Tag Archives: novel


My latest project is one I’m pretty proud of… it’s called Brain Tsunami. What I like so much about this project is the fact it’s  a collaboration with three other authors: Jenna Brownson, Amanda Hoppes & Samm Lim.

The idea started after my brother-in-law had an accident while biking. He ended up fully recovering from the incident but never did remember what happened to him that fateful night. His explanation was always so simple… “I had an accident” and I always thought it should be so much more. I mean technically he didn’t know what happened. What if aliens took him? What if he saved the free world that night? What if he had an evil twin that came along and tried to kill him and then jump into his idyllic suburban life?

I mean these aren’t likely scenarios, I will admit that, but they might have happened? I mean the one guy there doesn’t know so maybe it did.

That was the concept for the book… take my brother-in-law’s injury and write the “rest” of the story via a series of stories that started and ended the same way.

I chose the collaboration route because I surmised a group would bring fresh perspectives. I might be locked in on a style, but others could bring a totally different feel to the other stories in the book.

My best buddy for discussions like whether this will work or not is Jenna Brownson. She’s a writer, she’s intelligent, she thinks things through… all-in-all, she’s just a great sounding board for these types of things.

What I like so much about Jenna is she holds the same ideals I do. She’s written all of these novels…we’re talking like a car trunk full of novels and she doesn’t do anything with them… because she wants to land a contract and do things her own way.

I love that. We’re going down different paths in that I self-publish and she’s holding out to go the traditional route… but to not seek out some small time publisher that will get it out there but not support it, or publish it herself to get it out there and just let them sit.

That’s pretty cool. I mean she’s talented… it’s going to happen. It just won’t happen, though, until Jenna has found what she’s been looking for.

Anyway, Jenna liked the idea and jumped in right away.

With Jenna’s stamp of approval, I knew it would work so I approached others. Amanda Hoppes is another writer I know. In fact, she write a column in my Bourbon Zeppelin project called The Bourbon Virgin. Her column is proving to be one of the favorites in that publication because I posed the idea of participating with her as a means of personal growth. Amanda, still in her 20s is holding onto the drinks she had in college as her favorite… Bud Light for beer and Cherry Bombs if she wants a mixed drink.

I send her samples… she tries all of them. Writes up a whole column about preparation to try them…and then…she hates everything. Seriously. She’s a columnist in a very popular online magazine for bourbon aficionados and in her column…she basically hates everything about bourbon. It wouldn’t work for 99% of the people… but Amanda pulls it off because she’s honestly is trying. I think she wants to like bourbon… it’s just not for her, but for her love of writing, she’ll try again the next month… then end up spitting it down the kitchen sink admonishing the readers for like that stuff. It’s gold.

Finally, there’s Samm Lim. Samm is one of my longest friendships on social media and she’s usually up for anything (she was the first person I interviewed in my O.P.U.S. interview series on Tumblr).

So the four of us wrote five stories (Samm wrote two) and we published it in a book I titled Brain Tsunami.

100% of the proceeds of this project get donated to Love A Cat Charity in Honolulu, Hawaii. I’ve worked with them since my books started to really taking off in Hawaii (when they really weren’t selling anywhere else).

It would be uber cool if you would pick up a copy yourself and check it out. It’s only a $1.99 on Amazon.

Buy your copy by clicking right here!


Write Steve Write! is a weekly blog by author Steve Akley. Typically it is posted on (most) Sundays and features insight about his writing… though there is an occasional movie review or random thought post. It should be noted it’s posted as a live feed… no editing, no planning beforehand, it’s typed out on Sunday morning and the “publish” button is immediately hit. Apologies for any errors but you get this just as Steve thinks it!

Coming Sunday: More random thoughts on my writing career.

In the meantime, follow check in on Steve in a variety of ways:

Steve’s Catalog on Amazon: http://goo.gl/kJpKcP

The OPUS Blog: steveakley.tumblr.com

Sign Up for Steve’s SAP News (writing updates) Newsletter: Email Registration

Sign up for Bourbon Zeppelin (bourbon newsletter): Email Registration

Check out the latest issue of Bourbon Zeppelin: See it here!

ABV Network/A Podcast Channel for Alcohol-Themed Podcastsabvnetwork.com

The Bourbon Show on iTunes: Download it here!

The Bourbon Show on Google Play: Download it here!

The Bourbon Show on Stitcher: Download it here!

Twitter: @steveakley

Instagram: @steveakley

What’s App: Steve Akley

Untappd: steveakley



Topics Covered So Far:

#1 of 10 – My O.P.U.S. Blog

#2 of 10 – Bourbon Zeppelin

#3 of 10 – Meeting a Hero of Mine

#4 of 10 – My Love Affair with Hawaii


I’ve already covered four incredible things that have happened to me since I’ve been writing but I’ve got another great one today. Back when I was just getting going I was trying really hard at marketing to launch my brand. I think I’ve got a much more laid back approach now that is better suited for the indie author, but learning is a process, so I had to make some mistakes before I really figured out what I was doing.

One of the things I did was get some t-shirts made for friends and family with my website and twitter name on it. At the same time, a local reporter, Kim Hudson of Fox 2 in St. Louis had just taken over as the local interest story reporter in the morning. She announced if any business wanted to promote their brand to send in a t-shirt from their business and she would wear in for an entire mornings worth of shows (they start here at 4:00 and go to like 9:00 with news in the morning).

I sent in a t-shirt and some books along with information about my writing career.


I didn’t hear anything. I just figured an independent author wasn’t considered a business since I had seen Kim wearing shirts from local restaurants and shops.

About a month later, I’m at work one day and my Mom calls me… Kim Hudson is wearing my shirt… and she’s talking about me and my books.

Kim Hudson with my SAP Shirt On

Kim Hudson of Fox 2 in St. Louis on air wearing my shirt and holding up my Small Brand America IV: Special Beer Edition book

My Mom recorded the entire mornings worth of news so I got to see it. I guess it was kind of weird they never called first or anything, but it was incredibly cool to see such a great amount of free publicity for my work.

I did notice a small spike in sales of the beer book she spoke about after her appearance so it was really cool. Plus, you never know who gets introduced to you/your work when something like this happens.

Launching an independent writing career is difficult. In reality, this was a fleeting moment that didn’t change my life, but it was a nice early affirmation that you can make things happen if you try different things and work hard enough. It was definitely the confidence booster I needed at that time, and I can’t thank Kim Hudson enough for doing that!


Write Steve Write! is a weekly blog by author Steve Akley. Typically it is posted on (most) Sundays and features insight about his writing… though there is an occasional movie review or random thought post. It should be noted it’s posted as a live feed… no editing, no planning beforehand, it’s typed out on Sunday morning and the “publish” button is immediately hit. Apologies for any errors but you get this just as Steve thinks it!

Coming Sunday: We’ll be continuing on with my “It’s Because I Write” series next week!

In the meantime, follow check in on Steve in a variety of ways:

Steve’s Catalog on Amazon: http://goo.gl/kJpKcP

The OPUS Blog: steveakley.tumblr.com

Evan Haskill’s Blog: I am a contributor here: thebourbonguyandrye.com

Sign Up for Steve’s SAP News (writing updates) Newsletter: Email Registration

Sign up for Bourbon Zeppelin (bourbon newsletter): Email Registration

Check out the latest issue of Bourbon Zeppelin: See it here!

Twitter: @steveakley

Instagram: @steveakley

What’s App: Steve Akley

Untappd: steveakley


Tomorrow rounds out the trifecta of shopping “holidays” we have right after Thanksgiving:

Black Friday – Shopping highlighted by mega deals from the large department stores and retailers.

Small Business Saturday – Shifting the focus to local, and mom and pop retailers, to ensure we support those who live in the community as well as sell to it.

Cyber Monday – Hot deals and free shipping for online retailers.

Well, until I gather some steam for Indie Author Sunday, we need to tack on to the existing shopping holidays already in place. After all, indie authors, as well as all forms of art, are the ultimate small businesses. Our work isn’t a reflection of us… it is us! Plus, not only do we create the content, we are solely responsible for marketing and selling it as well.

Well, I’ve got some great things happening for Cyber Monday. First of all, I’m having my own 12 Days of Christmas for my readers. I’m offering 12 pieces of my work for free!

That’s right, for Cyber Monday only, I have 12 eBooks for free on Amazon. These include mini books from my Small Brand America series, one of my Coffeehouse Jazz books and even Life with the Akester, the book about my father (some of the stories at the end of the book are hilarious… be sure to check out The Bowtie, a classic, as well as The Recorder, the story of my “best” Christmas ever).

To get any, or 12 of these books, just check out my catalog on Amazon any time on Monday and download them for free: http://goo.gl/GCf4Ts

I know many of you are going to be shopping Amazon on Monday. Please consider my books for some of your holiday gifts… even if it’s just to round out the shopping cart to get free shipping. Here’s a half-dozen books, worthy of your gift giving from my catalog:

Pa’u Hana – My first novel is a laugh out loud buddy movie.

Bourbon Mixology (Vol. 2) – This gem features 50 iconic bars sharing their signature bourbon cocktails.

Small Brand America V: Special Bourbon Edition – This book shares the stories of 20 craft distillers making some of the best bourbon in the country!

Small Brand America III: Special Hawai’i Edition – This one explores 25 small food/consumer product manufacturers based in Hawai’i. This one’s still my best selling book of all-time (Bourbon Mixology Vol. 2 is closing in on it quickly, though).

Bourbon Mixology (Vol. 1) – The first edition from my series features bourbon cocktail recipes from the craft distillers featured in Small Brand America V: Special Bourbon Edition.

Leo the Coffee Drinking Cat – A great gift for the 3 -5 year old set, the first of three Leo books, this one introduces the coffee drinking cat and his family.

Have a great Cyber Monday!




With Architect of Passion, the biography I am working on in a hold status until I can get some time with Greg Schredder the subject of the book, my biggest news for the week is my future plans. I really want my next project to be something totally different. I’m considering the idea of a research project focusing on updates for some of the celebrities of the 1980s.

I have no idea if it would work. After all, I’m not sure I can track down these people. Nor I am sure they would talk to me.


As a person who grew up in the 80s, I have a fascination with this era and it would certainly be fun to check-in on some of the people who exploded with fame during that time and we haven’t heard from them since then. And fun is why I write so I’m at least going to give it a try.

We’ll see what happens. I’m going to give this one a shot starting in December.


Pau Hana Digital Cover

Click on the cover of Pa’u Hana to go to Amazon to purchase it!

It was a big writing week for me. My book, Pa’u Hana was published. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to publish your first novel.

I also got Bourbon Mixology online in a Kindle version and an iBooks edition should be out there soon as well. Click here to see the Kindle edition.

The other big news is I’m going to overhaul my newsletter in 2016. Not only will I be moving from a quarterly publication schedule to an every-other-month format I’m going to add some new content. Look for the final newsletter to go out under the old format on December 1 and the new look newsletter to start on February 1, 2016. If you would like to receive my newsletter directly to your email, click here.

Next week I’ll give you an update on Architect of Passion, the other project I’ve been working on.


With my three projects for 2015 finally winding down, I’ve just started to look ahead just a bit. Before we see what I’ll be up to for the balance of 2015, let’s do a quick recap of the trifecta of books I’ve spent this year working on:

Bourbon Mixology                                                                                                                        

Status: Published (Picked up a copy here: Bourbon Mixology)

It’s true, the first one is officially out there having been published earlier this week. This one truly looks special with it immediately selling right out of the gate.

Here’s a look at the cover:

Bourbon Mixology II Cover

Pa’u Hana 

Status: Final edits being done

My first novel is complete and I have five people reading proof copies. I’ve got notes from two of them, still waiting on the other three to get me their thoughts. This one should be out in October.

Here’s a look at the cover:

Pau Hana Digital Cover

Architect of Passion        

Status: Rewrites complete

A few weeks ago I spent 6 hours with Greg Schredder, the subject of this biography going over some changes he requested. I have finished those rewrites and now am awaiting some information from him to complete the rewrite. Once I get that done, I’ve got final editing to complete before getting it published. I’m guessing this will go on through October and we will get this one out in November.

Here’s a look at the cover:

Updated AOP Cover

So what’s going on for the rest of 2015?

I’ve got two things I’ll be working on, though they won’t likely be published until 2016. This first is a short story blending of fact and fiction. It’s called Brain Tsunami and its the story of my brother-in-law. This past summer he went on a bike ride and came back home with a gash on his head and no knowledge of what happened. I’m pleased to say he’s fully recovered and doing great, but he still doesn’t know what happened. I’m going to publish a short story with some different, and fun scenarios of what might have happened.

Here’s a look at that cover:

Human guidance and memory loss due to Dementia and Alzheimer's disease as a group of three dimensional roads shaped as a human head and brain tangled in a confused direction mind function concept.

Lastly, I have yet an untitled piece I am probably going to be working on. I have a rum company which has been reaching out to me for a few years now wanting to get into one of my Small Brand America books. With no plans in the works to have a sixth edition of this popular series focusing on small brands competing against much larger competitors, I think I am going to propose to them a book focusing solely on them… their history, the owners and their facility. Should be fun if they like the idea.

That’s it for now!


The three projects I’ve been working on continue to slowly make progress and get closer to getting published every week.

Pa’u Hana, my novel, is being read and reviewed by five people. Once I get the comments back from them, I’ll be ready for some rewrites and one last edit.

The second edition of my Bourbon Mixology series is now done. I am waiting on my cover guy to finish the design so I can order some proof copies (I have three editors line up to help out).

The biography I wrote about Hawai’i businessman Greg Schredder, Architect of Passion, is done but I’ve been waiting for weeks to coordinate some time to go over it with him. He wants to discuss some corrections and potential changes. We are finally slated to talk next Saturday and Sunday. Once we do this I’ll be ready for rewrites, re-edits and to get this one out there.

I’m past the point of just wanting to get this out there. Patience, though. Publishing a book, or 3 books, is a process. You must stay the course!


I’m really going the extra mile to ensure my first novel, Pa’u Hana, is as good as it possible can be. One of the critical areas I’ve been focused on this week has been ensuring the cover really grabs potential readers.

I had conveyed how important, on a personal level, writing my first novel was to the graphic artist I use for my covers. He sent over the following cover as a first attempt capture the spirit of the book:

The first draft cover for Pa'u Hana

The first draft cover for Pa’u Hana

I liked it. A lot.

Still, while it conveyed the Hawaiian spirit, it didn’t necessarily tie-into the story. We talked about it and he quickly started sketching a custom piece of artwork on his iPad. A few minutes later he flipped it around and bingo, there it was:

Pa'u Hana rough sketch of final cover

Pa’u Hana rough sketch of final cover

This piece not only captures the spirit of Hawai’i, it pulls the reader into the story from the moment you see it (two guys living on Kaua’i wanting to go to Los Angeles).

While I don’t have the final version back just yet, I know it’s going to be a gem, worthy as the showcase of my first-ever novel!


Let’s see where we are at in the three projects I am juggling right now…

Pa’u Hana (my novel) – My graphic artist is working on the cover and an interior graphic which depicts the Island of Kaua’i and many of the spots featured in the book. I thought this would help those not familiar with Kaua’i get their bearings.

Architect of Passion (my biography) – Greg Schredder, the person featured in this bio has read the book. I’m happy to report he loved it. He’s busy making notes on each page to ensure everything presented is 100% factual.

Bourbon Mixology – This book features one bourbon cocktail recipe from 50 different iconic bars. I have all 50 bars identified and more than 1/2 of the chapters completed. I’ve been very busy tracking down those that have committed to get them to send my everything I need to finish their chapter.

All three of these projects are coming along nicely. I don’t care if it’s a big project at work, tasks around the house or writing a book, the last 15% of the project takes the most of your personal effort.

Well, I’m in that mode now… times three!


While I didn’t plan it this way, I’ve got three projects finishing up at the same time. I set out with the idea of 2015 being the year of my first novel. I’ve completed it which was a pretty amazing accomplishment in itself. It’s been getting edited and now I’m submitting my ideas for a cover design to my graphic artist this week. I will have an editing copy of it within a few weeks.

Way cool.

After a dialogue with a successful businessman (he had read one of my books), and true character, Greg Schredder, I pitched him on the idea of having me write a biography about him. That project is complete as well. Currently, Greg is reading through the rough draft, gathering photos and some quotes for the back cover.

Pretty awesome!

With things like editing, waiting for pictures to get gathered and cover designs going on, I’ve had some down time in my writing. With that time I’ve started working on the next edition of my Bourbon Mixology series. The focus of this book is going to be 50 iconic bars provide their signature bourbon cocktail recipes. It’s a combination of cocktail book, travel guide to some of the coolest bars in America. I’m more than halfway done with this project.


It seems to be working out that I’ll have all three of these books getting published at the same time. I can’t wait to get these out there.

Be sure to pick up my “three pack” of books when they are available later this summer!