News and updates

If you’re on my reader update list you already know this, but last fall I discovered my body was invaded by cancer. There was a tumor at the base of my tongue and cancer cells had leaked into my lymph glands (that’s how I discovered something was wrong—they swelled up).

Initially I had the “courage of ignorance” as I call it, thinking I would get this taken care of and quickly get back on with my life; the cancer was very treatable with a high success rate. It was not to be. I went through seven weeks of daily radiation treatment along with weekly chemo therapy. We think the cancer is eradicated, but await a PET scan in five more weeks to confirm. However, the recovery from the treatment is long and arduous. The throat is a busy area and burning out a tumor creates a lot of problems in the area. One loses a sense of taste, saliva thickens, swallowing is painful, and appetite disappears.

Many people have to get feeding tubes to maintain weight. Thankfully I didn’t have to go that far, but I lost almost 20% of my weight. I was down to a dangerous level. In the seven weeks from the end of the treatment, I’ve gained back sixteen pounds but am still less than half way back to my normal weight.

The point of this is not to enlist your sympathy (although I would never discourage a sympathetic comment) but to let you know that the follow up to Payback will take longer than anticipated. I got 37,000 words into the novel (about 40%) when I stopped writing. I’m trying to get back to now, but realistically it will be early summer at best before it ready to publish. Almost everyone who has read Payback and written a review is looking forward to the next book. I have many adventures in store for Dan Stone and making the readers wait for nine to ten months is not the best marking idea.

I didn’t plan on the cancer. It has dramatically altered the timing of my writing and publishing. But it has also changed my life—my internal compass. I’ll write about that sometime later, but it is a very good change.

So, be patient with me, bear with me. I’ll get a great follow up book out and the third one won’t be so far behind. I know you’ll enjoy Dan’s adventures and how he develops over time. Thanks for sticking with me through this difficult time!

Now, on another front, while my attention was focused on cancer my website was inundated with spam. I had over 1,100 comments on the blog page. They consisted of gibberish written by people who don’t know English very well and the email addresses pointed to sports jerseys and basketball shoes—1,100 of them! I also discovered the website had been hacked and someone(s) had put twenty four foreign books (from Poland, I think) along with the book blurbs as postings on my blog page. Now only the administrator can post a blog; readers can post comments, so I was hacked. I spent some hours deleting all the comments and the book postings and have closed down the comments and changed passwords. If you want to leave any comments, send them via email to david at davidnees dot com until I can get this figured out. If you want others to read your comments, note that and I’ll post it on the blog page.

Thanks for sticking with me through this serious life challenge. I know many of you have been affected by cancer and know of what I speak. It has changed parts of my life, for the better and I hope to regain my strength and continue to write engaging stories.

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