This is So Johnny Doesn’t Punch Me in the Throat


Sean is co-founder of the Collective Inkwell and Realm & Sands imprints, speaker, and author, with breakout indie hits such as Yesterday’s Gone, WhiteSpace, Unicorn Western and The Beam, as well as traditionally published titles Z 2134 and Monstrous. Follow him on Twitter @seanplatt

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Actually he said “dick,” but I didn’t want to be rude in a subject line.

A few weeks ago in the comments of our Self-Publishing Podcast blog, Nikki Pink said:

When is “Writer Dad” coming out? I want to read THAT. As someone with a family, and being a writer, it’s a title I’m really looking forward to. Stephen King talked about it a bit, but he writes shitty endings and apparently fired his editors and first readers a few years back, so I take everything he says with a pinch of salt. Also, since your audience are all writers (or wannabes) and a lot are parents, I suggest doing a ‘launch’ on the podcast for Writer Dad.

I love this book, but I wrote it for Cindy, Ethan and Haley and have had mixed feelings about it. It’s also the most difficult book I’ve written this year (as far as finished words per hour and emotional drain). I’ve been toying with the idea of releasing Writer Dad for free and mentioned this to Nikki. Johnny said:

If Sean puts Writer Dad out for free, I will punch him in the dick. He’s totally preoccupied with the idea that “it’s just my story and hence isn’t worth paying for,” which is something I’d expect Dave to say. I’ve read it and loved it. It has a LOT of value, because it’s one thing to give advice but something else entirely to put it into practice. Writer Dad shows how Sean put his balls on the line… OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Even as much as we say that this shit takes patience and hard work, you only see it — and how a person deals in the meantime — in a longer work where you get to spend that much time with an entire family that believes. It should be $4.99. Period. I will permit him to discount it to $2.99 for launch without any dick-punching.

So there you have it, Writer Dad is launching today for $2.99 and will stay $2.99 for a week. Then it will go up to $4.99 and Johnny will keep his hands to himself.

Get Writer Dad Here:

Read Caveman Timecop below, or start from the beginning here:

Standing in the middle of ferns that his Token’s intel seemed to think were probably sofas, Reed listened to Osterman, back in the 22nd century, with his mouth hanging open. Somewhere behind him, cave people were beating rocks with giant blunt clubs and grunting.

“What do you mean, ‘Feedback loop’?”

The professor seemed well past flustered. Reed had been in his shoes before, safe at the station and under the protection of the Squad’s master Token while some timecop fucked history hard. It could be incredibly disorienting. The Token protected the station — and hence the memories of everyone inside — from the effects of time ripples, but there was no such protection outside the station. Nobody was supposed to know timecops existed, or that time travel was possible. The consequences, if they knew, could be disastrous. It would be natural for people to worry that the future might be changed or disrupted if humans were going into the past, and of course it was — constantly. But because they were changed along with the future/present, people didn’t know. Reed had once gone home to discover that his girlfriend was missing an arm and had changed ethnicities. None of this was strange to Rachel, but it took plenty of adjustment from Reed.

But still, the reason there was an ironclad prohibition against going back more than 300 years was precisely that; the Butterfly Effect was magnified with time. A small deviation in a boat’s direction wouldn’t matter in a lake, but would send it vastly off course if sailing the sea. Ripples across 300 years could be bad, but ripples across 600 years might be three times worse. Reed could only imagine what tiny changes now might do over a million years … or however far back it was that he’d traveled. Every step Reed took might be altering the reality in Osterman’s time outside of the station’s Token umbrella. But then, whatever he was doing by mistake would pale in comparison to what a time robber was doing deliberately.

“I mean that our sniffer now estimates that the past is polluting the future, and the future, in turn, is polluting the past.”

“Is that what you were saying about these idiot cavemen?”

“Maybe,” said Osterman. Then, for a reason Reed didn’t catch, the professor yelled “DISCO, MOTHERFUCKER!” at someone in his lab. It seemed to be a disturbed realization about disco rather than an issued command. “We’ve been running matching algorithms on your stream and have noticed similarities to various ‘caveman cliches’ in pop culture. For instance, to a video show that didn’t exist when you left, about cave people. Called The Flintstones.”

Reed didn’t understand. It must be an obscure documentary. He didn’t see why it mattered, and why Osterman was dodging his request to come home. He shouldn’t be here anyway.

“I want to come back,” he said.

“You can’t come back,” said Osterman. Then, yelling at someone else again, he screamed, “AND NOW THE BEEGEES?”

“Bullshit. I want to come back.” 

“Reed,” said Osterman. “You aren’t listening. You cannot come back.”

Something about the way Osterman had stressed “cannot” bothered the timecop. It didn’t sound like a refusal of permission. It sounded like an absence of possibility.


“Because time travel is no longer possible in our time. We have the matrix protected at the station, of course … but there’s no grid to run it.”

Reed felt cold. “And this is because of some kind of a feedback loop?”

“In part. We think.”

“And you say the future is influencing the past? To cause this feedback?”


“Okay,” said Reed. “Start at the beginning. How does that happen?”

“It happens,” said Osterman as there was a large banging sound in the background, “because somewhere between my time and yours, the bandit you’re after has left a duplicate of his Chamber open.”