When nerdy Rich Witz unwittingly becomes a Paladin, a white knight, in training, he is thrust into a world where flunking a test can change the course of history and a mysterious bully is playing for keeps with his life.
Rich’s grandmother leaves him with one thing before disappearing for good: a white chess pawn with his initials engraved on it. The pawn marks him as the next in an ancient line of white knights. He must prove himself in a life or death contest against his Nemesis, a dark knight in training, all while dealing with math homework and English projects. With the ghost of an ancestor for his guide, he has seven days to complete four tasks of valor before his Nemesis does, or join his guide in the realm of the dead.
As Rich rushes to complete the tasks, he realizes the chilling truth: his Nemesis is masquerading as someone at school and will stop at nothing to make him fail. As the tasks grow ever harder, the other knights reveal to him that his failure will break a centuries-old chain and bring the Paladin order to ruin. If he fails, the dark knights win the right to control the fate of the world, a world without hope or the possibility of a new dawn. So this is one exam Rich has to ace, with no curve and no extra credit.
Michael is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Western Governor’s University with degrees in German Teaching, Music, and Instructional Design. He puts his German to good use teaching online German courses for High School students. Though he grew up traveling the world with his military father, he now lives in Utah with his wife, Jen, and his two sons. Michael enjoys acting in community theater, playing and writing music and spending time with his family. He played for several years with the handbell choir Bells on Temple Square and is now a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
He is the author of the novels The Canticle Kingdom Series, The Last Archangel Series, and the Chess Quest Series. His also authors several web serials through BigWorldNetwork.com. He publishes anthologies for charity in his Advent Anthologies series. He has also had work featured in various online and print magazines such as Bards and Sages Quarterly, Mindflights, Meridian, The New Era, Allegory, and Ensign.
Guest Post: Finding Time to Write
I’ll be the first to admit I’m a busy guy. I hold down a full-time job, have a wife and kids, sing in choir so busy it’s practically a part-time job in itself, and oh, by the way, I’m a writer too. Honestly, when I tell people about something new I’m doing, many times they fire back a “how do you have time for that?”
A common variation of that is “how do you have time to write?” The truth is that sometimes I don’t. There are many days when I can’t fit it in, no matter how much I try. I don’t like those days, but they happen. On those days, I simply vow to do better the next day. Even on those days, I make sure to at least think about writing, planning out a scene or thinking about a character.
There are many days that fall into another category—days on which I only have a little time to write. When I have the chance, even if it is only a short one, I take it. At the time, it may seem like writing a page or even a few paragraphs might not seem all that significant, but I firmly believe the following saying:
“Drops wear down the stone not by strength, but by constant falling.”
If you make it a habit to take every opportunity to write, all of these smaller efforts, all of these small drops will amount in a greater effort. Don’t pass these small chances pass you by.
For example, I wrote my published first book during my second year of college, while I was going to school full-time and working full-time. I had also recently been married, and so was making that adjustment as well. The slow and steady approach worked here, as I whittled away at the manuscript over the course of a year. I used the time on my lunch breaks, later at night after work and school were done, any little time I had.
Finally, there are some days on which you have a good amount of free time and the ability to write. They may not happen as often as you’d like, but when they do, be sure to be prepared. Have your prewriting and planning done so that you can use your time as efficiently as possible.
Above all, don’t stress about it too much. Do what you can. Writing is not a quick process, and is going to require patience. Do your best with the time you have, and you’ll be amazing with what you can accomplish over time.