“Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay…. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.” — Flannery O’Connor
Most of my novels are about distant societies and alien worlds. My protagonists tend to have dark pasts, lots of secrets they can’t admit even to themselves, and range from human to nonhuman. Secondary characters are always unusual: i.e., little puffy-suited men with unfortunate allergies to air, women who wear strings woven about their bodies as part of ancient battle design and strategy, and buildings that are as alive as the rest of the cast. I like to place characters in unusual circumstances, even ridiculous ones, then watch what they do. Their responses never cease to amaze me.
You’ll find a list of novels below, some finished, some in process. Click on the novel title to see excerpts.
Asturias. A love story. A wanderer happens upon a breathtaking town in northern Spain and decides to stop for one night. By noon the next day she’s been assigned family, friends, stable housing, employment — even a father-in-law. Problem is she can’t communicate with the locals, including the man she loves. Fate’s funny that way. Novel, mainstream/literary.
Solstice Twilight. A dying man receives a summons written 100 years before he was born, asking him to journey across the globe in search of a tiny town called Solstice. Novel, soft science fiction.
The Scholar Gypsy. Based on Matthew Arnold’s poem, “The Scholar Gypsy” is a novel about three college students who abandon their studies to pursue a nomadic gypsy lifestyle… that means searching for their missing professor, dancing for money, joining a monastery, falling in love, and solving a murder…all the while teaching their six-year-old ward lessons about life he isn’t ready to learn. Novel, mainstream.
The Forbidden Fortress. Many years ago, the gods took it upon themselves to create the Fortress, a structure so stunning and expansive and exquisitely complex that when they were finished they locked themselves and all of civilization inside and “misplaced” the key. Now the Fortress is crumbling, and only one man knows it. The gods have a job for him. He isn’t happy about it. Novella, soft science fiction.
Tumble of Worlds. A strange universe where three humans discover they’ve been mysteriously transported to a distant planet, a white-washed world that’s inhabited by two intelligent species, neither of them human. As the trio struggle to survive their new home (and each other), they’re forced to interact with the natives, who are more likely to eat the humans than engage in conversation. Interesting thing is everyone knows the gods are up to something. That’s enough to keep the trio from becoming a quick meal. For the time being.
The Virus Hunter. Kevian: as a youth, the king’s youngest son poisoned the heir to the throne, his only brother. What followed was a harrowing affair, leaving his brother miserable and sickly and unable to fulfill the responsibilities of future leadership. Filled with remorse, Kevian abandons his family and chooses instead a life of squalor and humility, a place far away from his family’s wealth. Over the next twenty years he finds peace, even integrity — until he’s arrested for a ridiculous crime and forced to stand before the king for sentencing. Sentencing? No, the king rejoices… his prodigal son has come home, the man who is to be future king, whether he wants it or not. Novel, soft science fiction.
Sparky, the Electron. A blending of quantum physics and the bizarre, this novella takes place in a world where atoms are ship-sized compared to their occupants and inter-galactic battles cause nuclear reactions. The protagonist is Professor Nadir. His sidekick is Chirpy the electron. Novella, soft science fiction. Adult/YA-MG
Two Million Years into the Future, Oh My! A very young scientist is transported two million years into the future. She finds herself living amidst a colony of future “Earth-ians” that welcome her into their society and seek to teach her everything they have to offer – except the truth about herself. And they lie about other things too. Novella, soft science fiction. Adult/YA
Bann Tucker: The Curious Tube. Bann Tucker is one of four tube-shaped beings assigned to care for his little universe. The four are programmed to be happy: no questions, no need for change. That’s a good thing, since Bann and his companions would die if separated too long. Bann’s life changes when one morning he wakes up with a glitch in his system. Instead of fixing it, he starts asking questions. These questions get him into lots of trouble: field-trips, meep-creatures, monsters who try to eat him before offering friendship, and then long-distance love. Bann is forced to make a choice: should he fix the glitch and forget what it is to love, or risk killing his family (and himself) to follow his heart? Novella, soft science fiction. Adult/YA