Sunday, October 30, 2011

A modest request

I need your help. I'm very close to a sales goal for this month. It's not a big goal, but one that I'd love to meet. To do it I need to sell four more copies of Chasing Filthy Lucre by the end of the day tomorrow. It doesn't matter what kind of copy it is. Could be an e-book. Could be a print copy. Just as long as I sell four I'll make my goal.

I debated on whether or not I should share the number that I'm shooting for. The private side of me says no. It's a personal thing and in the end doesn't really matter. The prideful side of me also says no. It's a pretty small number. Almost embarrassingly small. So I've debated and my private side and prideful side have lost out. I'm going to do it. I'm going to share the number. It's 20. If I sell four more copies this month I'll hit 20 sales. And this will be the best month I've had since the spring. Even though it pales in comparison to many other authors, I'm excited.

So can you help? Can you buy a copy? Already have your copy? Then tell someone else about it. Help me make my modest goal. Needed links are below.

For a print copy click here: LINK
For a Kindle copy click here: LINK
For a Nook copy click here: LINK
For every other e-reader version, or a PDF, or a Word file click here: LINK

UPDATE: Two sales yesterday. Just need two more by the end of the night tonight, to make the goal.

UPDATE UPDATE: One more sale needed to hit the goal. Help me out, folks.

Friday, October 28, 2011

So, where have I been?

Please don't look at the dates on the top of these posts. If you do you'll see that I haven't been posting often. Once a week, actually, and it's been interviews. Good interviews, I think. But I haven't been posting otherwise. I'd planned on it. I've meant to, I just haven't done it. This looking for a job has been eating up all of my time. And the time that hasn't gone to that has been eaten up by the baseball playoffs. If you haven't noticed, the Texas Rangers are back in the World Series. I'm a fan. A big one, and I've been sucked into the playoff experience again.

Just because I haven't been here, though, doesn't mean I haven't been writing. I have been and I've made some good progress on the second book in the New Eden series. I've also started and made some progress on another story that could easily develop into an ongoing serial. I'm thinking it could be something in the tradition of the old pulp-style stories.

I've also got a few ideas that are still in the "thinking" stages. These aren't necessarily stories but something bigger. Depending on where these ideas go I'll let you know more about them soon.

Anyway, sorry about the lack of posts here. Hopefully you are liking the interviews, even though there isn't one for this week. I'm enjoying doing them.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Get to know Court Merrigan *UPDATED*

I'm just now getting to know Court Merrigan. He joined a writers' critique group that I'm part of so I've read some of his fiction. But I didn't know anything about the man other than he's a fantastic writer. Read some of his stuff here. Then, when you're done reading his fiction come back and read the answers to the questions I've sent him. We talk short fiction. It's good stuff. And after reading this you're going to follow him on Twitter. Click here to do that.

First, tell us a little about you in under 200 words. How'd you get started writing?

There's a picture of me, 5 years old, writing my first little story.  My mom used to put together little books with cardboard covers and yellow-paper pages, sewn together and everything.  I remember from the very first stories I was able to read, wanting to write my own.

I wrote off and on for a long time, through high school, college, wandering around Asia; but I didn't get really serious about it until about 2004.  And I didn't start getting really serious - e.g., getting up at 4 o'clock to write - until 2005-ish.  

I recently read about some 16-year old girl who has a chapbook or something coming out and has already started college and wants to be in an MFA program before she can legally drink.  God, I would have broken my hands punching walls if I had tried to chain (as is necessary) myself to a desk any time before age 26.  

You said 'wandering around Asia.' What took you there? What kept you there? And what brought you back?

What took me to Asia was 22 years in Nebraska.  I was done with college and I just wanted out into the world.  Got a job teaching English in Japan and went about as far away from my homeland as I could go without starting to come back again.

What brought me back was my daughter.  We were living in a village in Thailand and I knew I couldn't send her to school in the Third World.  Someday she (and my son, who was born later, in the US), may choose to go cross the pond and live for a while on that side of their heritage, and that'd be wonderful.  But I felt it was my responsibility to bring them up here so they'll have that choice to make someday.  For lots of reasons, going from the US to Thailand is far, far easier than the reverse.
And what are you doing when you aren't writing?

At the day job at a community college.  Playing with my kids.  On FB and Twitter and the blog more than I should be, probably.  During the fall, watching the Cornhuskers on Saturdays.  Exercising. 
 Writers require a lot of endorphins and dopamine and you can't get it all from bourbon.  Exercise helps keep those flowing and you feel better the next morning.

I gallivanted around in my younger years, but I'm a pretty staid family man these days.  Mortgage and everything.  In bed by 10 at the latest.

Does your time in Asia affect your writing? If so, how?

Absolutely.  When I'm not writing about my rural homeland, I'm writing about Asia.  The experiences I had over there gave me an inexhaustible trove of material to work with.  (Not that you need to go to Asia or anywhere, really, for that.  Wasn't it Flannery O'Connor who said that anyone who's survived childhood has enough stories to last for life?)

I'm working on some stuff these days that mixes the two.  Imagining characters who look like my kids will twenty years from now, and then having bad things happen to them. 

What attracts you to short fiction?

The rush of finishing, I think.  The fact that when you start there's always a glaring light at the end of the tunnel.  

A novel can be such a slog.  I've written 3 of them.  (Want to see?)  Gearing up to write another, but I keep getting sucked into the gratification of keeping it short.

We swapped some messages on Twitter and you said you are moving from literary fiction to crime and pulp fiction. Why?

You know what Nabokov said: "You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style."

The older I get, the more I like stories.  Plot.  Forward progression.  Something besides beautiful sentences to keep me flicking through the pages.   Don't get me wrong. I like artful sentences strung together one after another.  I just want them to tell me a story.

I feel likewise in my own writing.  I want to tell a story.  To quote Brad Green in his intro to the PANK Crime Issue, "Whereas the literary story is often concerned with how characters react to a given situation, the [pulp story] is obsessed with showing us how we behave during the situation itself."  I agree with this wholeheartedly.  

I would say, though, that there's a difference between good pulp fiction and the formulaic potboilers put out by the James Patterson and Nora Robertsons or whoever of the world.  A story's no good if it's wrapped in turgid prose.  The sentences still have to sing.

What I'm writing now is story.  If it doesn't contribute to the forward narrative of said story, I delete it.  No subtext.  No symbolism.  Just story.  

Which is easier to write? I assume that many people would hear you're switching to pulp/crime fiction and they'd think it's because it's easier to write.

I don't think any good writing comes easily.  Emphasis on the good.  For me, it's all about mutilated drafts, dozens of them.  The process hasn't gotten any easier; it's just that the categories are different.  In some respects, writing pulp is a lot harder, because you can't hide limp-wristed character development and hackneyed plot lines behind pretty sentences.  

Literary fiction at its best moves you to a state of aesthetic bliss; pulp at its best keeps you riveted to the story.  Both are rare.

When you finish a piece of mediocre literary fiction, you're thinking, "So what?"  Finishing is like eating a whole bowl of cold oatmeal because you don't want to waste anything on account of the kids starving in Africa.  (Which may have something to do with why so few non-writers start such stories in the first place.)  

A mediocre piece of pulp, you're not likely to ever finish.  You'll start yawning and find a better way to spend your time.  All perfectly guilt-free.  Pulp that doesn't keep you entertained isn't doing its job, and that's how it should be.

Maintaining the fictive dream in the reader is a hard job to pull off in any genre, but it seems to me that it's harder when the reader has no qualms about looking away.  

I looked at your blog and your current acceptance rate is roughly 10 percent. I think someone who doesn't write would look at that number and say, "What's the point?" So, what is the point? How do you keep from getting discouraged?

An unknown writer like myself is paid in the currency of hope.  It only takes one after all, right?  The right magazine, the right editor, the right agent, the right Twitter contact, the right amalgam in the marketplace, the right google algorithm. 

The amount of luck required is outrageous.  

But thanks to the internet, we're living in a world where the supply of fiction vastly outweighs the demand.  Them's the facts.  I don't think you do yourself any favors by ignoring reality.  

I don't keep from getting discouraged.  I'm discouraged all the time. All the time.  Especially now that I've been writing a lot for a number of years, and success remains elusive.  Every time another rejection arrives from one of those prestigious, super-cool mags I lust to see my name in.  Every irretrievable day passing by that didn't see me get any worthwhile writing done.  

I always feel like I'm on the outside looking in.  Like all the real, successful writers are enjoying solitary parties in vast mansions of acclaim and prestige and money up on the hill, and I'm in my jackshack in the valley, one naked light bulb strung from the ceiling, that distant music tinkling through the warped tin roof.

Possibly I suffer under the delusion of the sunk cost fallacy.  But then that dionysian demon Hope raises her ravishingly hideous face, and it's back to the page I go.

What makes a good piece of short fiction?

If you read it all the way through in one setting.

How about flash fiction? It has so many different definitions, but, in general, what are your feelings on it? I know that, for me, if it gets too short I find it a little too sparse and the stories hard to follow.

I really like the form, myself.  But, like any other form, it has to be done well.  A thousand words or less is an excellent length to explore one incident or impression, maybe two.  Sort of like the Iambic tetrameter or tanka poetry, it enforces a certain discipline, an insistence that every word be pared down to its maximum meaning.  

It's a mystery to me why, in this Twittified and Facebooked era, flash fiction has not achieved more prominence outside writerly circles.  I suspect it's because we're all doing it wrong, somehow.  

Usually I ask for three essential books, but since we are talking short fiction here can you give us three essential pieces of short fiction. Pieces that either shaped who you are as a writer or just stuff you thought was really cool.

"Atomic Supernova", by Scott Wolven
"The Need," by Frank Bill
"Escape From Spiderhead," by George Saunders
"The Peony Garden," Nagai Kafu

What about some writers you think are underappreciated. Who's out there that more people should know about?

Writers who aren't nearly well-known enough:

Scott Wolven is my nomination for best unknown out there.  Why this guy isn't famous, Hollywood directors flocking to his door, editors stepping over dead bodies to get to him, is beyond me.  I wrote more about him here.

The British writer Danny Hogan wrote a cracking good novella called Jailbait Justice.

David Cranmer, editor of Beat To A Pulp, is single-handedly transforming the Western into a noir showpiece with his Cash Laramie & Miles Gideon series.

Google Matthew C. Funk and you can't go wrong.  Everything that guy writes crackles like a live wire.  

My friend Brad Green can elevate a sentence to Elysium in a single comma splice.  

Marc Horne wrote my favorite indie novel of all time, Tokyo Zero.  

Glenn Gray is also a doctor and therefore knows how to induce delicious willies.

Roxane Gay has a following among the internet literati, but on the strength of her writing she deserves more.  I think she's going to get it in due time.

What's up next for you? Anything coming up that we should look for?

I've got stories coming out next year in All Due Respect, Yellow MamaFlywheel, and Necessary Fiction.  I'm also going to be in the Off The Record anthology put together by Luca Veste, and the upcoming inaugural Dirty Noir quarterly.

I'm also going to be editing a special Pulp Issue for PANK  that will come out next spring.  Subs are going to open next month, so send your best stories my way. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Get to know SM Reine

This week's interview is with SM Reine. She's a great writer, a wonderful cover artist, and, now, a publisher. Her new book, Death's Hand, comes out next week. She has a great blog with great tips. Take a couple of minutes and get to know SM Reine.

Give us the elevator pitch, not for your book, but on you. Give us the down and dirty on SM Reine.

By day, I'm immersed in information systems (mainframe and server operations, to be exact), general office work, and motherhood. By night, I'm sleeping. I cram writing and publishing somewhere in between all of that.

Now, how about your books. What do we need to know about Six Moon Summer, All Hallows Moon, and The 19 Dragons?
Six Moon Summer and All Hallows' Moon are in the same series. They're a refreshing take on werewolf mythology following a character named Rylie Gresham, who's this teenage vegetarian that ends up turning into a flesh-hungry monster. She's her own worst enemy. The 19 Dragons is a steampunk novella with a surrealistic fantasy bent... if I can get away with crossing that many genres.

You're a fantasy writer. I assume that means you're a fantasy reader. Have you always been and what is it about the fantasy genre that draws you in as both a reader and a writer?
I'm actually into speculative fiction at large. As a kid, I sharpened my teeth on writers like Tamora Pierce, KA Applegate, Christopher Pike, you name it. Of course, I also had a hearty dose of the classics-- HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle... Choking down realistic fiction is like trying to swallow rocks for me. I have no interest in it, although I couldn't tell you why. Maybe I'm too much of an airhead.

How about steampunk? You describe The 19 Dragons as a steampunk novella. Steampunk is a sub-genre that fascinates me. How did you get interested in it? And what's it like once you start writing a steampunk story?

Steampunk is something I discovered through movies and TV shows rather than literature. It's been one of my creative influences for years. For instance, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a great example of early steampunk. I should have known I was in trouble when I found myself lusting for the goggles and gloves worn by Caractacus Potts as a kid! 

But I found writing steampunk to be a harrowing experience. The subculture is huge. People will put so much money and time into adapting their appliances, fashion, and even their entire house to this elaborate Victorian aesthetic, and since I took a lot of artistic license with the genre, I was afraid of disappointing the fanatics. I really second- and third-guessed myself over The 19 Dragons for the weeks leading into its release. It turns out the fans are forgiving. The warm reception was pleasantly surprising.

I love your book covers. You do those yourself, at least as far as I know. What's your background in graphic design and, as far as covers go, what's your creative process like?
Thank you! Yes, I do all my covers, and I also offer inexpensive cover design for some of my indie friends. I've made covers for Kindle-bestselling writers like Heather Hildenbrand and John O'Brien. That said, I have no background in graphic design whatsoever. In the industry, I'm what's called a "self-taught Photoshop hack." Years of fiddling with personal photos turned into fiddling with stock imagery to create photomontages, and then it somehow became an important (and fun!) part of my career.

When I'm about to embark on a project, I spend time researching similar books and how their covers were designed. I focus primarily on recent and upcoming releases, although I also like to dig into the history a bit because what's fashionable in design is cyclical. Then I pick out hundreds of stock photos I think might fit the project and start whittling down concepts. I usually make at least 3-5 covers for any one book. It's horribly inefficient! My process is growing more streamlined as I mature.

What's the biggest problem you see with most book covers from indie authors and how can it be fixed?
The biggest issue I've seen is distorting photographs. A lot of sins are forgivable in the indie world, but when you have an image stretched to a different ratio, it looks horrible and it screams "unprofessional." Good typography also determines if your cover is effective or not.

OK, on to Red Iris Books. How did that come about and what's the plan for it?
I've been sitting on this business plan for a small, web-based publishing company for years. I actually went to college for business (which, as anyone can tell you, might be one of the less useful degrees you can obtain) and I developed this idea as I trudged through classes on accounting and marketing. Since then, I've been sitting around tweaking it as I see changes in the market, and dreaming of the day I would get the time and capital to make it happen. There will always be excuses to put off big decisions. It sounds cheesy, but becoming a mother made me realize how fleeting time is, and I decided I was done waiting.

I am currently building a platform as one of the best sources of dark fantasy for teen and adult audiences. In the next year, Red Iris Books will slowly open its doors to adding new authors, although it's going to remain extremely selective. I want to help foster careers. The idea is to provide quality control without requiring the authors to sacrifice creative control.

I was at a sci fi convention recently and I listened to a panel of small press publishers talking. Most everyone in the crowd wanted to know what the publishers were looking for. Specifics on lengths, rights purchased, services provided to the authors. If Red Iris were on that panel what would have the answers been?

I am currently acquiring projects by invitation only. As such, the answers to these questions vary widely depending on the needs of the individual author. In the future, I will open submissions to novel-length dark fantasy, and provide editing, formatting, cover design, and promotional services to the authors. Since we will be adding authors to the Red Iris family selectively, we will be able to give each project a lot of individual attention to ensure it reaches its full potential.

What's been the most surprising thing you've learned since starting Red Iris?
Publishing, as with all small businesses, is much more than a full time job. You don't take vacations. You don't get breaks. You can only get out of it as much as you put into it. Yet while it's definitely a tough industry -- and this economy makes it tough to get into selling a product -- everyone involved shares a passion for books, so I make quite a few friends and have a lot of fun while exhausting myself with work. Readers, reviewers, authors, and publishers-- they're all fantastic people. I couldn't do any of it without my support network.

A scenario: A benevolent tyrant comes to you and tells you he's going to ship you off to a small, unpopulated island. He hands you a bag that will hold just three books and tells you to fill it. Which books do you put in there and why?
Firstly, Peter Pan. That book is very special to me. I loved the adventure and fantasy of it as a child, but as I've matured, the book becomes a deep meditation on childhood, aging, and death. They say in the book that Peter takes children who have died partway to the afterlife so they aren't afraid on the journey. It's touching and frightening.

The second book I would take is the Lord of the Rings omnibus edition. Can I get away with that? I could hardly be much of a fantasy fan if I didn't adore the original work of fantasy by the master of world-building.

Finally, I would have to take the unabridged edition of The Stand by Stephen King. It's not my favorite of his books, but it's a heck of a read. If I'm going to be on some boring island (I hate beaches!) I need something long to distract me. Of course, every time I read it, I get a horrible cold and become convinced I'm going to die, but I'll consider that part of the excitement of being abandoned.

Give us a recommended reading list. What are a few underappreciated books you love that others need to know about?
Benighted by Kit Whitfield is the first book to come to mind.

Wrap this all up by telling us what's up next for you and what's next for Red Iris Books.
My next release is Death's Hand, which I'm using to launch Red Iris Books along with Angela Kulig's Skeleton Lake. It's the first in an urban fantasy series about an exorcist and her warlock partner who have gone into retirement, and what happens when old enemies catch up with them. After that, I have some very exciting things planned for the Seasons of the Moon series, but I don't want to talk about it too much yet. I'll be announcing a new author or two for Red Iris by summer 2012, and we'll be opening for submissions by the end of next year. These next few months are going to be very busy!

Thanks so much for having me!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Get to know Neal Hock

As part of this interview series I wanted to talk to more than authors. I wanted to talk to book reviewers. I wanted to talk to editors. Well, Neal Hock is both. He's also another person I met through Twitter. Are you noticing a pattern here?  I think I got his name through Misty Baker, but I'm not sure. Take a few minutes and get to know Neal and what makes someone want to be an editor or book reviewer tick. 

On your blog you are a book reviewer, yet there's a link to your editing services on there also. So which came first, the editing or the reviewing? And is that one your first love?

Well, I guess it depends on your perspective. When I worked in the corporate world, I was the informal editor of performance reviews and business-related materials. However, I didn’t consider pursuing editing at that time. I started a book-review blog because I have a consuming passion for good books. So with regards to sharing my views on the Internet, the reviewing came first. As to what my first love is, I’d have to say I have a love of well-written, good stories. That’s my motivating passion for both editing and reviewing. However, real life has a way of funneling you in certain directions, and due to time constraints, my book reviewing is taking a backseat right now.

What makes someone decide that they want to review books?

A love for good stories. At least that’s what motivates me. I love the exhilaration I get when I finish a good story, and I can’t wait to find the next one.

What about editing? Were you the one weird kid in class who looked forward to diagramming sentences?

It’s funny, but I wasn’t that interested in grammar-related topics in school. Hell, I didn’t read a lot books throughout high school. I just didn’t get excited about The Scarlet Letter, The Good Earth, and The Great Gatsby. However, when I went to college, I had a professor for freshman English that encouraged us to discover modern authors, and from that moment on, my passion for interesting stories was ignited.

As to being a weird kid, I had my quirks. I’m probably a much weirder adult. My wife still gives me a strange look when I bring my Chicago Manual of Style to bed for bedtime reading.

Seriously, though, what kind of editing services do you provide? Do you work primarily with independent authors/self-publishers?

I provide proofreading, copyediting, and concept editing. The vast majority of my clients are independent authors, but I’ve also worked with publishers and websites.

What's the biggest error you find yourself correcting? Do you have a most infuriating mistake you find?

Wow, I’m not sure there is one that stands out. Each author has personal tendencies, so that kind of evens everything out. There are always wayward commas and misspelled or missing words. I guess the most common mistake I find across the board is missing hyphens in compound modifiers. I’ve never been infuriated when I find mistakes. It’s really quite the opposite, because mistakes mean I’ll continue to have work.

For years I did newspaper copy editing work. My favorite Associated Press style rule was for under way. It's two words except when it's used in a nautical sense. Do you have a favorite style or grammar rule? Please say you do. It will make me feel much less like a language loser.

Anyone who can appreciate such a nuance is not a language loser in my book. I’m a sucker for a hyphen in a compound modifier, and I love apostrophes of omission. When to use everyday and every day always gives me the warm fuzzies, too. See, now I look like the language dork.

Since you review books, it stands to reason that you've read a lot of them. What are three books that came across your desk that surprised you? And they don't need to be surprisingly good books. We all know that something can be unexpectedly bad.

Well, I’ll stick with the good. The whole point of my book-review site is to share good books. If I read something that I’m not crazy about, I usually just set it aside and keep my mouth shut. You know, the whole “if you can’t say something nice” thing. The biggest thing that has surprised me since I started reviewing books is the number of quality works being self-published. There are a lot of talented writers out there that are relatively unknown.

Three books that blew me away when I read them: As I Embrace My Jagged Edges by Lee Thompson, The Pack: Winter Kill by Mike Oliveri, and Identity Crisis by Debbi Mack.

I'm sure there are a few indie authors reading this. How can they contact you if they wanted to?

The website for my editing services is The website for my book-review site is An e-mail address to contact me directly is on each site.

Can you give us a recommended reading list? What books do we need to read if we haven't yet?

Sheesh, you’re trying to get me in trouble here. I’m afraid I might leave someone out. Here’s a few authors everybody needs to try: Guido Henkel, Stephen James Price, Debbi Mack, Mike Oliveri, Lee Thompson, Anthony Neil Smith, Scott Nicholson, R.E. McDermott, Willie Meikle, David T. Wilbanks, and Jeff Bennington.

What's the biggest piece of advice you have for authors as a reviewer? What about as an editor?

From a reviewer’s standpoint, I’d advise authors to not argue with a reviewer about the reviewer’s review. Especially if you solicited the reviewer. Recently I’ve seen a couple of authors say all kinds of things about reviews they didn’t agree with. If you get a review that’s bad, see what you can learn from it and then move on.

From an editor’s standpoint, I’d advise authors to always continue to learn more about their craft. Continue to put tools in your writer’s toolbox. If there are things that you struggle with, pinpoint them and try to improve. In this new digital age a writer can’t afford to put out a subpar product.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A price change and an update

I've been thinking about doing this for a while, but Monday I'm going to do it. On Monday I'm raising the price of Chasing Filthy Lucre to $1.99.

I'm doing this for a couple of reasons. One, is I want to see if a price change, even on that's an increase can't boost sales a bit. Hopefully people who would buy at 99 cents will still buy at $1.99. I think they will. And maybe people who see the 99 cent price and associate that with low quality will take a chance on Chasing Filthy Lucre if it's a little more expensive.

The bigger thing, though, is that I feel like Chasing Filthy Lucre is underpriced for what it is. When I launched the novella in March, there weren't nearly the number of short stories available as there are now. Most of those stories range in length from 3,000 to 10,000 words. They are priced at 99 cents, just like my book. Difference is my book is twice as long as the longest short story. That says to me that I'm underpriced for what's out there now. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. If I am then I'll readjust the price back down. One of the nice things about doing this all myself is that I can experiment with price like this.

I'm telling you all this so you can grab a copy at 99 cents if you've been thinking about it but haven't done it yet.

Now a quick update about what's coming up at the blog. Look tomorrow for an interview with Neal Hock. He's a book reviewer and editor. He gives us some insight into what makes someone want to edit books. Then next Friday we talk with SM Reine. She's a writer, and just recently, a book publisher. She's running Red Iris books. She'll tell us about her new venture and a little about herself.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A birthday wish

Wanted to take a minute on the blog here and send out a special happy birthday message to a very important person in my life. Me. It's my birthday. I'm turning 38 today. Two years away from 40.

It's a little hard for me to believe. I don't feel nearly 40. Not every day anyway. I almost feel like life is just now starting. No, I don't have a job, but that's OK. That's part of the fresh start. I am getting  a chance to start my professional life over. I'm still a newlywed, so that part of my life still feels like it's just starting. And I'm still working on the beginning of this writing life. See, everything is just starting.

We've already done plenty of celebrating this weekend. Met and celebrated and with both my family and Gina's family over the weekend. We went to the state fair yesterday. And tonight we are going to a small celebratory dinner before an event at church. See, big last four days.

So yeah, I'm 38, two years from 40. But life's just beginning.

Feeling moved to do something for me for my birthday? I can't think of anything better than buying a copy of my book. 

The print version is available here:
The Kindle version is here:
The Nook version is here:
A Word file, a pdf version, and all other ebook versions are available here: