"A Dream for Annie" and "Fox and the Rest of Us"

I'm very pleased to announce two more of my stories are available for download on Amazon. These are two of my favorites. They're older stories that were a bit too long/"goddy" to find homes, so I'm excited to finally share them. Oh, and did I mention they're FREE from December 31st, 2011 - January 4th, 2012? Pretty rad. And if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can read them for free whenever. (To make this possible, I had to promise the book elves at Amazon a 90-day exclusivity period, so no Smashwords yet; I'll put them up there as soon as the 90 days are over.)

 "A Dream for Annie" is maybe the first story I ever wrote that made me think I could be a writer. It's been dusted off and cleaned up since it's birth in late 2005. I passed it around to some of my older relatives back then, and the general consensus was "it's too sexy." By which, I can only assume, they meant, "Sex was mentioned in this more than twice, so it's smut." ;)

Here's a brief description of the story:

"When Ronald and Annie's marital spats take a turn for the worse, Ronald fears something dark may be taking root inside him. A stranger, a handshake, and twenty dollars later, Ronald discovers the cost of reclaiming true love (and himself) may be higher and more horrible than he ever imagined."

Check out "A Dream for Annie" on Amazon.

"Fox and the Rest of Us" came out of nowhere one night after watching Seven Samurai. It's perhaps the most violent of the three stories I've published under this name; there's some pretty bad-ass, comic-book-style Preacher stuff. I used to watch exorcism movies and think, "Nothing works. Why are these priests so worthless? Why can't we just once get a real Godslinger in there?"

Ooo. Godslinger. That's mine. You can't have it. Dibs.


"When the people of the small Nebraska town of Post begin to realize what Fox and his four friends really are, a bloody conflict ensues, pitting Fox and the others against a terrible enemy who will drive them to the edge of extinction--and possibly redemption."

"Fox and the Rest of Us" is also on Amazon. Enjoy.

A final note for those people who actually know who I am (you are no doubt snickering at my vain attempts at secrecy):

If you know me or you know someone who knows me, PLEASE DO NOT REVIEW these stories on Amazon. Like them, share them, tell your friends, pimp the poo out of them, but please-oh-please don't review them.(If, on the other hand, you are just a regular ol' reader who stumbled across this blog and my stories, go right ahead and give them an honest review. Nothing would please me more.) I'm trying something a little different with these two: instead of promoting them into the ground, I'm going to let them develop naturally and see where the system takes them. So please don't pee in the beakers and spoil my experimental fun. That is all.

I don't have any immediate plans to publish any stories under this name, but there will be more up eventually. My other stories are currently tied up, either by appearing in magazines or trying to appear in magazines. I've got one story I'm toying with; we could see that one up here sooner rather than later. We'll see.

Happy reading. :)


I find there are lots of questions when someone stumbles across the blog of someone they've never met. Rather than chattering along at my own pace, I'm going to do my best to answer some of them for you:

Who the hell are you?

I'm a writer. In my traditional career, under my real name, I've published stories in major, pro-rated magazines. My nonfiction has appeared on Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I have studied under prominent authors, and I am serious about what I do. I believe stories are part of what it means to be a human being.

I am also a pastor's son. I love my dad, and I respect what he does, but I never liked church; I was never any good at it. I asked too many questions, even the ones you're not supposed to ask. I used words you weren't supposed to use. I liked (like) beer. My spiritual journey has been one full of detours, dead-ends, backtracking, and re-backtracking. I don't do things the easy way--apparently I'm incapable--but I've learned some interesting things along the way that I think (I hope) have given my stories a unique color and perspective.

I'm happy to finally share some of those stories with the people I've always felt were my real audience, people like me, the bad Christians, the ones who never quite fit in the pew.

Why the pseudonym?

To be mysterious, of course!

To make a long story short, there's a stigma attached to authors who self-publish, and it goes something like this: "If you self-publish, you weren't good enough to get published the old-fashioned way, and you're supremely arrogant to believe you know better than professional editors." Unfortunately for everyone involved, this stigma has a firm basis in reality.

But, as people often do, I believe I'm different.

For one thing, I am good enough to be professionally published; it happened. Secondly, I think there are certain genres (edgy christian fiction among them) where editors tend to be polarized to such an extent that the genre almost ceases to exist. For example, a "secular" editor might find your work too "religious," while a "religious" editor might find your work offensive. If you walk this kind of line, the quality of your work is irrelevant; what matters is worldview. I'm not grumpy about that fact. That's how the publishing cards have fallen, and I can accept that.

But what about those stories? The ones that contained the same tension inside them that I feel in myself? They might be among my most honest stories. Are they doomed to sit in my trunk folder forever?

Nay, says I! Not if the internet and I have anything to say about it.

Why the cussing? Why the creepy stuff?


The world isn't sterile. It isn't muted. There is an incredible, almost blinding range of good and bad in the world. If you won't show the bad stuff, how can your reader believe you when you show them the good stuff? They'll feel cheated, like you just fed them a sermon or an episode of Full House disguised as a story. I'm not down with that. Not in the slightest.

What about Jesus? Where is he? (And why didn't you capitalize "he?")

Let's get something straight: I think the word "evangelize" sucks. I hate the mentality behind it. You give someone something they want (love, belonging, a box of groceries, a great worship team, coffee in the foyer, a twenty dollar bill, a story), and when the hook is set, you reeeeeeel 'em in.

That's bullshit, and it makes me want to take a shower.

I'll leave Bait-and-Switch to salesmen. My goal is to tell the best story I can using my experience and imagination, a story that doesn't flinch away from the nitty-gritty or bashfully disguise the spiritual. My stories aren't scripture. They aren't Chick Publications evangelism tracts. They are stories by a Christian, for people. That's all. I'm not going to try to meet a "J's per page" count just to sell more copies.

(As for not capitalizing "he," I think capitalized pronouns looks ugly on the page. Besides, if I can harmlessly break a churchy tradition, you better believe I'll do it. Am I the only one who thinks squirmers are kinda funny?)

You haven't scared me off yet. So what have you actually written?

I'm delighted you asked:

"Lamppost" is now available from Amazon or Smashwords. Here's some jacket copy for you:

"Jonah's job is to guard the Lamppost, an oval of inky blackness in space that marks the boundaries of a starless universe that has bulged into our own. He is a brilliant pilot, a pioneer in the use Free Flight mode, but the numbers on his psyche profile are falling and his post-jump orientations are consistently over-schedule. Everyone around him is changing, and Jonah's reality begins to crumble just as he is selected for an off-the-books mission beyond the boundaries of our world. The result is a domino effect where doubt and love collide, and Jonah's search for purpose plunges him deep into a hostile universe and even to the threshold of a higher dimension."

I'll be publishing two more novelettes in the coming weeks/months, so keep an eye on this blog for info on "A Dream for Annie" and "Fox and the Rest of Us."

It was a pleasure to meet you. Enjoy the stories.