August 2013 Update

In case you haven’t heard, my new middle-grade novel is out.  Zach Ziegler’s So-Called Middle School Life hit shelves on July 21.  This was a story I had wanted to write for a long time, and there is a lot of myself in it.  No swashbuckling adventures or hidden mysteries, but there is plenty of middle school angst.

The Island will make its debut next month, and I’m eager to share it with my beta readers very soon.  I have put off writing the cover blurb as I am right smack in the middle of a pitches and blurbs workshop taught by Dean Wesley Smith, and I want to make sure I use everything I’ve learned and get it right.  The next step is editing and cover design, and those are always fun times for me.  (I know, who enjoys editing?)

Work is progressing on my latest excursion into horror, right now called The Devil’s Catacombs.  I’m about 10,000 words into it and really enjoying creating the characters and their situation.  I have decided that writing from now on is going to be all about having fun. I’m no longer going to brood over and second-guess myself on every word and sentence; as I have learned, writing and editing are two separate things, and it’s hard to let your creativity flow when the critical side of your brain is trying to filter it.  As a result of this “revelation” I am writing more and finishing projects quickly.  And I’m having a ball. I find myself really looking forward to my weekend writing sessions and not dreading my time sitting in front of the computer.  When it ceases to be fun is when I’ll stop.  And I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Because of this new creative renaissance, I’ve mapped out some goals for myself for the next six to eight months.  They’re lofty goals, and if I had written them down this time last year it would have terrified me.  But now I believe they are not only doable but practical. You see, my goal is to one day financially support my family with only my writing, and to do that, I’ve got to keep putting new work out there for readers to discover.  So that’s what I’m doing – writing the best stories I can, packaging them up in the most professional manner possible, pricing them correctly, and getting the word out.  I am so glad to be living in this time of independent publishing in which it can happen.  And thanks to you, my readers, for helping make it possible.

March 2013 Update

The first draft of my new kids’ book is done! Yay! Now, to let it sit while I work on wrapping up a few other projects. I hope to have rewrites done in time to begin querying agents in the early summer.

Brock Ford continues to inch forward. Frontispiece artwork is taking shape, and I’m very excited at what I’ve seen. Still hoping for a spring release date, but now it looks more like late spring. 🙁 As usual, I will post any and all updates here.

New project alert! I’m working on putting together a collection of short fiction and poetry, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Most of this stuff dates back to the late ’80s/early ’90s when my voice was really beginning to develop and I was studying under a tough but talented writer/instructor at Murray State University. I also plan on including some real relics for curiosity’s sake. This collection (which of course at this moment has no title yet) should be out in a month or so.

In the “Color Me Starstruck” department, I got to meet one of my literary idols at a writers’ fair in Madison, Indiana. Michael West is a horror novelist known for his “Harmony, Indiana” trilogy and numerous other stories. Most recently he edited an anthology called “Vampires Don’t Sparkle.” I was lucky enough to be traveling back from Indianapolis the day of the event and took a quick side trip to pick up a couple of autographed books, as well get a picture with him. Did I mention he’s also a really nice guy?

That’s it for this month. Lots of exciting things going on behind the scenes, and I’ll keep you updated!

Meeting author Michael West, March 2013

Meeting author Michael West, March 2013