Tag Archives: Books

Anniversaries, Writing, and Fat-boy Pants

Yesterday was my 30th wedding anniversary.  As I tell my wife, it’s been thirty looong glorious years.  It was also her birthday (I’m not saying how many, because I want to live to see another day), and my parent’s wedding anniversary.  As if that wasn’t enough, I finished the latest revision of my book (Now called Quarrel) and am preparing to send it to my editor.

We are up in the North Carolina Mountains with some friends, at our favorite getaway spot.

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I love visiting the mountains.  It is so peaceful and rejuvenating, especially after the past week.

What are Fat-boy Pants?

I mentioned about a week ago that I popped the button on my shorts while preparing to attend Supercon in Raleigh.  To add insult to injury, the next day I was trying on my dress pants in preparation for a trip to the corporate office.  A few pair were a bit snug in the waist.

I told my wife that the elves must have snuck in at night and adjusted all my pants.  In my defense, I’ve had some of those pairs of pants as long as I’ve been married (style, what’s that? You mean it actually changes?), but it still stung.  Of course, my wife’s solution was to say, “Just pull out your fat-boy pants.”

I have one pair of pants that is a size bigger than the rest.  We call them my fat-boy pants because I only break them out when the others are feeling a bit snug.  Another reason that I call them my fat-boy pants is that breaking them out gives me the incentive to say no to the sweets.

Unfortunately, I had cleaned out my closest last year and got rid of the fat-boy pants.  I think my words at the time were, “I never wear these things.  I don’t need them anymore.”  Ahhh, somebody’s laughing at me right about now.  Oh yeah, it’s my wife.

Laughter is the key to a long marriage.

When I asked my wife why she’s stayed married to me for so long, she said, “Because you make me laugh.”

I guess popping buttons and giving away my fat-boy pants are just another day filled with laughter for her.  Of course, one of her primary missions in life it to make sure I stay with her to the end, so she only laughed for a moment and then told me that we’re going to start walking farther on our daily walk, and that I needed to get back to the gym.

Right after that, I got on a plane to the corporate office.  And wouldn’t you know it, my first morning there they had the most awesome looking donuts I had ever seen.  Yes, I resisted them, and the cookies for lunch every day, and the Panera Bread chocolate brownie.  Man, getting old sucks.  I used to be able to eat all that stuff and still thumb my nose at those fat-boy pants.

Luckily, all the rules are off when we’re on vacation (Not to mention for our anniversary).  Since we’ve been in the mountains, I’ve had a couple of donuts, ice cream, and some candy.  I know I’ll pay later, but what the heck, you only celebrate your 30th once, right?

And don’t forget the Writing.

I’m also celebrating the last revision on Quarrel.  I finished it up yesterday morning.  I say last revision, but, it’s not over until I get the comments back from the editor.  Still, getting the thing to the editor always seems like the biggest hurdle in the process.  Be looking for Quarrel around Christmas time.

One last thing for yesterday.  My free book giveaway for the Order of the Wolf ended, but you can still get Stenson Blues and The Eastern Factor at a discount until August 9th.

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Filed under Books, Editing, Humor, musings, Philosophy, Writing

Giveaway

Hello all my favorite internet people (Yeah, I’m looking at you.  Don’t look so shocked.).

Head on over to Amazon and get The Order of the Wolf free from today until August 6th.

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You can also get Stenson Blues, book 2 in my Kingdom of Haven series for .99 cents until August 9th.

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And don’t forget to pick up book 3, The Eastern Factor, for $1.99 before August 9th as well.

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This is just for you! (And anyone else who stumbles upon my sale over the next week)  Hey, I believe in equal opportunity (to buy my books).

Happy reading!

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Filed under Books, Fantasy, Free, Reading

Supercon and a Free Book

I enjoyed my visit to Supercon over the weekend.  It was really more a scouting trip than anything.  I have been looking at local writing events and conventions to try to plan out a strategy for book selling.  While there weren’t many authors at Supercon, there were a few and I had a chance to talk to several indie authors that were selling their wares.  It appears that Supercon is growing, and I anticipate more books and authors in the coming years.  Of course, that may be bad news for me if I go back again next year, because I came home with an empty wallet and a bag full of books from new-to-me authors to read.

If you want to read some books that don’t empty your wallet, check out my Kingdom of Haven series on sale on Amazon starting this Thursday, August 2nd.

Kingdom of Haven

The Order of the Wolf will be free from August 2nd to August 6th,

Stenson Blues is on sale for .99 cents from August 2nd to August 9th.

The Eastern Factor will be on sale for $1.99 from August 2nd to August 9th.

Give them a shot – why not.  You’ve got nothing to lose, and the first one is free.

And don’t forget to feed your favorite author (even if it’s not me) with a book review.  Book reviews aren’t quite as good as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but they are the next best thing.  My pants will thank you for the calorie free treat.

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Filed under Books, Fantasy, Free, Reading

Back in Weldon

I had a nice visit back in my old haunts.  Haunts seems the right word, because the old plant looks a bit like a ghost town.

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For those who don’t know, I work in the energy sector.  I spent many years working at a power plant in Weldon, NC.  The plant is now shutdown and is currently being taken apart:

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They were just supposed to exterminate the cockroaches!

 

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Finally found a way to get rid of the pigeons!

 

Change is inevitable, but it still feels a bit like my family home is being torn down.

On the bright side, I spent some time at the Riverside Mill hawking my books.

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Book signing are always interesting to me.  It’s interesting to watch the people try their best not to make eye contact.  Actually, I had quite a few people stop and talk to me, but unfortunately it was to direct them to the bathroom.  I did sell a few books, but I think I found my true calling.  My new title is Director of Bathroom Patrons.  Sounds kind of prestigious—right?

If you didn’t get a chance to be directed by me at the Riverside Mill, you can still find my books on Amazon.  (Sorry, I’m not sure where the Amazon bathroom is, but you can maybe try Home & Garden.)

Kingdom of Haven

 

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Filed under Author Appearance, Books, Pictures, Work Life

Where are your Writing Roots?

Charlotte is my home.  I love it here and don’t want to live anywhere else, but I still feel out of sorts on the Charlotte writing scene.  It’s not the other writers I meet here, it’s me.  My writing roots lie in a small town to the east.

I started writing in 1993, the same year I moved to Roanoke Rapids.  I worked, raised my children, and learned to write there (I would say “grew old there” but I’m barely past the half-century mark).

My son was born in Roanoke Rapids in 93, as was my first novel.  Now, he’s out of college and working, and that first novel is collecting dust in a drawer.  I like to think that this means I had my priorities straight, but it probably means that I had a lot to learn about writing. (And let’s face it—you’re never ready for parenting.  You just do the best you can and there are no re-writes.)

I joined my first critique group in that little town around 1995.  I still thought my first novel was ready for a Pulitzer Prize and was working on my second novel (Which is also sitting in a drawer).  That first critique group helped me to realize how much I didn’t know about writing.

I left town for a couple of years around 1998, and when I came back the group was disbanded.  I call this my online period, where I joined several online critique groups like Hatrack River, Zoetrope, Critique Circle, Liberty Hall, and Notebored.  I met several fellow writers in these forums from all over the world.

I’m a face-to-face person at heart though and decided to start the Roanoke Valley Writers Group back up.  I’m guessing that was somewhere around 2002.  I published my first book (The Order of the Wolf) when I was a member of this group in 2012.  They were a great bunch and are still going strong.  I’ll admit, leaving this group was the hardest part about moving to Charlotte.

Another first for me was doing my first book signing.  This happened at the Riverside Mill in Weldon.  It is a huge antique mall and consignment shop (there are no books stores in the area).  The staff of the Riverside Mill was very supportive when my first book came out.  I had a book signing there, and they still carry my books for sale to this day.

I will always be grateful to the folks at the Riverside Mill for their support.  That’s why you’ll find me there this Friday afternoon and Saturday signing books (hopefully) as part of their Endless Yard Sale.

Stop by and see me, buy a book, or just shop till you drop.  There’ll be plenty of other merchandise to choose from.  Of course, none as good as my latest novel.

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Of course, you can always find my books on Amazon if you don’t want to come out and shop.

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Filed under Author Appearance, Books, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Process

Get out of my Mind!

I’ve been mulling over ConCarolinas since I got back from Europe.  A year ago, after attending ConCarolinas, I planned to be the one sitting behind the table selling books this year.  Alas, it didn’t happen.

I put in an application a few months back to be a guest (I think it was before I released book 3 of my trilogy).  I’m not established enough to be invited, which didn’t surprise me.  So instead, I asked for a table to sell my books.  The reply was: they only give tables to invited guests.  Seems like a catch-22 to me.  Getting a table at conventions was part of my marketing plan to help get readers.  It seems I have to first have readers in order to get a table.  Which came first — the chicken or the egg.

This seems contrary to what I’ve observed at past conventions.  I’ve seen plenty of beginning authors selling their wares.  I guess it’s a policy shift or something.

So I was a bit depressed as the weekend approached and couldn’t decide if I was going to ConCarolinas or not.  I’ve been several times, and it’s typically the same guests who I’ve met before.  I like to go around and talk to the authors at their tables, but is it worth the 40 bucks?  Especially since I’ve already met most of them before?

I decided to stay home this weekend and hang out with the wife, watch anime, start sorting vacation pictures, and work on my latest draft (beer or book, you decide.)

I haven’t sworn off conventions.  I plan to attend ConGregate July 13th – 15th in High Point, NC.  I am also making plans to attend DragonCon in September.  Oh, and I will be selling books at the Riverside Mill Endless Yardsale in Weldon, NC on June 15th & 16th.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest, time to finish adding that extra chapter to my WIP.  Oh, and here are a couple of cool pictures from my recent trip to Prague:

 

 

 

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Filed under Author Appearance, Conventions, Marketing, Pictures

I’m Home!

I just returned home from a series of long trips.  I spent two weeks in Europe (on vacation) and a week in Colorado Springs (business trip).  It seems like I’ve been gone forever (I missed sleeping in my own bed).

I know there are some world travelers out there who love to be on the road, but I’m not one of them.  I’m definitely a homebody, but I did enjoy the vacation.  It was a once in a lifetime type of trip.  Now, it’s time to collect my thoughts, sort through vacation pictures, and get busy.  To whet your appetite, here’s a picture of the Grand Canal in Venice.

Grand Canal

There will be no rest today.  I will be at the Union County Library in Monroe, North Carolina from 2 to 5 pm.  This is part of an Author Meet and Greet for Carolina Authors sponsored by the Union County Writers Club and the Friends of the Union County Library.

Come by and see me.  I’ll tell you all about my trip to Europe, and will have my books available too.

Kingdom of Haven

 

 

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Filed under Author Appearance, Pictures, Travel