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Sunday, September 4, 2016

In which I give an update and warn you about my children!

Has it really been a year since I posted here?

Wow. Okay, time for an update, right?

So first of all, my son was born a few months ago, and all is well with him. It's an adjustment going from 2 to 3 kids, and I think it has to do with the fact we're now outnumbered and I think they know the numbers are in their favor. I can see the first stages of a coup brewing, and I don’t have a lot of hope for our chances.

On the writing front, I’ve released the first 3 books in the REVENGER series. I’ve learned that the logistics of releasing a longer series can be challenging. When you want consistency in editing and design, you want to use the same professionals, but those professionals have lives and jobs of their own, and sometimes that means schedules can be muddy.

I’ve also managed to write the first draft of a new book I’m excited about, but not ready to talk about yet. And I have decided I will release the last book in my DEAN CURSE series, as well as the next book in my CAMBRIDGE FILES series. I’m excited for both of those, but both books, while written, have some editing to get through, so it will be 2017 before I release them. But they will be coming.

Presently, I have a promotion going on through Amazon, and it’s for a free copy of book #1 in my 6th Grade Revenger series. The link is below, and there are 10 books up for grabs. I’ve never done one of these before, and didn’t know the promotion would only be available to people with addresses in the USA – so apologies to the rest of the world :/ I will do my utmost to make it up to you with the next promo.

Here’s the link to the Amazon promo – It would be awesome if you could share the link with your friends, family, pets, enemies, and complete strangers. 


Monday, August 10, 2015

2015 is the summer of being MIA

I haven't updated in a couple months and as usual it's all about me (what else is new?) disappearing into the writing-cave whenever I find myself with free-time. And this summer, as luck has had it, I've managed to be pretty productive. I managed to wrap up a few projects I'd been working on and will talk about them in future posts, but now that they're done my next step will be focusing on the release of... you guessed it...

"But, Steve," the voice in my head  (which I hear all too often) asks, "didn't you launch a Kickstarter that failed miserably?"

Yes, too true, my Kickstarter wasn't a knock-out success, but that's okay. It was something I'd wanted to try for some time, and now it's out of my system. Perhaps a future project will be a better fit for Kickstarter and I'll give that forum another attempt. But the good news is that not having a successful Kickstarter only means my REVENGER series won't come out all at once, not that it won't come out at all. Books 1 and 2 are already available for pre-order on Amazon.

Bonus, too, the great PINTADO, the fine artist who does all the cover art, has managed to get the first 5 covers done. Of course, since many of you are as infatuated with cover art as I am, I wanted to share them here:


Monday, May 18, 2015

Writing update!!! And Round 2 of Why I Don't Do My Own Covers

Yes, I know, I know, I was doing so well blogging semi-regularly, and then... nothing. But that is how things go when I'm working hard on a project. I tend to let my writing gobble up every spare moment I have.

But today I bring good news. News that will give you a chance to laugh at my complete and utter lack of artistic skill. You may recall I shared, not too long ago, my mock up for book 4 in the Dean Curse books, and how the designer I'd commissioned had turned my mess into something pretty dang spectacular. I called that post WHY I DON'T DO MY OWN COVERS

Well, today I give you round two in that saga.

What you're looking at is a mock-up for the third book in a new series I've been working on for well over a year now. I will have a lot more to say about the books in the coming weeks, but wanted to start with something that blows my mind: Art, and how an artist can take my stick-figure drawing and spin it into something beyond what I could have hoped for.

For information purposes, the artist is the same gentleman I've used for all my covers. His name is PINTADO, and his website is HERE

(and yes, I know I spelled exhaust wrong in the picture :/ )

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hi, I'm Steve, and I'm a compulsive liar... but mostly just to kids...

Lying is kind of part of the job description when it comes to being a writer. Writing fiction, by definition, means I lie. All fiction writers lie. Lying is what we do. But then I also write for kids, which means I lie to kids.

I started wondering about that. What kind of person lies to kids? Right? Then I realized something: There’s another segment of the population who lies to kids as much as fiction writers. That’s right, I’m talking about parents. Yep. Parents. They’re all a bunch of liars. I know I am. I hadn’t realized it until my son called me on it today. I just finished telling him that the police would come if he didn’t let me brush his teeth, and he asked, “Are you lying to me?” to which I said, straight faced, “Nope. They’ll come. And they won’t be happy.”

 In my defence, it wasn’t that bad of a lie. I mean, if I had actually called the cops because my son wasn’t letting me brush his teeth, they very well might have showed up, and if they did, I am reasonably sure they wouldn’t have been very happy. So let’s just call that one a half truth.
But the lies pile up in my household:

“You have sugar bugs in your mouth. We need to brush your teeth.”

“Can’t go to the park today, it’s closed.” (said when I’m way too tired to go to park and don’t want to argue with a 3 year old about it)

“Gotta clean up all your toys, or the Toy Police will come take everything away.”

“Santa only gives presents to good little kids.”

“If you eat your vegetables you’ll be able to run super-fast at soccer tomorrow!”

"Okay, bye. I'm leaving without you." 

Lies upon lies.

Luckily, I seem to be able to handle it, because I’m not looking to turn over a new honesty-leaf. But I know it’s only a matter of time. It can’t last. The lying will catch up with me. I suspect the lies will just get more and more complex, until one day, when he fails to properly clean up his toys, I’ll weave a complicated threat that involves the KGB, Santa’s Elfs, and a pack of rabid chinchillas, and he'll call me on my lies, and my house of cards collapse around me. I imagine it will look something like this:

You Liar

Strangely, I’m not too worried about that day.

What about you all? I wanna hear the biggest lie you ever told a kid (doesn’t have to be yours)
I promise, I won’t judge : /

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Printed books are the best! Also.... UNICORNS!


I’ve heard the ebooks vs. printed books debate a hundred times—many of those times things get heated. I am an ardent believer that people should read what and how they want. Like to read on paper? Cool. So do I. Wanna read off a screen? Okay, do that. I like doing that too. Same goes for if you prefer your books chiseled on stone, or painted on the walls of French caves, or hand written by albino monks on the flesh of your enemies… uh… we’ll come back to that last one….

The point of this post is not to debate which side is better—because every time that debate pops up it quickly devolves into one side saying:

And the other side doing something like this:
The point of this post is, instead, to right a problem I’ve had with the debate since the first time I heard it. The arguments are entirely unoriginal.  “With a kindle, I can hold a million books in my pocket!” or “Printed books smell like unicorns!” Both are totally true, but just not original.

So, I am here to right that wrong. Today I present an entirely friendly challenge: I will give you a few original reasons why printed books are better than ebooks (bearing in mind I love ebooks too), and you try to come up with five original reasons why ebooks are better.  


NUMBER ONE: Cops! Yeah, that’s right. Questioning suspects just wouldn’t be the same without a physical book. What are you going to hit them with? A kindle? No, those leave very distinctive marks. Without physical books the entire justice system would be in ruin.

NUMBER TWO:  You can hide stuff in books

NUMBER THREE:  No books = no bookshelves. No bookshelves means people will easily find your secret door to your bat-cave.

NUMBER FOUR:  It’s much cooler to make-out in the library or bookstore aisles, than it is the electronics aisle at Walmart (or any aisle at Walmart for that matter).

NUMBER FIVE: They are the go-to resource for wizards and witches. 

NUMBER SIX: If you want to be evil, you can rip out the last two pages of a book and reduce the next reader to tears. Always fun… if you’re evil… which I’m not… and am no way endorsing you to destroy books.

 NUMBER SEVEN: They smell like unicorn! (C’mon, that’s actually pretty original!)

Thursday, March 12, 2015


I live in a city of bookstores. It seem there’s always one just around the corner or on the next block. It’s wonderful for someone like me who tends to enjoy bookstores the way others enjoy gardens. 

What’s interesting, is that I don’t pass that many major bookstore chains. The few that remain seem to sell a lot more than just books. Merchandise, toys, and food have at least as much space as the books on the shelves.

I can’t help but wonder what the landscape will look like in ten years.

Will we have bookstores?

I think we will, but I’d be surprised if many of them were major chains. If we look at the movie industry, the major players like Blockbuster and Rogers Video closed first. Up until even a year ago I remember passing by the odd independent movie store. Though I have to admit it’s been several years since I’ve even owned a DVD player, let alone rented a movie.

One thing I realize is a lack of bookstores doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of physical books. Most of the people I know who buy books, buy a lot of them online. I think that might stem from dwindling supply in stores, as well as the larger discounts the digital retailers tend to offer.

What do you think? Will independent bookstores thrive in the new climate? Will our kids, and our kid’s kids have bookstores? Or will books become things purchased online or in a few aisles at the backs of specialty shops?