Published: The Tiny Giant

full cover final

Look at that, I wrote a book. The Tiny Giant is published, available on Amazon and from my online store, and it’s really, really better than I could have hoped. I’ve been so busy with the last iteration, then the nuts and bolts of publishing, everything else got shoved to the side. A few things to know, for the writers interested in these things…

I wrote this book five times.

The first draft was about 83,000 words. The published edition is around 45,000 words.

The final draft has a completely different ending, four new characters, and holds the third “aging” of the main character—from 8 to 12 to 11.

The first draft had 18 long chapters. The final has 35 short ones.

A whole plot line moved to the next book, and a bunch of fancy fantasy world-building crap just disappeared.

The entire process took me four years.

I used an editor and a professional artist/designer at the end. (DO THIS if you possibly can.)

Also, I cried, I was on fire, I was depressed, and I laughed out loud. This is not a process for the faint of heart or those lacking perseverance. There are two things that I think got me through it.

  1. Be Too Dumb to Quit: A lot of what I’ve accomplished in life, well, I got to it this way. My first professional job had a glitch in the hiring process, and I had to temp for a while until a position opened up. I called the partner every week until he finally said he had something. I ran a half-marathon. I wrote a novel. I could have quit at any point, but I didn’t want to tell people I quit. I did all sort of drastic rewriting and revising and improving—because I’m too dumb to quit. It may not be an easy way to live your life, but I’ve been pretty happy with the results to date.
  2. They Can’t All Be Winners: Sometimes, stuff just doesn’t work. Characters, ideas, story lines, words. If you had a dozen children, odds are at least one wouldn’t work out like you’d imagined. I had to make painful, heart-wrenching decisions to get to the end with this. I had to cut things I really liked, true, but I also had to admit that some of it WASN’T GOOD. As much as I wanted the construct of magic I’d made to work, it wasn’t a winner. It was dragging everything down into the Pit of Incomprehensibility. When I took it out, everything was better. (I realize I may be opening the kimono a little much here, but I’m nothing if not OPEN.) On the good side of this, it shows that you’re taking risks when you have things that don’t work. I have a couple of short stories in my drawer that won’t ever get developed because THEY ARE NOT WINNERS. S’alright. I learned.

There will be a sequel, and I’ll be shopping it to traditional publishers as a series when I’m a few chapters in. I didn’t do much of that with The Tiny Giant. I felt like I wanted to learn what I was doing without the distraction–maybe that was dumb, but I still have a book and the publishers are still there. In the meantime, I’ve been doing school visits and that is terrific fun. Kids have the best questions–I might do a whole post about that experience.

If you want a fun, easy summer read, The Tiny Giant is for you. If you have kids in the 9/10+ age group around, this is great summer reading for them. There’s adventure, a dragon, and the unexpected. There are hard decisions. There are some very funny bits. Get it signed at my online store at Little Voices Publishing, or head over the Amazon and use that Prime shipping.

Now I’m working on Bitches and Dead People–all the stories are written and I’m working with a different editor on those, one with specific expertise in short fiction and some familiarity with the horror genre. It’s some fantastic writing, and I can’t wait to share it later this year.  Until then, I’ll be around a little more. Thanks for being here.


PS. Isn’t that cover the most gorgeous thing ever? Steve Ogden at Steve Ogden Art did the cover, book design, and little illustrations for each chapter head. Check him out on your fave media platform for his comics and the behind the scenes on The Tiny Giant. Here’s one of my favorite chapter illustrations. Bahahaha….IMG_7279

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Suburban Legend

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don’t dip your toes there–
might not have toes if you do
‘ware the rockadile


I went for a very short walk in the woods where I’ve set The Tiny Giant, and I found this guy in the little stream, painted eye and all.  I stub my toe on some kind of magic every time I come down here.

That, or someone threw their pet alligator in the outhouse a very long time ago.

Introducing: The Tiny Giant

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Okay, fortune cookie.  I did.

Here’s an elevator pitch for The Tiny Giant, the novel I’ve been working on for nearly three years.

The Tiny Giant follows the adventures of a very small giant and a suburban boy with a big imagination, brought together to explore a hidden landscape of magical beasts and threats in a struggle to right a centuries old injustice.

Boiling the 70,000 word novel down into 40 words is an exercise in beating one sentence to death, but I’m getting close.  The Tiny Giant is a suburban fantasy, a novel set in familiar surroundings for many of us.  The lush green Pacific Northwest provides a beautiful, albeit damp, backdrop.  Imagine waking up one morning to find that you’ve been brought into a world you never knew existed, just because you planted a seed on a whim?

Dan, one of our two protagonists, is a 12-year-old boy with a fairly normal life until he meets Zeeble, the 18″ tall giant in his garden.  Everything goes a bit sideways from there.  The woods behind Dan’s house are not what they seem, and a world Dan never suspected brings him new wonders and dangerous enemies.  Exploring themes of loyalty, justice, and making up for the mistakes of the past, Zeeble must overcome centuries of inaction to do the only right thing.

As for me, I’m preparing the cover letter and other materials to submit to agents and publishers.  I’m working out what the second novel for these characters looks like, and I’m excited to start writing it.  The working title is The Unnatural Giant, and after writing about 150,000 words in total to get the first book ready for its close-up, I suspect I’ll be a little better at it this time.

I’ve had that fortune from a long-forgotten restaurant for about 10 years.  I’ve spent three years working and reworking The Tiny Giant.  I have never been more nervous about being a novelist than I am right this minute, on the verge of rejection or acceptance.  And we step off the high dive and …. see what happens.

How could anyone not write a novel set in these woods?

How could anyone not write a novel set in these woods?