Wow, it’s almost 2019!

How was your year? Did it go by quickly for you? Slowly?

For me, 2018 went by both quickly and slowly. Some good things happened to me in 2018: we bought a house, our son got married, and 2018 was my most successful year so far as a fulltime author (all because of you!). But some bad things happened too, like major illnesses and deaths to people we are and were close to.

Last year at this time I posted a blog of my goals for 2018, and I’m afraid I fell way short of those lofty goals I had set for myself. But I did manage to publish four books in 2018, doubling my publishing output for the previous year. Those four books I published this year were: Followed, The Vampire Game, Hope’s End: Ancient Enemy 3, and Evil Spirits: Ancient Enemy 4. It was sad to finally end my Ancient Enemy series, but I’m also excited to move on to other projects that I’ve been wanting to work on.

Even though I only published four books in 2018, I got a lot of writing done. I completed the first four books in my upcoming post-apocalyptic series, and I’m halfway through the fifth book right now. I also completed the second book in The Exorcist’s Apprentice series, and I hope to have that one available in either late January or early February.

And here are my writing goals for 2019:

  • Publish the first five books in my post-apocalyptic series.
  • Complete the sixth and seventh books in that series.
  • Write and publish the third book in The Exorcist’s Apprentice series.
  • Write the sequel to Sightings.
  • Write and publish at least two standalone thrillers.

I also want to begin work on a thriller series I’ve had on my mind for quite a while now. It’s about an FBI consultant – but she’s no ordinary consultant. That’s all I’ll say about that one.

I plan to read more of the horror novels from the list of 100 Greatest Horror Novels that I posted a few years ago. I’m getting close to being halfway through the list.

As far as screenwriting, I’m still taking a break from that. I was contacted by someone in the industry about one of my books, and hopefully something will happen. But in the meantime, I’m going to keep focusing on my books.

I will try to be a little more active on my blog, and I want to add my blog posts to my newsletter. I want to make at least one post a month in each of them (hopefully more). I will continue with the monthly Writing Tips throughout the next year, and I’ll try to share more articles about writing and horror subjects. I will also post my best-of list for my Halloween blog. I’m not sure what this year’s best-of list will be, but I’ll come up with something.

Thank you so much for being here with me. Being an author is a dream come true for me, and it’s all because of you. I’m so grateful, and I just wanted to thank you. I hope you’ll stick with me and my blog in 2019.

Please feel free to comment – I would love to hear from you!

Until next time . . .



In the last few posts we’ve been talking about tackling that first draft and getting it done. Now that you’ve completed your first draft, you can sit back and relax a little. Celebrate a little. You deserve it. You’ve accomplished something – you wrote a book.

Now I recommend that you stuff your completed manuscript into a drawer or leave it alone on your computer for a while (but always have the file backed up). You just put it away for a while and let it “cool down” and let it breathe.

How long? I would suggest at least a week or two. Maybe even three or four weeks. It’s up to you.

Why let your manuscript breathe? Why not just rush right into rewriting? Sometimes if you let the story sit for a few weeks, you can come back to it with fresh eyes, pick up some logical or structural mistakes, or even change a few scenes around. Another reason is that writing that first draft may have drained your energy a bit, and now you might need some time to recuperate. Of course you want to write your book as quickly as you can, but you also want to take a little time and put your best book out there.

What are you supposed to do while your manuscript is cooling down? You could take a few weeks off and let your mind rest, or let it wander. Or you could work on other projects. I’m sure you’ve got some other projects you would like to get started. You could start outlining another book, or jot down some notes for future books. Or you could work on some marketing or social media tasks that may have been piling up.

But be careful. If you’re going to take some time off, don’t stay away from writing too long. Remember, writing is like a muscle that needs to be constantly exercised. Another danger is that you get too involved in your next project and ignore the first draft you’ve just finished (I’ve done this more than a few times). You need to have the discipline to go back to your first draft and start the real work: re-reading, editing, fine-tuning.

One note: This is just a suggestion, and each writer has his or her own process. If you don’t want to let the first draft cool down, go ahead and dive right into the editing of it. But for me, it has always helped to let the story breathe for a little while before jumping right back into it.

So you’ve let your manuscript cool off for a week or two, or even longer. You’ve pulled the manuscript out of the drawer or pulled it up on the computer. Now it’s time to edit your work.

And we’ll talk more about editing in the next post in January, but before that I will have an end-of-the-year post at the end of December.

Hope this helps someone out there, and I would welcome any feedback you have.

Until next time . . .


Just wanted to let everyone know that the fourth (and last) book in the Ancient Enemy series is now available on Amazon for preorder. I loved writing this series, and I’m sad to see it ending, but I’m ready to move on to other projects. But before I started those projects, I wanted to wrap this one up with a final showdown in the Ancient Enemy’s world.

Just click on the link below to preorder, or it will be live on December 21st.

Evil Spirits - Ebook

You can find it here:

Thank you so much for reading my books, and I hope you enjoy this one!