Author: Joel (page 1 of 2)

Fifty Years Off Grid

Celebrating 50 years off grid at The Flat – June 3, 1967 to June 3, 2017 – with no intention of leaving!

I am writing this today as I will be headed to ID/MT on the actual day of our 50th anniversary at The Flat and being off grid.

The top picture is Virgil on Sept. 6, 1966, after our first attempt to find The Flat.

The second is a photo of The Flat taken by John Brookes in the summer of 1967. Note the little shrubby pine on the right front corner of the cabin.

In the third and last picture, taken today, you can see that pine 50 years later. I would like to have taken a shot of The Flat from the exact same vantage point as the 1967 photo, but after a very wet winter, the river is running too high to reach the spot.

Raymond Flat summer of 1967

Cabin Pine June 2, 2017

This morning as I pondered writing this post, I scanned through the Amazon reviews of Impossible Beyond This Point and chuckled as I read a review titled “Wannabe Hippies” where the author wondered if the book was really non fiction. I guess my parents would have had to have known about back-to-the-land hippies in order to be wannabes. In 1966, back-to-the-land hippies had not yet started the migration to what they believed would be a simpler life. Before Virgil and Marcy passed away, they had witnessed the arrival of the first and the departure of nearly the last of the back-to-the-earth generation of young people.

In 50 years, we have seen a lot of changes and many, many acre feet of water has bubbled by in the North Fork during that time.

So here’s to the next 50…

Joel Horn

Lost Coast Rocket, Free 14-15 Nov.

I am doing a promotional giveaway oflcr-replacement-for-kindle the ebook edition of Lost Coast Rocket November 14 through the 15 of November. This is your free chance to discover the Mare Tranquillitatis series.

Download it here!


Characters vs. Authors

As I began the journey into the world of novels, I didn’t realize how many things I would learn. So far, the biggest one is how much reviewers tend to make assumptions about me as the author by evaluating the characters within the novels I write. Unlike many authors, I do not try to fashion my lead characters after myself. I would find it very constraining as neither is my ego big enough to create myself into a superhero nor my self esteem low enough to create myself into a degenerate loser.

I at least try to write as I have observed the world and people to be, not how I wish it or them to be. When a character acts a certain way, I very likely  observed  those or similar actions in the thousands of people I have met. Readers react to a novel based on their own life and culture and will review based on those experiences that make them into individuals. If they have not experienced or seen what I have, they will quite possible believe the actions of my characters to be implausible and/or contrived, or worse,  a reflection on my morals and ethics.

Communication is defined as the accurate transfer of an idea from one person to the next. If anything breaks down in that transfer, be it verbal, grammatical or visual, communication has failed. In novels, the only things that can fail are the grammar of the writer or the reading level of the reader. I am the first to admit my grammar skills are not topnotch, but I have a good editor. At times, a failure in the idea transfer has occurred, and we have edited and republished the novel. If it is a failure of reading skill, it is beyond our control and I have to live with the poor reviews based on that. Such is the world and I am okay with it. The one area I tend to be sensitive about is a reviewer who presumes what was in my mind and announces to the world what my intentions were in writing the novel.

As an author, you have to have very thick skin as you are putting your work out into the vast world for others to pontificate on. Some may hate it and others may love it, and as the author, you get the highs of seeing your work bring enjoyment to others and the lows and self doubt when readers get zero enjoyment.

An Event More Powerful

Thirty-five years ago, my need to write Hatching the Phoenix Egg was sparked while listening to a speech by a Nobel prize winning physicist. What he said that day changed my thoughts dramatically and gave me perspective on events around me. It was like zooming out on a large telephoto lens.

This speech made me realize people get so tied up in such minor things like Trump/Clinton, ISIS, Iraq war, Vietnam war, WWII, WWI, global warming, nuclear war, or any other event in the history of man, that they miss the major things that WILL effect all the people and life on earth.

It’s NOT a matter of if, but WHEN, and maybe it is beyond the hand of man, but I feel strongly that whether it is or isn’t, man should work in unity to evaluate this, even if it is in the realm of God.

Hatching the Phoenix Egg cover



Sound Track I Would Use for my Novels

If my novels Lost Coast Rocket and Hatching the Phoenix Egg had a sound track this would be it. I wrote much of them listening to this collection.

Lost Coast Rocket now free on Amazon Kindle!

Lost Coast Rocket coverLost Coast Rocket is available free on Amazon through Oct 2nd!

Lost Coast Rocket now available free on Amazon Kindle!

Lost Coast Rocket coverLost Coast Rocket is free for download through Oct 2nd!

A Bundle of News!

lcr-replacement-for-kindleI’ve been hard at work putting together a number of new events.

First, Lost Coast Rocket (ebook version) will be FREE from September 28, 2016 through October 2, 2016!

Second, I’m celebrating the launch of Hatching the Phoenix Egg, the second book in the Mare Tranquillitatis series, which is now available in ebook and should be published in paperback shortly.

Third, I’ve reduced the price on both versions by 30-40%! Both Lost Coast Rocket and Hatching the Phoenix Egg are now $8.99 for paperbacks and $2.99 for ebooks!

Lastly, Lost Coast Rocket has been republished and now has a new cover and an expanded ending. The big question still isn’t answered as that carries over to Hatching the Phoenix Egg, but the ending is smoother and our beta readers liked it.

Thanks to the many people that helped with these events.hatching-the-phoenix-egg-dawn-front

What Genre Do I Write?

After putting out my first novel and getting close to publishing the second, I found myself trying to figure out what genre my books are in. This is supposed to be something every author solidly knows about his or her writing, and it may be my downfall with commercial success because many genres require formulas that readers find comforting. They all follow the same basic theme.

I can’t write that way, as many things around me capture my interest and always have.  I am not the best driver because I can find so many interesting thing along the road and will study them a little to long!  Here is why it alters my genre selection.    Lost Coast Rocket started out as science fiction but going along, it took me a way of its own. If I start writing a scene, I follow down the logical path life’s experiences tell me it should go. So by the time the scene is finished, the various forks in the road and natural randomity can take that scene into an entirely different place from where I envisioned it to go.

So if you want stories that don’t follow any formula, cookie cutter patterns you should like my new series.  What you will find is science, love, friendship, philosophy, adventure, suspense,  human nature, apocalyptic, survival…, as real-to-life as the plot will take it.

Joel Horn

Book Signing Press Release!

LCR press release 7-20-16Many thanks to Tammie at Tammie’s books and to the Trinity Journal for the press release that appeared in the July 20, 2016 newspaper. While I was up north playing with the grandkids, Tammie submitted the release and the Trinity Journal published it right away!

So if you’re in the Weaverville area on Saturday, August 6, come on down to Tammie’s Books between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and I’ll be happy to sign a copy of Lost Coast Rocket for you.  Hope to see you there!

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