Lift off of the Daedalus!

Lift off of the Daedalus!

It’s official – as of March 8, 2015, The Reluctant Captain is now available for purchase! You can purchase the physical book here, and it’s available in Kindle, Nook, and iBook formats.

Also, welcome to my new and improved website. I’ve added an email subscription list as I plan frequent updates to the site and want the opportunity to keep you up to date. I’ve added an Events page to keep you up to date on any events I might have.

And speaking of events…I’m doing a Book Launch/Signing Benefit for the Sherburne Public Library on Saturday, April 11th at the Sherburne Public Library in Sherburne, NY from 10 AM – Noon.  I’m donating the books, so all proceeds will go directly to the library.  If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!

I’m so excited to share my book with the world and I sincerely hope you like it! If you have bought my book, you have my sincere thanks for giving me a try to entertain you and I hope that I have.

And one last thing – I’ve created a collage of items from the story with my book itself. Here it is:


Until next time, happy journeys!


Read More

Self Publishing…The Glamorous Life

I’ve finally finished revising the book – at this point, it is what it is…I think I could just endlessly revise and still find something that needs attention, but at this point, I’m running with it as is.  So now I’m at the stage where I’m going to start the publishing process.

Publishing a Physical Book

I’ve opted to use CreateSpace for the physical book and I started the process of getting my book set up.  First step, reformat the book for the 6″ x 9″ page side of the book.  Check.

Import it into CreateSpace – and find that although I’ve religiously used the formatting like I should, I found I did NOT have it formatted in with each chapter as its own section, with three different headers (first page, odd page, even page).  So I went through the book and did all of that.

Import it into CreateSpace – and find that the fonts I used in my book weren’t embedded (and I later find out can’t be because I’ve used Word for Mac).

So now, I have to covert it to a PDF…and I find I no longer have page numbers.  I left it there because I still need to scan the artwork and design the cover.

Publishing an iBook

I have a Mac, so a long time ago, I got the iBook Author program.  When I opened it at first, I thought I was going to have to cut and paste each section separately to build the book.  Turns out, I can just drop the Word document in…except the version of the book I set aside for e-publishing isn’t formatted in sections for each chapter and guess how iBook Author wanted each chapter formatted….you got it, as a unique section…so I decided to quit right there and right this blog.

The Thing Is…

I didn’t go into this completely blind.  I had done some research into what was needed and how to best format my book so it would drop into these magical publishing vessels…and I don’t remember a single one telling me the importance of Sections.  If only I had known.  So now, I either have to re-format the ebook version of my document or make a copy of the physical book version of the document and resize it for normal pages.  Either way, it’s fun times with Word…

And For Something We Hope You’ll Really Like…

And as promised, I’m happy to provide another excerpt from the novel.  I hope you enjoy it and again, would love to hear any feedback.

Until next time, Happy Journeys!


Click here for the second excerpt from The Reluctant Captain

Read More

Countdown to Lift Off…

Welcome to a new year…I hope that the new year finds you healthy and happy!

For Christmas, my wife had my book professionally edited! As a result, The Reluctant Captain is nearly ready for publishing. I’m going to take one last read through it, make one last round of tweaks, and then I will start getting it ready for actual publishing.  My goal is to release it by the end of February.  Stay tuned to this blog for more details as they become available!

In my day job, I’m a software developer and I compare this stage of my book to that final stage when most of the bugs have been found in testing and it’s the last round of programming and testing to make sure as many bugs have been shaken out as possible; only in this case, it’s typos, wrong words, or even missing words.  It’s good because it means you’re almost done, but you kind of feel like you might go mad if you have to look at the code one more time.  Fortunately, I like reading my book, so I’m not at that stage yet.

The next stage will be getting the book ready for publication.  I’m planning to offer it as both a physical book, as well as having electronic versions for Kindle, iBooks, and Nook. This stage is like getting a new system configured for production – it’s all nuts and bolts details. I’m sure I’ll be having tons of fun navigating the various software platforms for creating a new version – good thing I’m a software developer too!

As a thank you for the people who read my blog as well as a tease of the future, I’ve uploaded an excerpt of the first three chapters of my novel. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to being able to share the completed book with you. Feel free to leave comments here as I’m interested in feedback.

Happy journeys!


Click here for an excerpt from The Reluctant Captain

Read More

Endings, Beginnings, and NaNoWrMo…

Welcome back to the inconsistent world that is my blog.  I’m hope to be much more consistent in posting and sharing lots of news and other items with all of you (Here’s to good intentions and where they lead…).  Now onto the regularly scheduled blog already in progress…


Yes – I know I’m starting with the ending first….

I am heading into the home stretch of final editing of The Reluctant Captain for the remainder of the year and hope to be able to publish the book in the first quarter of 2015. I look forward to sharing my first book with you very soon. It’s very hard because part of me wants to hurry up and publish it now, but I want to make sure it’s a good book and that you will enjoy it.  My plan is to have it in many different formats (Kindle, iBook, Nook) as well as good old-fashioned paper.

Also, the blog as you know it will probably come to a close in the next few months.


But don’t be upset about missing out…a new and improved site should be coming out around the time that The Reluctant Captain launches.  My plan is to provide regular blog entries, news, giveaways, etc.  Stay tuned for further developments!

The other important beginning I want to mention is that I’ve started the next book in the Reluctant series…The Reluctant Agent. The story will take place some time after the events of The Reluctant Captain and follow Malcolm’s new adventures.  I’m in the very early stages, but I do have a good start and look forward to sharing that story with you when it’s ready (I will publish no novel before it’s time…if you get that reference, you’re as old as me).


What the heck is NaNoWriMo? It is NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth…NaNoWriMo.  Simply put, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. NaNoWriMo is important to me because it finally got me into the habit of sitting at the computer and typing words.  Without it, The Reluctant Captain would not exist.  If you have any interest in writing, I urge you to check it out.  Yes, I realize that I’m a little late and you’ve already lost four days of the month, but check it out, even if only to plan to do it next year.  You can find lots of information at

Between editing, work on the new novel, and a project from Hell in my day job, I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo this year.  In fact because of NaNoWriMo, I’m not sure I’ll necessarily be doing it again because writing is going to become a year round endeavor for me and not confined to setting a month aside to write.  But I do encourage any of you that have any interest in writing to give it a try either this year or sometime in the future.  It changed my life for the better and I hope it does the same for you.

Until next time, happy journeys!


Read More

Where Mike compares Editing to War and Scooping Poop…

Where Mike compares Editing to War and Scooping Poop…

I finished The Reluctant Captain at the end of January…so what the heck is happening?  I took a few weeks off from peeling words off my brain and then spent most of March playing in the orchestra pits for local high school musicals (Red, White, and Rosie; Hello Dolly!; and Seussical The Musical  for those keeping track), I have been editing/revising/rewriting/proofreading on and off for the last four months (I’ve turned the editing up to high speed in the last few weeks).  

And in that time, I found that the writer’s job is never done.  Every time I go through my manuscript, there’s always something that needs fixing – I spent the last revision cycle battling the evil forces of Passive Voice.  

If process of creating a novel was like war, writing the novel is the initial invasion.  You charge in, push through the fire and establishing a beach head.  Editing is the trench to trench battles where success is measured in inches.  String enough inches together and soon you can overwhelm the resistance.

It’s like that in editing.  It’s getting down in the trenches, doing hand to hand combat with the English language.  All you can hope is that you can make steady forward process and not get lost.  The battles are words and sentences – not whole paragraphs.  

And it really sucks.  Maybe editing a novel is more like being the pooper-scooper who follows the horses in a parade.  Everyone loves to watch the pretty horses, but the sad reality is that the pretty horses tend to leave very unpretty presents.  And novels are like that.  The story can be dynamic, exciting, entrancing, but if you’re not careful, you find a nasty mess just waiting for you. 

So now that I’ve just used two unpleasant metaphors for editing, what’s the status of the novel, you ask?  I’ve given the novel to my wife, a close friend who is an English teacher, and a couple of other close friends who are avid readers.  When they’ve finished the book, I intend to sit with them and get notes of what’s working, what’s not, and from my friend the English teacher, the red inked manuscript that will show me just how badly I’ve retained my knowledge of grammar and punctuation.

And I’m sure out of that will come…more writing and editing.  And another round of re-reading and revising…and then we’ll see where we are.  I have more ideas that I’m eager to start writing, but I really want to get this published and make it a reality.

To that end, I’ve asked a friend, Emilee Smith, to create my cover art.  This is my current design (it may still change slightly) for the novel:

Reluctant Captain Book Cover

I’m very happy with it and can’t wait to hold it my hands!

Until later…happy journeys!

Read More