Book Talk / The Book Nook & Java Shop

I had fun last night.

I was invited to do a talk about my books at the Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague, Michigan.  If you aren’t familiar with the Book Nook, it’s a great bookstore with lots of books, a coffee station, a bar, comfortable seating, and even a stage for authors, folk singers, and other performers.

I was very pleased to have been invited.  I’ve heard wonderful things about the Book Nook, and it gave me a chance to meet Bryan, the store owner.

Last night I had a chance to talk about my writing and my books.  It was a fun reminder of how I got started on this path of writing.  But you know what really thrilled me?  It was seeing how many people actually stopped by to see me.  I even met people I’d never met before except through email.  That has to be one of the most interesting things about writing: you get to meet people you’d never have met otherwise.  And I love it.

One of my good friends took pictures of me when it was my turn to talk.  (Thanks, Liz & Wes.)  You made me look good!


Book Signing Event – August 7th

3D - The Universe Builders 03 for emailMuskegon Center for the Arts / Red Lotus Gallery will be hosting a Book Signing Event for Steve LeBel and his new book.

The Universe Builders is a humorous fantasy about Bernie, a young god who has just graduated from God School.  Join him as he sets out to build his first universe.  Is he up to the task?  Perhaps.  But what if another god is deliberately trying to sabotage his efforts?

  • When:  Thursday, August 7th, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
  • Where:  356 W. Western Ave, Muskegon, MI   (formerly the Century Club)
  • Who:  Everyone is invited.  Don’t miss it because all your friends will be there.  🙂
  • Food:  Wine, cheese, and other good food will be available.
  • Parking:  Additional parking in the back of the building has elevator access.

Additional copies of the book will be available at discount prices.

Join us in celebrating Steve’s newest book.

  • Bonus:  The gallery will have a number of Marge LeBel’s paintings on display.  So you get a two-for-one.  Come and have some fun.

For more information about the book and the author:

Buy on Amazon:
Fresh with his diploma from God School, a young god tries to build his first universe.
Plagued by a deadly enemy and aided by his friends, he struggles to make a world to be proud of.

Churchill on Writing

Writing Bernie and the Putty has been an amazing experience.  I found a quote that really resonates with me:

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”                                                                   – Winston Churchill

I can’t wait to push Bernie out of the nest.  Sure hope he can fly.

Status of My Book

I’ve used my website for many purposes over the years – at first just a place to hang my resume – but lately it has become a place to post some of my writing.  In the last year, I’ve written humorous stories about my youthful adventures in Rocket Building and more recently, the thrill of launching Sky Lanterns.  As many of you know, in the last few months, I decided to take on an even more ambitious project:  a full-length novel.

The novel is now largely complete.  It’s 110,000 words long (whew!).  More amazing still is that over 30 of my friends have offered to read it and give me feedback, for which I will always be very grateful.  🙂

Right now, I am compiling the feedback from my reviewers and incorporating their suggestions as best I can.  One thing I have learned about the editing process is that it’s never really done.  There will always be things to change and improve.

The Self-Publishing Option

self-publish-cartoonThe natural thing to consider at this point is submitting my book to literary agents or publishers to get it published.  The more I read, the more I question this assumption.  The process of finding a literary agent, who then will try to find a publisher, who will then eventually publish can take a very long time.  It is common for this to take two years or longer.

What is the alternative?  Interestingly, 2/3’s of all the books published in USA are self-published.  This is actually a relatively simple process, and it can be done in a matter of hours.  The real challenge is how do you effectively promote your book?  How do you tell people about your book when there are 700,000 other books (this year alone!) trying to do the same thing?  A very tough question.

So I am taking a ‘time out’ while I research the road ahead.

If I had to guess, I would say I will end up self-publishing.  But more on that later…


I Finished the First Draft of my Book

Most of you know I have been writing a book for the last few months.  I have you folks to thank for it, because you gave me great encouragement with your responses to the posts I have written about the Sky Lanterns, Rocket Building, and other things.

The book came in a 109,214 words, which is about typical for a humorous fantasy book like this one.  The working title is Bernie and the Putty, but I hope some of you will suggest a better title for it.

bernieBasically, it is a fantasy about life on a world with gods and goddesses.  The hero of the story is a young god named Bernie who just graduated from God School.  He has been hired to build universes, and he is very excited about it.  Unfortunately, he didn’t figure on a nasty co-worker who sabotages Bernie’s world every chance he gets, which is part of the fun.  My daughter, Wendy, drew a picture of Bernie for me.  You can see that godly powers aren’t always readily apparent.   😉

I am looking for volunteers to help me with some final edits for my book.  I know not everyone likes the same kind of books, so I put the prologue from the book online so you can see what it is about.  If you like the prologue, you will probably like the book.

If you’re interested in reading my book and giving me some feedback on it (so I can make it better and eventually get it published), please let me know.

I will appreciate it very much!




The Noveleers

I had the pleasure of attending one of the writing groups in our area. It has been fun to meet people who are serious about writing and getting published.

I also met an individual there, Bob Jackson, who has very similar interests to my own (fantasy, sci-fi, etc.). He has published one novel and has another scheduled to be published by December. We met and talked a few times and decided to create a new writers group for people who are working on fiction novels. We even created a website for it called “The Noveleers” (

The Noveleers Group now has four members.  We decided to meet every other Tuesday at the Norton Shores Library to review our work and strategize on publishing issues.  We had our first meeting this week.  I think this will be a successful means for getting our work published.

This writing stuff is fun!

Writing a Novel

I started writing a novel.  I have you, my friends, to thank for it.  You’ve given me such nice feedback on my blogs about sky lanterns and building rockets, I’m encouraged to do more writing.

After thinking about it, I decided to try my hand at humorous fantasy, the kind written by Terry Pratchett, Robert Aspirin, and others.  My story is about a young god struggling to create his first universe while coping with the antics of his co-workers and an overbearing boss who is out to fire him.

I have about 50 pages written so far, and I like the way it’s turning out.  Marge is, of course, my greatest fan, and she tells me she likes it too.  🙂

I bought some books on fiction writing.  I also found several writers groups in Muskegon.  I’ve only attended one meeting so far, but I met some very interesting people.

The reason for this post is to see if you would like to help me with my writing.  I want to find 2-3 people who are interested in reading my stuff and giving me some feedback.  Do you like the story?  Do you like the characters?  What would you like to see more of?  What would you like to see less of?  That type of stuff.

If anyone is interested, please either reply below with a comment or send me an email.