Monday, May 25, 2009

Brush With The Law

Ever hear the saying that bad things happen in threes? My luck tends to disprove that theory.

Yesterday, I was on line at a website called 911tabs. Here you can get chords and tabs to thousands of songs. I was looking up how to play some Jefferson Starship on guitar when I clicked on a tab link.I was immediately informed that I'd caught a Trojan virus.


What I thought was my spyware software warning me, was actually something called Personal Antivirus. Looks just like Microsoft alerts. I began to click buttons to prevent my laptop from getting sick.What I ended up doing was downloading the spyware directly to my computer. All these warning popups appeared, demanding my attention, telling me my computer was infected. That my personal data and passwords were being sent to an offshore IP address.Personal Antivirus wanted me to purchase their spyware.Did some research. Turns out, Personal Antivirus does this. Infects your system with their "fake" viruses. Had it worked out so that popups continually interrupt whatever you are doing to make you panic, thinking your computer is infected and needs their software to heal it.

So, that was how my day started.

Got in my car later. It made a rattle sound. Like something was loose. Being not at all mechanically inclined, I fixed the problem by turning the up the volume on the car stereo.

Deep inside, however, my mind was going over new bills I'd be incurring in the near future. Fix my laptop, and taking the car to a garage.

Anyway, I was on my way to pick up Mindy. We'd made plans to go to the drive-in. Vintage, in Avon. Demons & Angles and Star Trek was showing on screen 3.

I told her about my day. I explained that something else would go wrong. Had to. In writing, we call this foreshadowing.We got a good spot in the third row--and per the Vintage employee's direction, parked close to one of the white poles. The poles indicate parking spots. At one time I am sure they housed speakers for viewers to listen to the movies. (All done by car radio now, in case you were not aware).

It was after two AM when Star Trek ended. I went to pull out of the parking spot. Forgot about the white pole, and ran the driver's side along it. Screamed. Backed up, raking the pole, again across my door.

Laptop. Funny car noises. Scratched the car on a stupid pole.

One. Two. Three.

Once on I-390 North, we saw two police cars had pulled someone over. I slowed to 55 mph. Road between the two lanes, and both Mindy and I developed rubber neck as we peered at the guy in his car being questioned by two police officers.

We commented. "Some one's in trouble."

Next thing I know a cop is behind me. Lights on. No sirens. I pulled over to the shoulder.

I looked at Mindy. "I know I wasn't speeding," I said.

The officer came to my door, flashlight shinning into the car. "You just drive by where we had someone pulled over?"


"You brushed the other officer," he said. "Sent him onto the hood of his cruiser."

My stomach dropped. "There's no way," I said.

"Were you driving in this lane?" He shown his light on the right-hand lane.

"I was."

"Yeah," he said. "You hit the officer."

"Sir," I said. "There's no way. We slowed down to like fifty-five. I even moved over into the left lane some."

"You were in this lane," he said, again showing me the right lane with his flashlight.

"I was," I said.

"Yeah. You hit him." He walked around my car. Looked at the front passenger side. Came back. "How about your license and registration."

I gave it to him.

"Sit tight," he said and walked back to his cruiser.

I looked at Mindy. "There's no way we hit him and didn't know it."

She agreed. We laughed. The situation was not funny.We could hear the officer talking.

"It was a Cobalt? A red Cobalt?"

I drove an Aveo. Looked similar.

He came to my window. Handed me back my license. He was on his cell. To me he said, "You seem like you're telling the truth," he said. "A lot of red cars drove past us. Have a nice night."

I tucked my license back into my wallet. The officer pulled back onto the expressway, and gunned the engine.I sucked in some air, realizing I might have been holding my breath.

All I could think was, Laptop, funny noise, scraped the paint, and accused of hit-and-run.

One. Two. Three. Four.


I guess if I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all, huh?

And people always ask, "Where do you get ideas for the stories you write?"

My pat response: "They just come to me."

Uh-yeah.Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Thomas Phillips
Author of The Molech Prophecy

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Saturday Morning Rant

It's been nearly two months since my last post. Sorry. Been busy.

Last time I blogged, I wrote about some not-so-great news. A large publisher had been been considering my vampire novel for a series, but then did not offer a contract due to the ongoing suffering of the economy.

Since, I have been working hard to re-work some of my manuscripts. With three completed works stored in my computer, I have recently begun doing two things:

1. Soliciting agents for some of my works, and for others
2. Sending queries to publishers

People may not be spending hard earned dollars on book buying right now, but that hasn't stopped me from writing. In fact, I am writing more now than I have in a long while.

The goal is to land a contract with another large press, like Whitaker House, who published The Molech Prophecy in July 2008. However, I am not opposed to signing a contract with a smaller press. Not at all.

My first short story was published in 1995. It was a western, sold to a magazine out of Calgary. I'll never forget the feeling of seeing my work in print for the first time. It had been amazing. Over the years I've sold more than 100 short stories, six novels and two books for children. I've done hundreds of book signings, been interviewed on TV, radio, magazines and on-line. If I never sold another piece, I have nothing to complain about. Nothing.

But I can't stop now.


I still have stories in me that need telling. Stories worth telling.

And I believe as long as I can find an outlet -- large publisher, small press -- I will keep plugging away!

So why stop?

Why quit?

Makes no sense. Not to me.

I accepted long, long ago that I may never achieve my dream of bestseller.

I'm good with that. Not a problem.

Midlist writer is just fine with me.

The Molech Prophecy has sold more books than any of my other novels combined. And for that small miracle, I am both thrilled and thankful. The book is carried in stores across the country. That fact alone humbles me.

So I may not have a new book coming out in 2009. As long as I keep at the hunt for an agent and/or publisher, I am confident that by next summer a new Thomas Phillips novel will be available on bookshelves once again.

Don't give up on me as a writer. Keep following my blog.

There is more to come.

I promise.

Have a great Saturday!

Thomas Phillips
Author of The Molech Prophecy