"Works in progress" is such a vague phrase. If I listed every single thing I'd started and was positive I will eventually finish, this list would go on forever. But I do have a handful of projects that I've made substantial progress on, to the point where they could almost be considered "done," if such a concept exists.


My first YA book, although it's probably more accurate to call it MG (Middle Grade). Here is the gist (taken from the query letter):

Sam's friends dared him to go into The House, an old, supposedly haunted mansion where, rumor had it, thrill-seeking teenagers went in but never came out. When Sam went through the door, everything went black.

He woke up in his bedroom the next morning with no memory of how he got there or what happened after he stepped into The House.

Following clues left by his recently deceased grandmother, Sam and a disparate group of friends learn that The House sits on a crossroads of dimensions. They travel to other worlds, face their greatest fears, and battle Halloween monsters to find the master of The House. All that stands between our world and inter-dimensional invasion are Sam and his friends.

MASTER OF THE HOUSE was a quarter finalist for the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. It's meant to be the first book in a series, but was written to stand on its own. It will appeal to fans of series like Fablehaven and Percy Jackson.


The Caretaker's Son is a supernatural YA that begins in 1828 in rural Kansas. This is where nine families build the necropolis of Soma. Each family runs a cemetery within the necropolis, but they are bound together by a common goal: saving the souls of the dead. As generations go by, however, the caretakers lose track of exactly what they're saving the souls from.

The Caretaker's Son is about family duty. It's about fate versus free will.  It's about the secrets that every family has buried in their past, taken to a supernatural, metaphysical extreme.

I'm currently revising my third version of the manuscript for The Caretaker's Son, with an eye towards finishing and sending out query letters in a few months.


I'm not entirely sure what Heads is right now.

It was originally a comic book because I love comic books and I would love to eventually write one some day. But lately I'm beginning to think that it should be yet another YA book.

My pitch for it was this:

"Like Degrassi...with exploding heads."


Sitting on my desk is "An Authentic Wagon Train Journal of 1853," written by William Richard Brown.  Brown was my wife's great great grandfather, her father's great grandfather.  Her dad gave me this copy of that journal.

At some point after "I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At" was published, my father in-law at least mulled over the idea of having me write a book about his family, although this information comes from two third party sources, not from him. They told me this at his wake, so perhaps it was more wishful thinking than reality. Maybe they hoped I'd pick up on the pieces of family history he'd gathered together.

Since then, my wife and I have moved into the house he left us, so the idea of digging into that side of my wife's family has only become more relevant.

I work on WNO in spurts, so we'll see if it ever manages to come together.