Write In the Valley 2015

I’ll be down in Sumner, WA for the Seventh Annual Write in the Valley event at the Sumner public library tomorrow, Oct 10, 2015 starting at 12:00 PM and going till 3PM. I’ll be a panelist there, along with Mark Teppo, Adrianne Lee and Patrick Swenson.  We’ll be talking about surviving in the jungles of publishing. I can’t figure out if I’m Simba, Timon or Pumbaa in this show. I guess we’ll see.

And in case you missed it, The Tacoma News Tribune via the Puyallup Herald did a nice piece on the Write In The Valley event, and interviewed me as well. 

Hope to see you all there!

Two Quick, But Important, Reminders

First: I’ll be signing books at the University Bookstore in Bellevue, WA tomorrow evening (Tuesday, Sept 29th) starting around 6:00-6:30 PM (depending on the crowd). Seems some of my advertisements said 6:00 and some said 6:30, so I’m betting we’ll lean toward the 6:30PM timeframe. Buy your copies of NOWHERE WILD before the signing starts please, as the registers close at 7:00 PM I believe. I’ll sign as late as needed.

Second, you have just over 24 hours left to enter the contest over on Goodreads for signed copies of Nowhere Wild. Contest ends at midnight on Tuesday!

See, I told you this would be quick. And important!

Another NOWHERE WILD Giveaway

It’s been a few weeks since the launch of Nowhere Wild, so I thought I’d spin up another giveaway over on Goodreads. This time, I’m giving away two signed, first edition, hardcover copies.

Contest ends September 29th, but don’t wait!

And if you have read the book, please review it either on Goodreads or Amazon or Chapters or wherever you bought it. I do appreciate it!

New Additions to My Office

A couple of new additions to my office this weekend.

First, a framed copy of the cover for Nowhere Wild. Absolutely awesome! (if I do say so myself)


Second, a new office chair. This is, by far, the most expensive office chair I have ever owned. It’s a Brezza Management Chair from Relax The Back, with all the bells and whistles, including the headrest. My old chair, something I bought at Office Max years ago for less than $200, was never very comfortable, and certainly not adjustable. The seat cushion wore out after a couple of years, and lately it had developed a tendency to tip from side to side as I worked. Hopefully, this one won’t do that. I’m still trying to dial in the settings, but so far, so good.


Read an Excerpt of Nowhere Wild!

I’ve added a link on the sidebar of my site to an excerpt of Nowhere Wild, so you can get a little taste of what the story is like and about before you buy.

Here’s a direct link.


So Now What?

The launch party is over. (What a night!)

Nowhere Wild is now available in bookstores online and in the real world, all over the US and Canada!

Nowhere Wild was even featured on John Scalzi’s Big Idea!

So now what?

  • I’ll have another author event at University Books in Bellevue, WA on Sept 29th at 6:30 PM, then another event on October 10 in Sumner, WA (more details to come on those events as they get closer)
  • When I’m out travelling, I will look for opportunities to do other signings. If you’re a bookstore owner in the Pacific Northwest, and want me to visit, send me a note via my contact page, and we’ll see what we can set up.
  • I’ll continue doing giveaways and contests here, and on Goodreads as time permits. The current giveaway on Goodreads closes at midnight tonight, so make sure you enter today!
  • If you want a signed copy of Nowhere Wild, please contact the University Bookstore in Seattle. They have some signed copies on hand, and will send to anywhere in the US.
  • If you have read Nowhere Wild (and liked it), please, please, please, put a review up on whatever site you bought it, or on Goodreads. Word of mouth is what helps most to sell books these days, and every review counts.

Today, I’m taking a day to enjoy the experience, handle some personal business and relax, before the real world comes-a-calling again tomorrow.

And, oh yes, I need to get back to some serious writing. I took last week off for my road trip, but it’s time to get cranking on the next book. The words, the words, they build up in my brain, and must be made free.

Launching your debut novel is (by definition) a once in a lifetime event, and what a thrill it was! How do I describe all the emotions?

Should I start with walking in to University Books in Seattle and seeing this for the first time?


Or should I talk about giving my first speech at a book event? Pam Binder did a great job of introducing me, and after a few moments, my nerves settled down, and I was able to talk about the process and the book. At least I think that’s what I talked about. It’s all kind of a blur now.


Then we moved on the my first book signing. My friends Mike and Stina got the first signed copies this night.


I gave away some door prizes as well, with New York Times Best-Selling Author Kevin O’Brien, and PNWA President Pam Binder looking on.


Then signed some more books, including some for my friend Scottland and his nephew Shayne.


Then, we wound up the fantastic evening with my family close by.


What a great night!

NowhereWildCoverTonight is the big night! The official Nowhere Wild launch party will be happening at the University Bookstore in Seattle. Get there early to buy your copy. Festivities will be starting promptly at 7:00 PM with a speech and reading followed by a signing.

As I’ve said before, there will be some special guests, door prizes and mementoes to celebrate the big occasion. There will also be cookies. My wife’s home-made cookies. And brownies.

Hope to see you all there!

I wrote Nowhere Wild, in part, because I loved the stories about living and surviving in Canada’s North. I could have set it in Alaska, or the mountains of Idaho or Montana. But ever since I read Farley Mowat’s Lost in the Barrens as a kid, I wanted to travel to the North to follow the paths taken by the voyageurs who explored Canada by canoe. As I got older, I knew that wasn’t ever going to happen.

Last week however, my brother-in-law Eric, and I set out on a different kind of trip… a road trip that would take us some 3600 km from Edmonton, Alberta to Thompson, Manitoba and back to Calgary, Alberta. It was one of those once in a lifetime trips I doubt I’ll ever be able to do again, but one we both enjoyed tremendously.

Below is the rough map of the route we followed. We added a significant number of kilometers on side trips, especially around Thompson, but this is core of the route. We overnighted in Edmonton, Prince Albert, Thompson (3 nights), Yorkton and Calgary (2 nights).

I’m not going to go into a day by day log (I took lots of notes for my own use), but a few highlights:

– It rained a lot last week. Apparently Eric and I had a knack for pulling clouds across the country. It was raining when we left Seattle on Friday night, started raining when we landed in Edmonton, and we spent much of our drive east in the rain. The weather cleared up for our time in Thompson, but the weather up there changes fast and frequently. We took rain jackets with us everywhere we went.

– Northern Alberta is gorgeous. Rolling, green hills, grand views and picturesque valleys everywhere you look.

– The little town of Smeaton, Saskatchewan, is where the boreal forest really begins. One minute, you’re in a land of farm fields, old granaries and wetlands, the next, you’re surrounded by a forest that stretches on for hundreds of kilometers. It’s that quick, and that thick.

– We had a great time in Thompson itself. The people were so nice, and so excited to hear about Nowhere Wild. Especially helpful was Tanna Teneycke (pictured below) at the Heritage North Museum in Thompson. She showed us around the museum and answered all of our questions. What a great ambassador for the North!


– While in Thompson, we treated ourselves to a float plane trip up to Gauer Lake on Wings over Kississing. Cyp, our pilot, gave us a great tour of where much of the action of Nowhere Wild takes place. It’s fascinating to actually see the places I’ve built in my mind over the last seven years in reality. You truly don’t get a good feel for how big the North is, until you fly over it.


A view from the south end of Gauer Lake looking north. This lake is huge!DSC_0138

– We spent two days in Thompson. then started the long drive back to Calgary, this time heading the southern route across the plains of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Some people might think that would be a dull trip, but I loved it. I grew up on a small farm in Southern Ontario, and I’ve always wanted to see the really big operations on the plains. We were lucky enough to be coming through during the wheat harvest, and the combines were out in the field. For a farm kid, there’s no better time than that.

– On our last day in Calgary, we had planned to swing up to Banff and Lake Louise, but the weather was so bad (snow / sleet in August!), we decided to hang out and check out the local bookstores. At the Chapters Books on Dalhousie, I was actually able to sign 6 copies of Nowhere Wild which had arrived early. Whoever buys those on Tuesday will get a special treat!

Overall, we had an amazing time. I learned a lot, and will use much of what I picked up in my next book. Sure, I wish I had been able to do this trip last year (it would have helped me to avoid some embarrassing mistakes in Nowhere Wild), but it wasn’t possible then, and I’ll just have to use creative license as my defense when people call me on the issues. Hopefully the mistakes don’t detract from the reader’s enjoyment of the story.

If you love the outdoors, I highly recommend taking this trip (or one like it). Bring a great travel partner, and vehicle with good shocks, as many of the roads are quite rough. But if you do go, make sure you get out of the vehicle and talk to the people there. They’re as much a part of the north as the lakes and the weather. And a whole lot warmer.


A little housekeeping

I haven’t changed my blog theme in a couple of years, so I’m playing around with it today. Colors / appearance could change frequently. I probably won’t put a LOT of neon yellow and green on the site, but you never know.


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