The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, August 31, 2012

Lucid dreaming for fun and profit

Lucid Dreaming

I recently advised a Facebook friend that if she was having a nice dream, and realized she was about to wake up, she could dream that she was standing and spinning, and that that would keep her from waking up. She tried it, and was astounded to realize it worked.

I thought I'd speak a bit on how and why I know this. Lucid dreaming, the art and science of awakening within a dream and then directing it, is enormous fun.

One of the first things about 50% of new lucid dreamers do is have a sex dream with someone they desire, by the way. Works great. I personally apply what I call "dream etiquette: I would only have dream sex with someone who has given me permission. Otherwise it seemed to me I was practicing a form of psychic rape. Hey, just my opinion.

I started looking into Lucid dreaming about thirty years ago, after having come across references to it as a means to power...and I was all about power in those days. The idea was that "awakening" within a dream is similar to "awakening" within life itself. The fact that it is fun to fly or be king of the world is just a side benefit. Of course, there are other belief systems to the effect that the dream world is as real as our own, and while I grok their meaning, I've tended to ground my spiritual explorations as much as possible in consensual reality. Safer that way.

The "Matrix" films are a form of this exploration, as are numerous other fantasy and science fiction ideas. Good stuff.

If people are interested, I may speak on this more. Let's just say that I experimented, learned what I wanted, and let it go. Fascinating stuff, and I encourage anyone who hasn't experienced it to do so.

And oh...about that sex. Well, a really great side effect. I actually approached several gorgeous ladies of my acquaintance, told them what I was doing, and asked their permission to have dreams about them. After their astonishment died down, every one of them gave permission. Several asked me to let them know how it was.

And in a couple of cases...let's just say they were fascinated enough to want to know a LOT more. I was never into pick-up lines, but if I was, "would you mind if I made love to you in my dream tonight?" would have ranked waaaaay up there.

Scruples are a terrible thing.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Peeking around the next curve"

Rachel, a lady who has been following my posts, sent me the following:

"I love when unexpected flowers start to blossom from forgotten seeds.

I've been doing a *lot* of inner work over the past several months, identifying and letting go of stories that no longer move me forward. One of the things I've been looking at is strengthening acceptance and compassion without becoming overwhelmed by others' pain. As I was meditating on this, a memory arose of your explanation of how you write by putting your characters through the wringer in order to challenge them to rise above. This memory brought me a clarity of understanding that this could easily become a paradigm for life: obstacles and tragedies are merely opportunities for us to experience joy and sorrow and explore beyond the limits of what we had believed we were capable of doing and becoming.

It's a lovely, freeing paradigm. Thank you.

: )"


And thank you, Rachel. Here are thoughts about how to get the same results:

1) Use the Hero's Journey as a way to examine your plot and story structure, the lives of each character.

2) Apply it also to your process of writing.

3) When watching movies you've seen before (the first time, just have fun!) identify as many of the ten core steps as possible.

4) Look at the area of greatest challenge in your life, the moments of deepest depression in your past, and ask if one of the following got you through it: Belief in yourself? In allies? In a higher power?

5) Ask: what upcoming challenges will demand similar resources? What can you do to increase your faith? Self-love and self-respect? Your bond to your mastermind allies?

These simple patterns can help bring order out of the chaos of life, and to see "around the next curve" in your efforts to become the better, stronger, smarter you.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Goals X Faith X Action X Attitude = Results

There is no absolute path to success in life--there are simply too many variables. However, there are ways to pretty much guarantee failure.

If you don't know what you want (goals)

If you don't believe your efforts will lead to pleasure and results (Faith)

If you don't work your #$%% off every day (constant action)

If you don't project positivity to the world to attract allies (Gratitude)

You are poisoning your chances. Strangling your dreams. I'm quite certain you have stories of woe, and pain, and betrayal, and lost opportunity. The reason I tell you of my own mother's attempts to stop me from being a writer, of teachers profiling me into the "slow" group, of pervasive social pressures to stop my efforts, of stomach-twisting fear connected to my martial arts training, of social rejection and being told straight out by school counselors, friends, associates and even strangers that my dreams were impossible...

Is to let you know you are not alone. An insignificant proportion of the successful people I know had any significant advantages over the average. And the average person is living a life of quiet desperation. What does it take to keep going regardless? Every "success system" has a different theory. But what you will consistently find listed are:

Goals, Faith, Action, and Attitude.

They have served me well, and serve me still. And if you don't have all four in place, you need look no further to explain any lack of success. HANDLE THESE FIRST!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Smiling at the children

"First learn to treat pleasure and pain as things equivalent

Then profit and loss, victory and defeat

Then gird thyself for battle

Thus wilt thou bring no evil on thyself"

--The Bhagavad Gita

Some will say that this sounds insane. Pleasure and pain the same? Wouldn't that make it impossible to learn? Without fear, how could we avoid damage? Wouldn't our foes hurt us again and again? What madness?

Well...what I will say is that this is not a philosophy for children, who need such safety rails. Fear is useful, until you've learned the lesson it carries. At that point, you can step away from the fear, or disassociate from it. When a child, you fear the dog, not wishing to be bitten. As an adult, I do not fear the bite, but I would prefer not to accept the pain. I wish to avoid landing on a hotel-heavy Boardwalk or Park Place, but I'm not "afraid" of it. Monopoly is a game I have agreed to play. And so is life.

I totally understand one who feels that the concept of moving between pleasure and pain, profit and loss, will place their dream at risk. But what I saw decades ago that when I met someone who had balanced excellence in mind, body, and emotions they simply did not relate to these things as did the average person. They spoke of "awakening" from their misconceptions. Of "maturing" from their fears and illusions. Christian or Buddhist, Muslim or atheist, there was a commonality to their language and perceptions. They were walking the same road, and recognized one another as they did...

While those who were NOT balanced in those ways were much more likely to cling to labels, castes, prejudices, fears...and consider them wisdom. The more they were imbalanced, the more likely they were to believe in things they could not prove, and judge other humans harshly thereby.

Those who seemed to have found a secret to playing the game of life were hugely likely to be playing by different rules. More loving and expansive rules. They might be of whatever political orientation, but they declined to play the game of "my team is better than yours" as a game for children, and sleeping children, at that.

The Gita uses the metaphor of life as a battlefield, and speaks to the need to do all we can, every day, without ever succumbing to the illusion that it has some intrinsic meaning. Not being attached to the results. Man oh man, does that ever resonate with the needs of art: to give everything we have to the path, without being attached to success, money, or praise. And martial arts: to train with all your heart every day, but enter combat having thrown your life away already, carelessly, like the least trifle.

To give all you have to your children, knowing that you have no right to demand anything at all in return...but being grateful beyond words when they, as adults, offer love and respect freely.

The door to power is abandoning the quest for power. For excellence, abandoning the desire for fame or fortune.

Children need the training wheels of guilt and fear and ambition. At some point we must simply be who we are, do what we do, and simply let the world be what it is. And if we have done the earlier work properly, acting without expectation will be the most sublime performance of which we are capable. And that is enough.

One day, one hour, one moment at a time, seek to be the best you can be, until you can be nothing less. Until the truth of your path, and self, is revealed.

At that point, you too will listen to the children, and smile.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Tipping Point

When did you know you were a writer?

I was recently asked this question in an interview, and it forced me to think carefully. Was there a moment when I knew?

The difficult thing is that I've always written. My first story, "The Yeti" (about an abominable snowman in a Canadian lumber camp) was written when I was in fourth grade. Before that, I ws a storyteller, spinning wild tales for the amusement of my classmates. In high school, I used the "Shaharazad" technique to bond members of the football team to me, telling them half a story during lunch time with a cliffhanger to be completed the next day. The result? Well, I used to be bullied quite a bit. Now, my halfback fans would intercede: "hey! Leave the little guy alone!"

I had discovered that storytelling could earn me a tribe.

I came into my own in my last year of high school, when the leadership class asked me to write skits for the assemblies. I even performed in them, and for the first time people recognized me in the halls, slapped my back, and girls were interested. SERIOUSLY interested. Ah, those simple, primal motivations...

But after high school I backed off of writing (I'd been writing stories continuously, dozens and dozens of them) because my Mom was terrified that any artistic career would just open me to massive disappointment. Out of respect for her, I tried to find a different path in life. That lasted about two years.

My third year in college. I entered a writing contest, the winner to read his story to an alumni group. I won, and as I read the story, watching their faces, I realized that this was the greatest love of my life. To my mother's horror, I dropped out of college and went to work. It was write or bust.

I had no choice but to succeed or die, really. And that was fine. It was simple: I WOULD RATHER FAIL AT WRITING THAN SUCCEED AT ANYTHING ELSE.

When you find the thing that means that much to you...the rest is simple. "We win or we die." "Burn the bridges behind you" and other such sayings are expressions of such a commitment, a determination that nothing in life will stop you. One such incident was in 711 AD, when Muslim forces invaded the Iberian Peninsula. The commander, Tariq ibn Ziyad, ordered his ships to be burned. Another such incident was in 1519 AD, during the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Hernán Cortés, the Spanish commander, scuttled his ships, so that his men would have to conquer or die.

To reach this "tipping point" you must become clear on the fact that life is short, and that no amount of shyness or retreat will save you. If you hide, death will drag you out from under your rock and flay you with your lost dreams before dragging you down to darkness. But if you boldly stand and proclaim who you are, and what you are, warts and all, and absolutely swear to win or die...then the universe will not waste its efforts, will not go out of its way to hammer you down. You will certainly have to carry your share of existential pain and disappointment, but the fire of your commitment to your dream will sustain you when others quail and run.

Know who you are. Know what you are willing to die for. Then, it is easy to know what to live for. For me, it was writing, martial arts, and having a loving and healthy family.

I got mine. Get yours, dammit. The clock is ticking.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Expendables 2 (2012)

The Expendables 2 (2012)

Well, the boys are back. Sylvester Stallone and company (Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Cruise) are this time joined by Arnold Swarzenegger and Bruce Willis on the kind of wooly adventure that leaves lots of opportunities for cheesy one liners, blowing stuff up, and brutal fight scenes. If you are a lover of 80's era macho film fantasies, this is your meat. All others beware. While Ex-2 is seriously better than the first film, both funnier and faster, it is a straight-faced joke, and if you don't "get" the joke, you'll be in agony.

The plot is pretty simple: Barney Ross (Stallone) and his merry band of "psychotic mutts" have to retrieve a mcguffin...I mean, a computer that can locate a cache of plutonium. On the way to getting it, they run afoul of another group of mercenaries, led by Jean-Claude Van Damme, in a terrific performance that will probably put him back on the big screen. Somebody dies, badly.

Revenge is a dish best served hot, and amid the shootings, stabbings, blowings-up, and crashing there is heat aplenty, and I had a whale of a good time. The first fifteen minutes alone has more action than the entire first film. The climactic punch-up between Sly and Jean-Claud is brutal fun. Hey...if this sounds like your cup of tea, it probably is. Arnold and Bruce have much more than their previous cameos, and it really is a minor miracle seeing them all on the screen at the same time. Childhood dream stuff, even if they're AARP fodder these days. They're still action gods, and this is their cathedral. Which, of course, they destroy spectacularly. What fun.

I'll give it an A- for action fans willing to put their brains on hold. A "B-" otherwise.

Don't write that screenplay!

My wife Tananarive is teaching at Spellman College again starting tomorrow, and we've been talking about her curriculum. One class is screenwriting, and I've been encouraging her to push a very specific technique idea to her students that I'll share with you: create your pitch before you write your treatment, and your treatment before you write your script.

Most people plunge into writing their script, bash it out, and then ask people to spend a half-day reading it. Then, their egos totally invested in all the work they've done, it hurts like crazy to chop and burn and slash. There's a better way.

First, spend your initial time (1-6 months) on your pitch outline, whether on paper (no more than 3-5 pages), an outlining program or (my favorite) a stack of 3X5 cards. When you know your idea thoroughly enough to "pitch" it to friends, ask one in your target demographic to sit down and listen to you for five minutes. Pitch them the story, as if telling them about a movie you saw last night. As you pitch, watch their face: do they laugh, flinch, become concerned or angry on cue? Do they have those reactions without CGI, stunts, sex scenes or slapstick? Then the basic structure and content of your film or story, the basic human dilemmas and conflicts are real and involving. You are ready to write your treatment.

The Lifewriting Year Long

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Brush your teeth for kidding!

Here's a two-minute suggestion to improve your life: lack willpower and drive to keep your goals? For two weeks, brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand. This single thing will begin re-wiring your brain to accept new habits, as well as develop will power you can apply to exercise or diet programs.

Every day we ordinarily do the same things in the same ways. This is positively great for certain aspects of our lives, but can also make it difficult to break out of ruts. Doing something that you have done in a different way tells your brain that "doing new things is not painful" and that simple act can change your life. Drive a different way to work. Order something different for lunch.

Tie your shoes a new way. One "success formula" is:

1) Decide what you want to accomplish

2) Find people who have accomplished the goal you desire.

3) Study them to determine the prices they paid and the actions they took. Decide if these actions and life prices are in alignment with your values and emotions. If you decide to continue toward your goal, then

4) Take action. Steadily, observing the reactions you get from the world.

5) MAINTAIN FLEXIBLE BEHAVIOR. Keep trying new things until you start getting the desired results.

6) Do more of whatever got you the results. Record your results and actions, adjust your theories and beliefs, and keep moving forward.

Something as simple as brushing your teeth can make all the difference!


(I love ideas like this. If you want 101 days of powerful suggestions, try the 101 program, available HERE

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why Zombies?

Jason is back to school, as of yesterday. New school, and we like it a LOT better. It is a shame, but true, that the school is better because of the tax base--a more affluent area. Them that's got shall get, and so forth.


Devil's Wake's launch was a rousing success, with lotsa great reviews, reader enthusiasm, penetration into huge chain stores, an audio book, and studio inquiries. Ah, the fun. But whatever success we reap there has nothing to do with any marketing decisions on our part. We'd wanted to do a zombie story long before this new wave of Walking Dead fever.

Why? Well, personally, I've always loved horror, but not written much of it, just a few short stories, and a "supernatural suspense" leaning. But why zombies, specifically? To answer that question, we have to look at the nature of horror fiction itself. Horror is the literature that specifically seeks to generate the emotion of fear and dread. Not because these emotions are pleasant in and of themselves, but because we need to adjust our personal tensions to the perfect level: too much or too little tension, and we are in an unproductive life space, just as too much or too little exercise can destroy your body.

Horror, then, is one of the tools that can either heighten tension, or take us all the way through the cycle of tension into a release, followed by relaxation--and yes, the sexual symbology is obvious and deliberate. But...why zombies?

My theory is that the modern zombie (braaaaains!) was created in 1968, in George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Referred to as "ghouls", these spawn of atomic radiation stalked the countryside, eating people and stumbling around in whatever they happened to be wearing at the moment of death. Romero repeated this ten years later (1978) in DAWN OF THE DEAD, where he added a conscious social subtext of mindless consumerism. We noticed, and loved it, and so did the world. A raft of Euro-zombies followed, peaked, and then died. Romero made additional films, none as successful as the first two, but keeping the trope alive until zombies became part of the social dialogue. Everyone knows that if you get bit, you turn. Zombies want flesh, or more specifically, brains. They hit a critical mass, where enough people know about them that we no longer care about the shocking imagery (well, not too much) and can concentrate where the attention belongs: on the characters, the "family" formed by those trying to survive the apocolypse.

You see, unlike vampires, zombies aren't sexy or interesting per se. They are just gross, and deadly. They are a blank slate upon which we can project fears (dehumanization? Illegal immigration? Disease? Take your pick), and hopes, nightmares and dreams.

And now that the culture has absorbed them, I think they're the first really "new" monster (not the voodoo zombies, but the post-Romero variety) in almost a century. Eventually our interest will burn out, but right now, they've lurched and moaned their way into our hearts.

That means that any kind of story you want, you can tell against the background of the Zombie Apocalypse. Romance, war, adventure, comedy. I'm waiting for a good caper movie, and I bet it will show up. Or heck, I'll write it.

If DEVIL'S WAKE is the kind of success it is shaping up to be, it will be because we are following our hearts, having fun in an arena the public has embraced. That's the "two overlapping circles"--our interests, and the culture's. Where those two overlap, that's where I choose to write.


My mother told me that I was going to have to work hard my whole to find something I love. I flat love writing, and if you do as well, and want to make money doing it, you'll want a copy of the LIFEWRITING YEAR LONG program...still the original, still the best.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Creativity as spirit

Diamond Hour Show! 8/11 1:00 PM Pacific (4:00 PM Eastern)
(724) 444-7444
Subject: Creativity as a spiritual path

Friday, August 10, 2012

Scott Sonnon's PRIMAL STRESS

About eleven years ago, I was first introduced to Scott Sonnon by a training partner in Stevan Plinck's Indonesian silat class. According to this fellow, Sonnon moved like one of the characters in one of my novels, "like water over rocks," and I had to meet him.

I looked Scott up on the internet and purchased a couple of his items, "Be Breathed" and y something called the "Flow State Performance Spiral", a video with a listen-along audio stripped from the sound track. I watched the video--interesting, some fancy and smooth moves that looked like a meld of floor gymnastics and yoga. The guy talking seemed young, smart, strong and flexible. And he spoke of a Russian approach to stress and physical fitness, coming from a direction I'd never heard before. He used odd terminology ("the Abyss" "breath, movement, structure" as a critical triad, etc.) and something told me he was someone to pay attention to. Over the next days I listened to the "FSPS" audio about twenty times, with growing excitement.

Why? Because I was becoming convinced that what he described tied in with a quality of breath and attention that my tai chi and yoga teachers had labored to communicate for decades, and simply didn't quite have the language.

Scott did. Lurking just below the verbiage was a clear awareness of a river of human energy that disciplines like yoga, tai chi and chi gung access. But the LANGUAGE with which they describe the experiences, techniques and theories is simply so metaphorical ("the golden lotus" this and that) that unless you had considerable successful practice, little of it made sense.

But this was addressing these same issues as if it was engineering. I'd never heard anything like it, and it suddenly made clear thousands of hours of training that had seemed separated: yoga, martial arts, ceremony, prayer...the words he used simply hooked together a lifetime of study. The "Be Breathed" video taught a simple way of training your motion so that respiration cycles are generated by the technique, a black and white exploration of a set of phenomena I'd only seen in some pretty esoteric things like kundalini yoga and sufi zikr, as well as some slyly shrouded instruction in some Chinese martial arts workshops, where an expert might drop gems without backing up his comments with more intense and in-depth work.

I looked at more of Scott's stuff, and thought that it was a disorganized Fort Knox of body-mind techniques, most suitable for hard-core and world-class competitors and physical geniuses. That Scott himself (and I still think this) is the smartest human being I've ever met who puts that intelligence into the body-mind link. And that initial impression of disorganization irritated the hell out of me, because I sensed that what he was doing was unique. The man himself is absolutely the product as advertised: a masterful martial artist (especially in the grappling range), and someone who is basically coming at the entire concept of "fitness" from what might as well be another planet. I wasn't certain that he even understood how advanced he really was. Sinanju, anyone?

For years, I think Scott's been evolving in the same direction: to become as advanced as possible, to work with the best of the best (martial artists, MMA guys, yogis, special forces and first responders worldwide) to anchor his theories in practical reality, while raising a family, growing a business and refining his personal and spiritual practices.

Over the last five years or so, he started creating systems that were incremental introductions to his work. Fantastic! Finally, a doorway for the average person.

Then we did TACFIT WARRIOR together, making the mental aspect of HIS work, and the physical aspect of MINE more explicit. I honestly considered that to be the best thing Scott had done, and still love what we did with the mental training.

But he wasn't done. In the twenty or so months since we did WARRIOR, he has continued to evolve. And unlike most of his competitors (he really has none) Scott keeps trying to do a "core dump", to give you everything he has, every time, at the best price he can manage.

Well, two days ago I got my hands on his latest, PRIMAL STRESS. It is over five hundred pages of book and over twenty hours of video, with the original "Flow State Performance Spiral" audio included. I can't claim to have done anything but skimmed across the surface, but I recognize the homey, non-Hollywood video production, bu am pleased at the increased professionalism in the PDF layout. Recognize the vast amount of educative material dealing with the origins of these techniques, and then the interweaving of Joint Mobility (warm up) corrective band and weight work, and cool-down (yoga flows).

And the exercises.

Oh, my.

For the first time, he takes us through all of the different TACFIT energy systems, ranging from doing your exercises as fast as you can, every minute on the minute, ninety seconds on and thirty seconds off...oh, you are playing your body like a violin.

Then there are the different planes of movement. And different levels of complexity. And different approaches to breathing. This is exercise for smart people.

All of this arranged in a plug-and-play configuration, starting from an investment of about an hour a week, up to about three hours a week for serious operators and combat athletes. Is it perfect? Heck, no. The very depth that impresses me might scare a newbie. But this is what I'll say:

1) It may well be the most complete and intelligent bodyweight exercise program ever created. Empathsizing health but taking "fitness" to an edge FAR beyond the casual needs of any normal citizen, by the time you've outgrown and absorbed this you will understand your body and mind at a level absurdly beyond the human norm in a modern society.

2) If you want health, emphasize the yogic and joint recovery aspects, and stay on the low levels of the exercise, which are available to most folks who can walk or get in and out of a chair. Even lower gradients are available in TACFIT WARRIOR, but this is damned good, a greater range of fitness options you'll find no where.

3) Scott has never, under any circumstances, given me reason to mistrust him. While I've only given this about four hours of study, I am prepared once again to vouch for him. this is as close to an organized encyclopedia of motion as you are likely to find...until his next evolution.

4) And what will that be? I used to think that Scott was on his way to be the next Jack LaLanne. I'm no longer sure of that. I think he's on his way to be an American B.K.S. Iyengar. He is creating an American yoga, a body-mind discipline adapted from ancient knowledge and refined for modern American usage. One perfectly suitable to "simple" recovery or fitness, but suitable to elite athletic or combat performance, and a foundation for the development of the same qualities of mind and body that the world idealizes in Shaolin monks, yoga masters and ultraperformance athletes---heal the body, master the body, exceed the body, accept the gift of spirit.

There is no higher-level material that is at all rooted in dirt-practical reality. You could take this material, graft any other understanding or physical education you have onto it, and improve yourself or your students. As with the Teaching Company's wonderful "Big History" audio class, what you have is an education in a box, a way for anyone with courage and intelligence to grasp the "Big Picture" of the way we are constructed as animals, and the physical potential of human beings.

I sincerely hope there are another thousand, or ten thousand Scotts, working with experience, clarity, genius, integrity and a certain madness to explore and translate these secrets. But I fear there are not that many, anywhere. What I'm prepared to say with great sincerity is that for the last decade I've admired Scott's teaching and practice on these subjects more than any other single source of movement knowledge, and that PRIMAL STRESS ( is an unmistakable progression along a path of power and understanding. He's for real, his teaching is for real.

As he generally does, the next few days will see a steep discount on PRIMAL STRESS, and I would suggest you acquire it during this period. There is always a money-back guarantee. Order it, dig through it, use it. If you don't agree it is fabulous, just turn it back in. Yes, some material is repeated, but "repetition is the mother of skill."

(Yeah, and pain is the father...)

He releases a new product about twice a year, and I consider acquiring them like belonging to the most exclusive gym in the world--at the rate of about ten bucks a month. You simply won't find a better deal.

My rating: Production "B"

Content: A+



Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Getting Bad Reviews

There is a popular opinion that one should ignore all reviews, good and bad. I am not of that opinion. If the intent of art is self expression, the intent of craft is to mould that self expression into a "language" of form and style that allows communication with others.

To that end, it is useful to know what the people on the other side are "getting." This is the reason that I listen to reviews. Good review? Look at what they liked. Do more of that, if I like it. Bad review? Change what I'm doing, if I agree. Note that I don't always do it. It's all information, and I reserve the right to make up my own mind. If you follow THIS link to Amazon you'll see six (as of this note) reviews for "Devil's Wake," the new horror novel. Three five star reviews, two four-stars, and one two-star review. I love good reviews, but pay careful attention to the bad ones as well. This one thought the characters were thin. Note that others thought the characters were wonderful. Can't please everyone!

But you can bet that when I write the next in the series, I will keep this lady's comments in mind, let the little twinge of irritation make me dive a little deeper. In other words, I will let her motivate me to being better, regardless of the objective accuracy of the review. She's a consumer! And she took her precious time to leave a comment. Best to honor that.

And you should never be afraid of reviews, or rejection slips. They are just information. Use it. It's all good, every bit of it.



Hour August show. - Saturday, August 11 2012 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Savings time (4:00 PM Eastern)

Connect via phone or VoIP (Skype, etc.)

(724) 444-7444


Spread the word, Atlanta! I'll be reading and signing DEVIL'S WAKE withTananarive Due at 7 p.m. WEDNESDAY at the Barnes & Noble at 1217 Caroline Street at Moreland Avenue. Hope to see you there! (If you've already read the book, please post a review on!) Here's a link to a brand new review:

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Devil's Wake is here!

I know that a number of readers of this blog are specifically fans of my SF work.   So I'll speak to  you as fans--DEVIL'S WAKE is the beginning of a new saga, the first true child of my creative marriage with Tananarive Due.   We have some serious fun down the road, but it's all dependent on the success of the first book.  So if you like the idea of experiencing the Zombie Apocalypse through my twisted mind, here are some ways you can help speed up the Brain Train...

•    Give the book to relatives, friends and others as a gift.
    •    Email everyone you can with this message: Zombie lovers, this one's for you! Devil's Wake is a story of courage, friendship and survival in the wake of an unthinkable outbreak, suitable for adults and older teens.
    •    Share how the book gripped you on your blogs, Twitter, Facebook and on forums and in discussion groups.
    •    Recommend us to anyone they know in the media, such as a radio or TV producer, editor, journalist or columnist.
    •    Review the book on and
    •    Participate in discussions about the book on our Facebook fan page:
    •    Put a promotional message and/or book cover on your website.
    •    Buy multiple copies and donate them to prisons, shelters, schools, churches, youth clubs or any other groups where people in need could benefit.