Wednesday, February 10, 2010


My latest novel, OOOEELIE, is now available as a Kindle and soon as a paperback on Amazon as well as e-books on Smashwords and obooko.
To sum up the novel: The Oooeelie Myth: A dog, the reincarnation of a canine being whose space ship crash-landed on earth tens of thousands of years ago and taught humans to speak, is still trying to find his way home to Sirius in the Twentieth Century.
The seed for the book was my admiration for courage and intelligence of my wife Ginger’s Airedale, Willie.
The role of walking Willie night and day fell to me. One of our frequent walks was to the mail box about three blocks away.
In his puppyhood, I would let Willie off the leash as I ran laps around our local park. Unfortunately, he decided to play a game of you-can’t-catch me with me. He began running off with me in pursuit and unable to catch him as would stay just beyond my reach. This would go on until he tired of the tease.
In reaction, I began leaving the leash attached to Willie while I did my running. One day, the game began as usual, but he took it to another level: he not only stayed beyond my reach, he ran off disappearing into the distance. I searched the neighborhood for him on foot and in car, then just accepted the fact that Willie was gone.
A couple of hours went by. A neighbor knocked on my door to ask: “Is that your Airedale down by the mail box”
He said he had tried to pick up the leash, but the dog bared his teeth. I trotted to the mailbox and lo and behold: Willie was sitting there patiently awaiting my arrival. It was a happy reunion.
As a result, I tied Willie to a goal post whenever I ran around the park. I usually walked a mile and half before I began running so he got plenty of exercise before being attached to the post.
I was at the other end of the park when I saw a father and son team who walked a huge Australian dog of some sort. I had heard about the dog terrorizing other dogs in the park—much to the amusement of the father and son. As I drew closer, they let their monster of an aggressive dog loose and he charged Willie.
What a mistake. Anyone who is familiar with the Airedale nature could predict what happened next. Willie tore into his attacker. The father and son had to pull him away from their dog. As I approached, the father said, “Dogs usually sit and submit when(Brutus or whatever his name was) goes after them.”
I never saw them again.
In case you wonder how I arrived at the name Oooeelie, I did so by taking the W in Willie and extending it to ooo, and the i to ee. Put together with the rest of his name, it becomes Oooeelie.
Willie died at age 14 on May 20, 2001. I buried him by the big rock in our back yard facing north (he preferred the cold and the snow) with his favorite stuffed animal, which was a soft white doll shaped like a gingerbread man, a bowl and some food; he was wrapped in the cover he usually slept on in the living room.
In death, he looked as though he were running. He looked alive, but his soul was gone. Ginger asked where I thought the spirits of animals went after they died. I have to believe they go to heaven or are reincarnated.
Everything is a piece of God so perhaps Willie returned to God.

A suggestion: My novel, THE PENCIL ARTIST is available as an e-book on Smashwords, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble; as a paperback on Amazon.

Monday, February 8, 2010


FOOLS CROW by James Welch (1986)is a novel about the Blackfeet just after the Civil War when the whites were expanding into the tribe’s homeland.
Welch is a writer who creates another world; the novel is a journey from one end of the Blackfeet experience when the hero, Fools Crow, is becoming a full fledged warrior to the point when he realizes that the way of life that his people revered and enjoyed is going to expire with the whites overwhelming them and destroying their culture.
This is a book that should be taught in high schools to give students insights into Native America culture. Besides it would introduce them to James Welch, a great American writer.

A suggestion: My novel, THE PENCIL ARTIST is available as an e-book on Smashwords, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble; as a paperback on Amazon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My 99-cent novels

I recently cut the price of my three novels, OOOEELIE, THE DREAM DANCER, and THE JYNX to 99 cents on Kindle. After trying to sell them at $3.99 and $4.99, I came to accept Joe Konrath’s sage advice on A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing that “Cheap sells. Free sells even more.”
Of course, I knew all about free. The three novels are offered as free e-books on Smashwords and obooko, while they are up for sale at bargain prices on Kindle and as paperbacks on Amazon.
In reality, Joe Konrath might have saved me $500. Seeing that my three novels weren’t moving, I decided to set out to push OOOEELIE with an advertising budget of $500. Research showed me that I could place classified ads in two literary publications for three months for a total of a little more than $300.
Further research led me to Konrath and others, but he was the best leaving me convinced that paid advertising might very well be a waste of money for an author as insignificant me.
On Monday, Feb. 1, 2010, Kindle listed the books at 99 cents for the first time—and I sold a copy of THE DREAM DANCER that day. As any author knows, there is no more a joyous feeling than selling a book or I should say books. For an Indie-author like me one book excites that feeling. Maybe it takes a 100,000-book-day to stir James Patterson.

A suggestion: My novel, THE PENCIL ARTIST is available as an e-book on Smashwords, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble; as a paperback on Amazon.