Sunday, March 21, 2021

Research and what it will get you

First of all, let me say that looking stuff up on line is not “research.” Scientists developing a Covid vaccine takes research. Archeologists uncovering an ancient civilization takes research. Translating Egyptian hieroglyphics from a recently discovered tomb requires research. Building, launching, and landing a Mars rover takes research. When I research a topic for my stories, I look things up (mostly online) and investigate so I don’t sound like a complete idiot when I write my FICTION about it. It doesn’t make me an expert on the topic.

That being said, I learn quite a lot. And I estimate that a percentage of what I learn is actually based on research. So, here are some things I “researched” for my stories this week.

“What are the best and oldest ski resorts within driving distance of the locale I’ve chosen in New York for the setting of my new work in progress, A Place Among Peers?” Working assumption at this time is Bristol Mountain near Canandaigua.

“When were their ski lifts put in operation?” Working assumption is mid-70s.

“What are the best/raciest/most popular classic French authors?” List includes Flaubert, de Laclos, de Beauvoir, de Balzac, and Sand. I add to that the expatriate writers Anais Nin and Henry Miller.

“Where can I get a butcher’s certificate like Jett Blackburn’s in my new Devon Layne WIP Drawing on the Dark Side of the Brain 2?” Madison Area Technical College.

“What kind of paint is used for body painting?” A variety that includes makeup based paint, Kryolon Aquacolor, Ben Nye Magic Liquid Paint, airbrush paint, acrylic, and food dye and ivory soap.

“Is IGA (Independent Grocers Alliance) still active?” Very much so. With store franchises all over the world! Much bigger than I anticipated. Including Russia and China? And two within the market area I was searching. Wow!

“What are the duties of a high school athletics team manager that I’ll need to know to write the new Devon Layne WIP Team Manager?” Much like a theatre stage manager, a team manager is responsible for nearly everything but directly coaching the athletes. First aid, equipment, towels, warmups, schedule, scorers, parent volunteers, and everything else!

“How much do basketball uniforms cost?” About $110-125 for a full set of home and away uniforms, tear away warmup pants, shooting shirt, and 2 pairs of socks. Many toss in matching masks nowadays.

“Did you know a female wolverine is called an angeline?” No? Neither did I!

“How do you test for basketball tryouts?” That was as interesting as the duties of a manager. There is a speed, power, agility, reaction, and quickness test (SPARQ) with eight measurable exercises to determine how well prepared an athlete is to take the court. It ain’t easy!

“Is girls’ basketball in Iowa different than anywhere else?” I really got sucked into this one! Girls have been playing basketball in Iowa since the 1890s. But in 1925, the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) (all men), decided it wasn’t appropriate for girls to play competitive sports and refused to sanction the sport. A splinter group (still all men) formed their own association, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) and immediately sanctioned teams in girls’ basketball. There are still two separate organizations over boys’ and girls’ sports in Iowa.

BUT… This is where it gets interesting. The men of the IGHSAU still felt girls were less athletic and needed special rules that included a smaller ball and six player teams (six-on-six basketball). The teams didn’t run up and down the court. They were divided into three guards and three forwards. The guards were responsible for guarding the goal against the other team scoring. They were completely defensive and could not cross the centerline! They had to pass the ball to a forward, who was the offensive player attempting to score. The forwards, too, were not allowed to cross the centerline from their end of the court.

This was girls’ basketball in Iowa until 1994 when the rules were rewritten to match the boys’ game. There is a great video produced by an eighth-grader at that recaps the fascinating history of Girls’ Basketball in Iowa.

“Are there still different sizes of basketballs?” Yes! According to Spalding who makes the official tournament ball (TF-1000 Legacy), the basketballs come in several different sizes. Women’s basketball is played with a size 6 ball that is 28.5 inches in circumference. Even in the WNBA. Men’s basketball is played with a size 7 ball that is 29.5-30 inches in circumference. There are smaller sizes for junior high school and elementary school.

“Are teams divided up in 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A classes?” Only if you add class 5A! Class 5A includes schools over ~840 students (and the largest is about 2200). Class 4A comprises schools with ~375-840 students. Class 3A is schools with ~210-375 students. Class 2A includes schools ~140-210 students. And the small school class, 1A includes 110 schools with ~25-140 students. In the 1990s, 75% of girls playing basketball in Iowa were from schools with fewer than 100 students. The FICTIONAL school I’ve chosen to write about is at the low end of Class 3A.

“Do I know any more about Iowa Girls Basketball?” You’ll have to read the book to find out. I certainly know more than I ever expected to know.

I also know the federal limits to the percentage of alcohol in moonshine, the Iowa State limits on distilling, bottling, and possessing distilled alcohol, and how to get hold of the DEA in Des Moines.

That’s a writer’s life for you. Absolutely nothing I’ve placed in this blog is factual based on real research. It’s only what I needed to know to write a convincing story. That allows me to create fanciful situations that we know would never happen, but they sound like they might actually happen. It looks real. And the more mundane the details are, the more reasonable the wild speculation seems.

Which is pretty much how we got QAnon, Proud Boys, Anti-vaxers, voter fraud, and all the other conspiracy theorists who almost sound like they know facts. In reality, they’re creating plotlines for stories that I could only dream about writing!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

More books, please!


Sunrise over Puget Sound from my window.

Whenever I’m asked “What’s new?” I start the conversation with the single word, “Books!” There’s always something new in my world. Take today, for instance. I’m announcing the release of my newest Devon Layne novel, The Assassin.

The Assassin
is a character-driven science fiction story. It’s part of Thinking Horndog’s Swarm Cycle universe and looks at what happens to the slave society started by the Confederacy to fight their enemy, the Sa’arm.

Niall Cho hates the Confederacy, which has become so pacifistic the races cannot even rise to defend themselves from annihilation. So, they recruit humans to do the deed for them, subtly making sure the humans cannot pose a threat to the Confederacy in the future.

A test is established that humans rush to take to determine if they are of suitable Capacity, Aptitude, and Potential (CAP) to join the Confederacy Armed Forces and immigrate to a new world. Each immigrant can take at least two people who did not score high enough to volunteer along with their dependents. The two “concubines” are, in reality, slaves to the sponsor and females are required to breed on a regular basis to establish the human race on a hundred different planets and provide the next generation of soldiers for the war.

Niall is caught in a pickup with his mother and two sisters and taken from Earth to the agricultural planet Tara where their sponsor works the family like slaves on his farm. Niall starts working on a list of people he wants to kill for destroying his family and taking him away from his father. Upon reaching his majority at age fourteen, Niall leaves the farm and joins the militia, an alternate way of becoming a free citizen. Then he plans to hunt the perpetrators of this crime against humanity and kill them all.

Along the way, Niall makes friends, rises through the militia ranks, establishes an alternate society of free slaves, gets his own concubines, and develops a friendship with his Tuull AI. But when, after fifty years, the opportunity comes for Niall to start getting rid of the villains, neither his target nor his methods are at all like he anticipated. Nor is the apparent reward!

Available at most eBook retailers. Check The Assassin homepage at

We’re all still attempting to recover from the pandemic. I’m due for my second installment of the vaccine in two weeks. But one of my writer groups posed the question “What did you accomplish in 2020?” My first reaction was “What a waste.” Then I started looking back at my files.

I discovered that I published eight Devon Layne books and three Nathan Everett books in 2020! Not bad for a year I considered a waste. Some of these were older books with a new market release, but still…

     See links for all Devon Layne books at, including copies for free online reading!

See links for all Nathan Everett books at, including copies for free online reading!

So now I’m sitting back resting on my laurels. Not.

I’ve released seven “new editions” or completely new books so far in 2021, including The Assassin (listed above). Somehow, these other six books had never made it out into the public or onto my free reading website.

See links for all Devon Layne books at, including copies for free online reading!

What does that make now? According to Amazon, I have 38 Devon Layne books and 11 Nathan Everett books in the market. My website shows 45 Devon Layne and 13 Nathan Everett books, because I didn’t release everything on Amazon.

So, go ahead and ask me what’s new! Thank you. Currently, I have two new books under development and I’m making good progress again after having an ablation on February 18. They restarted my heart in correct rhythm and I’ve begun to recover my energy and focus. I’m very thankful for my cardiologist, Dr. Christopher Fellows at Virginia Mason.

The first new book I’m working on is Nathan Everett’s A Place Among Peers. This is a sequel to December’s release, A Place at the Table. The series takes place in an alternate world America where there is an established formal class system and everyone is assigned to a class by age eighteen. In the first book, Liam and Meredith struggle to figure out their relationship while Liam tries to fit into his class as a Leader. In the sequel, Liam establishes a cohort of other Leaders attending his University and discovers what it means to become a leader of Leaders. All this, of course, while still exploring his relationship with Meredith and with others who would latch onto his leadership for their own purposes.

I’m working on a sequel to the Devon Layne novel, Drawing on the Dark Side of the Brain. In the first volume, we are introduced to Jett Blackburn, an artist in his first year in college along with five of his closest girlfriends. Jett is a Digital Native, sometimes referred to as Gen Z. He has never known a time without a personal computer, a cell phone, or social media. He has, however, pursued his art in a very traditional way until he accidentally paints one of his girlfriends and discovers new ways of integrating a model into the art. But there is a dark side to Jett’s painting. People who view it—even the models and Jett themselves—are profoundly changed by the art. Sometimes fatally.

Volume 2 finds our hero caught up in financial difficulties as he struggles to pay for college, loses his job, and is stalked by a jealous classmate. And yes, like the rest of those who had to live through the past year, to deal with the pandemic.

My patrons of either  Nathan Everett or Devon Layne have access to the works of both authors, including free eBooks and (at the $10 tier) my developing works as I write them. You are cordially invited to join them!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Cancel Culture

I'm feeling much better now that a month ago and am pursuing my writing career with vigor. Unfortunately, I missed publishing to the blog here yesterday, so I thought I'd catch up today. And my topic is the popular riff of "Cancel Culture" being cried about by people who never thought about not having some things until someone said they couldn't have them.

I'm offended.

But also easily amused. In a world that seems to be obsessed with whether a copyright holder and publisher can stop publishing a fifty-year-old book and the gender of a plastic potato, I am obsessed with what they did to our keyboards. I loaded a picture of an old electric typewriter as my desktop wallpaper and started looking at it. Here's a change. I assume you spotted it. It's in the Return and Backspace key. Now known more commonly as Enter and Delete.

On the typewriter keyboard, the arrows point up and to the right while on the computer keyboard they point down and to the left. I'm incredibly upset about the cancel culture that did away with the correct icons for a keyboard!

Of course, there is a logical explanation, just like there is for every other cancel culture post I've read. In word processing, the Enter key moves the cursor down and to the left on the page. On the typewriter, the Return key moved the carriage to the right and the paper up a line. The Delete key moves the cursor left a space while the Backspace moves the carriage right a space.

Unless you read a language that reads right to left.

Please. I'm sure this is as important to be offended about as not being able to fly a foreign flag over our government offices.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Has it been so long?

Well, well, well. Valentine’s Day and I last posted just after New Years’. Whatever happened? I’ll get around telling you that. Mostly it’s been more isolation. But there are other things.

Since November, I’ve begun four novels and have only finished one. That’s Devon Layne’s The Assassin, which I just finished the final draft of and sent to editors at last. I’ve also released a backlog of books over the past two and a half months.

Nathan Everett, A Place at the Table

Devon Layne, Pussy Pirates

Devon Layne, Not This Time

Devon Layne, The Art and Science of Love

Devon Layne, The Hero Lincoln Trilogy

In addition, I’ve released special patron only editions of The Gutenberg Rubric, For Money or Mayhem, Drawing on the Darkside of the Brain, Model Student Books 1, 2, & 3, and Things I Never Told My Wife. To join the reading challenge, join either the Nathan Everett Patreon ( or the Devon Layne Patreon (

And various others that were finished and just sitting there but had never been released outside their serialized versions, or had never been released in serial. Sounds like an impressive batch of work, doesn’t it? But mostly, it has been busywork. Mike used to tell me, “It looks like work.” It’s actually what I do when my mind is not fully functioning and I need to accomplish something.

And my mind hasn’t been fully functioning, which is why I maintain that It Ain’t Immortality But…, A Place Among Peers, and Drawing on the Dark Side of the Brain 2 have all been stuck for the past weeks. Around Christmas, my heart went back into A-fib and has been working overtime to fuel my brain with a limited supply of oxygen. It makes it difficult to concentrate and maintain my focus on projects that need attention.

The answer, of course, is another ablation and I’m scheduled for it on Thursday this week. Hopefully, once I’m back in rhythm, my head will clear and I’ll start turning out books at my noted previous rate. I released some pretty darn good books last year and plan to get back to that as quickly as possible.

In brighter news…

My daughter announced her engagement this month. I’m so thrilled for her I’m breathless. (Oh. That’s my heart. But I’m still thrilled.) We all like the guy. They make a good pair. They are planning a small wedding this summer. Nothing more specific than that. I just want the whole world to be a better place for them both!

Mostly, I’ve maintained utter isolation this winter, which hasn’t made coping much easier. I’m finally scheduled for my COVID vaccine in two weeks. The water has been shut off at the RV park for four days because of freezing weather and I’m hoping it will be back on and I can wash the dirty dishes in my sink when I get back over there after my ablation.

Currently, I’m staying with Michele and Jason until I get through this procedure. Quinne will provide my transport to and from the hospital, but the new rules dictate that she can’t stick around once I’m inside. I don’t want her exposed to anything, so that’s a good thing. Still, it’s going to be a long day. After the ablation, they say not to move for four hours. That was okay when there was someone to talk to. I’m just hoping I can sleep through most of that period. At least I can drink black coffee in the morning before I go in!

As my sister has quoted: “I’m not saying I’d die if I didn’t have my coffee, but others might.”

It is time to get back to writing the next great American novel. I just need to decide which one it is!


Sunday, January 3, 2021

Happy New Year! 2021 Reading Challenge!

 I know I tend to make long rambling posts on New Year's Day or thereabout, talking about all the things that happened in the past year. But, let's not revisit the past in that way. Today, let's revisit the past in a completely new way!

Welcome to the Nathan Everett 2021 Reading Challenge! It's all new, so what's this about revisiting the past? It's in the books you read. I've already selected them.

This special Reading Challenge is for my patrons at all membership levels. That's right. If you are a $1 per month patron, you get the same access as my $25 per month patrons. Here's how it works.

Step 1: Join my Nathan Everett Patreon Community at any tier at
Step 2: Watch for the monthly announcement of what book we are reading.
Step 3: Download the free Special Patron Edition of the book of the month.
Step 4: Read and join in the discussion on my Patreon comments, Goodreads, Facebook, or wherever you find people to talk about books!
Step 5: Tell me (via email) that you have joined the challenge and I'll send you a badge to display on your Patreon page, Facebook, or other social site.

And most of all, enjoy collecting the entire library of Nathan Everett novels on your reading device!

The first Patron-only edition selected for January is my award-winning intellectual thriller, The Gutenberg Rubric. This edition will not be distributed through any commercial outlet, but is exclusively offered to my patrons. This edition with a unique ISBN has been re-proofread, including having my German phrases cleaned up by a native speaker. It has a special patron dedication and an author's afterword describing and telling a bit about the printers' marks used as chapter headpieces throughout the book.

Did Gutenberg leave a secret?

Just months before the famous Bible that bears his name was finished, Johannes Gutenberg was sued by his partner for misappropriating funds to a private enterprise. When Gutenberg refused to share the secret project, the court awarded the entire Bible-printing operation to Johan Fust, leaving Gutenberg with nothing but his secret. Was it an alchemical formula? A new technology? A heretical treatise? Or something far more dangerous? Why would Gutenberg sacrifice everything?

Brilliant, eccentric professor Keith Drucker and rare books librarian Madeline Zayne are reluctant heroes in a centuries-old search for Gutenberg’s other book. Crossing continents to follow clues from an encoded rubric and stolen manuscript, the couple faces injury, arcane rituals, and biblio-terrorists as they race to find the fabled treasure.

But if they find it, will they survive to tell the world?

Each month, on the first Sunday, I'll release another Nathan Everett title in a special patrons edition. You'll collect all twelve! It's just another way of saying how much I appreciate my patrons.

I'm looking forward to a year of reading and interacting. Let's create our own bright spot!

author Nathan Everett

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Join the Release Party right here!

On Tuesday, December 22, 2020, my eleventh novel, A Place at the Table, was released to the public. On that day, I was interviewed by Brit Author PA of It was a great interview so I've chosen to reproduce it here. Enjoy! Add questions in the comments if you'd like.

That sounds like a good way to start. A Place at the Table is an alternate universe depiction of an America that has a highly defined class structure in which every person in the country knows what class he or she is part of by the time they are out of high school. But the classes are not based on wealth, heredity, position, or occupation. They are based on individual character and aptitude. So, it shouldn’t be surprising to find a person of any one of the ten classes in any occupation. A Leader, for example, might show up in business, fashion, politics, or even as a tour guide. But elitism is still a problem with this class structure and that is what our hero, Liam, has to navigate.

If you are familiar with the genre Bildungsroman, you’ll understand that the story focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood. With his grandmother as an example and Meredith by his side, Liam evolves from a self-centered boy of privilege to a man people can trust to lead them.

I’ve become more and more cognizant of class divisions in our society through my whole life. An off-hand comment a couple of years ago mentioned that we were “ruled over by American Royalty.” In fact, my first draft of the story was titled “American Royalty.” But I wanted to define a class structure that didn’t imply traditional classes that are largely hereditary or based on wealth or occupation. Things like ‘working class,’ ‘bourgeoisie,’ ‘noble,’ or ‘royal’ were too loaded with meaning already. I wanted classes that weren’t equivalent to those but really settled on character. That’s what I set out to write and it took several drafts to get it to the place I was satisfied.

Liam Cyning is a young man just entering his majority at eighteen. He finds that he has been placed in the Leader class. But in many ways, he’s a kid trying to grow up. He’s fine in groups but facing a girl on a date makes him freeze up. He has typical questions about where he fits and what being a Leader means. He has to figure out what kind of leader he will be and where he wants to lead people. The one thing his grandmother impresses upon him most is that a leader must be incorruptible. Character, honesty, and integrity are paramount. But what we discover is that Liam simply has the kind of character that makes people want to follow him. If he has an idea, it sounds good. People just naturally get with it.

There are ten classes in this structure: Dexter, Cognoscente, Aspirant, Defender, Inquirer, Commander, Creator, Promoter, Leader, and Advisor. I was told in a palm reading once that I was the person soldiers would want to follow into battle. I can’t really imagine that myself. I think that I am by nature a Creator, though I do have a tendency toward both Inquirer and Cognoscente. Now you’ll have to read the book to find the definition of any of those classes!

Wow! I remember when my first book was published (For Blood or Money), an early reader came up to me and said, “Oh, this is you. I recognize you.” I really don’t fancy myself as a Dag Hamar cyber detective, though. I think that I’d like to be Keith Drucker from The Gutenberg Rubric. Keith is an expert in rare books and manuscripts who is still enough of an adventurer to get himself in hot water—even in a library! And he has a wonderful companion. I think I lived more of that book than any other as I researched it for twenty years!

Interestingly, after I published The Volunteer, my older sister confronted me. “You must have had a different father than I had! That is nothing like the one I remember!” It took me over an hour to convince her that the story was fiction. “But I recognized some of those places.” I had to explain that our experiences inform what we write but that doesn't make it autobiographical.

I’m an eclectic reader and often read books that have not been released through normal channels, like online serials. And I have very limited living space as I’m a full-time RVer. So nearly all my books are electronic. I’m sorry I don’t have a paper book on my nightstand. I have two open eBooks at the moment. On my laptop, I have Japanese Cooking Made Simple from Salinas Press. I got started experimenting with Japanese cooking after watching the Midnight Diner series on Netflix. On my tablet (really beside my bed), I’ve begun re-reading the works of Robert A. Heinlein and currently have The Moon is a Harsh Mistress open. I do a bit of sci-fi writing under another name and many authors and reviewers refer to Heinlein. It seemed worthwhile to refresh my memory.

With as many different social platforms as we have these days, it’s a wonder we can keep up with them at all. Here are the best places to look for me:

My website:


Twitter: @wayzgoose


email through Elder Road Books:


I think that is the best list with the widest variety of connections. I update nearly everything at least weekly, including serializing my novels on my website for patrons before they are released to the public. I hope you’ll all consider joining me!

Thanks to Brit Author PA of for the terrific interview questions!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A Place at the Table Release Party!

I’m happy to say on this day after Solstice, A Place at the Table, my newest literary novel, has now been released on all major platforms in both eBook and paperback formats. Hooray!

But that’s not all. For the past few years, I’ve been holding my book release parties at Chandler Reach Vineyards Tasting Room on or about the Summer Solstice. The parties for City Limits and Wild Woods were loads of fun with lots of people and plenty of wine. I was going to do the same this year, but then the plague.

And my editors insisted that it needed one more rewrite.

So, I’m holding the party today, the day after Winter Solstice. Sadly, it can’t be indoors, so I’m holding it online.

Join at

I’ll still be drinking wine (or champagne) and will be interviewed online starting at 4:00 to get the ball rolling. Through the evening I’ll be joined by four other authors: Amy Romine, Jeffrey Cook, Eileen Troemel, and Cameron Allie will each be on for half an hour with interesting talk, games, questions, and prizes. Get yourself a glass of your favorite beverage and join us for this fun event!

Now, about the book:

Though the America Liam Cyning lives in is quite similar to the America of half a century or more ago, it is also fundamentally different. Ten clearly defined classes are the underpinning of American Society, determined by the educational system. As a newly assigned member of the Leader class, Liam is still uncertain what his role and responsibilities are.

Meredith Sauvage, a childhood friend and nemesis has been assigned to the Advisor class and is hired as Liam's personal assistant. Her job is to guide and mentor the young man while navigating the tricky waters of a personal relationship and the conflicts of a class society.

This story is a Bildungsroman—a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of Liam Cyning from youth to adulthood. With his grandmother as an example and Meredith by his side, Liam earns a place at the table as he exposes the fundamental weaknesses of the very system that made him who he is.

Sometimes, I think we need to separate ourselves a bit from the issues facing our own society and focus on an imaginary society in order to see our own clearly. That is my hope with this novel. Did I succeed?

Here’s the word from reviewer Les Bagley:

Imagine a “classless” America where class distinctions are nonetheless, very important, and very real! Nathan Everett has imagined such a world, and his new novel, A Place at the Table, tells the story of one young man coming to grips with his role in such a rigid society.

Navigating the tricky path from youth to adulthood is never easy in the best of times. Learning about relationships with friends, nemeses, and the opposite sex are challenges everyone must face. But add in the overwhelming complexities of prescribed class, wealth, and privilege in an otherwise “classless society,” and growing and learning becomes even more of a challenge.

Everett follows the story of Liam Cyning as he matures from the days of carefree youth, to responsible young adulthood, only to quickly encounter the expectations society places on a born leader’s shoulders. But are true leaders born, or made? And what happens when his wealthy grandmother chooses and grooms a beautiful assistant that Liam would much rather have as a lover than as a dedicated employee?

Along the way, there is youthful exuberance, corporate intrigue, labor strife, budding romance, and enduring friendships, all woven into the fabric of a different society, yet not really so different from the real America of today.

Buy this. Read this. Enjoy this! You’ll find it’s one of Mr. Everett’s most enjoyable (and maybe thought provoking) works.

You can get A Place at the Table now! It is available for Kindle, Nook, and in paperback at major vendors. And you can order the eBook in either ePUB or MOBI form from

And here’s something special!

You can read the book online for free on my website! Why do I offer this when I’m trying to sell books? I believe once you sample the book on my website you will want to own it. And if you can’t own it, at least you’ll still get to read it. For a quick sneak peek at A Place at the Table, go to

Hope I’ll see you at the party!