Section of The Runner Book Cover

During the last few months, I revised The Runner – Book Three of The Devil Particle Series. I was determined to get the latest draft to my editor, Tim Storm, by January 2nd and still enjoy the holidays with my family. It was a lot of work, but I’m happy to say I did it!


Of the three books in the series (so far), The Runner is the most logistically challenging. It’s told from two first-person points of view and one third-person point of view. If you’ve read the first two books, can you guess which three characters will tell their stories?



A scattering of jigsaw puzzle piecesThe Vessel starts on Monday, July 23, 2063, at 12:35 p.m. and ends four days later on Thursday, July 26, 2063, a little after 3:00 p.m. During most of that time, the characters weren’t together in the same scene, but I still had to keep track of their actions. To do this, I wrote a detailed timeline, recording everything down to the minute. Then I created an Excel spreadsheet to see at a glance what everyone was up to. I discovered I had to rearrange chapters and write new ones. It was one massive jigsaw puzzle, and I loved every minute I worked on it.


Thick bookBut, when I hit page 200 in my revisions, I realized the book was almost 100,000 words (writers talk about their manuscripts in terms of words, not pages, because the same book could have a different number of pages depending on the formatting).

To keep this in perspective, the first two books in The Devil Particle series are about 74,000 words, around 300 pages each. Typically, young adult novels are between 60,000 and 80,000 words, but there are exceptions like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which comes in at 257,045 words and 896 pages. It’s not unusual to have a longer book in a young adult series, so I wasn’t particularly worried.


Then, when I woke up on December 13th, I realized I could easily divide this book in two. I emailed Tim, and he said, “Uh oh, don’t do that.” But he agreed that there was a good earlier stopping point and left it up to me. I ended the manuscript at that point, taking out a good chunk to save for the next book, then edited it and sent it to Tim. We’ll see what he says.


So, just like the first book in the series became The Devil Particle and The Vessel, it looks like The Runner will be two books. The Devil Particle Series is now (probably) a five-book series. But, when I work on the last book in the series, will I divide that into two books, too? A six-book series? It’s highly likely and I’m okay with that โ€” I love this story.


Disappointing news

Last month, I mentioned that I’d submitted The Devil Particle to the 2024 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Contest. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it to the quarterfinals, which is disappointing, but I appreciate the feedback I received.


Two pieces of exciting news

Carpe Diem, Illinois cover

First, April 1, 2024 is the 10th anniversary of my debut novel, Carpe Diem, Illinois! To celebrate, I’m re-releasing this mystery suspense thriller with a brand-new cover and some added bonuses.

Second, over the next few months, I’m setting up a Shopify store on my website (with the help of website guru Celeste Anton). I’m excited to sell my paperback, eBooks, and audiobooks to you directly (you’ll also be able to buy through Amazon and other booksellers). The first book to be featured will be the 10th anniversary edition of Carpe Diem, Illinois.



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