If I haven't updated in a while, it's because I've had a lot going on. See for yourself.
December 3, 2014 - Research and writing on "Miami Is Missing" is completed. The book delves into Miami's hidden history by exploring abandoned, forgotten, and little-known historic sites. A rough manuscript is turned over to editing.
December 4, 2014 - Writing efforts shift to "Gullwing Battle Royale" while "Miami Is Missing" undergoes several rounds of edits.
December 12, 2014 - Editing is completed on all three volumes of "Gullwing Battle Royale". Work begins on publication.
December 16, 2014 - All three volumes of "Gullwing Battle Royale" are published.
December 17, 2014 - "Miami Is Missing" completes the proofreading phase. It gets a final once-over (or two) before publication.
December 19, 2014 - "Miami Is Missing" gets published through Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
December 22, 2014 - Following discussions commenced in September, Books & Books in Coral Gables stocks "The Gullwing Odyssey" on its shelves. I'm scheduled for a book signing at their store on January 24, 2015.
January 7, 2015 - A local newspaper, The Miami Laker contacts me for an interview on "Miami Is Missing". The story is anticipated to run later in the month. I'll update you when that happens.
January 9, 2015 - The Prometheus Saga launch date is announced. I am contributing two stories, "Lilith" and "Fifteen Dollars' Guilt". The collaborative work becomes available on Amazon on January 26th.
January 10, 2015 - Books & Books takes on "Miami Is Missing". I'm invited to give a presentation on Miami history at their bookstore.
My contributions to "The Prometheus Saga" will be published through Darkwater Syndicate and go on sale January 26th.
Both "Miami Is Missing" and "Gullwing Battle Royale" are available now at Amazon. Click the buttons below to learn more.
Gullwing Battle Royale is a no-holds-barred fighting tournament featuring the characters of "The Gullwing Odyssey". It’s a last-man-standing competition between a messenger, dragon, knight, wizard, princess, and a pirate. What's at stake? Money, prizes, and bragging rights – actually, just bragging rights, but they don’t know that yet. Anything goes and everything will. Magic, swords, pistols, dirty tricks – you name it – it’s all fair game as they battle to be the top fighter of 2014.
Available exclusively on Amazon, the first two e-books contain four exciting fights; the final volume comprises the action-packed semi-final and championship matches. All of them come with full-color character portraits and short biographies so you can see how the fighters measure up.
Best of all, they're only $0.99 apiece.
Click the images below to get in the action. Let the battles begin!
Books & Books, the premiere area bookstore chain, has invited me to deliver a presentation on my novel, The Gullwing Odyssey. It'll be an interactive multimedia presentation -- an audiovisual extravaganza chock full of witty humor and audience participation. Afterward I will be around to sign autographs and chat. You all are invited, and best of all, admission is free.
Author Meet & Greet: Books & Books Coral Gables
When: Saturday, January 24th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Books & Books Coral Gables
Address: 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134
About The Novel
--First Place, Royal Palm Literary Award 2014, Humor/Satire
--Winner, IBD Award
--Ranked #5 Amazon Best Seller in category, 9/15/2014
--Five-star (of five) review, Readers' Favorite
A case of mistaken identity sets a reluctant young man on a 16th century adventure spanning the globe. Hounded by pirates and embroiled in international intrigue, little does he know the fate of a civilization may rest upon his scrawny shoulders. Despite himself and quite by accident, he becomes the hero he strives not to be.
About Books & Books
Founded in 1982, Books & Books is an independent, locally owned bookstore. The Coral Gables store is currently located in an exquisite 1927 building listed in the Register of Historic Places. This 9,000 square foot, Mediterranean-style building has original tile floors, floor-to-ceiling dark-wood bookshelves, and a full-service café. Since 1982, Books & Books has hosted local and international writers as part of its award-winning Reading Series.
I've experienced a perfect storm of inspiration, perspiration -- you ever write so much you break a sweat? -- collaboration, and caffeine. Glorious caffeine. In short, I've been crazy busy these past two months. Let's have a behind-the-scenes look.
Behind the R.A.G.E.
Forgotten Spaces Revisited
The Alvarium Experiment: ASensation In Collaboration
I often get asked: "How do you come up with the funny?" Put another way, how do I come up with the funny and amusing things I write? The shortest -- and best -- answer is: life.
Life is funny. Most living things come into the world naked, thrashing, and screaming, and then are expected to conform to some basic universal laws -- you need to eat, and you need to avoid being eaten as long as you can. Failure to abide by these laws often holds unfortunate consequences, but it all amounts to: you get eaten. Whether by the lion or the worms, you still get eaten. It's just a question of when.
Here's the punchline to all this: life doesn't come with an instruction manual. You need to fend for yourself as best you can, and you don't have so much as a bulleted list of what to look out for.
Understand how huge this is. We live in a day and age where such mundane a thing as a toaster oven comes with an instruction manual the size of a phone book for a small town (and emblazoned everywhere with warning stickers, no less). Yet we're on our own when it comes to things so important as life and keeping alive.
Folks, if that ain't funny, I don't know what is.
But for now let's shift gears and look at things more from an everyday point of view. Below is a series of everyday objects I've photographed and captioned for your viewing pleasure. How many countless people walk past these mundane belongings and never give them a second thought? The fact is, the opportunity for humor abounds, if you'd just take a moment to notice it.
Laugh. It's good for you.
And last but not least, here's a picture of me acting silly in a bookstore. I'm holding a book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren entitled "How To Read A Book". The expression on my face makes it pretty apparent that I know something's wrong, but I just can't put my finger on what it might be...
Why You Should Play This Game
Because It's Fast
--Minimal bookkeeping and no need to split hairs. When in doubt, roll dice and move on.
--Story-oriented rules and quick gameplay ensure there won’t be lulls in the action.
Because It's Deep
--Player and party strategy can spell the difference between victory and defeat.
--Tactical formations, panic, fatigue, magic spells, miracles, heroic feats, and more.
Because It's Versatile
--The core system is designed to allow for play in just about any game setting.
--No fixed classes means you're free to develop your characters as you see fit.
Because It's Fun
--Want a challenge? Apply any of the four advanced rules modules included in the book.
Ebook Purchase Links
Amazon | Google Books | Smashwords
The project is still very much under wraps, but I can share this much. Each story follows the collection's central character. The contributing authors work independently within certain limited parameters, but they otherwise have an enormous breadth of freedom. Aside from providing you a fine piece of writing, the project's aim is to re-invent the way you experience short stories.
It'll be a sci-fi title, as you probably guessed from the artwork. And unless it's your first time to this website, you'd know I write fantasy. And comedy too, if you want to get technical. And if you want to get persnickety, these genres are what I prefer to write -- my office job requires me to also draft up a ream of dry reading on the daily. This stuff would outdo even the best over-the-counter sleep aids... but you didn't come here to read that, nor would I subject anyone to them without good reason. There are legal protections against cruel and unusual punishment, after all.
Keep an eye out for The Alvarium Experiment in in the coming weeks. You wouldn't want to miss this. Check in with my publisher, Darkwater Syndicate, for more information.
Last weekend marked my first author's convention, hosted by the Florida Writers Association at the Lake Mary Marriott. I met all sorts of new and interesting people on this trip - authors, pizza chefs, zombie survival store owners (seriously!). I learned plenty, and it was loads of fun. But looking back, I'm at a loss for words to describe that whirlwind of a weekend, so I'll borrow a few from The Grateful Dead: "What a long, strange trip it's been..."
Friday, October 24, 2014
The road to the convention began on Friday night. I left the office late and took some work home that absolutely needed to get done before the weekend. Hours later, it was "mission accomplished", but there was hardly time to celebrate. The clock on my PC's screen showed 11:00 p.m., a scant five hours from "rise and shine" at 4:00 a.m. the following morning. And then there was that nagging thought that I hadn't yet packed my bags - worse, I realized I had no bags to pack. Even if I'd set out my clothes, I'd have nowhere to put them for the trip.
It was too late in the evening to lose sleep over luggage. I set my alarm to go off an hour earlier so I'd have more time to figure things out in the morning.
Saturday, October 25, 2014 - Hitting The Road
I jolted awake. The clock at my bedside showed 2:57 a.m. I'd been asleep for a few hours but it felt like hardly a blink. Typical. I switched the clock's buzzer off before its alarm triggered and got to work.
I took a quick stock of what I needed: comfy clothes, business clothes for the convention, my promotional material, and travel toiletries. I slung the comfy clothes on and zipped the business clothes up in a garment bag. Everything else was stuffed into a tiny knapsack. After a banana and a cup of coffee for breakfast, I was road-ready in fifteen minutes. Within another twenty I was at my friend Chris's house. He and I hit the expressway by 4:30 a.m.
Saturday, October 25, 2014 - Arrival At The Convention
Saturday, October 25, 2014 - The Awards Banquet
A reception in the hotel lounge preceded the banquet. Chris helped himself to a well-deserved whiskey on the rocks, and I joined him in one. Then, at 7:00 p.m., we took our seats in the main hall. We were treated to a fantastic three-course meal: a crisp salad to start, an entree of fresh grouper and wild rice, and then dessert - a towering three-tier cylindrical confection consisting of a brownie topped with chocolate cheesecake topped with chocolate mousse, with raspberry drizzle between layers. Coffee service followed. I had two cups. I'd been up nearly eighteen hours by then, and was starting to drag my feet.
Sunday, October 26, 2014 - Autographs, Pizza, And Zombies
Bright and early Sunday morning came too bright and too early. We'd been up until around midnight the day before (for a total of twenty-one hours up), and waking at 6:00 a.m. felt brutal. After breakfast, the convention organizers had arranged a winners' table - a meet-and-greet for all award winners - and yours truly was in attendance.
We pulled into Miami at around 6:00 p.m., following a non-stop four-four ride down the turnpike. I dropped Chris off at his place and headed home. It was lights-out for me on arrival - I took a shower and went to bed.
Unpacking could wait until Monday.