Update on next upcoming novel

I haven’t dropped an update in a while, so it is time to fix that situation.

I have a new WIP (work in progress). I don’t have a working title for it yet, but in my head I’ve been calling it: “Bard-Hard.”

THIS WILL PROBABLY NOT BE THE FINAL TITLE. Too gimmicky even if it makes me smile.

Still, I look forward to thinking of its sequels as Bard-Harder… Bard Hard with a Vengence…

For now, I’m just going to refer to this WIP as “Bard-Hard” for the remainder of this update.

I began writing “Bard-Hard” about mid-September when my kids started Kindergarten. Currently, I’m 145 pages (roughly 60k words) into the first draft.

Now, I had started another book between The Never Army and “Bard Hard” and I was about 300 pages in before I knew that it wasn’t going to come together. I only bring this up because I sent out some early project announcements about said previous WIP and I don’t want folks getting confused. Anyhow, I haven’t thrown that previous WIP in the trash. The main problem with that story: it was too ambitious to be the first book in a fantasy series. The world I needed it to exist in requires more time to be fleshed out before jumping into where that story takes place. “Bard-Hard” will likely be the first stepping stone that eventually leads to that grandeur ambition.

The Paperback is (finally) here!

Good news today folks!

For the first time ever, the entire series is available in Paperback Edition. To celebrate, all the books are on sale for a limited time! (Unfortunately, this deal on paperbacks won’t last long, see below)

The Never Hero | Normally $15.99 | Currently $10.99
The Never Paradox | Normally $20.99 | Currently $14.99
The Never Army |Will be $25.99 | Currently $20.99

Outside the the United States?Prices/links above reflect the US. All books are discounted equivalently (according to currency) for any Amazon site you may visit.

Audiobook Update: I’ve spoken to Steven Barnett recently, and while we never make any guarantees on these things (it will always be quality over speed) he is confident he’ll be done recording before the end of March.

Sales Price: In order to discount the paperbacks, I had to disable ‘Expanded Distribution.’ This means that as long as the books are discounted they are not available to any retailers outside of Amazon. So, I can only offer these prices for a limited time. For more information on Expanded Distribution see Link: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GQTT4W3T5AYK7L45

Author Interview With NeoStarling

This interview was a lot of fun. NeoStarling and I talk story, characters, and the upcoming finale. In the past my podcast appearances have been centered on the life of an indie author, this discussion was almost entirely Q&A about The Chronicles of Jonathan Tibbs themselves. Big thanks to NeoStarling for the opportunity to nerd out!

Vol 3 | Title & Cover Reveal

Confession, title reveals make me far more nervous than cover reveals. Once a title is out is out there you can’t change your mind.

First off, the answer is “Yes.” I’m fully aware that TNA is an… unfortunate… acronym.

Second, some of you may be thinking, “Wait, wait, wait… The Never Army. Isn’t that also the name of your e-mail subscriber list? What are you playing at here?”

Okay you caught me. I knew six years ago that The Never Army would probably be the third volume’s title. But that was also before I really started considering how to go about marketing books (back then, I didn’t even know I needed a mailing list). So, when it occurred to me that The Never Army was also a catchy name for an email subscriber list… I went with it. Unless I’ve made a severe miscalculation any confusion this might cause will be minimal.

All that said, when I started working on volume three’s draft there was a serious contender for an alternate title. I won’t say what that title would have been because the alternate was “too apt.“ I know that sounds like the opposite of a reason to not have chosen it, but I came to feel the alternate actually risked being an ending spoiler.

Now, if all that just made you angry and curious about about what this mystery alternate title would have been, don’t worry, I plan to include that story in an author note at the end of the published novel. Theoretically, you’ll all have finished the book by then and the danger of ruining anything will be passed.

Anyhow, you’re all probably sick of hearing me babble about titles!

As always, thank you all so much for being a reader and supporting this series! You are all the reason my family eats and has a roof over its head! My only regret is that I can’t write faster for you!

Book Three Update

Hello Gentle Readers,

Given the frequency with which I’m getting update requests, I feel its time to put everyone at ease about book three. I’m still working on it. This will remain the case unless I die…

…or fall into a coma

…or lose my hands

…something really terrible will have to happen.

No, the manuscript is not as far along as I’d like. I’m about 60% of the way through the first draft.

Now, I know–I KNOW!

…Months ago, I said I was half way through the first draft.  The reason for such little progress since is that I re-wrote the whole damn thing. Trust me, this was out of necessity.

Okay, so why is it taking me so long regardless of rewrites? Well, I hate to blame my shortcoming on innocent children…

I said I hate to do it, didn’t say I wouldn’t.

Currently, I am the loving father of two babies under two years of age. Okay technically Xander will turn two tomorrow, but at the time of this writing this statement is true. Lorelei is almost eight months.

These two are a handful.

I try to get as much time in the chair writing as possible, but if you’re a parent you already know I spend most of my days operating at some degree of sleep deprivation while desperately trying to accomplish the goal of showering at regular enough intervals as to not smell homeless.

All that said, you–Gentle Patient Readers–deserve something for your support! An update worth your time! So, here is a look at the cover art for the finale!

Now, I’ve redacted the word that comes after “The Never” in the title. Why?  I learned with The Never Paradox not to commit to a working title in the middle of the first draft.

Well folks, that is all I’ve got for now. I appreciate your patience and support. I can’t wait to get this book done for all of you!

What Books Inspired You to Write?

What Books Inspired You to Write?

I get this question often and my answers always feel vague. The question isn’t as straight forward as it seems–I end up in a thought labyrinth as I over-dissect the exact meaning of the word “inspired?”

So here are a few answers for each of the ways I might take the question:

Are they asking: What books of fiction have had an observable influence on the stories you write? 

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff |  by Christopher Moore.

Ismael |  by Daniel Quinn.

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior | by Dan Millman.

Though, if we are talking influences, I draw a lot from reading comic books in the 90’s and watching movies/TV shows.

Are they asking: What books of fiction have you enjoyed a great deal?

The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fears | by Patrick Rothfuss.

If I ever met Patrick Rothfuss, I would shake his hand and let him know that, as an author, his work profoundly humbles me every time I read it. It’s not just the man’s prose, but the shear scope of his world building.

The Dresden Files | By Jim Butcher.

The Iron Druid Chronicles | By Kevin Hearne

The Sword of Truth Series | By Terry Goodkind

At the time of this writing I am enjoying Peter V. Brett’s The Demon Cycle.

I am just gonna stop this list short, but I update my Goodreads profile from time to time if you want book recommendations.

Are they asking: What books do you feel people should read for the purpose of self improvement?

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark |  By Carl Sagan

The Moral Animal | By Robert Wright

The Hero With A Thousand Faces | By Joseph Campbell (you guys probably saw that coming)

Are they asking: What books have helped you with the craft of Writing itself?

I found Stephen King’s book: On Writing incredibility helpful. That said, I would add the caveat that one should read this as they are attempting to write their first novel.  Said person should absorb this slowly–only read a chapter or two a week.

Stephen King expresses a lot of his own self doubts throughout the book and it helps to hear a successful author describe the exact same feelings you’ll soon find yourself experiencing.

Overly Sarcastic Productions

So, about a month ago, I asked Red & Blue from Overly Sarcastic Productions if I could sponsor an episode of their Youtube Channel.

I’ve been a fan of their content for about six months. If you’ve never checked them out I recommend it!  If you enjoy The Chronicle Of Jonathan Tibbs, you’ll love Red’s segment: Trope Talks.

Basically, If Collin and Hayden stopped arguing, combined their nerd powers for good, and formed some sort of nerd Voltron, Red would still defeat them in a battle of…

uh… making literary observations and gleaming insights while using pop culture reference to support your point.

See, I get why they just call it “Trope Talks” now.

Anyway, Red would be like nerd Godzilla in this analogy.

Wait, did that check out?

Okay… I did a strong minute thirty of internet research and it turns out there isn’t an easy to google consensus on who would win in a fight between Godzilla and Voltron.

I’m just gonna move on now…

Anyhow, turned out that Red was already working on an episode of Trope Talks titled: Saving The World. 

So, I was like…

“Yes! Yes please! That one! The Never Hero would like to be the proud sponsor of that episode! No, no, don’t need to see the rest of the list, That is the one!”

I’ll stop talking know so you can enjoy the video. Big thanks to Red and Blue!


Observations On The Writing Process | Catalog Entry #451546217.23

As I’ve been working on the finale for The Chronicles of Jonathan Tibbs I’ve been repeatedly experiencing creeping productivity lows followed by surges.

This can be attributed to a number of different factors. A main one being that I now have a one year old that makes it harder than ever to get time in front of the keyboard.

That said, there are things happening in the actual writing this time around that I haven’t had as much trouble with in the past. I’ve always had the basic foundations for the book in my head.  Sure, edits have been made here and there along the way as I wrote TNH and TNP, but the fundamental story has not changed. Still, every writer will tell there is often a wide gap between how a scene he/she imagined will play out and what actually happens once they start putting the words down.

In the past, if I couldn’t get what I wanted out of a scene, I didn’t let it shut me down. If a chapter wasn’t working I’d go onto the next. Sometimes the very act of skipping ahead would jar lose the answer I needed anyway. Then, I could go back to whatever section wasn’t quite working and fix it.

This hasn’t been a real option on the finale.

This (hopefully) being the final book in the series, certain plot lines have to come to pass at certain moments. I haven’t been able to skip ahead with much confidence because  I need to see the reality of how a scene worked its self out  as opposed to how I’m hoping it will.

More specifically, I need to know exactly what characters A, B, C, and D know, where they are, and what condition they’re in, before writing the next scene. The ability to assume that the natural progression of the story will get them where I need them in the condition I imagined is a bit more of a gamble.

Of course, I’m only really ‘gambling’  with my time, but as I mentioned–time isn’t as abundant as it once was.

This is all to say I’ve noticed a pattern in the writing lately where certain key scenes lead me into week long periods where I try to tinker the words into working before I finally see the answer, realize I’ve gone about it all wrong, and then crank out the finished scene in a single day.  All the writing that came before doesn’t necessarily go to waste, as it still influences the final version, but man… those treading water periods take their toll on the spirit.

Yes, its always worth it in the end. I re-wrote a scene yesterday that, again, hadn’t been working for weeks before hand, and now it feels amazing to be able to figuratively stamp it: First Draft Done.

Lastly, don’t get to caught up on the whole Catalog Entry #451546217.23 .

Said catalog only exists in my imagination… and even in my imagination its highly unorganized, theoretical at best really. I mean its kind of like these scenes I’ve been talking about.


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