Sunday, December 29, 2013


As I predicted, for better or worse not much creative work got accomplished this past week beyond tending to my duties as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine.

Although I did manage to complete chapter 6 of Alpha, Book 2: Wayward Son; Christmas is more about being with family and friends.

While I am not much of a "party animal", there is still New Year's Eve on the horizon, and I am looking forward to watching the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day; besides more camaraderie with the aforementioned family and friends.

In any event, we'll see just how much actually got done in my first progress
report of 2014 next weekend.

But until then; I wish all my friends, family, fans, and readers the safest and happiest of New Year's.

See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
29 December 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Well folks, here we are, just a couple of days away from Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, or whatever you celebrate.
Because of all the holiday prep that needed to be attended to, unfortunately I didn't get much actual writing done this past week beyond my responsibilities to The Free Choice E-zine.

Chapter 6 to Alpha, Book 2: Wayward Son is almost done, but that is far from having the entire manuscript completed.
Not sure how much will be accomplished between now and the start of the New Year, but I wish all my readers and fans the happiest of holidays, and I'll see you around the Internet.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Oh the weather outside is frightful 
But the keyboard is so delightful
So as long as the power stays on
Let me write, let me write, let me write!

Although winter doesn't officially start until December 21st, one would think it has already arrived from the cold temperatures and snow on the ground. It has not gotten above freezing in my neck of the woods (New England) since December 9th, and the earliest prediction of it doing so again is December 18th!

Meanwhile, I have finished my short story commitments for 2013, and am back at work on Alpha, Book 2: Wayward Son. The first five chapters of that project are completed, and hopefully I'll have it completely done and submitted to the publisher before the Spring thaw.

Looking ahead: As soon as Alpha, Book 2 is done; I will immediately start work on Book 3 in the HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE series! So far, there are only two short stories currently on my agenda for 2014. Thankfully neither one of them actually has a specific deadline at the moment, but there are still a couple of previously written short stories in various publisher queues that await their debut. However, everything will be put on pause the next time I have to don my Editor's Cap, for I promised my friend and writing buddy Nancy Hansen that I would beta/proofread her next manuscript when it is ready. And of course there is still my Editor-In-Chief responsibilities for The Free Choice E-zine.

All that, and Christmas fast approaching with the New Year close behind!

Take care everybody!
Stay warm and I'll see you around the Internet.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Well the weather outside is frightful
But the keyboard is so delightful
So as long as the power's on
Let me write! Let me write! Let me write!

Not really much to report since last week.
It took a little longer than I thought it would to finish making corrections to that last short story. Some other authors and myself are contributing to a shared anthology, and I was trying to figure out how/when Character A could be with Character B when that character was actually somewhere else at the time.

But I am thankfully back at work on Alpha, Book 2: Wayward Son now.
That manuscript will definitely be finished in the early part of 2014, although I certainly can't make a more exact prediction at this point.
Otherwise, am trying to prepare for the holidays and winter while taking care of The Free Choice E-zine and a few other things.

I hope you and yours are doing well.
See you around the Internet!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


"I handed in a script last year and the studio didn't change one word. The word they didn't change was on Page 87."--Steve Martin, at the 2003 Academy Awards.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah. While the two holidays will share weekends again, they will not share the day again until 79,811!

I am almost done with the requested revisions to those two short stories I had to amend.
As I post this, there are no short stories currently on my agenda for 2014, but we're still a month away from the start of the new year, so who knows?

In any event, will definitely be back to work on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON before the end of this week.

Meanwhile, have had another fun week as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine.

Wish I could say writing paid, let alone paid well, but let's be honest with each other.
If I was in this strictly for the money, I would have quit a long time ago!
Writing is not only an unique, creative endeavor, but it is a creative outlet that I happen to love and am good at.
I may not be the fastest writer in the world, but I do take great pride in my work.
I apologize to those of you who are waiting (patiently, I hope) for the next volumes in the lives of Alpha the superhero (at left) and HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE (at right); but in my mind it is a question of quality over quantity, and obviously I'm doing something right for these characters to be building the following(s) they are.

See you around the Internet!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Lots of exciting stuff going on creatively this past week!

Revisions are continuing apace in regards to the short stories I have to go over. The corrections I'm making are more in regards to keeping in line with the continuity between the rest of the tales in their respective anthologies and what has already been established between their series more than anything else.

Posted a lot of articles on The Free Choice E-zine too. Besides the weekly features The Puzzle Corner (games), The Week In Review (news), and the Sunday Funnies (comedy); there is also the first half of an interview with author I. A. (Ian) Watson, and remembrances on the 50 anniversaries of the world losing United States President John F. Kennedy and gaining the BBC series Doctor Who.

In all honesty, not sure how much work will get done this week between Thanksgiving and preparing for the upcoming holiday season, for there are still Christmas presents to buy, let alone wrap and ship.
However I can tell you that the only place I will be on "Black Friday" is safe and sound asleep in bed!

See you around the Internet, and for those celebrating: HAPPY THANKSGIVING and/or HAPPY HANUKKAH!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Cover art by David L. Russell

I would just like to take a moment and thank Ron Fortier, the sky commodore of Airship 27 for his glowing review of HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: CATCH A RISING STAR.

You can read it for yourself  HERE, while the novel is still available from Amazon in both print and e-formats with the MP3 audio adaptation from Dynamic Ram Audio coming soon!

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Well folks, it has been a really great writing week for yours truly.

The good news is that I have completed the first five chapters to ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.
The (sort of) bad news is that I have to temporarily pause work on that novel because I have gotten a couple of short stories back from their potential future publishers for revision requests.
And on another front The Free Choice E-zine, of which I am its (humble) Editor-In-Chief, has received over 1000+ page views from its loyal fans for the 28th straight month, and is on track to break 2000+ page views for the third straight month before the end of November!
I hope everyone visits that site as well, because Monday (November 18) I will be posting the first half of a two part interview with noted writer Ian Watson!

Have to get back to work now. See you around the Internet!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Here we are once again, and there is good news on the writing front!
While it took me a bit of time to get back in the saddle again (had to reread everything I already wrote to figure out where I left off), I have made good time on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON this past week!
Now, whether or not the manuscript gets finished and sent off to the publisher before the end of this calendar year remains to be seen.
Irregardless, the novel won't see print until sometime in 2014 at the earliest, but at least I'm writing!
What about you?

Of course, the above is not counting my efforts as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine.

See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
09 November, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013


Well folks, I'm late again, but I can't blame baseball this time; despite the fact that the Boston Red Sox won the 2013  World Series!
The reason this time though, is two fold.
01. I realized there was no point in posting a progress report before the week was completely through, so these weekly progress reports for my fans and readership will now be aimed for Sunday posting.
02. But I missed doing it this Sunday because my parents celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary, so I did my best to attend via telephone because we live in different states.

With that said, my last short story for this year is in the capable hands of my writing buddy and friendly neighborhood proof/beta reader Nancy Hansen, which is only fair since I am still reviewing her latest manuscript for bugs and other glitches.

Meanwhile, I am back to work on the manuscript for ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON; as the fledgling superhero tries to find his place in the universe following events of book 1: PROJECT ALPHA.

When Nancy sends me back that short story for review, I will have to pause my Alpha work to put on my editor's hat and go over that, before finishing the prep work for Pro Se Presents issue 21, which is now scheduled for an early 2014 release since issue 20 will not be out until later this November.
Not sure what happened to cause the delay, but life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.

All this, plus Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up as a new year begins to appear on the horizon.
In all honesty, with the winter months upon us, I'd rather stay inside at the keyboard where it's warm.

Have to get back to work now, so see you around the Internet!

And remember, besides here, I can also be reached through Facebook, Google +, my Amazon Author's Page, and in my capacity as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Once again, my apologies for posting this late. Same excuse as last weekend, although this time it was Game 3 of the 2013 World Series. Just wish I had better news for my fellow Boston Red Sox fans...

If image isn't public domain, please let me know for removal.
Anyway, I have FINISHED my last short story for 2013!
It is in the hands of my friend, writing buddy, and very capable proof/beta reader Nancy Hansen, while I resume work on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON until she sends it back to me with her comments.

I also have other short stories in various ques that might be returned for revisions before the end of the year, but I'll tackle those projects as they come.

And besides my other duties as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine, I have recently posted an interview with Jim Beard and am editing an upcoming interview with author I. A. (Ian) Watson!

So it's back to the keyboard.
See you around the Internet and GO SOX!

Monday, October 21, 2013


Hello and welcome to a new feature of my FILLING BLANK SPACES blog, where every once in a while I will tell you the origins and work that went into one of my creations.
Today, the spotlight shines upon "A Black Friday In Australia", the story I contributed to The New Adventures of the Eagle, Volume 1; from Pro Se Press in cooperation with Altus Press under the Pulp Obscura label.

Cover Art by David Russell
I was honored to be amongst Nick Ahlhelm, Teel James Glenn, Ashley Mangin, Bobby Nash, and R. P. Stevens to continue the story of Jeff Shannon, the top G-2 agent code named The Eagle. We were given PDF copies of the previously published Eagle tales from the classic pulp Thrilling Spy Stories, written by Captain Kerry McRoberts.
After reading his past adventures, I took the approach that my story would have been the next installment had the series continued.The only stipulation from the publisher (besides telling a rip-roaring adventure) was, like the originals, our contributions had to take place before World War 2 began in Europe.

When writing period set stories, research is always important, and I certainly did mine. The second World War officially began with Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Backtracking from that date, I went over historical records until I found something interesting that I could use as a backdrop and plot for my tale.

The Black Friday referenced in the title has nothing to do with holiday shopping. The State of Victoria in Australia suffered a severe fire, due in part to a record heatwave at the time, on January 13, 1939 (a Friday).

Given Australia's geographic location and the advanced planning the Axis forces must have been secretly doing before the war began, the rest was just a question of logic and imagination. Whether or not such plans depicted in my tale were underway in reality I do not know, but it made for a great new adventure for The Eagle.

Everyone, including me, looks for these. Those little gems acknowledging other things hidden within whatever you are reading or watching. While I will only include one if appropriate (it has to add to the proceedings and not be inserted just for the sake of doing so); there are a couple within "A Black Friday In Australia".
*Captain Hans Meerozean's surname is composed of two German words meaning sea/ocean.
*All references to a certain book stemmed from the fact that it was first published in 1937 and that the first part of the movie adaptation was due out in December 2012, months after the submission deadline for this anthology.

So there you have it. A brief look at the back story to a published work.
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THE EAGLE, VOLUME 1 is available from Amazon in both the print and E-formats.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Well folks, sorry I'm late posting this; but I stayed up late Saturday night watching the Boston Red Sox win the 2013 American League Championship Series and earn a trip to their third World Series competition of the 21st century.
But that's not what you came here to read about.

I had a great week writing wise!
I am ALMOST done with my last short story for this year and even got a little work done on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON!

I still have to finish proof/beta reading that manuscript for my friend/writing buddy Nancy Hansen that I keep mentioning. Although she has informed me that there is no rush on that project at the present time, I do promise to (hopefully) have it finished before the holiday season gets into full swing next month.

Sorry I can't give you more details on everything, but I certainly don't want to spoil any of the surprises before these projects are published.

In any event, see you around the Internet!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Well folks, the time is just sailing past as we enter the last quarter of this year. The daylight hours are getting shorter, and the deadline looms on my last short story commitment for 2013.
Luckily, I am almost done with it! At the moment, the heroes have reached their final destination, but they have yet to overcome the last obstacles in their quest.
Unfortunately, this means that I had to put Alpha Book 2: Wayward Son and the proof/beta reading for my friend and writing buddy Nancy Hansen on hold at the moment. The only other creative pursuits I have chased at the moment is my obligations to The Free Choice E-zine as its Editor-In-Chief, including lining up some potential future interview guests!
I also have a few post ideas under consideration for this blog too, so stay tuned.

12 October 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Well, I wish I had more progress to report this week compared to last week.
Unfortunately, life had other ideas.

However I can say that the spider research came in handy for that short story I am working on. The arachnid threat is over and I am on to the next obstacle in that adventure.
I also posted an excerpt earlier this week and made some more progress on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON; but unfortunately not enough to complete the next chapter, and for better or worse I did not get to read one additional word on the manuscript I am proof/beta reading for my good friend and writing buddy Nancy Hansen.
I also managed to take care of my Editor-In-Chief commitments at The Free Choice E-zine, so at least I can honestly say some creative work got done this past week.

Hopefully next week will be better.
See you around the Internet!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Hello everyone.
While I cannot share with you a tidbit from the short story I am working on (although if you have read last week's Progress Report, I can tell you the spider is dead), nor anything from the manuscript I am proof/beta reading for my friend and writing buddy Nancy Hansen (it wouldn't be fair to her or her readers), I thought I would share something with you from ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.

Now, for those of you who might have missed Book 1: Project Alpha (and you can still get a copy from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble) Book 2 continues the story; as our hero tries to figure out his place in the universe.

Art by Marc Guerrero
The cosmic wanderer floated above the strange new world before him in stunned silence. A blue-green orb teeming with life, this planet was vastly different from his former home, as alien to him as he would be to it.
In time, he allowed the gravity of this new sphere to pull him into its embrace. This action did not feel like a welcoming gesture, but at least it was not an outright rejection of his arrival. Summoning just enough energy to project a protective force shield against the friction of reentry, the man in the sky blue and white costume decided to let fate cast him where it may upon foreign shores, and see if it was possible to forge a new life here.

But where is Alpha? And what happens next?
Those and other questions will be answered when ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON is published next year.
For now, I'm going back to writing to fill in some more blank spaces.

See you around the internet!

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Welcome to what will be a regular feature of this blog.
Once a week, I shall post how things are going on whatever project(s) I am working on at the moment so you (the readers) will know how things are progressing on the future releases you are looking forward to.

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)
I have proof/beta read several more pages of my friend and writing buddy's Nancy Hansen's latest manuscript.
I have worked more on Alpha, Book 2: Wayward Son, although I am not as far along on that as I would like to be because
I am about halfway through my last short story commitment for 2013. Work on that had to be paused while I did some research on spiders.
I have also honored my duties as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine, and started this blog.

So, maybe not as much work as I would have liked to have done, but there has definitely been progress on filling the various blank spaces of the moment in my writing career.

See you around the Internet!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


This project is something that I had on my mind for some time, but wanted to get some more experience under my belt before undertaking.


Here I shall discuss stuff that has influenced and shaped not only whatever project I might be working on at the moment, but also my overall writing career, hopes, and dreams.
This space will not replace my author's page on Amazon, or my professional page on Facebook, but is meant to give readers and author more room to communicate than the aforementioned places or my position as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine allows.

So please visit on a regular basis. It will be well worth the journey and reading.

Lee Houston, Junior Writer/Editor
26 September, 2013


1. Is that really your given name?
Yes; Lee Houston, Junior IS my real name. My paternal grandmother always said that not only was my family directly related to the historic Sam Houston, but that our ancestors were on the winning side of Custer's Last Stand. I do not use an alias because if I'm not proud of what I do, I will not foist it upon an unsuspecting public. Besides, it's full time job just being me without trying to be someone else too.

2. How do you come up with your ideas?
My ideas come from all points of the universe and beyond. Sometimes I get inspired by something I read or watched. Other times it might be via music. Thoughts come to me in the middle of the night or whenever I'm preoccupied by something else, they suddenly appear out of the ether. Whether you believe in the Ether Bunny, Harlan Ellison's idea provider in Schenectady, the Gardner F. Fox daydream method, or some other muse(s); as long as the ideas keep coming, I'm happy.

3. Do you plot first, or just start writing?
I do plot to a point, especially when I'm working on a HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE story; but my plots are never set in stone before I begin working on a new tale. That way, if a new idea comes to me while in the midst of writing, I can stop and consider it right then and there instead of having to set it aside for the next project.

4. So, how do you write?
I am usually at my PC and using Microsoft Word, but I started out writing between the traditional method of using pen and paper, then producing my manuscripts via a manual typewriter; so I have no problem going back to the more "retro" method of creating whenever necessary, then transcribing my notes into the computer's memory later. Besides, you have no advanced warning when inspiration might strike, or bad weather forces you away from the computer for a while.
But I can tell you from first hand experience, always back up your work!

That's all for now!--lh,jr.

BIBLIOGRAPHY (As of September 24, 2013)

This feature will be updated as needed. But what I have published at the moment includes...


Cover painting by David L. Russell
A traditional private detective plying his trade in the far flung future on another planet in a distant corner of the universe.
The anthology includes the short stories Dineena's Dilemma, Shortages (the first appearance of Big Louie), Of Law And Order (the first appearance of Attorney Mau Mynx), The Siege, Where Can I Get A Witness?, For The Benefit Of Master Tyke, At What Price Gloria?, and A Day At The Beach (the first appearance of Sandra Bunnae).
The first two stories were originally published within Masked Gun Mystery magazine from Pro Se Press, but I re-edited for the anthology. The others never saw print in serial form because the magazine was replaced by Pro Se Presents, with me as (story) editor; but it shows you how far ahead I was at the time.
Under an award winning cover by David L. Russell; the book has been released in print, as an e-book, and recently as a great MP3 Audio Book by Pete Milan and Chris Barnes of Dynamic Ram, who are working are adapting the next HUGH MONN novel in the same format!

Cover art by Marc Guerrero
The opening novel of my superhero series, the being who would become an altruistic person helping all (ALPHA) was a nobody until fate intervened. He finds his life literally changed overnight, with his first mission putting him in a do-or-die situation to save not only another planet, but perhaps the entire universe as well!
Published by Pro Se Press, this is available in both print and the e-book formats right now, and I am hard at work on book 2 in the series: WAYWARD SON, as our hero tries to figure out "where do I go from here?"
You have to admit, that is a great cover image by Marc Guerrero of Alpha (in blue and white) battling Conalaric!

Cover art by David L. Russell
While I was intentionally trying for longer adventures, what was supposed to be the opening tale for another anthology became a novel unto itself, because I kept thinking of things to add to the story!
Hugh is hired as a security consultant for vid actress Ruby Kwartz as she comes to the tropical island nation of Galveston 2 to film a new production; but what was supposed to be a simple assignment turns complicated as Hugh discovers everyone has a hidden agenda, and someone wants to make sure that this vid is Kwartz's last!
From Pro Se Press with another great cover by David L. Russell, CATCH A RISING STAR is currently available in the print and e-book formats, with Milan and Barnes working on the MP3 Audio adaptation for Dynamic Ram.
And of course there will be more thrilling HUGH MONN adventures in the future (no pun intended).

But I have also done plenty of short stories too!


Cover by David L. Russell
When G-2 Special Agent Jeff Shannon, aka The Eagle, is sent to the land down under on assignment, he finds more than he bargained for as he encounters a historic event and unknown Nazi plans that might help them win World War 2 if successfully carried out!
A joint production of Pro Se Press and Altus Press in both print and e-book format, my story shares the anthology with Bobby Nash, Teel James Glenn, Ashley Magnin, R. P. Stevens, and Nick Ahlhelm under a David L. Russell cover.

Cover art by Mike Fyles
Nazar claims he can predict when someone is destined to die and is willing to alter their fate, for a price. But when Diamondstone the Magician turned sleuth (originally created by G. T. Fleming) confronts "THE DEATH DEALER", neither may survive the final encounter!
Available in print and e-book as a joint production of Pro Se Press and Altus Press, I am honored to be sharing this anthology with Chuck Miller, Russell Anderson, Junior; and Nicholas Ahlhelm under a Mike Fyles cover.

Besides the above and the aforementioned Hugh Monn stories that saw print separate of the private detective's first book, I have also the following short stories in print:
"THE WAY OF THE WORLD" (a young lad discovers reality) within the first issue of Pro Se Press' Fantasy and Fear magazine
"Y-239" (the exploration of a new solar system) within the first issue of Pro Se Press' Peculiar Adventures, and
"A TAVERN TALE" (stopping for a drink during a long journey might not be a good idea) within the third issue of Pro Se Press' Fantasy and Fear magazine.
These two titles, as well as Masked Gun Mystery, were combined and replaced by Pro Se Presents.

I have other short stories pending, but since I have no idea where they currently are within the various publishers production schedules, it would not be fair of me to say anything prematurely about them.

But everything listed above has its Amazon links, with the print and e-book formats also available from Barnes and Noble and Create Space.