The Nakedness of the Non-Fiction Memoir

Although the biggest portion of what I read is fiction, I’ve been reading a few non-fiction books lately. I was struck with the idea of how well we get to know an author who’s writing about her personal life. There are so many details and nuances we experience in the reading that we would probably never encounter even if were close friends. Details about holiday traditions, internal dialogues, various mannerisms, mundane events and so on. I would have to think that authors that put these kind of memoirs out encounter fans that feel they know them, even though they’ve never met. It can be a very brave thing I think to write about your life in such a way, even if you still keep your biggest secrets locked away.

Art vs. Market

Today, I wrote the first 1,000 words of prose for my latest novel concept (adult literary). I have this idea to write this slow, pensive book with lots of dialogue and quite moments. There’s certainly a story arc and character development, but part of me worries that it’s not too terribly marketable. I read a lot of reviewers concerned with a book’s slow start. But then the other part of me, the artist side, knows I have to write what I have to write. If I write something that interests me, then somewhere out there is a market for it. And really, if the work  is strong enough, true enough, it has the potential to transcend expectations. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

What I’m Writing: Novels, Stories and Chapter Books

I thought it might be fun to update readers on what I’ve been working on. You’re probably already aware that I launched the second book in the Spit Mechs series this month (Spit Mechs 2). In December, I hope to launch the first in another chapter book series Squint & Rocket. If I get a reasonable response to these two books, I will most likely continue these two series in 2018.

But I also write adult fiction. Up to this point that has been almost exclusively fantasy and science-fiction, which of course, includes steampunk (greatest sub-genre ever?) I published a short story last year in the British sci-fi journal Singularity. (And have sent out dozens of other stories to other journals.) I have two separate steampunk novels that I have been sending out to prospective agents. Recently, I’ve developed the outlines for two separate novels. One is set in modern day southwest Texas and follows a young woman who, while navigating a sexist culture and a strained relationship with her father, makes a fantastic discovery that transports the story into something bordering fantasy. The second outline is for a full-out sci-fi novel that touches on themes of racism, conspiracy and competitive sports. Not yet satisfied with either, lately I have been pushing around an idea I have for a modern-day literary story with possible hints of magical realism that would focus on somewhat philosophical dialogue.

And I write the occasional poem too. Since there’s not a real monetary market for these, I’ve toyed with the idea of publishing those online (for free).

And that’s it, for now. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Spit Mechs 2 Launched

The second book in my children’s series launched today, ladies and gentlemen. At long last, SPIT MECHS 2: BAZ BALL is here for your reading enjoyment. I hope you and/or your child have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. If you like aliens, adventure and seeing fourth-graders get into galactic pickles (not literal galactic pickles, that would just be weird), this one’s for you.

Free Spit Mechs Short Story Ebook

I wanted to write a free Spit Mechs short story for several reasons.

First, it gave me a chance to really dive into one of my favorite characters in the Spit Mechs universe (Jane Pemberton).

Second, I thought with a shorter side story, I could create an experience that takes place on a smaller scale than the other Spit Mechs books. Without giving anything away, this story takes place within the kids’ school, so we can learn more about their regular school life. (Well, not too regular. They are Spit Mechs after all.)

And last, it was a way for me to show some gratitude to my Spit Mechs fans. So thanks, guys!

To get your free ebook – SPIT MECHS 1.5 – simply sign up for emails from the author (that’s me). Click the link “SIGN UP FOR LAUNCHES & OFFERS” to get started. I promise you won’t get spammed. You’ll only receive emails from me here and there, and only related to my books (launches and offers, like the link says).

Or you can click right here.

(Important note: Don’t confuse this free ebook SPIT MECHS 1.5 with SPIT MECHS 2 – which is available for pre-order on Amazon.com and launches on July 1, 2017.)

Don’t Get Stuck Reading 100% of the Same Genre

Choice for the modern individual has evolved far from what it once was. Consider that major publishers in the U.S. alone publish about 300,000 books each year. Essentially, whatever your favorite genre of choice, you’ll never run out of good books to read.

And I think that’s dangerous. Books help us escape, certainly. But they also help us grow and better understand the word and the people around us.

Read outside your genre. Discover subjects and ways of thinking that you wouldn’t ordinarily consider. Be open.

Are you primarily a reader of science fiction and fantasy (like me)? Read a biography, or a memoir, or a book on wine tasting.

Here’s my suggestion, for every three books you would normally read, make that fourth book one out of your usual wheelhouse.

Spit Mechs 2 – Book Launch Announced

I am excited to announce that Spit Mechs 2 is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com. Release date is July 1, 2017. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed all the positive feedback I’ve received from kids and adults on Spit Mechs. Keep it coming.

In this humorous, adventurous sequel to Spit Mechs, genius fourth-grader Newton Beam and his friends, Jorge and Jane, don their super suits yet again. This time around, they’ve been challenged to a game of baz ball by the galactic champions and all-around alien meanies. They’re playing for the moon in this hilarious, winner-take-all match-up. The team will have to learn to work together to beat their brawling alien adversaries – or it’s good bye moon!

Be sure to sign up for future emails about book signings, offers and the like.

Pre-order Spit Mechs 2 now (or sooner).