Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Who Will Be The Next J.K. Rowling? - Part One

What will it take to beat Harry Potter and Overthrow "The Queen of Fantasy" J.K. Rowling?

This is a question that is being batted around by publishers, agents, authors and readers alike. I am sure it is a question that Scholastic has asked in recent times. For anyone to challenge the throne of the queen of fantasy they will have to incorporate a number of aspects to even come close to the monumental success of the Harry Potter franchise. Many articles focus on Harry Potter's huge success. This one will focus on how anyone will out-do the hit series.

Here is one aspect they will have to incorporate:


The author that will take the throne from J. K. Rowling will have to be inspired with a story that will rival Harry Potter. It will have to be a literary masterpiece that has all of the ingredients to succeed on all plateaus. The writing will have to be both simplistic for the young readers and sophisticated for the older readers. It will have to weave humor with sincerity, intelligence with clich├ęs, mysticism with magic, and intrigue with adventure. This new writer will have to have the ability to morph their style to transcend the minds of the readers and bring them into the literary patchwork of children's fairy tales of the twenty first century. It will have to stand the test of criticism and the welcome of praise.

Will such a story unfold and surpass the greatest of our time?

How about a series called The Artifacts of Merlin that chronicles the adventures of Merlin's Grandson through space and time?

BOOK ONE:  ZEBULON QUEST THE SWORD OF FIRE is crafted in an interesting futuristic setting with many historical overtones, it is complete with Indiana Jones like adventure, searching for seven artifacts that Merlin has hidden for his grandson-Zebulon Finnegan. The high-concept storyline is a mixture of Harry Potter, The Bartimaeus Trilogy, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Add to that a sprinkling of Charlie Bone, a pinch of Eragon, and a spoon full of the hit U.S. television show Quantum Leap and you have that potential for overthrowing the queen of fantasy.

Read Sample Chapters:

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Monday, August 3, 2015

Tim & Sue Are Meant To Be!

I was shopping with my two youngest daughters tonight and, as we were walking through the aisle, they pointed to the cold beverage cooler.  Low and behold, these are the two Coke bottles that were in the front. I am not kidding you. I took it as a sign that Tim and Sue were meant to be together!
 (Yes, my wife sue and I met nearly 22 years ago and have been married for 18 years.)  Gotta love Coke's latest marketing campaign. It was just like the commercials--I bought both bottles and took them home.

Love ya Sue!

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Free e-Book: Realize It!

Author Tim Northburg is promoting his book Realize It! with a FREE Kindle e-Book download from Tuesday July 21, 2015 through Saturday July 25, 2015

(You do not need to have a Kindle to download. Just download the Kindle app on your iPhone or iPad from the iTunes store or on your android smart phone or tablet from the Play Store.  Download your free e-Book and read it.)

"I wrote this pocket guidebook to pass on a profound lesson I learned in High School swimming about reaching for your goals and realizing them. From an early age I learned the challenges and pitfalls of realizing your goals in life. I also learned how to keep going in the face of adversity, regardless of the challenges. First, you must decide on your goals and then ask yourself the question:  How Bad Do You Want It?  If you want it "Bad Enough" you will work relentlessly to Realize It! I hope this book will help those who strive to reach their goals realize them. Please enjoy."

--Tim Northburg

Realize It!

What is "it" in life? It is anything you want but don't have. It, is also the things you have and want to keep. This pocket guidebook will help you work on getting, and keeping, what you want in life. First, you must ask yourself, "How bad do I want it?" Then, you have to determine how you are going to work towards getting it. Once you know how to conquer your fears, break through barriers, and overcome obstacles you will realize it!

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Free e-Book: Decide On It!

Author Tim Northburg is promoting his book Decide On It! with a FREE Kindle e-Book download from Tuesday July 21, 2015 through Saturday July 25, 2015

(You do not need to have a Kindle to download. Just download the Kindle app on your iPhone or iPad from the iTunes store or on your android smart phone or tablet from the Play Store.  Download your free e-Book and read it.)

"I wrote this pocket guidebook as I outlined the areas of my life I wanted to focus on. I broke my life down to eight core units of focus. Then, at the beginning of every year, I decide on the things in each area that are important to me and I set goals for myself in each area. I want to share this book with those that want to dive into each area and to examine what is important to them in their lives and specifically define it. Please enjoy."

--Tim Northburg

Decide On It!

It . . . is anything you want or desire and is found in these eight core areas of your life: Mind, Body, Money, Work, Social Life, Relationships, Belief, and Family. What is it you want? This pocket guidebook will help you figure out what you want in your life. You must clearly define what it is you want before you can start working towards it. Once you figure it out—you can realize it!

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: Zebulon Quest: The Sword of Fire

Zebulon Quest:  The Sword of Fire
Zebulon Quest: The Sword of Fire by Tim Northburg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Crafted in a futuristic setting with many historical overtones, ZEBULON QUEST is a new concept crossover novel complete with Indiana Jones like adventure, Lord of the Rings fantasy, and Star Trek science fiction. This high-concept storyline is a mixture of Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Chronicles of Narnia with a heaping spoon full of the legend of Merlin. Check out this great epic tale, for young and old alike!

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Mother's Patience

A Mother’s Patience

A mother’s patience is one of her most under-appreciated traits. It starts at the moment of her son’s conception, as she is the first to know that life has been created inside her. Though her love for the unborn child is strong and the bond of motherhood already formed, she must wait nine months to hold this unique miracle.

She watches as he grows, withstanding sleepless nights of nightmares, his stuffy noses, tantrums and the scrapes and bruises. Someday her son will become aware of the love, the nurturing, and the guiding. And, finally, of the letting go. But she knows it is on his schedule, not hers.

As he spreads his wings and explores the world, the mother continues to wait. Whether it’s late-night phone calls, listening to girlfriend troubles, the lack of money or the feeling of not knowing where to go in life, she is there when called upon. Patiently she watches him, knowing in her heart that the choices are his, and sometimes wishing he would choose differently.

But wisdom, learned perhaps from her own mother, has taught her that the journey is not hers to take. Patiently, she watches from afar, understanding that life will teach her son the lesson he needs at the exact moment he needs it.

When he calls to express his frustration, she doesn’t try to undo the lesson, but instead helps her son capture the learning.

Then, the moment she has waited for arrives. The son has discovered the true source of his inner self and joyfully returns to her doorstep. With patience she listens to the moments of his life that brought him happiness. Subtly, she encourages his story to unfold, laughing silently at his follies and smiling brightly at his courage to face his fears. He tells her things he has told no one and knows his words are protected and safe.

Though it has taken decades, the bond of mother and son has grown to include a friendship which knows no equal.

Now they walk through life together, knowing their love between them transcends all boundaries. It is everlasting and it makes them smile.

Thank you, Mom, for allowing me to grow into myself, for patiently waiting all of these years for it to happen, and for accepting me each day along my journey. You are the magic behind the story of my life.

An author friend of mine, Dean K. Miller, wrote this and allowed me to post it on my blog.  I thought it was appropriate as Mother's Day is rapidly approaching. If you would like to read more inspirational "life" essays, read Dean K. Miller's book:  And Then I Smiled.  It is full of charming stories that make you smile.

Need a special Mother's Day gift for your Mom, Wife or Grandmother?

Mother’s Day is on May 11 and Hot Chocolate Press has a special buy one get one free offer.* Buy And Then I Smiled ($11.95) by Dean K Miller and get Planes, Trains and Chuck & Eddie ($10.95 retail) by Kerrie L. Flanagan for FREE.** Both will be personalized, signed and sent to you (or directly to your gift recipient) before Mother's Day.

Offer ends Tuesday (May 6, 2014).

To Order Visit: http://hotchocolatepress.com

*Limited quantities available

**Shipping & Handling extra

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What Is Your Daily Resolution?

Many times we set New Year resolutions, and often they fall by the wayside. How about setting a daily resolution?


What is your daily resolution?


"In the morning, on the short drive to work, I usually think to myself:  I will do my best to help others succeed today? That is my daily resolution. It allows me to focus on helping others to the best of my ability and I know if I do that I will find success myself."

The Darth Writer

(Please share your resolution, comment below)

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Free Kindle E-Book: Sales Is Mashed Potatoes

Download your copy of this pocket guide filled with witty sales anecdotes as it relates to mashed potatoes:  

From Nov 4th through Nov 8th author Tim Northburg is offering a free promotion of his book, Sales Is Mashed Potatoes. Get a free copy by getting the Kindle reader app on your Apple or Android smart phone or tablet, or on your PC and download your free copy of this sales book.
I would love to hear what you thought of the book.


-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What Was The Defining Day You Became A Writer?

The Birth of a Writer

Even as a young boy, I read many books and had a wild imagination. My parents took me to the library, bought various books for me to consume and read to me before bed. Then in 1979, my father took me to a drive in theatre. The move I watched sparked a greater imagination that was unknown to me. That movie was Star Wars. Later it came out on HBO and watched it repeatedly.

From that time on, my imagination kept growing. I became fascinated with Superman, Indiana Jones and James Bond. I was a normal kid who played with Legos, Star Wars action figures and Matchbox cars. Later I became fascinated with Dungeons and Dragons and went on many imaginary quests with my friends.

In High School, I became engrossed in sports and Swimming consumed much of my free time. It was in the second semester of my senior year that my life changed. One of my good friends committed suicide. I was in my first class of the day, creative writing, when we heard the news over the intercom. It happened that morning before school when he took his life selfishly. I looked over at the empty desk to my right and realized that I would never see my friend again.

That was the defining day I became a writer. From that day forward, my creative spark inside flared up. I wrote about my friend and many of the great times, we had together. I even did a story from him explaining what was going on in his mind the seconds before his life ended. I also created many short story pieces that just sprang from within and poured out onto the paper.

Three years later (1993) I decided to write a novel and incorporate many of the pieces I wrote in that creative writing class. I wrote my first 300-page manuscript titled, The Toads of War in freehand (which I later typed into the computer.)

Then after selling Insurance and working as a Investment Advisor I became an Automotive Sales Professional. I spent several years selling at a Saturn retail facility. I learned about Customer Service and Needs-Based Selling.

Over the thirteen years as an Automotive Sales Professional and Automotive Sales Manager, I compiled the knowledge, techniques and principles I learned into three automotive training guidebooks titled Automotive Basics, Automotive Sales 101 and Knights of the Blacktop. I also authored a daily workbook for automotive professionals called, Knights of the Blacktop Business Planner. I currently used these to train my sales professionals.

In 2002, I completed a 390 page Success and Motivational manuscript titled, Fuel the Furnace and created workbook to go with it.

In 2004, just before the birth of my third daughter, my latest creation sprung to life. I was reading my oldest daughter Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair books as bedtime stories. Inside something nagged at me. The writing voice inside told me that I should create some kind of children’s story with a grand adventure—much like the ones I was reading to my daughter.

That is when the thoughts of kids, a teleportation watch, multiple planets and the search of magical items came to mind. I do not know how it all came together—it just did. Now, I have my first manuscript complete, my second manuscript in the works and rough outlines for the six remaining books in the series.

Thinking back, the moment I became a writer was that day I lost my friend. My friend inspired me to write. I will always remember our friendship and the gift he gave to me.

Thanks Cory!

To learn more about my fantasy/adventure series visit:


-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer