Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Writing Conference

I almost feel like “The” in the title should be extra-bold and hyphenated, because that’s sort of how I feel about the 2016 Pikes Peak Writers Conference (#ppwc2016 for all you hashtag types). This is only my second time here (2015 was my first iteration) and it’s only the second writing conference I’ve ever attended. But it’s great reconnecting with faculty from last year (Kevin Ikenberry and Angie Hodapp) as well as meeting new faculty (Michelle Major, Andra Watkins, and Aaron Michael Ritchey–Mr Ritchey isn’t new faculty; he was last year’s MC. But this is the first time I’ve seen him give a seminar), and meeting new conference attendees. Check it out here:

Pikes Peak Writers

Writing is hard. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The publishing industry is brutal, the querying process a nightmare (which is one of the reasons I paid to publish — in Australia!!!). You pour your soul into your work, you tweak it, it gets mauled by your beta-readers. You discover it would have been far wiser to pay attention during those tedious grammar lessons in grade school and junior high, vice doodling in your Trapper Keeper, because you have no idea what the difference is between passive and active voice, or how to write in the latter. So, to be at a conference (especially one as welcoming and inclusive as PPWC) and be surrounded by so many like-minded, supportive fellow-writers and generous industry professionals, is incredibly energizing. There’s a tremendous sense of, ‘one team, one fight.’ One person’s success is everyone’s success.

If you write, go to a writers conference. It doesn’t have to be this one (I grew up in Colorado Springs and have family here; my sister KL Cooper writes, too). But you should definitely go to one. There’s so much you have to know if you’re passionate about writing for a living. It’s not just about cranking out novels on a regular basis. You have to be savvy on social media (and accessible); you can’t be a one-dimensional. You have to be prolific. You have to build a brand. -sigh- As has been the case my entire life, I launched myself at something incredibly difficult without considering any of the second or third-order effects. There’s nothing to do but crush it…

At long last, VENDETTA has arrived. Read it and weep…

Ok, don’t weep. But if you must, may your tears be those of joy as the heroic protagonists of VENDETTA run amuck while confounding the plans of the dastardly Visconti.

VENDETTA is now in print. A copy of it resides in the National Library of Australia, or something (my publisher is Australian). And it’s available on Amazon:


As magnificent (and kind of sobering…and humbling) as it is to be published, there are many more hurdles ahead.

The first: sell a metric shit-ton of books.

The second: maintain this website and blog with a little more consistency.

The third: keep writing.

At some point, I’d like to start posting excerpts from END OF DAYS. That requires me to HAVE excerpts…