Wednesday, October 10, 2018

TBoY, a week later, and Amazon Reviews

Hi all!

Well, The Bloom of Youth (TBoY) has been live now on Amazon for about a week, and in that time a few of the early readers have already finished it and written with their input. It seems that so far Will's story has resonated, which is really gratifying for me to hear since this was one of my goals in writing this novel in the first place. It seems that more than a few of you out there have experiences that in one or more ways mirror that of Will (or the other characters in the book).

The truth is, no one gets a free ride, and even if you're born in or around the truth, you still have to make it your own. It's my hope that the book is able to convey this, and I also hope that in time it'll find its way into the hands of those who are currently in a situation similar to Will's, and that in some small way, it can help them survive those dreadful teenage years.

That said, I'm all ears for any feedback you all may have for me (positive or negative). I realize that the book in some ways takes risks that the others have not, for example in [SPOILERS AHEAD] Will's obsession with the rock band Weezer and infatuation with Danielle. I suppose these elements could've been removed and replaced with something less eyebrow-raising, but the story I ended up with was the one I wanted to tell. I've tried my best not to buff out the blemishes or pull too many punches. I can only hope that this comes across to readers!

If you've already finished the book, please consider dropping by its Amazon page and leaving a rating and/or a short review. Comments like these really help to show potential readers what they're getting into (for better or for worse). Also, keep in mind that if you've ready any of my books and really disliked them, Amazon has a generous refund policy, so you can always return the book and get your hard-earned cash back.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The third and final installment...

In the past few weeks, I've gotten a fair amount of email asking when the third novel in the FLEE series will be released. Unfortunately, I still can't provide a definite date. Typically, I'll only announce a release date once I'm 75-80% done with the first draft. At that point, I can usually predict how long the rest of the process will take, which includes finishing that first draft, writing a second draft, getting input from editors and proofreaders, and then making changes for the final copy.

Initially, I suspected that I'd give myself a little break after the release of The Bloom of Youth. I find breaks to be a vital part of the writing process; they allow me some mental breathing room and an opportunity to shift gears and brace for a new project. I expected this would be especially important given the shift in tone from The Bloom of Youth back to the FLEE series. (The creative "brain space" used to write these books, I feel, is completely different.)

As it turned out, however, I found myself wanting to dive right back into the FLEE universe as I neared completion on TBoY, and I'm happy to announce that work has been underway on it for the last week or so. While I still can't provide a definite release date, I'm shooting for the summer of '19, which gives me nine months or so. This seems like a comfortable time frame, but given the fact that there is still so much story to be told and will require me tying in the stories of over a dozen characters, I'm expecting this final book to be a lot longer than the first two. (So don't be surprised if I nudge that date back a little.)

One of the great things about writing for the friends is that you all understand these novels aren't the primary focus of my life. While I enjoy immensely crafting these fictional worlds and building characters and every other aspect of writing the novels, there are plenty of other things taking precedence in my life, and I'm very grateful for your understanding in that regard.

In our entertainment-obsessed world, it's common for writers, directors, and musicians to be hounded by their fans for information on their newest project. I believe that kind of pressure is unhealthy, both mentally and creatively. The best creations don't come out of a pressure cooker; they're the result of a patient, thoughtful, and well-seasoned process.

And that's precisely the process that you all have allowed me to employ in writing these books, so thank you.

Monday, October 1, 2018

"The Bloom of Youth" Now on Amazon!

Hi all! It's always exciting to share news of a new book's release, and today I'm happy to announce that The Bloom of Youth is now available on Amazon! As always, I've released both Kindle and paperback versions. (If you don't own a Kindle, I recommend downloading the Kindle app, available for both Android and iOS devices, which will allow you to purchase and read the book digitally.)

You can grab a copy by clicking the picture below. (The two versions currently appear on Amazon as separate entries, but this should be fixed within a day or so.)
If you'd rather read in bite-sized weekly installments, check out The Bloom of Youth blogspot here. As usual, new chapters will be released each Monday morning.

Hope you enjoy reading as much as I did writing!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

"The Bloom of Youth" Blogspot now live

Hi all! I know it's been a while since I last posted! Between our regional convention, finishing up the service year, and just the general hectic stuff of life, I haven't had any time to post or record new podcasts. Of course, I've also been busy writing and editing my most recent book, The Bloom of Youth. I'm thrilled to announce that it'll be available within a couple of weeks! You can take a look at the Blogspot I've set up for it (you can even read the foreword).

This book was my most challenging writing project to date, and it took me nearly two full years to complete. That said, it was a thoroughly enjoyable process, and maybe even a little cathartic. It might not be everyone's cup of tea since it's such a far cry from the previous novels, but I think that at least a few of you out there will be able to relate to the main character.

If you'd like to learn a bit more about The Bloom of Youth and haven't yet seen the podcast I put together about it, you can check it out below.

I'll let you all know as soon as the Amazon versions are ready, and when the first chapters will be released via the blog. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Evolution Podcast

Running into staunch evolutionists and/or atheists in the ministry used to scare me, but not anymore. In this two-part podcast series, I detail some of the points I like to use when the topic of evolution comes up. In the second half, I attempt to explain why so many scientists stick to the theory of evolution, even with so much evidence stacking up against it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Two more podcast episodes + I'm finally over writer's block!

Writer's block, as I've mentioned in a previous post, is one of the most frustrating and scary things that can happen to a writer. It can feel like a vacuum of ideas and inspiration, where sitting down in front of the computer results in random sentences fit only for delete key fodder. It can be maddening.

As has become a pattern with my writing, the completion of the last book left me a little exhausted and not at all in the mood to work on other books. And so, for the last three months, I took a break to work on other things and recharge my batteries.

These last two weeks, though, I've been feeling excited to write again, starting of course with the completion of The Bloom of Youth and then with the final book of the FLEE series, which is good news for both of us!

In other news, I've got a few podcasts up. In episode #007 I explain how creative writing can help us develop empathy, and how I personally experienced this while writing Critical Times. In episode #008, I share some of the research that went into writing Martin Landretti's doomsday bunker from the last book, STAY. It's a fascinating topic!

Feel free to check out the podcasts below:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

A couple more podcasts

Both of these podcasts deal with elements of the new world. In the first, I explore some possibilities for repurposing old world technology for a newer, more beneficial use in paradise.

In the second podcast, I describe what appears to be a shift in the general attitude towards the idea of eternal human life and offer some suggestions on how to help someone overcome a fear of forever.