I'm nearly done with first rewrites of Dead  But Not Gone. Since the season is upon us, go to https://youtu.be/di_EhZHW_MA to  find out the untold part of the Christmas Story.

I finished the first rewrite of Dead But Not Gone and I'm on the second. This book could be out before April. I need to get my mind onto cover design. Steve & I usually to and for a couple of times before deciding. For Dead Prey, I asked for opinions of whether to have an image of Kiki on the cover. The majority ruled and there she is. Steve picked out the art work and he did a great job. Yeah I now think of her as Kiki. IF we get to a decision point I will again seek opinions.

I like where this book went on the rewrites. It changed during the writing several times from a dystopic novel to a path forward. I WANT FEEDBACK! so when the book comes out, be prepared to pepper me with you opinions. There is a lot of room for those in this book as it's a story of what's possible with the dichotomy within the United States today. 

I started working on the next book, and will come up with a title to at least use on the files to keep them straight.  It will change as I write. Again, the story is about something that's a hot issue today. That forces me to research and I generally learn way more than I want while doing that. DBNG forced me to learn about the Constitution.

TUSCON conference is this weekend! Steve is visiting so we're laying out our path through the sessions. People don't understand this is the BEST writer's conference deal ever. So much of it is about writing and characters and plots. And incidentally some are about monsters! They show movies for the whole conference as in 24 hrs as day. 

I've finished first draft of latest Kiki and Nick tale and am going through it now. Just threw out 5 chapters. Stuff that didn't push the story ahead. I'm still not sure that the ending is what I want.

I'm really foundering with Dead But Not Gone. I toned it down, but am not so happy with it. I'm going  to let it sit for a while and germinate. (That's a writer's term.) I may be asking for help so keep reading the blogs.

Steve Linebaugh and I had a great time at the TUSCON Sci-Fi conference. It was his first time and he soon was overwhelmed. The days are as full as you can stand. Yes, some sessions STARTED at 1:00 am. Movies continuously too. It actually is a lot more than Sci-fi. It's a writer's conference in disguise. And the price is $55 for three days. Even with inflation. It is the best conference deal you can get, plus the people are great. SO I'M TELLING YOU TO SET THE DATES ASIDE FOR NEXT YEAR! Last year was cancelled, but the year before, a movie was being filmed there. (Yeah, it was sci-fi) Could happen again. Your chance to be in a movie.

Thank you for your patience in waiting for me to stumble through getting Dead Prey out. AND thank you for buying. I need the encouragement sales represent. I am about 2/3 through first draft of Dead But Not Gone. It continues to morph as I write. Presently I'm awaiting inspiration on how to finish a particularly exciting scene. It'll come about 3 am some morning, soon I hope..

Here's the prologue of my next book, Dead Ware. Hope it makes you want to read more.

Prologue 

Kiki Russell sat well back from the dirty window in the St. Petersburg flat studying a wide- screen monitor sitting on the floor. It was connected to a tripod-mounted camera with a twenty power telescopic lens aimed through the window. Twelve blocks away, a man emerged onto the roof of a three story apartment building. He was not remarkable to look at–thin, scraggly beard, shaggy brown hair, and a pasty white complexion from too many hours indoors. 

She could clearly see his black tee shirt with the image of a dragon devouring the world on it. He shook a cigarette from a pack that had been rolled in his sleeve, crumpled the empty pack, tossed it on the ground and lit up using a Zippo style lighter pulled from his tight black jeans. 

She shook her head. Everyone in Russia smoked. Leon Ivanov, nickname Dragon Boy, was her assignment, and it wouldn’t be cigarettes that killed him. He didn’t look like one of the top hackers in Russia, but then, what do they look like? 

“We capture him for Nick?” Kiki nodded. “Doesn’t look too hard,” said Zyra, sitting to her left. 

Zyra was a Russian-born ex-Mossad agent who had contracted with Kiki and Nick several times before. She was tall, very slender with hair cut close to her scalp, black skin and blacker eyes. Calling her deadly was like describing a Mac truck as a pickup. She liked close work with a knife, watching as the light of life faded from her victim’s eyes.

Went to  celebration of Life for one of my UNM gymnastics teammates this past weekend. John Charzuk was an amazing man, bringing so much to so many. Glad I got to travel through part of your life with you. It was great to see see many of my old teammates. AND they supported me by buying books. Thanks, Bros.

My editing group has lost a couple of members and we're looking to fill their seats. We meet weekly for about 2 hours to read and listen and help each other. Interested?

I have been writing away on Dead But Not Gone. Over 200 pages so far. As always, the story has morphed as I write. Went to Pinetop (one of my favorite places to write) and almost got trapped. Three of the four routes back down the mountain were closed or restricted due to wildfires. Finally took a route through Payson. Added 1+ hours to trip as I had to go through Phoenix. Editing group is holding my feet to the fire about writing and editing. I am so thankful to have them. With summer here, members are present and gone on a regular basis. We're back up to 5 members. It's a good group.

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