Category: Behind the Writing

The Night Quartet meets The Second Trilogy

I haven’t been writing. Scratch that. I haven’t been writing words worth keeping. I reached 12,000 words into Night Covenants before I realized I disliked one of the characters so much there was no redemption. Consider the arc the character needs to complete the series, I found myself deleting a lot of content. It’s just beyond my reach and I’m grasping. Like every book before when this is happening, I’ll continue writing until that moment of genius strikes me and I’ll be set. Until then, I’m ramble persistently.

Meanwhile, while I stumble in the dark looking my muse, I have completed proofing the audio edition of Night Shadows. Narrated by the always amazing Robin J. Sitten, I continue to be impressed. There is a magic the first time you hold a physical copy of your book, but even more amazing is the first time you hear somebody else read your words. In her sophomore production in the Children of Nostradamus Universe, Sitten continues to amaze and impress. I might be more excited for Book 2 over Book 1. I’m sure it will delight the masses. Now to start pestering her about availability for Book 3.

And while this won’t make a huge difference for fans, it does impact the future of the Children of Nostradamus Universe. I have decided to expand the universe and focus the next series on Eleanor P. Valentine, the psychic who serves as the catalyst for the Nighthawks. But because the books take place in the same universe I had to find some way to begin labeling them in a way that lets readers know what books belong to what series. The Children of Nostradamus will remain as the “universe” label, but Nighthawks, Night Shadows, Night Legions, and Night Covenants will become “The Night Quartet” and the first book in the new series, Second Sight will be book one in “The Sight Trilogy.” Not a big change for the reader, but it officially allows me to expand the universe. The Night Quartet might be coming to an end, but the Children of Nostradamus is far from done.

Now to begin plotting the next leg of this adventure. Stay frosty everybody.


A New Generation of Creativity is Coming

I get a random message from Kate Conway, “Want to be on a panel at this teen conference?” I haven’t done much in the way of cons or panels this year. But she’s energetic, it’s for teens, so I say sure.

Best possible decision.

The teens are working on presentation boards of their literary masterpieces and as I wander through checking them out, I can’t help but think, “Damn, these are good.” It’s always awkward being the old guy in the room, even more so when you decide at lunch to go sit with a group of teenagers. Pro Tip: Find the brightest colored hair and the kids with unusual hats. They’re always the most fun. It started awkward, but by the end, we were discussing gender politics, trans representation, and wielding teen angst as a powerful storytelling device. I happily read a lot of young adult by adults, but it’s always missing something unique. Listening to this group of four talk about their stories, it was apparent that teens themselves need to tell their stories.

The Cape Cod Teen Writer’s Conference was ran like a well oiled machine (No matter how much Kate Conway argues.) The panel had amazing questions, both thought-provoking and honest. I was happy to sit among K.R. Conway, Natasha Friend, Mick Carlon, Kathryn Knight, Katie Bareyl, Jim Hill, and Kristine Carlson Asselin. We talked about motivation, love of our characters, and what keeps us writing. The range from jazz inspired novels to erotica was discussed openly and truthfully. We didn’t talk genre politics, marketing, or publishing. It was a return to what turned us from writers to authors. I have to admit, it’s rare to see adults have that conversation with young people. I left energized and ready to go be a creator.

Listening to stories about alien superheroes and universe hopping explorers, I can say there is a wave of creators coming who have found new spins on stories to tell. If a young person in your life is interested in writing, foster this. School will steadily beat the creativity out of them and leave with a hatred for reading and writing. In such a heated world, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and those feelings need to be directed somewhere.

With all that being said, I’m back to writing. We have new audio in the Children of Nostradamus Series on the way, a new release with Night Legions and steadily working on Night Covenants. This series is going to end with a bang. I’m already choked up and I’ve barely gotten into the story. Stay tuned folks, it’s going to be a rollercoaster!


Children of Nostradamus Release Today

Children of Nostradamus
Morning Sun (Prequel)
Nighthawks
Night Shadows
Night Legions

I’m excited to announce that the newest book in the Children of Nostradamus Series, Night Legions, is now available on all major eBook retailers. This book will lead into the final chapter of the saga. Fans have spoken and the last book of this story arc will be titled, “Night Covenants,” and is expected to be released in the spring of 2019.

What is different about Night Legions from earlier books in the series?

Things have gotten dark for our heroes. Eleanor has been influencing the world up to this point and finally we start seeing her involvement come to a head. Forces join together and we get a glimpse at the cast as an ensemble for the first time. However, despite a minor victory in the story, each of the characters is forced to come to grips with their own mortality. A war has been brewing behind the scenes and now it’s come front and center and our heroes decide it is time to stop reacting and turn proactive.

How does the story change the Children of Nostradamus world?

Up to this point we’ve seen a war tearing apart the United States thanks to underhanded dealings by President Cecilia Joyce. For the first time we see the outward ripple. We meet important characters from Canada and are confronted by the global ramifications presented by this war. it also changes the very structure of the United States which will leave open a lot of possibilities for future stories. While it won’t be explored in the Children of Nostradamus, there are spin-off novels that will delve into this global world.

Were there any difficult moments writing this book? (Light Spoiler)

There were several moments in this novel that forced me to step away from the laptop. I’ve spent decades with some of these characters and for the first time, I realized not all of them are going to make it out alive. I joke about killing everybody in the book, but when death comes around, I was left feeling like I just got punched in the chest. The characters each represent a little piece of me, and while a death is inevitable in a series like this, it’s the remaining character’s reactions that I find most difficult. It’s like consoling the living at a funeral. The worst part is knowing some of the characters won’t recover.

Are there any new players we should be excited for?

My writing group had a thorough conversation about telepaths. Can two telepaths who speak different languages speak to one another? Would somebody who can read your thoughts let you speak or carry on a one-sided conversation? This conundrum allowed me to develop Azacca, a man with the ability to receive “radio” signals from people equipped with a transmitter. While he connects each of their minds into a hive mind, he is sometimes their collective voice, and other times his cohorts speak from them all. It required coming up with a way to explain his speech patterns and relate how he views the world. The uses for his abilities are vast and play strongly into the story.

Where do we go from here?

That is the question everybody is asking. We have all the answers and we know all the characters. Now it’s time to push through personal baggage and reach for the end goal. The grand loop that has been building is about to come full circle and we’ll finally see how the past and the present have been aligned in a way that will bring closure, but at what cost?

Fans of the story won’t have to wait long, the conclusion of the Children of Nostradamus will come about early next year. And for those who want more, no worries, another series set in the same world is in the works and will launch late next year. Character we’ve only started to discover will have much bigger plots and even grander tales. From the United Kingdom to Canada, the Children of Nostradamus are nowhere near being gone.


15 Random Facts: Welcome to the Weird

I don’t know why this has been stuck in my head all day. But I’ve been dwelling on random little tidbits about myself that others would find quirky or odd. What I discovered, I do some seriously weird shit. I’m sure I’ll have to revisit this list or continue expanding it, but for now, here are 15 little known random facts about me.

  1. For five years in college I listened to the same song, Are You Out There? by Dar Williams, every night going to sleep. My boyfriend at the time did not appreciate this.
  2. I wear a six fifteen 4E shoe. 16 if it’s a 2E.
  3. Run Lola Run is my favorite movie of all time, original German only.
  4. I spent three years reading every X-Men related comic. I haven’t read once since 2015.
  5. I use Miracle Whip & Mayonnaise equally.
  6. I was a creative writing major at my first college. A single professor made me hate it so much I wouldn’t write creatively again for seven years.
  7. I only honor my Scottish heritage despite being equal parts English, Irish and Scottish.
  8. I am both a youngest and only child. My brother Jason passed when I was three weeks old.
  9. I was raised by women while my father was overseas with the military. At one point I lived with my mother, Susan, grandmother, MiMi, and Great-grandmother, Mam.
  10. I have worked at BJ’s, Borders, a credit card company, an herbal viagra company, a tattoo parlor, and a gay travel agency.
  11. The first “story” I wrote in 1987 was on my father’s military laptop which came in a very large briefcase.
  12. I suffer from clinical insomnia and have since I was a teenager.
  13. I once wanted to be a crime scene photographer and have never been bothered by the sight of death.
  14. The tattoo on my leg reads, “Believe in me ’cause I don’t believe in anything, and I wanna be someone who believes.” Mr. Jones and Round Here by the Counting Crows are my favorite songs.
  15. I’ve probably seen Bring it On more than any other movie. I have a love for kickass cheerleaders.

The Tribe: Faces Along the Journey

I’ve been publishing for almost five years now, and when I cycle through the photos on my computer, it’s amazing the people I’ve met while doing this writing thing. And while I tend to act like a hermit and write from the comfort of my local coffee shop, every person I’ve met along the way has had significant impact on my career. Most of these connections have humorous beginnings in which I wonder how the hell they put up with me?

From the, “Hey, I write zombie books too,” to, “You’re the fiercest woman I’ve ever met,” to “Let me sign your husband’s chest,” I tend to make an impression, thankfully writers are okay with the awkward or I’d have been dead in the water. Years later I see these folks more often than not and we run in such tight circles you can only go a month before you’re tabling next to them, meeting in their house, or in the rare circumstance, attending their wedding.

I transitioned from overseeing the Metrowest chapter of NaNoWriMo to overseeing an Science Fiction and Fantasy organization spanning all of New England. Fourteen writing projects later I’ve met some seriously weird and creative people. From the woman hiding at a convention behind a vendor table trying to avoid the crowd to a magical baker turned writer of witches, they’re not a dull point.

I guess what I’m saying in long-winded terms, the old adage is true. It does indeed take a village. In a career requiring an extreme amount of isolation, it’s the moments you poke your head out of your cave to interact with other that magic happens. It may take a while, and it may take dozens of failed friendships, but oddly enough, there will come a moment when you realize you have a tribe willing to bend over backward to support you.

Find your tribe. Writer or reader, geek or realist, they’re out there. Once you find them, you’ll know, cause despite your shortcomings, they keep sending you messages at 2AM on a Wednesday night.


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