All posts by trekelny

About trekelny

It's really Will Hahn, the chronicler of the Lands of Hope tales.

My First BookTok!

You’ve got to keep trying.

I was almost today year’s old when I first heard that a corner of the TikTok video platform was blowing up. Turns out it’s been the better part of a year, but hey, sue me. BookTok, far as I can tell, is a mega-hashtag that authors use to talk about books and writing, and influencers go there for reviews and commentary about it.

So, videos about books. My first thought- watching people read? Or maybe that old life-blogging trend where a writer would show you her entire day, including two hours of staring vacantly at a blank screen.

It turns out to be more than that, of course. And I’m hardly saying I know everything, or even that I know what I’m doing.

But I did one. You can see it here. I’m listed as Trekelny and WilltheWay.

There’s a Giveaway Involved

My very first video is on a theme called Book Aesthetic, which is to say, the feel of the whole fershlugginer thing. And I’m offering free audiobook codes to my seminal epic fantasy chronicle Harbingers of Hope, to folks who comment over there. First ten.

I hope you’ll follow me on TikTok. It’s still the land-rush phase over there, but I’m ignoring the advice to post once a day. Hah! I’d be very happy with one video per week for the summer; once school starts, all bets are off.  Might be a good way to get to know me, my world, the writing process.

On the one hand, these are all things I’ve been telling you about, right here with typed out words.

But you’ve got keep trying.


IPPY Gold Award for “Crow Country” Audiobook

I’m thrilled to announce that my recent project, Emily Sullivan’s gritty dystopian adventure Crow Country, has been recognized with a 2023 Gold Award for Best Fiction Audiobook by Independent Publisher.

How Did That Happen!

It’s been some time since I learned the good news from Ms. Sullivan’s publisher, and I still feel a sense of unreality about this. I think everyone enjoys recognition; several years back after being laid off, I made a decision to aim for work that I loved doing, and then see if I could make ends meet with that. If I get a three-line thank you note from a student at the end of a long school year, I honestly get all teary.

Narration is also hard work, but I hardly notice. The challenge of crafting another author’s tale into audio form is something, much like teaching History, that I feel practically born to. This project was probably the most extensive: more than ten hours, tough character distinctions, and very precise feedback from the rights holders who continually asked about this FX, that voice. Tiny changes to volume and pace, I went back over some chapters eight times for that last little fix.

I think it shows. You be the judge, here’s the sample.

What, Pray Tell, Is an IPPY?

Independent Publisher recognizes quality work from indy authors, including small publishing houses that issue fewer than a hundred titles a year. They have received thousands of entries each year since 1996.

When the publisher told me she was putting the book in for an award, I figured it would be one of those electron-microscope categories such as you see on Amazon: I hoped to be recognized for Best in Near Future Dystopian Fiction Featuring Guns and Aggressive Avians. Or something. But in audiobooks, the IPPY awards go only to Fiction and Non-Fiction.

Check it Out Yourself

Crow Country is available in all formats. Sure, I prefer the audiobook! But I read it first; it’s one of the most impressive pieces of dystopian action I’ve ever encountered. I was immediately drawn to the power of Ms. Sullivan’s writing, and of course I’m a sucker for driven, wounded characters. The closest I’ve seen in other media would be the movie Cowboys and Aliens–how’s that for a comp!


“The print version of Crow Country represents a powerful study in survival and wonder; but an audiobook’s strength rests on its narrator. In this, Crow Country also shines, powered by a reader whose clear and dramatic voice does justice to the power of the written word by bringing it alive.”
D. Donovan, Editor, Donovan’s Literary Services

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