The Young Chesterton Chronicles!

…the blog of John McNichol, author of the YCC and a bunch of other bits!

  • Hey, all!
    Welcome to the new blog of John McNichol, author of The Young Chesterton Chronicles, The King’s Gambit, and a bunch of other stuff. πŸ™‚
    Those who want to see old posts from my previous blog, go to
    Now, I’m starting anew! After a several year hiatus, I’m back to blogging. πŸ™‚
    Near to exactly twenty years after I started writing The Young Chesterton Chronicles’ first book, The Tripods Attack, while snowed into our little rental house in Vancouver, WA, last week I submitted the final edits of the third and final volume of the series, Where The Red Sands Fly to my wonderful publishers at Hillside Press!
    More news to come, but I look forward to hearing everyone’s typewritten voices again!

  • Heh! Is a fine little website, and I published this today. Two Subjects near & dear to my heart: Superheroes and Old Atari VCS/2600 games:
    Spiderman Vs Superman:

  • Hey all!
    Got to see Back to the Future last night with my family- Free, at a little place called the Arlington Improv!
    Good people; let you in for free, ask you to buy two items when you get there [not a huge problem- food was good, pop was good, if a little spendy], and there was a trivia contest beforehand.
    I saw the original back when I was 15 years old in 1985, in Toronto on its opening day, with my buddy, Patrick. We ended up seated next to a local legend- Eugene Levy, then of SCTV fame!
    …got his autograph. “Sir, excuse me- are you Eugene Levy?”
    EL: “Yes, who’re you?”
    Ended up being a nice fellow; wrote me ‘all the best’ on some foreign currency I had in my wallet, even though the pen kept quitting. πŸ™‚
    My son noted how much he wished he’d been a teen in the 80s; despite the crappiness that was out there then, how many times I had bad times, I’d have to say I agree with him, from what I see of teen life today. So much seems unreal; scrolling, gaming online, comparatively so little actual interaction with those around you. All the stories I tell my class are about good times I had with actual people, with the occasional phone conversation. How do you make a good story out’ve something said in a chatroom?
    Great movie; hasn’t lost an ounce of wonder or joy in the nearly 40 years since it was made. After it was done, we were allowed to go into the retro arcade attached to the Improv for free; no having to pay the $10 admission fee! Me, Jeanna, Jamesy and Clairebear all go to play Qbert, Frogger, Donkey Kong, and…Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with April still the beautiful redhead she’s always been until recently [see the otherwise cool trailer for the latest iteration. Do the wokejokers think they’ve won the war on Christmas? Is that why they’re attacking pretty women and making them into slouchy ragbags like the new Thelma? Who knows…].
    Otherwise, a busy, busy first actual day of Spring break. Worked on a Gatsby paper I’m hoping to publish, sent out another book to a friend- hope their boy enjoys The Emperor of North America-and basically getting back to a semblance of normal with most of tha family having been sick this week.
    Ahhhhhh. Coffee’s brewed, house is quiet. I like it when my biggest decision is how I’ll spend the next few hours; writing, making minis on my 3d printer [a batch for the Steampunk JLA game I’ll be running on Friday, St. Patrick’s Day!], or maybe shooting a video review for the latest VisionAid product! Oh, yeah…car repairs… [*yawn*]…maybe this afternoon… πŸ™‚
    Oh, and please visit the site, and hit subscribe? Still only have 2 folks from the last iteration. πŸ™‚

  • Hey all.
    Please visit the site & subscribe! Love to get back to where I was a few years back before we escaped Portland for Texas. πŸ™‚
    Need a book for the last quarter for your book report and/or to round out your curriculum? Visit my awesome publishers at Hillside Education, or grab one of the Young Chesterton books OR The King’s Gambit from Hillside or my amazon page. πŸ™‚

    Busy Friday, kinda. About to go to another in-service…yep, teachers get stuck doing that.

    I’m having a bit of a block writing my next story; I know my readers’ll want action at this point, but I can’t really justify it at this point in the story; more of a ‘hide and slink-away’ moment for the main character, than a ‘tiptoe-then-music-swells-and-start-running’ moment.
    Does this make any sense?
    Maybe I’ll go back to a different project for a week or so and see. πŸ™‚

  • Hey all!

    Good morning! Coffee’s brewed, I got some words in this morning, and I sent off the last of my junk to the University of Dallas in the hopes [say a prayer, kiss-the-cross] that this year my writing, achievements and such will be sufficient to see me admitted to their excellent PhD program in Literature.
    It’s been a dream of mine for a long, long time, and I hope the doors open up soon.
    Take care, everyone! Say a prayer for me!

  • I’m getting back in the swim of writing for fun, and I have to work hard to ignore what I call my ‘anti-muse.’

    I mentioned him a while back in a post for the Catholic Writer’s Guild. My Anti-muse is a phantom of my imagination. In many ways, he’s the stereotypical comic-book guy: overweight, about a week of neckbeard, and constantly leaning over my shoulder while stuffing his mouth with cheesepuffs while he notes errors in grammar, continuity, or how I’m totally botching this story in every possible way because… everything. πŸ™‚

    Still moving forward, and hoping the final edits pass the final muster for my publisher. πŸ™‚

    A question for those who are reading my posts: I had a fellow writer suggest that I shelf a project that’s been a bit of a passion piece of mine for a bit; about a retired superhero who turns teacher and has to confront a number of his past issues.

    “No likes to read a prose version of something that’s supposed to be in a comic book,” he said. Maybe he’s right? I’d welcome thoughts.

    For now, off to teach night school. πŸ™‚
    God bless,

  • Hey all!
    J.R. Handley has a VERY cool podcast called Blasters and Blades, and I had the most fun on his show I’ve EVER had in a live interview! πŸ˜€

    Most of the show’s guests are writers who are former military; I guess my 2 years in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets [180 Mosquito Squadron! Who’s the best? One! Eight! Oh!] qualified me. πŸ™‚

    Here you go! Drop by and have a listen!

  • Well, I love living in Texas, and having last week off for what goes for a frost/snowstorm was pretty nifty. πŸ™‚
    But today? And yesterday?
    One of the many things I do not regret about escaping with my family from the People’s Republic of Portland in 2016 was the incessant, grey-skied, moss-creating, depression-inducting rain that always seemed to be present from August through to…pretty much the next July.
    So, I’ve been a bit down last few days.
    Happy about…me finally getting back in the swim [pun intended] of writing again. Having fun writing a piece inspired a bit from a Philip K Dick story I started to like, but like so many of his pieces dissolved about 2/3 of the way into a weird, druggie-dreamed mess.
    More to come. πŸ™‚
    God bless; drop by my Amazon page or my publisher and grab a book, whydoncha? πŸ™‚

  • Hey, all!
    I started writing the Young Chesterton Chronicles back in early 2003 when I was snowed in with my wonderful family in Vancouver, Washington….
    My family….
    Nah, it wasn’t that bad. But I just realized that I turned what will [hopefully!] be the final volume during…a week that we were all snowed in down here in the Dallas TX area where we now live. Almost exactly 20 years later! Oh, what a strange trip it’s been…
    A few more days, and my podcast interview with J.R. Handley in his amazing show, Blasters and Blades will hit the airwaves. πŸ™‚
    Take care, folks…I’m a happy camper as of late . Life- it’s not perfect, but it’s a darned sight better than it was a decade ago.
    Thank you, God. πŸ™‚


    At the end of my thousand year journey

    To the land where the Red Sands Fly,

    I saw a wood nub in the ground

    And I stopped from passing by.

    I dug and it became a cross

    Buried deep so long ago,

    I dug more and’t became a dome

    To hold the faith I couldn’t show.

    I dug and dug, and found a church

    House of bread in house of gold

    A faith I’d lost was finally found

    And old was young and young was old.

    An ancient wrong now put to right

    I sit, and stare and cry

    At wonder, romance, and love so fair

    In the land where the Red Sands Fly

    Noah J. Clemon

    For Our Lady of the Red Sands Shrine in Tamil Nandu, India.

  • Hey, all!
    A little bit about the guy I write about:

    Gilbert Keith Chesterton was a man born in England…aw heck. Short on time this morning. here’s his wikipedia page:

    …for me? My stories are about a fictionalized GL Chesterton , living in a steampunk universe where the stories he and others of his age wrote about have become real life events and phenomenon.
    Plus, if you’re a homeschooling mom, they’re exciting adventures that your sons [and not a few of your daughters!] will actually enjoy reading, and nothing to wreck their souls in the bargain! Isn’t that awesome? πŸ˜€
    Talk to you all more later,

  • Hey, all!
    For those who need a recap:
    I write books.
    On the side, yes. One day, still hoping and working to make it a full-time gig.
    My first published work was:
    The Young Chesterton Chronicles, Book 1: The Tripods Attack! <—CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY! πŸ˜€

    …then, it was so successful that I wrote a sequel:

    The Young Chesterton Chronicles, Book 2: The Emperor of North America.

    …and in between I wrote a book for the grade 4-8 crowd, unrelated to the other books.
    It’s called The King’s Gambit.

    …and now, we’re getting closer to seeing the 3rd book in the Young Chesterton Chronicles, titled Where the Red Sands Fly. πŸ™‚

    So, drop by Amazon, OR by my awesome publishers at Hillside Education, and pick up some books!
    More later,

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About Me

I am a Catholic, husband, father, teacher and author. On a good day, I am these things in that order. :)
Check out my books at my most excellent publisher, Hillside books, at
All opinions expressed here are my own. Hopefully, I’ll convince you to make them your own, too. :)