Here is the first piece of concept art for Dead Skin Dave, the Pirate:
What do you think?
The first location I stumbled upon for inspiration is the food court at Westminster Mall in Westminster, CA. The food court is one of those places that is always busy and full of interesting people. This particular food court has a lot of different table settings, making it easy to get many different views of the area. My favorite, the counter seating, which allows for a high vantage point, and I don’t look odd sitting by myself.
Sitting in a food court, one overhears many conversations, some intriguing, others bland. There is never a lack of good story content coming from those around you.
Televisions blare out whatever advertisement the mall has paid for, which can be a little distracting, but also easily filtered out.
There are a large variety of people walking around the food court, representing every piece of the American melting pot, a perfect opportunity to create interesting and lifelike characters.
The Westminster Mall food court provides a classic American Mall vibe circa the 1980s and 90s, which provides a very rare energy that is strangely nostalgic and inspiring at the same time.
Overall, writing in a mall food court is a little distracting (and hunger inducing), but a great opportunity to create some very interesting characters and storylines.
Get ready for the swashbuckling, witty adventure of Dead Skin Dave the Pirate and his first mate, Tom, coming this April!
Up until that time I will be sharing exclusive photos, concept art and more as I get the book ready for publication.
Gibbly the elf was really cold. He was not sure why standing out in the falling snow was a “privilege”, as the other elves said. Perhaps they knew better, or perhaps they were playing a trick on poor Gibbly. He had been standing in front of a red pole with a flashing light on the end all day long. His instructions were to call the head elf immediately if the light were to ever stop flashing. Gibbly was told this was a very important job. You see, if the light stopped flashing, Santa would not be able to find his way out of the North Pole and into the sky. That would mean no presents being delivered on Christmas Eve!
“But,” Gibbly thought. “Santa already has GPS installed on his new sleigh. Does he even need these lights to guide him anymore? I don’t see anyone else watching the other lights.”
And he was right. There were no other elves watching the other lights. In fact, there was no one around as far as he could see. The only thing he could see, besides the annoying flashing light on a pole, was a small brick building way off in the distance. There was smoke coming out of the chimney, and all of the windows were lit with a bright, yellow light. The warmth coming from the fireplace melted the snow around the building. It looked to be the only warm place for miles.
“Oh, forget it. I need to get out of the cold!” Gibbly slowly walked through the blinding white snow and reached the brick building in just the right time – his pointy elf ears were frozen solid! He quickly knocked on the big, wooden door. It creaked open under the weight of his knocking. Gibbly looked around, but he could see no one standing in the doorway. Not wanting the rest of him to freeze, Gibbly walked inside. The warmth immediately flushed his cheeks, and he could feel his ears again!
“Hello?” Gibbly called out, but no one answered. Gibbly made himself at home, lounging in the overstuffed red sofa and sipping hot chocolate out of a green, swirly glass. Gibbly was now nice and warm. He was so warm and comfortable on the couch that he quickly started falling asleep.
“Hey. Why are in my house?”
Gibbly opened his eyes to see a large face staring down at him.
“Sorry, sir. I must have fallen asleep.”
“You’re Gibbly, aren’t you? You’re supposed to be watching the light this Christmas Eve! Why aren’t you out there?”
Gibbly sat up on the big red couch. “I thought that was just a joke the other elves were playing on me!”
“Oh, no. It is a very serious job. You must get back out there!” the large elf said.
Gibbly got up from the couch, walked out the front door, and braced himself for a long, cold walk. His large, pointy ears started freezing again! Gibbly made it to the pole and realized that the light had gone out! He reached for his communicator, but it was gone.
“I must have left it in the house!” Gibbly thought.
Up in the air, Gibbly could hear Santa’s sleigh approaching his location.
“What should I do? Will Santa lose his way if I don’t fix the light? Where did I leave that extra light bulb?”
Gibbly searched in the snow for the light bulb. Above, he heard Santa’s sleigh getting even closer to the pole, except something didn’t sound right. The bells on the sleigh sounded like they were heading in the wrong direction.
“Oh no! Santa’s reindeer are getting lost! I need to hurry.”
Gibbly found the bulb, took the old one out, and screwed the new one in as quick as he could. The light came to life in a blinding white light. Gibbly looked to the sky. The sleigh bells were getting closer! Within a few seconds, Gibbly heard the loud jingle of sleigh bells and then Santa’s sleigh flew overhead! Santa was back on track and off to deliver presents to children around the world!
“Wow! I really did make a difference. Being frozen from head to toe was certainly worth saving Christmas for all of the girls and boys around the world. I am an important elf,” Gibbly said with a smile.
Hello, faithful readers! I have a few exciting updates I would like to share with you tonight.
I will be running a special Christmas edition of my Fantastic Adventures series- just as I did with Halloween- filled with some of my favorite family friendly Christmas and holiday movies, books and TV specials. I hope you will enjoy it and discover great new entertainment options to share with your kids (or, kids, get your parents to watch with you!).
Second, I am pleased to announce the date of my next book, Dead Skin Dave, the Pirate. Expect it to sail into your home Tuesday, April 16th. I know this is one that some of you have been waiting for, and I am very happy to finally get everything ironed out for a release date.
I look forward to sharing my writing with all of you.
As a writer, it is very important to always have easy access to all of the stories one is working on, especially on the go. That is why I would like to take the time to review what I believe is the perfect on the go device, the Microsoft Surface.
What is Surface? Surface is a tablet computer released by Microsoft, running Windows RT. Think of Windows RT like it is an iPad. Apple has the OSX operating system on their Macs and iOS for its mobile devices and tablets. Windows RT is a stripped down version of Windows 8.
Why choose Surface? As I mentioned before, it is extremely important to have access to all of my stories I am working on, as inspiration may hit at any moment. The Surface tablet has built in Wi-Fi and cloud storage, so all of my documents are always available. And when I update Eliza, the Witch on my Surface, it saves automatically to the cloud, so if I go home and want to continue working on the story on my desktop PC, the story is there waiting for me right where I left off.
There is another reason the Surface is a great writer’s companion: it comes with Office preinstalled for free. That is something that no other tablet can offer at this time.
Not only will you have access to 6GB of free cloud storage with Skydrive so you can work on your documents and have them sync seamlessly between your PCs, there is also a USB port and MicroSD slot on the Surface. Let’s say you are out at a conference somewhere and there doesn’t happen to be Wi-Fi. All you have to do is carry your documents with you on a USB Memory Stick, external hard drive, or MicroSD card and you are ready to go. Again, another feature the iPad does not have.
Of course, the hardest part about tablet computing is always the typing. Portable keyboards are rarely that as they take up a lot of space and usually run out of batteries fairly quickly. The Surface has a solution for you, and it is nothing short of amazing. The Touch Cover for Surface is not only a smart cover for your screen, it also acts as a built in portable keyboard that is only a few millimeters thick. The keys are slightly raised and feel like felt and typing is as easy as tapping your fingers on a table. I had a few hours to play around with one and after about 10 minutes I was typing just as quickly as with a standard keyboard. On the plus side , you don’t even have to buy a stand for your tablet. The Surface has a built n kickstand that keeps the tablet at the perfect viewing angle.
With all of these great features, the Surface tablet from Microsoft is a must on any writer’s list this Holiday season. The clincher is definitely the free Office (although the USB port is extremely useful).
There really is no better tablet out there for a portable writing experience.
Microsoft Surface tablet is available for $499 at a Microsoft Store near you, or available online at Surface.com. Touch Cover is $119.
Microsoft Store locations: http://content.microsoftstore.com/home.aspx?WT.mc_id=onlinestore_footertray
Join Jeremy as he goes from a small pumpkin on a vine to a delightfully wicked jack-o’-lantern! Go on a journey as Jeremy experiences Halloween for the first time!
Coming soon to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and more!!
The Haunted House of John Price Horror novelette is now available for $0.99 at BarnesandNoble.com for your NOOK e-reader or whichever device you have the NOOK software installed on.
*WARNING: Not for kids!*
Don’t have a Kindle? Download the FREE Kindle app for your PC, iPad, iPhone or Android phone and read right from your device!
Please review after you have read!!