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← Click to join my mailing list and receive a free copy of my short story Crystal Servants, delivered through MyBookCave. Learn about some of the major players in my novel Crystal King and its sequels Crystal Queen and Crystal Empire.

Adrian, a spy for the King, sees a nobleman murder a servant. His desire for truth is pitted against the dangers of a high-stakes political game. When his friend Draken insists on pursuing justice, Adrian must protect those he cares about as the political games of powerful men alter the lives of everyone around him.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Quills Conference 2023 comes to a close

 This Quills Conference was memorable for a couple of reasons. One, I'm no longer part of the executive committee. Every year or two, we cycle in a new President Elect, the old President Elect becomes President, and the President becomes Past President. I've been the Past President for two years, so I am now out to pasture for a bit before finding where I want to land in the local writing community. I gave a nice (and short) speech on focus, and that you find more of what you look for. So go looking for success, and do things successful authors do, and hang out with successful people.

Also memorable was winning two first place awards on the writing contests.

The first win was for my unpublished short story "Scrappers of the Great Starship" about a guy who makes a meager living scrounging scrap from an old starship that crashed generations earlier.

The second was a tie for first place for the Gold Quill in the Collections catergory of published works with The Best of the Planetary Anthology Series which can be found on Amazon. I've updated the cover to include the emblem for the award as shown here. I couldn't have done this one without the help of twenty-two awesome authors and several editors from the original series.

You can click the picture to go to Amazon to see it there. It comes in ebook and paperback. It's also on Kobo, Apple, and Nook. This was my first venture into wide ebook distribution with self-publishing, and it worked out pretty well.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

A bit of construction

 I'm changing email list providers, so if you can't find my mailing list signup at the top of the page, give it a day or two. I'll have it set up and ready to go with new giveaways in no time.

Update: It's all better now. Everything's switched to MailerLite.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Best of the Planetary Anthology Series

 I've got a new anthology coming out. The Planetary Anthology Series of eleven books has gone out of print, so I contacted the publisher to get their blessing to put together a single book pulling two stories from each volume. This is the result.

The official release date if February 27, 2023. You might notice on the date of this post that this is still almost a week away, but here's a secret. I released it a few days early. :)

This book contains 22 stories, selected as the best available, to go into this remastered, re-edited volume. Here's the lineup:


  • Sundown And Out (David Hallquist)
  • Let The Dead Bury Their Dead (Caroline Furlong)


  • The Mirror of Circe (John C. Wright)
  • The Element of Transformation (L. Jagi Lamplighter)


  • The Fox’s Fire (Danielle Ackley-McPhail)
  • The Rocket Raising (Frederik Gero Heimbach)


  • We'll Always Have Earth (Bokerah Brumley)
  • Extinction Point (Richard Paolinelli)


  • Luna Sea (Jody Lynn Nye)
  • Samaritan (Karl K. Gallagher)


  • Human, Martian—One, Two, Three (Kevin J. Anderson)
  • The Clockwork King of Mars (C.T. Phipps)


  • Sunward (Jeb Kinnison)
  • Freeze (Jane Lebak)


  • The Clockwork Copper and the Priestess of Mystery (J.M. Anjewierden)
  • Doing My Job (Dana Bell)


  • Room to Breathe (Marina Fontaine)
  • Muddification (Clint Hale)


  • The Dogfisherman (Edward Ahern)
  • The Lost Wind (David Breitenbeck)


  • The Heart of Pluto (Christine Chase)
  • A Brush (J.D. Arguelles)

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Whirlwind Continues

This week, I'm doing a presentation at Fyrecon titled "Structure, Outlines, and Other Things Pantsers Hate". Next week I'll be at the 20 Books to 50K writing conference in Las Vegas. I recently released Breakdown, book 2 in the Polecat Protocol series.

Add to that edits for book 3 in that series, assembling a Best-of anthology for the Planetary Anthology series, and editing two novels for a local small press, and I wonder when I'll have time to sleep.

Then there's the day job that runs 40-50 hours per week. I don't recommend a schedule like this since many people don't do well with so many irons in the fire. Sometimes I wonder how well I do at it. My problem is that I don't really know how to sit and do nothing. Relaxation means digging out a favorite project instead of a required project.

Such is the life of a creator. I love to build things. Woodworking, writing, editing, electronics, software, they all count as creative outlets for me. Those things all recharge my batteries so I can go out and socialize again.

What is your passion? If you're not sure, find something worth dedicating time to. Learn something new. Expand your horizons.

Need something to read? I've got Science Fiction: The Polecat Protocol trilogy.

I've got Fantasy: The Riland Throne trilogy.

And I've got a bunch of short stories in anthologies, including this collection that's all mine:

Monday, August 22, 2022

Quills Conference

 I've had a week of recovery time now, so I figured I should report on how the League of Utah Writers Quills Conference went.

The coolest thing for me was to be awarded the first annual Emerald Typewriter award. The League added published short works to the writing contest this year, and I took top honors out of all the categories with my story Death by Misadventure, which appears in the anthology Unmasked: Tales of Risk and Revelation. (You can click on the book cover image)

Outside of that, I spent a lot of time either teaching classes or helping with the book signings of several of our special guests. I really enjoy teaching classes, giving back to the writing community that was so welcoming to me a few years back when I got serious about my writing.

In other news, my book Dicovery: Polecat Protocol Book One came out in both print and ebook, but I didn't have enough time to take a box of them with me to the Quills Conference.

Jericho Jackson looks forward to finishing one last job: a high-risk, high-pay mining gig on a tiny moon in a distant star system. A string of disasters throws the operation into life-threatening chaos as his team is cut off from outside contact. Even with their specialized training, if the power dies, his crew dies.

Shanna Percival, his teammate and one-time girlfriend, keeps their equipment in top shape, but her tendency to stick her nose where it doesn't belong turns up a mysterious cache of data that shouldn't exist.

Knowledge is power. Her discovery could be the ultimate key to overcoming the growing danger, but time is running out ...

If you've read it, I'd love to see a review. If you haven't, give it a look. I'm also looking for advance readers for books two and three coming out later this year, so drop me a line if you're interested in joining the team.

Saturday, June 18, 2022


I have a presentation where I talk about lessons learned from 163 short story submissions over the course of eight years. I broke it down mostly by genre. Counting poetry as its own little sub-category, I wrote short pieces in eleven genres. That's a lot. Here's how they break down.

  • Fantasy
  • Folk Tale
  • Horror
  • Humor
  • Mainstrem
  • Poetry
  • Post-Apocalyptic
  • Religion
  • Science Fiction
  • Steampunk
  • Urband Fantasy

Short stories are my experimental space. I try new things to see what works. I'd never spread myself so thin with novels. (John takes a peek at his novel-length writing...)

Oops. Guess what. I may not be quite as scattered, but here's the list of my novel-length fiction genres.

  • Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • Biography (fictionalized)
  • Military Historical Fantasy (sort of a genre mash-up)
I've also done technical writing included in about five or six how-to books related to computer graphics and artificial intelligence, but that was something like thirty years ago. Does that still count? Not really for the discussion on genre.

Many people tell authors to find a genre they love and to stick with it to have an easier path to success. This is because readers may like the science fiction I write, but may not be into fantasy. Sticking to one genre gives an author a more cohesive audience, and helps readers to find new stuff to read in their favorite genre by following the author.

The thing about that is that I think of myself as more of a generalized creator than an author in a specific genre. I grew up with my dad's library alphebetized by author. Thrillers and westerns sat next to science fiction and fantasy. I inherited that library and it sits in the room behind me on some shelves I built. It's still alphabetical by author.

This generalized concept of a creative doesn't stick to just writing, either. I've written software as my profession and as a hobby for decades. I do woodworking and calligraphy. I tinker with microcontrollers to run fancy Christmas lights. I've built a ukulele and Irish tin whistles. I still have a lego set that went with me to Brazil over 50 years ago. I like to creat things, and stories are one of those things I create.

I may focus primarily on one genre at a time (like how I'm doing more science fiction shorts now, and releasing my Polecat Protocol series this year), but my interests range pretty widely.

If you dig a little, I'm sure you'll find you have a list like mine, but with different content. If you want to bring out your creative side, maybe you will want to focus on one thing, like drawing dog portraits or bronze sculpture casting. Focus is a great way to become an expert and gain both skill and recognition. For others, being a generalist like me might work better.

Find your creative path and enjoy the ride.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Coincidence or Convergence?

It's Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember those who died while serving in the military. It's also been a weekend with an interesting coincidence.

I have a book coming out in the next few weeks called "High Hopes." It's an adventure story set in World War I about Marines, Biplanes, and gargoyles. It turns out that the publisher emailed me yesterday asking for some extra info such as an author bio and photo, and any dedication or acknowledgments.

Due to the holiday weekend, as well as the subject matter of the book, I thought I'd write a dedication a little different from my normal entry.

To those who have risked or given their lives defending others.
And, as always, to Kelly.

Through this dedication, I'm able to take part in Memorial Day just a little bit more than normal. You see, I have two brothers, a son, a nephew, several neighbors, and a whole raft of friends who have served in the military. They all lived through their time on active duty, so I remember them on Veteran's Day instead.

For Memorial Day, my gratitude reaches to cover those I don't know who have given their lives. It's a small thing, but if you gather enough small things, it's no longer small.