Now that I’m in the throws of edits from the amazing Amanda J. Spedding at Phoenix Editing, it’s time to make the announcement.

RADIO, my urban fantasy noir novel, will be self published and will be out in the spring of 2020.

RADIO is set in 1920’s Paris, where a god is trapped in the opium riddled body of a jazz musician and must stop others like him from weaponizing the religious imagery they’ve milked for millennia.

I’ve toyed with the idea of self publishing my work for a few years now but was always unsure if it was the right decision to make. After my time at Dublin Worldcon 2019 soaking in as much information as I could, I was certain that self publishing was exactly what I needed to do.

So, what’s next. Well, I’ll continue to grind away at my editors notes, continue work with my cover designer, and spend the next several months polishing my word-baby to a shine (don’t worry, the cover will absolutely be matte).

Stay tuned for updates, sneak peaks, and more. See you all this spring!

I really love beta reading.

Yes, it’s work. Yes, it’s time consuming. Yes, it can be stressful. Telling your friend, family member, or acquaintance that they’ve made mistakes is tough. The thing is, it’s all worth it. Why? Because beta readers are better writers.

I’m currently beta reading my eighth book. These eight have come from three different authors, each with their own unique style, in disparate genres, and I have learned from them all. I am better for having done the work and the reason for that is distance.

The Benefit of Distance

“Practice makes perfect,” but we all know how blinded we can become to our own work. The proper phrase should be, “accurate practice makes perfect,” and it’s hard to be accurate after the umpteenth pass through your own manuscript. “We’re too close Goose, we’re switching to guns,” or rather, someone else’s work.

Reading your buddy’s stuff is beneficial because there’s a distance there. When we flex our critique muscles on someone else’s work, it separates our abilities as writers and our abilities as analysts. We can practice these skills, accurately, with out all of the baggage we bring with us into our own writing. With each successive book I’ve beta read, I’ve honed my skills and after each book, I’m able to slice through my own work with more precision.

How to Beta Read

The first rule of beta reading is that you are not proofreading. The second rule of beta reading is that you are not proof reading. (more…)

Some would argue that writer’s block doesn’t exist. That it is simply an excuse used by writers who have struggled to produce work.

There is an oft cited quote on writer’s block from Philip Pullman that speaks to this view. In fact, my friend and fellow writer, KM Alexander, author of the Bell Forging Cycle recently had a post using that very quote and it got me thinking, which for those who know me, is usually a rabbit hole. I definitely fell into this one and thought it might be fun to work up a little rebuttal. Love ya buddy! Anyway, here’s Mr. Pullman’s quote.

“All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it?”

Philip Pullman

Now, I want to agree with this quote. To be honest I almost do but I can’t ignore a fundamental oversight happening within the words. Plumbers and doctors do suffer from their respective blocks. They aren’t referred to as blocks yet they exist. All of these “blocks,” writer, doctor, plumber or otherwise, are simply puzzles that need a solution.

All forms of labor, thought, and creation come with difficulties. All forms of work come with problems that must be solved before one can move on. Problems that take time to solve.

Mr. Pullman is spot on when he points out that it is ridiculous for writing to have its own special name for and to expect sympathy for the puzzles inherent in the work. It’s childish. Even so, what happens if we strip away the silly name and the need for pity? (more…)