Latest From The Blog

Winterwakers Part 1 is free on Kindle (plus other book-related thoughts)

We’re coming up on the two-year anniversary of the publication of Winterwakers Part 1: Cold Hands, the book that kicked off both the Winterwakers series and my writing career. What started as an experiment to see if I could actually do this has turned into a new phase of my life, one that will continue for as long as I can make it work.

To coincide with this anniversary, I’ve shuffled some of my sales channels around, and, more interestingly, lowered some eBook prices. Here’s what’s happening, now and in the future:

  • Winterwakers Part 1: Cold Hands is currently free in the Kindle Store! This is a limited time deal. If you’re interested in the book, but haven’t been willing and/or able to pay for it, now is your chance. It will go back to its regular price on October 25. Speaking of that regular price …
  • After the free promo ends, Part 1 will be 99 cents US in the Kindle Store – forever! I am not kidding when I say “forever.” That’s the new permanent price of the eBook.
  • The Part 1, 2, and 3 eBooks are now Kindle exclusives. There are pros and cons to this. The obvious downside is that you can no longer buy them from other eBook sellers. There are quite a few positives though, including the fact that I am now able to run these free eBook promos.
  • Don’t worry: the Winterwakers Omnibus is still available everywhereThe aforementioned Kindle exclusivity only applies to the individual-part eBooks. You can still buy the Omnibus Edition, which combines all three parts, a bonus epilogue, and extra appendices, at the eBook retailer of your choice.
  • The Winterwakers Omnibus eBook is now $4.99 US everywhere. Yes, Part 1 is cheaper than a bag of ice (and far less likely to leak all over the trunk of your car), but the Omnibus Edition eBook is the best value for your reading dollar, especially at this price.

Cool, right? I think this will be a good thing for a lot of potential readers, especially the ability to read my work for free (or, at most, a buck). Continue Reading

Buy A Signed Book To Support Fort Mac

Kickstarter Backer and soon-to-be-published author Ron Norman sent me this beautiful pic of his book. I use it everywhere now.

Kickstarter backer and soon-to-be-published author Ron Norman sent me this beautiful pic of his book. You can get your own signed copy, typewriter not included, and support Canadians who need your help.

Quick link to the eBay listing.

A year ago, I was running a Kickstarter to fund the Winterwakers omnibus paperback. Thanks to the contributions of many generous people, the project was funded, the paperbacks went to press, and the books were shipped to their new homes.

When I did the print run for the Kickstarter, I ordered a few extra “in case something goes wrong” copies of the book. I didn’t end up needing any of them; they were left in the closet, still in their shipping box, untouched.

Fast forward to the present: while packing my office in preparation for our big move this summer, I came across the books and said “dammit, I don’t want to pack these.” And then the small part of my brain that has good ideas said “I bet there are people who would like a copy. Maybe … I should give them a chance to get one? And maybe I could sign them???”

A few days later, news of the Fort McMurray forest fire broke. It’s likely one of the worst natural disasters in Canadian history: tens of thousands evacuated, entire neighborhoods destroyed … it’s a nightmare. It’s been two weeks, and the people of Fort Mac are still unable to return home, assuming they even have a home to return to.

You can probably see where this is going. I want to help the people of Fort Mac, and give you an opportunity to get one of the last remaining Kickstarter Edition paperbacks of Winterwakers.

Continue Reading

5 Software Development Skills That Make Me A Better Writer

It’s no secret that I don’t earn much money from book sales. The bulk of my income comes from my day job: I’m a software developer for a big Canadian health care organization. If you’ve been in a hospital in British Columbia in the past eight years or so, there’s a good chance your doctor used the app I work on.

I don’t talk about my software job much, mainly because it’s not that interesting from the outside looking in. Still, I’m glad to be doing it. It’s challenging without being overly stressful, the people I work with are great, the pay is good by almost any standard, and it leaves me with just enough free time to bash out a book every year.

The importance of a good day job was recently highlighted by Robert Jackson Bennett, a talented, award-winning author who also works a nine-to-five. In particular, Robert suggests you need a steady day job while you’re building your backlist. I agree — in fact, I’ll go one step further and say a good day job might even teach you how to be a better writer.

Looking back on Winterwakers, I notice that a lot of the things I did right involved skills I acquired from the software biz. I’ve compiled (nerd pun intended) the most important ones here. Some are quite obvious, but some may surprise you. Continue Reading

Permission To Screw Up

Every month of 2016, I’m focusing on a different area of self-improvement. My goal is to tackle various aspects of my physical and mental health, with the end result of becoming a stronger, more capable person. I’ve decided to blog these challenges in case anyone else is inspired by them. This post explains what I’m working on in January.

I’m my own worst critic, and it’s making me miserable.

I’m very hard on myself. In my mind, no matter what I do, or how successful I become at anything, I’m only as good as my mistakes. And no mistake is too small to escape my self-scrutiny or self-punishment. This is terrible for me in many ways, and I want to stop doing it.

“Isn’t being hard on yourself a bit of a positive quality, though? Doesn’t it make you self-motivated? Doesn’t it make you do better work, and be a better person?”

That’s what I used to believe, because I had confused being hard on myself with perfectionism/attention to detail. In truth, I am a perfectionist, but instead of applying that trait productively I use my perfectionism as an excuse to be shitty to myself.

It’s easiest to explain this by example: Continue Reading

So Chill Media

Look out, Internet: I’m trying something new with social media! Clicks! Engagement! Brand identity!


Eugh … Sorry about that.

Anyway, the main change you will see is the introduction of my Tumblr into the regular rotation. I’ve had a Tumblr for a few years, but I’ve never really figured out what to do with it. Is it a blog? Is it another Twitter? I’m still not entirely sure I get what it’s for, but I do know people love it. More to the point, I think I’ve finally figured out how I will use it. Continue Reading