Amazon said “Yes”


My debut novel has been admitted to the Amazon Kindle Scout program.

Click here to nominate my book!

Scout lets readers help select new works to publish, and I’m excited to be part of the program. Anzu’s trial period starts today, Friday, January 27 and runs for 30 days. After that, my book could be chosen for publication.

The first 7 chapters are UP at Amazon as of midnight. Come see what I have done.

To nominate my book and help me get published, click on the link below.

Amazon measures traffic to my page, so your participation will make a difference. Please share this announcement, on Facebook, email and by word of mouth. Even if you don’t read science fiction, somebody you know does.

Readers love a chance to get a sneak peek, so spread the news!

Even if the outcome does not include an Amazon contract, the fact that an editor at the world’s largest publisher thinks my book deserves a place on the starting line makes me very happy indeed.

I extend heartfelt thanks to all my first readers, to everyone who offered encouragement, and especially my brother Mike, who collaborated tirelessly through every revision. Please join me in celebrating three and a half years bringing this book to its first milestone.

Warmest regards,

John Dyer

The Den of the Grub Fox

For anybody interested in process, this is how some stories begin for me.

I had this crazy dream from which emerged the title of a story, and the barest of premises. I went for drive with the top down, came back and wrote this. I have no idea what I will do with it, if anything. But, here it is.

The Den of the Grub Fox

My mother died on the morning of my 60th birthday.

She was 81, passed in her sleep in her own house, in her own bed, next to my father.

The neighbor, a schoolmate I had known since I was 10, called me at home while I was getting dressed. I could hear my dad in the background, moaning in grief. There was no question about what I should do.

It was 400 miles to Bozeman, another 90 to the town I grew up in. I filled up my car on the way to the office, hung a sign on the door, called my two active clients and left.


Background notes:

The man is an attorney in a one-man practice. His father was a naval officer in the Korean war, married a Korean girl and brought her home.

Mom was a music teacher, Dad was service manager at a Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep dealership. The home town is maybe 15-20,000 people.

The protagonist is divorced, childless. When he arrives to attend to his mother’s funeral arrangements and sees the state his father is in, he realizes he has to stay.

The mayor is a high school classmate, offers him a job as city attorney.

The job puts him in frequent contact with the county sheriff’s department. The department is staffed with a mixture of older officers and military veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. What he sees in this congregation is an outward commitment to the notions of community and service, but no framework within which such things might flourish.

A lady who wishes to start a local food bank approaches him for help applying for a grant. They establish The Den of the Grub Fox, a name taken from a Cub Scout troupe that lasted only two years when the protagonist was a boy.

And the winner is …

I ran an informal focus group session on The Smarter Artist to see how my test covers fared against top SciFi titles in the Kindle catalog. Here’s what I posted:


If you try, you will spot a few versions of a book entitled Anzu. Those would be mine. I composed 4 of them using illustrations found mostly on DeviantArt. Bottom row #5 is my own work.

I asked: Where does YOUR eye stop and shop?

At this writing, I have 24 replies. Top row #5 got the most hits for me. The Winter Over did best all around.

Now that I am in the final packaging phase, getting ready to self-publish, this was a big deal for me. I have shopped outlets for cover art, messaged a few artists, wrote a design brief or three, but ultimately I decided to test my own eye for this part of it.

The fact that I got even a couple of hits in a sea of best selling titles tells me I can do this.

Also, Starkiteckt offered “Red Gas Giant” for $75. Here’s my latest version of the cover. If you think  I’m making a big mistake, call me on it.




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