Some unpleasant news arrives

I hesitate to write this because I know some of you have (or have had) much worse stories, about yourselves or a loved one, but I promised myself to be honest and transparent to you both as friends and as readers of my novels. Last week I was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer in the back of my tongue and in a lymph gland on my right neck. Today I learned that the cancer has not spread except for a suspected second lymph node. That is very fortunate. The standard treatment is surgery followed by radiation and possible chemo, or no surgery but more intense radiation and definitely chemo. I’ll be making a decision soon as time is of the essence.

I write this only to let you know that the sequel to “Payback” may take a bit longer than I had hoped. While I am vowed to keep writing and maintain as much normalcy as possible, I also want to focus all my energies on attacking this invasion. I think of it as a war against an invader, a substance made foreign by its corruption of the normal cells. It does not belong in my body and has to be destroyed without mercy; somewhat like Jason Richards’ approach to the outlaws in the “After the Fall” series, or Dan Stone’s attitude to the mob in “Payback”.

This is a very treatable cancer and I’m grateful for that. It definitely sharpens my focus on the fact that there is a horizon out there for all our lives and makes me feel I should live more in that reality; not to frighten or depress myself, but to help me live more fully each day, each hour. I am committed to keep writing; there are more stories in me that I’m anxious to get out (and they take some work to bring forth). So I’m sking for your patience as I deal with this inconvenient interruption and then get back on course.

Thank you all for your support and if you haven’t already done so, pick up a copy of “Payback” (paperback or ebook). And, if you like it, write a review on Amazon; I seem to have stalled out at eleven reviews. One reader told me it was my  best so far. I hope he puts that in a review on Amazon.

Thank you all; more to come.