This page is dedicated to my Non-Fiction work. To get more information about a particular title, follow the link to the publisher's website. If you're interested in seeing more of my work, click on the buttons on the sidebar.




Books

The Fantasy Writer's Companion

Publisher: Dragon Moon Press

Release Date: 2004

Description: My god friend Tee Morris asked me to contribute to this handbook on writing fantasy. My chapter, "Getting in Touch with your Inner Fan: Writing for RPG and Media Tie-Ins," takes you step-by-step through the process of writing a novel set in a universe popularized in the movies, on television, or in games. The Fantasy Writer's Companion was a finalist for a 2005 EPPIE award for Best non-fiction ebook of 2004 as well as a finalist for ForeWord Magazine's 2004 Book of the Year award.


PowerTouch: Dinosaurs

Publisher: Fisher-Price

Release Date: 2003

Description: This is an interactive electronic book about Dinosaurs for the Fisher-Price PowerTouch learning system. I helped concept the book and the activities, did the research and wrote the initial draft for all of the layered responses that children get when they touch the various words and images on the pages. The book is broken into the three main dinosaur eras: Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous, and presents carnivores, herbivores, flyers, and swimmers from  each era. The Dinosaurs book and software was a 2003 Toy Tips Tested award winner.




Interviews

Terry Pratchett Goes Postal

Magazine: Amazing Stories #608

Date: February 2005

Author Website: Sir Terry Pratchett

Description: I had the chance to sit down with Terry Pratchett at Noreascon 4 (the 2004 World Science Fiction and Convention) over Labor Day Weekend in Boston. We talked for an hour over dinner for an interview feature that appeared a few months later in Amazing Stories. In the future, I hope to reprint the actual interview on these pages, but for now, you'll have to buy a back copy to see what Sir Terry had to say.


Rob Sawyer Interview

Author Website: Robert J. Sawyer

Description: During the 2004 World Science Fiction Convention in Boston, I also had the chance to interview Rob Sawyer, author of the Hugo-award-winning novel Hominids, as well as FlashForward, which was turned into a compelling (and all-too-short-liv ed) TV series. l had hoped to publish this interview in Amazing Stories as well. Unfortunately, the magazine went on hiatus, so the interview was never published. I will post a pdf version of this interview soon, so watch this space.



Inspirational Talks

During my freelance days in Buffalo, I routinely delivered inspirational talks at our local, lay-lead, Unitarian Universalist church. Below are descriptions of these "sermons." I hope to gather them all together in the near future and present them here as an e-book.

The Spirit of Thanksgiving

Date: November 27, 2005

Description: The latest in my string of sermons that delve into the real history of modern rituals and holidays, this one looks at a shining moment in the history of our relations with Native Americans. The Pilgrims actually got it right (for a while), and I submit that we should finally learn this 400-year-old lesson of how to treat our fellow man and give thanks to the Pilgrims for showing us how.

A Light to Guide Us

Date: October 30, 2005

Description: For this Halloween eve service, I discuss the pagan roots of the holiday and discuss the true meanings of the rituals of trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns, and dressing up like ghouls and goblins. In the end, this is less a celebration of the dead than a time to remember those who have fallen.

In Defense of Marriage

Date: May 15, 2005

Description: Marriage has a long and storied past dating back to the Babylonians, Egyptians, and probably beyond. It has taken many forms and meant many different things to different peoples. And yet, our modern-day politicians claim that the cohesive heritage of marriage gives them the right to deny this basic right to an entire class of people. Boy are they wrong! .

Celebrating Spring

Date: March 7, 2005

Description: Historically, Spring has been a time of rebirth and renewal of the spirit. In this sermon, I take a look at the origins of Spring Religious Celebrations, and find some interesting parallels between rituals from different religions. You might be surprised to find out where the Easter Bunny and baskets lines with grass really come from.

Facing Dystopia

Date: November 21, 2004

Description: For this sermon, I re-read the two classic tales of dystopia - 1984 by George Orwell and A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - and compared them to the state of our world today. The parallels are often frightening. In this sermon I discuss whether our current world is facing one of these dystopias or perhaps one of our own making.

Imagine a Better World

Date: September 19, 2004

Description: For the third anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I discussed John Lennon's lasting legacy, his eternal search for a more peaceful world, and the powerful song that to this day brings flooding back all of the emotions I felt after those brutal attacks on our buildings, our people, our very safety and way of life.

Perils of an Anonymous Society

Date: February 8, 2004

Description: Has the Internet doomed us to a lifetime of computer viruses, spam, rude behavior, and attacks on our very identities? In this sermon I posit that the anonymity of our new information age society has left us with not enough safeguards against these and other attacks. But is the answer more surveillance or more accountability?

Does God Believe in Us?

Date: December 28, 2003

Description: In Robert J. Sawyer's novel Calculating God, aliens come to Earth looking for proof of the existence of God in our fossil records. In this sermon, I discuss not only the existence of a universal creator, but what such a being truly wants from his or her (its) creation. Just a hint, I don't think it's blind adoration or crusades in his name.

Stranger in a Strange Land

Date: October 26, 2003

Description: This is the book that had the most profound effect on my worldview as an adolescent. It started me down the road from a conservative republican, Lutheran to a liberal, democratic, Unitarian Universalist. For this sermon, I re-read my turning-point novel and found a lot of UU philosophy inside that I shared with the congregation.

People of Principle

Date: March 16, 2003

Description: UUs try to live by a set of seven principles, including the inherent worth and dignity of every person, justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, and respect for the interdependent web of all existence. This sermon discusses the history and the meaning of the principles.

Creation, God, and Immortality

Date: January 26, 2003

Description: In this sermon, I discuss the relationship between the creative spark and the belief in God; between the procreative act and the divine. The Greeks thought muses breathed inspiration into their bodies. That inspiration begets the creation of everything from great poetry to children; and that may be our true path to immortality.

Science, Fiction, and Fantasy -
The New Mythologies

Date: March 16, 2003

Description: In ages past, man explained the mysteries of the world through mythical stories of Gods, Goddesses, Titans, and Monsters. In the age of reason, those myths were cast aside for the mythology of science. But there are still things science cannot explain, such as why we cannot get along with our fellow man. For the answers to those social questions, many turn to SF and fantasy.