Category Archives: Speculative Fiction

Still Writing?!?

I have been lost in my day job.

The past six months have been rather immersive for me. Due to changes in my medical practice, I have been unable to work on my upcoming books, social media, publishing, etc. It’s been tough.

I have received some very encouraging emails from those of you who have purchased “The 10th Demon: Children of the Bloodstone”. I am working on expanding my publishing offerings. And, I hope to have an official book launch here in Shreveport for “The 10th Demon” sometime in June — only six months late!

Just to give you an update on my writing. I am half way through “The 9th Demon: A Wicked Numinosity” and, honestly, the story I had planned for this book would not have worked without recent advances in nanotechnology and virtual reality. I started the book about seven years ago but only in recent months has new technology allowed me to make the story believable and possible in our world.

I am also revising a new project. “Death By Darwyn” (There’s a reason Darwyn has a “y”) was a book I originally presented to Realms way back in 2009. They optioned a first refusal and it has been sitting on the shelf. This past November, I finished the rough draft as part of NanoWriMo. I recently had another inspiration that allowed me to finish the story. It is a legal thriller and here is the synopsis:

Ruth Branson is a junior partner in a major law firm in Dallas, Texas. Bryan Nicholas and Ruth are up for the same position as full partner. When a prominent scientist is brutally murdered, Ruth is given the impossible task of defending the murderer, Dr. Frank Miller. Nicholas must prosecute. Whoever wins the case becomes the next partner. The problem is Dr. Miller was caught red handed holding the claw of a recreation of the dinosaur “Annieraptor” after ripping the heart out of his boss, Dr. Wallace Darwyn. As the trial unfolds, the issues of God versus evolution surface as Nicholas tries to depict Miller as a religious fanatic. Joining the legal team is the mysterious Jonathan Steel in the capacity of lead investigator. Can Ruth find the real killer before Miller is convicted of first degree murder? Can she resolve her own confusion about the existence of God?

raptorclaw

I wrote the book to give Jonathan Steel a minor role in hopes that readers who like legal thrillers might read the book and then want to learn more about Steel in my “Chronicles of Jonathan Steel” series.

So, keep in touch. I hope both books will be available by late summer, early fall. Thank you again for your support.

The First Domino Falls!

Be careful what you ask for.

I was wandering through Barnes & Noble about four weeks ago. I stood in the Christian fiction section and recalled a time when my first two books sat on the shelf along with books by authors such as Tosca Lee and Ted Dekker. For a moment, I imagined myself as a bestselling author whose books would stay on the shelf for more than a few weeks before they would wind up in the $3 pile at Half Price Books. I was pretty down. Depressed. Discouraged. I wrote about this in my last post and made a decision to back off from writing.

Something happened that day. Something that would change everything for me. But, first, let me take a moment to share one of my personal philosophies. My inspiration for writing comes from God. Period. No contest. No argument. And, I have discovered that I can very easily wander off the path God has chosen for me and get all wrapped up in the dream of being Ted Dekker or Tosca Lee or any of my favorite Christian writers.

And, then, God humbles me. Over. And over. And over. And, in the humbling I stop and remind myself what I have chosen to ask God every morning when I wake up. It is simply, “God, what is the one thing you want me to do today as part of your work for my life. Let me know what that thing is and not waver from the purpose you have for my life.” Wandering away from God’s purpose for my life is what got me into so much trouble 20 years ago when I descended into a horrific and paralyzing depression. (See conqueringdepression.com for more on that!).

Back to the book store. I have always maintained there is no experience you can reproduce online that rivals that of wandering through a bookstore. Surrounded by the look, the feel, and, yes, the smell of books can’t be replicated on the keyboard and screen. It’s impossible to wander aimlessly through Amazon’s almost infinite collection of “books”. And that is why, in my dreary mood that day, I paid a visit to my local bookstore chain. It was the first time in months and now I stood forlorn and depressed in the section where my four fiction books should have been featured along with others written by Christian authors who have a story to tell to the world. And, I asked myself if it had all been an empty dream; a squandered opportunity because I wanted to be published for my own satisfaction, not to fulfill God’s work in my life.

I turned away from the fiction and glanced at a small, turquoise book on the top shelf behind me. “Switch On Your Brain” by Caroline Leaf. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I see a book there is a quality, an instantaneous attraction to it that defies human explanation. I glanced away and then looked at it again. It called to me. I picked up the book and read the back. Something about it clicked. I now know this was a divine appointment. I didn’t see it at the time. I added it to my small pile of books and checked out. I placed the book on my desk along with three other books I had purchased on improving my writing.

During the next week or so, I opened one of those writing books on Christian Fiction by Jeff Gerke. The opening few pages asked a very important question. “Why do you want to be published?” His answer was simple. Fame. Money. Glory. Immortality. I have an entire lecture on the three types of writers: those who can’t not write; those who want to be published; and those for whom writing is a “job”. And, all three are vastly different. When you sign that contract with a publisher, your writing moves beyond a hobby to a business. And, then the job becomes work! I had to stop and really ask myself why I wanted to continue to write and be published. The answer, I had to remind myself, lay in the paragraphs above. If God did not honor my writing, then I was wasting His time and mine doing the wrong thing! And so, I prayed once again for direction. “God, if you want me to continue to write, help me know what you want me to write and show me your will.”

This past weekend, while on call for my radiology practice, I picked up the “Switch on Your Brain” book and decided to read the first chapter. An hour later, I was halfway through the book. What happened that afternoon was like someone pushing over the first domino. You see, about a dozen things happened in one week that had nothing to do with each other when viewed separately. But, putting them together I began to see an undeniable push toward a complete rewrite of “The 9th Demon: A Wicked Numinosity”. Suddenly, information and ideas fell into my lap. Ideas circling in my brain actually gelled. And, three different separate conversations with people about totally unrelated subjects suddenly converged into the final conclusion that I HAD to write this book!

Monday night of this past week, I shared all of this with my wife, Sherry. She is my anchor, my reality check. After I laid out all of the “coincidences” of the past month, she nodded in agreement. “Yes, you need to write again.” Today, I started over with the book and it is coming fast and furious. And, the central theme of this book is so timely! I hope to share more with you in the coming weeks. But, right now, I have to write! Here I go!

So, I have an idea. Here in the ArkLaTex about six years ago we had an event featuring local authors. I’d like to consider something like that again. If you are a local Christian writer, would you like to have a weekend event where we get together and have some presentations about publishing, marketing, editing, etc.? Would you like to have a venue where you could feature and sell your books? It’s just an idea, right now. But, if you are interested or if you know someone who might be interested, drop me an email or a comment.

Grimvox Intercept #12Alpha64 Iteration Beta

 

roaddamascus

They found me wandering the corridors last time and put me in the “bubble” for 3 days. But, they didn’t find my secret computer link. What is the bubble? It’s attached to the outer skin of the space station and it is exactly what it sounds like. A clear bubble of thickened transparent material. When you are punished in the bubble, they take away your clothing and throw you into the bubble. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, there is no gravity. There is no protection against the radiation and light from outside. And, it gets down to freezing when the space station is behind the earth and away from the sun. You are never fed or given water for three days. And, there is no sanitation! Zero gravity and nowhere to put your waste! By the time you emerge, you are weak, starving, dehydrated and covered with your own body waste. It took me four days to recover.

Read the rest of this entry

The Shreveport Times Article

I met author Judy Christie a few years back at our “Author! Author!” event here in Shreveport. Judy writes excellent novels with a “Louisiana flair” and her books are delightful. Check them out. Well, not too long ago, Judy and I reconnected and she has written an article for the Shreveport Times about little old me! I am humbled and honored by her article you can read at this link.

Now, for an update to the fourth book in the Chronicles of Jonathan Steel. I am finishing up the final edit this week. After being released from a very restrictive book contract and whittling down the story from 120000 words to 75000 words it is a pleasure to completely redo the novel. I was forced to cut so much of the story in order to meet these word count restrictions. Now, I have written the book I want to read. And, hopefully, my writing has improved thanks to editorial input from fiction editors I worked with while at Charisma.

My plan now is to publish the book under my own imprint and I am shooting for August or September so I will keep you posted.

Thanks again to Judy for a wonderful article.

Aliens in Disguise

human-space-universe-cosmos

Those who accept the authority of the Bible and embrace a Christian worldview take different positions on whether God might have created intelligent life on other planets. This question has been debated at least since Thomas Aquinas discussed it nine centuries ago.

Scholars who believe extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) physically exists see it as a display of God’s creativity and power. They argue that a God who so obviously enjoys creating, a God of unimaginable power, should not be expected to limit His creative expression to just one planet and its one species of spiritual beings.

Hugh Ross

 

In my post on May 14th I talked about UFOs and my fascination with them. In my last post I talked about the death of my future. Today, I want to talk about the death of evolution in my writing.

Let me explain.

I was ecstatic when I heard the announcement way back in 1986 that Gene Roddenberry was bringing a brand new version of Star Trek back to television. Star Trek: The Next Generation promised to fulfill all of my nerdy science fiction dreams. Granted, the first season was rocky thanks to a writer’s strike. But, the following seasons were profound. And, the best cliffhanger of all times in television occurred at the end of the third season when Captain Picard appeared on the Enterprise view screen and said, “I am Locutus of Borg”. Read the rest of this entry

What Have YOU Seen?

Jason Allen Brown, one of my FaceBook friends shared this experience regarding his own personal UFO sighting (with his permission, of course!)

One morning in spring, while eating breakfast, while no one was paying attention (I was a total loner at the time), I zoned out and looked outside the window of the cafeteria only to see something in the distance. It was in the sky, possibly 3 miles from the school, something white. Nearly circular, with no discernible features from that distance, just moving at a steady rate to the north. It disappeared when it got to a bush that was in my view. I waited a few seconds for it to get back in sight, which it never did. I moved from side to side to get another angle, but never saw it. When I mentioned it to a few classmates and a couple teachers, my own teacher tried to convince it could have been something else, but none of his theories made any sense (especially the one about it being a daisy in the sky). The weirdest part came that following summer, when, while playing with a voice modifying toy megaphone, it suddenly emitted an impossible noise. Impossible because (1) the noise wasn’t a programmed part of its system and (2) I didn’t press any button at that moment.

What about you? Have you ever seen a UFO? If so, drop me the account through the Contact form and I’ll post it!

Look to the Skies!

THEY are coming!

10th Demon Book Cover5

 

Hoping for a May/June release. Stay in touch!

TIP #4: GET OUT THE SCALPEL AND EDIT!

scalpel

TIP #4: GET OUT THE SCALPEL, IT’S TIME TO EDIT!

I love to write. I love to just sit in front of a blank screen and bleed all over the page. There are snippets and gouges and puzzle piece bits of story saved all over my hard drives. Sometimes I see a file with an intriguing title and open it up to find a little nugget of gold I had forgotten I had written. More often than not, however, I open a file and find a little rat pill.

Not everything I write is worth saving. Not everything I write deserves your attention. Like excessive adverbs! I enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series but I don’t believe there is a single adverb in the English lexicon that J. K. Rowling failed to use in her book series. But, when you’ve sold billions of dollars worth of books, you can pretty much write anyway you want.

Read the rest of this entry

Tip #3: MAKE time to write!

Tip #3: You Don’t FIND time to write, you MAKE time to write!

My good friend Marilyn once asked me how I found the time to write. I simply replied, “you don’t find time to write, you make time to write.” This wasn’t a lesson I learned from John Maxwell. This is a lesson self taught. I mentioned in a previous post about being a dreamer versus making your dream come true. As I pondered on HOW I could make a novel come true, I stumbled across NANOWRIMO which begins TODAY.

nanowrimo

National Novel Writing Month helps you fulfill that DREAM of finishing a novel in one month. When I first learned of this method, I tried it out. I failed. But, the next July after completing “Conquering Depression” with Mark Sutton in the summer of 1999, I set aside the month of August to write a novel. I started it on day one and finished it on day 31. That novel became “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye”.

Since then, I have learned these powerful lessons:

Make Writing a PRIORITY not only for yourself, but your family unit. Read the rest of this entry

A Taste of “The 10th Demon”

I’m pushing my book series for Halloween. Scary books with demons and vampires and ghouls and . . . well go the order page and check them out! And, for those of you who are faithful readers here is Chapter One of the upcoming “The 10th Demon: Children of the Bloodstone”

 

30.495352,-87.251186

7:46 A.M. CDT

Quantum flux surveillance

Grimvox Mammalian Neural Interface

Subspecies “Canine”

 

Chapter 2

 

“Animals, especially dogs and cattle . . . have shown noticeable agitation in the presence of UFO phenomenon.”

Hugh Ross

 

“So, this here lady says she’s lost her ‘Poopems’?” Theo King asked Jonathan as they stood on the perfect lawn of the small house. In contrast to the tiny gnome guarding the flowers around the front porch, Theophilus Nosmo King towered over six and one half feet tall and tipped the scales at three hundred fifty pounds. Very little of his mass was fat. He wore a black and gold Saints football jersey and long athletic pants. He pulled off his sunglasses and wiped sweat from his face. “Who would call their husband Poopems?”

Jonathan Steel put a piece of gum in his mouth and looked up at his partner. “We are what we do.”

“Ah, I get it. He’s like Cephas. The old man shouldn’t eat cabbage.”

“He likes cabbage.”

Read the rest of this entry

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