Happy New Year!


I hope this post finds you well and ready to begin a brand new year full of potential to achieve your goals! I have some things I want to tell you, so let’s get right into today’s post…

The Faces of the War Collection

I spoke with my editor last night and he said he will email the edited manuscript of Unguarded to me by this evening. That means I will work on amending the story where needed over the next handful of days. I must submit the final MS to Amazon on Tuesday evening to meet the pre-order deadline of ten days prior to release. Once that happens, I’ll send out more details about the release itself.

As for the story, I anticipate that my editor will send back some great feedback from which I can grow in my writing, ultimately striving to be better with each project. If you are new to writing, I strongly encourage you to have a few friends or colleagues that can read your work (or parts of your work) and provide feedback. You can’t expect to improve your craft if you don’t know what to improve, right?

For the time being, the book is in its final stage of publication, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Once I get Unguarded launched, I will continue writing in my Short Story collection as well as bits and pieces of the next book in the Faces of the War collection. I truly enjoy doing this, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

While you await the release of my second book, please check out the pre-order page on Amazon. The book is available for the pre-order price of $3.99 but will go up to $4.99 on or around the release date, so I suggest you pre-order your copy now! Once you do, the book will automatically be sent to your Kindle on January 24th when the book goes live.

I’ll have more details about the publication process in next week’s blog post.

Europe Trip 2014-15

As I’m sure you’re aware, I just returned from a trip to Europe. My wife and I were chaperones on a high school trip that lasted ten days, with stops in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. It was a very good trip, with only minor problems along the way. The students enjoyed themselves, as did the other adults who went. I have already seen much of what was to be seen, but it was definitely worth the time to further explore the cities and sights of our destination.

My favorite city on this trip was Munich. Having been there twice before, I was familiar enough with the area to feel comfortable walking around. My wife and I bought some souvenirs to bring home as gifts to our family members, had lunch at a nice little restaurant, and got to tour the BMW museum. It was a very fun and enjoyable day, and I’m glad we got to be there.

The rest of the trip was enjoyable as well. We made stops in Rothenburg, Salzburg, Venice/Padua, Verona, Lucerne, and Heidelberg. Much to my surprise, I bought an Italian-made scarf in a Verona market. I say “surprise” because I never saw myself as a guy who could pull off wearing a scarf. But my wife encouraged me to get one, and I ended up really liking it, not to mention that it helped ward off the cold temperatures we experienced while there. It was definitely a great way to bring in the new year!

That’s all the big news I have right now, but I will keep you informed in next week’s post. I truly hope the year is off to a great start for you, and that you find yourself accomplishing something you set out to do.

Until next time,


Writing Process


I hope this post finds you well and ready to face a new week ahead! I have said in the past that I eventually would like to start producing blog posts that delved into the realm of explaining my writing process and that would offer tips and tricks to other authors. Well, given that the publication process for Unguarded has slowed down a bit – and that there’s not much news to report this week – I figured I’d use this week’s blog to talk a little about my writing process. By no means is this blog post meant to be a definitive guide to writing and publishing, for the process is different from author to author. This is simply my approach to writing a manuscript.

Writing the Manuscript

When I began writing my first book, Resistant, I had a single idea in mind which would serve as the end game of my plot. With there being one goal in mind for where I wanted to take the story, it helped me keep my writing organized and together. If I came up with an idea while composing the text, I’d ask myself, “Does this fall in line with the end goal?” If it did, then I’d explore ways to efficiently incorporate it into the book. If not, then I set the idea aside. I would never completely throw out an idea, for you never know how something might work in a different context later down the road.

After establishing a concrete story idea, I began outlining the plot in skeleton form. This term simply refers to the act of roughing out your story in general parts at a time. For this, I sectioned off my Word document into separate parts, divided by asterisks. Within those separate sections, I would type a paragraph or two generally describing what would happen in that part of the story. Obviously it would be easiest to go through the story in chronological order, but sometimes I would come up with an idea and say, “That might work better a few sections from now, later in the story,” and so I would scroll down and input the idea where I deemed appropriate. After carefully planning out the story and typing up these general paragraphs, I would have a rough story in front of me.

By this time in the process, I would have the basic gist of the story well-established, both on the page and in my mind. From here, the task at hand would be to start implementing more narrowed and specific ideas and details into the story. This is where character names, personalities, and interactions come to life. I keep the main plot line in mind as I go through, typing out more and more details in sentence form. I don’t necessarily write like it would be in the final book, but I also don’t just jot down phrases. It’s a weird thing to describe – it’s something that just happens a certain way. I use a lot of semi-colons and commas, as well as ” –> ” in this part of the process. I don’t expand my thoughts on things like setting, deep characterization, or dialogue at this point. I feel that those come alive better through spontaneous thought later in the process. Also during this point in the process, I do research on the historical side of my story ideas. I reference historical non-fiction books and memoirs, using anecdotes and other firsthand accounts of events for inspiration.

At this point in the process, I am ready to begin writing the actual text of the manuscript. Using the thoughts and ideas already laid out in the rough skeleton paragraphs, I form the text a line at a time. I try to speak aloud the words that I type, which is something I believe all authors should do. It helps bring to your attention any misspelled words or goofy sounding phrases in the text, especially with dialogue. I also edit as I go. I try to keep in mind a few things while I write the manuscript:

1) When writing dialogue, how does this or that character’s personality play into his/her speech?

2) Use a variety of words without repeating too many, if you can help it. This includes things like dialogue tags (…said…) and verb usage (…walked, yelled, nodded…).

3) It’s elementary, my dear Watson…5-7 sentences per paragraph, unless somehow appropriate otherwise.

Once I have completed the first draft of the manuscript, I set it aside for a day or two. This allows my mind to recharge and to give me a break from seeing the words I just wrote. Any veteran author will tell you that it is good practice to give yourself a break from writing, because after a while your eyes overlook little mistakes in the text that you could otherwise catch after taking a rest.

Upon returning to the manuscript, I do the first read-through with the focus being on spelling, grammar, syntax, and diction. I’ll admit that I don’t always catch little mistakes that hide in the text, but that’s why doing this step is important. As I read through, I’ll also sometimes fix the phrasing and wording of parts here and there if I feel they don’t come off the tongue just right. After completing the first read-through, I again put the manuscript aside for a day or two.

I then return to the manuscript for the second read-through, this time focusing on character interaction, dialogue, and the action/emotion of the plot. The second read-through is probably, for me, the most important read-through of the entire process. I inevitably change more phrasing or wording this time through, as well as expand on ideas that I think should have more weight in the story. On the same token, I sometimes take out or minimize ideas that I now believe shouldn’t have as much attention in the story. It is a rather delicate part of the whole process. After reaching the end of the manuscript, I again set it aside.

For the third read-through, I don’t focus on any particular thing – just simply anything that jumps out or sticks out to me as I read the story. By this time in the process, the manuscript is fairly well constructed, and is not in need of as much attention. It is at this point that I give my story to a friend who acts as an ad hoc beta reader and editor. They give me feedback and general comments on things they feel need changed, and even for things they feel fit really well in the story. Constructive criticism is the name of the game here.

I usually do one more read-through after receiving the editor feedback, which sometimes is nothing more than skimming the text for any last-minute fixes. At that point, I was ready to submit my manuscript for review and finally get it launched in print and ebook form.

Again, I say that this process isn’t meant to be a definitive guide to writing – it’s simply my way of doing it, and it may or may not work for you. Even for my second book did the process change quite a bit, so that is proof enough that doing something one way won’t work for everyone, every time. I just think it is neat for others to see into how I work, because I think it’s cool when I get to see how other authors do their own work.

I hope this post has been an interesting one for you, and that you can better understand how I work on a project. It is definitely something about which I am passionate, and something I hope to keep doing for years to come. And I am glad you are going on this journey with me! I plan to write about my experiences in self-publishing in a post sometime in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Until next time,


Unguarded Details


I hope this post finds you well and ready to face a new week! The main bit of news I have for you today is related to the publication and release of Unguarded, my upcoming WWII book, so let’s dive right in…

The Faces of the War Collection

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, the release date for Unguarded has been pushed back to its original tentative date of early January. Though I don’t yet have a specific date set for sure, I can tell you that the end of the editing process shouldn’t make publication go much later into January than the third week. That is the hope, at least. This being the first time I’ve used a professional editor, I can’t say with 100% confidence whether or not I can release the book by any given date. That is all I can give you on that aspect of things at this time.

With regard to the writing process, I have read through the entire manuscript twice thus far. When I wrote Resistant, I read through the manuscript a total of five times. I may or may not do that this time around…it just depends on how I feel about the book and the timeline of things. I am going to try and focus on polishing up the dialogue in this book, as that has been something of a common issue in feedback comments.

If you are relatively new to writing and self-publishing, let me lend you a bit of advice. In my experience, I have found that the best way to work through the writing/publishing process is to remain flexible in your mind. By this, I mean flexible in your timelines, flexible in your openness to change, and flexible in your creativity. Having taught in a classroom, I can tell you that planning ahead too far and too specifically is a waste of time and energy. Writing and self-publishing are very similar, especially if you employ the services of professional cover designers, editors, etc. You can’t expect everything to fall within your desired timeline, so you must be flexible if you want your work to come out successful on the other end.

As for being open to change, I stress this because I have a slight fear of complacency. With storytelling, especially in a series or collection like what I am producing, you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) expect to capture a reader’s attention over and over if you write in the same way, use the same methods, or revert to what you know every time an obstacle appears in your writing path. Embrace challenge and use those obstacles to explore the writing ability within yourself. Sure, you may want to keep some aspects similar for the sake of continuity and commonality, especially in a series or collection, but changing up other aspects of your writing lends itself to better engaging your readers.

This leads to what I mentioned about being flexible in creativity. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I’ll reiterate it: good writers are good readers. All that means is that as a writer, it will help expand your creative side if you read works by other writers, especially ones in your genre. For example, in my writing (mostly historical fiction) I couch my plot in historical fact, using accurate facts and known truths to support my characters and what they experience. So to accomplish that, I read historical non-fiction works from credible authors in order to give an authentic feel to my stories. It works differently for different authors in different genres, but you get the idea.

Now I’m not saying that I know everything about writing, because I don’t, but I am saying that those three aspects of the writing and publishing process are important things to consider…so I encourage you to do so!

Regarding my other projects, I can tell you that I’ve taken a small break from my Short Story collection in order to focus on delivering Unguarded to you. On the plus side, brainstorming and planning for other books and projects are underway!

If you are new to this blog, I encourage you to join my mailing list so you can receive in-depth updates directly from me regarding my projects. There is more information included there than here, so it’d be the best way to get the inside scoop on what I’m doing. And lastly, I encourage you to tell a friend about my work. One of the most powerful marketing tools for authors is word of mouth. To those who have been following along with me for some time, I thank you for all the support and encouragement you’ve given. It is truly appreciated!

Until next time,


Resistant on Sale!


Today is the start to a new week. I truly hope you are accomplishing something on your to-do list today. It always feels great when that happens! I have some interesting news for you today, so let’s jump on in…

The Faces of the War Collection


First off, I would like to announce that my debut book Resistant will be going on sale this week into next week, October 21-28, on Amazon. This is another promotional tool I am using in the buildup to the release of my next book in this collection, further explained below. I’ll include a direct link here for your convenience! The print version is also live again, with the distribution issues finally resolved. In case you missed what all went on regarding why Resistant wasn’t in print for some time, you can read the article here. If you haven’t read my book yet, I do encourage you to check it out. Maybe it’ll be something you’d like!

Now on to news related to Unguarded.


This week should be an interesting one for me, mostly because it is the last full week of October. By that, I mean that it is the last full week I have before the next step in the publishing process for Unguarded takes place: designing my cover on the 1st of November! Unguarded, the second book in the “Faces of the War” collection, will continue to be put through the editing process for about another month or so. At that time I hope to have the cover finalized and the final manuscript ready for conversion, which I am doing on my own for this book.

I am excited that the draft manuscript is going through changes. Despite the satisfaction of completing the writing part rather quickly, I knew I would want to go back through and rework the text where appropriate. It feels good and right to go back and make some changes and additions; that is something crucial in making a good story, I believe. This time around, I worked with the editor of my first book (my friend Angela), but also picked up another editor. The primary reason for this was simply scheduling conflicts and lack of time on the schedules of all involved. The manuscript will go through a third editor, one who works for the author resources company BookFuel (who helped with my first book), in November. I am really looking forward to this change-up in routine from my last book, ready to experience something a little different and new this time.

As these next 4-6 weeks come and go, I will be releasing more details related the release of Unguarded, both on this blog as well as through my newsletter. If you have not joined my mailing list–where you receive VIP details and updates before the general public–I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s very easy! I’ll include the link here. The process for subscribing is pretty straightforward. Once you’re a part of the Eli Kale community, you’ll receive a bi-weekly newsletter with details and behind-the-scenes information on what I am doing, especially Unguarded. It’s really a great way for me to connect with you, my readers!

The Short Story Collection

Volume 1 of my short story collection has been available for the Kindle for a few weeks now, and so far I’ve heard from a few readers that they like the material. I am trying to provide my readership with different story material that they can easily read through between the publication of my larger projects. The first volume went live in September, and the second volume should go live sometime shortly after the New Year. You can find more information on the collection here.

Volume 1 - Cover

That is basically all the big news I have for you right now. I look forward to releasing more details in the coming weeks, and I do hope you’ll keep up with me as the release of Unguarded approaches! Remember to check out Resistant on sale this week!

Until next time,


Baby Steps


There is much to tell you, so let’s dive right into today’s blog…

The Faces of the War Collection

In case you haven’t seen or heard, I finished the first draft of manuscript for Unguarded, the second book in the collection, last week. I am ahead of schedule in the writing/editing/publishing process, so there is now a chance that the book will release before New Year’s of 2015. Follow along in this blog to stay up-to-date on the process. If you want more of an inside scoop on things, join my mailing list here for those juicy details.

I am beginning to really get into the editing of the first part, so needless to say I am excited to be moving along! As I mentioned before, the word count in the first draft was just over 43K, so it will be longer than Resistant (which was just shy of 38K). I believe the story was told very well in 43,000 words, so I don’t want to force more words onto the page and risk the quality of the story. I hope you will take to it well upon its release!

During the writing process of Unguarded, I experienced quite a bit in terms of emotion and writing application. I couldn’t believe that I had written the amount that I did in the span of time that had passed. I began writing in earnest around June 23 and finished in mid-September — a whole month ahead of my tentative writing schedule. I was overwhelmed with satisfaction and joy at my accomplishment, but I know that I can’t hold on to that as rewrites and edits are now on my plate.

If you are a new author, you will find that working on your first project can be daunting. Even just thinking of what all you’d like to accomplish and what lies ahead of you can sometimes thwart your motivation, leaving you fatigued before you even get out of the gate.

My advice to you is this: baby steps. If you’ve ever seen the movie “What About Bob?” then you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t seen that movie, then you need to go buy because it is a classic! The point is, just tackle your aspirations a little bit at a time.

For example, if you want to write a book that is 50K words and has a complex plot, then break your tasks down so they fall into chapter format. You wouldn’t try to write the tense climax in Chapter Eight if you haven’t even introduced your characters and the problems she/he will face along their journey in the first seven chapters. So don’t do that! Rather, start out in baby steps, tackling the first chapter and putting your efforts and focus on that. Then move on from there.

Granted, you may have planned out your book in rough skeleton format, like I did with my debut book Resistant, but it is still wisest to start at the beginning. I am not saying it is unwise to plan out your book.

If you ever find yourself overwhelmed with tasks to be completed, just stop, take a breath, and remember “baby steps!”

The Short Story Collection

Over the past week and a half, Volume 1 of my short stories has been live on Amazon. It is available for the Kindle and is only $0.99. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free! If you do read it, please consider leaving me a review on the book’s Amazon page. I greatly appreciate the feedback I receive from my readers.

The next volume in this collection has already been started, but I don’t yet have a date set for publication. I will keep you informed in my blog as well as on the “Short Story” tab of this website.

Until next time,


Much More News!


I have much to tell you today, so let us jump right into it, shall we?

The Short Story Collection

I mentioned in last week’s blog that I would be releasing the first of many volumes (hopefully) that will come to comprise my Short Story Collection soon, as in sometime by last Friday. To my surprise, and a welcomed one at that, the publishing process through Amazon KDP was very easy and much faster than I thought it would be. I submitted my story Monday night and by Tuesday morning it was live. Since then, I have made a few changes here and there–mostly formatting and aesthetic changes–but I still got it “out there” long before I thought I could. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can go to the tab on my website that says “The Short Story Collection” and find information there as well as the sales page. Note that it is only available for the Kindle.

Volume 1 - Cover

I am very satisfied with the effort and work put into this first volume, and I can safely tell you that I already have a handful of more stories in the works for upcoming volumes. So stay tuned!

The Faces of the War Collection

Last week, I began Monday morning with ZERO words typed for Part III of Unguarded, the second book in the collection. By Friday, I had nearly reached 10K words. For me, that is an incredible accomplishment. I have never written that many words in such a short amount of time. I am in no way meaning to boast, but rather to use it as encouragement for others, especially if they are experiencing a rut or bump in their own writing path.

If ever you find yourself encountering an obstacle in your writing, do not give up. I repeat…DO NOT GIVE UP. Find a way around that obstacle. In most cases, or at least in my experience, the best first option to take is to give yourself a break. Even if it is only for 5-10 minutes, that little bit of time away from a project can work wonders. There is more I can tell you, but I am putting together material and ideas for a blog post related to this topic, so keep an eye out in the coming weeks for it!

The point is, a vast majority of beginning writers–and sometimes even not-so-new writers, quit writing even for a time because of the obstacles they face. That is part of the whole process. Writing is not meant to be easy…not good writing, anyway. It takes time and practice to come close to reaching whatever it is that you consider “perfection” for your own process and purpose. I am by no means “perfect” myself–not by anyone else’s standards or my own–but I accomplish most of what I set out to do because I make it work. I don’t give up on myself or what I am aspiring to do.

In Other News…

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I revamped my website. I also mentioned that in last week’s blog as something that would probably happen in the coming weeks. I felt compelled to do it sooner, apparently. I’m sure you don’t mind, as it is hopefully a pleasant surprise for you. I feel that it is more streamlined and better looking than the old website.

As for the mailing list, it is slowly growing! I am very pleased that I have gained some readers in my “inner circle” if you will. That is, after all, the intention of the mailing list: to reach readers on a more personal level. I think it is great when readers can connect with authors whose work they enjoy. It helps you appreciate their work more, I believe. If you haven’t joined yet yourself, or if you know someone who you think would like to join, you can find the (free) subscription form under the “About” tab on the website.

The last thing I wanted to touch on today is regarding ratings and reviews. I recently reviewed a memoir on mental illness (something I don’t usually read about), which turned out to be a very interesting read. It is entitled, “Please Save Me From Myself” and is written by Sebastian Aiden Daniels. Afterward, he told me he was very appreciative of me for leaving him a review. If you aren’t aware, ratings and reviews really help spread the word about someone’s work. Not just of any one particular book, but of all the work of an author in general. Writing a review literally takes no longer than fifteen minutes, tops. And it goes a long way, let me tell you. So to close this spiel, I encourage you to leave a review for books you read. If you didn’t like the book, that’s one thing. But it really encourages an author when he/she sees a new review, and it inspires them to keep on doing what they love. So please, think of that the next time you finish a book!

Until next time,


Book Giveaway & Unguarded


Happy Labor Day to everyone! Hopefully you are in a place with family and friends, and hopefully life is treating you well.

Today marked the end of the first of three book giveaways that I am hosting on this website. The giveaways, which feature my debut book “Resistant,” are part of the lead-up promotion for my second book, “Unguarded,” which is due to release shortly after the New Year. You can follow my blog for details about it as I go through the writing process!

Book Giveaway

Progress of “Unguarded

I am currently slowing down a tad in my writing of Book Two in the Faces of the War collection because I am playing around with a few different ideas in my head. In order to see what ideas pan out the best, I have to do a little legwork before I continue writing. I don’t want to waste my time (and yours) by producing writing that won’t fit well with the rest of the story.

In terms of word count, I recently exceeded the 21K mark, which puts me a few thousand words shy of halfway to my goal count of 49K. As I have said before, I am expanding the size of the second book as per the reviews of “Resistant” stating that a longer book would have been great. Though the story is what I want it and make it to be, I want to adjust things when and where I can to include my readers in my process and final product.

I am very excited about this story line, and I truly hope you will be too once it goes live in January. If things go really well, there may be a chance to release the book in December, but that may be pushing the envelope just a little. 

If you are a newer writer, that is something I stress to you: don’t push the envelope. Depending on your process, you may like to be under pressure or prefer to get things done with a little craziness along the way. But in a general sense, it is best to let things play out as naturally as possible so as to help produce something of a better quality.

What I mean by this is that, for example, it is best not to set strict guidelines or due dates in your process. This is because it will most likely force words onto the page that may not necessarily need to be there; likewise, it might take up too much room on the page, thus leaving out what could be important material. In my experience, if you don’t write as the words naturally come to you, then you leave yourself little option other than writing just to write. 

That is why I want to approach the material of “Unguarded” very carefully so I’m not rushing to get the words down, nor taking too much time and letting the material go stale. I will sort out my ideas this week, and hit the writing hard!

I am very grateful for your following, and I hope that I am reaching you with my writing in one way or another. Please tell a friend about my work. Word of mouth is a surprisingly powerful tool. I also encourage you to check out my Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as my Goodreads and Independent Author Network pages. Links to those sites are on this website, on the ABOUT page!

Until next time,




Welcome to a new week and a new opportunity to work away on a project that perhaps you’ve been wanting to start or have been struggling to chip away. I had a rough work week over the past seven days, so I for one am taking advantage of this fresh new week to get to work on my projects. I hope you can do that too!

“Why was your work week rough?” you may ask? I’ll tell you why…

I believe that every great once in a while, a writer experiences something I call an “über-block.” Essentially, at least in my experience, an über-block is like writer’s block but a lot worse. I have seen some interesting articles that bring forth the notion that writer’s block is a myth, that it is merely an idea. Take this article I found, for example (link will open up a new tab), which comes from the Writers Store. The term “writer’s block” can mean different things for different people. So whether you’re a believer in it, or think it is something else, I think it is a valid point to consider.


Returning to the über-block idea, I would like to say that I don’t believe that writer’s block is a “disease” but rather a state of mind. So taking into account what “über” means (an outstanding or supreme example of something), you can probably guess that whatever kept me from writing was something significant. The reason for my lack of writing–whatever it was–was a rather “outstanding” or “supreme” reason. We all encounter hardship and tests in our lives, and the difficulty and tension springing from those situations often overflow into our work and leisure activities. 

Throughout the week, I found myself with little motivation, but also filled with the want to get things done. It was an odd mixture of feelings. I’m sure you or someone you know has experienced that at one time or another. At first only a little time had passed where I hadn’t accomplished much of anything, then it kept going for one, two, three, four, five days. That’s when it occurred to me that the writer’s block [insert your definition here] I was experiencing wasn’t a normal type of block, but rather an über-block, an outstanding version of the idea.

And so, I want to use this time now to offer my advice for this kind of situation. After reflecting on the past week, I have concluded that it was a point in my writing cycle that was a valley and not a peak. In the up-and-down cycle of writing, it was definitely a down time. Before you chalk it up as a reason to stop writing or to avoid it, take a moment to consider this illustrative analogy: you can’t enjoy the sunny days without some rainy ones.


What I mean by this is simple–you aren’t always going to have great writing sessions occur, spectacular ideas flow constantly, or fantastic book sales month in and month out. And on those down days, you must look at it as an opportunity to evaluate what you are doing and move forward from there. Maybe you’re not necessarily doing anything “wrong.” Maybe you just need to give your creative mind a break. Go ahead and do just that. It works wonders, believe me.

So to come full circle, let me say this…my upcoming book, Unguarded: Book Two in the “Faces of the War” Collection, hasn’t moved far from where I left it last week. But that isn’t a bad thing. My brain needed a recharging session instead of a writing session, and in the grand scheme of things, I’d rather do that than risk stale writing. So if you ever think you’re experiencing whatever represents writer’s block, or worse–über-block–to you, remember this blog and the fact that it’s okay to not always be moving forward with your work. Take it as an opportunity to regroup and prepare to start your next writing session by tackling whatever project is on your plate. For on that day, I am sure the sun will shine brighter than you thought it would!


Until next time,


Cherish Your Friends


I hope this blog finds you well and in good working spirits! I am ready to get back to work after an eventful weekend. I traveled to my hometown to play in my high school’s alumni soccer game (which the alumni won 5-2, one of the goals contributed by yours truly). Afterward, my wife and I went out to lunch with some of my very good, longtime friends and their significant others. If I can say one thing, it would be this: I encourage you to never forget your roots and to always cherish your friends.



I am on the right

Back to the Grind

Today, I am revisiting Part I of my second book, Unguarded, to add about 2,000 words to what I had already typed. Here is why…

For my first book, Resistant, the final word count totaled just shy of 38K. For the story I was telling, that word count seemed appropriate. As an author, you don’t want to throw words on the page just to reach a certain word count and risk sacrificing the story’s quality. However, many reviews of that book called for a longer story. 

So, I am planning ahead for subsequent books in the “Faces of the War” collection to be in the upper 40K range for word count. Because of this, I want to go back and expand the story in Part I of Unguarded so all of the parts in the book are relatively similar in size to the first book (at least proportionately speaking). I think you’ll understand better when you pick up the book. 


I am getting really excited to see how Unguarded will develop. It started out as a skeleton structure when I began writing a few weeks ago, and it is really beginning to take shape. And the best part is that I’m actually ahead of the original schedule that I laid out when I started this project. That is something really satisfying, and it makes me want to do more!

Mailing List & Newsletter

I wanted to include a little tidbit in today’s blog about KaleMail, the newsletter I send out two times per month to my mailing list subscribers. The list is growing, and the first issue of the newsletter was sent out last week. I surprisingly didn’t have any subscribers throughout the whole process of production for Resistant, but now it’s finally starting to pick up. The idea behind KaleMail is that subscribers in essence become VIP members of the Eli Kale community, receiving details and information on me, my projects, and my currently published books before the rest of the community hears about it. So if you want to get that kind of information as soon as possible, please subscribe. The process is really simple!

New Blog Posts

I also wanted to reiterate my idea about adding another scheduled blog post to the week, probably on Thursdays, that will feature information and tips from me on writing and publishing. But if I were to do this, I’d really like to hear from YOU, my readers, with regards to questions or issues you may have related to these topics. That will give me some material to work with, thus making the posts more interesting and relatable. Please consider commenting or emailing me feedback so we can get this started together!

Until next time,


Work Ethic


A new work week has begun, which means a fresh start. Maybe you’ve found yourself in need of a breather after this past week, or maybe you’ve been wanting to continue working since Friday afternoon. Whatever your situation, I hope you are in a great state of mind and are ready to move forward with whatever you are working on.

It is important that we as writers (or really anybody, for that matter) at least try to work in a frame of mind that is built around optimism, integrity, and variety. I think these three components are key to a successful work ethic:

– Optimism, because if you don’t tell yourself that what you’re doing is a great thing, then you’ll have far more trouble succeeding in doing it. Believe in yourself, even if at times it’s hard.

– Integrity, because if you don’t keep yourself accountable, then your work will suffer. And it shouldn’t even be called work, in my opinion…because you should love doing it. You hear people say ‘I love my job,’ which usually means they don’t think of it as a task. Don’t think of your writing as a task, but rather something you’re doing because you’re passionate about it.

– Variety, because if you keep the exact same schedule and do the exact same thing and think in the exact same way, your work will become stale…and you might not even realize it until it’s much too late.

So when I work, I keep these three things at the forefront of my thoughts, and I must say that so far I’ve been pretty satisfied with myself and my material! And part of it is that I apply them to small chunks of time as opposed to tackling what I’d like to do all at once (which can lead to bad quality work and eventually burnout).

For example, I don’t plot out what I’m going to do for the next month, season, or even a year. Sure, I’ve roughed out a plan that I would like to see happen (I’m talking mostly about a writing/publishing schedule), but I don’t stick to it exactly how I initially plan it. I specifically I don’t plan things out in great detail on purpose, because writing shouldn’t take on a rigidly structured schedule–it should happen naturally and in its own time. I take my projects a week at a time. And because I work in that fashion, I believe I am a better, more effective writer. I’m not saying that I produce great material because I work in this frame of mind (a first draft is always a first draft), but I truly think that it helps me improve my craft.

If you were to evaluate your work sessions (or work ethic, if you will) when it comes to writing, how would it appear? Then ask yourself this: how is it really? This can tend to be the deciding factor in whether you’re productive or not, which then translates into how good of quality your material is, to a degree. What I mean is this…

At times, I work at my desk for 5-6 hours a day, and much of that time is spent on “stuff” related to my current or most important project. However, it’s not necessarily the writing that I’m working on. I might be doing other things that perhaps I shouldn’t be doing at the time…because writing is the most important aspect of being a writer (duh). So, what appears to be a good work session is not really a good work session. It appears as such, but it is actually me beating around the bush, finding other things with which to occupy my time that should be spent writing.

When I catch myself falling into this rut, I take a break from writing (as should be done by all from time to time). Then when I come back to it, I am thinking, ‘I’ve had a break, now I have to get to work. No more [doing other things]…I need to write, and what I write will be great!’

Right there, I employed the OPTIMISM, INTEGRITY, and VARIETY I’ve been talking about. It really does help.


So again, ask yourself sometime, “How does my work session (or ethic) appear, and how is it really?” I bet you’d surprise yourself with the answer(s) you might find!

I hope this is somewhat relatable to you. And I hope that I’ve supplied something of a solution to this problem, if it is an issue you’re dealing with. Those are just my thoughts on the matter, and they may not have the same meaning or effect for you as they do for me.

Until next time,