Coming Soon

The Story Pipeline

Every writer has their own process for creating stories. Mine is basically a Story Pipeline, in which new stories enter the pipe as raw ideas and exit, hopefully, as polished and publishable stories. At any given time, I therefore have multiple projects at different stages of development.

To Be Published

Here are the projects that have recently exited from the Story Pipeline, which means that I’ve placed them on my Publication Schedule.

Bitter Days (novelette)
Death Comes to Town: (novella)


# Project Type WC Pages
1. Finders, Keepers
In a world where clones are the new slave class, private detective Cal McCallister has just been paid a lot of cash to find an unregistered clone named Claudia who’s been snatched by a black market team of clone hunters. He’ll need all of his skills as an ex-soldier and an ex-cop to bring Claudia home. One thing for sure, he’s going to need the help of his dog Fen.


An Inflection Point story
SF, Crime, Action 42.3K 170

Second Draft

# Project Type WC Pages
1. Pivot Point
Jacques Guinyard is an airship capitain for the French Empire in 1832, fighting a deadly and unwinnable war against the forces of Faerie, led by the ruthless and implacable Elves. When he’s seconded to the mysterious Ministère de l’Innovation, he discovers that there’s more than one way to wage war.


The Long War #1
Steampunk, Military, Fantasy 20K 80

First Draft

# Project Type WC Pages
1. Hunting Expedition
When the Forever Inn, a magical tavern that appears in different times and places throughout the multiverse, settles in the Triassic, a diverse group of tourists goes on a hunting expedition. When their transportation is wrecked, they’re left stranded far from the inn. If they don’t get back in time, they’ll be trapped in the Triassic forever.


A Tale of the Forever Inn

Fantasy 10K 40
2. Shaman
All Kateri has ever wanted to be is a shaman. She’s helped her tribe’s beloved shaman since she was a child. But when the path to shaman is closed to her after her mentor’s death, she resolves to take matters into her own hands. She will be shaman, and neither restless spirits nor the Scourge that haunts the winter wastes will divert her from her chosen path.


A Forlorn Hopes story

SF/Fantasy 12K 48
3. The Fast and the Curious
Rocco Fitch has accidentally become the owner of the Road, a magical highway that provides quick transport to widely separated destinations…for those who can survive the dangers that plague the Road. He’s barely even explored the Road, so he’s surprised when a Fey woman and her deathly ill human husband show up on his doorstep, asking for his help in transporting them to a Fey realm. Because the Road doesn’t just go to the terrestrial destinations he’s seen, it’s also the Road to Faerie. And if he’s not careful, his curiosity is going to get him killed.


Roadwerks, Episode 2 (sequel to “Road Trip”)
Urban Fantasy 10K 40
4. Last Day on the Job
Lydio Malik is accustomed to danger. He’s been the royal bodyguard for eight-year-old Princess Analisa, the sole heir to the throne of Salasia, for almost her entire life. But now he’s leaving for a new and less stressful life outside the royal palace. It’s his last day on the job. What could possibly go wrong?


A Story of the Thousand Kingdoms
A Royal Protectors Story
Fantasy 8K 32
5. The Mad Diver of Mistveil
Brant Halvar is about to compete in the most important skyboard race he’s ever been in. The stakes — the winner gets to join the elite Sky League. Brant and his team are ecstatic about the opportunity, until things go horribly wrong.


A Story of the Thousand Kingdoms
In the Big Sky Country series

Fantasy 60K 240
6. The Last Roundup
It’s 2045 and news journalist Benita Preston turns down a career-making political assignment to cover the “Last Roundup.” Due to sinking land and rising seas, the famous horses of Chincoteague are being moved to a new and safer habitat. But this story will be bigger, far bigger, than anyone expected.

SF 8K 32


# Project Type WC Pages
1. Bad Neighborhood
When the Forever Inn, a magical tavern that appears in different times and places throughout the multiverse, drops into the middle of a zombie apocalypse, the guests and staff are faced with some hard questions. What can they do to help bring humanity back from the brink of extinction? And how many of them are going to die doing it?


A Tale of the Forever Inn
SF 15K 60
2. Zombie Hunter
Jack Johnson’s having a bad day. First. there’s an epidemic that looks suspiciously like a man-made zombie plague. Second, his Internet is down at home. So he goes to the office to research how to survive an apocalypse. Now he’s trapped on the 88th floor of a Manhattan skyrise, with no power, stairways full of hungry zombies…and many of his co-workers are sick.


A Zombie story (Prequel to SkyriZe)
SF 10K 40
3. A Most Dangerous Man
Seventeen years ago, a powerful man caused the death of Nonus’ daughter. In two days, Nonus will finally have his day in court…if he can survive long enough to appear. It’s Demetrius’ job to keep his client alive. Welcome to the courts of Mozanya, which are even more dangerous than the city’s bloody streets.


A Story of the Thousand Kingdoms
A Story of the Keeper’s Guild
Fantasy 8K 32
4. The Threefold Revenge
Piker’s a City Guardsman in the fantastical city of Mozanya with a bad attitude and a deep-seated prejudice against Neferian refugees. Pageeda’s a homeless Neferian refugee who doesn’t take abuse from anyone. They’re like oil and water, except oil burns.


A Story of the Thousand Kingdoms
Episode 2 (of 5) of Pageeda & Scuffee
Fantasy 24K 96
5. Code Red Emergency
Ex-Marine Rocco Fitch is trying to figure out how to make money from the magic road that he accidentally purchased. Karnatz, the orc warlord, craves revenge for the massacre of his raiding party. Detective Fabiola Gray wants to bring home her missing relatives. They’re all on a collision course…for mayhem.


A Story of the Changed World
Roadwerks #3 (Sequel to Road Trip)
Fantasy 16K 64
6. Hell-Cats of the Burning Sands
Centuries after the cataclysmic Fall that wrecked the solar system, a feudalistic scavenger society still survives in underground enclaves on war-ravaged Mercury. The Eltanin Confederation is the dominant power, thanks to their stranglehold on the World Road, an underground tunnel system built by the Ancients that encircles the entire globe. While the Eltanins prosper, many enclaves suffer…and they’ve had enough. When a nomadic tribe known as the Hell-Cats take Princess Jelene Steele hostage, they get far more they bargained for.


— From the After the Fall series
SF 15K 60


# Project Type WC Pages
1. Clash by Day
Emily Dunkirk and her band of art historians and mercenaries have rescued a long-missing cache of priceless artwork. Now all they have to do is escape their relentless pursuers. The obstacles to their success are fierce, and they’ll find more than they ever bargained for. Sometimes the greatest works of art are painted in blood.


The Monumentalists #2
SF 22K 88
2. Unleashed
Winton Marshfel is a powerful mage and the designated Protector of the King of Salasia. When the king’s enemies launch a no-holds-barred attack, they’ll find out just how dangerous he is when he’s fully…unleashed.


A Story of the Thousand Kingdoms
Fantasy 15K 60
3. Discovery
When the crew of the exploration ship Exultation begin exploring Spark, one of the many moons of a super-Jovian gas giant, they’re fascinated by the electrically-based life forms and ecology of this bizarre world. What they discover next is unprecedented…in so many ways.

SF 20K 67
4. The Long March
Ser Belfort Caratakus commands the 8th Legion, raised by the domain of Kavondir to fight alongside the King’s forces in Zemebelis’s interminable civil war. But when conflict erupts between your King and your liege lord back in Kavondir, what do you do?

A Story of the Thousand Kingdoms
Directly related to the Silent Knight series

SF 15K 60
5. Big Sky Country
When Brant Halvar saw the skyboarders racing through the clouds at his first Festival, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. Now he’s trekking north to make his dreams come true — but he’s got no idea of the obstacles he’ll be facing.

A Story of the Thousand Kingdoms

Fantasy 100K 333

On Hiatus

Here are some projects that I’ve done some work on but which are temporarily on hiatus, usually because of priority changes (such as an anthology submission taking precedence) or story problems (for which the best solution is sometimes to just let them sit and percolate for a while). Any of these stories could go back to being actively worked at any time.

# Project Type WC Pages
1. SkyRiZe
Jack Johnson’s a computer nerd. He never expected to survive the zombie apocalypse, but he did. And in the worst place possible: the 88th floor of a skyrise in Manhattan, the most zombie-infested city in the country, maybe even the world. He’s got to escape the deadly tower he’s trapped in, plan how to survive long-term and, oh yeah, maybe eventually figure out how to reboot civilization.


A Zombie story
SF 30K 120
2. Time Vortex
Teenager Alex Nelson is caught in a temporal vortex, along with his entire neighborhood, when a physics experiment at the nearby university goes terribly wrong. It’s a story of narrow escapes, disaster, time travel and dinosaurs.

SF 18K 72
3. Hunters
Jerry Bartholomew McIntyre is just one of a small group of humans that have been systematically kidnapped by a rogue group of Fey. By all indications, their captors are preparing for some sort of hunt to fuel a Fey blood ceremony, with the humans as prey. What the Fey don’t know is…there’s a ringer in the hunt.


A Story of the Changed World

Urban Fantasy 20K 80
4. The Dragon Problem
Lady Wendilla, the young daughter of the Baron of Moravia, is unhappy. What she wants is True Love. What she’s getting, thanks to her father, is a Contest to find a husband for her. All the contestants have to do is rid Moravia of its pesky little dragon problem. And face down a very upset noble lady with a mind of her own.


A Slightly Bent Fairy Tale

Fantasy 10K 40
5. The Deep Dive
There’s a civil war brewing between the Belters and the Inner Worlds. When a fugitive Belter activist is pinpointed by his enemies, it’s hunter vs. hunted through the treacherous clouds of Jupiter.

SF 50K 200
6. The Silent Knight
Ser Kedric Hawkthorn thought it was strange when the Boy-King sent him on a diplomatic mission to a rebellious province — he’s mute because of an old injury. But when his liege betrays him, hey, sometimes it’s good to be in a rebellious province, right?

A Story of the Thousand Kingdoms
Episode 1 of The Silent Knight series

Fantasy 20K 67

What the Heck is this Pipeline Thingee?

So, what happens inside the Story Pipeline? I like to work on multiple stories at a time, shepherding each project through a well-defined step-by-step process (that’s at least somewhat reminiscent of my career as a software developer — hey, if the training still works, just use it). Each story goes through the following steps:

  • Concept: Working out the details of the story.
    Activities: Brainstorming, discussions, research, basic world building and outlining.
  • First Draft: The raw act of getting the story written.
    Activities: Writing and receiving chapter critiques by writing group.
  • Second Draft: Tuning the story based on chapter critiques and a self-evaluation.
    Activities: Editing, writing and analysis.
  • Alpha: (Optional) One or two alpha reviewers critique the story for structural problems.
    Activities: Emails and discussions.
  • Beta: A group of beta reviewers read the story and critique whether it’s working.
    Activities: Emails and discussions.
  • Final: Story issues and editorial changes from the Beta Review are addressed.
    Activities: Editing, writing and analysis.
  • Complete: The story is ready to exit the pipeline and face the cruel, harsh world.
    Activities: Line-editing, proofing, ebook generation and print template generation.