My Website may Change and other Thoughts

Hey, folks!

FIRST: I have just 3 review copies of Forces of Empire book one still available. If you’re interested in BIG space opera with epic themes, give the link a click. Now on to the blog post.

SO.

I’m emerging from the trenches of editing and publishing, and I have to say, I like what I’ve been doing in the book world over the past few weeks.

My website, mentalcellarpublications.com needs an overhaul, and I am no doubt losing long-term readers because of my relative primitive presentation over there.

Anyway…

I’ve got good news on the audiobook front. I am having auditions over at ACX right now for narrators to read both Tenlyres and Origin of Storms. Those audiobooks will likely be out sometime in spring 2020.

Also, I have a Pillar Universe short story in Contact This, an anthology assembled by a friend and fellow author, J.R. Handley. That’s a bunch of first contact science fiction stories, rolling around on Amazon.com right now.

Finally, if you like my work, Shadow Prince really is coming soon. Watch this blog for further news.

Thanks for reading.

I gotta get back to the books.

Until I write here again… share and enjoy!

Shaking Up the Routine

Hello, folks!

Let me get a couple things out of the way first.

One, I had awesome birthday this year, celebrating with my twin brother in Portland Oregon. I’m home now, and I’m hard at work for both my own books and those I’m creating for my new job.

The podcast is flowing.

Editing my older work a little to bring it up to code is giving me confidence.

I am working with an artist for the cover of Shadow Prince (The next book in the Demon Hunter series), so get ready to see that when the book is ready to launch.

All in all, over the last few weeks I’ve been working (moderately) hard and having some fun.

In short, I’ve been blessed with a phenomenal year so far.

However, it wasn’t until I began a mindset shift this past week that I started to truly understand how well I’m doing.

Mostly I’m trying to look at my process and projects as though they’re new. New concepts and ideas are always exciting for a while, but I remember fondly when I was just learning to write and every technique sang with joy when I put it to work. Every sentence felt like a triumph, no matter how obtuse or terrible.

I am happy to report that this shift in mindset to appreciate my new methods (Such as dictation) as novel is really helping cheer me up and make my days more exciting. Inspiration tends to be a fleeting sensation, but joy is available from other sources on the regular.

Appreciate what you have. I wish I could attribute a quote I remember Mercedes Murdock Yardley shared on a favorite episode of the Archivos Stories podcast a few years ago: “Celebrate every step.”

I’m trying to do that.

Taking a step further. Appreciate every breath.

Every word gained or trimmed.

Every keystroke.

Every moment.

Thanks for reading.

If you want to check out my stories, Amazon.com is currently the easiest place to do so, but I’m also giving a few ebook ARC copies away from Booksprout right now. “Demon Scroll” is up again for a limited time, and my latest re-release, the short story fantasy-thief collection “Dark Work” is also there. Download either of them, both of them, or whatever you like but its first come, first-served so if you have time to read and review check ’em out.

Share and enjoy, folks.

And I’ll write here again soon.

(More Than) 7 Minutes About My Developing Process

Hi everybody! Here we go again, another seven-minute blog.

Run while you still can.

I switched to dictating my fiction last July. After six months of dictating my work, I’m still in getting used to the ins-and-outs of my process. I now produce words 3-5 (Or more) times faster than I did when typing.

I can now create stories far quicker than ever before… in theory. My first mostly-dictated release was Demon Scroll, an epic fantasy novel I launched back in September 2019. As of January 2020, I am really pleased with the results of that book, especially with the slight revision to the opening I did post-publication. A lot of older authors could be a little secretive with the process of their work. Personally, I’m grateful for those who are more transparent.

In that spirit, I’d like to explain a little about my process. Hell, this could take a bit longer than seven minutes.

Buckle up.

When I typed, as I did for more than sixteen years, I always maintained a pretty regular per hour and per-minute rate. I typically managed between 20 and 30 words a minute. Only rarely would I attain a words-per-minute rate of more than 30 for any amount of time. My personal fastest as a typist, with very little correction while working was about 40 words-per-minute while composing at break-neck speed, but I only could keep that up for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.

Those numbers are a little slow for how fast my sentences come to me.

Dictation speed varies a little more for me. At my slowest, I go about 75 words per minute when speaking into a voice recorder. Pretty fast, right? Recently I concluded that rate is what I start at when pacing around or walking outside. Sitting comfortably in a chair? Over one hundred words per minute became pretty normal for me last summer.

I’m still learning.

Yesterday, I attained a rate of 138 words per minute for one of my sessions. That is crazy to me. I did nearly 2500 words in 17 minutes. I’m honestly still kind of knocked out by how fast that chapter appeared in my mind. I don’t see the words while I dictate (If I can see them, I slow down to about my typing speed). I make no corrections and create both freely and sloppily while dictating. The result, however, is I can dictate a 100,000-word novel in just 14 hours of chattering into my recorder.

Editing takes a lot more time than that. I can’t edit 10,000 words in 2 hours. The basic clean-up takes something along the lines of 5 hours for that many words. Spending so much more time on editing than rough-drafting is a major change to my process.

I’m a full-time writer, so the project I’m starting this year is to work 7-8 hours each day on writing and editing combined. I think things will shake out to allow me to write and clean-up about 10,000-12,000 words each day. I am excited to start putting my new process to use to get more books published faster.

I should note, my editing process does not end with clean-up but clean-up is the longest leg of the editing journey where I currently stand. Anyway, I hope to be back with (Probably less number-intensive) posts about my work and my process in the near future.

For now, I gotta put the blog away and get to work on fiction.

Thanks for reading.

Boy oh boy, that was more like a half-hour of blogging.

Happy 2020 and stay safe out there folks.

If you want to support me, check out my Amazon author page and give me a follow there.

Until next time.

Shadow Prince is going to take more time…

There’s no way for me to sugarcoat this for myself or for you readers.

I am canceling the preorder for Shadow Prince. The book is still too far from being done, primarily due to my awful habit of procrastination on creative work.

I can only offer a sincere apology to everyone who preordered the book.

I’m disappointed in myself for wasting so much time over the last 10 weeks. The story is mostly there, but I don’t know how many more weeks it will take to revise it into a shape I’ll be proud to release.

Thank you for all your support.

And thanks for reading.

Hopefully, I’ll be back with better news soon.

Take care.

November 17, 2019

News of the Day – November 10th 2019



Hey folks. I know, I know. I didn’t get an episode of Alive After Reading recorded this week. It’s been a beast trying to schedule guests on my own each week.

Regardless, expect a return to form soon.

In the meantime, I am hard at work editing Shadow Prince, currently up for preorder at Amazon.com.

I got a new job. The secret kind. I’m looking forward to starting that soon. Sorry, I can’t say more about that.

Last but not least, I have a nice little blog post as a guest up at Kristine Raymond’s Word Play podcast website. Check it out! I always enjoy getting to work or chat with Kristine.

That’s what I got for you this week.

Thanks for reading!



7 Minutes of Demon Scroll Launch Day

Demon Scroll launches today!

The book is out! After just over 50 days, Demon Scroll has gone from concept to release. The link above will take you fantasy fans to Amazon.com where you can get the ebook for 99 cents US if you get it before the 9th of September 2019.

I loved creating this book and while it was my first (Almost) fully-dictated novel it most certainly will not be the last.

Writing by dictation is counter-intuitive procedurally for me. However, as a tool it cuts down on the time it takes me to write a rough draft by a considerable margin.

I created all the major elements of the book, including the cover and the internal map.

How did I, who until recently suffered from major lack of energy on top of depression and anxiety, amass energy to do all this in less than two months? I guess I owe the result to a stable situation in my life when combined with the addition of a CPAP machine, which I started using in late June. I never imagined the effect the machine would have on my life and my work. I’ve never possessed more get up and go as an adult.

Mentally speaking, I am very happy to add my thanks to Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way” for helping me clear the mustiness from my mind each day with morning pages prior to dictating each day during my rough-draft process. Anyway, that’s 7 minutes.

One last thing. The first edition of the ebook lacks a dedication just on account of my hurry to release the novel. Hopefully that’s all I’ve forgotten going into publication.

This one’s for Joe.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

Demon Scroll is Near!

Hi folks. Woah, it has been a bit since I announced the approach of my first full-length epic fantasy novel, over a month.

In that time, I managed to complete the rough draft of the book and am most of the way through the edits as well.

I’m very proud of the book, Demon Scroll, which is up for preorder at a nice low early bird price right now. Launch day is on September 3rd, 2019. The 99 cent price point won’t last long after that, so check it out as soon as you’re able.

Thanks for reading. I will leave you with a link to the book.

Demon Scroll

I’ll be back before launch day.

As always, thanks for reading.

Seachange. Epic Fantasy incoming!

Hello, everybody.

As many of you know, I’ve tried my hand at publishing science fiction this past six months, but before that I published a series of short fantasy novellas. That series was called The Spells of the Curtain, which now has a compilation of the first five books out on amazon.com right now.

That isn’t the main reason, I’m writing, however.

I have a new book I’m working on. This one will truly be epic fantasy, in the vein of Sanderson, Jordan, and Tolkien as well as many others.

I am in the process of creating the new book but it’s already up for preorder on amazon.com. Demon Scroll is the name of the book, but you can’t read it yet. That brings me to the true point of this post.

There is something out there in my new series I’m proud of and you can read right now.

I previously wrote a little story in the same world, featuring a character who will return in Demon Scroll. That little story is called “The Crimson Suitor” and it is available FREE on bookfunnel.com right now!

Here is a link.

Give the story a read, and start getting hyped for the novel, coming September 3rd. The world of these stories is one I love dearly and have been working on for over a decade. The story you can get for free is kinda short, but you’ll be able to get the full-length 500+ page ebook on Amazon.com for just a buck on launch day.

Thanks for reading.

And if you’re a writer, keep writing. You only fail if you give up completely.

Take care of yourselves, folks.

Genre Direction

So, I have been remiss in blogging. Again.

One could assume this is my natural state of being, but given the recent introduction of a sleep aid machine to my life, I have a feeling I may be posting more often in the future, given the additional energy.

I have been considering my next move as an independent author even as I keep writing on various works in progress. I wrote two short stories in the past thirty days or so, and am planning to use dictation to speed my completion of the current novel I’m working on (The Pillar Universe Book 4).

I’ve known for a while now, my first love is fantasy, despite having written predominantly science fiction this year. I know these genres are close to each other in qualities, which is probably why I enjoy them both. However, my particular brand of writing I think lends itself more toward the worlds of fantasy, rather than the more futuristic worlds of space opera or cyberpunk.

I’m still planning on continuing the science fiction series I have out already, but given my fantasy roots and the ease I had marketing my fantasy novella series last fall, I think its time to change course back to what is for me, the core of my genre preferences.

Once this fourth Pillar Universe book is complete, I will make my move to write some more fantasy.

In the meantime, as I wrap up this post, please check out Booksprout and pick up a copy of Storm Fleet for free, in exchange for a review.

Thanks for reading.

I’ll chat at you all again soon.

Series Fiction and a Stuffy Nose

I’ve caught a cold at the moment. As I’m coughing and sneezing a bit much to focus on writing the fourth Pillar Universe book, I figured I’d update all of you on my current plans and give some thoughts on series fiction.

First of all, I am still writing the rough draft for “Imperial Rain” the next Pillar Universe book. Once I complete this book (Hopefully within the next month) this will be the longest series by word count I’ll have published. Future perfect-tense tense aside, I have a lot of other books in the works. High hopes won’t get those stories out into the world where you can read them, though. I need to beat the depression I’m suffering from to push forward.

The trouble with depression is I so rarely remember it when I’m talking to my therapist or anyone else with whom I find it fun to converse. I like chatting with people enough I typically forget the suck I labor in when no one’s around.

Oh well.

As for series fiction, I really want to write a couple of great, long series in the next years or so. I’m debating internally if they should both be Science Fiction or if one can be fantasy. I like writing fantasy but I think focusing on one over the other genre will serve me better in the near future. A series requires a lot of effort to push forward when I plan it out, and when I don’t it still is a lot of writing.

Regardless, I am planning to try different things on the side because I don’t ever want to be tied down in my head. One could say that’s a complex of its own, of course.

Anyway, this post has gotten longer than usual. If you’re still here, thanks for reading. I’ll be back sooner rather than later, hopefully.

Until then, keep reading and writing.