Celebrating as a New Author

I have been writing for about seven years. Often, this makes me feel like I deserve to skip the small steps of success and begin selling fifty, a hundred, or whatever thousand copies of the few stories I have out.

Today I experienced two major milestones that must be celebrated, and they happened at the Post Office.

TfP_e-cover_1200On the way home from work I went to Beaverdale Books, my local indie bookstore to see if they’d shelve some print copies I have of Tales from Pennsylvania (the Amish Scifi anthology with one of my stories in it). Unfortunately, the owner wasn’t there, but no worries, onward to the Post Office to mail my first two sales of my print supply – one to my mom and another to one of my favorite fans, Carole Natelson.

Unsurprisingly, I arrived at the Post Office without all my info. While waiting for my mom to text me her address one of the people in line saw my Tales from Pennsylvania books and asked if it was a good book. “I hope so, it’s got one of my stories in it,” I said. Her and the nice lady next to her both found the idea of Amish SciFi interesting, and said they’d check TfP and Pennsylvania out later.

I was a little distracted trying to get my address info, but eventually I had the idea to ask them if they wanted to buy some of the stock I had in my car (thanks to Beaverdale Books not working out earlier).

So, I may not have got the job I applied for recently (received that email on the way to the Post Office), but I did mail my first two signed copies (one to my mom) and I sold my first copies in person to strangers.

Lesson learned, always keep books and change in my car. And don’t be too shy to offer your copies for sale. Now I have two more new fans that I’m excited to talk to more in the future.

Tales from Pennsylvania

Amazon | Signed Print copies | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Pennsylvania by Michael Bunker

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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Buy ebook or signed prints of Tales from Pennsylvania

TfP_e-cover_1200My story, “The Bomb in the President’s Bathroom” is being published in the Amish Science Fiction anthology, Tales from Pennsylvania, which is on sale at major online stories.

Amazon (30% off deal on paperbacks through 11/30) | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

If you would like a signed paperback copy
, (you rock), please use the PayPal button below. To be clear, the pick up option is for picking up in Des Moines, Iowa, where I live. The second option in the drop down arrow is for delivery across the US. Allow a week or two for delivery as inventory is low at the onset. Also check out the novel that started it all, Pennsylvania by Michael Bunker.

Delivery options

You can also purchase signed copies for pickup or delivery at my online store, Spike Publishing.

The ebook is nice, but check out this cover you’ll get in the print version:

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TALES FROM PENNSYLVANIA – Edited by David Gatewood and Chris Pourteau


Cover Design by Jason Gurley. On sale Nov. 21.

Amish SciFi is a thing and now I’m a part of it. I’ve read the trailblazing novel, Pennsylvania, twice, and I loved it even more the second time. I have a story set in this new anthology of stories set in the world of Pennsylvania by Michael Bunker.

*Read the first hundred pages of Pennsylvania free.*

*Tales from Pennsylvania preorder page.*

The release date for the Kindle version is this Friday, Nov. 21, and I believe the print version will be available before Christmas. My first story in a print book!

Cover by Jason Gurley. On sale Friday, Nov.  21

Cover by Jason Gurley. On sale Friday, Nov. 21

Colonization is a familiar trope in Science Fiction, as is the desire to escape tyranny. In the world set up by Pennsylvania, Earth has fallen into a dystopia ruled by Transport, a tyrannical government that has introduced technologies like BICE, a chip in your head that gives you access to the Internet, but in the increase of technology this world has become harder to escape the reach and authority of Transport. The main character in Pennsylvania is a young Amish man, Jed, who leaves his family to help in the farms of New Pennsylvania, a distant planet similar to Earth. Pennsylvania is full of mystery, twists and thrills. Jed and his Amish kin struggle to maintain their peaceful way of life when faced with the tyranny of Transport, which has followed them to New Pennsylvania.

My story, “The Bomb in the President’s Bathroom” is a race-against-time to escape a terrorist attack on the City. I was inspired by a picture in the paper about a mother kneeling to embrace her son at a ceremony greeting soldiers who have returned from war. My story is about the photographer who captures this moment, and how it inspires him to do what is right, against heavy odds.

It is such an honor to have been invited to contribute to this anthology. Life has been so busy I haven’t had a chance to read it all yet, but the first story is really good and I’m a big Nick Cole fan, so I can’t wait to see what the other authors have done with Michael’s fascinating setting. David Gatewood’s acclaim from being Hugh Howey’s editor is a huge deal to me and having my story accepted.

Scavenger 3: Twin Suns is past the half way mark, but I’ve stopped for a bit to edit my novel,  Caroline (post-apocalyptic Iowan Fantasy), one last time before submitting.

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New novella out now, Scavenger: Blue Dawn (Scavenger #2)

Scavenger-Blue_Dawn-Cover-FINALIt’s been an awesome week, from finalizing a short story submission to publishing the longest piece of fiction under my name. I will let you know how the short story is received, but for now a big hooray to publishing Scavenger: Blue Dawn (Scavenger #2).

I won’t spoil anything for those who haven’t read Scavenger: Red Sands (Scavenger #1), but for those who read part one and were left wanting to know more about the world, this edition is four times longer, explores the world outside Springston, and opens up all kinds of new conflict. Think Big Bad races Hero to secret military base with devastating consequences before they’ve even reached the lost city of Danvar.

My first review is a 5 star from Alesha Escobar:

Timothy Ward did an excellent job in this follow-up to RED SANDS (Scavenger #1). Our hero Rush isn’t perfect, yet you can’t help but to root for him as he reforges the bond he thought he’d lost with his wife, and seek justice against a cold-blooded killer.

My full review is at my blog.

Scavenger: Blue Dawn is $1.99 on Kindle and is part of the Kindle Unlimited program, which means if you sign up for that you can loan mine for free and if you read past the 10% mark I get paid for a sale.

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Guest post at SF Signal on Problems Writing Fanfiction

I am by no means an expert fan fiction writer, but I did have to brainstorm for a bit to work through some initial hurdles to planning the five part story of Scavenger. Head over to my SF Signal post to see what my dilemmas and solutions were.

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Scavenger: New Cover and First 100 Reviewers Program

Three pieces of news to share on my current work in progress.

Scavenger, The Series

First, Scavenger is planned to expand into at least a five part series. The first part, now called Scavenger: Red Sands, is a twenty five page novelette. Scavenger: Blue Dawn, the second part, is four times as long. The rest of the parts are planned out to match part two in length, and by serializing these novellas, I’m able to better afford the editing cost while also hopefully building an audience before compiling an omnibus. I’ve seen different takes on endings for serials; my philosophy is to reward the reader with resolution that also leads to further adventure. In other words, no cliff hangers.

New Cover Art

Second, and possibly better news than the first, is that Shawn King has been hired to make covers for this serialization process. Shawn first caught my eye with the facebook headers he made for Jeff Salyards and the Grimdark Fiction group, then with book covers for Ragnarok Publications and Mark Tufo’s Lycan Fallout. Dude is killin’ it all over the place. Here’s the cover for Scavenger: Red Sands (on sale for $.99):

Scavenger-Red_Sands-Cover-FINALRead the Series for Free

The third piece of news is my taking a page from Nick Cole‘s book on marketing. For the first hundred reviewers of Scavenger, I’ll give you an ebook of the next part for free. Review that and I’ll give you the next, etc. In order to ensure an ease of communication, sign up for my author newsletter so I can email you your reward. The goal is to garner these first hundred reviewers before the omnibus releases. That would make a huge splash.

Lastly, I finished Blue Dawn this weekend, so it’ll be off to the editor after a quick out-loud read and final polish.

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Scavenger Free Monday thru Wednesday

*The free deal is over, but my Hugh Howey fanfic novelette, Scavenger: Red Sands, is still only $.99 on Kindle (or free on Kindle Unlimited).

Sold with permission from Hugh Howey, Scavenger takes place in the world of his novel, Sand, and could be described as Dune meets 24. The first installment is the first two hours of my light scifi thriller. The second is also available and is novella length: Scavenger: Blue Dawn (Scavenger #2).

I’ve joined the Kindle Unlimited program, so for the next ninety days it will only be available on Kindle. If you have any questions on how to obtain this story, leave a comment below and I’ll be in contact.

The gap between Scavenger 1 and 2 was longer than it should be between 2 and 3, partly because I put the time in to research and outline where the story could go.

In a recent 5 Star review, M.H. Page, on said:

This is a story about … in an odd almost magical-realist world best described as “Mad Max 2 with more sand”. Ward gives us a hero who is in almost the worst possible of places professionally (ewww) and emotionally then plunges him into a high-stakes adventure with … as the ultimate prize. A surprisingly intense read, Gemmel does Stephen King. Ward is obviously an author to watch.

Enjoy this limited time giveaway and please share your honest reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

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Early Reviews for Scavenger and Writing Update

I’m a little in shock right now from one review in particular. Nick Cole, author of The Old Man and the Wasteland and the upcoming Soda Pop Soldier just gave my novelette, Scavenger, 5 Stars:

“Ward crafts a thrilling tale of desolation, desperation and redemption after the world ends. I thoroughly enjoyed this tight little jaunt through a sandy wasteland populated by the damned and the dying and those desperate for a last shot at redemption, or hell. Ward infuses a classic down-on-his-luck scavenger tale with pathos, nobility and a faithful insight into the allurement of temporary pleasures. In short, pick this one up, it’s a strong read that stands on it’s own two feet.” – link to review to vote up

Scavenger by Timothy C. Ward, an authorized fan fiction novelette set in the world of Hugh Howey’s SAND.

***Now available exclusively on Kindle***


So there you go, my first famous author to read and review my work. The rest of the reviews have been favorable as well, split 4/4 between 5 and 4 stars. I don’t care if someone posts a lower number star, but I’m glad to see people liking it.

Writing update:

Hugh Howey just posted an article called “The New Top Down Approach” which continues his argument for self-publishing being the favorite option as a starting point for authors instead of a last resort.

My take on self publishing is hesitant because of two factors: I lack the upfront money to hire editors and cover designers; and reputable small presses I follow could give me better guidance and exposure than I could get on my own, while providing the editing and cover upfront.

Michael Bunker has blogged about how many people complain about my first point, and has given advice of getting a second job or minimize expenses to save up for editing and cover costs. I’m looking for a better paying first job, and actually have a second job in running Adventures in SciFi Publishing. It doesn’t pay well though. I’ve tossed the idea of stepping down and getting a second job, but AISFP gives me flexibility to work when I’m not needed to take care of our new baby. AISFP also helps get my name out there for when I do publish, so I’d like to keep that gig.

I suppose I could wait a year or so to save up for an editor and cover artist, but I think a small press could publish me sooner. They’d also save me the money of hiring an editor that isn’t the right fit. Scavenger’s edit helped me, but then with the changes I chose to just read it a bunch of times and hope I caught all the grammar and typos (so far no complaints). I don’t want to chance this with a novel length work, so just editing myself is not a choice I’m pursuing.

*News 8/2/14 – I have turned my novel, Order After Dark, into two highly respected beta readers, but I could use more. I put up a progress bar on the right to chart my progress on making Scavenger a novel.

I could hybrid my stories, with this novel, Order After Dark, going to a small press and my Scavenger stories being self-published through inexpensive editing and cover design. Right now I’m polishing the last few chapters in OAD and brainstorming what direction I want to go with Scavenger Part Two. I may or may not use the same explanation as Hugh has for why the future America is covered in sand.

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New Fiction by Timothy C. Ward – Scavenger: A Sand Diver Tale

Hey, that’s my name up there. It is hard to imagine that the past six years of fully focused writing has only netted me two published stories, but I am glad to have waited until I had something I’m proud of. Scavenger is my Hugh Howey fanfic set in his Sand universe. You can read my story without have having read Sand, but I recommend you do both. I don’t mind if you read his masterpiece first, it is one of the best books I’ve read this year (Sand review).

This novelette is a complete story, but can expand into serialized long fiction if readers demand. I have a novel that is 2/3’s through edits, Order After Dark, and once I send that off to either a publisher or an editor, I can get back to this world. I’m inspired by what Hugh did with Wool, and will dream big even though the chances of repeating his success are minimal. I’d even take what some midlisters are doing with their serialized fiction. Michael Bunker recently released his Dunes Over Danvar 3, completing his Sand fanfic story. He has been at this for awhile, building up an audience via his off-the-grid blog, then serialized multiple books, Wick, Pennsylvania, and more. Michael was on the podcast back on Episode 249.

I suppose I’m one of many with hopes of publishing something that will help me get to the point of writing full-time, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try, and write as though this can.

ScavengerSo, what is Scavenger? It is about a sand diver who is grieving the loss of his son, and is given an opportunity to move on, but possibly in the wrong direction. The job he is offered could harden his heart enough to forget about his son, but it would also mean the final break between him and his estranged wife.

For me, this story is personal because I just had my first child. Scavenger gave me an emotional experience in writing that almost documents how I’ve grown as a human being since Kai was born, the new feelings I have as a father and husband. As a husband, I’m seeing how spouses can turn against each other when the baby creates tension. Coming from a broken home, my two biggest goals are being a great husband and father, but I also understand the temptation to push people away. I’m an introvert, and sometimes I form walls that exclude even those I love. Sometimes, I wonder if a worst case scenario is forming walls so thick that they become permanent, and in spite of my desire to have a joyful relationship with wife and child, I fail.

Scavenger is the story of someone on the verge of failure in that way.

You can purchase it at:

Amazon Kindle | Exclusive to Kindle for the next 90 days. Free to those in the Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Timothy C. Ward
Executive Producer

ScavengerTimothy C. Ward has been podcasting since 2010, first as AudioTim, and now with AISFP. His newest story, Scavenger: A Sand Diver Tale, is available on Kindle for $.99. His novel in progress, Order After Dark, is a Post-apocalyptic Fantasy set in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss. Sign up to his author newsletter for updates on new releases.

Subscribe to Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast on: iTunes | Stitcher Radio (Android users) | RSS | Website RSS | Newsletter (Subcribers are entered on giveaways)

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Where to Find Timothy C. Ward

AISFP_300x300I took over as Executive Producer at one of my favorite podcasts, Adventures in Scifi Publishing, back in June. Instead of trying to do that and keep posting here, I’m just going to be over there. We have around three or more podcasts a month, interviewing authors in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. We also have book reviews and book giveaways and offer sponsorships for authors to advertise. Sign up for their newsletter to be entered in the giveaways.

Subscribe to Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast on: iTunes | Stitcher Radio (Android users) | RSS | Website RSS | | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Goodreads Group | Pinterest

My only published story is Cornhusker: Demon Gene (A Short Story), available on Kindle. It’s a werewolf-type of story about a teenager who finds happiness right when his body begins to change, threatening to take it all away. If you read it, I’d really appreciate a review on Amazon and Goodreads. More stories can be written in this world if the demand grows high enough.

I’m hard at work on new fiction, and recently created a newsletter ( to notify you when I release new stories.

I’m active on Facebook and Goodreads, with minimal use of Twitter. I also still review books about once a month for SF Signal.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope to see you around!


(P.S. The fam, with our new addition, Kai, says hi! Follow us on Pinterest for more pictures.)


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Podcaster and Aspiring Author of Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror