Title: Reality's Dawn
Publisher: Splashdown Books
Cover blurb: Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, reality invaded the world. When the presence of reality emerges from under the façade of perception, lives are changed. Forever. A mystical ring binds Sisko to bless others with miracles and avoid using its power for himself, which would lead to a curse. With his friends Josh the wizard and Seth the leader of a gang of thieves, Sisko explores the emerging reality through his travels and adventures.
Journey with Sisko as reality's presence confronts and changes the greedy, the killers, the trapped, the demonic, and Sisko himself.
...Reality has dawned, and no one will be the same.
1) How did this story come to you?
I participated in a group "duel" in a critique group I was part of back in 2006. Out of that came the short story, "Steamy Realities." I had an idea after that for most stories coinciding with faith, hope, and love. The publisher of the magazine liked them and wanted to publish them in a novella, which was published in November 2007 as Infinite Realities. I added one more story to that collection to make five total that had a larger story arc. It received good reviews, but everyone complained about how short it was, they wanted more. Which is the best kind of complaint to get. So in the fall of 2010, I finally got around to writing more stories to fill in the holes and flesh out the characters better, adding on ten new stories to make a total of fifteen. That resulted in the novel-sized collection titled Reality's Dawn. So far, everyone who has read it has had good things to say about it. It has a fairy tale feel, but in an unconventional way.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
The first sale was to a magazine, which is now defunct, called "The Sword Review." Bill Snodgrass was the managing editor, and also ran the parent company, Double-Edged Publishing. He took an interest in what I had done with the series and wanted to publish them as a novella. So I never had any formal submission process with him. I was just picked up. Infinite Realities was published in November 2007.
As mentioned above, I wrote ten more stories to fill out the story arc of the book in the fall of 2010. However, Double-Edged Publishing had, for all practical purposes, gone out of business, so I needed a new publisher. I also had a third book in the series yet to be published. DEP had published the second book in the trilogy, Transforming Realities, in March 2009.
I had become acquainted with Grace, who headed up Splashdown Books. She had previously reviewed Infinite Realities and gave it a five-star review, so I had an idea she might like the "new and improved" version just as well. So I sent her the manuscript for it and the third book in the series that was yet to be published. It all happened relatively quickly, in that by the beginning of February of 2011, she had decided to take all three of my books, publishing the new and improved first book as Reality's Dawn in March 2011, the sequel Transforming Realities as Reality's Ascent in May 2011, and in the near future, the third book will arrive, titled Reality's Glory.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I know the basics of Byzantine Chant and chant regularly at church. I tried to jump my car over a small ditch once, but a tree jumped in the way. My brother and I made up a whole slew of superheroes and villains and mailed them to marvel back in the early 70s; we never heard back, but I always wondered if my Magnet Man was the inspiration for Magnito.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
The final book in the Realty Chronicles trilogy, Reality's Glory is scheduled to be published in the summer of 2012. I also have two books written in a new at-least-five-book series in the same world, more of a dragon story. Editing both of those.
I recently self-published the first of a two-part series on August, a space opera story called "Mind Game." I'm currently editing its sequel, Hero Game, with plans to publish it next year sometime.
I am doing an episode space opera serial called Underground, that I plan on self-publishing once it is finished and final edits done on it.
I recently published a non-fiction ebook on "How to Make an Ebook: Using Free Software." Currently at sale on Amazon, B&N, Apple, Sony, Kobo, and other online retail outlets.
5) Parting comments?
One of the reasons I write speculative fiction is its ability to enable people to see the mundane in a new light, a fresh perspective they've not considered before. It's one thing to preach. It's another to experience it in your heart. Sermons and non-fiction titles are good and needful, don't get me wrong. But many people will read those and come away only mentally enriched for the moment, but not affected by them for life. Fiction has a way of putting those truths, that theology, into life and the reader gets to experience the results.
My goal is to get the reader to see something from an angle they've yet to consider, experience truth in a way they've been unable to see with their mind previously, and hopefully open up new vistas of truth in their own life. That often takes demonstrating truth rather than preaching it directly. And because of that, I think too many dismiss fiction, especially speculative fiction, and pure escapism entertainment. It does have to be entertaining to work, but just because it is entertaining, doesn't necessarily mean it is worthless.
I think if more Christians though of it as an experiential retreat instead of escapism, it would enable a higher quality of writing and affect more lives as a result.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?