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Comms

Tell me what my books are about, win a copy of JAVELIN RAIN!

By | Comms | One Comment

Hey all, Those of you who follow me on social media know that last night I received a box of shiny, new copies of JAVELIN RAIN. It’s hard to believe I’m about to publish my 5th novel. 5 years ago, I was still working in Washington, DC, with a long career in intelligence reeling out into the distance. I’d long since soured on the work and dreamed of living in Brooklyn and being a writer, but figured it would never happen. How could it? I’d been throwing myself against the same wall for 15 years. I had no reason to believe that I was about to break through. But I was, and I did, and now I am doing exactly everything I said I’d do. I’m writing this blog post in my Brooklyn apartment, less than two weeks away from the release of my 5th book. I’ve shaken hands with George R. R. Martin. I got to have lunch with…

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Unintended consequences

By | Comms | 2 Comments

Yesterday, writer Blair MacGregor posted a really detailed and thoughtful analysis of one of my fight scenes. It’s incredibly gratifying to inspire this level of consideration. I’ve said many times before that I am no Emily Dickinson. I write to be read, to send a signal out and get a signal back. But there was something else in MacGregor’s piece that really struck me. She’s incredibly complimentary, and I hope it won’t be considered egoboo if I accept the praise. I think the things she says are working, do work, and they work for the reasons she says they do. There’s just one problem: I had no idea I was doing them. If you have time to read MacGregor’s whole piece, great. If not, take a look at this snippet: “We have Shouts.  Not Someone shouted or the stupid-clunky He heard shouting.  We have instead a single word that tells us, “At least one human is making lots of noise that others will hear,…

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Show me your army – Win an advance copy of JAVELIN RAIN!

By | Comms | 5 Comments

So, I got a box of these the other day. It’s more exciting, in some ways, then actually holding the finished copy of the book in your hand. An Advanced Read Copy (ARC), is the first bound, copyedited version of the book you’ve labored for the past year to bring to life. Holding it, flipping through actual pages, experiencing a thing with weight and substance and smell (I can always tell my people because they love the musty smell of paper), knowing that everything is locked in and THIS is the version that people will get to read . . . well, it’s sublime. It’s the moment you turn to your girlfriend and say, “Honey! I made a book!” And then you enjoy it for about 30 seconds and go sit down at your computer. Because it’s time to start on the next one. So, yeah. It’s an amazing experience, and I’d like to share it with you. I’m setting aside…

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You are not crying in the wilderness

By | Comms | 4 Comments

Came home the other day to a letter. It was from a fan (and now a friend) I know from Twitter. We’d traded jokes and thoughts online, but only in the haphazard, passing way of Twitter and Facebook, part of the rushing stream. The letter came with a bottle of some of the best small-batch bourbon I’ve ever tasted, and a small canister of beard balm, which she makes. These gifts are great, but they pale in comparison to the letter, which I’ll quote from here: “When you stepped away from your military family, for me it was like reliving my own departure from the grip of the U.S. Army. . . The things you wrote about before, during and after the transition . . . the confusion that politics make duty, the pull to a creative life, the change of a world view brought on by war and all that it is, touched me more than you can know….

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What it means to be a bully

By | Comms | 3 Comments

I posted earlier about my experience reading Dame Veronica Wedgwood’s The Thirty Years War. As the initial impetus to read it was Ta-Nehisi Coates’ essay Wallenstein is Dead, I figured he was up next. I’ve been following Coates’ short work fairly consistently in The Atlantic, but this was the first time I’d read him in a longer form. The purpose of this essay isn’t to review Between the World and Me, so suffice to say that it affected me even more deeply than the Wedgwood, and the Wedgwood made me feel like I’d been hit by a bus. Between the World and Me is about a lot of things, but what it is most about is identity, not just the construction of the self, but the lies we must tell to maintain it. I was raised to self-awareness, and a lifetime on the therapist’s couch has taught me to tune my hearing to the internal tics that sketch out the…

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