Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Another spin around the sun.

The squirrels aren't aware of it, the dogs couldn't care less, and the crows are quite oblivious, but to us humans, today is a big day. Ben Franklin said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every year find you a better man.” This New Year, I am going to make an effort to live by those words. Becoming a better you is hard, and in a society where quick and easy is the order of the day, where everyone wants everything like NOW, doing something hard has fallen out of fashion. And while getting what you want when you want it has its own pleasure, that pleasure, like many man-made things, is an illusion.

In my 38 spins around the sun I've learned that if something isn't hard, it is hardly worth doing. Without the chance to rise above challenges, failures, and defeats, life has no meaning. If people always get what they want when they want it, they will never be happy. In the end, the pleasure isn't in the getting, it is in the effort.

I've been writing for a living for nearly a year and a half. Three years ago I would have said you were crazy if you told me that. 2014 has been an amazing year for many indie authors. I have noticed a huge surge of Indies shouldering their way to the top of the rankings. People have begun to realizing that you can make a good living doing this, and in a few cases, a damn good living. The floodgates have opened, and the waters have become quite crowded. As hard as it seems for most authors to get to the top of the heap, the hardest part is staying there.

I believe that in 2015 an even greater surge of independent authors will surge to the top, displacing the publishing industry’s heaviest hitters and solidifying a platform that was once sneered upon as “Vanity Press”. The gatekeepers are a dying breed, and while they will remain in the game, they no longer make the rules. Readers, like all people, are growing tired of being told what to read, what to watch, and what to listen to, and I am honored to be a part of the paradigm shift.

The secret to success has always been staying power, and this will prove true in the world of self-publishing. There have been many changes since the indie revolution began. What worked yesterday will not necessarily work tomorrow.

In 2015, multi-author book bundles will only gain in popularity. The authors of such bundles are already beginning to dominate the top 100 author rankings. I have recently been invited to one such bundle which will include over a dozen great indie authors. I can’t say much about it just yet, other than I am honored by the opportunity, and extremely excited for release day.

More authors than ever will gain fast success, and just as quickly fade away. Being your own boss is hard, and self-publishing is no exception. Not only must you continue to write books that people want to read on a regular basis, but you have to worry about book covers, editing, proofreaders, marketing, social media, promotions, branding, and the dreaded five letter word—taxes. Not to mention getting health insurance cheaper than two mortgages…don’t even get me started. Not everyone is going to be able to keep up. You might be the best writer in the world, but if can’t do all the things mentioned above, and do them well, you won’t last.

In 2012 I published one book, in 2013 I published two, in 2014—my first full year writing full time—I published four. My goal for 2015 is six books. I hope I continue to write books that readers enjoy, because in the end, they decide who stays and who goes.

On an ending note: A big thank you to everyone who supported my books in 2014. I cannot thank you enough. I hope I continue to entertain you for years to come. Have a great spin around the sun!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

X-Mas Freebies

X-Mas Freebies and More

It's that time of year again when people push the limits of their credit to help the corporations achieve a fruitful fourth quarter. Soon tons of paper will be gleefully ripped to pieces and thrown away, and the kiddies will start playing with their future garage sale items. But before those trees get tossed to the side of the road, I thought I would offer up my gift to you and yours, actually, two gifts. They are homemade, and 100% recyclable. They can also be gifted to anyone with a kindle. So if you have new Kindles to load, might as well start with 2 free books.

What's not to love?

So this Holiday Season, accept this gift from me to you...and's almost over.

Get your free copy of Whill 1 here, or send it to a friend.

Get your free copy of Talon here, or send it to a friend.

Also, from Dec 25 - 28, Whill of Agora book 2 & 3 will be discounted,, starting at .99 on Christmas Day.

And in case you missed it, Afterworld is now live...AND .99!

Grab your copy here.
Afterworld has seen great responses from readers, with 18 five star reviews out of 24!

Here's what they're saying.

"A Wizard, a monkey named Dude, and the ghost of Ben Franklin walk into a bar. Sounds kind of like the beginning of a really bad joke, But it’s not. It’s The Orion Rezner Chronicles: Afterworld. If you’re looking for a book that will hold you enthralled for page one. Then look no further this tale of action, peril, intrigue, and just the right amount of humor. Michael James Ploof has a style of writing that makes you want to be a part of the story more than any book I’ve ever read. You feel the characters pain, you experience there joy. They are so imperfectly perfect that you feel that you have known them your whole life. I stand fully behind the 5 star rating on this book. I have, and will continue, to push a copy of this book into every reader’s hand that I see. I cannot wait to see where Orion and Dude end up." - Stephen W

"I thought this book had lots of pace and a well thought out story line. The reader can easily relate to the characters, even the super chimp! If you like demons, magic, witches and warlocks in a post apocalyptic setting and also throw in some Mad Max characters, then this book is definitely for you! I can't wait for the sequels!" - Brian Parkin

"Michael Ploof never fails to entertain. He is officially my favorite author and I cannot wait for his next book. Orion Rezner is one of his most flamboyant and fun characters with an attitude. Along with his sidekicks Dude ( a highly intelligent chimpanzee) and Mushiro, his Japanese best bud, I spent most of the book laughing so hard I had tears running and the other half on the edge of my seat wondering if they would make it out alive. You have wizards, witches and a really nasty demon who only wanted one thing...
. Great twist!! I highly recommend this book and all of Michael's other endeavors. he is an awesome writer. Patiently waiting for the next one." - Tala S Gilbert

Friday, November 14, 2014

3 Legends of Agora books to be Kindle Daily Deals!

Three Legends of Agora books have been chosen to be Kindle Daily Deals on Amazon on November 22.

I received an E-mail a few months back from Amazon saying that three of my novels, A Quest of Kings, A Song of Swords, and Talon, Book 1 of the Windwalker Archive, had been nominated for special promotions. I was told that if chosen, the books would be discounted for up to a month sometime between October 1 and December 31. It took me about 00.001 second to accept their offer, and I went about waiting not so patiently for the e-mail to arrive.

Well, yesterday it arrived.

I was informed that the three books will each be Kindle Countdown Deals, priced at $1.99 on Saturday, November 22. I you haven't picked up the books yet, or know anyone who might like them, that would be a perfect time to do so.

I'm not exactly sure how they will do, but if what I have researched on the topic is any indication, the three books should sell boatloads during the deals, and have a nice slow glide back to normal afterword. This deal couldn't have come at a better time, especially for Talon, as the sequel, Sea Queen will be released on December 1. 

On another note, Afterworld: Book 1 of The Orion Rezner Chronicles is live and already has 8 great reviews on Amazon. I took a gamble adding a genetically enhanced chimpanzee named Dude as a main character, but apparently it worked out. So far, everybody loves him.

November 22, mark it on your calendar. If you already have all three books, then pat yourself on the back for being awesome and having impeccable taste. Then go out and tell all your friends about it. You want them to save money don't you?

- Ploofer

Friday, October 31, 2014

Orion Rezner now live!

                                   Afterworld is now live!!

I'm pleased to announce that Afterworld: The Orion Rezner Chronicles book 1, is now live! You can grab a copy at  Amazon in both Kindle and paperback format.

Afterworld is a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy set in the year 2040 that I've been working on for the better part of a year. It was a lot of fun writing this book, and a big change from epic fantasy. I didn't really realize how hard epic fantasy was to write until I started the first draft for Afterworld. It is a breath of fresh air to be able to write about OUR world. I believe that fans of my Whill of Agora books will enjoy this romp through post-apocalyptic Boston full of wizards, witches, ghosts, demons, magic...and of course, Dude, the genetically altered chimpanzee.

Fans of Agora will also be pleased to know that Sea Queen, The Windwalker Archive book #2 will be released on Dec 1, and is now available for pre-order Here. Also, I have plans for Whill of Agora #5 sometime in 2015. 

I hope you enjoy my newest offering. Happy Halloween!!!

Here is a sample chapter:


Chapter 1

Brave New World

I walked past Trinity Church and marveled for the hundredth time at its beauty. My eyes were drawn to every curve and crest of its brilliant stonework, and for a moment, I forgot the darkness I was about to face.
Father Killroy paced my long strides with his quick short ones. He clutched his Bible against his robe as if it were a secret. As he squinted against the rain, I wondered why he didn’t have his hood up. Maybe he thought the cleansing rain would help against the evil that awaited us. His portly belly led the way, and if not for the red puff of hair atop his head, he could have been mistaken for the Buddha. He reminded me of one of the Tweedle brothers from Alice in Wonderland.
I tried to quiet my restless mind and divert it from cracking jokes in my head, but it wasn’t working.
I was nervous as hell, and for good reason—I was about to take part in an exorcism. Father Killroy had performed dozens of the rituals, and that alleviated some of my anxiety, but not all. Don’t get me wrong; I’m no coward. I’ve faced my share of baddies in my day, but I detest dealing with demons. Many of the hunters of man are victims themselves. They are possessed of a hunger that drives them to act—to feed, to kill—like vampires and werewolves. Demons, on the other hand, are pure evil. They live for darkness, destruction, and death…and they give me the creeps.
Last summer I encountered one for the first time, a lower demon who had possessed a farmer and killed everyone near to him. On a mission with a priest and two other wizards, I found the man in the barn, bathing in blood. Above him, dripping blood into a horse trough, we found nine of his victims. They exorcised the demon quickly, but I missed it—the scene had made me sick. While the wizards and priest valiantly defeated a homicidal demon, I puked my guts out. I admit it wasn’t my most shining moment. Since then I have seen worse, and I have gotten used to the blood and bodies and brutal violence.

These days, ever since the great culling of 2033—on Halloween, the day of reckoning—we humans are an endangered species. Humanity’s clock was reset to zero, and so was the date. New Year’s Day is now Halloween, and this year will mark the seventh anniversary since the Culling—7 AW.
Some say it was the true Armageddon. Others disagree. The religious believe we survivors are actually in hell or some sort of purgatory. All I know is, if the people of Boston saw what was waiting for them beyond the walls, they would believe in hell.
Though the Culling lasted only a day, it changed the world forever. The end came in the night, riding on the wind, a whisper of death—a virus that killed 99.9 percent of all humans it came in contact with. Those who survived had either been given the vaccine, were naturally immune, or were the Cain. I was one of the immune—the Witnesses, as we are called by the Elite.
The morning of the Culling, every broadcast in the world was hijacked. Every TV, radio, computer, and cell phone played the same message in all languages. On the screens came a face made of a thousand faces, flashing one after another in a strange meld that left you in awe of its dark beauty. It has become known as the Faces of God. It spoke in a thousand voices as well. The words have become like scripture to the Cain:
Tomorrow most of you will be dead. Already you feel different. Already you feel sick, and you know it to be true. As we speak, sirens are going off in every miserable shanty in the world. You are dying—but you can be saved. You all know this world is overpopulated; you know that you are a virus, a plague of sinners. The world needs to be cleansed. There must be a culling—call it survival of the fittest. We are taking on only the strongest, only the fittest. Therefore, to save yourselves, to prove that you deserve to live on into the brave new world, you must drink the blood of another. If you do this, if you drink the blood of other infected humans, you will be cured of your sickness. You have one hour to act, or you die.
All that I saw that day, I cannot share. But what I will say is that I would give my life to undo it. Once people started getting sicker, the panic rose. The world’s cities turned to death and mayhem. The last thing to be seen on American news was a never-ending slideshow of the world tearing itself apart. Some people, men and women alike, took the advice of the Voices of God. Every city in the world became an orgy of vampiric murder. Some of the last reports said North Korea had fired nukes, which they supposedly didn’t have, at neighboring South Korea. Another chain reaction occurred in the Middle East. Humanity’s true nature was tested that day, and the outcome was nightmarish. Those who fed off the dying lived, and almost everyone else died. By the next day the world of man had been reduced to smoldering cities filled with dead. It was estimated that ten percent of people on the planet cannibalized to live, and maybe one percent got lucky and were immune.
Due to some nature of the virus, the killers’ faces were permanently stained by the blood of their victims. There are many names for them: the Marked, the Lost Ones, the Final Sinners, and—most notably—the Cain.
Perhaps the greatest sin of all committed that day was, ironically, the saving of the children. Many parents and caregivers, themselves having turned to vampirism to survive, also fed their children the blood of their victims.
I can still see their faces, their mouths stained with the blood of their parents’ victims—parents who committed the most heinous of crimes to keep them alive. And while it was done with loving intentions, they in truth condemned their offspring to a life of hell. Most children had since been taken either by the larger groups of Cain as slaves, or by the Elite for reasons unknown.
I, like so many others on the East Coast, followed the only radio signal on the air after the Culling. It came from Boston. Though I hadn’t actually heard it, I joined up with a group of survivors who did. They were immune as well, of course. Anyone with bloody lips was shunned—an outcast.
Since the Culling, the surviving mortals have learned that many of the things which had been taken for myths and fairy tales in the old world were indeed real—vampires and werewolves, ghosts and demons, witches and warlocks, and most other varieties of childhood nightmares, for instance. In the days before the Culling it was easy for these mythical creatures to stay hidden, hunting with ease, as they picked here and there from the flock of billions at their leisure. But now they are hungry, and humans are few.
Wizards, of course, are real as well, and now that nightmares walk the earth openly, we do what we can to even the odds. For a long time we kept out of the affairs of humans—were even shunned and hunted by them. Now we are their protectors and guardians once again. Boston is the home of the Order of Franklin, the East Coast chapter of the American Wizard Council of Light, of which I am now a member.
Long ago it was determined that the wizards would no longer meddle in human events, as the power we possessed would lead inevitably to dictatorial rule. Instead, the ruling council at the time ordered, on pain of death, that magic never be used against humans, neither to kill nor to control. This law was broken many times, of course, and in the early days, most of the time was taken up with battles against renegade wizards. But now we have come out of the shadows again, to keep the people safe from the forces of darkness. Be it at the hands of the murderous Cain, the creatures of legend, or the Elite and their war machines, the survivors of the Culling are in danger of extinction, and it is our duty to help. It is our penance for not intervening when we could have.
Those who had the antidote on the day of culling, the Elite, are said to live in great palaces above and below the earth. It is said they watch from the sky through satellites they still control. We are entertainment to them and nothing more. They too hunt the children of the Cain, and us as well, as they choose. Their machines of war can be seen from time to time, hovering over the partially ruined city of Boston. We are not yet strong enough to dare all-out assault, but so far the spells of the strongest of us have shielded the city from any attacks.
Technology had advanced to the point at which the Elite could meld with machine, becoming immortal cyborgs. They had created robots to do what humans once did. The megalomaniacal group had been steadily gaining power for hundreds of years, hiding behind secret societies and shadow governments. They are worshipped like gods by the Cain, who strive to prove themselves and earn a place in their brave new world.
And like gods, the Elite give the Cain commands. They are used as cannon fodder when it pleases them. Reanimation as a cybernetic clone is the prize for a successful suicide mission, though it is not known if the promise is actually kept.
Many think that there is no hope to be had—that the age of free humanity is over, and that we can never again know what was once taken for granted. I happen to disagree. I have, my entire life, been a student of history, and though Old Ben would tsk, tsk at my apparent vanity, I can confidently say that humans have never been free. I have studied the many cultures of man—from Babylon to Rome, from Greece to Persia—even the modern industrial nations. They all tell the same tale. While some were freer than others, one and all were destroyed by the rot of corruption. One and all were destroyed by lust, money, greed, and power.
It is why I fight. I cannot stand by and watch bullies at play. I have been given the power I possess for a reason. And I will use that power in defense of the weak.

The rain came down with renewed vigor. We came to the stoop of the house the demon had chosen, and Father Killroy gave a prayer. His voice boomed out Latin as fluently as if it were his native language. I understood most of it, even at the vigorous speed with which he spoke. To my great relief, I then noticed my mentor standing atop the landing, waiting silently. His usually cheery face was troubled. I could tell he didn’t want to be here any more than I did. I nodded him a thanks for coming, and he winked in return.
The father and I climbed the short stair to the door and went inside. Behind us followed my mentor, the ghost of Benjamin Franklin.

End of sample. Pick up your copy HERE. Enjoy!  

Monday, September 1, 2014

New Legends of Agora pre-order!

             Sea Queen: The windwalker Archive Book #2

Amazon has finally allowed us lowly Indie Authors to set up pre-orders for our books. This may seem like no big deal to most people (in truth, a lot of people I talk to never use Amazon or Kindle), but it is hot shyte for me. Before, only the big names were allowed to set up pre-orders, and therefore, they could plop their bloated arses in the Hot New Release categories on Amazon for months and months, while we could only hold a spot there for one month. Well, now all that has changed. I have released Afterworld, Book 1 of the Orion Rezner Chronicles, due to release October 31, 2014, and Sea Queen, Book 2 in the Windwalker Archive, due to release December 1, 2014,  for pre-orders to take advantage of the extended exposure time on these lists.
Like the old adage goes, 'vote with your dollars'.
You may have read the letter to readers at the end of my books. In it, I explain that I am a self-published author, and do not have the luxury of a team of promoters at my disposal. You are my team. I am David fighting a Galiath, and you, ladies and gentlemen, are my slingshot. If you plan on buying Afterworld or Sea Queen when they come out, I ask you to do so now. With enough pre-orders we can really make a splash in the rankings, and turn even more people on to the Legends of Agora books. That means more time to write for me, and more books for you.
So without further ado, I give you Sea Queen, and Afterworld. I hope you enjoy.
After a lifetime of abuse at the hands of the murderous Vald, Talon Windwalker is finally free. He sets out across the sea in search of Akkeri, with his spirit wolf Chief at his side.
Talon may have escaped the injustices of the barbarian island, but he cannot escape what he is—a Skomm runaway. Hunted, he must thwart his pursuers while searching for his lost love.
After joining up with a group of fellow runaways wanted for killing their master’s guard, Talon discovers clues to Akkeri’s whereabouts. His quest leads him across the foreign landscape of Agora, and onto a slave ship holding hundreds of his fellow Skomm.
With Chief at his side, and the elven ring Kyrr, Talon finally has the power to destroy his oppressors. But power comes at great cost. The lure of his magical trinkets gains him the attention of those who would take it for themselves. He begins to realize that with such power, he has a responsibility to help his oppressed people. However, in doing so, he may lose the only lead he has to finding Akkeri.
Talon Windwalker wants only a quiet life—if only he could escape the shadow of his own legend. 

Seven years have passed since the Culling of 2033 which killed most of the world's population. Vampires, werewolves, and demons have begun to emerge from the shadows, and they are hungry. Boston, one of the last vestiges of humanity, is protected by a spell shield created by the Wizard Council. The shield is the only thing keeping the city safe.

Having studied the Craft for two years at Harvard Witchcraft and Wizardry, Orion Rezner embarks on his final rite of passage. But his first mission outside the city walls forces him to make choices he wasn’t prepared for. Narrowly avoiding possession by an ancient demon, he learns of a plot to destroy the spell shield and expose its survivors to the horrors outside.

Suspected by the wizard council of having been compromised by the encounter, Orion is unable to convince them of the danger. With the help of his closest friends and ghostly mentor, Orion sets out on a desperate quest to thwart the demon's plan any way he can--before it's too late to save the city. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Orion Rezner Chronicles Book #1


Now available for pre-order!

                                                              Click here to pre-order

Amazon has recently allowed Indie authors such as myself to submit books for pre-order! I am extremely pleased to present to you Orion Rezner. A lot of time has been but into this book and the magic system within. I hope that my Legends of Agora readers will enjoy this magical romp through post-apocalyptic Boston. I know I have.

I would like to thank Paul Fiacco for all his help with everything from plot to magic system. He has been literally working full time on seeing this book through to completion.

I hope you enjoy it.

Pre-order today and have it automatically downloaded to your Kindle on Halloween, 2014.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Autographed Book Giveaway

Autographed Book Giveaway!

Sign up at Goodreads for a chance to win one of three signed copies of A song of SwordsA Crown of War, and Talon: Book #1 of the Windwalker Archive. Sign up for all three giveaways ends on August 31 at 12:00am. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


The Sock Gnome Chronicles

Book 1

FREE 7-23-14 - 7-27-14

Get a copy here

The first book of my middle grade series, The Sock Gnome Chronicles, will be free for five days. BookBub has once again agreed to promote the give-away, and I am expecting 5-10 thousand downloads. Crossing my fingers. If you haven't picked one up yet, here is a chance for a free one. You can also gift one to anyone with an amazon account and E-mail. This series is nothing like my Legends of Agora books (well, aside from the humor), but I think that it's worth a peek.

Here's the blurb

Have you ever wondered what happens to that one missing sock of a pair? If you have ever been folding laundry and come up with lone socks, then you may have Sock Gnomes living in your home. Billy Coatbutton is one such Gnome.
It is the day of Billy’s first test of mastery, a test to see if he will become a treasure hunter like his father. Billy has studied, practiced and prepared for this day for years. Like all Gnomes that have come of age, Billy will soon spin the Wheel of Destiny and discover which item it is that he must find to become a treasure hunter within Sockefeller castle.
Along the way he meets an old recluse Sock Gnome named Helix BonsaiTree, who has more than a little to say about the practices of the greedy Sockefellers, and helps Billy to choose the right path.
During his dangerous quest Billy must overcome a vicious rat, a hungry cat, and many other obstacles, all without the help or protection of Gnomeland Sockurity. He is determined to pass his test of mastery on the first try, a feat accomplished by only one other Sock Gnome, his father.
Billy will face many decisions, the greatest of all will leave the
life of a human child hanging in the balance.

Kids and Adults will both find something for them in this whimsical adventure with one of the monst memorable characters to be found within the musty pages of a kindle...

With references to Gnomeland Sockurity, The New York Sock Exchange, and the Sockefellers, adults will have thier fair share of the giggles. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Talon 2

Hey all, I'm hard at work on The Windwalker Archive Book 2, (Can't you tell) which I affectionately call Talon 2. I've gotten a flood of great reviews for Whill 1 since the crazy freebie sponsored by BookBub. I wanted to take a moment to say welcome to all the new subscribers and Thank You to those who have left reviews. It tells me that all the long, lonely hours are worth it, that someone is listening, and for that I am grateful. To think that I put a smile on someone's face, or helped them forget their worries for a few hours makes me happier than I can express. I have been blessed with the best readers in the world. You make it all worth it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Great start to summer!

Great Start to Summer!

After a long, long winter up here in Northern NY, the summer is kicking off to a great start. BookBub picked up Whill of Agora Book 1 for a free giveaway promotion from June 24th - June 29th, (if you don't have it yet, you can pick it up for free here, or tell all your friends). On Tuesday Whill of Agora got over 19,000 downloads! I am now 3 days into the promotion and we are over 23,000 free downloads. Thanks BookBub.
 Today I got a call from Stacey from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP, the company I self-publish through) and she wanted to know if I would be interested in an interview, and supplying them with a quote for their landing page (the page people go to when they look up KDP). She said that they were setting up a new landing page and reaching out to successful self published authors to talk about their experience.
 I then received an email from Bookbub, saying that they had accepted my middle grade book, Billy Coatbutton and the Wheel of Destiny, for a free promotion on July 23-July 27! I have submitted that book to them before, but they turned me down the first time. I'm really excited about this one, little Billy really hasn't gotten his chance to shine yet.
On another note, I'm almost done the first draft for Talon 2. It will likely be released around September. Also, the first book in my new urban fantasy series, The Orion Rezner Chronicles, is going through the first wash as we speak. I can't wait for you all to read that one. Its a lot different writing in the first person, but I love it. And it is set in THIS world! I can use references people understand, pop culture, and don't have to say Shyte and Arse, (It's not a YA book.)
 I hope you are all having a great summer. Let the grillin-n-chillin begin!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Ben Franklin's Virtues 1-7

I think that people are always trying to improve themselves, or at least they started out trying to improve, and because of whatever social or personal reasons they stopped. I have always striven to improve myself, I have often fallen flat on my hypocritical face while doing so, but luckily I never let myself or the world stop me in my pursuit of a better me. In my journey towards betterment I have learned something that is spoken in all religions, is known by most of us, but continues to elude many. Here it is, here is the big secret. WE KEEP SCREWING OURSELVES. We are our worst enemy, whether it is work, love, friendship, parenthood, etc, humans continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Rather than ranting about this highly hilarious and frustrating fact, I would like to offer up some wisdom that has helped me to quit drinking cold turkey for 18 months, and realize my dream of becoming a successful self-published author.

I give you Benjamin Franklins 13 virtues.

According to his autobiography (which is really a series of letters to his son) he devised a way to go about living that would help him achieve a happy and successful life. His system he called the thirteen virtues, and surprisingly he formulated this plan when he was in his early 20's (When most young men can think of nothing but ass and alcohol...and ass).

So here are the thirteen virtues with my two cents attached.  If you are in the habit of attempting self improvement I highly encourage reading on, I mean come on, the dude is on the hundred dollar bill. He invented the lightning rod and a million other things, he was given degrees from colleges he never attended, and was instrumental in creating the country you live in. I'd say his two cents is worth a listen.

1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation. - translation - Don't eat until you feel like you should be rolled down the road, and don't drink until you're drunk.
 This one (like all the others) is hard, but given the obesity problem in this country, and the drinking problem humans have always had, I think this one alone could change lives. You will notice that moderation is a main theme of many of these virtues.

2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. - translation - Don't talk shit about other people, and don't complain all the time.
 If only more people would try this one.

3. Order: Let all things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. - translation - Pick up your crap!! And make time everyday to get your personal business done.
 Anybody with kids knows how much easier it would be if everyone just picked up their own messes. My wife will probably scoff at this one and give me the stink-eye (Hi Honey, love you).  The second part seems obvious as well, you should take time to take care of your personal business, however, so many of us seem unable to tackle this one. In the spirit of #3 I won't get into my thoughts on it.

4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. - translation - Make up your mind to do the things you think you should, and then do those things until they are done.
 This is a big one for me personally. One line by the Tragically Hip comes to me here, "No one's interested in what you didn't do." When I decided that I was going to become a successful self published author if it was the last thing I did, I took this virtue to heart. I made up my mind to succeed, and I have worked tirelessly the last year and a half to do so. That is not to say that I was successful simply because of my drive, luck had a lot to do with it as well, but as Ben used to say. "Diligence is the mother of good luck."

5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; ie, waste nothing. - translation - Don't buy so much useless crap!
 How many people do you know who have worked hard, been successful, and ended up in the poor house? Why? Well they either had a crack habit, a gambling problem, or they bought too much useless crap. How many sports stars or movie stars or musicians have squandered fortunes? Guess what, we all have. Think about it. Even someone making minimum wage their entire life is going to make nearly a half million dollars. Where does the money go? You guessed it, useless crap. Basically take every holiday there is, roll it up in plastic, and put one thousand company logos on it and there you have it. Rather than property and homes and legacies passed down to children, you've got a big plastic shiny piece of crap that stands proudly as a testament to your coolness.

6. Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful, cut off all unnecessary actions. - translation - Quit wasting your time with dumb shit.
 We all have a finite amount of time to fly around on this ZooPrisonCircus, and if your goal is to go about your day entertaining your inner couch potato with eye candy and pop tarts, by all means go for it, however, if you are trying to make each year find a better you, then do yourself a favor and stop doing dumb shit. For me this meant no video games, no more than 6 hours a week of TV (most days none), it meant fixing myself before I try to fix the world. And it meant taking a time-out from everyone else's endless problems. The amount of work we make for each other is astounding. I think my friend Paul Fiacco said it best, "The world needs to take a f**king time out from each other, seriously, enough already. Get in your corner and leave each other alone."

7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly. - translation - Don't lie, shed preconceived notions, and speak likewise.
 In my opinion lies are a tyrant's most powerful weapon. I have seen it here in this country, and if you look at history you will see it splattered all over the records of time. It has been used since times forgotten to keep humanity from realizing its potential, it is being used now.

That is all for now. I implore you all to take a shot at one or all of these. I will add 8-13 soon. Don't be overwhelmed, even Ben only attempted one per week at first, and in the end he admitted to never having mastered his 13 virtues. But he said that his life had been richer for the trying. Good luck Friends.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Whill of Agora Book #4: A Crown of War Now available on Amazon!

Book #4 is now available on amazon for Kindle.

Well, the time has finally come, and it is with a bittersweet sigh of relief that I present the conclusion the Whill of Agora story. This has been a labor of love for me since that fateful night in 2002 when I wrote the first lines. "The full moon lingered like a magnificent pearl in an ocean of black." Not bad, but at the time I thought it was a masterpiece embodied in a sentence. Wow, I was good, this was easy...right. I have made do with what I have - an overactive imagination.

I'm not a master of grammar, but I am getting better. I have made my mistakes and I have tried to learn from them. I am, however, a master daydreamer. I hope that I have created a world in which you and your friends/family can escape this one, if only for a while.

In this day and age it is hard to create something that hasn't been done before (look at Hollywood). When I began this story with Whill of Agora book 1, my kids were 4 and 7. I added all kinds of stuff from other stories just to make it the craziest tale there was. Chosen one, prophecy, twin heirs to the thrown, one brother kills the other, hot elf love interest, etc...ever seen any of that? This was done intentionally. I wanted to do all that stuff, and then make none of it really matter in the end, hence, Whill being thrown in a dungeon at the end of book 1. If there really are people out there that saw that coming then they are awesome.

Once Book 1 began to sell, and sell, I realized that I had set myself up to have to write the entire story...people were waiting for it! I put a lot into Book 2, it is my personal favorite. One of my favorite characters, Dirk Blackthorn, was introduced in that book. It seems to be fans favorite also, judging by the amazon reviews. When I got to book 3 I realized that there was far too much story left to wrap it up in one book. I never outline my books, as they refuse to conform. So here is Book 4. The final book in the Whill of Agora saga.

I hope that you have enjoyed the ride so far, I know I have. There are many more stories to tell, and I hope that there will always be people to listen. Thank you all for all the support through the years.

                                                               Available on Amazon

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Windwalker Archive: Book 1, Talon

                     The Windwalker Archive: Book 1, Talon

                                                          Now Live on Amazon!


                                                                       Available on Amazon 


As many of you will know I have been planning on expanding the Legends of Agora world for some time now. The idea for TALON came to me sometime in 2012. I suddenly saw a barbarian boy of 16 in my mind. He was small, dirty; he looked like a slave. There were whip marks, old scars...but kind eyes.
"Who is that?" I asked.
"Talon Windwalker," said the Universe.
"Who is he?" I asked.
"A barbarian runt who was born premature and is shunned by his people," said the Universe.
"Ooohhh," I said.

Talon scratched at my brain for the next year, patiently waiting to be told. When I finally finished the first draft of Whill of Agora 4, sometime in Feb '14, I began writing Talon. I wrote Talon in only eighteen, coffee induced 10 hour days. I have never seen a story form before me so clearly, I literally only had to sit down at the laptop for the stream of consciousness to flow. When I was finished I had a story about a boy who is scorned and hated, but quick to love, a boy who is often hurt, but slow to harm others. Talon is a story of a slavery, violence, intolerance, injustice and discrimination. It is also a book about friendship and love, compassion and righteousness. It is an underdog story, a race against time, a tale of fortune and fate.

I hope you enjoy the newest installation into the Legends of Agora. I have many more planned.

P.S. Fans of Dirk's spirit-wolf Chief will enjoy learning his origin story.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Whill of Agora Book #4: A Crown of War, is at the editors. I'm shooting for a May 2014 release. This will be the final book in the Whill of Agora series. I began Whill of Agora in 2003. At the time I had no plans for publication, and the Kindle still had a few years to be invented. I thought it would be cool to write a fantasy adventure for my kids. I had no idea at the time that I was paving the road to my future writing career. Thanks everyone who has downloaded the books or bought the soft cover version, you've made my dreams come true. Book 4 ends the WOA series, but I plan to return to Whill, Raokore and Co, in the future. For now I'm going to delve into the many other Legends of Agora. There are so many stories to tell.

I have written the first book of a new Legends of Agora series. The Windwalker Archive Book 1: Talon, which is also at the editor, and will be released a few days before Whill of Agora #4. Talon takes place in Agora, on the barbarian island, Volnoss, a few hundred years before the events of Whill of Agora. I am very excited about this new series, and I think that readers of the Whill books will enjoy reading about the origins of Dirk's spirit wolf, Chief.

Thanks again for all your support. I hope to publish 4-6 books a year, so check back often for updates on new adventures!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Taking the Plunge

Hey all!
I have recently met fellow indie author, J.D.Brink through our shared artist Trevor Smith. He has been hesitant to go exclusively with Amazon for some time, but has decided to take the big plunge. You can read more about it in this blog post.
I found J.D while browsing Trevor's website, intrigued, I checked out a sample of Tarnish. All that I can say about Tarnish! I highly recommend this book to all fantasy lovers, give it a shot. If you don't love it I will be quite surprised. 

-Michael Ploof