I got my first rejection letter.

It was a positive experience I think. It is something any serious author experiences, something that I will likely experience frequently in the future. It also pointed out flaws in my own work and places where I can improve both my book and my pitch for future submissions. Now it is time to regroup and apply some new steam to get more submissions out into the world and find the right home for my novel.

Onwards and upwards!

Updates on Writing

Well I’ve fallen by the wayside a bit with my writing, once again. Busy work days + a new early schedule have caused me to poop out at about 10 pm most nights, so I haven’t had much time at all for writing.

I’m hoping to get some done this weekend, even if only a little. I’m working on my various short fiction, but also editing my novel. Since I’m likely going to try and submit my book for traditional publishing, I’m trying to get it up to a nice standard. Whenever that time comes to submit it, I’ll then be able to wholly focus on short fiction. I’m trying to get my next anthology out by year’s end if possible.

In the mean time, Across the Battlefield is free all weekend on Amazon, and I’ve already had nearly 20 downloads this morning alone, so that bodes well for the rest of the weekend!

It’s been 1 year…

Ok, I know this sounds like the beginning of a Barenaked Ladies song, but it’s not.

I was sitting in bed tonight, editing Scope’s War ( I’m almost done with rewrites through Ch. 13 ) when I looked up at the date on my computer. I realized with a start that tomorrow, Jan. 17, 2013 will be the 1 year mark of releasing Across the Battlefield.

It seems incredible to me that it has already been one year since I put forth my first publication. Since then, I’ve been featured in a couple flash fiction anthologies, with one more on the way, finished my first novel, and started several other short fiction project, including a followup to Across the Battlefield. Despite the difficulties of life the past year, which included changing jobs and nearly losing my brother-in-law to horrific surgery complications, I seem to have come out on top of it all.

So I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who follows my blog and my work. Thank you to all my online friends and networking buddies who have helped get Across the Battlefield up to over 100 likes on Amazon and have convinced me that this is what I should continue to write and focus on this part of my life.

Most of all, I have to thank my amazing wife and my family, who are constantly encouraging and have pushed me on more than one occasion to keep going even when I felt like giving up.

So cheers and happy writing to you all. Let’s make this year better than last!

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.

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!

ATB Free Today Only!

Today only, you can get your copy of Across The Battlefield 100%, Grade-A Free!

Good enough sales pitch? Well, it does seem to be working. As of last night at about 11:30 pm when I last checked, my total sales were at 20. That’s not too bad for a .99 short story collection that has only been available for a month. As of five minutes ago, about 10:00 am, my sales have jumped to 66. Yep, I’ve increased sales (downloads) 200% overall in about 8 hours. It’s pretty neat and, even though I’m not making money from these sales, people are (hopefully) reading my work and when I release my next book they will have something to use as a reference to see if they want to buy it. Overall this is a really great sale and I’m hoping at least a few people will leave a review, since I only have one right now. If you haven’t picked up your copy, hop on over and grab one while they’re hot.

On the writing front, I’ve been steadily working on Sands of Eternity, once again. I’ve finally passed 40,000 words and am well on my way toward the first major battle scene, the siege of Arsuf. This is going to be a large undertaking but I want to finish what I started and have a really great, full-length novel to show for myself. I’ll post some more about it a little later when I’ve put some more time into it. If you’d like to get an idea of what I’m writing, I would suggest checking out 1632 by Eric Flint and Island in a Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling, two novels which heavily influenced my decision to write Sands of Eternity and two of my personal favorite books.

I’ll sign off for now, but keep watching for more on Sands of Eternity and Across the Battlefield in the coming weeks. Thank you once again for the support. Cheers and Happy Writings!


P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day

Onto the next Project!

Well, Across The Battlefield is published and it feels great to finally join the ranks of self published authors. I’ve received wonderful support from everyone and I’ve already got 10 sales in only 3 days. Not huge, but you have to start somewhere. Hopefully some of those downloads will convert into reviews and I can only hope my book is well received.

Now that Across The Battlefield is alive and functioning on Amazon, I’m back onto writing my first novel, Spellwar.  I’ve posted the first chapter on here for everyone to check out and see what it’s all about.  I’m taking what I learned with writing and editing Across The Battlefield and putting the experience to good use as I draft the first copy of Spellwar.  At just about 12k words, I think I’m approximately 1/5th of the way through.  At this point, I’m just trying to get my plot straight and power through to the conclusion. I’ve got some more I want to add to the beginning, but my goal right now is to get the first draft hammered out.

 I’ve also learned that the editing process is both time consuming and extremely important for clearing the manuscript of errors. That seems like a no-brainer but it’s surprising how much stuff slips through the cracks. 

Thanks again to everyone who helped make Across The Battlefield possible, it’s the best feeling to know that your hard work is paying off and being read by others. As a side note, I’m flirting with the idea of putting the book into the Kindle Select program. I’m not planning on putting it onto Nook or Smashwords at the moment, but I’m waiting to see some feedback before I commit to Amazon 100% for 3 months.  Keep reading and keep writing.  Cheers!