My most brutal Publisher rejection letter.

Since I’m on the verge of hitting 100 reviews, likely keeping my 4.7 star average, and having sold WAY more copies than most newbie authors… I’d like to share the most brutal rejection letter I received when I was looking for publishers.

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Acquisition Reviewer Notes:

Zane Grey meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when prehistoric beasts, including myriad dinosaurs under the control of a race of huge, carnivorous bipedal apes, living in a parallel world, discover a portal into the human world where they proceed to wreak unspeakable and savage havoc in the Wyoming Territory of 1885, beginning with the spread of outlaw cum respected rancher, Jedediah Huckleberry, and gradually moving to a tense showdown in the little town of Granite Falls.

To be successful, any book, I think, must create a world in which the reader is able to suspend disbelief, if only within the pages of that book. Obviously, the farther the subject is from the known world, the more difficult it is to create that acceptance, and with a book that is this far from the “known,” the task is huge. It simply doesn’t work for me. While the characters are, to some degree, compelling (Jedediah Huckleberry makes a very good anti-hero), the author just tries to do too much, and it’s just too hard for the reader to buy in. The ending, which leaves so many loose ends tangling, makes one think that the author finally grew just as weary of the whole thing as his reader does.

It would appear that the author here is striving to occupy a niche, and in that, he is surely successful. The problem is that he is alone in that niche. I simply can not imagine a reader group who would join him there.

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Hey there, Publisher… How you like my reader group now? 🖕🤣🖕

Time for training.

I used to be pretty jacked, then I had my self-induced gun-inflicted brain damage from firing big guns with muzzle brakes inside small spaces causing repeated concussions… which in turn caused a pretty severe case of post-concussive syndrome.

Long story. Doesn’t matter.

What does matter is I went from a gym rat to a depressed, moody, personality changed chunky guy for about a solid year as I ate my feelings. Then I started to get back into lifting as I began to recover… and COVID hit and closed the gyms down for another year…

So I went from chunky to fat.

This WAS me at a hefty 230lbs , running Spartan races, benching 325, and trying to find abs.

Now I’m a bit bigger AND so unhealthy that I have a metabolic age 8 years older than the actual 38 years old that I am.

So this is pretty unhealthy.

Well, I had tried to get back into the gym and lost about 10lbs. Then I started a new job that was a lot more stressful and demanding, and far enough from the gym that I couldn’t go during lunch time…. and I gained 15lbs back.

So screw it.

I got a trainer.

Not just any trainer, but celebrity training sadist Kris freaking Gethin. (Not his real middle name)

“Who?”

This guy.

Yeah, he’s pretty impressive. But what’s even more impressive are the transformations he’s helped people do to become physically fit, mentally sound, able to live better and longer, and frankly, become a more badass version of themselves.

Expect some more updates as time goes on, but so far I’m on day 6 of the program and I’ve lost 5.3lbs. (yay)

I’m exhausted and sore. And did I mention exhausted? Because I gave up the 2-3 monster energy drinks, 1-3 cups of coffee, and 2-3 diet sodas I was drinking a day for caffeine/energy… and I gave up sugar in all those delicious foods I liked…

I am tired.

But I’m sleeping good and feeling better.

Expect more updates to come as well as before/after pictures.

West of Prehistoric – Audio Book coming soon!

Woop!

Last night the publisher sent me the narrator’s audition ‘tape’ so I got to hear the voice of the gentleman who’d be narrating. It sounded great and I’m stoked.

Getting my first book in Audio format has been a goal of mine since I wrote it. Especially since my mom’s side of the family has hereditary vision loss around 60 and most likely I’ll get that genetic gift in a couple of decades. 🙂

So, it’s nice to see that goal come to fruition for everyone who has a hard time seeing or is to busy to sit down and read.

And while we wait on that… the reviews are still rolling in.

I’m currently standing with a wonderful 4.8 on West of Prehistoric and 4.5 on Enter Prehistoric. (Someone gave me a 1 star and a 2 star without any written reason on EP, if it wasn’t for that, it’d be scoring better than WoP since the other 24 reviews are 5’s with a few 4’s sprinkled in.) Keep them coming, I always tell people that reviews really help me keep the momentum going by showing other people that it’s worth their time to read a book by someone they’ve never heard of. And you guys have been delivering, and people have kept on reading.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am with my reader’s reactions and the foreseeable future for my writing career. Both are outstanding. And now that I’m getting a grip on my new job, I’m finding more time in the evening to write without feeling exhausted and mentally drained. The progress on the third book continues!

And as an aside, my dad sent me a link to this rifle and it’s on my wish list now.

I bet there will be a lot of haters on it, since it breaks the traditional mold for an 1886, but I love it. The only thing I dislike is that the octagonal barrel doesn’t continue to the muzzle. That’s just lazy manufacturing and inexcusable.

So, I’ll keep building up my royalties, and maybe I can get one someday. 🙂

My daughter is officially a shooter now.

For as long as I can recall, the fourth of July has been the best holiday. Because as a kid, it meant I traditionally got to go spend the day at the range shooting up my dad’s ammo supply.

This has ebbed and waned over the years, depending on everything going on, especially as I started my own family. But this year, my daughter just turned five and I ordered her a new pink Crosman 760 rifle, some eye protection, a scope that cost as much as the air rifle, and 30,000 bb’s and 2,000 pellets. (Which weighs A LOT by the way.)

That’s right. My 5 year old daughter now has one of those ‘arsenals’ that the media talks about so fearfully when they investigate a shooter who is at least somewhat serious about their hobby. “Oh my goodness! They had a rifle and 1,000 rounds! Aiiieee! The TERROR!”

So… how did it go?

Well she was SO excited that she had to immediately try it out and is hooked. We were outside last night at 8:30pm, well past her bedtime, shooting a giant cardboard box and some Sprite cans.

She struggled with the scope, and I hadn’t thought about how hard it is to teach a kid about eye relief when the rifle is almost bigger then they are. So we took that sucker off, ordered a Crosman reflex dot sight, and I tried to teach her how to use the iron sights for the meantime.

Which went fairly well, but considering where she keeps impacting, I know she is just using the front sight and not the rear combined with it. (Everything is hitting far to the left.)

But, it doesn’t matter. She’s having a blast. She already had a healthy respect for firearms from going to the local gun store with me and oohing and aahing over everything with the stipulation of ‘don’t touch’. And now she has a good muzzle awareness and some handling skills already.

As long as she keeps puts safety first, we’ll get her accurate eventually. (As you can see in the picture below, without a bench rest table, it’s pretty hard for her to hold the rifle up, make a cheek weld, line the sights up, etc).

As she grows, she’ll get better.

And this is how she’s been shooting the rifle. (Apparently she already knew about short stocking a rifle for CQB.)

This week she goes to her Grandma and Grandpa’s for a few days, and she’s insisted that her rifle comes with her so she can show Grandpa. And I’m sure she’ll come back with some more trigger time in.

And finally, in the spirit of the 4th of July, I broke every single rule on a $10 slip and slide (including the pointy object one because I had my pocket knife on me) and lived to tell the tale… or show it I suppose.

Freedom first. Always!