Partial Completion and a Preorder

Hey there! I have not one, but TWO exciting updates today.

First: the all-important audiobook update. All first-round editing sessions are now complete. All initial bits that needed to be rerecorded have been rerecorded. Next step is to patch those puppies in. I’m not doing that today because I have different tasks to attend to.

I also have a preorder! Wild Spirits of the Hollow is now available on Amazon for $1.99. The price will go up when the book comes out.

If you’re a blogger and/or a reviewer, I am planning a blog tour. If you’d like to sign up and snag an advance reader copy, be sure to check out the blogger/reviewer page here.

Here’s some info on the book and the link to the preorder. The book comes out 8/28/2018.

WS-ebook-cover

 

Shannon lies to almost everyone she meets. When she gets lost and winds up trapped in an Appalachian valley village, her lies don’t get her far.

Mistwalk Vale may look like a fairy-tale, but nightmares lurk in the shadows. Villagers are dying grisly deaths, their bodies reduced to bones and left in the streets for their friends and family to find. Worse, some people suspect that Shannon is involved. They accuse her of coming from the tribe of vicious earth witches down in the hollow.

A man named Owen believes Shannon is innocent. He tries to protect her as best he can, but there’s only so much he can do. She feels herself falling for him, despite her plan to leave as soon as she gets an opportunity.

Caught between angry mobs and an ancient darkness, she will be forced to fight for her survival. Can she save herself and the village before evil consumes them all?

Preorder on Amazon

 

 

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The Listen Edit

I am so excited that today is Friday! I don’t have any real plans for this weekend, except for book working, which = much productivity!

During one of my last few posts, I mentioned that I was going to have a robot voice app read my most recent book to me. I did this with the hope that I would hear typos. My eyes skip over things and autocorrect for my brain, which is all well and good when I’m not trying to proofread.

Typos were found, but that wasn’t all. I heard unintentional repetition, perspective switches, all kinds of stuff.

The listen edit was life-altering, for real. I’ve never really 100% trusted human eyes or spell checks. While extremely helpful, I realize now that more was needed.

This week, I listened to the book I have coming out in August and started on Love and the Dark because that’s my next audiobook project.

I found so much that I needed to fix, more so with Love and the Dark, which was disconcerting because that book is actually out. No worries, though. I’ll fix it right up and publish updated versions before I record the audiobook.

If you write books or stories or whatever, I highly recommend that you do a listen edit. There are free apps. Robots don’t autocorrect when they read. What is on the page goes directly into your ears, for better or worse, and as long as you’re actively listening, you will hear things that don’t belong there or things that are missing.

Skeleton Coast

I don’t remember where I first read about the Skeleton Coast. It was several years ago; I can tell you that. And it actually ended up in my list of random tidbits in my book ideas binder. This was the picture that really stuck in my mind.

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How fantastically eerie is that? It’s a picture of a building in a diamond mining ghost town called Kolsmanskop. Here’s another shot with a bit more detail.

house 2

I think the village is technically south of the official “Skeleton Coast” area, but it shares the coastline and certainly has the same otherworldly vibe.

As for the official Skeleton Coast, Wikipedia has this fantastic intro: “The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River south to the Swakop River, although the name is sometimes used to describe the entire Namib Desert coast. The Bushmen of the Namibian interior called the region ‘The Land God Made in Anger’, while Portuguese sailors once referred to it as ‘The Gates of Hell’.”

map

O.M.G…The Gates of Hell?

It’s a scenic and sandy landscape at the edge of the ocean and is littered with abandoned buildings, shipwrecks, and bones. What kind of bones? Oh, not much: seals, turtles, whales, human.

Here are a few more pics for your viewing enjoyment.

 

So, how does all that stuff and up there? The short/easy explanation is that the Benguela current in the Atlantic ocean pushes stuff like shipwrecks and dead things onto the beach.

current

You’d like to visit, you say? Me, too! However, that might be easier said than done if nothing has changed since this 2013 CNN travel article. Here are a couple of quotes.

“The territory extends from just north of the city of Swakopmund to the Angolan border in northwest Namibia, taking in 500 kilometers of shoreline and 2 million hectares of dunes and gravel plains. It forms a national park, divided by rivers.

Independent travelers can apply for permits for day trips but only to the south — and it’s the northern extremes, the Skeleton Coast Wilderness, that most people want to see. Visitors to the latter part of the park are restricted to around 800 a year to preserve the fragile environment.”

“The only way to reach the north is to join a fly-in safari — an exclusive, if expensive, experience. A typical four-day trip costs around $6,000 per person.”

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/namibia-skeleton-coast/index.html

So, a visit might be slightly out of reach. Luckily, there are plenty of pics online.

Sources and further reading

This link has a great slideshow: https://www.ifly2017.com/en_us/48

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolmanskop

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeleton_Coast

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/namibia-skeleton-coast/index.html

 

Product Amore

Hey-o! My friend started a YouTube vlog that will feature reviews of things she likes. The first episode is Breakfast and Books, and guess who wrote one of the books she featured. Me! I was a little disappointed that she didn’t say that I was the greatest writer of all time,  because when else would I hear that? But it was still nice and good. You should watch her vlog and then follow her.

 

Thanks, Diane!

Getting It Completed and Other Plans

So last weekend, the husband was occupied, and I decided to have an audio editing extravaganza. It was magnificent! I edited 7 chapters over the course of 3 days, which was about 40-45 finished minutes, which a TON of work. Audiobook production is not for the lazy, that is FOR SURE! I took yoga breaks. I took Skyrim breaks and Dead Space 2 breaks. Caffeinated beverages and wine were consumed but not at the same time.

I have 4 chapters left to edit, and I have to record the closing credits. Then I’ll have to go back through what I recorded and read along to make sure all the words are there and correct. I made some changes as I was recording, too, adding a couple of speech tags, etc, so I need to update the print editions to make sure they match those parts.

Damn, my life is glamorous.

After I finish this project, I’m revamping the soundbooth a bit. Moving blankets might dampen the sound more effectively than the foam setup I have now. The foam is…decent, but the moving blankets are heavier and more solid. There’s still a tiny bit of an echo in there that I’d like to get rid of. I might use the foam and the blankets together if I’m not happy with just the blankets. The blankets will look better as well, perhaps less like a serial killer’s lair, not that the appearance really bothers me.

I would also like a light because the big light in the room is somewhat blocked. I’m thinking one of those battery-operated nightlights that stick to the wall.

Another thing I plan to work on after Oceans is done is the Iyrico audio. That was the short story audio project that I rage-quit a while back, before I started recording Oceans. It was a lot of work, and I’m starting to feel ridiculous for abandoning it. If I can shape it up without having to rerecord the whole thing, I might go on and do that.

I also came up with a brilliant idea for editing my print books that is somewhat related to the audiobook thing. One’s eyes have a tendency to correct mistakes as one reads. That’s not very convenient for me when I’m looking for typos. One of my rounds of editing is now going to involve having an app read the text to me. I’m hoping that my ears might catch a few issues that my eyes do not.

Now, please enjoy this picture of Bleu’s ginormous kitten eyes.

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