The Last City is live

I hit the “publish” button last night right at midnight.

Here’s a link: The Last City.


And the final cover


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Getting Close

So, I changed the title from “Mountain Home” to “The Last City.”

Elevator pitch:

“Walking Dead meets The Expanse.”

Jacket blurb:

“Decades after the apocalyptic AI War, Gears McCoy and the earth’s battered and scattered survivors thought they had turned the corner, and could rebuild.

Instead, a new threat appeared. Ghoulish scabbers swarming the countryside like human army ants, crushing fences and scaling walls with sheer numbers. City after city fell.

And now, as the last city desperately fends off the swarming monsters, Gears watches moon rockets descend. Are they bringing help and new hope? Or are they the last, triumphant act of the devastating AI War that started it all?”


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Trying to get back in gear

This has been a very difficult year from a personal time perspective. Way too many things going on that have impacted my ability to write and to keep things updated.

However, I am now trying to get a cover done for my Mountain Home book. I had an artist lined up, but they ended up saying they just couldn’t get it done. So now I’m looking for a new artist.

I did yet another read-through of Mountain Home this last few days, and I finally think it all works. I tweaked the ending several times because it just didn’t feel “punchy” enough. But now I think it’s got punch.

Just need a cover, a blurb and some formatting… I’m going to end up self-editing this, just as I did with Warrior. I would prefer to get an editor, but I simply can’t afford one.

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Wow, way too long since I posted

I hadn’t realized it had been over a month since I posted. That’s bad. I need to be more active.

I sent my first fifty pages of “Mountain Home” off to an agent. Not a cold email, I pitched to him in Colorado Springs and he asked me to send it. But that’s been a month ago now and I haven’t heard back, so I figure that’s not good. But now it’s sort of hanging there, which is what I hate about the whole traditional publishing experience.

So, I may just email him and let him know that I have to get it out there, I need to sell some books.

In the meantime I’ve put up about 6,000 words on my next novel. This is a contemporary murder mystery. I’ve got it outlined out and have written a couple chapters.

So the writing goes on. Spring is coming. Soon I’ll be working on the yard and going fishing. And writing. 🙂

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Moving ahead

One of my goals for a while has been to get all three of my War Chronicles eBooks using the same basic cover as my audio books, mostly because everyone says the audio book covers are better.

Another goal, related to the first goal, was to get all three of the War Chronicles books in CreateSpace with those same covers. I’ve held off on that for a long time because I’ve been pretty jealous of my “writing time” (compared to working for a living, being a father, being a husband and taking care of my house) so I’ve focused that time on writing Mountain Home.

But now its done. The new ebook versions are on Amazon, and I’ve ordered a final printed proof of Warrior, Warlock and Warlord that should be the final step in completing the process.

Now I just have to send off that first fifty pages to the agent from SSWS… 🙂

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Wow, lots going on

I apologize for the long time between posts. It’s mostly been because I’ve been very busy, mostly with writerly things. Which is all good.

The biggest thing that happened was the Superstars Writers Seminars, my yearly opportunity to confer, converse, and otherwise hobnob with my fellow writers. This is pretty much the highlight of my year as a writer. This year had a couple of significant developments that might help me reach the next level as a writer.

I’ve mentioned the SSWS before, so I won’t go into details about the purpose of the seminars. I’ll just say they are amazing and I feel privileged to be part of them. Of the events of the seminar, the most significant was my “practice” pitch to an actual agent. I wasn’t expecting anything from that, mostly because it was my first pitch, and it was set up as practice, but to my surprise, he actually asked me to send him the first fifty pages of Mountain Home. So I’ve been combing over those pages in preparation to do so. Keep your fingers crossed for me.


Other than that, I’ve been working on the final covers for both the online and the paperback versions of The War Chronicles. I also finally put the print version of Warlord together, something I’ve neglected for way too long. So now I have all three available in paperback. Or I will when Amazon approves them. But they’ve all been uploaded. I’ll post something when they are available, all with the new covers.

And finally, I have decided to “go wide” with The War Chronicles. Up until now I’ve been in the exclusive Amazon Kindle Select program, meaning the only place you can buy it is on Amazon. Doing the new covers reset the 90 day clock on Kindle Select, so I’ll have to wait three months, but at the end of that time, I’ll be applying for a BookBub ad, some other promotions, and putting the books on Smashwords, Kobo and iTunes. Hopefully that will be a new audience and I’ll see some new sales.

Been a busy month or so. But a productive one.

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So, I’m at the stage I call “polishing” now. With my last embellishments to the story, I finally topped 90,000 words. I’m at roughly 90,500 now.

Beta readers have it. Getting some feedback now. Mostly good.

In a few weeks I’ll be at the Superstars Writers conference and I’ll try to get some good advice on traditional publishing.

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Still trucking along

Still tweaking the story. Right at 89,000 words. My goal was 90,000 words when I started, so I’m pretty close to that. I might still have some more things to add here and there.

Just completed yet another pass through after getting all of my alpha reader input. Trying hard to put out a true beta. Think I’m there. It’s late so I’m going to bed. Tomorrow I’ll get the beta versions compiled and mailed out to my beta readers.

Still thinking I might want to do a bit more with the ending. Feels a bit abrupt still. Maybe that’s where the final 1,000 words will go. Feeling like I need a bit more polishing of the final decision the protagonists make at the end of the story.

Otherwise, feels pretty solid.

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An ending

One of the things I love about writing is the feeling I get from time to time after having created something and looking at it as objectively as I can possibly manage, and think “That’s pretty damn good there.”

I just had that happen with my ending. In the last version I sent out to my alpha readers, I thought the ending was a little weak. I wanted two things, one, I wanted a more dramatic end to the final battle, and two, I wanted something that could be used as a hook into additional stories.

I think it works in both cases.

I’ve got some POV overlap still to hack out, but I’ve hacked about half of it out already, and things still look good, so I am pretty confident that my final edit will get what’s left.

I also want to spend some time just fine-tuning and polishing the character development and dialogue. I have pretty much concluded that all the advice writers get about everything boiling down to your characters is pretty good advice. I want my characters to be memorable.

Getting real close. While this will be the fourth novel I will have written and taken to completion (excepting final professional editing), in some ways it’s really just the second. I had the entire story line for The War Chronicles pretty well laid out, and had always intended for it to be one story, broken into three books, so this is only the second story I’ve taken this far.

And sci-fi is really my preferred genre too, although I do love good fantasy. It sort of surprised me that my first published fiction works would be the parts of an epic fantasy.

I think I will plan on getting pitch advice and other advice from the Superstars conference on this book. I didn’t take much advice on The War Chronicles. I just bulled my way forward. This time I think I’m going to be more measured. I can always start on my fifth novel while working on the sale and/or marketing of this one.

Feeling better and better about Mountain Home. And this ending just rocks.

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Version 1.0.1 compiled


So I am once again incredibly appreciative of the feedback from my alpha readers. I’ve still got some feedback to come, so there will be at least one more version, I’ll call it “beta” for lack of a better way to express the concept. But for now I have an alpha 1.01 version with lots of fixes and changes. So I’m a little closer to something that I would actually send to a publisher.

Still hovering in the 88,000 word mark. I really don’t know if it will end up near that number.

But, it feels like another milestone, and things like that keep me writing. 🙂

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