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Monday, December 12, 2011

Amazon Blitz EPILOGUE

Hi, all! Well, the Amazon Blitz went great! From my combined resources of NovelRank and Amazon Associates, it looks like 24-29 copies of The Errant King were sold during the Blitz. The best sales ranking appears to be: 6,195th, a 19,000 rank improvement. And that's very, very cool. 

Sword in the Stars sold approximately 15-17 copies during the Blitz. The best sales ranking appears to be: 13,911th, a 16,000 rank improvement.

And better yet, both books continue to be ranked in the teens. So thank you to everyone who bought during the Blitz or spread the word! You rock!

If you haven't already joined the Starseeker Contest, please consider the adventure! Lots of prizes: Amazon Kindle, Books-4-Life, Namesake in Book, even your very own Star!

 Buy Sword in the Stars or The Errant King from on TONIGHT, December 9th between the hours of 6pm--10pm Eastern Time.

If you're in the Starseeker Contest, we'll be AMPING the points for those who purchase Sword in the Stars or Errant King 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 OR The Errant King breaks 500th on the Bestseller List, double any points you've earned from book buying. If Sword in the Stars OR The Errant King breaks 100th on the Bestseller List, triple any points you've earned from book buying. If Sword in the Stars OR The Errant King 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.

Once again, here are the links to use to purchase books for the Amazon Blitz. Just click below:

Thursday, December 08, 2011

To Arms! To Arms! The Amazon Blitz for Errant King is Upon Us!!

FRIDAY, December 9th between the hours of 6pm--10pm Eastern Time.
 Can you say EPIC?

Greetings, faithful readers! Wayne Thomas Batson here. With Christmas not far away now, I wanted to let you know I've got a new series of fantasy books out.

The Dark Sea Annals, an Epic 7-book Fantasy Series with AMG Publishing. Book 1: The Sword in the Stars came out in 2010, and Book 2: The Errant King just came out last week. So if you loved The Door Within Trilogy or any of my other books, please check out my new series.

If you think you might get The Errant King, please consider, joining our Amazon Blitz! See below!

 Buy Sword in the Stars or The Errant King from on FRIDAY, December 9th between the hours of 6pm--10pm Eastern Time.

I'd like to announce the official Errant King 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 The Errant King 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.
Buy Sword in the Stars or The Errant King from on FRIDAY, December 9th between the hours of 6pm--10pm Eastern Time.

I'd like to thank everyone who participates, so if you purchase a copy of Sword in the Stars OR The Errant King during the blitz, and then email me your snail mail address, I'll personalize a special Sword in the Stars/ Errant King 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.

Thanks so much for reading my stories and being so faithful!

Never alone.   

Bestselling Author of The Door Within Trilogy,
Isle of Swords, Isle of Fire,
The Berinfell Prophecies, Sword in the Stars, 
and The Errant King

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Why Should Kids Get to Have ALL the Fun?

Nothing against kids, but it has always seemed unfair to me that they always get to be whooshed through the portal for all kinds of great fantasy adventures. I guess it must have seemed unfair to prolific author Sharon Hinck as well because she's written a fantastic fantasy series--an epic adventure for women and moms! Sound odd to you? Not so. In fact, without any fear of "Man Card Deductions," I read The Restorer and REALLY enjoyed it. Looking for gift idea for the fantasy woman in your life...check out Sharon Hinck's The Restorer!

Order The Restorer-Expanded Edition at Marcher Lord Press (at their discounted price!) before December 9th and receive two free downloadable booklets ­ an indepth Restorer literary guide, and a creative bookclub/party planner.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Seek the Stars Contest is HERE!

Welcome to Dark Sea Saturday! I hope the turkey nap is over and the shopping cramps are all worked out because you are about to have an adventure...

To celebrate the release of The Errant King, in association with AMG International Publishing, it gives me great pleasure to announce to my readers: the 1st Seek the Stars Contest!

The Seek the Stars Contest is an opportunity for my readers to have EPIC fun, exercising their God-given talents to form communities of readers and spread the word about books they know and love.

Fun. First of all, we all love to communicate with others about the things we love. We all need friends. Competing in the Seek the Stars Contest gives you the opportunity to do both. But there are, shall we say, a few prizes involved as well. More to come soon about all the specifics, but here are some items you could win:
• A Brand New Amazon Kindle!
• Ownership of your very own Star. Not kidding. Some winners will be able to have a real star registered in his/her name or even in his her team name!
• Free eBook downloads.
• All kinds of unlockables: behind the scenes Dark Sea Annals stuff, custom artwork, desktops, posters, Original Dark Sea Music Tracks, online games and more!
• A few hard-working winners will become Books-For-Life Guild Members. These folk get a signed copy of each and every book that I ever write!
• Get your name in the Acknowledgment Section of my next book.
• Get a character in my next book named after you!

The contest kicks off on DARK SEA SATURDAY, that is: Saturday, November 26th and ends SEVEN months later on Tuesday, June 26th. The number Seven is significant. Remember it! The start date is today. But, of course, you kinda know that, right?

When you click the link below, you'll come to a screen that looks like the picture at the bottom. Just click the button, enter the security random letters thingy, and it should download. You don't have to join the club or sign up for FileDropper.

All Constellations have been Founded! In less than 24 hours, all seven Founder positions have been claimed! I still have dozens of emails to sift through, but I suspect there are lots of anxious Starseekers anxious to get started. So...GET STARTED. Don't wait for me to email you with your Constellation Team. Just start loading up on points however you can. 

Here's the list of Official Constellation Team Founders:
1) Winter's Read from Washington State
2) KK* from Ohio
3) Belac from Michigan
4) Songkeeper from Texas
5) Star Dreamer from Illinois
6) Vocal from Colorado
7) Sir Nagek from New York State

*I used initials for folks who didn't give a Fantasy Name alias. 


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Personal Response

I recently posted about a yahoo article where comedian Conan O'Brien officiated a gay wedding. As you might expect, most of the responses here agreed with the Christian perspective. However, I recently received a comment that opposed it. But, for the most part, this was not some bombastic irrational person screaming out vitriol. This was a person who had serious heart and bravery and really seemed interest in investigating. I tried to comment back, but apparently, it was too many characters. So, I post it here. Hopefully, Anon, you come back and get a chance to read it.

Hi, Anon, thanks for entrusting the readers here enough to post a contrasting view. I can totally hear the compassion in your words and the heart behind it. The only way I can respond coherently is to reprint your words here with my replies immediately following. See below:

You Wrote: This makes me sick. Sorry, Mr. Batson, but I comoletely disagree. What is wrong with being gay? Gays are born with something different in their brain, something that makes them attracted to the same sex.

Response 1: 2 different questions here. What is wrong with being gay? If you believe the bible, then homosexual lust and sex are wrong. No way around that. But what about the genetic component? Are people actually born gay? There is huge sociobiological debate on this. But no this: there is NO conclusive proof that anyone is born gay. There are some genetic points of interest that might support the "born gay" position. But there are equal scientific grounds to show otherwise.

BUT: even if it could be proved conclusively that people were born with traits that would make it far easier for them to become gay, that would have nothing to do with it being sin or not. We are all born sinful. And each of us struggle with certain sins. It may be that all of our genetic codes are messed up in one way or another. One person might have the genetic fingerprint to be addicted to alcohol, sex, drugs, violence, etc. etc. But that doesn't mean we excuse the acts that often follow.

To suggest that there's something wrong with these people is, in my mind, completely ridiculous.

My response: it's not ridiculous if the Bible is your guide. And I'm not being bigoted in the least. I think there's something WRONG with every person on earth, especially me. It's called a "sin-nature." We all have it, and it makes it easier for each one of us to lean toward certain sins.

 I understand that maybe marriage must be between a man and a woman, but this is not right.

My Response: Thank you for granting that point. Marriage always has been understood as man and woman. The word is defined that way. If words are to have meaning, then we must not simply change to meet politics or cultural trends. And the word "marriage" is not just some flexible term that has become antiquated over the years. Marriage is a critical social custom that builds the foundation of a nation.

 Maybe it is a sin to be homosexual. But is that what you are going to say? That people that are different than you are worse?

My Response: No, I never implied that homosexuals are worse than me or worse than heterosexuals. All sin is counter-God. A homosexual's sins are no worse than my own. The trouble is that some segments of our society are fighting hard to normalize activities are wrong. It is the same as a sitcom that makes it seem like casual sex is fine and dandy. It's not. It's sin, and even if you don't believe in the bible, casual sex leaves a terrible hurt on most people who engage in it.

 Who cares if someone isn't like you, isn't heterosexual? Why can't people just leave other people alone?

My Response: again, you seem to want to blame me, as if I am the measure of what's good and right in the world. Thank God it is not me! As to why can't people "leave other people alone?" No one is attacking anyone here. America is an open marketplace of ideas, isn't it? So when Yahoo publishes an article with a well-known celebrity going so far to support gay marriage as to officiate the "wedding," then it is my right (and as a Christian) a duty to speak out. The trouble is that many in the homosexual community confuse different opinions with bigotry. I'm tired of being called "intolerant" and a "bigot" or "homophobe" simply because I maintain and support a differing opinion on the subject. Those who support homosexuality are often very aggressive and in-your-face with their beliefs. Fine, but don't "name call" when I oppose you and oppose you well. Either support your beliefs or concede defeat. Don't resort to immature name calling. 

Reading that it makes people sick to think about gay marriage is truly sad, sad that they can't leave it be. It's the way people are, and it's not going to change.

My Response: It's not sad. Imagine someone taking something dear to you and staining it. That's what's happening here. Marriage is what it is. Don't be upset because the word has meaning. If homosexuals want a union, then call it something else. And as to saying, why not leave it be because it'll never change? Think about where that logic takes you. Some people commit incest. Should we leave that be? Some rape. Some commit sexual abuse. Should we leave those things be as well? People commit adultery ALL THE TIME--Christians included. Should we leave that be? Of course not.

I really don't understand this. Is your entire life governed by the bible? Are you simply the puppet of the written word, to kill or shun those that are different or against this? Explain yourself, please.

My Response: Yes, my entire life is governed by the Bible. Not when I sin. And that is my own personal tragedy. God's word is my guide and keeps me from so many destructive paths and horrors. Am I a puppet for holding to a standard of right and wrong that transcends what I simply "feel" is right or wrong?

But, I want you, Anon, to take a very VERY careful look at your words there: "to kill or shun those that are different." You brought those words to the table. I never mentioned them. I don't urge anyone to kill or shun. That's the kind of emotional propaganda that gay rights leaders so often employ.

Love everyone. Hate the sin, especially that sin in my own life. But do not remain silent when beautiful, sacred things are being attacked.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Look What the Stork Delivered!!

Greetings, Knights and Swordmaidens! No, the Batson household hasn't welcomed a fifth child. But in many ways, the moment a writer gets to hold his/her book in hand, well…it's just pure joy. I came home very tired from teaching today. And BEHOLD, there be boxes on me doorstep! Big FEDEX boxes! Immediately, I'm turning cartwheels!

In other news, don't forget: Mark your calendars for...

1) Dark Sea Saturday: November 26th--visit Enter the Door Within (HERE) for a HUGE announcement. The kickoff of the biggest contest I've ever been a part of.

2) December 3rd Lunch, Signing, Errant King Release Party:
WANNA DO LUNCH? Author chat and booksigning for The Errant King coming soon: December 3rd 12-3 pm in Ellicott City at His Way and Nora's Cafe. Contact Michelle Audrey Black (410) 549-8746 to reserve your seat!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

LIVE Chat with Three Fantasy Authors! Come one, come all!

Live chat with Fantasy Author's Donita K. Paul, D. Barkley Briggs, and Wayne Thomas Batson: You're invited! Live 90 Min. Chat with bestsellers Wayne Thomas Batson & Donita K. Paul at, Monday, Nov. 14 @ 8 pm (Central)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Dark Sea Saturday is Coming!

Forget Black Friday.

Dark Sea Saturday is better.
A ridiculously fun announcement coming soon.

Friday, November 04, 2011

This is Not Funny. Not at all.

Maybe I spend too much time surfing the Net. Today on Yahoo, I found this article on Late Night TV host Conan O'Brien officiating a gay wedding. Looking at the headline, I thought, "You're kidding me." Nope. Not kidding at all. Here's the article if you want to read it: Conan's Big Day

Note to Young Readers: This post may be a little R-Rated, just because of the subject matter. I'll be addressing the issue of gay marriage, so please check with parents about reading on.

On some articles, Yahoo gives readers the option to post comments. So, I did. Weird thing is that, as I was writing, I felt a strange hesitance...a sense of "Oh, this is going to ruffle some feathers, maybe I shouldn't." But feeling that makes me mad. It shows just how pervasive the culture's influence has been on me and largely on Christianity as well. Liberals and activists have so "normalized" things like homosexuality that Christians get timid. We become afraid to express our opinions for fear of being called a bigot or worse. Well, forget that. Christ told us we should expect to be insulted for His name. Does that mean we go hate on people? No, of course not. We LOVE people. ALL people. But we don't condone sin--not our sin or others. And we certainly don't sit back and allow sin to be called good.

So, for what it's worth, here's my take on the Yahoo article:

It's completely appropriate that a comedian officiates this same sex marriage because it's a joke. It's a sham and a mockery of a pure and beautiful thing between one man and one woman. Look at it this way: from the beginning of the cultural practice of marriage it has ALWAYS been defined as one man and one woman, as is natural and fitting. Male and Female we have been created. No way around that. (Even if you don't believe in Creator, Created, or Creation). Humans have two sexes: Male and Female. The way the penis is shaped, the way it works, the way it's stimulated is completely in concert with the way the vagina is shaped, the way it works, and the way it is stimulated. Ask any doctor, nurse, or expert in human physiology. You'll see a myriad of amazing features of male and female anatomy and why they work the way they do. Whether you believe in God or not, you have to delude yourself not to believe that Male and Female were made, designed, evolved FOR EACH OTHER. And rational people had always understood this, and so marriage was appropriately used as a term for a ceremonial (and spiritual) union between man and woman.

If gay men or women want a type of union, fine. I don't agree with you. I don't think it's right. But I'm not naive to think that they won't find some way to have a union. Thing is: don't call it marriage. The only reason the word "marriage" is appealing to you is that you want what you do to be equal to what men and women do. You want what you do to be recognized in the same way. But it can never be equal to what men and women do because men and women are different. It can never be recognized in the same way because it is NOT the same thing. Have a union. But call it something else and get over the language barrier. For if words are to have any meaning at all, there needs to be a definition. And as long as the word marriage has been used in human history it's been defined as male united with female.

And let's not have any of this nonsense, playground name-calling. Bigot, homophobe, and the like. This name-calling is what people do when they run out of intellect. They hope to bludgeon those they disagree with into silence. I could just as easy call you a bigot for not accepting my views on sexuality. I might even go so far as to call you a "Christo-phobe." Maybe I should...what with the way some people react when you mention God or, heaven forbid, Jesus. When I speak out against the practice of homosexuality it is no more "hate-speech" than someone who disagrees with your politics or *gasp* your opinion of a sports team. You may be a rabid Dallas Cowboy fan and think me a barbarian for liking the Redskins, but when I diss the 'Boys, you wouldn't likely call it hate speech. It's a difference of opinion and/or preference. So dispense with the name-calling and start offering rational, researched, evidential responses.

And on that note, I want to make clear that, as a Christian, I cannot support or condone sin of any kind. The scriptures make it clear that homosexuality is one kind of sin, just as I mentioned before: sex outside of marriage, incest, adultery, etc. But please know, I understand the depth of love that all kinds of people can have for each other. The Bible talks clearly of friends who are closer than brothers. And there are men I love with powerful intensity. But the problem begins when brotherly love converts to lust and sexual behavior. That perverts actual love into something deviant. No matter how many people want it or "feel it" it's just not right. But here's the thing: if Jesus came today instead of 2000 years back, I bet He'd hang out with gays in much the same way as he did the tax collectors, prostitutes, and Samaritans. He would flock to those who recognized their need for love and relationship, and HE would give them the water that cures their thirst forever.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's Time to Burn the Bill of Rights...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I have recently acquired an ugly, pulsing spiritual bruise…just above the bridge of my nose. Yep, you guessed it: right between the eyes.

My community group has just begun a new study series: Seeking Him, Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival by DeMoss and Grissom. Excellent study. Perhaps, a little too excellent. The 2nd week just absolutely nailed me. Week 2's topic: Humility.

Ouch. Didn't see this one coming. There was a list of characteristics in one of the lessons, showing on one side the traits/habits of Proud People and, on the other side, those of Humble People. The activity asks you to circle the number of the traits that you believe are mostly true of you. So I did it. WHAM, seven out of the first twelve characteristics of proud people are true of me often enough that I couldn't avoid them.

Then, I turned the page.

Well, heaven's to Betsy, lookie there. Turns out there are two more PAGES of characteristics. The first 12 had already nailed me plenty, and now, I find that there are double that and then some to wrestle with. Hence the bruise.

I've got pride issues. Too often do I go through a day pretending to know better than God, pretending to be a good man, pretending to…well just pretending.

The trait that left the welt was phrased in this way: "Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation."

Somewhere, probably eons ago, I started to build my own Bill of Rights. And unlike the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights of our nation (which I support whole-heartedly), my personal Bill of Rights is a malignant cancer that needs to be burned.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are nice things. But I started creating my own personal rights, things like:
I have the right to entertainment.
I have the right to sleep in.
I have the right to sit on the computer for hours, for no good reason.
I have the right to eat whatever I want, whenever I want.
I have the right to be a full time author.
I have the right to take most of the summer for my own amusements.
I have the right to have kids that never argue or disobey.
I have the right to a wife who meets ALL my needs.
I have the right to experience God whenever I call to Him.

You have any rights like that? You see the problem with each and every one of them, don't you? God never promised me any of those things. All those selfish, me me me, rights are nowhere to be found in God's word. In fact, God mostly just tells me to do the opposite. I'm supposed to die to self. I'm supposed to put others' needs first. I'm supposed to lose my life to save it. I'm supposed to expect trials and hardships. I'm supposed to be content in all situations. But somewhere along the line, I whipped out the quill and scroll and started composing my personal Writ of Selfishness.

Unfortunately, I'm not alone. We hear all kinds of rationalization these days--even from Christian folks. But God wants me to be happy--seems to be the carte blanche excuse for all kinds of evils: affairs, abandonments, sinful sexual preferences, expenses, new toys, on and on and on.

Forgive me for being blunt, but I don't see anywhere in Scripture where God says "Do whatever it takes to be happy." As my good friend Christopher Hopper likes to say, "God is much more concerned with your character than He is with your happiness."

Take a good look at your expectations. Have you fashioned your own bill of rights based pretty much on you getting what you want, regardless? Are you placing ridiculously unfair expectations on your job, your spouse, your kids, your friends, or even God? How about when you're driving, when someone fails to let you into the lane of traffic you're aiming for, do you get really, really mad?

See the trouble with these prideful, self-created rights is that we will often go to any lengths to protect them. And we'll be insanely furious when someone infringes upon them.
"What do you mean, I have to take the kids to their dentist appointments? This is my day off!"
"Throw the ball around? No, not now. This is 'Daddy' time."
"I know the bills are tight, but we've just got to have a vacation."

Maybe you're thinking you might have a pride issue too. So what do we do about it?

Read this:

In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said,
   “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”

  And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said,
   “Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
  Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.” Isaiah 6: 1-7

When the prophet Isaiah caught a glimpse of God's glory, His purity, His Holiness, well, Isaiah was undone. By comparison, Isaiah knew he was dirt.

In some ways, I find myself jealous of Isaiah. I mean, he had an up close and personal experience with God. Who wouldn't feel humbled in the presence of the Living God? But maybe, just maybe I lack the perspective to understand how devastating such a meeting might be to me. Maybe it's enough to learn all I can of God's holiness in His word. Certainly, there's enough in the Bible to humble me.

But still, maybe you'll join me in praying, "Lord, please send your messengers with coals from your holy altar to touch all the parts of me that are unclean, especially, my mind and heart. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Unthinkable Has Happened! Hear ye, hear ye! The Battle of the Books has Come!

My books have declared war on...each other. How can this be? I have no idea. But my question to you is, who would win? I mean if each of my series of books went to war against each other, the main characters and supporting cast--who would win? You the readers will determine the victory!

It's the First Annual Battle of the Books! We're setting it up in playoff fashion. Who will win the first round?

ROUND 1: The Matchups

The Door Within Trilogy  
 Isle of Sword/Isle of Fire

The Dark Sea Annals (Sword in the Stars, Errant King)
The Berinfell Prophecies

Readers and Fans: you will determine which series move on to the Ultimate Book Championship. Starting now, I will keep track of votes that you post as comments! All you have to do is say which books series will win each matchup, and why you think so! Voting for the first round will remain open until November 15th!

What say you, then? How will Aidan, Antoinette, and Company fare against swashbuckling Cat, Anne, and the crew of the William Wallace?

Can unbeatable exAssassin Alastair Coldhollow and young King Lochlan hope to match arms against the likes of Tommy and Kat?

We'll find out! Let the games begin!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bat Fiction Update: The Incredible Shrinking Author and More!

Happy Fall to everyone! As always, thanks for being faithful readers!

Lots of news to pass along. First:

The Errant King, the 2nd book of the Dark Sea Annals, is due out at the end of October. And this just in, the final cover image. What do you think?

Speaking of covers, I need your help! I'm working on Imagination Station book 8: Mystery of Starlight Island for Focus on the Family. And we've got three cover images on the table. These are black and white sketches of what the eventual cover may be. Which of the three do you like best and why?

And last but not least: Anyone else out there battled weight issues? I have been since the 5th grade. But in recent years, with all the deadlines and teaching (and 50 other excuses), I've really let myself go. I got on the scale and it literally said, "Ouch!"

I've tried tons of diets: South Beach, Atkins, Body-4-Life, The Real Food Diet, etc. etc. ad infinitum. And mostly, they work--to a point. But they often do your body a disservice in the process and make it easier to gain back and then some.

So, this summer, I found myself tipping the scales at the highest I've ever been. I won't tell you the number, but let's just say there are professional linemen in the NFL who would blush to see the number I put up. {Sigh}. I began to find my quality of life and my usefulness to others dwindling. I certainly understand that there are those who have legitimate metabolic issues. That kind of weight gain must be an awful burden for those who have it.

But for the vast majority of overweight folks, folks with normal metabolism like me, we just do it to ourselves. And it impacts absolutely EVERYTHING. Every part of our lives. How much we can get done at work. How much we can play with our kids. How active we can be. And seriously, I believe that we disgrace the Temple of the Holy Spirit and make God look bad when we're fat.

Now, I'm not calling eating a sin. God made it pretty clear to Peter that everything God made was good for food. But somehow I don't think God was urging Peter to eat a whole triple cheese, meat lovers deep dish pizza and follow it up with three pints of Ben and Jerry's. I won't speak for others, but for myself, I've committed the sin of Temple Abuse...over and over and over again. And now, I'm paying for it.

That said, God has given me a fairly resilient body. And I'm just 42. So I'm not throwing in the towel. Rather, I'm getting out of the premature grave I've been living in. And I'm making a change. Or rather, God's empowering a change in me.

I've begun the Jenny Craig program. What? Another diet? I thought you said--actually, I did say. And yes, I am starting another diet, but just in name. Jenny Craig is all about learning to eat the right kinds of foods at the right times and in the right portion sizes. So, really, it's more about life modification than some fad diet. The fantastic thing about Jenny Craig for me is that they provide meals. Yep, it costs. But really, it works out to be just about 30% more than my personal grocery footprint. And to have the menu made for you, the food right there, is absolutely essential for someone with a crazy schedule like mine.
Go to Jenny!

Yeah, I know, I know. Jenny Craig sounds girly. But seriously, there are tons of men on the program doing very well. Everyone from pro surfers to actors to regular Joes like me. Still, I wish they'd have a men's branch called, Stone Cold Craig or some such. Appeals to the macho in me.

So, how did my first week go? Pretty easy, really. And I showed up on Sunday for my weigh in 14lbs down. That's right 14lbs in one week. The Jenny Craig consultants told me it was a site record for their office. Praise God. Week two is going well. Can't wait to see what I weigh in on Sunday. I know it won't be a ridiculous number, but it WILL BE DOWN.

So, I pledge to you, my readers, that I will do this. And I will get down to my healthy weight. And I will come on here every week and let you know how much down I am. And if I don't, you can yell at me! Deal?

PS: If anyone else out there wants to use this as an opportunity to get fit as well, just post comments right along with me. Iron sharpens Iron.

Never alone.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bat Updates!

Hi, All! I just realized that I haven't posted since July 13th. DOH! Lots of life has been happening. School ended for me on June 23rd, but it was off to OC with the fam. Back from that, I continued working on GHOST.

I expected to get the edits back for The Errant King (Book 2 in Dark Sea Annals) in June, but they didn't come. So, I started working on a book for Focus on the Family's Imagination Station Series. Book 2 (Shown Below) just hit the CBA Bestseller List! I'm writing book 8 in the series, a pirate tale called Mystery of Starlight Isle. This is for a younger audience than my usual, but lots of fun I must admit.

I had a couple of trips in July: Eastern Shore to crab and fish with my son Bryce, Atlanta for ICRS convention. Then, right at the end of July, BOOM, the edits for Errant King show up. Great stuff from Jeff Gerke. I think you're really going to like Errant King...a sprawling, epic adventure.

First week of August, my fam took off for our annual North Myrtle Beach vacation. Didn't do a stitch of writing, but had a very rich family time. Upon return, I had to jump into my classroom to start the castle construction. Long story.

Next week my teaching year begins. Wow. Summer went by so fast. For the Fall, I have this on my plate: Books 8 & 9 of the Imagination Station Series; eBook thriller GHOST; Berinfell Book 3 with Christopher Hopper; Dark Sea Annals Book any spare prayers?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spearhead Books: United We Write

Last year, revealed that it had sold more eBooks than paper books for the first time in its history. That signaled a shift. Suddenly, the tide in the literary bay was sucked out to sea, leaving a muddy bog of barnacle-crusted driftwood and flopping fish. Observers were perplexed at the phenomenon. iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and eReaders of all makes and models began to appear, even in the hands of the most dedicated paper-philes. Authors all over began to realize: "Wait a minute, I'm working my tail or sacrificing myself and my family for a mere pittance. But with eBooks, suddenly, I can earn something much more reasonable? Hmmm...

A wall of water rose up and came crashing into literary bay, knocking publishers for a loop and offering the most boss waves ever for amateur writers everywhere. Suddenly anyone. ANYONE could get published. Pay for a cover. Pay for formatting. Or do both yourself. Upload it, and ZAM, you're on Amazon. This is quite possibly the greatest thing ever to happen to writers, but might also be somewhat of a stifling puzzle for readers. You're sitting there with a brand new Kindle and go to browse for books. SMACK, wave after wave after wave of potential titles knock you on your electronic keister. (see the pic above)  YIKE How do you know what books to get? How do you know which unknown author to trust? For Christian readers, the issue is compounded. How do I know I'm getting a story that I won't feel dirty while I'm reading it?
Enter Spearhead Books. Spearhead is a professional writer's guild.  The concept originated in the mighty minds of the Miller Brothers and was sharpened by the likes of Christopher Hopper and yours truly. We are creating a brand, a seal of trust. When you go looking for new books, we want you to have a landing pad, a place to start. Four authors now, but many more to come. And every single title published will be: professionally edited and proofed, triple-checked for content, and adhere to a standard of Biblical quality. 

A user-friendly rating system will let readers know the kind of content they can expect. Easy to browse listings and reader reviews--even an interactive forum will allow the most important people: THE READERS to help other readers find something they'll like. Come visit the Spearhead website. Take a look around. This is the kickoff, and there's much, much more to come.

I didn't want to take any spotlight from the Spearhead announcement, but thought some of you might want to see the cover for The Errant King, book 2 of the Dark Sea Annals. What do you think?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Exciting News in Christian Fantasy/Adventure!

Author Eric Reinhold was up my way this past week. I first met Eric on the Fantasy Fiction Tour "Motiv8" a few years back. What a cool guy. Big heart, friendly, devoted to the Lord and his family. Well, since then, God has opened the floodgates of Heaven on his Ryann Watters book series. The folks who made Facing the Giants and Fireproof decided to make his book into a movie--a real, honest to goodness--take your kids to the local AMC, get popcorn--wide release movie! And since then, things have just gone off-da-hook. Some investors have come on board, pumping capital into the project. And now, it looks like it's going to be TWO movies. You can find out more by clicking on the links below.

In other news, there's a new author on the block, someone you should look into: Brock Eastman. A long time talent man with Focus on the Family, Brock has taken to penning some incredible new fiction, covering a wide range of genres and reader ages. Want something for elementary aged readers? Brock's got it. Middle School/YA, yup, Brock's got a title! High School readers--that too! For more info, click on the links below:

And finally, of all the reader mail/eMail I get, the question I get asked the most is: Is there a 3rd pirate book? There was Isle of Swords and Isle of Fire, but what about a 3rd book? See, I finished the storyline of Griffin "Cat" Thorne, Declan Ross, and his daughter Anne--in their dealings with the infamous pirate Bartholomew Thorne. But...I did leave a few strands purposefully hanging at the end. And apparently, a ton of my readers want more. Up till now, I haven't been able to even explore the possibility. I was under non-compete contractual agreement. But now, I'm released, free to write a new pirate adventure. I guess what I need to know from you is, are you interested in an Isle 3?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Green Light for Berinfell 3!

Hi, Faithful Readers and Assorted Elves!

Unlike the poor folks in the cars above, I have good news for you! After months of prayers and waiting, Thomas Nelson has officially made it possible for Christopher Hopper and I to go ahead with Book 3 in the Berinfell Prophecies series! That's right, the long awaited sequel to Curse of the Spider King and Venom & Song is on the launch pad and ready to fly!

The outline is done. We'll take the next few months to make sure it's sharp. Hopefully we'll have the principle manuscript complete by the fall, and have the book ready for readers by the Christmas Holiday season. Initially, we'll be releasing Berinfell 3 as an eBook in multiple formats: Kindle, Nook, .PDF, etc. Also we'll use a print on demand service to do Paperback copies.

And, if we can generate enough interest, we are thinking of releasing Berinfell 3 as a special Collector's Edition Hardback. These would be numbered and signed by both authors and would include exclusive artwork by the authors, readers' guides, and other behind the scenes stuff.

If you're going to post a comment, please let us know what format you'd most like to get!

And thanks to all who have been praying for book 3 to happen. Christopher and I are stoked to get writing, and if the outline is any indication, Book 3 will definitely be the best of the series. Absolutely EPIC!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Journey: A Milestone, A Request, and Coming Full Circle

Surreal. That's how I'd describe my writing journey. With the receipt of my last royalty statement, I've reached a milestone that blows my mind: To date, I've sold over a quarter of a million books. That would be 250,000+ books. Eight books published. Number 9 and 10 on the way. Six of these reached various spots on CBA and ECPA Bestseller lists. Several awards including: Mom's Choice, Silver Moonbeam, The Lamplighter, etc. I'm not boasting, or, if I am, it's boasting in God who made it all happen. But it just smacks me upside the head. Surreal.

Fifth Grade. I think my writing journey began in 5th grade. There was a Halloween Story writing contest in my school: Catherine T. Reed Elementary. I liked scary stories. But the prizes motivated me more. lol. First place was a big chocolate black cat. And, they would read my story to the whole school. On top of that, this girl I had a crush on was entering. There was to be a girl winner and a boy winner. The wheels turned, and I entered. I remember working on the story at home and letting my mom and dad read it. Believe it or not, I have a visual memory of them reading this one scene where the main character fell down a trapdoor in the haunted house that led to a sliding board down, down, down into some other creepy setting. And I remember my parents telling me, "Wayne, that is really creative." That meant the world to me, esp. because it came from my parents. I ended up winning the contest. So did the girl. They read our stories over the loudspeaker to the whole school. People I never knew came up to me afterward and told me how cool the story was. So I formed an equation:

Good Stories = more friends, cute girls, and chocolate

High School. Fast forward to my teenage years. I didn't write too many stories in high school. I got heavily into poetry. It was kind of adolescent therapy for me. Those are tough years, and I wrote my way through them. I ended up in a heavy metal band with some of my best friends. I wrote a ton of song lyrics. In my high school yearbook, I wrote that I wanted to someday become an author.

Teaching. I started teaching middle school reading/English in the fall of 1991. It wasn't too many years in that I began to realize, I didn't like most of what the county gave us to teach the kids. Not the skills really, but the literature. So I started writing my own stories for my lesson plans. My students responded big time. They really seemed to like my fiction. In 1993, my students challenged me to do the assignment I had give them: write a first person narrative short story. So I did. The story was called The Faith of a Child. It was written in green ink on 17 pages of loose paper. My students LOVED it. They kept asking me to read it again...and again. They encouraged me to write more. And over the years, it became about a 50 page novelette. Then it grew some more. During that time, God was very patient with me. I fell into kind of a rut where I was becoming content with mediocrity. I had this thing where I could tell people, "Yeah, I'm working on a book." I enjoyed being able to say that and all the kudos people threw at me for even attempting such a thing. But I was either too afraid or too lazy or both to do something more. But God kept sending little reminders of the gift He'd given me. People would come out of nowhere and tell me something positive about my stories. It kept me going.

Bill and Gregg. One of my best friends in the world, Bill Russell, got tired of me sitting on my book, then called The Door Without Hinges--yes, based on that little 17 page short story from 1993. Bill was attending Dallas Theological Seminary and befriended a guy named Gregg Wooding who part timed as a Publicist for Josh McDowell, Deion Sanders, etc. Gregg was thinking of expanding his operations to include literary work. So Bill suggested that I get my book to him. Gregg loved it. He said he wanted to be my agent. I went back to work on the manuscript, and it became The Door Within.

Atlanta ICRS. Gregg called and told me to book a flight to Atlanta in the summer of 2004. He wanted me to come to the big International Christian Retailer Show so that we could meet some publishers and pitch The Door Within. Interestingly, I sat down with the late Dan Penwell of AMG. He loved The Door Within concept and told me he felt we might be able to do business. I was STOKED. I remember calling my wife Mary Lu and my parents to tell them the news. And then, we sat down with Dee Ann Grand, the acquisitions editor for Thomas Nelson, and pitched The Door Within to them. She loved it. If anything, she was more enthusiastic than I was about the book. Thank you, God, for Dee Ann Grand. She really pushed my trilogy through some battles in Thomas Nelson. But that fall, I had a contract. I was going to be a published author. My wife cried. I stood there just numb over it all. Surreal.

Full Circle. This summer I'll be headed back to Atlanta for this year's International Christian Retailer's Show. But this time, I'll be with AMG publishers promoting The Sword in the Stars and The Errant King. Kind of cool, the way God works things.

New Frontiers. The publishing world has changed forever. And we're just on the doorstep. eBooks are becoming the modern Gutenberg Printing Press explosion. Kindle, Nook, Cruise, eReader, iPad, etc. etc. --these eReaders are appearing everywhere. eBook sales are exploding. And I don't think we're even close to the tipping point. So I'm working on Ghost, my first selfpublished novel. And I'm going to publish it as an eBook, though I will use print on demand through Create Space for those who want a hard copy. If I can get enough reader interest, I may also publish Ghost in a special Hardcover edition with all kinds of special tip ins and extras. We'll see. But you might be wondering, why self publish. Sure, eBooks are exploding, but couldn't you publish Ghost through a print publisher and have them do the eBook? I could, sure. And my other 9 books through Thomas Nelson and AMG are all available in eBook format. But, as much as I hate to admit it, I need to selfpublish. Really, it comes down to dollars and sense. Print Publishing's dirty little secret is that they don't pay their authors very well. In those 250,000 books I've sold, I've averaged 42 cents a book. I am dearly grateful for the income, but it isn't even close to enough to support a family, not over 6 years. So I've been a full time teacher and a full time writer. Add those to a full family life and you get a challenging juggle. So I need to selfpublish. Amazon is offering 70% royalties for eBooks. I just can't afford to miss out on that.

A Request. If you're still reading this, you're probably a pretty dedicated reader of my work. So, I'd like to throw a request out there. Tell me your story. How'd you find my books? Which books have you read? Which books are you hoping to read soon? What would you tell other people (who haven't read) about my books? Post a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

The Books: And, if you are in the market for a new book or an audiobook even, click the links below and check out these tales of adventure and fantasy!

Isle of Fire Audio

Monday, May 02, 2011

Cool New Fan Art!

Hi, all! Check out some new fan art I just received from some seriously talented artists!

These first two are from Eldra's sister. The style is quite common, but she does something very "personal" with each image, giving them a kind of special life. I love 'em!

The watercolor below is from IllustriousShades! Very cool composition, don't you think? I especially like the way the artist did Falon here. Seriously cool.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ghost: Book 1 Cover Image is Here!

Hi, all!

I just received the final cover art for my first supernatural thriller: GHOST. This is for older readers, probably upper high school on up. Definitely *NOT* for my usual YA audiences. Nothing gratuitous or seedy, but definitely intense, scary, and dealing with mature subject matter.

My plan is to release GHOST on July 1st for all formats: Kindle, Smashwords, Nook, CreateSpace, etc. etc. Just in time for the "Beach Reading Season!"

So here's the cover! Let me know what you think. Is this the time of book you'd pick up?

In the meantime, I'm working on the manuscript. I'm also looking for a professional editor with reasonable rates. Also looking for someone to do the formatting for the ebook uploads. I have a service in mind, but they are rather expensive. So, if you have expertise in either area, email me! Thanks!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

eBooks: Bringing Down the House, Part 2

A little over a year ago, I wrote an article about the advent of eBooks and what it means for traditional publishing. If you'd like to read that article first, visit here:

eBooks: Bringing Down the House, Part 1

My friend and coauthor Christopher Hopper recently posted a very thought provoking article on the same subject. If you'd like to read that article, visit here:

The Future of Print Books

Christopher's article and some of the comments afterward got me thinking a bit. I don't wish anyone ill, and I don't want to see anyone's career disappear, but honestly, I'm glad to see the Big Print Publishers in a bit of turmoil right now. You might be asking, "Are print publishers in turmoil right now?"

To answer that question, all you have to do is take a look at how big publishing houses are approaching the eBook phenomenon. By and large, what they are doing is pricing their eBooks at about the same price or a little less than print copies of their books.

James Patterson, for example. Latest book in Hardcover: $16.79, eBook: $14.99
Christopher Paolini's New Inheritance book in Hardcover: $14.99, ebook: $13.99
Stephanie Meyer's Twilight in Paperback: $7.99, ebook: $8.99

So...where's the turmoil? It's in the mindset. Publishers are trying to "protect" their print books by pricing the ebooks similarly. Rather than embracing the digital revolution, they are trying to cut their losses. Print publishers don't seem to understand or want to recognize that consumers will not pay that kind of money for noncorporeal property. It's binary folks. We don't pay top dollar for that. See iTunes. Sure, some folks will, but most will not. And right now, independent authors and Amazon are vexing print publishers to no end because they are offering excellent fiction for low cost: .99--$2.99. That kind of money is pretty much chump change, discretionary for a LOT of readers. And, therefore, these readers are willing to buy ebooks and lots of them. But not at hardcover prices. So what's happening? On Amazon, kindle book sales have now surpassed print sales. Borders Bookstores are on their way out. Print publishers are struggling.

And while I do not rejoice at anyone losing a job, I am happy that print publishing houses are having their trees shaken a bit. There are several reasons why I'm happy, but I'll give you two:

#1 Talent Selection: Publishing houses have been the gatekeepers for decades, judging the talents and marketability of authors and wannabe authors, and deciding what gets into print and what doesn't. Now, it's good to have a standard of excellence, right? Of course. And to their credit, there are a ton of hardworking and brilliant editors out there. Consequently, we've seen some pretty good books on the market. BUT, and this is a Grande Gluteus Maximous: How many sensational stories have they missed?

Ever thought about that? We've all read tons and tons of anecdotes from published authors who got rejected hundreds of times before finally landing a deal. Think about that. Big Time multimillion selling authors were rejected. I wonder how many brilliant authors over the years got discouraged by rejection and just gave up. Makes me sad to think about that. I might have been one of them. I scored dozens and dozens of rejections. There were times I thought about giving it up.

Why do print publishers miss great authors? A million reasons. But most reasons flow out of the system itself. Think about it: Joe Publisher decides what you will like to read. Sound a little odd? Sure, once sales are accrued, then the buying public directs future book deals. But many times, it's just a single editor or a marketing guru putting their finger in the air and saying, "Yeah, I think it's time for pirate stories to make a comeback." Often, they simply look at what movies are popular and try to hop on the bandwagon.

Another factor is that editors are often bombarded with manuscripts. Hundreds and hundreds of potential books every week. Sometimes, editors have precious little time to read a manuscript, often deciding yes/no in the first few pages. Everything else: stamp REJECTED.

And then, when the editor finds something he/she likes, it has to go through all kinds of hoops to ever see the light of day. There are many times that an editor may LOVE a book concept, but the marketer says, I can't sell this: stamp REJECTED.

The system is flawed. Who should decide what you like to read? You should, of course. eBooks are going to make that possible. Any author will have a shot at making a reader out of you. But won't that put a lot of crud out on the market? Sure. But there's already crud out in print publishing. For every book that sells 20,000 copies, there are tens of thousands that sell a few hundred copies. With the internet, word will get round. Just like any other product in the free market. You like it, you tell someone. They like it, boom! Word spreads.

#2: Talent Compensation: Most people are absolutely floored when I share with them about how much I make for each book of mine that sells. I'm almost embarrassed to tell folks sometimes, especially to those people who know me well and know how hard I work, how many hours I sacrifice, and how stressful it can all be. The current publishing paradigm does just what other industries have done (esp. music industry); it steals from the talent. The industry standard for fiction royalties is somewhere between 10-15% of gross (in secular market) and 8-12% of net (in CBA market). In other words, if you sell a $16.99 hardback, you make $1.69--$2.54 or, if off of Net, much much less. And what most nonauthors do not understand is that the majority of their sales will not fall into this category at all. There are hundreds of different subsidiary rights that cut, and cut, and cut the royalties.

Since 2005 when The Door Within released, I've sold more than a quarter of a million books. If I'd made a dollar a book on those, I'd be ridiculously underpaid. As it is, I -WISH- I had made a dollar a book. Not. So. Much.

I'm not an anomaly. As the print publishing paradigm stands, the talent--the writer--gets a tiny percentage of what the book brings in. The lion's share goes to the publisher. Oh sure, the publisher has to pay everyone and their uncle: distributors, editors, proofreaders, typesetters, etc. But in the end, the publisher earns out so much more than the author. eBooks are changing that.

With an eBook, I can write a book, and that costs me only time. I can pay to have it edited or find a willing soul to do it free. I will need a professional cover. I will need eBook formatting. I can get it all done for between $500-$1000 easy. Then, I can put my book up on Amazon and sell it for $2.99 and get…I almost can't write it without goose bumps…70% royalties. It doesn't require a marketing guru to figure out the profit differential: Print Publishing, sell 1000 books at $10.99 at 12% royalties versus selling 1000 eBooks at $2.99 at 70% royalties. Print = $1,648; eBook = $2, 093. Subtract all the reduced subsidiary rights sales, and eBooks even look more attractive.

And that is why this summer, I will be releasing my first exclusive eBook: "Ghost." You'll be able to get it on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Nook, etc. etc. for $2.99. I will not be signing a print contract on this book, the first of a LONNNNG series, hopefully. I'm intending this eBook to appeal to adult readers, and hoping it catches fire. For those who really want a printed version, I'm going to make it available using a Print-On-Demand service. Much more on that later.

So, will eBooks bring down the House? If print publishers don't embrace the new paradigm, yes. I predict in the next five years you will see the least flexible publishers fail utterly. Those that change will likely flourish.

All I want, and all any reader should want, is for good stories to be available at a reasonable cost.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Book Battle--Game, Set, and Match!

The Book Battle Is Over: Ladies and gents, it gives me great pleasure to announce the end of warfare, a cessation of hostilities between Christopher Hopper's Chrome Dome Crew and my own Lavish, Long-Haired Freaks!

For as of 6:39 this afternoon, I have completed the principle manuscript of The Errant King! Thank you, Lord!
As to the final word count and the winner, see below. But I have NO idea who guessed the closest. The best thing would be this: if you posted a close number and think you've won, check all the other posts here and on Facebook to make sure no one posted a more accurate number earlier than you own!

So without further ado, the final word count is:


As most of my readers know, Author Christopher Hopper and I are good friends. But that doesn't mean we won't engage in a little friendly competition and ribbing. If you've ever been to one of our "Duel Book Events," you'd know we tend to fight…a lot. Mostly about which type of hairstyle makes a warrior more…er, warrior-ish. I contend (and rightly so) that the long hair style is the best for warriors. Whereas, Sir Christopher contends that the shiny, no hair, chrome dome is the warrior's style du jour. It's quite the controversy (in his mind). And I suspect we will duel over it again soon. That said, we've recently discovered something else to fight over.

You see, Christopher Hopper and I both have NEW books in the pipeline. And we are currently both writing these books. Christopher got off to a huge head start, but due to his ridiculously busy schedule, I've almost caught him. And now, I've thrown down the gauntlet…and it landed on Christopher's big toe. {Notice the limp next time you see him}. After the ER visit, Christopher picked up the gauntlet and has decided to answer the challenge. It's a race…to the death {well, sort of}. And YOU get to play along!

THE CONTEST: Simple! The first man to finish his book wins. I'll be completing The Errant King, book 2 of the Dark Sea Annals. Christopher Hopper is working on a book I'll just call SR for now. Christopher will tell you more about it as he sees fit. Very hush, hush that shiny-skulled brute!

Where do you come in? Well, we'd like to invite you into the carnage. {Nice of us, eh?} All you need to do is choose a side. Who do you say will win? Post here or on CH's site, or on FB or wherever we have posted first! Say who will win and then tell us approximately how many thousand words the book will be.

Everyone who picks the correct winner and gets the wordcount within +/- 5,000 words wins a prize!*

Whoever picks the correct winner and has closest to the actual wordcount, wins a bigger prize!**

Hint: the final word count of the winning book will definitely be OVER 50,000 words. If you're looking for a ballpark figure, you might consider investigating our other books:

Sir Christopher's Books:
Rise of the Dibor
The Lion Vrie

Sir Wayne's Books:
The Door Within
Rise of the Wyrm Lord
The Final Storm
Isle of Swords
Isle of Fire
Sword in the Stars

Curse of the Spider King
Venom and Song

What are you waiting for? Choose your side now: The Valiant, Long-Haired Warrior Clan or the Follically-Challenge Side. Who will finish his novel first and how long will it be?

*Note: the prize will definitely be better than a dirt clog but somewhat inferior to an all expenses paid trip to New Zealand.

**Note: the bigger prize will definitely be better than a bag of moldy bread but somewhat inferior to a stack of gold bars.