Captain Tomahawk and the Sky-Lion

It’s finally here!!!

My official announcement and cover reveal!

Coming September 5, 2014 my debut novel . . . 

Captain Tomahawk and the Sky-Lion!


Shot down and stranded with no way home, contagiously exuberant and self-proclaimed “greatest pilot there ever was,” Captain Anna Tomahawk, must fight through a retro-futuristic landscape to save a rebellion, rescue her friends, and—one way or another—finally lead the way out of the desert.

In a wildly fun, steampunk spirit reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia and Watership DownCaptain Tomahawk and the Sky-Lion is an adventure filled with talking animals, mechanical wizardry, and barely-believable action, where one eccentric girl is all it takes to prove that anything good is possible and that even a little hope can overcome the longest odds.


“A story that is kryptonite to despair, told so whimsically well that one actually dares to believe it.”

– Phil Long, Author and Founder of Sacrificial Poetry Project

 “Captain Tomahawk does not disappoint. This was the most fun I’ve had reading in years. I found myself wanting the story to go on and on…”

– Neil Downey, Senior Editor, CruPress & Author of The Late Awakening


I cannot begin to explain how excited I am to finally be sharing my book. More than two years in the making, this project has been both the hardest and the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done as a writer.

The good news is that I think you’re going to love it. It’s the happiest thing I’ve ever written.

I mean, just look at that beautiful cover, designed by the talented Olin Kidd.

I’m going to have all kinds of promotions going on for the next 35 days (HOLY COW ONLY 35 DAYS!!!!!!!) so please share this post or head over to Facebook and like & share the announcement for a chance to win a free paperback edition! Daily winners on the giveaways! Help me get the word out!







I started a new job this week. I left a job that I have held for the last seven years in various roles. The old job was simple, not because the work was light, but because I knew what I was doing and how the people around me operated. It was familiar, and that familiarity made it easy on my mind. The new job is hard. There is a lot of work. Which, I guess, in the grand scheme of employment, is a good thing. But it is hard on my mind for this reason: I realize that in the effort required of me to learn new systems, new people, new work, even new traffic patterns on my commute, that I am giving  a significant amount of time and energy and heart towards a goal that is not what I ultimately want, being good at my job.

Sure, I want to be good at my job. And there is integrity in wanting to be good at a job, in putting forth your best. I think that’s a right thing to do. But, ultimately, I want to write. I want to be creative. I want to give words to people, words that will help them. Starting a new job makes me feel like I’m actively working away from that goal.

I have moments where I realize how self-centered and small my world is. These are rare moments. Often they come to me from the middle of my most self-serving sadnesses. Like when I sit at home alone on a Friday, and I scroll through endless Netflix options, through all my friends on my cell phone that I could message and (if they’d have me) hang out with. Channel flipping in a dark room, not bored, but feeling like I’m wasting time. Or worse than wasting time, feeling like I’m missing out. Other friends fill news feeds on social networks with their exciting weekend plans. I’m always comparing.  The world with me at the center is one of constant comparison.

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an encouraging but self-centered update letter to my fellow storytellers

For the past two and half years, since publication of my last book, I have worked on a novel. It has been the most rewarding and simultaneously painful experience I can remember. But through it, I’ve garnered some wisdom, I think, and I want to share that with my readers, because many of you are also writers.

See, my story has been “finished” since December, but for the last six months I have continued to rewrite, edit, change, and otherwise stress out over all aspects of the thing. I am self-publishing the novel, as I did for my poetry book, and the process is, mathematically speaking, a gazillion times harder than publishing a book of poetry. It is exhausting

To step into the world of self-publishing a novel (somewhat correctly) I have learned about formatting,
fonts, illustration, marketing, proofreading, financing, and on and on.

Additionally, I’ve learned a great deal about friendship. I have observed immeasurable outstanding qualities of so many people whom I am honored to call my friends. From their encouraging words at moments of dire (yes, dire is not an exaggeration) self-doubt, to the criticism and suggested improvements and considerate analysis that they’ve given me.

I’ve seen the entire spectrum of friendship generously bestowed upon me because my friends are out of their minds. And because they believe that I can actually make a book. What wonderful people I know.

Here it is: If you’re writing a book, you need to find these kinds of people. Writing is a
lonely process, and you need to make sure you’re not secluded. If you are, your book will suck. It won’t be about people, and it won’t matter to anyone.

I am nearing the end of my first book-writing-process. I am doing what I hope are my last corrections and copy-edits. I am dangerously close to losing my mind over the thing. The closer I get to the end, the more I realize how much work I still have to do. If I didn’t have people to help ground me, I would have given up. I would have given up.

If you hang in there as a writer, you get to do some really exciting things that ultimately make the suffering worth it. For me, one of these things is interacting with beta-readers. Friends and professional acquaintances (who have become friends) are reading it and (some) are offering their red-pen opinions. I’m very grateful for these people.


I am also performing my own hackneyed attempt at self-editing, which is like trying to shave your
back—the angle is always wrong and you don’t have much experience. The worst part is that you’re shaving your back. So you’ve got to deal with all the self-conscious feelings and thoughts that go along with having a hairy back. Most days I feel more like a Sasquatch than a writer.

If you are a writer (or know one), then I’m sure you’d have no issue commiserating with me about having a hairy back (even the women).

So, this is my wisdom for my fellow writers with big projects: Hang in there. We all have hairy backs. We all feel inadequate at times. We all hate writing at times. Find the people who will encourage you and support you and, if you can believe it, are willing to help you shave.

…I realize it has become gross now, and I need to get away from that metaphor.

I’ll close by saying that I can’t wait to share more about my book: Captain Tomahawk and the Sky-Lion. I can’t wait to start the promotions that I’ve been planning. I really can’t wait to show you the cover!! And then, hopefully this summer (!!!!!!!!), to give you two years of my mind. I hope you love it.


Being Myself

Identity – Merriam-Webster defines it as 1: the fact or condition of being exactly alike : sameness 2: distinguishing character or personality : individuality.

Sameness and individuality. How ironic that the word itself seems to be confused about what it should be.

With the exception of a few close friends who would rather call me Martin in a kingly inflection, everyone I know calls me Marty. I like that name. I don’t know a lot of Marty’s, and I like to think that none of my friends do either. I like to think I’m some kind of rarity because of my possessively held five letters. Mine. In my world all other Marty’s are derivative and not as worthy of friendship.IMG_3345

I always remember a paragraph from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five where he explains an inherent benefit from having a name that ends in an “ie” sound. Billy Pilgrim is his character. A man who opts to be called Billy and not William because Billy is subconsciously associated to a child’s name. It sounds innocent and likeable and as if you’re already friends with the person, as all “ie” sounding names do. I seem to remember it reading: “It makes people like you more.” Which I believe to an extent.

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There’s a 12 year-old girl wearing goggles and waving a gun around!


I haven’t been writing much poetry recently. And frankly, I’m disappointed in myself for that. And I’m sorry that I haven’t had any great one-liners to share, but I do have a good reason—I’m working furiously to finish my first novel.

And now you’re all like, “A novel? That’s so cool! What’s it about?”

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