Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Firebugs in the Whirlwind

A few years ago when we visited Yosemite National Park in California, the area was struggling with extreme drought conditions. On our drive into the park, several wildfires were already ongoing in the region and one was burning near the entrance to the park. As the day went on, the temperatures climbed and the sky remained cloud free. Around mid-afternoon, I noticed a huge cloud just over the trees. At first I thought it was just smoke from one of the fires. Upon closer study, it turned out to be a towering pyrocumulus cloud. I had heard of these types of clouds before but never witnessed the creation of one. This occurred around the same time as I was pulling ideas together for the third book in the Secrets of the Elements series, The Fire and the Anvil.

As time passed, and after doing further research, it became clear what this particular novel needed to be about. All of the various narratives from the first two books in the series (Race the Sky and The Hammer of Amalynth) needed to converge in the third. At the same time, it also needed to pull in elements from the short stories Dust in the Whirlwind and Firebugs. Despite the complexity, I think I have arrived at a satisfactory outline and am now working on the first draft of the novel.

The book is built around the framework of John Sayers (the storm researcher from the first two books in the series) writing a research paper about an enigmatic professor named Dr. Ferganut and the man’s numerous inventions. The novel will delve into Dr. Ferganut’s past and his escalating rivalry with a fellow scientist, Dr. Minton. Previously, Dr. Minton made a brief appearance in the short story, Firebugs, but in this novel he will be a major character. With this novel the stakes will be higher and the technology battles between the two characters will escalate rapidly.

Together, these three novels will form a complete narrative arc. I'm leaving open the possibility of adding more books to the series, but that depends on how things go with this one. I'll post more updates as the publication date draws near.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Book Release: Windows Out

My new science fiction short story collection, Windows Out, is now available on Amazon. It will also be available soon in paperback on and elsewhere. This is a collection of twelve tales that took several years to write. From the back cover:

Two rival robotics engineers visit an abandoned Martian battlefield and discover they are not alone. A scientist flies an electric crow through time to steal a breakthrough device only to find his moves are being countered by a future version of himself. A reporter doubts a scientist’s claim of teleportation until he meets the scientist’s son over a cup of strange tea.

From the edge of space to the depths of the sea, these tales are windows to worlds beyond our own. These worlds are bounded only by the drive and imagination of those who inhabit them.

I'll also have more updates soon on the third book in the Secrets of the Elements series, The Fire and the Anvil.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Windows Out Update

As promised, I have another science fiction short story collection on the way. This one is titled Windows Out and has a dozen short stories that span a variety of subjects...everything from self-replicating machines to time travel corporate espionage to an apartment populated with unruly appliances. Although there will be some older stories included, such as "The Everbloom Factory" and "Fermat's Last Theorem of Robotics", most of the content will be new. I hope to have this collection done by sometime in February.

What's next after this book? The third novel in the Secrets of the Elements series, The Fire and the Anvil. It will round out the trilogy and will also pull in elements from short stories such as "Firebugs" and "Dust in the Whirlwind". I will have a lot more to say about that in the coming weeks.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Audiobooks Available

I've made some audio recordings of most of my books available on my website. Keep in mind these are not high-end professional recordings. Until I figure out something else, they will have to suffice.

As always, e-book and paperback versions of the books are available on Amazon (and other places), and all of the paperbacks are available on Lulu.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Page One

Note: This is the first of three updates on my next book, The Hammer of Amalynth.

For this post, I thought I would try something a little different. The writing of this book, The Hammer of Amalynth, was very dynamic. It wasn't until late in the process that I settled on certain details. As you can see from the pictures below, even the first page changed quite a bit from draft to draft:

Now imagine over a hundred pages with these types of changes. It makes for one very long editing process. The peculiar part was that I had much of the opening scene figured out months ago. Go figure.

So what, exactly is the book about? First off, it is book two of the Secrets of the Elements series (Race the Sky being the first book of course). The central characters in this book are the same as those in Race the Sky: John Sayers, a storm chaser, and Madeline Kinney, a part time cult researcher. This time, however, they are faced with an unpredictable enemy, Dr. Amalynth, who is a rogue researcher fascinated with electricity and lightning. As the book opens, the doctor has figured out how to bring lightning down to earth on command.

But John and Madeline cannot solve the mystery alone. Partway through the story John visits the enigmatic Dr. Ferganut--a retired professor and a storm researcher with many inventions to his credit. Dr. Ferganut is a character who also appeared in the short stories Firebugs and Dust in the Whirlwind and will also be an integral part of the third book in the series, The Fire and the Anvil. In fact, the third book will not only tie together the first two books in the series but also the two short stories where Dr. Ferganut appears. In one sense, an alternate title for the third book could be, "Firebugs in the Whirlwind".

Which brings me to the next topic...a release date. Right now, I'm thinking the book will be available at the end of November on Amazon and in paperback over at Lulu. This will be quickly followed by a science fiction short story collection, Windows Out, and The Fire and the Anvil should be ready by early spring of 2017. More updates coming soon...

Thursday, October 6, 2016

An Update

I apologize for not posting much in some time. I have been working on Book II of the Secrets of the Elements series, The Hammer of Amalynth, for some time now and it is currently going through multiple rounds of edits. I do have lots of updates to share about the book, as well as updates on the short story collection, Windows Out, and Book III of the series, The Fire and the Anvil. This has been a difficult series to write because there are so many things to "get right" in the second book that will not only answer questions about the first book but set up much of the third book. My immediate goal is to have Book II done sometime in November.

Over the next couple of weeks I will start posting regular updates about the books as well as news items of interest. Until then, this verse from the Bible more or less sums up one of the many themes of Book II:

"Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, ‘Here we are!’?" - Job 38:35 (NKJV)