What Else Have I Been Missing?

Hey everybody,

I had my first Krispy Kreme donut on June 4th, 2010.

I’m sure you might be asking how I remember that exact date? Am I a fatty savant? Perhaps I have a rare eidetic memory that allows me only to remember food related things.

The answer is rather unremarkable…


I was doing an internship outside Cleveland, Oh and one of my superiors brought me there for Free Donut Day.

Eating that hot, glazed donut for the first time, I only had one thought…which I expressed in an over exaggerated shout…


It was like salvation.

I just had to tell someone about it!



“Do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior, Donuts?” (Not me. This is a stock photo)

Now I’m sure you’re asking, “Who the hell cares?”


Recently, as I’ve begun to take myself more seriously as an author, I’ve been doing a lot more reading (as all 3 followers of this blog can read in my previous post from two months ago).

Yesterday, Jacob (my 3 year old son) selected for me the next book I’m going to read.

A book that has been sitting on my “to-read” list and shelf for better than three years.


I’m on page 100, and it is amazing.

I have no good excuse for not reading it sooner.

In previous instances in which I encountered a, “WHAT ELSE HAVE I BEEN MISSING?” moment, I’ve chastised myself.

ALL THOSE WASTED YEARS!!!” I’ve thought.

When really, I was so damn focused on the years I’d been missing out I forgot to take the time to enjoy experiencing it.

Which brings me to 2 recent, “WEHIBM” moments that have served as a sort of paradigm shift for me.

The first was listening to, “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” on audible.


When I’m quiet at night, I can admit to myself it’s my favorite book.

I was so captivated from the beginning, I didn’t think about how long the book had been out until after it was done. It was then I had my moment of realization…

I needed to start approaching every book, show, movie, etc. like it might be my new favorite.

My second moment of paradigm shifting goodness occurred when Brandy and I started to watch…


Yes, I know…I’ve never watched Friends. We’re on season 4. Shut up.

A few episodes ago, I realized I didn’t care how long I’d been missing out.

I was just happy to be experiencing it with my wife.

I didn’t feel like I’d been missing anything.

I didn’t feel like I should’ve broken down and watched it sooner.

I was just happy…enjoying it in the present.

This had made my first time viewing of another 90’s sitcom all the better…


Yes, I’m just now also watching Frasier. Shut up.


All these new (to me) experiences aren’t being wasted in the same way my first Krispy Kreme donut was…

I’m haven’t once thought, “What else have I been missing?”

I haven’t been disappointed.

I’ve just been enjoying the experience.

I realize for other people this will read just like an appeal to, “live in the present.”

And I suppose it is…

But it was my personal revelation.

I understand finally what it means, not in a universal sense, but in a way that makes sense to me.

I’ve also finally read a book by G.K. Chesterton.


After reading two books and A SPEECH I ONCE GAVE: ON LEWIS, TOLKIEN AND CHESTERTON by Neil Gaiman, I felt I owed it to myself to read it.

It did not disappoint.

I’ve also finally engaged with an online SFF indie author’s community through…


In which, I entered my first novel, The Last Days of the Wanderer.

Available again on Amazon. Paperback coming soon.

Pornokitsch will be reading the first 20% of it and doing (at least) a micro-review.

I don’t expect more than that.

Bloodseeker (being edited by Brandy) is a much better novel.

All these new (to me) experiences, and I don’t feel like I’m missing a thing.

I’m just enjoying the ride.

Do with that what you will.


– scritch out.


Hey everybody,

I know I did this recently, but I still wanted to write it down.

Mostly for my own accountability.

For the first time in ever, I’m actually using Goodreads to track my reading!
This was inspired by my wife’s boss who tries to read 50 books a year.

They’re in publishing so that makes sense.

I decided, fancying myself a fledgling writer, to really work on reading to better improve my writing (excluding this blog because, let’s face it, this hardly counts).

Therefore I am going to try to stick to reading the following list of books (in this order)

  1. Fool Moon by. Jim Butcher (Finished 3/24)
  2. A Darker Shade of Magic by. V.E. Schwab (Finished 4/29)
  3. Salvation by Allegiance Alone by. Mattew Bates (Buy Here)
  4. The Judge of Ages by. John C. Wright (15% in)
  5. Speaker for the Dead by. Orson Scott Card
  6. The Reader by. Traci Chee (Finished 5/13)
  7. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Finished 5/22)
  8. Grave Peril by. Jim Butcher
  9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaimen (Finished 5/1)
  10. Station Eleven by. Emily Saint John Mandel
  11. Storm of Swords by. George R. R. Martin
  12. The Silmarillion by. J.R.R. Tolkien
  13. The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G.K. Chesterton (Finished 5/19)
  14. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Finished 5/30)

AND on Audio Book

  1. That Hideous Strength by. C.S. Lewis (Finished 3/28)
  2. A Crown of Swords by. Robert Jordan (Finished 4/6)
  3. The Path of Daggers by. Robert Jordan
  4. Wheel of Time 9+

My goal for the year is 25. I think that’s doable.
I may bounce around this list a bit, but I want to get through all of these as part of my 25.

I am already 5 books in, by the way, having read:

  1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by. Susannah Clarke
  2. Lord of Chaos by. Robert Jordan (audio book)
  3. The Hermetic Millenia by John C. Wright (so glad this is done)
  4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by. NOT J.K. Rowling
  5. Storm Front by. Jim Butcher

Mind you, all of this while revising Bloodseeker and reading/memorizing scripts.

It really is a good time to be me.

-scritch out

Bloodseeker – Official Announcement

Good afternoon everyone,

After months of typing and hacking at various keyboards, I have a rough draft of my forthcoming novel: BLOODSEEKER.

“Three times a year, the dried blood of St. Januarius, Patron Saint of Naples, is said to miraculously turn to liquid. If it does not, it is believed to signal the start of a period of war, disease, or famine. The last time the miracle failed to occur was in 1980 when the earthquake of Irpinia killed 2,900 people in Italy. In 1973, it served as a precursor to an outbreak of Cholera in Naples, and in 1939, 1940, and 1943 it closely corresponded with Italy’s involvement in World War II.

On December 16, 2016, for the first time in 36 years, the blood did not liquefy. While many, including some within the Catholic Church, regard the ceremony as nothing more than coincidence and superstition, Adrian Ramsey knows better; he knows this means hell is literally about to break loose.

On November 23, 1980, the same day the earthquake of Irpinia devastated Conza della Campiana, Adrian’s parents opened the gates of Hell.

Thirty-seven years later, Adrian Ramsey has betrayed his oath as a Bloodseeker—an ancient order dedicated to self-empowerment— so he can use his abilities to combat the escaped creatures and correct his parents’ treachery against humanity. When he and his assistant, Kiara Wells, hear of the sign of St. Januarius, they begin a desperate quest to prevent the world from being plunged into the chaos of the Hellscape.”
Please let me know what you think, and if you’re interested in being a beta reader.
I’m currently hard at work revising and editing the first draft and would love some feedback once it has made a round through rewrites.
My sincerest thanks to everyone,
J.L. Scritchfield

The Importance of Being Violent

Hey everybody,

I’ve been thinking about violence lately.

As I’m writing a novel about demons (sort of), magic (kind of), and death (maybe) and am stage managing a production of Titus Andronicus, I’ve been recently confronted with some dark themes and ill feelings I’d like to expound upon a bit.

As far as my new project is concerned, I’m still playing it close to the vest. However, the above themes are mostly there and in doing research to set it in our contemporary world, I’ve had to dwell on evil and demonic things. I’m extremely excited about the project, but every so often a chill runs down my spine.

Not that I’m afraid mind you.

There’s just something disconcerting about engaging with the, shall we say, unnatural.

Similarly, while being  a part of this excellent production of Titus Andronicus with Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, I’ve had the opportunity to witness and in some instances help stage moments of murder, rape, and cannibalism.

For those of you who know me, violence isn’t a huge issue in my real life.

I’m a nice enough guy who isn’t prone to violence.

As a theatre artist, however, stage combat is one of my things.

See below a 10 beat fight of me getting beaten up.

Of course, it isn’t real.

It’s fun.

But when you’re watching it transpire, (evil, I mean. Something that goes against what you believe to be the way things are supposed to work) there’s a sort of jarring that happens.

Last night, while on book for the actresses playing Demetrius and Chiron, a feeling of dread came over me, and I had to know my wife and sons were okay. So…clumsily, while staying on book, I sent a text message along the lines of

“How’s your night?”

The response was everything I needed.

The boys were asleep finally. She was reading. Asked the same of me.

That’s all. I just needed to know my family was safe.

This is an extremely small (and not quite perfect) example of why I think it’s important to sometimes put yourself out of your comfort zone.

To watch, read, or listen to a book, movie, or album that puts your back up.

Makes your hair stand on end.

It FORCES you to do something.

You can’t just sit there. You can’t just read the words on the page or watch the actors perform. You need to reach out to someone you love and know that there is justice in the world. There is order in the world.

There is good in the world.

Now, I know there are people who have done heinous things inspired by simulated violence.

But I don’t believe they’re the norm.

Nor do I advocate for people immersing themselves in this kind of evil.

I know a Fight Choreographer who talked about building a dummy for a theatrical production that had to be capable of basically being disemboweled and spurting blood everywhere. He would work on it and experiment with it in his basement (as it was his job) and then just above his head, his kids would be playing. He would go from torturing this dummy to playing with his 3 and 5 year old kids. He said it was a, “challenge.”

He needed that good to outweigh the bad.

Because the bad was exhausting.

I think if you indulge those jarring senses to the point where you no longer cringe at it. When you’re so desensitized you can think about rape or murder without it seeming unnatural, you’ve let yourself go too far in, and you need some good in your life.

For me, it was knowing my family was safe.


As you write, as you act, as you watch or participate,  keep in mind those things that are right, just, and natural about the life.

Let evil jar you. Let it bother you. Let it get under your skin.

And then do something.

-scritch out

January State of Blog(ger)

Good evening everyone,

I know it has been three weeks since my last post.

Forgive me. I’ve been ill.

I promise I’ll get back into the swing of things starting this coming week.


That’s worth something right?

For the few of you concerned, I did not win the Novelist competition on Inkitt.

I know, I know, you’re crushed.

But I did tell you to expect nothing.


I have been hard at work on a new writing project.

One I am extremely happy about.

I’m not quite ready to announce the title or give a book summary yet, but it is unlike anything I’ve done before. Not that you’re at all familiar with my books apart from The Shadow of Fate, which will likely be vacating in the internet in the near future.

I’ll say this much. Urban Fantasy. Blood Magic. Mythology.

Piqued your interest?


Well, fine.

I’m 35,000+ words in and I still have plenty of story to tell.

THAT in part is why I have not updated recently…

Because I’ve been writing…and sick…

Often at the same time.

Anyway, I’m up and at ’em.

Tell your friends.

-scritch out

State of the Blog(ger) 2016: A Year in Review

Hey everyone,

What a year it has been!

For the most part, 2016 seems to have sucked for a LOT of people.

Even had Trump lost the presidency, I think you’d still have the type of unrest we’re seeing now. It would have been a lot less smug and more angry, but I still think people would be bemoaning how lousy this year has been.

Which is why I’d like to tell you about all the grand things that happened for me this year.

For my family and me, 2016 has been a huge year of change and progress.

Here are the highlights!


From September 2015 – June 2016, I got to live a childhood dream of being a carpenter.

Brandy landed a job at her dream company – Baker Publishing.

We moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

We had another kid!

Kaeden Lewis – 4 Months

I played Petruchio and met a whole bunch of really cool people.



The Bears are garbage…



And for my birthday, Brandy took me to Soldier field!


Sure,  they got killed…But it was a lot of fun.


I finally started putting my writing out into the world, it was featured on a website, and has received some great feedback.

I’ve also started a new project to be announced sometime in the near future.

Read it free here: Shadow of Fate

The next one won’t be free.


Interned at the Beach Bash, met some awesome people, choreographed for a school, fight captained/choreographed another show, and am the fight captain in another show in 2017.

Made some neat things in my spare time:

Heater cover



I got to be a Dad…



…To these two amazing boys.


A husband…


Even if we haven’t had a proper date since September.

To this amazing woman…

And that’s all that matters to me.

So sure…2016 was a rough year. Everyone wants you to believe that everything is falling apart and maybe it really is. People suck. The economy sucks. The government sucks. A bunch of celebrities died.

But this…





THAT is what matters.

THAT is what is worth fighting for.

Not everything about 2016 has sucked.

I hope you’ve had happy holidays.

And if you haven’t, I hope 2017 brings about the change, hope, and love you’re searching for.

-scritch2016 out




Hey everybody,

This week I’ve been thinking about the pendulum…


Not a literal pendulum mind you…

A metaphorical one.


One I’ve observed.

My observations could be and are probably wrong, but they’re mine.

When I was attending UVF (then VFCC), I found a lot of my preconceptions challenged. The way I viewed God, the church, and scripture, yes, but also the way I viewed life in general.

I was raised in a very Pentecostal church. We didn’t dance with snakes or drink venom, but there was an emphasis on the supernatural. During which, I saw some strange things. Explanations for which, I still don’t have.

It was supernatural.

Anyway, when I started college, I brought with me a lot of notions I had about how the world worked. As I mentioned above, these notions were challenged, and my worldview began to morph and solidify. That’s the purpose of the university (and education in general). To educate and produce scholars capable of formulating their own thoughts. Being raised in a very non-structured, charismatic movement, I latched on to the information from the other side. Clearly, liturgy and straight expository preaching was the answer to ALL of my problems. The issue was clearly that the previous generation had abandoned homiletics and hermeneutics, and it was my duty to mend that mistake!

Of course, I ended up going into theatre and all this is moot now…


The fact still remains that I swung the other direction.

Brandy and I found a contemporary liturgical in VA Beach and started going there. We started exploring the Roman Catholic church, the Anglicans, the Episcopals, and Eastern Orthodox.

Because we’d swing the other direction.

This week I started to think about how this same pendulum swing happens generationally with so much more than theology. Specifically, in regards to parenting.

I know a lot of people my age who complain about the strict structures of their toxic upbringing. How they felt like they were forced to conform to the molds of what is masculine and feminine. This of course led to an identity crisis when they weren’t able to achieve that paradigm of whatever gender norm they were pressed to conform to.

I can’t help but wonder if maybe our emphasis on gender fluidity is in direct response to the way we were raised.

Note: Do not get me wrong. I’m not taking a stand on anything. These are just thoughts. I don’t want to even touch on transgenderism. I am not trans and cannot begin to understand the gravity of what trans people experience. I’m a strictly discussing gender norms in their relation to parenting.

My question for all of us emerging parents is this…

What will our children say about us?


Do you think we’re the generation that has it nailed down?

Or do you think this is just another swing of the pendulum?


I don’t know.


I don’t think of my childhood as toxic even though I was raised to be a man.

I was taught that emotions were good, and it was okay for boys to cry…

I learned to suppress them on my own.

I didn’t grow up idolizing John Wayne though I love his movies…

But I do appreciate a good tough good guy character.


To be honest, I’m kind of an intersection of masculinity and femininity.

I willingly chose and enjoy a profession that involves putting on makeup and pretending to be someone else. I love football and heavy music, but I also really like getting my haircut, and I’d kill for a mani/pedi. I cry during movies, but I also push down my real emotions like a true warrior. I’m vain and borderline narcissistic. I can’t pass by a reflective surface without looking at myself. I like beer and pizza. I like attention. I’m a whore for affirmation. I want my wife to know what I’m thinking and feeling before I do. I would love for her to come home with flowers for me. Oh, did I also mention I’m a stay at home dad while my wife works full-time.

You know what’s great about everything I just listed?

Although some of it is classically Male or Female…It doesn’t have to be either.

I don’t have to suppress those things that make up Me.


But society judges.

I get that.

I get that every time I tell someone my wife works, and I stay at home.


But I’m an actor and a writer.

Doesn’t matter.


I don’t know what this is from, but I couldn’t not include it…


I guess what I’m getting at is this…

We as parents have a responsibility to raise our children.

We have a responsibility to nurture their sensibilities and proclivities.

Not ours.

And to force on them the opposite of what our parents did just because we turned out to be self-obsessed, emo adult-babies (speaking for myself) is just as damaging as repeating their every mistake.

Maybe we just need to learn from our and parents’ mistakes and try to do better.

Each new generation has the potential to be the best one.

They just need some guidance.

Maybe it’s time to stop the pendulum mid-swing and find a happy medium.


Do what you will with that.


-scritch out.


Dust in the Wind

Hey everybody,

With this post, I am back into the swing o’ things.
It feels good to be blogging weekly again.
Being a stay at home dad certainly helps with that.
Despite Kaeden fussing in his bassinet while I rock him to sleep/write this.
He always starts fussing when I start writing…

It’s uncanny.

“I know canny…And this ain’t it.” – Sassy Mary

Anyway… yesterday we (Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company) closed our main run of Taming of the Shrew. In which, I’m playing Petruchio btw.


R-L: Grumio – Kimi Griggs, Petruchio – Me, Hortensio – Bruno Rodrigues

We have one show left on December 4th in Spring Lake. Be there if you can.
It’s a good time.

As I’ve been revisiting some old favorite books and while performing this show, I’ve gotten to thinking about both the fleeting nature of life and art.

I’ve had two main thoughts in respect to art (specifically writing and acting).

  1. Every performance is a distinct moment in time. Unrepeatable. Only the audience that sees it will ever experience that performance. They will forever carry the memory of that performance in their minds (for better or worse) for their entire lives. Furthermore, that specific cast is only together for that rehearsal process and consequent run.
  2. You only get one chance to experience a story for the first time. No matter how many times I read Watership Down or The Last Guardian of Everness, I will never be able to experience that feeling of complete and total awe; being unaware of what will happen next.

There’s a sort of communion that happens between performer and audience in performance art (especially in regards to theatre) that makes it unique. With theatre (as opposed to, say, dancing), the audience experiences a story. Perhaps it’s a story they’ve never heard before. Perhaps it’s a story they’re experiencing again. But for every person consciously sitting in the audience, it is a new moment. You won’t see that performance again. Even if you see the show again…

The lines dropped, the intentions behind lines delivered, things that went right, things that went wrong, etc. All of those things are unrepeatable.

Even in a perfect show, there are moments of difference adding up to an infinite number of permutations that makes a single, solitary performance its own unique entity.

It’s beautiful.

As an actor, I’m able to share that moment with that cast and that audience from, “Verona, for a while I take my leave…” to “…God give you good-night.

It’s part of why I do this.

As a reader, I realize something like this happens when you read a book for the first time.

It is certainly a less intimate experience, but there is still something magical about experiencing a story for the first time.

You’re like a sailor alone on the ocean of another person’s mind: blown by the winds of the author, swept up by the waves of their story, and sent adrift by the emotions of their characters.

And once you’ve experienced that once.

You can never have that experience again with the same story.

Even if you read the book again.

You’ll know what happens.

You’ll have a boat and a compass.

You’ll know how to navigate the waters.

You won’t be as sympathetic to the characters because you’ll know what they feel or what they’re about to feel.


That said…

Be open to those new stories.

Revel in every moment.

Because you never know when you’ll read your favorite book.

See your favorite movie.

Watch your favorite play.


  • scritch out



November State of the Blogger

Hey e’erybody,

This week had brought with it a lot of introspection.

As I’ve mentioned in most of my recent posts, my novel is currently engaged in The Novelist competition here on Inkitt. It’s actually the first featured book on their website, which is really cool. I’ve finally garnered enough analytics to be considered for publishing and my reads have spiked over the last couple weeks by literally hundreds (As of this morning I’ve hit 620). I’ve picked up a good review too.

I continue to market the book as well as I’m able despite its flaws, and I can’t help but feel like a little vulnerable. It’s also exciting. Even though I know (logically) I will in all likelihood not win, I’m still excited. I’m excited people are reading. Even if it’s 34 copies. I love writing. I love telling stories. It’s what got me into acting (that and my constant need for affirmation).

I love it.

And my sequel is going to be even better.

To be fair, I’ve already written it, and it’s bad.


I’m re-writing it now that I’m a better writer. I have an actual outline and I’m trimming the fat.

I’m so excited, and I’m only one chapter in.

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this with anyone…well two things really.

  1. My goal as an actor/author is to turn one into the equivalent of a part time job, while the other becomes a hobby. I’m happy either way. I just want to tell my stories.
  2. My dream is to write someone’s favorite story.

I want someone someday to tell me, “That thing you did. That’s my favorite.”

And then I’ll smile and say, “Well, I did it for you.”

That’s who I’m working for.

I’m working for that person who someday will say…

That’s my favorite (story, character, play, etc.)

I also have a bunch of other books on the back burner right now.

I’m waiting to see what happens with The Shadow of Fate.

I think if I win, I’m going to write the sequel and maybe a few in this same world.

If I lose, I think I’m going to move on finally.

I might write the sequel and throw it up on Inkitt just so the 3 people that care can know where I was going to go (It’s my Speaker for the Dead, guys).

But I’ll move on to my epic fantasy series, The Ninth Heir.

Or my Luciferian novel, The Bright One.

Or the techno-apocalypse book idea I had a few days ago.

We’ll see. I’ve been kicking around some stuff.


Read my book. Actually read it. If you like it, write a review. If you don’t like…Lie. 😉


– Scritch out.


Oh, I’ve also picked up a few books to see how other authors write stream of consciousness into their writing. It’s been interesting. Looking at C.S. Lewis, Garth Nix, Madeline L’Engle, and Robin Hobb. I really want to be reading The Hermetic Millennia by John C. Wright (as he’s my favorite – See The Chronicles of Everness – It’s too good), but alas all my books are in Pennsylvania. Would love some more recommendations. I finally got my Michigan library card. 🙂

Inkitt and Esper Files: One Man’s Review

Hey readers,

Look at me! Another week, another post!

As some of you know, I am currently engaged in a novel writing competition on the relatively new website Inkitt. My novel, The Shadow of Fate, can be found here.

I don’t think it’ll change your life, but I believe in it. You should check it out.

Anyway, today’s post is two-fold, and I’d like to post it now before I don’t win the Novelist competition so I don’t seem bitter and angry afterward. Firstly, I wanted to share my experience thus far with Inkitt. Secondly, I wanted to offer my thoughts on their most recent offering,  Esper Files by. Egan Brass (Ryan Attard).

First things first…


Trogdor! The Inkinator!


I believe in Inkitt. I don’t know how successful they’ll be in the long term, but I do.
My experience as an unpublished author has only been positive. When I posted my novel back in September, I had intended to just let it sit there. I figured I could refer people there to check it out and give me feedback before I took it down. A month later, I had 19 reads and the Novelist competition kicked off. During that time, I had received some mass e-mails from the website, but for the most part that was all. As the competition continued, I decided to lean into it and started sharing my novel with my social media community. My readership spiked almost overnight. I must’ve caught someone’s attention because I received an e-mail from a real person at Inkitt.

Not a mass e-mail. An e-mail to me regarding my book. They wanted to help me boost my readership. Over the next few days, I worked with them to rework my blurb, teaser, and cover photo. I loved their new teaser… It may be better than my actual book. The blurb they worked out (whether by bot or person) needed some tweaking (which I did) and the photo was pretty great. Afterward, they posted my novel to their Facebook, Twitter, and in a couple of their reading lists.

My readership spiked again. It was neat.

I’d like to reiterate. I had engaged a real person. She was extremely nice.

[Addendum] I forgot to add. I received a mass e-mail last night from Inkitt…
5 Sci-fi Books I Need to Check Out… Yeah… The Shadow of Fate was #1 on the list.
THAT was cool.

Now, with all that said, I need to back up to early September when I saw their advertisement for the first time.

I decided I needed to research Inkitt before posting my book.
I wanted to be as certain as I could be that it wasn’t a scam.
A lot of the blog posts were disheartening. A lot of them accused Inkitt of spamming and trying to take advantage of authors. Most of them were from about a year ago and had responses from the CEO addressing the concerns. I determined, based on these posts, Inkitt was using whatever method they could to build their community.

They are a start-up company after all.

The most intriguing of posts, however, came from Ryan Attard… the author of Esper Files.

The post, How I Got My Agent(s), can be found Here.

This leads me to my review of Esper Files.

Knowing that the book would be released soon, I decided to wait until it was on amazon (link above).

I am glad I did, btw, as I was given a free copy from Inkitt.


The following review my contain Spoilers. I will mark them.

I was excited to dig in to this one… It’s a steampunk superhero story… right up my alley.

I probably went in with a few preconceptions I shouldn’t have.
After reading Brass’ blog, I was expecting perfection.
I wasn’t expecting an author’s first novel.
In some ways, it reminded me of Eragon by Christopher Paolini.
You can obviously see talent there, but it isn’t quite as refined as it will be in a few years.
I couldn’t help but think that in a few years this will be the series people look at when they’re done reading his better, future series.

That isn’t to say that Esper Files isn’t good.

It is.

I just don’t think it’s particularly original.

That coupled with grammatical and spelling errors, a few action/adventure cliches, occasionally stilted dialogue, and a plot that isn’t as fulfilling as it could have been, I was disappointed.

Now I’m sure 15 year old me would have loved it.

And that’s the target audience.

27 year old me, with a master’s degree and years of reading under my belt, thought it was okay.

I don’t want that to deter you though.

I want this book to be successful.

I still think it’s worth reading.

There were a few moments I said aloud, “Oh, that’s clever.”

I just wish there were more moments like that…



The name: Espers – As related to E.S.P. Brilliant.
The protagonists and antagonists abilities are straight out of Heroes.
The concept is basically CW’s Flash meets X-Men, but set in alternative Steampunk Victorian England.
There isn’t a lot of mystery surrounding this specific book, though toward the end you start to see the foundation for the larger world he’s building. I think this series will get better as it grows. For that reason, I’ll be reading book 2: the Sky Cult.
There are a few extremely interesting characters, even if their powers aren’t.

[End Spoilers]


The grammar and spelling errors were disconcerting because I’m hoping to get my work published with them. Brandy set my mind at ease though. Apparently, it’s a trend in publishing right now to allow some errors rather than pay a few more editors… Her employer doesn’t do it…But they’re th eexception not the norm. But hey, if it’s industry standard, who am I to judge?

In his blog, Ryan talks about author’s giving their work to people who aren’t afraid to tear it in half. I understand that. I have friends (and my wife) who have read Shadow of Fate multiple times now and have torn it to pieces every time. Afterward, not only has the story gotten better, but I’ve gotten better.

It also helps that my wife works for a publishing company (an academic one mind you).

I really wish I could’ve been one of those friends with Esper Files. Not because I’m anything special, but because some of the problems I saw are the same exact issues I’ve had to deal with in my novel.


I suggest you read it for yourself. I’d give it a 3/5 stars.

TL;DR: Inkitt = Good, Esper Files = Flawed but also Good.

Mr. Brass/Attard, if you chance upon this, I hope you take my words well. I think you’re brilliant, and I look forward to reading your work over a hopefully long and fruitful career.

Inkitt people, if you’re reading this, keep on keeping on. I, one author with a novel on your site, believe in what you’re trying to do. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to get my work out there whatever the result of The Novelist.


-Scritch out