Preorder is Up

Hey, hey! The ebook for my upcoming middle-grade fantasy, Desmond Winters in the Realms of the Caged Sun, is now up for preorder on Amazon at this link. The preorder is up a tad later than I wanted it to be but that’s okay. The book officially comes out on 2/28. The paperback should be out on the same day, but there’s no preorder for it. There will also be a hardcover, but I’m not sure if that will be out the same day.

This project has been a huge deal for me, and I’m really excited about it! I’ll have a lot more info in the next couple of weeks, so be sure to stay tuned.

des-ebook-cover

Does An Author Have to Like Their Audience?

A while back, I met a children’s author who said she didn’t like kids. She didn’t just say it once; she kept repeating it to the point that I was envisioning her hunched over a desk, toiling away on her picture book muttering something like, “These little jerks are gonna love this garbage!”

I started to wonder how anyone could write for an audience they really don’t like. When you genuinely like someone or a group of someones, you probably want them to be happy with whatever you produce, so you make the extra effort, right?

I guess you could research what a certain audience likes, but if you can’t empathize with them, do you get it? Like deep-down-in-your-gut get it? I would think probably not, but hey, what do I know?

flying books

Clicky McClickerson

I’ve been working on recording an audiobook version of Love and the Dark. Holy crap that book had some editing issues. I do have someone edit for me but I have a tendency to monkey around with the book once I get it back, so you know, my inability to leave things alone is one hundred percent of the problem. The issues will be fixed shortly.

Anyway, recording the audiobook has been an interesting experience so far. I had to figure out which software to use and then how to use it. I now know things about sound that I didn’t know before. I also learned that once I get past the weirdness of hearing a recording of myself, my voice is actually kind of soothing.

The worst issue I’ve had is my mouth drying out. After about 10 minutes of recording, my mouth gets dry and starts making these little click sounds that are undesirable in the audiobook world. Not only do they sound bad, they distract me. In fact, the whole dry mouth thing is so aggravating that more often than not, I end up quitting for the evening before I intended to.

And the audiobook I’m recording has an estimated finished recording time of 7 hours. It’s a lot more than 7 hours of labor once you factor in all the retakes and editing, etc. At this rate, I’m gonna be fifty years old by the time I finish.

I looked up the clicking (mouth noise) and apparently, this is a common audio recording problem. I’ve seen the following suggested solutions.

  1. Get a better microphone to filter it out. That’s fine and dandy but if the mouth noise is distracting me as I’m reading, then the fanciest microphone in the world isn’t going to help.
  1. Water – This was the first thing I tried. Do you know what water does? It rinses the saliva out of your mouth. I drink so much water as it is that it’s probably causing the problem in the first place.
  1. Vaseline – ew
  1. Lemon – Wouldn’t this be drying?
  1. Talking while holding a pencil in your teeth – What?
  1. Get someone else (a professional someone else) to record it – Like I’d give up that easily. Do you even know me, bro? The clicks aren’t stopping me, not yet, anyway.

I did try keeping a glass of milk next to me. That helped a little, but it definitely wasn’t a cure. It was skim milk, though, so maybe milk with fat in it would do a better job.

This evening, I bought some mouth moisturizing gel. Sounds pretty gross, right? It’s clear and sort of minty-ish, not as minty as toothpaste. I’ll give that a go later. I also considered coconut oil. I may still try that if the gel doesn’t work.

Oh, the glamorous life I live! 
Here’s a picture of Bleuberry (aka Bleu, aka Mr. Baby, aka Jerkface).

bleu

Maybe the Grossest Story You Read All Day

I was an odd child. As with many children, I had more energy than good intentions.

In the third grade, I had some wax lips. I might’ve gotten them for Halloween. I might’ve bought them at the candy store down the street from my house.

wax-lips

Being the creative soul I am, I discovered that I could chew them up and then form the wax into shapes. I began to sculpt. I made small snowmen and other simple things, probably a cat or two.

I made a bunch of them and hid them in my desk. It was one of those models where the top flips up, and you stash books and whatever inside.

Then I came up with the bright idea that I would sell them. My classmates really seemed to like them, and they never questioned my materials. I sold several of these saliva and wax masterpieces.

Unfortunately, my gig didn’t last very long. I don’t remember why I quit. I think my teacher must’ve told me that I should not do such things. Of course, teachers did that a lot.

Toy Collection 4: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Greetings, lovelies! I was listening to the Nerdist podcast the other day. The guy who hosts collects things like I do, only his stuff sounds WAY better. He said that his collection was like a diary of things he loves. That’s exactly what mine is!

Today we have the Nightmare Before Christmas – um – group? Subcollection?

nightmare

The first time I saw The Nightmare Before Christmas, I didn’t like it. When I went to see it in the theater, I didn’t know it was a musical before I went, so I was annoyed. Of course, later I saw it again and was able to appreciate it for the piece of genius it is.

So, left to right, starting in the back, we have stuffed Zero, VHS of the movie, big Jack, which should have arms but doesn’t. I have no idea where they went. Next row from left to right, we have non-stuffed Zero, smaller Jack, Oogie Boogie, Sally, Doctor Finklestein. Then there’s Lock, Shock and Barrel but not in that order, and tiny Christmas Jack with Christmas tree.

I think the next collection post might be Batman.