Oh, I just remembered why I opened up the blog to post something. I actually had a purpose beyond just ranting about cancer.

For fans of New World Order, book one: Turning, I wanted to let you in on a little deal: anyone who recommends the book to at least three friends (they have to actually start reading it) will get a free sneak peek at part one of New World Order, book two: Anarchy.

That’s not a cheesy freebie, either, folks. I’m talking a solid fifteen chapters worth of material (it was just twelve, but I’ve realized the last three chapters I’ve written still belong in part one.)!

So here’s the way this works: you recommend the book to three friends who begin reading it and just shoot me an email, and I’ll send you the first fifteen chapters in either pdf, mobi, or epub format (if you need it in another format, let me know and I’ll see what I can do).

Naturally, I’m asking you NOT to send this material on to your friends as well. If they want the sample, they can get it the same way you did.

RECOMMEND THIS                              GET 15 CHAPTERS OF THIS!

Cover 4      Anarchy Cover

New books before the end of the year?

So I’ve got about twenty-six days left before the end of the year, and I’m sitting on about 53K words on A Glass Half-Empty and a little more than 47K words on Descent. If I work daily to get to 2K words a day, that’s about 52K words to divvy up between the two of them. Given the difficulty in writing EVERY STINKING DAY INCLUDING CHRISTMAS, it’s unlikely I’ll get both of them finished. That being said, it’s more than likely that I’ll get at least one of them done. Probably A Glass Half-Empty, all things being equal.

That is, of course, if I can keep my hands of writing Anarchy. My youngest daughter, of course, is pushing for it. I’ve composed a chapter and a half on it so far, about 5K words, give or take. Naturally, it’s more fun to start a story than it is to stick with it long enough to finish one. That’s how I wind up with so many works in progress.

At any rate, I’ve put together a pair of new covers (visible on the front page, of course) for both A Glass Half-Empty and Anarchy. Love to get your thoughts on them!

And yes, I will be starting book five of Jefferson’s Road before too long. I know many of you are anxious to find out what happens to Peter (so am I, actually!).

Here are the covers:

A Glass Half-Empty   Anarchy Cover


Off stride a bit…

I confess I’ve been off stride this past week. Fact is, after cranking out better than 42K the first two weeks of July, the last week has been an absolute bust. Less than 1300 words for the entire week!

In all fairness, it’s been a rather busy week at that. My Mom came up to visit us, and we’ve had some car repair issues on top of the kids needing to be ferried all over creation (okay, it’s mostly my wife who’s done that last bit – though I’ve done a little), and we’ve had get togethers on back to back Sundays. All of which conspires to almost nothing written. It’s going to take some effort to get back on track. The word counts I booked prior to this by going over my minimal word count of 2k won’t be enough to cover the loss of an entire week, so I’ll have to stretch to pull this off.

Which brings up what I think is the real culprit behind the word count fiasco. On at least two of my stories, I’ve felt the plot lines sorta getting away from me. And I’ve faced a set back on a third – meaning the heart of the story hasn’t even begun yet because I’m still dealing with leftover issues from the previous novel. It’s been a little disheartening. I suspect what I’ll have to do is sit down and outline these two books, see if I can’t get a handle on what’s supposed to happen so I can avoid any rabbit trails leading to rabbit holes.

On a side note, and perhaps related to the discouragement over all, is the realization that I haven’t approached my writing career as strategically as I ought to have. The prevailing wisdom is to write an individual series, and then release books in that series close together (like months, not years as in the traditional model) to avoid confusing the reader. Writing multiple series is all well and good, but typically this is done one at a time.

On the other hand, I can’t exactly back off on the books I currently have available to just concentrate on one series or another. Well, maybe I could, but I don’t think it would be beneficial overall.

Jefferson’s Road is the closest to being done series I have, so there’s no question I’ll keep writing that. My Janelle Becker books are the best selling series, so it makes sense to keep doing them as well. Given that Topheth has sold so little to this point, I suppose I could pull it down, rename it something more recognizable (I’m thinking of “Burning” or “The Burning”), and then sit on it until I’ve got at least two more Janelle stories ready to go.

Definitely can’t do that with the Jonathan Munro Adventures, so those books are off the table as far as this is concerned.

That leaves me also with the Dragon’s Eye Cycle – a different genre, admittedly, and the Spilled Milk books.  Would there be wisdom in pulling these books and then re-releasing them when I have the rest finished? I doubt it with Spilled Milk, but Eye of Darkness, possibly. I might consider changing the title, and then re-releasing it under a pseudonym, so that I don’t confuse readers with what Michael J. Scott writes. I haven’t sold so many that it’d make a huge dent in matters, so it’s something to consider.

Of course, Turning is still out there as well. I haven’t pushed this one at all, and there are far more to write. I could pull it and then finish more before resubmitting it.

But the real solution, I suspect, is to plan out an entire story arc for a series, write the books ahead of time, and then only release them one a month once they’re all finished, fully edited, and covers professionally done and consistent. I have two unfinished books that might serve toward that end, so I’m not exactly starting from scratch here. It will take some tweaking to make these two books – both stand alones – fit into a single series, but I believe I can pull it off.

So this will be the next strategy, even as I work on finishing the current series that I have. I’ll let you know if I decide to pull anything down and then release more strategically in the future.

Turning Is Now Available

Or will be shortly, as soon as Amazon finishes reviewing the file. That being said, you can order a print version from Createspace here. And for a limited time, I am offering five signed paperback copies of the book (I’ll have them shipped to me soon) for you to read, provided that (Big Caveat!) you promise to leave me a review. I’m totally serious about this. Reviews are the lifeblood of book sales. Without them, our books just sit there in digital anonymity. I’m not asking for five stars or unrealistic praise. I’m asking for an honest “This is what I thought of the book” type review (although, I suppose if you absolutely hate the book, we can just quietly give that copy away to someone who might appreciate it more, ya know?).

Just, somewhere toward the bottom, write something along the lines of, “I received a free copy of this book to review and was in no way otherwise financially compensated. All comments are my own.”

If you want the book digitally, I can make arrangements for that as well. Just let me know your kindle email address so I can send it to you.  Sorry, can’t sign the digital ones.

Happy Reading! 🙂


QUICK UPDATE: Amazon has now given me an ASIN, so you will be able to access the Kindle book here as soon as they finish publishing it.

Update on Turning and Other Works in Progress

Well, the good news is that I’ve finally got the edits from my girls for Turning, which means I can at last initiate the rewrites and final edits before releasing this book. We had a pretty good discussion about it this evening, going over the things they did like, didn’t like, and any suggestions they had. There’s a few minor tweaks I’ll be implementing starting tonight, not the least of which is reformatting the book from a 6×9 to a 5.5×8.5 cover size. My goal is to have the edits done and the book available by the end of the month. Okay, actually, it was to have the book available at the beginning of the month, but schooling got in the way (technically, it was Algebra that got in the way). The good news is that I should still be able to take advantage of the coupon I received from Createspace via NaNoWriMo for a free printing of five books–that’ll go a long way toward helping us locate more BETA readers, I expect.

In the meantime, I’ve been plugging away at the other six. I’ve got four of the six current WIP’s above 20K words. The other two are bumping their heads on it. I may decide to narrow the field a bit and give more attention to the books that I’m more productive on, but I haven’t done so just yet. I really like the idea of finishing six books together, but it’s probably unrealistic to expect that I’ll get all six done in a year’s time. Besides, I know that readers of Jefferson’s Road are chomping at the bit for the next installment, and I do want to get it out to you this year. I also have to give priority to Music of the Spheres. Even though Elixir of Life is due out in November, I kinda want to have the next book ready to hand over to Rochelle when that happens. That leaves me the opportunity to pick amongs the four remaining books for the two “most likely to succeed” (ie: get finished). I have to choose among Descent, A Glass Half-Empty, The Blood-Eater Coven, and Nicholas. And waiting in the wings, I have a Middle East thriller called Rock of Ages that has around 16K words or so (I think). That’ll certainly give me fodder for 2014.

I’ll let you know once Turning is ready to go. Later!


Last night I finally wrapped up Turning, the first installment of my teen dystopian New World Order series. I hope you’ll take a chance and read the book. You can find the main page here, and if you open all subsequent pages in a new window, you’ll be able to return to it to find the next chapters rather easily.

I’ll be releasing the book on Amazon and Createspace soon, and I hope that I can count on you to leave me honest reviews when I do.

The book will continue to be available for free here on the website through at least the month of May while I await your reactions, though you’ll be able to buy it for download on your Kindle or a paperback copy as soon as I have it up.

If I receive comments before releasing the book, I’ll be happy to include those in the front matter (hey! You’ll get your name in print!). If you’d rather I didn’t, just let me know and I’ll keep them out of the final copy.

Thanks for everyone for your patience as I composed this project. I know it took me a lot longer than I initially wanted it to, but writing is like that. Churning out a book in less than a year is very difficult, if only because sometimes it takes that long for the story and characters to mature. The process is very organic, and some things just cannot be rushed without getting poor results.

As soon as I’m able, I’ll get back to work on the other five projects (might be later today, though I might just take a break, too). I did crank out 6,383 words yesterday to pull this off. Getting to the finish line of a book is often like the final sprint in a marathon. Once you cross the line, you really don’t want to keep running, you know?

At any rate, there it is. Ten novels are now completed, and I hope to have two or three more done by the end of the year.

Nearly Done

So I’ve made a slight adjustment in how I allocate my writing time. I had been dividing my attention equally between all six current WIP’s. But I’m nearly done with Turning, and so lately I’ve been pouring all my writing energies into wrapping this book up and getting it out to you all. Of course, most of the book is already available here on the website, and I’ll probably have it up for an indeterminate period after it’s finished, but at some point I’ll take it down so that I can start selling it.

The net result is that during the past week I’ve added almost 6K words, and the book has now crossed 80K words total. More to the point, I’m only three chapters and an epilogue away from being done. I hope to have a new chapter uploaded within the next day or so, and the book may well be finished by the end of the month at the latest.

This is my current word count as it stands today:


Turning 80001
God and Country 14185
The Blood-Eater Coven 12762
The Music of the Spheres 12471
A Glass Half-Empty 12018
Nicholas 9701

So there you have it. All told I’ve written over 46K words since the year began, and considering that I took all of January and half of February off, this averages out to about 21K or so per month (half of February, all of March, and only half of April). I’m hoping to keep upping the word count each month. I’ve increased my output by around 100 words a day from about 700 wpd in March to more than 800 wpd so far this month. God willing, soon I’ll be consistently breaking in excess of 1,500. That would net approximately six to seven titles per year, depending on length. At that pace, it would only take me about ten years to tell all the stories currently wandering around my head (with no accounting for any more I come up with between now and then).

And with that said, I’m getting back to work. SEE Yuh!

New Cover Art for Turning

Okay gang, so now I need your feedback on the new cover art for Turning. Changing the name of the book also means making some slight adjustments (and, I hope, improvements) in the cover art as well. So here it is, tell me what you think:

Cover 4I still need to change the font at the bottom, but it’s the art work I’m most concerned about.

Additionally, I’ve resized the book to a 6 x 9, rather than a 5.25 x 8. This is based on observations of similar books on the shelves at stores. 6 x 9 seems to be the average size. At any rate, I was able to kick up the font size a couple notches, so it won’t be too hard on the eyes.

Oh, and there’s a new chapter up. Chapter 25. You can access it here.

I do confess that I’m a little concerned about the word count. Preliminary research on similar titles suggests that books in this genre number around 125k words. I’ve got 75k. Now, I’m not done yet, but I’m pretty close. I estimate that I’ll have about 13K to 14k words to go, which will put me a little less than 90k words. I have to confess, the smaller size does worry me a bit. I want to be sure I’m not cheating my readers any. On the other hand, of course, I ought only write the words the story actually requires. Anything more would be unnecessary padding–which feels a little too much like busy-work for my taste.

At any rate, I’m on a roll, so I’m gonna sign off now and get back to work. Later!