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Category: The Hounds of Annwn

Final edits for Bound into the Blood

Posted in Bound into the Blood, and The Hounds of Annwn

Bound into the Blood - Full Front Cover - WidgetI finished the first draft of Bound into the Blood, book 4 of The Hounds of Annwn, a couple of weeks ago and set it aside to ripen. It always helps to wait a couple of weeks before doing the editing — gives you a chance to approach it more like a fresh reader.

Since I write near-final first drafts, with all the loose ends tied up, the editing process is more of a copyedit and proofread set of activities which proceed in a certain order.

First I run the manuscript through Autocrit, scene by scene. This helps me identify repeated words, in particular, and cliches. It's depressing how often when writing that you come up with just the perfect word and then, one paragraph (or even one sentence) later, you decide to use it again. Must have something to do with it being fresh within your mind. A mechanical editor tool like Autocrit is invaluable for reducing this problem — it sees things the human mind ignores (“the the” is always a favorite).

I fix any loose ends that might remain (I make notes of them in each scene as I write). Then I format the book for ebook and print BEFORE I proofread it. It's much easier to proofread something if it looks different — bigger font, different wraparound locations, whatever it takes. I read through it relatively quickly, for feel (and typos), then I go back and read through it slowly for typos. I typically find 30-50 errors at this point, so one more read-through is always a good idea.

I toss a version round about this time to my husband, but I'm usually done before he finishes reading. Still, I incorporate his finds, too.

I expect the book will be up for sale in about two weeks (or sooner). I'll announce availability as soon as it's up — first to my newsletter subscribers, and then here on the blog.

New Audiobook – To Carry the Horn

Posted in Audiobook, Release, and To Carry the Horn

ToCarryTheHorn - Full Front Cover Audio 200x168-RGB
The complete and unabridged audiobook for To Carry the Horn is now in the hands of the distributor. It will take a few weeks for it to become available in all channels, so stay tuned for updates from Perkunas Press on where you can purchase it in all three formats: Digital Download, CD-Audio, and CD-MP3.

In the meantime, the Digital Download (MP3) version is available now, direct from the author. You can listen to an excerpt and link to the retail site here. You'll want to have a high-speed connection to download the file from the retail site, since it's quite large – 1.3 gigabytes.

It was lots of fun to record and produce this audiobook, but I had no idea how much work it was going to be. To begin with, this recording runs 14.5 hours and spans 13 audio CDs. (The MP3 CD is much smaller). Just to record it, correcting errors as they occurred, took half a week. Then I had to listen to it carefully at least twice, and then re-do bits of it. I was fortunate to have a good studio engineer nearby to do the technical production (I still don't understand how he was able to remove all the pops and swallows without mangling the words — must have some impressive software filters.)

I turned up a few more typos in the process of reading it aloud, including one really impressive wrong name. My eagle-eyed readers who tell me about my typos (I'm looking at you, Joan) missed these, too, amazingly. One of the pleasures of self-publishing, however, is that I get to fix these things and upload ever-cleaner versions.

I'm sure that everyone who has stumbled over one of my Welsh names will be pleased to think of me trying not to mangle them myself, now that I had to read them out loud. Serves me right, eh?

If you listen to the excerpt, or buy the audiobook, I would very much appreciate your feedback on the narration. I am waiting for feedback before I proceed with audiobook production for the rest of the series. After all, if you don't like my voice, better I hear about it now rather than later.

Audio books

Posted in Audiobook, Production, Publishing, and To Carry the Horn

audiobooks1Exciting news — I'm in the middle of producing an audiobook for To Carry the Horn.

I was horrified to hear from one of my readers that there was an automated Whispersync version generated by Amazon. I couldn't imagine how that must have butchered all of those Welsh names! That motivated me into looking into producing my own version under Perkunas Press.

It's been an eye-opener of a journey. First of all, I had to understand that audio comes in three forms: digital downloads (MP3s), CDs with MP3s, and Audio CDs. Then I started looking at cost-to-produce. Sigh…

For my ebook and print editions, I do almost everything myself, even the cover design. This keeps the costs low and allows me to control the business expenses.

Audio is a very different story. Very, very different.

Just released – Tales of Annwn

Posted in Fantasy, Short Story, Tales of Annwn, and The Hounds of Annwn

TalesOfAnnwn- Full Front Cover - 297x459I'm happy to announce that the first five stories set in the world of The Hounds of Annwn have been collected into an ebook edition as Tales of Annwn.

I plan to produce several more short stories, which I'll post here on the website first, so there will be a second ebook collection, and then eventually they will all be gathered into an ebook and paperback collection, once there are enough of them to make a paperback practical.

The stories are priced at $0.99 each, so a collection of five for $2.99 is a nice savings (40% off) for my readers, and the grand collection coming eventually will be an even better discount.

The next story to be told is how the Travelers' Way between the old world and the new came to be discovered by Trevor Mawr, long ago.

Short story – The Empty Hills

Posted in Fantasy, Short Story, The Empty Hills, and The Hounds of Annwn

Another short story from the world of The Hounds of Annwn.

George Talbot Traherne shows a bit of the human world to family and friends, hoping to share some of the sense of wonder he discovered when he encountered the fae otherworld.

This short story takes place during the events in King of the May.


THE EMPTY HILLS

The Empty Hills - Full Front Cover - 297x459

George Talbot Traherne turned in his saddle and checked to make sure everyone had followed him through the way without difficulty. The last time he’d brought them to the grounds of Bellemore a week ago, he’d had to cut the visit short, but this time he was determined to show them a bit more of his human world. His discovery of the fae otherworld a few months ago had changed his life and brought him a family, and he wanted to give them the opportunity to discover adventure in his world in return.

Angharad rode by his side, the new life within her not yet showing. He was nervous about her being on horseback but she’d assured him there was nothing to fear, this early. She’d had other children in her long life and he knew she was a better judge of it, but he would be a father for the first time and he couldn’t help worrying.

She looked at him now, rightly judging his concern. “I’m fine,” she said. “Is the weather the same in both places? It seems to me it was cloudier on the other side.”

She peered up at the sky, her auburn braid touching the saddle behind her as her head leaned back. It shone against the rich blue of her riding habit.

ON SALE – To Carry the Horn for $0.99 (ebook)

Posted in To Carry the Horn

ToCarryTheHorn - Full Front Cover WidgetFor one week only (Tuesday, July 9 through Monday, July 15) Perkunas Press is offering the ebook edition of To Carry the Horn for only $0.99. The regular price is $5.99.

Now is your opportunity to pick up a copy for yourself or to tell your friends and family.

The sale is on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE, as well as on my eCommerce site GUMROAD. The links on Amazon and B&N only work for US customers (by and large, though you might get lucky), but the links on Gumroad work internationally. All my ebooks are offered without DRM, for your convenience.

Amazon (MOBI)
Barnes & Noble (EPUB)
Gumroad (MOBI)
Gumroad (EPUB)

Plans and news

Posted in Bound into the Blood, Goals, Heroes, King of the May, The Hounds of Annwn, The Ways of Winter, and To Carry the Horn

As some of you know, I moved from Virginia to Pennsylvania in May, just as I was finishing King of the May. We relocated to our vacation home in central Pennsylvania, an old log cabin (with improvements) nestled into a hollow of the Allegheny mountains.

No one had lived in the cabin for 10 years beyond a few relatives visiting during hunting season, so the place had to be emptied, cleaned, repaired, and painted. On the Virginia end, this included moving two different households to a single smaller location and a warehouse, so it was beyond complicated. I did my best to keep writing each day but the dust is still settling and will be for a while. (Half of my office is still in boxes.)

You may have noticed that King of the May is published by Perkunas Press, still in Hume, Virginia. It will take a little while for me to register the business in Pennsylvania, and after that new printings (and my bio) will show the update.

Southviewcabin1
Architectural detail of the main cabin (1820s) or thereabouts

 

Icicles-FARM-20130304-2654
Recent – porch roofs needed a bit of leakproofing.
shed
Nearby shed in happier times.
Dead shed now.

 

DeadShed-FARM-20130304-2652
Shed imploded after being whomped by a fallen willow.

Meanwhile, I've started on Bound into the Blood, book 4 of The Hounds of Annwn. Since I include the first chapter of the next book at the end of the current one, I had to write the first chapter before I could publish King of the May. So I have a pretty good idea how this one is going to roll out.

It will be a more intimate book than King of the May, as The Ways of Winter was more intimate than To Carry the Horn. George will look for answers about his father's family, and the search will take him to strange places with unusual companions (Seething Magma will be coming along).

These four books of The Hounds of Annwn will cover most of a year, from mid-October to end of summer. Interestingly, they are coinciding with the same seasons in real life as I write them — helps me stay in the mood.

I'll produce some more short stories in The Hounds of Annwn world, and collect them into an anthology (sign up for my newsletter to hear about each new one as it comes out and read it for free on my blog), but after Bound into the Blood (sometime this fall/winter), I intend to begin a new fantasy series, The Affinities of Magic.

Depending on the wishes of my readers, there may be more adventures in store for George Talbot Traherne. Please let me know — I'm listening.

King of the May – Book 3 of The Hounds of Annwn has been released

Posted in Fantasy, King of the May, Publishing, Release, and The Hounds of Annwn

KingOfTheMay - Full Front Cover - 297x459I'm delighted to announce that King of the May is now available at a variety of retailers in both paperback and ebook formats.

This was an ambitious work for me, with lots going on in several settings. I ended up focusing on the primary characters whose adventures were in the old world, not because I wanted to scant the efforts of their friends in the new world, but because it is, in the end, George's story, and he couldn't be in two places at once.

I'll satisfy my urge for more new world detail with some of the upcoming short stories. For example, you'll get to see George's fae family take a car ride in the new world sometime in the next few months.

You can find out more about the book and where to buy it here. As always, if you like the book, I encourage you to write a review wherever you bought it, or to post one on Goodreads or Amazon. Reviews make a big difference to authors.

Enjoy!