New Release Now Available: ZORANA!

The latest fiction release is now available in paperback!

After suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of her arch nemesis War Eagle, Zorana, the world’s most terrifying super-villain decides to do the one thing she never thought she would do again: head home for the holidays.

Home, in this case, is a small town in Iowa called Smalltown, Iowa. The woman formerly known as Monica Deluna finds comfort in a familiar place as she reconnects with family and friends, but the joyous reunion is bittersweet as she also comes face to face with the faith she left behind.

Monica’s guilt only grows worse when the sins of her past follow her home. War Eagle, rival villains, and other enemies begin to converge on Monica’s hometown, hoping to make her pay for her crimes. Will Zorana meet a bitter end, or is there any chance a former super-villain can find redemption?

Zorana was first released in 2009 under the name “Demonica” and has undergone many changes in the years since. It was originally planned as a comic book series, then as a short film series. It evolved into a short novella with twelve chapters – six written by the main character, six written by her arch-nemesis, the hapless super hero War Eagle.

I’ve expanded the story several times over the years, and I’ve also written two short pieces as off-shoots from the main story. The newest version of the book includes these two stories, several new chapters, and one more brand new story written by my copy editor Austin Nichols.

I will be donating $1.00 from every book sold between now and February 28 to Waterstep, a Louisville based charity that provides clean water resources where they are needed around the world. Please help me to support this amazing organization by purchasing a book, or by making your own donation on their website.

Zorana is available to order on Amazon.com.

Coming in 2017 – The Birth of a New Book

I have written several science fiction novels over the last seventeen years. I couldn’t tell you where the ideas for all but one or two came from. Each one started with a flash of an idea, but that flash was lost in the hours of writing and revising. I’ve been working on a new one for the last four weeks, and since it’s still fresh in my mind, I thought I would share.

Thursday afternoon, November 10. About 4:15 in the afternoon I’m walking back to my desk when an idea comes to mind. What if there was a guy who told every girl who dumped him that somewhere, in an alternate universe, the two of them live happily ever after? What if after saying this to a girl, that same girl from an alternate universe comes looking for him?

When I leave work that afternoon I then ask another question: What if she doesn’t come looking for the guy because she loves him? What if she wants to kill him?

A few hours later I drive my kids, ages 7 and 9, to the library. I pitch the idea to them, and they start pitching ideas back? (We’ve been doing this since they were babies, when I used to make up stories for them at bed time.) They named three of my main characters. I keep two of the names: Shanna and Angie.

About 11 PM I doze off in front of the keyboard. I wake up at 1 AM – and I outline the entire story. In short order I have four main characters and synopses for 29 chapters.

I write a few chapters over the weekend, a couple thousand words. I base my main characters on people I’ve known in the past, a technique that always makes developing characters easier. Suddenly, out of nowhere, one of my favorite classic movie stars enters the story. She becomes a key character. She also becomes part of a parody of modern sci-fi writers who lace their stories with 80s references.

I’m having a ton of fun.

Work slows me down the following week. Meanwhile, my son is still pondering this alternate universe idea. He makes me a short list of ideas for alternate worlds. Then, right before Thanksgiving, he does this:

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Seven years old, folks. The boy has quite the imagination!

It’s slow going after Thanksgiving, but the story progresses a little at a time. I find myself doubling back, fixing holes here and there, adding more back story. A really funny subplot (too complicated to explain here) develops. The further I go, the more momentum I get. I get back to a chapter a night progress.

On Tuesday night, December 6, after brainstorming through a number of terrible ideas, I hit on a title I like. It’s different than any I’ve used before, and it’s memorable: DIE MAX DIE.

Tomorrow marks the 4 week point. I’m about 2/3rds of the way done. The story has taken some crazy turns, but it’s pouring out of the imagination now. It’s a little frustrating because I’m neglecting other more profitable writing projects to try and finish this one. I keep going because (1) I’m having fun and (2) my kids are really excited about it.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a kids story. But it’s also not laced with stuff I don’t want my kids reading. It may be PG, but it’ll engage any age reader who likes a little fun – and funny – in their sci-fi.

It’ll also be a quick read. 30K words, if I’m lucky. I could expand on that, I guess, but why? I don’t want to bog it down with fluff. And those 1000 page Game of Thrones epics just aren’t my style.

Like most of my books, it’ll be open for a sequel. Not that it’ll happen. The story will have to be there and be at least as much fun. First things first: I’m shooting for a Fall 2017 release, and I hope all of you will love it.

A New Story

I opted not to go NaNoWriMo at the last minute. I had 3 ideas I was considering for this year, and narrowed it to one on October 31. I then went to Amazon to search and see if my idea had been done before. Yup – at least six different titles with the same basic idea. So, I didn’t jump in on November 1.

Flash forward to Thursday the 10th. I’m at work, wrapping up the day when all of a sudden – boom. It was a “What if?” question, the same kind of question that had jumpstarted several of my past efforts. I kicked the idea around in the car that afternoon with two story consultants – my kids. The next night, while my daughter and eight of her friends had a slumber party in the living room, I stayed up most of the night outlining a new novel.

Okay, so three days later, I’m only a chapter and a half into what (at the moment) is a 29 chapter outline. It won’t be done November 30, but this one is special. Like Space Kat, it’s written itself, and it’s just a matter of me making the time and effort to let my typing catch up to my ideas.

“In Another Universe” is the working title. It’s a multi-dimensional love/hate story. Sort of. More details sure to come.