Writing Update!

Hi everyone!

May is a busy month for me: DC’s Literary Hill Book Fest is on May 5 and the Gaithersburg Book Festival in MD is on May 18. I’ll be at both of those, ready to meet new readers and say “hi” to my returning fans, too!

As mentioned in the previous blog update, much of my writing time for 2018 into early 2019 was devoted to a new novel for an older teen audience. That manuscript has since been sent to my amazing editor, Shannon A Thompson, and she has given me all kinds of notes for refining my story. In other words, I still have a lot of work ahead of me.

Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve are a summer priority, so I’m looking at getting into serious writing mode by the end of June. That way, I can revise my new sci-fi novel for a few hours a day AND create the newest Darcy and Steve novel, too.

Thank you for being amazing fans, thank you for your amazing reviews on Amazon, and thank you for stopping by this website to see how things are going.


What's Up With Book 4?

Hello there!

Welcome to 2019.

I’ll get right to the point: I’m here with an update on book four.

Over the past year, there have been so many new Agent Darcy & Ninja Steve readers, and they’ve been devouring books 1-3. But this year marks the very first year that I haven’t released a new novel in the series.

Here’s what happened: a new, big idea for a sci-fi novel took over my brain. While I have notes and a few chapters of book 4 in very rough draft form, my imagination took me somewhere else for a few months.

This new book is for an older teen audience (15+), and I have just finished the first draft, which clocks in at about 89,000 words. It’s a monster of a book. I don’t have a title for it and I don’t have any estimates for a release date, but it was a truly exciting work to create.

Now that the first draft is done, I will be spending a few weeks doing my own edits before sending the second draft over to my editor to get her insights. The thing about a first draft is that it is a really ugly creature. I think some people believe that writers sit down, write the chapter once, and then write the next one. The reality is that books require so many changes over time. Sometimes you only need to do something small, like change a character’s name. Other times, however, you realize that a character needs to be 14 instead of 18, and that changes nearly everything about that character and the scenes that they are in. It’s complicated.

Once the second draft of the sci-fi book is with my editor, I can turn my attention back to Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve.

I know that this has been a long wait for many of you. I promise that the wait will be worth it. Book four is going to be bursting with fun, new adventures for Darcy, Steve, and their friends!

Wishing you all the best,


Baltimore Book Festival 2018!!!

Last year was my very first appearance at the Baltimore Book Festival. My booth was set up for a single day and I had a blast meeting new readers and writers.

This year, the Baltimore Book Festival starts on Friday, September 28th and goes through the rest of the weekend. For Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor will be a gigantic book festival from 11 AM to 7 PM.

And I’m there for all 3 days this year!!!!

I’ll have copies of Tiger Trouble, Robot Rumble, and Mecha-Mole Mayhem to sign and sell.

I’ll post more about my specific location when that information arrives in the next week or so.

See you there!

Baltimore Reading Event & New Interview Post

Tomorrow, August 14th, I'll be reading some Agent Darcy & Ninja Steve as part of an event at Charmington's in Baltimore, Maryland! I'd love to see you there.

There are a total of four readers; the first reader goes on at 7. Just a note: this event does NOT focus on writing for young readers. As far as I can tell, I'm the only reader whose work falls into that category.

The event organizer, Maria Goodson, did a fun little interview with me. Check it out!

Writing Progress and 2 Upcoming Appearances!


SCHOOL'S OUT. Well, school has been out for a while now.

You know what that means? It means I get to spend a lot of time each day being able to write. I've started on book four, which is good news. I locked in on my central concept and this latest installment is going to be SO MUCH FUN.

I'm also continuing to work on a sci-fi novel for an older teen audience. I can't give out any details right now, except that it's definitely the most complex thing I've ever worked on.

For those of you in the MD/DC area, I'll be a part of 2 upcoming events.

First, I've been invited to be a guest reader for the Writers & Words series in Baltimore. On August 14th (it's a Tuesday), starting at 7 PM, I'll be at Charmington's, which just so happens to be my favorite coffee shop in Baltimore!

Please note that it's not specifically a young readers event, so I have no idea what the other writers might be sharing that evening. All I know is that I'll be reading sections of Tiger Trouble for about 15 minutes and then I'll have books for selling and signing :-)

The second event is a BIG ONE. This year, I will be at the Baltimore Book Festival for ALL THREE DAYS. That's September 28, 29, and 30!!!! (Friday, Saturday, Sunday.) The festival is in Baltimore's Inner Harbor and it runs each day from 11 AM to 7 PM.

This is such a cool festival, where a HUGE chunk of Baltimore's GIGANTIC harbor area fills up with display tents for authors, literary organizations, and artists. It's a super fun family event, too. They do a ton of activities for younger readers, while also providing book talks and signing events for older readers.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Guest Post for the Gaithersburg Book Festival

This Saturday, rain or shine, I'll be set-up at the Gaithersburg Book Festival in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It's from 10 AM to 6 PM and it's packed with authors like Gayle Forman (If I Stay), Fred Bowen (tons of great sports-themed novels), and Hena Khan (Amina's Voice.)

The good people who run the GBF asked for contributions to their blog a few weeks back. What did I write about?

You guessed it: Ray Bradbury, ninjas, and cartoons.

You can read the article here.

Can't wait to see you on Saturday!


Upcoming Book Festival Appearances

Hello, world!

The next few weeks are going to be AWESOME. I've got 2 book festivals in the MD/DC area!!! Come find me, say hello, and pick up signed copies of Agent Darcy & Ninja Steve books.

Sunday, May 6th, from 11 AM to 3 PM, you can find me in Eastern Market's North Hall in Washington, DC.

Saturday, May 19th, from 10 AM to 6 PM, I am returning for my second year to Gaithersburg, MD's incredible book festival. It's held at the Gaithersburg City Hall Grounds and it is a HUGE collection of local and national authors.


The plot-gathering, brain-storming, and note-writing sessions have been good. First draft writing will start very, very soon.

Hello, 2018!

New year, new goals.

Every year, when Brandon Sanderson does his "State of the Sanderson" blog update, it fills me with equal parts inspiration and envy.

First thing: if you haven't read Brandon Sanderson's book, STEELHEART, make sure you read it this year.

Second: if you aren't familiar with Brandon, what you need to know is that he has incredible writing output. Hundreds of thousands of words per year. It's stunning.

This year, inspired by Brandon, I feel like posting my author goals for 2018.

So here they are:

1. I want to see if Tiger Trouble can earn 50 reviews on Amazon by December 31, 2018. This is going to be a challenge, for sure, but it's a goal I'd love to hit by the end of the year.

2. I'm going to start and finish the still-untitled fourth novel in the Agent Darcy & Ninja Steve series. I can't guarantee that it will be out and available for purchase in 2018, but at the very least I want to finish the actual final draft before the year is over.

3. I've been working on a sci-fi novel for an older teen audience. I'm going to finish a final draft for that as well. I can't give you details on it right now, but I have been building this project for a while and it's finally taking the shape I want it to. I'm very, very excited about this one.

4. In 2017, I appeared at the Gaithersburg Book Festival and the Baltimore Book Festival. In 2018, I'd like to appear at both of these, plus one more festival. I've had an absolutely wonderful time at each festival, meeting new readers and getting to talk about great books with enthusiastic bookworms. It's definitely time to add one more to the roster.

There you have it. My 2018 goals.

Let's see how I do!



Here it is, everyone!

Book 3, Agent Darcy & Ninja Steve in...Mecha-Mole Mayhem is now available in PAPERBACK and on KINDLE.

Fun fact: if you buy the paperback version, you can download the Kindle version for free. You don't even need a Kindle to access it: you can get the Kindle app for your phone or your home computer.

I am absolutely in love with this cover AND with the story. I am so very proud of the words that I've put together with the help of my beta readers and my editor, Shannon A Thompson.

Worldbuilders Charity 2017

A few years ago, I reached out to a charity called Worldbuilders and asked them if I could make Agent Darcy & Ninja Steve a part of what they do. They said, "Yes!"

You may be asking yourself: what is Worldbuilders? How did you find them?

Here's the quick rundown:

Patrick Rothfuss is my favorite fantasy writer. His book, The Name of the Wind, will make you fall in love with fantasy literature. Since 2008, he has been running a holiday season charity called Worldbuilders, which donates its profits to Heifer International.

What makes Heifer International amazing is that it provides livestock, clean water, and trees to people in the world who need it the most. For instance, if you donate $20 to Heifer, that is enough to provide someone with a flock of chicks.

But here's the thing: Heifer also sends people over to teach the recipients how to take care of those chicks, how chickens aerate soil when they walk around and increase crop yield, how chicken manure can be used to fertilize the land.

Suddenly, a family has eggs to eat. And eggs that become more chickens. And eventually those eggs can be sold, or the chickens can be sold. Suddenly, a family can pay for their children to go to school. They can give chickens to their neighbors and teach them how to raise them.

As Pat said on a recent podcast, Heifer International sends an avalanche of good into the future.

Worldbuilders kicks all of their money from this fundraiser over to Heifer International. They offer their donors a chance to win awesome prizes, too.

It's called "the lottery."

For every $10 you donate, you get entered one time into the lottery.

What can you win?

Autographed books by TONS of authors (Neil Gaiman, Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, some guy named Grant Goodman). Board games and dice games. Art. Jewelry. SO MUCH COOL STUFF. Seriously, there are close to 6,000 items in the lottery right now.

So I'm encouraging you to do something awesome this year. I'd like you to join me and be part of an avalanche of good, rolling into the future.

As an added bonus, if they can hit $715,000 an anonymous donor will kick in $285,000 and bring their total up to a million! It's getting close!

Here's that donation link again.

Mecha-Mole Mayhem for Kindle!


Whew! Now that my flood of caps-lock yelling is over, here's what I can tell you:

-On December 15th, 2017, on Kindle, Mecha-Mole Mayhem will be yours to read. You can pre-order it right now.

-The paperback version is still a work in progress, but I will announce a release date for it as soon as humanly possible

I can tell you that Mecha-Mole Mayhem has gone through many, many drafts. There was a point where I got halfway through the first draft, hated it, and started over from page one.

What emerged was an adventure that was fun, fast-paced, and full of heart.

Whether you've been a fan since day one of book one, or if you've recently discovered Darcy and Steve, you're in for a crazy ride that I know you're going to love!

Thank you!


Worldbuilders Charity 2017

I've mentioned before that Patrick Rothfuss is one of my all-time favorite writers. His debut novel, The Name of the Wind, left me absolutely wonderstruck.

Several years back, he started up a charity effort called Worldbuilders, a reference to creating a setting for a novel, but also a reference to Heifer International, an organization that provides in-need villages with livestock, fruit trees, clean water, bio-fuel stoves, and--best of all--education on how to make use of these things. (You can read about it here.)

Worldbuilders is my favorite charity and if you're looking for a worthy cause to support this holiday season, it gets a 5-star recommendation from me.

In fact, I love Worldbuilders so much that this year I have contributed autographed copies of Tiger Trouble to their INCREDIBLE vault of lottery prizes. Here's the blog post they did for it.

Worldbuilders has a lottery system: for every $10 that you donate, your name gets entered into the prize lottery. Right now, the prize lottery has close to 4,000 different items, with more being added every few days. It's full of autographed books, games, fantasy and sci-fi inspired jewelry, and more.

As the next few weeks unfold, I hope that you'll consider sending a donation their way.

Baltimore Book Fest Success!

This past weekend was the Baltimore Book Festival. It was my first time setting up there and I had no idea what to expect.

What happened was this: the Baltimore inner harbor was absolutely packed with authors, illustrators, artisans, and musicians. Even better, the Baltimore Comic-Con was happening a few blocks away, which brought an additional 30,000 people to the area. Then, ON TOP OF THAT, the Orioles were in town and many fans got to the harbor early to wander around before the game started.

I got all set up like so:


And then I got to meet all kinds of new readers! Lots of families came by, many of whom had sons and daughters who were taking martial arts. I used to be a martial arts instructor before I started being an English teacher, so it's always great to see new students working their way towards their next belt level.

A couple of people recognized my Camp Half-Blood shirt from a distance and wandered over to talk about Percy Jackson.

My neighbors were awesome, too. I got to know Ben and Bill from Clickworks Press and it turns out that they are huge fans of Patrick Rothfuss, Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett. E.J. Wenstrom is one of my fellow DC writers and her fantasy story about a clay golem that wants a soul is next on my reading list. Dana Fraedrich and her crew are steampunk enthusiasts and Dana has penned a tale called Skateboards, Magic, and Shamrocks that is a fun read for middle schoolers.

Great show, great books, and great people!


And now, buried at the end of this post, the news you have been waiting for.

Mecha-Mole Mayhem is about to become a final draft. It is currently in the hands of my editor, the absolutely amazing Shannon A. Thompson, receiving a final run-through for spelling and grammar. After that, I get to start making test copies with Tristan George's mind-blowing cover.

A release date is coming very, very soon! Stay tuned.

August 6th Update!

Hello there!

The Robot Rumble paperback is up on Amazon and it looks so good!

I've been putting in all kinds of crazy hours for book three, Mecha-Mole Mayhem, and I'm about to send it out to my editor later this week. Still no solid release date here, so stay tuned for more information.

My summer goal was to write, write, write.

In the past, I've fallen way short of my goal, but not this year. For any day that I was home (and for a few days while I was on vacation), I was working on writing for at least 3 hours. It was an incredible challenge that proved refreshing: I showed myself that I could really push my creativity and along the way, I came up with several new projects to work on.

I've got a few days left before I head back to being a teacher, so I'm really making sure that my time goes to good use.

Thanks for checking in, talk to you soon.



Order of business #1: IT'S SUMMER BREAK!!!!!!!!! THE SCHOOL YEAR IS DONE!!!!!!

Order of business #2: I'm done with my first re-read of Mecha-Mole Mayhem and tomorrow I'll be starting the first round of edits. Lots of work to be done!

Order of business #3:

After his smash hit of a cover for Tiger Trouble, I asked Baltimore artist Tristan George to come aboard for the rest of the series. He has been a MACHINE and this Robot Rumble cover will be available via Amazon on July 15. Look at that design, people. It has leaping, electric jump kicks, and mysterious gears! WOW!


Hey there!

I'm back with some very, very cool news! Tiger Trouble recently turned 2 years old and to celebrate,  there is an ALL-NEW cover that I can't stop looking at. Seriously, see for yourself:


This cover was created by Baltimore artist Tristan George and I cannot thank him enough for making this vision into a mind-blowing reality.

You can pick up a copy via this Amazon link.

In other exciting news, I wrapped up the first draft of book 3, Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in...Mecha-Mole Mayhem! That means I now have all kinds of editing and revising ahead of me. It's the part where I take a really, really flawed draft and start smoothing out all of the issues. Thankfully, I'm a teacher and I have my summer vacation coming up. Time to get to work!




Exciting news!

From now until Monday, February 27th, there's an Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve sale happening.

Book one, Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in...Tiger Trouble!, is FREE for your Kindle or Kindle App. (That's right, even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still get the Kindle App for your phone or tablet!) As of today, Tiger Trouble has 28 different reviews on Amazon, averaging 4.9 stars. I hope you'll check it out and add a review of your own!

Book two, Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in...Robot Rumble! is $.99 for your Kindle or Kindle App.

Also, right here on the webstore, you can get the signed limited edition Robot Rumble hardback version on sale for $20 (which includes the cost of shipping.) There are only a handful of these left, so don't miss your chance to get one.



-The FIRST EVER Ninja Steve short story is available for your Kindle! Learn all about the ninja holiday of Lumberjacktacular! Find out the difference between pine-cakes and pancakes! Discover what the samurai winter holiday is, too!

-Book 2: Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in…Robot Rumble is available in a deluxe hardcover edition, exclusively available through this website!

-Book 2: Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in…Robot Rumble! is now out in paperback and Kindle versions!!!

-Book 1: Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in...Tiger Trouble! is available on:  Amazon  |  B&N 

-If you enjoyed reading Tiger Trouble!, I’d love it if you could post a quick review on Amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes & Noble

Quick Links:

Goodreads   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Instagram   |   YouTube

New Interview!



Fellow sci-fi/fantasy writer, Autumn M. Birt, recently posted a discussion between the two of us.

I talked about my time as a martial arts instructor, the books I'd want with me if I was stranded on a desert island, and why my parents and my brother are awesome. You can read the interview here.

Plus: You can get a free Kindle/Nook/Kobo version of Autumn's novel, Born of Water, if you sign up for her email list! I'd say it's written more for a 14+ audience, so if you want to check it out, just keep that in mind. I'm 50% of the way through and it's a really, really fun read!



-The FIRST EVER Ninja Steve short story is available for your Kindle! Learn all about the ninja holiday of Lumberjacktacular! Find out the difference between pine-cakes and pancakes! Discover what the samurai winter holiday is, too!

-Book 2: Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in…Robot Rumble is available in a deluxe hardcover edition, exclusively available through this website!

-Book 2: Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in…Robot Rumble! is now out in paperback and Kindle versions!!!

-Book 1: Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in...Tiger Trouble! is available on:  Amazon  |  B&N 

-If you enjoyed reading Tiger Trouble!, I’d love it if you could post a quick review on Amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes & Noble

Quick Links:

Goodreads   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Instagram   |   YouTube

Closing Out 2016


I've been writing a new short story! It's almost ready to go!

It stars Ninja Steve and it will teach you about a major ninja holiday.

If you'd like to get it (for free!) before the rest of the world can get it on their Kindles, make sure you're signed up for the Ninja Newsletter. You can find a link in the bottom right hand corner!

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about book three. I'm still piecing it together and getting this first draft into better shape.


This past year, most of my attention has been focused on reading graphic novels. There just hasn't been a ton of sci-fi or fantasy or YA that has been able to hold my attention lately. I've got a few more books lined up for early 2017 and I'm hoping they'll get me excited to read again.



-Book 2: Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in…Robot Rumble is available in a deluxe hardcover edition, exclusively available through this website!

-Book 2: Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in…Robot Rumble! is now out in paperback and Kindle versions!!!

-Book 1: Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in...Tiger Trouble! is available on:  Amazon  |  B&N 

-If you enjoyed reading Tiger Trouble!, I’d love it if you could post a quick review on Amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes & Noble

Quick Links:

Goodreads   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Instagram   |   YouTube