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Miskatonic Bay Is Out Now!

Buy it now! Will Oakland's past doom it, or save it? Walt and Darya have barely recovered from fighting cultists trying to bring an ancient evil to Oakland when a new threat strikes. Strange stones with mystic runes begin showing up in Oakland, thrown through windows and delivered on doorsteps, showing that someone is intent on dividing and conquering Oakland communities. Are the stones tied to the fires being set in construction sites around The Town? Walt and Darya are following the trails of blood from these stones, but can these two private detectives find a way to save the city they love from a billionaire who is playing a deadly game with eldritch powers? Will they even be able to save themselves? 
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On Loving The Town

On Loving The Town I really love Oakland. I love Oakland in the way that I didn’t love San Francisco, in the way that I appreciate-but-don’t-still-love where I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley. There are all kinds of reasons to love Oakland, and if you stop an Oaklander on the street to ask for a list of them, they’ll...well, they’ll probably tell you to kindly leave them alone because they usually have better things they need to be doing. But they probably do have a list, and if you catch them in a moment, they’ll tell you all of the things there are to love about Oakland, as well as about how it’s not like it used to be. They might even plead with you to not move here, because this place has changed too much already.  And it has.  Folks who grew up here can talk about the different waves of  change, and if you have lived here for any period of time you can spot the changes coming and lament them even before they arrive. When I first moved here, downtown had just begun to recover fro

Oakland Is Moving Fast

When I started my first novel, Lake Miskatonic, I knew I wanted to write a story that takes place in Oakland, and I wanted to keep things simple and write it in a current-day setting, even though I also wanted to explore Oakland's complex past.  But of course Oakland also has a complex present . In just the past fifteen years that I've been here, the changes are striking. Not all of them are bad, but the bad changes are pretty damn bad. We have a gentrification problem that can't be overemphasized. We have policies in place that help make houselessness a growing problem. We have horrible, horrible roads (this isn't a small thing--it affects all of us in more ways than I think we pay attention to).  And the changes are going to keep coming quick-and-dirty for the foreseeable future.  One of the plot threads in my new novel, Miskatonic Bay, involves tabletop gamers, people who play a Dungeons and Dragons type of game. (I mean, they say write what you know , man, so

Miskatonic Bay Is Almost Here

Getting close! Proofs for the sequel to Lake Miskatonic are on their way to me to take a look at. You can pre-order the ebook now if you're the type that likes pre-ordering. Paperback coming late January! Blurb: Will Oakland's past doom it, or save it?  Walt and Darya have barely recovered from fighting cultists trying to bring an ancient evil to Oakland when a new threat strikes. Can these two private detectives find a way to save the city they love from a billionaire who is playing a deadly game with eldritch powers? Will they even be able to save themselves?

Friends As Editors

I had a few goals with my first book, and they weren't particularly lofty goals--I wanted to write something that I would enjoy reading, I wanted to get the book all the way to "published", and I wanted to sell more than 100 copies. This set of goals determined some of the choices I made, of course. To get it across the finish line, I decided to use Amazon, for instance, despite some issues I have with the company. I kept the book short and sweet, not particularly complex, so I would actually finish the damn thing. And, I decided to not hire a professional editor. A few good friends helped me edit the book, and they gave me great feedback, caught a lot of errors (some simple and some not-so-simple). It was also fun to interact with those people, people I know and trust and enjoy getting constructive criticism from. There was some awkwardness regarding some of the folks I know who I didn't ask to do a read of the book, but (gratefully) most of those folks didn't

Actual Joy While Editing

Began editing Miskatonic Bay (Lake Miskatonic, Book Two) today, after a few weeks of not looking at it at all (on purpose!). I'm going by feel as far as how much I want to/ought to work on it, trying to find the best way to continue to move forward. Lake Miskatonic is the first book I've ever finished writing, but by far not the first book I ever started writing, so the habits I got into when writing it seem important to continue. One of those habits is to take a break when I feel like it, but it's really hard to do that, because of the fear of never-coming-back-to-finish, which had been my mode of operation for all of the books I never finished! But I took a break anyway. I gave myself a few weeks. Maybe three. And a date to begin again. And when I didn't feel like beginning again on that date, I didn't. Not even sure if that's the right choice, honestly. Many writers will tell you you're either in it or you're not Stephen King in his book On

Perfectionism Can Kill Ideas

I had this idea: "I'll write a Lovecraftian book about Oakland." That's where I started from. I know sometimes ideas for books come from other sorts of places, but this was my desire, and having been riding my bike past the lake in Oakland for years, the lake was where the idea grew. And I wrote. Most days I wrote a chapter. Some days I wrote a bit more, some days I didn't write, but I kept plodding along, and I tried something different than all of the other times that I've tried to write a story: I didn't edit much as I went along. I kept moving forward, promising myself I'd do lots of good editing when I was finished. And I did do lots of editing. And I had wonderful people read the first (well, second) draft and give me feedback. And I edited more. And again. Doing things this way saved my book from the dead pile of ideas that I had edited-too-early to death over the rest of my life. I carried this method forward even further--though many