Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Chasing Tomorrow

 So this happened.

I'm in this.

This marks my second short story reprint. My tale, The Lodge which originally appeared in Peaks of Madness, was selected by the League of Utah Writers to be included in this year's award-winning anthology. I say award winning anthology, because in order to be considered for the book, the story has to have placed in the League of Utah Writers writing contest, which The Lodge did. It won a Second Honorable Mention in the category of Horror, which is kind of like a fourth place. I'll take it.

Anytime I get words in print, I celebrate. Chasing Tom

Check out Chasing Tomorrow for a collection of excellent stories. It's cheap on Amazon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The weekend, the wife and I

We have access to an old family cabin up in Flaming Gorge. It’s not ours. It’s our relatives, but once in a while we get up there. We did that last weekend, just the wife and I.

The old cabin is running down. The furniture shows the years, older than my kids. The carpet remembers the Berlin Wall. Once a luxurious getaway, now it’s a rustic getaway, but a getaway it was.

For so many years it has been a part of my summer. A week there on the lake, in the woods, in the family room. Games, music, swimming, talking. The whole bunch of us. This time however, it was just the wife and I.

Little time we had, not the whole week, just a couple of days between shifts at the hospital, pressures of publishing pouring into my hourglass, concerns that would wait, but not long. So we took the not long and we went. Just the wife I.

Once it stood alone in a meadow, but now there are neighbors. Close and view-blocking. But they weren’t there this weekend. And it was just the wife I.

I had brought the usual. A pile of books coated in good intention, a computer for music, iPhones for internet tethering.

Do you see it?

The phone. The computer. It would not be just the wife and I as long as the world could appear in my screen. Many’s a trip I don’t change a thing about my daily routine except the view out the window and the mouse hair on my chair. Working as usual, distracting myself as usual, keeping up on things, which I’ve learned is more properly called “doomscrolling” in this hellish time.

How can there ever be space for just the wife and I under those circumstances?

Seeking that space, we went, but took the wire with us.

Without the other voices of the family. In the cooling cabin, under a four hour thunderstorm burying us in hail, we resisted the siren call.

We left it turned off.

We read. We sat. We walked. We ate. We drank. We talked. We saw a snake, a coyote, cows and crows, hummingbirds and mice. We were together in the quiet of the woods.

Unplugged for a weekend, in an old cabin in familiar forest, it was just the wife and I.


Thursday, August 27, 2020

In The Wake of Captain Lord preorder

Hello Friends,

We're in new waters, cold and icy, glacial in fact. Silly. Murderous. We’re in Alaska. The Inside Passage and Tony Flaner has issues, some of them aren’t even personal.

I’m thrilled to announce that IN THE WAKE OF CAPTAIN LORD pre-orders is available.

In the Wake of Captain Lord

If you’re thinking, “Gee, I really want something great to read in October,” this is just the thing for you. There are people who think that far ahead, I’m told. People who make use of their wedding crock-pots and plan a meal the day before they’ll eat it. Those kinds of people. I’m not judging.

Follow this link to place an ebook Pre-Order and be prepared!

Thank you. Carry on.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020


I am so excited. If you haven't heard already, here it is. Tony Flaner is back! His third novel-length adventure is set on the high seas, or rather, kinda causing a coastline, But there's water—salt water. And bears and eagles and murder


Coming soon!

Cold murder and old flames sailing the Inside Passage

Tony doesn't know why he did it. He just went. Forgetting to even call Allie, he boarded a plane and then a cruise ship to Alaska. While he's trying to figure out what is wrong with him, he has to figure out how an old college crush can get out of a murder charge when she admits to stabbing her millionaire husband.

Tony Flaner is back, and his newest case is his coldest and most complicated yet. Can he avoid the all-you-can-eat buffet along with the bullets shot at him? Eh, no. Of course he can't.

Tourism, murder and blame aboard an Alaskan Cruise Ship full of multi-level marketers, comedians, and killers and all bound for trouble.

Impulsive, sarcastic, Tony Flaner takes a trip down denial when he joins a luxury cruise without telling anyone until he’s gone. Responsibility has never been one of his strong points, but this is one for the books.

Aboard the Royal Danish Cruise line ship Success, Tony wrestles with his failings while murder is afoot. As fate would have it, an old flame is on board, along with a multitude of multi-level marketers – The Pod People. When the flame’s S.O. turns up D.O.A, it’s S.O.S for Tony to break a complex web of mayhem and murder in the short time it takes to binge on butter buffets and bear brawls, pondering personality problems along the Alaskan coastline.

Coming October 15, 2020

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Quills 2020 Virtual Conference August 13-16th+


I want to invite all you writers out there to come to Quills, the League of Utah Writers Fall Writing Conference. This event will be virtual so the whole world can come. It’ll have scores of recorded classes that’ll be available for some time, including early access for those who register soon. there’ll be live Zoom workshops with great authors and teachers, me included, so that’s cool. Chances to pitch to agents and editor and a general virtual new normal Covid-19 writing fest. Here’s the flyer and check it out at August 13-16 plus (classes stay online for a while).

By the way, League of Utah members get $40 off the conference cost. Membership costs $30. You can thus get deep discount and join a League of Utah Chapter and Zoom in with us for critique and more writing goodness. Just saying. My main chapter is called the Infinite Monkeys. More info here: You don't have to live in the state to join. Lockdown has opened the world.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Great News in Johnnyland

I've been sitting on the news as it developed, as we moved through negotiations in a pandemic across time zones and oceans. For many moons I have been silent, waiting, hoping, working. Buoyed by my agent, Terri Baranowski at Gateway Literary, I told a few earlier this week, but now, for sure, today, it is in the can.

I have just signed the biggest contract of my career. My epic science fiction series has a publisher. And a really good one. Flame Tree Press has acquired the rights to my Coronam Trilogy!


Flame Tree is an international publisher with offices in New York and London, globally distributed through Simon and Schuster which makes me now an international author, or I will be when CORONAM begins in 2021.


Happy Dance!

I really adore this series. It’s timely, epic and vast. It’s Dune meets Childhood’s End with a detour through Sixteenth Century history and a long stop at Roanoke. I call it social science fiction because of its themes and rhythms.

It’s a happy day.

I may be locked in my house, cringing at current affairs beyond my control, but the contract is signed and I am exploding with excitement. Writers tend to be isolated souls, weathering constant rejection and loneliness, seeking validation of any kind. For any author, a moment like this is historic, meaningful and rare. A longed for relief that justifies the pain and confirms the faith.

Thanks for sharing this with me.

Stay tuned and stay safe,

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Grifty Shades of Fey

I had the honor of being part of an unusual project this past year. Fiction Vortex, always on the cutting edge of publishing, arranged for the publication of an anthology of original stories about Faeries, with undercurrents.

It's a handsome book and I share pages with such friends and inspirations as David Farland, Patti Larsen and Michaelbrent Collings. Michael Cluff is another great and longtime friend.

My contribution, A BARGAIN WELL MET, took me out of my comfort zone. I'm not a fantasy guy usually. Sci Fi I can do. gritty contemporary, magical realism, urban fantasy sure, but trope fantasy was a challenge. I finally focussed on my own back yard, on a piece of untended land our laziness has created but which has a long tradition. A fairy garden. The inspiration caught and one of my most tender stories ever was born.

If you're looking for a great read in these hard times, might I recommend GRIFTY SHADES OF FEY.