Category Archives: Genre-Fantasy

Now Hear This: Audiobooks Get Some Hope

In late March 2018 the fine folks at Smashwords announced a remarkable partnership with Findaways, to make distribution of audiobooks as convenient as they did for e-books. I was intrigued because my first effort, “The Ring and the Flag” has languished on a single site for years now. I dove in to see if I could wrangle my way past the metadata-labyrinth and get it listed.

Long answer short, I could.

There are some oddities and extra info that Findaways needs, and I learned to look close for the tiny * that stood for mandatory info. When I saw the massive list of distributors and all the different business models they used, I quailed. TWENTY-NINE OUTLETS!?! How could anyone fix a proper price with all these splits and cuts to consider? But that’s the great strength of this aggregator role, I’d say. Findaways is going to handle all the various slices that these retail partners require: I don’t control how much I get back but I also don’t have to work that end myself. I give my bank account number and just wait for the money to roll in.

The biggest problem is that I only had the chapters recorded. Silly me, just recording, you know, the story. Findaways wants files on the front and back ends, things like an intro. So I cranked up the mike for the first time in an epoch and laid the tracks down in the early morning, in that blessed space of silence between the cats’ breakfast and the humans’. Filled out a tax form– not optimism, just *— and done.

I encourage fellow authors to check out the blog post. Findaways will hook you up with narrators which is crucially important I know. If you’ve got a good book and are willing to invest, you can get this done now. Happy to help if you have questions about the basic posting.

As for me, of course I’m too egotistical to let anyone else read my stories to you except me. I hope now I’ll feel the desire to finish “Fencing Reputation” which is about half-recorded, and it sure is good to know there will be some strong distribution for me whenever I do finish. Search Audible, Apple, Google Play, Nook, Overdrive, maybe your local library and two dozen other places and perhaps you’ll see my work.

Or rather, hear it.

Ar Aralte!   




In 2018: Going Long, Working Backwards

{this space left blank to allow time to roll your eyes at another New Year’s Resolution post}


{All good? We continue}

National politics aside, I think it was a very good year. Pessimists, you’re excused from reading the rest of this. I’m becoming a bit less tolerant of you anyway… but at my day-job I showed some progress (some, let’s not get carried away) highlighted by issuing more documents at the head of a small team of co-workers (an activity we refer to as “herding cats”, a slight exaggeration) and by a return trip to South Africa (about which enough could never be said).

With the family, it was twelve more months of enjoying Genna’s progress as a musician on both flute and voice, while my lovely wife “gave as good as she got” in her fight for full health. I still have not written about the incredible trip to Germany we were gifted by a woman who has to rank as the best friend I hadn’t yet met last July. This is not the blog post in which you will be reading about that.

Oh yes, and I completed my fantasy series Shards of Light, getting the third installment out by Independence Day and shipping the finale earlier this month, publishing ASAP. That final book was a pretty big psychological moment for me, wrapping up the threads of an adventure that first saw the world back in 2011 and has been burning in my mind far, far longer than that.

It’s been a year for  long trips and tales.
Come 2018, I start new ones.

Going Long

First in other people’s business, I plan to issue reviews of four long-ago epics, supposedly big influences on LoTR and predating Tolkien’s work. Two are done and dusted as of today, and this is part of what I mean by Going Long. I believe it’s rare for anyone to immerse in such huge stories anymore, which augurs grimly for my own ambitions as an author! Shards of Light was my first effort to bypass that problem, with four serialized tales under the single saga. The first two installments are “bite-sized” to any epic author or reader. But by the time I’m through with you, the story is longer than any other single cover I’ve put out. Try the first one, see if you like where it’s going. Just remember, it’s really going somewhere.

I’ll put my reviews of The Worm Ouroboros and The Well at the World’s End here on the site soon as I can wrap my head around what’s just happened to my soul (each around 300 pages). I’ll try to list arguments why you as a writer or reader would want to do the same (while admitting the reasons you could give it a miss instead). These are both important books in ways I did not expect, but I’m still untangling how much of what I think is personal as opposed to provable.

Working Backwards

And then I’ll dive back into writing, again Going Long with a sequel to The Plane of Dreams, called The Test of Fire. Like so many of my tales, it’s always been “there” back at least to the 1990s, but this particular portion of the canon was the one most recently “triggered” by events in the Alleged Real World, in 2008. This is the adventure that got the whole chronicling thing started: so once you’ve read it, you’ll have a good idea who to blame if that’s your preference.

Test of Fire won’t be overlong by itself, probably about the same as Plane of Dreams (114k words). But it’s actually third in the series, and here’s where I’m Working Backwards because the tale I tackle after this will be the first! Yes, there was a time before the heroes of Plane of Dreams came into Wanlock, the story of how they gained the fabulous wealth and momentary fame they brought into the start of that epic, and I’m going to tell it. Eventually. So far, the only thing I know for sure about the story is that it will have to be titled The Blank of Blank. But for fans of Qerlak Barleybane, Galethiel and anyone who missed hearing more of a certain three young adventurers, plus a pair of new fun-to-hate bad guys, good news in 2018. You’ll have a tale that takes these heroes, if not to the end of the story, at least further into time than I have ever clearly seen before.

After that, we go back to the beginning and tell that story, by which time I’ll need a word to describe the mirror-image of deja vu (when you read about the first time stuff happens yet it still seems familiar somehow). But that’s for another day. Who am I kidding- year.