The New Program launch day!

Here we are: launch day for The New Program.  I’m keeping this one sort of low-key for a few different reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I’m terrified of marketing and I’m taking the easy way out.  Considering that, for my first two book releases, the sum total of my promotions was a couple tweets and posts on Facebook to accompany closing my eyes and hurling ePubs into the ether, we’re going to call this a gradual step up.  The New Program gets blog posts, its own landing page, and more tweets and Facebook posts than the other ones ever did.  We’re moving in the right direction!

It’s a terrifying direction.

There’s also the fact that the book is a novella, not a full-blown novel, and that it’s free.  And that I’m having some minor technical difficulties (it’s apparently not actually free on Amazon just yet).  If you’d like to read a copy, I’d recommend heading over to Smashwords, Barnes and Noble or iTunes for the time being.  I’m sure I’ll be tweeting from the mountaintops when the Amazon link is ready.

If you’re new to The Primer, or my work in general, now is a great time to jump in.  The New Program is free, Break is free for everyone who subscribes to my newsletter, and Beaten will be on extra-special sale next month to celebrate The Volunteer‘s impending release.  They’re a series, but not an episodic one–you can read any of the three (or four, as the case will soon be) without reading the others, and you won’t be lost.  We’re building a world here–the layers interlock, but they don’t depend upon one another.  I can promise plenty of suspense, tension, intrigue, and the occasional burst of violence.

Starting with Book 5–which is so early in development that it doesn’t even have a proposed name, things are going to start to converge.  But that’s a story for another day.  For now, grab yourself a free copy of The New Program and take a look.  If you like it, come one back here.  There’s plenty more.  Thanks for reading.


Reviews are great


I read the reviews before I buy just about anything.  Other than clothes, I guess.

And food.

Though, actually, I read restaurant reviews.  But not grocery store reviews, and certainly not grocery reviews.

Except one time when I was trying to find really good Vanilla Syrup.  (Fox’s U-Bet was the winner.)

The point (other than the fact that I’m incapable of making wide, sweeping statements without a series of increasingly specific qualifiers) is that reviews are an important part of the decision-making process these days.  That’s how it is for me, and I assume that’s how if is for lots of other people, because otherwise the sheer preponderance of reviews and review aggregation sites on the Internet wouldn’t make any sense.

The point of reading reviews (or even just looking at the rating built from the averages of all the existing reviews) it to both A. to facilitate a positive experience and B. avoid a mistake by learning from other people’s experiences.  The process just failed me pretty hard on purpose B a few months back (terrible experience with a service that had wonderful reviews), but looking back at it there were plenty of clues buried in the reviews that could have tipped me off that things weren’t going to work out if I’d looked hard enough.

But I’m off on a tangent again.  Bad experiences aren’t what I want to talk about.  I want to talk about good experiences and the propagation thereof through the magic of reviews.  As an author, in theory I depend on reviews of my products (you know, those books I keep linking) to improve product visibility and to, essentially, get my foot in the door.  Because any random person, unless they’re super into naval history, has never heard of Sam Willis, let alone Sam T Willis, who has nothing to do with naval history.  But if that random person is searching on Amazon for some intrigue, suspense and murder, the cover and those shiny gold stars next to my title are pretty much all I’ve got to grab their attention.

I’d like to think that my books provide the readers with positive experiences.  My opinion on the matter is just about the least important one in the world, though, as for obvious reasons I’m not going to go out and write myself glowing reviews.  I’m also not going to reach out to people and demand that they write me glowing reviews, because I’m not in the business of dictating anyone’s opinion to them, and anyways honest feedback is always more interesting (and useful) than astroturfing.  I’m just going to ask that, if you picked up any of my books and it made enough of an impression that you stuck through until the end, that you take a few minutes and post your thoughts (and however many of those little gold stars you think I’ve earned) on whatever review aggregation site you choose.  I’d love to hear from you, just as the authors of the other books you’ve enjoyed (or hated) would love to know what you think of their work.

In the end, I’m doing this because I love the idea of my stories winding up in other people’s brains.  The Internet has made it plenty easy for me to deliver the stories, but if they wind up in your brains the Internet isn’t going to send your thoughts back to be (yet…?).  It’s up to you.  Thanks for reading.  And for thinking.

The New Program

Coming Spring 2017

The New Program - CoverHistory repeats itself…

In the 1940’s and 50’s, the United States Penitentiary in Odessa was home to a revolutionary inmate rehabilitation program: a fast, simple miracle surgery that could reform even the most hopeless case in minutes.  Recipients were rendered quiet, docile, and manageable.

The surgery was called “transorbital lobotomy.”

Now, more than sixty years later, Odessa is getting a new program.  It’s just as promising as lobotomy, with none of the mess.  And the Long-term Inmate Research and Rehabilitation group says it’s completely reversible.

They say it’s been a huge success everywhere they’ve tried it.

And that the details are classified.

Marcia Trembley, a correctional unit supervisor for USP Odessa, has worked with inmates for long enough to know that there’s no such thing as a magic bullet for rehabilitation.  She can see history repeating itself.  If only someone, anyone, would believe her….


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