Writing Update: Edits and Pre-Orders

I’ve been quiet on my writing updates recently. Time to correct that.

Ibenus has completed its first found of edits.  We’ll be making a few more passes to get it all nice and polished. I will say that reading it for the first time in months was a fun experience. I really like this one and I look forward to hearing reader responses. Release date is still set for September 2016. Paperback pre-order is available on Amazon.

Layout by Shawn King

Dämoren is going through its final revisions as well for the new version.  Some pesky typos are going away and the layout is getting a nice face-lift.  I can’t wait to hold the finished product. IPG should begin distributing the new versions, as well as my other Ragnarok titles, in the next few weeks.  I’ll update once I have more.

In the meantime, Brilliance Audio will be releasing MP3 CDs for my audiobooks so that libraries can carry them.  Mountain of Daggers will release 5/24/2016, Dämoren 6/7/2016, and Hounacier 8/2/2016. All of which are currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

My fourth Valducan novel, Redemptor, is coming along nicely.  I’m 8 chapters in, and while I can’t give a good estimate for when it’ll be completed, I’m shooting for the end of this year. Without revealing too much about it, I can tell you that it is set in South America, Matt is one of the principal characters, and the working tagline is, “Monsters Aren’t Born, They’re Forged.”

That’s all I have for now.  I hope to have another update soon on some other topics, but it’s a little early to go into those yet.






You’re Doing It Wrong – A Defense of Audio Books

I recently posted a review of a James Bond book on Goodreads. In it, I briefly touched on each of the stories in the book, making comparisons to the previous Bond novels and to the film franchise. It wasn’t anything amazing as far as reviews go, just the thoughts of a reader reflecting on a book. Because I had listened to the audio version, I made a final comment about the narrator’s performance.

No big deal.

Within a few hours, I received this reply: “Impressive summary. Well-formatted and expressive; lucidly composed. Except that you apparently didn’t ‘read’ these tales? You ‘listened’ via some silly audio version? Sadly, this is bogus. Inauthentic. All too common these days, but totally not the way to absorb literature, while ‘multi-tasking at the same time’.”

The reply did continue, addressing my comments about the book’s sexism and racism.  “One other remark to make: travel more overseas. Your comments on ‘racism’ and ‘misogyny’ are provincial-American. At odds with the way the world actually is out there.” But that’s not what I want to talk about. An anonymous troll on the internet has rolled their eyes as someone’s views, calling them naive. Nothing new. Nothing worth arguing with.

However, the sentiment that the medium that I used to read the book is somehow wrong or inferior struck a nerve. I’ve heard this argument many times and from all varieties of people.

So to anyone that claims that listening to an audio book is inferior, and to the troll that gave me such wonderful statements to refute, I say this: Deal With It.

Let’s break this down, shall we?

…silly audio version – Audio books are the fastest growing publisher market. Millions of readers are using them.  Gone are the days of highly abridged tomes of cassette tapes marketed to the visually impaired.  Audio book performers are highly-regarded actors (like Samuel West, who read the audio book I was reviewing).  With services like digital streaming, audio books are not some novelty fad.  Like e-readers (which also got shit on for years), they’re here and they’re here to stay. 


“…totally not the way to absorb literature…” – This line fascinates me.  Ignoring the part where he refers to a 1960’s Spy-Fi collection as “literature,” the troll’s post opens with praising my summary. He has acknowledged that I understand each of the stories enough to comment on them.  In fact, his post closes with this: “Otherwise, a really fine review and I was pleased to sift through it. Glad you enjoyed the stories.” So if I absorbed the stories enough to compose a “really fine review,” how in the fuck can you then say that I didn’t absorb the story?  The fact I gave it a thorough review proves that I did because, News Flash: People can absorb by listening.


“…‘multi-tasking at the same time’ – Ah, so you were watching me while I listened?  Creeper.  Seriously, though, I hate this argument.  Yes, audio book readers can get distracted while reading.  I drive while listening to audio books.  However, I’m real interested in the notion that people that visually read are not distracted at all.  Really?

Zero distractions

It’s nice to imagine that anyone reading a book is sitting in a comfortable wing back chair, the only sounds being the soft crackling of a fire, but it’s also fundamentally bullshit.  Reading a book doesn’t mean that life stops.  There’s still noises, keeping an eye out on a kid, the lingering thoughts in the back of your head reminding you to pay the electric bill so you can stop using a fire to read by.  Your mind wanders, you skim, you race through a few pages between other tasks, and you are rarely, if ever, 100% Distraction Free.

Reading Drive
“But Officer, how else can I absorb the story?”

Since I started Audible, my reading has gone up exponentially. The bulk of my reading is with audio books.  I enjoy them. Yes, I have gotten distracted at times and had to listen to a part a second time (maybe the troll never heard of Rewind), but no more often than times I’ve had to go back a re-read part of a book that I realized I was skimming. 

War Read
“Hey, could you hold off on that shelling? I’m at a good part.”

So, while I might not read the same as someone else, no one gets to tell me that I’m “Doing It Wrong.”