FIRST HOPE released!

FIRST HOPE, the long awaited prequel to RED HOPE was released on September 19, 2019.  It is a (longish) short story about the people and events leading up to the first pages of RED HOPE.  It is available for free to anybody who signs up for my newsletter (link at right).

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BLUE HOPE – Finally Released!

It’s been a long time since Red Hope was published back in December of 2014. I’m happy to announce that Blue Hope is now finally available.  It’s longer and has more of the good stuff that went into Red Hope. I’d like to think that I’ve grown as a writer, but I’m afraid you’ll have to be the judge of it.

You can get it directly from Amazon right now for 99 cents:


The Origin Of Red Hope

Some of my best story ideas hit me when I’m mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, or driving to work. You just never know.  Back in 2012, NASA announced a very special press conference to unveil a finding by the Mars Science Laboratory – commonly called the Curiosity Rover. Rumors abounded, but the coolest one was the “F” word that shall not be mentioned. Okay, I’ll mention it. Fossils.

The conference came and went and it wasn’t fossils. However, all I could think about was how awesome it would be if they did announce fossils on Mars.  Just think of the paradigm shift that would have for the NASA budget.  So I put together a rough Chapter One of the story.  I still have that file. It’s very rough.  However, I expanded it and kept going until it eventually became a real novel. I left it with a mild cliffhanger because I always loved how movies like Inception ended – the intriguing cliffhanger.  However, I soon realized that it was quite the cliffhanger and I wanted to complete the story.  Three years later, we now have Blue Hope – the completion of the story started by Red Hope.


If you’ve never seen the Curiosity Rover, pictured above is an exact duplicate housed at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The nerdy guy shown there is for scale purposes only. It’s an enormous machine by space standards and runs with a heart of plutonium. The Curiosity Rover represents all the best scientific instrumentation we could cram into a mobile laboratory – sent to another planet and expected to function perfectly. And it is functioning perfectly.

You can find my new book, Blue Hope, available via Amazon using this link:






How To Build A Novel

There are two ways to write a novel. The first is called “pantsing” and the second is called outlining. The pantsing one means that you write by the seat of your pants. You start on page one and write with wild abandon, having no idea or plan about where you’ll end up. I did that with Red Hope. It was very painful. I threw out many chapters and ended up re-arranging lots of chapters to get the pacing right.


When I started Blue Hope, I made sure to do it correctly with a proper outline. First, it was only one page long. Then many pages with one sentence defining a chapter (item E in the image above).  Then I expanded each of those sentences into a paragraph (item F shown above).  At that point, it was fairly easy to follow it like a recipe and put in all the details to make it a full story. The image above spans nearly three years from A to G. Item B is the whole Blue Hope story idea that I wrote on a grocery shopping list.

You can find my latest book, Blue Hope, available via Amazon at this link:


And here is the link to Red Hope: