Updated: Apr 4
It's been so long since I've done one of these, it almost feels like I'm doing this for the first time. Some of you out there know that I wrote and Self-Published my first novel a few years ago under the title "EXISTENCE". A handful of people bought it, and, for the most part, they enjoyed it. Through my own attempts at networking, I managed to get a hold of author Mike Esola ("HYBRID", "PRIMAL", "APEX") who was, at the time, publishing the free publication "Prehistoric Magazine". He was looking for novels featuring prehistoric creatures to build a roster for his own publishing house called Primal Press. He loved my novel, offered a new round of edits, and a brand new cover. That is how "REMNANT" was born.
That was nearly two years ago.
Since then, my writing output has been scattershot at best. During this nebulous era of my life, I wrote a handful of short stories which will see print soon. "Rogues in the Vale of Time" is a very short piece featured in Whetstone Magazine which melds my love for extinct animals into a fantasy setting. "Honor Among Rogues" is a historical adventure dealing with gunslingers and lost cities and is probably my favorite of the bunch. That said, I am hugely honored that my Sword & Sorcery story "Bones of Giants" that will appear in a future issue of "Tales from the Magician's Skull". There is nothing quite like the feeling of submitting a short story to a publication that likely has hundreds of submissions, and getting that acceptance email. I love short stories. I love the format, I love the pacing, I love the community that spawns around them. What I don't fancy is the wait. In the original iteration of this website, I stated that my story "Asgina" will appear in a future issue of Weirdbook Magazine.
I'm still waiting.
There were a lot of things during that time that got in the way of my writing. A global pandemic happened and that only managed to add to the stress of my day job, teaching middle schoolers history. I also came to understand that I am lazy and, more often than not, distracted. While there are still a number of stressors in my life, many of which I can't control, I do recognize things about myself that I do not like, and that I am able to influence. With this knowledge, it is my intention to move forward with my passion for storytelling, albeit on a more focused path.
You see, I am a man of many interests. I love dinosaurs and all things prehistoric, I love history, I love that niche genre known as "Sword & Sorcery", I love Westerns too. Unfortunately, juggling all of those different genres and passions makes for an unproductive writer (at least in my case). Interestingly enough, a much-respected acquaintance of mine, author Scott Oden ("A Gathering of Ravens", "Memnon"), recently expressed similar experiences on his own blog. I suppose, his confessions and revelations, at least in part, led me here.
You see, out of all the things I love and am passionate about, I am most driven by what I call "Adventure". In fact, this is what got me into reading in the first place.
I was maybe 10 or 11 when my mother took me to a recently opened Barnes & Noble bookstore in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was the first major bookstore in my area, so it was a pretty big deal. See, I have always loved books, but that was mostly relegated to scanning pages for pictures of dinosaurs.
That day changed me.
There I was, scanning the shelves of the Young Adult section when I stumbled upon a spine that read "INCA GOLD" in big, bold letters. It was the story of an adventurer and his team of daring do-gooders battling an evil artifact smuggling ring as they raced to find a hidden treasure. Sitting beside it was "SHOCKWAVE", baring a similarly action-packed back-piece. The pair were toned-down-for-kids versions of novels by a man name Clive Cussler. I devoured them and soon my shelf at home was lined with used paperbacks emblazoned with the man's name. Under the deft hand of Mr. Cussler, his main characters Dirk and Al took me on modern-day, swashbuckling adventures akin to something like a love child born from the loins James Bond and Indiana Jones. Much, much later in life, I would discover James Rollins who would remind me why I loved these books as a kid.
The exotic locales.
This is what I want to write. A place that "REMNANT" firmly fits into. Mike and his partners at Primal Publishing have been very good to me. Currently, I'm sitting at about 150 reviews and maintaining a solid 4.5 stars. I'm happy with that. I'll never not love what I created in Ada and Penny, but, like old high school friends, I seem to have lost touch with them. I can see them in my mind, I can remember the adventures we had, but I don't really hear them anymore, they don't speak to me. Not out of any kind of animosity, but because we simply took divergent paths. For me, they remind me of a time in my life that I don't see represented in the man I am today. So, I think it's time for me to move on from them. That isn't to say I won't ever revisit the Price sisters, but for the foreseeable future, they will be relegated to reminiscing and fond memories.
But the adventure is not over. Not while I'm still fighting to hang on. I am currently outlining a new adventure that highlights all the things I loved about those old Cussler novels. Just thinking about it all makes me giddy.
I think that's a good sign.
I'm going to try to post stuff here every week or so. I'll do the usual reviews and thought-pieces, but my main goal is to give updates on this elusive Work-in-Progress. I'd love to catch some new readers, but honestly, it's mostly for me.
The Adventure starts here.