My “How Authors Work” Podcast Interview is LIVE!

Greetings all!

Excitement abounds in my writing world right now, and it’s a beautiful thing. If you have a few minutes, please follow the link below to hear my podcast interview with the fantastic guys over at the How Authors Work website.

Andrew Burleson and Paul Kilpatrick conduct in-depth podcast interviews for the How Authors Work series, and we had a really great conversation about all things writing several weeks ago. Tremendous thanks are owed to my twitter friend Jess Creadon @JessCreadon for introducing me to Andrew and Paul.

As if this wasn’t sweet enough, wonderful things are brewing with my agent Lesley Sabga! I can’t say enough about the work she’s already done and there’s more coming… so stay tuned.

Thanks all!


Introducing: THE PROVING’s Kir’Ana Touran!

When you first meet Crown Princess Kir’Ana Touran in the young adult fantasy THE PROVING, she is already at her wits end. After spending her early teens rebelling against cloistered royal life, she now shows symptoms of veriance – a disease where teens exhibit supernatural powers before going murderously insane.

A veriant heir would be disastrous for her mother the queen, so heartbroken Kir’Ana decides to fake her own death and go into hiding far from the Touran Protectorates. Soon Kir’Ana falls in with bold young adventurer Annix Mastoro and a group of other veriant, hunted teens. But all is not as it seems; Kir’Ana and Annix learn they are not destined for madness. They are the Elect of the Silver Phoenix, a legendary creature from fanciful Bard’s Tales, chosen to battle in THE PROVING with the fate of the land in the balance.

Thanks to the magical artistic skills of the fantastic KatieJ, Kir’Ana has been brought to life!

Kirana cropped

I particularly love Kir’Ana’s expression in this picture; a mixture of sadness and resolve, of hidden fears and the weight of duty. I imagine this is Kir’Ana’s face when she sees her mother Queen Lorrelai and father King Regent Xanad for the last time before carrying out her plan.

Stay tuned! Artwork for Annix will be posted soon!


Map for the Magic Stones of Midnight Keep!

Greetings all!

My newest map-making frenzy is complete, and I am pleased to present the Map of South Touran and the Dramini Waste as it appears in THE MAGIC STONES OF MIDNIGHT KEEP. The map is dated RC 1255, the year that Aril Galana ventured into the Dramini Waste to rescue her best friend Brin with the aid of a pair of magic stones. For those following along, this was forty years before the action of THE PROVING.

Southern Touran and the Dramini Waste - Small copy

As always, many thanks go out to my friend Rob LaBella who created the first version of the Photoshop Map of the Known Land as a gift. I’ve used that map as a starting point for all follow-on work, and I truly don’t know what I would have done without his help!

More to come soon!


The Kestral and the Great-Storm – Art by KTJ

The Black Mountains are an enormous spine of soaring, snow-capped peaks that split the Known Lands of Pasaron roughly in two; to the east, the Touran Protectorates, the Falon Empire, Great Kanor, and the Dramini Waste desert, and to the west MasMindon, Cronia, Theron, and the Bythinian Isles. The vast mountain range is practically impassable. They are rife with terrifying carnivorous beasts like the wyvern, a bat-like, alligator-mouthed flying creature that can grow to the size of a house, and the tamrof, a pack-hunting, millipede-like insect that grows taller than a grown man and dozens of feet long. The weather is uniformly atrocious; heavy snows and high winds dominate the range year-round.

The Kestral, however, is in a class by itself. This single peak towers tens of thousands of feet above the rest of the range, appearing to just show its roots where the other mountains crest. Its summit has never been seen; the heights of the Kestral lie hidden within the Great-Storm, a permanent hurricane of tremendous strength centered on the mountain. The tornadic storm’s combination of wind and cold produce hail like ice daggers flying faster than an arrow and waves of flying rock capable of rending flesh from bone.

What, you might ask, does this have to do with my books? The Kestral, in all of its unapproachable fury, is Kir’Ana, Annix, and their friends’ destination in THE PROVING, book one of the Tome of Pasaron. For at the eastern base of the Kestral, in the very heart of the Great-Storm, lies the mythical ruin the White Pillars, and there they must arrive at dawn on the first of Summer to compete in The Proving competition.

For decades I have seen the towering Kestral and the Great-Storm in my mind. But now, thanks to the incomparable painting prowess of KTJ, I can see it hanging on my wall! Presenting the latest work by my incredible oldest daughter; “The Kestral and the Great-Storm”!

The Kestral and the Great-Storm

The Kestral and the Great-Storm 2

There is nothing quite like seeing imagination brought to life! Truly a fantastic birthday present, one I can’t wait to hang. One day I will need an entire in-house gallery just for the Art of Pasaron!

Chat soon!


THE PROVING, From A Whole New Point of View

Greeting all!

THE PROVING, book one of the Tome of Pasaron, is reborn. The last few months the original manuscript went under the knife for extensive and invasive surgery. A select few critique partners and early readers are now taking a look at the unedited product to tell me if it works… or if I failed to save the patient. We will soon see! This represents the 9th re-write of this book over the course of the last seven years. Whew!

Here’s what has NOT changed:

  • The big picture plot. THE PROVING is still the story of a group of teens from dramatically different backgrounds thrust into situations where they first need to survive then soon need to thrive in order to save their world. The summary here on the website hasn’t changed one iota, in other words.
  • The main characters. Kir’Ana Touran, the crown princess of the Touran Protectorates, and Annix Mastoro, an apprentice crime fighter who dreams of becoming a knight, still lead the tale.
  • The mysteries. There are many things that aren’t what they seem in THE PROVING, and that has not changed. Some are obvious, others are revealed by book’s end. Many won’t be appreciated until I publish the fourth or fifth books in the series and beyond. I tried to capture a count recently; more than half of the important scenes in THE PROVING have secrets hidden within them. Why? Because that’s what I love within *my* favorite fantasy stories.

But much has changed, starting with how the action is presented:

  • THE PROVING is now told in first person, multi-point-of-view. We now see the action from within Kir’Ana and Annix’ minds, then as the story progresses a few other first person POV’s are mixed end. This is a new skill for me; my goal is to bring the reader closer to the characters in both thought and emotion.
  • The supporting characters. A bunch are gone, both good guys and bad. The good guys, aka the Elect of the Silver Phoenix, are Kir’Ana, Annix, Jerine, Kosin, Mai, Bres, and Varix. If you’re new to the story, you may be thinking that a team of seven is in now way a small team. Truth. But there were even more good guys before this change. The bad guys are fewer as well; now its only Julian and his two brothers Arinol and Tomas.
  • New and Deleted Scenes. Several original scenes are now gone in order to make room for exciting new action. There is new content in nearly every chapter.

To celebrate, I posted the new chapter 1 on THE PROVING page. Feel free to offer feedback! Your suggestions and comments can only help during the editing process.





Pre-Agent to Pre-Published

Hello, everyone! I have exciting news and a great link to share!

My warm welcome to the Seymour Agency by the gracious Lesley Sabga features a fantastic perk; my new-and-improved author biography and totally new headshot on the Seymour Agency website! As always, many thanks to #GeniusWife Jenny for helping me write the bio and for her amazing photo editing skills. Photoshop is my friend!

So now I am a “Pre-Published” author, which flat-out makes me giddy. What you may not know is that I first visited the Seymour Agency’s website seven years ago when I first queried an agent there. It was July of 2011, and my query was absolutely terrible! (My writing was bad too… some of you might remember. Ugh!)

Ever since then I wondered what it would be like to be one of those blessed authors who made it, who had their name on the Pre-Published list and therefore had a fighting chance to find a publishing home.

Fast-forward to the present, and there I am on the list. I know it may not seem like a big deal, but to me it’s huge. And sobering. Because I really believed I was supposed to find an agent back then, and might make it on the Pre-Published list within months of those first queries. But oh my goodness was I not ready! I had so much to learn as a writer, and I just had no idea. When you don’t know, you often *really* don’t know! Not that I know it all now. To the contrary, I think in many ways my education is just about to kick into high gear. But it’s amazing to look back and see all of the various and sundry steps it took to get on that list then realize I needed each and every one of them. Hindsight is an amazing thing.

More to come soon! The (hopefully last) rewrite of THE PROVING is complete, and I have a lot to share.

Until then,


Agent Time!!!

Greetings, all!

I am *beyond* excited to report that I just signed a contract with literary agent Lesley Sabga of the Seymour Agency!!!

When I wrote the “Epic Indianapolis” post just a few days ago, I had no idea just how epic the results of the writing workshop would be! I pitched THE MAGIC STONES OF MIDNIGHT KEEP to Lesley that afternoon, and she has since read the book. Lesley truly seems to get the heart of what I’m trying to do with my writing, and seems almost as excited as I am about getting my writing out into the world (which is really saying something… those of you who know me KNOW just how excited I am!).

Adding to the coolness is that she is with the Seymour Agency, making me an agency brother to my awesome friends and mentors Carey Corp, Lorie Langdon, and Melissa Landers! This is almost too much awesomeness. By the way, if you haven’t looked them up and read their bestselling books yet, please do! And check them out on Twitter (@CareyCorp, @LorieLangdon, and @Melissa_Landers). They’re some of my favorite authors on earth, and some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet!

This is all a pure blessing, a good and perfect gift from above. A wonderful answer to my prayers to move on to the next phase as a writer.

Now begins a new chapter (pun entirely intended) of my writing career. I’m pressing ahead as fast as possible with the rewrite of THE PROVING while sharing everything else I’ve written with my new agent. I am sure there is work to be done polishing the Magic Stones books, and I am so ready to tackle it. I can’t wait to see what happens next!