Now Available for Preorder: Wail of the Tempest

The second installment of the four-part End of an Age series is here!  The e-book is available for preorder at the book retailer of your choice.  The paperback version will be available at Amazon by October 18, 2018.

As a treat to the early birds, all preorders or purchases made before October 25 will get the special introductory price of $1.99.  The paperback version will also be offered at a discounted price until that date.

Are you new to the series or eager to find out how the next book begins?  Then click on the link to chapter one located below the cover.  Hope you enjoy it!

Wail of the Tempest Cover


Chapter 1

And don’t forget about part one, Darkness upon the Land.  Thank you to all for your interest!

The Evolution of a Story (Part VI): How


The following is an article from a six-part series that explores aspects of creating the storyline for the End of an Age quadrilogy (yes, that’s a made-up word).

Research, research, research….

You can’t tell a tale about a young woman with kinetic and other powers evading conspirators during the devastating effects of a coronal mass ejection without doing the research.

All good lies have seeds of truth, so stories with elements of the fantastic need a little science behind them to help with the suspension of disbelief.  As the main character, Alexia needed biological and neurological explanations for why she could do what she did.  Reuben, the male protagonist, has an exemplary memory but can’t read.  Their brains worked differently, and I had to figure out how.

There was more work involved in discovering exactly what the effects of a coronal mass ejection would be like.  Because there is difference between it and an electromagnetic pulse (which you hear more about), I had to be sure to get those facts straight.

And then there are all the other details:  cultural expressions, survival skills, religious beliefs, military tactics, future trends, conspiratorial elements….  Anything I didn’t know already had to be researched.  I’m convinced Amazon, Google and the library all have me on some kind of “Watch” list because of my perusals!

There was more than reading involved, too.  Some skills I practiced to confirm their feasibility and/or understand them in more depth.  I also tend to plan family vacations around research (shh … don’t tell the kids).  It’s the details that tend to add dimension.

Hopefully you enjoyed this series.  The second book, Wail of the Tempest, is in the final stages of preparation and should be available for preorder in a matter of weeks.  Please feel free to check out Part One, Darkness upon the Land, at your favorite e-book retailer.  A paperback copy is available at Amazon.

It was a pleasure sharing this information.  Good wishes to all you readers and writers out there and keep those creative juices flowing.

The Evolution of a Story (Part V): Why


The following is an article from a six-part series that explores aspects of creating the storyline for the End of an Age quadrilogy (yes, that’s a made-up word).

In one of my college writing classes the instructor had us include the reason for writing any essay we turned in.  The only goal we weren’t allowed to use was Entertainment.

Although fiction is meant to entertain, the stories that stick with us most are usually a mix of cautionary tales, revelations of societal ills, or inspiration to make a change.  The purpose for writing the End of an Age series is also multifold, but it can be boiled down to one basic concept:  We must keep our freedom.

That concept begins in a small way during the first book, Darkness upon the Land.  The main character, Alexia, has an ability that makes her a target to conspirators.  As she struggles to remain free, however, the threat to liberty begins to grow.  Society could suffer if her powers could be harvested and utilized.  The second book, Wail of the Tempest (coming soon!), addresses that realization.

The characters get placed in more dire circumstances as the threat continues to grow.  How do I determine what all is at stake?  Part of that question fits into the next and final article, How.

The Evolution of a Story (Part IV): Where


The following is an article from a six-part series that explores aspects of creating the storyline for the End of an Age quadrilogy (yes, that’s a made-up word).

This is probably the broadest question addressed in these articles.  As an American writer I chose to place the story in the United States.  Because it covers several years of two people who become fugitives, lots of places in the country are involved.

Both Alexia and Reuben are in their later teens when the series begins, so their places of origin play significant roles.  She is a Cajun from southern Louisiana.  He is a hillbilly (partly) from southwestern Missouri.  As the series progresses they wind up in several localities.  In fact, there’s some foreshadowing about this in the first book, Darkness upon the Land:

She’d always had to remain close to home because of her dietary restrictions, however, so Alexia savored the idea of finally getting to see more of the world, even if it was just in this country.  She’d never stood on top of a mountain or shuffled through snow or sifted pebbles from the desert through her fingers.

Be careful what you wish for!

Nearly all the localities are places I’ve been (or plan to be soon).  Various ecosystems are purposefully involved, and the subcultures related to them provide part of the color to the story.  Maybe part of it will take place in a location near you!

The next article, Why, touches upon another important matter that plays an enormous role in the history and being of the United States itself.


The Evolution of a Story (Part III): When


The following is an article from a six-part series that explores aspects of creating the storyline for the End of an Age quadrilogy (yes, that’s a made up word).

The story involving the two main characters, Alexia and Reuben, could have easily taken place in our contemporary time.  But I decided to move the storyline nearly one generation into the future.  There were several reasons for doing that.

Taking down technology was a major element, and our culture becomes more dependent upon it as time goes on.  As devastating as a coronal mass ejection would be today, it would be even more serious in the next decade and a half or so.  The worse things go, the better the story gets.

Basic humanity is always the same, but details about the culture change.  Although our society has plenty of problems today, those issues could be exacerbated in the future.  Again, worse is better.

Authors are very manipulative people.  Although the characters must act believably to keep the reader’s willingness to suspend disbelief intact, writers are control freaks.  Having the event happen in the future gave me control over details that I wouldn’t have the luxury to do in a contemporary setting.

There is also the timeline involved.  When it became obvious the story would need to cover several years (see Part II: What), moving it that far into the future allowed me time to finish the series before the actual dates rolled around.

But I also wanted to maintain a certain sense of immediacy and identification, which was why the events were placed only fifteen to twenty years from now instead of in the next century or later.

Next we move on to Where, and it turns out there’s a whole lot of that.

The Evolution of a Story (Part II): What


The following is an article from a six-part series that explores aspects of  creating the storyline for the End of an Age quadrilogy (yes, that’s a made-up word).

The four-part End of an Age series did not begin as a series and is actually two ideas that became combined.

The first idea was about a girl who possessed powers and also had to evade conspirators.  The characters quickly became intriguing to me, but the story had trouble getting traction.  It needed another element besides the premise.

The other idea was about a coronal mass ejection that destroyed the electrical grid and satellites powering technology.  Although there was plenty of survival and grit and uprising potential, it needed characters to drive the story forward.

It dawned on me one day that I had characters needing a situation and a situation needing characters.  When I put the two together, a story was born.

One problem I had with the character story involving Alexia and Reuben was where in their “adventures” to write the book.  Once they were placed in the CME scenario, it was obvious to begin on the first day of the disaster.  But the arc I had in mind covered several years.  It turned out that putting them in such an enormous event made telling the whole story a necessity.  A four-part series was born.

Another detail I had to make a decision on was how “contemporary” the time setting should be.  More on that consideration in the next article which addresses the exploration of When.

The Evolution of a Story (Part I): Who

Alex_Rube_3 whisper-408482_1280


The following is an article from a six-part series that explores aspects of creating the storyline for the End of an Age quadrilogy (yes, that’s a made-up word).

Characters are the heart of any story.  A few years ago I cooked up an idea about a young woman with “gnarly” powers evading governmental conspirators.  They would want to harvest her ability for their own nefarious purposes, and she would need to use that talent to evade them.

It made sense to pair her with a male protagonist who was not only her backup but also an obstacle for her pursuers.  He would have to have a strong sense of devotion and a quirky sense of humor to weather the trials they would face.  Their relationship would necessarily be a “me and you against the world” scenario, but they would meet some helpful people along the way.

Thus Alexia and Reuben began to take shape.  As I fleshed out their backgrounds and family histories and came up with details that will never make it into the books, they took on that life of their own quality that writers are familiar with.

One trait that was important for them to share was rural upbringing.  In a population where over eighty percent of the people lead an urban lifestyle, a “rurality check” was in order.  These characters had to burst out the gate knowing how to adapt to the circumstances they’re thrown into, and their backgrounds provided that.

Back in high school, when I ate shrimp gumbo for the first time, I also heard about the Cajun people.  Over the years I learned more about their culture (and cooking!) until my anthropologic leanings evolved mere curiosity into a long-standing fascination.  It seemed an appropriate heritage for Alexia.  She would need to be self-sufficient and tenacious, exemplifying what are generally considered some of the most admirable attributes of that people.

Reuben’s Ozark roots are personally “near and dear.”  But the decision to make him half American Indian was based on several motivations.  I was feeding my own fascination again, but there was also the drive to portray a character of his mixed heritage as someone who defied the assumption that he must choose only one lineage to identify with.  This seemed especially appropriate to someone who embraces the philosophy of striking a balance.

And finally there were their religious beliefs to consider since that was very much a factor of their personalities.  You can’t get more traditional than Catholicism for a Cajun.  But I wanted Reuben to be little less mainstream while maintaining the integrity of tradition.  The Noahide faith was perfect fit (Note:  In the books, I chose to spell his belief as Noachide because it reflects the pronunciation more, but Noahide is the more standard rendering.  It’s sort of like spelling Hanukkah as Chanukah.).

So there, briefly, is an outline of the characters.  In the next article we’ll peruse the aspect of What.  There’s a story behind how this tale came about.