FINAL 24 HOURS! This is the last chance to be a part of this experience and help Kickstart The Soul Smith! Please help spread the word or express your support in the form of a pledge, because today is the final day!

And The Ravenous Flock, which preludes The Soul Smith and was also edited by Derek Bowen, is still FREE for Kindle all day today as well. If you like the short story, then you’ll LOVE The Soul Smith. (Link to The Ravenous Flock can be found on the Kickstarter page on the link above)

68 Hours Remain to Kickstart The Soul Smith!

Come discover your next favorite book and check out this Kickstarter page before it’s too late:

Also, be sure to grab your free Kindle copy of my short story, The Ravenous Flock, which preludes the events of my novel. Link is provided on the Kickstarter page!

Get The Ravenous Flock for FREE during Last Days of my Kickstarter!

The Soul Smith Kickstarter campaign has been featured on BackerClub!!!! This is incredibly exciting news, especially as we near the end of the Kickstarter campaign!

Get The Ravenous Flock for FREE on Kindle from Feb 8-12th, 2015 right here:

The Ravenous Flock is a short story that preludes the events of my novel, The Soul Smith. It was edited by Derek Bowen (the same editor I have for The Soul Smith for my Kickstarter campaign) and published on Myths Inscribed online fantasy magazine.

Keep spreading the word!

Myths Inscribed Grand Re-Opening

Myths Inscribes, fantasy ezine, The Ravenous Flock, short storyMyths Inscribed is the fantasy ezine that is run by the great people at It is also the place that published The Ravenous Flock (my first publication!). Putting my favoritism aside, this is still a great source of highly entertaining fantasy short stories. The quality and strength of the content that they publish shows the height of their standards and the talent of their authors, especially for being a relatively young ezine. But what’s more impressive is the renovation that Myths Inscribed just went through.

In addition to a sleek new user interface, Myths Inscribed is offering features that are virtually unheard of across the industry. Things such as downloadable files of their ezine, fantasy artwork, and a new section where authors/artists can share their fantasy world. Myths Inscribed is really setting the bar for fantasy magazines and is still able to provide its content to you for free. Amazing.

I’m proud to have been an author published by Myths Inscribed.

FREE Fantasy for Spring Break!

The Ravenous Flock is free all day on April 5th and April 6th! Grab you free copy for Kindle here:

This short story is a prelude of The Blacksmiths series and takes you on a thrill ride filled with danger, intrigue and magic! With multiple 5 star ratings and a price tag of free, you can’t go wrong! Get it now!The Ravenous Flock new cover

What does it take to become a “Best Seller?”

Getting on the New York Times “Best Seller” list is one of the most prestigious titles an author can earn. But what does it take to get on that list? And did you know that there are other Best Seller lists, like the San Francisco Chronicle?

First, the bad news. This weekly list, as published by the New York Times Book Review, has kept the criteria of getting on the NYT Best Seller list a closely guarded secret. However, an author’s ranking on the Best Seller list is strictly based on the sales during a one week time period (as opposed to overall sales). So it seems that the list favors spikes in sales.

A few authors have manipulated the system in the past by purchasing up to 10,000 copies of their own book so that it would achieve the infamous “NYT Best Seller” status. These authors justified it as an investment into their career because the title of “Best Seller” brings about additional clout that increases sales. However, in 1983, author William Peter Blatty sued New York Times for not putting his book Legion (which was made into the movie Exorcist III) on the best seller list. It had considerable sales as a result of the movie, however the New York Times’ defense said that their system is not mathematically objective – rather their system is purely editorial content and thus protected under the Constitution as free speech. Mr. Blatty lost his suit, which leaves other authors wondering if they are being overlooked for such recognition.

So, while the New York Times Best Seller list is a national list, the San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller list is a local list that is specific to the Bay Area. Being on this list is a stepping stone toward getting on a national list, and apparently, selling 100 books in a week in the local Bay Area book stores might be all it takes to get on that list. That may not sound like a lot to non-authors, but to put this in perspective, when my short story (The Ravenous Flock) was free on Amazon – I “sold” over 100 copies within 24 hours and it jumped to #10 in Free Fantasy on Amazon.

The good news is that the NYT Best Seller List is decomposed into fiction and nonfiction, print and ebook, paperback and hardcover. This allows for a better chance to make the national list.

Working with an Editor

Do you want to get inside the mind of an editor? To know what they might look for? To know how they think? I recently had lengthy exchanges with my first editor, Derek Bowen, and would like to share my lessons learned from working with him on revising my short story, The Ravenous Flock.

After completing his first read through, he wanted me to consider renaming one of my races and my monster. They striked him more as descriptions (adjectives) than names, so I had to spend some time brainstorming on the topic before I finally arrived at appropriate names.

In general, the majority of his edits were opportunities to delete unnecessary words to improve flow. Here is an example: Before: “Grindor took hold of the hollow yak horn and guzzled the last of the water as it poured down his chin.” After: “Grindor took hold of the hollow yak horn and guzzled it dry.”

This all may sound rather simple, but once we began discussing substantive changes to my story, a whole other level of analysis was presented to me. In discussing my monster, Derek made me think about its entire ecology – always comparing to known living organisms to be able to bring familiar elements into the creature’s description. For example, extending tongues are normally sticky rather than prehensile (with a few exceptions like giraffes and ant eaters). But what really needed consideration was the day-to-day life of my monster. What (and how much) does it normally eat? How often does it live in water? How far inland does it travel? Basically, he wanted me to put as much thought into this monster as I do with my main characters.

Derek also introduced me to a new form of outlining after you’ve finished the chapter/passage/etc. He reduced an entire battle scene to 6 bullets. All he did was capture the behavior/reactions of a tribe of fighters during a fight to evaluate if their actions in battle were warranted or not. He claims this style of outlining is most effective to “do it by going back and constructing it from what you’ve actually written, not what you’d planned to write at the outset. It makes it very easy to discover whether you’ve put everything in the correct place—especially important in the age of cut-and-paste, where things can get moved with a couple keystrokes, and it becomes altogether too easy to separate items or leave one thing stranded after you’ve moved another.”

In addition, I have a dramatic reveal at the end of my story, but I had a difficult time making it feel as dramatic as I had intended. Derek commented that, “what you need is to convince the reader it’s that important to the character(s), whether it would be that important to anyone else in a similar situation—so it doesn’t need to be high melodrama.”  I ended up suggesting a new reveal, and together, we were able to craft it to a much better ending to my story about the forming of a unique friendship.

He was very impressed by my openness to his proposed revisions and so I thought I should share this one last quote from Derek: “In my experience, there are two main kinds of writers: the kind who are defensive about what they’ve written, and the kind who care enough about their writing to want to improve it and are willing to learn. The former are rarely successful.”

While these are the larger lessons learned, there were many subtle nuggets of wisdom that I captured from this experience. If you have any further questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.