Christmas Curmudgeon

Over the summer, we discovered that our deck was rotting away. It wasn't a complete surprise, as the feeble structure swayed whenever more than two people stood on it, but it was a problem we were trying to ignore for another year or two. Since our home's siding was being replaced, we decided to replace the deck. Naturally, upon its completion, an early winter settled in over northern Illinois, limiting its usefulness to the dogs. It has put me in a bit of a funk. The cold does that to me, but also watching good things go unused.

After a year and a half of writing, the first draft of Book 2 of The Brass Machine series was completed a few weeks ago. I'm in the middle of a mad two-month dash of editing, tweaking, soliciting feedback from beta readers, and even more tweaking before the manuscript goes to the editor in February. Should all things continue to go well, the book should be released in May 2019, a year after The King's Sun.

Looking forward, I can't wait to start on Book 3. I'm fascinated to see where characters old and new will go and how everything will wrap up.

At the same time, the list of book projects continues to grow in my head. I'm already 50k words into a fantasy book that has been sitting for five years. A murder mystery, laced with dark humor, has been brewing for over three years, its characters already fleshed out. An epic space-based science fiction series I thought up back in college (and probably best on the backburner while I hone my skills) is still waiting to fly. Perversely, my aversion to the Christmas season this year has given birth to a cutesy (and kinky!) holiday gay romance.

So many good things going unused, waiting for the cold to retreat and their time to come. Having to has put me in a bit of a funk.

Not to worry - I've been focusing all that energy and emotion into the finishing touches of Book 2. I am really excited to see what next year brings!

Author Interview

July was not that long ago, but so much stuff has been crammed into the past three months! Went on my yearly gay camping trip, an event that continues to provide inspiration for a future book. Also went to Vegas for the second time. The great thing about traveling is that interesting, colorful people are around every corner, unwittingly fueling my imagination with character details.

My friend Lindsay and I enjoying the view from atop the Stratosphere in Las Vegas!

My friend Lindsay and I enjoying the view from atop the Stratosphere in Las Vegas!

The editor gave some wonderful feedback on Book 2's first two chapters, and I spent some time reworking some details. Additionally, I'll be reaching the 70k word mark this weekend. Beta readers are lined up for late this year, and time has been booked with the editor in February. I've got a deadline!


Tim Barber of Dissect Designs did an awesome job of creating the cover for The King's Sun. He recently interviewed me, and you can read the article over on his website. I talk about the 14 year journey of bringing the book to life, including what inspired the idea and my writing process. Check it out! There are other author interviews if you like to read up on some behind-the-scenes details.

July Update

Last week I reached the 50k word mark of Book 2 and began the back half of the story. In two weeks, I'll be sending the first two chapters to my editor for feedback. I get more and more excited about the project every day!

Once I hear back from the editor, I am planning on sharing a sneak peak of the first chapter to those on my mailing list (marking the second email I'll have sent to them this year). If you'd like to be included, sign up somewhere on the right hand side of this page! Signing up also gets you a short story regarding The Brass Machine.

Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary


Today is Jurassic Park’s 25th anniversary. Velociraptors are now old enough to rent cars! Together, Michael Crichton, Stephen Spielberg, and their literary and cinematic dinosaurs helped fuel my already active imagination and strengthened my desire to be a storyteller. Thanks for reminding me how much older I have gotten in the meantime, and thank you for keeping the dinosaur-loving children alive in all of us!

Being Different, but In a Good Way

I read Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities a few years ago. Upon completion of the classic, I decided that my next read should be of a somewhat lighter fare. Having never read a book of the erotic nature (and being in the particular mood to do so), I began my search. Before long, I came across Marshall Thornton's Boystown series, which intrigued me because it took place in Chicago and included locations (i.e. bars) I had actually visited.

While the Boystown novellas and novels provided exactly what was to be expected from books with pictures of smooth, muscular torsos on their covers, I was delighted that there was so much more. The main character, private investigator Nick Nowak, is three-dimensional. The crimes and mysteries he investigates are engaging. The series starts in the earlier 80's, and it references a lot of actual history - much of the ongoing story is built around the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. And yes, there was lots of great sex!

To summarize: the series was different from what I expected, but in a good way. I got a great story with a cool character, and I learned something. A part of history that needs to be remembered and understood, for it shaped the way we (both the LGBT community and the world at large) think and act today.

I do not consider The King's Sun as being an erotic novel. No handsome men grace its cover. There are a few sexual encounters, yes, but I did not set out to write a story around those scenes. To me, it is a fantasy story during which some characters meet, like each other, and explore their relationship accordingly. The book has received a few reviews now, a couple of which say something similar to what I thought of the Boystown series: it is different, but in a good way.

Different? I thought when reading them. Different from what?

Aside from Thornton's books, I admit that I have not read a lot of LGBT fiction. A few good ones by Eli Easton (I cannot wait to read her new book, Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride) and Jay Bell (author of the Something Like series, the first of which is now a movie), but I have otherwise stuck to fantasy and sci-fi. I plan to rectify that, as I genuinely want to know!

Not that different is bad. Different is good! Some might not like the Boystown series for discussing the AIDS epidemic. I would not be able to recall the books if they hadn't. Jay Bell's books are coming of age, discovery, and explorative stories. There has been a push to get them into school libraries (with a few scenes edited), and I support that!

In the end, I am glad that some people are reading and enjoying The King's Sun. Whether it was exactly as they expected, threw them some curve balls, or was wildly different than anticipated (hopefully in a good way), as a writer, I can only be happy that my words are being read.