A Downward Spiral and a Smallish Absence

Greetings! I am currently caught in a downward spiral of perfectionism (which, regrettably, never actually results in perfection).

The bad news: I basically trashed my entire audiobook recording…again. I can’t help myself. Here’s the deal: so I switched out my recording equipment maybe…halfwayish? The new mic was way better than the old mic, which presented 2 problems: inconsistent audio quality and the better mic picked up more room noise, ie a slight echo.

The good news: I revamped my booth with better insulation. Foam is out; mover blankets are in, and that has helped tremendously. I already rerecorded the entire book. I did that in a week plus a weekend, so I guess that tells me how lazy I was previously being. I do need to edit those files, which I’m getting ready to go work on.

Due to a super heavy, self-inflicted workload, I might be absent from the blog for a bit. I have a lot that I want to finish in the next 2-3 months. I will definitely be on during mid-late August and early September for the Wild Spirits of the Hollow release. I will also still be running the Authors Read podcast.

I might pop in here if I just can’t help myself.

Catch ya later, percolator.

word vomit

 

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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.

Yes, Another New Cover

Greetings! Okay, last cover redesign for a while, I promise.

I failed with this book. When Pestilence Rising first came out back in 2014 (wow, has it been that long?), I concentrated most of my promotional efforts on getting reviews. I got a few, nothing crazy. I sold like no copies. Even to this day, it isn’t selling squat. I have literally sold 2 digital copies of this book. 2.

The new cover is an attempt to fix that. I’m also revamping the description, recategorizing it, and implementing advertising.

The first cover was…not that great. This is it.

Pestilence Rising jpg cover

I guess it could’ve been worse. It could’ve been one of those horrible covers I sometimes see that look like someone took a bunch of tiny, random pictures and made a half-ass collage with them. Oh, if you’re wondering why my name is “L. Ryan” on this one, it’s because at the time, I was reading about how people would rather read books by men, so some ladies use initials instead of their first names like JK Rowling.

Ahem.

Anyway, so the second cover was a little better.

new PR cover

Still not fantastic or great for the genre, but at least it looks more…artsy?

With the new push comes the new cover. This is the one I’m going to use from here on out.

new pestilence rising cover

I still might monkey around with the font a bit, but I am pleased with it overall.

Hopefully, this new push will help. I dropped the ball with this book, which is dumb because I really did like it. I still do.

I was also thinking about doing an audiobook version after I finish Beneath Oceans of Sky and Love and the Dark. That might be weird, because the main character is male. My voice isn’t overly girly, though, so I might be able to pull it off.

Tune in tomorrow for a super creepy fish post. The fish is creepy, not the post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various Updates

OMG, today is a great day. I recorded Chapter 20 of the Beneath Oceans of Sky audiobook! 20!!! I usually record one chapter at a time, but today I was so close to number 20 that I just pushed on ahead.

Only ten chapters left! Can you believe it?

I really like recording, and editing is starting to grow on me, maybe because I’m better at it and the process is now less tedious. I think running the Authors Read podcast has really done wonders for my confidence level and skill level.

I’ve found a few parts to fix in the book, too. They’re not a big deal, but they do need a fixin’ and a fixin’ they shall have. So if you plan to read the book and haven’t yet, you might want to hold off for a smidge longer. Once I finish recording, I’m updating the ebook version and then creating the print version. There isn’t one yet.

I’d like to get at least 2 audiobooks out this year. The one I’m working on now and then one for Love and the Dark.

If I still have time after that, I might do one for a novella that isn’t out yet. A novella that is about to ship off to Lady Editor. That might be out around Julyish.

And then, my scifi/fantasy/horror thing that I’m working on right now, that should be out by the end of the year. I’m currently wading through that rough draft, and holy fishsticks, that is a ROUGH draft.

It was last year’s NaNoWriMo project. That’s probably what I get for trying to crank those words out so fast.

Current Favorite Distraction: Dead Space 2

I have to go edit audio now.

BeeLoo

Notes from the Floodlands

Greetings, internetizens! Well, I would be recording right now but my sump pump is struggling like mad to keep my basement from turning into a subterranean pond…again. My makeshift sound booth is not in the same room as the pump but is within earshot, so I’m just going to hold off recording until the monsoon wanes.

But I do have a progress report. 8 chapters recorded, 6 edited! We are chugging right along. My reading is WAY better than when I first started, so that’s cutting down on both recording and editing time.

I thought I would get some recording done this past weekend. I had three days off in a row, after all. But no. There were activities every day, not that I’m complaining. On Friday, we went to Indy Comicon. None of us had ever been before, so we were pretty excited. I picked up some small Gremlin art prints, which are very cool, but the thing I’m more excited about is the comic book adaptation of The Dark Crystal!

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It came out when the movie came out in 1982, and in the back are some concept sketches and stills from the movie.

I also bought a sword. It’s a katana. Yes, I am a giant nerd.

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For my next trick, I will go answer emails I’ve been neglecting. Catch you later.

 

How Not to Write Female Characters

Greetings! Before I commence complaining, I would like to provide an audiobook recording update. I have 99.9 percent of my voice back and have now finished recording 6 chapters!

Now, the…rant? It’s not intense enough to be a rant.

So I’m listening to an audiobook that shall remain nameless. It’s a best seller. There’s a TV show. It’s a big deal.

The writing is somewhat questionable. The word “bigness” has been used multiple times.

The main character is a man. The romantic interest is a lady. We’ll call main character “MC” in the interest of efficiency.

When MC first lays eyes on ladyfriend, the author/MC spends a significant amount of time describing how utterly perfect her physical appearance is. The picture of femininity, super slim arms, delicate bird bones, ballerina-like. Did I mention she’s French? And a genius biologist from a prestigious, European university?

The author goes on to describe how perfect looking she is over and over. We get it. You’ve created an unrealistically hot female in your brain. Congratulations.

Did I mention she was the most boring character of all time? Seriously, the woman has served the following functions in the story: 1. Damsel in distress. 2. Emotional support for MC. 3. Provided a baby for MC.

That’s it.

What happened to her brain? At the beginning of the story, she was supposedly a brilliant biologist. Now, she just follows MC around, fretting and functioning as eye candy and corraling MC Jr.

Super gross.

I’m not quite done with the book, so there is a chance she could still serve some real purpose in the story. However, I’m not overly optimistic.

If you’re a writer, please don’t do this. Seriously. I mean, what is this, the fifties?

Sneaker disapproves of boring characters.

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A Wrinkle in Time, my copy

Oh, yeah, baby. Look at this glorious cover. This is one of the very few books I still have from my childhood. With the movie coming out, I thought it would be a fun thing to post. The book is a little old and battered but still readable. The page after the cover is a teaser bit from the front of the book.

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Wrinkle in time 2

 

Sorry for the blurry pictures. I think my phone camera might be dying a slow death.

I have not yet seen the movie. I really want to, especially after suffering through the 2003 version a while back. That was…not awesome.

I am considering reading the book again. We will see.

Hey, by the way, if you’re an author and looking for interesting ways to market your book, you might want to check out my podcast that features authors reading from their books. It’s called the Authors Read podcast. Several people have signed up so far, and I could have the next episodes up as soon as next week. I am super excited about it! If you’d like to get in on the action, click here for the jump to the podcast blog. 

If you’d like to follow the podcast, it can be found on Podbean and iTunes.