Do You Have Angst?: 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Burning with Angst is now available!

Burning with Angst, the fourth novel in the Angst fantasy series, is now available for your Kindle, Nook, iPad, Kobo and on Google Play!

Burning with Angst: Three months after the attack on Princess Victoria, Angst learns that his friends are still missing, and his wife is kicking him out. If that’s not enough, the war between elements has taken its toll on Ehrde, and now, a war between nations seems inevitable. Fortunately, there are only two elements remaining. Unfortunately, they have combined forces to destroy Angst and everyone he loves. It seems Angst's midlife crisis may be anything but simple.

None of this was in the hero rulebook he never got, but Angst has a plan! It’s not a very good plan—actually, it’s a really bad plan, but with help from some unexpected allies, he sets out to find his friends, save Unsel, and return home before his wife leaves him forever. What could possibly go wrong?

Burning with Angst is the fourth fantasy novel in David J. Pedersen’s Angst series. Join Angst and his friends as they continue…A Midlife Crisis in Medieval Times

You can purchase your copy of Burning with Angst at the sites below:

Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Google | Kobo | Signed Print Copy

I've also been asked by several if they could purchased signed copies of all four Angst novels. You can buy all four books for $60.00, domestic shipping in the United States is included. Please be sure who you want the books inscribed to (or if you don't want them signed). These will ship as soon as I receive copies of book 4.

Inscription name here:

Friday, December 9, 2016

Pre-order Burning with Angst

You can now pre-order copies of the fourth novel in the Angst fantasy series! Burning with Angst can be ordered from the links below for your Kindle, iPad, Kobo and on Google Play! Burning with Angst will be released on 12/16/16.

Apple iTunes
Google Play

*When you place a print order, you will be ordering directly from me. I will be placing an order for all pre-ordered print versions on Monday after my proof arrives. They will be shipped out the day after I receive them, I'll update Facebook and Twitter with expected dates. Thanks!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Book 4 Cover Reveal: Burning With Angst

I'm so excited to share this amazing wrap-around book cover by Alessandro Brunelli! Not only did he do an incredible job, he has the rare gift of turning my crappy sketches and vague ideas into art. My sincere thanks to Alessandro for his great work!

We left the blurb off so you can see more of the image. You can find the blurb below:

Just A Midlife Crisis?

Three months after the attack on Princess Victoria, Angst learns that his friends are still missing, and his wife is kicking him out. If that’s not enough, the war between elements has taken its toll on Ehrde, and now, a war between nations seems inevitable. Fortunately, there are only two elements remaining. Unfortunately, they have combined forces to destroy Angst and everyone he loves. It seems Angst's midlife crisis may be anything but simple.

None of this was in the hero rulebook he never got, but Angst has a plan! It’s not a very good plan—actually, it’s a really bad plan, but with help from some unexpected allies, he sets out to find his friends, save Unsel, and return home before his wife leaves him forever. What could possibly go wrong?

Burning with Angst is the fourth fantasy novel in David J. Pedersen’s Angst series. Join Angst and his friends as they continue…

A Midlife Crisis in Medieval Times

Finally, a special thanks to my wife, Angie, for all of her help formatting the cover!

Be sure to stop by next week for links to pre-order your copy of Burning With Angst!

12/9    Pre-ordering available
12/16  Burning With Angst Official Release Date

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Reminding Myself Why I Write

A writer friend of mine recently expressed some of her frustrations on Facebook, and how, sometimes, writing can feel thankless. Her post wasn’t hateful or negative, she was merely disheartened. I get it. You pour days and soul into your work, and when it’s all done, the rewards don’t always feel like they compensate the effort.

I was a little crushed that Angst wasn’t picked up for a movie within a week after being published. (I know I’m not alone!) On days that I’m sober and have more realistic expectations, I get frustrated too. I’m a young writer (about the only time you can refer to me as young in any sentence), in the sense that I’ve only published three novels. And, while I feel accomplished, I haven’t met my goals yet, and that can be discouraging. So, when others don’t remind me of why I do it, I have to remind myself.

On a related note, I love Halloween (trust me, this is related). Sometimes I miss the old Halloween when my wife and I would help costume our kids, walk them around the neighborhood for candy and bring them to our parents. I have many fond memories of our daughter, the fanciful unicorn and our son, the lawyer of doom. Now that we aren’t allowed to dress them up anymore, we go to a party hosted by good friends and dress up ourselves. It’s a lot of fun to see who everyone chooses to be. Sometimes clever, sometimes sexy, and often humorous. This year, I broke new ground with my costume that I may not be able to top.

I was inspired one night, and my wife agreed to give it a try. I don’t think she completely understood what I had in mind, but considering the success of Pok√©mon Go this year my idea was timely, so we assembled our team. Angie looked stunning as Ash Ketchum. My dear friend and spokesmodel Cristi rocked the sexy in her Misty costume. I was Pikachu. Yeah.

I’m going to, mostly, save everyone’s eyes by not posting too many pics. (You’re welcome.) After cobbling together the various pieces, I donned the giant, yellow animal slippers, the bright yellow wrestling uniform, and Pikachu headband, to surprise my wife. I’m serious when I say she didn’t stop laughing for ten minutes. The costume went over terribly well at the party (both terrible, and well). Sitting on my muses’ laps and whispering “pika pika” in their ears until they couldn’t contain themselves, posing with friends for pictures that most won’t ever see… well, you get the idea. My friend and muse Marina later messaged and said, “I will be laughing about (your) costume for a while.” I can’t say this strongly enough, that’s exactly why I write!

A few pics made it onto my Instagram and Facebook, and they were received with mixed reactions. As far as I can tell, nobody was really insulted, but most didn’t find it as funny as my close friends did. That’s okay, because it wasn’t for everyone; it was for a specific audience. My friends laughed along with me when I was in costume, and I hope when they look back at pictures it will bring a smile. I think it will. Mission accomplished.

Once and awhile, someone throws shade on my books with a poor review. That used to bother me, and it took me a long time to realize that, like me, my writing isn’t for everyone. Once in awhile, though, I get a good review, or someone sends me a nice message, or I get asked when the next book is coming out. That means I entertained someone. I successfully distracted them from life long enough that they can get lost in a story I created, and often I’m told they had a good laugh over something I’ve written. Mission accomplished.

It took me awhile to find “my tribe” (as my wife calls my close friends.) It sometimes feels like it has taken longer to find my audience of readers. But I feel the wait for both has been completely worth it, and a good reminder of why I write. Pika pika.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Archon 40 This Weekend!

Archon 40 is this weekend, and I'm not sure if anyone can be more excited about it than I am! I have a lot planned for my last con of 2016! I'm pleased to announce that all of my muses will be attending Archon for the first time! Cristi, Marina, and Mayra will all be at my booth Saturday afternoon! I will be giving away a new poster of all three muses with every purchase. I have some copies of Angst with an error on the cover. (I'm pretty sure that makes it a collector's edition. :P ) I'll be selling these for only $6 each while supplies last.

I also get to participate in six panels at Archon and I will be moderating four of them. Please stop by for some fun discussions:

Friday  12:00 pm Salon 4  What Star Trek Means to Me (M)
Friday   3:00 pm  Cahokian Worldcon 74 Recap (M)
Saturday  10:00 am  Salon 4 DC Comics on TV
Saturday   3:00 pm  Salon 4 Marvel Cinematic Universe (M)
Saturday   4:00 pm  Marquette B    Writing Damaged Characters
Sunday   1:00 pm  Salon 6 Author Readings
Sunday   2:00 pm  Marquette A Avoiding Writer's Block (M)

You can find me at booth 22 in creators alley:
Friday 4-8
Saturday 10-6
Sunday 10-2

My wife will also be selling all sorts of fun, geeky craft items at booth 23!

Archon 40 will be:
September 30th - October 2nd, 2016
Gateway Convention Center and DoubleTree Hotel
1000 Eastport Plaza Dr
Collinsville, IL 62234

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Burning with Angst Is Almost Ready!

I’m pleased to announce that the rough draft of my fourth fantasy novel, Burning with Angst, is complete! I have sent off copies to the beta team for review and discussion. So far the feedback on early chapters has been excellent. Always a good sign. I have also scheduled time with my amazing editor, Danielle Fine, to clean things up.

Life is my obstacle course. There are always reasons my books take longer than I’d like, but I feel that it’s more important to write a good, entertaining novel than it is to rush out content. Honestly, if my editor were ever to say that a book needs a lot of work and I should do a full rewrite, I’d spend that time getting it right rather than releasing a sloppy book. (Fortunately, that’s never been the case!)

If you pre-ordered a copy of Burning with Angst, thank you for your order, and thank you for your patience! Even though I hadn’t set a release date, readers very kindly asked if they could pre-order copies back in February. I believe I told some that I’d try to finish by the end of summer, which was a pretty vague commitment. While technically that happened, it’ll be just a little longer before the editing and formatting process is done. That said, I really appreciate your support.

If you are wanting to pre-order Burning with Angst, I’ll make an order form available on this site as soon as I have a final publication date. In the meantime, I highly recommend signing up for my book release newsletter so you are in the know. I promise, no spam, just an update when new books are available. You can sign up here:

I’m really excited to share this new adventure! I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Angst team profile: Becky

As much as I like to keep my friends forever, that doesn't always work out. Family, moves, emotions, life - there are a lot of reasons why friendships sometimes don’t last. I hate that, but I understand it too. It makes me appreciate even more those who stay close, in spite of the boundaries of years or distance or differences. These are the friends who are family, and every bit as precious.

I met Becky 25 years ago during my senior year of college. She was a freshman trying out for Thee University of Wisconsin Marching Band, which was the cornerstone of my college years. Becky was energetic, fun loving, and committed, all in a beautiful package (none of which has changed.) We clicked instantly and it didn't take long to become close friends.

Theno, Meg (Photographer).
Madison, WI. August 29, 1991.
from Wisconsin State Journal
Becky gained quick notoriety when the Wisconsin State Journal posted her picture on the cover of their newspaper during tryouts (though maybe “infamous” would be a better word than notoriety). Our marching style requires that you raise your knees high and "stop at the top". One of my 9 roommates (pictured to her left) was keeping a close eye on her progress...or something.  She was a welcome addition to my house, TKB (Tappa Kegga Brew) and helped make my senior year pretty fabulous. We had a lot of fun adventures in college, and despite only getting to live in the same city that one year, we've remained close friends ever since.

Some of our adventures probably shouldn't be preserved on the internet, but amongst my favorites were Rochester, MN. Over two or three summers, I attended a weekend show in Rochester, which is only 90 minutes from Minneapolis where she lived. We'd hit restaurants at night (there are some damn nice restaurants in Rochester) and close down bars, where she introduced me to karaoke. (My apologies to anyone who attended.) And sometimes we’d even bribe the hotel concierge to let us sneak in and use the hot tub after hours. Then, I'd shakily work the next morning while she slept in. I'd get back from working and we'd hit it again. Ah, youth.

Becky is a lot of fun, and has a certain energy about her that you wish could bottle up or borrow. I've always said she has sales flowing through her blood. Not the door-to-door vacuum cleaner type that we can all do without. More like the amazing monkey-remover who leaves things better than when she arrived. She knows people, how to interact with them, and makes new friends everywhere she goes. Her self-confidence and compassion are captivating, and it doesn't hurt that she has the brains to back it up. Oh, and did I mention beautiful? Needless to say, her input with my writing has been invaluable.

I've rewritten more than a few chapters per her advice. Early on, I read my rough drafts aloud to edit, and recorded them for friends who didn't have time to read. She was on the road a lot while I was writing “Angst,” and preferred the audio version. There was one particular chapter in the first book that had way too much jumping around, and I have always found it fascinating that she and another friend listening to the audio version were the only ones to point out the problem.

I lucked out when Becky married Matthew, both because he's an amazing guy, and his parents live in Kansas City. My wife and I are totally spoiled once or twice a year when they make it down to visit. Often we get together for a nice dinner and some good catch-up time. They have two beautiful girls who, no doubt, will challenge them as much as Becky challenged her parents. I’m also sure they will turn out just as amazing because of their great parents!

This story doesn't end, it's actually happening right now. My wife and I drove to Minneapolis this morning, and are waiting for Becky and Matthew to join us for dinner. Hey, 25 years is something to celebrate, and with Matthew's help, I think she'll enjoy the surprise.

(Special thanks to Wisconsin State Journal for permission to use their photo!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Worldcon Post Three: An Indie Author at Worldcon

There is a lot to know about Worldcon and I wanted to share my perspective as an indie author with a booth. I go to science fiction and fantasy conventions for a lot of different reasons. Personally, I attend to visit with friends I know through conventions, make new friends, and just talk to people with similar interests. From a sales perspective, my goal isn’t to make money but instead to obtain exposure. There were many highlights, and a few bumps in this adventure, but overall I’d say it was a win.

From a personal perspective, I’d say the win was big. I enjoyed spending time with friends I normally only get to see at one con a year. This was a treat which included dinners or visits at my booth. It wasn’t unusual for someone to pull up a chair on the dealer floor and share their con experiences, or even provide a drive-by recommendation to prospective buyers. Being a five day convention so close to home, I also enjoyed some quality time with my wife Angie, my daughter Joanne, and our “adopted daughter” Sarah, all who helped out for two days or more, and I couldn’t have done it without them! My muses, Cristi and Mayra, joined in on the fun Worst.Comic.Podcast.Ever! Jerry and John joined us for dinner on Saturday, and we discussed everything from mermen (thanks Cristi), the Beach Boys (best engagement story ever, Jerry), to Rebirth. Saturday, and to nobody’s surprise I sold as many books that day as the other four combined. (They even received a costume award from Worldcon, which is pretty awesome!) I also made new friends, including some that I look forward to seeing at Archon, and the guys from

The most rewarding experience from this convention came from conversations I had with with three young writers. I really enjoyed talking about writing with several high school students who want to be novelists, and had another conversation with a young college student who is trying to write a book. I gave all the advice they could stand, and the best pep talk I could. The college student was shy at first, but after realizing I wanted to help, asked quite a few questions. At the end of the conversation, she said, “This was probably my highlight of the con.” I couldn’t ask for any better compliment, and this alone makes me say the con was a win.

I realize that being an independently published author at an established literary convention is an uphill battle. While I had plenty of great conversations with writers and other professionals, more than once things were said to me, or those in my booth, that was rude. It’s okay if you don’t want to buy my books for any reason, I know they aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to yell at my daughter or scoff at my friends. I only point this out because honestly, this never happens at other cons I attend. It was kind of weird, and a little offensive. I’ve got thick skin and have already moved on, but recounting the story would have been incomplete without including this.

Book sales are something most indie authors don’t discuss. Nobody wants to admit bad sales, or make other writers feel bad for not selling any books. When it comes to sales, I usually approach conventions with high hopes and low expectations. My philosophy has always been simple: don’t run out of books. For Worldcon, it was impossible to gauge how many to bring. Every con is different, it’s not exactly a sliding scale based on attendance. I tried doing internet research with inconclusive  results. I also asked other writers who have attended Worldcons, and advice was all over the place. I was told by several to bring a lot of books, so I ordered quite a few. After said books were ordered, I was also advised that those attending Worldcon aren't excited about indie authors. I didn’t sleep great the week before the con.

I'd like to think that from a marketing perspective, I put my best foot forward. I don't just put books on a table, I've got a nice display. I give away posters with every purchase. I promoted my attendance with blog posts, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even some Facebook advertising. I went through the effort of wrapping Angst in a fancy new cover. Also, my muses always draw in a crowd, because they’re amazing.

I sold 50 books. It wasn’t my best con, but it was far from my worst. There were approximately 3,000 - 5,000 people who attended (that’s the word-of-mouth count and not official). So, maybe, 1% of the people attending braved a purchase. While these sales didn’t exactly feel worldly, people from around the world purchased a copy of Angst, and that was cool. I spoke to several dealers who were unhappy with the con, one who said his sales were half of last year’s. I was a little disappointed because I was looking for more exposure, but I felt worse for other dealers because this is their living. If there was any one thing that irked me, it was the fact that the hard-to-find list of dealers on the Midamericon web site didn’t link to my web site. I spent quite a bit of money on booth fees and badges, so this should have been easy, and I did ask. It may not have affected my sales, but it certainly didn’t help my exposure.

My daughter and
astronaut Stanley G. Love
So, for my indie author friends, my best advice is to seriously consider what you want out of a Worldcon. You may be better off attending panels and learning from the vast knowledge being shared. (Word of mouth is that the panels were exceptional!) You aren’t going to get any exposure to publishers; if that’s your end goal, you would be better off submitting your work through traditional means. If you still think you can take over the world despite any of my warnings, bring in twice the inventory you would sell at your best convention, and plan on having some left over. Would I attend another Worldcon? Possibly, because Dublin sounds really nice. ;)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Worldcon Post Two: Let's have some fun!

I couldn’t be more excited about the fact that Kansas City is hosting Worldcon 74 (aka MidAmeriCon2)! Even better, it’s is only a week away! I received some great feedback from my last post on Facebook. Some of it made me apprehensive, some was very encouraging, and all comments were welcoming. That last part is my favorite. My goals remain in tact, have fun with friends, make new friends, and share my story!

I’ll have copies of my story at booth 27 in the dealer hall - stop by and you can:

  • Pick up a copy of Angst for only $10 at the con!
  • Sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win a T-Shirt!
  • Meet my muses on Saturday- it’s a great photo opp!
  • Snag a free poster of my gorgeous muses with every purchase!
  • Pre-purchase the 4th Angst novel - “Burning with Angst”!
  • Take a picture the giant sword, Chryslaenor, from the Angst novels!

We are planning to have a great time, and I hope you will join us!

Click here to learn more about my novels!

You can find reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Worldcon Post One: I don’t know what I’m doing and I can’t wait!

A few copies of Angst for Worldcon
I’ve been laughing nervously to myself since March when I was told I could have a booth at Worldcon. This is actually going to be the 25th convention I’ve attended and one would think that I have a master plan for World(con) domination! (Mwa ha ha ha). I feel more like the person who shows up at the ice skating rink with roller skates. But it’s all about the adventure, right?

Wiser writers will attend MidAmeriCon2 with a list of goals that include networking, sales targets, maximum visibility, and leveraging synergistic opportunities (see? Business). These sound neat, and even achievable with some past Worldcon experience…which I don’t have. I tried researching to find out what to expect, how many books I should bring since I have a booth, and the best approach at presenting my words. I must have used the wrong google, because there isn’t much out there. So, I’m going to post multiple times about being an indie writer with a booth at Worldcon. This first post is my pre-con apprehension-laden build-up toe-in-unknown-waters post. I’m sharing this as much to get it out of my system, as I am for the other indie writers considering the same path. The next post will be to promote my attendance. After, I’ll share what I learn.

One of my favorite pics from the photoshoot!

Right now I’m experiencing pre-game for the sports fans, or pre-show for the band nerds (I’ve done both). I’m spending more money than I should to make a professional presentation, and while I’m not exactly being bridezilla on a reality show, I want people attending to notice me and my work. I’m trying very hard to make sure everything is perfect. But it's like I'm guiding a missile using the force and I'm unsure where the target is.

New cover for Angst!
I’ve done a few things to prepare for Worldcon. The photoshoot with my muses wasn’t just about spending a day with beautiful friends. (Okay, it was.) But the end result is I will have a new poster to give away with book purchases. The second edition of my first fantasy novel, “Angst,” is now available! Reviewing and editing “Angst” was a chore and a half, but worth the effort. I’m bringing a few copies to sell. Two of my muses will be attending between Friday and Saturday, and they draw in more of a crowd than my ugly mug.

In the end, after the marching band starts pre-game and the first kickoff flies, I do have a plan. I’m planning to make some new friends, have fun, and put on a show. I expect the con to be working fun, like most of them, and I know I’m going to love it! If I happen to sell some books, it’ll be even better.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Aging Loudly

It’s time I admit the worst kept secret on the internet, I’m aging poorly. I’m wrinkling like a washed shirt that was hung to dry but should have been pressed. I’m fat like those clickbait ads you see on crappy websites telling you about this one, little, secret… My thinning hair would be perfect for a Bosley commercial. To make it worse, it now takes me longer to recover from exercise and booze. It all adds up to the simple fact that I let myself get older...but I don’t regret it for a second.

I remember in high school thinking that I never wanted to get pudgy like my dad. I may have even said this out loud. (Sorry Dad!) My father was never really overweight, he never “exercised” in the traditional sense, but it certainly wasn’t because the word lazy is in his lexicon. He was just really focused on his company, managing the house, and being a great father and husband. At the time, I ran 15 miles a day and looked like the beanstalk Jack climbed. (Uh, a really short beanstalk.) Now, here I am, one ‘kid’ starting college, the other starting Law School, I have a full time job and spend the rest of my time writing. (That’s two full time jobs.) Working out sounds like a great idea, of course, but then so does Starbucks. Needless to say, I look up to my father a lot. I’m still learning from him, and 30 years later, I think I get it.

I recently had the pleasure of spending the weekend on a lake trip with some great friends. This is the second year we’ve all pitched in on a nice house using Airbnb, and I’m already looking forward to next year! I’m truly grateful for being included since a lot of these friends are in their 20s and my wife and I aren’t. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy spending time with all of them, and some are amongst my closest friends, but my wife and I are far in the lead when it comes to the aging contest. Other than a little gentle teasing, nobody cares, I certainly don’t. In my wife’s words, “I’m glad you found your tribe.”

I posted pictures of the lake trip to Facebook and one of my friends was less than happy with how they looked in several pictures. To say they are working rigorous hours to meet their career goals is an understatement. That means it’s nearly impossible to take that casual 5 mile run after a ten hour work day, or spend the weekend preparing healthy meals when that’s your study time. When you actually decide to do something, goals can be unforgiving.

I used to really kick myself over this, and still do to a lesser extent, but I really shouldn’t. When I’m not at work, I’ve been focused like a laser on my books. I let the grass grow a little long around the house (sorry neighbors), I walk a couple days a week instead of a full workout regimen, but I’m writing like my life depends on it. The thing is, I really embrace my goals, and if I spread myself too thin, I won’t meet any of them.

I may have been the oldest, chubbiest, oldest person at that lake trip. I definitely looked worse than anyone else in a swimsuit. (Woof, don’t ask me about my swimsuit...and no more pictures standing next to Cristi’s fiance, Brandon. Jerk. ;) ) But I didn’t let any of that get in the way of my fun. And I excelled at having fun! If I could go back five years and choose between my life’s passion of writing novels, or trying to look like Hugh Jackman to impress a bunch of hot 20 somethings, I’d choose the writing. Had I looked like Hugh, the trip wouldn’t have been any different, but I would have had regrets for not following through with what I really wanted out of life. Once again, my dad was right about working hard on the things that are most important, though I’m pretty sure the words he used were, “Have you mowed the lawn yet?”

So, maybe I’m not aging poorly, I think instead I’m aging loudly. I may have more wrinkles, I may not be the shape I’d like to be, but good luck finding someone who lives life more than I do! I’m in my mid 40s, but rather that dreaming that something might happen, I’m fighting for those dreams. That fight includes sacrifice, commitment, and sometimes cake, and vodka. I’m good with that.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Angst 2nd Edition Release Announcement

After 5 years, I’ve decided to go back and re-release my first fantasy novel, “Angst”. Like many artists, I really felt that the book needed to be what I originally envisioned. I’ve revised the story to make sure the plot threads lined up more neatly, changed several character names, added cgi special effects of never before seen creatures and converted it to 3D.

Okay, hopefully that gave you a chuckle, starting at the point where I refer to myself as an artist. That said, I did make some minor changes. My wife edited the first edition of “Angst” and did an amazing job, twice. She’s a professional writer of four published books and numerous magazine articles. Angie worked hard to clean up my messes. I’ve only ever received one complaint about grammar, and that was from an editor looking for business. (Something about dangling modified something or others...hey, stop it, I’m an artist!)

When I completed my second novel, “Buried in Angst,” Angie was working on ”The Star Trek Craft Book” and didn’t have time to spare for editing. Buried took me too long to write; I was getting asked weekly about the sequel and didn’t want to lose more of my audience by making them wait longer while Angie edited, so I hired Danielle Fine. What a great decision. Writers and editors look at things very differently, and something about not being my wife made Dani a little less forgiving of my grammar. She also didn’t fill in blanks in the story where my wife might leap to conclusions because she knows me.

With this in mind, I wanted grammar and punctuation in “Angst” to be consistent with my other novels. Dani not only did a fine job of straightening that out, but she also made several developmental recommendations as well. I’ve learned a lot about writing in five years, and after giving “Angst” a full read through with her advice, I did flesh out a few paragraphs and cleaned up some dialogue. Again, no story changes.

I was incredibly wary about making any changes to “Angst.” Some have told me that my writing has improved, I know it has definitely changed, but there is something about the rawness of what I wrote that I really like. For my longtime readers, please don’t fret. There are no story changes at all, and unfortunately no cgi or 3D, but “Angst” should read a little cleaner now. At the least, if you haven’t read “Angst” since it came out, and take the time to reread the updated version, you’ll probably say, “This is even better than I remember.” Ha!

Of course, that’s not the only change made with this revised edition. In my ignorance, I never acquired a signed contract for the old cover, and it’s too late to go back and request one. I did like the cover for “Angst,” but the artist politely declined working on future book covers. Also, I love the cover for “Drowning in Angst” so much I wanted that artist to create art for my other books. So for legal reasons, consistency, and some amazing art, “Angst” has shiny new cover!

As I’m close to wrapping up the fourth novel, “Burning with Angst,” and slowly rounding the bend on this five-book series, I thought this was a fitting way to celebrate five years of Angst. I hope you enjoy it!

Angst can be purchased at the sites below:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Photo Shoot with My Muses

This 4th of July was a fun adventure! I had the pleasure of doing a photo shoot with my muses, and it was a blast!

I've done several photo shoots in the past with Cristi, both for day-to-day promotional images and for a poster we give away with book purchases at conventions. Every time she gets a new costume, we plan a shoot. She has always done an amazing job, and we have a great time.

Over the last several years, Cristi has recruited her friends Marina and Mayra to join us at conventions. (Something about being half naked with other people who are half naked make con appearances a little easier.) We've attended three cons together, two in Kansas City and one in Branson. Their beauty always draws a crowd, but more than that, they are also fun and friendly which makes them all approachable. A friend at work refers to them as my muses, and I would have to agree.

I'm attending Worldcon for the first time in August, and I really wanted a poster featuring all three muses. Not only will Cristi and Mayra be attending Worldcon with me, they have some great, new scale mail costumes provided by Amanda Lynn Chainmaille.

The 4th of July may seem like an odd date to choose for a photo shoot, but it ended up being the best idea ever. Not only was the date free for everyone, but it was also Marina's birthday - and what a great way to celebrate!

We took pictures for about three hours. I have to give them a lot of credit; what they make look easy is actually quite a bit of work. Standing under hot lights in awkward positions holding up heavy weapons takes commitment. I also have to thank Marina's husband, Brandon, for helping direct everyone. He had some great ideas that turned into fantastic pics!

When we were finished, Cristi and Marina wanted a picture climbing a tree in my backyard. As they were climbing, my neighbors, who I barely know, came out to watch. I called out, "It doesn't have to be weird." My neighbor replied, "No, not at all. What would be weird about half naked women in 6” heels climbing your tree?" These are obviously new neighbors.

The end result is some great memories and a lot of fantastic pictures to share throughout the year. Please check out the albums on my Facebook page to see some behind-the-scenes photos as well as some of the final shots!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mayday: New York!

I’m not completely certain what happened to the month of May. I think it’s under a pile of dusty calendars and broken clocks. What started with Demicon and ends with ConQuesT also included several business trips to the west coast, my daughter’s high school graduation in the Midwest and my son’s college graduation in New York that I just returned from this week. Whew!

Our five-day adventure to New York included a great amount of excitement, tested all of my patience, and included some really good family time. My wife and I, our daughter and all four grandparents all flew out to see my son graduate. It was a lot of work, and I can honestly say went better than I could have hoped.

Wednesday night we enjoyed an incredible meal at Bar Americain. My mother-in-law is a great fan of Bobby Flay, and now I am too. We spent most of Thursday at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, something my mom had always wanted to do. It was amazing, and worth every effort to visit. Friday we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it shouldn’t be a surprise we spent most of our time checking out arms and armor. That night we had dinner at Benjamin Steakhouse where I shared a steak for two with my son. It was that serious, and that incredible. The entire trip was really about Saturday and seeing James receive his diploma, in the same week my daughter received her high school diploma. I’ve got amazing kids and I have no doubt they will both do much better than their dream-ridden father. We finished the trip by seeing Wicked on Broadway. It was my first time seeing the musical, and was the best live performance I’ve ever experienced.

Aside from my son’s commencement, I had some favorite moments. I really enjoyed people watching in Times Square at night with my wife. It was a little less crowded (a little), we weren’t rushed so we could just sit and enjoy the view. You see everything from international tourists taking selfies to half-naked street performers (I even made a new friend for only $5). I also enjoyed going out early in the morning before things started happening, when the square was almost empty, and you could breathe. That was nice. There is also a certain pride from the people who live there that I really appreciate. When I told the doorman at our hotel that my son had graduated from Fordham, he smiled, nodded, and said, “That’s a fine school,” almost as if he was a founder of the university.

The trip was great, but honestly, I find New York to be a challenge. I overheard an older person on Times Square say this was the most people he’d ever seen there. Yup, me too. It was an almost constant overcrowded sea of people rushing in different directions. I’m not claustrophobic, except in New York. Whether on the sidewalk, in a store, or on the subway, it was always elbow to elbow. Unfortunately, I have found courtesy and good humor to be the exception in New York. A security guard at The Met threatened a throw down because my parents were sitting on the stairs…where everyone else was sitting. On the other hand, a nice man serving water at Wicked shared how he had performed in My Fair Lady at Starlight. The few times I’ve been to NY, it has felt like there are a lot of angry people. But what do I know, maybe there are just more people, period.

The culture shock isn’t just the experience of traveling to New York, it’s also coming home. The parking attendant at the airport wished me a nice day, I didn’t hear any honking cabs on the drive home, my man cave is pleasantly devoid of people, and it doesn’t cost $15 to refill my drink. It’s quiet…too quiet. I look at my June calendar, and it’s shockingly empty. What am I supposed to do without all of the people, without all of the noise, and with all of this free time…write a book?

Monday, May 9, 2016

About that Demicon 27

Flying the Brass Falcon
I tend to pack waaaay too much into my days of late, and I’m sure that will slow down when I retire, but probably not. Aside from some long hours and traveling for my day job, I’ve been planning a family trip to New York to see my son graduate from college. This trip not only includes my wife and daughter, but my parents and in-laws. It’s going to be a great adventure. I’m also doing some (all) house repairs in preparation of my daughter’s High School graduation party. (Needless to say, I’m a very proud dad.) I’m also building an arc reactor for my Iron Man suit to be the hero this nation needs, and I’m going to lose 20 pounds in the next month...but not really. Oh, yeah, and I’m also writing a book! It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’ve been overwhelmed and stressed and haven’t had a lot of David time. It happens, it will pass, and I really have a lot to be grateful for...all at once. Demicon 27 couldn’t have come at a better time.

I attend some cons with the hope of selling books and marketing myself. They are a different kind of beast and well worth the effort, but it’s a lot of effort. At the end of the day, I still have the pleasure of meeting some amazing people, but it’s not a party or a getaway. It’s my understanding that there are several cons George RR Martin attends somewhat regularly. In my five years of attending ConQuesT in Kansas City, he’s been there twice. Once as a guest, and once as not a guest. I like to think that he attends, more or less, to have fun. That’s what Demicon is to me.

When Cristi and I went to our first Demicon in 2013, we didn’t know what to expect. There is no advertisement that says, “Come to our con, you’ll sell a ton of books and meet 50 amazing people!” It is hosted at a nice enough Holiday Inn. They squeeze 20 or so vendors into a room about the size of a Tahoe, and knee-to-knee we wondered what we were doing there. That first day, everyone looked at us like non-nerds would look at aliens. “I see a gorgeous young 20-year-old in a chainmail bikini and an old dude who is obviously not her dad. He’s trying to sell me a book. Approach with caution. She’s really pretty. Approach closer, but still with caution.” We didn’t sell many books.

That night, we hit room parties. Half of the top floor was filled with everything from amazing cosplayers to cardboard knights. Cristi was her approachable self, and everyone was excited to take pictures with her. I was good at drinking. In short, we were very welcomed and had a great time. The next day, we sold more books than any con I had attended to date. It took me awhile to realize what had happened, I’m slow like that. This con is a family, in a way, and once they realized we were there with good intentions, they became supportive.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Whitlatch
This sentiment was very much reflected by their guest of honor this year, my friend Adam Whitlatch. It’s well deserved, Adam is an accomplished author of many well received, well reviewed books. I highly encourage you to buy his books. I thought it was very cool of Demicon to make him GoH! He’s a pretty young author, in the sense that he has only published a handful of novels, and I felt like the con was supporting someone who is a part of their family. I couldn’t be more impressed!

Demicon is a convention I would love to bring all of my friends to, but not really. I’m a little selfish in that regard. This year it’s the one con that only Cristi and I are attending. She’s my best friend, and the adventure couldn’t have come at a better time for me! One of my favorite stories from this con was the hotel room. Drake Relays was the same weekend, and the Holiday Inn was mostly booked when I called, all they had was a suite. When we walked into the room, Cristi said, “This is nice, there’s a microwave and a fridge and...David, there’s only one bed.” Being the helper that I am, I placed my hands behind my head and said, “Oh, yeahhhhh.” I let that hang out there for several awkward moments before explaining I would sleep on the hide-a-bed. I’m grateful she gets my sense of humor!

We were late getting there on Friday, something I don’t usually do, and hit the room parties casual. (That means Cristi wore jeans and comfortable shoes instead of platform thigh highs and booty shorts.) Several asked about her lack of costume, but it was small talk and many were just happy to see us. The next day we did our thing in the dealer room, attended the room parties in “traditional garb”, and slept well. The weekend flew by, and it was so good to see everyone. That’s the thing about Demicon. This con isn’t about book sales. I sell books, but I feel like it’s old friends being supportive. This con is very much about seeing so many people I like.

If you live within driving distance of Des Moines, I highly recommend you check out this awesome convention. It’s small, friendly, welcoming, and once you go, you’ll never want to miss one!

You can find pictures from Demicon 27 on my Facebook page!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Angst Team Profile: Matt

I have always had a tendency to keep people. Back in the summer of 1978, my parents moved from Omaha, NE to Kansas City, MO. Dad worked hard and did well. They weren’t sure about the public schools in the area (that I eventually graduated from) so they put me in a private school that was walking distance from our house. That’s where I met Matt.

It didn’t take long for us to become best of friends. We’ve had many adventures growing up. Over the years, we were superheroes and software developers on our Apple IIe computers. We created our own newspaper. We sang obnoxious songs to beautiful young women. We tried to make a Lego movie way before Lego did. We went to every opening night blockbuster movie you could name and quoted every line you could think of.

Matt and I went to colleges in different states, but still stayed in touch. (Snail mail and phone calls, because we’re old like that.) We were the best man at each other’s weddings. He is my son’s godfather. We’ve climbed up fourteeners together, and fragged in the New Year with video games for over a decade. There are stories upon stories that I could share, and probably shouldn’t. It comes down to this. We’ve been friends for almost 38 years, and that will never end.

My writing “career” started with a newspaper by Matt and I called The Kansas City Gazette. There were maybe five issues of stories, articles and comics. Each one was hand typed and then copied at my dad’s office to be sold for .25 each. I had the great desire to be a journalist back in that day, and Matt was always there to support and participate. He drew some great comics, and wrote articles far more politically savvy than any 6th grader I knew.

Years later in high school, I wrote a lot of stories, including my favorite, “The Unknown Knight,” featuring a forlorn character filled with angst. (Go figure.) Matt encouraged me to continue with my writing more than anyone, and I did. When we graduated from college, I started my first book which was similar to The Matrix. Matt was one of the few who read it, and pushed me to write more, yet, without actually being pushy.

That’s the thing about Matt. He has always been one of the most dedicated people I’ve ever met. He’s a better father than I’ve ever been for his two amazing kids. That bastard was late for gaming one Friday night, and then had to rush from watching Deadpool Saturday afternoon, all so he could see his son in a play both nights. :) He has been married to his lovely wife Susan for 17 years, and they are parents to two amazing children! Honestly, I couldn’t be more proud of the man I’ve known for so long.

Matt is crazy smart. Not only because he is a software developer, but the man reads and understands. A lot of people read, and you can ask them what they read and they will look at you with blank faces. Matt’s the guy I go to before purchasing something, because chances are he has already read up on it and will provide valuable input. It doesn’t matter if you are discussing investments or computer parts, he just knows.

Fast forward through twenty years of marriage and kids and jobs for both of us, I finally started writing Angst. At 25% I really questioned what the hell I was doing, so I decided to share it with him. In spite of everything going on in his life, Matt read it immediately and said go, so I did and shared with others. I met with my alpha team after the first half of Angst was complete and Matt was the only one to show up with a stack of notes. His input was amazing.

Recent comments on Angst 4!
Funny story: Matt read from those notes about one of the women in the story, about how she was beautiful and curvy and voluptuous...if you’ve read my books, you’re familiar. He read the description of another woman, and another. They all sounded pretty amazing. Matt then read out loud about one of the men from the stories and went on to describe that they had arms. I hadn’t included a single description for any man. Not one. He was the only one to catch that. Anyone that tells you friends shouldn’t critique your work can go fuck themselves. My oldest friend had totally saved me from this blatant oversight. He made Angst better, and continues to do so.

To this day, Matt encourages me to write more than anyone. I couldn’t be more thankful to have him on my side after all of these years. While we may not serenade pretty girls these days, not much else has changed.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

My 2016 Visioncon Adventure

Rio and Punk Cosplay

Whoa! I'm not sure what happened, but I think a con passed by at light speed! Isn't that always the case? The things you look forward to the most take for-ev-er to get here and then when it arrives, time speeds up as you try  to take it all in? This happened to me the weekend of February 26th, 2016, and  I'm pretty sure that blur was Visioncon 25!

Since first attending four years ago, I've always been a fan. Those coordinating and attending have always been gracious and supportive. This year, something came together, both for Visioncon and for me. First of all, Visioncon became VISIONCON! They turned the Branson Hilton Convention Center into a Valhalla of geekdom. The vendor room no longer felt squeezed into my garage. It was this great sprawling thing that provided wide aisles where gifted cosplayers could traverse unhindered. I had room to breathe, and space to tell my tale. It just felt good to be there!

I was on my own Thursday night and all of Friday, but I still won't admit to waiting in the hotel lobby like a puppy looking out the window Friday evening as Cristi, Marina and Mayra rolled in. If you were at Visioncon, or saw the pictures, you probably noticed I had 3 spokesmodels for this con. I’d like to say this happened because I’m actually Bruce Wayne and hot 20-somethings are falling all over me all the time. The truth is, I have some amazing friends and things just sort of fell into place. Marina and Mayra are Cristi’s best friends, and close friends of mine as well. They’ve both joined us at cons in Kansas City, and it worked out that they could come to Visioncon. I couldn't be more grateful!

I refer to them as my muses because they are as beautiful as they are inspiring. We had an amazing time outside of the con, even if I totally failed at trying to be 20 again. There were some odd looks thrown at us from our waitress at one restaurant, to the point I finally explained I was married to all of them. I don't think she found it as funny as we did. One of my favorite moments was when my muses arrived in full costume Saturday afternoon. The line of photographers and numerous camera flashes made it feel like paparazzi at a Hollywood Red Carpet.

My muses did amazing! Not only did they do an incredible job helping promote my Angst novels, they made the con a lot of fun for me! A special thanks to Amanda Lynn Chainmaille Creations for providing their costume tops and belts!

This was also my best Visioncon to date for sales. I even pre-sold quite a few copies of my fourth fantasy novel, Burning with Angst (even though I'm only about halfway done with the rough draft.) One reader picked up a copy of Angst on Friday, read the entire book Friday night and purchased the rest of the series Saturday. I couldn't have been more flattered.

I should shout out my excellent neighbor at the con, who I spent all of my downtime pestering. If you enjoy romantic urban fantasy, be sure to look up Lisa Medley! You can learn more about her books here:

I didn't think the con could get much better than all of this, but I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Brandon and Nate Shaw for their “Brothers on Whatever” show, which airs on St. Louis radio station 920AM. This was my first radio interview, and I had a blast. I’ve been listening to the entirety of the show throughout the week, and these guys are great! I highly recommend listening to their show either live, streaming, or by download! Thanks to both of them for the opportunity, and to Ed Gehlert for inviting me. You can find my portion of their show below.

You can find pictures of the con posted to my Facebook page. And finally, thanks to everyone who attended and organized Visioncon 25, I'm already excited for next year!

Now, back to writing book 4: Burning with Angst!