Skip to content

Month: March 2018

New CCH Comic Strip Coming!

A small teaser!

Community College Hijinks, a lighthearted comic strip that takes place during the Fall semester (when everyone is still alive!), will be posted here on Thursday, March 29th, and then every other Thursday after that! This is a project I’m working on with artist Gloves Belanger, and both of us are very excited about it!

Each strip will be four panels. This is just the first panel of Strip #001. Gloves and I already have four strips completed, so at least that many will be posted. Whether or not we keep going depends a lot on reader interest and feedback, so if you enjoy it, please leave a comment!



Why I created a new Reader Appreciation Group

Some folks asked me why I created the new Reader Appreciation Group two weeks ago, considering that I had spent two years building a reader email group with Well, there are many reasons, and I wanted to explain my thought process.

First, I wanted to create a new website that introduced readers to ME as opposed to introducing them to my CONTENT. I’ve been listening to a lot of marketing podcasts recently, including the very funny guys on the Novel Marketing podcast. They focus almost entirely on marketing for fiction writers, and I’ve been obsessed with them in recent weeks. Anyway, one of their basic principles is that authors should brand themselves and not hide behind their stories. So I took the plunge and created a new website with a new email account. If you’re interested in learning more about marketing your fiction, check the Novel Marketing guys out here. So anyway, since I was creating a new website, a new email group was needed.

(*Short aside; building with WordPress was about a million times more fun and intuitive than was building the old CCH site. I’ll probably post more about the process of building this site, but for now, I’ll stay focused on the new Reader Appreciation Group.)

Second, I discovered MailChimp and it was like the clouds parted. Ahhhhhh! (sound of clouds parting) MailChimp makes managing an email list SO much easier! For example, for over two years with the CCH email account, I had manually collected emails, but I could never tell how many people actually opened them. I didn’t know if the messages were even reaching anyone. I also couldn’t provide an unsubscribe button for recipients, although no one ever asked to be unsubscribed. I was also sending the emails by blind carbon copying the recipients, and the guys on Novel Marketing said that is the WORST way to send emails, because it will send most emails to spam. So I suspect very few messages were actually reaching anyone.

Third, I wanted to refocus on my READERS, not ME. I have probably fallen into the trap of just talking about myself and my projects, which is not the best way to show readers my appreciation for their support. So this gives me a chance to shift gears and provide more reader-friendly content.

I’ll send the first Reader Appreciation Group message this weekend!


Comments closed

Seeking small group of dedicated alpha readers for Talon City

Over the past few weeks, I have been designing an interactive version of Talon City as I continue to write the “regular” version. I figure for roughly 20% more work, I can create the story in both formats, so why not?

I am seeking a small group of readers (maybe 5 or 6) to give feedback over the next 2-3 months, especially on the interactive version of the story (which will include most, if not all, of the content of the “regular” version.) I really hope to have the story, at least the draft, done by June.

The interactive version leans more story than game, meaning the central plot pushes the action, but you still get to make decisions for not one, but three, different characters as they pursue different goals based on these decisions. That being said, it’s not told in second person POV (“you”), and the reader does not create their own protagonist, unlike most other Hosted Games, so if you’re heavily into roleplaying a character, this might not be your cup of tea. We can still be friends though!

The interactive version is told in third-person POV, just like the “regular” version of the story, but you get to guide the actions of:

  • Rory, a barn owl attorney. She’s the protagonist and the majority of chapters will be viewed from her POV.
  • Concordia, the plucky dove sidekick. I anticipate about 10-20% of the chapters will be viewed from her POV.
  • Ayvex, the main antagonist, a very scary falcon. I anticipate about 10-20% of the chapters will be viewed from her POV.

Test out the first three chapters HERE. (about 6,000 words)

After reading it, if you enjoy the story and want to help me test, email me at! 

I am looking for folks who REALLY like to read and border on ‘story nerds.’ You know, folks who love to analyze stories, look for themes, plot holes, etc. Those are my peeps! Also, if you like low fantasy or legal thrillers (this marries the two), you might be my target audience.

I’ll mostly be looking for “high-level” feedback on topics like pacing, setting, prose, characterization, plot holes, etc. I want the story to be fast paced, thrilling, and intense, and maybe you can help me deliver!


Comments closed

Update on Community College Hero 2: Knowledge is Power

CCH2 has been submitted to the publisher. It is currently in the copy edit phase. This is an important step in making the text as clean as possible.

The artist is tackling the cover while the text is being edited. She has already created four awesome interior covers for CCH2, and those are ready to go! I expect the cover to be finished in the next two weeks.

No release date is set yet, but I will let you know as soon as that happens!

Thanks so much for your patience!

Have a Specktacular day!

1 Comment

20% SALE on CCH Swag on today!

I will rarely pitch my CCH merchandise like this, but Redbubble has a SALE today; 20% off EVERYTHING!

The code at checkout is TWENTY20

Link is here!

I have little control over pricing the merchandise, as my profit margin is already slim, so when the vendor runs a good sale, I feel like I should mention it to possible save people money. Redbubble runs these 20% sales from time to time, but they pop up with short notice, and it’s hard to spread the word.


Comments closed

Guess the Achievement! (small spoiler)

One of the Achievements in Community College Hero 2 is called “Sometimes you need a Quickie.” It’s worth 25 points.

Who wants to guess what your character might have to do in order to earn this achievement?  Keep it clean(ish) and comment below!

*For non-beta testers only!  You awesome beta testers already know the answer. 



Progress on Talon City

I’m over 10,000 words into my draft of Talon City, a fantasy legal thriller that represents my first stab at a traditional novel.

My elevator pitch is, “Think John Grisham meets the Jungle Book meets the Purge!”

To stay on track for self-publication by the end of 2018, I need to keep on schedule:

  • Finish first draft by April 30th. I will need to write about 1,000 words per day. Also watch online webinar program I purchased with specifics of self-publishing.
  • Spend May revising.
  • Get a structural edit in June – an editor can tell me what works and what doesn’t.
  • Revise again in July-August. Also start working on getting cover art/graphic artist.
  • September – solicit feedback from trusted beta readers.
  • October – get a copy edit and finalize cover art.
  • November – either hire a format person or do the formatting myself.
  • Late November or early December: Self-publish!

If I can help anyone learn the ropes of self-publishing, I would be happy to do that! Look for more updates as I educate myself about the process.


Get the FREE Short Story, A Very Stoic Christmas

Before you pick up Community College Hero 2: Knowledge is Power (set to be published in the first half of 2018), catch up with Stoic on a winter evening taking place between the events of Community College Hero and Community College Hero 2. 

This 3,000-word traditional short story follows Stoic around the city of Speck, Nebraska, after her classmates have all left for Winter Break. Find out what dramatic event happens this night that leads Stoic to make a critical decision about her future.

To get this FREE short story, sign up for my NEW Reader Appreciation Group by clicking HERE.




(Spoiler!) Artwork of a New Villain for Community College Hero 2!

In spring 2016, as I was working on the draft of Community College Hero 2: Knowledge is Power, Choice of Games invited me to participate in a charity auction for My Friend’s Place, a resource center serving homeless youth, ages 12-25, and their children. I was honored when the winning bid went for $410.00! The idea that my little story could raise that amount of money for a worthy cause was truly humbling.

The winning bidder sent me a character profile for a villain he had created, who just so happened to be a perfect match for the villain I needed to introduce in the sequel. So as a small teaser for the upcoming 2018 release of Community College Hero 2: Knowledge is Power, I give you the Issue 5 cover featuring the villainous Wyvern!

And many other authors were generous enough to offer prizes to potential bidders! In total, the group of seven writers raised $2,560.00 for My Friend’s Place.

See the winning bids here!

Comments closed