An Important Message

This is a repost from Facebook, as I realized some people aren’t on Facebook and this also connects to Good Reads, etc. Just a copy/paste from the Facebook message.

Hi everyone,How are you doing?

I know it’s been a tough year for us all. There’s a lot going on. I picked a bad couple of months to keep my head down and finalize some projects, because it feels like every day there’s a new story unfolding.

There are a few things I’d like to mention.

First and foremost:

Black lives do matter and right now, they really need to hear from you in particular. If you’re reading this, you’re included. Donate to anti-hate charities of your choice if you can. If you can’t amplify the ones you support and let others know how they can help. Reach out to black people in your community, your friends, coworkers, family, that one guy that walks by with his dog, all of them, let them know we hear it and we want to show support.

While everyone does matter, we need everyone to know black people matter, they are valued part of this whole human race. They need amplification right now.

To my black readers, in whatever ways I can support, I’m doing so.Second, and I place this second on purpose because it is less important than the first message but wanted to say it: It’s come to my attention that some readers are becoming angry at writers who aren’t saying anything about this at this time.

Just know many writers have tried to be generally nonpolitical with their writer blog/platforms. It’s hard to jar that notion out of years of habit. Some may not even live in the United States and aren’t sure if they should say anything, and some authors’ social media are run by multiple people or through a publisher and they don’t have direct access.

Some don’t have a PR team and are just afraid to offend everyone by saying things incorrectly. Some might have been offline since COVID and trying not to let news distract them from writing. I do not blame anyone who maybe can’t say things. We don’t need any more hate and anger at this moment towards people we don’t know personally.

However, for writers who might be reading this, if you were wanting to say something but have had the same ‘nonpolitical’ stance, while there’s no pressure, anti-hate, anti-racism messages should not be considered ‘political’, your black readers need to hear from you at this moment, if you can. It should be very clear in such times that you’re against racism. Welcome them, let them know you support them.

On a very smaller side note, while I was going to post a newsletter (minor updates! Don’t worry), I wanted to get this message out there ahead of it, as I dislike putting those things together and feeling like I’m pandering. No one wants that. Hope that makes sense, so I’m delaying the newsletter a few days just to make the above message clear.

Everyone please be safe, too. And don’t spread hate. Support.

The Aftermath – March 2020

Sooo…how you all doing?

Personally, I’ve been watching the news more than I’d like to admit to, and spending way too much time on household projects while at home. I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t done much writing in the last few weeks. Pretty normal to expect when things are a bit…chaotic.

Like everyone else with a big heart, I’d like to help but I wasn’t quite sure how.

However, I remembered I did teach a Work at Home class at a university a few years ago. I’ve worked from home since probably 2000 and I’ve not really held a ‘normal’ job since and have worked with big companies like Microsoft and other corporations. I still had the handout from when I taught the class. So I fixed it up. It’s short, but for those who might be out of work or struggling right now, I hope it can help (a little?) during this time. It’s mostly just a starting point.

There is no copyright claim on this PDF handout. Feel free to share as much as you’d like. The websites recommended in the handout I personally have no connection to but I refer to them time and again when people ask about working from home. Most importantly, if you’re in need of work (or even extra cash) please use the resources available.

In addition, I thought I’d share a few resources I’ve been refreshing myself on that might help. I am not the people below, I don’t own any of the information, but they are great resources. Following any of them might help you learn a bit and doing the below might help you feel more in control of life while we’re going through this together.

Growing Food from Home Fast

Save Money by Using Coupons (And learn how to stock up inexpensively without having to horde at the last minute)

How to make face masks at home: and why

Also, please remember that your library has valuable resources. Not only do they have books, magazines and audiobooks, but your local library might also have video games, sewing machines and tools that you can also borrow. In addition, they often know of local resources (like food banks, 211 services information) for your particular area. Call them. They are bored. 🙂 Also free books. (Ask for my book please. 🙂 They’ll stock them if you ask them to stock them. Even if you already own the books, share the love with others. In fact, ask for all your favorites to be on the shelves, not just me. Your voice matters!)

This is not all inclusive, but a start. Remember, secure yourself in your life, and when secure, find ways to help others. We get through this easier by helping each other.

And if you really need more distractions, in addition to getting Unsung completed (I swear, I’m back to working on it!) I’m going to try to do more WattPad as I get time. I feel ( like everyone else ) I need to focus on Unsung and work on that more than anything, so it’s more the priority. I just didn’t want to go on for the few months it might take to complete and not reach out to you.

Please stay safe at home, and if you aren’t at home, thank you for the work you do. We’re counting on you.

A Short Word About Fan Fiction

First a few things to note:

I can’t read your fan fiction. It’s a complicated legal matter that basically boils down to if I don’t read it, I can’t accidentally ‘lift’ your ideas (even subconsciously) and create problems. I’ve not read Academy fan fiction since the start. (Also if you email me your fan fiction, I have to delete your email/not look at your link. I’m sorry. Email me after I finish The Academy series.)

However, I find fan fiction to be an awesome way to get creative with someone’s else’s characters. I loved being absolutely free to do it my own way. No rules. I could do whatever I wanted. (Go figure, the person that wrote The Academy by breaking the rules of fiction at that time, enjoyed writing fan fiction that allowed me to break the rules…yeah.)

There’s nothing like taking well loved characters and imagining them in different ways. Insert yourself in the world. Hang out with who you feel are your best friends/book boyfriends. Take them into different books. Play out scenes. Kill the ones you don’t like. Have them reject the girl to marry you instead! 🙂 Fun times.

I know it really well because I used to write fan fiction. Not continuously but I tried testing the waters.

Including…Gargoyles fan fiction. Yes. Really. Thanks dorky 22 year old me who was trying to learn how to write and tested a few things with …Gargoyles. By the way, I love Gargoyles the TV series. Awesome.

I might actually have some Snape\Harry Potter fan fiction leftover that I tried to put together once. Maybe I can drag that up from the fiction graveyard one day to put on WattPad.

With all that’s going on, and with me taking so long to write books lately, I feel like fan fiction can, for some people, help fill that void when you just miss the guys and want something new. I understand the love and care that went into those words. If you haven’t already, try it out for yourself. Writing is freeing your imagination a bit to record and save for later to read for yourself.

I can’t link to it from here (sorry) because I can’t go look at it. However, I hear some can be found at WattPad simply by looking up CLStone or Academy. Have fun. Read or write as you wish. I can’t wait to be able to join you all.

What’s Going on July?

Hey everyone! It’s been a bit of a weird summer for me for different reasons. Adjusting to the headaches and trying to figure out how to work around them has been lots of trial and error. A few other things have been happening, including a new puppy (a Golden Retriever\Boston Terrier mix girl named Charlie), a pet to help ease a bit of anxiety (which was possibly triggering headaches) and basically forces me to get outside to walk and seek fresh air daily.

In any case, as will be obvious in the newsletter, there are many things happening!


This is a bit of a surprise, but two years ago I wrote a book that I gave to various trade publishers at their request. It had been quite a while since I heard a response and instead of having it linger for longer, I asked for it to be returned to publish it myself.

So I found myself with this book that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. It had been two years and I’d even forgotten parts of the book.

Then I was tinkering with Smoking Gun, a book I’ve had for a while, the second book I ever officially wrote (the first one hasn’t been published), and something connected in my brain to link them in a series.

In a women’s revenge series called Charleston’s Leading Ladies, Evelyn, Celeste, and Rainee come together after several terrifying events lead them to seek help. Once they make their plan and work together, the boys are done for.

The series starts with Evelyn, (the book I wrote two years ago) sharing her story about what happened and why she’s looking for revenge. The whole series is set in Charleston, in a similar universe as the Academy series. While these aren’t Academy books, you’ll still see some familiar characters within the pages.

In the future, we’ll have a re-release of what was Smoking Gun, rewritten as Celeste for this series as book two. It’ll be similar in what happens, but enough might change to want to re-read the new version if you’ve read the previous one. If you’ve already purchased Smoking Gun, don’t worry, you’ll get the option to update your copy with the new version. If you’d like to get the old version for whatever reason, this will be made available.

Evelyn is coming out soon (July 23rd). Celeste should be out later this year. Rainee will probably be out mid next year, along with the concluding final book in the series showing up shortly after.

Question: weren’t you supposed to be working on Academy things?

Answer: All three books (Evelyn, Celeste, Rainee) were already finished. As mentioned, Evelyn was written two years ago, Celeste is basically a rewrite of another published book to match the series, Rainee is actually an old book that just never fit with anything else. Now it has a home. The only book left to write is the finale, which should be concluded by next summer (taking up the usual Scarab Beetle slot since it used to be my summer book to write).

Basically, these were done and just hanging around. I figured why let them sit here waiting for a time slot after Academy things when we can just push them now. 🙂 But I do hope you enjoy them. It has been fun to play inside my own “Charleston world” and see what else is happening around town.


We’re getting close to being able to announce a release date in the future for Tempest. I’m waiting on a few things (like my own revisions, and some coordination with audiobook people to try to time a release the same day) that make the process for Academy books take a lot longer than it used to, even when I’m done with the drafts.

We’re getting there. Promise.

But if you haven’t seen the sneak peek for TEMPEST and the cover reveal, go check out the latest newsletter which has links. (And make sure you’re signed up so you get all the latest information.)


The below information is subject to change and exact dates aren’t available yet. I don’t like giving dates unless I’m 300% absolutely sure it’s right. So unless you see it on official channels like this website or the newsletter, everything else is rumors.

Right now, it’s:

  • Evelyn
  • Celeste/Tempest (Sometime in Fall. Kinda about the same time, although one might be moved right before or right after the other, it more or less depends on coordination dates for Tempest with audiobook people and if that happens. It might not.)
  • Meeting Sang: Gabriel (Probably Christmas again)
  • Unsung Requiem (I want to say early 2020, but again, coordination with audiobook people might push this even further back.)
  • Final Scarab Beetle Book (…Spring? Maybe?)
  • Rainee (Mostly a revision, won’t take too long)
  • Final Charleston’s Leading Ladies book (written during summer so might be released…early fall?)
  • Next Ghost Bird
  • Next Meeting Sang

Most books after Charleston’s Leading Ladies and Scarab Beetle ends might just be me finishing up Ghost Bird and Meeting Sang, with the occasional other random book I might have from As I Write on WattPad. I don’t have plans for anything else to fill the usual Scarab Beetle book slot at the moment. Mostly hoping after that to get to the end of Ghost Bird. After that, I’m thinking of taking a short break just to clear my head and to see what’s next to do. 🙂 Just a head’s up on my plans for the coming years.

Keep in mind I also want to get back into spending the occasional weekend adding to As I Write books over in WattPad (Link: ). When one finishes, it gets removed (eventually) to be finalized and put for sale later (probably posted free to newsletter followers as a thanks for hanging out with me). These might weave a way in between the book schedule above, but shouldn’t interfere with any projected projects.

Some changes may occur, like if headaches put off some dates, or you know the occasional life events that happen. I’m just sharing my hopes for the next year. We’ll take a look in a few months to make any adjustments.

I’ve probably forgotten a few details here. Feel free to email me with any questions. I do try to get to emails as soon as I can. Thanks!

As I Write Progress| Feb 2019 Updates

First and most important: Academy book updates. 🙂

There’s some update on Academy books, but it’s kind of spoiler-y down below. Important points to note that isn’t spoiler-y: It is taking a while, yes. I’m basically writing three books at once at the moment. It is taking a while, especially a few things that have popped up, which I talk about in a minute here.

For those who don’t want spoilers (at the end of this blog post so don’t read past where it says potential spoilers if you don’t want to know), just know yes I’m working on it, but because it’s essentially plotting and writing three books at the same time, it’s taking a while. The good news is, when they are ready, they’ll be ready really close to one another. So we’ll have this long period of me finishing these but then once they are done, it’ll be bam, bam, bam. Released really quickly. Your extended patience is very much appreciated.

If you want the details on that, then read the last bit at the end of this blog post. I’ve other news in the meantime even for non spoiler people if you’re interested in that. 🙂 You should be safe enough though, it’s not totally spoiler-y. Just a few details for people who might like to know.

AIW Progress Update

I’ve made a few changes as to how I’m going to deliver stories this time.

I’ll spare my issues of figuring out systems and dealing with advertising. It’s boring and you really won’t care to hear it. 🙂 A bunch of things just weren’t going to work.

So I was trying different things but I’m at the point where I was doing more research and trying stuff than actually…you know…writing.

So I threw out the plans and I’m just going to WattPad it for now. 🙂 Let’s keep it simple.

If you haven’t seen my profile over there, ( there are already a couple of stories uploaded already. You’ll see more by me getting loaded there soon. (You’ll see first chapters to Introductions and Thief over there, too.)

Those WattPad stories, once the drafts are done, will stay up until I complete final chapters. Once it’s done, I’ll leave it up but I’ll edit the chapters and get them done up nice and pretty for publishing at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, etc.

You’ll still get notices and updates via the newsletter and other areas. (Facebook/Pinterest, etc.)

I may try doing some things with Kindle Unlimited later on with some stories as an experiment but we’ll see.

For now though, if you enjoyed AIW, come read at WattPad. You’ll get updates via the newsletter for whatever was added that week plus any news from me if any.


So I don’t normally talk about health issues or anything of a personal nature much on my end, but for the past year or so, I’ve been getting migraines off and on. I hesitate to say migraines because I feel like people with actual migraines have it much worse with being down for a week and ill.

For myself, the headaches only last for a full day, maybe carrying into two days. I don’t get as bad as symptoms other people get or anything. It’s just a headache so bad I can’t do anything else. The problem comes into, obviously those migraine days, those I’m down for the count, but the medicine I take to help those, I am foggy brained for a day or so following each episode.

I’ve done what I can to help with the headaches. I’ve worked on my diet, getting in more exercise, made sure it wasn’t eye strain, stopped sitting for so long at the desk hunched over words and notebooks trying to sort my plots. I’ve had to make myself take time off away from the screen more, and it does seem to help.

So it’s made progress a bit slower for Academy books because they are SO heavily detailed with intricate plots. And for Tempest, Unsung Requiem, etc. and actually all the books moving forward, they are very intricate and woven into each other, that it takes a lot of plotting and figuring out what goes where. It doesn’t help that I scrapped the first quarter of Scarab Beetle when I realized it needed to be different. So I’ve been back and forth on fixing that and moving forward.

The Ghost Bird team, the Scarab Beetle team and other stories are so involved that it just takes time. And headaches I’ve been getting have been stretching that time out. :/ And I apologize for the time it takes and for creating a mega plot of interwoven stories but these are stories I really love and I basically write my heart into them, so I want them to be very good, stories I want to re-read when I’m 100 years old because I know I wrote my favorite things into them.

Just to touch on an example, while the current timeline for Ghost Bird and Scarab Beetle are different, you’re going to see strong hints as to things that deal with Ghost Bird, including characters from Ghost Bird integrating into Scarab Beetle and vice versa, especially in these upcoming three books. (Tempest, Unsung Requiem, the Scarab Beetle book after that)

And yes, even main characters, some of your favorites, are showing up for good portions in each of the stories.

You won’t have to read both series to understand what’s going on if you only like Ghost Bird or Scarab Beetle, but for those who read both, you’ll see…interesting things in each. And you’ll continue to see these interesting woven plots going forward.

Don’t worry, we’ll get through this together. I still suspect the three books (at least two this year and one early next, they’ll get spread out a little bit just so beta readers / editors / proofreaders aren’t rushed, etc.) will be out this year. You’ll know when I know. If you see people wondering why things are taking a long time, feel free to point this post out, or reiterate what’s said here. If you see me tinkering with other stories, it’s because I had them already done anyway (I had a lot just waiting around that just needed a revision or just story starts and I want to work on those.) and just wanted to get them out. Or I had the free time but not the brain power to dive into intricate plot for Academy stories so I start messing with them, etc. I tend to do the AIW stuff on weekends or when I’ve had the headache but the medicine made my brain foggy and it’s too hard to think of the Academy plots.

This has been a very long post, but hopefully a little helpful? Probably not if you’re really anxiously waiting on the next book, but most important to note there’s always progress. Thank you SO much for patience and if you’ve read this far, you’re my favorite.

Updates for November – As I Write Resurgence and …bigger news?

I am still working on/writing the next Academy book/still in progress. (DON’T WORRY, I’M WORKING ON IT. THANK YOU FOR BEING PATIENT WITH ME.) 

I wanted to get that out of the way before anyone asked about it. 🙂 Okay? Okay.

Updated news, you might notice this page has updated:

As I Write

A few changes:

I’ve added Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest delivery systems! If you frequent a site, you can follow me and get posts/updates to your favorite stories that I’m loading online.

I have goals (read below for more details). But I’d essentially like to have most, if not all of my books in the future posted for free in this way (yes, including Academy). (Wait, what?) Yes, Academy books posted chapter by chapter instead of waiting eons for the next 100k word monster to get out and be completed. HOWEVER, I have to meet certain goals, okay? And yes, you can help me.

There will be ads. This will be how I can make this work. I’ll try not to get ridiculous about it. These ads only show up in As I Write areas. If you’re in the normal CL Stone newsletter or Facebook page, you’ll get the normal just updates from me and no ads. We’ll keep it separate.

I’m working on my delivery process. I had a few problems with the old delivery system, basically it was umpteen steps every week to get you guys an update. For now, I think what I can do is link you all to chapters using Google Docs, as well as try to post sections directly to Facebook/Instagram, etc. (I don’t know how this will work! You’ll see experiments from me. Hang in there.)

This all may change as we go, okay?

Wait, how are we getting Academy online? And for free??!?!

Essentially, thanks to you all and continued support with people buying books regularly, I make enough now that I have time to try this out.

This has been my goal from the beginning. FROM DAY ONE.

My ultimate goal is to post stories online and never have to let you guys pay for any more stories, but I still make enough of an income that I can live on via ads. (Audiobooks excluded, as…well, they’re expensive to make and Brilliance will continue to create audiobooks for the Ghost Bird/Scarab Beetle books.) Also, if I ever sell a book to a major book publisher, those won’t be free. But! Those might be rare and far between.

That doesn’t mean the books in the future may never go onto Amazon/ Barnes, etc., okay?  Some people DO prefer to wait until books are done and uploaded to their favorite retailers. Once a Ghost Bird/Scarab Beetle book is completed, it’ll be collected and posted in the usual spots until the collections are completed.

This is my chance to get books out there online for free, and the edited/revised versions may be found in the future on Amazon for you to buy/download and keep.

I don’t know when I’ll start with uploading Academy things. I’m in an experimental mode now so I’m using other stories to test. However! You’ll for sure see updates from me about it as we go.

If that all sounds good to you, that’s great! 🙂 But here is what I need from you:

  1. Sign up on As I Write Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest and newsletter. (Use whichever one you’d like.)
  2. Share with friends who like free stories.
  3. Comment and like on the stories you actually love.
  4. Show support for any sponsored posts.

That’s it! 🙂 That’s all I’ve got. As we grow, you know how this works, I’ll be able to charge more on ads. Basically once the income is replaced, I can just continue to write for free this way and the books for sale will just be if you happened to want it that way.

This might take a while. 🙂 It may never happen that I can take Academy books (Ghost Bird and Scarab Beetle) into this free mode completely (make free versions available online). However! I plan on trying my best and to put any future Academy series online this way. I just a few dollars for coffee, okay? Coffee = stories get written.

This is an experiment, okay? Goal is free stories forever, with ads for income. I’ll fix as I go. Anyway, thank you all very much for reading this.  If you read all the way down here, YOU are my favorite. Thank you. <3 If I haven’t answered something you’re curious about here, you can email me ( Just no asking for when the next book is out. 🙂 You know as soon as I do. I’m not good at secrets.

What happened to summer?!? – Updates from the Workshop

Hey reader peeps!

This one has a few work details below, and it’s kind of boring, so to get the important stuff out of the way:

  • Currently working on Tempest AND (kinda sorta) the follow up book for Scarab Beetle (The last two in the series)
  • Doing good so far *two thumbs up*
  • I don’t have a release date (I calculate this when I’m actually done with  drafts and I’ve got schedules down for editors.)
  • Books that will release after Tempest is done: Meeting Sang – Nathan, Ghost Bird – Unsung Requiem

And a small update on the merch store, it’s getting an overhaul, so there is a close out sale going on. It should close sometime in August and then re-open in September. I’ll have more information on the re-open later. At first it might just have books as we’re reorganizing things but hang in there and we’ll get new items and old favorites out to you all soon.

That’s it I think? Probably the most asked questions there. IF you care to dive into details, read below. If not, look for updates via the newsletter. 🙂

Current work systems

Work systems for individuals, especially those who work alone, often evolve, and I keep evolving my own systems. I listen to a lot of work-ish type podcasts (Cortex lately, among others) .  Obviously what works for me doesn’t really work for everyone, and other author’s systems of writing doesn’t really work for myself. You just learn over time what does work, and hope to find some middle ground of being productive and not suffering from a burnout from over-working.

(By the way, if you’re noticing some authors pumping out books every other month, and you care about them, ask them how they are doing, okay? Make sure they’re taking time out for themselves and family. Writers get a lot of pressure to produce very, very quickly and get compared to each other far too often if they aren’t “keeping up”. Don’t let them feel like they’re just a book factory. Let them know you appreciate the work no matter the pace of production. 🙂 )

I’m in the middle of a process of going back through all of the Scarab Beetle books to take full notes. It’s a process that feels so slow when I’m used to getting at least a couple thousand words down at a time when in writing mode. I’m in ‘writing mode’ but I’ve found that I really just need to sit down and read and make notes and finish that part of the work before getting too much further into writing the book.

So I’m in a process of going through the Scarab Beetle series, reading, taking notes of things readers probably missed that I want to bring attention back to, loose threads that need to be closed, noting people and references I want to bring into light again, stuff people have asked about the characters and what they want to know that I can also throw in and show, etc. It’s all the needed stuff when you’re trying to wrap up a series.

But once this process is done, I’ve got the information in notes and in my head, my goal is to go ahead and finish up the last two books really close to one another. So bam and bam, they’re done. Monday – Friday during my normal writing hours in the morning, I’m working on the notes and prep work to finish up, and that will get replaced in a few weeks with diving back into the writing. (I’ve got to dig some info out of Ghost Bird, too, since they go to the camp during these two books, so gotta get those timeline notes together.)

Because I’m wanting to do it this way, and it’s taking time, I’ve gone ahead and taken some time to schedule extra writing time into my weekends. (When do I eat and sleep? Is this why I can never finish Breath of the Wild or Far Cry 5?!?!)

Saturdays: For a couple of hours in the morning, I’m working on the next Meeting Sang.

Sundays: Again for just a couple of hours, getting whatever words I can for Unsung Requiem.

I’m not writing every single weekend, it’s just most weekends when I’m not out of town or need to do something with family. Or I just need a break for the day because everyone needs a day off now and again. But I feel like, the way I’ve got it set up, it’s a reasonable pace to keep me a tiny bit more productive while basically trying to complete four books at the same time. Sort of.

But when I marked off an approximate schedule when the rough drafts will be done, it looks like the bigger books will get completed about the same time.  (So like besides Meeting Sang stories, which will obviously get done a bit sooner.) Basically I think it’ll look to most readers like I’m in quiet mode for five months and then suddenly a slew of books released at the same time. Which is exciting but I know readers will be asking what I’m up to. So if you see someone commenting and asking about it, do me a favor and point to this blog post, ok? I mean if they really want to know. 🙂

Anyway, for those who do read this post, keeping you updated on the workload. I’m also working on a new site which includes the additional stories from As I Write plus some other bonus material for people who like the Academy series as well. It’s going a bit slow as I *thought* I’d do it in WordPress, but I discovered Wix had a better system for what I was going for. It’s just a bit slow going. I’m one of those people who has to think and test and think and test a lot before releasing a new project thing. But I hope to add unique things to it, like dossiers of characters and cool surprises. Interactive. Audio. Video. Pictures. Like the notes I’m taking now for Scarab Beetle, I hope to duplicate to this so you all get to see them after the books are out. I think that would be interesting to readers.

Thanks for letting me ramble a bit about work and processes. If you have thoughts or comments or questions, as always, email me at and I’ll get back to you when I can.


Do What You Love – Follow Your Heart

Hey everyone!

It has been a while since I’ve been around fully. Once LCR was in the pipeline to be released, it seemed like a good time to take a month surrounding the release as a break. It was my last chance to visit family and take some serious time out before the rest of the year and all the things I wanted to work on and do. I was planning out my life, not just writing but also just general things. Goals to accomplish and any adventures to go on or projects that were just waiting to be completed.

I also got an interesting couple of questions in emails while on the road and wanted to talk about it. It kind of stuck with me. It was from an author still new to the scene and the whole letter was pretty personal but I wanted to reflect a bit on the very core of the thing.

Two parts in particular that was asked: How do you handle negativity that these days seems to come no matter what action you take? And also, how do you decide what you do as an author, say like deciding what to write and when and how much time to spend on it, etc?

For me, the answer I have for it is pretty simple. I don’t really have time for the negative side because I try to focus most of time time on being productive, happy and doing things that I enjoy doing. I decide to write what makes me happy because that’s where I feel most confident I’ll be satisfied with the results.

Seems easy, right? But it surprises me when some people struggle with this in some way.

Some of us have to do certain jobs because that’s how we survive in life. I bused tables in restaurants and did my share of housekeeping in hotels and all sorts of crazy jobs. Even in those jobs, I made the most of what I could, worked hard, got raises and promotions or moved on to better things when opportunities came up.

With writing, before the indie world, I was doing the same thing. I wrote books that I thought would ‘give me a better job’. I was ready to let go of books to editors and agents who would tell me what was best, what was popular, and write to order basically. That’s usually what happens there, you’re writing something that fits what other people want. And occasionally I still enjoy trying to do that because I find it a challenge and I like a good one.

But being indie opened a whole new world for me. Here was the chance, for once, to write what I loved. I had the opportunity to put it out into the world and if people did like it, they could buy the next one. You get the first one free, you get the previews to see if you want the next one. You can even just get it from Scribd, read them all (or listen to them all!) plus more. Libraries usually have them. Whatever you want to do.

And what a wonderful opportunity it has been! I mean over a dozen books in, I’m still trying to get the details right! 🙂 And I’ve got loads of challenges like every other author faces every single day. It’s the stuff I signed up for trying to do it pretty much solo for the past six or so years (and counting)!

I am very grateful for the chance to be able to say I’m doing what I love, writing the things I love.

But the follow up question always is, what about fans that ask you to write this or that? The answer is, you can. But it depends on what your goals are and what you’re after.

See, I already spent a lot of time doing what other people want me to do. If it was writing for a publisher, they got the chance to tell me what they wanted to see, how to change it, etc. Or if it was a job, they could tell me what to do, take out that trash or tidy that room or be on their schedule.

And if it was about money, then maybe yes, I’d listen to people telling me what to write or how to write it. And I’m not talking like line editing or anything like that. I’m saying the core of your story, what books you write, how long the books are, what goes in them, sex or no sex, this character or not and how they behave, etc.

But then, whose story is it? Not mine. And if I’m going to be working this long and hard at something, wouldn’t I rather do it my own way, if I have that opportunity?

But if you keep it on writing the things you really love, do it the way you really want to do it, it can make a huge difference on everything. You’ll always enjoy it, so when people are being negative, it doesn’t matter. You are enjoying it, no one else has to, and anyone that DOES enjoy it, those people are getting something out of it for themselves, they aren’t reading it for you. But it is great if you’re able to make someone else’s week or weekend reading something they too enjoy and get something out of.

A lot of authors are suffering from burn out and getting severe anxiety from all the pressure from readers (and sometimes other authors) that really doesn’t need to be there. Write this particular genre, release often, be perfect, never complain even when people are threatening you harm or your family harm or whatever else.  We’ve had several authors quit and many more just not even come out to share their ideas with the world because of fear from readers and other authors.

But here’s the secret, and I hope other authors, if you need to do this to be happy with what you’re doing, then I hope you’ll do it or find what does work for you.

Write what you love, and make no apologies for it. You can’t customize your book for every reader. And the moment you start trying to do so, the mindset turns from quality life and love that you have pouring into your book, and it turns into ‘what kind of thing can I write will make the most money right now and makes everyone else happy’. And the ‘make everyone else happy’ is totally impossible. Doesn’t really happen.

And if money is important to you personally, okay. Writing might not be the easiest way to make money (it is actually difficult, I don’t recommend for true wealth building), but you can if you’d like.

But it’s just not the life I live. If something’s broken, let me know and I’ll fix it. Site is down, missing commas, forgot to email you back, let me know and I get it fixed when I can. I just don’t dwell on it. I fix it when the problems arise and then try to avoid in the future. That’s pretty much all you can do.

And please, please, please readers or authors, if there is something that’s making you unhappy in your life, someone negative or perhaps someone threatening harm, get away from that. Even if it’s me. If I’m making you unhappy, don’t let me do that to you. 🙂 Go find your happiness, whatever it is.

Things that make ME happy:

  • Writing stories I truly love, where ever my imagination takes it.
  • Playing video games with friends.
  • Spending time with family and friends when I can.
  • Enjoying working on fun projects, either for myself or things I share.
  • Knowing somewhere in the world, maybe one other person (could be you!) got some enjoyment out of it.

Find the things that make you happy, and do it. Love every moment, because we don’t have that many to experience.

Speaking of which, I’m excited to start getting back into more writing, and also maybe some side projects. I’ll get a bit more into it in the next couple of weeks. I have to get back to planning things out. If you had questions or just wanted to comment, I hope you do. I’m not always on places like Facebook or anything but I am always in my email box. if you had anything, or otherwise, don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter. I always just release a newsletter when there is something important coming up like a book or project or something.

Looking forward to all the fun things I can share with anyone who is interested!

By the way, this video below is just one of the very many positive people I follow in my life. Chrome and his pup Disco are awesome. Love that kind of outlook on life in general. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration from that or something else today.

From the Nether – A Late April Update!

So much happening this month everyone! And in the next few months!

Love’s Cruel Redemption will be out in May. So excited that you all will finally get to read this!

Favored is already up and available on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. Don’t forget to check it out. If you followed along in As I Write, you’ve probably got everything. This is the same, just a few editing tweaks but nothing that would change the story significantly.

In addition, I was participating in a fun fairy tale project. My story, The Girl in the Bearskin, is based off of one of my favorite Grimm stories. It is a complete story in itself. I haven’t done one of those in a long, long time. So it was fun to try to wrap up everything nicely in the single book.


TEMPEST is on my radar next. I’m getting my notes together to start doing a rough draft over the summer.

AS I WRITE will be continuing, but it is on hold for now. There were a few issues with how it was handled prior. Not bad things, just inconvenient. I’m working on a better delivery and notification system but had to kind of pause the progress trying to get Love’s Cruel Redemption into the pipeline and ready to go. I’m looking at the best method to where it is simple for me to upload and go, and for you to learn about it and download.

I’m working on it and very excited to see what form it’ll become!

I’ll be doing a bit of traveling as well this summer, so I might find a place to post pics of this somewhere. Instagram maybe?

Not a lot of info in this one, just that things are coming along. Thought it might help at least to know things are going well.  I hope everyone will be looking forward to May, and to the summer ahead!


Ghost Bird cover an example of reverse harem in fiction

Reverse Harem in Western Fiction

In a previous article about where reverse harem actually came from, it discusses how in Japanese anime and manga (and fiction worlds in general) a female (hetero) or male (yaoi) can be the center of attention of several different characters, mostly male, but occasionally with a female or trans person included.  However, in Japanese stories, most often the main character will pick one of the suitors.

In Western fiction, the tone has a slight change, where instead of a main character choosing one partner, they could end up with all, some or follow traditional Japanese style and pick one. The style is usually way more obvious, with characters admitting their love to the central character directly.

The options in Western fiction have opened up considerably. While some call it polyamory, a real life reverse harem relationship it is actually a subset type of polyamory. The possibility of outside relationships among the suitors is often completely ignored. However, the expectation in fiction, as noted, is that the main character is the center of attention of everyone.

With the numerous ways a story could be told, reverse harem being introduced into western fiction has been met with a bit of confusion from readers as to what they can expect .

Defining Reverse Harem in Fiction for the West

It’s important to understand that reverse harem doesn’t actually dictate heat level when it comes to expectation in the trope. Just like any romance story, there are sweet romances, more Christian-like romances, erotic romances, etc. Unlike menage stories (derived from ménage à trois to mean three people in a relationship) or gangbang stories (one person being the center of sexual attention from many people), where the trope’s expectation is more on the sexual dynamics, reverse harem is strongly connected to the romance part of the story, not the sex. While sex may be included in the story, how the relationship turns out and the attention one gets throughout determines if the story is a reverse harem.

It’s similar in the idea of a gay or lesbian or polyamory (where all parties are dating openly) stories. A gay romance doesn’t necessarily mean the main character is shown in a sexual relationship. For an example in a reverse harem context, a story could be a sweet romance about a boy who goes to an all boy school, and he joins a group of friends who are suddenly giving him romantic attention. The story could end with a kiss only and still be considered a reverse harem.

Like in the Japanese style, the options for romantic interests or friendships are endless. A girl could be the center of attention with friends who act very sweet with her, and then suddenly dates one or multiple of the guys, and some of the guys remain friends only. The main core of the story is still there is a main character who is the center of a lot of attention.

And also like the Japanese style, the men in a reverse harem also don’t necessarily need to be friends or even friendly to each other. Villains in the story can turn into love interests. Men may fight over the main character. They may not like the main character’s choice in being with other people, but will accept it, not really becoming friends with the others, but having a mutual understanding this is what they do to continue a relationship with a main character.

The Broad Spectrum of Options

With so many variations of reverse harem possible in fiction, it can sometimes be difficult to find a story one may want to read. Readers sometimes want very specific types of stories, like stories with or without bi-sexual characters, or one prefers a male main character getting male attention, etc.

Further keywords may be necessary to develop as the reverse harem trope splinters further. The thing to keep in mind when in regards to this type of romance story is to remember that you could drop in ‘reverse harem’ as a replacement to ‘romance’. For example, if one is looking for a lesbian romance, it doesn’t work to type in ‘romance’ in a search engine. Many, many results will appear. Likewise, with reverse harem having so many options, it would be the same with dropping that term into a search bar to look for a single type of story. Many results, but not necessarily all of them being what a reader wants.

Subsequently, romance shows up in some stories, like fantasy or suspense, but doesn’t necessarily dictate the story is a romance. So someone could write a fantasy with a romance sub plot. It works the same with a reverse harem. A fantasy could have a reverse harem sub plot.

With all the ways stories could be written, authors have a lot of options. Diving too far into how a story goes and putting it into a blurb sometimes can ruin a book for those who aren’t happy with spoilers. However, readers have a long tradition of having expectations of what is in a story before reading. The large publisher Harlequin publishes tons of books based on tropes they’ve come to understand readers really want. Some examples like doctor-patient romances, finding a new dad for a new mother, falling in love with a boss, etc. These are very specific tropes that are recreated over and over in various ways. In many cases one can tell the heat level of a book, or if the book includes possibly bisexual content depending on the cover and the blurb for the book.

A writer who writes doctor-patient romances doesn’t always follow Harlequin tropes to those specifications. Sometimes an individual author develops a certain type of trope within a certain type of sub genre. They could also vary the endings, shaking up expectations, often for the purpose of being less predictable.

Likewise, reverse harem takes on various shades of different types of heat levels and extends into different tropes. So treating reverse harem no differently than romance in regards to looking for such a story, if the type of romance matters to the reader, further research into the blurb, the cover and certain tell-tale signs can depict some details. Unless one reads a full synopsis, it could still be a mystery to how the book ends. Some readers like very predictable stories (Harlequin-style story development) and some like to be surprised. As always, everything has variations and a reader may need to follow a publisher or author who tends to write to a certain style. (Although some authors are known to shake things up.)

Thanks for reading. In later posts there will be examples of reverse harem in anime, manga, video games, books and more, with many personal recommendations. If there are any questions, feel free to email me, and your questions may be pulled together for follow up articles.