Check Out the Short Story: Through the Arbor Vitae

Each year, the Naperville Writers Group puts out an anthology of writing from our members. This is my contribution this year, my third straight, and it’s bittersweet. By the time Rivulets 30 comes out, I’ll probably be living in Las Vegas and no longer an active member.

I can’t think the members of NWG enough for their support, love and assistance with my writing–not to mention just getting me out of the house and out amongst humans once a week.

Take a gander at this short story… based on a real snippet of conversation that blew across a parking lot and carried to its (il)logical conclusion.

You can read some of my other short stories on this site as well, just follow your nose….

 

Come Out and Meet Me in October

I will be part of a lot of book events in the next few weeks, and would love it if people would come meet me (and even buy a couple of books if you’re so inclined.)  I will have plenty of paperback copies of both  Acre’s Bastard and The Count of the Sahara.

Here’s what’s happening over the next little bit:

October 7 is the Oswego Literary Festival at the Oswego Public Library (Oswego

The Count of the Sahara is now available in Kindle format. Also available in paperback from Amazon or direct from the publisher.

, IL)   20 Local Illinois authors will be on hand to sell/sign/bother strangers about their books. 9 AM-1 PM

October 14 9AM-1 PM  Plainfield Public Library Indie Author Day (Plainfield Illinois, Library. There are way more independently published writers in Illinois than you can even imagine. Come join us!

Reading On the Rail at the 2015 Rivulets launch

October 14  1PM-4PM  The Naperville Writers Group will hold its annual Rivulets Book Launch. Every year we do an anthology of the best writing from the group. My short story, “Through the Arbor Vitae” will be included. Join us at the 95th Street Library in Naperville. (Of course, you can read the story on my site, by clicking here.)

October 15  Hometown Reads and Centuries and Sleuths presents #readlocalshoplocal  I’m proud to be hosting this gathering of Hometown Reads authors at Centuries and Sleuths in River Forest, IL. We will read and share our books with pretty much everyone who pops in. If you enjoy meeting and discovering new writers, this is the event for you. If we need to bribe you, there will be snacks.

Please stop by and say hello. I love meeting readers (even those who don’t buy my book, although I may steal a lock of hair for a voodoo doll–you won’t even miss it)

Acre’s Bastard is officially published….

And so it begins…

It’s January 17, 2016 so my newest historical fiction novel, Acre’s Bastard, is now available worldwide in paperback and ebook, wherever you buy such things.

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Chapters

I’m very grateful for the help I’ve received in advance of the launch from Naperville Writers Group, my trusted beta readers, and those who have read advance copies and actually liked the darned thing.

This book isn’t an easy sell, so any help I can get is appreciated. If you’d like to help, I can think of a couple of things:

    • Tell your friends. Tweetfacelinkblog to your heart’s content.
    • Leave a review, even a luke-warm one, on your favorite book site. The number of reviews counts almost as much as the rating in this crazy online world run by our robot overlords. Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook pages… you know the drill
    • Give me feedback. This is the first of at least 2 “Lucca Le Pou” stories to come. I had a boss once who told me, “we always reserve the right to get smarter.”
    • Come on out to an event. So far, I’ve got two events scheduled. The official book launch is February 11th, 1 PM at the Museums at Lisle Station. I will also be doing a presentation in early march at Barnes and Noble in Naperville, exact date TBD. Come on out, bring some friends and have some fun.

I am very excited about the launch of this story, and hope it receives the same warm reception that Count of the Sahara got. Oh, and sells a few copies.

Thank you all. Here goes…..

“Tio Fernando’s Field Trip” to be published by Efiction Magazine Plus Upcoming Appearances

One of my goals for this year (yes, I’m one of those “make a list” people) was to get a short story published. Not  just appear on the web somewhere, but really published by a real magazine. Ta Da!

Tio Fernando's Field Trip will appear in the October 2016 edition of Efiction magazine, available online and in print.
Tio Fernando’s Field Trip will appear in the October 2016 edition of Efiction magazine, available online and in print.

My short story, “Tio Fernando’s Field Trip” will appear in the October 1 edition of “eFiction Magazine.”  It will be online and in print…. check another thing off the list.

It’s the story of what might have happened if I did, in fact, take my wife’s Tio Fernando to that cockfight he kept bugging me to attend. Didn’t see that coming, did you? I think you’ll enjoy it.

The same day, the Naperville Writers Group will publish their annual anthology, Rivulets 28. My story, “On the End of Magick” will be in that one as well. Join us, and learn more by clicking here.

I will also be attending the Oswego Literary Festival at the Oswego public library from 9-1 on October 1, selling and signing The Count of the Sahara. Lots going on…..

More details to come.

Writers Groups Matter

Writing is often said to be a lonely business, and the writing part surely is. You can’t have a group of people hanging around while you’re hunting and pecking your way to brilliance. What I do know, though, is that my writing has vastly improved since I got out of my cave once in a while.

Just this week, I attended two different writers groups, and for very different reasons. On Saturday, I was asked to read my short story, On the Rail, at the launch of Rivulets 27. That’s the 2015 version of the anthology put out by the Naperville Writers Group each year.

Reading On the Rail at the 2015 Rivulets launch.
Reading On the Rail at the 2015 Rivulets launch. That face is dramatizing a scene, not realizing what I actually wrote.

 

Then on Wednesday night I attended a new group–Author, Author, at the Wheaton library. I was invited by my friend and colleague Jerilyn Willin. It was focused on how to actually sell more books.

 

What do writers groups do for me?

 

  • They get me out of the house. I run my company from home, and cabin fever is a very real and dangerous thing. In order to prevent turning into Jack Nicholson from the Shining, I need to get out among human beings.
  • I get to read other people’s work, including things I would never voluntarily read. I’ve probably read more poetry in the last year than in the previous 30. Romance novels? Superhero fan fiction? Really awful drivel that should never be inflicted on innocent human beings? Really good work from people who are hiding their lights under giant bushels? Yup, yup, yup and yup.
  • I’m learning how to proof and edit, and see my own mistakes reflected in glorious, painful technicolor in my critiques of others.
  • I get feedback from people who aren’t related to me or have a vested interest in soothing my ego. The Count of the Sahara benefited greatly from the feedback of strangers or at least people who don’t live with me. Next week they’ll get the first peek at my new novel, The Horns of Hattin.
  • This is not a charitable thought, but here it is: I am pretty good. I know this because I see what else is out there. My work is better than a lot of people’s (which is good to know) and not nearly as good as some (which is humbling, but also really good to know.)
  • I learn I am not alone in trying to sell my work…. making money from a book is WAY harder than actually writing it,and takes more work. I need to learn all I can. Yes, Erik and the BookFolks do a nice job, but ultimately authors sell their work.
  • There are other people out there (some crazier, some saner) who understand what it is to be a writer.

    NWG member and darned fine writer won a copy of The Count of the Sahara. Can't wait for his feedback.
    NWG member and darned fine writer won a copy of The Count of the Sahara. Can’t wait for his feedback.

Even if you don’t go often, meeting other writers, getting feedback and lending an empathetic ear are important to the author’s journey.

Besides, when you drink in a group, you’re social. When you drink alone it’s just kinda sad.

Launch Party for Rivulets- Naperville Writers Group

I’m thrilled that my short story “On the Rail” is going to be included in this years anthology from the Naperville Writers Group. Each year they get samples of writing from the membership and bind them in a paperback, called Rivulets.

This year is Rivulets 27. The launch will be held at the Naperville Library, 95th St

Branch on Saturday October 3 from 1-4:30. Join us for readings, prizes, and

This year's Rivulets anthology from the Naperville Writers Grou
This year’s Rivulets anthology from the Naperville Writers Group

getting to know some of the excellent local talent.

ADDRESS

3015 Cedar Glade Dr

Naperville, IL 60564

 

Hope to see you there. If you like what you see, come join us  on Wednesday evenings. There’s some great talent in the group.