Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What you don't know is behind you could kill you

I'll be 77 this summer, and not a day goes by that there isn't a reminder of the perils of aging. Most of them, of course, are the normal ailments one suffers when one gets older.
But lately I've become more conscious of external dangers. A few days ago I was nearly run over from behind at the local park by a couple of small-child cyclists pumping the pedals as if the Devil was after them. They called "On your left!" but of course I couldn't hear them. Trooper reacted, but not in time for me to step aside on the path. The kids swept by uncomfortably close aboard, and Debby said, "You've got to do something."
So I did.
I now walk clockwise around the park path against most of the traffic, which normally follows a counterclockwise course. That way I can see my nemesis before it strikes me down.
I've also put a cyclist's rear-view mirror on my sunglasses so I can watch for unseen dangers behind me. Looks dorky, but it works.
In Catch-22 Yossarian constantly jotted down in a notebook all the horrible things that could kill him. By the end of the novel he had filled every page.
I'm getting there, too.

Friday, February 10, 2017

'Hang Fire' now out in paperback

The fourth Steve Martinez novel, Hang Fire, is now available as a $12.95 CreateSpace print-on-demand paperback on and will be on soon.

I finally found a usable public-domain photograph of the Brown Bess musket of Revolutionary War fame to replace the Kentucky rifle on the earlier attempt at a cover. A Brown Bess plays an important role in the novel about modern historical re-enactors of the age of Lewis and Clark (roughly 1800-1840).

FEB. 22: Hang Fire is also now available as a $16.95 Large Print paperback.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Experimenting with covers

The accompanying illustration is of a proposed cover for the CreateSpace paperback of Hang Fire, the fourth volume in the six-book Steve Martinez series.

I've pretty much settled on the text and illustration (of a Kentucky flintlock rifle), but I'm not so sure about the background. It does the job of setting off text and illustration, but will people recognize it as the bark of a pine tree?

I think I'll try another background, perhaps a thick copse of white birch saplings, and see how that goes.