Pack Available for Pre-Order


I’ve been editing all week so my brain is so much mush right now but I wanted to stop for a second and talk a bit about my second book.

First off, the release date is now set for my second novel. On July 3, “Pack” will be released as a trade paperback and I couldn’t be more excited for it.

Click here to pre-order. 

My elevator pitch for the book isn’t terribly strong (it’s about a family that’s falling apart. And they happen to be from a long line of werewolves), so if you’re on the fence, here’s what was in my head while I was writing it. I wanted to write something with a lot of colorful characters. I wanted to write something that spoke to family and how hard it can be. I wanted to write something where werewolves ripped bad guys apart. I wanted write something fantastical grounded in my home state.

I think I got there. Like a lot of projects, when I was done with it I felt kind of blah about it but the more I go back and make changes (shoutout to my editor Alexandra Hess) the more I’m not just proud of it, I really like it. I think it’s a solid story that sneaks up on you and if you relate to the characters at all, this book is going to get you.

Of course I don’t want to write anything straight forward so I also peppered the book with a history of the fictional Nebraska town where the story is set. I’m told that’s kind of a neat. I hope so.

Last thing – pre-orders are weighted heavily when it comes to publishing, so if you are interested in this book, pre-ordering it is a big help. I appreciate each and every person who reads my work and thank you for the support. If you read it and like it (or don’t), let me know. I love talking about it.




The Atomic Weight of Cheese


Find The Atomic Weight of Cheese Here

“My friends and I started a podcast” might be the “Come listen to my band” of the mid 2010s because it’s a way to hang out with friends and produce something creative (that you then beg your friends and family to listen to). That being said, my friends and I started a podcast and I want to give you a quick pitch why you should listen.

“The Atomic Weight of Cheese,” features myself, Chad Plambeck and Steph Romanski talking about “cult cinema,” a catch-all term that covers B movies, genre flicks and the like. Every other week we pick a topic, usually thrown at us by real life, and tie it back into cult cinema because, as I say every time we record, “cult cinema is real life and real life is, frequently, cult cinema.

A quick word on my cohosts. Chad Plambeck, proprietor of microbrewedreveiws.com, has introduced me to a wide width and breath of cult cinema in our 15 or so years of friendship. He’s a great writer, a voracious film fan, a gifted storyteller and one of the nicest men on the planet. He’s the guy who’s got the knowledge and knows how to swing it. Steph Romanski, one of my favorite people, runs in slightly different cultural circles and brings to the conversation a ton of perspective on video games, fan culture, 80s culture and some of the weirder corners of the Internet. She’s also a tech person extraordinaire and is the only reason the show is working at all. You can find her at stephromanski.com. Then there’s me.

So far we’ve covered dental trauma, Star Wars (you know, the most popular thing on the planet), the death of the video store and we have big plans coming down the pipe. This week’s show is about B-Fest (pictured above), a 24-hour B-movie festival in Illinois that I’ve been going to for over a decade. It’s cult cinema expertise wrapped in best friend booberry, a bit of perspective with a whole lotta fart jokes and the breeziest, easiest 45 minutes to an hour in your podcast feed. I love doing the show and hope you enjoy it too.

You can follow The Atomic Weight of Cheese on iTunes and other podcatchers, on Twitter @awocpodcast, on Facebook at The Atomic Weight of Cheese, on Tumblr and a few other joints. We’d love reviews and all that but, in all honesty, we love doing the show and love sharing it. If you’re a podcast person, please let us know what you think.


On Writing Warm Ups


I haven’t fallen down the Tumblr hole quite yet, but I’m on the precipice.

For the uninitiated Tumblr is a social network of mini blogging sites carved into intricately fine niches and with its own way of sharing, interacting, praising and innovating. It’s a singular thing and, like Twitter, you either get it or you don’t. I’m not sure I get it yet but I’m almost there, at which point I will fall into a hole, never to return.

My Tumblr, which I’m not sharing yet, is stuffed with writing advice, tips and tricks and I’ve noticed a trend. Some people do warm ups or a couple hundred words of whatever is in their head to get their fingers moving and their brain pumping. Not a bad idea if, for example, you have a block of time in which you can write, uninterrupted. And, like anything, if it works for you do it and do it proudly.

Let me tell you about the last time I tried to write.

I was in the gymnastics studio where my daughter was taking class (she’s great, by the way. Fearless and enthusiastic, using force of will to make up for whatever she lacks in grace) and I was squeezed into a child’s sized chair. Less than two feet away from me was a young boy, whatever you are after you are a Toddler. Creeper Pain in the Ass, I think is the clinical term. This up and comer wanted candy from his mom, who had some in her bag so he asked “Mommy, candy”. She said no, but he got stuck on a loop. It took him about two seconds to say “Mommy, candy,” and before the “y” in “candy” was completely out of his mouth he was on to the “m” turning it into a sort of chant, pausing only for breath. When the mom ignored him (smart phones are a powerful thing) he took his act on tour, eventually making it to me where he stared dead at me and said “Mommy, candy” over and over with the mommy in question not paying attention.

I finally piped up, saying “I don’t have any candy, bud,” the “bud” being thrown in to prove I wasn’t upset or creepy. This caused the mother to take notice and quiet the kid and I went on with my novel (knocking on the door of 50,000 words).

Why tell this story? Because it’s the only time I have. It’s a full, mostly uninterrupted hour and even that doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Unless I’m up early (like now) or up late this is the only time during the normal, waking day I have to write and I have it once a week, twice if I’m lucky. And I really like sleeping.

Bottom line: If a kid chanting in my ear isn’t going to stop me from writing, I’m not going to let my brain being a little slow do it. That’s one of the joys of discovery writing – picking right up where you left off, even if your brain was on fire. And, yeah, like anything sometimes you have a slow start. And, yeah, sometimes you have a bad writing day. But I’ve found that thinking about it before hand, like on the drive over to the gymnastics studio, and then diving right in works for me and when I lock in, that’s a glorious feeling. I wish I had it more often.

Again, that’s not to say warm ups aren’t valuable. I like reading them. It’s just not how I work right now and with a year where I’m hoping to increase my output, I am going to stay away from them for right now. Come back in a few months when I’m extolling the virtues of warm ups and asking for suggestions.

You know. Whatever works.