Scrolls of Eternity: A 20 year journey.

As a writer, I hold one belief above all others to be divine truth. Great ideas don’t get lost in the shuffle. A lot of my fellow authors are all about writing down every idea they have so they won’t forget them. I don’t do that. Just because you have an idea doesn’t make it worth keeping or taking up space in a notebook. Great ideas stay locked in your brain and germinate until they’re ready to become the story they’re supposed to become.

That is sort of how my series Scrolls of Eternity came about. Twenty years ago or so, back when I thought I’d become a comic book artist I came up with the concept of a superhero based on Egyptian Mythology. I was nineteen or twenty at the time. Ever since I’d seen The Ten Commandments for the first time, I fell in love with Egypt and everything about it. The mystery of the land and its people was as intoxicating as the history of the place. Understand this was before History Channel, H2 and Discovery Channel had made watching documentaries about it a weekly five hour time suck. To find anything out, you had to — gasp — read books on the subject. As a result of all that reading, I knew my hero’s name would be Horus. I went to work on character sketches and developing the ins and outs of bringing Ancient Egypt into the modern world.

I actually penciled two full issues and got through inking most of it, but never truly finished. Here’s the thing about doing your own comics. Unless you have someone to work with and handle some of the writing, penciling and inking choirs, you burn yourself out quick. That’s exactly what happened. Horus, Son of Doom, or whatever silly title I had for it ended up sitting in a portfolio forever doomed to be hidden away. Every few years I’d stumble across it, and begin work anew with basically the same result. Burn out city.

So let’s fast forward ten, fifteen years. Remember what I said about great ideas never dying, well this is where that comes true. After writing Romance for six years, I was experiencing burn out city and decided to go in a different direction for a while. I’d just finished reading the Percy Jackson books and couldn’t help but note that every book dealing with mythology automatically drew on Greeks. I myself have nothing against Greek Mythology, but there’s more out there. The Norse. Egyptian. Funny Hair Dude off Ancient Aliens, so why did authors always limit themselves to one pantheon? Don’t ask me. I’m the one asking the questions here!

Where was I? Oh yes. A different direction. I wanted to return to my roots, I guess you could say. With superheroes all the rage, I wanted to pay homage to the heroes of my youth. So with the idea firmly in my head, I dusted off Horus and set forth to turn my drawings into a novel.

Pouring over the faded pencil lines and yellowed inks I realized most of the work lay behind me. I really did have storyboards telling most of the story already. True, my evolution as a writer showed me things that wouldn’t have worked on paper or on a computer screen, so those parts got cut or changed to fit modern times. Cus, really who still uses cell phones the size of compact cars anymore? Even with so much work done, I still had no clear idea of who Horus was in human form. I’d forgotten more about him than I remembered. That’s what fifteen years will do for you, but like I said, if it had been worth keeping, I WOULD have remembered it. So, Horus got rebooted as a teenager, and I even went so far as to base him on a friend’s son. It didn’t take long for me to find myself reliving the story I’d drawn over twenty years ago for the first time.

The mind is truly an amazing thing. Every part of what we’ve seen, experienced and essentially who we are is locked up inside our heads. As the words to Horus’ reimagining began to take shape, those memories of long ago came flowing from inside me. I had magically gone back to being a nineteen year old year again bent over my drawing board with the entire world ahead of me.

With the second book in the series finished and now waiting for eager readers to discover it, I hope the forty-five year old me, did justice to the dream that burned inside the twenty year old me. In some ways I know I did, but with age you lose that sense of wonderment. Oh, I’m not saying it’s not there anymore. I’m just saying when you’re young everything seems so all encompassing important and must be experienced now before the moment passes and is forever lost. I don’t think you can ever truly recapture that once you’ve ‘grown-up’, but since according to my wife, I never got around to growing up maybe some spark of that wonder still holds itself rooted to my heart. And! Just maybe when you read my Scrolls of Eternity, that awe inspiring sense of wonder will awaken inside you too. Then, we can all be the superheroes of our youthful dreaming.

Til next week, happy reading and if you decide to become that superhero, let me know. I’ll grab a towel out the cabinet and meet you flying in the skies above Metropolis.
Up, up and chimichanga!

Scrolls of Eternity

Available from

Desert Breeze Publishing


From Amazon

Book One:


Scrolls of Eternity

Book Two:

Storms of Chaos


Summer Time Blues

I’m going to be honest with you. I hate Summer. It’s way too hot and muggy. The whole project involves yard work, mowing, and sweating. I dislike all three, especially the last one. Now, when I was a kid I loved Summer. Mainly because, I didn’t have to go to school and could read all night. Yeah, even way back then it was all about books for me. As I sit here hiding from humidity next to a fan and air conditioning blowing on me, I can be truthful and say I miss those days.


Now, instead of wishing I could stay up all night reading books, I wish I could stay up writing them. I say that as someone with a deadline staring him habitually in the rearview mirror. Like a lot of people my age, I wish I could channel half the energy I had back then. If I could, maybe I could work a full time job and still manage to write into the wee hours of the morning. Okay, I’d like to work some reading in there somewhere. Hey, writers are readers first and foremost.


This may sound crazy, but I find it hard to write during the summer months. Maybe it’s the sunshine and a need to be outside. Though, if you remember from above, I hate heat and sweating. Seriously, I just seemed better able to create during the fall and winter. I don’t know why, but I just do. I also get a creative charge out of storms too. Yeah, I’m kinda weird.


But, weird defines authors. We have our times when the juices just seem to flow. Usually, mine hits just before it’s time to wrap things up and go to bed. Again, I think this goes back to when I was younger. I could stay up all night painting and do some of my best work. Growing up and becoming a productive member of society did away with all that. Up by dawn, go to work, come home, piddle around house, eat, shower and if I’m lucky, knock out a paragraph or three before bed. You guessed it. Rinse and repeat daily. All this monotony makes Jack a dull boy. Extra credit if you can get the literary reference there.


It’s true, though. The longer I write, the more it seems that instead of easier, the process has become harder. It isn’t that I am unable to form words. It’s just harder for me to get enthused by the project. Each word is a struggle. I see the scenes in my head, but squeezing them onto a screen is a chore worthy of Hercules.


To write, everything needs balance. Right now, my balance just isn’t what it used to be. I constantly find myself looking for my ‘Happy Place’. Wherever that is. Whatever that is. I seriously can’t remember either one of those things. And, summer isn’t helping. I won’t go into the episodes of LIFE that keeps cropping up and getting in the way. We all have them, so you get where I’m coming from. I don’t know if there’s an easy fix for this, or not.


More than likely, it’s just one of those things I have to work through myself. I know I’m not the only author who fights this particular demon. We all have those moments of frustration and self doubt. It’s not that I doubt I can write. I’ve done it before so know the ability resides within me. It’s more of a question of do I want to write. Since I’m so freaking messed up over not doing it, I must. Otherwise I wouldn’t be agonizing over it in a public setting like this.


Do I see myself just giving up? Not any time soon. But, I do feel like I need a recharge. Discover the feeling of joy I once felt turning on my computer and spilling my imagination across a document. It’s difficult to feel joy when you’re busy being a grown-up.


Because, let’s face it. I don’t write grownup books. Sure, they’re Romance, but they’re the Romance of youthful exuberance. They’re the adventures we dreamed we’d go on when we were kids looking at our futures with wide-eyed innocence. The innocence of the ignorant quite frankly. Ignorant of how the real world really works. Ignorant that one day summer won’t mean freedom. It’ll just be another part of the year where the day job gets in the way of you being that person you thought you’d be lying on the beach and hoping the day would never end.


So, before I fade into preparing myself for yet another Monday, I cordially invite you to take a trip back to those days when the world was yours to hold and you could be anything you wanted to be. I invite you to be a Vampire, a Werewolf, a Slayer. Anything you want to be, just as long as you’re having fun. How? Well, inside one of my books, of course. It’s where anything can define who you are and can always can be.

Just step through either of the two links below to start your adventure or find me on your favorite online bookseller.




Desert Breeze Publishing



Interview with a Superhero Muse


It is I, Jmo’s evil cone Dark Jmo, again taking over his blog for my nefarious schemes. What else could I do when I heard he had created his own super hero to battle me? I couldn’t very well have that happening. It would seriously mess with my plans for world domination. Nope, that wouldn’t work at all! Especially since he has enlisted an Egyptian deity to thwart my machinations. So, to that end, I’ve sealed him in a giant action figure box. I did all the artwork myself. Doesn’t it look snazzy?

But, I digress. So, what am I going to do about this hero of his? Using my Scottian transportation device, I will simply snag Jmo’s hero from whatever timestream he might be existing within and trap him here in my Giant Gerbil Ball of Death! Brahahwahwahwawhawa!

Now, let my evil unfold. Feel free to insert a bunch of dastardly evil genius stuff here ending with me pushing yonder red button to activate my device. Voila, there he is, trapped like… Well, a gerbil!

Dark Jmo: You’re not Horus! You’re some… Some teenager! Be well warned I will not brook any drooping pants or the least sign of underwear. I will not have it! Now, who are you?

Patrick Michael: I am your worst nightmare, Patrick Michael!

Dark Jmo: So, you’re the inspiration for my clone’s character in Scrolls of Eternity: Rebirth. Hmmm. How exactly did that come about?

Patrick Michael: I have no idea how I became the hero, but I like it.

Dark Jmo: Is this the first time you’ve been forced to wield a cosmic power? And, how do you feel about that? I mean does it tickle in the least when you Shazam into another person?

Patrick Michael: It is my first time with cosmic powers. It’s awesome though. I can fly, shoot lasers from my hands, and I have super strength. But, I haven’t Shazamed someone yet.

Dark Jmo: Okay, so what is this Scrolls of Eternity all about? Does evil triumph in the end? I do like stories where evil triumphs in the end, but it so rarely happens.

Patrick Michael: Sadly (for you), evil did not win (again) because of my awesome powers. Oh, and an awesome writer. I didn’t want my powers at first, then my family was in danger, so I didn’t have a choice. No one messes with my family.

Dark Jmo: Nope, not my type of story in the least. To distract me from the sad ending, tell me what super power you wish you had on a permanent basis.

Patrick Michael: Hmmmmm… super strength sure would help with gym class… and if I could fly I could fly to Hawaii… I couldn’t ask for more than that.

Dark Jmo: According to this website blurb, you were the cover model for this comic book travesty. How did you like all that heroic posing? Was it fun? Did it make you tickle? The hot lights must have damaged your tender flesh. Please say that it did.

Patrick Michael: The lights were hot, but I’ll live. Posing was very, very, very frustrating and I don’t want to be posing until the next book. Although, I can say to my friends that I am a cover model. How many can say that?


Dark Jmo: Yes, yes…they must be quite envious of your Calvin Kleiness. Still, it isn’t enough to satisfy my Lokian nature. All this non-evilness is beginning to bore me. Since this is degrading into an episode of Oprah, what is the one thing you hope young readers will come away with after finishing this fictionalized account of your life?

Patrick Michael: Ummm… entertainment? I can’t think of something emotional. As long as people like what they read, I’m fine with that. I have no idea what the writer would want readers to think.

Jmo: If I wasn’t tied up and shoved into this giant action figure box, I’d want readers to come away with a sense that good always beats evil, and that growing up isn’t so hard as long as you have friends and family standing beside you.

Dark Jmo: Hesh it, you goodie goodie, before you ruin your mint-in-box status. All this consorting with heroes is upsetting my digestion. I think I need a nap, but before I go, I would like to thank my kidnap victim for being a good sport. Don’t worry, Mr. High and Mighty Superhero, the gerbil ball will dissolve in an hour or so. Until it does, feel free to roll it around the room. While you do that, I will make an amazingly inventive getaway. The rest of you folks out there reading this blog, you will stare into my hypnotic glare. Yes, this Scrolls of Eternity is the book you’ve been dying to read. You will click off this window immediately using one of the links below and buy multiple copies for yourself and your friends.

Now, I must make that highly inventive getaway. Look! Elvis. And, I’m out of here. Come back next when Jmo will bore you with his inane diatribes. If he is able to free himself from my Mint-in-Box of Doom! Brahwahwawawawa!

Jmo: Sorry about that, guys. You know how evil clones are. Still, if any of you were caught up in that hypnotic stare, here are the links Dark Jmo was talking about and have an amazing week!

Desert Breeze Publishing


Barnes and Noble

Change the Words with a Smile



Things change.


That’s the truest statement ever uttered. As you grow older, notice, I didn’t say grow up, your comfort zone is constantly being challenged. Things happen. You adapt. Or, you stagnant. That is true in life and especially true in writing.


I’ve been writing Paranormal Comedies for over seven years. When you do something for that long the magic begins the fade to a dull throb in the back of your skull. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy writing it, but something comes up missing. The ideas just don’t seem fresh. I find it harder to see things with a new eye. As a result, questions constantly bombard me that probably wouldn’t have been in my head when I first started writing.


What am I doing?

Is the new book really new or just a retread of what I’ve done before?

Where am I going with this?

How many stories can you realistically tell about Vampires?

Should I go in a different direction?

How many ways can I crack a joke about facial hair on female werewolves?

What happens when Vampires go to the bathroom? I mean, what does Vampire tinkle look like? Do I even want to know? Probably, not, but… it does bear some investigation at a later date.


Just not today. Today is about change. Weird asides can wait for another day.


How does one go about change? For me, it was examining all the things I love. Science Fiction, Superheroes, Westerns, Biblical heroes, Murder She Wrote. Hey, don’t look so surprised. I do love me some Jessica Fletcher. The point is I have a wealth of loves to choose from. Just because I write Paranormal, that doesn’t mean I’m not well rounded in other areas.


To explore that wealth, I set out to try beginning a book based on my loves. As hard as this may be for some of you to believe, I have the start of a few books that have nothing whatsoever to do with Vampires. That said, I had to find my comfort zone. We all have them, but finding them is the hard part. For me, it was finding a theme that I could slip into and feel safe writing about.


First off, I began a Biblical themed Young Adult about David. Why David? Because, he came from nothing to achieve everything. Even failure. Born a shepherd, he went on to kill a giant, lead an army, lead a people, and ultimately father a dynasty that still reverberates through us today. But, more than that I wanted to understand him not as a historical figure, but as a young boy thrust into something greater than himself. How would he cope with that pressure? How could he adapt to a role greater than anything a teenage boy should be able to handle? These are themes that are universal and still affect us today.


So how far did I get? A couple chapters before I realized how much work it would take. To do the story justice I needed to understand the truths of who young David was. That would take something I hate to do–research. I did the obvious thing. I downloaded a few Kindle books on the subject. Bought some hard copy books on his life. You get the picture. Ultimately, I decided before I could do his story justice, I needed to step back and read those books.


But, like any author, I wanted to write a book now! So, while I did my — shudder — research, I dipped into another of my loves. Superheroes. Stealing a muse in the form of the son of a good friend I began work on a series called The Scrolls of Eternity. What would you do if you suddenly became the avatar for an ancient Egyptian god? That was the question that burned in my head. Incorporating the mythology of my years of comic reading I set about to answer that question. It didn’t take long for me to discover that I would write a comic book without pictures. Patrick Michael Hughes came alive in my head. His alter ego, Horus, had already been alive there for years. Since, the early Nineties, I’d been trying to tell his story in one form or another. With this book, that dream became a reality.


I’m not saying it was easy, but I worked out the kinks and got my brain wrapped around the concept. The first book in the series, Rebirth, comes out in a few short weeks. Like all origin stories, it is only the beginning. A stage setter if you will. Already, book two is percolating in my head, with the first bits sitting in a fresh document. Will it be better than book one? My answer is yes. Whereas book one introduces the world to the legend of Horus, Storms of Chaos will bring growth to Patrick as he copes with what being a superhero is all about. When you add teen angst into the mix, he’ll also discover that becoming a man might be an even harder thing to do.


Am I pleased with the end result? Yes, but it could be better. I say that only because as an author, I’m not living the story. I’m only writing it, but like real life, I can look back and see where I could change this, or change that. Fiction often mirrors life. And, it should! If you can’t believe the story you’ve written, why should anyone else? Like my own life, I can see subtle things Patrick could do to make his life easier, better? Then again, easier often isn’t better. Patrick’s story isn’t about easy. It’s about making choices that are often difficult, but will make him a better man. They might not always be the wisest decisions, but from our mistakes we learn. That is real life in a nutshell. Screw up and you just might learn something.


Before I go back to my own real life, I have one more WiP to share. I have always loved Westerns. Growing up some of my favorite memories are of watching John Wayne movies with my grandparents. I know the Star Wars and Comics might have thrown you, but to me those old westerns are my true comfort zone. So, sitting on my computer is my first attempt at paying homage to my early heroes. It’s a story I look forward to telling because it is so different from what I’ve done before.


With Scrolls, I stayed within the shared world of my Love Bites universe, because that world is so alive and rich to me. Plus, you never know when you might need a Vampire to liven things up. On the other hand, the Western is a true stepping out of my normal happy place. It might take me awhile to get there with it, but I can’t wait to see what happens.


I guess the thing is this. Change is good for the soul and challenges the mind to become better than it was. Stronger. Faster. They can make me better. They have the technology. At least, I hope they do. Who is this ‘they’ I’m referring to? Well, my muses of course. Only, I call them my friends, my family, and all the people who come in and out of my life on a daily basis. That includes you guys reading this. You inspire me to keep throwing my thoughts out into the universe, whether you want to read them or not.


Before I go, let me say one more thing. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. You guys are the true inspirations. You inspire children to dream. I know my dad did. So, really if you want to blame someone for all this literary rambling. Blame him.


Thanks Dad for being my inspiration every second of the day.