This has been a good week for me. And it’s only Wednesday.

On Monday my youngest turned five and we brought her breakfast in bed (chocolate-chip pancakes and fruit on the side). Then, at her request, we spent the day at a local beach, followed by dinner and presents that evening.

On Tuesday, I finished my work in progress, a 93,000-word novel. I love it, not just because I’m finished with the initial draft and that feels awesome, but because the story is solid, the investigation into adolescent life engaging. In short, I’ve got a good feeling.

Also on Tuesday, I booked a television interview with my local ABC affiliate (details below), secured a bookseller for one of the two events in which I need them, and began prepping my classes for the school year.

It’s quite a bit for just two days, but nothing compared to how my year is going to play out. September is going to be pandemonium, with a second grader and a kindergartner in the house, my wife and I back to teaching, and Tap Out hitting stores.

However, amidst the chaos, we’ll settle into our routines of the fall and I will begin work on revising my next novel.

That’s how this cycle works, and I love it. My life is overflowing and daunting, but I would have it no other way. Crazy weeks, slow weeks, stressed out weeks: that’s life. And life is my subject matter, regardless of the story, the characters, the setting.

Next week brings the universally exciting and anxiety-producing return to school. It is, by far, the most intense time of year. For me, it’s another story, one with a forceful beginning, and one, of which, I know I’ll enjoy every last page.

Schedule of events (look for more, because who knows?):

9/8: WNYT (Channel 13) interview with Beth Wurtmann @ 8:30 am. Tune in.

9/8: Kaged Kombat at the Saratoga City Center. Doors open @ 5:00 pm, fights begin @ 6:00. I will be with Legion Training Center distributing promotional material for Tap Out

9/11: Tap Out releases. Pre-orders will be shipped. E-books should be available. Local stores will have copies. Please use the Tap Out: Find a Seller or Store via Running Press link if you are looking.

9/25: Now that you all have read 😉 come see me at the Clifton Park Library from 7-9 pm and I’ll sign your copy. We’ll also have The Open Door Bookstore on hand for purchases.

9/29: If Albany is more convenient, I’ll be at the Book House in StuyvesantPlaza from 3-4 pm

10/6: Release party and signing at Legion Training Center. *I still need a bookseller for this event. Please contact me if you have connections* come out and let me sign your copy of Tap Out in the cage of the best MMA gym in the area. Not only will books be available, but you’ll receive 20-30% of merchandise and memberships. If you have any interest in MMA for conditioning or for self-defense, this is THE place to be. For all ages and ability levels.

No Calm Before the Storm

Tap Out releases in twenty nine days. My world may flip on its head. Or not. I have no idea. And that fact scares me.

I’ve been doing well, keeping my emotions at bay. I’ve kept busy this summer, vacationing and writing and working on my local markets for promotions and signings. But now that I’m a month out, I feel as if I’ve run out of time.

I’m misinformed and I’m well informed, all depending on which topic of the publishing industry is being addressed. Examples: I had no idea how important the first two weeks of sales are until two days ago. I also didn’t know pre-orders don’t always work in your favor, depending on when the books are shipped to the distributor.

I did know to set up both newspaper and television interviews, as well as three signings. I have additional plans, but are they enough? Probably not.

There’s always more that could be done, and I’m sure there’s always more that should be done. Up until now it has always been about the writing. That is literally all I have ever cared about. Now, it’s so much more. It’s business, a word in this age that has a multitude of meanings, because everyone is vying for attention, and trying to figure out how. I have no fear of hard work, but misapplied labor, fruitless endeavors and missed opportunities unsettle me to no end.

So I’m not calm. Far from it.

September will arrive, and with it a return to school and work and schedules. Amidst that chaos, Tap Out will emerge. Somehow this is fitting for a novel that is about a world of struggle, born out of my own desire to be where I am.

My wife asked the other day if I am happy now that the realization of this hard work is almost here. I had to be honest. I said, “No, I’m nervous.”

The joy is in the writing. And I believe that will be amplified by the reaction of those who read and respond positively. But until then, I’m on tenterhooks. Come see me on them at any of the dates and events below:


Tap Out will be available on 9/11 via all major online retailers and through my publisher, Running Press. It will also be available locally at The Book House in Albany, Market Block Books in Troy, The Open Door Book Store in Schenectady, and Barnes and Noble in Colonie.

9/25: signing at the Clifton Park library from 7-9 pm (books will be available for purchase)

9/29: signing at The Book House from 3-4 pm (books will be available for purchase)

10/6: release party/signing at Legion Training Center: 1208 Rt 146, Clifton Park (next door to Northern Lights) from 2-4 pm (books will be available for purchase and there will be discounts available on MMA merchandise and various training packages–for all ages)

The first two chapters of Tap Out can be found included in the free online download: Buzz Books 2012