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Never say never…

WARNING: Existential whining and moralizing ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

On July 10, 1988, I wrote the following in a journal:

“I don’t know why I keep trying, or who I’m trying to fool. I’ll never be an author, despite my brave words to contrary. Yet I am driven to continue. Why?”

Writing personal stuff like this was a rarity for me, so the rejections must have been particularly bad during the summer of 1988. At that point I’d been actively trying to get published for more than 10 years, had a second kid on the way, had just started a new job where the boss’s administrative assistant took an instant dislike to me, while I traveled about three times more than I’d been told I would. This was also the period when my agent’s halfassed efforts to sell my book finally ground to a halt.

Things got worse from there, yet somewhere along this time I wrote an extensive opening for a new science fiction novel in a new universe, one I called Jurassic Jail. This was at least a year before Jurassic Park hit the scene. Likewise, I began a book titled Suntans Within Suntans, a comedy, which my agent hated so much I stopped writing it. She’s dead now.

Anyway, in Have Keyboard, Will Type: Hard Lessons Learned Hard, I wrote that one lesson I finally learned was that writers write, they can’t help it, they do it with or without success. The passage above, and for me to have hand-written such a message was rare, shows how I learned that particular lesson. See, it would be another 28 years before I first had a novel see publication.

28 freakin’ years.

Was it worth it? In all honesty, if you told me back then that I would not have a book published for another 28 years, I’m not sure that I would have continued. I’d like to think so, but it’s hard to say for certain. So I guess that’s the point of all this; whatever I might have done, what I did was pushed through all of that pain and depression and rejection and wound up with a career as a writer.

So to answer the question posed above, **** yeah, it was worth it.

SANDS IN FLAME – A World Afire, Book 2 – coming in 2021

My first story bundle!

14 books from 15 SFWA authors, and you name the price!

SFWA stands for Science Fiction Writers of America, an organization of professional writers. This bundle is endorsed by SFWA for its outstanding quality, and my Imadjinn Award finalist novel Jurassic Jail is included!

Check this out while there’s still time!


#7 is done!

Last night I turned in the finished manuscript for Standing At The Edge. At this point it’s the longest novel I’ve written since 1986 @ 124k words.  This was #7 on my writer’s agenda that I published in a blog post back in August. Here’s a link to that post:


That’s not the end of it, of course. Now it’s the publisher’s turn and I anticipate some major revisions. During the rewrites and edits I’ve already shifted several plot lines to book 4, and that could happen again. Of course, should I be correct that just means that book 4 is that much closer to written!

It took me a solid nine months to write this book. If you’d asked me five years ago how long it would take to accomplish such a thing I’d have said years, not months. But now, with more than 10 books out and more on the way, nine months seems like forever.

The hope is that Standing At The Edge will be out before Christmas. If it is then you’ll know Santa Claus is real, because that’ll be my Christmas present.

Why writing is fun

Any writer will tell you that writing books is often a grind. You’re not really inspired but you have to produce words anyway, so you do it. Usually what you write comes out better than you thought. For me, at least, this holds true.

But every now and again your novel surprises you. That happened to me today. I’m writing a scene based on a plot line suggested by the awesome Joshua on facebook. I thought I knew how this would go, I had everything planned out in my head.

And then I wrote something almost the opposite of what I’d thought I would write. It’s a lot more fun, too, for me to write, and I hope for you to read.

Okay, back to the book to see what new surprises await me.

My voice audition for Standing The Final Watch

Hey folks, I’ve had requests for audiobooks and I’m starting the process. I may do it myself, or I may not. The following sample is to get a general impression of how it sounds. This is just a first test and the acoustic aren’t great, nor have I practiced much.

Before I open it up to producers, and thereby lose some control of the finished product, I’d like to at least try my hand at it.

Open writing call

If you’ve read the first two books in The Last Brigade series, especially if you’ve also read the shorter book The Ghost of Voodoo Village, I really want to hear from you!

What do you want to see in Book Three and beyond? What did you like best and least in the first 2 1/2 books? Who are your favorite characters, and do you want to see more from them?

I’ve done the basic plotting for the future adventures of the 7th Cavalry, and book three is 26k words long already, but I’m trying to do things differently from most writers. I want this series to be as interactive as possible, but for that to work I need YOUR input.

The best way to do this is to comment on this post. And watch for my next request, because I’m going to suggest some titles and get your thoughts on what you like best.

Thanks for being part of the creative effort!



Zero to Hero: My 8 Months From First Draft To Top Seller

I’ve just completed the first draft of a short new book, Zero to Hero: My 8 Months from First Draft to Top Seller.

When my first book launched last August 17, Standing The Final Watch, a number of long-term friends wanted to know how I came to write a book so fast.


To me, writing both Standing The Final Watch and Standing In The Storm back-to-back seemed to have taken years, whereas it really only took thirteen months. Now, for some writers that is agonizingly slow. But I hadn’t written any fiction in thirty years, much less two novels, and compared to my usual output it was a whirlwind.

Anyway, I tried to explain what all I did but it just never seemed clear, even to me. What exactly had I done? Then I focused on the final eight months leading up to publication and it was all a blur.

So for those interested I created a timeline, did my research and wrote an account of what I did and when, all leading up to publication day. I also want non-writers to get some taste of what it’s like to be a fiction writer in today’s saturated, hyper-fast market.

Challenging would be an understatement.

I’m hoping to finalize it and get it published within the next two weeks.

The Final Countdown – 20 Days

Meet Young Adult SF and Fantasy author Lora Palmer


1. Please tell our readers about yourself

Hi, everyone! I’m Lora, and I write YA sci-fi and fantasy. I’m a fan of the Divergent trilogy, the Hunger Games, Harry Potter (especially), and the Across the Universe trilogy. Oh, and my favorite TV show these days is Once Upon a Time. I’m partial to The Walking Dead, The 100, Supergirl, and Dark Matter, too. I have a major sweet tooth, and in my spare time, I sing in a praise band, Chalice Sounds. My wonderful husband and I just celebrated our 8th anniversary on July 4th.

2. For our readers who have never been there, how would you describe the soul of your hometown? In other words, what makes it a unique place in the world?

I live in a vibrant, historic county in an up-and-coming area that’s close to everything—shopping, restaurants, large parks with hiking trails, township pools that offer both memberships and day passes to the public, farms that have amazing produce and fun events throughout the year, quaint villages with bed-and-breakfast inns and boutique shops and so much more!

3. What effect has living there had on your writing?

Well, it is an inspiring place to write! Since I mostly write science fiction and fantasy, I can’t say that I’ve drawn from elements of my community in developing any of my settings as yet, though.

4. What and/or who would you say are your biggest influences?

I would go with Meredith Pierce for her Darkangel Trilogy, Beth Revis for her Across the Universe series, Veronica Roth for her Divergent series, Suzanne Collins for the Hunger Games series—umm, yeah…there’s a definite trilogy pattern.

5. What are your earliest memories of writing? Put another way, when did you know you were a writer?

Reading was definitely one of my favorite pastimes as a child, and I was writing little stories—even in crayon—from the time I learned to read, so I’m told :). I had all sorts of little short stories that I kept in a satchel, and I think deep down, I knew all along that I wanted to be a writer. Of course, I also wanted a career that involved helping others, so I also work with young adults at a local residential facility.

During college and beyond, I kind of got away from writing until maybe about 10 years ago or so. I loved writing role play because it was fun creating stories with a partner, and then I finally decided to get back to writing original stuff of my own. It really wasn’t until I’d written MIRRORMASTERS and several short stories that I finally was able to call myself a writer. By then I knew how much I loved the challenge of getting the words down of an initial draft, of finding just the right word, of editing to make a manuscript the best it can be.

6. Please tell us about MIRRORMASTERS.


Leah Ellis never knew why she was found abandoned on the beach at two years old. Content with her adoptive family and small town life, she hadn’t thought much about it over the years. That is, until her life takes a bizarre turn when she begins seeing images in mirrors she can’t explain–cloaked figures using powers that manifest like lightning bolts, or flash-frozen beaches on another world beneath a purple sky.

She practices mirror-gazing, driven to understand these images and their possible connection to her forgotten past, and discovers that it’s kind of addictive with its wild, boundless power coursing through her veins. Soon, she learns to control what the mirror shows her.

When new neighbors move in, Leah is shocked that they’re dead ringers for the people in her visions. According to Brian, with the gorgeous ice-blue eyes, and his father, she is a MirrorMaster–an alien with a gift that lets her travel through mirrors, even to worlds light years away. Her birth parents sent them to take her from Earth back to her homeworld of Jantyr, a planet she doesn’t remember. They’ve searched for her ever since she disappeared.

But Leah’s long-lost birth sister, a sorceress, activated an ancient device to trigger a cataclysm on Jantyr as a bid to consolidate her own power. Leah must return to Jantyr, master her newfound ability in order to locate and wield crystals that will disable the device, and thwart her sister’s plans. Otherwise, the destruction will consume the entire galaxy, including Earth and everyone she loves.

7. You’re published by Clean Reads, right? What makes them different in today’s marketplace?

I am! Clean Reads offers books that are free of profanity, graphic violence, and explicit intimacy. Any genre you like, you can find some awesome titles from Clean Reads in that genre. They work with some amazing cover artists and are known for having absolutely amazing book covers. Our books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ITunes, Smashwords, and Kobo—and once a book earns a certain amount in sales within a year of publication, it will also be made available in print. We work together like a family to help each other out in many ways and share support, marketing ideas, and in general promote each other and our books.

8. Before we finish, please tell our readers about what the future holds.

I’m working on editing a YA sci-fi called BENEATH THE RED SKY. Once it’s ready, I’ll start querying it. So, here’s a little about the story. It’s about a girl named Kassi, who is an ambitious ballerina. She ends up having to move with her family to Mars when her dad is selected to be among the first settlers of the new Mars colony. With her dreams of becoming a prima ballerina shattered, she joins the excavation team, not only for the opportunity to explore what’s outside the habitat, but to make new discoveries and even find possible evidence of a past civilization there. However, someone is trying to sabotage the Mars mission. She begins to suspect that the accidents that started with the shuttle that crash-landed them on the red planet and are continuing in the habitat might not really be accidents. And as she and her friends investigate who is responsible and what huge secret that person is trying to hide, they could become the killer’s next target.

Website http://lorapalmer.weebly.com/
Blog http://lorarpfictionblog.blogspot.com/

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