December 23, 2010
Early this month one of my readers commented that he
would love to be able to read my books on his Nook.
This lead to a conversation with my publisher...next
thing you know, I had the rough ePub files
of my books in hand and was making tedious
page-by-page corrections to get them viewable on the
Nook. But now the work is done...
You can purchase ASCS for the Nook
here, and TSS for the Nook
(While I was at it, I also translated two other
Marcher Lord hits, By Darkness Hid and
To Darkness Fled. You can find 'em just by
December 9, 2010
The second interview I had with AM Mayhem host
Tommy Briggs is now available to listen to on the
YES FM page
or if that no longer works, then just click
Ironically, the first interview I had with Tommy was
on August 12th (8-12) and this second interview was
on December 8th (12-8). What are the chances? (Nope,
I didn't plan it that way.)
Give a listen!
November 25, 2010
When I started writitng A Star Curiously Singing
one of the things I never imagined happening was for
it to be used as an example of writing craft. It
breaks many of the "rules" that commonly show up in
craft books, after all. It is written in first
person present tense, it often addresses the reader
directly (ie "breaks the fourth wall"...to use the
technical term,) and it has a good share of
flashbacks--passages that can slow the momentum of a
story. (Though I don't think mine do...but I'm
Regardless, it appears the one thing I never saw
happening, has. The fine people of Writer's Digest
just released a craft book entittled
Plot Versus Character. Written by Jeff
Gerke, the aim of the book is to help writers create
a well-rounded novel that has both a gripping plot
and compelling characters. And on page 115 of that
book, amongst snippets by J.D. Salinger and Robert
Graves, is a segment from A Star Curiously
Singing. The first words I wrote for the book,
actually. Isn't that something?
How did this happen, you ask? Well...Jeff Gerke is
the head of
Lord Press, and therefore my publisher. So that
helps. But there was no guarantee the words he chose
to include in this book would stay. Writer's Digest
has the final word, after all.
Needless to say, I'm doubly honored--first that Jeff
chose to quote my book of all the amazing
books he's read (his own included) and secondly,
because the quote made it into the finished product.
It is an amazing blessing, and also the ultimate
irony. I'm exceedingly grateful.
Plot Versus Character is available
everywhere. Check it out!
October 27, 2010
Both A Star Curiously Singing
and The Superlative Stream
were eligible for the
2011 EPIC Awards this year, so I entered them in
the Science Fiction category. I figured if the
judges didn't like one, then maybe they'd like the
other. Two horses in the same race, you know!
I was somewhat surprised (and honored) then to
receive notice today that both are
finalist for the award:
"EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet
Coalition™ (www.epicauthors.com) is delighted to
announce that your entries, A Star Curiously Singing
and The Superlative Stream (both entered in the
Science Fiction Category), are finalists in the 2011
EPIC eBook Awards Competition™."
Now the hard part is deciding which of my
"kids" I'd like to win the contest more. Thankfully,
that decision is in the hands of fully capable
judges and not me.
In case you're wondering, the EPIC award contest is
the premier contest in the eBook and ePublishing
world and was created to recognize excellence in
eBooks of all genres. Since my books were published
in both paper and electronic form, they
were eligible for the contest this year.
The winners in each category will be announced in
March of 2011 at Epicon.
October 2, 2010
I was honored to find out yesterday that
A Star Curiously Singing
is on the shortlist for a brand new award. The
name of the award is the
INSPY and the
purpose is threefold:
To focus on books that are of an
exceptional literary quality and have a faith
element that is essential to the story.
To represent the reader, as
opposed to the critic. The INSPY is created by
bloggers, a rising influence in the publishing
To highlight books in the general
market that meet the need of faith driven
Sounds great, huh? And let's face it,
the award picture is cool too:
Winners will be announcements in
December. You can find out more about the award
October 1, 2010
My friend and fellow Marcher Lord author
has done some fantastic work updating the Marcher
Lord Press website. It is now not only professional
and eye appealing, but it makes researching and purchasing
our great books
a piece of cake. It also has one of the coolest
"Page Unavailable" pages I've ever seen...
So be sure to check the site out
here, and while you're there, get some
September 18, 2010
My friend CathiLyn Dyck found
this recommended reading list on the site of
Port Yonder Press, another up and coming publishing
house. If you notice, most of the list is filled
with classics by the likes of Dumas, Stevenson,
Dickinson and even Shakespeare. There are also books
by such science fiction luminaries as Herbert, Le
Guin and Gibson. But right there in the middle of
the fiction column is my little ole story about that
implanted man, Sandfly.
Now that's the kind of honor that doesn't come with
a trophy or an award certificate. That's the real
Many thanks to
Port Yonder Press for the mention, and to
pointing it out to me. Be sure to check out both
And if you stil haven't read A Star Curiuosly
Singing, what are you waiting for? Find it
September 7, 2010
Marcher Lord just posted the goods on the upcoming
October release titles. I'm excited by what's in
store. Can't wait to read them. First off, there's
the second Rick Macey title by fellow third lister
Kirk Outerbridge entitled The Tenth Crusader.
Then there's the second (non-sequel) book by Marcher
Lord alum Marc Schooley, Konig's Fire. And
finally, the debut title by Matt Koceich, called
The premises of all three sound terrific. And as you
can see above, the covers are outstanding. If you
want to know more, or even read sample chapters,
September 1, 2010
Today marks the release of the novel Alpha
Redemption by newcomer P.A. Baines. The story
follows a lone test pilot on an experimental ship
traveling to deep space. It is both entertaining and
thought provoking, reminiscent of books written by
Arthur Clarke or Frederik Pohl. I only had to read a
few pages before I knew it was great.
That's why, when asked, I was both happy and honored
to write a back cover recommendation. Alpha
Redemption is available for purchase on
and if you want to see the full cover, complete with
my thoughts, just cllick
August 16, 2010
The interview I did on YES FM with AM Mayhem host
Tommy Briggs is now available to listen to on the
YES FM page
or if that no longer works, then just click
August 6, 2010
The Lord is providing an opportunity for me to step
outside my comfort zone next week as I'm scheduled
to do my first radio interview Thursday (August
12th) at 8:15 in the morning, Previously I did a
podcast interview with fellow author
which you can listen to
here. This will be my first solo attempt at
radio silence, however, so I'm praying that my
excitement about my books will overshadow any
trepidation I have about speaking on air.
In truth, I am excited to be on a station that
seems dedicated to the young people of Ohio and
Michigan. It should be a great, great time. And if
you aren't in the general listening area, the
home page has links for listening online, and
for listening to interviews that have previously
aired. So check it out!
August 5, 2010
Like most writers, I'm excited when another group of
people gets the opportunity to read my work. So
obviously I was happy to notice today that our
Marcher Lord Press titles have started to become
available at the Sony Reader online store. A
Star Cuiously Singing and The Superlative
Stream have both been quite popular on Amazon's
Kindle, so I'm hopeful they'll bre well-received by
Reader users, as well.
As of this writing only the second book in the
DarkTrench saga is showing at the store, but the
other book is coming, so keep watching
(Like I am.)
** Update ** All Marcher Lord titles are
available for Reader now, so go get 'em!
August 1, 2010
As I mentioned in an earlier post,
A Star Curiously Singing
has been nominated for the
Clive Staples Award
this year. (The Clive Staples
Award is a readers' choice award for best
Christian worldview speculative fiction novel
published in English by a royalty paying press.)
Well, now the voting is open, so here's your chance
to show everyone what you think of Sandfly's
original tale. To vote, just go
here and follow the
intructions. Or click on the sleeping lion below...
All of us at Marcher Lord Press are excited to have
beloved Christian science fiction author Kathy Tyers
join our happy little family. She is world-renowned
for her forays into the Star Wars universe,
with books such as The Truce at Bakura and
Balance Point. She's also
commonly thought of as the founder of
modern Christian science fiction, with her
Firebird trilogy being preeminent.
Most importantly, though, she's read and likes my
books! (...almost as much as I like hers!)
For the official press release, look
Check out Kathy's website
Today it was announced by ACFW that Marcher Lord
Press has four titles (Starfire,
Eternity Falls, The Word Reclaimed and
By Darkness Hid) as Finalist in the
Speculative category for their annual Carol (Book of
the Year) Awards. In addition, Eternity Falls
is a Finalist for the Debut Author category.
This is great news for the authors involved and for
Marcher Lord Press as a whole. Early this year I
predicted it would be the
Year of the Marcher Lord and I have to
say that my prediction has been more than fulfilled.
A hearty "Congratulations and Good Luck" to all the
For more information on the Carol Awards, check
out this link. And for more
information on any Marcher Lord Press book, go
As for A Star Curiously Singing, though
entered in both the Speculative and Debut Author
category, it didn't make the list of finalist. A
disappointment, yes, especially given all the
it has accumulated over the past year. At this
point, I've resigned myself to the fact that my
stories and style of writing is a bit too avante
garde for the typical awards judge.
I'm OK with that.
I intend to keep writing on the edge.
Last night, at a ceremony held in St. Louis,
it was announced that By Darkness Hid was
the 2010 Christy Award winner in the Visionary category.
This is a great and well-deserved honor for my
friend and fellow Marcher Lord author Jill
Williamson. It is also another huge step for Marcher
Lord Press, and to some extent, all small
publishing houses. I'm very excited for her and
everyone involved. Way to go Jill! Way to go, editor
and publisher Jeff Gerke! And onward the Year of the
For more information on the Christy Awards, check
link. And for more info on Jill and her book,
check out her
PS. In case anyone is wondering, A Star
Curiously Singing was entered in the Christy
Awards, but only in the First Novel category. It was
a bit of strategy on my part. I hoped to avoid
competing with other Marcher Lord authors, and
wanted to try for the First Novel nod since this
was my first novel. Unfortunately, it must not
have been "first novel" enough...or maybe was "first
novel" too much. <g> Regardless, congrats to the
winner in that category as well.
After a lot of hard work on many people's part, all
Marcher Lord Press titles are now available on
Christianbook.com. This is a great milestone for
our beloved publishing house, as Christianbook is quite selective in
what they choose to carry.
The whole Marcher Lord crew is excited, of course,
because it means a whole new group of people will be
exposed to our work.
To see the current listings, click
here or on the picture below.
June 10, 2010
Our third child, Tobias (Toby) Rex Nietz arrived
safe and sound on May 24th. His birth was about a
thirteen hour process as we arrived at the hospital
at 6:00 AM for my wife to be induced. (She was
already a day past her due date.)
In hindsight the decision not to wait any longer was
a good one, because Toby is a big boy. He was 9
pounds 2 ounces at birth, and now two weeks later,
is at 9 pounds 12 ounces and 21 inches long. So far,
he has a very reserved and thoughtful temperament.
Mother and son are doing fine. Brother and sister
are happy to have a little sibling, and dad is
trying to figure out how best to help everyone
As they say, the only thing constant in life, is
May 24, 2010
I'm very happy to know that my friend, editor and
publisher Jeff Gerke is a finalist for the ACFW
Editor of the Year award. In my opinion, there is no
one in the business that deserves it more. He
teaches at writers conferences, he has multiple
books published on the craft of writing, he started
his own publishing house to showcase
out-of-the-mainstream talent (Marcher
Lord Press), he has a website devoted to his
genre of choice (WhereTheMapEnds),he
has editing services, he's a published
writer...seriously, how could anyone else compete?
Jeff is a literary superhero!
May 12, 2010
A Star Curiously Singing
has been nominated for the
Clive Staples Award for
Christian Speculative Fiction. The Clive Staples
Award is a readers' choice award for the year's best
Christian worldview speculative fiction novel
published in English by a royalty paying press.
Here's what the person who nominated the book said:
This book was hands down one of the best speculative
reads I’ve had in a long time, Christian or secular.
It was imaginative, well-written, character
and plot driven, and forced me to think
about my world in a new way. For those who have read
the sequel, you know this is a great series. I
heartily recommend both books, and pray that Nietz
is hard at work on the third
The competition looks to be tough, and like American
Idol, the winner is chosen based on the voting of
For this writer, though, praise like that
above is award enough. (The next few months will be
hectic for me, BTW, but I have started on
the next adventure of Sandfly...) Read more about the Clive
May 8, 2010
A Star Curiously Singing
has the uncommon distinction of being named a
Finalist in both the Religious Fiction and Science
Fiction categories for the Next Generation
Indie Book Awards. Unfortunately, it isn't
the winner in either category, but it is a definite
honor to see that readers from two normally diverse
categories thought enough of the book to name it a
In addition, fellow Marcher Lord Press author Jill
Williamson was also a Finalist in the Religious
Fiction category with her fantasy novel By
Darkness Hid. With her being named a Christy
finalist earlier this year, this is shaping up to be
the Year of the Marcher Lord!
You can read more about the Indie Book Awards
April 14, 2010
The Superlative Stream
just became available on Amazon, and I suspect a
listing on Barnes and Noble will soon follow. Click
on the image below to find the Amazon listing.
Mid April 2010
The Good News newspaper of Florida has a great story
online about my publisher Marcher Lord Press. Well
worth the time it takes to read it. You can check it
Early April 2010
Marcher Lord Press has made available their fourth
release list, and it is a big one. Included in this
release are sequels to three of Marcher Lord's
most popular books. First there is The Word
Unleashed, the second half of Steve Rzasa's
epic space opera that started with The Word
Reclaimed. Then there is the second part of the
Blood of Kings trilogy that started with By
Darkness Hid, entitled To Darkness Fled. And
finally, there is The Superlative Stream,
the second part of the DarkTrench Saga that started
with A Star Curiously Singing. It promises
to be a popular release list, and I'm proud to be a
part of it.
You can buy them all
The other bit of important news happening in early
April is my online chat with the ACFW book club
group. The date is April 5th at 8PM eastern. You can
find out more about where
Last month our family went to Colorado over a long
weekend. Flying with two youngsters is never
easy...I mean, a family of four will use about
twenty of those plastic trays getting through
security. Not to mention having to undress yourself
and your kids and then ensure that your
half-undressed child doesn't try to stage a security
Our trip was truly something special, though. Our
daughter got a double ear infection, even though her
doctor assured us before we left that she didn't
have an ear infection. Consequently sleeping every
night was interesting. I also had a book deadline
and so stayed on Eastern time and did a lot of
editing from like 3:00 to 7:00 every morning.
The trip home was equally epic. Our original flight
was cancelled (which we found out about at the
counter) and the only solution for getting us home
was to split the four of us. My wife had to run with
a three-year-old to reach their flight in time...I
had to wait 4 1/2 hours in the airport with a
4-year-old. When we finally reached home we found it
Still, right in the middle of all that, the kids
did get to meet one of their grandparents for
the first time, and I got to meet my publisher
face-to-face. And then one night at a Chinese
restaurant I got this in my fortune cookie:
Coincidence? Or would God use a fortune cookie to
encourage someone in the middle of a difficult
situation? What do you think?
Mid February 2009
The momentum toward The Superlative Stream
being published has started to increase. Most
important to this author is the fact that the
publisher has completed his read-through of the
manuscript and still wants to publish it. (In fact,
he was very enthusiastic in his remarks.) This
lightens the weight off my shoulders considerably,
as the document essentially went from my head and
heart to his kind, yet critical, eyes. Now I
have only seven pages of revisions to get through...
In the meantime, Marcher Lord Press has released the
cover art and sample chapters to their website. You
can check those out
Early February 2009
Sometimes the unexpected happens.
In December I mentioned how I had the first draft of
my sequel completed. The earliest estimate for when
that book, tentatively titled The Superlative
Stream, would see a cover was next October
(2010). The spring list for Marcher Lord had already
been filled. It would be the sequel to By
Darkness Hid (To Darkness Fled), the
sequel to The Word Reclaimed (The Word
Unleashed) and the first Marcher Lord Select
Well, it turns out the author of Sending is
adopting soon, and so won't have the time for all
the revisions his book requires. So, guess who got
picked to fill the spot?
Watch as one happy--yet now suddenly
stressed--author tries to pull a rabbit out of the
My wife had her second ultrasound this week. Baby
looks real good. He/she was also very squirmy during
the procedure--meaning he/she is either really shy
or really ornery. Considering the two children we've
been blessed with already, I'm guessing the latter.
I, of course, was very interested in the tech of the
ultrasound machine.The clarity seems to have
dramatically improved even since our last child.
(Just three years ago.)
Definitely makes it all seem real. A glimpse into
the miracle that happens in inner space...
In a 5-way poll that saw it fighting for the top
spot with another great Marcher Lord Press title (Starfire
by Stuart Stockton) A Star Curiously Singing
managed to win the right to be the March 2010
reading selection for the ACFW book club.
This means that the last half of the month of March the
book will be read and discussed on the book club
forum. Then, the first Monday of April there will be
an online chat that I'll be a part of. Pretty cool,
The ACFW book club has around 800 members, so this
could mean a great deal of exposure for both the
book and Marcher Lord Press. I'm looking forward to
For more information, check out the ACFW book club
Mid December 2009
After months of head scratching and writing, I've
finished the first draft of the A Star Curiously
Singing sequel. No title yet. But even if I
gave it one—since no
one else has seen the manuscript yet—the
chances that the title would change would be pretty
Same goes for the story too, I suppose. I hope that
doesn't change too much, though, because I think it
has a lot of cool, cool stuff in it. Technology, and
astronomy, and implanted humans smack dab in the
middle of it all.
From here I'll let the manuscript percolate for a
bit, and probably let my wife read it. Then I'll
pick it up again as a reader and refine it for a
Then, off to the publisher for comment...
Early December 2009
As weird as it seems to me, I've created my own
"fan" page on Facebook. Another author suggested it,
and it makes good sense as a place to post
interesting tidbits and updates about my books.
Still, as someone raised not to "toot my own horn"
it sort of makes me suddenly feel like the high
school braggart. Ah well, marketing is key to a
book's success, no matter how you create it.
If you are interested in becoming one of my "fans"
you can find the page
Early November 2009
It is nice to see A Star Curiously Singing
starting to have some positive reviews, both on book
review sites and on Amazon.
For a small sample, look here
or check out the listing on
A Star Curiously Singing became available on Amazon
and Barnes and Noble much quicker than my publisher
expected. Still, it is good for you because they
usually have nice discounts on those sites. Just
click the pictures below to find the listings.
Marcher Lord Press is stepping outside the normal
boundaries of fiction again. Today they
announced the beginning of their Marcher Lord Select
contest. Basically, it is American Idol
meets book acquisitions, and anyone can be a judge.
The pool of potential novels begins at 40 and over
the weeks ahead will be narrowed down until finally
only one remains...and then that one will be
published as a part of the next release in April.
How cool is that?
For the full press release, and information about
how you can help, click here:
Marcher Lord Press has completed its third release
list! A Star Curiously Singing is one of three
new speculative novels now available for purchase. Get
them while they're hot...here.
Late September 2009
As far as I know, I am officially done with the manuscript. Both the final content
edit and copy edit has been completed. I've even had
a glimpse of the layouts for printing. Very
In the meantime I've been doing a lot of
interviews about the book. I added a page to catalog
them all. You can see it
Marcher Lord has updated their website to
include information about the third release
list, including A Star Curiously Singing. Check
out the overview page
here, the sample chapter page
here, or Kerry's interview
Late August 2009
Over the last couple weeks
I've had a chance to meet and converse with the
other Marcher Lord authors whose books are being
released at the same time as mine: Kirk Outerbridge
and Steve Rzasa. Both are very cool, and like me,
very excited about the impending release.
Right now everyone is furiously working away at last
minute book details, website designs and uncovering
viable book promotion ideas. Kirk's website is well
underway, and can be found by clicking
Steve's is in process as well, and is available
Early August 2009
Marcher Lord Press just sent out its August newsletter announcing the titles for this fall's release. I'll post it all
for you here:
Marcher Lord Press has been kidnapped. Alas, it's
true. Strange beings from outer space have
apprehended MLP leadership while the authorities
The fiends knew exactly how to hurt us. First, they disabled our defenses. Knocked the silly cat right out.
Then they overwhelmed our proximity alarms with vastly advanced weaponry that MLP scientists are only now beginning to study.
Finally, they attacked MLP leadership in the first wave.
Without command instructions from the top, the loyal MLP defenders were paralyzed. It was classic shock and awe.
The morning after the attack dawned on a Marcher Lord Press materially different from what had been.
Witnesses emerged from the rubble of their homes to behold three otherworldly vehicles cooling on the landscape.
The first was a futuristic-looking craft that appeared to be constructed half of terrestrial composites and half of strange metallic alloys.
From this vehicle popped a superhuman warrior who told a tale of cyborgs, massacres, and autonomous battle tanks.
In his world, a miracle anti-aging elixir has been developed--but something terrible has gone wrong, and the powers that be will do anything to keep the populace from finding out.
This cybernetically augmented human told us that his
name was Kirk Outerbridge and that his ship was
called The Miracle Cure. Though apparently ship
names in his galaxy are subject to change.
No sooner had Outerbridge concluded his tale than a
bald cyberpunk exited the second vehicle and began
to speak. This vessel was even more advanced than
the first. It was seemingly capable of
deep-space--perhaps even interstellar--flight. The
bald man spun a yarn of a future Earth in which
Islam has conquered all, and privately owned
debuggers, like him, must do the work that keeps
this Imam-ordered civilization running smoothly.
Unfortunately, one of the bots has malfunctioned. On this ship's maiden voyage to
a star curiously singing (which is, he said, also the name of his vessel), something happened to the main servbot on the crew.
It seemed to go crazy and tear itself apart limb from limb. Our man has been called in to find out what happened.
The debugger, who calls himself Kerry Nietz, says his tale is something akin to I, Robot meets Muhammad--in space.
The third vessel is the most advanced of the three. It sits confidently atop monstrous landing struts, towering over the battlefield.
A young man leaps from an open portal and lands on the ruined street.
He carries an odd white box at his hip. His ship is capable of many leaps between stars and has seen galaxies the other two could not begin to guess at.
In his world, the Act of Religious Tolerance has outlawed all but the state religion, and the holy books from all belief systems are banned.
The galaxy is held in uneasy alliance and all the colonized worlds are at peace--or so goes the official story.
The truth is that the secret military is about to stage a coup, a powerful warrior family is about to be shredded, and the forbidden item in the young man's white box can tear the empire apart. Or save it.
Our youth offers his name, Steve Rzasa, and utters an enigmatic whisper:
The Word Reclaimed.
Whether or not these three vessels of war and their mysterious captains mean us further harm is yet to be determined.
Possibly they pose no further danger and the destruction they wrought was merely the result of their interdimensional rifting into our dimension.
Perhaps their stories are something we must and shall hear.
AlAll we can say with any assurance is that the future--that future beginning October 2009--has been claimed by men from the future and their tales of wonder, woe, and awe.
Clearly the most exciting news is the impending
release of Kerry's first novel. If all goes
according to plan, it will be part of Marcher Lord
Press's fall release list.
Typically, MLP releases
three titles twice a year—in April and in October.
Kerry has been furiously working most of 2009,
trying to get his manuscript into release form.
There has been lots of back and forth with the
publisher. Many revisions and improvements, but the
progress is ever forward. Surprisingly, since his
initial draft, Kerry has added over 20,000 new
words. All good stuff. Crazy cool stuff. Stuff he
can't wait for the general public to read.