Saturday, November 23, 2013

Why the obsession with time travel stories?

We admit it -- we're both sluts for time-travel stories.

It probably started with the old 1960 movie version of The Time Machine, based on H.G. Wells's novel. As little kids, our imaginations surrendered into the futurescape struggle between the Eloi and the Morlocks. And our obsession only intensified through the years by scenes from episodes of  Dr. Who, by the entire  Terminator franchise, by 12 Monkies, Donnie Darko, Source Code, Midnight in Paris and, yes, even by Hot Tub Time Machine.

If it's got time travel, we can't resist.

And that's not even mentioning the marvelous series of books by our friend Connie Willis -- To say Nothing of the Dog, The Doomsday Book, Black Out, and All Clear. We equally love the intellectual conundrums of Charles Yu's How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe and the page-turning suspense of Stephen King's 11/22/63.

We outed our obsession in two of our novels this past year -- Mark's Strange Attractors: A Story About Roswell and our just-released co-written third book in the Silverville Saga Series, The Magicke Outhouse.

Funny how different they turned out.

Both  revel in conundrums and paradoxes, and both play the "What If?" game of confronting knowledge from both past and future that influences the present. But that's where the similarity of themes pretty much ends.

The Magicke Outhouse is comedy (the mixture of Kym and Mark's brains always tends to follow that path). And the story circumvents all the dither of physics and science by making the "time machine" a psychic experience -- an uncoupling of body and consciousness brought about by a combination of supercharged, intersecting ley lines and a whiff of mysterious fungi brewing from the cauldron (or maybe we should say, bowels) of a humble outhouse privy.

With a premise like that, the only "plausible" direction for a storyline is funny. No problem there. Our hapless characters stumble into experiences in Ancient Egypt, Puritan New England, the Wild West, and Medieval Germany, and with nary more than a backside splinter while characters sit perched atop the one-holer. Well, except for the clients who don't make it back alive. But c'mon, there are kinks in every new enterprise. It's not like the operators of Ka Catchers wouldn't refund the cost of the trip if those clients hadn't returned as near zombies.

On the other end of the spectrum is Mark's hard-science time-travel story, Strange Attractors. [Kym's aside: Mark did way too much research into Quantum Physics and Special Relativity for that project. Lighten up, for chrissakes!] This story braids threads of causality into a tale where the future influences the past and creates the present.

But at least it has a creepy little kid, a government conspiracy gone awry, and a neurotic but likeable protagonist who's trying, with the help of her shrink, to make things right in all three time-frames.

What both stories also have in common is a twist at the end that makes you think. If The Magicke Outhouse invites you to enjoy the ride and laugh all along the way to the surprise ending, Strange Attractors invites you to second-guess how Fractal Geometry, Jungian archetypes, Japanese Oragami, and the mystery of the Roswell Crash all fit together by the final page.

For us, both books were a way to indulge our ongoing fascination (now there's a more polite word for "obsession") for all things time travel.

And we're sure we're not the only ones. Who else out there loves time travel? And what are your fave stories in this ilk? We'd love to know.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

THE MAGICKE OUTHOUSE -- loosed upon the world! (and acknowledgements)

Seems like it's been a long time coming, but The Magicke Outhouse (Silverville Saga, #3) has officially hit the streets today.

It's available on Amazon in paperback and e-reader formats, at Barnes & Noble, from Raspberry Creek Books, and shipping to an expanding array of bookstores starting this week.

And don't forget to sign up for the Goodreads Giveaway, ending on Nov. 25! (Enter in the right-hand column next to this post on our blog, or click here.)

Upcoming Events

We're also featured at three blog sites this week and giving three readings in the region during the first two weeks of December.

Here's the itinerary for spots we're visiting over the next four weeks (click here for the full itinerary):
  • Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m. -- The Book Haven, 135 F Street, Salida, CO, United States 81201
  • Dec. 6, 5 p.m. --  The Book Worm, 211 N Main St, Gunnison, CO, United States 81230-2401
  • Dec. 11, 5:30 p.m. -- Savage Library West Wing, 600 N. Adams St, Gunnison, CO, United States 81231

Get a free "Breakfast" (autographed bookplate, that is)

For those who attend f2f readings, we'll be providing bookplates featuring "autographs" by Breakfast, the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig who was the inspiration for the character by the same name in the story.

Can't make one of these or future readings? No worries. Pick up a copy of the book, and we'd be happy to send you the bookplate. Just e-mail us at

If you're long-distance, you can pick up a copy at one of these sites right now:
Barnes & Nobe
Raspberry Creek Books

With a little help...

...from our friends.

The authors wish to recognize several individuals who have contributed to the final version of this novel. We want to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh, Charlie Craig, and Stacia Deutsch – all authors whose work we admire and on whom we relied for thoughtful comments. A special thanks to Julie Leuk, T.L. Livermore, and Zac Thompson, who each agreed to read earlier drafts of the novel and offered insightful suggestions to strengthen the story’s character development and overarching continuity. And finally, our warm thanks to Larry Meredith and the folks at Raspberry Creek Books, who make it possible for us to share the continuing stories of the Silverville Saga.

Thanks, all!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Magicke Outhouse (Silverville Saga, #3) street-releases this week, and we hit 5k visits on our blogsite

Just in time for the street release of our latest book, The Magicke Outhouse (Silverville Saga, #3), coming later this week, and the book-in-hand portion of our on-going Silverville Magicke Book Tour (see this permalink for places, dates, times), we're delighted to announce that our blog has just hit its 5,000th page hit!

We know, we know, small fries to lots of our brethren and sisteren authors -- but hey, for n00bs like us in the world of e-marketing and e-promotion, this is a big landmark. Our goal was to hit this mark in a year, and we did it in exactly 11 months from our launch on Dec. 17, 2012.

But more fascinating to us is YOU, the audience on Write in the Thick of Things (gotta love Google analytics). We found YOU ( and YOU us) through this blog, of course, but also through Google-Plus, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. A few follow us as fans, but a much bigger cohort get our blog through e-mail -- and a surprising number by keyword searchers who seem to bookmark us and eavesdrop regularly. (No, we don't know who you are except by region -- you can relax: the analytics don't go that deep).

But anywhere from 500-800 of YOU drop by monthly.

Just a few freckles short of 3,000 of YOU are from the US of A -- no surprise there and ThankYou!ThankYou!ThankYou! And YOU're from just about every state in the Union (Colorado is largest, of course, but with inexplicable thickets in Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas). That's a bit humbling.

More surprising are the international followers --
  • over 400 in Russia (Zdravstvuj!), 
  • another >300 from Germany (Wie läuft's?), 
  • 130+ in Latvia (Sveiki!),
  • <100 in the Ukraine (Vitayu!), 
  • <100 from the U.K. (Hi!), 
and about 40 each from 
  • Canada (Bonjour/Hello!), 
  • Indonesia (Halo!), 
  • China (nǐ hǎo), and 
  • Romania (Salut!), 
and then a smattering from 
  • South America and 
  • Africa 
(and to each of you a hearty "Hello!")

We want to thank each and every one of YOU for your interest in our quirky imagination. We thought when we started, we were writing for ourselves. YOU've all shown us that this isn't the case. And for that, we thank YOU!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Silverville Saga Book Tour -- Over 20 Events

Book #3 of the Silverville Saga, The Magicke Outhouse, releases officially on Nov. 20!

BloodLotus Journal fiction editor Zac Thompson says, "All the books [in the series] are good, but this may be the best so far."

We hope so!

All month on our Facebook page, we're posting hint fiction stories of 25 words or less that feature threads and plots about The Magicke Outhouse. Check those out on Mondays and Thursdays (and "like" our page while you're at it, if you haven't yet!)

 The "Silverville Magicke" Book Tour

We've already launched into a slate of over twenty different events for our "Silverville Magicke" Book Tour -- including a combination of blog stops, book stores, libraries, arts centers, theater auditoriums, and coffeehouses -- to promote this book in particular and the whole paranormal comedy-adventure series as a whole.

In the coming days and weeks, be sure to check our author page on Amazon, which contains the most recent additions and updates on times and dates for upcoming tour stops.

In the meantime, here's the slate (a few online now passed but still accessible -- with many others still to come):
  • Oct. 15 -- Guest posting at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) blog site (you can still read the first of the three-part series here)
  • Oct. 24 -- Guest posting at the  RMFW blog site (you can still read the second of the three-part series here)
  • Oct. 29 -- Guest posting at the RMFW blog site (you can still read the third of this three-part series here)
  • Nov. 6 -- Guest interview on Ellie Garrat's blog site (you can still check out our interview by Ellie here)
  • THE MAGICKE OUTHOUSE officially hits the streets!
  • Nov. 20 -- Guest blog stop at Julie Luek's blog site (here's the link)
  • Nov. 20 -- Guest blog stop at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog site (click here that day)
  • Nov. 22 -- A stop back at Ellie Garrat's blog site now the book is out! (this time click here)
  • Dec. 5 -- Book reading (with wine, cheese, and music!) at The Book Haven, 135 F Street, Salida, CO, 81201. 
  • Dec. 6 -- Book signing (with refreshments) at The Book Worm, 211 N Main St, Gunnison, CO  81230-2401, 5-6 p.m.
  • Dec. 11 -- Book reading (with refreshments) in the West Wing of  Savage Library on Western State Colorado University's campus, (600 N. Adams St., Gunnison, CO 81231, 5:30 - 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 28 -- Book reading at Milagros Coffeehouse, 529 Main St, Alamosa, CO 81101, 4-5 p.m.
  • Jan. 4 -- Book reading at Townie Books, 414 Elk Ave, Crested Butte, CO 81224, 6-7 p.m.
  • Jan (date/time TBA) -- Book reading at The Coffee Trader, 845 E Main St, Montrose, CO 81401
  • Feb. (date/time TBA) -- Book reading at the Sherbino Theater, 604 Clinton St, Ridgway, CO 81432
  • March 1 -- Book reading at Blue Sage Center for the Arts along with Hugo Award-winning author Paulo Bacigalupi, 228 Grand Ave, Paonia, CO 81428, 7 p.m.
  • Spring 2014 (date TBA) -- Blog tour stop at Stephen Tremp's W4WS site (here's the link)
  • Apr 3 -- Guest posting at the RMFW blog site
  • May 1 -- Guest posting at the RMFW blog site
  • June 5 -- Guest posting at the RMFW blog site

Sunday, November 10, 2013

An excerpt from THE MAGICKE OUTHOUSE (Silverville Saga, #3), forthcoming later this month

We're pleased to announce that The Magicke Outhouse (Silverville Saga, #3) is on track to release at the end of the week before Thanksgiving in both hard copy and e-reader formats.

We're working on setting dates for readings and blog tour stops, and will share these very soon.

In the meantime, we thought we'd share a sneak-peek at the book with a short excerpt.

(In the scene that follows, Ka Catchers staff members April Schauers and Mica Musil escort a client to the outhouse “Time Portal.” Their guest, Mr. Smith, is an international diplomat traveling incognito, who wants to visit ancient Turkey. Enjoy and tell us what you  think!)
April accompanied Micah and Mr. Smith as far as the flashy façade hiding the outhouse. Along the way, the Ka Catcher team stressed the importance of focusing on the time and place once inside The Time Portal.
“It’s sort of like what Dorothy did when she clicked her heels together three times,” Micah said. “’There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.’ And that’s where she ended up.”
“What?” Mr. Smith asked. “Who is this Dorothy?”
“Never mind,” April said. “You just think about southern Turkey and goat herding twelve-thousand years ago.”
Micah unlocked the façade door, and he and Mr. Smith entered.
“Bon voyage, Mr. Smith,” April called out. “Have a good trip.”
She waited outside but heard him gasp and say, “Is this some sort of joke?” Yep, Micah must be leading him into the outhouse.
After a few minutes, Micah joined her.
“He’s on his way,” he said.
“How long before I can go on my own Day Trip?” She’d decided her destination would be Tintagel Castle in fifth-century Cornwall, England. She didn’t expect to find the Round Table or Holy Grail, but she wanted to see if there really was a King Arthur and Merlin.
“Beats me. Now’s as good a time as any, I guess.”
They entered through the façade, but Micah stopped at the outhouse door. “You’re on your own from here.”
April took a deep breath and approached the door.
“Wait!” Micah reached out, touching her arm. “Maybe you should take out your contacts first. Gonna be in there for a while.”
She popped out the designer star lenses, placed them in a small carrying case, and dropped it in her pocket.
Giving him a hug, she stepped inside the outhouse.
* * *
April barely had time to notice Mr. Smith slumped against the wall, or the sign on the inside door, reading, “This Way Out,” before she found herself curled up next to a rock on a grassy hill.
The first sound she heard was the nearby bleating of goats.
Still a little disoriented, she stood and turned in circles for signs of a castle. But as far as she could see there was nothing but rolling hills dotted with grazing goats. She trotted up a knoll to get a better of idea of how close she was to the coast of the Celtic Sea.
No water in sight.
She looked down at her clothing. Clearly a man’s, but instead of the fifth-century linen or woolen garb she expected, her clothing more resembled a shift dress of crude animal skins. This didn’t look like Arthur’s Cornwall, or even Dorothy’s Kansas.
Her destination looked a lot more like southern Turkey twelve-thousand years ago.
But if that were so, where was Mr. Smith?
From her knoll, she saw a disturbance in the herd. All the animals moved away from one particular goat, which looked at her and started bleating.
The unpopular goat started up the knoll, running toward her. At the moment it rounded a craggy outcropping, a large spotted leopard leaped from one of the rocks and took down the goat with a single swipe.
She watched in horror as the cat settled over the carcass to devour its prey.
* * *
Micah sat in a folding chair situated just outside the outhouse. He unscrewed his thermos and took a swig of coffee to wash down the donut. He figured this part of his job would be the most boring. The waiting. At least he’d remembered to bring a book.
He still worried about two people taking Day Trips at the same time. Initially, Buford had proposed offering multiple-party trips, but he and April had talked him out of it. They certainly hadn’t worked through the consequences, and here they were, trying it on the spur of the moment anyway. He thought back to April’s argument about her own trip. What could go wrong? Chances were, nothing, but it still made him uncomfortable.
He sure wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her. Yeah, she was bossy, but she had stood up for him when Buford had tried to short them on pay. And April sure looked great in that Cleopatra outfit she wore during the commercial’s filming.
She was beautiful, confident, clever – and she lived in the twenty-first century. Of course, she wore lizard lenses and lied for effect. He’d never met anybody so eccentric, but that made her all the more interesting. And despite their rocky introduction, they’d become comrades-in-arms against a world created by Buford Price. Micah even found himself imagining the two of them as a couple.
He laughed out loud. No girl had ever liked spending time with him. Still, was it possible she might one day see more in him than just a coworker? Only one way to find out: He’d take the plunge, invite her to a movie or out to coffee.
Pushing into the chair to find a more comfortable position, he leaned back and daydreamed about a future with someone as complicated as April.
An hour later, the outhouse door blew open and the woman of his dreams stumbled out.
“Micah!” she gasped.
“That was quick.” He moved over to help steady her. “How come you’re back so soon?”
Breathing hard, she rasped, “Mr. Smith …”
“He back already, too?” He looked toward the outhouse.
“That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Mr. Smith isn’t coming back.”

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Breakfast the Pig Sings "Happy Birthday" and MAGICKE OUTHOUSE countdown

THE MAGICKE OUTHOUSE (Silverville Saga, #3) releases in only three weeks!

We're excited to make an appearance at Ellie Garret's blog on her featured Spec Fic Authors spotlight this week during our pre-launch promo. Be sure to check out her interview with us at her blogsite on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

A couple of other novelty promos attached to the launch:

As many of you know already, one new addition to our menagerie of characters is Breakfast the Pig, who has a pivotal role in the climax of the latest book when she sings "Happy Birthday."

We've created bookplates that have impressions of the end of Breakfast's snout, which we'll be giving out at readings. And anyone who buys the book outside of the readings can also request the bookplate, "autographed" by all three of us, and we'd be happy to send it snail-mail.

In anticipation of TMO's release, we've also just uploaded a video to YouTube of Breakfast -- she's a real pig, honest, and the inspiration for the character in the book -- singing "Happy Birthday":

Help us make this clip GO VIRAL by going directly to the site at

And stay tuned for more updates as we approach the release, including other blog tour stops and f2f readings.