The Boy Smith

The Boy Smith

Well, I am happy to report that The Boy Smith and the Giant of the North is now out in the world. It’s one matter to produce one thing, a first thing, on time. You have your entire life to work up to it. But to get that second thing done, now there’s a challenge.

I’m now working on another giant story. This one is quite different from the one in The Boy Smith, though it is set in a similar mediæval world. I’ll keep you posted on that one. I will say that I have a ridiculously great cover for it already – this time from a contemporary artist.

Here’s the Amazon link to The Boy Smith.

(Image credit: Frank C. Papé, from The Diamond Fairy Book)

The Boy Smith cover

The Boy Smith and the Giant of the North

When I was kid, I never had dreams of being chased by monsters or falling off cliffs. I just wasn’t afraid of any of that. What I was afraid of was having to do the impossible. That scared me sleepless for many a long, lonely night. And that was the inspiration for my second fairy tale, The Boy Smith and the Giant of the North.

It’s nearly twice as long as The Seven Sisters, so I guess it qualifies as a novelette. It comes out on Amazon next week, August 7th. And I hope you take the opportunity to check it out and give it an honest review. It’s a story that is seriously dear to my heart – and yes, still gives me the willies every time I read it.

A major milestone…


I finished The Dollmaker’s Daughter this morning and sent it off to Marg, my wonderful editor. I couldn’t be happier – even if I won the lottery or a trip around the world.

The first draft of this tale was written 21 years ago and I thought then, it was finished – at least finished enough that it was worth trying to publish. I sent it off to a couple of places, and now, I am quite comfortable with their rejections. It wasn’t good enough.

Over the next couple of  decades, I tried various things. I must have scribbled 100,000 words and spent many hundreds of hours over it. It wasn’t until 2012 that I finally found an angle that would make it, not just good, but great.

Yeah, yeah, it’s tough for a writer to talk about his own work in glowing terms without sounding like an egoist or a self-promoting putz. I love this story. It’s the first of these three that is far more heart than head. And I tried my best to be fearless in writing it, trying to keep it true and heart-wrenching, and avoid anything sappy. And this morning, when Nora, my darling hard-assed-editor wife, came out of my office red-eyed and plainly choked up after reading it, well, I knew I had succeeded.

It’ll be out in about five weeks, so stay tuned.


(Image credit: Howard Pyle, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights)

Scribbling away in the shrubbery…

Gustave Doré

My fairy tales are progressing, slow but sure. (It’s never fast enough for me.)  I did a little minor update of The Seven Sisters today. I didn’t change any of the text. But I sharpened up the images and fixed their proportions, so the book is looking much nicer.

With all I learned, I started formatting The Boy Smith. I’d been tinkering for a while and today did all the layout and finally got an ISBN for it. The cover is done, so stay tuned for the reveal.

It’s pretty much set now: the third fairy tale will be The Dollmaker’s Daughter. I was hoping to delay its publication till winter, as a bunch of it takes place near Christmas. But I’m pretty excited about showing it to the world. It’s definitely in my top three favorites. Right now, I’m giving it a last go-over before I send it off to my editor. It’ll be out September 7th, 2014.


(Image credit: Gustave Doré, from Puss in Boots)

Whew! The first one’s out

Seven Sisters

I’m happy to report that my first little fairy tale, The Seven Sisters, is now out in the world. My big plan to make it free for the first month has fallen through the portable hole of reality. I guess Amazon allows you to give away a book for free for only 5 days out of every 90. So…

The first free days are July 10 and 11th, 2014. That’s this Thursday and Friday.

Here’s the tale in all the various Kindle Stores:


By the way, you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Amazon will give you a spanky phone or computer app for the big price of zero. I have the PC one and it works great.

The Seven Sisters cover

The Seven Sisters

I’m proud to finally present the cover for my first fairy tale.  The image is by the extraordinary Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842). It’s a short story, a super-traditional fairy tale, perfect for some happy bedtime reading-out-loud. I’ve been reading it to kids, grades 4 and up, in schools over the past year. It came as a bit of a shock to have boys come up to me all wide-eyed, saying how much they loved it. It comes out July 7th on Amazon.

New Website

Welcome to my spanky new website. Well, it’s not entirely new. But I’ve swept the cobwebs out of the corners and given the walls a fresh coat of paint. What’s nifty about this design is that it works well on all devices – from jumbo computer screens to smart phones. What sold me on it was the cool way it shrinks and grows images according to window size.

Anyway, the latest news is that The Seven Sisters comes out in just a couple of weeks (July 7th, 2014). You can see a bit of a cover teaser in my Books section.  (I’ll post the cover at the beginning of July.)

The second story has come back from Marg, my editor, and I’ve been polishing it up over the past week or so. It’s called The Boy Smith and the Giant of the North. It’s the story of a boy who faces four impossible tasks in order to become sole suitor to a princess.  The cover’s done and it will be out August 7th, 2014.

The third tale will go off to Marg in a week or so. It’s done, but I want to give it a once over before it leaves my hands.

(Image credit: Howard Pyle, from The Story of King Arthur and His Knights)

Working away…


I’m happy to report that work on my fairy tales is going extremely well.  Above is a little snippet of the title page for the first one. The text has been off to Marg, my editor and is now back and fully polished.

The covers for all seven tales are pretty much done. If it’s possible to love the first two any more I already do, it’d be a miracle.

I’m still working on The Boy Smith. Every day makes it better and better and as of this morning, I only have a wee bit of tweaking to do.

Joy of joys, this afternoon I sent The Seven Sisters off to be recorded for an audiobook. Stay tuned on that one. It’s going to be crazy good.

A Happy Little Progress Report


I can’t believe it’s almost May.  I spent from the middle of January to the middle of April writing a 7300 word poem, the funniest thing I’ve ever written, and completely not for kids. I had so much fun doing it, I can’t even tell you. So far, only my darling wife has had the pleasure of hearing it read to her and she loved every bit of it. (Not to exaggerate, but she’s pretty much coo-coo about it and thinks it’s one of the best things I’ve ever written.) Since she’s an award-winning writer and editor, that bodes well. I don’t know how or where to read this thing in public in it’s entirety, but I am determined. It would make a ridiculously entertaining Fringe play, so who knows…

I am now going great guns on preparing my fairy tales for publication. The plan is to polish the heck out them, get them off to my editor and release individual ebooks of the stories for Kindle. The first out will be The Seven Sisters, and I’ve just finished a wonderful buff & shine of it. I also have a really inspired concept for the cover of each and work on those has already begun, so stay tuned. Once all seven are out, I’ll release them in print as The Seven Tales.

I’m currently working on polishing The Boy Smith and the Giant of the North. I tell ya, it’s so satisfying knowing these will be out in the world soon, being read as bedtime stories to kids and adults alike. If I could do nothing but fairy tales till I drop dead of old age, I’d be very happy.

Spring has Springed!

My Piper

Last week it was -44°C with the wind chill. This week it’s +10°C. Virtually overnight, I went from hiding inside and worrying about the animals to wanting to spend all my time out in the yard. Yesterday, it was all about my big horse, Piper. Brushing, combing, teaching her to let me do some rudimentary farrier work on her hooves. Now I’ve got the smell of horse in my nostrils and I can’t stand to be inside!

I have put all my usual fiction writing on hold for the last couple of months to write something wonderful, outrageous and ridiculously funny. I’m 2/3 of the way through and progress is so steady, I should be done within the month. I love having a secret project.