Seven Things I do while Writing

I wanted to update you on some of the promos and other events coming up in the short term before it is too late. New real blog post to follow early next week!

In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation on sale

In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation, my dystopian adult fiction, is on sale this weekend for 0.99 in the US and UK. The countdown promo ends on the 31st, so now is a great time to pick it up if you want it! It is dystopian and apocalyptic, but set in the real world a few years after the collapse. There is romance. There is action. There are raiders and viruses.

Middle-Grade Promo coming up

I am also participating in a joint middle-grade promo for A Pair of Docks on April 6th so A Pair of Docks will be 0.99 on April 6th and I will also be sending out a list of other great middle-grade novels you can pick up that day for a reduced price. Don't forget to check it out!

Tales of Tinfoil ARCs

As you may know, I am participating in the Tales of Tinfoil conspiracy theory anthology edited by the amazing David Gatewood. The author line up is unbelievable and includes Lucas Bale, Michael Bunker, Edward W. Robertson, Nick Cole and Chris Pourteau to name a few. The stories are bold, moving, and wild and include tales regarding Lincoln, Kennedy and Hitler. Fox Mulder would be proud.

I wrote about none other than Elvis Presley and have now managed to convince myself that maybe Elvis is alive. The anthology will be coming out April 17th, but I will have 5 ARCs to give away starting April 3rd for those of you who want them and are committed to leaving an honest review on Amazon on launch day. Don't miss out on this opportunity. If you are interested in receiving an ARC and have left a review for me on one of my previous books, send me an email at I will pick the ARC recipients from the first five qualified emailers. Don't panic if you don't hear back from me right away. It is the final freeski competition of the year here in BC so I will be on skis all day.

Seven Things I do while Writing

For those of you not on my Facebook feed, you might have missed my post on seven things I do while writing each day.

As a "prologue" to my writing, I do many of the things that most writers do. I get coffee, answer emails, check FB, check stats, check reviews, check Twitter, check everything, like a bunch of FB posts, and try very hard not to fall into any Internet rat holes.

Once I have opened my WIP and my "writing" has officially started I:

1) Go a page or half a page back into the previous day's work to orient myself as to where I was and what I was trying to accomplish in a scene. Think a little bit about what the "turn" in the scene was or will be and if it is the right turn to move the plot forward.

2) Write in silence trying to get as many good words out as possible (trying not to repeat the "prologue" above too many times as it is an especially bad habit when stuck).

3) Research and fact check as necessary as I go and try not to fall into too many research rat holes. Sometimes this will involve looking at photos of locations or items I am including. Sometimes it will involve reading research papers.

4) Work always to keep the prose fresh. Try to make each character unique with a distinct voice and their behaviour reasonably rational and "in character" (unless they are mad of course - then they can build mechanical dolphins and spend their afternoons hunting for Elvis and Princess Diana). Consistently check for overuse of hads and repeats of words. Consistently check for a balance of exposition and dialogue. Consistently check for appropriate use of dialogue tags and action tags and that I am effectively using physical reactions to convey emotion. Consistently check that place has been effectively acknowledged and incorporated into every scene in a manner that plays on as many senses as possible. Try to axe all purple prose.

5) Try to keep my eye on the plot and whether I am laying down the scenes necessary to execute the grand vision, or whether I am digging myself deep into a methane venting crater (filled with carnivorous mechanical dolphins). This often involves thinking a lot about the motivations of all the characters - who wants what, who is capable of what, and who is where when - and how does that all come together to create the story. It is a bit like chess - you always have to know where all the pieces are. It also involves thinking about the fundamental themes of the book and how I am (or am not) effectively pulling them out through the plot.

6) Hope for those moments of sublime inspiration or supreme luck when my metaphors somehow reflect my theme, or everything comes together, or something you have written or led my characters to matches something neat or exciting in the real world. Decide this is a reflection of the collective unconscious and a message from the universe that clearly I was born to write.

7) Decide everything I have written so far that day is blasphemous, moronic tripe. Guzzle coffee or go for run to talk myself off the edge of the cliff. Repeat #1-6.

I am sure there is more, but the ski comp is about to start and I'm expected on the slopes!