Sunday, August 9, 2020
Friday, August 7, 2020
Because of the expense of producing audiobooks, not a single one of my stories is yet in audio. I say yet because there may be efforts afoot to change that. Just. Don't hold your breath. I'm not. There are still logistics to be worked out and options to be explored.
Thursday, August 6, 2020
This week I’m listening to The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi, a beautifully written historical fiction that takes place in 1950’s India. I love learning new things in such a vibrant way…and I’m listening to it!
Good timing too because our topic this week is audiobook popularity. Do you listen to audiobooks? If you’re an author, do you make them? Any thoughts on if they’ll overtake ebooks?
Honestly, I was slow to join the audiobook bandwagon. I’m not talking books on tape, but the electronic versions you can download in an app—so EASY! Yet, when they became a thing and my fellow book bloggers were devouring them, I stuck to my paperbacks and hardcovers.
Crazy enough, at the time I was still working in the corporate world and driving at least two hours a day, sometimes more depending on which laboratories I needed to visit.
Fast forward to today and…man oh man, why didn’t I give audiobooks a try back then! If I could hop a time machine that might be my destination, go back and tell my commuting past-self to download gobs of ‘em I could’ve soared my 90 book-a-year average into the triple digits!
Even though I no longer commute, I’m so blessed to be able to work from home, there are plenty of days my eyes can’t take any more screen time. That means ixnay the ebooks and even reading on a page is difficult—thank you very much chronic disease—but, I’m thankful for audiobooks!
Popularity then: I’d say they’re gaining. I talk books with most people I come across and within the last couple of years I’ve noticed that more are listening instead of reading. Interesting…possible factors could be: chronic disease is on the rise, resulting in conditions that increase the necessity of an audible option, and in our current semi-isolated climate hearing a voice is a comfort, even if it’s recorded.
Another interesting thing, I recently learned that for traditionally published books it’s not always the publishing house that puts out the recorded version.
Come on, gasp with me! I can’t be the only reader out there who didn’t have a clue about how audiobooks came to be.
Yes, I was aware of companies you could hire to produce your self-published or indie-published book if you wanted to. But maybe because I haven’t been listening to audiobooks that long or maybe because I don’t really pay attention to the intro and miss who actually made it I’d always assumed they came from the publisher!
There you have it, my take on audiobooks and how I think they’ll continue to grow. Yes, I enjoy them, though never as much as a paper version. And yes, I believe I’ll make one someday.
*By the way, have you listened to Martha Well’s Murderbot series in audio?! The narrator, Kevin R. Free’s interpretation perfectly encompasses Murderbot’s flatline emotions and ponderings. So, so good. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon and dig sci-fi, hands-down start with this one!
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
I have a unique take on audiobooks. I’ve had eye problems for over a decade that made reading difficult. I have the Kindle Oasis specifically because it can do text to voice. At the rate I read books, having my Kindle read to me was the best financial option for me. I’ve even grown attached to the computer simulated voice that reads the books. Since I’ve had surgery on one eye, I find myself reading more rather than listening. Actual audiobooks have always been for long drives with my husband. A shared experience. He even listens to romance novels.
She’s the opposite he can’t resist.
Trey Johannsen’s preference is to stick to managing a private club on Beta Tau. It’s dark. It’s sexy. The cries of pleasure, the thud of a flogger, and the mingled scents of arousal and fear are evidence he’s damn good at it.
So when his boss insists Trey’s perfect for assisting a new hire to develop a cabaret, Trey is nonplussed. How the hell do you make burlesque accurately represent the lifestyle? Then he meets her, and instant attraction has him imagining peeling her clothes off, tying her to a bed, and sinking into her until she can take no more.
He’s determined to make her his own despite differences that could thrust them into bitter conflict.
A lust-inducing man isn’t on Patsy O’Shaughnessy’s shopping list. Her commitment to refuse his overtures, they’ll be coworkers after all, slides into oblivion. She’s got a lot on her plate, but dessert never hurt a girl. Especially when the dessert is built like a Celtic warrior of old, lacking only the kilt and sword.
This is the 4th and final book in the Sons of Tallav series.
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Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Our topic at the SFF Seven
this week is "World Rules and Painting Yourself into a Corner: What's a
rule of your world established in a previous book that complicated things for
you in a later book?"
Re-upping a post I wrote for this blog in early 2018, here’s what I said the last time as an opener:
The best example of this I’ve ever seen is the opening sequence of “Jewel of the Nile”, where romance author Joan Wilder is writing the most fantastic pirate scene and it keeps building and building upon itself, more complications and worse problems for the plucky heroine and then…she’s trapped alone with a ship full of evil pirates and NO escape.
“I don’t know what the pirates do any more,” she says basically, in despair.
I have never, to the best of my recollection, painted myself into a corner in a book.
I sit down, I write the book over the course of a few weeks (now that I’m fulltime), I don’t have Michael Douglas in his prime to distract me, as ‘Joan Wilder’ did…I start out knowing the beginning, the ending, and a few key scenes along the way. I don’t end up in box canyons like the bad guys in old movie Westerns and I don’t have to rely on suspension of disbelief, as people had to do sometimes with the old movie serials, like Flash Gordon, as embodied by Buster Crabbe. One week the serial would end with him facing certain death or Dale Arden facing certain death and there’s no way Flash can reach her in time…and the next week’s episode starts off with her safe in his arms and no explanation given because of course, he’s FLASH. What? Eat your popcorn and don’t ask questions.
Yup, doesn’t happen to me when I write. Somehow my faithful Muse and I avoid those issues. We might have other issues perhaps but not that one.
So where is the problem, you may ask? Well, I made the original packs pretty small. I believe I said about ten men each at one point.
So as it became clear to me I was going to want to write tons of books about my Badari Warriors, I had to find ways to open up the possibilities. I like wide ranging stories. I’d had in my head from the beginning that …..SPOILER…..
…despite everyone being so adamant there were no Badari women, I knew that yes, there were, and I planned to write a book for them at the right time. The book was GABE. I did plant some hints about this in an earlier book, where one of the human characters overhears two of the alien scientists laughingly discussing an old rumor that perhaps a few Badari women might have been created, early in the 800 year old experiment’s history.
So that was one way of expanding my boundaries. Then in KIERCE, I created a Badari from another lab entirely, in the south seas area of the planet, and gave this set of Badari a few new rules, while keeping the basic parameters. Now I’ve written about this southern pack in DAEGAN and the most recently released book, IVOKK.
If I’ve established a rule or a condition as an absolute, I won’t annoy my readers by breaking the rule in a later book. That can really set my teeth on edge as a reader when I’m reading someone else’s series so no way am I going to do that. But I’m pretty creative about working within my existing universes and trying to tell a good story. It’s not my nature to sit down pre-writing and draw up some gigantic, rigid structure of commandments and rules my characters and
So no, won’t be painting myself into any corners!
Here’s the newest book I mentioned above:
IVOKK: A BADARI WARRIORS SCIFI ROMANCE NOVEL (SECTORS NEW ALLIES SERIES BOOK 12)
The blurb: Proud enforcer of the Badari South Seas pack, Ivokk undertakes a secret mission back to their former home, in search of a cure for a mysterious illness affecting his soldiers, now in exile in the north. He’s ready to make any sacrifice to find the answer and help his pack brothers stay strong. He’s even willing to accept responsibility for the human woman assigned to the mission, although she’s a headstrong civilian, difficult and rumored to dislike his kind.
Sandara DiFerria was once a three star chef in the Sectors, but that was before the alien enemy kidnapped the entire adult population of her colony to use for experimentation. Rescued from the labs by the Badari, she does her part to support the rebellion now by running the vast commissary operation in Sanctuary Valley. All she asks is to be left alone until she can get back to the Sectors and pick up her old life again. Her one previous romantic brush with a Badari soldier turned out badly, ending in public humiliation. Add to that post-traumatic stress from her life before moving to the colony and she’s the last person to pick for a top secret mission. Or so she believes.
The Alpha running the pack disagrees and sends her to do the job under Ivokk’s watchful eye. Thrown together by the nature of the task they must undertake, the undeniable attraction they both feel grows. Will the dark secrets of Sandara’s hidden past create an insurmountable barrier between them? Can Ivokk and the tempestuous human chef find the answer to the Badari illness in time? Or will the elements and the enemy bring disaster?