Eight years ago this month, my first story sale, "Dead Wife Waiting," appeared in K.C. Ball's 10Flash Quarterly. I met K.C. when she was the editor guest at the Long Ridge Writer's online writing forums, a few months earlier. I learned she edited a magazine which had a theme for each issue, based around a different story prompt. She mentioned the upcoming issue's theme was "an encounter at a lonely crossroads at twilight," and BAM!, "Dead Wife Waiting," popped into my head. A weary, determined hex-slinger pursuing a nasty sorcerer, encounters his supposedly dead wife guarding a crossroad, sword in hand. I'd already written a lot of unpublished short stories, but "Dead Wife Waiting" had a spark the others lacked. It just felt cool to me. K.C. loved the story when I submitted it, but wanted two small changes, which made it a much stronger story. I listened. The story appeared in the January 2010 issue, and gave me my first fan letter as a writer. I wrote two sequels, "Skinning the Sorcerer" and "Last Hex Sacrifice," which also appeared in 10Flash. I later republished the three stories as my second eBook, in 2012. In August 2016, I republished the collection with a new cover on instaFreebie, and picked up new readers. I wrote a novel in 2013-14, The Hardscrabble, featuring Thomas and Mira, but it didn't quite work. It just didn't capture the epic of the short stories, or do justice to the crackling setting. I hope to return
The first three Empowered novels, Empowered: Agent, Empowered: Traitor and Empowered: Outlaw, were all published in 2017. Whew! It was a busy, eventful year for me. Agent was released on January 31st, Traitor on March 21st, and Outlaw on November 20th. I also published Spice Crimes, a space opera novel set in Lindsay Buroker's fantastically fun Fallen Empire universe for Amazon's Kindle Worlds. It was a very fun challenge working with Lindsay's characters. I'm currently working on the final book in the series, Empowered: Rebel, due out (hopefully) in late March.
Empowered: Outlaw is now out! It took longer to write than I had planned or imagined. But it was worth it. Outlaw was a challenging book to write. Mathilda's story takes a dramatic turn in this book, and she discovers a shocking fact that shakes her to her core, as well as disturbing evidence that the world is not what she thought it was. Mat went through an emotional wringer in this novel, which turned out to also put me through the same wringer. I listened to the soundtracks for the television series Arrow, perfect with it's dark, moody, and at times, pulse pounding score. Disturbed's cover of "The Sound of Silence" was the anthem of the novel. Between writing sessions I switched to more uplifting music such as the soundtrack from the "Duet" musical episode of last season's Flash television series, as well as the music of 10,000 Manics, Bowling for Soup, and Spoon. Music truly made a difference. Empowered: Outlaw is the third book in The Empowered series, with one more to follow, Empowered: Rebel. It's available at these eBook retailers: Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon AU Apple's iBooks Barnes and Noble Kobo