Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Update on Novum: Revelation

Novum: Revelation (4th book in my 5-book series) is really taking shape now that I've finalized a detailed outline for rest of the series. Still having difficulty finding/making time to write (job, family, sleep, etc), but if I want to finish both of the last two books this year, I need to push myself a bit. Not so much that I turn this fun hobby into a "job" but even I am getting frustrated with how slowly the books are coming out. Plus I want the whole world to see the finished product. Okay, back to writing now...  (sneak peek here)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Novum: Rubicon is live all over the planet

Novum: Rubicon, the third book in my Novum series, is now live all over the planet. Go to to find US and international links to the paperback and Kindle eBook versions.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Novum: Rubicon paperback

If you want to read Novum: Rubicon before everyone else, the paperback is now available exclusively from the publisher for $7.99 ( LINK ) Digital eBook editions still coming in 10 days.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Who said self publishing was hard?

The Novum: Rubicon (Novum #3) manuscript came back from my editors last night with only minor fixes (not enough commas, apparently), so I spent the morning putting everything into paperback and ebook formats. In the past, those "publishing" steps used to take me weeks of trial and error - not any more. Two hours and I was done. Everything is now uploaded for the October 1st release date, and next Monday I should be able to post the Pre-Order links for all formats. This will be a very relaxing weekend for me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Novum: Rubicon coming October 1st

NOVUM: RUBICON will be available worldwide in paperback and all ebook formats on October 1st. Expect a pre-order link from Amazon soon. You heard it here first.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Getting close!

Novum: Rubicon has gone through 4 edits, and has been shined and polished as much as I can do on my own. Next week it goes to a professional editing service for a final proof read. I am excited to get this story out to the world.

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Novum: Rubicon is finished! Editing starts Monday, but tonight I will celebrate. :D

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The dreaded EDITING phase

As the writing phase for the third book in my Novum series, Rubicon, nears the end (two final chapters to finish) the "polishing" and editing phase will soon begin. For me this involves several steps:

1)  A last but through read through from beginning to end in a quiet room
2)  Several long walks listening to a British woman's voice read my story back to me (Ivona text-to-speech program is best for this.)  This completes my final polish.
3)  Next I send the manuscript to my brother, Dave, for his nit-picky and very detailed review
4)  The I send copies to a few select beta readers for overall impression.
5)  Finally, the manuscript is emailed to the well-paid-but-worth-it editors for final proof reading.

Following this, I start the publishing process. I format two editions, one for paperback and one for the various eBook formats, and then upload it all to the various distributors, along with my brother Dave's final version of the book jacket and cover. This part used to be very difficult to get right, but I have a lot of experience now so this doesn't take me long. After the final proofs of all versions are checked out, I give them the "okay" to publish, then I let all of you know it's available.

Check back soon for that!

Price fixing - the GOOD kind

After several months of trying different prices for the eBook version of the first two books in my Novum series, ranging from 99 cents to $2.99, I have finally made a decision to go with a fixed prices of $1.99 for each of the five books (two available now and three more coming up).

Why $1.99 per book? Several reasons actually. At the lowest price Amazon allows, which is 99 cents, I only make 35 cents per book, and considering what I pay for a professional editor to proof each volume, that's just too little. Conversely, the upper end of 2.99 per book I feel is too much to charge for a 25-30 thousand word story, especially one that is part of a series. At this price, I would be asking a reader to shell out nearly $15 to complete the series, and I just can't do that.

That leaves the middle price of $1.99, which boosts my royalties a bit, but more importantly, my readers will end up spending just $9.95 for the complete set, which is the price of many single novels on Amazon. When all five books are released, I will also release a single "combined" book, which will sell for a bit less, maybe $7.99, since additional editing will not be required.

See my next post for details on what happens between writing and publishing a book - the dreaded EDITING phase...

Saturday, August 1, 2015

24k Gold

24k Gold is good, but passing 24k words is better (at least to writers.) Only 3 chapters left to write in Novum: Rubicon

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Working on cover for Novum-5

So it's not enough that my brother, Dave, finished the cover for the 4th book in my Novum series (while I'm still trying to finish book #3), yesterday I came up with the layout for the 5th and final book in the series, and so Dave is now working on making that a reality. Guess I need to finished #3 soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Just past 20,000 words

I'd love to report that Novum: Rubicon is finished and on its way to the editors, but alas, this is not the case. However, it does feel pretty good to pass major milestones, like I just did today. 20,000 words finished and probably less than 5,000 left in the story. Now as I say that, I do realize that it might be another 10,000 words. This story is sort of writing itself, in terms of the relationships developing between the characters. So, if they just stick with the outlined plot, then 5,000 words might do it. If, however, the characters choose to get in each others way, start fights, or even fall in love, then it might be another 10,000 or so. I think my readers would prefer a longer book this time, especially if there is more time spend getting to know the characters, but there is a part of me that wants to get started on the next installment, and that part is voting for the shorter route. Somehow, it will all work out in the end. It always does...

Friday, May 1, 2015

Crossing my own Rubicon

I hit a milestone this week, in that I reached the halfway point of the middle book in my series, which means I'm now halfway through Jacob Stone's story arc. That's exciting and a little sad at the same time. More excited than sad, of course, because there is SO much more to come. It's also interesting because the subtitle for this book is "Rubicon" because it is all about crossing the "point of no return," and not coincidentally, that is exactly what my characters just did in the story. It's almost like I meant for this to happen. Like I was following some sort of outline...;)

Monday, April 20, 2015

The word is EUREKA!

Usually, story ideas come to me in bits and pieces spread over a lengthy period of time. Rarely do they appear, fully-formed, on a short drive to work. Today was one of those days. I now have a completely new concept for the long-awaited sequel to Cyberdrome, and it is far better than the one I have had inside my head since 2008. You could call it a "reimagining" of my original idea, and I love it. Mind = blown.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rubicon update

Passed 9,000 words on the new version of "Novum: Rubicon" today. (It helps that we were snowed in today in the DC area.) Man I love this new "non-linear" storyline. I was nervous at first trying something so different from the rest of the series, but now I see this really fits this particular plotline much better. Plus I love writing it again, and that can only improve the final story. Still on track for a summer release!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rubicon redirect

After a few months struggling with the manuscript to "Rubicon," the 3rd and middle book in my 5-part Novum series, I have decided to go back to my original plan to make it non-linear, similar to the #firefly episode "Out of Gas" At least I #amwriting again and I like this version much better. Hopefully my readers will too. Still hoping for a summer release. Learn more at

Friday, February 6, 2015

Novum: Rubicon book cover and description reveal

Novum: Rubicon book cover and description reveal. Warning: contains spoilers for current book, Novum: Exile, so if you haven't read it yet, turn away. Turn away now!
Note: Cover by Dave Rhea [ ]

Friday, January 23, 2015

New "Author Bio" on my website

For as long as I can remember, I have possessed the twin needs to "create" and "explore." In school, I excelled in both art and creative writing, but my need for exploration (partly fostered by watching Jacques Cousteau as a kid) led me in to the field of Oceanography. While science offered me a wonderful and challenging career, it wasn't quite enough. Therefore, my non-work hours began to fill up with more creative hobbies, which have included everything from creating CGI-based comics to building multi-player computer simulations with my brother.

Then one day I decided to return to my creative-writing roots and began working on my first novel-length, science fiction story. What started out as a high-tech adventure, with a young man attempting to rescue his girlfriend from a virtual reality simulation against the backdrop of the "technological singularity," evolved into a story about accepting the choices of our past, as well as reconciling our relationships with our parents, both before and after death. That novel, Cyberdrome, was finally published in 2008 and has now been read by over 40,000 people around the world, gained critical success, and created a huge fan base.

Spurred on by the success of that book, I decided to start another. However, rather than continue with the sequel to Cyberdrome (yes, there will be one), I decided to give myself a bigger challenge, and started a 5-book, dystopian, undersea series called, Novum. As before, what began as the adventures of a young, reluctant, cargo-ship captain trying to eke out a living below the surface of a distant "water world" (a planet covered by ocean) evolved into something more: a story of relationships, the importance of overcoming our caveman-inherited fear of the unknown, and the futility--and sometimes danger--of trying to live in the past.

What's next? I have a few more books to finish in my Novum series, and then I plan to start the long-awaited Cyberdrome sequel. Along the way, I also hope to complete some of the backlog of short stories I have outlined, covering topics ranging from how paradigms affect our view of the world, to the very nature of reality, so be sure to follow me on one of the social media links on my website ( to receive updates and release dates, or just stop by to chat.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why am I giving an entire book away for free?

Two days ago I set the list price for the Kindle, Apple, Nook, and Kobo editions of the first book in my new dystopian science fiction series, Novum, to zero dollars and zero cents. That's right, I am giving the book away for free.

Why would I, or any author, do this? Some people call it a "loss leader" for a series, where you give the first book away, then hope it will lead to sales of the rest of the series. However, my reasons are even simpler. I want to save my readers money. That's right; I care about my readers.

So here is the deal. If I charge what Amazon thinks I should be charging, which is $2.99 per book (anything lower and the author is penalized %50 in royalties) then it will cost you $6 for the first two books. If I sold each book for a more reasonable $1.99, it would cost you about $4 for the first two books, which isn't bad, but due to the penalties mentioned above, I would earn only $1.40 in royalties. However, by making the first book free, and leaving the second book at $2.99, you will get two books for $3, and I make about $2 in royalties.

So in a nutshell, you save 25% on your 2-book purchase and I make 30% more in royalties. That's what I call a win-win scenario. The additional benefit for you, is by giving you the first book for free, in a real sense you get to "try it before you buy it." So now we are up to a win-win-win scenario, and I'd better stop there, before reality implodes. ;)

If you are interested in trying out a new dystopian science fiction series that has no zombies (sorry) then go to my website for the book links.

My thanks to the several thousand people who have already taken me up on this deal, and also the several hundred who have purchased the second book, Novum: Exile already. Maybe this is working as a loss-leader after all, which makes it a win-win-win-win...(stopping now!) ;)