So there I was, driving up I-95 with Amy Chu, Matthew Rosenberg and Sean Von Gorman…

…on our way to Baltimore Comic Con, and Amy goes “Hey, we should do some kind of pizza rat comic anthology…”

I smoothly held out my phone and displayed the sketch Kelly Williams had done a few nights previous where he had expressed that he would be down for doing a pizza rat comic. Amy and I looked at each other and nodded, the four of us shook hands all around, and just like that the greatest comic-themed hijacking of the American zeitgeist went down.

I may be remembering this a little differently than it actually happened, but…anyway, by the time BCC had wrapped up we had a plan.

And I do so love it when a plan comes together.

Check it out!

WHO IS PIZZA RAT (dot com!)

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 11.52.13 AM


The Power of Ambushing Yourself

My lord did I used to hate running.

Not sprinting–I loved sprinting. It made me feel strong and powerful and–most importantly–was over so fast my body didn’t have much room to complain.

But running…actually jogging? No, thank you.

Now I’m closing the gap on a modified Couch-to-5k program and loving every minute of it. (Well, okay, there are moments when I’m fighting a side-stitch and realize I’m only half-way through a workout that I don’t LOVE. But conquering those moments? THAT I love.)

A few hours ago I completed my second-ever 30 minute/3 mile run (yep, that’s 5k). That’s not a run/walk, folks, that’s a run-down-the-clock full out jog. I’m very happy and proud and excited about it, but it nearly didn’t happen.

I’d done my first 30 minute run two days ago and was over the moon about it. I’d planned on doing 28, talked myself down to 20 during the first 10 minutes, then settled on a happy 25…and when I hit about 22 minutes I knew I had to push it to the 30 mark, and I finished with a grin.

I still had some gas in the tank, too. I might have been able to go further.

So, naturally, I figured the very next time I would run I’d crank it up to 35 minutes. (Over-estimating my ability is a personal skill.) That was supposed to be today. But, as the day wore on, I began making excuses.  I’m traveling this weekend, with at least 13 hours to be spent driving, and two nights in hotels. I don’t want to drive exhausted, and when I woke up this morning I was really feeling that ‘day two’ pain after a big workout. Shoot…I could cut myself a break and my body would reap the benefits of the extra rest day, right?

Sure. And you know what, if I had chosen to do that, it would have been fine.

But I also know I won’t be able to eat as healthily as I normally do on this trip. Or rest very well. And I have a weight target I’m trying to hit. So I WANTED to run. But I was tired, hurting. But I had GOALS!

My brain played ping-pong for a while.

Then I decided to ambush myself: I would run at lunch.

Self Ambush – a personal intervention designed to immediately conquer resistance that would otherwise prevent personal growth.

I would normally never consider a 30 minute run until after work. First of all, that’s really 40 minutes when you do the warm-up and cool-down. Changing out of and then back into work clothes. Commuting. Taking the dogs out. Shower and cooling off. Would I have time?

I decided to go for it. It worked for a number of reasons, but I think the two most important are:

  1. The novelty and immediacy of the change in routine gave me a burst of excited energy
  2. I’d effectively removed four more hours of making excuses for why I shouldn’t run

During the run I played mind games with myself, of course. That 35 minute run wasn’t going to happen–I discovered quickly that this run was way tougher than the last one. My mind was trying to give me an out after 5 minutes in, then 10 minutes, then 15…so I made a deal with myself.

35 was out, okay, but 30 was in, no matter what. When I hit 30 and punched the down arrow on the treadmill to my cool-down pace, my grin had a little less verve in it than last time, but it was still there.

Later, when I shared this story with a friend, he neatly summed up the concept of what I’d done as Self Ambush – a personal intervention designed to immediately conquer resistance that would otherwise prevent personal growth.  

Yes, I was late coming back from lunch. Yes, I sweated through my shirt for about an hour after I got back to the office. Sure, I’ll feel the effects of this latest beating my body has taken during my trip.

But I’d done it. I’d gotten my run in.

Photo Credit Michael Mol


Hydebound was a finalist in the last round of DC Comic’s online comic venture Zuda. It asks the question “What if Robert Louis Stevenson’s most famous work of fiction, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde…wasn’t fiction after all?”

You can read the entire comic here in the gallery below. If you need help reading it, just click the link below the image that says view full size.

The Seven Stones Seventh Day Report

Originally posted on Seven Stones:

What an exciting seven days it has been.

We launched just before the stroke of midnight CT on August 2nd, caught some attention, and sailed to a $2040 mark as of this writing! Thanks entirely to the passionate efforts of our seven writers and seven artists, which is a true testament to their dedication to this project! Jeremy, Emily, Kelly, Howard, Willie, Scott, Kennon, Craig, Chris, Brain, Nic, Jeremiah, Daniel and Dustin… you are all aces in my book.

As are each and every one of the 49 backers who have come into the fold. You all are making this dream come true!

We have three weeks to go, and according to Kicktraq we are trending towards $9,000, which is great but kind of a hollow figure (because you just never can tell). All I know is that we are hoping to at least hit our funding goal and will…

View original 527 more words

It’s not Theft if I Give It to You: My Thoughts on Book Piracy

First, let me say that “Book Pirates” is one of those expressions where the literal interpretation is way cooler in your head that in practice.

Today is International Please Don’t Pirate My Book Day, because why not? Also it’s a topic worth talking about. Book Piracy, that is. Author Chuck Wendig over at Terrible Minds has named this day, and asked fellow writers to take a little time out to talk about how digital piracy has affected their lives. I’m not a joiner, after a fashion, but this topic moved me enough to put my fingers to the keys—plus it is one of my goals to bond a little closer to the writing community, which means actually participating in things.

Chuck wrote two great posts on the topic, covering his thoughts on the matter, and they do a great job covering the different points of view on “what is piracy” and the motivation of pirates (turns out, it isn’t rum) and whether or not if you download a digital copy of my  book it really means you took money out of my pocket. They are worth a read, and I’m not going to go into those points in detail here, anyway.

What I am going to talk about is how I don’t want you to pirate my book, but I would like to give it to you.

The thing is, I’m pushing to become a successful fiction writer (defined as “Can Support Family via Fiction Writing”) and every dollar counts. I need sales to generate revenue to eke out profit to pay the Danegeld and the grocer. To that end, I’d be thrilled if you would buy my books and stories.

Also there is the truth that when you put down money for a thing, you endorse on some level the idea that the thing is worth something. I’m still new enough at this game that EVERY SINGLE SALE of CLUTCH makes me grin. It is a virtual clap on the back, an implied attaboy!

If CLUTCH were to get uploaded to a torrent site and downloaded by a thousand users, I would feel great—at first. I would think “yes! A thousand folks now have my book! THINK OF THE READERS!” But the truth of the matter is, few of that thousand would read the book.  And, as Chuck points out in his posts, spreading a property out over the free-a-sphere (BOOM, nailed it) can in some ways dilute the inherent worthiness of the property.

Still, I need readers. I need a lot of them. I need exposure to get readers. It might be true that at this point in my career the pirating of CLUTCH may work in my favor. But even so… I’d much rather give you my book for free.

If someone wants to read CLUTCH and they can’t afford to buy it, I would be happy to send them an e-copy. If someone is interested but not sure yet whether I’m worth taking a risk on, I’ll shoot them a PDF of the book. This way not only do I get to know that someone out there is reading the book, but I feel good about the way they got it. Plus, I can’t afford all the books I want to read, and you better believe if the author was handing out a free copy, I’d snatch it up. And I have; and I’ve gone on to buy copies from that author of their next book, which is what I would hope would happen with the free copies I send out.

I’m way too new to the game to have been affected by Book Piracy, but I’m not too new to the Internet to understand how it works, and I’ve kept up with all the prevailing arguments on the subject. I am heartily anti-DRM, and I know that puts my book at risk for piracy; but I’d rather take that risk and let a reader share the book with a pal than turn them off “dealing with” my lame attempts to control content.

But this post is supposed to be in support of International Please Don’t Pirate My Book Day, so let me end by saying this: Please Don’t Pirate ANYONE’S Books, and if you want to read anything of mine and can’t afford it right now, just let me know.

Originally posted on :

sacrifice_by_dannycruz4-d553uzuYou see that book over there? On the right. You can’t miss it—the one with the massive guy swinging the axe with the teeth and the shark face? Yeah. The awesome one. That cover was drawn by Danny Cruz (and colored by the tremendous Kelly Williams), the ubertalent behind many of the designs of MONSTER, cover artist for the G.I. JOE and GHOSTBUSTERS comics, and one of the hottest DeviantArt pages you ever did see. (Yes, the demon up top was taken from there. Without permission, so don’t tell Danny.)

I am thrilled to announce that Mr. Cruz has taken a crowbar to his tightly packed schedule and made room to create the art that will grace the sequel to CLUTCH… SUNDER: Book Two of The Wrecked Earth!

I happen to have the inside scoop on what the cover will look like (since, you know, I’m writing the book)…

View original 94 more words

The Aftermath Project

Screen of TAPI promise, the end of the world is not all I think about.

It just happens to be a subject that fascinates me, and although the glut of pre- and post-apocalyptic fiction may be turning off some, I hold that the subject will never completely lose its appeal. And let’s hope so, since I’ve embarked on a pretty hefty commitment to writing novels set in The Wrecked Earth for a while, and I’ve just resurrected my Armageddon-friendly blog The Aftermath Project.

The Aftermath Project will be a place to discuss the End in any and all of its forms, both popular and niche, ubiquitous and esoteric. What is your favorite flavor of world-ending catalysts? Self-aware robot rebellion? The rainbow plague? Un-ending meteoric annihilation? Chances are if it hasn’t been discussed over at The Aftermath Project, just hang around: it will be.

Or even better, kick off the discussion yourself! We are always eager to jaw about any and all aspects of the End Times and Those That Come After.  Like we like to say over there: no matter the flavor of Apocalypse, after The End comes The Aftermath.

First Review of Clutch

Kristine Chester  is the first to write up a review for my novel CLUTCH, and it went live this morning over at Fanboy Comics.

There are no stars or rankings on reviews over at Fanboy, at least so far as I can see, and I like that. It requires you to read through the review and take everything the reviewer says into consideration.

I have to say, it is a special feeling when someone intelligently re-packages story and concept that you slaved over and presents it to the world, often in ways that are different from how you would do it. Chester highlights some of the things that makes Clutch, the character, special, along with the work I put into developing character in this novel.  I’m still grinning about it.

She also points out some rust-spots, one in the presentation/flow of the story and one in formatting for the digital world. I appreciate both, have taken the former under advisement (which is always the best way to begin with critique) and have already taken action on the later.

I hope to see more reviews pop up in the near future!