Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Chapters are up!

I just spent the better part of Sunday afternoon putting up more chapters over at our author site, Chapters 4-9 have now been posted. Dave and I thought it would be better to give our readers more to read in the beginning especially when getting to know the characters. There are links at the bottom of each chapter to open the next chapter.

So head on over and see what's happening to the royal twins. You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Dave and I are working on picking the idea for our 3rd novel.  We have several ideas floating around in scifi, fantasy and military scifi.  Two of the ideas have been tested on a beta readers and have been received well.  We should be able to make a decision this weekend and then the fun starts.

Writing with a co-writer is challenging sometimes.  We have found over the course of 2 books that a detailed outline works well for us.  There's still plenty of leeway for spontaneity because as most authors know, characters have a way of sometimes writing their own plots.  

What works best for you?  Do you need a general outline, a more detailed outline or do you just wing it as you go along?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sad Day for Massachusetts

Senator Ted Kennedy has passed away.  It's too bad he didn't live long enough to see a health care reform bill passed.  It was one of his passions.  It will be strange not to hear the words Senator Kennedy any more.  I wonder who will replace him to finish out his term.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chapter 3 is posted

Chapter 3 of the "Quest for Nobility" has been posted over on our author pages, Here's your first look at the royal twins, Darius and Dyla.


Darius, the Telkur heir apparent, was a tall, broad-shouldered, handsome youth that looked every inch a royal. His PSI skill was telepathic like his father, but he was already showing signs that he would surpass his father’s telepathic level soon. Dyla was strikingly beautiful with raven hair and blue-violet eyes a shade lighter than her brother’s. She was a powerful empath in her own right.

Renaissance Festival

Had a great time at the MN Renaissance Festival with Josh and Julie. Here's Josh and I in pic#1. There was your resident lords, ladies, knights and a turtle. Turtle? Yes, a turtle.

Here's our knight and of course, he won. We know how to pick the right side to sit on!

It was good to visit, but it's great to be home.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Off to MN

I'm off to Rochester, MN today for a few days to visit my son and his wife. Haven't seen them in awhile so it will be great to catch up.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chapter 2 is posted

Chapter 2 of "Quest for Nobility" is now posted at our author site, Otharia. Head on over and meet Grand Duke Janus Vogdo.

Here's an excerpt:

Janus Vogdo was a revered elder statesman, a patron of the arts, and a generous benefactor of education. His tall stature, angular features and regal bearing lent itself to that image perfectly. He was also the presiding Grand Duke of Otharia and considered the most powerful man in the kingdom. Royalty respected him and commoners were in awe of him, but beneath his cool veneer of benevolence beat the heart of a master puppeteer, an expert manipulator who would stop at nothing to achieve his ultimate goal. For years, Vogdo moved people strategically around his personal chessboard to create the perfect mechanism for his elaborate scheme for ultimate power, claiming the title of King of Otharia. There had not been a king crowned in many centuries and Vogdo was determined to be the next one no matter what the costs.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Sneak Peak

Here's an excerpt from "Quest for Nobility" and your first peak at Nils, the assassin. Nils finds murder so satisfyingly delicious. Yeah, he's evil, but what did you expect from an assassin. You can read the rest of the chapter over at our author page, Otharia.

Nils slammed into the wall as the gypsy brute backhanded him. The impact knocked the air out of him and he gasped with pain, feeling his ribs crack from the impact. His lightning quick reflexes saved him from the next blow as he ducked under the big man’s fist. The fist barely missed his face and slammed a hole into the wall behind him. The big man pulled his hand free and staggered back, the effects of the drugged wine finally taking hold. Nils punched forward and caught the gypsy in the sternum, knocking the wind out of him.

“Murdering scarecrow,” the gypsy cursed through clenched teeth, staggering backwards.

Nils was tall and lean, but his years of training made his muscles rock hard and gave him strength that belayed his rangy frame.

“Murder,” Nils said. “No, my dear Rafner, you have it all wrong. This is an execution in grand design.”

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sales and Advances

Eric, over at Pimp My Novel has been talking about genre-specific sales and author advances all week.

It's good to see that books are still selling, even if publishers are being more selective about offering book deals.

If Dave and I get lucky enough to land a publisher and a contract, we could be looking at a cool $5,000 advance [of course minus the 15% agent commission and then divided by 2]. Oh yeah, I wasn't planning on quitting my day job anytime soon.

It would all be worth it though just to say I'm a published author!

So head over here if you're interested in seeing a typical author advance.

The Perfect Excuse

Agent Janet Reid has found the perfect reason why your manuscript/project/assignment won't be turned in on time.

So if you need a reason, head over here and check it out.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yay, the Website is back up!

So is back up again.  There was some compatibility problem with, but it's fixed now.  

So now you can go over and read our SF novel, for real this time.

Something happened to our author pages....

It seems that there's a problem with our author site,  Yesterday it was working fine and today when I clicked on it, there's nothing but ads.  Hopefully, it will be fixed soon and you'll see our actual author pages.

Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Web site is Up

Our author's website is up. Head on over to the Otharia site to read our science fiction story, The Quest for Nobility. We will be posting one chapter a week for your reading pleasure. In case you're wondering what the novel is about, the story contains all of the following:

  1. Intrigue
  2. Suspense
  3. Betrayal
  4. Adventure
  5. Evil mastermind
  6. Assassins
  7. And of course, love
Book back cover:

The idyllic life of royal twins, Darius and Dyla Telkur takes a horrifying turn. Their parents have been murdered, their duchy is declared bankrupt and a rogue cousin is bent on stealing their throne. To escape their cousin’s wrath, they flee to the only safe place they know – the forbidden planet Earth.

Their only way back home is to find an ancient traveling crystal. What they find instead is evidence of a secret trade pact between denizens on Otharia and Earth established centuries ago. Before Darius and Dyla can understand what it means, they find themselves pursued by those who want the trade pact to remain hidden at all costs. Everything is connected. Both planets are entwined in secrets and bound by the blood, but time is running out for the royal pair. They must unravel the mystery and return home before their cousin is crowned Duke and their lives are forfeited.


We invite you to enter the World of Otharia and enjoy! Come back to the blog and leave your comments or send us an email at

Monday, August 10, 2009

Let Down

Today is a bit of a let down from the whirlwind writing activity of the past 4 days with Dave. I'm glad I took a vacation day to unwind and do some stuff around the house. First up was walking on my treadmill and stretching. Didn't do much of that last week, but it's time to get back to it.

Tomorrow it's back to the day job. The University is still there - not much changes down there.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Good Progress

Dave and I made great progress this trip, actually it's the most we've ever gotten done in one of our visits. We have finished the edits for our WIP and even agreed on the query letter. We're both happy. The book is now going out to our beta readers.

On some of our past trips, we haven't always gotten so much accomplished. You see, Dave is my brother and visits always involve much more than just writing. Yesterday we had a BBQ with family and friends. It was great, but it meant that we were up editing until late into the night. Who needs to sleep when there's work to be done!

So now, we'll have to return to instant messaging, skype and email to do our work. What did authors do before all this wonderful technology?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

PC or Mac?

So, what is it? PC or a Mac. Here's a pic of our work space this week. My office is too space to fit both of us so our makeshift workspace is in my family room. Notice the ever stylish cardboard box that our computers are sitting on to get them up to eye level. Oh yes, only the best for my co-writer.

Dave owns a PC. I have a Mac, always have, always will. Macs are just too cool and they don't get a million viruses or crash every day. And seeing as I'm the one up early on Saturday morning, Mac wins. We'll see what Dave has to say when he wakes up.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cover Art for "Quest for Nobility"

Here's the cover art for the book.  The image was drawn by Dave, my talented co-writer.  We wanted to give you something to identify with when we post some of the chapters.

For those of you who can't make out the ink drawing, it's a warrior climbing up over the edge of a cliff using his sword as leverage.

What do you think of it?

Interesting Observations

With only 100 pages left to edit, Dave and I have discovered that our characters "smile" a lot and do things "quickly."  Who smiles that much?  And why does everything have to be done so quickly?

We laughed at ourselves while trying to conjure up different ways to say "quickly" and "smiling."

On another note, we came up with an initial design for cover art for the Otharian book.  We think an image will help our readers identify with this bit of writing. We'll share it soon.

In the meantime, it's back to editing and finding out how quickly we can find all the smiles.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Another Round of Edits

Dave and I are going through our WIP for another round of edits, about the third time for this book.  Reading aloud together really helps you spot the gaps in the story.  We're about half way through and will definitely finish before he has to leave on Sunday.   I should be able to start sending out queries in September.

Next up is more work on the website and another round of edits on the Otharian book. We plan to share some of our writing with you soon, but we want everything to be perfect and of course, perfection takes time. 

So how does everyone else do their edits?   Any insights to share?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In the Same Town

Yeah, Dave is coming to town for a visit.  He lives on the west coast and I live on the east coast so whenever one of us can visit the other, it helps our writing enormously.  Even with talking on instant messaging, skype and thru email, there's nothing like a one on one chat to get your plot point across.

We should get a great deal of editing done in our 3 days and that makes me happy.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First Post

I've been writing with my co-writer, Dave, for almost three years now.  Where has the time gone?  In those 3 years, we've cranked out 2 novels and numerous short stories.   I can't imagine how we would have gotten anything done without AIM, Skype and email.  It's been a learning experience, but we're in a groove now.

We plan on posting some of our writing here in the very near future.  So stay tuned, we're in the editing phase now, but it won't be long before you too can immerse yourself in the World of Otharia.