Inspiration from My Friends

I am working on my second book - Treasure at Fort Arbuckle. It is the first in what I hope is a long series centered around the Mason family from Civit, Oklahoma. The series involves historical fiction and Judeo-Christian values explored by a trio of children - Shawn, Amanda, and Cooper Mason. They live on a farm whose brand is the Triangle M. 

I've already included an excerpt in a previous blog post here and I plan to release a few more excerpts as the book comes together. Stay tuned for that!

Here are the three main character descriptions:

Shawn Mason - 13 years old. Very active, easily excitable, impulsive, and a real go-getter

Cooper Mason - 10 years old. Calm, analytical, somewhat lazy, but typically finds the best answers before rushing into trouble. 

Amanda Mason - 11 years old. Quiet, bookish, reluctant to join in the boys' adventures, but often the one who gets them out of a jam. 

I have based each of my characters loosely on children I know well. Those of you who are close to me, I'd love to hear who you think each character is based on. As an aside, we'll also have the policeman of Civit appear in the book. He's kinda goofy, likes to pull quarters from behind children's ears, and will be a source of some humor (all in good fun). 

What Story is Your Favorite?

So, I published my first book, Three Men and a Barrel, on Amazon a week ago. This book is the culmination of over 15 years of work. At age 19, I told the men I worked with that one day I would write a memoir about my time as a shed builder and title it Three Men and a Barrel. Why, you ask? Well, obviously you haven’t read the book!

I began writing a column for our industry’s bi-monthly magazine, Shed Builder Magazine, over four years ago. At first, it was just a funny story I wanted to share. Then, it became a fixture in every issue. For the past couple years it has been seen on the last page of the publication. I’m blessed to work with Matt Poe and the team at Shed Builder Mag. They have allowed me an avenue to release all those stories over the years.

I decided about a year ago to compile those stories into my “memoir”. I hope these stories bring a smile to your face, but more importantly, I hope they help every reader to look for joy and meaning in your everyday work. This is not a story of an exciting superhero that you’ll never be. You can find humor and inspiration every day – if you look in the right place!

I’d love to hear from you! If you enjoyed one of the stories, leave a comment and let me know!

How to Self Publish on Amazon

There are tons of folks who would love to teach you how to self publish your book on Amazon. Many of them have written their own book, seemingly for the sole purpose of being able to then sell a course on publishing on Amazon.

It is actually quite simple. You write your book. Then, you upload it to KDP. Then, you design a cover. Once everything passes inspection, voila! Now, you are a published author!

Obviously, it is a little more difficult than that to successfully sell a book on Amazon. That’s why these folks sell courses on how to self-publish. It’s easier to sell courses than books…LOL.

Before you course-sellers get all offended, this is simply a funny reaction I’ve had to my own recent book publishing experience. Its actually not as easy as I thought to get a book noticed in the huge Amazon market. Thanks to all of you who have purchased my book!

Excerpt from “Treasure at Fort Arbuckle”

The first book in my new series of novels for middle grade children should be released in April or May of 2021. I’d love to hear feedback from my friends! Constructive criticism is welcome. See this excerpt from Chapter Six.

My musings were abruptly interrupted as the Rebel Captain cried, “Charge!” All thoughts fled, except for the raging desire to live. The entire front line of gray-coats seemed to erupt into flame as they all fired as one. Then, that blood-curdling “Rebel Yell” swept toward our line.

The sound seemed to paralyze two of my companions in fright. Sykes was not paralyzed, though. He leaped to his feet and ran back toward our retreating troops, not even bothering to take his musket. Warren snapped out of his trance and looked at me. His mouth moved, but I couldn’t hear anything over the incredible noise.

The air was full of whistling Minie balls. I had fired twice without even realizing it. Johnson lay trembling on the ground. Warren shook him, trying to rally his spirit. The Rebels whooped their frightening cry again, and Johnson lost all control of his faculties. He stood up and staggered to his left.

Before I could grab him, he was struck four times by shots from advancing Rebels. He stumbled one step, then another. More shots poured from Rebel muskets and his body absorbed blow after blow. I watched in horror as he fell. It seemed to last forever, but it was over in less than five seconds.

Warren and I went back to our task. I had fired mechanically, just like we had trained. There was no way of knowing if any of my shots had hit their target. The Rebels were crossing the creek in absolute chaos. The rest of our little contingent was certainly making their presence known!

The fighting was brutal for the next few minutes. A great many of the Confederates fell, but they advanced onward. Soon, the lead soldiers were close enough it seemed I could feel their hot breath. Warren suddenly grunted loudly. He was wounded in the neck. One look was enough to tell me he was finished. I grabbed his musket and moved quickly, ducking behind the large boulder to my right. Shots ricocheted off the top of the boulder as I ran. I spotted Colburn with the two soldiers at the top of the knoll. My legs churned as I sped toward them.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments. I appreciate all of you!

Welcome to my Blog!

  Hey, welcome to my blog! My name is Tyler Mayhan and I love to write. When I was only a small child, I wrote my first story. My mother (my biggest fan) still has it. Not sure my writing has improved much since then, but I hope you will enjoy reading along with me. 

I have written for Shed Builder Magazine for several years and love sharing stories from my construction adventures as a member of the Better Barns  team since 2003. I find humor and inspiration in my interactions with my coworkers and our customers. I’ll be sharing some of those stories here. 

My first book, Three Men and a Barrel, was released on February 28, 2021. More books are in the works! I hope you’ll join me as I attempt to provide clean stories for children to enjoy.

I have also supervised our church’s school since 2005. I love learning more about training children to be all they can be. I’ll be sharing Biblically based thoughts on child-rearing as well. Teaching is my passion, so I hope some of what I share can be a blessing to you!

My wife, Nicole, has been my best friend for most of my life. Our marriage of over 15 years has produced many great joys, including our two children. I hope to record some of our amazing memories here also. We have enjoyed many great things together!

Thanks for stopping by! May your day be better because of it!

Which Story is Your Favorite?

Many of you have read my new book, Three Men and a Barrel. It is a compilation of stories from my over 15 years as a shed builder. These stories range from skunks to fireworks in the bathroom to my reason for staying with shed building.

I hope that you were entertained, but more than that, I hope I have helped you to look for good things in your own daily work. I’d love to hear from my readers about which of the stories you liked best. Did any of the stories help you to look at your own work differently?

Thanks for all your support!