainstorming and truly putting the pieces together that would become my next novel.

I would love to tell you that the process was painless, but it wouldn’t be true. Emma’s Story came with some roadblocks, and at the same time, so much joy. You see, the story of this book doesn’t really start when I was finished with Hollow. It begins way back when I finished Wrong Life. I didn’t know how to write a story like this back then. Sure, I could have jotted down some type of story that would have ended up focusing more on old characters while using her as an excuse to write a new Wrong book, but that wouldn’t have done her character justice. I had to experience the wonder of Trent and Ally, get to know the Wrong group as older individuals, explore new and very different paths, and gain confidence as a romantic writer through Destiny and A Magnolia Romance. I had to give this story time to marinate like a very fine steak. This is a story that is 3.5 years in the making. I’ve thought about it, dreamed about it, and now I’ve finally written about it. The beginning of Emma’s story started for me like it does for most great things. It was an idea that I had no clue would become so complex, frustrating, and infinitely joyous. It was more than a simple project or writing experiment. It was truly a journey that I would take again and again if I only could.
So there you have it. Emma’s Story is her own, but it’s inspired by everything I’ve done mixed with time to mature as a person and a writer. I can’t wait to share it with you, but before that, I want to tell you what I believe this story will be like for you. This is a fun story that’s about the joy of learning to truly love. I believe that you’ll walk away from reading this book with a brighter perspective on life and feeling like you were glad you took the journey into Emma and Jasper’s world. You can preorder now, and I’ll include the link below, but I just want to stress this. I’m very passionate about this book and the positive effect it has had on me. I want as many people as possible to read it, so whether you buy it, read it through kindle select, or find it through other means, I just hope you’ll read this novel and it will brighten your day as much as it did mine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dear America

I’m going to talk about the country I live in today. No, I’m not calling for you to kneel before the national anthem or saying that you’re a disgrace if you do. We’ve had plenty of discussion about that. What I want to talk about is just an observation that worries me about my friends and neighbors.
What drives us to do the things we do as Americans? Some might say religion, love, money, or maybe even just that we have to go through the motions of life. That isn’t what I see. I see Americans who are angry. They kneel for the national anthem out of anger over an issue, get angry at people who do this, align themselves with two crooked and quite possibly moronic candidates in Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton simply out of outrage against the other side, blame the president or past presidents for troubles, and maybe worst of all, the news we tune in for, social or traditional, is only filled with stories built to outrage. Why is this you might ask? Some would blame news stations. After all, they’re the ones writing the stories. It isn’t that simple, though. You see, writers only write what they know will sell, or at least successful ones do. They write a negative piece because that’s what the majority of people will buy. Why do we have two political candidates that are embarrassing to what is a great nation? It’s simple. Other people were running against them to gain a chance at running in the primary. The majority of Americans chose two candidates who represent anger, outrage, and secrets, though. We chose drama over temperament and reason. We also choose to spend our time kneeling in front of a flag or doing nothing but talking about the ones who do. Aren’t there alternatives to making a difference in the world that actually accomplish something? Those who are disgusted with the way that America treats some minorities could easily mentor someone who isn’t as fortunate as them, contribute to a campaign that supports a politician who could bring about change for minorities, start community programs between police and the citizens of a city, or best of all, become a police officer and see what it’s like from the inside, while doing your best to change what is wrong. For those who talk about the disrespect it shows against our soldiers when someone kneels before our flag, there are ways for you to show respect. There are wounded warrior programs, veterans who simply need to know they’re appreciated in a world that only prints stories that make it seem like they aren’t, and plenty of families who have lost an important person you could help financially or by simply filling a hole through mentorship to young children who may not get it otherwise.
You see, America, I’m still proud of you because I believe you’re good at heart. You still defend the weak, and you’re still one of the best places, if not the best, place to live in the world. You’re filled with caring and intelligent people who have their hearts in the right place. I see you falling, though. I see you giving in to negative news, crooked politicians, and an overall sense of doom. There is hope, though. Take the blinders off and see that it’s not so bad. See that racism isn’t at an all time high. While it is, and probably always will be a problem, we are more together as a country today than we were twenty years ago. We are financially able as a people. Yes, there are still poor people who need help, but we are one of the richest nations in the world. Don’t listen to the media or politicians about how many trillions of dollars we owe. There’s one part they leave out of their doom and gloom story. We might be almost twenty trillion dollars in debt, but we’re also owed a lot of money from other countries. As an example, if I owe Bob $2,000, it’s true that I’m in debt, but if at the same time Christy owes me $1,500, then it isn’t as bad as it appeared. You get one side of the report that makes it seem as if we’re a broke, morally vacant, racist country run by only politicians who are out to get us, and it creates a society that is only motivated by anger and fear.

It’s frustrating writing this now, America, because I see the greatness in you. I see the flaws, too, but I don’t think you understand how much the good outweighs the bad. We’re able to sleep safe with enough food tonight. We have the freedom to choose most things about our lives and own property. We have people who love us, and for most of us, the only things we have to argue about are petty debates about different beliefs that only serve to divide us. See how fortunate you are, and let that light guide you into putting your money into entertainment and news that is uplifting. Let it guide your vote to who you think is good, and not who entertains or incites violence in you. Let that light guide you to look at your situation and know that things could be infinitely worse. You’re alive, you’re in one of the greatest places in the world, you have enough opportunities, and you have the choice to choose who runs your great country. Don’t squander it all being angry. We only get 80 years if we’re lucky, so America, see the truth of your situation. You’re surrounded by 90% positive things and people. Don’t fall in love with griping about the 10% that will ultimately lead to our ruin, if you continue to let it.