Red Lory Audiobook Update

With all the recent excitement of the movie deal, the production phase of the Red Lory audiobook continued under the radar and has been completed.  I started the entire project about a month ago without any idea of who might narrate the story or where I should begin.


I forget how it happened, but I found and the rest is history. Within the space of a few days, I got a surprising number of auditions - all of them incredibly good. Several were Oscar-winning voice actors who had worked in major productions. With the help of a group of people we unanimously selected Richard Henzel. It was a dream come true for an independent author like me who otherwise wouldn't have been able to connect with Richard and the other candidates.

Richard began production right away, recording chapters at a steady pace. We began to Skype in the evenings for quality checks, and before we knew it the audiobook was finished. 


Richard's voice is perfect for the book. A deep, rich voice that can carry you easily through the story just as it has in his many Mark Twain recordings.  (I highly recommend his recording of Puddn'head Wilson). I never realized just how much of an art form narration/voice-acting is until I saw him record. Beyond that, he took the time to understand the story and its characters. Readers have said Red Lory is a complex book that leaves much up to the imagination. He realized that and leaves much to the listener while still delivering his interpretation of the characters and their demeanor.

He's said that Red Lory is the best novel he's read in years. Judging from the enthusiasm and attention to detail he brings, I believe he feels that way about every project he works on. So Richard: "Thank you. It has been an honor to work with you. You read the book as if it had been written for just your voice all along."


So here's the scoop. ACX has given me a 14 - 20 day timeline. Somewhere between those days is when Red Lory will be available for purchase from, or the iTunes store. The audiobook is 4.9 hours long - long enough to cover several days of commutes to work but short enough so you don't forget whatever it was that happened in the first chapter. I hope you'll enjoy the recording as much as I have.

Red Lory: A Motion Picture

After several months of being in the works, a deal has been closed for the purchase of the Red Lory film rights.  Tikaba, Inc., an independent film producer, has exercised its option to begin development. I never expected this to happen when I published Red Lory, but it has! 


What this means for me right now is that I'll be assisting the production company in converting the book into a screenplay. What this means for the future is that we're officially working toward the story coming to life on the big screen. In the overall picture, we're in the early stages so I can't provide much more information right now. But I can paste in another dancing .gif.


So here's the big question: Who is going to be in the movie?! I wouldn't be unhappy with Jason Isaacs and Scarlet Johansson. Truth is, we don't know yet, but it's fun to think about. If you have a better cast in mind, tweet ideas to me or send it to me on Facebook. We can have some fun with it. Speaking of Facebook, you can chat about Red Lory and other things in our super-secret Facebook club where you can ask me anything. Here's a freebie:


As the producer and I go along I'll be posting updates on the process. In the meantime, the Red Lory audiobook will be released very soon on It's narrated by the great Richard Henzel, a highly-regarded actor and an expert on everything Mark Twain. And as always, the book itself is available on Amazon in paperback and for the Kindle.

Most of all though I have to say "Thank you" to my readers out there. All of this happened because of a reader who took a special interest in me and the project. I'm eternally grateful for the opportunities I've been given by each of you.

And one more dancing .gif. 


What Andy Griffith Means to Me

Originally published on July 3, 2012. 


I remember the first time I saw The Andy Griffith Show. I was six, and my mom found a VHS tape of Barney Fife’s greatest episodes at Wal-Mart. I watched it so much the tape wore out. After pleading earnestly with her, she replaced it. This time I was much more careful not to overplay the tape for fear of losing the show forever.

That was a childhood fear of mine. I recorded every episode that aired on our TV because I thought it would be a tragedy should the local television station never air that episode again. And it would have been.

Today though, with the death of Andy Griffith, I feel like I’ve lost the show, and something more, for good. In 2006, Don Knotts, the man who could never be separated from the role of Barney Fife, passed away. George Lindsey - known as Goober to TAGS fans - died this year in May. Hal Smith, who played Otis Campbell on the show, passed away in 1994. I still have a local news report on VHS that announces his passing. I was nine then. I cried that night.

I won’t cry tonight - at least, I don’t plan on letting anyone see it if I do. You see, Andy Griffith became my identity as a child. My friend Marla and I were the go-to Andy Griffith geeks as we were growing up. We prided ourselves on it; no one knew more about the show than us. I can quote entire episodes. Show me the first ten seconds of an episode, and I can tell you which one it is. Give me a line, and I can tell you who said it.

Ask me why I love the show so much, and I won’t have a response for you. There’s no one response. I grew up with Opie. I sat in Floyd’s barber shop. I tasted those horrible pickles Aunt Bee became known for. I was there when Barney came through the wall into the beauty parlor after being locked in the bank vault next door. And yes, I was there when Barney asked Opie to ask Thelma Lou if she wanted to go to the duck pond. And like Opie, I wanted to know why he wanted to go to the duck pond with her.

I was a spectator with Andy. He and I sat and watched these lovable people going about their lives in need of our direction and steadying influence. Andy was my friend who I could look up to because he had all the answers. Most importantly, he let me become a part of the town he’d been tasked with watching over. We spent a lot of time together. I would've eaten every last one of Aunt Bee's pickles with Andy if he would have asked. We were that close.


I’m married now, and my wife and I are expecting our first child, a boy, in just a month. I couldn’t be more excited to meet him. But in meeting him, I’m officially leaving my childhood to begin enjoying our son’s. For me in my own selfish little world, I take today's news as Andy Griffith telling me that our times together are through. My childhood will never return.

In my TV cabinet at home I have DVDs of The Andy Griffith Show, but in my closet I’ve got a cardboard box. In that box are rows and rows of VHS tapes. Some of them are tapes of me as a boy running around my grandparents’ garden. Playing catch with my grandma. Flying a model plane with my uncle. The other tapes are scratchy re-runs of The Andy Griffith Show. Scratchy from age, from me reliving my childhood over and over. I hope to share those tapes, the childhood I've stored in that box, with my son. 

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