Happy New Year!
Before I launch into all the exciting things I have coming your way in 2024, I’d like to take a moment to step back and appreciate the amazing year that 2023 was.
On August 1st, I launched my debut novel, “Bad Brains.” We celebrated with family and friends at 5Rocks Distillery in Brainerd, MN. A lot of people brought home a new book or two, some who just happened to be in the bar during the event.
On December 1st, we launched the three-part “From Order” cyberpunk science fiction series at The Lookout Bar in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Again, I had huge support from families, friends, and readers alike. There’s really nothing like the thrill of signing a book and putting it into the hands of a reader who I know will love it.
That’s a total of four novels released in the past six months! I wanted to jump-start this new phase of my writing career, and these books have really done that for me.
So, with all these novels, I’ve neglected writing short stories, right? Absolutely not! Volume 1 of “Machines Monsters and Maniacs,” my short story collection, has sold hundreds of copies all across the Midwest and even more online. Two more of my short stories, “A Cat, A Snake, and a Story,” and “Frequency Harmonics” were published in the Lakes Area Writers Alliance Storyville Volume 3. “Escape for Sale” is free to read now at The Chamber Magazine. Buy the December issue of Möbius Blvd and get my story “The Dream Theater.” “Instant War” has been picked up by Bullet Points and “Permanence” is coming your way at Corner Bar Magazine in early 2024.
Look forward to these stories and many more in the upcoming “Machines Monsters and Maniacs Volume 2!” If you’ve met me at conventions, you may have had the opportunity to pick up a sneak peek of Volume 2, but there will be so many more stories in the full Volume. Can’t wait to release that soon!
And speaking of conventions, in 2023, I traveled to Austin, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Cloud, Rochester, Peoria, and Davenport. I also spent many beautiful afternoons at the Northern Pacific Farmer’s Market in Brainerd and hosted the Lakes Area Writer’s Alliance Fall Conference in Baxter. Wherever my travels took me, I met a lot of great people, fellow artists and writers, and eager readers. I love being on the road!
Where will 2024 take me? The list of cities is always growing, but right now, it looks like I’ll be coming to Rochester, Milwaukee, Champaign, St. Cloud, Peoria, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Sioux City, Walker, Fargo, Davenport, and Philadelphia! More stops are being added along the way.
I’m also working diligently to get my books in independent bookstores and libraries all across the Midwest. Along with more spots on radio and podcasts, the business of writing keeps me busy!
But that doesn’t keep me away from writing. As I’ve told many people I’ve met, I don’t think I could stop writing if I wanted to. I’m always conjuring up more short stories, and I’m currently working on a horror novel titled “They Come From Below.” It’s the story of a woman who conjures a demon from Hell whenever she believes she’s had impure thoughts. They crawl up the steps of her basement, and she meets them there with an ax in her hands. I’m having a great time writing this one, and I know you maniacs are going to love it!
This year has been a year of huge changes. Most notably, I retired from the US Army and Minnesota National Guard after 26 years of service. When I was young, I had three big ambitions: be a soldier, be a writer, and be a running back for the Green Bay Packers. When I retired this past October, I completed the first of those ambitions.
Being a soldier taught me so many things, showed me so many places, and introduced me to some of the best people in the world. Now, I’m working from home and writing full-time. Every day of writing and every sale brings me closer to fully realizing the second of my major life’s ambitions. It really is a dream come true to put my full focus and effort into my writing career. And who knows? Maybe in twenty years when I’ve grown tired of the Best Seller lists and Hollywood adaptations, the Packers will be in desperate need of a sixty-year-old running back.
None of these things could I accomplish without the support of my beautiful wife Sarah. She is my strongest supporter, toughest critic, biggest fan, the love of my life, and my partner in everything I do.
2023 was a great year. With more short stories, more podcasts, more novels, more appearances, and more destinations, 2024 promises to be even better! See ya on the road!