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New member of the family and notes on latest WIP

Hope your Summer is going well. I can’t believe that it is already July, it is speeding by so fast.

riley-1My daughter Haley brought the newest member of our family to our house this past weekend. She named him Riley and he is a stinker!! We took him for his second vet visit yesterday, and he slept through the whole thing. All of our other dogs really hate to go to the vet, they are whining and carrying on. Sawyer the Schnauzer climbs in my lap. Riley was not impressed at all.

We’re continuing to edit the 12 Guardians, we’ve also started on our latest book, which is a story about my Dad. As you know he was injured last October, was in ICU for a month or so, we spent from Oct 19th to Jan 22nd in one healtchare facility or another. We had twice a week rehab for a couple of months after that and today is preaching and almost back to his old routine. Next week he plans on flying to Oregon. We’ll be telling our families story and hopefully someone may get some comfort and / or hope from it.

What have you been up to this summer?

June Update – What we’ve been up to

It feels like summer here in Kentucky. Temps in the afternoon hover around 100 on my back porch and the humidity feels like it is that high as well.

We’re continue to work on reading (and taking notes) for the first five books. The reason we’re doing that is so that we don’t make any goofs in the future books. It is time consuming, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.

Also we’ve started working on a new project, we’re going to be writing a book about my Dad (a nonfiction one), I’ve had more than a few requests to do that and so we are doing it.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer!

A contract

contract-headerSo the contract has arrived. The book will be published October / November of this year. Don’t worry I’ll make sure to post a link. It was pretty standard, giving them the rights to the little story in any type of book / audio. I keep the rights to any movie deals :-). Like I mentioned before the main reason I did this was to get some new eyes looking at the 12 Guardians, we’ll see if my experiment works or not.

The lady I’ve been working with also explained that while they have the rights to the story I’ve written, they don’t have the rights to the experience, the thing that happened to me when I was seven, which the story is based on. This made me feel much better.

This week I’ve also started reviewing the first books of my series, this is to make sure that I don’t goof in future books. If things go according to plans then we’ll start editing book six in July. Enjoy your week!

First Contract

Received a good note in the inbox a couple of days ago. I submitted a short story to be included in a book of them. Here is a quote from the email.

Good news for you today….Jim chose your submission to be in Jesus Talked to Me Today, and so far the Bethany House editors have approved your story as part of this compilation. I’ll get contracts to you in the next week or so.
The short I sent in was about an incident that happened to me a couple of months after  Mom passed away when I was seven. This will be the first book related contract that I’ve signed so I think it will be interesting.
Hope you had a great holiday weekend and enjoy your week this week.

Happy Memorial Day

tank2This coming weekend is memorial day! I wanted to give a big shout out to all of the brothers and sisters that served in the military past and present. I will always treasure the time that I spent in Germany guarding the ‘wall’ between the East and the West. I made some of the best friends I’ve had while as was there and visited almost 20 countries. Speaking of Germany, I revisit some of my old stomping grounds in one of my future books. I think it was book 8 (although don’t quote me) takes place almost entirely in Germany. I won’t tell you why, but it is definitely an exciting book.

I’ve been taking a couple of weeks off from writing. I’ve been busy working on a big project for my main job so that should be finished by the end of May and then I’ll hop back in the saddle and also start editing the next book in the series.

I hope you get some time off to spend with your friends and family and remember those who have passed on before you. I have a long list of those and it seems that every year the list grows.

AD Continues

Hope you had a great Mother’s Day this past weekend. We gave some books away, not as many as we would have liked, but that could have been because everyone was spending time with their Mom.

I continue to enjoy watching AD. In doing research for my books I read the New Testament’s Gospels probably 25 times. Watching the scenes unfold in the TV show gives me goose bumps.

We’re continuing to write book 13.

Books 1 – 3 Free and How to Win a Copy of the Paperback

Trying to tickle my Mom's feet - she was poking me in the ribs.
Trying to tickle my Mom’s feet – she was poking me in the ribs.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. This weekend (Friday – Sunday) in honor of Mother’s Day ( I love my Mom!) we’re giving away a digital copy of our book – 12 Guardians – the first three. You can find it here.

We’ll also be giving away a paperback copy of the book, to enter do the following.

1. Go to our facebook page –
2. Like and Share the first post – it’s the one that begins with this “Starting today through the weekend,”
3. On Monday we’ll have a random drawing. We’ll notify you of who wins on that post (in the comments). You’ll message me with your name and address and we’ll use Amazon to send you a free copy of this –

I hope you have a great weekend – Hug your Mom!

Book 12 Finished

Stitch celebrating the finished book.
Stitch celebrating the finished book.

I have finished Book 12 – happy dance 🙂 I’ve also started writing my next book. I’m not sure what the name of it is going to be yet, but I have written about 16k words, which I think is a pretty good start. In May I’ll start reading the 12 Guardians from the beginning, taking notes etc, by the end of the summer all of the books should be reviewed, edited (by me) and I should know of any gaping plot holes that I might need to fix.

If you haven’t watched the new show AD on NBC you should be. It is a 13 part series that starts with Jesus crucifiction and follows the events that happened after that. The focus is mainly on the early church. The first episode this past Sunday was about the death and resurrection. I really liked how they portrayed the resurrection. If you didn’t watch you can can catch up with it on Hulu.

Enjoy your week!

Book 12 Update

Continuing to write Book 12. I try to get in about 10,000 words a week. I hope to have it finished by the end of the month. Why? Because I want to participate in Nanowrimo’s April camp. I think probably that for that camp I’ll be writing something different, not sure what yet, but we’ll see. Also beginning in April I’ll be starting the editing process.

Book 12 has been a blast so far to write, but it is also sad. After all I’ve been writing about these characters for a couple of years. I just want to try and make sure to wrap all of the loose ends up. Nothing I hate more than reading a story and having one of the questions I have not answered. I do understand to that some questions won’t be answered, it would be impossible to do that, but most of them will.

My Dad continues to improve. We’re still doing therapy a couple of times a week. The therapist say that they’ll reevaluate him again on the 28th (for the insurance purposes I think). My sister works in speech therapy and she mentioned that as long as people are improving the insurance will keep paying for it. I hope that’s the case. He does still need to work on a few things, mostly balance related.

I hope you have a wonderful week. If you want to join my camp for the Nano, just let me know and I would be happy to invite you.

New Children’s book from my sister.

Biggie's New ClothesMy Sister Dawn has a new children’s book that she has just published (with a little help from me). You can find it here — Children’s Book

Her husband James is a great artist, and she created a book similar to this for Christmas last year. I told her that she needed to publish it and so began an interesting journey.

A children’s book with images is different of course than writing a novel. I am long winded and I have no idea how someone can compile an interesting story into 30 pages, but she has managed to do it. She created the pages, printed them off. I scanned them into jpeg files. I then used Adobe Photoshop to crop the images and then optimize it. Optimizing your images are very important, otherwise you’ll have a book that is several megabytes. Since Amazon charges you by how big your book is, the larger it is, the less profit you’ll get.

I’m sure that I probably could have tweaked the images even more but I was satisfied with the resulting files. I compiled the book using a tool from Amazon called, Kindle Kid’s Book Creator. It is a free tool and was super simple to use. Import the images into the tool and then arrange them according to the pages that you want.

It was fun and she is already working on her next book.

I hope you have a wonderful week…we’re supposed to get another snow storm tonight.