Awkward Conversations with Geeky Writers TONIGHT!


Sorry I’ve been so MIA on this blog lately. Between a tornado that totaled my in-law’s business, nearly slicing my fingertip off with a rotary cutter, and other little things that make up life, I haven’t been online very much.

Thanks to all who have been emailing, texting, calling, private messaging, and asking through the grapevine if I’m okay. I’m okay. That’s why I’m calling tonight’s Awkward Conversations with Geeky Writers the “Proof of Life Edition.” Ask questions and we’ll answer them! We’ll chat about Halloween and new books and POLITICS. Okay, so maybe not politics. OR WILL WE? (Probably not.)

Either way, come hang out and have fun with us! If you miss the live show, you can always watch it later on Youtube. We’ll have a great time. We always do. The main page for the show is HERE, and later we’ll give a live link. Hope to hear from you!


Gamut Magazine Reopens Tonight!


Gamut Magazine is scheduled to open to submissions tonight at midnight, CST. We’ll remain open until we receive 300 submissions, and then we’ll close. Gamut has chosen to cap submissions at 300 a month for two main reasons. 1) We want to reply in a timely manner, hopefully in 31 days or less, and 2) we don’t want to suffer staff burnout. One we reach 300 subs, we close while we get everything read. Last month we reached 300 submissions in 14 hours, so you might want to be quick to submit.

The staff put together a wishlist of things we’d like to see, and a few suggestions of things we’d prefer not to. These are: more psychological, magical realism, diversity, hooks and endings that matter, ghostly atmosphere, poetry in general, speculative in general, actual non-fiction. Less telling, gore, misogyny and hate, waking up to start a story, cliche and formulaic stories, goofy humor, needlessly purple prose, violence without redemption, slow starts, less genre poetry, less exposition, camp/satire, rape/abuse, etc.

We’ve already chosen some gorgeous stories, and I hope you’ll send us yours! Please remember that we read blind, so follow the guidelines and strip your information from your work. I can’t wait to see what you send!

Detritus In Love Pre-Orders Are Up!


I can’t tell you how excited I am! Pre-orders for  Detritus In Love are now up! Detritus comes out on October third, and you can pre-order it for $2.99 here.

“What unfurls in the form of The Opposite is a haunting and unsettling presence—one that our protagonist, Detritus, must battle, with a motley crew consisting of only his ghostly best friend and a long dead love. Suits of skin, bloody rain, vermin and insects unified in upheaval—this tapestry is a vibrant, visceral horror, written by two introspective visionaries.”—Richard Thomas, author of Breaker and Tribulations

Detritus in Love is a dark portrait of the fantastic, tinged with shades of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. Boden and Yardley kept me hoping and wishing on each star they painted in their stark night sky. –Matt Betts, Author of Odd Men Out and Indelible Ink

I have to admit I did a happy dance when I read these blurbs, both by authors I enjoy and respect. I hope you enjoy the book. It’s a good little Halloween read, and is about 40 printed pages. It’s meant to be devoured in one sitting, and will take about an hour or so to read. Please enjoy.❤

Cover Reveal for Detritus in Love!


Eeeeee! Here it is! This is the collaboration John Boden and I have been working on. He sent me a snippet of a story to read, and I fell in love with the characters. There was the unfortunate boy named Detritus by his mother. The ghostly best friend in a Nazi uniform. The dead girl who refused to acknowledge she was dead. And the ravenous Opposite.

John asked me if I wanted to collaborate on this story, and we sent things back and forth, taking our time and writing a few lines here and a paragraph there. It was truly a joy.

Detritus in Love will be released on October 3rd from Omnium Gatherum. I can’t wait! This is truly something different, and I hope you enjoy it.

Meet with Me on Thursday! We’ll Talk Queries.


One of the most daunting parts of writing is actually querying and submitting your stories. It’s a bit frightening to look up strangers and ask them if they’d like to read your work, but it’s an integral part to the process that simply can’t be skipped. You can’t be published if you don’t submit, yes? And you can’t submit if you don’t query. So I’m here to talk about it in a friendly, straight-forward manner and hopefully take the fear out of the process. We can do this, guys. What’s even more important? We will do this.


Come to the Tap House and attend the Las Vegas Writer’s Group meeting this Thursday. The food is great, it’s a casual, friendly atmosphere, and I’ll be speaking on querying and submissions. New writers are absolutely welcome, and it’s always great for veteran writers to brush up on their skills. Doors open at six for dinner and networking, and I start speaking at seven. I’ll be signing books after, if you’d like to stick around. There will be a five dollar entrance fee at the door.

The Tap House

5589 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146 at 7:00.

My goal is to have you feel confident in querying. Please bring any questions you have and I’ll make sure to answer them. You can learn more by following this link. Hope to see you on Thursday!


This is Horror: Best Writing Advice Episode


In this podcast twenty writers discuss the best writing advice they’ve received. Contributions from Stephen Graham Jones, Mercedes M. Yardley, Helen Marshall, Paul Tremblay, George Ttoouli, Nina Allan, David Moody, Jessica McHugh, John F.D. Taff, John C. Foster, David Bowles, Lisa L. Hannett, Bob Pastorella, Josh Malerman, Richard Thomas, Vincenzo Bilof, Jasper Bark, Sarah Langan, S. P. Miskowski and This Is Horror Podcast Host, Michael David Wilson.

This might be one of the most epic podcasts I’ve ever listened to. It’s full of advice from 20 writers, and the stuff is good. I also add my two cents and share some advice that changed not only my career, but my life in general. I hope you enjoy and find something that really resonates with you! Please listen and enjoy.


Pimp a Friend Friday: Timothy C. Ward

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My friend Tim Ward has a cool new book titled Godsknife: Revolt, and it looks AWESOME. I’ve known him for a few years, and he is seriously the coolest guy. We just hit it off beautifully, and I admire the goodness and talent that I see in him. I’m happy to host an interview with him.

Tim! It’s been such a long time since we’ve had a chance to chat. I’m so glad you made time to stop by my blog. Will you tell us what you’ve been up to?

It has! As everyone who follows you online…and in person…that got weird—anyway, Mercedes is one of my favorites, as a writer, a friend, and what I see of her as a wife and mother.

I  know you have a new book that just released. Can you tell us about it? Where can we find it?

Yes, Godsknife: Revolt is releasing this month from Evolved Publishing, a small publisher that I’ve followed since our mutual friend Axel How published his debut novel, Hot Sinatra with them. I’ve been drawn to their quality editing and how easy their stories are to get into. It is amazing to think that these four or five years later I’ll have my own coming out.

I’ve been following you, too, miss overachieving pants. You’re one of the best “urban fantasy” writers out there, and as I think about it, I can see how Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu and Nameless inspired what became Godsknife: Revolt.

First, in Apocalyptic Montessa—and I bet you remember—there was a point where I stopped reading because the character was so unlikable. I am certainly glad I picked it back up because that ending was incredible, and I was truly wrong about that character. I have to be careful how much I saw about Revolt, but in the process of writing one of their arcs, I hit a bottom that may cause some to get angry.

Godsknife: Revolt is more like Nameless in that it is my creative journey into how people in a world like ours would fight a supernatural trinity of warring powers and members. In mine, the three are differentiated by their pursuit of Chaos, Order or the Maker. It is kind of like the adventure of The Gunslinger if written by C.S. Lewis, but with none of our religions so I can explore the various belief systems that people exhibit and pursue even if they wouldn’t call them systems or belief. It’s less about pointing at one belief system as better than another and more about how characters use what they believe, what they’re afraid of believing and how they’ll turn out if they change what they believe—for good and bad.

And it’s about me getting to play with seven foot tall praying mantises and swarms of infectious cicadas turning central Iowa into a breeding ground for a new god’s army. Whereas your characters in Nameless got to play in the spiritual realm, mine get to travel through the Void to find the Godsknife and kill or be killed by the god of the Abyss.

Beautiful hunting knife on a white background

Beautiful hunting knife on a white background

That is the coolest thing to say. Thank you. How about a short excerpt?

He leapt before the stone lost stability, orden-stabbed his finger into her noose-loop, and yanked her into the air. He flicked her around and palm-punched her chest. Orden extended his attack into her ribs without his need for touch. The blow was weakened by his guilt, but not enough to fail.

She hit the ground and bounced.

He landed with his knee beside her. She rose from the waist, and he pressed orden into her chest. Heated vibrations shook his hand as the ground melted under her, parting the molecules enough to swallow her three inches deep.

She threw a punch at his jaw.

He dodged it and let go.

She cried out as the ground pinched all around her, holding her in place.

He carved his mark—a cursive C—on the stone and stood.

The idea for his mark came from his brother, Carl, forming his first initial like an orden-worm scar—Order for Carl—because it was about more than one atom refusing to accept charity. He did this to find his brother, and make the world right for them both.

She wiggled until she knew he’d won, then relaxed, staring up at Anthon with her best plea. “Please, I can show you the third.”

“I’m not interested in a god who left us to clean up after its mistakes.”

“He hasn’t left.”

“Ev, listen, we aren’t having this discussion. I’m telling you what your two options are: Josai’s, or death by Mercer’s hand. I know which one Jeremy—”

A soft footstep echoed down an unseen, but terribly close, hallway.

I knew it.

“If Jeremy wants out,” he whispered, “I’ll send him to Josai.” He eased the ground under her, orden-grabbed her loop, and lifted her to her feet. “Now go before you banish us both.”

He physically pushed her out of the mountain’s edge, and solidified the crevice into black shale, as she turned to watch the wall form between their worlds.

As it closed him off into darkness, he couldn’t help thinking she may have found the better side. Even if he’d go kicking into the grave for Order, that didn’t mean he wasn’t afraid, or lost.

Anthon turned and walked toward his sculpture gallery. His orden needed training. If Shila decided to reward his newest recruitment with more responsibility, he wanted to be strong and ready.

He felt anything but.


You’ve had a kiddo since we last talked, and I know you were exceptionally busy before! How are things for you now? How do you manage to work, be a father, and write a new book?

In case you didn’t see my WorldCon unboxing (I’ll have a table in the dealer’s room if anyone is going), my kiddo has another kiddo to look forward to this January…so, yeah, my busyness has no idea what’s in store. I’ve had to adapt since my first born, Kai became old enough to want to play. Since then it has been an ever battle between giving him time, asking for my wife to take him out for periods on the weekends, and just forcing myself to work when the time’s there. I’m good though. My wife is amazing and we’re having so much fun laughing with our 2 ½ year old playing at the park, with cars and singing silly songs. Somehow I still write books every nine months. It just happens.

I’m interested in your writing schedule. Are you an outliner or a free spirit? What does a typical writing day look like for you?

I write after work, from 3:45 to 4:30 or later, then if I don’t get enough done, I have to write when Kai goes to bed around 7:30. I despise writing at night because I wake up so early, but I have to keep in shape too, so mornings are my workout time.

I am a free spirit. I am glad to have experienced writing the end of my two book Sand Divers series—which finished this summer with the release of Scavenger: A.I. I really had no idea how I was going to wrap everything up in just a two book series, but I got to a point where it fit perfectly. I have no idea how to explain it, so I just write about characters with problems, watch them try and work them out—which no doubt includes lots of failures—and then get them to a point where they have to make life changing decisions and see what they do. As long as I stick to that formula, I don’t care to know what the plot will be. It will happen as I go.

You had to shift a few things around in order to accomplish your goals. What are some things you let go? What are some things you added to your life?

As you know, I gave up my role as executive producer of Adventures in Scifi Publishing’s website and podcast about two years ago. Listen to Mercedes on this episode of Grimdark Characters. Podcasting is kind of like blogging, it’s fun and then it’s work and since it doesn’t pay, it probably isn’t going to last long. Ultimately, I saw my full day or more a week podcasting as time either away from writing or away from family. I want to be known as a husband, a father, and a writer, and podcasting didn’t fit into those obligations. Writing is so hard. We’re in this weird market where the people that make it are either crazy productive, were releasing quality books during the beginning of the Kindle era, or have found a way to treat writing books like a marathon. I’m in the third category, and I’m in a daily struggle to accept that. I have added the peace of putting the work down as soon as my wife and son get home, and being there for two or more hours a day. It’s awesome.

Tell us how we can find you online and where we can purchase your work. Thank you so much! Best of luck to you, my dear friend.

This was kind of a long blog, wasn’t it? Did anyone make it this far? If so, you can find me at and my list of books at –fun fact, I didn’t have a name when I was born so my grandpa called me Spike for like two weeks until I became Timothy Charles.

Thanks, Mercedes!


The First Day of School!

And my baby is off to kindergarten. I can’t believe it.


It’s thrilling, confusing, and a bit sad. I snuggled the and sent them off with so much joy and so much sorrow. Get it together, Mercedes.😛

I’ve had a little buddy at home for thirteen years, and this is quite literally my first day without that. Oh, there are plans, of course. I’m hoping to clean the house and settle into a new writing routine. Not today, though. Today I’ll wander around and make treats and marvel at the very fact that I can go to a movie in the middle of the day if I want to. In the middle of the day. The heart stops. I can’t even.

I hope you have a wonderful day today.