Monday, December 22, 2014

Author Reading His Fave Christmas Book Aloud

So, my FAVE Christmas book? 

You saw the photo; it's "How the Grinch stole Christmas." I'm rather proud to say that I read it aloud, each year with cheer to the fambly, my dear.

[I also read "A Visit from St. Nicolas" (aka "The Night Before Christmas").]

Here's a link to some of my own holiday short stories:

And here's a link to a clip of me reading the Grinch for a Christmas program:

Friday, December 12, 2014

BIG SALE on the Bayou Boys Adventure Series AND Pre-Orders on ALIEN AMBUSH, BBA Book #4

Did You Know...?

The fourth book in The Bayou Boys Adventures, ALIEN AMBUSH, comes out this spring? April 21, 2015 to be exact. Though the story (like all the BBAs) stands alone it picks up where PLAYHOUSE PHANTOM left off.

That means that...

The current trilogy would make an exceptional Christmas gift for readers 10 to 16 years of age. The first book can be read in January, the second in February, and the third in March leading up to the April release of the fourth.

And now through December 15, 2014 all three books, VOODOO VIRUS, MARSHMONSTER and PLAYHOUSE PHANTOM (a $24.97 value) are on sale for only $21. That's right all three books for just twenty-one bucks.

But that's not all...

The price includes FREE gift wrapping and a personalized signing!

This offer is limited to supplies on hand and exclusively through this website. Shipping costs ($4 per set) apply. Or get FREE POSTAGE when you pre-pay for ALIEN AMBUSH (discount priced at $9 post paid) and be among the first to have it.

That's $25 (postage incl.) for the first three books or $30 for the set of four (three now, and the fourth in April 2015). That is such a deal and will NOT be offered again.


ALIEN AMBUSH releases April 21, 2015. UFO sightings and a missing crew of roughnecks (oil platform workers) have Peter and Bart curious and on the case. This time they bring along their paranormal pal Reed and skeptic friend Dallas.

The rough concept art to the right shows the proposed cover layout for ALIEN AMBUSH.>

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pick Up AVZ, the Book Everyone Who's Read LOVES

That's right, EVERYONE who's read it, has told me they loved it. 

And YOU can have it in your hands for a winter's read for just $7 to $12. 

Post paid and at your door.

Why the price range? Because I have a few with slightly blemished covers I'm willing to let go at the deep 50% discount. Signed, if you like. Want it for Kindle? That's on Amazon for even less.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Are Books a Better Use of Trees than Christmas Decor?

Animated GIF from Perez Hilton. Images from Kirk Cameron's
"Saving Christmas" voted IMDB's #1 worst movie of all time.

Could be. They certainly last longer. 

Don't get me wrong, I love a good Christmas tree. I love books, too. And I think you should give books for Christmas, too.

You just might not want to put them under a dried out tree.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bells, Bows, Baby Jesus, and Books

Through this next week I'm guaranteeing delivery of my books in time for Christmas. You can even have them signed, personalized and gift-wrapped for FREE! What a great gift for the readers in your life.

Here's a gift-giving guide to help you out:

Under 6 years-old: "I'm Samson," said Sydney
10 to 15 years-old: Voodoo Virus, Marsh Monster, and Playhouse Phantom
16 up: The Amish vs. The Zombies

Plus there's always Big Papa Zee's Cajun and Caribbean Cookbook (for those who love to whip things up in the kitchen), and Lights, Camera, Worship (for any pastor you know).

Order through Amazon for discounts (and FREE shipping on orders over $25), or through your local bookstore, or through me if you wish them signed (I'll also throw in the postage for FREE on orders of $15 or more).

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Five Star Review for Lights, Camera, Worship!

5.0 out of 5 stars

Provides an excellent overview of the basics you need to get started November 23, 2014 By Labeler_2004

"An outstanding book for those involved with media in large and medium-sized churches. Provides an excellent overview of the basics you need to get started, or to upgrade an existing system. Includes plenty of tips and practical advice that will help you avoid common pitfalls. Highly recommended."

Share YOUR thoughts with other customers

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Book and Movie: Everyone Should Read and See

One of the best books ever written in the history of all books written was once upon a time made into one of the best movies ever made. The romantic comedy fantasy adventure film was first released on my birthday (Sept. 25) in 1987 and all lived happily ever after. (The book came out in 1973.)

The screenplay was adapted by the book's author--a seasoned film writer (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid being his most famous). I write of none other than William Goldman. The film was directed and co-produced by TV comedy writer/director Rob Reiner.

From Wikipedia we learn that: "This film is number 50 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies", number 88 on The American Film Institute's (AFI) "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions" list of the 100 greatest film love stories, and 46 in Channel 4's 50 Greatest Comedy Films list."

The story is presented in the film as a book being read by a grandfather to his sick grandson, thus effectively preserving the novel's narrative style. [Have you guessed the book/movie yet?] The book is a great example of narrative commentary where the author breaks the forth wall to speak to the reader.

If you have not, you simply MUST see this classic, cult film. If you have not read the book, you simply must. It is a wonderfully entertaining masterpiece. And as fantastic as the film is, it pales in comparison to the book. [This would be a delightful study of book to film adaption.]

I, of course, write of "The Princess Bride."

And as a bonus you might read the insightful and amusing new book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride, by Cary Elwes who was the film's leading man.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Talking Turkey on the Upper Left Edge

Photo by Ruth A. Zschomler

You might wish to check out my Thanksgiving tale, called Turkey Lurkey, I've had published on The Upper Left Edge. 

Here's the link.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Early Bird Bazaar a Bit of a Bust, but Books Bought

Gregory E. Zschomler, April M. Bullard and G.S. Coltman at the Astoria Armory for the Early Bird Holiday Bazaar.

Today's bazaar was not one of the better ones for me. Surprisingly we sold zero copies of the new book, "'I'm Samson,' said Sydney." April Bullard sold quite a few copies of "The Sock Thief."

I did sell a few copies of "The Amish vs. The Zombies" and a cookbook. Andy R. Bunch wasn't there, due to illness and G.S. Coltman sold no books at all. I felt bad for him. He knocked off early to go crabbing.

The turnout was low and there was no heat in the building. Advertising was good and I got three great write-ups (Coast Weekend, HipFish and CNNW) which people told us they saw. The new book, along with the older ones, will be in stores next week and is available on Amazon.

Books: Magical Christmas Gifts that Keep on Giving

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." ~ Garrison Keillor

Time to start thinking about the Christmas Season. Black Friday (yuk) is just weeks away, but you can avoid the crush, rush, and fuss by shopping now either online or at a local bazaar. Four authors* have joined together for a book booth at the Early Bird Holiday Bazaar in Astoria, Ore. to make gift-giving as easy-peasy as can be. Books make a great magical gift for the readers on your list.

Four (and more) great books for your holiday gift giving:

  • "I'm Samson, " said Sydney by Gregory E. Zschomler (illustrated by April M. Bullard)
  • The Sock Thief written and illustrated by April M. Bullard
  • Max's Great Sea Adventure by G.S. Coltman
  • Diner Tales by Andy R. Bunch*

All four authors will be selling and signing their books at the bazaar.

Or find them at your local bookstore or at Amazon online.

Also available: Suffering Rancor and On Becoming a Man by Andy R. Bunch*; The Amish vs. The Zombies, Voodoo Virus, Marsh Monster and Playhouse Phantom by Gregory E. Zschomler and even more.

OFFICIAL BOOK LAUNCH for "I'm Samson," said Sydney at the Early Bird Holiday Bazaar, Nov. 15.

*UPDATE: At the last minute Andy Bunch had to cancel due to illness. His books are available at book stores in the Vancouver-Portland area and online.

Friday, November 7, 2014

An Interview with Author-Illustrator April Bullard

I met author/illustrator April Bullard about eight months ago. By serendipitous circumstances I popped into the right place at the right time and saw her work just as she was concluding a launch party for her new book The Sock Thief. The illustrations fascinated me and I asked if she would be interested in illustrating a book for me. She said yes and now, to make a long story short, we have it: "I'm Samson," said Sydney

I thought you might like to get to know April a bit, so here's an little Q&A:

Q: Where do we start, April? You write poetry, dark short stories, and you’ve written The Sock Thief—which you also illustrated—a book about where socks go in the dryer. You draw and paint and take photographs. Plus you’re a musician. You seem to be quite the well-rounded artist. How’d that happen?

A: My father is an artist, photographer, filmmaker, actor, director, writer and puppeteer. My mother encouraged practical, musical and performance skills. I grew up drawing, singing, acting and playing the ukelele, violin and bass. I was also exposed to and still enjoy old radio shows, early movies, history, science fiction and classic literature. Mix in a little imagination and love of creating something that engages an audience, and you get my work. I even play bass with the other musicians in the marina [she'll explain] for fun.

Q: I stumbled upon you one day just after I was lamenting with a friend that I didn’t have an
illustrator for “I’m Samson,” said Sydney. You were just concluding your launch for The Sock Thiefand I saw your illustrations on an easel. I loved them and I asked if you’d be interested in illustrating for me. You said maybe and we talked. Next thing we know we’re working together. Eight months later we have a book. How did you find the process?

A: Working with another artist is both exciting and exhilarating. Understanding another artists vision and working to bring those ideas to fruition while pushing my abilities to the limit is challenging and absolutely fun. Looking forward to doing this again and again!

Q: I understand how you feel, I, too, enjoy the collaborative process. What inspires you? What keeps you working?

A: I love to take normal, little moments during the day and imagine, what if? What if that simple act was the event that fulfilled a legendary, fairy tale prophecy? What would happen next? What if that cup of spilled milk shattered the entire balance of the universe? What if the ordinary suddenly became the bizarre? What would a hero do now? My mind is full of pictures and stories that want to be shared and enjoyed. I just have to write, paint and share!

Q: Cool. You're a thinker. So, how long have you been writing—at least on a semi-professional level? What kinds of things do you like to write most?

A: I started writing seriously around 1999, when my husband and I bought a small, rundown floating home and began spending weekends on the Columbia River. We moved to the river full time in 2007. I began reading my work at the Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic in 2009 and started submitting to independent small presses. 

My first published poem was "The Guardian of Forgotten Souls" in ParABnormal Digest #2, September 2011 and my first cover art appeared on Cover of Darkness #7 May 2011 both from Sam's Dot Publishing. I actually got paid $3 for the poem, $20 for the art and decided this was what I wanted to do. I like exploring horror and the dark side in much of my writing and art. Consequences and personal, inner terror fascinate me.

Q: Reminds me of Stephen King. (LOL) What other projects have you worked on or have lined up?

A: I have published cover art on small press anthologies and a friend's poetry collection. [I'm] always looking for a new collaboration and I have three books in the works. 

Sometimes I have a scene or idea, not connected with a particular story, that I just have to paint on canvas. Right now, there's a Clearance 1/2 Price Sale on all my paintings at Cover to Cover Books & Espresso in Vancouver, Wash. including a couple originals that have been published as cover art.

Q: That's neat! I've seen them. I encourage anyone in the area to check them out. Okay, April, you see things in photographs and nature that others don’t see. Where does this unique “eye” come from?

A: When it comes to my imagination, I've never grown up. I still look for dragons, monsters and angels in clouds, trees, bushes and water reflections. I can find "eyes" anywhere and everywhere! Whenever I take a walk, it's like I'm seven years old, exploring a fantasy kingdom with new and ancient creatures, great and small. I imagine stumbling into adventures with these new villains and heroes.

Q: I like that. You have been so easy to work with—you’re professional and fast, you listen well and aim to please, and your work is so detailed and beautiful. Does that come easy for you?

A: Thank you! Illustrating someone else's story is a great trust. Keeping it true to another's vision and using all my skills to make it grab and hold the reader's attention, is personally satisfying and fun. I'm so glad you're happy with the results.

Q: I am. What is your process like? When and where do you like to write? What about painting?

A: My houseboat is the perfect place to write. From my chair on the front deck I watch the changing skies reflected in river currents in the channel and the woods off the banks of Caterpillar Island. My glider rocker inside the houseboat has nearly the same view, just safe and dry behind glass. Being away from the hustle and bustle of city and suburbs helps quite a bit. 

I have notebooks with snatches of poems, scenes from different stories, ramblings inspired by movies or TV shows, and pieces of daydreams. I also have sketchbooks with the same array of flotsam and clothing, craft or set designs. I play with prompts, or storyboard scenes. Sometimes a story just insists on being written, immediately. The same goes for some paintings. Many times a deadline makes me push through and take the inspiration to completion.

Q: That sounds enchanting. that's one of the things I am blessed with, too: a serene and inspiring writing environment. It really makes a difference. Your bio says that you’re a Navy vet and that you live on a houseboat. You must like the water? How’d that happen? And how do you paint on a houseboat?

A: When my children hit high school, my husband and I began looking for what kind of life we wanted sans kids. The first floating home was so much fun, we knew we wanted to live on the river. We decided on our houseboat for the ability to cruise around the river and the cabin-like comfort of the house. In my genealogy research I discovered my great-great-grandfather had a small riverboat in Iowa, on the Cedar River to the Mississippi River near Rock Island, Illinois. He and his wife had six children while living on the boat. Guess it's in the blood for me. As for painting on the gently rocking water, what could be more fun?

Q: Fascinating! What else do you want to tell us about? Your forest foraging? The Daughters of the American Revolution?

A: I am a member of Beaver Chapter Daughters of American Revolution and my application is pending for Colonial Dames of the 17th Century. Both lineage societies are based on tracing your bloodline back to a certain time period and place. Finding records of these ancestors and fleshing out their lives, struggles, failures and successes becomes a marvelous source of plot twists and story fodder. 

Walking the river islands, imagining I'm stranded there forever, helps me learn about all the wildlife, plants and weeds, adding more textures and layers into my work. Having the time to exchange stories with others adds more possibilities and details for future work.

Q: What are you working on next? And where can we find your books?

A: [I have] three books in the works: first, a collection of short stories geared more to an adult/YA audience; second, Goody Hepzibah's Harvest Tales, a selection of fun to read aloud original poems, stories and reworked nursery rhymes and tales that put the consequences of behavior back in focus, aimed at middle readers ages 7-11; and Goody Hepzibah's Journals, a companion book of craft projects, skills, household chores and etiquette from earlier times. For access to all my work you can check my website:

The Sock Thief is available at Cover To Cover Books & Espresso and Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters in Vancouver, Wash., also Jacobsen's Books in Hillsboro, St. Johns Booksellers, and Another Read Through in Portland, Ore., and

When do we start working on the next in the Sydney Said book?

Q: You mean "I'm Solomon," Said Sydney? We'll see how this one does (LOL). Thank you, April.

April and I launch our new book this coming weekend (Nov. 15) at the Early Bird Holiday Bazaar in Astoria, Ore. Come on out and have your book signed by both of us. It will make a great Christmas gift for a 3 to 6 year-old you know.

Thereafter it will be available in bookstores along the north coast of Oregon (and SW Washington), and in the Vancouver-Portland metro area. You can ask for it to be ordered in for you at any bookstore or purchase it here at

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Reader Response for "The Amish vs. The Zombies"

"Finished your book 'The Amish vs The Zombies' last night. I think teens will like the goryness and the edginess of youth finding their way. The definition of true LOVE can ring true for those who think they have strayed too far for redemption."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

SHELFIE: "The Amish vs. The Zombies" at Jupiter Books in Cannon Beach, Ore.

Whoops, there it is. Right in the front window of Jupiter Books in Cannon Beach, Oregon. 

Owner Watt Childress finished reading the The Amish vs. The Zombies this week and seems to have liked it enough to put it where it will get noticed: in the front window right next to the door.

Thanks Watt!

Over the course of last week, when I stopped in, he would tell me where he was at in the book and what he liked about the story. I'm looking forward to hearing his final comments this weekend.

He's also got Playhouse Phantom in his hands, maybe that will be next?

Anyone visiting Cannon Beach should stop in a see the collection of used and new books at Jupiter Books. Watt is great to talk with and he'll be happy to help you find what you're looking for.

Monday, November 3, 2014

An Interview with Author Andy R. Bunch

The following is mostly a "reprint" from an interview I did with author Andy R. Bunch in August of 2013. Since I've known Andy for more than a year now, we've become good friends. Thus, I've updated and embellished the material to bring it up-to-date. Andy will be joining me, April Bullard and G.S. Coltman at the Early Bird Holiday Bazaar in Astoria on November 15.

Q: So, Andy, your blog lists a wild ride of crazy experiences. I think it goes something like this: "In the footsteps of Hemingway, Conan Doyle and London, Andy Bunch is an adventure writer. He has traveled extensively along the West Coast, built a church in Mexico, sung for his supper in Canada, and taught Archery in Alaska. He’s trained in CPR/First Aid, Shao Lin Kung Fu, Kajakenbo, and Vin Tsun martial arts. He’s sky dived, rafted class 4 rapids, drank moonshine with felons, dined with royalty, spent a week in the woods with only a knife, flint, black-plastic and some TP, and studied British history in Great Britain."

Author Garrison Keillor says that “Nothing bad ever happens to a writer; everything is material.” Tell us about your adventures.

A: Yep, I’d agree with Keillor. I think it morphs into something other than the original incident though. Kipling said, “A good writer should be able to watch an alley cat slink across a park and be able to write what it feels like to be stalked by a bangle tiger.”

That’s the goal in my mind. Experience reality from a number of angles and then stir enough of that into your writing to reach people with a deeper truth. I believe that in order to entertain others you must be entertained yourself so I try to find the humor in most situations, but life isn’t all about fun and laughing. Still, in order to inspire life in others you must first come alive yourself. So whatever is happening in your life, learn to put it in perspective and find a way to profit from it.

As far as specific adventures in my past ending up in my books, the truth is always stranger than fiction but seldom as entertaining. I’ve fallen in the ocean in Alaska, capsized a canoe. I ended up fighting for my life from pneumonia. That joined with some of my childhood bouts of strep throat in my description of the disease my hero and his friends face early on in my Fantasy novel, Suffering Rancor.

I try to let life invade my stories, but you’d almost never be able to draw a connection between the real life event and the ones in the book. One exception would be when my father died in 2003. I went back through my novel and rewrote the impact a father’s death has on a character. It hurt to write that, but if that was going to be in my book then it had to be accurate.

Q: Wow! Interesting. But your writing experiences are equally so. You have College coursework in technical, essay, short story, and novel writing which led to a Penguin Award for student leadership, and later a degree in business management. You've worked as a technical writer and a document control specialist, been a contributing editor on the “Salmon Creek Journal,” and the fiction editor of “The Phoenix” Magazine. Your fiction and nonfiction appear all over the web.You have some independent publishing experiences as well. You’re a contributor to the Northwest Independent Writers Association anthology as well as having published two books on your own. And you've co-written a couple of books as well as written two of your own, not to mention the contributions to anthologies. What are the joys and pitfalls you’ve experienced in these ventures?

A: I struggled a lot with short fiction, but I felt it was important to grasp that before moving onto longer works. Short stories really are a different animal, but there are some obvious cross-over skills.

I hadn’t written much short fiction since I switched to novels, so I confess to dusting off a story I’d begun already for the first NIWA anthology. I thought I could tack a fast conclusion on it and be done, but I was actually only halfway through it. That’s become a favorite story of mine. I wanted to turn things upside down a bit and create a sympathetic monster, inept bad guys and a heroine who’s willing to do anything for power including screw over a simple creature that tries to help her. Unfortunately the characters had other ideas so it went where it wanted to and became a great story despite me.

The story in this year’s NIWA Anthology came from a NIWA writing challenge. One of the skill building exercises we took on was to come up with a difficult challenge and post it to our forum. Then we all wrote a short story to fit the challenge. We used a picture of a sink hole that formed in someone’s bedroom overnight—under their bed. It was a very evocative picture. I’m really proud of that story. From a publishing standpoint, the anthologies sell real well. So I’m hoping to garner some fans out of those.

Q: Your book Suffering Rancor has been described as “like Pirates of the Caribbean meets Conan the Barbarian.” I really enjoyed the work. Tell us about why you wrote it and what the experience has taught you.

A: Rancor was the book I learned to write on. I had a few abortive attempts at other novels early on, but Rancor was the one I had to write because I couldn’t get it out of my head any other way. I struggled with dyslexia growing up and reading was an enormous challenge, but I loved words. I loved how the felt when you said them and I loved reading the dictionary to finding new words. My favorite two things about words is the way they represent entire concepts so that you can make a sentence that conveys pages of information, and secondly how words can be pieces to a puzzle and you need the exact right one for the job.

I was a horrible speller, K to 12th grade, and everyone actively discouraged me from writing. In fact, my dad pretty much paid for me to go to community college and my car insurance, so long as I pursued a degree other than writing. I took writing classes on the side and wrote in the library or coffee shops where I wouldn’t get caught.

My last year at Clark (of 6), I went on a study abroad trip to the UK and I remember standing in Rudyard Kipling’s house and thinking, “Maybe not everyone makes it as a writer but some people do. Why not me?” I came home and told my parents that I didn’t care if it made me homeless, I’d pan-handle for money to buy chalk and I’d write my novel on the sidewalk even though the next rainfall washed it away. After that they stopped opposing it so much.

So Suffering Rancor and I journeyed quite far together. No one in college really taught me how to write a book, but they did teach me how to peer edit, so I joined a writers group and started working the fundamentals. 16 years and 7 rewrites later I had a bouncing baby novel on my hands. My illustrator, Corey Pennington, came into some money and paid the initial publishing costs so we could get the project out there. That’s back when you had to pay a lot to companies for each little thing, it’s practically free now. Anyway, Corey is a good friend and we got the book out with only a few dozen typos and some embarrassing homophone issues. I’ve since revised it one more time and freshened up the cover.

Q: You are a founder of NIWA. How’d it get started and would you like people to know about it?

A: I’m one of six original founding members of Northwest Independent Writers Association. Initially we wanted to band together for support and sharing ideas about the industry, but we quickly realized that the biggest challenge facing Indie Authors is the public’s belief that traditionally published books are better quality. In reality, the entire market has shifted due to technology changes. The only thing you can be sure of in a traditionally published book is that someone in New York thought it would have a wide market appeal.

I don’t really care if a million people like the book I’m reading, I feel comfortable judging a book for myself. Between ebooks and Indies, the traditional market is hurting for cash and less likely than ever to spend money on an unknown writer. Not to mention that they’ve stopped spending money on editors and promotions, so the writer is pretty much on their own anyway. I’ll get off my soap box. Ultimately, NIWA realized that its primary function was to promote professionalism and quality among Indie authors and to increase consumer confidence in their work. So that’s what we do.

Q: What words would you share with new writers hoping to venture into independent publishing?

A: Oh, boy! There’s a lot of things they need to know. I encourage everyone who feels that they have a book inside them to write it. It’s hard work but good therapy. Actually publishing that work with the technology we have now is relatively easy. Promoting and selling that book is a ton of work, and being commercially successful is exponentially more so.

If I could offer only one piece of advice it would be “don’t think that Indie publishing your work is a way to mitigate the heartache of rejection. Nothing about writing, revising, editing, publishing, or selling your book will be free from rejection.”

Vonnegut once said, “Don’t write because you want to: write because you have to.” I’m not that cynical, but I see his point. Being a writer is like being that naked cowboy singer in time square. You don’t have anything to hide behind but the instrument of your talent, so you’d better not suck, and it doesn’t matter if the crowd gathered to gawk at you as long as they throw you a buck and leave thinking, “that guy’s actually pretty good.” 

Q: You've got a new book out now called Diner Tales. I've read it and I liked it very much. Lay that subtitle on us and tell us what it means. And what led you to write this?

A: The subtitle is: A Contemporary Canterbury Anthology. I have always loved the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. I love the idea of writing very different stories that would be told by very different people who represent typical people you'd run into in life.

I used to hang out at a coffee shop all night when I was in college--it's the only place that life would slow down enough to let me focus on my homework. I'm glad I had that experience and I'm glad to be beyond it now, with a wife and baby. Now I'm in bed by 8 p.m. most nights so I can get up at 4 a.m. to write.

Q: Four in the morning, Andy! You're insane!

What I like about the book is that it's a collection of short stories all tied together. Some of the stories are funny, some are dramatic, some are touching and some are contemplative. In your book we meet people we see everyday and judge, but through your book we get to know them as human beings.

I also like the fact that it can be used as serial reading--something you can carry with you throughout the day and read quick chapters and have a whole story to think about before going on to another. It's just a fun book.

Anyway, where can readers pick up your books?

A: My books can be found by searching Amazon or Barnes and My fantasy YA novel, Suffering Rancor, is also on Smashwords, kobo, the iStore etc. and the audiobook is available through Amazon or Audible. This smart link is supposed to get you to the right book no matter what country you’re in and this one’s for the ebook My second book, On Becoming a Man, is a Christian inspirational I co-authored with Janice Seeney. Amazon is probably the best place to find that, here’s a link And here's the link to Diner Tales.

Thank you, Andy. Excellent stuff. You can find out more about Andy at:

Friday, October 31, 2014

An Interview with Author G. S. (Scott) Coltman

G. S. Coltman, author
G.S. (Scott) Coltman is one of three authors joining me in the Local Indie Author Book Booth at the Early Bird Holiday Bazaar in the Astoria Armory on November 15. I just met him a couple of weeks ago, but I was immediately taken by him and his new book, 'Max's Great Sea Adventure.' I asked him to join me at the bazaar, and I also asked that he tell us a bit more about his work. 

Here's what we had to talk about:

Q: Hi Scott, thanks for answering a few questions for us. Tell me, what prompted you to write?

A: I moved to Seaside after being diagnosed with cancer in March 2013. A slower life. less stress, and clean beach air appealed to me and fired up my creative juices. I had written some short stories and poetry previously, but never published. Why not now!

Q: Your book, what's it about? Give us your elevator pitch.

A: Max, a young Sandpiper, gets the attention of the bullies in his flock. From taking their unwise dare, he finds himself violently washed out to sea where he meets a new group of friends, led by Pete the Puffin on Sea Bird Rock. Overcoming his fears through the encouragement of his new friends and remembering the mantras of his father to be self confident, Max grows both literally and figuratively.

Q: Cool. Sounds like a great message.What was your inspiration?

A: My own children and the memories of when I taught elementary age children to read and the joy of self discovery as they used there imagination to 'enhance' the story.

Q: Who did your illustrations?

A: Hilbert Bermejo; he was selected by my publisher.

Q: So, who should read your book?

A: Everybody!

Q: Of course (lol). What is/was your writing process?

A: Start with a single screen shot, and build. Mine started while I was walking on the beach and observing nature. I picked up some shells, saw the flock of sandpipers, and saw a sneaker wave wash in and catch the flock on the beach.

Q: Are you working on other books" What might they be?

A: Currently I'm working on 'Princess Viola and the Amazing Journey'. It's a story for young girls to read and absorb themselves into.

Q: Okay, Scott, where can people buy 'Max's Great Sea Adventure'?

A: From me! Just give me a call at 503-960-1040, or pick it up in Seaside at Beach Books, in Gearhart at Romancing the Home, or online at Amazon or Barnes/Noble.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

SAMSON is in the House and He's Bringing it Down

After months and months of work (in fact more than a year now)the children's picture book "I'M SAMSON," SAID SYDNEY (by Gregory E. Zschomler and illustrated by April M. Bullard) is finally "in the can" and, in a matter of two weeks, will be available for purchase.

The official launch date is November 15, 2014 (click link for time and place). The retail price is $14.99.

A goodly supply will be on hand (through me or April) for holiday gift giving from November 15 through December 12. Any order made before December 12 will be filled in time for Christmas. [Note: This book would also make a great gift for Hanukkah.]

You can pre-order signed(by both the author and illustrator) copies today and you can be of the first to read the book (as those orders will be shipped Dec. 16). Or you can order unsigned copies from Amazon. The book will also be available through your favorite bookstore (but will likely need ordered in). Some local bookstores on the Pacific North Coast and in the Portland/Vancouver area may have them in stock.

Here's what people are saying:

“My kids delighted in this retelling of Samson's story. The simple retelling was creative and easy to understand. A fun, modern parable for kids.” ~ Brock D. Eastman, author of The Quest for Truth series; Adventures in Odyssey team at Focus on the Family, and father of three.

“This book will be a favorite for early readers. The illustrations are detailed and it’s fun to point out the tiny details of everyone's childhood memories. The biblical message is simply put as seen through the eyes of the mighty Sydney. The follow-up for the Biblical verses gives an opportunity to follow up alone or with your child to learn more.” ~ a grandmother of three

“A good way to get kids interested in Bible stories…and get them asking questions... I think the premise of the book is a realistic scenario. Kids often make believe stories they've heard and sometimes blur the lines between their present reality and past reality/biblical stories.” ~mother of two boys

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My NaNoWriMo Plan

I will draft the fourth Bayou Boys Adventure, titled ALIEN AMBUSH.

I'm planning to write every day except Sundays and a three day Thanksgiving holiday off . I will write 1,600 words a day.

Thus, Nov.1: 1,600 words; Nov. 3: 3,200 words; Nov. 4: 4,800; 5:6,400; 6: 8,000... etc. By

November 30: 36,000 words total*.

The longest BBA (Playhouse Phantom) to date is 30,000 (also drafted in a month). The Amish vs. The Zombies is 40,000 (a month to draft).

*the finished product could be longer or shorter, depending upon editing, redraft and the needs of the story.

I could use some prayer for perseverance, discipline, and sanity.

Monday, October 27, 2014

ORYCON 36 brings Sci-Fi/Fantasy Convention to PDX

If you like Sci-Fiction and/or Fantasy  this is probably just the thing for you. Several local, indie authors will have their work available at the NIWA booth. The featured author-speaker this year is the writer of Logan's Run. There is cosplay, sci-fi and fantasy collectibles and other stuff to buy (including books), art, gaming, speakers and so much more. If the Sci-Fi/Fantasy world is your thing you might want to check it out. Just sayin'. For more info click here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

BOOK LAUNCH: New Children’s Picture Book Relates Bible Hero Story about Samson

Cannon Beach, Ore. author Gregory Zschomler (formerly of Ridgefield, Wash.) and Vancouver, Wash. illustrator April Bullard are excited to debut their new children’s picture book “I’m Samson,” said Sydney.

The book, for children six and under, is the telling of a young boy who imagines, by role playing, that he’s the Bible hero Samson. It is the creators’ hope that the volume will be the first in a series about Sydney’s playful imaginations of Bible characters.

The official launch will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., November 15 at the Early Bird Holiday Bazaar in the Astoria Armory, on 17th St. in Astoria, Ore. Both the author and illustrator will be on hand to do personalized signings.

In addition authors G.S. Coltman and Andy R. Bunch will be on hand with their new books. Coltman, from Seaside, will be selling/signing Max's Great Sea Adventure and Bunch, from Vancouver, his newest book Diner Tales.

Samson will also be available in independent bookstores in the Vancouver/Portland metro area and north Oregon coast communities the following week.

Their book is designed to introduce children to the Bible story in a way they can relate to, through whimsical verse and bright, clever pictures. The edition will make a lasting and loving Christmas gift.

Bullard is the author and illustrator of the book The Sock Thief and Zschomler is the author of the Bayou Boys Adventure series for middle readers. All their books will be available at the event.

Here's what folks are saying:

"My kids delighted in this retelling of Samson's story. The simple retelling was creative and easy to understand. A fun modern parable for kids." ~ Brock D. Eastman, author of The Quest for Truth series; he works with the Adventures in Odyssey brand at Focus on the Family and is the father of three.

“This book will be a favorite book for early readers. The illustrations are detailed and it’s fun to point out the tiny details of everyone's childhood memories. The biblical message is simply put as seen through the eyes of the mighty Sydney. The follow-up for the Biblical verses gives an opportunity to follow up alone or with your child to learn more.” ~ Suzi (a grandmother of three)

“A good way to get kids interested in Bible stories…and get them asking questions... I think the premise of the book is a realistic scenario. Kids often make believe stories they've heard and sometimes blur the lines between their present reality and past reality/biblical stories.” ~ Bethany (mother of two boys)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I was Surprised and Joyed to Find THIS REVIEW Today

Full disclosure, I've become a Zschomler fan since I read his middle grade book Voodoo Virus. I backed the crowd funding campaign for this book knowing that it would be a true horror story. It's being marketed as a Y/A and I'll get back to that in a moment, I just wanted to start this by saying I'm a fan of the author and read, essentially an ARC copy of the book. I don't believe it'll bias my review, but decide for yourself.

When I see a title like "The Amish vs The Zombies" I think the author has something up his sleeve. Like he's surely got a treatment of the idea that lessons the impact, or its a spoof or something. Not in this case. Zschomler played it straight which is why I titled this review the way I did. If you see that title and think, "I'd probably like that book," then you definitely would. This is really well written. I read/ watch horror on rare occasions. I'm picky about it. The author really took the premise seriously.

If a Zombie outbreak occurred in a predominately Amish area, how would it come about, play out, and resolve? That's what he gives you in all it's frightening detail. It's really well written! The characters feel real and authentic, they are true to their beliefs, they have pretty normal responses to the horror that's thrust upon them. They grow as a result of their journey. This book punches aboveits weight.

If you are curious, read it for yourself!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Shelfie! Placement at Beach Books in Seaside, Oregon

My Bayou Boys Adventure book PLAYHOUSE PHANTOM, concerning a haunted theater on Halloween, was just stocked at Beach Books in Seaside, Oregon. It's on the shelf and in the window with the Halloween boo-ks.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Written in the Sand: Seaside Oregon Authors Event

Head on out to Beach Books on the corner of Broadway and Holladay Drive in Seaside, Oregon this Saturday, October 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. and meet nearly twenty regional authors at the third Annual Seaside Authors event at Beach Books in Seaside. 

Wine, cheese and sarsaparilla will be served and local authors will be reading from their books and signing copies. Come meet writers of fiction, history, health and cooking.

Here are some of authors who will appear:

Nancy Berry  A Gift of Poems for Christmas
Maryka Biaggio Parlour Games
G.S Coltman Max's Great Sea Adventure
Lisamarie Costanzo 420 Diner: What's on the Menu
Dan Johnson The Air in Me
John Johnson Seaside, The '60's and the Johnsons
Paula Judith Johnson Sweetbriar
Gloria Linkey Native American Women
Holly Lorincz Smart Mouth
Matt Love Walking in the Rain
Tim Murphy Flannel John Cookbooks
Honey Perkel Faithful Daughter
Karli Pierce Fragile but Unbreakable
Kristi Pierce Back on Track: A Survival Guide for People with Back Pain
Brian Ratty Destination: Astoria
Nancy Slavin Moorings
Susan Stoner Sage Adair Historical Mysteries
Maggie Stuckey Soup Night

616 Broadway
Seaside, OR 97138
(503) 738-3500

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Portland Area Writer's Connection Author Speaker

FREE Writers Connection for this month is THIS Thursday Oct. 16, 7 p.m. at Rolling Hills Community Church.

Josh Kelley, the author of the recently-published Harvest House book Radically Normal, is the guest speaker the upcoming Writers Connection, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, starting at 7 p.m.

All are welcome to this FREE event for creatives, writers, story-tellers, movie-goers, lovers of literature, bloggers, authors, wanna-be-writers, you name it! 

The Writer's Connection meet ats Rolling Hills Community Church, 3550 SW Borland Road, Tualatin, Ore.

Josh Kelly, author

Friday, October 10, 2014

Attention Authors and Writers in the Vancouver Area

Oct. 18 “Story Con” at Vancouver Library Brings Together Readers and Authors

More than 30 authors lined up for discussions, readings and book signings

VANCOUVER, Wash. – More than 30 authors will be on hand to showcase their works and connect with readers at the first-ever Story Con 2014 to be held Saturday, Oct. 18, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (programs run 10:30 am to 4:30 pm) at Vancouver Community Library, 901 C St . The free event will be held on the first and fourth levels of the library. The event promises to be “laser-focused on helping book lovers find their next great book.”

The website for the event is

The day’s line-up is composed of author readings, interactive discussion panels and book signings. Session topics include: “The Wicked West” (what makes the Pacific Northwest a prime location for crime writing), “Hell on Heels” (female heroes and villains), and “Where to Find Great Flash Fiction Online” (finding very short stories – under 1,000 words). Featured authors include regional mystery writer Kate Dyer-Seeley, New York Times best-selling author Daniel Wilson, 2014 breakout novelist Jason Gurley, and Hugo Award winner David D. Levine. A complete schedule of events is available at

Story Con is the brainchild of Erik Wecks, the Vancouver science-fiction author of “Aetna Adrift.” Wecks brought his idea for a readers’ convention to Vancouver Community Library programming staff, who had already been looking to launch a distinctive annual author event. Wecks has been assisted by staff from both the downtown library and district headquarters in organizing and promoting the event.

Books will be available for purchase and signing during Story Con 2014. Sales tables will be staffed by Friends of Vancouver Community Library, a non-profit group that will earn 40 percent of sales revenue as a fundraiser for their ongoing support of library programs. Refreshments will be available for purchase from the Thatcher’s Coffee cart in the first level atrium.

For more information, visit the Story Con website or call the library at 360-906-5000.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Photos by Andy R. Bunch

My book The Amish vs. The Zombies makes its appearance at the Portland Home & Garden Show. 

These are the last ones of AVZ that I have on hand. I sent six to the show and took four with me on my trip to Fresno (which my son sold to his co-workers). I'll be reordering in time for Christmas though. (Recommended for 13 and up.)

Also the last of Playhouse Phantom books are at the show, too. The story takes place on Halloween and so it would make a great book to purchase now. (I'll have some more of those by Thanksgiving as well.)

And don't forget: I have a new book for children coming out on November 22. "I'm Samson," said Sydney was written by me and illustrated by April Bullard.

BTW: You still have tomorrow to visit the show on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't Miss Out on This Weekend's H&G Show Discount

Come on out to the Portland Home & Garden Show this weekend at the Portland Expo for some great reads. 

At this point the are more than 25 authors represented at the show, with more than 20 making appearance to sign their books, and there are more than 60 titles in a wide array of genres to choose from.

The booth (#253) also features many other books (centered on gardening, cooking, homemaker and building topics) from a wonderful Local Independent Bookstore: Jacobsen's Books.

I've also attached a coupon for the show you can use for discount admission. It's good for Thursday and Friday only, and I parking is free after 4 p.m. (and the show is open until 8 p.m.).

Though I won't be there (my books will be), tell everyone you know to come say "hi" to my fellow local indie authors!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Advance Readers/Endorsements Sought for SAMSON

Another, as yet, revealed illustration by April M. Bullard
from "I'm Samson," said Sydney. (c) 2014
I just wrote the proposal materials for a Kickstarter campaign to produce my next children's book ("I'm Samson," said Sydney) with illustrations by April M Bullard

I'm need of a few blurbs to go in the pitch and on the back cover. In helping me out you'll see the material before anyone else and I'll make sure you get a FREE copy of the finished product. 

I'm looking for one from a mother of small boys, one from a Sunday school teacher, one from a children's pastor and I'll consider authors of children's books or pastors. Let me know ASAP. Please share.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

On the Road in CA with "Lights, Camera, Worship"

At Celebration Church in Fresno, California.
Photo by Josiah Zschomler.

Celebration Church, Clovis Campus, Fresno area, California. 

Always good to see what churches across the nation are doing.

This is my second time at Celebration Church. They do a LOT of things well and are generally very progressive.


Since I last visited, almost a year ago, nothing has changed. The set and lighting are virtually identical. (And there was still no open WiFi.)

What DID change--and this is the first time I've seen this--is a mid-worship costume change for the worship leader. W-what? Why?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Another Illustration from "'I'M SAMSON,' SAID SYDNEY"

Illustration (c) by April Bullard for "'I'm Samson,' said Sydney"

Here's another illustration for you.

April Bullard has finished all the illustrations for "'I'm Samson,' said Sydney." I thought I'd share another one with you today. They are just so cool I HAVE to. I hope you're enjoying them as much as I am.

Next week I start formatting the book. I'm looking into doing it as a hard cover and, if I decide to pursue that option, I will run a Kickstarter campaign to finance it ($500). Basically that amounts to doing a pre-sale.

The award tiers will be something like this:

  • One book (signed by April and I) for $20 (post paid).
  • A 12" x 12" full color print (pictured) signed by April for $30.
  • A book and a print for $40.
  • Two copies of the book (second book mailed to the person of your choice) and a print for $50.
  • Plus a $100 bonus level TBA.

Will you be interested? You'll be the first to own a copy.

Friday, September 19, 2014

NEW NEWS! Preview Illustrations for "I'm Samson..."

April Bullard has (as of today) finished the last of the illustrations for "'I'm Samson,' said Sydney" and we'll be showcasing some of her work for the book at the:

Local Indie Author Meet & Greet 

at Brewed Awakenings (63rd & Andresen) tomorrow (Sat. Sept. 20) from 10 a.m. until noon.

Come on out for a preview, give us some feedback, talk to us about our process, buy one of our other books, have it signed, pre-order "Samson," enjoy a great cup of joe (iced or blended; the day will be hot and we'll be in AC)...whatever.

Plus there are other authors to hang with, too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Local Indie Authors at PDX Home & Garden Show

My books will be available at the Fall Portland Home & Garden Show along with many other books by other local indie authors. While I won't be there, my books will be. I encourage you to come on out and check out the many titles you can bring into your home.

The admission is $10, but you can get a $2 off coupon here:

If you want your books by me signed you should come out and buy them this Saturday (Sept. 20) at the Local Indie Author Meet & Greet at the 63rd St. Brewed Awakenings from 10 a.m. until noon (sse the post about the event below). Five other great authors will be there, too. The event is free.

If you can't make either of those I'll be in town signing my new childrens' picture book with the illustrator April Bullard on November 22. Time and place TBA. We'll have our other books available as well. This will be my last appearance in Vancouver this year.