Could this be the Cover for The Land of The Dead? Vote!

So, the first draft is done as of yesterday.  Today, I’m going to take a break from the story and have some fun with the cover.  I actually threw this together last night.  What do you think?

My First Crack at The Land of the Dead Cover

Vote Here!

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Weirdest Question I Was Ever Asked About My Books

Doesnt this look real to you?

Doesn't this look real to you?

A person who claimed to have read my first Oz Chronicles book, The Takers, asked me if it was based on a true story.  Odd question considering that the one sentence description for The Takers is: A 13-year-old boy wakes up to discover that he is responsible for the end of the world.  Even odder when you consider that everyone who didn’t survive the end of the word was eaten by creatures very similar to the monster in the picture above. Of course it’s based on a true story.  Do you even have to ask? 

Book Expo America – I’m signing

I will be signing all three Oz Chronicles books at Book Expo America in Los Angeles this year. I will be signing Book Two and Book Three on Saturday from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Book One on Sunday from 9:30 am to 10:30 am. I know that’s backwards. I was originally planning on just doing Book One because of the recent Writer’s Digest award, but a time slot opened up on Saturday, and I was given the opportunity to fill the slot. So come by Saturday get Book Two and Three, and then come back on Sunday to get Book One. All three books! What could be better? Okay, maybe a cure for cancer, and an end to all wars, but other than that…

Dying (Although He’s Really Living Life To Its Fullest) Carnegie Mellon Professor Gives Lecture on Time Management

I found another video of Randy Pausch.  This one is given after his “Last Lecture” at Carnegie Mellon.  It takes place at University of Virginia.  The subject is Time Management.  Even he points out the irony of a dying man giving a speech on time management.  Who better to give it?  Again, it’s a long run time, but it is worth the time.   If you’re reading this on my Amazon blog, I don’t think you’ll be able to see the video because it’s a Google feed.  You can click here if there’s no video window below: R.W. Ridley.



Preparing for National Novel Writing Month

It’s just April, but you should all ready be preparing for National Novel Writing Month in November. The rules of the competition are that you must write at least 50,000 words from November 1 to November 30. You cannot begin writing prose until November 1, but you can start outlining and plotting and doing character development now and continue prep work until you began writing the actual story on November 1. You can join the National Novel Writing Month community today and start getting into the grove. You can also listen to an NPR interview with Chris Baty, the founder of the National Novel Writing Month by clicking here: The Simple Art of Writing Novels


Pat Summit won her 8th NCAA National Championship last night. More amazingly, Summit is 17 wins away from 1,000 wins.  She has 983 wins against a mere 182 loses. She’s not only a great coach, but a class act.  The only bad thing about last night is she didn’t get to beat Gino (UConn) on her way to cutting down the nets. 

Pat Summit

Stephen King Gives Advice To Young Writers

There’s something you should know about me. I’m a Stephen King fan. “Whoa,” you say. “A horror writer who’s a Stephen King fan – you don’t see one of those every day.” You would of course say this in an offensively sarcastic manner. (Nice, we probably haven’t even met and you’re pulling out the sarcasm on me. Where were you raised?)

Seriously, he’s more than a horror writer. He develops characters better than anyone I’ve ever read. I strongly urge you to pick up his book “On Writing,” if you’re at all serious about learning the craft of writing. It’s extremely entertaining as well as being educational.

I found the video clip below on Youtube. Here’s his best advice on how to be a writer.

It’s the free throws stupid

I was working on a synopsis last night so I only gave the game partial attention, but I watched enough to know that if Memphis would have just hit one of the free throws  they missed in the final minutes last night, they would be National Champs this morning.  Any bets on how long it takes for Calipari to have a meltdown over the free throw question?