Thursday, August 14, 2014

Eli Roth's The Crypt Interview

Yesterday, I had an interview posted on Eli Roth's The Crypt iPhone app (an Android version is in the works.) It's an interesting concept of "Horror on the go" and really caters specifically to the phone market. Clicking the link to the left will take you to where you can download the FREE app on your iPhone to see the whole interview and comments.

For the interview I was asked to do a quick introduction video. I hate those. I'm always nervous and end up coming off a bit goofy or robotic. (And the bit of video clip I did for this had to be re-taken no less than seven times.)

Because I don't have an iPhone, I kept checking a friend's phone for the comments, which I thought were great by the way, and I really appreciated that horror fans took an interest.

I enjoyed the interview questions, they weren't the usual ones I get for most writer interviews. My favorite one was "What's up next on your Netflix queue."

One of the comments that garnered some attention was a question about gore. In it I wrote that there's only one thing I've ever read that's made me slightly nauseated and that I would tell what it was in my next blog post. Drum roll music, please...
The Resurrectionist by Wrath James White. If you've never read it, I enjoyed it, and be warned, it's pretty graphic. The scene that did me in is when the killer "gets into it" with the lead male detective in the story. The reason I think in part, is that the only surgeries that got a little under my skin to see were cranio and/or oral maxillofacial ones. That's all I'll say. If you click on the book cover you can purchase a copy to read the scene for yourself and decide. In my opinion, Mr. White took a common vulgar phrase and made it "real" in a way that I never imagined. When I asked him about it, he told me that he had consulted a physician in "that particular field" on whether or not his idea was possible. So there you have it! - If you want it to read, sound, look real and be believable - ask a professional.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Here are two upcoming anthologies I have short stories in with some beautiful covers that didn't get posted in the interview yesterday. Both are due out this fall. Click the covers to find out more. And stay tuned!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

World Horror Convention/The Bram Stoker Awards® 2014 - Portland, Oregon

Once I got to Portland, or rather, the Doubletree Hotel on Multnomah and not the Hilton on Broadway, things began to look up. I won't get into the high-anxiety airport debacle that occurred before I left Las Vegas Wednesday, May 7th, but it did subconsciously set my mind in a negative direction.
Good friends (Lisa Morton, Ricky Grove, Jeff Strand, Lynne Hansen, Chris Marrs, Gord Rollo, John Palisano, and new friends Greg Chapman, John Urbancik and Mike Wells) that were ready to go have a drink and the famous wings at Pok Pok were exactly what I needed when I first came through the hotel doors and checked in. I never even made it up to my room. Gave my bags to the bellhop, then left. Taking the late flight, suffering through the horrible "space invader" sitting next to me (partly on me during the plane ride), and rearranging the dinner reservations was all worth it just for those wings and the wonderful company.
I didn't sleep all that great and got to bed late because I had to unpack. Early the next morning, sounds of construction woke me up, along with the train, and when I pulled back the curtains about 30 construction workers were on the rooftop across the way. I quickly closed the curtains and finished getting dressed. Downstairs, we gathered for the train and headed to a place called Mother's Bistro. Fortunately for us, Ricky Grove researches his vacation destinations and had a plan of attack. While we (Lisa Morton, Ricky Grove, Nancy Holder, Chris Marrs, Erinn Kemper, Gord Rollo) waited for a table I kept seeing waitstaff go by carrying trays with plates of biscuits and gravy. I thought that must be good so many people have ordered it, and that's what I got. It was fantastic. After that we were off to Powell's Bookstore, which was enormous. Before that, the biggest bookstore I'd ever been in was The Tattered Cover in Denver. At Powell's I bought a horror/mystery book suggested by my Canadian pals, Headhunter by Michael Slade and On the Road by Kerouac for my son who asked me for it. Oh, and an umbrella, which I never used after purchase, because the weather cleared up. Later that evening, I remember going to the Opening Ceremonies and not much else. I think I'd had my first martini to kick off the event.
Friday I had meetings scheduled (more like relaxed pitch/chat sessions at the bar). I thought they went well. I spoke to and met lots of great people and want to thank Chris Morey, Aaron Sterns, Cherry Weiner, and Susan Chang of TOR/YA for their time and insight. After the Mass Signing where I sold out of my Double Down books of East End Girls it was party time! Josh Malerman, a great guy, whose debut novel Bird Box was just released had a nice little party going on, then it was the Deadite party for a bit, then off to the Absinthe party at the Crowne Plaza with Daniel Knaupf, Maddie Von Stark, and freak show performers. After a few sips of the Absinthe everyone became a freak show performer, and I'm quite certain I saw RJ Cavender lie on a bed of nails. I might have taken a photo if I hadn't been so shocked and melting at the same time. Then before calling it a night, we were told by some of the fellas, Brian Keene and Weston Ochse maybe, that we should go and get our pictures taken, and that they were FREE! So we did, and right as the guy was putting away his equipment, but he told us we could get them online. Definitely one of my favorite pictures of the event.

Another favorite is a picture that Gord Rollo and I had taken by the original painting Alan M. Clark did of our Double Down Book cover. Then we read a sign that said there were to be no photos taken. If caught, I would've just told them that Gord was Canadian. That seems to be a reasonable explanation for whenever something strange or illegal happens. Ha! And that's Derek Clendening's thumb in the picture, not one of the Security STAFF checking convention badges at the door taking the camera away.
I've noticed at these conventions, many late nights and some long, surreal moments during the day, are spent in conversations of I really have no idea. I have a lot of these conversations with Benjamin Kane Ethridge and John Palisano. I do remember talking James Chamber's ears off and he'll probably be dodging behind furniture to steer clear of me at the next convention in Atlanta 2015. I'm not sure if the mind-numbness is from exhaustion, alcohol, or the combination. It's still enjoyable, just not always memorable or maybe the better word is rememberable.
Saturday, I worked the pitch sessions until 2pm. My schedule was a hot mess of horrible handwriting and scribbles by the end of the day, but Montilee Stormer, Brian Matthews, and I made it through, and I thought things ran well. I thank them for their help, organizational skills, and ability to stay on time. (Things I was lousy at.)
My friends Stacy and Mindy drove all the way from Sacramento to be there for me, and I thank them for that. Later that evening was the banquet. All weekend people asked me if I was nervous and I told them no. I really wasn't nervous about that. Because I was too nervous about having to go up on stage and read an acceptance speech for Norman Rubenstein who couldn't attend, to accept his Silver Hammer award. The thought of this had me amped up, doing it had my heart racing, and I was happy to get off the stage with only messing up one word. After the speech I was exhausted and had long before settled into the idea that I was happy just to be a finalist and to have made it that far, which is still quite an accomplishment and with two works nominated my first year of publication. Wow. That still stuns me. So, when it came to the Long Fiction category I was thrilled to hear my name read off from the list of others (which I noticed were all men except for me. Need to step it up, ladies.) And I clapped for Gary A. Braunbeck who won for "The Great Pity" a fantastic story. I felt the same way when the First Novel was being presented by JG Faherty and Lisa Mannetti. I was prepared to clap for the winner, so when they called my name it took a second to register.
I remember hugging RJ Cavender, my editor and friend who worked on the project with me until the very end. As I walked up to the stage I tried going over in my head who I should thank but my mind was too occupied with the thought that I'd won an award. I remember thanking people I could remember, then I almost felt like crying. Then the audience got blurry, bright white, and I thought I might faint, so I rushed off the stage forgetting to thank Gene O'Neill who wrote a wonderful introduction for me. I thank him immensely, and wish that he could have been there. The rest of the time at the convention was spent in a surreal daze. So happy I got to meet Doug Murano, John F.D. Taff, Sydney Leigh, and a bunch of other people. (I'm horrible with names, forgive me.) It was great hanging out with friends and making new ones. I had a wonderful time. Unforgettable.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

And So It Begins - Year of the Green Wooden Horse 2014

Chinese New Year ended yesterday for those two week celebration folks. I prefer to celebrate on the first and the last day with lots of good food and family, without too much work and no house cleaning in between. Never works out that way, though, and it was also Valentine's Day yesterday, so when people would mention how dressed up I was in red for Valentine's Day, I'd just nod and smile.

The horse year has never been good for me, so I don't expect much of things. I'm going to try very hard not to get excited over ventures I've got in the works, that's how strongly I feel about the bleepin' horse year. I did, however, purchase as many blue cicada type objects that I could find, in an attempt to have some balance. (Not real blue cicadas, mind you, although I did see some real cicada wing pendants. Maybe if I get desperate...) Yes, I'm a little bit culturally superstitious.

It's also been Women in Horror Month (WiHM 2013) and I've written some posts about women horror authors, did an interview or two, had some kind reviewers post my work on their blogs, and did a fun podcast with the great crew over at The Bourbon Lounge with Kate Jonez and S.P. Miskowski. I even made it onto S.L. Schmitz's list of "92 Female Horror Authors You Must Read Right Now" on I've enjoyed reading all the great articles and posts on their website and Facebook page, even retweeting a few. If you're up for making a donation for a good cause to keep the organization going, (they even have a blood drive,) click here. read some great books last year, finishing up with K. Trap Jones's Fiction Collection The Crossroads and Michael Rowe's latest novel Wild Fell. Both great reads, I highly recommend. I'm kicking this year off with some awesome reads as well. Besides waiting for a bunch of pre-ordered books out soon, I'm enjoying Little Visible Delight edited by Kate Jonez and S.P. Miskowski, and Nameless, Mercedes M. Murdock Yardley's debut novel. Click on the amazing book covers to purchase.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Shooting the Messenger

As many people know, I'm the Head Compiler for the HWA's Awards Committee. This job means I enter information into a database. Every recommendation that is made is entered in by hand. I try and enter them every day, because several times throughout the awards season, I will get emails from people who tell me that they've just made a recommendation and why wasn't it listed yet. There are also people who recommend the same works twice and then write me to ask me why it isn't entered yet because the number hasn't gone up. I kindly inform them that they'd already made the recommendation, and I give them the exact date and time of when they made that original recommendation. (The database actually records every recommendation right down to the last second it is made.) These emails from members concerned about the "numbers" tell me that people watch the numbers of the recommendations way too closely, which is unfortunate, because it's not about having the most recommendations. There are plenty of people who will tell you that they had the most recommendations in their category in a season and didn't make the final ballot. The works that make the preliminary ballot are five  from the Rec Sheet (those with the most Recs) and five from the jury. These are then voted on by the Active and Lifetime members to produce the works that make the final ballot. (I, the Head Compiler have nothing to do with who winds up on that final ballot.)
I spend a good 2-3 hours a week altogether on the recommendations, depending on the amount. Closer to awards season, it gets busier and takes up more time. It also takes time getting the verifications entered, and adding links to works. This is all on a voluntary basis.
I can't delete any recommendations that are made, so when double recommendations do come in, I have to do a search and find, then count every single rec for that work to make sure the numbers are correct each time that work gets recommended. This also goes for people who recommend their own works, or works they've been involved with, which you're not allowed to do and it clearly states that in the rules that I did not write. If you have a link to add or change (just like it says in the rules) you write to the compiler at to have them add it. It's obvious why everybody doesn't have access to the database to change their own information, but people don't understand this, because they don't read the rules, so when they can't figure out why they can't change or add to their listing, they get frustrated and blame it on me. I just got an email asking me if I could add a link because it wasn't working for them. Guess what? If you read the rules you'll learn that it never will. (I apologize, but the more I'm thinking about this, and on Thanksgiving, the angrier I'm getting.)
Every official email that you receive from me as the Compiler, I've been told to write you, unless it is a simple reply letting you know that the spelling of your work or link has been corrected in the database. I do not, (am not permitted) to contact any of you on my own accord or question your works without the order coming from someone higher up. There isn't a single thing I can do in the database that isn't looked over by someone else.
I have two works up this year (that have been recommended,) and I've been accused of personally attacking other author's works in my same categories, because of a letter of inquiry I was told to write by the higher ups. And I just want to say I did not and would never rally against another author's work. It's such a pity I have to defend myself against something I have no control over, and that I volunteer for. There's nothing like being called really nasty names for what has to be a complete misunderstanding made by others.
Same thing goes for the HWA Newsletter. There's a rule that self-published works are not permitted in the Free Promotional Listings. I did not personally make this rule. If I had as much power as some people thought I had, I'd rule the world. But yes, believe it or not, people get upset with me, because I have to turn away their works. And now there's a big campaign going on to defame my character.
And for what?
I still haven't quite figured that out exactly, except that I know people need someone to blame. You want to blame me and call me names, because it makes you feel more like a man, woman, human being, go ahead. I've been blamed for worse and called worse names. But in the end, you're only shooting the messenger.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Vegas Valley Book Festival

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 marked the last day of events that were held throughout the month of October/November associated with The Vegas Valley Book Festival. It took place at the Historic 5th Street School in downtown Las Vegas, and you couldn't have asked for a more wonderful location or better weather. They did it up right, with interesting panels, music, and food choices. Writers Association sponsored a table and Mercedes Murdock Yardley and I worked it from 10am to 3:30pm. Many people came up interested in the association, which they'd never heard of, and walked away with a pamphlet explaining the organization. They also signed up with their name and email address to receive more information

It all started several months ago when I was asked by one of the committee members if I'd be interested in writing something for the annual anthology The Vegas Valley Book Festival puts out. The theme was "Progress" and it had to incorporate the element of Las Vegas. I did warn them that since I'm a horror writer first and foremost, my idea of "progress" might be different than others' perspectives. Of course, I said yes, and wrote a short story, "Reclamation" about water reclaiming the Earth, the last stand taking place atop one of America's biggest symbols for progress--The Hoover Dam.

Then I was asked if I'd like to sit in on a committee meeting, because the committee is interested in introducing more "genre" to future festivals. After attending the meeting, I thought, Yeah, they do need some genre, so then I decided to go ahead and be the horror liaison, to set up a horror panel, and invite horror authors to Vegas for the 2014 Vegas Valley Book Festival. Fortunately, so many horror authors cross genres, which makes them available to do other panels as well. I'm always happy to promote reading and the horror genre in the community.

Mid-October, there was a meet and mingle cocktail hour with local and national authors at City Hall, I was also invited to participate in. It was fun and I met a lot of people that are in well-established book clubs in Vegas. I learned that some actually have waiting lists for people interested in joining. It makes perfect
sense to me now, but I truly didn't realize the whole hierarchy and social importance of Vegas book clubs before.

The last week of October, there was a panel for the anthology authors and editor at the beautiful Clark County Library. We were told we'd be reading an excerpt from our work in the book, and I'm not a big "read in public" kind of person, but I thought I'd be able to swing it. Well, when I arrived and saw the large auditorium set up for it, I panicked. Ha! All the other authors were there waiting on me, and I was walking around taking pictures of the place, thinking I should've taken something to relax me, but the last time I did that and read, I slurred my words and vowed never to do it again. It all worked out, and I was told my reading went well. Afterward, the authors stayed for a while and signed books for the attendees.

The overall experience was fantastic and hopeful. One point I took away from it all is that Las Vegas needs more readers. I understand that in a city where world-class entertainment is on every corner it can be difficult to sit down with a book, but there's an enrichment that comes from reading and nothing else. It stirs the imagination and takes you places that aren't filled with crowds of people, loud slot machines, and smoke-filled casinos. I have friends who tell me they wish their kids would read more, but when the parents don't read, it's more likely the kids won't, either, and that's sad for everyone.

On the last bit about my cross-promotion with Carl Alves and the Goodread Giveaways. In the end, Carl's promotion started only 3 days after mine. I had something like 967 people request the book, Carl had around 776. I put one hundred dollars toward advertising on Goodreads. Was it worth it? No. But I did enjoy doing the giveaway and will definitely do it again in the future, without any money toward advertising. This was a fun cross-promotion Carl invited me to do with him and I'm glad we did it. Thank you, Carl. Hopefully, the winners of the giveaways will give us wonderful reviews and tell all their friends to go out and immediately buy our books.
---Now, back to reality.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why I just HAD to be in FEAR THE REAPER

Before the end of last year, Taylor Grant had posted an anthology he'd gotten another one of his awesome stories into. (One of the most talented, hard-working, and down-to-earth, nicest guys I've ever met.) Read his work if you haven't, you won't be disappointed.

The thing that caught my eye right away about his post was the cover art, and then it was the title. I took it as a challenge, and for first time ever I felt like, "I HAVE to be in this anthology."

I've never considered myself the "pushy" type and I certainly didn't want to come off as desperate, but I messaged Taylor and asked him about the anthology. He told me to write the editor, Joe Mynhardt who runs Crystal Lake Publishing, and had just put out the anthology, For the Night is Dark, which also has a great cover. Even though I didn't know Joe, I sent a brief bio and introduced myself. But besides my short story "The Eyes Have It" in Horror For Good: A Charitable Anthology, nothing else I'd written had been published yet. I wrote Joe anyway and he told me that the anthology was getting pretty full but he'd look over what I sent him.

I thanked my lucky stars when he said he'd like for me to submit a story to him. The story I wrote that's in the anthology, "Death Squared" has nothing to do with why I had to be in the anthology. That subject is still a little a bit too close to tackle, but hopefully, this very personal blog will explain why.

When my younger sister and I were growing up, we fought nonstop. I was the "nerdy" one who got good grades and awards, was a cheerleader, and for the most part, obeyed my parents. She, on the other hand, skipped school, hung out with the wrong crowd, dropped out of high school, ran away when she was sent to live elsewhere, you name it. She came back to Plattsburgh, when I was in college for nursing. My parents had transferred to Colorado, so each other was all we had, and we tried to care for one another when we could.

Eventually, my sister moved to my parents home in Folsom, California. I'd graduated with my nursing degree and moved to Denver, Colorado where I worked in the Operating Room. It had been about eight years since I'd seen my sister. I went out to Folsom to visit my family in July of 1992. My sister and I hung out pretty much the whole time. My mom even rented cabins in Lake Tahoe where the whole family had fun times. I remember watching ARMY OF DARKNESS with her, and I'm not sure we'd ever laughed so hard. But my vacation ended, and I went back to Denver.

My sister and I kept in touch, though. More so than we'd ever had. She had completed her GED, had registered for college courses, and had just gotten a new job. Things were looking up for her, so I'd send her money when I had it so she could buy books for school. She'd write me letters and tell me about what she was up to. I told her I was going to paint her a watercolor. I taped the paper to my wall and just free flowed what came to mind. The center of the scene was a massive old dead tree. Then I painted a kite stuck in its branches in crimson. In the background, I painted a faint Grim Reaper, complete with scythe. I never told her what I was painting. It was to be a surprise.

About three months later, she was missing. I asked my mom if she wanted me to go out to help look, but she said no. Ten days after that, a surveyor saw bronze rims on a car earlier in the day and went back later to take them off. When he got in the water he realized someone had died in the car. It was my sister. She was nineteen years old, and only two blocks from home. Her car went off the road and hit a tree, then flipped over in the water. The autopsy report stated that she'd had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that probably had been painful enough for her to veer off, possibly pass out. There was water in her lungs.

My mom called me when they'd found her. I flew out to California.

The whole time was a blur. My mom remembered things that my sister had told her before the accident. She told me that a few strange things happened, and that somehow, my sister thought that she might die.

My little sister's favorite holiday was Halloween. She'd always go out. That year she didn't, and when my mom asked her why, she said it was because she'd been having nightmares about the Grim Reaper. Also, there'd been a black cat that darted out in front of her car.

I've never told anyone about the painting. Especially not my mother. She's really superstitious. When I got back to Denver, I tore it from the wall and threw it in the fireplace. I put all the paint tubes in a box, along with all my brushes, and I haven't painted a thing since. Or ever will.

Do I think that I had anything to do with anything? No. I just miss my sister.

And maybe that free flow thinking had me seeing things I never want to see again. Do I free flow think when I write? Absolutely not.

My little sister feared the reaper. I do not. And so, having a story, a piece of me, in the anthology that I had to be a part of. It was a challenge I took on and don't regret. I look forward to reading the rest of the stories in the book.

Many thanks to Joe, who did more than he ever thought by trusting that I'd do all right by his book.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vegas Book Signings and Cross Promotion

I had two local book signings this past week. Monday, October 4th, was Books, Bubbles, and Brew, a Meet and Greet for readers and book clubs with national and local authors sponsored by the Vegas Valley Book Festival. It was at the NOW Cafe in City Hall, which is a beautiful building downtown. There was a good turnout, and I met a lot of great people. Many of them are in book clubs and mentioned they might read, The Evolutionist for one of their novel choices.

Friday, October 11th was The Atomic Book Signing at the historic Atomic Liquors on Fremont Street, downtown. It's no longer a liquor store these days and is more of a bar. It was an interesting choice of venue with the loud music, bar regulars, and dimly lit areas. I'll admit that if I didn't drive there myself and knew I'd have to drive back, I'd have had a couple of martinis. Most of the attendees were coming in from the Southern Nevada Writers Convention, so the majority of them were writers. And if there's one thing I've learned from writers conventions is that writers don't tend to buy a lot of books. The best events that seem to sell books are at fan conventions and reader events like book festivals. Aside from my book launch parties, I sold the most books at the L.A. Times Book Festival, and I'm hoping to exceed those sales at the Vegas Valley Book Festival on November 2nd.
On Thursday, October 24th at 7pm at the Clark County Library on Flamingo, I'll be discussing my short story "Reclamation" that's in the Las Vegas Writes Anthology: Progress, Getting Better All the Time. You can read a bit of my story if you click the link and then click on Reclamation. It's going to be interesting explaining how my apocalyptic story of how water reclaiming the Earth relates to progress, but hey, I'm a horror writer.
The highlight of The Atomic Book Signing was getting to see Mercedes Murdock Yardley. We had to get a picture of her with The Atomic sign because her latest novella is a "tale of atomic love." Click HERE to buy a copy. You won't be disappointed.
For the second part of my cross promotion experience with Carl Alves, I did a five question interview with him. Great stuff! Please read it. There are freebie opportunities at the end.
1.     To get an idea of your writing influences, who are three of your favorite writers from three different genres?

In the horror genre, it has to be Stephen King.  Even though I’m not as fond of his more recent work, his early stuff is pure gold.  In the seventies, eighties and nineties he was churning out mesmerizing horror that delivered every time.  He is my biggest writing influence.

In the fantasy genre, I would have to go with George R. R. Martin.  I only started reading him recently because I was hooked on the Game of Thrones television show.  Then I started reading the series, and damn, the novels are simply amazing.  His writing skills are off the chart.  His world building and characters are top notch. 

In the crime genre, I would go with Mario Puzo.  When I was writing my Mafia chapters in Blood Street, the voice of Puzo would always creep in my mind.  He got that world down so well.  He is the king of gangster writing, and I’ve always had a great admiration for his work.

2.     Blood Street has a lot of great Philadelphia mob and city details – did you do a lot of research, or did you use your own personal experiences in regards to the area? And well, if you’ve had any personal experiences with the Philadelphia mob, I’m sure everyone would like to know about them, too.

I was born and raised in Philadelphia, so it wasn’t particularly hard to get details of the city right.  I really tried to incorporate the city into the novel to the point where it was like a character in the story.  As far as mob details, since I don’t have any personal dealings with organized crime figures, I did a lot of research into the history of the Philadelphia Mafia, and what I found was that in the fifties and sixties it was one of the most well run and well organized crime syndicates in the country.  In the eighties and nineties, the organization fell apart in a series of unprecedented violence.  Pretty much everybody who was in the Philly mob during that time period is either in jail or dead.  So what I wanted was to create a mob boss character who was highly educated and intelligent and would run the organization like a business. 
3.     In Blood Street, I was rooting for the mobsters. Do you have any tips on how you made these characters more likable than vampires that most readers seem to be so into?
Growing up in Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to get to know a good deal of Italian Americans and this was the basis for most of my Mafia characters on Blood Street.  I took the personalities of people that I had known and ratcheted them up to ten.  In the end, they are exaggerated versions of real people.  In the novel I intentionally didn’t try to make one side or the other being the heroes or the villains.  Mob guys are inherently bad since they make their way through life committing crime, but I did my best to make them likeable. 
4.     Wow, I see you have a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Is science fiction something you plan to explore in your writing in the future?
My next novel I have scheduled for release is entitled Reclamation Mother Earth, which is going to be published by Montag Press, and this is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller.  Based on my educational background, you might think that I would be drawn to science fiction, but what turns me off about the genre is that stories often get bogged down by technological jargon and specific details, which interfere with the telling of a good story.  For me the story comes first.  That’s why I purposely tried not to get overly technical with a lot of the science in the novel.  I want to tell a story, not teach a science class.  I get enough of that in my day job.
5.     What projects do you have in the works?

As I mentioned in the previous question, Reclamation Mother Earth should be coming out in the near future.  The premise of the novel is that aliens take over the Earth.  On the first day of the invasion, my main character who is a Navy SEAL, is there when the aliens invade and is knocked into a coma.  Five years later, he wakes up in the care of a kind alien physician to find out that most of the human race has been killed off and many of the survivors have been enslaved by the alien conquerors.  He starts to heal himself mentally and physically and in the process starts a resistance movement to take back the planet from the aliens.
As part of this cross promotion experiment, we're both having giveaways on Goodreads until the end of October. If you'd like to sign up to get a free copy of Carl's Blood Street, or The Evolutionist by me, clicking the book titles will take you there.