Friday, January 23, 2015

Hey, long time no see!

So... it's been a while, yes?

The reason for this is that I had come to the realization that I'd been focusing so intently on my writings that I was ignoring my family entirely. I would work during the day and then come home, say hi, and write all night. I hardly spent any time with my wife or daughters, so I decided that that needed to stop immediately. I gave myself a reality check! So from April 2014 until now I sat aside my writing hobby and became a better husband and dad. Now that I feel I've gotten my priorities straight again, I'm ready to pick up where I had left off.

To remind everyone, I was working on the third book of my Anderson series (the first two being Cicada Song and Not Quite Home) and I had previously been calling it Janie's Gift. I was thirteen chapters in when I stopped, and now I'm looking at it wondering if I should make some changes in my approach to the story. I'm mulling it over right now and hope to make a decision on whether or not to change it soon. Also, I've tentatively changed the title of Janie's Gift to Remembering Roses. I'm not sure if it'll stick or not, but I like it a lot more than any of the previous titles I've come up with for the story. I have a feeling that Remembering Roses will be what ends up on the spine.

If it takes me too long to decide how I want to approach Remembering Roses, then I'll set it aside and work on another project while I debate my uncertainties toward the story. I wouldn't be abandoning it as much as just putting it off to make sure that it's done justice. I've had two completely unbiased people named Mom and Grandma read what I've written so far, and they loved it; so I'm apparently on a good path. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, March 10, 2014

I've Decided On My Next Book!

In my previous post, I had mentioned an audio drama that I was working on for Witch Doctor Films. Well, I wrote over half of it before they contacted me and asked if I'd be willing to finish a movie script that someone else had begun. I accepted, and we switched projects. Well, almost immediately I noticed that Cicada Song (which I made permanently free last month) got an uptick in downloads. As a result of this, Not Quite Home also got an uptick in sales. Wanting to capitalize on this, I contacted Witch Doctor Films and unfortunately dropped out of the project so I could focus on the next Anderson book. They understood completely (as I was helping them out for free) and complimented what I had written of the audio drama. They had finished it up and are very happy with my portion and theirs combined. I'll let you guys know when that one and the previous one are released. The previous one should be released soon.

Also, the paperback copies of Not Quite Home and Flitter & Plank 2: A Pixie Problem are coming soon. As expected, I had to do some edits to the covers. I'll have them out very soon. And in case anyone missed it, the paperback for From the Ruin of Extinction (Refuge book 1) is available on Amazon.

Now, I had mentioned before that I was torn on my next project. I mentioned the second Refuge book, the third Flitter & Plank book, and the paranormal book that I had begun for a writing contest. Well, I was also debating the third Anderson book but didn't feel I was ready to write it. After giving it more thought, I think I am. This next book will be like Cicada Song and Not Quite Home in that it will be a stand alone story that can be read independently from the other novels. But for those who have read the previous two Anderson novels, they'll get a bigger kick out of characters, locations, and events that come into play.

This book had previously been called Grandfather's Letters and then Janie's Gift, and now I'm questioning that title as well. So I don't know what to call it. I suppose I'll just call it Janie's Gift for now, but know that the title is tentative and could change at the drop of a hat. I'll tell you this though: this is the book that my mom has wanted me to write since I first explained the premise to her years ago. She was actually disappointed in Not Quite Home because she thought that was supposed to be this one until after it was already finished. So now she's getting her wish.

Without ruining anything, I can say this... one character that is returning for this story is Dave Blevens, the retiring school janitor in Not Quite Home. There will be other cameos as well... much like the Cicada Song characters in Not Quite Home... but Dave will have a very important role in it. I'm super excited to tell this story. I'll begin writing it in the next few days.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A LOOOOONG Overdue Update!

So here’s a little update on what’s been going on. I’m writing this quickly, so please excuse any grammar issues there may be.

I’ve been writing and editing like mad, but very little of it has seen the light of day until now.

From the Ruin of Extinction, the first book of my Christian Fantasy series called Refuge, is finished and officially for sale at most online retailers. I’m very proud of this story as it is a retelling of my very first, serious book attempt. I’m eager to write the sequel, but more on that in a moment.

The next book that I wrote was the loose sequel to Cicada Song called Not Quite Home. It’s a standalone story that does not need to be read following Cicada Song, but those who read my first novel would certainly get more out of the characters who show up or some events that are mentioned. The eBook is now finished and ready to be purchased at most online retailers. The paperback edition is still in the proofing stage. Basically, it’s ready to go, but I’m waiting on a preview copy to come in the mail for me to look over and approve. I expect to have to make at least one round of corrections on the cover, so I expect Not Quite Home's paperback edition to be ready for purchase in a few weeks.

The third novel that I've been preparing is Flitter & Plank 2: A Pixie Problem. This is obviously the sequel to my first juvenile chapter book staring fairies, dryads, and my daughters Paige & Kelsey: The Adventures of Flitter & Plank. It is in the exact same status as Not Quite Home. The eBook is available for purchase, but the paperback edition is in the proofing stages. It'll be ready in a few weeks.

So there we go. It feels good to FINALLY be caught up (mostly), and it really excites me that I can move on to other things. I’m torn on which direction to go, though. I am eager to get the Refuge series finished, so I sorta want to get that one written before anything else. I also like the idea of writing another Flitter & Plank novel while my girls are still young. Paige, my oldest daughter, just turned 10 years old, and I don’t know how much longer she’ll enjoy helping me with those. I already have the story in mind. It just needs written. Putting a wrench in both of those ideas, however, is a little paranormal story I call Solitary Village. I wrote a short story for a contest a couple months ago that was always meant to be the beginning of a longer tale. Well, it wasn’t selected for the contest, but I really enjoy what I wrote and am eager to get back to it. Plus, I already have a good chunk of it started. So wouldn’t it make sense to go ahead and finish it? Well, the jury is out. I’m still debating on which of these to focus on next (likely starting in the next week or two). It’ll likely be the second Refuge book, but we’ll see.

In addition to the book updates, I’ve also been asked to write a second audio drama for Witch Doctor Films. I wrote one last year that was taped and is in the process of being edited now. They liked it so much they asked me to come back and do another. That’s actually the next project that I’ll be working on. It’s the reason I haven’t decided which book to work on next. I have time. I’ll give more updates on this project when I have them.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my work and blog. If you could be so kind, please spread the word.


Bradford Combs

Monday, September 2, 2013

Flitter & Plank 2: A Pixie Problem is Written!

Today is the final day of my stay-home vacation. In that time I completed the writing of Flitter & Plank 2: A Pixie Problem (formerly called The Temptation of Flitter) and have done the early stages of editing on it. Today, I am sending it out to some proofreaders to get opinions and grammatical corrections.

The writing of this children's novel was a lot of fun. Like with the Adventures of Flitter & Plank, I wanted this to be a project that my daughters and I could work on together. Well, Kelsey was all for helping out, but Paige was more reserved. Unlike Kelsey, Paige doesn't like being the center of attention. She doesn't like how other kids or teachers react when they find out she's in a book, so she wanted to sit this one out. I was disappointed, but I respected her decision. However, once Kelsey and I started hammering out the plot, Paige just couldn't help but to jump back in. Woohoo! Or in Paige's words: "I guess you can say I'm back on board with Flitter & Plank 2."

Together we planned out the plot, which of their cousins were going to be in it (it was a negotiation... I wanted a few, they wanted all of them plus some), which colors the new fairy was going to be, what her name is, etc. When it was all said and done, I started writing. The ending is always open ended and when I got there I came up with a few ideas how how to cap the story off. I ran the ideas by Paige and Kelsey, and just like Paige and Kelsey, they wanted different endings. So we came up with a compromise and I finished it up.

A Pixie Problem has most of the characters from the Adventures of Flitter & Plank, though Mommy, Daddy, Grandma Sandy, Pineroot, and even Father Ferret are in smaller roles. I had to make these adjustments to fit in the new characters like Sunshine the Fairy, the villainous Dusk Queen, Plank's brothers Barkwood and Driftwood, and Driftwood's best friend Mushroom (remember that mushroom-looking dryad from the Adventures of Flitter & Plank? Yeah, I thought I'd give him a bigger role). Also making their Flitter & Plank debut is Paige & Kelsey's cousins Lucy and Austin. I wanted to add more, but with so many characters it was hard squeezing even these two in.

The book is much faster pace with a lot more action, it checks out at a solid 3rd grade reading level (like the first one), and it's hopefully still enjoyable by boys and girls, children and adults alike. I know it'll be primarily enjoyed by girls (hey, it has fairies in it) but there are a lot of dryad scenes, and adding Austin in is an attempt to please the few boy readers I may have.

I'm very proud of this book and am eager to get it into people's hands. We still need to draw some pictures, and I'm overworking my cover guy lately so I'll be trying to teach myself how to use photoshop, but I'll let everyone know when it's ready for purchase (as this one will be set up as an eBook). And to close out this entry, here's a conversation I had with Paige and Kelsey's 9-year old cousin Austin:

Me - "Hey, Austin! You're going to be in the next Flitter & Plank!"

He gets excited.

Austin - "Really?!"

Me - "Yeah, you're helping Paige and Kelsey take on pixies!"

Suddenly he's not as excited.

Austin - "Really? Pixies? You couldn't have me fighting Germans or something?"

Well, if I'm going out of my way to let Paige and Kelsey plan parts of this book, I thought I'd help my nephew Austin out as well. So when you see scenes of him fighting imaginary Nazis... now you know why :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Writing Update for 8-16-2013

It's been a while so I thought I'd give everyone an update!

NOT QUITE HOME (2nd book of the Anderson series following CICADA SONG)

The writing and initial editing is finished and the book is currently in the hands of the proofreaders. I should have all those back by September 1st which is when I'll compile everything they have to say and make whatever changes I feel is best for the story. Once that process is finished, I'll probably give it one more read through (or more if it is warranted) before pitching it to agents.


While waiting for the proofreaders to finish Not Quite Home, I've decided to jump ahead to my next project: the sequel to The Adventures of Flitter & Plank. I have started writing this book, and with an upcoming 12-day stay-at-home vacation coming up starting next week, I should finish this book extremely quickly. My goal is to have it written with at least 2 rounds of edits by the end of August. The book was tentatively titled The Temptation of Flitter, but I think I might change that. We'll see.


This is still available as an eBook, but the paperback is on hold. It is currently being considered by Little Roni Press, so I don't want to move forward with the paperback until I hear back from them. Wish me luck! Do note, if they do decide to take on the book, the eBook will be dropped so that we can put together a more professional novel. If anyone's been waiting for this one, now's the time to get the eBook because it might not be there long.

In addition to that, and depending on whether Little Roni Press takes on this book, my goal is to quickly finish Flitter & Plank 2 so that I can begin writing Refuge Book 2 (the sequel of From the Ruin of Extinction).

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Writing of Not Quite Home is Complete!

In October of 1996, teenager Michael Bailey and his family were on their way home from a family vacation when they were run off the road by a semi-truck and perished. The only survivor of the crash was Michael's older brother, who was also driving, and he left Anderson shortly after and never came back.

This was the tragic story of Michael Bailey, a character who was briefly mentioned in my first novel Cicada Song, but don't worry if you haven't read Cicada Song. Michael's fate isn't a spoiler, as it was only a minor plot mentioned in passing. But ever since I first wrote that scene, I wondered about Michael's unfortunate brother who survived and left Anderson to never return... at least through June of 2004 when Cicada Song took place. What happens to a guy who looses his entire family in an accident that he may or may not have caused? Where does he go? How does something like that affect his way of thinking? These questions stayed with me as I went on to other projects. Then I had a rather obvious epiphany. Why don't I find out?

So I spent a year or two playing with story ideas that could expand upon Michael's older brother, each idea building upon the other, and when I had the idea of expanding Cicada Song into a series focusing on the town of Anderson, I knew that this was the next story I wanted to tell. Due to constantly going back and editing Cicada Song and the Adventures of Flitter & Plank, and then writing and editing of From the Ruin of Extinction, I felt like I would never get around to telling the ultimate fate of Micheal's brother, but the time did eventually come and I've been hard at work on it for months. I was saddened when I had to take yet another break when I decided to go ahead and publish From the Ruin of Extinction. And then when I returned to it, I felt like it would never end. But end it did.

As of today, June 21, 2013, the writing portion of Not Quite Home... the story of Michael's brother, now known as Adam Bailey... is complete. There will still be at least two or three rounds of edits that will fine tune his story so that it's as enjoyable to the reader as I can make it, but know that I am extremely proud of how his story has turned out and am glad that I thought to expand upon it. Also, liking how a small plot in Cicada Song grew into the major plot of Not Quite Home, I planted the seeds in Not Quite Home for the next Anderson novel that I'm tentatively calling Janie's Gift. I won't say what those seeds are yet, but you'll find out eventually. It won't be immediate, though. The next book that I've scheduled myself to write is the sequel to the Adventures of Flitter & Plank called the Temptation of Flitter. That'll be a short children's novel, so it won't take long. Then after that is book two of the Refuge series in which From the Ruin of Extinction is book one. That will take quite a bit longer.

But first I must edit. I hate editing. It's no fun, but it must be done. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Writing Update for June 8, 2013

Starting now, I will begin providing updates on my blog ( and by connection, my personal website ( intermittently to keep my readers up to date on the projects that I'm working on and what's coming next. I'll divide the updates into sections so you can skim to find the products you're interested in, but I hope you'll read through it all and maybe find interest in something that you didn't even know I was working on. A novice writer can hope.

From the Ruin of Extinction: Refuge Book 1

This Christian Fantasy novel is completely finished and ready for publication. The only thing hindering it is the book cover. I planned out the cover and Ryan Campbell, my book cover guy and images guy, was able to put together a wonderful looking cover. The only problem is we needed a certain image that we couldn't find free to use online, or even to pay for, and so we will have to create that image ourselves. Once that is finished, and hopefully it will be in the coming weeks, we'll finish up the book cover and I can get it out to you guys.

The Anderson Series

I've done a recent update on Cicada Song, fixing some minor comma issues and things of that nature. The Paperback is updated and ready to go, but I'm holding off on updating the eBooks because I want to link From the Ruin of Extinction in there, and I can't do that until the book cover is finished. So when From the Ruin of Extinction comes out, Cicada Song's eBook will also be up to date.

As for the sequel that I'm currently writing, I'm very proud of how it's turning out. I'm 22 chapters into the story as of the writing of this update, which I estimate at being a third of the way through. It is still tentatively titled Not Quite Home, but I'm open to changing that title. I have other options that I'll be posting on facebook soon for people to give me their opinions on, but for now, Not Quite Home is sticking... even if my wife Holly doesn't care for it :)

As for the story itself, it's a new story starring a new character named Adam Bailey. If the name Bailey sounds familiar, it's because he's the older brother of Michael Bailey, Sara Campbell's first boyfriend in Cicada Song (don't worry, that's not a spoiler for those of you who haven't read Cicada Song yet). The majority of the characters from Cicada Song make appearances in Not Quite Home, some are even decent secondary characters, but overall it's a new story starring new characters with a new sense of romance, mystery, and suspense. I'm trying desperately to write it so that, even though it takes place two years after Cicada Song, it doesn't ruin anything in case someone reads Not Quite Home first and then Cicada Song. And man, I'm having a blast writing it.

The Flitter & Plank Series

I've updated The Adventures of Flitter & Plank due to there being quite a few errors in the most recent edition. This occurred because I entrusted the editing of the story to a retired editor but foolishly did not proofread his edits. He did a great job but somehow managed to add in mistakes that weren't there before, such as replacing the letter "o" with the number zero, or changing words to be grammatically correct when they weren't intended to be. Plus, I've grown as a writer since publishing this book, so I just wanted to do an overall edit to clean it up.

In the process of this edit, I came to the obvious conclusion that I probably shouldn't include Cicada Song or From the Ruin of Extinction to the "other books by this author" section because they aren't children's books. So I removed those from the eBook edition and have just uploaded the updated copy for new readers. The Paperback edition still has Cicada Song listed, but I'll be taking that out soon and update the files for my future readers.

After a wonderful experience that you can read about in my previous blog, I've decided to write the second Flitter & Plank novel once I finish Not Quite Home. It will be a quick project, hopefully taking me only a couple months from beginning to end, but it's something that I've had several kids request, including my daughter Kelsey.

Tentatively, the book will be called The Temptation of Flitter.

I will begin the writing of the second Refuge book following the second Flitter & Plank story.

The Quest for Light

When I first started writing, I wrote an epic-length fantasy adventure that I always wanted to go back and redo. That became From the Ruin of Extinction. I planned on doing the same thing to my second novel, a Young Adult fantasy novel called The Quest for Light. However, I've recently looked it over and have decided that it didn't need rewritten, just a lot of editing. I've begun converting it from present tense to past tense and have began some series edits on it. It's sort of a project between projects, and I'll release it whenever it's finished. I don't know when that will be. You'll know when I know more.

I had originally planned The Quest for Light as a series, though the first book is completely stand alone. I don't know if I will continue with that plan yet, as I have more than enough projects to keep me busy without adding follow ups for The Quest for Light, but it might happen. I still love the ideas I had and would love to come back to them. Maybe if I get some good feedback, then I'll move forward. We'll see.

Other Non-Novel Projects

The art is currently being turned in for my short comic book story in the third volume of ICONIC through the Comicbook Artist Guild. The original artist had other obligations come up and left the project, so I now have a young, aspiring artist who is having a lot of fun drawing my story. The overall project is progressing nicely and is scheduled to debut at the 2013 New York Comic Con. Once I get a link to where it can be bought online, I'll add it to my website and let you guys know.

This is an audio drama that I've written for a local film-making company called Witch Doctor Films. It will be included as an extra with their upcoming film starring the same character, though the audio drama is a separate story taking place after the film. The story has been recorded by the voice actors and I believe it is being edited right now. I'll keep you updated as to when it and the film will be released.

Yeah, this one's new. My friend Tom and I began writing a comic book years ago but it fell by the wayside for various reasons. Well, we've decided to give it another go as a series of graphic novels, but this project is still in its early stages, so I don't want to say too much. We're tweaking the plot and layout and I'm working on pulling an artistic team together. When we feel confident enough to give out more information, I'll be sure to fill you in.

The Future!
I plan on working on Rumor throughout the Summer between my novel projects. The Quest for Light will come out when it's ready, but I don't know when that'll be. I'm guessing sometime after The Temptation of Flitter. As for my planned novels, here is the tentative schedule as to what I am writing when. Note: All titles are tentative.

Not Quite Home (The Anderson Series: Book 2)
The Temptation of Flitter (The Flitter & Plank Series: Book 2)
Refuge Book 2 (No official title yet)
Janie's Gift (The Anderson Series: Book 3)
Refuge Book 3 (No official title yet)

I have a lot more stories in my head that I plan to do after these, but I don't want to plan too far in advance because you never know what can change. I hope to finish these books around Summer of 2015, but we'll see how that goes. Things are always flexible, as is the order of these projects. I might throw in another Flitter & Plank novel between Janie's Gift and the third Refuge book. In addition to these, I have at least three more Anderson novels already planned, another fantasy series that might end up being Young Adult, a paranormal novel, and a graphic novel idea. And there are others that aren't fleshed out enough to call an official idea, but they're on their way. And of course, there is the chance of me continuing The Quest for Light after that book launches.

So there you have it. You are now entirely up to date on my writings as of June 8, 2013. More updates to come as things change, but until then, tell your friends and family. Spread the word!