The blockbuster novel sweeping the nation (but it won’t do the nation’s windows)

Okay, so the title might be a bit of hyperbole. I think that’s what marketing people do. I don’t have marketing people, so I have to exaggerate all by myself. But hey, have I told you about The Other Place, other than in two of my last three posts? That’s more marketing, as I understand it. Granted, my understanding of marketing may be flawed.

So, to go back to where I left off hitting you over the head with posts about my new novel, The Other Place, that I kept telling you was going to be out soon: it’s (drum roll) out now!

[Steamers, confetti, etc.] Use your imagination. My mind is knee deep in confetti right now.

I’ve put together this sell sheet, which I hope you find enticing. It’s the sort of thing marketing people would do for someone who has marketing people. I did it myself, right after I washed my own damned windows.

Here are purchase links for those now sufficiently enticed:



For all others, I will talk to my marketing people about what they can do to up the enticement level. We’ll see what they can come up with. Meanwhile, there are unpaid internship opportunities available in my marketing department for anyone who wants to help me spread the word (e.g. share a post, tell a friend, throw confetti at strangers).

Thank you from the bottom of my corporate empire (which is the level within my corporate empire where I work).


Filling time while my writers are on strike

You know how sometimes a guest will come on a talk show and all they want to do is plug their new movie? Well, this is kind of like that, only worse. This is how it would be if Johnny Carson (because I’m old and can’t stay awake to watch the current shows) used his own show to plug his new movie.

Here I am (for the second week in a row, no less) corrupting  my own cozy little family blog with book promotion. Well, at least it’s not a movie. Either way, it’s dreadfully annoying, right?

Blame my kids. They’re growing up, and they don’t inspire so many cute stories by doing adorable things as they did when they were toddlers. Yeah, Big Man still refers to pulled pork or ground sausage as “chicken” sometimes, but how many heartwarming stories can you squeeze out of that? Face it, teenagers and pre-teens are just not the blogging goldmine that little kids are. In a sense, my creative team has gone on strike forever.

So, we’re left with book promotion.

The book will be out later this month. Meanwhile I got a pre-publication review from BookLife. Apparently, they ran out of space for the part where they say, “Best book ever!” but that’s okay, I prefer they don’t put too may spoilers in the review anyway. Here it is: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Actually, I didn’t put an author photo on the cover, so that cut down significantly on the ugly.

This fascinating supernatural tale from Nagele (A Housefly in Autumn), told in an offhanded style that keeps readers off balance, opens with five-year-old Emma’s asking, at a family dinner, about “The Other Place.” She has recurring dreams of a mysteriousFront being, The Gatekeeper, who takes her from present-day Pennsylvania to a late nineteenth century farm where she sees an older girl, Mary Ellen, who looks very much like Emma. For mysterious reasons, the Gatekeeper repeatedly forces Emma to get the other girl in trouble by setting fires—and he threatens to harm Emma’s parents, Rob and Marcia, if she disobeys. Rob and Marcia alternate between dismissing Emma’s dreams to fearing that she might be losing her grip on reality, echoing the thinking of Alex and Janet, Mary Ellen’s parents. That couple frequently beats Mary Ellen, as punishment for the fires, and The Gatekeeper urges her to take murderous revenge.

Quick paced and unsettling, The Other Place offers readers teasing mysteries to work through along with Emma’s parents. One surprising thread: what is the connection between The Gatekeeper and the song version of William Hughes Mearns’s poem “Antigonish”? As Emma’s dreams increasingly seem like they might be real, she finds herself inside Mary Ellen’s mind, fighting to keep Mary Ellen from being driven to murder, while Rob and Marcia eventually accept that their daughter is not delusional, they struggle to save both girls from The Gatekeeper.

Nagele weaves an intriguing story about families, childhood, the supernatural, self-sacrifice, and innocence both lost and saved, though the pace and pared-down language come at the expense of fleshing out the characters, especially Emma and her family. Scenes of abuse and terrorized children will put off some readers, but Emma’s fight to save Mary Ellen from evil is admirable, her determination and kindness shining through. The Other Place is rich in detail of the places past and present, and readers of horror-tinged historical mysteries will be intrigued to learn more about Glenn Miller and William Hughes Mearns.

Sorry Johnny, but you know how it is when the writers go on strike.

When not driving the family taxi, I write books sometimes

There was a time when I used to post twice a week. That might not seem too ambitious to those who post every day, but it was a quick turnaround in my blogging world. Then, I scaled back to once a week, then once a month. Now, I post when I can get to it and I have something to say I haven’t already said before.

When I started blogging, I had one kid, a toddler. Now that kid can dunk a basketball, and his two brothers aren’t far behind. I spend a lot of my time in the car, going in circles. I do lots of little circles, from school to home to a different school, to a practice field, back to the first school, back home, to a third school, back to the practice field, to a gym, to a different practice field, back to one of the schools (I hope it’s the right one, because I can’t remember which kid I’m picking up), back to the gym, and back home—and then probably out to get pizza because nobody had time to make or eat anything. After that, I try to figure out which kid is missing and where I should have picked him up.

For better or worse (I can’t decide which), I still have my day job.

Another thing I’ve been doing since before I began blogging is writing other things. Some of those things come to something, and some don’t. And some are still in flux. A piece of writing making its way out of flux and into something is this:

Everyone who buys the book gets a back cover too! It’s a special service I provide to my readers.

If all goes to plan, this book will be out next month, which for those of you reading this old post years into the future, is May, 2023. In anticipation of that sublime but unspecific date, here is a marketing blurb. In my world of hungry boys, this would be a snack to hold you over until dinnertime.

Emma and her parents share recurring dreams, in which they are a different family, living 100 years ago in an unfamiliar place, and heading toward tragedy. When Emma’s parents discover their dream family actually existed, it becomes clear that these visits to the past are more than mere dreams—they are playing an unseen role in this historical family’s lives. As the century-old history of this troubled family materializes, it reveals the truth that the impending tragedy spells doom for both families. Only five-year-old Emma has the power to avert disaster, but it will require extraordinary courage against overwhelming evil for Emma to save both families from destruction in The Other Place.

I’ll come back with more between now and publication, but if you get tired of waiting, you could always check out my other books by clicking the “This guy should write a book” tab at the top of the page.

Meanwhile, I’ve still got lots of work to do, and lots of kids to drive around town, so wish me luck.