For the second time I’ll be attending Norwescon – “the Pacific Northwest’s Premier Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention” (per their website – Looking forward to it. Always lots of interesting workshops and panels. Not sure if I’ll be seeking a publisher for Trekker or continuing to go the Indie route. We’ll see.  If you’re there, let me know. I’ll have books, cards, and a pen 🙂

Last year I went alone (and learned a hell of a lot that pushed Surveyor forward, along with the genesis of Openings – the prequel that the prologue of Surveyor opens with). This year, it turns out the entire fam is going – my wife is working on a memoir, youngest spawn is working on fan fiction (apparently has a larger following than do I!), and who knows what eldest spawn is working on – probably a screenplay.

Anyhow, doubt I’ll get any writing done over the next four days (but you never know – I’ll bring my tablet with me, regardless.

The True Value

Somebody on Facebook suggested I drop the price of Surveyor “a couple of bucks.”  Here was my response:

I know many people want to only pay $2.99 (or less) for a book, but isn’t several hours (8-11) of entertainment worth paying more than a Starbucks Latte? Heck, you can’t even get into a movie theater (two hours of entertainment) for less than what you would pay for the paperback version of Surveyor.

Let’s think about this for a bit. Everyone (including me) wants something for nothing, or at least as for as little outlay as possible (I’ve been called “Cheap Charley” so many times I sometimes think that’s my formal name). But, what is the value of something? As most of us know, the more we’re willing to pay for something (car, house, education, etc.), the more we’re invested in it and the more we value it. Basic economics. So, should I reduce the price of my book, which took a year to write and cost a couple of thousand dollars in art and editing fees to produce, to a point where it’s practically valueless to the reader? I think not.


Promoting the books

As I learned with the Simple Shower, it’s not good enough to have a great idea – you have to get it in front of people, show them how great it is, and then convince them that the either need or want it. So, how does an author do that? First, start by looking at what others have done. Of course, this always costs money, but what the hey, it’s only money.

BTW, for those that have never published a book, that can add up to quite a bit. Artwork can cost upwards of $1,000 (and heaven forfend if you have to make any changes!) A good editor also costs bucks (once again, your price could equal or exceed $1,000). There’s also a cost involved if you decide to make up paperback copies to disseminate to beta readers (with the attendant postage – there and back, as you want their comments). Yep, self-publishing ain’t cheap.

So, once you’re done, how do you get readers interested? A good blurb (back of the book), e-mails, connecting with reporters, advertising, etc. But from all I’ve learned, the best way is word of mouth (especially if the word is another author with a large following).

Anyhow, if you enjoyed Surveyor, please tell your friends and write a review on Amazon.  In the meantime, back to Trekker.

Surveyor Withdrawal Syndrome

Finally, I’m back to writing, and just passed 50,000 words in Trekker. I’m hoping to take advantage of the three day weekend to knock out several thousand words.

So, those of you suffering Surveyor Withdrawal Syndrome (I hear it’s a real thing) can breathe easy, knowing that within a few short months, Book 2 in the Corps of Discovery Series will be wrapping up.

I’m Back!

Gadzooks! It’s been over two weeks since my last post. My apologies. Teaching and business have kind of overtaken things for the past couple of weeks, but I’m on track to spend more time writing this weekend (almost to 50K words).

So, what the heck have I been doing besides grading? Well, yesterday I gave a presentation at CannaCon, the world’s largest Cannabis Conference. I find this amusing, since I’ve never smoked/ingested/consumed pot (probably one of the few people at the conference that hasn’t). My talk was on fraud (being the fraud investigator that I am), and apparently drew the largest crowd for the conference’s first session of talks (10 AM on the first of at three day conference). I think there were four talks going on at the same time.

The other timesink has been getting the new packaging ready for the Simple Shower (you can read about the Simple Shower in Surveyor – yes, that’s an intentional shameless self plug). There’s a drought in Cape Town, South Africa, that is creating interest in the Simple Shower, so I’ve been busy with that.

Enough chit chat, on to grading, I mean, on to writing (after my workout).



Well, the going is slow right now. I feel like I’m slogging through things. Of course, the fact that it’s January and I’ve got to get all the business stuff in line (ugh – taxes – at least I’m done with those forms), and the crisis in Cape Town, South Africa seems to be generating a fair amount of interest in the Simple Shower (my invention – buy one on Amazon or at  In case you haven’t heard, the government shut off the water supply because the reservoirs are practically bone dry and have water distribution sites where people get 25-50 liters of water per day (that’s the equivalent of 6.5-13 gallons a day). Not a lot. Luckily, the Simple Shower (btw, featured in Surveyor) can get one clean with as little as 4 liters (well, some people need less, I use three, the final liter being the “aaaahhhhh” liter).

I suspect I’ll get little writing done this week, but we’ll see. I managed to knock out another thousand or so words today (despite having been working since 6:30 AM and it’s now after 9:30 PM).  Almost up to 48K words.  With any luck I’ll be over 50K by next weekend (keep your fingers crossed).