Category Archives: Miscellany

Chocolate Meltdown Unboxing

I’ve got my hands on the first printed copy of my new novel, Chocolate Meltdown, and uh-oh, did it turn out ... ?


The Blog Is Back!

So to speak. Technically, it was always there, it was just a little ignored and I moved it. You might say that this is my re-dedication, I even updated my About Me page.

I haven’t done a post in nine months (Yes, Kevin, I’m a slacker). Interestingly, the time it takes to give birth. Perhaps I was pregnant with a new novel? Well, I do have a new novel coming out, which sounds like a good excuse. Yeah that’s it, I’m going with that! Actually, the new book, Chocolate Meltdown, is both part of the reason I haven’t posted and why I am posting. I did hit some real snags while writing it and sometimes when I am having trouble writing the current novel, it’s hard for me to find the motivation to write a blog. Why spend time blogging when I need to be spending time figuring out how to fix my book? I know, I know, I could’ve written about that, but I didn’t. I think I’ll do a post soon where I do talk about the snags.

Beyond hitting some snags writing, I also wanted to move my blog back to being hosted by and I thought that would be a royal pain, so of course I put that off! Now that I’m on the verge of the new book launch, I figured it was time to move the blog back and get to it again. First of all, my hat is off to WordPress for making the move easy. When I went to a self-hosted site, it was a pain spread out across three days. After the site was up, all of the internal links (where I referenced other posts I had made) were broken and I had to spend hours hunting those down and fixing them. I was not looking forward to repeating the process. Fortunately, I didn’t need to. I hit Export on the old site, downloaded an .xml file, hit Import on the new site to upload the file, and all of the content was sucked in in a couple of hours. All of the links are even working, as far as I can tell! That was a pretty awesome.

So you might be wondering why I moved it to begin with. Well, the simple answer is that I wanted to do more stuff than I could on WordPress. Mostly I wanted to sell signed copies of my book directly from the site and some coffee mugs, of course. Two and a half years ago, you couldn’t do that directly from a WordPress site. I don’t know if that has changed, but what I do know is that I never got around to creating a mechanism to sell signed books off of my blog. I’m sure if I want to do that I can figure out another way.

And that brings me to why I’ve moved back. As soon as I moved, I noticed a drop off in readership. I knew that would happen both because WordPress promotes its sites and I would no longer be in the Reader for subscribers who use that to follow blogs. I thought that I could make up for that lost visibility, but I didn’t manage to. Since visibility is key as an Indie Author it just became a no-brainer to move back. I am hoping that some of those old subscribers will find their way back now that I’m back on WordPress, we shall see. At any rate, I’m just happy that my blog is working and I’m posting again.


My Twitter Experiment

I’ve been on the fence about Twitter for a while. I think it’s a valuable tool and I’ve read enough about it to have a sense for how to use it/what it can do for you, but I haven’t felt strongly that it was a worthwhile time investment for me.

You see, between the day job, my son, writing, coaching soccer, dishes, etc., I’m not exactly overflowing with free time or adequate rest. So I tend to evaluate strongly any extra time commitment and Twitter hasn’t quite made the cut. To this point, I’ve dabbled. I have an account, mostly my blog updates go to it. Sometimes I read a little of what others are doing, sometimes I promote my work or update my progress, and sometimes I just ignore it.

So that brings me to this morning. I went to Joel Friedlander’s site to see if he had posted the Cover Design Awards for December yet. Even though I think his style preferences contrast somewhat with the book cover for Murder & Mochas both my designer, Abel Valdivia, and I think it’s a kick ass cover. In fact, that’s the general feedback we’ve gotten. I’ve even had some inquiries on who did my cover. So, I’m anxious to see if Joel likes it and I popped onto his site first thing this morning.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t posted the results yet. 😦  But this interesting article on how to build an awesome twitter following in 6 minutes a day jumped out at me. I thought, “hmm, that’s about the right time commitment for me.” And I’ve seen with my book release how even a meager twitter following can have an impact, so I thought an awesome following could be really cool.

I read it and it made sense. So I thought, “I’m going to try that.” And as with most things, I want to start immediately, so I did. I also thought that it would be interesting to track my results over time, by capturing them in blog posts  — this has the added bonus of forcing me to stick with the experiment.

Okay, on day 1 I started with the following stats:

Following 104
Followers 44

I invested 6 minutes in finding new people to follow and I ended the day with:

Following 119
Followers 46

My actual total time investment was 23 minutes because I goofed around for a few minutes looking for some people I had been meaning to follow, but hadn’t yet (such as Joel Friedlander) and I looked at the new people I was following to find one tweet I liked. When I found it, I responded to the person letting her know that I liked it and she actually favorited it. Not bad.

Okay, that’s day 1. Tomorrow, I really am going to spend only 6-10 minutes on it.

Subscriber Alert

If you have been following my blog through WordPress’s Reader, you are no longer getting updates. I have recently ported my blog to a self-hosted site, but I just discovered that people following using the reader function or the link while logged into WordPress are not getting updates.

If you are reading this post it is because your app is pointed at the wrong blog.

You can find my correct feed at

I’m sorry for any inconvenience. And I really do have some exciting new content, like my first video post all about my coffee mugs!

I hope to see you there.

Coffee Mugs Are Here!

2013 holiday book buying guide to regional science fiction and fantasy

Bull Spec

Whew. Even though I’ve been updating the 2013 book preview during the course of the year, there were still quite a few things I learned about only recently here in late 2013, and of course plenty I missed ahead of time and during the year. So! Like I’ve done in 2012, 2011, and 2010…, here is my run-down of 2013 in regional science fiction and fantasy, and as always, let me know of the (likely many) omissions and errors, and! in a first this year, come by the 2013 Bull Spec regional author holiday book expo on Saturday, December 7, at Durham’s Atomic Empire from 3 pm to 8 pm, where a score of the authors below will be gathered to personalize books, chat, and there will also be comics, books, games, collectibles, and indeed beer on hand as well. And! The trusty Underwood manual typewriter which…

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Lack of Fanfare Is Good

One nice thing about being an Indie writer is the lack of fanfare.

Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t at all mind a little splash and I did very much enjoy all of the congratulations, fb posts, and texts when I published Murder & Mochas. It was fun. And it was good to hangout with my writer friends last night and talk about it and receive some kudos.

That said, it all seems to be over already and I’m good with that.

You see Sunday evening, the steady stream of congratulations had ebbed and then disappeared around dinner time. My apartment was remarkably quiet and I had a “Now What?” type of feeling.

There wasn’t anything else to do for Murder & Mochas, ebook and print versions were in the can. There were a couple of technical issues pending, but they were in someone else’s queue. So I decided the only thing that really made sense was to have a nice dinner, then get up the next morning and pick back up with Beowulf Chronicles 2 ( BC2).

And that’s exactly what I did. So far this week I’ve added about 3300 words and it is entirely realistic that I will finish it by the end of the year. Yes, Kevin, I know the year ends in thirteen days and I think that’s really achievable. In fact, that’s the official goal now.