Monday, April 25, 2011

Updated Query

I've been updating my query as per suggestions from my fellow authors and posted it below. I'm also working on a my new synopsis. As you can imagine these two short, but very important documents are very time consuming to write and rewrite, but are the only introductions an agent will have to my work. At best they spend about 30 seconds to a minute deciding whether they want to read more. Let me know what you think, thanks!


Teenagers in a sleepy frontier town, Joshua has a reputation as a devil-may-care troublemaker whereas his sister Sarah prefers to play the country coquette. At odds with their neighbors and each other, neither sibling is prepared when a French and Indian war-party destroys their settlement, leaving Joshua and Sarah to fend for themselves and a family of seven children. Faced with starvation, roving war-parties, and a vindictive French officer scouring the Blue Ridge Mountains for survivors, neither sibling can talk their way out of the hardships they must overcome if they hope to survive in the last cabin left on the frontier.

A historical novel set in Colonial America, The Last Cabin will appeal to adult readers of James Alexander Thom's Follow the River and also to young-adult fans of Elizabeth George Speare's Sign of the Beaver. Pubic interest in America's colonial frontier continues to surge with the advent of films such as The Last of the Mohicans and The Patriot, reality television shows like "Frontier House," and the HBO miniseries "John Adams" based on David McCullough's book. In addition, historical authors such as Bernard Cornwell, William Forstchen, and Jeff Shaara have each continued to publish multiple novels in the last few years set during the colonial period in America.

I published my first short-story in Moebius Magazine at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where I obtained my Masters degree in English and my Undergraduate degree in History with a concentration specifically on the American colonial frontier. Currently, I write by day as a Technical Writer at Google while continuing to pursue my career as a historical fiction author by night. I also travel extensively with my wife and have visited the historical sites in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains that provide the setting for my novel. I bring a unique perspective to historical fiction, not only researching my era in books, but also participating in farming, hunting, and historical reenactments in order to gain firsthand insights into the everyday lives of colonial Americans.  

Novel length: 91, 179 words.            

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Brian Wilson: The Beard, The Hawk, The Man

I'm not into the whole hero worship thing, and I certainly don't want to give that impression here, but I do think it worthwhile to spotlight someone doing good deeds for the greater good. My favorite San Francisco Giants closer, Brian Wilson, is more often know for his “fear the beard” antics, his mohawk under his cap, and his witty attitude, but he is also a fundraiser for many charitable organizations.

If you haven't seen his personal website, check it out, especially his comic videos as they're sure to put a smile on any Giant fan's face. Yes, he says a lot of crazy things on camera, and yes, I think he's hilarious. In addition to being a quirky character and one heck of an athlete his website also spotlights his efforts to help the community.

The video above that he, Cody Ross, and Lou Seal did with You-Tube sensation/lip-sync kid Keenan Cahill is part of an ongoing effort to raise support for research into the Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome that Keenan has. In addition, Brian supports many other organizations, including everything from encouraging girls to play baseball to supporting San Francisco's local Irish Cultural center (of which I'm a member). So if you've got a few minutes in your day and want to learn about Brian's efforts on behalf of others or you simply need a good chuckle in your day see his site for yourself.

Monday, April 18, 2011

HBO: A Game of Thrones Premiere

Last night the first televised episode of George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones aired on HBO. I haven't seen it because I don't have HBO, but I'm wondering if some of you out there do. I've read the books, but I can only speculate as to the quality of the television series.

Nonetheless, its a major coup for fantasy books with major cult followings as Martin's medieval/fantasy style has earned him fans across the globe over the years and hopefully many more to follow as a result of the new HBO series. I did read online that Martin himself has attested to the accuracy of the HBO series and claims that it follows the first book faithfully.

For those of you familiar with the “Fire and Ice” saga, you know that each novel in the series is immense, high detailed storyline with a vast array of characters that would be daunting to put to film in its entirety. Nonetheless, it should be a fun series both onscreen and on the page, as Martin is still working on book 5 of his proposed 7 book series. Hopefully, they all end up on film at some point.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Caribbean Cruise

I just got back from my first ever Caribbean Cruise! You may have wondered why I haven't updated my blog lately or comment on yours...and now you know. During my week off I strictly kept away from all computers, phones, etc as per my wife's orders.

We flew Virgin America to Florida to catch the boat, and if you haven't taken that airline I suggest you try it. They've got great prices and a staff with a quirky sense of humor. From Cape Canaveral my wife and I shipped out aboard a Royal Caribbean vessel known as Freedom of the Seas.

The ship has interactive screens in the hallways that provide map and event info onboard ship, and the restaurants are packed with food of every variety. From our balcony we enjoyed the balmy 80-90 degree weather with the over 4000 other passengers embarking from the U.S. Our ports of call included Labadee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Mexico. Needless to say we had a great time and I'll be daydreaming of rum and sunny beaches for many weeks to come.