Hoopstad, an imaginary destination. 

     I wrote back in the first post, ‘lo these many weeks that The Medal was a sci-fi story, and I’m sure no one believed it. I’m about 130 pages in and there’s been no sign of anything resembling science fiction. In truth, it reads like contemporary fiction. It’s just the story of a family dealing with the loss of a loved one, and that’s it.

     The medal that Alex inherits from his father is really a MacGuffin. It’s sole purpose, as we’ve seen now is to propel our protagonist into the past and give him a chance to correct a mistake his father made during World War 2. 

     I love time travel stories. Always have and always will. This story feels like it could have been ripped from an episode of Quantum Leap. (It wasn’t!)

     Alex is sent to Nazi occupied Holland, presumably to save the lives of a Jewish family that had successfully hidden for the duration of the war.  They are summarily executed by a Nazi officer in a pique of rage while Alex’s father watched in horror.

     My problem is that World War 2 was a real thing. People really died. Horrible things happened to good people routinely. My story is fictional and I didn’t want to hijack any one’s true stories or impugn anyone’s reputation. So I invented Hoopstad. Hoopstad and all its inhabitants are imaginary. Their stories are imaginary too, but they have been inspired by true events. When we meet him, sturmbannfuhrer Erich Klaages is fictional too. 

     My intent when writing The Medal was that it not be construed as anything other than historical fiction. I’ve tried to keep the details as accurate as possible. I’ve done a lot of research but I’ve been know to make mistakes from time to time. Bottom line; read it. Enjoy it. Don’t expect anything more than entertainment (I hope)!

As always, new chapters for Running the Gauntlet and The Medal are posted. Don’t forget to vote! Until next week,



Step outside your comfort zone!

I’ve mentioned earlier that I think the number one thing a writer needs to do is read. The reason for that is to immerse yourself in as many different types and styles of writing as possible from a wide array of writers. So if you usually enjoy sparkly vampire love stories, try reading some true crime non-fiction. 

The point here is to grow. Personally, I like reading. I normally tend to gravitate towards literary fiction, but I’ll try anything. 

The same is true for your writing. Expand your horizons! All the great writers are doing it. JK Rowling went from Harry Potter to detective stories. If you haven’t read them yet, check out the Cormoran Strike novels under her pen name, Robert Galbraith . They are amongst my favourite books out there right now. 

Another favourite, Margaret Atwood, is writing a graphic novel. One of my favourite writers in one of my favourite mediums? Yes please!

There are plenty of other things a writer can do to step out of their comfort zone; switch POVs, switch genres, or just write about something you normally wouldn’t. The important thing is to switch things up! You’ll find yourself a better writer for it in the long run. 

As always, the newest links to Running the Gauntlet and The Medal are up.  Read them and let me know what you think. I value all input. Don’t forget to vote. Both books are currently in the top 30 for jukepop and I’d really like to stay there, you know, for bragging rights. Until next week,


The Martian – A serial Success Story!

A while back I posted a short story on my Facebook page written by a relatively unknown writer named Andy Weir. The story is called The Egg, and I absolutely love it. It’s the story of a recently deceased man who encounters God and God teaches him the meaning of life. If you haven’t read it, read it now. Continue reading “The Martian – A serial Success Story!”


Blood Is Thicker Than Water.

So we’ve met our protagonist, Alex, and his immediate family. I found them all to be tricky, especially Alex and his sister, Emily.

I need to set up Alex as generally being very unhappy in his life. It will be important for him to later want a fresh start but he can’t do that until he addresses all the baggage in his life.

Also, while he doesn’t understand Lorne he isn’t a hate filled homophobe. He’s from a generation where homosexuality wasn’t accepted. I hope I’ve made that clear in the narrative. Continue reading “CHAPTER 2”