Page 4 of 4

Today he can breathe.

I want you to meet a hero of mine: my friend Jake Rogers. Jake has Cystic Fibrosis and it has taken it’s toll on him for years. For many people dealing with that sort of genetic disease would destroy them. However Jake has remained undaunted, his attitude positive, his nature humble, and through it all he has shown serious courage. He is an inspiration. Last week he finally got the call he had been waiting for and thank to a generous organ donor Jake was able to receive new lungs. The results have been amazing, and well…I’ll let Jake tell it in his own words (grab some tissue):

Next time you’re given the option please make the decision to be an organ donor. Click that link or find out what you need to do to register in your country or state. It’s a simple selfless act that can help give life to someone else.

Four Secrets to my Writing Process

 4 Secrets from My Writing Process
Last Thursday my friend Lauren Sapala tagged me in a blog hop wherein I reveal 4 secrets to my writing process, and then tag a few people I follow to continue the hop. If you have been a follower of my blog for any time I am not sure how secret any of these answers are, but here it goes…

What are you working on?

I am currently working on a bunch of different things at the moment. First: I am in the process of finishing up my latest novel Old Broken Road which is coming out soon. Really excited about it. It continues the story setup in The Stars Were Right but also works as a stand alone book. I’m also in the middle of writing the third in that same series, keeping that pretty close to my chest for now. Finally I’m spending some time working on a new near future sci-fi currently being written under the working title Deep. Clearly, I’m a busy guy.

How does your work differ from others in the genre?

Most of my work I write is cross genre. So if you want to read something different, read my books. I write new weird, but it could also be described as urban fantasy or even post-apocalyptic sci-fi. I really strive to write prose that is easy and approachable. I like rich description woven into the story so I try to avoid info dumps and as a result my books are often fast paced, fun, easy reads. My influences are writers like H.P. Lovecraft, China Miéville, Neil Gaiman, Mark Twain, and Cormac McCarthy.

Why do you write what you write?

I like to write what I want to read. I write genre fiction but I get quickly bored with generic settings. I’m fascinated by crossover: books, film, television that can be firmly one thing and also something else. I think there’s a lot of room to explore those gray spaces that often fall through the cracks or are ignored.

How does your writing process work?

It’s going to be really hard to fit this into one small response, but I’ll try…

First: I write every damn day. Sometimes it’s hard, most of the time it’s sloppy, often it’s not a lot, but I still do it. I think that discipline is very important to success. I’m a planner but I am not as strict as I once was, so these days my outlines are fluid. I follow them until I see something that doesn’t work and I’m willing to make adjustments. I’m also not afraid to throw away work. Failure is a part of success, if something’s not working: cut it.

Second, and equally as important: I make it a point not to get hung up in what distracts me. Often aspiring writers spend too much time navel gazing and not enough time working on their craft. It’s a temptation for everyone in every creative field faces and I have forced myself to not get caught up in that and I try to channel that energy into my work. Here’s the best writing advice I can give anyone: go write.

The Hop

Now the torch must be passed. What’s funny is this was a tough one for me since a lot of the folks I would have linked have already filled out this hop! Anyway, here’s four others I would recommend checking out:

Drew Gerken
Drew is an aspiring writer that often writes really deep introspective blog posts on his process. He’s been documenting his journey as he goes along. Really good stuff. I recommend checking him out. I can’t wait to read what he produces.

Chuck Wendig
Chuck is the irreverent and often potty-mouthed blogger behind terribleminds. His advice is honest and candid and he doesn’t candy coat anything. Something I appreciate.

Dean Wesley Smith
For the last year Smith has been blogging about writing in his series Writing in Public. It’s basically a year-long version of this hop. He goes into a lot of details and explains everything from his work to his process to his schedule.

Hugh Howey
The current king of indie writing also keeps a great blog where he talks about everything from writing to publishing. Very much worth a read.

Why not you?

Russell Wilson

Yesterday, my hometown team, the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII thrashing the Denver Broncos and leaving a final score of 43-8. Before the game I watched an interview with the Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and one of the comments I heard from him really resonated with me as a creative:

“I remember my dad asking me one time, and it’s something that has always stuck with me: ‘Why not you, Russ?’ You know, why not me? Why not me in the Super Bowl? So in speaking to our football team earlier in the year, I said, ‘Why not us? Why can’t we be there?’”

I thought that was a fantastic outlook and something every creative should try and emulate. Why not you? Why can’t you be a successful musician? Why can’t you teach yourself to program? Why can’t you sell your book to a publisher? Why can’t you become a singer?

Usually we make excuses. We try and talk ourselves out of achieving our goals. Fear plays into it, instead of throwing ourselves into the challenge, we fear failure. Sometimes we fear it so much that we never go for it. Our dreams remain in a desk drawer, or folded up and tucked away in storage, or hidden in a home office. You know what: failures and mistakes can be overcome.

There are people proving it every day. Wilson was the 12th pick in the third round of the draft and he just helped his team win a Super Bowl. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis turned down offers from major label and forged their own path and recently won the grammy for best rap album.

It can be done. It takes hard work and perseverance but it can be done.

So why not you? Why not now?

Pinterest Inspiration Boards

My Pinterest Inspiration Boards

I have been trying to figure out how I as an author can effectively use Pinterest and then it hit me: why not use it as a place to keep all the images that have helped inspire me? So I did! Right now I’ve set up three boards full of random bits of imagery and I’ll continue to add more as I keep writing and starting new projects. Check them out:

The Stars Were Right – This is my most recent finished project and will be available very soon! (Find out more and read an excerpt at!)

Old Broken Road – My current project and the sequel to The Stars Were Right. There’s a bit of a western flair to this and I am pleased to see how much this board reflects that tone.

The Territories – This is my catch-all board, stuff that isn’t specific to either title but still fits within the world that both Stars and OBR are set within: strange people, creatures, styles, and places.

So yeah! That’s them! How about you? Do you have a blog, Pinterest board, or a collection of images that inspires your writing? Leave the link in the comments I’d love to take a look!