Monday, February 16, 2015

The Astor House of Old Shanghai part of the Nano Bytes collection of short SciFi stories on Wattpad

Back in September of 2011 my steampunk short story The Astor House of Old Shanghai was published in a sci-fi e-zine with an amazing illustration by famed matte painter and concept artist Wayne Haag ( of the films The Fifth Element, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers (LOTR), The Wolverine, and The Maze Runner. Response to the story was extremely positive and in the years since its publication I began researching more into the late Victorian period with particular attention towards imperialism, colonialism, social Darwinism, and the causes and consequences of the Boxer Rebellion, the Spanish-American War, and the Second Boer War, along with the history of MI5 and espionage during the 20th century. Notes, ideas, and a collection of books are sitting on my shelves awaiting the day when I begin to dedicate time toward expanding The Astor House story into a full-length novel. But first I must complete and publish my travel memoir Travels in the Land of Hunger and Book II - Travels of the Dark Legacy Cycle series.

I usually write during my summer breaks from my full-time teaching position, but last summer (summer of 2014) I was not able to pick up where I had left off on Book II - Travels since the summer of 2013 (thus leaving the book at 200 pages). The reason for this long delay in writing had been due to gaining the IB Economics teaching position at another international high school in Barcelona. After being offered the position I dedicated my entire 2014 summer break toward developing and expanding my lesson plans and PowerPoints for the two-year cycle course. By September I had completed all my lesson plans for the first year of the course and worked on the second year of the course in the months that followed. It is now February 2015 and I am now near finishing all my PowerPoints and plans for the second year of the course. Since beginning my new job I have had very little spare time (I have not even been able to finish two books that I started reading last summer). I absolutely love my new job. I am surrounded by amazing students, very supportive parents, and an incredible team of teachers and administrators that have all created the best working environment I have ever encountered. I feel very fortunate and blessed to wake-up up each morning and feel like I no longer work because I love what I do so much.

As mentioned above, I am close to finishing all my extensive lesson plans and thus I will soon have time again to dedicate to writing. For those fans that have been so patient I will hopefully have a book or two published this year. I plan to first finish my travel memoir and then, finally, Dark Legacy: Book II - Travels. In the mean time I have published The Astor House of Old Shanghai on Wattpad at as a free read. The steampunk short story was also featured by Nano Bytes - A Collection of Short SciFi Stories on Wattpad at

To excite readers about The Astor House story I decided to have a cover design completed using Wayne Haag's illustration. James T. Egan of Bookfly Design ( completed the brilliant steampunk cover design and I'm eager to work with James again in completing a cover redesign of Dark Legacy: The End of the Kai and Dark Legacy: Book I - Trinity along with my travel memoir book Travels in the Land of Hunger. I have another short story that I would like to publish on Wattpad and most likely I will utilize Mr. Egan's talents in developing an appropriate cover design for that story.

So this year should be a good year in terms of finally putting out more material. Thank you all for your support and patience. In the mean time enjoy reading The Astor House of Old Shanghai.

With Magic,