Be Sure to Check Out All the Stops on My Blog Tour!

July 29, 2013 in Books, Data Runner, Writing

Okay, so I know I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. That tends to happen when you get deep into a new writing project. Everything else just kind of falls by the wayside. But that’s not to say that I don’t have some new posts for you guys. My blog tour to promote Data Runner starts today, so be sure to check out my guest posts/interview at the sites listed below.

Monday July 29, 2013

The first stop on the tour is YA’s The Word by Katja, where you can read my post called “My Favorite Kind of Dystopian: When Hi-Tech meets Lo-Tech”

Tuesday July 30, 2013

The second stop on the tour is an interview with Books4Tomorrow where I talk about writing and publishing Data Runner, as well as reveal some personal details about my own life and how it has affected my growth as a writer. Here’s a little sample…

What would your choice of music be as a theme-song for Data Runner?

For the action sequences, I definitely imagine music that gets the blood pumping. Something industrial like Rage Against the Machine or Nine Inch Nails. I love the cover of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross did for David Fincher’s remake of Dragon Tattoo. I would love for those two to score the parkour action in Data Runner.

Wednesday July 31, 2013

Today’s stop on the blog tour is at Books and their Worldly Realm, where you can read my post entitled Writing Action: How I Brought the Parkour to Life in Data Runner. A definite must read for anyone writing an action-driven story.

Thursday Aug 1, 2013

Okay, you’re probably getting a little tired of hearing me talk about the book. How about hearing what someone else has to say? Today’s stop on the blog tour is a lengthy review and giveaway by Arra Abella on her Style Reader blog. Be sure to check it out for a chance to win a free copy of Data Runner.

Friday Aug 2, 2013

And the final stop on the blog tour is… a very insightful review by HeartJess at her awesome blog Such a Novel Idea. If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely check it out.

Data Runner Featured as a Nook First!

July 1, 2013 in Books, Data Runner, Parkour, Writing

I’m pleased to announce that Data Runner has been selected as a Nook First: Compelling Reads From Emerging Authors. The book itself can be found here at Barnes & Noble.

With all that, I’d just like to take a minute to welcome all my Nook readers who may have found their way here through their eReaders/tablets. And to all my readers who have found their way here through whatever means, I thought I’d take a moment to tell you a bit about the book and why I wanted to write it.

If you want to know how I first envisioned the idea for Data Runner, you need look no further than the prologue. The vision of a young courier being chased across rooftops with an army of private security on his tail was the seed for what would eventually become this book. I’ve always loved corporate espionage, particularly when it’s blended with sci-fi, and that was one area I felt had yet to be explored as a modern Young Adult story. I’ve always loved the early cyberpunk novels of William Gibson, and there is no question of his influence in my story (sneakernet, megacorporations, etc.). What I really wanted to do was bring back that particular genre of sci-fi and modernize it for the current YA audience.

One of the ways I wanted to modernize it was by using the modern form of running known as parkour. But unlike other books that simply describe the action of parkour, I wanted to get underneath it to the core philosophy behind the Art of Movement. That’s what makes this story different. Just as it is in real life, the parkour in my book isn’t just a series of movements executed by the characters, it is a way of life that requires as much discipline and dedication as any martial art.

Data Runner is a fast-paced, action-packed, thrill ride. If you’re a fan of classic cyberpunk, it’s certainly not a book to be missed. Even if you’re not a fan of classic cyberpunk, or if you’ve never even heard of cyberpunk, the one comment I’ve been seeing over and over again is how unique this book is. And in this day and age, when everything is a copy of a copy of a copy, anything unique is not to be missed.



5 Days, 20 Hours, 20 Minutes and counting… Data Runner drop date almost here!

June 19, 2013 in Books, Data Runner, Writing

Wow, I can’t believe the Data Runner drop date is almost here! With all the pre-marketing we’ve been doing, it’s actually kind of surreal to realize that people will no longer have to tag Data Runner for future reading but will be able to download and read it on the spot.

There’s been some really good buzz that I want to share with you guys. I just found out today that Data Runner has been featured as a Teen Beach Read on iBookstore (click here for Data Runner on iBookstore), so that’s exciting.

I also want to share an awesome review written by fellow YA author (and UM alumni) Braxton Cosby. Here’s a snippet…

I’m running. I’m running. And I can’t stop. As an ex-track athlete who spent most of his time doing the exact same thing in high school and college, I can appreciate a good run. I was a hurdler. Leaping over a 42 inch barrier, running full speed, with multiple adversaries in the adjacent lanes next to you is no small feat. It takes a great degree of focus and energy . . . Sam Patel set out to create a new series that captures the essence of these elements with his stunning debut in Data Runner.

Please do check out the full review here at Cosby’s Corner.

I’m also pleased to announce that I will be doing a guest post called “Building a Different Kind of Dystopia” for Writing Belle on July 8th, so keep your eyes open for that as well.

That’s about it for now. More updates to follow…


There is Magic in the World

May 27, 2013 in Media, Sports, Writing

Tony Kanaan Holding Necklace (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports)

Tony Kanaan Holding Necklace
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports)

If you’re as big an Indy 500 fan as I am, you were probably just as thrilled to see Tony Kanaan finally win the race this past Sunday. But as much as I loved watching a great driver get the accolade he so greatly deserved on merit alone, there was something else that struck me about his victory. Something magical.

If you don’t know the story, it goes like this…

Nine years ago, Tony Kanaan went to visit a very sick young girl in the hospital who was already in a coma and was about to have critical surgery on a life-threatening brain hemorrhage. Her chances were not good. In that moment, wanting to help her the only way he knew how, TK gave the young girl’s mother the good luck charm that his own mother had given to him for protection, which he carried with him whenever he raced. The necklace was kept close all through the surgery and turned out to be very good luck for the 15-year-old girl as well, who survived the ordeal and was able to make a full recovery.

But little did TK know that her gain was to be his loss. That year he finished second. And for the next eight races, after a series of frustrations and misfortunes that would include two races finishing under caution, the checkered flag would always elude him. Once, when TK’s young son asked him when he would finally come home to Brazil, he told his boy that he did not want to come home empty-handed; that he would return when he had a trophy for him.

Flash forward to last week. A few days before the 2013 running of the Indy 500, the now 24-year-old mother to her own infant baby FedExed a package to TK’s garage at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Inside was TK’s good luck charm that he had given to her nine years earlier and which had helped guide her back to health. For nine years she’d held that necklace on race day, hoping for nothing more than victory for her favorite driver, and for nine years she’d shared in his disappointment. So now she wanted to help him the only way she knew how. The note attached said that she was returning the necklace to him so that he could go out there on Sunday and win. Win. Tony Kanaan took the charm with him into the race, as he always did so many years earlier.

Running in 2nd place under a yellow flag with just under four laps to go, Tony Kanaan said over his radio that it was all or nothing; he was going to go for it. The restart was tight, with at least four drivers gunning for the lead, but TK passed on the inside and inched into 1st. A minute later, with just two laps to go, last year’s winner Dario Franchitti went into the wall and brought out another yellow flag with TK still in the lead. Once again, Tony Kanaan finished the race under caution, only this time he was the victor.

As TK wiped the tears from his eyes and pulled his lucky necklace from out of his pocket to show the world, I realized that there is magic in the world. Maybe not in the trinket he carried in his pocket, but certainly in the story itself. Sometimes a narrative comes along that is bigger than life itself—a perfect cocktail of tragedy and triumph shaken with an exact measure of coincidence or fate (depending upon your world view). A story like this is a story for the ages, and whether or not it ever gets shaped into a formal narrative, it is one that captures the spirit and essence of the human condition.

I don’t believe in physical magic. I don’t believe in the alchemy of water into wine or lead into gold, but I do believe there is a kind of magic we can all share, and that’s the magic of story. Real magic lies not in the physical world but in the way we interpret that world into our own existence. And that interpretation—that narrative—is enough to bring tears to the eyes and a standing ovation whenever it happens.

Congratulations Tony Kanaan, and here’s hoping that your first victory isn’t your last.

Neil Gaiman Delivers Killer Keynote at London Book Fair.

April 20, 2013 in Books, Writing

Neil Gaiman, who is always on the cutting edge of new media, urges publishers to take a more “dandelion” approach to e-publishing.

Here’s an excerpt. Watch the whole thing below…

“Mammals spend an awful lot of energy on infants, on children, they spend nine months of our lives gestating, and then they get two decades of attention from us, because we’re putting all of our attention into this one thing we want to grow. Dandelions on the other hand will have thousands of seeds and they let them go where they like, they don’t really care. They will let go of 1,000 seeds, and 100 of them will sprout”

Top Ten Storytelling Cliches Writers Need To Stop Using

April 8, 2013 in Writing

Great list by Rob W. Hart at Lit Reactor

Cliché is the enemy of good writing.

We, as writers, are trained to kill clichéd phrases in sentences. But that’s not the only place they can hide—they can infect the spaces between the words, too.

Clichés can infect storytelling techniques.

Need to build some tension? Have a time bomb with a digital readout slowly ticking down to zero!

Is your narrator a dick? Blame it on abusive parents!

Want to get all writerly in conveying the plot? Put it in a dream!

These are storytelling devices that pop up again and again, crutches for the writer to lean on and help move the story along without actually having to stretch their abilities. What follows are, to my mind, the worst of the bunch.

Click here for full article at Lit Reactor