Category Archives: Brothers of the Zodiac – Earth

I apologize

It’s been two or three weeks since I’ve updated this blog. I sincerely apologize because my head has been in City of Heroes nearly constantly.

It’s good to see it back, to play the old missions. Arachnos, Warriors, Council, Sky Raiders, the maps, the missions and contacts – it brought back old memories. Fighting in caves, warehouses, offices…different than Champions Online. I found out some ways to get different perks.

This is OCD in full-bloom. I need to ease up.

  1. I plan on stepping away from the game, attempting to just get on during the weekends.
  2. I need to write again. Something upbeat and fluffy, as something different. It’ll probably never see the light of day, though.
  3. I can grab a couple of characters and write stories about them from CoX. Personally I like Maximillian (Leader of “The Maximum Ride Gang”)–he’s a villain.
  4. I have other characters that I can work on. My writing depends on characters, not settings or plots.

This week, Maxwell Thomas has a book coming out, the omnibus of Brothers of the Zodiac. It’s eBook only, so available on Amazon, Smashwords, Nook, etc.

Autumnfest next weekend

War Mage is finished, and books are on their way to me. I’ll be at the Autumnfest next week in Woonsocket, RI for the whole weekend, selling my books and books from Paper Angel Press. They will include Books 1 and 2 of the Glass Bottle series, Building Baby Brother and Children of the Wrong Time.

My books are Homecoming, War Mage, Grimaulkin, Grimaulkin Tempted, Grimaulkin Redeemed, and the erotica series, Water and Earth. (Fire is later this month.)  In addition, my free short stories “Self-Defense”, “The Joint”, and “Family Bonds” will be available FOR FREE. FREE, FREE, FREE!

Lastly, I’ll offer Tarot readings for any purchase.

I’m working on research for Air’s first story: a Revolutionary War spy. Guess what sign that is?

I’m writing on my lunch hour. I get about a hand-written 8×10 page finished every day. I can’t seem to write the sex scenes, though. It’s like the environment isn’t conductive to that kind of thing.

Earth released–and I am a writer

Earth has been released as of Friday, June 15, and there have already been some downloads. Maxwell is slowly building up followers. It was noted that his bio seemed misogynistic so I changed that, and it seems I got more people that way. I have a newsletter for Maxwell that I’ll put out every quarter or so. I also had a newsletter that went out a couple of weeks ago for my appearances with Grimaulkin.

I’m presently writing “Leo” for Fire, having finished “Sagittarius”. It could go for another 3K words but it wouldn’t really drive the plot. It would be sex for sex’s sake, which is I guess what erotica is. Maybe I’m not writing erotica, but romance. “Taurus” was a romance.

Oh, I got a two-star rating on Pisces at Audible. Something didn’t agree with someone, I guess; though I wish I knew what it was so I can improve or change things. I can’t satisfy everyone, but I can try to satisfy some people.

I went to a cocktail party last night, and when people asked me what I did, I said, first off, “I’m a writer.” It felt so good saying that. My day job pays the bills, but that’s not who I am. I am a writer, first and foremost, a published writer. After describing one of the Earth stories, one woman said, “When you do that in heterosexual style, let me know.” There’s a market for that,  Maybe Max can do some of that, too?

But the point is, I am a writer. Not a cog in the corporate machine, but a writer.


Had a successful meet and greet yesterday. Sold a bundle of all three books I have published (other than Water), plus the shorts, all for $30. See, if you come visit me, you get free stuff AND cheap stuff too!

I didn’t have enough space to read cards, so I owe her (she’s an author in ARIA). She’s also in charge of the Lively Literati which I will be the featured author for on the 28th of this month. I’ll have stuff, but I don’t think I can read cards there. It’s a very busy place.

I had really good neighbors, and networking was a plus. We all traded how we do things, what events were successful, what to watch out for, things like that. My neighbor and I were the only fantasy authors there. He was more high fantasy while I’m contemporary fantasy, so we didn’t conflict.

I was over the moon with the sales. I’m so easy to satisfy.

In other news, Earth should be out next Friday, at least the e-books. We’re waiting on a few things, but the pre-order is up if you want to get in now. Maxwell Thomas is tweeting almost daily. We’re working on building up his followers. He’s on twitter @MaxwellTAuthor.

Grimaulkin Redeemed is almost ready to go for July 1. I hope to have copies for the Lively Literati on the 28th, but I should definitely have copies for Richmond’s Author Day on July 14. It will be bittersweet to see the last in the trilogy…however the publisher is thinking of me doing an anthology consisting of some of the characters in the Grimaulkin story, like Ritter and the Knight in the Atheneum. Maybe. But I’m working on Fire right now. My personal goal is to get that one done by October.

Oh yeah, and then there’s War Mage. Um…yeah. Still doing research on it. I’m listening to War by Sebastian Junger, which is all about soldiers in Afghanistan in 2008, three years after my book takes place. It’s still pertinent because they didn’t have glatis plates on the bottom of Hummers to stop IED’s from killing people in the armored personnel carriers. It’s a very interesting and insightful book, something I should have read before any others.


A new gig!

Hello there.

If you’re new, welcome! If you’re not, welcome anyway!

This site updates you on what’s going on with my writing life, books I’m writing, reading (that I can see because, I tell you, I’m going blind) and other important things going on in life that might make for interesting reading.

First off, Grimaulkin Redeemed is on its final proof! It’s almost in the hopper, ready for publication on July 1. i’m so sad, because this is the last of the trilogy, and I have just a few ideas of what to do next.

Earth will be out June 15 (we’re waiting on the final cover) with the audiobook to follow probably a couple of months later. Earth is going to be shorter (and cheaper) than Water. My favorite in Earth is “Taurus”, though “Capricorn” is pretty good, too. Read them and tell me what you think here or on twitter @warwriter or @darkmysticquill.

Now….drum roll please….

Maxwell Thomas will be guesting on the Zarra Knightley website. Zarra Knightley Publishing does my gay erotica series, but they don’t only do gay erotica. They do heterosexual erotica as well. It just so happens that the books they have available are under Maxwell Thomas, my alter-ego.


Come to beautiful downtown Woonsocket on Social Street to the Woonsocket Harris Public Library on june 9 from 10-2 and see ME! And buy my books! And get free stuff! And I’ll give you a card reading if you mention that you saw this on my blog. (You’ll also get a card reading if you buy a book, too.)


Writing and editing and appearances–oh my.

I might be back in the saddle again. This week was very busy with editing and writing. If I was working, I would never get all this done.

First, there’s a podcast waiting over at Dark Mystic Quill about whether or not you are a writer if you write. Well, duh, you might think. But there are some people that don’t believe you’re a writer if you just write–that you have to be read. Sometimes, that’s not the important part.

I finished “Taurus”. It’s not a typical romance, it has just a little erotica, but I think it’s pretty good. You’ll see Earth–maybe–June 15 or definitely by July 15.

July 1 is the date slated for Grimaulkin Redeemed. Also, maybe by July, will be the audiobook of Grimaulkin.

As for appearances, I will be at the Shastea Lounge in Pawtuxet Village (pronounced in Rhode Island as “P’tuxet”) on May 31 with one of my poems during open mic at 7 pm. On June 26 I’ll be the featured author there (did I mention this already? Sorry if I did) reading “The Joint” and I’ll have books for sale.  I won’t be at Poetry and Beans in Coventry on June 16 because I actually have a social engagement.  Surprise!

And, of course, WorldCon in San Jose August 15-20!



Writing when bored

I was bored yesterday.

I had finished Grimaulkin Redeemed, and it’s at the editor. I “finished” “Taurus”–it could go on for a couple more scenes, but I like ending it where it is.

I had the urge to write. I wrote a poem that I’m going to read at the Lively Literati which is sponsored by ARIA, and is kind of a poetry-prose open-mic evening of readings and public speaking.  Because that poem’s depressing, I’m going to write a more fun one today.

Okay, so I did the poem, which took me an hour, and I was still bored. What to do next?

I opened up Scrivener. Maybe something would come to me. I had downloaded an outline template for Scrivener and it was first in my list. I opened it up. I was initially going to take out my trusty Story-matic cards that have helped me develop stories in the past, but then I thought about War Mage.

The outline template is called Fool-Proof Outline, from the book of the same name that I had downloaded through Kindle Unlimited (when I used it briefly at the beginning of the year). It’s a series of questions to get you thinking, preparing, and help you write a crappy first draft. But it’s still a first draft.

I had sent to the editor what I had written with War Mage version 7, along with what I planned to do with it. He hasn’t gotten back to me (I wonder why….after all, I’ve sent him a novel, two novellas, a short story–and there’s not only me in his stable–plus he has a life… 😉 ) But I thought, eh…what the hell.

I filled out a few of the questionnaires, and restarted the first scene. I’m changing Brent from the easy-going guy he was in Homecoming to someone a little colder, calculating, and suspicious. That’s a lot like Mike, so it’ll be interesting to see how I make Brent into someone slightly different. The next thing I knew, four hours had passed and I was thinking of War Mage as fun, not a chore.

Maybe the eighth time’s the charm.

One of three completed!

Grimaulkin Redeemed has been finished and is at the editor. I feel pretty good about this story. Even though I didn’t tie up the loose end from Grimaulkin Tempted, I developed Grimaulkin into a reluctant hero, which was the point of this book. It’s the last in the series, but I don’t know if it’ll be the last we hear of Grimaulkin. I love him so much, I can’t give him up; and, of course, it depends on if he has fans who clamor for more.

Next is Earth. “Virgo” is at the editor’s also. I’m not thrilled with that story. I’m working on “Taurus” and it’s right now meandering into a long, drawn out, denial-of-love story that I hate. But maybe it’s one of those kinds of stories that others love.

Lastly, of course, is War Mage. Yes, I know–I can’t seem to get past getting things “right”. My initial thought about magic in the military is that they’re not utilizing it to its fullest extent. That mages have a high turnover because they’re in the front line. I keep thinking about the single star review saying, “There’s no story here except for the last twenty pages.” So I tried to make it a murder mystery instead. But it’s really hard for me to change one character from a non-trusting enemy to a steadfast friend. It’ll take a lot longer than 40K words to do it, and I’m not sure I have the patience. If I don’t have the patience, then neither will the reader.

At the moment, I have no other ideas. I kind of want to get out of the magical realism realm, but it’s what I know. I can easily write that kind of thing. In fact I just bought a couple of books on ceremonial (“high”) magic. It’s where my interests lie. I don’t want to make a Harry Dresden copy-cat, though there’s plenty of them around; and I allude to further adventures that Mike has in “Family Bonds”.

Maybe I will keep Grim alive.

The end is nigh

Grimaulkin Redeemed is at 39K words, and I just started what I believe is the beginning of the  ending of the main plot. I have to throw in a few side plots for filler. I’m especially concerned why a certain antagonist is even in the story. If I take him out, a lot of really good stuff goes with it; not to mention about 10K words. Kill my darlings? No., that’s too easy..I’m going to fit that damn square peg in the round hole.

I didn’t do my homework last weekend, working on Redeemed and my own personal homework instead.  While doing laundry, I can work on Earth, specifically Virgo, and at least get that one in the can. Taurus is giving me trouble because, well, it’s pretty obvious that a Brokeback Mountain scenario just screams for that one. Yes, there’s a cowboy involved. Yes, there are cows involved. (Steer, not cows…gotta get that straight.) But I can’t copy Brokeback Mountain. And it’s sounding a lot like Cancer right now, so I have to do something to twist it.

My son asked me about War Mage and I kind of wanted to hide under the seat. I have such a hard block with it. I want to make it realistic. But I don’t want to get hate mail from veterans saying, “You got this wrong.”  And because the internet and books are somewhat classified, I can’t get the full picture and the details. I tried to read a critically acclaimed book about soldiers at war, but the print was so small I couldn’t see it. Audible to the rescue (I hope it’s in there)!

I hope to get to 42K by next week, as I will be busy for the second half of the week and may not get to write. I’ll do laundry and get Virgo out.