Mark your calendars

September 13.

That’s the official release date. MATRYOSHKA BLUES, the first in the Average Joe Mysteries, will be available for ebook download on 9.13.16. Still working out when the print version will be released, but it’ll be as close to that date as I can get it.

Man, this has been a long time coming.

I first started writing when I was 13. (Side note: that’s why I chose 9.13 — for the symbolism.) I remember the first time I got noticed for something I’d written. Or rather, the first time something I’d written affected the people around me.

It was in my 8th grade English class. God help me, I can’t remember my teacher’s name off the top of my head. But he would assign us short stories to write, and after they were turned in and graded he would read aloud in class the ones he felt were the strongest.

One day, mine got read. And it was a hit. And the next time. And the one after that. Boom. Done. The line was cast, the hook got…well, its hooks in me, and I was a goner ever since. I was going to be a storyteller. From that day on, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

Only, things didn’t turn out that way. I mean, of course they didn’t, right? If they had, we wouldn’t be here.

What happened next is irrelevant. No, really. It is. All that matters is that at one point in my early 20s I put down my pen and paper and walked away from writing–for good, I thought at the time. Dumbest decision I ever made, and that includes having a rat-tail haircut in high school AND getting married/divorced. (Side note: those are two separate events, in case that was unclear.)

What matters is I eventually came back to it. Older, yes. Hungrier, definitely. Wiser? If you’re referring to my being a wise-ass, maybe. This was in my blood. I was born to do this. It took me 20 years to reclaim that meager destiny I’d forsaken. But reclaim it I did. And this time, nothing this side of Heaven or Hell was going to stop me.

Side note: I realize that’s tempting fate to an unhealthy degree, but it’s my moment, so let me have this one, mmkay? Thanks. You’re a peach.

And so here we are. Two years after returning to the world I’d voluntarily left behind, I am **this close** to self-publishing my first story. It’s been 30 years since I found my passion, my calling. Figured it was high time I answered the call, y’know?

Hey, at least it’s not a rat tail…

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