FORMATTING EBOOKS

From the beginning, I have done the formatting for my own ebooks. I’ve done this because I’ve always  enjoyed  the typographic design I’ve seen in so many printed volumes. The free program called Sigil, along with learning a small amount of HTML have enabled me to recreate much of the traditional conventions of print book typography. I found some of these niceties simply could not be done with the semi- automatic meat-grinder programs coming into use at the time. And I’ve had a lot of fun creating the covers for each of them, too.

It’s also been fun to coach a couple of other writers as they enter the ebook world and earn that some of this stuff isn’t as hard to  get through as they had thought.

From time to time, I may post some details about my adventures in formatting and cover creation.


A first-hand remembrance of the making of the classic short film Johnny Lingo. In this small memoir, one of its key makers recalls not only his recollections of an enthusiastic cast and crew, but the unusual and little-known last-minute circumstances involved in finding a location that he and others believe made it possible for the film to be made. Even at the time of its release, few outside its crew were aware of these events. The film was released um-teen years ago—well, in 1969—with little fanfare. But it is fondly remembered today by legions who have seen it. It is even remembered by many more who were not yet born when the film was made, and it is still being shown today.

 How did this happen? Part of the answer may lie in the purpose for which the film was made: it is a portrayal of love and loyalty and respect that is timeless.

$1.99—Buy for the Kindle

I have always been fascinated by the time period of the 1930s, and many of the stories you’ll find here are set in or close to that time. It was the last period in the history of the world when there were vast areas still relatively remote and unexplored. There were cities whose names whispered mystery, adventure and romance. Certain names fairly glowed with an enticing aura of the unknown: Istanbul, Cairo, Baghdad, Lhassa, Shanghai, Calcutta, Rio. And more.

What changed that world, of course, was World War II, and I’ve always thought it was a great loss. Fortunately, there are still stories to be told about that time, many of which could have happened in our own backyard, a place that could also be full of mystery, adventure, and romance. You can still find a few small, tattered remnants of that world in the political wilds of, say, Washington DC, or London, or Paris, or Moscow, but when any kind of light is shone on their dark corners, what you’ll see today is usually more tawdry than romantic.

A lot of things are going wrong in Lt. Blake’s war, especially as Christmas approaches. His hopes of glory in combat are dashed by a new job and a swift promotion. When he sets up his new headquarters in an empty building, dimly remembered as a former saloon, and the best gathering place in the North African city of Casablanca, he is haunted by the big blowup on his last evening with Lillian, his fiancé. And by Lucianne, a woman he glimpses in the streets of the city, who eerily reminds him of her.


It doesn’t help that he thinks he can sit on the sidelines as the French turn on their own heroes and charge them as traitors because they tried to help the American landings come off without bloodshed. On Christmas eve, Blake has a decision to make. Lucianne just needs a little help to arrange her husband’s escape to Lisbon.

A novella. $3.99—Get it for the Kindle


Ben Maxx is a young man with a dream in the golden age of Hollywood.

He quickly casts aside his new college diploma to follow a haunting desire to make travelogues as he walks in the footsteps of his great grandfather, a renowned world traveler and lecturer who left vivid descriptions of the fabled cities of the earth. To follow the dream, he takes passage  on a ship bound for Rio de Janeiro, expecting a sensuous interlude in a sun-washed paradise.

 But even before he steps ashore, his world is turned upside down. His cameraman and mentor is brutally murdered, and he is quickly faced with the reality of his own lack of experience, and with sudden doubts of his own ability. At the same time, he is ready to fall in love with a beautiful English girl he meets on the voyage. But it seems she only wants to play the role of a good undercover agent and discover what happened to a secret roll of microfilm.

With few resources, Ben struggles to make sense of the murder and of brutal rivalries he discovers ashore. He must not only learn his new trade in a hurry, but quickly discover whether he has the will to take another life that desperately seeks his own. Of one thing he is sure. His long-dead idol is standing by, looking on, offering encouragement. But that is the trouble. That seems to be all he is doing.

A Ben Maxx novel.  $4.99—Buy for the Kindle


BLAKE’S SALOON . . .

a story for the Christmas Season


Holmes receives a Christmas card he is sure could have been sent by none other than the nefarious professor he had seen fall to his death some years before.


At the same time, he observes the very underpinnings and core beliefs of society worldwide are being challenged by an archeologist’s shocking discoveries in his latest diggings in the Holy Land. He has found ancient documents that offer incontrovertible proof that Christianity is nothing more than an ancient scheme. These documents reveal intimate details of how the plotters would carry out their fraud and advance their nefarious plans using an ordinary Galilean carpenter’s death.

Everywhere, the foundations of Christianity crumble. Churches of every denomination quickly begin to empty as these ancient plans are revealed to the public. One of the notable casualties of these revelations is the quick demise of a beloved holiday. . . Christmas.

When the young daughter of his news vendor asks Holmes to bring Christmas back, Holmes is forced to admit he is powerless to help. Nevertheless, in spite of abundant scientific proof, he takes her case. Perhaps because his mind is simply preoccupied with that Christmas card.

A novela $3.99—Buy for the Kindle

Home BOOKSHELF Christmas Johnny Lingo ABOUT Contact