Scrooge played by William L. Hahn

Welcome to the Lands

A Word if You Are New Here

This is my site for information about the fantasy world known as the LoH_kg_2_map A5Lands of Hope. I have the usual bio and buy pages, also Maps and a free Compendium of lore, plus a cool notification feature if you want to see posts in your email box. Sign up for that and you get two quick Tales for free. Because no one should have to wait for a little Hope.
Continue reading Welcome to the Lands

Llamas and Crows–the Summer of 2022

It’s been awhile since I’ve had something to talk about on this blog–the gig economy has brought me the odd adventure here and there like Mystery Shopping or prep for a new class at school this fall. But on the tale-telling front, I’ve been deep in the throes of two very different projects this summer.

I mean, not sure how they could be any more different. A less foolish man would probably break this up into two posts, but I’m already begun so heck.

Crow Country is Coming Soon

I was very excited to win an audiobook project on a new platform, this time Upwork. There’s a whole ‘nother post about trying to hang your shingle away from Audible. Please don’t tell them I’m sneaking around! Actually, matters on Audible seem to have dried up rather radically in recent months, so getting this job was a boon.

And what a story! Crow Country is near-future dystopian and without giving away too much, let me just say that the crows are not the heroes of the story. Themes of the Wild West, a bit of sci-fi/fantasy, hopeless love and some of the most gruesome fights and descriptions I’ve ever been given are peppered through this tale. But nothing really defines it. The prose is just fabulous, set in an area the young author knows well but taking a flight of imagination I would never have credited possible at any age.

Revisions and Other Heroic Deeds

The voices and FX were a challenge as usual; but the FEEDBACK. Both the author and publisher had detailed input to every chapter I posted. I began to establish a rhythm in my daily recordings–look at punch-in requests from yesterday, record a new chapter or two, then upstairs to polish the first and produce the second. Hang them up for feedback, check for new input, make notes, etc. It’s a big novel with thirty-plus chapters and there was traveling (plus involuntary snoozing, more about apnea later) scattered all over the weeks. My point–I began to get into the routine of narration, like I always pictured it being, the actual daily work.

Crowing About the Outcome!

And I loved it. Like I thought I would, but in a way I’ve seldom experienced. The work is still occasional, and my recent authors have generally been quite happy with my first attempts. I knew deep down I wasn’t getting a real test of how I could do at this. For that you need feedback.

And I got it in spades this time around. Good, constructive notes, praise, requests for revision sure, but also just questions, discussion. A couple times I mentioned why I had tried this echo or that sound, and they went back, listened again, changed their minds. Other times I did, and gladly.

I’m as proud of this work as any I’ve done and I can’t wait for you to hear it. But we have to wait. For reasons that are super-cool, Crow Country will be released on October 9th. If you like to take it in with your eyes, you can preorder on Amazon now. I’ll update this post with the audio link whenever it becomes available.

It’s grim, it’s gritty and it’s really well written.

Not for children.

My Other Project- a Children’s Book!

I was also contacted by Christian children’s author Janet Ashmore, who has the first of a series of books out now, entitled Larry the Llama Learns About Love. I knew her through working for her husband David for whom I had narrated several police procedurals. Janet was hoping I could give her some advice about how to take her text and pictures into some kind of read-along format. And I thought to myself “well, you narrate audiobooks, and you watched your daughter win Superior awards reading children’s literature, and you know a thing or three about animating PowerPoint”. So I said, “give me a crack at it and see if you like the result”.

And she did. And did! It’s on YouTube and I’ll embed it here, about 9 minutes. Totally free in this format!

I had more fun than I can tell you, playing with various animations and always trying to recall how it would be for a young person to listen to Genna reading so sincerely and with such spirit. I believe the job called for a variety of skills, which I happened to have, and thus again I was quite proud to think I could work in this way. If you’d like your own hardback copy of the story, you can find it here. It’s in e-book and paperback too.

All in All

I won’t say there weren’t moments when I felt a little dizzy, gyring between these two projects. But variety probably helped much more than it hurt, and hey, gig income is never unwelcome. I’ll be back at school in two weeks, so it’s the perfect time to wrap and announce these two very different jobs as I begin to plan opening day presentations and dust off my dress shoes.

That’s what I did this summer: I answered the question “what could possibly be the same about a crow and a llama”.


Whither Will wills- Find the Author Loose in the ARW

I’ll post and update this sheet periodically so folks can hit the link and find me outside the cozy confines of my house, doing some kind of writerly-business.


Library Talks

Had a terrific time at the Bear Library Author Day (April 9th) where I premiered my thoughts on Writer’s Block. I may redo that one later in the year, but for now here’s the evolving schedule

Never Mind Your Voice…Find THEIRS!

Understanding PoV to Power Immersion

Hockessin Library, May 21st ~ 11 AM

writer talkMost authors have an instinctive understanding of “where they are” in the story. It’s deeply felt, they can see the movie already in their mind. Great! But does the reader see what you’re pointing to? The various choices of character Point of View (3rd, 2nd and 1st person) are crucial to the impact your story will have. Does it vary by genre? By gender? How can we analyze which voice-choice is best for our tale? Using examples from his own work, discussion, and free-write time, Will helps you to see the power of choosing the right voice. Which decisions have you already made?

Now Hear This:

Audiobooks Make Joyful Noise

Appoquinimink Library, July 23rd

They’re getting new digs in Middletown and it includes a recording studio! How fabulous is that, I can’t wait to check out the facility and then map alterations to my preso.

Even the bravest writer tends to shrink from the challenge of making an audiobook, but itwriter talk would be a mistake to ignore this fast-growing niche of NEW customers. Will covers the options from hiring a narrator to DIY, and walks you through how to record your own voice (yes, YOURS!) to edit and produce audio files. Will has narrated dozens of his own works as well as those of other authors. You have choices, exercise them!

Hook ‘Em from the Start

The Many Uses of Your Tale’s First Line

Appoquinimink Library, August 20th

writer talkWe’ve all got a great story to tell. But it’s hard to realize that readers won’t wait forever for it to start! In this writer talk, Will reveals the many objectives that can be accomplished in the very first words of a story. Examine and discuss what some of the great fiction authors of all time have done in Sentence One. List the kinds of impact you can have; give yourself credit for the powerful ways you can set the stage. This talk is great for authors who have finished a draft or are close to it, as they consider which edits and polishing their tale still requires. Laugh and gasp at the efforts of other authors–including Will himself– and start to put those lessons to work immediately.

Reading It:

That OTHER Thing You Can Do with a Book

Appoquinimink Library, August 20th

Sounds absurd on its surface, doesn’t it? Your own writing beckons, who has TIME to readwriter talk anything else! But your love of reading–those tales you’ve been eating up since your childhood–that’s what drew you to the writing desk now. Trying to JUST write your book is like driving a car on fumes. Will looks at famous tales from yesteryear, found in his blog series Classics You’ve Never Read, to reveal the remarkable features and tactics that past masters devised (and you can carry on). The many benefits of reading for a writer will stand out, and you’ll carry away freedom from the guilt of continuing to read.

Future 2022 Talks TBD

Book Fairs

The Smyrna Opera House Fair in March was a very good time: sales were quiet, but great to see people again and some exceptionally good networking. I’m determined to get back out there this year.
All venues are tentative at this point, my schedule is too uncertain. It’s my employment situation; library gigs pay, but these fairs are a cost. But I hope to be at the following (websites included).

Dover Comic Con 2022

June 18th
I’m probably 50-50 at best to attend the premiere event I’ve ever known. The family might be traveling that weekend, so I can’t say. But it IS good to know that this year, the hottest day of summer will suddenly shift back to June from August or July. These folks could have the fair at Michaelmas if they wanted to accelerate global warming…
UPDATE: This won’t happen in 2022, to my great regret. The people at DCC are fabulous, even offered to talk about a panel which would have been a dream. But the family travel plans would make it too near a thing. But you should still go!

Ocean City Comic Con

December 10th 
I’ve never been able to attend but I hear terrific things about this one. They’ll post information close to the date, but it’s always been in December. And Genna usually has a concert or rehearsal… this year, we’ll see!
UPDATE: So this year, we saw. Ocean City kindly informs that they are booked two years in advance. Wow! Maybe I should shift my sights to just trying to attend this year, and then in 2023 when Genna’s at her Doctoral program, the chance will emerge at last.