When to Try Again

coffeebookA while ago, I got the great news that Booktrope, a local publisher and support org, is going to re-publish “The Churning.” The launch-date isn’t set, yet, because, well, it’s still a work in progress.

For a fiction writer, there’s this key if nebulous question: When is it done? When it’s published? When you’re sick of working on it? When someone else accepts it, signaling a ‘good-enough’ stopping point? Some debate whether a novel is ever ‘done’. It just happens to see the light – via publisher – in some form the writer is, hopefully, okay with.

So, roughly two years ago, I was done with my second novel, “The Churning”. I’d made a ton of bumbling blunders with my first book (which wasn’t my first, really) and I wasn’t making those mistakes again! So, after three years of work (2200 hours’ worth) I was happy with “The Churning”. In a nutshell, it’s the story of a brash, egotistical Persian-American soccer star who gets kidnapped in Europe. Dark. Fun. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

But in the process of getting it out via Booktrope, a couple editors have pushed me to question whether I was done the first time around. Was it as good as it could be? Were all my original intents clear?

Sure looks like I made, oh, a few mistakes once again! Fan-tastic. Now I had to consider going back and re-opening that sealed box? Seriously? After 30+ passes on it the first time around?

So, I did. And I’m editing like mad. And the jury’s still out on whether this is enjoyable…

(to be continued)

Watching the World Fall on Smashwords

I’m pleased to announce (Trumpets anyone? Anyone?) that my first novel, “Watching the World Fall” is now available via Smashwords on lots of different e-readers!

So, if you’ve got Apple, Sony, Kobo a B&N Nook, and just about any digital reader, you can enjoy this novel for less than the cost of a Starbucks mocha!

Please visit


(or Smashwords.com and type in the title).

You can also find it on Amazon and (for less than the price of a mocha) Kindle.

Thanks, and enjoy!


3 Years Later…

Well, I can hardly believe it’s been three years since I self-published my first novel, “Watching the World Fall”. The spring of 2010 seems like a long time ago. But, in a way, the time also seems to have flown. Family life (kids), work, travel, the small house projects which inexplicably balloon into albatross-worthy missions…it all makes it fly.

But, definitely, one of the reasons the time seems to have roared by is my own doing – my own deadline.

Not long after the book was released, I went to talk at my mother’s book group in Maryland. I think that was in July, when I already knew what my next two books were going to be. At the talk, attended by a few dozen of my parents’ pleasant, easy-going contemporaries, someone asked if I was working on the next book and when it would be out. I responded, accurately, that I was working on the next two and that I was shooting for a three-year deadline.

So, here it is three years later, and…

“The Churning”.

The book’s nearly done, which is super-exciting. I plan to have it out in about a month, which makes it timely for a lot of reasons. It will be out before the U.S. Men’s Soccer team cements its place in World Cup qualifying (not essential to the book, but it certainly would be a bonus). It could be an ice-breaker for the new school year. I’ll have something to show for being off from work this spring and summer.

Maybe best of all, I’ll have another story to be proud of – even if some of the material is disturbing, troubling and offensive (a key character in the book has become the only psycho I’ve ever really worked on). And it’s reassuring to know that I could stick to my own deadline of three years. I didn’t feel foolish when I made the claim – I really do want to write these novels faster and more efficiently than my first. Still, when I was working full-time a year ago and the spare minutes were coming after 9:30 PM (with my early-morning hours spoken for), I had my doubts. “Finishing” and “following-through” are two issues which seem to plague writers more than any creative subset I can think of.

Thankfully, I have a super-supportive and patient wife who knows I don’t just hack out artistic gibberish at the laptop all day. This is a passion and a pursuit – and it needs to be finished so I can return to the workforce. Paychecks are good.

Nearly there, and right on time.

For once, this writing thing has gone according to plan.