thriller

AuthorTalk – Update 5.20

It has been said that a people without pho perish. Or was it vision? Or both? Either way, I worked all weekend on a five year plan, spending the better part of a week discussing, researching and considering life in general. It’s been a wonderful time of reflection and I am at perfect peace. Not that everything is or will be perfect, but I’m dreaming big, making goals, and I will finish the fight.

I closed out the 1st Qtr of 2020 by finishing the script for Vehemence Vol 1 and submitted it into the publisher. With the craziness going on in the world right now, I am still awaiting more definite details to flow my way. I’m proud of that story and I hope one day to share it with all of you.

I had to sort out my career and am working on starting back at school in June. With things coming together, I am finally also getting back to writing. The following projects are getting back on track:

A Grim Awakening: a steampunk epic manuscript. Still planning on finishing it this year. Likely late fall 2020.

Fallen Vol 1: is actually 2/3 written. Plan on polishing it up and concluding the first volume this year.

Eliam Vol 1: working on an outline, but I do plan on finishing the 1st volume this year.

Sugar Coated: I intend on finishing spring 2021.

Nebula Vol 1: summer 2021

Singularity: done by the end of 2021.

Other projects are at different stages. Plus I’m still working on advancing to intermediate on guitar and I have a black belt test to prepare for this year. Lastly, I’m super stoked at what the future holds. I’m excited and pumped up and ready to rock. Lots of great books to read, code to learn and skills to perfect. Once I was a jack of all trades. Now I am the master. Or something like that.

Case Study – Professional Writing

Years later, after already being lied to by financial aid, I soon discovered the head of the professional writing department resigned from his duties due to being charged with sexual assault. Apparently, this had been going on for thirty plus years, with multiple accusers, and they failed to mention it in the brochure. It makes for an intriguing conversation starter, but what exactly does professional writing look like?

First, my “writing career” has gone in variety of directions. I wrote award winning short stories while in school. I spent a decade getting articles and reviews published in over a dozen publications. I earned a bit of change as a freelance writer. I even did work as a ghost writer. I made some money, so that makes me a pro, right?

I’ve written detailed essays on retroviruses, award winning poetry, and scripts for television, commercials, game shows, graphic novels, comic strips and even an award winning indie film. On the creative side of things, I also managed to write and self-pub a novel that hit #12 on Amazon. Cool, cool.

I believe the problem with my writing career is just that: for years I played the role of professional writer. Such a generic term. Think on this. On top of everything I’ve listed, I also wrote business plans, marketing plans, press releases, training manuals, legal reports, and code for databases. In fact, I’ve now studied VBA, MySQL, HTML, JavaScript, and Python. Did I mention I’ve also written songs? And I don’t even remember the hundreds of other things I’ve tinkered with.

In one sense, it’s great that writing can be transferred to a number of incredible occupations. I’ve even done copy editing, proof reading and developmental editing. On top of video editing! Yes, the ability to communicate is an essential skill. However, did you see the problem? I sure did. I guess I had been blind to it for far too long.

Yep. Jack of all trades but master of none. Consistently distracted, continually learning, but never coming to a place of sheer satisfaction. And that’s the interesting thing about this case study. Despite the successes, all I hear is the sound of failure.

For a long time I lived life as a conquered of molehills. I hear someone exclaim, “I do sales!” So I go and spend two years, win eight awards, and master the art of sales. Then another guy shouts, “I am a graphic designer!” And I charge into battle, designing 180+ billboards. Then another guy says, “I’m a beast at customer service.” Oh yeah. Well I have six awards and a handful of employee of the year awards at various companies! And that’s how I went about life. Hilltop to hilltop. Conquest to conquest. A pile of worthless rewards and a burned out attitude lacking much passion.

Yeah, I went about writing that way too. Ghost writer, technical writer, copy writer, copy editing, proof reader, marketing, business, publication relations, coding, film, poetry, novels, manga…well, you get the picture I suspect. When you continually hop from discipline to discipline, it’s difficult to mature, to grow, to come to any sort of sophisticated level of understanding.

The haze began to clear when I finished my graphic novel script. It was the proudest I have been of my writing for years. I started to think: man, writing manga, writing novels…those are things I genuinely love. Not so much film or technical writing or any host of things I had worked on. Sure, I could do those things. But I didn’t have the passion for them like manga and novels.

Then I had a talk with a bigwig at a company. A guy who had significant military and business experience. He pointed out my main weakness, perhaps my only weakness, had always been focus. I could do anything…but I lived life like I had something to prove. And I needed to prove it to anybody and everybody. It’s true. I grew up in abusive home. I guess I always felt like the underdog in every situation. When in reality, I need to stop, consider, and focus on on the things I’m truly passionate about. Then set out to master those things.

It doesn’t mean I don’t have hobbies. Martial Arts. Guitar & Piano. Learning foreign languages and gardening. Working out. Fantasy Football. Reading. Gaming. But when it comes to passion, what four things would I narrow it down to?

Well, writing, of course, is number one. I don’t care if I’m never famous. I love it. And I want to focus on manga and novels and maybe a video game one day.

Problem solving is number two. I love investigations. I also love math and data. Teaching is number three. With critical thinking and creative freedom tied at four.

Where does that leave me? Well, I love data analytics and want to master data science. I love investigative/intelligence analyst, and want to continue to master it and possibly teach it. And if I can master the art of being an author, I believe I will accomplish a portion of what I was created to do.

To me, loving what I do will always be more important than the amount of money I make or fame I incur. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll hear those words one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Well, I can hope at least. In the meantime, here’s to being a master of a handful of skill sets as opposed to being a jack of all trades.

Creed Hits #12 in Sci-fi on Amazon!

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The first of three FREE Saturday events was a major success. I went to bed sitting at #12 in sci-fi, and I am pretty sure I broke into the top ten before the event was through. The next two Saturday events will be on October 17 and on October 31.

Also, I am working on getting a paperback version out in time for the holidays. More details coming soon.

What the people are saying?

Loving on Creed: For God & Country

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“Fast-paced, Suspenseful, Exciting. This is a great read. Fast-paced, suspenseful, and intriguing. Once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down.” Bruce Scivally

“Great read even for non-sci-fi fans. I am not really a sci fi fan but I felt Creed was very well written, fast paced and kept me guessing as to whether David Mathis was the good guy or the bad guy. I could not put it down easily as I was anxious to see what happened to Mathis next, he never seemed to get a break but always managed to escape against all odds. I’m anxious to read the sequel.” Elizabeth Rash

“Excellent. This is a high-octane, 0-60 in one blink sci-fi thriller. Just when you think you have it all figured out, whip-lash!! Teeth-grinding good from cover to cover. Can’t wait for the next book! What am I supposed to read now…. darn it!” Justin Fleetwood

“Check this out! This book is a great pick that keeps your attention the whole way thru. Worth a 2nd read!” Brian Mitchell

Check it out for yourself at http://www.amazon.com/God-Country-Creed-Novel-ebook/dp/B00RSJPHOK/

Book Release

Today, you can find my debut novel right here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RSJPHOK. I decided to self publish it in ebook form. Here is a quick peak at the back cover:

What if one day you discovered you were not human?

David Mathis, emotionally wounded by divorce and unemployment, is burnt out and ready to pull the trigger when he is faced with the hard-hitting truth.

He is Creed 0324, one of the many genetically engineered humans created by the U.S. government. Designed to be the perfect weapon, he alone has the unique ability to absorb the physical traits of any living organism he touches. However, after flaws began to surface during
the experiment, the genetically engineered soldiers were terminated. All except one.

Suddenly, David’s life takes a drastic turn as he finds himself accused of murder and hunted by vicious hitmen. To make matters worse, his daughter has been taken hostage, and the kidnapper plays a cruel game.

Confronted by his past, David’s fabricated identity begins to unravel as he is torn between dual personas: human mind and mindless killer. Not only is his
daughter’s life at stake, but the future of an entire nation. Now he must fight for his life, his humanity, and his creed.

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