About Me

Each writer has their own path that drives them. Mine encompasses three academic degrees, a stint as a TV reporter and the leadership of an online community. It's a story I think you'll find interesting.

Confessions of a Book Collector

I have a passion for old books. They're a treasure that needs preserving in this digital age. I share some of my own experiences on collecting and how to spot a book worth buying.

Photography: Capturing the World on a Microchip

I'm a professional photographer and videographer, but photography comes first for me. Come see some of my more treasured photos as I discuss what power they hold for me.

Animation and Writing: Insights for the Writer

I've always enjoyed animated movies and shows. They've been a source of creative spark for me, but there's also a lot to learn from them for writers. I'll share some of those lessons with you.

Young Adult

Of all the books I write, I have the most fun writing for Tweens--I think it's loving the stories and toons for the age group, plus writing a lot of fanfiction.

"Hero Town" falls into line with that, plus it brings in the online culture. Jake's always taking in the world around him, thinking in terms of material for his popular sci-fi blog "Hero Town"

Jake's blog features the heroic and often slapstick exploits of galactic freedom fighter Colonel Cosmos. It makes for fun reading in itself--and then there's the bigger mystery to solve in the "real world".

Hero Town

Join 15 year old Jake Dunnigan and his blog-based hero Colonel Cosmos as they invade the small Southern town of Duck's Crossing for a summer of imagination and fun. The fun soon turns into a mystery and challenge that even Jake couldn't have imagined. Jet Boots on Full!

Writing Children's Stories: Before You Write

Let's review the basics of children's book writing. Every writer, experienced or not can profit from this one.

Writing Children's Stories: When You're Writing

Who is your main character? How old should they be? We'll talk about those topics and more, plus a primer on editors and agents.

Writing Children's Stories: After You've Written

Now let's discuss marketing--how to present yourself as an author and create an author website. Don't skip this critical phase of the process!

Historical Fiction

I've always had a love of history. There's nothing like digging through first-hand accounts to find out what really happened for yourself.

The two novels I've written represent a year's worth of research apiece. The War of 1812 and World War I are still not well represented in the literature, so I hope you'll see this as a voyage of discovery because the adventure that awaits you is truly one that I've enjoyed myself.

The Dream Hunters

In the year 1810, Roger Douglas leaves home at 18 to provide for his family and encounters a nation at war.

The Creek War and the War of 1812 will test Roger's mettle, but he and his Muskogee Creek friends Brave Hawk and Running Deer will stand together.

They will experience the largest earthquake ever to hit the United States, a comet foretelling danger and the culmination of a war that threatened America's freedom.

Knights of the Sky

In 1916, Americans volunteered to fly for France in WWI. Roger Douglas, great grandson of his pioneer namesake, joins Everet Holt in a death-defying duel in the skies against Germany's best.

Fly with them in a time when modern warfare clashed with old ideas of honor and virtue. Ride the train to wartime Paris, hide behind enemy lines, and join Roger and Everett on a journey to find their place in the world and what it means to be a hero.

Writing Historical Fiction: Doing Resarch

Here we discuss primary and secondary sources, where to find the information to make your story come alive and the best research tool you can't do without.

Writing Historical Fiction: Plot Pacing

A well-paced plot is important in any story, but in historical fiction it can present new challenges. This article helps you to keep the focus where it should be.


Why I wrote
"The Prepared Scholar"

When I wrote my doctoral dissertation, my research focused on what makes students satisfied and motivated in their interactions with faculty. In the course of that research, I soon became aware that many students weren't sufficiently prepared for college-level work.

Even well-skilled students tend to have a weakness or two, and I realized then I wanted to write a book to help. "The Prepared Scholar" is the result of that desire.


"The Prepared Scholar: Skills and Insights to Successfully Navigate Your Academic Career" is based on my 17 years of personal higher-ed experiences.

I cover everything from skills you need to have when you enter college all the way through your doctoral dissertation.

If you've been looking for a college advice book that tells you how to do it, you've found it!

The Most Important College Skill

As a college instructor, I've seen students succeed and fail. There's one skill above all others you need to develop. Read on.

The Power of a Good

Note-taking is a skill you can develop that will serve you well through college and life. I'll teach you how plus give you a real-life example to drive it home.

Ten Things You Can Do Now to Improve Your Public Speaking

I taught public speaking for a year and a half in college and saw wonderful speakers and some who needed a lot of help.

If I were teaching it today, there's a list of practices I'd start off with, and you can see them here.