Migration: Beginnings – The Audiobook!

It took a bit of time to complete the whole process, but Migration: Beginnings is now available as an auidiobook!  If you’re interested, head on over to Audible to find it.

And if you’d like, ping me (email or Twitter), because I can give you a promo code to get the book at either a reduced price or for free (Audible just gives you the codes – I can’t tell how it actually works!).  They only work in the US or UK, so if you’re outside of one of these two countries, my apologies.

But I’m so glad it’s here!

Beta Read, Anyone?

How would you like to be my new best friend?  ::grin::

So the sequel to Migration: Beginnings is finally at a stage where I can send it to beta readers.  The only thing is, I’m so small time that I don’t have a following like more prolific authors do.  It took a couple of years to get the sequel finished, and even before then, the original book was published in 2016, then rewritten from scratch and republished in 2018.  Yes, I’m a wee bit slow – but I’m working on it!

The new book, Migration: Knowledge, is ready to go, with the exception of a final edit by a professional editor (which is scheduled for mid next month) and currently there’s no cover art.  Hopefully that will be resolved asap as well.

If you’re interested, ping me!  Message me online (Twitter, my website, etc) and I can get you a copy!

BookSprout!

So if you’re wondering why I’ve been blogging a little more, and tweeting a little more as of late, it all comes down to one thing – and that is that I’ve got a book coming out soon. Soon! Okay, so I just finished writing it, and I haven’t even re-read it yet, much less fluffed it up a bit with the things I’m usually bad at in the first pass, or edited out all the superfluous things. But the fact that Migration: Knowledge is now sitting in the drawer (virtual, but still) and ready for me to edit is a big step forward.

Editing will start next week, and in the meanwhile, I’m working a couple of projects. One is writing the prequel to Migration that I’ve always meant to write. But the second part is that I’m starting up a presence on BookSprout. Interested? You can follow me on there. And if you’re interested in doing an ARC version of my first book, you can do that, too.

Progress Is Being Made!

I’ve got a few projects on my plate, even though my plate is going to be full with more work than usual, if my part-time gig goes through.  But I’m going to keep writing and just keep things going!  I’m about halfway through the sequel to Migration: Beginnings, and am in the planning status for just about everything else that I’m going to write.  Keeping busy, as I’ve always said, is definitely a wonderful thing!

To go along with the second book, I’m in the process of turning Migration: Beginnings into an audiobook.  I’ve selected the narrator, and he’s already given me a sample of what the book sounds like.  I’m really digging it!  If you’re interested, you can listen to the sample here!

Oh my

So I am on Twitter talking to other authors about websites, and – ding ding ding!  I realize that I haven’t posted anything on here in nine months.  That’s long enough to conceive a baby, bring it to term, have it, and contemplate the next eighteen years as a caregiver to a child I didn’t know I had until the start of this blog post.  Yeesh.

Not that Boo and I are capable of having children, what both being dudes and all.  But I digress.

Things have been going slow on the writing front for the last few months, as evidenced by the fact that I haven’t published anything since Migration: Beginnings was re-published in the Summer of 2018.  Thing is, I have so many ideas, that I told someone who is helping me with getting my professional head on straight, that it’s almost like overload paralysis.

But I’m making progress.

I was supposed to be writing the prequel and first book of the romance series that I’m writing with my coauthor Lisa (who wrote ‘A Million Miles Amok’ with me).  But the bug to work on a new Migration book has really captured me.  So that, plus the fact that I’m taking part in CampNanoWrimo with my friend Nazri, means I’m working on that series.  I hope to get the sequel finished by the end of June, and I should be able to make it.  I’m nearly 20,000 words in, and have everything plotted.  It’s just that I throw my own roadblocks up from time to time with how I think the story should go.  Oh well, more time to work out the details with Shavonne (seriously, she’s a great sounding board and instigator of wonderful ideas.  Here’s her website if you’re interested!).

Still have a couple of hours to go on today’s Migration chapter, so back to it.  Catch you all on Twitter!

Book Re-Release!

Migration: Beginnings has been re-released!  The long overdue task of completely rewriting from scratch, as well as including updates that brings it into alignment with the principals of the awesome book, ‘Take Off Your Pants’ is complete.  So the newly edited book, along with the gorgeous new book cover, is live at the online bookstore of your choosing.  Links are below, or you can click on the new book cover below to head over to Amazon if that’s your store of choice.

Migration: Beginnings

Buy it on:

A Migration Moment – Blustered

Here’s a little Migration Moment, a look into Rhys and Jason’s lives together.  Takes place before book one.

“Jason Tambor,” Rhys said as he pulled the car into the gas station.  “Have I told you how much I love you lately?”

“You’d better,” Jason replied.  “Otherwise this is going to be a pretty awkward road trip for the next ten days.” Jason bobbed his eyebrows at Rhys, which never failed to garner a smile.  He pointed towards the bustling store beyond the pumps.  “Want anything?” he asked as he reached for the door.

“No thanks,” Rhys said as he relaxed in the seat.

Jason walked behind the car, Rhys catching his eye in the side mirror.  A moment later, Jason was standing next to his window.  “Oh, Boo?” Jason said as he tapped on the glass.

Rhys rolled down the window. “Yeah?”

“We’re in California,” Jason said as he glanced around.

“Yeah, so?”

“So this isn’t Oregon. You have to pump your own gas.”Rhys blushed.  “I knew that,” he said, then stepped out of the car.  Together five years and Jason could still get him flustered.

Rhys started the pump as he basked in the warm coastal weather.  Theirs was the only car at the pumps until a convertible pulled in behind them.  A woman with oversized sunglasses got out, her long auburn hair, the color of sand that gets stuck to your flip-flops, waving in a sudden breeze.  She was wearing a bikini made out of the same amount of material that went into a roll of stamps, and even though Rhys was gay, the sheer amount of flesh on display made him gawp.  The click-click-click sound as she walked caused Rhys to look down, and he realized her outfit was finished off with a pair of impossibly high heels. His mind flashed the word, ‘impractical.’

“Hi there,” she drawled as she pulled off her sunglasses.  She put an arm under her ample bosom as if making an offering.

“Umm, hi.”  Out of the corner of his eye, Rhys saw Jason stopped dead in his tracks.  And even though he wanted to turn to his boyfriend for help, for some reason, all he could focus on was the sheer amount of flesh suddenly in his personal space.

The woman’s face broke into a broad smile, whitened teeth glistening in the sun as fingers twirled at her hair. “Can you help me?  I’m ever so bad at this kind of thing,” and gestured for the gas pump.

“Uhh,” Rhys said as he blindly reached for the gas pump.

“Wrong tree, sister,” Jason called as he confidently strode to Rhys’ side.  He put a possessive arm around Rhys as he gave the woman his best smile, then nodded to the woman’s breasts.  “Those things don’t work on us.”

And just like that, the stupor that had wrapped up Rhys dissipated.  A blush overtook his face as he made quick work of his own gas pump, then got in the car as the sound of retreating high heels looked for help elsewhere.

Jason handed him a bottle of water as Rhys pulled the car back out into traffic.  He welcomed the coolness, first taking a sip and then rolling the bottle across his forehead.  When Jason snickered, he turned.  “What?”

“You’re cute when you’re flustered,” Jason said, then dropped a kiss against his shoulder.

Beta the new version of Migration: Beginnings

Okay, so when I first got to publishing, I had no idea what I was doing. Then I got a few pointers from people, read some books, etc. And now I still have no idea what I’m doing, but at least I think my writing has gotten better!

As such, Migration: Beginnings was rewritten from scratch for two reasons. First, many people like me who tend to read in present tense can read either present tense or past tense without issue. But people who prefer past tense typically (at least from the feedback others have given me) detest present tense written books.

I know, right? Who knew?

But beyond the entire rewrite, I also went through the principals of ‘Take Off Your Pants‘ by Libbie Hawker and realized that hey – Migration wasn’t ready. So after the rewrite, I then went back and added in stuff that Hawker extolls in her book. And I think it’s made all the difference.

So now that that’s done, I have one last read-through before I’m done. But I’d also like to get other’s feedback as well. So if you’re interested in a pre-release copy of the Migration: Beginnings rewrite, drop me a note and I’ll be happy to get you one as long as you promise to send me feedback.

Why I chose to unpublish Migration Beginnings

One of the most difficult things you have to do as a writer is the editing process.  I have a wonderful little magnet that says:

Write Drunk – Edit Sober

And that’s a good philosophy, even if you don’t take it literally.  Write as uninhibited as you can, but when you go through the editing process, a careful, analytical hand is called for.

Migration: Beginnings has been published for just over a year now to minor success – and that’s okay.  It’s my baby, and I’m happy with it, for the most part.  But what I wasn’t happy with stemmed from feedback received after the book was published, as well as information I found out just about the same time.  First, the overall feedback from a couple of readers was that the book would flow better if it were in past tense instead of present tense.  Now for me, tense doesn’t make that huge a difference.  I can read either.  But I consider that personally, I don’t like to read things written in first-person.  Very few writers can get me to read first-person written works.  So thinking about it from their perspective, it just made sense that I should rewrite it as a past-tense written book.

Beyond that, I read Libbie Hawker’s “Take Off Your Pants” – and realized all of the stuff that I left out of the book.  The good thing is, not only can I see the holes that I need to fill, but I can also see how to fill them.

But the problem isn’t the rewrite – it’s the time it’s taking me.  Real life gets in the way a lot, leaving me precious little time to work on my writing.  I’m carving out time to get it done, but sometimes it gets missed because life happens.

So I unpublished Migration: Beginnings from Amazon.  It’s still published in a couple other spots, but because the volume of sales is so low, I’m not worried about it.  I’m giving myself until May 31st to finish the rewrite, and then I’ll get it published again.  And if you’ve purchased a copy, it will get updated to the new version.

Here’s to meeting deadlines and productivity!  Once Migration is completed, I can start on what the Muse strikes me with on any of the half a dozen other books that are running through my head.

On Music

One thing that hits every single aspect of my life is music.  Be it the background noise while I’m writing, what I do to keep me just distracted enough to keep me focused while doing my day job, or what I bounce to while I’m cleaning.  Music is in just about every aspect of my life.

Stephen King writes to artists like Metallica.  I was talking to another writer about music (Soren Summers) and he mentioned that he listens to artists like Gesaffelstein.  I, personally, listen to classical music for what I need in my environment when I write.  But it’s not just the music that’s there – it’s the music that enhances what you’re writing.

For instance, Soren’s choice of Gesaffelstein is something that I could definitely listen to if I was writing erotica.  There is something sensual in the beats, the rhythm, the trance that the music puts you in, and that overall it just gives you the chance to let go of yourself.  And if you’re writing an effective sex scene – not a lovemaking scene, a sex scene – then why not listen to something that’s raw, and a bit animalistic?

When writing parts of A Million Miles Amok, I actually chose to write without music, and used the noisy aircraft cabin as my ambience.  But when I wrote Migration: Beginnings, I actually varied what I wrote.  In the “setup” type scenes, I listened to regular classical music. But in a couple of pivotal action sequences, I actually put “O Fortuna” on repeat.  Why?  Because it’s one single piece of music that has been used in critical action sequences in multiple movies, and I wanted to see if I could capture that same type of energy as I wrote.

Music is pretty big for me, and as I don’t have much to blog about right now (because rewrites kinda suck!), I thought I’d start a little side bit here about music.  Not just music when it comes to writing, but also music in the movies.  Because music can make or break a film, turning a cinematically-filmed marvel into a two dimensional piece of entertainment.  I mean, when it came to films from 2005, the cinematic marvel was “Brokeback Mountain”, though it would not be as successful if Gustavo Santaolalla hadn’t penned the beautiful piece “The Wings“.  What would Close Encounters of the Third Kind be without the pivotal “Dialogue” scene?  And the movie Jaws wouldn’t have been half as scary without those few low notes from a tuba and woodwinds that started it all.

I, personally, was ready to dismiss the remake of the 1950s classic “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” – until I not only saw the movie, but the accompanying music.  Sure, the scene with Walter Mitty jumping on the helicopter as Kristen Wiig and David Bowie sang “Space Oddity” was a turning point not only for Walter, but for the movie itself.  But to me, both the cinematography and lyrics to the song “Far Away” do the most when it comes to non-verbal communication with the audience.  Mitty, a guy who has a nonplussed life, suddenly is feeling alive again as he skateboards down a deserted road.  Even the lyrics are there.  “Step in front of a runaway train, just to feel alive again.”  There’s a link on Youtube, but unless you see the whole thing, it doesn’t impact you as much as the whole film does.

So here goes.  A dialogue on music that’ll happen from time to time.  Because why not?