Friday, August 30, 2013

Meet the new voice of That Ghoul Ava...Pamela Lorence.

I just got the word from ACX that my book, That Ghoul Ava and The Queen of the Zombies just went live on Audible.com. I am thrilled to have the lovely and talented Pamela Lorence as my voice talent. And even better, it looks like she will be my Ava for the series. (The next Ava book will be out in November according to my release schedule, so mark your calendar.)

If you are hesitant about the audio book thing (as was I for quite some time) you will find them to be very addictive. You can cook, clean, walk the dogs, or lay back in your hammock by the river and take a bite out of your TBR list at the same time. Also, with this new "Whispersync" thing for the Kindle, you can literally swap back and forth between book and audio book with no hassel.

Anyway, you didn't come here for me, you came to meet Ava.



So, what led you to doing voice work for audio books?

It all started with a Ronco Mr. Microphone when I was 9 years old. Since then, I’ve been hooked on all things audio. I earned a degree in Vocal Performance (you know, singing) from Rollins College and have been using my voice to make a living ever since. I started off in radio, eventually writing, directing, recording, editing, narrating, and singing my way into many, many ears. It was really only a matter of time before I combined my love of books with my love of audio into one – Audio book narration.


The social media is…

Social media is an amazing tool to connect with people who have similar interests. I’m part of several audio production and audio book groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, Soundcloud, as well as a few other sites. Since I work out of a studio in my home, I don’t have colleagues sitting in a cube next to me to share information and ideas with. Social media can be very valuable to the independent worker. However, the need to use social media to promote my work is very new to me. As a radio producer, I never needed to do any self-promotion through social media. Some other department handled that area of business. I’m learning as I go, tweeting, posting, I even figured out how to build a (primitive) website! (Did you catch how good I’m getting at self-promotion? Hyperlinks, oh yeah.) Thank goodness I have a teenage daughter to help me navigate the ever-changing landscape of the Internet.  Occasionally, she feels the need to cut me off from checking my social media. The sun is shining, go out and play!


Share some information about your individual work on projects besides the ones you are doing for me: 

Recording an audio book is pretty labor-intensive, so I don’t juggle a lot of projects simultaneously. A narrator usually reads through the book first and takes notes on characters, scenes, etc. When the book is sufficiently prepped, the recording can start. The average recording time for a narrator typically follows the 2:1 ratio. Meaning for every hour of finished audio the narrator spent two hours in the studio recording it.  That’s a lot of talking! After the recording is done, the editing and mastering process begins. You get the idea. Output can be slow. But, I love that I’ve had the opportunity to narrate very diverse styles of books, everything from poetry to zombies!

What is one question you are sick of being asked—not in interviews, but by individuals who know you are in the entertainment industry?

How come I’ve never heard of you?!


So, let’s talk a little about the Ava series. I am looking forward to several Ava books (number two is currently being written) with you. Do you think it helps listeners to have the same person do the series?

For listeners to truly get to know a character throughout a series, I think it helps to be consistent with the narrator.  You get used to a certain delivery and style. When the show Bewitched changed Darrins, or Roseanne changed Beckys, viewers were a little thrown off. It takes awhile for a replacement to really convince an audience. I say this all in a very self-serving way, though. I’d love for the Ava series to continue with me as the narrator!

Any moments that stand out for you in That Ghoul Ava and The Queen of the Zombies?

I loved meeting all the characters that came into Ava’s life. Betty, the old woman was a fun character to get to know. But, the scenes that involved Morgan were especially intriguing to me. I’m anxious to see how Morgan handles Ava’s newfound confidence and powers.  

Get the audiobook HERE!

How would you describe Ava to friends?

That’s easy! I see Ava as a girl who is pretty badass but doesn’t completely realize it yet. She’s got a great sense of humor, too. Just the right amount of snark!


What other projects are you currently working on?

I just wrapped up work on an audio book titled “Songbird.” It’s a very emotional young adult fiction piece. It was like singing a beautiful ballad, while Ava is like singing a fun up-tempo number. Speaking of singing, I’m in rehearsals for a cabaret show I’m putting together. I love all the old American Jazz and Pop standards. It’s quite possible I was born in the wrong era.

What is one thing about you that would surprise individuals who do not know you personally?

When I tell people I’m from New York, they always say “but you don’t have a New York accent.” It’s true. All the diction classes I took back in college knocked the New York right out of me. My husband says he can hear it creep back in after a glass or two of wine, though.  I’ll slip and say something like “honey, cud ya let the dawg out?”


What do you look for when choosing to narrate an audio book? Or are they simply acting jobs that you simply take as they come along?

I can usually tell during the audition process whether a book is going to be a good fit for my voice. That’s the first and most important thing I consider. Chances are if I audition for a book that’s not a good fit, I won’t get the job! Next, I ask myself if I can relate to the book somehow. Can I find a little of myself, or someone I know, in the characters? Lastly, I ask myself if I think it’s a project I’ll enjoy doing. I’m fortunate to be able to pick and choose projects. I’ve turned down a few because I knew I wasn’t right for the part, even though I was recruited for the role.  It’s important to know your strengths and limitations.

One of the biggest criticisms regarding Ava is that she is a bit politically incorrect? Did you get that vibe? How did you see it?

The only way to answer this question is with a joke. A priest, a rabbi, and a lesbian all walk into a bar...Seriously, though, I see Ava as being true to herself. If that means she’s a bit politically incorrect, it’s okay. She wouldn’t feel genuine if she didn’t speak her mind.

Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pam.lorence.3

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Short Attention Span Theater RETURNS!

Okay, so I am a day late...I don't have any good excuses, but I will say that my 5K training took a lot out of me yesterday. Also, I am wrapping up an editing project (the largest to date) and I just got really focused on that task.

I have cool stuff tomorrow, so don't miss it. But, here is today's installment of Short Attention Span Theater (which is a blatant ripoff of +Gregory Carrico 's 30 minute reader blog feature).

First, a question to my authors, Nicole Storey, Wesley Clark, and James Cook:

What is the one thing you feel is the most misunderstood by your friends and acquaintances about your being a writer?

And now, in no particular order...

Get it HERE!

So, the bad stuff is in full swing now. One of the things that makes this book fun is that, there really are some people out there who are preparing for this stuff. There is even a series about it on Nat Geo or Discovery. And even if they are not actually preparing for "zombies" per se, they are preparing for some type of "Armageddon Event". You can call them crazy, but you will be knocking on the door of their compound IF such an event does take place. So, for those of you who are reading along, if you have made it to about the 30% marker, you now have a good idea of the stories two central characters. Now, we see where James takes us. I have a feeling it is going to be a bumpy ride.

Get it HERE!
Okay, we are still meeting people as we enter our second 30 minute session of reading. The strength of this book rests in the fact that it gets you involved as the zombies first show up. There is no wide spread panic yet. So you get to endure the disbelief of the characters. There is a real NotLD (Night of the Living Dead) feeling that pervades throughout this book so far. What I enjoy most is the fact that you get to actually meet the main characters BEFORE all hell breaks loose. If the series continues with some or all of these people, it will be interesting to see how they change due to their circumstance.

Get it HERE!
Okay, some confessions here before I begin. I have read Ms. Storey's other series. It is YA and very touching if you know anything about her as a person. (Which I can say with pride that I have been allowed such access--my being able to contribute to The Gage Project is still a source of pride for me.)  That said, when I dove into this, I sort of expected something along that line. I could not have been more wrong or PLEASANTLY surprised. Storey has created something here that I am still trying to decide which way I think it will go. And I am looking forward to the ride. Just a note to the author...you can really paint a gruesome picture and should try your hand at some serious HORROR. In a world where angels visit humans and monsters are real...I am eager to get to the meat of the story.

And there you have it. Return next week. Also, pose a question for the authors here if you want...hopefully they will pop in and respond (no promises).

Visit the EVENT!

After you have checked out stuff here, go see what my friend Claire Riley has going on. She has a big event planned that starts on Wednesday. So head over and find out how you can get TONS OF FREE STUFF!!!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Good things...

After you have checked out stuff here, go see what my friend Claire Riley has going on. She has a big event planned that starts on Wednesday. So head over and find out how you can get TONS OF FREE STUFF!!!

The Horror Thriller Event link.

I think I had something planned...but I forgot what it was somewhere along the line. I was going to put some people on blast...really give my "two cents" on things. Only, somewhere along the way, this weekend, I just got into a really laid back and peaceful mood. So now, I just want to share a little "Top 10" list of simple things that make me happy.

I won't bother putting them in order, because that order could change in the blink of an eye.

So, here they are:
  1. Buffalo Wing flavored Tabasco Sauce,
  2. Seeing a new review for one of my books.
  3. An out-of-the-blue message from my daughter.
  4. Sunday mornings with my wife...just relaxing and being together.
  5. Another KISS or zombie themed toy or trinket for my office.
  6. An email from a total stranger who just found my books and really enjoyed them.
  7. Finishing an editing project.
  8. A hug from Aoife, my Border Collie. (Seriously, she gives hugs. If you ask for one, she ducks her head under your chin and cuddles in real close...yep, it is amazingly cute.)
  9. Opening Day of the NFL season. (Yes, I love the whole season, but Opening Day is like Christmas and New Year's Day all rolled in to one for me.)
  10. A 1970s-era VW Bus. (That is my "dream" car and I hope to have one soon!)
So, there it is. Just a few things that make me smile. Join me Wednesday for my Short Attention Span Theater, and stay tuned for  my upcoming take on the audio book this Friday.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Editing...GOTTA HAVE IT!

This picture has nothing to do with the article...I just love the Oregon Coast.



Sometimes, a little can say a lot.
Okay, so that was pretty vague, but here is the gist of where I am going today: if you want to be taken seriously as an author…get an editor. One of the greatest plagues in the indie scene is the poorly edited manuscript. Now I’m not saying that you need to shell out $5000 for some professional service. What I am saying is that there are people out there who love the long, torturous process of painstakingly picking through your story to make it as clean as possible before the public gets hold of it.
You are going to have critics; that is part of the deal when you toss your hat into this arena. Don’t put yourself on a tee or hang from a string like a piƱata inviting the public to take free swings. Whether it is something as simple as hitting the spell check button after you have read through it, or going to some of your fellow writers and asking for editing referrals, you need some help with that last bit of polishing.
There are some helpful programs out there, but you can’t rely on them completely. For one, they might suggest corrections that do NOT need to be made. However, they can be helpful as long as you are careful. One of the best things that you can do is read your story out loud. By doing so, (preferably with somebody to listen) you can catch some of your awkward phrasing, or the repetitious use of a single word nine times in the span of two sentences.
One of the best things that you can do is read some of your indie brethren and sistren (that made up word is a perfect example of why you need a human eye…yes, it is made up, but it is a wee bit of a joke). Find out who reads clean and who reads like a poorly constructed junior high creative writing assignment. Peruse the reviews. You would be surprised (or perhaps not) how often poor editing is mentioned. Then ask them who does their editing. Most indie authors use indie editors. Those folks are trying to scratch out a living as well and love being recommended. (I am blessed to have a pair of very prolific writers as clients. Both are very generous with their compliments AND their referrals.) I am always learning, and like anything, I continue to discover rules that I was not aware of before. I usually have four or five tabs up for various grammar sites. So is my work perfect? Nope. But if I am picking out ten or twenty errors per page, then YOUR work looks better by at least that much.
I will admit here that I am dipping my toe into Grammarly. I have found it to be pretty good. It still lacks a human element which allows it to over sanitize work and offer “fixes” that are not needed. However, it still beats just going to print without some clean-up work being performed. You simply can’t beat the human factor. I have not decided if I will continue using them…I am about to run a test with one of my older projects where I take the original rough and edit it (making notes on my fixes) and run the same document through Grammarly. So…we will see…
Even after editing, it is possible that you will have an error or two make it out there. Undoubtedly, somebody will discover it and mention it. That is reality. Even “professional” services let one slip here and there; but one or two in a book is a lot better than five or six per page! You have to live by the axiom that nobody is perfect.
The bottom line is that if you want to be taken seriously…get another set of eyes to check your work. I could go an about the new “role” of the editor in the indie scene, but that is a post for another time.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Time to share some love with my fellow writers.

Okay, today marks a new chapter in my Short Attention Span Theater feature. Yes, it will appear here on Wednesdays. And YES, I am committing myself to being more on the ball. (Less Xbox 360 and more reading!) But, I am going to TRY to make this a more interactive feature. "How?" you might ask. (Although probably not, I am simply trying to lead you to my point.)

The secret is interactivity! Now, silence your amazed gasps. Here is what I am doing... First, I will be tagging each author that I am going to be reading. For instance, coming up starting next week, I will be giving you a snapshot review-in-progress of No Easy Hope-Surviving the Dead by James Cook, Blind Sight (Book One of the Celadon Circle) by Nicole Storey, and The Extinction Diaries: Provenance (Book 1) by Wesley Clark.

What I am hoping for is that I will "tag" the authors each week while they are being featured. I will pose a simple question, and hope that they will stop in and respond. Also, I am hoping that they will steer their fan base this direction with teasers of how questions can be asked each week. 

So, in short, I am shooting for an online version of a book club. Pick one or pick all, but come back each week and share your own observations. And once it is all done and that title has been read in its entirety, I will clip all my snippets together and form a review for the book(s) in question. AND, I will invite all of you who have participated to join in and post reviews as well.

So, I do hope that some of you will join in. After all, we are a community of READERS and many of us are writers. Let's support the scene.

Mark Wednesdays on your calendars...and pick one (or all) of those books. It is only 30 minutes a WEEK. Don't tell me you don't have that much time.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Devil you know....


Welcome to the second day of the Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9am - Rhys blog tour. It will run until August 9th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

Abraham Rogers has an unusual psychotherapy practice: monsters. This first installment is a session with Rhys, the IT vampire who can’t quite connect with the modern world the way he would like.


A few questions for the author:


When have you been most satisfied in your life?

Right this moment. I have been moving toward writing full-time and consulting for publishing and writing. I married my best friend and I am publishing on a consistent basis. I couldn't be happier. 


Who is your role model, and why?

From a writing perspective, I really respect Neil Gaiman. He knew what he wanted out of writing and life and pursued it. I think that kind of commitment is important no matter what you want out of life. Go out and get it. 


What things do you not like to do?

I like everything to be planned out and organized, at least a sketch of what is going on. Even if there is a single constant, I am a happy guy. Whenever I attend completely unplanned events, I find that I do not have a good time. As I get older, I find that I like well-defined goals and only certain activities. 



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:


As he took the seat across from the couch, Abe gestured with his hand. There was something to the necessity of pleasantries in his particular profession. 

“How are you doing this morning, Rhys?”

The leaner man seemed not to acknowledge Abe’s presence in the room; instead, he seemed keen on a sliver of light that emerged through the thick drapes behind Rogers’ desk. “Can we do something about that light?”

Abe nodded and attended to the drapery, tugging and moving it until the shaft of luminance was expunged from the room. “Is that better?”

“Quite,” came the terse reply.

With a huff, Abe was seated once more. He crossed one leg over the other and placed a tattered notepad on his knee. “Where would you like to start today?”

“Must you use such a raggedy journal, my good doctor?”

“Abe.”

Rhys waved a dismissive hand, his pale fingers tracing the air irritably. “Of course, we must maintain a conversational tone here.”

“Would you prefer to call me Dr. Rogers?”

Rhys exhaled and adjusted one of his legs underneath his body. “I would prefer to accomplish something during this session, Abe.”

Abe knew that Rhys grew impatient with a surprising quickness, though the vexation passed after a moment if allowed to marinate in the darkness.

“Have you given any further thought to the treatment we discussed?”

If Rhys had wanted to speak about a course of treatment, it was not revealed in the pursing of his pink lips. “I understand your propensity to use the flavor of the day, Abe, but I fear my affliction cannot be overcome with simple exposure.” He paused for effect. “It is that precise contact that causes me harm.”

“Do you feel like you are afflicted, Rhys?”

Rhys took off his sunglasses, revealing equally pale eyes that swam in shadow. “Do I not appear afflicted to you?”

“Who has burdened you with this affliction, Rhys? Who do you hold responsible for this suffering?”

Rhys’ long throat did not pulse, nor did his heart beat faster. One would have to have the appropriate equipment to have elevated blood pressure. 

Vampires lacked the requisite parts.




Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.




All of his books are only 99 cents on Kindle right now!


Download Mondays with Mephistopheles for free on Kindle from 8/21 until 8/25!


Would you like to win a Kindle Fire?

Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dan O'Brien...'nuff said!




Welcome to the last day of The Twins of Devonshire and the Curse of the Widow blog tour. It will run until August 17th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

A plague has covered the land, a single word on the lips of the frightened masses: the Widow. Washing a wave of terror over the countryside and then disappearing like a thief in the night, the Widow holds a kingdom in the palm of her hand. The eyes of Chaos have settled on Prima Terra and heroes must rise. Xeno Lobo, enigmatic and cryptic, hunts the Widow, seeking an object taken from him years before. Will he be able to stem the tide of violence and horror that sweeps the land?



A few questions for the author:


How can we contact you or find out more about your books? 

You can like my Facebook page, or follow my blog, where I will be raffling off a Kindle Fire in September to a lucky follower. If you aren't already following my blog, I would encourage you to do so. I am also very active on Twitter: @AuthorDanOBrien. I like to hear from fellow writers and readers alike, so get in touch!


What can we expect from you in the future? 

I have a lot of releases slated for fall and the following year. I started an apocalyptic serial called B-Sides that will unfold over the coming months, starting with Hobbes Family and Water. The re-launch of The Ocean and the Hourglass is coming, along with several new releases. 


What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Share your experiences with others, leave a review, share updates, and follow me on social media. By being connected to readers, and readers being connected to me, I am able to get the word out about my books. Buying a book doesn't hurt either. 



Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:



Dawn was breaking as Xeno and Uthen rode into Sel’verene. A sheet of freshly fallen snow covered the majority of the street. The sparse buildings seemed more the part of tombs than businesses. They spied the sign that had INN sprawled across it in faded black paint and tied their horse out front, taking a moment to look up and down the deserted street. 

Xeno grasped the rusted iron handle and turned it. Emitting a thin, squealing creak as the door swung inward, it revealed the darkened interior. With the exception of the dwindling embers in the fireplace and the dancing light of the lantern at the counter, there was little luminance of which to speak. They approached the counter, their snow-drenched boots leaving puddles of water and slush as they made their way. 

Xeno peered over the empty counter, his eyes adjusting to the sudden darkness. “Hello?” he called, his voice echoing in the chamber. 

The rustle of footsteps and then the muttering of several small voices came from the staircase to their right. Xeno moved to inspect when a young woman emerged from around the corner, her white dress covered in a dark brown shawl. “Can I help you?” she whispered, her voice more youthful than her appearance. 

Xeno stared at the young girl for a moment. 

Producing a small satchel of coins, he laid them upon the counter. “My companion and I weathered the snowstorm and need a room for the day and part of the night. Can that be arranged?” 

“We have many rooms,” she began, but was interrupted by a craven, bent man who emerged from the same corner as the girl. 

His thinning gray hair was almost non-existent, and his glasses slid to his nose. The freckles and dried skin made him appear the part of a troll. His back was crooked and his clothes hung from him as if he were a walking skeleton that had just risen from his grave. 

“From where have you come?” asked the man with a harsh tone, his voice raspy. 

“Far away from these parts, we are merely passing through,” replied Xeno quickly, knowing full well that the man was wary of strangers; especially those who had come looking for spirits in the darkness. 

“Far away, eh? Your companion looks the part of a soldier,” crooned the old man. 

“No, sir,” began Uthen and then trying to think quickly, he continued, “I’m a––uh…” 

“We are entertainers, from the west. We have merely lost our way,” finished Xeno, flashing Uthen a disgusted glance. The man regarded them suspiciously and then scoffed, disappearing around the corner. 

“Entertainers?” queried the girl with as much enthusiasm as she could muster. 

“Storytellers mostly,” replied Xeno as he opened the satchel of coins. “How much for that room?” 

“Seven gold is what we charge, but if you are entertainers….” 

“Seven it is,” replied Xeno as he placed the seven golden coins marked with the emblem of the Nine Kings near the girl. She made them disappear beneath the table into an iron box. 

“Would you tell me a story sometime? We don’t have many strangers who pass through, and none who can weave a wonderful tale.” 

Xeno hesitated for a moment. “Of course, we shall tell a grand story of good and evil here tonight, after some rest. How does that sound?” 

“Thank you, I will be waiting.” The girl skipped off. This was a change from the somber zombie who had stalked out to wait upon them. 

“Was that wise?” 

“Uthen, sometimes the Fates choose to play strange tricks upon us mortals, and it is best to just take them as they come.” 

Uthen could not fault Xeno’s words, knowing that he would be reluctant to deny a few moments of peace to a town steeped in its own despair and misery. As they made their way up the stairs, they saw that snow had begun to fall once again.


 Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World PlaylistBittenThe JourneyThe Ocean and the HourglassThe Path of the FallenThe Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.



                   
All of his books are only 99 cents on Kindle right now!


Download The Twins of Devonshire and the Curse of the Widow for free on Kindle from 8/13 until 8/17!


Would you like to win a Kindle Fire?

Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


Friday, August 16, 2013

My TBR list is becoming larger than a T-Rex...

...and almost as grumpy.

Before I go too far, look to the right and notice that I am trying to help a very worthy cause. I am trying to get some support for the St. Jude's children's hospital and cancer research. I will post many pictures after the Warrior Dash on September 7th. Any who ask will receive a signed version of the picture of your choice. Me...muddy...that is not something you see every day. So Click HERE to help. Or over there on that big GIVE NOW botton.

I have let it slide again. I really do mean well. I start reading on those down moments (as few as they may be) and then it happens: Life, the world, and everything in it. I LOVE to read, and I am partway in to several very good stories...but my nature is such that the moment I try to do something to just clear my head, I get this feeling like I am letting my responsibilities slide.


I have running reviews on a handful of titles going for my Short Attention Span Theater feature. How do I expect you all to hook up with that if I don't do it on the regular? I need to be consistent. And I want to make a promise that I am going to be from here on out...but I hate making a promise that I know will be broken. So, what I am going to do is commit myself to making a bigger effort.


After all, how do I expect people to make time for MY books if I can't do the same for others? Sure, I need to practice my guitar, get in my 5K training, hit the weight room, make dinner (Monday-Friday) keep the house clean, get in my writing, work on my editing projects (I am doing Mark Tufo's Indian Hill series right now and LOVING it), and then try to squeeze in some leisure time...oh, and did I mention that FOOTBALL season is right around the corner?


I will say that I have now embraced the audio book. And I will be sharing my thoughts on that come Monday, so you won't want to miss my first review and some commentary on that...trust me. Oh, and that reminds me, here is a question...how many of you have experienced an audio book? What are your views on that niche?

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The best wife a wife ever had.

Puppy tired...need nap...here look fine.
So, I have actually been told by a "professional"  that I have some pretty severe OCD (I won't get started on shrinks and their propensity to label and medicate everything...that touches too many people personally and it is just my opinion). Hey, I like to clean and I like things in order...so sue me.

Maswa...a pretty cichlid.
My wife works out in the real world with office drones and the like while I am home putting in my full day-plus as a writer and editor. And while many people think it is a life of luxury...I probably put in more hours than most "office drones" while at my desk doing something that is much more difficult than it looks. Think of Cirque du Soleil...they do all that stuff and make it look easy. Anybody good at their job does that, be it construction, baking, or writing. But rest assured, it really does take focus and long hours.

To all the haters :-P (I really can be petty sometimes)
One of the things that I do to clear my head in between each carefully segmented session (editing or writing, I ALWAYS parcel my work...writing is done in 500 word blocks, editing in 5 page blocks) is clean the house. Yep, I like to clean. I do laundry, vacuum, do dishes, scrub toilets, and all the other glamorous jobs people never think of when I say that I am a writer and have the luxury of working at home. And my wife loves it, she says that I am the best wife a girl ever had. Some folks get all funky when she says it. Listen up, I got enough "man" going on to not give a crap. I bench around the 300# range and squat over 400# (I can do rep sets of 20 at 315# if I take three weeks and whip my legs into lifting shape, and that is at age 47). I take it as the compliment that it is intended. I got over labels a long time ago.

Two sittings of almost 4 hours each...and I laughed.
I am okay where I am at in life right now. I overcame obstacles to reach this point, and now I get to do what I love. I just happen to keep a clean house in the process. Oh, and I like to cook. I am addicted to the Food Network. The other day I created my first rub for boneless pork ribs. It was espresso, cocoa, smoked paprika, a dash of sage, brown sugar and cinnamon. Denise took a bite and her eyes closed in bliss. So when people ask if I feel emasculated when my wife makes that comment...uh...no. I an make her smile the moment she walks in to a clean house after a day out in the world, moan with bliss at the dinner table, and sigh in contentment every night when she snuggles in to my (her words here) "big, broad, snuggly" chest.
September 7, 2013...I will be ready
People are funny. They love to pick at things. And I used to care about it. But somewhere along the way, I figured out the game. I only need to make one person in this world happy. My wife. So I treated it like I do anything else that I want to be great at and I studied. What made her smile? What made her get the look she gets when she feels special? She hates housework and I don't...so I clean. She likes little gestures. So every morning when she steps out of the shower as she gets ready for work, I am there with her towel...I dry her face and give her a kiss to start her day...she smiles. I plan dinner and watch videos on different preparations after picking the menu, then have it plated and ready for her when she walks in the door each night (it is like the last 30 seconds of an episode of Chopped in the kitchen as she is pulling in). That makes her a happy wife, which makes me a pretty damn good husband. But what's in a label? Not a damn thing...it is what is in your heart and head that matter.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Some very cool covers...revealed.

As many of you know, the ZOMBLOG series is landing on Audible.com. The first two are up, the third one is under final review by ACX and the first of the three part story arc for Snoe is due to be finished any day. All of that is great. Also, I am waiting any day now for the first full-length Ava to become officially available.

Coming soon, I will be sharing a new series of reviews as I delve into audio books. I figure that they are the next logical step. My favorite time to listen is when I am cleaning house or preparing dinner. I also enjoy it when I am walking the dogs.

However, I just got the last of my covers for the Audible version of the DEAD series. I am over the moon!

So, here they are; starting with DEAD: The Ugly Beginning.

Book 1 of the DEAD series.
Next up is DEAD: Revelations.

Book 2 of the DEAD series.


Book 3 of the DEAD series.

That wrapped the first three book story arc. And then it was on to the second, leading off with DEAD: Winter.

Book 4 of the DEAD series.

Things get a bit darker with DEAD: Siege & Survival.

Book 5 of the DEAD series.

And that brings us up to date (until September anyways) with DEAD: Confrontation.

Book 6 of the DEAD series.

These are in final production stages and the talented Erik Bryon is hard at work to ensure they sound their best. Stay tuned for the release dates and be sure to check in (and like if you have not done so already) my Author TW Brown page on Facebook where you will find the only place that I will be giving away free versions of the Audible books as they become available!