Kitty Hawk

Hello Friends,

As many of my communications lately have been of the “sales pitch” sort, I wanted to take this opportunity to post a “personal” entry, something I haven’t done in a while.

We are here, hours away from the official launch of Fireflight, and you might think I’d be giddy and bouncing around, heart hammering in my chest. I would expect the same.

Instead I’m…reserved. Not unenthusiastic, no no. I’m completely brimming over with excitement, especially after getting my hands on the first ever physical copy of this tale in its final form.

That moment, earlier today, cemented it all. It’s the first time I have fully felt, in every part of myself, like an author, through and true. This digital age in which we were randomly selected to exist together makes some things incredibly easy, like book publishing, which is a great and necessary thing, but it unfortunately strips some of the tactile feel out of the process.

Up until today, the cover was just colored pixels on my screen. In creating the image, I was only manipulating one’s and zero’s, using my IT skills to fudge through software and getting a result I was happy with. Same with the manuscript…just pixels forming words on the screen, easily manipulated, or even wiped away.

Today, the firewing became real. I was Geppetto, staring down at his wooden creation come alive. (Hopefully the analogy ends there, and my creation doesn’t turn out to be a mischievous little troublemaker. Kidding.)

So, yes, I’ve had my slightly giddy moments today, showing off the copy to those around me. Ultimately, though, I’m calm. I feel an assurance, I suppose, something that could easily just be my imagination doing a number on my emotion receptors. Or not, who knows? Maybe this tale will be well received in the coming days/months/years, and the things I’m expressing will mean something more.

Why even talk about it? Well, if there’s one thing I’ve always promised you, dear readers (at least implicitly), it’s that I will forever express myself with honesty. At the moment, these are the marbles rattling around inside my head. Take it or leave it.

Ultimately, I think I feel this sense of calm because everything is now out of my hands, for better or worse. The copy is locked, the print edition is in good shape, and unless we experience a worldwide cataclysmic opening of the Doors tomorrow, you’ll have your copies ready to take you away.

I’m happy, my friends. No matter what eventually happens with this book, tomorrow I make my dream a reality. Here’s hoping you think it’s cool.

A Very Happy Reading


It’s Here

Hello All,


Just wanted to give a quick status on all things Fireflight.

  • Both the Kindle eBook and paperback formats are up and available for order as we speak. Click here to be taken to the Amazon page.
  • If you purchase the paperback edition, you can also get the eBook copy for $1.99.
  • The official release day is this Thursday, April 27th. Preordered Kindle copies will release to your device on this day.

Any other questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.


The wait is almost over. Happy Reading!


Welcome Back, Gregory

Hello Readers and Web Crawlers,

First, let me apologize for my extended absence. I’ve had some rather big life events come up in ’13 and ’14 that took a good majority of my time, namely having a baby and changing jobs. Combine that with the fact that, between October and February, I have no less than four holidays and four birthdays to attend to, and I think you can see where this is headed.

Things are going well. The new job is working out great, and it’s allowed me to quit my second part-time work, leaving me more room for family, fun, and of course writing.

Speaking of, I know I’ve been promising you the release of Solaea for some time now, but regretfully I’m going to have to renege on that promise. I just don’t feel that the work is ready to see the light of day yet. It’s got too much dragging it down at this point, and needs far too much TLC before I can consider it publishable. I’m at the point where I may be looking at cutting 90% of the work and redoing it from scratch. I can’t say for sure. Keep in mind: this is a work with a very rich mythology, it’s the first book I ever wrote, and it comes with 16+ years of baggage. Never fear, I have not and will not give up on the project. I’m determined to see it birthed to the world. Now is just not the right time, and other works have grabbed my present attention.

Which brings me to my next point. I’ve started on a new project, something which is in many ways outside of my comfort zone (a good thing, since it’s challenging me to be better than ever). I’m very excited about this one, and it’s coming along nicely. Expect to see and hear more as we get deeper into 2014.

I should also mention that I’ve cleaned up Caeli and updated the copies online, so if you head over to Smashwords or Kindle you can grab a copy that represents the work at its best. At 99 cents, it’s still a great deal.

Please feel free to reach out to me, and take care. Thanks for reading.


“Now Get Out There, Ya Bum!”

It’s no secret by now that I am a huge Robert Jordan fan. Huge. Like, massive. He’s my favorite author and his Wheel of Time series is almost solely responsible for the writer I am today. He accomplished so much within his lifetime, leaving a literary legacy that resonates with millions and which will carry on for generations to come. He did what most of us in the writing world can only dream.

I’m going to match his success.

A bold statement, to be sure, but one that I know I have to make. My wife and I had a discussion recently about positive psychology, and during our talk I confessed to her my desire to hit the same level that Mr. Jordan rose to in terms of infamy as a writer. Am I good enough to do this? I don’t know for certain, but I believe the potential is there for me. I have so much room to grow, so many more stories to give to the world. One thing is for sure: If I don’t set my sights as high as I can, I’ll never get there.

We have to reach, we have to climb, we have to want, in order to get where we’re supposed to be. My wife stated, and I agree, that everyone who gets started with writing — or anything, for that matter — has a desire to accomplish everything their idols have done. Even if it’s never stated publicly, that drive exists somewhere in all of us. If it didn’t, we would have never gotten started putting words to paper. We want our work to be adored, picked over, debated at length; we want the fame, the money, the adoration; we want to be regarded experts in our fields; we want to affect people at that base emotional level, the same way in which we ourselves were affected by the greats.

Will we all do this? Maybe not. If you read enough about the publishing world in particular, you find a plethora of statements that it’s not a way to make money, that you’ll likely struggle for years before finding any success, et cetera, et cetera. Does this mean we shouldn’t try? Of course not. But what exactly should we try for? Is it enough to aspire for mediocrity? Are we doing ourselves any good by declaring “I don’t care if I make any money” or “I probably won’t have the same success as J. K. Rowling”? I say no. There’s nothing wrong with reaching further than our doubts tell us we may go. If you write in the epic fantasy genre and try to become as popular as Tolkien, but only make it halfway, you’ll still find yourself with a huge amount of success.

No one who ever did anything truly great did so by sticking within the norm or limiting how successful they could be inside their head. We have to shoot for 100% to get to 50%, and in the process we just might find ourselves at that one-hundred mark sooner than we thought.

Will I be as successful as Robert Jordan? I have no way of predicting the future, but I feel that I have a shot, and I’m going to strive for it no matter what. If I don’t, the only sure thing is that my success will never come.


Limit your writing to increase your writing

Greetings to all in the virtualverse! I hope you came through the holidays unscathed and ten pounds heavier, just like me. The family had a great time and we even got us some snow, so all in all a wonderful experience.

Today I’m going to talk a bit about my experience with writing itself – the act of sitting at the keyboard clacking away. If you’ve perused the other sections of my site you’ll have seen that I mentioned my hectic life/work schedule. I have two day jobs and my home life is often inundated with helping my wife keep our…shall we say enthusiastic…children in line. Finding the time to write is often a challenge for me at this stage in life, something that’s especially frustrating when the gears are turning and all I want is a good few hours to dive into my head and just let the juices flow.

I consider myself a very “organic” writer. What I mean by this is that I don’t plan things out very much in advance, nor do I do any kind of formal outline except in rare circumstances. I often just let the story pour out and form itself as it goes. Sometimes I have basic ideas of what I want to happen, and if I feel the need I’ll put down a few bullet points in Word to keep the sequence of events clear to me, but otherwise it just builds and I make corrections later as I need to. Admittedly, this isn’t the most efficient way to craft a tale, but I find that for my particular style it gives me a much better feeling of my stories overall. I’m generally all about the feel of my stories…the emotional response that I have to them as a whole. If the work gets my blood pumping as a reader and gives me good chills, I know I’ve hit the mark.

In my earlier years this process was so organic that I couldn’t even do it on any kind of set schedule. If the gears weren’t turning, then nothing was going to get written, but once inspiration hit I had to get it out as quickly as possible. In addition, if anything happened to distract me, I was done. Sure, I could be as productive as possible while I rode the log down the waterfall, but if anything came by to interrupt my journey there was no way I could just get back on and continue where I left off.

This changed as life progressed and I found myself with less free time to spare for my moments of authorial enlightenment. I mentioned in the background page for Caeli that the story was written every day in twenty minute chunks, and to be honest I think this setup helped me immensely. Remember, the brain is akin to a muscle, and just like the rest of our bodies there is a kind of memory within the tissue. When we do actions repeatedly, the body remembers, performing the task more efficiently over time and even going so far as to save it as a kind of reflex. Surgeons have this with using a scalpel, and authors have this with the way in which we write.

If you find yourself having trouble getting into the groove consistently when you sit in front of the keyboard, try this as an experiment: Set a timer and give yourself only a small window in which to produce something, say thirty minutes. Dedicate yourself to this time frame – even if you feel the motivation to go on, don’t. Stop yourself, and then pick up where you left off the next time. You very well may find that in no time at all you are producing much tighter narrative, without the need to “warm up the engine”, so to speak.