Why I Love Audio Books

Why I Love Audio Books

Greetings all,

HPI love to read. It’s relaxing, and a good book can captivate even a whole generation. Just look at Harry Potter. That series flat out made reading “cool” again, but time is just too short. I read before work. I read before bed. I read in the bath just to give myself time to read.

But I don’t get through my TBR list nearly as quickly as I’d like. This leads me to audio books. The main reason I love audio book is that they let me read more. I listen to audiobooks when I drive to and from work and pretty much whenever I drive around. This gives me about two to three hours of reading more than I would have. I like a good car karaoke on occasion, but I inevitably want to find out what happens next in whatever story I’m reading at the moment. This extra time can help me either blast through a book I’m reading or get through another book I wouldn’t normally have time to read.

Here are a few other reasons audio books really make my day:

1: It lets me re-read books I love: A number of the sagas I love are large. I think the shortest series I like is four (main) books. So audiobooks let me refresh my mind on previous books before the newest book comes out. It also lets me go back and read entire sagas I love.

Eye2: A good narrator can make a story even better: I have favorite narrators. James Marsters, Kate Reading, Michael Kramer, and Wil Wheaton to name a few. They bring the story to life. Now, I have friends who assert the voice actors in their head are better than the other narrators, but I just love hearing a story come to life. Now, when I read Wheel of Time, I hear Michael and Kate’s voices.

2a. A good narrator can make a book I wouldn’t like a book I loved. I did a review on The Chaos Walking Trilogy. It’s written in first-person present tense, which I would have never read (let alone written) in a book. But when a friend recommended the series, I fell in love with it mostly because of the voice actors. I later was inspired by that series to try writing in that style (Sojourn in Captivity).

3. It’s a safe way to try a book you wouldn’t normally try: So one complaint I get with audiobooks is that, “I can’t pay attention to it.” I’ve found that a good one can really hold my attention. But a boring (or even bad) book can be made far less painful in audio form because I can mentally check out here and there. Then there are the other books. I tried the first book in the Demon Cycle because I liked a short story Peter V. Brett did in an anthology. I tried it via audio because if I didn’t like it, I could just tune out here and there, and listen for the highlights. But I loved it!

BobThese are the main reasons I love audiobooks, and, since I didn’t know what else I wanted to ramble about in today’s post, I thought I’d try to convince readers to give them a try. May I humbly suggest The Journals of Bob Drifter, Caught, The Power of Words, or Repressed? If you sign up for Audible, you get a free credit, and I can’t do more than offer you a free book.

Thanks for reading listening.

Matt

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Betrayed: The Discovery Draft of Oneiros 2 Is Done!

Betrayed: The Discovery Draft of Oneiros 2 Is Done!

Greetings all,

caught-front-coverI’m happy to report that the discovery draft to Betrayed: Book Two of the Oneiros Log is finally finished!  I’m genuinely sorry for the delay on this project. Things got pushed around, and then some life stuff happened, and it just feels like I kept being pulled into other projects. I’m happy that part is done.

So what’s next? Well, Betrayed is gonna sit for a while. I can’t just jump into editing. I’m already too close to my own work, and if I don’t let a manuscript sit for a while, I tend to be blind to certain issues. I need to be objective when editing my work, and that means giving it some time.

While that goes on, the first thing I’m going to do is finish listening to the audio version of Sojourn in Captivity, which is going well. Courtney did some revisions, and now I need to just give everything a check to make sure it’s ready to go. I’m hoping to have that out in the world before I go to Shore Leave next month.

45003791_10156740898697460_7981328569286524928_nCollin is working pretty hard on Issue 2 of Hazel, and I’ll get the dialogue polished off for him when he needs. There’s some exciting news in that regard, but nothing is final yet, so I’m waiting until I have real facts rather than high hopes, but I am hopeful this project is progressing well.

I plan on doing the first draft of Betrayed starting in July. Yes, that’s a month away, and this book was supposed to be out last year, but a month is typically how long I let a project of that length sit. What that time will also let me do is outline Discovered: Book Three of the Oneiros Log.  Not only will getting that done mean the trilogy will be finished in time, it might help me reconsider certain things from this book.  There’s a huge gap between books one and two, but two and three are only a few weeks (or so) apart. Getting a good feel for the last book should help me make sure everything wraps up nicely.

Betrayed currently clocks in at 57,768 words. I think the gaps between writing and my own tendency to be a little lacking in description hurt me here.  The book should have been about 80,000 words. I know one character needs a bit more screen time, and I know I need some better description. So this revision will probably be a bit more work than the last few titles have been. The good news is the major framework is done, and I’m content with where the story is. Yes, it needs work, but I feel pretty confident that I know what I need to do.

I want to thank all of you for your patience in this. I’m so happy that I can write these stories and share them with people. I’d be lying if I said this book was anticipated, but I do know there are people waiting for this story, and I hope that Repressed did enough to tie you over. We’ll get Betrayed to you as soon as I can get it through the editorial process.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

Book Review: Sleepers by Stephen Landry

Book Review: Sleepers by Stephen Landry
Sleepers
The cover for this book was taken from its Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.  

Spoiler Free Summary:  Sleepers by Stephen Landry is the prequel story to the Convergence saga. When the demons arrived, two-thirds of Earth’s population remained asleep while others were changed. They had powers. The government formed them into a fighting force, and eventually, they headed for their ship, determined to take them down.

 

Character:  The super heroes were sympathetic characters. I remember a guy who collected some ninja swords. I remember the couple (one sleeping, one not). They were compelling characters with authentic motivation. The main character was just trying to assure the loved ones were safe while they slept. Now, it’s been quite some time since I’ve read this book, so I don’t hold it against the author that I can’t remember names (or even genders).  That’s just time taking it’s toll. For instance I can’t name every character on Wheel of Time. Sure, Rand and the gang, but they are characters from my favorite series. So please just trust me when I say these characters were fun to read about.

Exposition: This story was told in an odd sort of “love letter” first-person perspective. There are interludes of another character as well. This probably had more exposition than I wanted (and that’s accounting for first-person), but it wasn’t nightmarishly long. What did slow the book down (one of two major issues) is the location of that  exposition.  The first part of the book is a history lesson. It took a good bit of time to get into the meat of the story. I would have been much happier if the author had started me in with all the wonderful action and cool super hero stuff and then woven the background in a bit after I’d had a chance to enjoy the fun.

Landry
This image of Landry was taken from his Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

Dialogue: This wasn’t the best, but Landry’s gift is in his creativeness and conceptualization. I’ve seen more wooden dialogue, but this had some pretty clunky, exposition-filled conversations that slowed things down.

 

Description:  This was good, particularly in the action scenes. Landry has a gift for fight sequences, and I think the fight scenes were second only to his idea for this series.

World Building: This is another area of strength for Landry. I could tell he put a lot of effort in the the outline and concept. This story would be an amazing comic book script. It’s very visual and well thought out. The design of the plot is good and the scope of the universe is interesting.

A Note on Proof Reading:  I don’t normally post about this. First, I’ve been called out on some pretty silly things, and I feel bad about those, but I must say this book had a great many grammatical and word-choice errors.  It was honestly quite distracting. Frankly, this is a wonderful idea with decent prose that is seriously brought down by the sheer number of issues per page. If Landry simply pays a good proofreader and copy-editor, this book will go from unfortunate to pretty darn good. The story really is interesting. The concept is fascinating, but I had a lot of trouble getting through it for this issue. Again, I’m not perfect, and if anyone were to call me out, I don’t know how well I’d hold up.  This is one reason why I don’t usually review this area of writing. However, given just how many issues there were, I’d be letting potential readers down if I spoke only of the things I liked (and like I said, there are a great many), and ignored something any reader would easily notice.

Overall: This was a great concept with fascinating world building and cool action sequences. It’s cinematic in its visuals, and the story is supported by reasonably sympathetic characters. The story was brought down by grammatical errors and some heavy exposition, but it has a lot of merit as a concept and story. 

Thanks for reading

Matt

Sojourn in Captivity is Live! Here comes a

Sojourn in Captivity is Live! Here comes a

Greetings all,

Sojourn_Ebook_CoverThis is no April Fool’s joke; Sojourn is live and ready to be read! I’d like to thank those of you who preordered the book. It should automatically have landed in your Kindles.

As I said a few days ago, I’m very proud of this story. It’s unlike anything I’ve read or written before, and I think it does some interesting things in the scifi genre.

But, that’s not all! I wanted a way to provide people who like physical books to get stories, so what I’ve done is put Repressed and Sojourn in a paperback. I wanted to do a flip book, and after a week of struggling to find out how to make that work, Amazon told me I can’t do flip books :(.  Also, when you click the link, it will appear as if it’s just a physical copy of Repressed, but that’s because Amazon also wouldn’t let me name the book in such a way that indicates both titles. I suppose I could have designed a unique cover for both and named it for both, but I just didn’t think that would be timely. With AwesomeCon coming up, I wanted this book ready in time. I promise though, both books are in there.

Repressed_Sojourn_CoverI’m not that upset. I still have the two books in one volume, and I’ll still be able to add those titles to the others I sell at conventions. So if you’re more of a hands-on type of person, feel free to try it out. This book is $7.99, and I think that’s a pretty fair normal price for about 70,000 words of fun. As always, I’ll have deals for when I’m at conventions, but that will be the normal price for that edition.

As always, I’m stoked to see more and more books hitting the shelves (both digitally and physically). I hope you all give it a try. If you were one of those who preordered it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads or both.

Thank you again, all of you, for your support and encouragement. I look forward to all the new stories I have yet to share with you.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Great News: Consistent Results Are Awesome!

Great News: Consistent Results Are Awesome!

The Journals of Bob Drifter Front CoverGreetings all,

Last week was Bob’s fourth birthday, and I did another giveaway.  Even though I didn’t do nearly as much social media work, I’m still thrilled to announce the book had 1,151 downloads! It’s just a humbling, amazing blessing.

The biggest chunk of that came via marketing through BookGorilla.com. On both days I had a campaign through them, I had more than 700 downloads. Whatever else happens, it’s  a great way to get books into readers’ hands.

I’m still hoping to gain reviews for both Caught and The Journals of Bob Drifter, but it’s still very early in that regard.

However, the immediate results were still fantastic.  Like Caught, Bob made it all the way to number three in its category.

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 3.25.41 PM.pngFirst, I can’t thank you all enough for the support you’ve shown me! It’s overwhelming to see so many people out there showing any interest in my books. Now I can honestly say there are thousands of copies of these books out there, and I can’t repay you all for such kindness. All I can do is try to keep working on compelling stories, which I am doing at as we speak.

While I’m waiting for reviews for Caught and Bob, I did get this very kind five-star review for The Power of Words, so the good news just keeps on coming.

ElelefinalI could spend hours typing up various ways to say thanks, but it wouldn’t be enough. What I can say is I’m working hard to give you more content. I’m more than halfway through the discovery draft of Betrayed: Book Two of the Oneiros Log. Sojourn in Captivity will be available by April 1, and I’m trying to get it up for preorder by the 15 (might not get that). The flip book featuring Sojourn and Repressed is also under development. Every solid campaign or kind review just inspires me to work that much harder. Even the not-so-kind reviews motivate me to improve my craft and take that criticism into consideration. I hope you like I’ve written so far, and I can’t wait to show you what’s coming!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Happy Birthday Bob! Free Stuff!

Happy Birthday Bob! Free Stuff!

Greetings all,

The Journals of Bob Drifter Front CoverJust as I did with Caught and it’s birthday giveaway, I’m celebrating Bob’s fourth birthday! (WOW! I’ve been a published author for four years!?)

So, The Journals of Bob Drifter will is free March 1-4 (11:59 p.m. PST).

I’d be thrilled if any of you give the book a try and perhaps recommend it to the readers you know. I think fans of Dean Koontz (especially Odd Thomas) would appreciate this book.  When I pitch this book at conventions, I call it Dead Like Me meets Supernatural.  I still think it has some of the best characters I’ve created in it. It has great depth, but those are all my opinions. Still, no one has ever called me out on them.

Again, what I’m attempting to do is generate reviews. If you’ve already read it, I’d be ever so grateful if you consider giving it a rating and review on Amazon, Goodreads or both.

You can grab your free Kindle version of the book here or the link above where I first give the title.

Repressed_ACX_CoverNow, as if that’s not enough, I have more good news. The Audible version of Repressed is officially live. Like with my other titles, I have 25 free versions of that title ready for any who are interested. So if you like YA stories, this might be for you. It is indeed a part of the Oneiros Log cannon, but it’s not nearly as dark as Caught was. If you’d like a copy, please email me.

It seems more and more hard to believe how far I’ve come in the last four years. I’m about to release yet another title (more on that next week), and I’m working hard on Hazel and Betrayed. I thank God for this gift he’s given. I love this craft so much, and I can’t wait to see where the dream takes me through the next four years.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

The Repressed Audiobook is finished!

The Repressed Audiobook is finished!

Greetings all,

Repressed_ACX_CoverI’m happy to report that the Audiobook for Repressed is in ACX’s review process and will hopefully be available within the next two weeks!

Kenzie worked extremely hard. She took all of my direction with grace and eagerness to match the narration with my imagination. This is all any author can truly ask of an audiobook’s producer. I think she did a fine job. She might not have the best equipment (I don’t actually know her setup, so I truly mean might). However, her drive to get the story read the way I wanted it was wonderful, and I think if more authors give her a shot, she’ll only improve as she gains opportunities.

I’ll post another blog when the title is actually live on Audible and iTunes. At some point, I’ll also have another batch of free books at that point (Audible codes I can use to gift you a copy of the book).

I was joking today that my goal was to write so many books, people would have to read them just to get them out of their way. Only, that’s not actually a joke.  I’m still adjusting to a new life schedule (and loving that), but I work on the craft, and I work to create new stories.

ElelefinalFor example: with Repressed all the way done, I’m going to start working on the text to Hazel (which I’ll talk about next week). I got the first ten or so pages, and I’m astounded at how cool the art looks. So I’ll get issue one prepped for Collin.  Then I actually have to start formatting Sojourn in Captivity and the flip-book featuring Sojourn and Repressed, which will give me a fourth physical book to offer to readers at conventions.

If I just keep churning out titles I believe in, it’s just a matter of time before sales grow more consistent. Pray for me that God blesses me with the strength to endure and the patience to continue.  I still believe this is what he put me on earth to do.

I’ll continue to keep you updated on how things go, and I’m so grateful to you all for your support.

Thanks for reading,

Matt