Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Eighty years ago today my grandmother Barbara Krueger was born, to Weldon and Lolita Emigh. Her dad was a family man, talented golfer, worker in the coffee business, and lover of the California coastline. And even though he never even graduated from high school, Weldon Emigh had a life ambition to write a novel. Throughout the late 1970's, he finally got to work on his book, a romance titled A DANGEROUS ROAD set in Monterey about an adulterous love affair. He finished the book, twenty-seven chapters and 84,000 words in length, in 1980, and spent much of the rest of his life trying to get his debut novel published. He sent it to publishers, time and time again, only to get rejected and denied every single time. He even followed Merv Griffin into a men's bathroom and asked him while peeing if he could help him get his book published. The man tried everything, but alas, his manuscript never saw the light of day. And when Weldon passed away in the summer of 1998, his one and only novel remained just that--an unpublished manuscript.

Growing up, writing my short stories and screenplay in my teen years, I was always intrigued about my great-grandfather's unpublished book. I was the only person in my extended family writing fiction, so I liked the idea that somebody much older than myself had tried to write a book. In 2003 I left for film school and didn't write much material for a while, instead focusing on film criticism and making movies. But in the last two years I returned to my first love, writing fiction, and later this week I'm going to finish my fifth book. Earlier this year I learned the process of how to take your manuscript and self publish it into a physical book for the masses to read, and suddenly I had the ability to take not just my work, but someone else's, and turn it into a published book.

In April, after returning to Reno, I discovered that my grandmother--Weldon's daughter--was going to be turning 80 in late August. I had made a documentary about her husband Ralph for his 80th birthday in 2009, and I wanted to do something equally special for my grandmother. Lo and behold, I discovered that Weldon's novel, only one single manuscript left in existence, was at my uncle and aunt's house across town. I asked to see it, and it was delivered to me in early May. Running about 360 pages in length, the manuscript was a mess. Pages were falling out, much of the typeface was hard to read. I knew, now with my knowledge of self-publishing, that I had to do something with this book, and the timing was perfect, considering my grandma's birthday coming up at the end of August.

So starting the first week of May, I began typing my deceased great-grandfather's words page by page, paragraph by paragraph, to Microsoft Word, typing up about eight pages a day, while I also worked on my fourth and fifth manuscripts. I took a couple of brief breaks, and it ended up taking me a little more than three months to transcribe the entire novel to my own Word document. By early August, I had his entire book on a clean Microsoft Word file, and I set out to create the book cover, and the interior file for the physical book version. Two weeks ago I received the final 252-page book version, and gift-wrapped it for my grandmother's birthday.

On Saturday night we went out for dinner at Garwood's at Lake Tahoe, then went back to our cabin to give my grandma her birthday presents. First she read my card, then she unwrapped the gift, clearly confused as what my gift could possibly be. When she stared down at the cover, and I said, "I published your dad's book," she brought her hand to her face and started to cry. I gave her a big hug and enjoyed this rare, tender moment with my grandmother. She was totally stunned at the gift, and excited to share it with her sister Ellie, who lives in California. A handful of people in the family had tried to continue work on my great-grandfather's book, including my own grandfather at one point, but finally, in 2011, thirteen years after Weldon's death, his novel had seen the light of day as a published book, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CreateSpace. My great-grandfather's work, twenty-one years after completion, is now in print... forever.

My great-grandfather's book is available in both eBook and Softcover versions. If you're interested in checking it out, feel free to click on any one of the links below...


A DANGEROUS ROAD on Barnes & Noble


Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Well it's been a little slow on the blog this month, but that's just because I've been working harder on ever, on the final draft of Happy Birthday to Me 2 and the first draft of Happy Birthday to Me 3. I've been spending as much time in the world of Cameron, Liesel, Kimber, and Wesley, as I have in my own world! It's hard to believe that in less than two weeks I will be finished with the first draft of Happy Birthday to Me 3, since I've been writing these characters for nearly two years now. But I'm excited to release Books 2 & 3 of my Birthday trilogy, and ready as ever to read reader's responses!

Here are the updates on all my writing projects I've been working on...

SLATE: I've gone back and forth on giving my debut novel the subtitle "The Salacious Story of a Hollywood Casting Director" because I think what's unique about this novel is that a casting director is the protagonist, and unless someone tells me differently, I believe this is the first novel ever written with a casting director in the lead role. Right now it's just "Slate" though! Only $2.99 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

SLATE on Amazon

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (Birthday Trilogy, Book 1): My debut young adult novel has received wonderful reviews from readers and book bloggers all over the world and is still receiving 4 and 5 star reviews on Goodreads as recently as two days ago. It's been thrilling for me to see all the good responses, since I've put so much time and energy into continuing the story with the two sequels. Obviously if you didn't care for Book 1, you're not going to read Books 2 & 3. But for those of you excited to see the story continue, I've got not one but two exciting adventures awaiting for you! The first installment is $2.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble but I will be cutting the price down to 99 cents in mid-September, so watch for that! Also, an awesome book blog tour is coming in September, so I'll have more on that in the coming weeks!


TOWNHOUSE: A TALE OF TERROR: Just like with Slate, I've been going back and forth on subtitling my debut horror novel "A Tale of Terror" mostly because I want people to know this is a terrifying thrill ride of a book, not a book about townhouse architecture. So it's currently "A Tale of Terror" on Amazon right now, and I think I'll keep it that way, because it does have a nice ring to it, with the three T's. It's been a lot of fun these last two weeks following the Book Lovin' Bitches book blog tour of this novel, where it has been reviewed on seven different blogs (all positive, yay!). While this will be my only adult horror title for awhile, there definitely will be more horror fiction coming from me very, very soon...


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME AGAIN (Birthday Trilogy, Book 2): I've been working on this follow-up to Happy Birthday to Me almost daily for the last few months and I've finally begun working on the final draft, although most of my time in the last month has been devoted to working on the first draft of the third book. Happy Birthday to Me Again is similar to the first book in that Cameron suffers another aging disease, except this time he has to figure out how to survive when Liesel is unexpectedly kidnapped. This second installment introduces a villain who will play a major part in the second and third books! The book will be available for $2.99 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as early as Friday, September 16th, and no later than Monday, September 26th! Get ready! It's coming!

TOP SECRET NOVELLA PROJECT: I've only written about 5,000 words of this novella, but I'm going to set aside a week at the end of September to write the rest of it. It'll be probably 25,000 to 30,000 words in length, and it continues the storyline of one of my three novels. If you've read my books, you can probably guess which one it is, and I'll be revealing more about this one in October.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU (Birthday Trilogy, Book 3): The third and final installment of the Birthday trilogy is the book I always hoped it would be... it's kind of like two books in one, and in November / December, when I release this final installment, you'll see why. It's definitely the biggest tearjerker of anything I've written, and it takes the main characters into very scary and dark places. It's also very unlike the first two books of the trilogy, and it also might be my strongest work to date. I have about 25,000 more words to write in the first draft, and then revisions will begin in September!

HORROR TRILOGY FOR TEENS: My YA trilogy for 2011 is the Happy Birthday to Me trilogy, and my YA trilogy for 2012 is going to be more horror-centric, with a good mix of comedy, romance, and suspense, and in a little over a week I'm taking a two-day field trip to a California ghost town to start doing research!! I'll be starting the first draft of the first book of my new trilogy later this year, but the work has already begun!

So there you have it... my August update about all my novels I'm working tirelessly on. I can't wait to hear what you all think of Happy Birthday to Me Again, my fourth novel, my first sequel, and my next big novel release! I'll be back in September with another update, along with the official synopsis of my new book, as well as all the information you need on the release of the new book itself! Next month... the Happy Birthday to Me story continues!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


My fourth novel, and the sequel to Happy Birthday to Me, appropriately titled HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME AGAIN, is coming this September! Check out this early look at the book's cover art! Thanks to Katie Bode for her awesome work!

And check back in a few weeks for the official synopsis!!