Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chapter 29 is posted

Chapter 29 is posted over at our author site Here's your first glimpse at Munroe, a simple thief, or is he? He managed to charm Professor Catiana Spencer into giving him a priceless goblet to "study."

Enter our Otharian trio, and the fun begins. Eclair can't help blurting out that he knows the origin of the goblet much to the twins' dismay. What now? Do they trust Munroe, Cat or neither of them.

Read the latest chapter and judge for yourself.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone who celebrates a very Merry Christmas. I had a wonderful week this past week. My son and daughter-in-law were here and we had a great time together. They are now safely back home in Rochester, MN just in time before a monster of a blizzard hits their region.

Tomorrow it's time with my daughter and her fiance and then to visit friends in the afternoon. It should be a joyous day.

Be safe everyone and enjoy the time with your own loved ones!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Publishing in the 21st Century

Agent Richard Curtis has an excellent post on his blog today about Random House and their new rules on e-book royalties.

Seems like Random House is stirring up all kinds of emotion about this issue. Agent Kristin Nelson also addresses the issue on her blog Pub Rants.

I won't begin to try and understand all the subtleties of this, but it seems to me that Publishers are trying to squeeze out every nickel and dime from authors these days all the while expecting them to do more and more marketing, social networking, blogging, promoting and the like. When exactly do authors have time to write?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chapter 27 is posted

"The Message," Chapter 27 in the Quest for Nobility is posted over on our author pages, Thanks Dave!

Take a peek at how Lilly is doing living among the gypsies. Lilly the gypsy is not the sweet and loving Duchess Lilliana of Telkur. She's had to adapt to her new life without her memories of her she used to be, and she's doing the only thing she can to survive.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Today Dave and I are getting down to the business of writing. Combining a family and business trip sometimes is difficult to strike a balance. We would like nothing better to hunker down and write, write, write, but that's not possible when trying to spend time with family members.

We need to get the outline nailed down so that we have a good foundation for starting the story. So we have our goal that we'll try to accomplish over the next 2 days, but who knows. It's sunny CA after all and it's fairly warm out already. We may have to take a walk before we get to work.....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chapter 26 is posted

The new chapter is posted over at our author pages, Baron Avikar thinks he one step ahead of everyone else. He doesn't realize he's a pawn in a scheme far grander than even he could envision.

On Tuesday I'm off to CA to visit Dave and get some writing done on our third book. My Navy brother, Tim and his family, are home on leave as well, so there will be lots of family time included in this trip.

Looking forward to it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to the Business of Writing

Had a fantastic craft show this weekend. Sold out of all my 110 Christmas light boxes [see previous post if you want to see what they look like.] I loved doing them, but my craft business seriously cut into my writing time. Can't do both at the same time - who knew????

There is a new chapter posted over on our author pages, Thanks Dave for posting this weekend. I'll be visiting Dave in CA in a week so we'll have time to work out the plot for our new book. Time to get back to our writing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you all are with loved ones and enjoying the day.

For Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I'll be at the Castleberry Christmas Craft Show with my business partner selling our crafts. My craft business has taken off so I've been MIA on the blog lately. If you're in the Wilmington, MA area, come to the Shriners Auditorium, exit 39 off Rt. 93 and enjoy the crafts of over 300 vendors.

Here's a peak at my light boxes:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Chapter is Posted

Our wayward trio, Darius, Dyla and Eclair are trying to navigate their way in modern day England. As if almost getting run over by a car wasn't bad enough, Eclair gets his first taste of a woman's jealously. Dyla is not happy that the women on Earth seem to find him charming and poor Eclair is clueless and keeps digging himself deeper into the hole with Dyla.

Head over to our author pages,, to find out how Eclair is doing with his lady love Dyla and to see if Darius can convince a young archeologist to help them find clues about the ancient Otharians who first visited Earth in the 5th century.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lesson Learned

Writing carries the same principal as every other sport - the more you practice, the better you get. When Dave and I started writing 3 years ago, it took us awhile to find our groove as co-writers. Now, we are in-sync and even though we do a lot of editing, it's not nearly as painful as that first edit we did on our first book.

I got an encouraging rejection today - encouraging in the fact that the agent was on the fence about offering representation because the writing was good. However, I wish now that I had not queried so fast on that book because edits done to it later made the book stronger and maybe that would have tipped the scales for us.

In the end though, it's a good lesson learned. Don't query too quick. Take your time, finish the book, let it sit, then do more edits before you query.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

December 21, 2012

So is 12/21/12 the end of the world as we know it? Were the Mayans correct in their prediction? Are all those unpublished authors out there going to perish without ever seeing their words in print?

Have no fear, the world is not going to end in 2012. NASA has a great article that debunks all of the latest myths about the destruction of the Earth.

Q: Is the Earth in danger of being hit by a meteor in 2012?
A: The Earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids, although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today NASA astronomers are carrying out a survey called the Spaceguard Survey to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit. We have already determined that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs. All this work is done openly with the discoveries posted every day on the NASA NEO Program Office website, so you can see for yourself that nothing is predicted to hit in 2012.

Writers everywhere, you have no excuse. Keep writing. Publishers/editors/agents will still exist in 2012.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Red Alliance

Chapter 22 is now posted over at our author pages, Duke Lucas Jortac has managed to convince the shadowy group, The Red Alliance, that he can capture the twins in the Beckson Duchy and bring them back to face murder charges. Seeing as there is a civil war raging in Beckson, he believes a better outcome would be if Darius and Dyla were killed in a skirmish. What Lucas doesn't tell anyone is that his son, Eclair, is also with the twins.

But, is Lucas trying to save Eclair because he loves his son or is it so he can save face with the Alliance? Is Lucas really that cold-hearted?

Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

E-book royalties

Kristin Nelson over at Pub Rants has an excellent post about publishers and e-book royalties. It seems three years ago when e-books were not a very large percentage of sales and therefore royalties for an author, publishers were willing to give royalties at 25% of retail.

Now that e-books are becoming more of a market force, publishers want to change the rate structure by offering authors a lower e-book royalty rate. Publishers, what's wrong with you? More and more of you demand that authors participate heavily in the promotion and marketing of their books using their own money and resources. How much more do you expect authors to do without any kind of compensation whatsoever?

Agents are negotiating with publishers for better rates, but it is getting more and more difficult to make any headway. And if you don't have an agent and find a publisher on your own, you better read the standard boiler plate contract with a fine tooth comb because if you don't, the publisher will squeeze every dime out of you that it can.

So, authors, be wary and read all the fine print.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Writer's Retreat

There is a great photo essay from photographer Kyle Cassidy depicting the space where writers do their thing - in other words, create magic.

I'm glad to see so many of them have their loyal pets beside them. There's nothing like the look of disdain a cat can give you to make you realize that your "small" problem with plotting is inconsequential to the universe at large.

To view the offices, check it out here. My favorite one is Joe Haldeman.

So author friends, what does writing space look like?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And the Plot Thickens

Lilliana has returned, but is it really her? This Lilly doesn't sound or act like the benevolent Duchess of Telkur we've seen before.

Find out what's going on with Lilly in Chapter 21 over at our author pages Was it really the best thing for the gypsy captain to save her life back at the warehouse?

Stay tuned......

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chapter 20 is posted

To our fans of "Quest for Nobility" Chapter 20 is posted over at The plot thickens and Eclair tells the twins about the conspiracy to frame them for opening the death portal that killed the Dalcon team. Darius and Dyla don't want to believe it, but have no choice when they find out who Eclair overheard talking about their imminent arrest.

The twins have no choice and must flee if they want to stay alive long enough to find out who is ultimately behind the plot to destroy the House of Telkur. The question is, where can they go? Every portal opening on the planet can be tracked by its signature coordinates. Eclair suggests a bold plan - travel off-world.

“Where is this place?” Darius asked.
“It’s a planet called Earth,” Trinity replied. “Our ancestors had a colony there, but the place was officially quarantined after the exploration party was lost in some kind of disaster. No one really knows what actually happened.”

And the adventure begins.......

Monday, October 26, 2009

Real Writers

No nonsense agent, Janet Reid, has an excellent post today about what constitutes a "real writer." You can read it here. I want to give a big shout out to Janet, thank you for your blog. You tell it like it is, no sugar coating and I love that.

You must be a writer if:
  1. You've actually finished a novel.
  2. You post your finished novel online.
  3. You self-publish your finished novel.
I think you get the picture. You ARE a writer if you've actually sat down and written a complete novel. It doesn't matter if you receive a publishing contract for the novel, it only matters that you finished it. Many people talk about writing a book, but few have the dedication it takes to plot out and actually write the damn thing to the end.

Dave and I have written and finished two novels. We have a great time writing them. If they never get published by a "big publishing company" we'll be a little disappointed of course, but it won't take away anything that we find so enjoyable about writing them.

So, thank you Janet Reid for setting the record straight.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sharing too much Information

Editorial Anonymous has a great post about authors sharing too much personal information with the audience at signing events. You can read the entire post here. Basically, she warns authors that any information you would share in your therapist's office or while wearing a hospital gown should not reach public ears.

I think this is also true for author blogs. I've posted about this before. It's sometimes difficult to remember what you post on your blog can be seen by the entire world. Do you want embarrassing personal information about yourself to live on the internet forever? If your funny stories can be told in mixed company at cocktail parties or other gatherings without horrifying people, then it's probably OK to share them on your blog.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chapter 19 is up

Chapter 19 - Deception, has been posted at our author site Darius, Dyla and Eclair have won the Grand Competition, but at what cost? There is a cloud of suspicion surrounding the twins regarding the origin of the death portal. Could a telepath and an empath combine powers to open a portal? It's never been done before.

Did they open the death portal because they were going to lose to the Dalcon team? Or is there a greater conspiracy to eliminate the House of Telkur once and for all. Who is behind it? Read on and gather the clues.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chapter 18 is posted

For all those who are following the adventures of twins, Darius and Dyla, Chapter 18 is now posted. This chapter, Race to the Finish, is the last obstacle our trio have to face before crossing the finish line of the Grand Competition.

Do they have enough stamina to finish? What will happen to Eclair with the poison flowing through his system? Will the healers reach him in time to save his life? Head on over to the Otharia website and find out.

It's great seeing our visitor count tick up considerably on Sunday/Monday. Dave and I hope you're enjoying our story. We'd love to hear your comments so sign the Guestbook and let us know what you're thinking or feel free to leave a comment here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Day in the Life of Dave

Here's my co-writer's first contribution to our blog. Remember he's a retired Marine. Enjoy walking in Dave's shoes.

How do you get rid of a pain-in-the-ass co-worker? Can't shoot ‘em, so what’s left? I can only recommend that you take a moment to reflect on my experience before you decide how you would handle your own situation.

Brief story – I had a nagging co-worker who seemed to love nothing more than hearing himself speak. One morning, he cornered me and started his nonsensical babble. I was already stressed out and had no time or patience to be ‘politically correct’ with him. So, in my typical ‘retired jarhead’ fashion, I told him to leave me alone. I suggested a place for him to go and even what he could do when he got there. He stopped talking and stared at me a moment, then turned around and left, just as I wanted him to. Problem solved.

So you can imagine my dilemma 2 weeks later when I needed his support for a job I had to do. I tried everything I could think NOT to go and ask him for help. I could just imagine what he would say, “Why don’t you go to ….”. In the end, I had no choice but to ask for his help. Imagine my surprise when he readily agreed to help, with no accompanying malice or ill will. In the end, after a successful job, I was thinking what I had said to him that fateful morning and that maybe, just maybe, I might have reacted too quickly and a little too harshly. So I thought about it for awhile and then said to myself…

“Aw, fuck him, the job’s finished.”

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Red Sox Swing Doctor

MIT's Media Lab researchers will be helping the Red Sox players improve their swings by strapping sensors on the players to gauge the physical forces they exert when swinging a bat or throwing a ball. How cool is that?

To read the full story, go to the MIT News page here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chapter 16 and 17 are posted

Chapter 16 and 17 are now posted over at our author site, Otharia. Read about the harrowing adventures of Darius, Dyla and Eclair as they make their way through the obstacles in the Grand Competition.

Meanwhile, someone [no spoilers here!] is not very happy about their progress so far and plans to do something to slow them down. Will the sabotage work?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Writing by Hand

Our street lost power today for a few hours and as I lay in bed thinking about what I could actually do without electricity, it made me wonder how many people write anything in long hand these days. When was the last time you wrote in a spiral notebook? When I was in school, we had spiral notebooks for every subject. Yes, I realize I'm dating myself here.

Most of us use computers or our phones for communication and between instant messaging, texting, facebook and twitter, I wonder when was the last time any of us wrote a full sentence without abbreviations? Is this the future for the next generation? What will inspire the next generation's writers?

Luckily, the power has been restored and I'm back on my computer posting and working on our current WIP. As much as I love the written word, I didn't relish the thought of writing out in long hand the next scene.

So what about you? When was the last time you wrote a letter, a journal entry or even a school paper in long hand?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

World's Shortest Fairytale

This fairytale was forwarded to me by my co-writer Dave:

Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl 'Will you marry me?'

The girl said, 'NO!'

And the guy lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles
and went fishing and hunting and played golf a lot and drank beer and
Crown Royal and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet
seat up and farted whenever he wanted.

The End

I could say a lot about this, but I won't. I'm going to give my brother his moment to shine in the "spotlight" because, of course, I'm the best sister ever.

Chapter 15 is posted

Chapter 15 of "Quest for Nobility" is up over at our author site,

Our unlikely trio, Darius, Dyla and Eclair, have just completed their first objective in the Grand Competition. Eclair has done something no one else has ever seen, but there's a long way to go before they can relax.

If you're enjoying the story, leave us a comment here or sign into our guest book at the author pages. We'd love to hear from you!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Royalty Check

I watched "Bones" last night and loved how Brennan casually threw out her sales numbers and oh yeah, she has already received a "very large" royalty check.

If only it could be that easy.....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Future of Health Care?

Here's a cartoon from the MIT's Faculty Newsletter about the future of health care. It's quite clever and a little scary. What do you think? Don't you love those MIT techies?

The bat on the bottom is for anesthesia and the Mental health lists says:
1) Bang your head against the wall
2) Stop
3) Feel Better?
4) Repeat as necessary

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MacArthur Foundation awards 2009 Genius Grants

It is awesome to see the MacArthur Foundation select a poet, short story writer and a novelist among its 2009 Fellows. These grants are very prestigious. Fellows receive $500,000 "genius grants."

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.

Congratulations to all the 2009 Fellows. Click here for the link to the full list.

Thumbs Up for the Writers of "House"

Last night's episode of "House" was raw and engaging. I'm glad for something different instead of the usual formula - you know--a patient gets assigned to House and his team, they usually nearly kill him two or three times before House has a quirky connection and bam, the patient is diagnosed and cured.

I hope the rest of the season focuses more on the emotions of the cast and not so much on the medicine. I'm looking forward to it.

500 Visitors!

Wow, the visitor count hit 500 yesterday. That's awesome, but still a long way to go before we gather a loyal following.

So leave me your comments and let me know what you're thinking!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Querying Again

"The Crystal Facade" featuring the Otharian twins, Darius and Dyla Telkur, has been finished now for a few months, numerous rounds of edits have been done and Dave and I are satisfied with it. It's time to start the querying process.

Lots of research to do trying to match our science fiction story with agent wants. Sending out queries in batches of 10 or so to see how agents respond to our query letter. If we get too many rejections in a row, we'll know it's time to tweak the query letter again.

Persistence, perseverance and patience - the 3 P's of the querying process. Oh yeah, throw in some luck with that too! Hopefully, we'll catch the eye of an agent this fall.

In the meantime, it's back to the hero of our WIP. BTW, we changed his name to Rathbone Blare - has a nice ring to it doesn't it?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Fantasy is Born

After numerous discussions and a lively 3-hour long Skype session on Sunday, Dave and I have hammered out the outline for our next writing project. We are moving ahead on a fantasy this time.

We went back and forth many times on the main characters, conflicts, and the general characteristics of this new world. It was engaging, stimulating and at times frustrating, but we kept an open mind and our egos in check and came out with a great new story.

We're both happy with the general outline and can't wait to start writing the adventures for our hero, Christian.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hubble is awe inspiring

New pictures are being taken by the newly repaired Hubble Telescope and they are unbelievable. The colors that are out in space are gorgeous.

Looking at these galaxies gives me so many new ideas for my science fiction writing. How many alien races do you think there could be in each of those billions and billions of stars within the 3 galaxies? Just mind blowing stuff.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

September 11 evokes all kinds of memories for each individual. I'll never forgot that day. My daughter was getting ready to head off to her college class when she called me to say a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers.

Everyone in the office gathered around a television and watched helplessly as the second plane slammed into the second tower. It was surreal - like watching a movie, except it wasn't a movie. It was horrifying.

My heart and prayers go out to all those who lost loved ones on that terrible day. I hope that in the intervening years, you have found some peace.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Be Mindful of What You Write/Post

I was having a conversation the other day with a friend explaining how I was trying to build up a web presence, but also being very careful about what I actually post on the internet. Agents, editors and publishers suggest to unpublished authors that it will serve them better if they have a blog and/or a website. That's all well and good, but be careful what you say.

Janet Reid's blog mirrors this very sentiment. Remember agents and editors google your name too and if they come across your blog/website with content they don't like, you may be sabotaging your chances for a book sale without even knowing it.

So, be wary people!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Writing Blogs

There was an interesting conversation going on over at Pimp My Novel about how unpublished authors who try to build a web presence are finding it difficult to get their blogs known. With over 18,000 writing blogs out there, how do you make your own blog read and more importantly known throughout the writing community?

I read a good number of agent and editor blogs and try to comment often. Perhaps if people see your name enough, they'll click on your link and become a fan. I know that I have found some funny and interesting blogs that way.

In the meantime, I will continue to post to my blog, facebook and twitter accounts so that when my novel is published, I'll be an old pro at this stuff.

Happy 90th Birthday

This is the Martin family gathered here in Vero Beach for Mom's 90th birthday. We're at one of her favorite restaurants, Capt. Hiram's for lunch. Nancy and Bob flew in from Delaware so we could all be together. It's been fun, but I think poor Mom is exhausted. We've been taking her out everyday, sometimes twice a day. She says she hasn't eaten so much since the last time we were down here.

We're here til Tuesday and then we leave Mom again in the capable hands of Bonnie from Helping Hands.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Writing Pyramid

Found this great article at the Kill Zone posted by James Scott Bell where he talks about writing. He's talking to a young writer who is lamenting about her writing life. Bell explains the different stages of writing with a pyramid diagram.

Dave and I are actually on 4th level (out of 5). We've written 2 complete novels and are starting on our 3rd together. The only other level for us is being published. Well, I'm all for that and as soon as an agent falls in love with book 2 and then actually sells it to a publisher, we will have completed our own pyramid.

Getting everything lined up perfectly, however, is like playing Bejeweled. Takes lots of practice and luck!

Off to FL!

I can't believe it's Labor Day weekend. The summer [that wasn't] seemed to fly by. I'm glad to be off today cause tomorrow we'll be heading down to Florida to celebrate my mother-in-law's 90th birthday. Mom is doing great, still sharp as a tack. It will be good to see her again.

Dave will put up more chapters over at our author site on Sunday. Hope you're enjoying the story. Who's your favorite so far? Nils? Grand Duke Vogdo? Darius and Dyla? Eclair?

My favorite has always been Eclair.

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.