Thursday, September 21, 2017

I had a chat.




So sometimes being a writer takes you to fun and interesting places. In those places some people may like coffee and they may want you to like coffee too.

I got to hang out with the awesome Lynda Dietz today.  We got to talk a bit about my upcoming release and I shared part of the giveaway there.

Hopefully she will have me back after her cat calms down a bit.

If you would like to check it out click HERE.

We are getting closer to the release, are you excited? I am. I hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Life of writing.



With how long it took between Ashes and Light Bringer, I didn't want to be in that spot again so I have been trying to stay busy. With four kids, pets and full time...overtime, job—that get's problematic.

Luckily I have a CP and wife who helps me stay on track. It is really important to have people around you that support you and don't let you let yourself down.

Of course that doesn't mean every day is as productive as it could be.

So I woke up today and was raring to go. I sat at my computer, brought up the word browser, typed ten words and jumped on FB. Because...well, FB.

That led to youtube because, of course.

I then made breakfast for my kids and wife.

Proceeded to watching every DragonCon video that contained Jim Butcher.

Had to play faces with my three year old.

My dog, Sadie, had to go outside then instantly needed a rub down.

There was a small crisis of my youngest deciding my three year old was a stepping stool.

Then finally everyone but me took a nap.

Free time. I can write now. So I wrote this blog.

Life as a writer is funny.

Anyway, I figured I would let everyone know that I have a free weekend coming up for Elemental. Starting Friday if you have never read my series or know someone who might want to check it out, they can do so up until Sunday.

I hope everyone is well. I'll talk to you all again soon.

Monday, September 4, 2017

The cat behind the boy behind the man.





I have always loved words. I spend a lot of time looking into etymology and why certain phrasings are used. Things in my life were not always of a rational nature to my young mind and people could be cruel, but words were solid. 

Words gave you stories and what is life without stories?

But, I did say something about a cat.



I remember when I was quite young my mother had brought home a kitten. He was a tiny thing, smallest in the litter in fact. I had learned that was called the runt. Of course I knew all about runts, my favorite book at the time was Charlotte's Web.

He was black and white, with bright green-yellow eyes and cute little tufts of white hair behind his ears. We called them his wings.

I asked my mother then what his name was. And she said, Lagniappe. Well what she actually said was, "Lanyap." It just so happens that Lagniappe is how such a sound is spelled. Now this name was strange at the time, but it hit off the ears in a fun way that a child can appreciate. As the years went on it was something that was as natural as saying Spot, or Billy.

It was always something that was hard to say to people because it was almost immediately followed by some version of, "What?"

It taught me other people's relation to words.

The word itself is a Louisiana French adaptation of a Spanish word. In it's simplest form it means, a little something extra and he certainly was. He ended up growing to be a huge cat. He could have easily hurt someone or something if he wasn't also the most gentle creature I have ever known in my life. 



He would let us dress him in clothes and pose him for pictures. He could often be found sleeping on his back in a bed with the covers pulled up to his chest. If you were sick or sad, he was there. He was our little guardian. He was not a pet, he was family. 

"So, interesting story, what does this have to do with you as a man?"

Well, besides giving me a companion when I often needed one, he was also inspiration. I remember in the second grade the teacher passed around these hardback notebooks. The pages inside were blank and the instruction was to write and illustrate a book about anything we wanted. 

I didn't have to think. I was instantly writing away about my amazing cat. The pictures came easily because I often spent time with my furry friend. I learned in that moment that a person made stories happen. That I could make stories happen. 

 I know for sure the book was terribly simplistic and the art, while showing a budding talent, would win no awards, but it was a start. It was the beginning of a love for things that would stay with me the rest of my life.   



Lagniappe lived quite a long life as far as cats go. He lived long enough to meet my first born. Life eventually takes its toll on us all and he had finally slowed down by my early twenties. His last year was spent staring out the window of a white house. Birds chirping in a thick tree capturing his attention even when his body could no longer run around with them.

When he passed, I remember feeling such a loss. Thinking of him now I get the dull ache that one often gets when they remember a loved one no longer with them. Both my mother and I have entertained writing books about him because he was that wonderful. Neither of us have, and I often wonder if it is because we fear we could never capture just how truly amazing he was. Even if they were not about him, I did end up writing more books. I like to think my feline brother set me on that path. 

Anyway, thanks for listening. I hope everyone is doing well. Talk to you soon.


(My mother and daughter with Lagniappe)


  

Friday, August 25, 2017

Exciting news!!






Well, it has been a long time since I was able to say this, but—I have a release date!!!

It is official. On September 25th I will finally get to release the third installment in the Light Bringer Saga!



LIGHT BRINGER



I will be doing a giveaway for the book and have some other cool little things planned across the blogisphere...bloggersphere....the place we blog. 

For now I can show you the blurb for the book. Hope you enjoy it:

After facing her nightmares and battling against those who should have been her protectors, Sophia should be prepared for anything. With knowledge gained from the Pathways and a power growing inside, the last mystery she faces is herself.
Answers about her past are being kept just out of reach. Two powerful groups of Elementals are coming to town and their intentions could easily spell doom for everyone she loves. As if that weren’t enough, a dark figure looms ever closer, threatening to change everything she once believed.
Life is never dull around the Elementals. As each decision puts those she cares about further at risk, Sophia is left with one question: Is knowing who you are worth losing everything?


Anyway, thanks for listening. Hope everyone is well. See you soon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Spotlight of awesome!!





A big thing I love about blogging is all the help and camaraderie that goes on here. It's a pretty special place. 

It is also filled with some pretty special people. I would like to share some of these folks with you all. Many of you may know them, but it may be time to check out some of the things they can do. 

First up are two amazing...and award winning...authors! 


&



Aside from being authors the two have started a website with tons of helpful advice, videos, and even a podcast. 

It is the podcast I want to really talk about here. I have been following these two as they made YouTube videos, which are also great. So I remember when they announced the podcast I got really excited.

"How To Know If Writing Advice Is Good", led the way into what would be a new favorite pastime for me.  

As of writing this, they have ten episodes and each of them is really great. They give succinct advice and have great flow and chemistry as they do it. It is a cool resource for new and old writers alike. I often listen to them when drawing or eating. You can even listen to it from itunes and soundcloud.

Oh and they are doing something really cool over there. It is a contest for authors. I will let them explain as they will do it better than me anyway. Click HERE!   

I am a pretty big fan. Do yourselves a favor and check them out. 


Being writer you take a lot of advice. Once we get this advice we sweat and toil over our works of love for who knows how long. Eventually we may get to a point in drafting that we think people might want to buy this stuff. At this point there is an important step that no author should skip. Yes, you may know where I'm going here.

Editing!! 

Being a Self Published author it is hard to wade through all the noise and find people we are compatible with. So if I may, I would like to offer up two amazing people for your consideration. 

The first is the wonderful, Janie Junebug. You can check out her blog here where she will give tips on editing and regale you with tales from Florida, Willy Dunne Wooters, and some amazing pups. 

After rushing my books out lacking the proper editing, it was Janie that came to my rescue and helped me right the ship, or did we write the ship? Well one of those things happened. 

She has great insights on content and flow. Many of the structural problems in my prose she helped me curb and fix. You will find working with her insightful and fun. 

I have been told by people that you can never have enough eyes on your work so I also had the pleasure of using this next person to proofread the books and just give it that extra set of peepers. 

Lynda Dietz is incredible as a person and editor. You can find her blog here, where she will offer her editors notes and a profound knowledge of all things editing. I found the process of working with her incredibly enjoyable. You can tell right away that your work is in good hands and you are instilled with a sense of confidence about going forward. 

I know this one was a bit long. I hope that you give the podcast a listen. I am telling you once you start you will want to hear them all. Also check out the blogs of these lovely editors and keep them in mind whenever you are in the market.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for listening, I'll see you next time.  


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Website!!



So like I said. The biggest thing about my stepping away was trying to figure out how I wanted to go about this little self publishing career. 

There is so much that goes into it when you are wearing all the hats. I love being the artist. It brings joy to my life, but not so much the social media expert and sales manager and the endless stream of other things that goes into this.

In the end I decided I was not going to halfway do something. So as I mentioned before, I put together a plan. Part of that plan is this: My Website!(<==click it)

I also added a new "button" up top so people can go to the site.

I am really proud of how it came out. 

I aim to use my blog to share my thoughts on writing and art and to share things about my life. I plan to use the website to post all the major news for my books. There may be some crossover between the two, but that is the main structure going forward.

Please check it out and tell me what you think.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for listening, see you next time.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

I finally got my letter!!!




So anyone who really knows me knows I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I read the books at a key point in my writing career and they brought me back to what I loved about story telling in the first place. 

So for my birthday, and Amanda and my anniversary, we took a trip to Universal Studious so that I could go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!

It was truly everything I had hoped it would be. 

I got a Wand.



I wore a house robe.



I drank a Butterbeer.


I rode a certain train.


I even saw my favorite castle.





It was amazing, but honestly more than just a bit of fun and some wish fulfillment it really cemented something in me. As artist all we have are ideas. This can create moments of great doubt. I have said before that I agree with some of my favorite authors, ideas are cheap. It is the artist that is important, but the idea is a great thing if we pursue it. 

Being at Universal Studios and at the Disney Springs board walk. I saw the art of these people's ideas. Buildings made from them. People dressed as them. Merchandise by the ton. All of this, every fantastical thing, started with an idea.

So I created a new mantra for myself. Here it is:

An idea, with a bit of luck, executed to perfection, makes dreams come true. 

I will probably post more pics from the trip in the next few blogs. There was just so much to see and do.


I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for listening, see you next time


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The new me.



Hello my long lost friends. So, I didn't want to write one of those, "I'm Back", post.

The main reason is—I'm not.

Let me clarify.

That guy that was here before is not back. I knew when I wrote my last post that something was about to change with me. My life had gone through some pretty dramatic changes in rapid succession and it took its toll. I had stumbled through a few breaks and came back feeling only slightly recharged each time.

All that said, I think the biggest reason for my absence was that I had no real direction. My only steady goal was that I wanted to be a writer. Stumbling into this with a stubbornness, and admittedly, pigheadedness, that I tend to do things with, got me two books.

I am extremely proud of those books and the third one is coming right around the corner. (For real it is super edited and everything.) The thing is I was not prepared for what it means to be self-published. I learned by doing. There is nothing wrong with that, but the problem was I had no time to process what I'd learned.

So after an amazing, record breaking, burnout, I decided to take time. Not a break, but some real time to figure out what I wanted and where I was going with all of this.

The good news is I have found that. I am really energized and ready to jump back in full force. I have so many cool things in the works and I have missed everyone.

Well, before this gets too long I will cut myself off. I can't wait to get around and see everyone's blogs and what you have been up to.

The future is full of potential and I'm excited.

Talk to everyone soon.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG




This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hop.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.


So I have been really busy at my new job, which has everything else on hold while I try to learn it all. Good news on that front as people seem to be talking about me there and I may have a promotion in my near future.

That is not saying, though, that my writing life is put away. It has just had to take a bit of a backseat. But I think things are leveling out. I also have some cool news about a book I illustrated. Hope to share it soon.

So on to the question of the month.

When do you know your story is ready?

This is a hard one for sure. I mean is it ever ready? As artist we can work on something forever if we were allowed. Also sometimes we get sick of looking at the same piece of art and want to be done with it or if we are honest put it in a box for a few years and deal with it later.

I guess the best answer is, a story is ready when we are ready to let it go. 


Hope everyone is well. I can't wait to be back blogging regularly. As always have fun and keep writing. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The heart behind it all.



Being creative is hard.

Now that I have written that incredible understatement, let me try to delve deeper.

Obviously it isn't easy to be artistic, so much goes into it. To create from something as evasive as your mind is like trying to get a sugar fueled toddler to sit still for more than ten seconds. 

The problem with being creative or artistic is that there is a need to do so. We have to do it to be who we are. I guess if I lived on an island with a giant bag of money and no responsibilities, then it may not be so difficult to accomplish or as heartbreaking when I fail.

I don't have an island or a giant bag of money. If you do...please share with the rest of us.

Still, all of this aside, I think one thing stands out for me when trying to create.

To truly make art you have to open up a vulnerable part of yourself. I honestly think that is why we take so long to get started. The act of doing something daily could be nothing more than allowing us to find a way to access this part of ourselves easier. 

I am not overly affectionate. I mean I love love, but I have to work to share my emotions with those close to me. This doesn't mean I am not an emotional person. In fact to the contrary I am extremely so. Life has done a lot of work to bottle that up. 

The problem with this is when I go to access these emotions for my art I end up in a pretty vulnerable state. In this state when those responsibilities I so soundly handled a few moments before come knocking, it all falls apart. 

I guess maybe that is the trick. Find a way to be open without being vulnerable. Either that or find a log cabin somewhere to hole up in. 


Anyway, how does everyone else feel about this? I hope all are well and as always, have fun and keep writing.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IWSG


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! To join click HERE!


Well it is that time again.

I have been thinking a lot about what helps me as an author. 

I know that writing everyday, reading wide and abundant and revise, revise, revise, are all very important for growth. These are all things I have used to finish and make my novels better. 

Something extra I think may trump them all is interaction with other author's. That is why this group is so important. I have been trying to think of some new ways to do that so I also decided to start a new series on youtube.

The video is about 13 minutes, but I hope you guys will check it out and let me know what you think.




Anyway what is going on with you? I hope everyone is well. As always have fun and keep writing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Progress Report # 2





Hello everyone, I got another progress report for you.

Unfortunately the job I just got had to do a lay off. I saw it coming, but it still sucks. Luckily I rock interviews so I got another job lined up already. Still this is just another hit to my focus. 

I feel like for whatever reason finishing this book has become a herculean labor. Hard as it is, I am finding myself up to the task. I had some great sessions this past week. I will not be held down, lol. 

I am learning how adaptive of a person I am. I am also learning to push the doubt aside. 

My focus lately is on how to get my name out there. I have a Facebook, a Twitter and a blog. These I have used to get the sales I have so far. I have been thinking it is time to add a new one to the list. 

I have enjoyed blogging a lot and the biggest thing I have enjoyed has been connecting with people. So to further that, I am going to make use of my YouTube channel. 

I will focus mostly on writing and my process much like the blog, but I will also have some other things thrown in. I guess I could say it better myself in this vid. 



Anyway, what is everyone else up to? Hope you guys enjoy the vid. As always, have fun and keep writing.