Last fall, I was interviewed by my friend Tom Morkes, the CEO of Insurgent Publishing and the brains behind TomMorkes.com, where he writes about getting the most out of your creativity and building success through discipline and focused hard work.
In the interview we talk about the journey to becoming a published author, how I got pointed in that direction and why, and the benefits of writing and creativity.
Our discussion just went live, and you can listen to it here. It’s episode #54 of Tom’s In The Trenches podcast, which is a forum that allows Tom to “sit down and have authentic conversations with game-changers, status-quo challengers, and creative insurgents; individuals who write, draw, produce, publish, create, break, build, invent and lead.” (more…)
I’m very excited to report that my second book is now published!
Meat Sandwiches: What REAL Men Eat is Book Two in the How to Steer Your Kid series, and it went live on Amazon yesterday. I had a lot of fun writing this one, and I have to say that seeing two books on my Amazon author page is pretty cool!
Writing books has always been a dream and a goal of mine – but until recently I had simply assumed it was one of those goals that was unattainable – other people wrote books, not me – more qualified, better educated, luckier people than me. I had a long list of such reasons why I couldn’t accomplish the goal myself.
But now, (more…)
Quick update – I’ve been remiss in posting to the site for some time, but I haven’t been completely attached to the couch in my absence… I’ve been working on finishing Book Two in the How to Steer Your Kid trilogy – Meat Sandwiches!
The good news is (more…)
My first book, Jet Screamer: The Pout Before the Storm, is available for sale on Amazon. From now until Saturday, November 8th, it’s on sale for just $0.99!
On Sunday, November 9th, the price will go up to $1.99, and then on December 1st it will go back to its normal price of $2.99. Get a copy while it’s cheap!
In other news, I just wrote a guest post for my friend and fellow author Ernie Dempsey. In it I talk about changing your priorities in order to change your attitude, productivity and happiness. You can check out my post here. Ernie writes cool thrillers and science fiction as well as non-fiction personal development and self-help books. He’s one of the most selfless and thoughtful people I’ve met in a long time – he’s been a huge help to me in getting my writing off the ground, so if you’re looking for a good read, check out Ernie’s work!
Lastly, I’ve started work on the sequel to Jet Screamer!
Volume Two in the How To Steer Your Kid series, Meat Sandwiches, will be released February 28, 2015. Volume Three, How To Steer Your Kid, is set to be released on June 30, 2015. Keep an eye out here for updates!
Jet screamer is finally here! I’m really excited to announce that my first book is finally published and available for sale and download exclusively on Amazon for Kindle readers. Click the cover image in the right sidebar to get it on Amazon!
I have had quite a few people ask me about hard copies – but as of right now, I don’t have any plans to go that route. The cost is a little too high for a short work like Jet Screamer, so it may be better to wait until after all three volumes of the How to Steer Your Kid trilogy are finished, and then release them in a single volume as a paperback.
Check out Jet Screamer now, and if you like it, sign up to follow this site and get updates on volume two – Meat Sandwiches – coming Spring 2015!
With only one week left before the release of my first book, I thought it might be good to give an update on my progress.
Jet Screamer isn’t quite finished yet, but I have passed my word count goal of 25000 words. Now I’m editing and fleshing out the shorter chapters, adding details and cutting out the fluff I don’t need.
I have thirteen working chapter titles. My initial goal was ten, so the extras give me flexibility to include them all in this book or save some for a later volume. If you’re curious, the chapter titles are (in no particular order): (more…)
When I decided to get serious about my writing, I had a critical choice to make: Use my real name or a pen name. It may not seem like a big deal, but I thought it was important to know what direction I was headed from the start.
I decided on a pen name because it allows me to retain a bit of anonymity while still building and promoting my personal brand and business – and besides, I just think it sounds better.
But when it came to writing about other real people, I had to decide again – aliases, or actual names?
The nature of my humor writing is satirical and sarcastic – which means that sooner or later, it’s bound to show many of the players in a less than positive light. Knowing that people may not be eager to have slightly exaggerated facts printed about them under their real names, I decided I should use aliases for everyone in my upcoming book.
Once I made that decision, I thought it would be a simple thing to pick entertaining names for all the characters, and voila – everyone would be happy.
Then I remembered that no matter what you do, you can never make everyone happy. (more…)
As I progress toward publication of my first book, I’m learning all sorts of new things that are part of the process. Today’s lesson:
I am NOT a graphic designer.
In order to publish on Kindle Direct Publishing for sale on Amazon, you have to have some kind of cover for your book. Realizing this, I started researching ways to get a cover designed quickly and cheaply.
I watched a video tutorial on Ernie Dempsey’s site about how he designs his own book covers using a free utility called Gimp. It lets you edit and manipulate photos, add text, and insert all kinds of cool visual effects.
I thought that sounded great – especially since I’m trying to keep costs down, and the production schedule… well, on schedule. This would allow me to come up with my own design based on my own photography, and I could do it without a PhD or a bottomless expense account.
So, I downloaded Gimp and started playing around with it.
It seemed pretty cool – I even managed to create a basic design using an old picture of my son, looking angry at the camera, and even added the title and byline text to it.
Sadly, it just wasn’t doing it for me.
This is supposed to be a humorous book, and the picture in question showed my son in anything but good humor. Not wanting to portray an otherwise sweet kid in such a poor light, I thought that doing some sort of cartoon caricature of a screaming kid would fit the bill. Luckily, Gimp allows you to draw your own, so…
Here’s my attempt at drawing my own cover, using Gimp to draw on my track pad: (more…)
Recently I accepted a transfer to another state for my day job. I made the move for a variety of reasons, but the highest on the list was quality of life. I had become increasingly disillusioned with being just another rat in a big pointless race, and desperately wanted to find a slower pace.
With that in mind, I found a similar position in a smaller town. The position had the potential for a net pay cut, but an overall quality of life raise.
Good trade, if you ask me. (more…)
The word is thrown around by sensationalists everywhere, from politicians to motivational speakers to guys hawking counter top toaster ovens on late night TV.
There are revolutionary diets, revolutionary exercise programs, revolutions in skin care, sexual performance, learning foreign languages, buying and selling real estate, playing the lottery and winning blackjack in Las Vegas.
The misapplication of the word has gotten so bad that it strikes me as more revolting than revolutionary.
I understand why people sensationalize things – they’re looking for attention, better sales, more followers, etc. That doesn’t change the fact that overstating things with tired words actually tends to water down the message you’re trying to impart.
If you tell people you’re leading a revolution or you have a revolutionary product, they’re likely to immediately paint a mental picture of some late night snake oil salesman trying to separate them from their credit card number – and they’ll tune you out.
Want to avoid losing their attention? Try this approach: (more…)
Writers deal with resistance in multiple forms almost every time they sit down to write.
Fatigue, writer’s block, laziness, criticism, overloaded schedules, day jobs, apathy – all can serve as stumbling blocks that slow down or completely stop your work.
But there is another obstacle that may be even harder to overcome than all the rest.
That nagging voice in the back of your mind that stands in accusation of your work, whispering not-so-sweet somethings to your confidence.
“Who’s going to read your writing, anyway?”
“Who cares about your opinion?”
“What difference does it make if you don’t write today?” (more…)
As a writing exercise, my friend Scott asked me to name one accomplishment I’m proud of. Being a self-deprecating perfectionist, listing achievements that may cause a swollen ego isn’t exactly my strong suit – I can always point to several things I’d change or do differently to make the thing better next time. To add to the difficulty, I tend to see pride in general as a liability rather than an asset, so I’ve significantly handicapped myself right out of the gate.
In order to get through the exercise, then, I have to adjust the phraseology of the original question. Instead of naming something I’m proud of, let’s see if I can’t at least name some pursuit that I enjoy and am reasonably good at.
On that subject, my wife and I were talking about the intersection of passion and work the other day, and she asked me what I’m passionate about; what do I like doing so much that I’d do it for free; what do I do that can solve problems for others, etc.
I drew a complete blank. (more…)