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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How do I get my book published?

 *Note: for you younger kids, the above picture is of a thing called a board
game. It represents the beginning of the game where you would physically roll
the dice and move your game piece around the game board.
I got an email from a reader who asked about how to get started down the road to being published. Before I knew it, I'd written quite a lengthy email in reply. This is NOT the magnum opus on the subject, but it might answer a few of your own questions. 

About getting published, the literary world is changing markedly with the advent of the ebook, so there are a number of options:

Traditional Print--The process works like this:

1) Write a good book (how's that for brilliant?)

2) Edit and revise until it is crisp, spotless, and most importantly, told in your stylish voice

3) Let someone you trust read it and make suggestions; then edit and revise all over again.

3b) Work obsessively on your opening chapter. Make it grab the reader by the throat. You MUST hook them in the first chapter or they may not read any more--ever.

4) Look for a reputable agent. You can find one by subscribing to Writer's Digest. Every issue, they list agents and what they are looking for. Or you can purchase a Writer's Market Guide which lists zillions of publishers and agents. Or you can look into works of published fiction in your genre and see what agency those authors used.

5) Call the agent, see what they want: proposal only, or with three chapters, whole manuscript, query letter, or whatever.

6) Google Book Proposal format, or whatever your agent asked for. Find out how to write a good one, and submit to agent. Allow 2-3 weeks for response. Hear nothing after a month, call. Rinse and repeat until you have an agent.

7) Your agent should then begin shopping your manuscript around to publishers who, if interested, will ask you for one of those things you submitted to your agent. Get your agent to help you craft the best proposal, etc. possible.

8) Then, pray a lot and hope for a contract.

eBooks--the process works like this:
1) Write a good book (Did I mention, brilliant?)

2) Edit and revise until it is crisp, spotless, and most importantly, told in your stylish voice

3) Let someone you trust read it and make suggestions; then edit and revise all over again.

3b) Work obsessively on your opening chapter. Make it grab the reader by the throat. You MUST hook them in the first chapter or they may not read any more--ever.

4) Hire a professional editor to help you edit and revise your manuscript. Only let a friend do it if they are professionals. Seriously, you don't want to upload a junky eBook.

5) Find a cover artist and pay for the coolest cover you can afford. The cover must look cool in both full size AND thumbnail. It's more important for ebooks to have a great cover because they are all FACE OUT!

6) Either find a professional or do-it-yourself format your book for Amazon Kindle. Check out their publishing program. It's the best thing going.

7) Price your eBook LOW .99 to $3.99, or even give it away for a few months. That price point is discretionary money for most readers. Like the iTunes model, the low price will sell lots of books and, if you're using Amazon's 70% royalty model, will still get you serious money. 

8) Once your eBook is online, promote, promote, promote. Visit eBook forums. KindleBoards, Smashwords, etc. Tell everyone about your book who will listen. People want to find the "next big deal author" and they will promote you if they like you.

Whew, so there you go! Hope that helps.

Never alone.   


Sunday, December 19, 2010

And the Tribebuilding 2 Winner is.......

Tribe Building 2 Champion

Before announcing the winner (you didn't think I was going to come right out and just say it, did you?), I feel a bit of preface is in order. During one span of the contest, the Amazon Blitz, I inadvertently created a scoring glitch that compromised the true spirit of the contest. It left Tribes in a state of apprehension and me in quite a pickle. For to double back on what I had originally permitted feels much like not honoring my word, while allowing such a gimmicky technique undermines all the hard won points on both tribes. So in the end, after much thought and a convo with Christopher Hopper, we've made a decision. And it is time to announce the winner of the Venom and Song Tribe Building Contest.

And the winner is...
(You'll have to use your mouse and highlight the space below)


Congrats to both teams. We will be discussing prizes soon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Today's The Day: Tribebuilding 2 Contest Ends

Well, alas, all good things must come to an end. The 2nd Tribebuilding contest draws to a close today. No matter what the results, Christopher Hopper and I thank all of you for participating in this adventure with us. We're very honored to be associated with such fine Elves. And in the words of a dear friend of ours, "Alas, two years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable Elves." [Insert cheers.] "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." ;-)

So, Tribe Leaders, please submit your final totals before Midnight tonight! And so that this particular author doesn't go cross-eyed, please make sure all totals and results are clearly marked. :-D CH and I love you and thank you. There's much greater mission here--than just helping books sell.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Sword in the Stars: Reviews, Quotes, Tribe Quests and More!

Greetings from Myriad! Smiles, everyone, smiles! Sword in the Stars has been out now for a couple of weeks, and so far, the reviews are great, sales are great, and my publisher is happy!

We've also opened a new website dedicated to all things Sword in the Stars. You can visit by clicking the banner below or by typing into your browser of choice.

One of the things you'll find on the site is an announcement about a live Webinar coming up in the new year. What's a Webinar? It's an online chat between you the reader and me, hosted by my publisher, AMG Inc. I'll be doing a reading from Sword in the Stars, answering questions, and talking a lot about the craft of writing. Hope to talk to you then!

You'll also find a tab for "Free" things. There's already one free Sword in the Stars Wallpaper, and there will be much more to come.

Want to be in my next book?
My publisher has asked for Sword in the Stars reviews and/or quotes from readers. eMail a review or quote, and I'll put your name in the acknowledgments page of Dark Sea Book 2: The Errant King! Just make sure you give me written permission to use your review/quote for promotional purposes! Then, if you don't mind, please post your review on Amazon, CBD, and anywhere else you can find! Thanks! Reviews are due to me by Christmas 2010!

Tribebuilding Final Quest:
Starting TODAY: Purchase a copy of Venom & Song --and/or-- Sword in the Stars from any Christian Bookstore--brick&mortar or online, send proof of purchase to your Tribe Leader, and then give the book to someone for Christmas! Remember, the Tribebuilding Contest ends on Dec. 14th, so all purchases must be made between now and then. And, of course, Christmas is the 25th, so we'll just use the honor system! Here's the point chart:

Purchase & Give 1 book: 7000 Vanadils
Purchase & Give 2 books: 10000 Vanadils Each!
Purchase & Give 3 books: 14000 Vanadils Each!
Purchase & Give 4 books: 21000 Vanadils Each!
Purchase & Give 5 books: 35000 Vanadils Each!

Disclaimers: 5 book limit per person; tribe members cannot pool funds; purchases prior to today do not count for this promotion; tribebuilding contest broadcasts cannot be rebroadcast or transmitted in any form without the expressed, written consent of Major League Baseball.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sword in the Stars Book Release Party #1: Dec. 4th at His Way!

Jazzed, Amped, Stoked--these are the three words that most accurately describe how I'm feeling these days. Sword in the Stars has been officially released and is starting to appear in bookstores all over the US. Reviews are beginning to come in and they're so good, I'm humbled. I'm getting hourly Facebook messages from great readers who just got Sword in the Stars in the mail and have begun reading. For an author, the time right after a book releases is like Christmas every day. I'm still just blown away that God has allowed this dream to come true.

So, it's with ridiculous glee and massive thrillage that I announce the first official Sword in the Stars Release Party! In the Maryland area, come one, come all to His Way Christian Bookstore on Saturday, December 4th at High Noon! I'll be there in full medieval costume, brandishing any one of a number of swords, doing readings from Sword in the Stars, Signing Books, and celebrating with wonderful readers like you.

Sword in the Stars Book Release Party #1
His Way Christian Bookstore 
Saturday, December 4th at High Noon! 

And, as a special bonus, there seems to be some strange conspiracy afoot amongst my readers, something that is sure to make this Book Release Party a one of a kind event. In the words of my good pal Bilbo Baggins, "Gandalf, my old friend, this should be a night to remember."

Oh, and see below for a word from some very sneaky people. 

Need more info:  See below!
His Way Christian Bookstore - Ellicott City

8450 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Phone: 410 465-7546
Fax: 410 465-5301

A word from the League of Extraordinarily Sneaky People...

Sneak, the definition thereof: 1.) To go or move in a quiet, stealthy way. 2.) A person regarded as stealthy. 3.) An instance of sneaking; a quiet, stealthy movement. 4.) Carried out in a clandestine manner. 5.) Perpetrated without warning

Greetings Warriors, Shield Maidens, Elves, and all those that dwell in the Realm of Glimpses;

There are passages and doorways…and realms that lie unseen. And there are those who traverse these lands in secret to fight for the One True King. They are many and they are one. They are:

The League of Extraordinarily Sneaky People.

I am but one though I speak for the many. There is a warrior outside our ranks whom we desire to honor greatly. Many of us he has trained, many he has shown light, and into all he has burned a message of hope. His name is Sir Wayne Thomas Batson, the Loremaster.

The League has special things in store. Sneaking of the sneakiest sneakiness. Sneaking of great awesome power. Sneaking so sneaky we needed a new word to describe it—Sneakalotoricalsneakiness….No wait, that’s just ridiculous. <_<

Our scheme will come to fruition at His Way Christian Bookstore In Ellicott City on Saturday December 4th from 11AM-3PM. This happens to be the first official Sword in the Stars Book Signing as well!

Plan on attending and entering to win one of two copies of Sword in the Stars, a copy of The Door Within book on CD as well as other surprises! And dress in your sneakiest fantasy costume!

If you cannot make the journey, the League has more sneakiness to offer. Contact our leader for more information!

Join our ranks through the Book of Faces here: Or contact our leader by email:

Oh, did I mention there’ll be cake?

~ The League


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tribebuilding 2, Contest Deadline Moved to December 14th!

Tribebuilding 2 Contest Continues!

And so, after much deliberation amongst the Elves, I believe all parties concerned will be best served if the official deadline for the Tribe Building Contest be moved to Tuesday, December 14th. In this way, NaNoWriMo will be well and good over, and Elves will have two weeks--and weekends--to pour it on for the Tribe Building Contest! I think it's best not to go too far into the Christmas season because, as we all know, Elves are already very busy around Christmas. ;-)

Also, I'm cooking up some new Tribe Quests to throw out at you. Woo hoo hoo ha, ha, hah {cough} ha {cough} heh, {hack} heh {wheeze}...uh, yeah.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Blitz Update: Sword in the Stars climbs 10,000 spots!

The above from Amazon as of 7:36pm ET
This just in, Sword in the Stars climbs from 56K to 45K. 10,000 spaces? Yes, good start! More updates each hour!

Sword in the Stars Amazon Blitz is Today! 5pm--10pm ET

Today's the day! The mighty bastion of stands high on its mountaintop, daring our scattered masses, wandering swordsmen, rangers, archers, swordmaidens, and warriors of all kinds to unite in an assault upon it!

Today, I am calling on all my faithful readers…just as Aragorn rallied his forces at the gate of Mordor…to take part in this blitzing of Amazon! Yes, I know that none of my books have ever ranked higher than 365th on Amazon's bestseller list. And there may be a day when my books cannot climb any higher than 10,000th, but IT IS NOT THIS DAY!!

I's cheesy. lol

Look at the photo below. Do you see where Sword in the Stars begins its quest today?

If we concentrate new book orders between 5-10pm tonight, you will see that number change dramatically. So please, join us on our little venture!

Here's the purchase link: Sword in the Stars Amazon Blitz Link

Reminder, I'll be Facebooking about the Blitz throughout its duration! So check there and we can engage in much inane banter!

Reminder 2: Don't forget, for every book you purchase during the Blitz, I will send you a signed and personalized bookplate sticker. Just email me with a clip of your digital Amazon receipt, and provide me with a mailing address, name of person for whom to sign, and any message you want, and I'll get the stickers sent out. No limit on stickers. If you purchase 10 books, I'll sign and send 10 stickers. :-D


Why do a Blitz? 
1) Tons of orders in a concentrated time will make Sword in the Stars jump up high on Amazon's bestseller's list. This creates high visibility, more sales, and so on.

2) Also, getting tons of orders right around a new book's release date influences the publisher to pump up the marketing and even increase print runs.

This Amazon Blitz is special because it's my first book with my new publisher. AMG Publishing has been very good to me, so I really want to have a nice showing with the Sword in the Stars release. So here's the deal, buy a copy of Sword in the Stars, using the link below or the one in my sidebar. Make your purchase on Monday, November 15th, between the hours of 5pm--10pm ET.

Why from Amazon? 
1) Exposure. Amazon has a mighty market share. The higher the rank with Amazon, the more people know about the books. I love the Indy stores and other big chains too!

Can I order a ton of books for the ranking and then return them?
I don't know if that works, but even if it would, please do not do it. I don't want to scam anyone or be a part of anyone who does.

Can I order more than one book?
You can order as many as you want. Christmas is right around the corner, and signed books make great gifts.

What happens after the Blitz? 
1) If the Amazon Bestseller number hits the top ten, I'll be able to use that on future printings of Sword in the Stars. "Sword in the Stars, An Amazon Bestseller..."

2) If you read the book and have the time, please consider leaving a review of Sword in the Stars up on Amazon. Those reviews really do matter.

This Just In: Sword in the Stars Website is LIVE now! Many new features to come, but the shell is up! Check it out:

Friday, November 05, 2010

Sword in the Stars Blitz: Monday, November 15th 5-10pm ET

 Monday, November 15th, 5-10pm ET

Greetings to all my phenomenal readers, blog friends, and anyone else who happens by here. I'd like to announce the official Sword in the Stars Amazon Blitz! If you've never done a blitz, the concept is to slam Amazon with book orders during a concentrated period of time. This accomplishes two very important things:

1) Tons of orders in a concentrated time will make Sword in the Stars jump up high on Amazon's bestseller's list. This creates high visibility, more sales, and so on.

2) Also, getting tons of orders right around a new book's release date influences the publisher to pump up the marketing and even increase print runs.

This Amazon Blitz is special because it's my first book with my new publisher. AMG Publishing has been very good to me, so I really want to have a nice showing with the Sword in the Stars release. So here's the deal, buy a copy of Sword in the Stars, using the link below or the one in my sidebar. Make your purchase on Monday, November 15th, between the hours of 5pm--10pm ET.

I'd like to thank everyone who participates, so if you purchase a copy of Sword in the Stars during the blitz, and then email me your snail mail address, I'll personalize a special Sword in the Stars bookplate sticker and send it to you. I doesn't matter if you buy one book or fifteen. I'll send as many stickers as you need. My mom says you should buy fifteen copies. Oh, and she also says the signed books make excellent Christmas gifts. {Thanks, Mom!}

If you're in the tribebuilding contest, yes, again we'll be AMPING the points for those who purchase Sword in the Stars during the Blitz. Here's the chart:

Buy one book during the Blitz = 5,000pts.

Every additional book you buy during the Blitz = Double the Points--every book

Example: 1 book = 5K, 2 books = 10k, 3 books = 20K, 4 books = 40K, and so on...

Bonus Multiplier: If Sword in the Stars breaks 500th on the Bestseller List, double any points you've earned from book buying. If Sword in the Stars breaks 100th on the Bestseller List, triple any points you've earned from book buying. If Sword in the Stars breaks 10th on the Bestseller List, quadruple any points you've earned from book buying. If Sword in the Stars hits #1 on the Bestseller List, multiply any points you've earned from book buying by TEN.

Thanks for reading, and hope you'll come Blitzing with us on Monday the 15th!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Amazing Reader Art!

One of the central messages of the Berinfell Prophecies (Door Within series, as well) is that you are more precious and more important than you could ever imagine. Each of you is unique and utterly rare. One of the reasons we can all be sure this is true is that each of you have a completely unique talent/interest profile. Some are athletic, some are musical, some are artistic, some are linguistic, on and on the list goes with no end in sight.

From time to time, my readers share their talents with me. And recently I received two stunning pieces of reader art. Please take a look and enjoy. Post a comment if you feel so led.

This brilliant portrait of the "Sea Wolf" was drawn by Nichole!

This phenomenal rendering of Falon was created by Elizabeth!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Want to win a sharp, pointy thing? Today only!

Want to win a sharp, pointy thing? Come out to His Way Bookstore in Ellicott City, Maryland at 1pm, buy a Wayne Thomas Batson book and be entered into a raffle to win a seriously cool broadsword! Today: Saturday, October 23rd only!

I'll be there doing readings, booksigning, and general tomfoolery!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hi, all! I just had a great time talking with 99.1 Family Radio in Ontario, Canada. I was especially impressed at how well the interviewer knew the books. If you're a reader of my books, or maybe a parent wondering how to inspire your child to read, check out the interview.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back in the Day: A Fun Interview

Lady Beth just emailed me an interview and I thought other readers might enjoy this peak into my past--a little insight as to how I got so whacked-out in the head. ;-)
Did you take any college classes to become a writer and if so what classes did you take? 

I didn't get a degree in creative writing; my degree was in English/Education so that I could teach English and Reading. There was, after all, no guarantee that I would get published or be able to make living with my writing. That said, all those English grammar classes and literature classes really did help. I think the most helpful class for me was contemporary poetry. The teacher, a published poet named Kathy Mangan, was absolutely brilliant. She taught me so much about the importance of EVERY word, about the emotional power in every word, and about precise language.

Bouncing baby bat at age 1. Note the footy pajamas. And that's my mom holding me.

 How did you find out you wanted to be a writer?   
6th grade. The school had a Halloween short story contest and I won a big chocolate cat! Writing = chocolate, what's not to like? Just kidding. That was the first hint that I loved to create with words. It wasn't until much later that I began to think writing was maybe something God wanted me to do. I started writing stories for my students, and I began to see that these stories were having an impact on my students. The lights came on.

Me, age 8. I'm a little excited. Note the lovely 70's curtains!
Did you want to be a 'funny and funky' writer or did you want to be a 'serious and mysterious' writer? 
Sweet, original question. I think more the serious and mysterious. I've always had a knack for thinking up creepy or just plain "odd" situations. Scenes that scream out for some kind of search or question. I have at least 20-30 story concepts waiting in a digital folder. Hopefully, God willing, I will get to write them all.
Tons of adventures as a kid. Many of these were in Panama City, Florida, with my best friend Hal. Incidentally, Hal was a little bit of a model for Robby Pierson in The Door Within Trilogy.

Did you always have a crazy imagination when you were a kid?  

This shot was from the "Band Days," about 1985 thru 1989. These guys are still best friends of mine.
Yes, very much so. I was the 4th child, the last in line, the baby so to speak. My next nearest sibling was a whole 5 years older, so there wasn't a lot of playtime with siblings. I ended up playing by myself. I drew a ton--often getting in trouble in school for drawing in class! Oops. It might have had something to do with the fact that I was making WHOOSH sounds and laser beam sounds--aloud--while I was drawing. Double oops. And, if you happened to come by my house on a summer day, you might have scene me racing around with a Star Wars landspeeder in one hand and a Tie Fighter in the other. I constantly invented my own stories and plot lines. Imagine me up in a tree with Darth Vader saying to a crabapple, "Luke, I am your father." lol

Thanks for the great interview!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Christian Authors all over Champaign? Gasp!!

I just know there are some tea totalers out there thinking, "See, I told you those fantasy authors are agents of the devil! Look, they are drinking champagne and boasting about it!"


Not champagne...we mean Champaign, as in the cool city in Illinois!

As a result of the Tribe Building Contest, author Christopher Hopper and I will be flying out to the great state of Illinois and having a private book signing party with Nightwing Tribe, the Tribebuilding Challenge Winner from last year.

But later that day, Christopher and I will descend upon the local Borders store to meet and greet the public. ALL are WELCOME!! You don't have to be an Elf! But please no Drefids or Warspiders!

So if you live in Illinois or will be in the area, please drop by and see us! Even if you can't go, tell friends and family who might be in the area. Signed books make RIGHTEOUS Christmas gifts! :-D

Here are the details of the event:

Where: Borders, West Town Blvd, Champaign IL
When: Saturday, Oct. 16th, 2pm-5pm
What: Authors Christopher Hopper and Wayne Thomas Batson
Why: Well, because we are two wild and crazy, entertaining author type dudes who will sword fight, insult each other (not you), and sign your books with all kinds of pithy wisdom stuff!

Hope to see you there! You are coming, aren't you? Don't make us beg. :-D

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Ding Dong the Thread is Dead, the Wicked Old Thread is Dead!

Hallelujah! The Thread is Dead! A few months and 1754+ comments later, The Wicked Old Thread is Dead! And we have a WINNER!  WAY back in May, we kicked off the first Kill This Thread Contest. You can see the original thread HERE. Basically, the idea is that the thread lives as long as someone has posted a comment within 24 hours. If 24 hours go by without a new post, the thread dies. Well, the thread never actually died. I had to kill it b/c it went on forever. An amazingly dedicated group of posters, they were. And so, what I had to do is throw all the posters' names in a hat and pick a winner. My wife actually picked. And the winner is:

Lady Dragonkeeper

Lady Dragonkeeper, please email me with your snail mail address and name you want Christopher and I to sign the book to. We'll get it in the mail asap.

And thanks to all for being such enthusiastic participants.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

About Migmar the Gnome...

It has been an incredible week of Venom and Song discussion. During the CSFF Blog tour, over 75 separate posts have been made with who knows how many comments. Please see the previous article here and visit some of the links. Amazing analysis. But there was a post today by author John Otte asking about CH and I including a character in Venom and Song with a certain, er, uhm, problem. And I thought, wow, I better clear the air on this issue. {Pun very much intended}

Official Disclaimer: If the very mention of the word "flatulent" or any of its synonyms causes you feelings of dread, apprehension, or disgust, DO NOT READ ON. And by NO MEANS should you click on the picture below.

So here's the skinny on Migmar the Gnome King and his, uh, condition. There's a story behind that. Kind of a behind the scenes story. Christopher Hopper and I were in Scranton PA together, working on the outline for Curse of the Spider King. And you know how it is trying to come up with fantasy names. Some of us can take forever researching etymologies and looking up roots from Welsh, Celt, Saxon, etc.

Well, we stumbled upon, not a name generator, but a generic fantasy character generator. It basically had a HUGE database of creatures, races, and people PLUS identifying characteristics. It was pretty late at night, and Christopher and I were kind of goofy. And we kept clicking the generator to read these really random silly character combinations. Things like: drooling, red-headed knight, bug-eyed gargoyle with a limp and so forth. We were literally in tears and clutching our gut b/c the funniest character generated was "Flatulent Barrister Gnome!" Ever since then, it's been an inside joke and we decided to bring Migmar to life in Venom and Song.

So there it is. Don't hate us.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Venom and Song Blog Tour Monday thru Wednesday!

Venom and Song

Hi, all!

Christopher Hopper and I are stoked because starting today (Monday), RIGHT NOW, Venom and Song is the featured book for the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour. That means that bloggers all over the country will be posting interviews, behind-the-scenes info, reviews, and all kinds of Berinfell craziness!

All readers, please check out the blogs below for uber cool stuff about Venom and Song! The tour begins today, but there will be new stuff posted every day of the tour! Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday! Righteous!

PS: if you visit a site and you don't see Berinfell stuff, check back later as we all live in different time zones.

Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Amy Browning
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Melissa Carswell
Jeff Chapman
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
April Erwin
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
James Somers
Kathleen Smith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Jason Waguespac
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson

Huge thanks to all the bloggers for all your hard work on behalf of the mission. Thanks to my readers for checking out some of these great blogs. You may find some great writing resources too!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What is Amazon doing? Tribe Quest Immediate Opportunity

Okay, so I get an email from a reader, telling me that Isle of Fire has reached #242 on Amazon's bestseller list. I'm thinking, well...pirates are cool, but...??? 242? That's the lowest any of my books have ever gotten on Amazon. What gives?

See below. Do you see what I see?

This is Isle of Fire HARDCOVER. Look at the price. Amazon is selling Isle of Fire at $2.43. Are you kidding me? Talk about a "fire sale." Get it, Isle of Fire...on sale? Oh, nevermind. LoL

Okay Tribes, this is a very time-sensitive Quest opportunity. Isle of Fire sits right now at 242 on the Bestseller List. It won't take much to push it higher. Let's rock this!

The Quest:

Purchase 1 copy of Isle of Fire: 3000 pts.
Purchase 2 copies of Isle of Fire: 6000 pts.
Purchase 3 copies of Isle of Fire: 12000 pts.
Purchase 4 copies of Isle of Fire: 24000 pts.
Purchase 5 copies of Isle of Fire: 48000 pts.

Yes, I know, that's a ridiculous amount of points.

It gets better.

If Isle of Fire makes it to 100th or better on the Amazon list, double the points for each tribe member who gets a book.

If Isle of Fire makes it to #1 on the Amazon list, quadruple the points for each tribe member who gets a book. QUADRUPLE the points.

*Remember, if you're a minor, don't make a purchase without parent permission.

**Also, if IoF makes #1, keep in mind the points do NOT double and then quadruple. The points would quadruple.

Click HERE to order Isle of Fire!

Important Time Note: In order for your purchase to count, you must order today: Sunday 9/19 thru Tuesday 9/21st.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Door Within Audiobook is available NOW!

Hi, all! I just found out The Door Within Audiobook is shipping now, almost a month ahead of schedule. In case you haven't heard already, I spend some of the summer in the recording studio doing all the voices and narration for The Door Within and for Rise of the Wyrm Lord. Looks like I'll be doing The Final Storm this November, followed by Isle of Swords and Isle of Fire too!

If you'd like to hear a sample of the audio, click the movie below. This is a scene from Falon's Stair, one of my absolute favorite chapters to read aloud at signings. You should know that this sample is the unedited version, so you even get to hear my mess-ups!

Click HERE to PreOrder The Door Within audiobook!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Holy Bestsellers, Batman!

Once again, I am humbled by my readers. Thank you so much for reading. There seems to be a wonderful resurgence of popularity in The Door Within books, all my books, really. I'm still awed that God lets me do this and doubly awed that He seems to be working through these books in the lives of others. Please let that encourage you. If God can use me, He can use you. Maybe that's why Paul kept referring to himself as the worst of sinners. He wanted us all to know that God can forgive us no matter what we've done. And He can still use us no matter how broken we are. Thank you, God.

And once more, thank you readers. Please see the bestseller lists below and give God some serious glory for it. The top list is the CBA Young Adult Bestseller list. The bottom list is ECPA Young Adult Bestseller list. Cool, eh?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tribe Building Update and New Tribe Quest!

Greetings Tribes! I will be posting current Tribe Points in the next week or so. Please be on the lookout!

In the meantime, it's time for the 2nd Tribe Building Quest. This is a time-sensitive task that can earn your tribe lots of bonus points! So have at it!

The Quest:

Preface: As you know, two summers ago, I toured with seven other fantasy authors. We called ourselves the Motiv8 Tour and we hit dozens of venues from California to Canada. On that journey, I got to know author Eric Reinhold quite well. He's the author of a fantasy series called Ryann Watters and the King's Sword. If you haven't already heard, his books' movie rights were purchased last year and they are actually filming a major motion picture based on his book. COOLNESS!

This is --without any exaggeration-- a turning point for Christian artists. If this movie does well at the box office, it will open the door for other fantasy books to be made into a movie (maybe even The Door Within, eh?) It will send a message to other studios that Christians can be a player in the entertainment marketplace. If the movie fails, the door will slam shut for who knows how long.

Your Mission: Below this text, I'm including all kinds of promo materials and links for the movie. Your job is to scavenge that info and CREATE! Find ways to promote this movie all over the web in your schools--anywhere and everywhere. How many points is this worth? It depends on your project. I'm not telling you what to do. This is kind of like the Amazing Open Category. You take the Ryann Watters movie info and figure out cool ways to promote it. Let me know what you're thinking (email me) and I'll tell you the ridiculous amounts of points you will earn.

Seriously, we need to hit this ball out of the park. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, eMail, Posters, Flyers, Postcards, Bookmarks--whatever you can think of. You might even contact Mr. Reinhold personally and see what he's got going on and how you can help. Tribebuilding aside, this really is a mission. Do you want more God-honoring entertainment? Do you want Christian artists to thrive? Then go after this!

Treasure Chest of Movie Hype:

Eric tells me that The best way to “hype” the movie, would be to get your “army” posting about it all over the web and sending e-mails, etc. to friends and directing them to the official movie website ( , my blog ( , and Facebook (Eric Reinhold) and Twitter (Ryann Watters).  

Filming officially begins in Mount Dora , Florida on August 4th and the State of Florida has already approved tax incentives for the movie in the amount of $250,000, which is 1/3 of the budgeted $750,000.  Some of the “Courageous” crew (the follow up movie by Sherwood Pictures, ‘Facing the Giants’) have come down from Georgia to be part of the movie.  I’ve attached some pics of the 4 principal characters.  Taylor Boswell (of Bowling Green , Kentucky ) has the most extensive experience of the group.  The adult roles are more limited and they are providing the opportunity for some household name actors to be a part of the film.  I can’t confirm any of those yet, but will do so on Twitter, Facebook, and my blog as soon as they are confirmed. 

Here are some fun links you can work into your blog for readers as well, since they are youtube videos. 
There isn’t a movie trailer, yet, but there is a teaser announcing the movie:
Book signing in Mount Dora :
Amateur video done by a high school student at my church with three Middle Schoolers summarizing the book:

Here are some of the latest updates on the movie website:
Under NEWS at the Official Movie Website:
“Director Mike Germaine has assembled an amazingly talent team – com posed of alumni from very successful Christian movies such as “Fireproof”, “Letters to God”, etc., and the team has been covering every inch of downtown Mount Dora and surrounding area as they are blocking shots, determining best time of day to shoot for lighting, etc.   In addition, the team is collecting B-Unit and “plate” shot footage to help assist the Production process this week and next leading up to 2 full weeks of filming the exciting chase sequences, where DRAKE DUNFELLOW pursues RYANN WATTERS through the narrow alleyways and quaint streets of downtown, as well as the other sequences involving the beautiful gazebo and scenery of Evans Park on the shores of Lake Dora.”

From the Producer (a prayer)
As the Production of Ryann Watters and the King’s Sword moves into Hi-Gear this week with start of Principal Photography, the very first thing we want to do this morning is to stop for a moment and pray.

“Father, we thank-you for this day and for this opportunity to serve you.  We are so grateful and excited about the opportunity you have allowed for us with the movie project of Ryann Watters and the King’s Sword.  We believe it to be Your call for us to bring this to pass and we are thrilled that you have chosen us to work through on this important calling.  We thank You for stepping in and helping take our fragile human efforts and Bless it with Your supernatural strength, wisdom, creativity, connections, and purpose.

We thank You for opening doors and making a way out of no way and for bringing the right people from the North, the South, the East, the West – every direction point on the com pass – so that we may effectively and efficiently carry out the duties that You have assigned for us.  Thank You for the Production team, thank You for the Cast, thank You for everyone working behind-the-scenes, thank Your for the business acumen and the finances required to bring this to pass.  Make the path straight – make the path easy – connect us with those with whom we should be connected and keep us from connecting in areas that are not according to Your purpose.  Give us favor with those we deal with and let their efforts rise, together with ours, to assist in the fulfillment of Your project.
Lord, let this be life-changing and revelatory to those of us who are working on this movie and book project and for any one who is remotely connected with us on this.  Let us function effectively together for Your purposes and bind any atttempt of the enemy to interfere in any way, on any level in this.  We know that ALL things are under your auspices and NOTHING moves without your approval and we thank You, in advance, for your covering and protection throughout our efforts here – for us, for our colleagues and partners, for our investors, for families and for anyone who is anyway connected to us on this.

Lord, we thank You also  for allowing this to have a significant and meaningful impact among the next generation – those who will watch this movie and read this book and be impacted by it.  We call a generational Blessing to all those who seek Your Will and obey Your Word and we ask this in the mighty name of Jesus!

Now, as we move forward, we thank You for giving us nimbleness of mind, efficiency of purpose, ability of direction, and Blessing of com pletion for this project.  We thank You for the Mercy and Grace to ac com plish all of this and we will be careful to always remember to give You the Honor and the Glory in all of our efforts with this.  We thank You, most of all, for Your Son, Jesus Christ and for allowing us to com e boldly to the Throne of Grace in His precious name.  Amen.”


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Door Within Audiobooks and Studio Unknown!

Over the summer, I had the great pleasure of recording the audiobook versions of The Door Within and Rise of the Wyrm Lord. (I'll be doing The Final Storm too, this fall). I've always enjoyed reading stories aloud and have had tons of practice reading to my students over the years. But I've never done any professional reading. Oasis Audio purchased the rights of The Door Within Trilogy and was kind enough to invite me to read. Still, I was nervous. But I needn't have been, because Oasis found me an amazing studio in Baltimore called Studio Unknown.

Studio Unknown, Owned by Kevin Hill, is a cool and clever all-purpose audio/video shop that won't be unknown for long. Their slogan is "Discover Creative Sound," and they earn it every day. It seems there's nothing they can't do. Scoring movies, ADR, Sound Production, Foley--you name it, Studio Unknown can do it. Not only are they professional, but they are personable as well.

Shown above with me are Jon Krintz(mid) and Kevin Hill (right) who guided me through the process and showed me the ropes. And, in the process, I feel like I made two new friends. The studio itself is tucked away in a massive industrial park. In fact, if I hadn't been told exactly where to go, I would have been hopelessly lost. There was just a tiny doorbell that said: Ring for Studio Unknown.

But once the door is open, WHOOOSH!! You enter a completely professional, ultramodern recording studio--beautiful decor with lots of dark wood and track lighting. Upstairs is the main studio. Kevin and John worked their magic from behind a sound board that looked like the bridge console of the Starship Enterprise.

I was behind the glass in "The Booth," and I belted out The Door Within in 3 Days; Rise of the Wyrm Lord in 3.5 days. Along the way, I flubbed about 12,000 lines. LOL. Not quite that many, but I did make up some very interesting words such as "dilemina." Look for The Door Within and Rise of the Wyrm Lord on audiobook from Oasis this fall! I'll post links as soon as they are up.

And if you have any audio/video needs, please call Studio Unknown. They will help you discover creative sound.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Are you a Christian...and yet, you're still thirsty?

You remember the time during Jesus' ministry that he came across the Samaritan woman at the well? It's in John 4: 1-42 if you want to read the whole account. It's a rich encounter and there are thousands of sermons seeded within it. But there's just one verse I want to think about right now, and I'm really hopeful that you'll think about it with me and maybe discuss your experiences also.

Jesus asks the woman to get him a drink of water, and in the conversation that follows, Jesus makes it clear that he actually has superior water for her to drink if she will. He contrasts actual natural water with spiritual, regenerating water by telling her,

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13).

I don't know about you, but I read that verse and, like the woman at the well, that kind of water sounds ridiculously good to me. LET ME AT IT! According to Jesus, the water HE gives will grant us the ultimate "ever-quench." We will never thirst. Never again.

But what if we do thirst again?

What does that mean?

The best place to start seems to be what Jesus meant by never thirsting again. Jesus doesn't lie. So whatever He meant by never thirsting again, MUST be true. Jesus contrasts the two kinds of water, so the kind of thirst Jesus speaks of cannot be physical thirst. The woman at the well probably got physically thirsty the very next day. No, Jesus must have been talking about some sort of metaphorical or symbolic thirst. What is this thirst a symbol of, then?

Jesus says the water He gives will become, in the person, a spring of water, welling up to eternal life. It's inside the person, that much is sure. It's active and increasing in measure--like a spring that flows and fountains. And apparently, the flow fills up to a point of being eternal life. The thirst then, must be for this kind of thing. It's easy to jump to an understanding like this: the thirst is mankind's need for salvation, need for connection to the creator, need for unconditional love. We might even extend the thirst to mean an inner satisfaction and fulfillment, and ultimate meeting of our innermost needs. Is that all true about the thirst? If it is, then Christians should never be troubled by a lacking of any of that. Do you see where this is going? Or, rather, do you "feel" where this is going?

If the water Jesus gives is really all of that as stated above, and the thirst is the unsaved person's need of all that above, then, once we drink Jesus' water, once we believe and are saved, then…we should never thirst in any of those ways again. I feel kind of guilty right about now. You?

I'm a Christian. Not by my own merit. Not by anything I've done or said, but only by the grace of God. He saved me. His word tells me so. But here's the thing, I still feel thirsty. There's still a deep, deep longing for something that is just out of reach, but seemingly impossible still to reach.

And I'm not talking about the physical thirsts. There are tons of physical/earthly things--real hunger, thirst, bank accounts, jobs, family, relationships, etc. etc. that are not completely satisfied. Jesus wasn't talking to the woman about physical thirsts. We should all expect to still have those thirsts, right?

But I still have deeper thirsts. There's a gut-wrenching need for a touch from God, a need for a deeper sense of His presence in my life, a need for eternal safety, eternal love, and eternal companionship. I'm just being honest. I still thirst like that. Do you?

What does it mean if we still have the deep thirst? Does it mean we aren't really Christians? Can you feel the loose soil crumbling away beneath your feet? Can you feel yourself beginning to slide down that slope into a black chasm? If so, grab Jesus' hand.

"For God so love the world that He gave His only Son that ANYONE who would believe would not perish but have eternal life."

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

If you believe that Jesus died for you, that He is the provider of eternal life and your salvation, be at rest. You are saved. Jesus paid the price. He saved you. Why? For God SO LOVED THE WORLD. It is God's love for you. Not -your- love for God. When we were still enemies, HE DIED FOR US. It's not the quality of your faith; it's the quality of HIS GIFT. It's not that you didn't say the salvation prayer correctly. It's not that you didn't go up front during the altar call. It's not that you had and still have some doubts. It's none of that. All that stuff is you and me stuff--and don't we already know that our stuff is lacking?

The floor is not crumbling. You can stand. The foundation--thank God--is Jesus and His word, not our response to it. There is no stronger place to stand.

Go back to the thirst Jesus was talking about. Go back to the water Jesus was talking about. Go back to the qualities of it all. It is water that wells up to eternal life. The thirst, I think, is the soul's parched condition prior to salvation. When we come to Jesus, the scorched soul is flooded with eternal life. That thirst is eternally quenched.

So then, what is the thirst that we Christians still feel? I think it could be a number of things:

1) Thirst One: confusion between physical and eternal thirsts

This is a broken, sin-sick world. People get hungry, sick, worried, depressed. Relationships with spouses, family members, friends can grow strained. We can lose jobs. We can have people write nasty reviews of our books (ahem). lol  The washer machine can break down. You can take your car in for an oil change and end up with a $1,600 bill for repairs you didn't even know were there. It can rain on your picnic. If we start to look at our circumstances and measuring God's goodness by those screwed up circumstances, then, we are going to be thirsty. Jesus never promised the woman at the well that her physical thirsts would all be met. Jesus never promised us that all our physical thirsts would be met. In fact, Jesus promised us: In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, for I (Jesus) have overcome the world.

2) Thirst Two: Impossible Expectations

What are you expecting out of people? What are you expecting out of this world? Do you, husband, expect your wife to meet your every need? Do you, friend, expect your friends to always be available for you? Do you expect every day to be full of fun? When you start expect all kinds of fulfillment from people--even people who are supposed to meet your needs, you place them (and yourself) in an awkward position. And even worse, if you expect people to meet needs only God can meet, you are being ridiculous. No can do. I love my wife. She's a great woman. But she's not Jesus.

3) Thirst Three: Something amiss in our lives

Look, I'm not telling you something you don't already know here. Sin destroys. Sin separates. Sin makes us uncomfortable. If you have sinned, or worse, have a repetitive sin in your life, you are handing satan a big old baseball bat with which he will beat you senseless. He likes to pull the "Bully Technique" on you. You know what bullies do, right? They torment the weakling and make it clear that to tell on the bully makes you even weaker, a "tattler" or some such. So the victim is in a no win situation. I get beat up, and I can't tell. Satan will beat you up with your sin, and then he'll tell you about all the trouble you'll get in if you own up to your sin, confess it, etc. Enough of that crap. Go to the Lord, confess your sin. If there's someone (a person) you need to reveal the sin to, even if it's painful--don't delay another minute. Bring the sin to life. Accept the consequences--and then let God rebuild you.

4) Thirst Four: Longing for our REAL home

C.S. Lewis said, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." The Bible tells us we are indeed strangers and pilgrims in this foreign land. Our real home is heaven. And there is a very real sense in which, we Christians will NEVER be totally satisfied until we are in heaven, physically with our Lord Jesus. In heaven, all the chains will FINALLY fall away. All the fears will vanish. And there will be a kind of love that we cannot begin to guess at here on this giant spinning mudball. It will be eternity with God.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

News and Notes

Hi, all! Lots of news and announcements! If you have an interest in my books or in Fantasy Fiction, read on!

#1: It's looking very probable that the movie option for The Door Within will be purchased. Before you go crazy, know that what this means is that a well connected talent scout in Hollywood is optioning The Door Within for a limited time--to get a script written and shop it around to producers with the hopes that a Door Within movie might be made someday. It's a thousand miles away from a movie actually getting made. That said, it's a critical first step, so I'd appreciate your prayers.

#2: 3rd month in a row that The Door Within is on 2 Bestseller lists.

CBA YA Bestseller #6 for August

ECPA YA Bestseller #8 for August

ECPA also has: Isle of Swords at #17 and The Final Storm at #18

Thank you, readers, for being so faithful. Time is a precious thing--that you would spend some of yours reading my books still amazes me. I'm honored and very grateful.

Curse of the Spider King has been nominated for the new Clive Staples Award. Please read the following and consider voting for Spider King. Remember, this award is not for Christopher and me's about glory for God.

Here are the details and the link: 

Please read these instructions carefully, then proceed to the ballot by clicking on the link below.
CSA is not a popularity contest. The award has been established to recognize the work of fiction which readers designate as the previous year’s best. Consequently, voters must adhere to these basic rules.
    •    You MUST have read at least two of the nominations.
    •    You may vote only once for a first, second, and third choice.
    •    You may not vote for the same book as your second or third option that you voted for as your first choice.
    •    Your votes for second and third options may not be for the identical book.
    •    You may mark the “none of these” option if you do not have a second or third choice.
    •    Voting will close September 1, 2010.
    •    Second and third choice options will only be considered if a clear winner is not determined by the first choice vote.
To vote, click here and answer all the questions.