BLACK FLAGGED REDUX

I think everyone knows what this means by now. I’ve finished Black Flagged Redux. Some of you might remember seeing this board in an earlier post…EMPTY. If you don’t believe this was ever blank, you’re not alone. I can barely believe that I finished the second novel of the series, in little over three months. To top it off, the novel is about 20K words longer. Here is the blank chart as proof: I’ll release some  sneak peeks over the next week or so, as the finishing touches are put in place. For now, you can check out some of the extras I have added to Black Flagged Redux: 1.) Weapons and equipment primer 2.) Updated Sample For now, take a look at the Geography of Black Flagged Redux. I think you’ll quickly see that I have upped the ante with my second book. Each red box represents key locations to the story. Right now, I’ll leave it up to your imagination to guess which of these locations will need to hire another coroner to handle the influx of bodies.

Update on Donation Campaign for Disabled Veterans

Alright, the final tally is in, and I just submitted a donation of $820 to the Disabled American Veterans organization through my employer, who will process the donation and MATCH IT! The final event in the campaign, a cocktail party/charity event last weekend, raised $300 alone. Many, many thanks for those that attended and supported the cause…and for the numerous bottles of wine, which completely derailed my plans to commence a pre-holiday health cleanse. Oh well, there is cause to celebrate. Overall, the campaign has directed nearly $1700 to the DAV! Congratulations, and thank you on behalf of our nation’s growing number of disabled veterans. Your readership support and generosity inspired me to continue the campaign throughout all of November, catching a tail wind at the end of the month, when both of my books received a considerable boost from the “powers that be” at Amazon. This made a considerable difference on the overall amount. Well, I need to get back to work on Book 2 in the Black Flagged series. I reached 10,000 words this morning, but still don’t have a formal plot to follow. It’s all in my head, and it needs to be organized immediately. Here’s what

The Jakarta Pandemic breaks through 10,000 sales mark…

with some help from Amazon. A “little” push so to say. This has been a slightly crazy week on the author front. Transparent to most of you, a number of significant events have transpired, which have left me scrambling to keep up. First, Amazon selected The Jakarta Pandemic to be featured in their “Big Deal.” post Black Friday promotion. My book shot from #3000 on their paid Kindle list to #300 (#210 at one point). Amazing what some enhanced product placement can do for a product. My recently launched book, Black Flagged is taking a ride with it, ranked #1500. To put this in some sort of perspective, I sold 50 copies of Jakarta over six weeks last year (Oct-Nov)…Black Flagged has sold over 500 copies since its launch in early November of this year. Thank you, Amazon. The timing couldn’t have been better, and just the increase in reader and reviewer attention has occupied all of my free time. Because of this, The Jakarta Pandemic reached the 10,000 sales mark a little ahead of schedule. I was happy last year to make it available to family and friends…and whoever else might be interested. I never in my wildest dreams

Standby…Standby…BLACK FLAGGED is a GO!

UPDATED  11/13/2011: Thank you for a great launch week! So far, the total raised for the campaign is $253.50. Simply fantastic. I am extending the matching donation campaign one more week. All proceeds from sales for this next week will go to the Disabled American Veterans organization, and once again, I will match them. Spread the word! Early holiday gift?  Purchase from all sources here: http://www.blackflaggedseries.com After some masterful stalling on my part, Black Flagged is now available and ready for public consumption. Only one year after my first novel, The Jakarta Pandemic…not bad for a part-time writer? Now that I have settled into a regular writing routine, the next one will come quicker. What’s new about Black Flagged? This time I did it right from the start. My first novel was a learning experience across the board. A good story from the beginning…but I had to relaunch the book at the start of the summer, with professional editing and a real cover (by a real artist). My sincere thanks goes out to everyone that somehow overlooked the editing issues and enjoyed the story…or just didn’t say anything. At this point, with 101 reviews on Amazon, and countless reader emails…my

Donation Campaign for Disabled Veterans

UPDATED 11/20/2011: Two weeks into Black Flagged’s launch, and the total amount raised for the Disabled American Veterans organization (DAV) exceeds $600 (including corporate matching gift). Thank you all very much! There is still time and opportunity. One more day for all proceeds from sales to go to the DAV, and I’ll match these proceeds. $2 per hard copy will go to the DAV for the remainder of the month, and I’m hosting a book launch party at the very beginning of December. All proceeds from this charity event go to the DAV, and will mark the unofficial end to the Donation Campaign for Disabled Veterans. I will finalize the tally, and cut a check to the DAV, which my employer will match. Keep spreading the word, it’s not over yet! UPDATED  11/13/2011: Thank you for a great launch week! So far, the total raised for the campaign is $253.50. Simply fantastic. I am extending the matching donation campaign one more week. All proceeds from sales for this next week will go to the Disabled American Veterans organization, and once again, I will match them. Spread the word! Early holiday gift?   Purchase from all sources here: http://www.blackflaggedseries.com Check out

“Your’re gonna need a bigger boat”

And I’m not talking about trading in my Sabre 28′ for a Pearson 34’…though an  extra six feet would make all of the difference on our two-week trip up the Maine coast. Always a thought I suppose. No, I’m talking about one of the greatest lines in movie history, delivered flawlessly by a terrified Roy Scheider. Oh, it’s such an awesome scene! Take a few seconds to refresh your memory. It’s a classic, from a timeless film: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Timeless, because every year we try to sit down and watch this movie as a family, and every year we get about twenty minutes in before pulling the plug on the idea. It has become a family tradition during Shark Week…to almost watch Jaws. We usually pass on St. Patty’s Day, forget Cinco De Mayo, lazily throw out plastic eggs at the last-minute for Easter, and this year as you know, we bagged on the Fourth of July fireworks. But we never miss Shark Week! I can’t remember how old I was when I first saw Jaws, but I can confidently say that it scared the shit out of me. The movie did, but the whole fear

Navy Life as it came to pass…

After my last post, I received a number of requests for more Navy stories (and pictures). So, instead of sticking to the usual “book writing” related posts, I thought I’d break things up a bit with swashbuckling tales from the high seas, or high explosive stories from on observation post (I spent four of my eight active duty years serving alongside the U.S. Marine Corps). A good friend and old shipmate gave me the idea for this first post…funny he would remember this picture over everything else. Then again, the photo was snapped on board our ship, and not out on liberty. I still come across photos from various liberty ports, and I can’t remember the circumstances of the picture’s origin. I’m told that the high formaldehyde content in the beer out there is to blame for this. I think several beers, regardless of the formaldehyde…followed by an unknown number of tequila shots was the real culprit. I’ll save some of those stories for later posts. So here we start, with a little taste of Ensign Steve Konkoly’s days as a division officer, aboard one of the finest warships in the Pacific fleet, the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate, USS

We made a business decision to miss the fireworks…

and I’m still bummed out about it almost a week later. This is the time of the year when I feel the most nostalgic about my military past, and find myself digging up old photos and memorabilia from those days. Leaving the Navy was bittersweet for me, but it was the right decision. For every one thing I miss, there are probably five that I don’t. I do know that the biggest thing I would have missed, if I had stayed on for several more years, was my family. I had found that I resented time away from home, more and more as our family grew, and this is how I knew it was time to part ways. I had given 12 years, if you count my 4 in Annapolis, and would have gone anywhere Uncle Sam had seen fit to send me. I was extremely fortunate to have hit one of the peaceful cycles in our nation’s history, 93′ to 01′, which would be shattered just three short months after I left. Back to the fireworks. Unfortunately, the 4th fell on a Monday, and my wife and I were facing a full week of work and summer camp…so, as