Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Launch party for 'The Devil's Pipeline' was a success

   POINT RICHMOND - Saturday's launch party to celebrate the publishing of The Devil's Pipeline was a success all around.
     About 60 people attended, filling Kaleidoscope Coffee nicely.
     The author managed to mangle only a few sentences in his speech.

With Beverly and Don Gerth
     And the audience asked some great questions, the answers to which will be incorporated into the next launch party, Feb. 11, 2019 at 6 p.m. at Book Passage in San Francisco at the Ferry Terminal.
     Along with an amazing turnout of local friends and supporters was the former president of California State University, Sacramento Donald Gerth and his wife Bev. Two former students of the author came also - Jennifer Noble and Jennifer Maldonado.
     Both women were student editors with the campus-based State Hornet newspaper while the author was faculty adviser to the publication and a professor in the Journalism Department at Sacramento State.
With Jennifer Noble (left) and Jennifer Maldonado
   In the author's presentation some details about the next novel in Jack Stafford series (tentatively titled The Wolverine Rebellion) trickled out.
     • The next book will continue the tradition of The Fracking War, Fracking Justice and The Devil's Pipeline by having a strong environmental emphasis.
     • The ongoing assault on civil liberties in the U.S. (and potential ones) will be a major part of the plotline.
     • The first section in the book is tentatively titled "Assembly," a nod to freedom of assembly, one of the pivotal elements in the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

   The Devil's Pipeline is currently available for purchase in paperback and e-book formats via and other online retailers. A signed copy can also be ordered directly by sending an email to the author at
       In the spring the book will become available for purchase at select bookstores and other locations.
On stage Saturday afternoon at Kaleidoscope Coffee in Point Richmond

Friday, November 30, 2018

E-book version of 'The Devil's Pipeline' uploaded

   POINT RICHMOND, Calif. - The electronic version of The Devil's Pipeline was uploaded into the chronosynclastic infundibulum this morning.
     If chronosynclastic infundibulum is wildly obscure, a re-reading of the late Kurt Vonnegut's 1959 novel The Sirens of Titan might clear it up. It's one of Vonnegut's best novels.
     The shorthand definition is to say that the novel was uploaded to Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Nook and a dozen electronic reader formats through a company called Draft2Digital as well as Kindle Direct, the Amazon e-book publishing system.
     Same book, same characters, just available now on your iPad, iPhone, iGuess, Kindle reader or, I suppose, your Apple watch.
     Even though the book was sent to into the ether, it may take a day or two - because of the holidays - for it to show up in all the e-formats.
     In the meantime, the book launch party is on for Kaleidoscope Coffee in Point Richmond for Saturday, Dec. 15 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Everyone's invited...
     Kaleidoscope has excellent coffee, tea, snacks - and wine. What kind of book launch would it be without wine?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

'The Devil's Pipeline' published and ready to read

   POINT RICHMOND, Calif. - The Devil's Pipeline made its print-version debut Saturday and is available via
     The E-Book (in Kindle, Apple Books and all those other electronic book formats) should be available in a few days.
     The final sprint to publication came during several weeks of amazing feats of computer magic performed by Adm. Sylvia Fox. That magic was punctuated occasionally by muttered incantations directed at her computer screen.
     But in the end, the final book product looks (and I hope reads) great. You can read a sample on the Amazon page.
     The official "launch party" will be Saturday, Dec. 15 from 2-4 p.m. at Kaleidoscope Coffee in Point Richmond, Calif.
     Everyone is invited to this celebration/soiree.
     The publication of the novel ends more than two years of on-again, off-again writing, editing, beta reader reviews, proofreading and manuscript back and forth with two different commercial publishers.
     In the end, Adm, Fox and I used an Amazon publishing platform (for the print version) and a separate electronic system for the E-book (the same one we used for the E-book of  Fracking Justice). I'm pleased with both.
    Please come to the Kaleidoscope event if you possibly can. It's going to be a great party. You can ask me there when the audiobook is coming out...

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

'The Devil's Pipeline' on track for fall publication

   POINT RICHMOND, Calif. -  How many times have I written this headline before?
     Don't go back and look. It would be too embarrassing. This novel has been a see-saw battle both internally for the author and externally.
     But this time I can say with certainty publication is imminent. The book only needs a few pieces to fall into place before - Voila! - The Devil's Pipeline should become available in e-book and print.
There's a Devil in there somewhere
   Some of those pieces rest on my shoulders - the writing of acknowledgements, a preface and dedications, along with a number of other similar details.
     Getting the book into actual production is being handled ably by Adm. Sylvia Fox, whose patience is far greater than mine.
     One big piece remaining is the cover design. It was to be done by the same artist who did Fracking Justice.
     But her schedule became overloaded just as I needed the cover to complete the project.
   But in a week or so I hope to meet with a Northern California artist of considerable fame to see if she is willing to take it on.
     Thanks for your patience. There's a Pipeline headed your way.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

'The Devil's Pipeline' edging towards completion

   POINT RICHMOND - Pipelines take time to build. So do novels involving pipelines, energy companies, thuggish crime, environmental disasters and the haunting history of the Kent State massacre.
     But today, Draft Vers. 2.0 of The Devil's Pipeline is in the capable custody of one more beta reader in California - accomplished novelist, poet and non-fiction book author, Elizabeth Claman of Atchison Village, who lives just a few miles from where this is being written.
   This draft 2.0 version has already had a thorough sifting and suggestions for changes by my good friend and editor extraordinaire Wrexie Bardaglio.
     Wrexie caught several plot flaws, an embarrassing number of typos and schooled me on some Native American references and facts, all of which makes 2.0 much stronger.
     At some point in the next few weeks - depending on the verdict from Elizabeth (and needed editing is completed) - a Vers. 3.0 will go to the Los Angeles publishing house that asked for a second look at the draft.
     And when that happens, the in-process draft of The Wolverine Rebellion will move back onto the front writing burner, just in time for spring, when wolverines tend to get really active.

Friday, January 12, 2018

'Fracking War' presentations - and video - in Nov.

   SACRAMENTO - November was a busy month with presentations in Sacramento and San Francisco. December was busy, too - for different reasons, which is why it's already 2018 before this report made it out.
   In Sacramento, I gave a talk at the Friends of the Library at California State University, Sacramento, the university where I spent several decades teaching journalism.
   In San Francisco, it was a lively panel discussion with three other writers at the Howard Zinn Book Faire.
   The Sacramento event was a real homecoming for me.
   The library gallery speaking venue was full. The audience included students, former colleagues and even retired CSUS President Donald R. Gerth and his wife Beverly.
   My introduction was given by longtime amigo, retired Journalism Professor Bill Dorman. Bill helped engineer my appearance and shepherded me through the day - a luncheon, the talk and a cocktail/reception at the home of retired Government Professor Jean Torcom.
   In the talk I took a different tack than previous presentations. I stayed away from reciting the horrors of hydrofracking and focused on the novel-writing process. The feedback at the talk and the reception after let me know it was the right move for the university audience.
   A video of the talk is at the bottom of this column.
   Included were references to The Devil's Pipeline (set to go to an LA publisher this week for a second look) and The Wolverine Rebellion, the characters of which are getting extremely restless for my attention to get that plot moving again.
(L-R: Liz Carlisle, Steve Masover, Michael Fitzgerald)
   The San Francisco event was a panel discussion titled "Narrating the Anthropocene: Storytelling to Rouse Communities Grappling with Planetary Crisis," organized and chaired by San Francisco novelist Steve Masover, author of Consequence.
   The other panel members were Liz Carlisle, author of The Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America and Jean Tepperman, author of Warning from My Future Self.
   It was a lively panel discussion, with all of us talking about using fiction to effect social change.
   The panel was less than an hour - the panel-presentation equivalent of speed dating.
   But it was a lot of fun.