Nov 8, 2014

Novel: Dark Southern Sun

Dark Southern Sun, the second novel in the Ryan's Journey series, is set for distribution on December 1, 2014. The ebook version is now available for preorder on Amazon. A paperback version is available now at Amazon and CreateSpace.

Dark Southern Sun, picks up where Counter Currents left off and takes place entirely in Australia.

It is a tale of love, friendship, and honor in the goldfields of old Australia. Ryan washes up on the southern shore of Australia near death in 1845. Rescued by two Wathaurung native children and nursed to health by their parents, his life and theirs are entwined through good and sorrow for the next ten years. Set against the historical backdrop of Australia’s formative years, Ryan witnesses the displacement of the Aboriginal people, and he faces the chaos of the world’s largest alluvial gold rush and the bloodshed of Australia’s only armed uprising. Throughout, two very different women—one white, one black—tug at his heart as he struggles from penury to prosperity. As he rises in social esteem as an astute businessman and cunning street fighter, Ryan creates two bitter enemies—one white, one black. In time, they set aside their vast racial and emotional hatreds and combine forces. Can Ryan survive their vicious attempt to destroy him and save the good life he has built?

The cover art is by Wathaurung elder Marlene Gilson, who also reviewed the novel for cultural accuracy.

More information on the book and a sample are available.

Mar 30, 2014

Seven Best Writer’s Resources to Come By Email

Updated April 2014
I am stingy with my time. In trying to live a full life and write a book or two a year, I rarely indulge in prowling the Web for useful stuff. At the same time, I know I must stay current on the craft and business of writing and indie publishing. How do I reconcile temporal frugality with the need to know?

Mar 9, 2014

IndiePENdents.org: Where Authors Help Authors

This is the third installment on indie author communities I find valuable. These are places where you can hone your craft and/or contribute to bettering our profession.

In a world awash with hundreds of thousands of new books yearly, where many are amateurish efforts, indiePENdents.org provides authors with a method to prove their books meet a basic professional standard.

Feb 10, 2014

Scribophile: Best Peer-to-Peer Writers' Resource

This is the second installment about indie author communities I find valuable. These are places where you can hone your craft and/or contribute to bettering our profession. 

Updated Feb. 14, 2014
Scribophile, online since February 2008, is a friendly and effective peer-to-peer author critique resource. It bills itself as an “online writing community that provides serious feedback for serious writers.” Basic membership is free. A premium membership is available for an annual fee. It provides extra services and privileges.

Jan 30, 2014

Indies Unlimited: Top Site for Indie Authors

This is the first installment on indie author communities I find valuable. These are places where you can hone your craft and/or contribute to bettering our profession.

If I had just one indie author site to subscribe to, it would be Indies Unlimited. This site, which began in October 2011, offers everything an indie author needs to get noticed, develop one’s talents and engage in the indie author community.

Jan 11, 2014

Shteyngart may be half right

U.S. writer Gary Shteyngart ruffled literary feathers in the land of the beaver and maple leaf recently when he essentially called Canada’s writing establishment wimps. In one paragraph in a story at vulture.com, he said:

“I was the judge of a Canadian prize, and it’s subsidized, they all get grants. Out of a million entries, we found four or five really good ones, but people just don’t take the same damn risks! Maybe they want to please the Ontario Arts Council, or whatever it is."

Aug 19, 2013

Awesome Indies Not So Awesome

In early August, Awesome Indies added Counter Currents to its list of quality independent fiction. Six weeks later, AI delisted the award-winning novel. AI changed its rules and applied the new rules retroactively

Based in Australia, AI lists independently published works of fiction that meet high writing and publishing standards. Under its old rules--to which Counter Currents qualified--a book could make the list if it had at least one four or five-star review by a qualified reviewer--a past or present journalist or employee of the book publishing industry. The new rules require at least one good review from a qualified reviewer and one from the AI stable of reviewers.

Normally when one changes rules, items valid before are grandfathered.

Update: Indies Unlimited contributor, Rich Meyer, provided a detailed review of Awesome Indies in February 2014. His column and readers' comments suggest a general dissatisfaction with AI.