January Writing

Hey Everyone,

   It’s been quite a while since my last post. Work and life have been busy and taken a major toll on my writing. The holidays are always busy, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to find much time to write during the past month or so.  I am, however, in the process of editing Scope’s War. I’ve gone through the first 6 chapters of revisions, rereading my work and changing some character arcs, dropping and adding new characters, and making the overall timeline of the book flow more naturally. If I stay on this pace, my hope is to have first round rewrites and edits done sometime next month. Then it will be time to pull out the red pen and do the serious text editing and grammar checking. My goal is to get Scope’s War onto Amazon sometime this summer, hopefully by June, but if it happens earlier than that, so much the better. In the meantime, I’m going to be putting together a small group of test readers to read through the first 3 or 4 chapters of Scope’s War. I’d like to get an idea of how people relate to the story, the world, and the characters. If you’re interested, you can send me a message via Facebook on my Author Page. Once Scope’s War is done, I’ll be starting to work on Scope’s Redemption, the follow up book. I’m planning on the story only being a duology, rather than the traditional trilogy. I’m also going to resume work on Sands of Eternity, the alternate history / time travel novel that was my first project when I started out writing. I put about 41k words into it before I shelved it to work on Scope’s War, but my hope is to finish that up in the next year or so. I leave you, now, with an excerpt from Scope’s War. The passage below is a brief glimpse into the history of America just before the birth of our protagonist. Enjoy and, as always, happy writing!

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   The Northern War, of which he father’s friends had spoken, arrived just on the heel of the Southern War with Mexico. The city of Vancouver, in western Canada, had defected and given over control of their city and surrounding territory to the Pacific Territory Authorities, specifically to the city government of Seattle, its citizens tired of a government whose main focus was on the eastern half of the nation. The result of the United States accepting the Canadian city was that rather than gaining territory, and the economic boon the city offered, the United States once again found itself at war with a neighbor. The American military was pushed back almost a hundred miles along a northern border simply too large to adequately defend. Garrisons along the northern border stripped of their core commands to fight the Mexicans in the south found themselves outnumbered and outgunned. In the end, Canada stopped short of a full-scale invasion, content to keep what it had conquered as the United Nations stepped in to put a stop to the fighting. America lost nearly twelve percent of their continental holdings in what amounted to a Canadian blitzkrieg that couldn’t be answered.

Update – Scope, Reviews, ATB:OSE

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while since my last post, but I wanted to keep everyone up to date on how work is coming along on my projects and how things in general are going. I’ve been working really hard at my new job with just under a month there. We’re working on a new project, which will be revealed at PAX in a couple weeks, so everyone is really in high gear. As a result, I’ve had less than stellar results in trying to get the manuscript for Scope’s War done by this weekend. Time’s a ticking, and I’m putting in some work tonight, but it looks like I’ll be pushing back my finishing date until probably next weekend.

With that said, the work is coming along great. I’ve been fine-tuning the story as I go, knocking some chapters out in favor of others. I’ve also finally figured out how to incorporate some characters who were briefly introduced early on in the story. I had phased them out for simplicities sake, but then realized I could really hook the twists back in near the end of the book. It looks like, based on how the story is progressing so far, that I’ll be likely only doing a sequel, rather than a trilogy. That may change in the future, but for now that’s the plan I’m sticking with.

On the ATB front, Across the Battlefield received its fourth review, which also happened to be its third 5 Star review. Chris Thrall, author of the international best seller ‘Eating Smoke’ wrote the awesome review. It’s great to have fans, especially in successful authors. When work on Scope’s War is finished, I’ll be moving over to work on the follow-up to ATB. The second volume, titled ‘Across the Battlefield: Operation Soaring Eagle’ will be a collection for stories that expand on the arc and characters of my story ‘Deception’ which was the final story in the original collection. I’ve got a great set of new stories planned and currently have eight drafted out, which should give the collection more meat than the first one.

I’m going to sign off now and get cracking on some writing, but once again, thank you all so much for the support and encouragement. Cheers, and happy writings!

Scope’s War – Sneak Peek #2

Hey there and welcome to the second Sneak Peek into my WIP Young Adult novel, Scope’s War. Today I wanted to share a brief update on the writing and introduce the background for the story a little bit.

I’m closing in on finishing Chapter 6. When the chapter is finished, the manuscript will stand at roughly 25,000 words. The story that has been plotted out runs about 21 chapters total. Extrapolating out, I’m looking at the final product being about 90,000 words in length. I don’t want to constrict myself into writing a set number of words, but based on the length of each previous chapter it seems like a good guess.

Territories
Now for the tasty morsels of information I have for you. Scope’s War is set during a factious period in American history. The story takes place in the late 21st century, circa 2090. Scope, the protagonist, is a Mercenary serving with a company who hail from Monterey, California. In this slightly distopian future, the 50 states of the union have reorganized into Territories. Most of the story takes place in two of those; first in the Pacific Territory, which is made up of Northern California, Oregon, Southern Washington, and parts of Idaho and Nevada. The second is the Central States Territory, which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. This territory is comprised of Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Southern Minnesota, and Southern Michigan.

External Conflicts
The United States of America, which retained its name despite the move from states to territories, has lost two major wars in the past 50 years. The first was the Second Mexican-American war of the 2030s. The actual history is somewhat clouded concerning this war. The Mexican National Authority, MNA, came to dominate much of Central America in the mid 2020s by use of military force and economic sanctions. The MNA attempted to take control of Panama in an effort to choke international trade through the use of increased tariffs at the Panama Canal. The Panamanian government accepted the MNA’s proposal for the nation to join the Federation as a state, but the United States, and many of Europe’s powers, rejected the move. The resulting war was a catastrophe, as Mexico preemptively invaded the southern half of the US in an attempt to hold its major cities ransom for a peace treaty. The US was unable to respond to the attack, having massed its troops on the southern border of Panama. The treaty of San Antonio ended the conflict and reestablished the US Mexican border several hundred miles north of its previous position. Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tuscon are just a few cities now formally under Mexican authority, though rebellion in those areas is rife.

The second war on American Territory came 40 years later. The government of British Columbia, in Canada, voted unanimously secede from their country and join the United States as a new territory. The United States graciously accepted, as it had widely been known they valued the mineral riches of the neighboring mountains as well as the abundant fishing supplied through the city. American troops marched across the border to reinforce their new territory. Canada, in retaliation for the secession, sent troops to meet them and garnered international support. The US was expelled from NATO and the UN officially withdrew its headquarters, moving to Brussels, Belgium. The Canadian Coalition, with the cooperation of Russia, Italy, Spain and Germany, invaded. However, where the US thought Canada would try to retake Vancouver, they instead marched south to seize Seattle and choke off the supply lines to the troops up north. The US government was forced to pull troops from numerous international bases and recalled them to new posts along the Canadian Border. By the time the dust settled, America’s northern border had shifted south by nearly 80 miles. Seattle is held under the grip of marshal law. Vancouver was placed under lock-down and its politicians and city council members were executed for High Treason.

Cities of Importance: Pacific Territory
Monterey: After the loss of San Diego in the Second Mexican-American war, Monterey became the mainland headquarters for the US Navy. Population booms expanded the city to incoroporate every surrounding town and city on the bay, all the way up to Santa Cruz. Ford Ord has been reactivated as the primary military base for the western United States.
Oakhurst: A sleepy town at the turn of the century, Oakhurst has exploded as a new population center. With the advent of solar-powered light rail, Oakhurst became a hub for the Pacific Territory cargo heading over the mountains into Deseret and the Southwest Territory.
San Jose: After the bombings of San Francisco during the Second Mexican-American war and the shelling of Sacremento during the Northern Wars, San Jose has become the political center of the Pacific Territory. It is also home to an increasingly loud group of sectarian politicians bent on the secession of the Pacific Territory from the rest of the US. The population of the city swelled over the years to its present number, nearly 2.6 million residents.

Well, I hope you enjoy the information I’ve provided you with here. I’ll be continuing writing and pushing through the next few chapters. Once I’ve reached chapter 10 I’ll be posting another sneak peek. Until then, enjoy and leave some feedback. Cheers!