GameLit Expansion Pack

GameLit Expansion Pack

Cover Reveal!

Now a story from my writing past…

When I started writing, I only wrote novels. I’d written ten or twelve of them when I started seriously querying publishers. After a LOOOOONG stretch of nobody interested, I heard people say sometimes you can break in by writing short stories and publishing those first to build up a writer resume. So I tried my hand at shorter form fiction.

I entered the Writers of the Future contest a few times and submitted to the big sci-fi magazines. Even those were a little above my level at the time. Eventually, I found some “for exposure” anthologies and managed to get three stories in. Soon after, I sold my first steampunk story for money ($20.00). And “won” a contest that included getting another story published and fifty bucks.20130530-222635.jpg

With this new resume, I began querying again. I saw Curiosity Quills calling for subs on Twitter, and they accepted my first book. That book, Theocracide, is GameLit. Only, at the time, nobody used that label.

The first label I heard of was LitRPG. My publisher caught a trend and wanted to brand the Actuator series accordingly. It worked well, boosting sales. But as the fans of LitRPG fleshed out what that really meant, the definition didn’t really fit my work. To be LitRPG, having a role-playing game the books are set in and including scenes where people go into video game realities isn’t enough. They wanted actual game statistics in the book. So my publisher re-branded the Actuator series as GameLit, where it belongs.

Actuator Series Wallpaper

I wasn’t excited by LitRPG books I read where they say things like, “Adarian leveled up when he killed the troll, gaining 6 hit points and better fighting skills.” It just pulls me out of the story. Clearly a lot of other authors felt the same way. So, they created a label to separate game-based literature from stories that literally describe the game terms. The new subgenre, of course, is GameLit.

actuator-rpg-e-book-coverAs I talked with other authors interested in these themes, and supported their facebook pages, Indie Illuminati issued me an invitation to put a story into an anthology designed to raise awareness of this new genre. Several authors writing in that field were each preparing novelettes (15,000 – 20,000 words) to go with GameLit books they’d written. One of the contributing authors dropped out and they asked me to fill the void.

It just so happened that my current work in progress, Virtues & Virtual Reality, is a GameLit book. If not, I probably wouldn’t have agreed to such a large side project on such a short deadline. Anyway, I immediately knew what story I’d tell for this antho, and I’m over 10,000 words into it now. That story: Pre-screening Test.

Since the rest of them are ahead, they already started advertising. The cover (top) is out and they have it available for pre-order on Amazon. When I looked it up today, I saw it’s already ranking on the Amazon charts! You should get it now while it’s cheap, BTW. Only 99 cents!

GameLit XP 03-2018 #45 Anthologies b

They have a “Pre-release Party” page up on Facebook, too. They’re giving away books every week until the release. (Go check it out!)

Also, there is a book trailer! (Watch it now!)

What struck me about this situation is how everything fell into place so neatly. After years spinning my wheels and never getting any kind of interest from publishers, I’m now to the point where invitations come to me. It feels pretty great.

So, if you’re an aspiring author, keep at it! Write a lot of books and stories. Write what you love. Submit like crazy. Most of all, keep writing. Once you break in, things get a lot easier. 🙂

GameLit Expansion Pack Box Set



The Last Paperback

The Last Key Wrap Cover

At long last, the last paperback (The Last Key) in the Actuator Series is out! If you read electronically, as the majority of people seem to do these days, then you probably already have it. For those who are holding out because they want the paper in their hands and the smell of a new press, your time has finally come.

For me, the ultimate moment will be placing this book on my shelf next to the others. Then it will finally feel complete. My copies are in the mail, so the time is coming soon.

It’s been an amazing journey. Thank you all for sticking with me through it!

Actuator Series Wallpaper

Now Available: Valcoria Awakenings

Valcoria Awakenings


The battle for Amigus is over, and orphan-turned-hero, Yuiv, is settling into his life as junior lord of the house of Trauel. The loving family and peaceful life he’s so long yearned for seems to be within his grasp; that is until Yuiv starts having vivid nightmares. His glowing Kalyra eyes mark these dreams as supernatural, proof that he has the gift of Farsight—a power held only by the Al’Kalyra or Arch Sage.

As frightening as the idea of being Valcoria’s prophesied savior is, the terror of what Yuiv witnesses in his sleep is much worse. Pain, grief, blood and death descend upon him as he sees through the eyes of men, women, and even children who have been touched by the light of YaJiann.

The Children of the Crystal Star are awakening, rising above turmoil and strife to embrace their destinies as defenders of Valcoria. But all light casts a shadow, and with the heroes come the horrors born of blood and shadow. A dark threat looms; monsters that are far closer than anyone realizes—anyone except for Yuiv. And the revelation is nearly too hard for him to bear as it can mean only one thing.

The battle with the darkness is not over. It has only just begun.


This anthology is part of the Valcoria series. So you may want to start with Book 1: Children of the Crystal Star— but it’s not necessary. However, as a promotion, it’s only 99 cents. So why not grab it as well?Crown of Darkness

Jason King is my favorite high fantasy author. I discovered his work with the Age of the Infinite trilogy, which is probably my favorite fantasy story to date.  Valcoria is a much more dynamic setting with trains and guns… which makes it feel fresh in an overwritten genre. In fact, it has one of my all time favorite short stories to launch the series. You should definitely read the Prelude: Crown of Darkness. Also only 99 cents!

Whether or not you get into the entire series, my short story in this collection, Ice Witch, has some personal significance. I wrote it not long after my Grandmother passed away. She was very proud of her Icelandic heritage, some of which rubbed off on me. So for this story I named the main character after her, but I gave a lot of her traits to the mentor. I must have done something right because that story was put first in the anthology (and Jason has suggested he wants to incorporate the character from this story into the series later on).

If you love a good fantasy, get Valcoria Awakenings now!

Divergent FatesFor those of you who aren’t into fantasy, how about some Cyberpunk? Divergent Fates, the anthology set in the dystopia dreamed up by Matthew Cox, is on sale for just 99 cents this week.

Cox is my favorite Cyberpunk author, weaving three huge series together in this mind expanding world. (All on sale for 99 cents this week!) I set this story, Special Project, in Korea. I spent two years there on a mission for my church and I had a lot of fun revisiting that culture as I imagined their place in this broken future.

So both of these anthologies are me bridging significant people and events from my life and using them to write in other authors’ sand boxes. Also, many of the authors featured in these collections are good friends and associates. Cox even wrote one of the stories in Valcoria Awakenings. If you love a good short story, or need to get back to some fresh short story reading, pick up one or both of these awesome anthologies. (And between all these links, you should have PLENTY of cheap books to get you through the long, cold winter!)

Cover Reveal: THE LAST KEY

The Last Key E-Book Cover

At long last, the much anticipated climax of the Actuator series draws near. It’s due to be released November 17th in e-book and sometime after that in paperback. If you haven’t been keeping up, you can find the rest of the books here.


The Actuator, a machine capable of literally changing reality, was created to make a utopian paradise. Before it happened, a saboteur used it to transform the world into patches of every kind of genre fiction, scattering the keys necessary to put it back across the globe. Everyone alive found their lives radically altered, some living in fantasy realms with real magic and others in incomprehensible horrors. Thrown into chaos, people struggled against aliens, pirates, orcs, and vampires. Many died. Only a handful of people on the planet, called Machine Monks, even knew why it happened or how. Now they have to put it all back before humanity is destroyed.

Continuing their quest for the Actuator keys, the Machine Monks realize their cause is becoming hopeless. An army of half-machine men is rapidly spreading over the face of the earth, converting anybody they don’t kill to their cause. With superior numbers and technology, their leader will not stop until every living human is subdued and loyal to him.

Keeping the first key with him, preventing anybody from using the Actuator to change the world, the sociopath rampages. Even if they could get all the keys, the small group opposing the tyrant don’t know what to do when they get to the final one—a key they’ve never seen before. If they don’t find the answers fast, the world will be lost.

(Oh, and Happy Friday the 13th!)

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Chaos Chronicles Paperback


Now available in paperback! The Actuator 3: Chaos Chronicles

This book includes amazing stories by 9 authors. It isn’t “optional” like the Borderlands Anthology, though. These stories are machine monks, separated from the main group, and their struggles after the saboteur comes back to wreak more havoc on the world. It’s part of the main story line, so you absolutely must read it before the series climax comes out later this year. If you are following the Actuator series and only want your books in paper, the time has finally arrived.

Read more about the series on my Actuator page or…

Get it now!

Actuator Audiobook!

The Actuator: Fractured Earth is now available as an Audiobook! Read by Roger Wayne of Tantor Audio, you can get it on Audible or as a book on CD.


They went with a different cover, but it’s the same Actuative goodness. The audiobook is $24.99 on Audible, but if you have the e-book already, you can get the audio through Whispersync for just $3.49! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out you should buy the e-book, then the audiobook either way. The book on CD is $29.99. Either one, comes out February 28.

I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’m super excited for my first audiobook to be out!

Actual Paper

The new and improved Actuator series Paperbacks are here! Not only do they have new covers, but the interior’s are updated. We moved a few things around and fixed the art in the anthology. If you have the e-book, the updated version should come to you automatically. But if you absolutely must have physical copies in your hands, you can order them now. Alternatively, you can come to LTUE or FanX and I’ll be signing them there.


The Actuator: Fractured Earth


The Actuator: Borderlands Anthology


The Actuator 2: Return of the Saboteur

Coming Soon! The Actuator 3: Chaos Chronicles