Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Nearing completion on one, strong start to another.

2013 was a year that in many respects I'd just as soon have never happened, at least health-wise. Most of the year was spent battling one medical malady or another. Some were annoying, some were serious and one had every likelihood of doing me in.

Good doctors, good medical care, a loving God, lots of prayers and the support of my lovely wife, family and the non-stop fretting and demanding that I do what the docs told me to do by our two "adopted" daughters got me through one of the absolute worst years of my life.

Okay, so there's the end of my whinefest sans the moldy cheese. Any more of that and I would be getting voter registration applications from the Democratic National Party.

I think they wanted me to die so they could log another registered voter for their party.

On the writing and book promotion front, things have been quiet. I continue to enjoy the feedback and e-mails I receive for my breakout novel, Above Reproach, and I had the absolute honor this past Christmas to give away several signed and personally autographed copies to winners of auctions--for which the proceeds went towards several organizations that helped orphaned children here in the U.S.

The current project, of which I'm a good year behind on, is entitled False Gods. It brings back the main cast of Above Reproach and like its predecessor, has a foundation of self-determinism and "fix the problem yourself" themes.

The novel calls out Big Business, Big Government and Wall Street as being false gods to which average middle-class Americans are beholden to, but to which the gods have nothing but contempt for. Kinda like today's situation with huge corporations merging together in order to feed the Street and foreign investors while procuring their riches through massive bribes to our elected officials.

Lest anyone think I'm sounding liberal, I caution you to reserve judgement until you've read the novel. The main principle in the book is from a line I wrote a little over ten years ago for a column in which I lamented that I remembered when "Wall Street used to reflect our economy and now it dictates our economy."

Much like our present government situation, our economic and corporate business woes have occurred because our generation has allowed it to happen. Ask my wife, my adopted daughters, my fellow gun-buddies and fellow pilots and all will tell you that my favorite aphorism is that "Apathy kills."

And such is the theme for False Gods.

When a major corporation completely restructured the pay, conditions and future opportunities for their quarter-million employee workforce, and used those savings to line their own executives and board members' pockets, most of the older employees whined and moaned, but continued about their ways. However, a group of younger employees didn't see it the same way and came up with a devilishly simple plan to counter the me-first actions of the chief-level directors of the company.

At the same time, a group of sophomores and juniors at a university are challenged by their college business professor to give a presentation on how small businesses can not only survive during times of economic stagnation, but actually thrive. Again, one of the groups of college students comes up with a plan that is amazingly simple--but its effectiveness exceeds everyone's wildest expectations and does so in just a matter of a few weeks.

The result is that Wall Street is turned on its ear and its big investors begin turning on the government and its politicians. The gods have not only been challenged, but are being defeated at their own game and by their own rules. But they will not go down without a fight.

I'm pushing pretty hard now to have the book finished and in publication by end of summer. There have been some current events that were just too juicy and seemingly custom-made for this novel to not include, so several of the missed deadlines this year were of my own choosing. I think the added events will more than make up for the delay.

After False Gods is in publication, my next project--which is already under way--will be off and running. This will be a series and the pilot is entitled The Pride. I've shared the plot and concept with my beta readers and a few of my closest friends. Their response was incredibly enthusiastic and I'm being pushed to have this one in publication by Christmas. That is a tall order, so we'll see.

In the meantime, I'll try and update this website now and then while finishing False Gods, but my primary focus as I begin the typical "hibernation" that comes with completing a book is to get this one finished, edited and published, take a few weeks off, and jump back into getting The Pride finished, edited and published.

More to come. . .