Dark Fantasy doesn’t mean End Times

I have a new Dark Heroic Fantasy book that I put a lot of work into: revising, re-editing, a new interior art piece from illustrator Carlos Villas.

The Saga of Braccus Straun Volume 1 is and has been a labor of love and a nod to some of the great authors I read as a kid and young adult…and even now. It is action. It is adventure. It is about a father and husband who has to do a crap job to keep his family fed and clothed and sheltered, who ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, dealing with a person who wants his revenge on a person not even closely related to Braccus.

So bad things happen to Brac and his family. He finds himself out there all alone with just his wits and know-how. He has to save his family in the end. He has to save himself even though things appear dire all around him.

He keeps MOVING FORWARD against all odds, against an rough today and uncertain tomorrow.

And he finds something interesting along the way as he traverses his world with eyes wide open.

The Saga of Braccus Straun could be anyone’s life story in a grand, exaggerated way, with Brac’s set in a fictional fantasy world. The stories are a nod to great genre writers that I have enjoyed and still do: Moorcock, Wagner, Howard, Shrewsbury…to name but a few.

If there is any message in Straun’s story, it is: be strong, keep going against all odds, keep moving forward.

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Following Your Passion

Not JK Rowling or Stephen King. Writing is not my day job. Writing is not my bread and butter, or feeds the family nor pays the mortgage and car payments. An end goal perhaps? Sure. But for now, it is SOMETHING. It is a passion like gardening or keeping your house clean or maintaining your FB presence (if that’s your thing) or painting or composing music or poetry.

Writing is a passion and happy but grueling pursuit for the deep inner ME. It is a personal thing; the tasty bacon, though a little greasy strip, that wraps around the larger meaty part of my life which is family, breathing, friends, breathing, and work. It is my little personal a-way place I can go to truly be a little different, to lay on the couch in the therapists office and fictionally spill my guts.

My passion for and in writing is always a work-in-progress. An adventure. A destination. And with anything you truly love, you hope it’s always there and a long road.

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Beginnings Again

Not sure why but kind’ve been OFF CIRCUIT over the summer (2017). Been busy doing family things and working and breathing, but from a writing standpoint and updating my blog and writing happenings… ummm… not so much.

It’s the end of summer 2017. The kids are gearing up to go back to school. Soon the days will turn cooler. The trees will start to change colors. It’s as good of time as any to START ANEW.

Actually, ANY TIME is a good time and a fine time to start anew. If you were procrastinating yesterday, TODAY is the day to turn that around and start fresh, to buck up and taken on your world, your projects, your life, head on. You can do eet, Stimpy!!!

So, without further adieu, let’s get rolling again.

My latest addition to the literary mythos is a short story in PRO SE Press’s PRIMAL FEAR anthology that just came out about a month ago. REVENGE OF THE ROADKILL is my little tale.


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Bull, Bits & Bedlam


I am hoping this time of year finds you starting to  eat your fill of whatever you need for hibernation season, and that you get outside and enjoy the Autumnal season in whatever locale you reside.

I am also hoping that next month, October, there will be a few new titles out for public consumption with my name upon them.

Here’s what is hopefully going to be available:

BULL – The second novella in the JOE CROSS: URBAN SALVAGE ENGINEER series. The story takes place on the heels of TRANSPORT: UNCIVIL WAR. (You don’t need to read that to know what’s going on BUT if you feel so inclined, you can find UNCIVIL WAR here.) Joe heads northward, just outside of Reganshire, on his way to acquire a Northern Michigan map dotted with supposed areas where “treasure troves of goods” can be found in this post-apoc landscape. He doesn’t get very far before he runs into trouble and is sidetracked from his main venture. He becomes mixed up with a few fellow Reganite soldiers, and they all become stomping targets for a mutated and monstrously large creature that all thought had been run out of the area. Nope. Still here.

Publisher: Peninsulam Publishing

Cover Art: Russ Colter    Interior Art: Tim Holtrop and Russ Colter

FACES IN PERDITION AND OTHER TALES – I have a collection of short stories that relate to a dystopian and/or post-apoc Michigan landscape. All action-adventure and suspense-thriller pieces. Some of these stories have been published elsewhere years ago, or were written for publication but didn’t make the cut. FACES will bring these short stories, and some other new short works, into one book along with commentary between the works on such subjects as WHY MICHIGAN or WHY DO I WRITE DOOMSDAY STORIES WHEN I AM SUCH A NICE, HAPPY GUY. FACES will include stories such as Alt-History SIGNAL IN THE DISTANCE: a U.S. Korean War ex-CO (commissioned officer), living in a fallout shelter in the shattered Michigan landscape, finds its not the Red Army who’s invaded the region, and also witnesses the rise of a creature that’s been resting 900 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan. Whee! Mayhem ensues!

Publisher: Peninsulam Publishing

Cover: Peter Welmerink

BEDLAM UNLEASHED – This book chronicles the first written histories of Viking berserker, Erik Bedlam, and his traveling companion, Alanis Johannson, as they venture from Ireland (The Battle of Clontarf) to Scotland and down through England trying to find a means to get back home. With an axe shard buried in Erik’s skull, the behemoth sees things not of this world and is truly dangerous and a threat to both foe and ally. Erik and Alanis seem to be magnets attracting all manner of supernatural and mysterious peoples, creatures and events as they wander the 11th century landscape. This is the first book in a (hopeful) series of four: BEDLAM UNLEASHED, BEDLAM LIVES, BEDLAM RULES and BEDLAM IN AFRICA. Written with the author-extraordinaire and Master of Dark Fantasy, Steven L. Shrewsbury.

Publisher: Seventh Star Press

Cover Art: Tim Holtrop

Halloween will be very, very timid compared to the titles above.

Stay tuned for more info on these and other titles and events.

Create on!!


Passion. Find it. And release.

find your passion

My passion is writing. My passion is creating characters, putting them in fantastical situations, and seeing how they get out of trouble, or get deeper into it, and then try to move forward. And sometimes they succeed. And sometimes they fail.

My passion is creating. Just like a dancer, a illustrator, a carpenter, etc.

Yeah, I don’t CREATE full time. Nor do I make my day job out of it…for now. But I have the drive, THE PASSION, and it is something I carry with me 24/7. It’s there. It’s part of my soul, part of my core being.

A passion, an interest, also keeps me moving forward. Keeps me moving forward on those rough days. It gives me something to look forward to. That, at some point, I will sit down and scribble some notes on some new fantastic voyage for a character, create a story line, an idea to start making the creative juices flow. The magic is made when I can sit down at my writing mechanism of choice (and availability) and start that creation process.

I don’t believe in writers block. If there seems to be a day of consternation, I smash through it and just write up some gibberish, or work on something new, setting the main piece or project aside.

Have to keep on keeping on. Because it’s like an arm, or a leg, or a head. It’s part of me!

This passion. This creativity. This yearning to create. IT’S PART OF ME.

So I say to you, CREATE ON. Follow your passion in life, whatever it is.

Long Time, No Posts


Hey, it might be a good idea for me to post something here once in a while. Yes? No?

So, I apologize for the silence.

What’s new since my last post in *groan* December?

My new stand-alone TRANSPORT character, Joe Cross, has come to the light of post post-apoc West Michigan in the form of RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL, the first novella in the JOE CROSS: URBAN SALVAGE ENGINEER series. (Currently have scheduled 4 novellas featuring Joe Cross.)

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After RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL, the next novella is BULL. That piece is done and off to the editor. I am hoping for a late July/early September release for that one.

The Joe Cross material will be published by Peninsulam Publishing.

Oh, and a cool B&W interior art piece of Joe and his traveling companion, Albert, will be in each book, done up by the tremendously awesome Tim Holtrop.

Joe Cross is set in the TRANSPORT Universe along/within the same timeline as the TRANSPORT Series. The TRANSPORT Series is complete and available locally at Schuler Books (28th Street location), and Amazon and B&N.com.

I am continuing to work on getting all my books into the local libraries around West Michigan.

I am also working on another stand-alone character, one-shot book featuring the stories of a homeless man who decides to leave the LIVING humanity of the big city of post-apoc Grand Rapids, and live among the the UNLIVING civilians with the UCRA–the enclosure on the west side of town that holds the local Undead. Look for ALONE coming to a book store near you. 🙂

On a whole different front…and genre…once again ERIK BEDLAM and his stalwart Norse traveling companion, Alanis Johansson, will see their adventures become available again through Seventh Star Press late summer 2016. A collaborative effort between the talented Steven Shrewsbury and myself, BEDLAM UNLEASHED will be the first of (hopefully) a 4 book series. Come adventure with a massive Viking berserker in 11th century Europe!

Other than those feats in literary tom-foolery, I continue to enjoy summer with the family, and work, and breathe. All important things. Yes, yes. 🙂

So, until next time–which hopefully won’t be six months out…

Read on! Create on! And be positive!


PS, also, my little Lake Michigan lakeshore SciFi novella, RETURN TO STRANGE HOME, is available through Peninsulam Publishing. Even have a very cool book trailer done up by the fabulous Frozen Creek Studios folk.

Why I Create

I am no one special. I just have this affliction called CREATIVITY that makes my mind churn, sends its strange ideas down to my fingers which abuse my computer keyboard and expunge stories of the bizarre and fantastic.

Probably the former.

I’ve been doing this since I was a little kid, letting my creative mind wander and sometimes getting it out into the open via hand-written stories, cartoons, comics. Mostly for my own entertainment.

I didn’t start sharing my creativity with the world until, officially, 1993, and then more so and in bulk, ie, many thousands of words which transformed themselves into short stories, novels and novellas. (No graphic novels. yet.)

And I swear, since I turned 50, the ideas and writings have risen to the surface like they did waaay baaack when I first started creating. Not sure why the flame has been re-ignited so hot and brightly now, but am glad for it. Gives some additional meaning and excitement to life.

So, why do I create?


Not that my life has ever been REALLY REALLY bad that I needed to escape from it, but reading adventure books, watching action-adventure movies–either sword and sorcery, or SciFi–left me (since I had the creative bug) wanting to pen my own adventures. Because it is fun. Because it is adventure.

Because I think I’d explode if I didn’t have an outlet for all these stories in my melon.

Why do you create? When did you start creating? Why do you feel the need to keep on creating?

Whatever your answer and reasons, it is good to be…



As a child I used to write these little stick-figure comics/exploits of a character I made up: SPACE VOYAGER. As a adult, I wrote a text-based adventure story about the character and got to see it come to life. Tis awesomeness. Very happy.

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