Category Archives: Pre-release


Well, that was … whelming. Not overwhelming, just… odd. The ad I place on Craig’s List got a lot more responses than I expected. No, that’s not right. I’m not quite sure what exactly I expected. I had hoped that I would get a few inquires from people with sufficient skill and interest in a price range I could afford. Having trolled through the ads from many artists advertising their services and finding a lot of nothing topical, I thought maybe by telling folks exactly what I DID want would narrow the chase a bit. Continue reading Whelming

Cover Art Illustrator needed

The artist I had contacted and exchanged a few emails with, and even a concept drawing, backed out of it. So, I am now without artist / illustrator  again. Anyone know anyone that does these sorts of things? I’m trying to find an artist / illustrator willing to get paid to do cover art, to create a picture that looks more or less the way I want it, rather than the way they like drawing spaceships. I’m looking to commission a piece because none of the “stock art” I’ve looked though looks like what I want, or even close enough to say “good enough” if you squint just right in poor lighting.

I can’t pay a lot, but I can pay. So, anyone out there know any friends, nephews, nieces, cousins, coworkers, or something that has some bit of talent and wants to draw some spaceships colliding in space, at least one of which looks like the ones in the book (not just any old random spaceship)?

Thanks to Paul, I’ve simple engineering drawings , some images of Taj, TajSpaceLowAngleTajGroundRampDowneven a simple animation, takeoff, so I don’t just have to explain what she looks like, but can show the artist. It should be, or at least CAN be, a pretty simple, clean image. No people. Smaller spaceships colliding with and splattering on Tajemnica, another of the smaller ships being “grabbed” by the glowing drive field. Background planetary and moon stuff optional.

Anyone out there?

Elevator Pitch

The “elevator pitch” for a product is what you say if you find yourself in an elevator with a potential buyer or investor. It is something that has to get to the core of the item, pique  their interest, and be very brief. It has to grab the attention, give enough to make them want more, not give away to much, and it must not misrepresent the item. I’ve been working on it a little bit, trying to get it “just right,” with enough mystery and enough “feel for the story” in a few brief lines. The current version is over on the main The Stars Came Back topic page, and below. Let me know what you think of it. Continue reading Elevator Pitch

Sunday Traffic Spike

On a daily basis, this site doesn’t get a lot of traffic. But the last two Sundays it jumped considerably, from ~5 a day to over fifty. Did I get found by a web-crawler just tracing links, or are people starting to check in once a week to see how close things are to finishing, and just dropping by for a moment? Drop a note if it’s the latter.

Editing is moving, but never as fast as I’d like. Cover art is even slower, but I’m ever hopeful. Any volunteers out there want to help it along?

Update: Looks like it’s web-crawlers. Sudden spike to 30 page views in a very short period of time.

Found an Editor

I found an editor that I think I can work with. She’s edited the first 25 pages or so, and I was astonished how many minor things got changed, and what I missed. So, now we send stuff back and forth for a while, making changes, approving them, fiddling here and there. Our current working calendar date is no later than the end of October; that’s a lot further out than my idea of this last mid-summer, but she’s also got a full-time job, and this is being done after-hours. Continue reading Found an Editor

Catagories and summaries

I’m working on figuring out what the best categories for Amazon would be, and what are the “critical features” to include in the short written summary to attract buyers.

Because they only allow two categories, I was thinking “military fiction” and “libertarian fiction”. Would general SF be better, or Space Opera, or Action Adventure, or …? Thoughts, suggestions?

As for the intro, should I have more than the following:
Helton Strom is a reasonably ordinary guy dropped into extraordinary circumstances while doing nothing more than going to another planet to visit his sister, while he was on a break between teaching contracts. After running afoul of law-enforcement, space pirates, the mob, parts of officialdom, the captain of a naval cruiser, and only making a few friends along the way, he struggles to establish a new life and earn a living by getting a very old spaceship flying, only to discover it’s more than a bit unusual.

Hello world, updated!

(no more Dyson Sphere jokes here)

This is the blog / website for the story The Stars Came Back, in final editing as of this oft-updated post.

The story is a space western, space opera, and maybe a military sci-fi novel, taking place circa 2655. Hope you enjoy it once it gets posted to This site will take a while to fill in, and all comments are welcome. Requests for content, explanations, etc, background, suggestions, etc., are humbly requested.