Much has happened in the last couuple of years. My wife has had several trips to the hospital/nursing home and I continue to be her caregiver. She has been steadily improving, thank God, and is now back home. I've begun writing again and am working on a new book. Smudge has a release date of Feb 24, 2014 and will be availabe on Kindle. Really thrilled about that. More to come later.
I have been neglectful in updating my activities. Judi my wife has been in assisted living since Novemeber 2010. Thankfully she is coming home on Mar 11, 2011. I am humbled by the care and help she recieved and that she has recovered and will be coming home. While there we came face to face with some very fine people who have been forgotten. I urge everyone to visit these folks and give them needed attention.
September just tumbled by. Don't know where it went. Spent two weekends giving talks. One at the beautiful Schaumburg Public Library. They even have a Subway on site. I hope I didn't get any dressing on the books. The other talk was in Taylorville put on by local publisher Oak Tree Press. Had a great time at both events and sold some books, which made it even better.
Also celebrated another birthday. To be honest it merely seems like any other day. I don't worry about age. It's coming to us all. Just live for today.
Had a great time at the Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie at Ball State University. This year I was on the faculty and got to pal around with William Kent Krueger, and John Gilstrap. Awesome. I was on a panel and held a session titled How to add Suspense to your Killer Novel. I had a blast. I recommend this conference over all others I've attended for intimacy, information and learning the craft of writing. Run by some great people who always put on a valuable and cost effective conference.
This month I'll be at the Illinois State Fair on the 15th and in Galena on the 22nd for book signings. Hope to see you there.
Want to wish all a happy Spring. Right now the birds are singing and the rain clouds have stopped spewing. A robin has her nest just outside my window and she's trying to teach her babies how to fly. I believe robin are God's clueless birds. The only baby birds I've ever found squirming around in the grass not able to fly, are robins. I continue to help by placing them in a tree. I wish they'd just wait a couple more days before leaving the nest.
Making plans to attend the Midwest Writer's Workshop in July. I'm on the facutly this year. Pretty neat. Hope I can live up to the wonderful teachers who have been there before.
Some fantastic news. My story Stuck In Valhalla is now available from sniplits.com Heck it only costs $.98, so why not download it? The sign up is free. Hearing words you've written, spoken professionally is so thrilling. I have an opportunity to submit another story this summer to see if they will produce it as well.
I've started a new novel The Sun Also Sets. Got tired of seeing most authors on the NY Times best seller list coming from India, Pakistan, or Afghanistan. So, I've created a ficticious Afghani author Khataa Baasem. The name by the way means to deceive in Pashto. It's the story of a 14-yr-old Pakistani boy who is kidnapped by Afghan tribesmen after they murder his father, a village leader. They force him to become a soldier in their militia.
I'll keep you updated.
Remember to celebrate our risen savior this Easter. He is the one I give praise to whenever I have any success. After all, He is why we're here. God bless.
Okay, so it's been a long time updating my website. That's because I'm totally technically challenged. It took me a long time to try to figure out how to do it. I finally geeked it out.
I've been working on my newest novel - Aftermath - a third in the Shepherd series. This one chronicles a month in the life of a PI. At a conference in Chicago this month - Love Is Murder - I was able to pitch my book, Smudge, to a couple of agents and two publishers. They were enthusiastic about the premise and all wanted at least 100 pages. That's considered a success because most only ask for ten pages. One agent even said that my book was exactly what she was looking for. I'm trying to patiently wait for an answer from any of them. Spring is on its way. My indicator is that the baseball players have come to camp. Looking forward to the season. Hope everyone is enjoying great times. Thanks for stopping by.
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Hope you're enjoying the beautiful Spring weather. I love this season. New life beginning and a time of no heavy coats to hassle on and off. I'm just beginning the third Mike Shepherd novel titled Aftermath. Looking forward to finding out what Mike has thrown at him in this book. And in June come on over to Author Island for a giveaway. Two of my books will be given as downloads to your computer. Keep checking back for more news.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to all the Irish and faux Irish.
Was up for an Eppie this month but did not win. Just being a finalist is a big deal to me. Moon Over Chicago is the book that garnered that honor.
I finally finished The Smudge. Well known suspense author Barbara D'Amato has graciously offered to review it for me and now has the manuscript. I'm excited to see what she thinks. I'll be doing some editing on it but it's pretty much complete.
I am giving a workshop on Mar 18th on how to write taglines on the Museitup club website. And on Mar 21st I'll be interviewed on the Murder by 4 blog site. In April I speak at the Hickory Point Village a retirement community near my home. Looking forward to all these things this month.
Easter happens early this year. I encourage everyone to visit your place of worship, not just for Easter but every Sunday. It's hard to get close to God without having a relationship with Him. Church is a great place to learn how. Blessings to all.
Moon Over Chicago has placed in the top ten on the Preditors and Editors poll for 2007 mysteries. What an honor because it is voted on by readers and people in the business. This month begins with attendence at the Love Is Murder conference in Chicago the first weekend in Feb. Looking forward to seeing many friends and making new ones.
I recently joined the family of authors at Author Island. A great website with many authors of different genres. Give them a visit and you'll find some great reads and lots of contests for free books.
Also Feb is when baseball players return from the winter hiatus. I just hope the White Sox bats return to form and that they picked up sufficient relief pitching for 2008. Hope everyone enjoys the blessings the Lord has for you this month.
I hope your 2008 turns out to be the best year yet. Mine has begun with a bang. I have been honored to be the new owner/Moderator of the prestigious Publishing and Promoting Yahoo group. This is a group of almost 800 writing professionals covering all aspects of writing, including publishers, editors, authors, and reviewers. It's at once an awesome responsibilty and a fantastic opportunity to elevate my name recognition. Relax and enjoy the winter. I love the season changes. Makes one appreciate the newness of spring when it comes.
Had a great time Dec 5 at the Decatur Library giving a talk on the pitfalls of publishing. Had about 25 people there and they had some good questions.
Working on finishing the editing on The Smudge and writing the last couple of chapters. Just hope I can squeeze enough time in to get it done. This month is jam-packed with activities. I hope your month is not so packed that you forget the reason we celebrate Christmas. And I do mean Christmas - not just another holiday. I plan to read the Christmas story and spend some time reflecting on how I can better show love to my fellow man.
Please, everyone, have the merriest Christmas and a joyous New Year.
Gearing up for my suspense workshop on the 10th. I'm one of the featured authors on the Wings group the 5th and 6th. And I'll be speaking in December at the public library in Decatur. Not sure of the date yet but that will be fun. Mommy wqill be out by then and I'll have a chance to promote it then. Getting some good reviews on my new one. Visit the reviews page and check them out. I can't believe it's been a year since Shepherd's Pie was released. Things are going at a breakneck speed. This year looks to be light on the fall colors but I hope everyone enjoys the season. Remember to thank God for his bounty.
Been a while since I let you know what's been going on. Almost finished with my latest novel, The Smudge. I hope to have it done by the end of September.
My books are now in the Decatur Public Library as well as Forsyth and Clinton. I will be shopping the new one around to different agents and publishers so as not to have all my eggs in one basket. I'm very happy with my current publisher, Wings, but I like to be cautious.
Looking forward to the Muse Online Writer's conference in October where I will be giving a workshop on Suspense again this year. That's always fun.
In July Shepherd's Pie was picked as a finalist at Author's Island. Didn't win but I was in the top three. I value that nomination because the judging was done by readers, not edtors or people in the profession. After all, who do I write for? Readers not editors.
Just returned from a non-working vacation and am refreshed and ready to write.
Hope everyone had a great summer. One of my favorite times of the year is coming up with the change of colors in the fall. Another expression of the wonder of God. Enjoy.
Well, Moon is out (pardon the pun) and is receiving some good comments from readers. Have had a couple of speaking engagements so far this month and another is planned for the 28th at the Forsyth Library. My books are also being read by a local book club. Pretty exciting.
Began a new work in progress titled Aftermath. It's another in the Mike Shepherd series. Looking forward to being wih Mike again.
We're having a cold snap at the first of the month. Can't quite put away the winter clothes just yet. Hope everyone had a great Easter. Jesus is the reason for any success I have. I'm so grateful to God for the talent he has given me.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to all the Irish and faux Irish.
Waiting for my latest baby (Moon Over Chicago ) to arrive and begin the marketing process again. Moon is actually the first novel I wrote. It's especially heartwarming to see it finally come out. I'm also excited that two anthologies are being considered for publication which contain a short story of mine. One will be titled The Evolving Diary and the other is Carpathian Shadows.
The story for the Diary is titled The Bank Job. This collection has a theme of a diary left in a home which contains mysterious entries the new occupants read and relate to through chilling events.
Shadows chronicles the adventures of a bus load of visitors to a haunted Romanian castle.
I'll let you know more as soon as I know.
I just returned from the Love Is Murder Conference in bitterly cold Chicago. It was a great conference. Got to participate in two panels - short story (with Nancy Pickard among others) and first timers. We great fun and I learned a lot as well as networking with some great authors and great people. I always come back from these rejuvenated and ready to sit my fanny down and do some writing. But first some snow to shovel.
I wish my sister a very happy birthday on the 22nd.
Hope everyone is doing well and that you have a very happy Valentine's Day.
This month has flown by. I completed a couple of short stories and two book signings. I've been fortunate to receive several high compliments on Shepherd's Pie. Thanks to all who have commented. I look forward to Feb in Chicago, well, not the weather, where I'll be part of the panel at the Love Is Murder conference the first weekend in Feb. Impatiently waiting for Moon Over Chicago to come out the first of March. See you all soon.
Remember to carry on the Christian spirit all year long.
My hope is for everyone to have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year.
I have had a super November so far. Book sales are going well and I've received some very nice compliments about Shepherd's Pie. Then, on top of everything I had some fabulous news. Early this month I popped over to my publisher's chat site and noticed a heading for Golden Wings Award winners. I thought I'd take a peek and see who of my fellow authors had been chosen, so I could congratulate them. What a surprise to see my name on the list. A couple of times I had fleetingly wondered what it would be like to have some recognition for a work of mine. I just couldn't believe it had happened so fast.
Also, please take some time this month to really celebrate Thansgiving. We have so much to be thankful for and we don't do it often enough. I'm thankful for my relationship with my God and Jesus, my family and friends, and those many blessings God has given me. And my wife, Judi for her devotion, support and love. She is my soulmate.
Give thanks for all you have.
It's finally here. Shepherd's Pie is out. The baby has been born and I hope I don't get post-partum. It seemed like October would never get here. The wings website is www.wings-press.com. The interview on the website was well done by fellow Wingie Jim Green. Thank you, Jim. September was a hectic month. I prepared for the Muse Online Writer's Conference where I'm scheduled to give a workshop on Suspense on Friday October the 13th at noon eastern time.
There were two talks with groups asking to hear me speak. Had a great time and everyone seemed to enjoy them. I have a public speaking engagement at the Decatur library Oct 8th at 1:30, mainly for my church family who've been very supportive.
Fall is here and it's one of my favorite times of the year. The changing colors of the leaves and no more stifling hot weather.
Enjoy these beautiful days. Take time to walk in the woods and watch the birds and squirrels readying for the winter. Don't miss those little pockets of treasures God has provided.
Returned home from a good time at the Midwest Writer's Workshop in Muncie. Great programs and speakers. Met and talked to James Alexander Thom and his wife Dark Rain. Great people. Hallie Ephron critiqued some of my work and had some good things to say. Gettting closer to my publication date and I'm getting excited. Check out my cover at wings-press.com. I'm thrilled with how it came out.
And thanks to William Kent Krueger for a marvelous blurb for my book. I urge all to go to his website www.williamkentkrueger.com and buy his books. You'll enjoy them immensely. One day I hope my writing will evolve to be as captivating and thrilling as his.
Hope everyone is enjoying the summer. I wish you all many blessings.
Just got back from the Heartland Writer's Guild Conference in Sikeston, MO. A very good workshop and met some great people. One of the all time intriguing characters hangs out at this event. Robert Vaughan an inductee into the Writer's Hall of Fame. He's a premier writer and a premier fun guy.
Had a blast and some success. I entered the short story, novel, and general fiction categories in the writing competition, and was a finalist in all three. I placed second in the general fiction category for my Western, The Rattler.
I'm always glad to be back home in front of the computer, but it's good to get out and meet some colleagues and learn from the best. Before I'm served with divorce papers I must add that first and foremost I'm glad to be back with my soulmate, Judi.
The four and a half hour drive was not wasted either. I came up with an idea for a short story and I'm busy working on it. Also finishing up Her Name Is Mommy. I plan to have it done this month.
I hope everyone has a safe and joyous summer. Play ball.
Had some really great news. Wings ePress, my publisher, has asked if I want to move my publication date up to Oct. instead of Nov. This may the all time "Duh" question. Of course I want to move it up. Only 5 months to go now.
I have some conferences scheduled to attend this year. June 8-10 I'll be in Sikeston, MO for the Heartland Writer's Guild Writer's Conference. Looking forward to visiting the "Home of the throwed rolls".
Then July 26-29 I'll be in Muncie, IN for the Midwest Writer's Workshop. This will be my forth year there. A great conference.
I'm a proud member of Authors Unlimited. This is a world wide group of 25 authors who band together to promote each other. The site is www.authorsunlimited.net Visit if you get time. It's a good site. I have an essay posted there about rejection. If you can't wait to read it, I have it posted here on the site. Click on Rejection.
I'm looking forward to the spring. I enjoy this time of year so much. Easter and the rejuvenation of life. What a wonderful experience to watch the trees bud out and bloom and the crocus and daffodils peek out from under snow. I hope you take time to stop and marvel at God's creations. We can never be too busy to thank Him for giving us beauty and life. I love living in a four season environment. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Isn't that what this life is all about? Facing our bumps-in-the road. Gaining strrength and experience to pass on to others. Here's hoping your bumps-in-the road are small and manageable.
Recently became a member of two really neat groups. One is EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection) a group of some well-known and, in my case, not so well-known authors who are contracted with electronic publishers. Also was asked to join a group of authors whose purpose is to promote one another. This group is limited to 25 authors, so I was honored to be asked. The group is Authors Unlimited. I know, it's an oxymoron but they are a good group.
I can't believe it's March already. Spring is almost here, thankfully, although our winter here was not at all bad. Only scooped snow twice. Okay, now watch it start to come down tomorrow. Where's my shovel? Have a great month.
My visit to the Love Is Murder conference was fantastic. Met and talked to J A Konrath, Judith Guest, Barb D'Amato, Barry Eisler, David Morrell and had a critique session with William Kent Krueger. Very nice and informative event. I'll be going back next year. Kent Krueger also confirmed that he will do a blurb for Shepherd's Pie. I am sky high with that news. I'm grateful that someone would take the time to help a fledgling author. Especially when his time is so in demand. Please everyone, go buy Kent Krueger's books. First of all, you'll thoroughly enjoy them and second, this is a truely nice man.
One of the most pleasurable things I'm finding in contact with "name" authors is that to a person, so far, they are gracious and down-to-earth. I know I'm bound to run into one who is a jerk, but not yet. Baseball season will be here soon. Go White Sox (again)
What a great year this is going to be. Hard to wait until November, but I guess I'll have to. I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year and all your resolutions are easy to accomplish. I'm looking forward to a conference in Chicago the first weekend in Feb. Love Is Murder conference and they are going to have some great presenters. So my Feb edition of the newsletter may be late, or if I get a move on it may be early. I'm not betting on early. Finally got my computer working again. Nasty little micro-imps have been beating up the insides of ol' Betsy. Hopefully we've rendered them useless.
Life has been hectic for the past few weeks. Then, there is preparing for Christmas and it gets even worse. Finished a new short story called The Key to Christmas and will be submitting it for publication soon. I invite every one to the Wings readers group on Yahoo this month. On Dec 3 I will be one of the featured authors for Get To Know The Author Day(GTKTA). From 5pm central Fri to 5pm Saturday, 4 other authors and I will be answering questions and just havin' a good time chatting. Please join us. The following week is our Wings Christmas party where I will be posting my new short story and swapping Christmas greetings with everyone. On Dec 16 we will have another chat session with the five authors on Mixed Genre Day. We will be posting excerpts from our novels on that day. Join the fun and let's chat.
I wish one and all a very merry Christmas. Don't forget to celebrate our Savior without whom I could not function. Also, have a joyous New Year. 2006 is set to be a banner year.
The scene in the gulf coast has taken my breath away. I ask everyone to contribute whatever they can to the Red Cross and keep those people in your prayers. Life is precious and so fragile. God be with all those there trying to survive and those who's loved ones are missing or have been severely impacted by the deadly storm. And God bless the people who have offered their homes to their fellow man.
I'm back from Muncie and my trip was fantastic. Met Jeffery Deaver, a very nice man and really down to earth. The same can be said of William Kent Krueger and best of all he liked my work. If you haven't read anything by these two authors, I urge you to do so. They are excellent.
Have just had a short story of mine published in a writer's magazine, The Muse Marquee. I get a kick every time I see something with my name in the byline. Hope everyone is enjoying the summer. God bless you all.
Late July 2005
I'm excited to be heading to Muncie IN on July 27 for the annual Midwest Writer's Workshop. It's a great place to meet some fellow writers and talk shop. Also looking forward to meeting WIlliam Kent Krueger and Jeffery Deaver, two of my favorite authors. Hoping to pick up some tips and improve my writing. Will let you know how it goes in the future. Blessings to all.
The shining moment for a writer is when your publisher/agent calls or e-mails and says your book is going to be published. That has happened for me a second time. Wings ePress will publish Moon Over Chicago in March 2007. What is such a kick is that the writers signed on with Wings are so good. To be included with them is such an honor. Anyone wanting a great read should jump on wings-press.com and browse your favorite category. My wife is a Gothic novel fan and has found a new source of reading enjoyment.
I'm working on a sequel to Moon Over Chicago titled Chicago Moon. Cobbler Fulton Moon is on another quest to help someone in need. Of course things don't always happen as Fulton would like. Check back later for an excerpt from the book. Also check out the first chapter of my western titled Rattler. Hope this month is bringing you happiness and much reading enjoyment. I ask God to bless all who visit my site. Come back real soon.
I've always been interested in writing. It began in high school, about a hundred years ago. As punishment for some mischievous deed I'd done, my counselor stuck me in a creative writing class. It was a life-changing event. I've never been hesitant to be mischievous since.
My very first short story was called Cinderella Jones. About me telling a fairy tale to a nephew. I chose Cinderella and my nephew began to ask all kinds of questions like; what was Cinderella's last name? To appease him I chose Jones, and we were off to rename every character in the tale.
I've realized my dream, to have a novel published and I'm still numb from the realization. I'm working on a western novel titled Rattler set in the 1860s. I hope I have time to finish it with all the other irons I have in the fire. The sequel to Shepherd's Pie is due out at the end of this year titled Her Name Is Mommy. I plan to submit it to Wings also. And my first novel, as yet unpublished, is being revised to submit for publication. It's called Moon Over Chicago (go to 'Get Mooned' to read the first chapter) and features a shoe repairman, Fulton Moon, (Everyone calls him Full Moon) who is an amateur sleuth. In the first book he gets in way over his head investigating a kidnapping, murders, a drug ring and all the while his mentor, Benjie, berates him for not holding up his end of the workload at Moonshines, his shoe repair shop.
Check back for a new edition of the Newsletter each month.
Hope everyone is enjoying God's beauty all around us.
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