Sunday, December 27, 2009


I sent out a query to an agent tonight. I'm just making a roll of the dice and taking the simple approach.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


For a long time I referred to the time travel story as a piece of crap. I even called it that in the About the Author section I wrote for Secrets of Starpoint Mountain. After spending the last month reworking it after all these years I'm really regretting that. I'm turning out to be quite proud of it. I'm not saying it didn't take a lot of work to put it together but the basic story and characters have remained mostly intact.

I think the reason I dissed it so much was because it was such a nightmare to write. It took me years and years. The earliest reference I have is a synopsis dated November 11, 1988 and I know it was 1991 at least before I finished it. I had no self discipline then and would work on it nonstop for days and days and then not touch it for months. I'm a lot better at it now, I write very day, and it's was an interesting experience to take a look at it again.

The first thing I did was take out a lot of sad fan boy references including changing some of the character names and replacing the title. At the same time I found some 1983 specific references and put them in the right places. The cable network has a total of 23 stations, which was a lot at the time, and one of the hit movie and music references at the time is Flashdance and She Blinded Me With Science. Of course they listen to these on cassette tapes.

Another thing I found uncomfortable was that so much of it took place in the factory where I work. I took the "write what you know" advice to literally. The newer version you get the idea that he works in some type of manufacturing location it's not really clear what they build.

I also strengthened two of the supporting characters. I explained more on how Michelle gets from point A to point D and back to point B. The woman that Ross is semi-involved with really had the most changes. I changed her name to Mandy, the original was Snow but there is a major character in Starpoint named Snow and I didn't want to use the name twice. I also gave some of the Ross's actions and dialougue to her.

I've sent for a new printing of the updated version of the book so I can step away from it for a week. The next step is to use it to try and get an agents.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I've been looking at my short stories wondering if there's enough to make an anthology. There's about a dozen of them but they are really short. I've got a couple of other ideas yet to develop in to stories but they are still pretty short. The strange thing is I really miss not working in the Starpoint Mountain universe. I've worked on it so much and concentrated on it every day for so long I feel odd being outside of it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I realized I needed to take some time away from the book. I had been going through it so many times I was starting to second guess myself. I had so many marks on my proof copy I wasn't sure how many I had actually changed or not. I finished it off, ordered a new proof copy, and haven't looked at it since. It'll also give the two editors going through it a break, too. It feels good. I'll wait a few more days and then sit down and start through it anew.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I'm about midway through the rewrite stage now. I used to hate this stage when I started it for the first book and then I came across opportunities that I'd missed. I had planned to cut as much as possible but ended up adding scenes the first time around. I'm not having as many moments like that in this book. I'm finding a few continuity errors though. Nothing major, just minor character references.

I'm not going to have it ready for release on December 8th though. Just won't have it in time and I learned with the first book how important that is.

Monday, November 16, 2009


My own self-imposed writing retreat turned out great. I got more work done that I had hoped and moved a lot closer to completion. I got well over 40 pages of handwritten work typed in and was even able to format the book. It comes out to 318 pages but I'm sure I'll be slimming it a bit in over the next few weeks. I had expected it to be about 110,000 words but I went a bit passed that. Well, actually, I went way past that by about 20,000 words. OOPS! I even went ahead and ordered a proof copy to work on so I'm positive I'll be able to keep the December 8th target date for official release.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I did a Google search for The Secrets of Starpoint Mountain. It was kind of interesting to see an add for my book on a New Zealand web site. The odd thing was there is a small bookstore in Winterset Iowa selling a copy of my book. It's been read, rated 3 out of 5 for condition, and advertised as being signed and inscribed by the author. It's strange because they are asking $21 for it even though it sounds like it's pretty worn. I don't think my signature is worth that much. Yet. :-P

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Just for the heck of it I made a hardcover edition of The Secrets of Starpoint Mountain. It's the newer version of the book and is only available on Lulu. Strangely enough after the reformatting the hardcover version is now a bit cheaper than the original paperback.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I'm taking a roll of the dice this weekend and sending copies of my book to the book reviewers of The Iowa City Press Citizen, Realms of Fantasy Magazine and the Chicago Tribune. It's a chance but there is no other way to go about it. What are the chances of me getting a good review if I don't?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I've noticed my short stories are getting pretty dark. I get an idea and just sit down to write it and suddenly it gets really wicked. I started one and wrote two pages in about twenty minutes. It was really flowing and I was writing like a maniac inside the zone. Then I went back and reread it and was pretty shocked. It was terrible. even the last story that I wrote I planned it to have a very funny twist at the end but by the time it was done it ended up with a really scary twist after that.
Hmmm? Not really sure what that means.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I spent a good chunk of this weekend typing. I've done most of the first draft in long hand and now I have to type it all up. I write small enough that a full page of hand writing comes out to about a page and 1/3 of type. It's not as fun as the first draft but I do catch a few opportunities to add or remove things.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I wrote three pages of ideas and backgrounds for the next book. I came up with the character arcs for most of them and decided where a big chunk of the third book takes place so I'm doing the background details.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I had a few ideas I wanted to write down, really just the opening, then the sky opened up and the story for the whole book came falling out. It'll go through a lot of fine tuning and detail work between now and then but I bet the final product will be pretty close to what I wrote.

I've noticed that books in most series get longer as they go but these are getting shorter. It just doesn't feel like it'll be as long as 110,000 words. Odd how that works.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I keep wondering if I could ever manage to tell a story in the average length of words. I see how most books are 80,000 words and nothing I've worked on has ever been that short. Shadows of Starpoint Mountain is pretty close to 110,000 words. The Dr Who novel was that way and even the piece of crap novel is pretty close to that length.

I sometimes worry that it will be difficult to get and agent without cutting but there isn't a lot of fluff in my books.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I finished the first draft of THE SHADOWS OF STARPOINT MOUNTAIN tonight. I would have done a happy dance but I was at work and people would have suspected something. I'm hoping to have this ready to go to press by December 8th because that is my birthday and I figured it'd be a nice present.

I swear I found this in my horoscope a few hours after I finished the book so this was a true projection.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


This is the second book in the series. I started writing it on December 8th, 2007 and will finish the first draft in a few days. It's not near as long as the first book, only 110,000 or so words, but took twice as long to write.


This is the first serious original fantasy novel I wrote as the start of the series. I started on 12-08-05 and finished 12-01-07. The first draft took 54 weeks and then almost a whole year to do the rewrite. I'm the verge of a new edition that is about 50 pages and a several hundred words shorter. but still a 170,000 words in length. It's also a lot cleaner and I'm going to start sending it out to newspapers and magazines to get reviews.


This was my first serious attempt at novel writing and runs at about 110,000 words. I buckled down and got serious about it writing every day for thirty weeks straight. I submitted it to the BBC but before I got a response they announced that the new series was coming back and they were closing the range. I'll never ever know if it could have been accepted or not. I'm very proud of it and know that the Starpoint Mountain series could not have been written had I not done this one first.

This was the original cover using the artwork from Robert Heinlien's book Friday. Strangely enough people didn't think twice about Doctor Who fanfic but kept talking about the Heinlien art so I changed it to something more Who.