A Book Published: Year One

Today, March 29, 2013 is the one-year anniversary of my debut novel.  It’s on sale at Amazon for a mere $2.99.  Click here!

Yeah, it’s been a year.  In that time, it’s been quite the ride.  Here are some things that struck me as I looked back.  Exhausting.  Overwhelming.   And in bullet points, for your viewing pleasure.


Bullet points of having a book published. Year one.

  • The joy of a book I can no longer revise.zNPFrontLrgCover
  • The horror of a book I can no longer revise.
  • The bliss of handselling.
  • The horror of handselling.
  • How online hours marketing eats away at my soul, a little bit at a time.
  • How wonderful it is to have strangers read my book and give their honest opinion on Goodreads.
  • The horror of strangers reading my book and their damn opinions.
  • I’m not sure I’ll ever get tired of people saying they cried while reading my words. I must’ve done something right.
  • Most people celebrated my book and my accomplishment. Most people, but not all.
  • Everyone likes a celebrity, even minor ones.
  • Having a book out in the world is better than having a book alone in a basement.
  • The terror of sitting at signing tables with authors who are much more talented, much more accomplished, much more popular than I’ll ever be.
  • Seeing the flash in someone’s eyes. “You’ve written a book. Really?”
  • Hearing about people praising you behind your back. Thank you, Colorado Springs.
  • Getting calls out of the blue, “Would you like to come talk at our book club?” Would I? Do you even know who you’re talking to?
  • The sad fact that I can’t write all the books I wanna write. Not enough time. Too much to do.
  • Seeing my name, with an ISBN, on a novel that actual people are going to actually read.
  • Reading my words at a book event, and loving them because I’d spent years and buckets of sweat to bring them out and shape them just so.
  • Two words: Tax deductible. I thought I had five years for my fiction writing business to be profitable. Turns out, I can pour money into this venture for decades. I keep telling my friends, “I’m going to write until the money is gone.”
  • If nothing else, when I die, I will leave a book behind. Not only a book, a book that is uniquely me. A love story with angels, demons, drug addicts, and atheists. That’s my book. That’s me.
  • The game has changed. I can’t go back. More than that, I don’t wanna go back. I will write books and publish books until I die. And if all goes well, even after I take that short walk home.

zSAM_2815 Happy Birthday, Never Prayer!  Want to give this little baby the perfect gift?  The ebook on Amazon.  Hurray!


What’s Love Got to do With It: A Blog Hop for Love



I’m joining up with other Crescent Moon Press authors for a sexy, lovey-dovey celebration of l’amour. Check out my post below and:

Click on the hearts above to learn more about how to win!


What’s Love Got to do With It: More Never Prayer!

Romantic love has become the pinnacle of the human experience, or that’s how we Americans see it. Arguably, romantic love is the primary religion in the U.S. Can you have a show that doesn’t have a romantic angle? Can you listen to music that doesn’t hit us right between the legs?


As Nick Hornby put it in his novel, High Fidelity,

People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.

Yeah, romantic love pervades our culture, but then our culture is one of youth. Our stories are about first meeting and overcoming obstacles, and usually end in marriage. Would anyone want to read stories about the doldrums of being married for years on end? Don’t bet on that pony, my friend. Go with what the people want, which is immediate lust and then forever love.

Do I believe in the gospel of romantic love? Part of me does. Hence I like Twilight, adore soap operas, and can’t imagine watching anything that didn’t have some sort of love story going on in it. Some scholars think the reason why Edgar Rice Burroughs did so well is because his John Carter carried such a torch for Dejah Thoris. Same thing with Tarzan; he had his Jane. And Tarzan DOESN’T get the girl at the end of the first Tarzan novel. A tragic love story about some monkey man. Cut and print.

Another part of me is skeptical about romantic love. Hey, I can be atheist about God, I can be agnostic about romantic love. Generally, those wonderful neural chemicals which characterize immediate attraction wear off after about eighteen months. Just long enough for you to meet, have sex, have the baby, and then nine months for the baby to be out of the womb before it’s time to break up and find the next eighteen-month affair.

sparkle heart com-29510Real love is less about sparkle and more about commitment. It’s less chocolate ice cream and more broccoli. It’s good for people. That’s why men and women live longer when they are in a committed long-term relationship. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. Or so the story goes. I’m skeptical about that as well.

However, in my novel, The Never Prayer, there is a definite romantic component. Funny, though, my main character Lena is less about love, more about survival. Hard to be interested in romance when you’re on the run from the law, you’re grieving your parents, and your ex-boyfriend has gone into drug treatment.

And yet, Lena finds healing through a romantic relationship. While she does have the chocolate ice cream sparkle with one boy, she winds up with another, but there’s sparkle there as well.

Romantic love definitely is one of life’s more interesting aspects, but it can be a hard thing to hold onto.

When I was trying to decide if I wanted to get married or not, I had a friend who said the best thing about marriage is that when you fall out of love, it keeps you together so you can fall back in love. Last time I talked to him, he and his wife of a bazillion years were having a second honeymoon. And with all that history together, it’s special. Not easy. Not sexy. But special. Real.

Reality and romantic love don’t always mix, which is why pining for someone is often better than actually having them. The idea of romantic love is probably better than the reality. Maybe that’s why we like it in our stories.

In the end, our society is missing out, I think. By making romantic love the pinnacle, we miss out on the benefits of selfless sacrifice, religious ecstasy, or just plain everyday serenity, being comfortable in our own skin, in the moment, and not needing any sort of romantic drug to ease the pain that living brings.

But I gotta’ say, I’m still a believer, though I’m also conflicted.

For right now, I think my buddy Catullus said it best,

Odi et amo. Quare id faciam fortasse requiris.
Nescio, sed fieri sentio, et excrucior.

Basically, it translates to, I love and I hate. I feel it happen, and I am tortured. Excrucior. Best word ever.


Happy frakkin’ Valentine’s Day.





19 Reasons Why You Should Hit My Goodreads Giveaway to try and win a copy of my debut novel, The Never Prayer

19 Reasons Why You Should Hit My Goodreads Giveaway to try and win a copy of my debut novel, The Never Prayer.

1) Because Sam and Dean Winchester would probably pay you a visit to thank you. They’ll be shirtless.

2) Every time you hold a new copy of The Never Prayer, an angel gets their wings.

3) The more copies you have of The Never Prayer increases your relative holiness by 1000 percent.

4) I use lots of cool words, organized into paragraphs, set up on pages.

5) If you do wind up in hell, you can fan yourself with a copy of my book.

6) God loves people who read The Never Prayer. He loves people who don’t, but He REALLY loves people who read my book.

7) In the book, near the end, I have a Scooby Gang going to save the day, ala Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

8) Chris Devlin recommends The Never Prayer for people who love Supernatural, especially the Castiel years.

9) After reading my book, you will know the difference between a demon and an angel. Besides the halos and horns, I mean. They can hide those, you know.

10) Halloween is coming up and you might need a good book to read if you get scared. Or to scare you.

11) The world ends December 21, 2012. You’ll be kicking yourself in the afterlife if you’ve not read my book.

12) After the apocalypse, you’ll need something to start a fire with.

13) There’s drug addicts in The Never Prayer. Everyone likes drug addicts.

14) There’s atheists in The Never Prayer. Everyone likes atheists.

15) Filipino teens think the guys in The Never Prayer are hot.

16) One of my eighty-year-old nun friends hated The Never Prayer. The other of my eighty-year-old nun friends loved it. If you know an eighty-year-old nun, you can give them the book and I can get a tie-breaker.

17) Most people who read The Never Prayer cry at some point. Some even in the right spots.

18) In The Never Prayer, I mention Battlestar Galactica. Best. Show. Ever.

19) Free is free. Everyone likes free.