Your Star Will Glow Forever – Free x 48 hrs!

The illustrated children’s book, Your Star Will Glow Forever, that I wrote and illustrated this past fall as a Xmas gift for my daughter is now up for grabs on Amazon free:

This is a little essay about how the book was created:

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The Thirteenth Hour Version 2.0 Update for Kindle is Here!

The second edition Kindle updates for The Thirteenth Hour are now live!  See this post for additional details about the updates.  You can update your copy of the book to version 2.0 by going to the Kindle Manage Your Devices page:

Thanks to everyone who purchased a first edition copy!  And many thanks to everyone who provided feedback along the way!

Stay tuned for additional work in the near future (short stories set in the same world as The Thirteenth Hour are coming soon!).


The Thirteenth Hour is Getting Patched!

After a long week of editing, I’m relieved and proud to say that the second edition of The Thirteenth Hour should be live in the next few days.  Naturally, after I had finished the first edition, I ended up going through and finding a number of areas that I wanted to change.  I also wanted to incorporate some suggestions I’d received from people who were kind enough to read the book early on.

While important, most were not very interesting to write about at length (unless you like formatting and editing documents) – some areas where the spacing wasn’t quite right, a few areas with missing words, some sections that needed to be edited for brevity and/or internal consistency, and a bunch of grammatical corrections to make sure tense, number, and punctuation were as correct as I could get them.  I ended up doing two simultaneous edits – one for Kindle and another for the printed Createspace edition, which had different formatting.

It was a very tedious process, but I did learn something that will be helpful in the future. I discovered that I can’t catch little mistakes like this on a computer screen.  Despite trying to train myself to do more and more on a computer screen in order to save some trees, there’s nothing like paper.  So, I sacrificed one of my printed books to mark up.  There seems to be something about old fashioned paper and red marker that really brings out the crud (even more so than reading out loud, a previous editing trick I tried).  I guess I’m old school in that way.

I did a few tweaks to the pictures as well, including drawing two new pictures to the previously blank “Part 1” and “Part 2” pages of the first edition, like this one of Logan zooming up, up, and away on his flying hoverboard, Lightning.

logan lightning part2 pic

There was a picture I omitted from the first edition because something about it didn’t quite look right.  Like the picture above, I was aiming for a silhouette, like an old woodcut or illustration you might see in a children’s book from the 1950s.  It was of the two main characters, Aurora and Logan, and Aurora is kissing Logan goodbye as he leaves the orphanage they grew up in for the Army.  In this part of the book, Logan hasn’t quite hit his last growth spurt yet and is still shorter than Aurora.  He ends up growing a lot over the next year and a half, but in the original drawing (c. 1998, on the left below), I always thought I drew him too small to be believable given his age, and he seems a little too stiff, like he’s on trial or something.  So for the updated 2015 version (on the right), I made him a bit taller, but more slouched and ganglier, less confident.  He’s the same guy who later becomes the daring flying man in the picture above, so he eventually fills out in body and spirit, but at this point in the story, he’s still more boy and man, which is what I was trying to convey all along.

Angels voices part 1 picture comparisonSo this was the fun part of editing.  Hopefully, people who purchased the original on Kindle will be able to re-sync their devices and get the new updates, just like a software patch for a game.  I’m still learning how Amazon does this myself, but they discuss it on their Kindle publishing page.  I’ll be looking forward to seeing them in person myself!


The Thirteenth Hour Kindle Edition 60% Off Sale – This Week!

Get The Thirteenth Hour for the Kindle this week for $1.99, as opposed to its usual $4.99 price!

That’s a discount of 60%!

Want to try before you buy?  Check out the links below for excerpts and other free stuff.

Here’s the link to

logan and aurora castle grounds moonWM


One sentence summary: a nontraditional faerie tale for adults about a young man and his childhood friend who journey to the ends of the Earth to find the secret of eternal life for a narcissistic King, learning a little about living, loving, dying, and dreaming in the process.

You might like this book if you enjoy … 

  • 1980s fantasy and scifi films
  • books like The Neverending Story by Michael Ende or Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  • adventures with unassuming, introspective protagonists
  • coming of age stories
  • irreverent (probably politically incorrect) humor
  • fantasy art
  • martial arts
  • gymnastics/acrobatics
  • archery
  • throwing cards
  • skipping stones
  • contemplating the nature of human existence
  • backflipping chimpanzees (yes, there is one)


Polyera, Flexible Electronics, and Books with Movie Screens

As mentioned in the very first post I did on this site, I originally envisioned The Thirteenth Hour as a sort of hybrid between a traditional book and a movie.  Wouldn’t it be cool, I thought, if the spots where the illustrations in the book were located contained flexible screens capable of showing whole scenes rather than just static pictures?  Then, when you were finished watching the movie clip, you could turn the page and continue reading like a regular book.

I’m not sure where I got this idea, but I think there’s a part from the Tom Hanks movie Big where he and the Elizabeth Perkins character give a presentation about an “interactive comic book” that the toy company executives in the room shoot down because it’s too expensive.  I have to rewatch this movie at some point, but apparently other people out there found this fictional toy intriguing as well.  I even found this little blurb about the Tom Hanks character “inventing” the Kindle (which is probably a stretch), but given that this film was done way before ebooks (or even the internet was common), it’s interesting to think how technology has changed in the past ~30 years and what was fiction then now is commonplace.  In any event, the “interactive comic book” from Big was ahead of its time.  In effect, that’s what ebook readers, smartphones, and tablets are these days – “interactive books,” if not necessarily displaying comics.

But what if you could transpose the experience of surfing the net, with all its multimedia capability, to within the covers of a book?  You open the cover, and before you lie, not paper pages, but flexible electronic pages capable of displaying an image, playing a tune, or showing a movie as well as displaying text?

I don’t know if this is a reality yet, but there actually is a company working on the technology behind something like this.  A friend of mine from college, Phil Inagaki, cofounded a company called Polyera that creates flexible electronics.  The last time I saw Phil, I remember asking him about whether the technology existed yet to make flexible paper, and while it seemed that the market at the time was more for wearable electronics (e.g. for clothes and such), a look at the company’s website makes me wonder if paper-like electronic pages aren’t that far off.

Here’s a quote from the company website:

Made possible by breakthrough Polyera materials, our technology enables truly flexible transistors to be made using advanced manufacturing techniques. This technology enables more than just putting traditional transistors on flexible materials like plastic – it allows us to make transistors that are themselves flexible: a whole different level of technology. Our materials can also be made into functional inks, allowing not only traditional photolithography-based electronics manufacturing, but new low-cost, high-throughput forms of manufacturing such as printing.

Imagine, books that have multimedia built right inside.  Trying to learn how to play an instrument?  That instructional book you borrowed from the library could have an offline video tutorial right there on its pages.  Electronic medical records could actually be flipped though like old-school paper charts and electronic images, like MRI “films,” could be seen side by side with their interpretations and other aspects of the patient history and exam without having to double back or use some external viewing program that inevitable crashes the computer.  Trying to figure out how to cook that recipe?  Instead of trying to figure it out just based on someone’s description, read it first and then watch it being done.  If you don’t like that recipe, flip the page, and go to the next.  If you splatter food/liquid all over the page, just wipe it off and move on instead of frying your motherboard.

Of course, youtube does all this right now, and if you have a smartphone or tablet, it’s right there at your fingertips.  But one thing you can’t do easily with an ebook is physically flip through the pages and browse until you find the thing you’re looking for (or something of interest).  And, you can’t really look at two pages at once like you can with a traditional book.  In addition, ebook readers, are, by nature, small computers, and that makes them expensive, fragile, in need of power, and at least with some, difficult to use in the sun.  And I think all bets are off if these things get wet – all of which aren’t issues with, say, a paperback that you can toss in a bag on your way to the beach.

For the future book with flexible electronic pages to work, it would have to fulfill some of these characteristics.  Could you dogear a page you like, for example?  Could it be used outdoors or survive a little rain?  If it hadn’t been read in awhile, would it need to be charged?  (Even the best electronic gadgets these days still need to be babied in this way.)  Could there be some regenerative power source instead (e.g. turning pages to generate power or use of solar power like solar powered calculators)?  If whatever power source inside failed, could it still be read like a traditional book?  And of course, back to the original concerns that those suits from Big had – could these books be made cheaply and easily enough to be afforded by your average consumer?

It’s a tall order of business, I know.  For now, the Kindle version of The Thirteenth Hour is the closest there is to the original conception I envisioned.  There is also a paper printed version, and I can now hold a copy in my hands and flip through the pages, which, to be honest, is the main reason I wanted to publish it in the first place. =)  But, my hope is that with companies out there like Polyera, one day, there will be a multimedia book with this kind of flexible electronic technology.  And if the internet still exists, and someone’s reading this in a time when this is a reality and needs a prototype title to produce, send me an email – or whatever means of communication is being used then – and if I’m still kicking, we’ll work something out!


Reading Books on the Kindle

The Thirteenth Hour is currently only available for the Kindle (this may change in the future), but if you don’t have a Kindle, what to do?  Below are a number of options – all are free assuming you have another device that can read ebooks.

1.) You can read it on a PC with free Kindle software.

2.) You can read it using the apps for iOS (iphone, ipad) or Android.

3.) If you had a Nook (the ereader from Barnes and Noble) in the past, you may have found that Kindle books were not compatible.  There are some ways around that.  However, see this article – you may be able to just install the Android Kindle app now.

4.) Failing all these, just wait for The Thirteenth Hour to be available as a physical book, thanks to an Amazon company, Createspace, which allows ebooks to be turned into physical books via print on demand publishing.  Stay tuned!





-Book Trailer:

-Free itunes podcast of the book:

-Read free excerpts at and the book’s amazon site.