Monday, October 29, 2012

Space Eldritch just in time for Halloween

This blog hasn't recieved some love in quite awhile, I blame the other guys ;} In any case here is what is happening today!

“With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos.”
– H.P. Lovecraft

Startling Stories meets Weird Tales in SPACE ELDRITCH, a volume of seven original novelettes and novellas of Lovecraftian pulp space opera. Featuring work by Brad R. Torgersen (Hugo/Nebula/Campbell nominee), Howard Tayler (multiple Hugo nominee), and Michael R. Collings ( author of over 100 books), plus a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia, SPACE ELDRITCH inhabits the intersection between the eternal adventure of the final frontier and the inhuman darkness between the stars.

Can I just say how pleased I am to be a part of this horrifying pulpy collection. I'm honored to be rubbing shoulders with these guys and being able to put my best foot forward with their legions of fans (OK, at least Larry and Howard's legions of fans)
I've been reading these other tales the last few days and WOW am I happy I'm in this.

The Table of Contents 

Foreword – Larry Correia
Arise Thou Niarlat From Thy Rest – D.J. Butler
Space Opera – Michael R. Collings
The Menace Under Mars – Nathan Shumate
Gods in Darkness – David J. West
The Shadows of Titan – Carter Reid and Brad R. Torgersen
The Fury in the Void – Robert J. Defendi
Flight of the Runewright – Howard Tayler

So if mind-shattering Lovecraftian space opera is something your wicked soul needs, grab a copy now on Amazon, or Barnes & Noble or if you are so inclined you can get it from Smashwords

The print edition is soon to follow and I'll of course keep everyone updated on that as well.

All of us are book bombing the Unfathomable Reaches out of this today to get some traction with the rankings, so I'd appreciate some help spreading the word if you're so inclined. Thanks

Monday, February 20, 2012

Interview with Steve Westover

This week the Man Cave welcomes author Steve Westover. (applause! applause!)

I first became aware of Steve's work when I was doing a blog tour for my own book "Who's at the Door?"  In addition to his blog westoversleftovers, Steve's second novel is set to debut this March and is already available for pre-order on Amazon.  Let's find out more about it.

Thanks for joining us, Steve! This is your first time at the cave, so pull a chair up by the fire and sit a spell. Just be careful of Dave's collection of swords in the back. We don't want anyone to cut himself by accident.  (Jason had to learn that the hard way.)

1.  Congratulations on the upcoming publication of your second book "Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island."  Give us the low down on your latest novel.

Crater Lake is my first Youth novel and I’m really excited about it. I wrote it for the two middle-grade readers in my home and I’m pleased that they really loved it. 

My 13 year old daughter and 12 year old son can be a tough crowd. Crater Lake is a story about a 13 year old who is going to be dropped off at Crater Lake with his crazy Uncle Bart who is a park ranger. Ethan’s attitude isn’t great about spending the week with his uncle and he’s a little bitter that his younger sister, Jordan, gets out of the activity. 

When all the adults at Crater Lake disappear, Ethan must unearth the legends of Crater Lake, locate hidden artifacts and rally some new friends to rescue the adults from an evil spirit chief. There are fantastic legends about the lake that I use as a jumping off point for the story and then we look at the question of “what would happen if it was all true?” It’s a fun and sometimes spooky story.

2. How long did it take you to write?

I wrote the first draft in about 3 months but then did many revisions over the next year. It was the second story I’ve written and it seemed to write itself. Writing, and having my kids read along during the creative process was a lot of fun.

3. What is your writing process? Has it changed since the release of your first book "Defensive Tactics?"

Writing Crater Lake was a completely different process than writing Defensive Tactics. I wrote Defensive Tactics as an experiment because I wondered if I could. Once I learned I could write a novel I had greater confidence and increased motivation. 

With Crater Lake, I also had a mental map for the story. I knew the key points of the story and wrote towards the destination, whereas with Defensive Tactics I simply sat at the computer and started typing, curious to see what happened next.

4. How was the publishing process different from your first book?

Crater Lake is geared towards a broad commercial audience so when I finished I was really excited and eager for publication. I was a bit spoiled with Defensive Tactics because I had a contract to publish after only 4 months and then 4 months later the book was in print. That is REALLY fast. 

Even though it took me a year to write the story the publication came very easy. Crater Lake was written very fast but took longer to be published even though I feel it has much broader appeal. 

After signing the contract I had to wait 11 months for the book to be released. It’s a real trial of my patience but a more realistic publishing experience. 

One of the fun things about Crater Lake is I was much more involved in making suggestions for the cover design and even submitted illustrations for inside the book. My daughter and my wife did the illustrations which was a really fun experience. The publishing of Crater Lake has really been a family activity. Between the two different experiences I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and insight about the publishing process and how it can differ from book to book.

5. What advice do you have for other writers or other new authors?

First, if you want to write, write. If you just want to give it a try, try. 

I’ve been surprised by how many friends, family, acquaintances have come forward saying that they want to write a book. But most of them lack the confidence to do it or maybe haven’t finished their manuscript. This may be cliché, but it’s also true—If I can do it, anyone can. I didn’t grow up dreaming of writing a novel and I seldom read novels. I’d never considered writing until I woke up one morning after a cool dream. I liked the story and the characters in my dream so my wife encouraged me to write it down. That’s how I wrote Defensive Tactics.

 Give it a try. If you love it, stick with it, finish and then be patient as you shop the story around to the right publishers or agents.

6. What inspires you to write?

I may not read much, but I love movies and TV. I love good stories and so I write as if I’m watching the action on TV. What does the scene look like? How do the characters interact? What is the cliffhanger before the commercial break (i.e. chapter) The idea that I can create something that may entertain others is pretty exciting. 

In addition to the entertainment factor, my writing is also a reflection of who I am and my values and even some life lessons I’ve learned come out through the characters. So hopefully the stories entertain but also give readers time to consider some important life truths.

7. Are there any challenges you feel male authors in particular face?

Good question and the short answer is, I’m not sure. In my little writing circles I am surrounded mostly by women who seem to do a really good job of networking and supporting each other. It is really great to see. There are some wonderful male writers who are also supportive but I think the group is smaller. It’s a challenge and I think it goes against the grain for men to really connect and network effectively. At least that is true for me.

8.I know you live on a farm.  Do you have a Man Cave in real life?

I do have a man cave of sorts. We have a huge basement that is sheet rocked, but unfinished. I have a pool table, ping pong, video games and air hockey down there along with a large desk where I can sit and write. It’s a good place where my son and I spend time and relax, although we don’t fully ban my wife and daughters. We like them too so we let them play on occasion.

9. Name five essential items for a decent Man Cave.

See above. I like my man cave.

10.  Give us your top five essential guy movies.

Die Hard, Happy Gilmore, Jaws, Field of Dreams, Raiders of the Lost Ark

11.  You mentioned in a blog post that every writer has an an "El Guapo" i.e. weakness.  You said yours was worrying that your writing may not measure up to what you want it to be.  I think a lot of writers feel that way.  How do you defeat your "El Guapo?"

Practice. We get better when we practice. It’s that simple. Also, I focus on being satisfied with the work myself and not what others think of it. Of course I want others to like it because if they didn’t my work would never be published and no one would ever buy the book. But I have to find fulfillment in the process of writing and personal satisfaction in my end result. 

And I have to practice. In the past 3 years since I’ve started writing I’ve already noticed a significant increase in skill. I think I’m getting better and I expect that I’ll continue to get better the more I write. Take that El Guapo!

12.  What's on the horizon for you?

I have a number of projects in the pipeline. Crater Lake is intended to be a trilogy so I hope this first book does well so I get the opportunity to finish the other two. 

I’ve also recently signed a contract for the sequel to Defensive Tactics. My working title is Mormon Gold (though that may change) and is about the same FBI agents from Defensive Tactics who are investigating some mysterious crimes that intersect with LDS church History in a National Treasure kind of adventure. It will be released in December 2012.

I’ve also recently finished a YA Dystopian book called The Aborted about a slave society harvested from abortion survivors. If the survivors didn’t have a right to exist in the first place, how could they have a right to live their own life? They don’t. When my main character, Silas, learns the painful truth about who he is he decides to fight back against the society that created him. This is the first book of a trilogy.

Well, Steve, it sounds like you have a lot coming on your plate, and I wish you much success. Be sure to keep in touch with your future projects.

Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island is available for pre-order via Amazon. Check it out here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Interview with Braden Bell

Today I've got author Braden Bell on the site.  

What is your favorite place to write? Do you have anywhere that is your ‘man cave’?

In nice weather, I write at a table on my back porch. The rest of the time, I write on my laptop in bed. I wish I had a mancave--but I have five kids, so space is at a premium in our house.

Do your set goals for your writing? If so, how do you decide what goals to set?

Given a variety of responsibilities--church and family and work--I don't have a great deal of time and so I'm not able to set goals like a certain amount of words or pages or minutes a day. Instead, my goals are a little more general--for example, finishing anything I start, no matter how long it takes or how tempting new projects are.  

Do you think male authors face any challenges that women authors do not?

Well, that's a good question. I guess that if you are a breadwinner with a family you have one set of challenges. If you are staying home with children you have another set. Most of the others in my critique group are mothers of young children. Our challenges are different, but it all has the same effect in that we struggle to find time to write.  

What books have your writing and what is coming out next?

My next book will be released in the summer and is called "The Kindling." It's the first in what I hope will be a series. I'm also working on two other books right now. One is a YA paranormal romance called the Soulstealer's Child that occurred to me on a long drive to Texas. The other is a YA contemporary with a premise I don't want to give away. I've also started a small side business doing content editing and manuscript critique, which I've really loved. 

What’s your favorite new project you are working on?

 Probably the Soulstealer's Child

What hobbies other than writing do you have? Do you ever include things from your other hobbies in your writing?

I like to garden and work in my yard. I like long walks in the Tennessee hills and I love to read. I did a lot of theatre as a teenager, and now I teach theatre. All of my books have some kind of theatrical background in them--not intentionally, but just because it's what I know.

Where can people go to learn more about you and your writing?

If you could meet any author living or dead, who would it be and why?

Charles Dickens. I am amazed at the variety of characters he created and the vivid characterizations he crafted. I also love the complexity of his plots. I can lose myself in his books and am always happy when I realize that I'm in a good Dickens novel and have hundreds and hundreds of pages yet to go.

What’s one thing you want your readers to know about you?

I'm not sure--I'm not terribly exciting. I teach middle school and write a weekly blog for parents about understanding their adolescent.  

Thanks Braden!  Please check out Braden's writing at 

An Author's Greatest Desire: To Be READ

Today we have a guest post from a friend of ours Daron D. Fraley
There are a lot of opinions out there about ebook pricing. Everyone in the publishing industry has an opinion. Some say you have to price your books above $2.99, or you are devaluing the artistic value of the book. Some insist that 99 cents is the price to drive sales. Others think that free is OK. And the big publishers seem to think that $9.99 is the way to go.
So what price do you use? I am still undecided. Here's why:
Let's consider downloads of THE THORN and WATER, my two ebooks. They started out at prices of 2.99 and 99 cents respectively.
Total downloads in 2010, prior to making both of the books free: 9
Yeah. NINE. Granted, it wasn't a full year. The ebooks were first available in August, 2010. But if you extrapolate a yearly number out of that 4 month trend, you still only get 36.
I wasn't very happy about that. And nothing I did to try to change that number seemed to work. I asked for reviews. I posted on facebook. I tweeted. I sent emails to friends and family. I gave out discount codes for a free-download for those who participated in contests. I talked to people on planes. I talked to people at work. I advertised so much online that I felt like I was hurting my relationships with people. Who wants to hear a friend constantly hawking their wares?
I became very self conscious about it. I decided that I had to stop. I would never become a household name, and nobody would ever read my books, and I was OK with that. I knew that ebooks were my last hope because the print edition was only in a few indie stores around the country.
But I am a fighter. I still wanted to change that. But how? If I didn't tell people about them, then how would people discover the books?  I decided to try a bold move. I would make my books free.
My plan: Build readership. Get people interested in my writing, and build a following. Then, sometime in the future, release the second book in my series and another novel as regularly priced novels. Whatever regularly priced means... as I said before, I am still undecided.
Total number of downloads in 2011, from all major sites:  21,446
And that was really only 1/2 a year, because the Amazon Kindle Store didn't pick them up as free until mid-year. Before June, the download numbers were still in the low hundreds.
Amazon made all the difference. How that happened is a long story. Simply put, they saw the books being offered for free on competing sites, and matched the price. Authors can't normally price their books free otherwise.
Besides the number of downloads, here are some interesting stats:
Both of my titles, WATER and THE THORN have been in the top 10 for their genres (Fiction/Genre Fiction/Anthologies, and Fiction/Religious Fiction/Science Fiction & Fantasy) for the last two months straight. And on January 10th, they hit #1 and #2 respectively on the Fiction/Religious Fiction/Science Fiction & Fantasy chart.
Not too shabby with nearly zero advertising. In fact, I have no idea how it happened because I had stopped tweeting and posting about the books months before. I didn't even know the books were being offered for free on Amazon until late summer, and that was two months after Amazon matched the price.
What does it all mean? Is their no easy answer? I submit to you that there IS an answer, even if it isn't easy.
Here are the ingredients for being a successful indie author:
1. Work on your craft. Go to conferences. Read writers blogs and learn about technique, style, voice, etc.
2. READ. Read a lot of books.
3. Write your best book.
4. Get that book professionally edited. PAY to have your book edited!
5. Get help with typesetting and formatting so that the book is a comfortable read.
6. Get a good cover designer to help you create a simple, eye-catching cover. Yeah, you'll probably have to pay for that too.
7. Get the book out there. At what price? I have no idea. Experiment. I don't think there's a silver bullet.
Are you still with me? Except for step 7, which is mostly my opinion, every single one of those steps is touted by those who know what it takes. In fact, we keep quoting each other on those points. Do you think I came up with those? Hah! Nope. I read them somewhere. On the internet. So, they must be true, right?
Don't stop yet, there's one more step:
8. Hang up the horseshoe, rub the rabbit's foot, or whatever else you wish to do for good luck.
Because that is exactly what it is. LUCK. Right place, right time, the right readers downloading your book and getting excited about it and tweeting about it and then they have hundreds or thousands of followers on twitter or facebook who retweet the clever tweet or repost the clever status because it catches their eye and then some of their friends do the same thing and then the book climbs the ranks and it hits the charts and it garners more downloads, and then Amazon sees that trend and marks it as a mover-and-shaker and that brings about even more downloads, and pretty soon you are totally blown away that there are that many people out there reading your book.
What about those who claim free doesn't mean squat? You know what? I have no idea if anyone is actually READING my books. I have no proof. After all, they are FREE, and people forget about free stuff because it has no perceived value. Or so everyone says. It may be true. Probably is.
But here's the rub: I have had some really nice reviews. I know for a fact that I have had at least 50 people read the books. And many of those readers really liked them.
And that is all I really wanted in the first place. To write. And to have someone read my work, and like it. So even if the number is now only TEN, I am no worse off than I was before.
That's how I see it.
Check back with me at the end of the year. After I get my next two books out there.
Question: Will free loss-leaders bring in downloads for the paid novels? I have no idea. Your guess is as good as mine. Now, where did I put that horseshoe?
Thanks Daron

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Interview with B.K. Bostick

Hello my mancavianites! That word closely resembles a mankini, which I'm afraid is a strange word and I hear it is uncomfortable. Anyways... I wanted to hop aboard the interview train and chat with fellow author B.K. Bostick (Huber Hill and the Dead Man's Treasure.) B.K. is a stud and way funny and you should totally check out his book(s).

Frank - So B.K. you’ve been published now and have a couple other books on the horizon. How difficult was your road to publication? And would you say you’ve finally arrived?

B.K. - The road to publication has been a long one. When I set out a few years ago writing Huber Hill and the Dead Man's Treasure, I didn't anticipate just how hard it would be to find a publisher. I thought the hard part was writing the book- turns out that was the easy part. At one point, I even threw the manuscript in the recycling bin and told myself I was finished searching for publishers, but after I'd poured my heart and soul into the project, I couldn't just give up. I decided to send it to one more publisher and they picked it up. I wouldn't say I've arrived to where I want to be as an author, but at least I've got my foot in the door.

Frank - Congratulations on being published. That’s quite an accomplishment. But the world is full of books. Sappy ones. Tender ones. Ones that make our heartstrings reverberate. What makes your book worthy of the man cave blog? Or is it worthy?

B.K. - I truly believe the book is worthy of the man cave blog- it was written by a guy for other guys. It's the kind of outdoor adventure series I loved to read and imagined myself being a part of as a kid. There are a lot of books out there, but with the Huber Hill series, I've tried to create something reminiscent of the Hardy Boys or a Jr. Davinci Code- something that kids can actually see themselves doing (and learn some history and folklore while at it).

Frank - You’ve just woken up and found yourself marooned on an island. Aside from food, shelter, and water, list your top 5 plans for survival. Oh, and there are zombies…

B.K. - Top 5 plans for survival:
a) Wipe out the zombies using tips from the Zombie Survival Guide
b) Keep one zombie chained up for company
c) Enjoy the little things like eating bugs and counting the stars
d) Make the world's biggest sand castle.
e) On second thought I'd just join the zombies.

Frank - Give us your one paragraph description of Huber Hill and the Dead Man’s Treasure. What book does it closely compare with and, more importantly, if your novel were to square off with this comparable book in a death match, which one would win?

B.K. - When his grandfather dies, Huber Hill is devastated---until he opens Grandpa Nick's mysterious box. An old gold coin and directions to a hidden Spanish treasure send him and his friends off on an mind-blowing adventure, but he's not the only one on the hunt. Filled with dangerous animals and cryptic puzzles, this book will have you on the edge of your seat until the last page. People have said it's a mix between Goonies and Holes. I think Dead Man's Treasure wins in a deathmatch with one of them but not both.

Frank - Describe your writing rituals? Are there any necessities you must have for the magic to flow? If someone were to walk in on you and surprise you while writing, would you be embarrassed about what they saw?

B.K. - Dead silence + middle of the night + Reese's & Mtn. Dew= Great writing. They'd find me in my pajamas, chocolate all over my face, and staring at them with glazed over eyes (not unlike a zombie).

Frank -  Of all the mysteries in the world, be it paranormal or alien, what creature do you secretly desire to be true? And why?

B.K. - I always thought it'd be cool to be a Predator (from the Arnold movie). Being able to go invisible and secretly target people in infrared has always appealed to me.

Frank - Here’s your chance to bring us up to speed on the future for B.K. Bostick. What does it hold? At what point will you be satisfied with your accomplishments?

B.K. - Huber Hill and the Brotherhood of Coronado will be out this fall (those who have read it have said they enjoyed it more than the first). Huber Hill and the Golden Staff of Cíbola, the third and final book of the Huber Hill series will be out in 2013 sometime. I'm very excited for both. I'm also working on a few other super secret projects that I'll hopefully finish before the next decade- here's a hint- they don't 
involve zombies or islands.

Thanks my friend! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Should You Shamelessly Self-Promote?

Yeah, Why Not? You have to spread the word to the masses don't you? And to help teach you how to do it I'll give the following examples of Enticement, Humour, Description and Recommendation below, and because this is a Family Man blog, I'll leave out the gratuitous sex and violence. (And NO Dan, don't mention any of that sounds like what Satan would say.)

Remember you have to be willing to alienate your/my 4 other co-authors and talk about your/my almost 2 year old book instead of their new releases, because there comes a time for all of us where 'we' as men & writers need to shamelessly self-promote, so here goes...

For the next 5 days Heroes of the Fallen is a free e-book.

Well, whats it about?

A great civilization teeters on the brink of devastating war. Amaron of the elite guardsmen must embark on a quest to protect the fate of two nations. Nations whose destruction is being orchestrated by the greatest evil the land has ever known. Who will rise to become the heroes of the fallen?

OK, but is it free?
Yes, it is.
And for how long?
Five days.
And it is free?
Yes, it is.
Is this one of those indie books you're just giving away because no one ever read it?
No, people have read it and here's what they had to say-ever so briefly.

"brutal, gory, and depressing---But make no mistake, West is a talented writer, and whether a reader ordinarily picks up fictionalized scripture novels or science fiction once embarked on this novel readers will find it nearly impossible to put down." Jennie Hansen reviewer for Meridian Magazine

"Heroes of the Fallen is a Book of Mormon historical that reads like an epic fantasy. It's not often that the LDS market sees something truly new, but West's debut novel really is different. It was refreshing. A breath of fresh air--and a lot of fun."  Rob Wells, author of Variant

"it’s very nice when you find an original vision at work. I’ve found one of those in David J. West, whose Heroes of the Fallen has imagination in spades. The world created by West is fully realized and backed up by both firm historical knowledge and a good feel for mythology. If imagination is the engine for Heroic Fantasy, fine prose is the fuel. Here, too, West achieves--" Charles Gramlich, author of Bitter Steel, Cold in the Light, and the Talera Cycle trilogy

"its a great read..." Wayne May publisher of Ancient American magazine

"Heroes of the Fallen is well researched, with an extensive cast of characters and lots of political intrigue. This is the first in a series. The sequel, Blood of our Fathers, arrives next year. Recommended." Bruce Durham author of The Marsh God

“David J. West has created a story line filled with excitement, archaeology, treasure and real history. This is a must-read not only for entertainment but also to open new doors and vistas of possibility for the mind." Bruce H. Porter Ph.D. Brigham Young University religion professor

 "When I first learned that someone was writing a book based on the last events of the Book of Mormon. I thought, "Good. It's good to read those types of books." No, no, no! It is not simply good! And good is the wrong word! It is intrigue, fascination. Power. Obsession." - M. Gray

So do yourself a favor and check it out ~ and Thank You

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interview with Berin L. Stephens

As it says in this blog’s heading, “"Writing can be solitary, but success isn't." To that end, we’ll be featuring some other authors of the male persuasion on this blog.

Our first guest is Berin L. Stephens, author of two novels, “The Dragon War Relic” and “Time Gangsters”.

(By the way, I recently reviewed “Time Gangsters” on my personal blog. It can be found by clicking here.)

Without further ado, on with the interview!

1. What inspired you to become a writer?
A: I'm not entirely sure. I read a lot when I was in elementary school but I don't remember thinking about being a writer until I read Tolkien's The Hobbit. For some reason, that book fired up an interest in me to create similar worlds. Shortly after that, I read Asimov's Lucky Star and the Pirates of the Asteroids which then got me into sci-fi. Since then, I've taken up being a jazz musician, and I think writing and jazz allow me to do something that is essential to my personality: to create. My mind is constantly thinking up new creative things, both in word and music, that it is just hard to keep it contained.

2. Tell us about your latest book.
A: Time Gangsters is a middle-grade urban fantasy about two 12 year old cousins who find some ancient Egyptian coins buried in the walls of their neighboring houses. But it turns out that gangsters from 1927 also want the coins due to their magical properties. Some of the magic allows people to make super human leaps, or to shoot fire from their hands, or make it rain. The most powerful ones, though, are the ones that allow time travel. The kids are pulled back in time to face the vile gangster Franco Carnassi and his gang of thugs who want to use the coins to rule America. If they don't stop him, the kids might not have a future to return to.

3. What challenges (if any) have you faced as a male author?
A: I really don't know of any. It is a little bit of a challenge writing female characters, but with a wife and three daughters to straighten me out, it hasn't been too bad.

4. In the books you've written, which character would you say is most like you as a person and why?
A: In my first book, The Dragon War Relic, all three main characters were aspects of my personality. Jared was the boy I sort of was as a teenager. Doug was the teenager I sometimes wished to be. Gar the Ogre from Orgrenia is close to how I am now: the grumpy parental figure with a twisted sense of humor.

5. What types of books do you like to read? Has your taste changed as you've gotten older?
A: I started off on Hardy Boys, then into fantasy through Tolkien. I also grew up on some of the old swords and sorcery stuff by Michael Moorcock and Robert E. Howard. I also read a lot of Edgar Rice Burroughs. As I got into my teens and early twenties, I got into David Eddings, Roger Zelazny, and Terry Brooks. Most of the stuff I like to read is fantasy, though I do love science fiction and comedy, too. Probably the thing that has changed the most in my reading tastes is that I read a lot more young adult and middle-grade material. For one, it keeps me up on what my kids have been reading. It also keeps me in tune with what the market is like. But most importantly, I prefer it because, for the most part, they are clean reads with without language, sex, etc.

6. Are you working on your next book? If so, can you give us a preview?
A: I have several irons in the fire right now. The one I plan to reveal next is a story about a teenage sidekick of a superhero. He gets in over his head when the Moguls of Mayhem capture all the heroes in the city and he is faced with defeating them on his own. I also have a fantasy/steampunk/dystopian project I've been working on for a year that still needs work but is progressing well. This one is a little darker than my previous outings. I wanted to make it a comedy, since I've never seen a dystopian comedy before. Now I know why.

7. What advice would you offer aspiring authors?
A: It might sound like a broken record, but you got to keep at it. For me, I did a lot of time wasting activities that kept me from writing for years. I watched a lot of TV and played computer games when I could have been writing. I wish I had that time back now. But TV and games don't interest me much anymore because creating my own stories is so much more interesting, exciting, and fulfilling.

I guess the other thing I harp on a bit is health. Part of the reason I didn't write for about ten years was because I had no energy. I ate a garbage diet and I didn't exercise. I lived on Advil and Tums. When you're tired all the time, it is so much easier to sit back in a chair and turn the TV on than to put forth any kind of mental effort. When I turned my health around by switching to a more plant-based natural diet and exercising, I suddenly had more energy. My creative juices started flowing. Then it became almost impossible not to write.

8. Where does the white go when the snow melts?
A: Not to Utah. It looks like it's all going to my home state of Alaska. As far as actual color white, as long as there are people out there like us, fighting the fight against chaos and evil, we will always bring white back into the world.

Thank you Berin for the wonderful interview.

To find out more about him, click here.

To find out more about "Time Gangsters", click here.