Wednesday, July 29, 2020

80s Summer Camp (and my 45 seconds of fame)

Good morning campers!

Last week I told you about 80s Summer Camp, an organization that promotes good mental health through community, fun and positivity, and that they were holding their third annual show online on Facebook this past Saturday.

Well, the show happened, and it was a big hit! Not only did it feature many local performers (some of whom were shockingly good), it also featured some surprise celebrity guest appearances, such as Jim Cuddy from the band Blue Rodeo, legendary children's entertainer Fred Penner, and Order of Canada-recipient and beloved native-Canadian actor and performer Tom Jackson.

(Those are all Canadian celebrities, by the way, I have no idea if my US readers know who they are)

Anyway, by all accounts the show was a big success with several thousand views already. The best part is it continues to live on Facebook (at least until we shut down Mark Zuckerberg for crimes against humanity), and you can watch it at your leisure! Check it out! It's got lots of great music, some fun little skits plenty of positive vibes!

Oh, and if you don't want to watch the whole video for the 45-second promo for my new book (which of course is why you're all here), here it is:

The ad is pretty silly, and I tried to lean into the low-budget-ness of it and make it goofy. I had big plans but significantly less time to make it than I originally thought. Plus I discovered I have significantly less talent at video editing than I though I did. Anyway, I thought it came out fine, and obviously I'm not too embarrassed by it if I'm sharing it here.

Also, 45-seconds is no where near enough time to actually talk about a book (and originally he had asked me for just 30-seconds), so I don't even know if I actually sold anybody on it.

Hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying the weather (just kidding, it's pouring rain here). Anyone else ever make silly promo videos like that?

Until next time!
Hugs & Kisses,

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

80s Summer Camp Virtual Day

This Saturday is the Third Annual 80s Summer Camp Day!

80s Summer Camp is a Facebook Group founded by Keith, a friend of mine from back home. According to his page:
[80s Summer Camp] is to connect with people and provide them with positivity in the form of music and comedy. In an effort to promote Mental Health Awareness.
Mostly it's an excuse for Keith to share his funny videos and songs, but more than that it's an attempt to fill up our Facebook feeds with positive content instead of the endless dredge of misery we usually get. He actually gets a fair bit of airtime on the news and radio across Canada (especially in Newfoundland and Alberta, where he currently resides), and he's had numerous celebrities put on his t-shirt to endorse his brand and share his message.

Every year he holds a live variety show under the 80s Summer Camp banner, usually in our home town in Newfoundland. However this year the festivities has gone online, for what should be obvious reasons. The show is this Saturday at 1PM Mountain time. Check out the Facebook page for details, and here's the latest promo:

So why am I telling you this, besides a chance to spread a friend's good message? Because if you check it out, you may see a small clip of me in the festivities! Keith asked myself (along with a few other local authors) to send along promos for their most recent books, so you'll get to see me make a fool of myself while I try to hawk PSYCHO HOSE BEAST FROM OUTER SPACE!

So be sure to join us online, will you? And "like" the Facebook page, you're sure to get lots of goodies in your feed if you do.

Hugs & Kisses,

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

NEW RELEASE: Keep Writing with Fey by Chrys Fey

Hi y'all!

Today I just want to let you know about a great new release from Chrys Fey and Dancing Lemur Press! Chrys is a friend of the blog (and a fellow member of IWSG) so please take a moment to check out her new book!

Keep Writing With Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout
By Chrys Fey

Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:

·         Writer's block

·         Depression

·         Writer's burnout

·         What a writer doesn’t need to succeed

·         Finding creativity boosts

With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.

Release date – July 14, 2020
$17.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 256 pages
Print ISBN 9781939844729 / EBook ISBN 9781939844736
Writing / Self-Help: Depression – Stress Management

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series and an editor for Dancing Lemur Press. She started her blog, Write with Fey, to offer aspiring writers inspiration, advice, and hope. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, and since then she has been a dedicated citizen in the writing world.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

COVER REVEAL: Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space!

Okay, so I revealed the cover when I announced the book last week. But I've been having second thoughts. About the cover, anyway.

The cover image I revealed to the world last week was, to be frank, not great. I mean, I've certainly seen worse covers, but I was never really happy with it, and I've since had some pretty negative feedback. Yeah, I get it, it's shitty, I know. But I had also kinda embraced it's shittiness. Which I recognize is not a very good way to do business.

So I went back to the drawing board, and came up with a slightly different version. Check this out:

The original cover was kinda busy, and a bit too literal. Not to mention the images were not quite right. The kids in the silhouette were obviously too old (they're 12-years-old in the book) and the picture of the monster was super cheesy. Still, I liked that it sort of looked like the poster for a cheesy slasher movie, which is what I was going for, but it just didn't look quite right.

The new poster, on the other hand has a few more things going for it. The single image is stronger, and the book literally does start with the discovery of a dead body in a lake. It's also quirky and odd, which matches my writing well. I always have trouble merging horror with comedy on my covers. Most importantly, the overall composition of the image is inspired by a certain album cover, released in 1992 (the same year the story is set):

I'm leaning deep into 90s nostalgia in this book, and music is a big part of it. Music actually figures into the plot in several important ways. To use a cover reminiscent of such an important album of that time period actually seems kinda perfect to me, even if my mediocre design skills can't quite capture what I'm going for exactly.

So what am I doing here? I guess I'm asking for your feedback? Of the two, which cover do you like better? Is the new one better enough to bother changing it? Should I go back to the drawing board and hold out for something even better? Or is the original cover good enough and I should go back to more important stuff? I actually had a couple of people say they liked it, but there was one very vocal detractor who made some excellent points.

Anyway, what do you think?

Hugs & Kisses,

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Hose Beast Rises (#IWSG July 2020)

Happy Canada Day to my Canadian readers!

To my American readers: I bet you wish you lived in Canada. It's not perfect, but compared to... well, you know.

It's also Insecure Writers Support Group Day, and I've got a lot to feel insecure about, but first the big news:


Newfoundland, Canada, 1992.

Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty years ago. So when Fisheries and Wildlife Officer Dick Jeddore discovers a dead body floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to an accident. But something doesn’t sit right with Jeddore, and he sets out to do some investigating of his own against the wishes of the local police.

Niall and Pius are just a couple of regular boys growing up in Gale Harbour: they like video games and comic books, and are trying to wrap their heads around girls, especially Harper, the tomboyish daughter of Officer Jeddore. When the three of them witness unusual lights in the sky on the same night Harper’s dad finds the body, it sets off a series of events that will change their lives, and the sleepy town of Gale Harbour, forever.

There is an evil older than time hidden deep beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. It is hungry, and vengeful, and a recent storm appears to have released it from its watery prison. Officer Jeddore and the kids are now in a race not only to save themselves, but to find a way to send the monster back before it consumes the town and possibly the entire world...

PSYCHO HOSE BEAST FROM OUTER SPACE is available for pre-order now, exclusively on Amazon Kindle. It's a horror-comedy adventure story in the vein of Stranger Things, and much less obscene than my previous book (I can't really all it "Young Adult," but it's firmly PG-13). The official release date is September 28, 2020. The special pre-order price is only $0.99, too, so grab it early if you can!



Yes, I've finally finished and released a new book into the wild. So why am I feeling insecure? Probably because I'm worried it sucks and no one will like it/buy it. But we all go through those fears, right?

My even bigger fear is due to those four little words at the bottom of that ridiculous cover up there. Did you notice that? It says "Gale Harbour Book One." Book ONE. That means I'm committing to writing more of these, preferably in a timely manner. I'm not a good enough writer for people to wait patiently for years for me to write sequels. I tried to write a sequel to Hell Comes to Hogtown for ages, but it never worked out and I've pretty much given up on it. The Werebear vs Landopus stories come out 12-18 months apart, and they're only 10-20K words apiece. But committing to at least two more full length novels? Hopefully within the next year or two? I'm terrified. And I feel like an idiot for even suggesting it. It's already been four years since I released my last novel. Who the hell do I think I am that I can write two more in less than two years?

The only good news is that I have pretty solid ideas for both book 2 and 3, and I have the first draft of book 2 about half-finished. It helps that I have tons of ideas. The town where the books are based, Gale Harbour, Newfoundland, is basically a fictionalized version of the town I grew up in. The kids in the story are twelve-years-old in 1992. I was twelve-years-old in 1992. While the characters are not based on myself or anyone I knew, most of the settings and situations are ripped right out of my own memories, so it's pretty easy to fill up the pages. I actually had a video call the other day with some of my school friends, and we chatted for three hours about old friends and stories from growing up back home. That call alone gives me material to fill up at least two books (and reminded me of some things I wish I'd included in this one!)

Anyway, yeah, so I hope it doesn't suck. I hope you read it and like it. And maybe leave a review? :-)

How's your day going?

Hugs and kisses,

I haven't had a haircut in a long time...

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Tuesday, June 2, 2020


Happy June! 

Today I turn the blog over to another Dancing Lemur Press author for an exciting new Sci-Fi release!

Lost Helix is the key…

Stuck on an asteroid mining facility, DJ dreams of writing music. His dad is a corporate hacker and his best friend Paul intends to escape to become a settler in a planet-wide land rush, but neither interests DJ.

When his dad goes missing, DJ finds a file containing evidence of a secret war of industrial sabotage, a file encrypted by his dad using DJ's song Lost Helix. Caught in a crossfire of lies, DJ must find his father and the mother he never knew.

When the mining company sends Agent Coreman after DJ and his guitar, DJ and Paul escape the facility and make a run for civilization. Will DJ discover the truth before Coreman catches him?

Release date – June 2, 2020
$17.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 268 pages
Print ISBN 9781939844682 / EBook ISBN 9781939844699
Science Fiction – Action & Adventure(FIC028010) / Crime & Mystery(FIC028140) / YA Science Fiction(YAF056000)


Scott Coon has enjoyed success as a science fiction short story writer, winning accolades and publishing over a dozen works in various magazines. Formally a U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst and currently a software developer, Scott brings his technical experience into his work, along with a sense of spectacle.


Thursday, May 21, 2020


The latest collection of hilarious horror stories from Mystery & Horror is coming in just a few short weeks! And, for the fourth time in four years, the Strangely Funny collection will feature a brand new spine-tingling and funny-bone-tickling tale by yours truly!

I'll have more details to share as we get closer to the release, but in the meantime, please allow me to reveal the wacky cover for the new edition:

Like I said, I don't have a ton of details I can share right now, but please check out previous editions of on the Mystery & Horror website.


I've already given away two copies of my debut novel, Ten Thousand Days, but I've got one more that's itching to get on your shelf. If you want a chance to get a paperback copy of Ten Thousand Days (the revised 2017 version!) all you have to do is sign up for my mailing list, below.

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I will choose a lucky winner on May 31, so your time to sign-up is running out. Plus, by joining the list you'll be among the first to know when my fun new books and projects will be coming out. You know you want to be one of the cool kids. Sign up now!
Hugs & Kisses,

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Today is the five-year anniversary of the release of my first novel, Ten Thousand Days. (It's also my 40th birthday, but that's neither here nor there).

We live in a strange world right now (apologies for the weirdness of my post last month). We need to celebrate every little thing we can. So, in honour of my book's birthday, I'm giving it away.

Specifically, I'm giving away THREE honest-to-goodness paperback copies of Ten Thousand Days. (I know, who reads dead tree books anymore, right?) But I'm doing it, and, if the postal service in your area is still operating, you will eventually get it, too!

The first copy is going to a lucky follower of my Facebook page. I wrote about it last week, but here's the short version: To have a chance to win a copy, all you have to do is 1) Like my Facebook Page, and 2) Leave a comment on the post pinned to the top of the page. That's it! Simple, right?

For the second copy, I'm going to do one of those raffle-copter thingies, which I'm sure you've seen before:

a Rafflecopter giveaway Just enter the list above for another chance to win! And the more boxes you complete, the more chances you have to win. You can Tweet about the book every day to maximize your chances.

For the third copy, I'm finally starting a mailing list. If you sign-up for the mailing list, you'll be entered for a chance to win a paperback copy as well. I guarantee you I won't be using this list to send you spam, or random stories or posts (I use this blog and Facebook for that). The main purpose of the mailing list will be to alert you, dear reader of when any new books or stories are coming out.

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Which brings me to, I suppose, my main point today. This day is not just about celebrating past books, but about looking forward to new ones. Barring further tragedies, I should have a new book out very soon. Maybe even two this year.

Am I insecure about talking about new books? Hells yes. It seems like every time I start getting excited about something, especially a new book, it just gets delayed or falls apart altogether. I thought I was going to publish Hell Comes to Hogtown nearly a year before it actually came out. A year or so ago I said I was working on a sequel for Hogtown, and then I never finished it. Talking about a book before it's ready seems to be the Touch of Death for me. So why am I doing it now?

Maybe I'm just a sucker for punishment.

Maybe because I'm tired of just talking about old books. Maybe I'm tired of being negative all the time and focusing on failures. Maybe I'm jealous of all the new books I see other writers putting out. I just want to be excited and look forward to something, you know? Trust me, I don't get to do that very often.

So here's to old books and new, here's to turning 40. The world's going to shit anyway, might as well make the most of it.

Hugs & kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Friday, May 1, 2020


May is the 5th anniversary of the release of my first book, TEN THOUSAND DAYS. To celebrate, I'm giving away a free paperback copy! Yes, not just a digital copy, which is also cool, but a dead tree version you can love and cherish and put on your shelf and never read!

All you have to do is "LIKE" my Facebook Page and LEAVE A COMMENT on the post pinned to the top of the page. That's it!

Please enjoy my quarantine hair.

Please note this is the REVISED and EXPANDED edition that came out in 2017. It's 30,000 words longer and MUCH better edited (thanks, Amy!) So even if you read TEN THOUSAND DAYS when it first came out, you may still want to check out the authoritative "author's cut."

Contest is open to readers in Canada, the USA and Europe, and runs until May 10th, 2020. A winner will be chosen randomly on May 11th, 2020.

I've had these glasses for over five years, I think it's time for a new pair.

I'm actually hoping to give away more than one copy, so watch out for more chances to win in the coming weeks!

All you have to do to win is LIKE MY FACEBOOK PAGE and comment on the top post! That's it!

In case my face isn't enough to sway you, here's the blurb:

They say love hurts and time heals all wounds. 
Sometimes the reverse is true. 
Isaac was very good at wasting time. Video games, a mindless job, no responsibilities - he had a simple life and few wants. Despite being hopelessly average, unassuming and kind of useless, he had somehow married the most beautiful, wonderful woman in the world. 
He had no idea how good he had it - until it was all taken away. 
Time does not like being wasted. It is mercurial, inexorable and carries a wicked grudge. And sometimes, just sometimes, it enjoys playing games with people's lives. To be perfectly honest, Time is a bit of a jerk. 
Isaac had never learned to appreciate what little time he had, and now he must travel to the ends of the universe and face unspeakable evils in a cat-and-mouse game with Time itself for the slim chance to win back a few fleeting seconds of happiness. The price of failure? Only the end of all existence.
Ten Thousand Days is a fairy tale set in the modern day, a fantastic journey of desperate love and horror with a twisted sense of humour. It's a story of exactly how far a young man will go for love...
Remember, just LIKE MY FACEBOOK PAGE and comment on the top post for your chance to win. By liking my Facebook page, you also get my semi-regular tid-bits of important Canadian history, like this one:

Hugs & kisses,



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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

#IWSG April 2020

April Question
The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

We're still alive.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

NEW RELEASE - Gabe's Guardian Angel by Beverly Stowe McClure

Just released today – the latest from Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. -

Gabe’s Guardian Angel
By Beverly Stowe McClure


Gabe never asked for an angel…

Gabe Montana’s clumsy. He’s overweight, and he’s dyslexic. Worse yet, the bullies make his fifteen-year-old life even more miserable—so miserable he wants to die. 

Charley, his guardian angel, says no to that idea, and comes up with a different plan. He’ll give Gabe self-confidence so he can solve his problems, not run away from them. But Gabe wonders why the angel doesn’t just help with the bullies. What’s with this self-confidence stuff?

Can Charley help Gabe stand on his own two feet? Will Gabe give up hope life can improve for him? Or will he finally listen to the angel’s advice?

Young Adult Fiction: Boys & Men / Loners & Outcasts / Bullying

Print ISBN 9781939844668 $15.95

EBook ISBN 9781939844675 $4.99

“An important read for young adults and their families.” - Donna McDine, multi-award winning author of stories for children

 “It takes a tough subject and handles it in a positive, uplifting way. A must read for teens and tweens.” – Sandra Cox, author

 “Gabe’s Guardian Angel is a good read for any youngster who has ever felt isolated and bullied.”– L.G. Keltner, author


Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories young voices whisper in her ears. When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers and clouds. She’s sometimes known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why.


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

REVIEW of Headlock of Destiny by Samuel Gately

I still find it super weird that people come to me to ask for a review of their book. I get that everyone wants to get as many reviews as possible, but the fact that someone values my opinion enough that they will seek me out specifically for a review/quote is a nice feeling.

I don't get a lot of requests mind you, and don't have the time to do many more than I already receive, but I have discovered some really great books this way. The last one was BIG RED by Damien Larkin last year, and now I can add HEADLOCK OF DESTINY by Samuel Gately to that list.

I mean, I get that I'm specifically the target audience for this book. It's pro-wrestling mixed with epic fantasy. But I think that alot of people will enjoy this book, regardless of how you feel about oiled-up men in panties fighting each other. You don't need to be a fan of pro-wrestling to get The Headlock of Destiny, but if you are you'll appreciate some of the inside jokes and references.

Van is a titan, a giant ten-times as a strong as a mortal man, destined to fight and entertain the masses in a wrestling ring. Despite his humble beginnings working at a brewery in a backwater village, he is of course swept up into the politics and show-biz of the fighting circuit, thrust into the biggest tournament in the world, the Headlock of Destiny. Van becomes Van the Beer Man, a wrestling... brewer? (To be fair, the real world has seen wrestling garbage men, dentists and golf caddies, so why not?)

I loved this book. Samuel Gately has an easy, fun voice that makes the text fly by at a breezy clip. The description of the wrestling matches are fast-paced and exciting, with each one a spectacle of over-the-top action. But wrestling action aside, some of my favourite moments were outside the ring, like Van's quest to steal a barrel of beer, his antics at the tavern and casino between matches, or his awkward encounters with his former girlfriend. Much of the characters and interactions are refreshingly grounded and real, despite the story being set in a magical world with wrestling minotaurs and dragons used as passenger airliners. I think that's what really makes this work - in a world with cartoonish wrestling action and fantasy trappings, it's really Gately's down-to-earth portrayal of Van that makes him seem real and relatable. It would have been so easy, and a mistake, to make Van as garish and hyperbolic as the world around him, but instead he's just a normal, regular guy with simple wants and a sad (but not overly dramatic) backstory. Really great stuff.

Long story short, I would recommend this to anyone who like pro-wrestling or fantasy. If you like both, then you REALLY have to check this out, because you're in for a treat.



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Samuel Gately is a writer of novels in the fantasy genre. Most have spies in them. He lives in Oak Park, just outside Chicago, with his wife, daughters, and two terrifyingly fluffy dogs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Told You So (#IWSG March 2020)

I told you it was going to happen.

I knew it wasn't going to last.

The last few weeks have sucked. The whole family has been battling the flu. I've missed a ton of work during the busiest time of the year. My son had a fever for 8 days straight. My wife's health is at its worst it's been in awhile. Not to mention a couple of other crisis that are about to explode in our face.

Needless to say, I haven't had much time for writing.

I loath this time of year. I don't know what it is, but the first couple months of the year are always so stressful. Here's hoping it calms down by late April/May, like it usually does.

Oh, one little bit of good news, though:

Sci-Fi and Fantasy magazine The Weird and Whatnot will be publishing one of my stories in an upcoming issue! That's pretty cool, and very unexpected as it is a story I've been trying to place for awhile. I will of course share more details when they become available.

That's it for me this month. How was your February?

Hugs & Kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Everything's Coming Up Milhouse (#IWSG February 2020)

January was a big month. Between the two pitch events on Twitter (#ISWGPit and #SFFPit), I received 5 requests from agents/publishers. I also resolved this year to submit something (a short story/query/etc) every week if possible, and thanks to those pitch requests I'm already at more than double my quota. Plus I'm still writing and editing furiously on a couple of projects, so all in all everything is coming up Milhouse.

So why am I feeling insecure? Because I've been through these productive phases before, and they never last. Usually life throws some kind of wrench into the works (and I can see a couple of potential spanners already winding up), but whatever the cause, it will inevitably happen. And then it's all the more frustrating and demoralizing, because I know what I should be doing, and how well everything could be doing, so the fact that I'm not writing and working is just a kick in the teeth.

I have to try to enjoy this while it lasts, and when the downswing does come to accept it as part of life's routine.

February Question
Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

Photo, no, but I have often been greatly influenced by music. Observe:

Completely a coincidence, I assure you.

While the song "10,000 Days" did have some influence on the book, I drew even more inspiration from another song, "Sleeping Beauty" by A Perfect Circle. The lyrics basically read like the plot of the book:

I believe I can cure it all for you, dear
Coax or trick or drive or
drag the demons from you
Make it right for you sleeping beauty
Truly thought
I can magically heal you
You're far beyond a visible sign of your awakening
Failing miserably to rescue
Sleeping Beauty
Drunk on ego
Truly thought I could make it right
If I kissed you one more time to
Help you face the nightmare
But you're far too poisoned for me
Such a fool to think that I can wake you from your slumber
That I could actually heal you..
Sleeping Beauty
Poisoned and hopeless
You're far beyond a visible sign of your awakening
Failing miserably to find a way to comfort you
Far beyond a visible sign of your awakening
And hiding from some poisoned memory
Poisoned and hopeless
Sleeping Beauty

Songwriters: Billy Howerdel / Maynard James Keenan

So now you know my secret. Shhh. Don't tell anyone.

Hugs & Kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

A long post to start the year (#IWSG January 2020)

I'm starting January off feeling positive. This is going to be a good writing year for me. I mean, it will probably all come crashing down soon and my February IWSG post will be me threatening to give up writing altogether again, but I'm allowed a moment of optimism at least once a year, right?


You remember the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, right? It's the annual contest organized by best-selling and award winning novelist Mark Lawrence, designed to showcase the best up-and-coming independent writers of fantasy fiction by giving them a large platform. With that in mind, enterprising author Jon Auerbach has collected samples from OVER 70 current and past SPFBO participants and made it available FREE for anyone to download. Both of my entries, TEN THOUSAND DAYS and HELL COMES TO HOGTOWN, are included in there. PLEASE head over and check out this smorgasbord of free sample goodies. Who knows? You may just discover your new favourite book or author.
Cover by Luke Tarzian


For the fourth (yes, FOURTH) year in a row, I will have a story appearing in Mystery & Horror's STRANGELY FUNNY comic horror anthology series! They must really like me over there. It's awesome to have found a place that fits my weird brand of kooky, creepy humour so well.

STRANGELY FUNNY VII will be released in the spring, and you can be sure as I will have all the deatils (and the new cover!) as soon as they're available.


This is probably my favourite. I kept it on the down-low all year, but if you read last week's year-end-report you already know about it: I wrote not one but TWO new books in 2019. I know, I'm just as shocked as you are.

Look at it. LOOK AT IT!

At least one of those books should see the light of day before the end of 2020, which makes me super-excited. It's been so long since I've released a full-length novel. Not only that, but a couple of my other half-finished projects are slowly starting to come back together again, as well.

Like I said. Cautiously optimistic.


What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?

This is a very complicated answer. I had already written this when I got all my big news to share, so bear with me.

In my bio, I usually say that I wrote my first story when I was 5 years old, and I had to ask my baby-sitter to look how the spelling of "extra-terrestrial" in the dictionary. This is true - and in fact, I may have been even younger.

I also often credit the Star Wars films and the Americanized version of the Japanese Anime ROBOTECH/Macross as teaching me how to tell stories, which is also true. You may not see it in my published works, but I have scores of unpublished material that follows the same serialized structure of Star Wars and sci-fi cartoon series. The Teddy Ruxpin cartoon was also a big influence, believe it or not.

Cinematic brilliance.

I've sometimes joked that the reason I started self-publishing is because I read lots of terrible self-published work and I thought, "I can do better than that," and now I'm the guy who inspires other people to say "I can do better than that." This is also, sadly, true.

But while contemplating this question, I have come to the realization that one of my biggest and earliest influences is Robin Hood. My earliest recollection of watching a movie was VHS copies of Robin Hood, which in my later years I've come to believe were the Robin of Sherwood series from British TV.

This image is seared into my brain from childhood. I think I had nightmares about that guy.

I loved those shows as a kid, with all the sword fights and magic and mysticism. I also loved the stories (though the Robin Hood stories don't usually have the same kind of supernatural elements as the Robin of Sherwood series did). Several of my first LEGO sets were also Robin Hood-themed:

I HAD THIS SET! It blows my mind whenever I find images on the internet that I remember so vividly from childhood. There's a secret door on tower on the left-hand side, which I adored.

Needless to say, I was psyched when the Kevin Costner movie came out in 1991. I haven't watched it in almost 30 years so I don't know if it has held up, but I will continue to remember it fondly until that illusion is shattered.

A couple of years ago I was going through my old stuff at my parent's house and I found one of my very first stories, from when I was in grade 1 or 2. It was in French, fully illustrated in colour, and bound like a small book with cardboard covers. And what was it about? An elf named "Bras D'or" (Golden-Arm), an expert archer who looked like Robin Hood, tricking and defeating a giant blue ogre.

It hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure I'm going to eventually write a gritty reboot of Robin Hood in some form of another.

How about you? How is your new year starting off?

Hugs & Kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

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