I know it’s been a minute, but in the past four months, things have REALLY been happening. I’m now two people– Terry Maggert, writer of witches and dragons and things that go hump in the night– and I’m also on half of Daniel Pierce.
As Daniel, I write an array of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian, and Urban Fantasy, but all with a twist. The hero doesn’t just get the girl. He gets all the girls.
It’s harem, it’s real, and it’s spectacular.
Check us out here, and I can’t wait to see everyone in 2019. I’ll be all over the country, both as Terry and Daniel, and I’ll have books, swag, and a lot of new things to share with you. Thanks for making 2018 my best year ever. I think 2019 will easily be even better, and it’s all because of you.
This was my second year at Once Upon a Book, sponsored by the Stacey Rourke. She’s small, dynamic, and utterly committed to the book community. Note to young writers: she’s the kind of person to follow and learn from. This is how you grow. This is how you engage, link up, join a tribe, and become an author instead of just a writer. Your books will thank you for it, trust me. Between “writing” and “author” is a world of experience.
There’s a difference.
My book Heartborn won for best cover. My thanks go to Staci Hart, who answered my panicked call for art with a stunning realization of my idea. Young writers, again take note: work with great people. Get to win awards. Get to dress up as “Mandusa” and accept the awards. Eat cake. Have fun. All side effects of being in a great book community.
SO, now that you’re done laughing at my legs, let’s discuss the remainder of 2018. (That’s super-reader Tina. She’s delightful).
I have five more events, across much of the country. It’s going to be busy. South Dakota. New Orleans. Wisconsin. South Carolina. I can’t wait. I hope to see you at some of the events– if you’re close by, say hello!
Halfway Unwrapped is on schedule for October.
Halfway Holiday is on schedule for Christmas!
AND. . .a secret project is about to publish, under my new pen name. Once it’s out, I’ll share it with you. I want this one to be a surprise. Totally new direction, and with a writing partner who’s fantastic.
LibertyCon has come and gone. I leave my tribe after a long weekend.
It’s a science fiction and fantasy convention that has the honor of producing more lifelong friends than any other event in my entire life. It’s my tribe– a thing you should find, and keep, and have and celebrate. It’s books and games and characters, and in the halls are people who I’ve admired for forty years– and then they’re in front of me, and I get to chat with them about the books that are, in some way, the soundtrack of my life.
This year was a bit different, and by that I mean even better. I’m writing for a truly excellent person, Chris Kennedy, in a genre that I’ve loved since I was a kid– Military SciFi. Being involved with Seventh Seal Press is sort of like joining a winning team on the first day. Chris takes care of the details, big and little, and it shows. I carry this coin proudly.
For three days, I was on panels, at parties, buying books, talking about books, science, films, and anything else associated with a fandom that has given me limitless joy since I was a kid. I was exhausted but invigorated, a curious blend of wanting to do more on less sleep, and finally convincing myself I could sleep on Tuesday, because there was too much good stuff to see and do.
After leaving friends for the trip home, my thoughts return to my family and how much I’ve missed them. It’s a good drive– mountains, sun, summer heat– and I look forward to that strange sensation of coming home to people you love more than anything, even after being among people you love. It’s an embarrassment of riches, and it never gets old.
On the way. I stopped to eat in a small town, Monteagle, Tennessee. There’s an iconic place– The Smokehouse– and I went in having not set foot there since 1977. Fond memories of being a kid with my family, seeing snow for the first time, a wooden toy my grandfather bought me, soon to be scattered across the cavernous back seat of our 1972 Cadillac. Joyous thoughts, then a conclusion as I realize that of seven people at that table, only two remain, and we’re not kids anymore.
Travel is like that for me. It gives and takes. It fills up my tank, and not all of it is pure, because I’m aware of the passage of time. I eat the food slowly, processing the past three days while thinking of the next ten.
I return home to teach, write, edit. Things that are all part of my third life, the one that has bloomed unexpectedly out of a childhood love of things that didn’t exist anywhere except the books I loved– dragons, distant galaxies, starships made of light. This is the best of my three lives, and LibertyCon is the fuel.
As for my life, well. . . this is week four of Keto and week five of Hot Yoga.
I LOVE Hot Yoga. It’s transformational. It’s hard, it’s a mental challenge, and it’s something I’ve been looking for. As for Keto. . .I miss carbs, but darn it, I feel better, look better, and my mind is more focused. The goal is to be 225 pounds of “not middle aged guy” by August. I like my chances. 🙂
I’d love to have you visit my channel, or me, or the events. See you on the road, and let’s have a great summer.
P.S. If I die from doing Keto and Hot Yoga, please send cookies. That is all.
Four weeks ago, raw panic set in as I realized that I have to wear a toga this summer, so I found hot yoga.
I’m not wearing the toga for fun, mind you, but an author event in beautiful Frankenmuth, Michigan, a glorious little town with Christmas, Polka, giant pretzels, fudge, and midwestern charm to spare.
Long story short: I am 6′”1. I was at 250 pounds of. . .let’s call it “human”. Not fat, not muscle. Just critically forty-nine years old and in need of a boost.
Enter hot yoga.
I went. I gasped. I sweated– Lord above, did I sweat; like I was a spy under interview lights– and my heart pounded from a tortuously fluid series of motions that went on for three days.
Okay, one hour, but still.
But it’s amazing. I love it. It quiets my mind, and makes me work harder than I’ve ever done in any other workout, and all with a smooth deliberation that leaves me energized and at peace. It’s incredible.
Today I did the Crow pose and Eagle for the first time (without falling over like a giant Polish tree). It’s quite a sensation. I have three months until the Day of Toga Reckoning, and I think I will be– not beach ready, but Toga Ready.
It’s my ancestral homeland (dad is from there). It’s filled with lovely people, open spaces, and the occasional blizzard.
Maybe more than just occasional, but still, well worth the trip. I was at the North Iowa Book Bash, and it was simply amazing. People, books, fun. It’s basically heaven (an Iowa thing for fans of Field of Dreams), and it was also the Super Official Release Date for my newest book, A Touch of Frost.
HOWEVER, I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the kicker, which is this: Clear Lake, Iowa has a BENNIGAN’S.
For anyone alive in the 1990s, Bennigan’s was the place to be across much of the country, featuring (but not limited to)
The Monte Cristo Sandwich.
What’s a Monte Cristo? Allow me to describe it to you.
Take ham, cheese, turkey, cheese, and ham, place in bread.
Dunk bread in batter, like a funnel cake.
Serve covered in powdered sugar with a side of raspberry jam.
Yes. It’s that good. It’s so blissfully America I felt the urge to sing patriotic songs and quote Top Gun; it’s a fat bomb of grease and flavor and sweetness that is simply sublime.
Since the Bennigan’s is located in the hotel, we were able to walk through on the way to our author event, thus seeing the Calm Before the Storm.
Little did the staff know they would be inundated with rowdy writers and readers in a short time, as well as shouts for MORE MONTE CRISTO from certain unnamed person(s).
Iowa is beautiful in that heartbreaking way, open tinged with a hint of loneliness when you get outside town. I love it.
There was yet another winter storm on the way when I left, but that’s the Midwest– it ain’t summer until the Fourth of July, and even then the nights are cool enough to remind everyone winter isn’t gone, just resting.
I can’t wait to go back. Every time I visit, I understand why my family returned after decades abroad, and as long as there’s a Bennigan’s, to quote General Douglas MacArthur, “I shall return.”
If you haven’t gotten the new book, here it is, just click the cover to grab one. Hope you love Gideon and Sammie. I know I do.
Today, we had an overload of cuteness courtesy of a baby squirrel.
I found him in the front yard, confused and weak. I snatched him up from a feral cat, who was approaching him with bad intentions, took him inside, and began the process of Baby Squirrel Rescue.
Here are the highlights of the day:
Baby squirrels like cashews.
They can drink pedialyte and water as a mixture.
They SNORE, and it’s insanely adorable. I know this because Noah (my son named him) fell asleep in my hand when his tummy was full, and he snored. It’s the best thing ever.
After he was strong enough, and stabilized, I put him under his tree and stood watch. Unfortunately, it became clear he was an orphan, but we had a wonderful solution. After a series of calls, I drove Noah to Walden’s Puddle, a wildlife sanctuary about an hour away.
It’s like heaven on earth. I met owls, squirrels, turkeys, possums, birds, snakes, and a pair of sassy turtles. Here’s the site– I’ll be supporting them from now on.
Here’s an action shot of Noah enjoying his second cashew, which led to a nap.
He’s safe, happy, and on the road to recovery. It’s been an excellent Saturday, and Happy St. Patty’s Day to all my friends.
Some other news: We had a photo shoot for the new book, and it was AMAZING. Jade and Quinton were the perfect people, and Dottie Rainwater captured their essence perfectly. I can’t wait to show you the results. A Touch of Frost will be available on April 7th. and I hope you love the characters as much as I do.
Meet Jade (Sammie) and Quinton (Gideon).
Coming soon– trading cards, postcards, and posters. It’s going to be a fantastic release week!
I’m going to be all over the place this year, signing books and eating. Okay, mostly eating, but also signing books. Here’s a look at my schedule. If you have a book event near you that you think I should attend, let me know– I love to travel and meet bookfriends.
I made a large bowl of rather excellent pasta, if I may say so. Allow me to walk your through the process, which was chaotic but ultimately packed with flavor and excitement. Let’s begin by discussing the ingredients.
For what I’m calling “Chicken Hilarity”, you will need:
Chicken breast, sauteed in olive oil, salt, and basil. (I couldn’t find the chicken, but realized I’d left it in the car, along with eggs and hummus. Since the temperature was close to 20F, the chicken was almost frozen. I thawed it in the pan while cooking, and it came to a lively sizzle.
Ziti, cooked until tender.
Onions and mushrooms, sauteed in olive oil.
Spicy marinara (I make my own).
Combine these ingredients in a large bowl, cover with fresh Parmesan and crumbled feta cheeses.
As I sat down to eat, several events began to unfold that altered the outcome of my meal.
My son began channeling Linda Blair. The stomach flu hit him hard and fast, resulting in several changes of sheets, a shower, more fresh linens, another shower, and then fitful sleep as we listened from the other room.
Our basset hound, Jack Reacher, injured his front leg whilst playing in the snow. As basset hounds are known for being– let’s say, dramatic– we helped him inside, called the veterinarian, and placed him on the floor under a blanket in front of a heater. The pitiful wretch barely survived, but thanks to our care and compassion, he managed to pull through his minor ankle sprain.
It was at this point that I was able to eat. I consumed, as usual, the entire portion of pasta, which means all of it.
And then I began to feel somewhat. . . uncomfortable.
Could it be the stomach flu? Unlikely. We disinfect everything with maniacal abandon, and my discomfort was completely in my belly.
It wasn’t the chicken, despite being left in the car, because the temperature was WELL below freezing and–
Wait, what day was it? Friday?
I did some calculations. I’d gone shopping on. . .Wednesday.
Thursday, the temperature had been nearly 70F.
I’d left the chicken in the car for two days, not one, and it had been rather tropical in my car.
I write this to you from an undisclosed location, where no one can hear the sounds emanating from my stomach. If you don’t see me at the next author event, do not send help. It’s too late.
Save yourselves. And someone throw away the chicken in the left hand drawer of our fridge. It’s angry.
Quick note: I’ll be going live on Facebook every Thursday night at 7:00 CST, then posting the videos to Youtube. Why? To give things away, chat about books, answer question, and- most importantly– discuss YOUR favorite book topics.