All twenty-six episodes of Five Minutes Stories is now up on the Apocalypse Ink Productions website. As a first podcast, I think it’s pretty good. I don’t hate my voice, the Husband did an amazing job on the post production, and one of my favorite podcasters, Alasdair Stuart, gave it a good review. I even have other podcasters who want me to work with them. I’m thrilled by this.
A couple of my favorite episodes of the series are: Train to Topeka, Elevator of the Damned, Responsible, Questions, and Two Letters. It’s not just the stories themselves, it’s the reaction I’ve received from listeners. I love it when I take someone’s breath away with a story.
Will I do this again? Absolutely. Now that I have some experience under my belt, I want to write an original podcast fiction serial. I even know what the basic story is about. I've got the beginning and the end plotted. I still have to figure out how I get from A-to-Z. Podcasting is a completely different type of storytelling, but it is also one of the oldest: the oral storytelling tradition. Now for computers.
I love the fact that, ten years in, I'm still learning new ways to get my stories out. It was a great experience to produce Five Minute Stories as a practice run. I'm glad I finally jumped on the bandwagon. I look forward to what I work on next.
Without fail, every single podcast and radio interviewer has complimented me on my voice. When you hear something enough times, you begin to believe it… and to believe you have the raw talent to create your own podcast. Skill will come with experience. I decided to see if I liked podcasting—and see if the Husband liked doing the post production work. Our test is Five Minute Stories.
First came the research. How do you create a podcast? Where do you host it? How do all the bits and pieces work together. Once I started getting a good idea of how that all worked; even got the recording equipment, I talked with an experienced Podcaster, Alasdair Stuart, owner and operator of Escape Artists. He told me the biggest problem he saw with new podcasters was a lack of content. Thus, my first podcast is based on something I do well: flash fiction. This program is going to run for 13 weeks, from today until 14 December. Content isn’t a problem.
Next came the recording. I understand why people record in sound booths. I recorded in my office. It is small, the walls are covered with things, it was quiet. (Hah. Experienced podcasters laugh at this last bit.) Things I discovered about recording in my office:
- Yes, you can hear the hum of my computer. (Fixed in post.)
- Yes, the fan and AC have to be off. (During 90 degree weather.)
- Is that me breathing, my tummy rumbling, or burping? Yep. (Fixed in post.)
- Wait, is that my cat, Pharaoh, snoring throughout my recording? Yes. (Re-record.)
- Why is there only silence? Crap, my mic wasn’t on. (Note: always check the mic light.)
- Weekends are the worst. Someone is always mowing their lawn. (Fixed in post.)
- Cats meow for attention at the worst times.
- Cold liquid is bad for the recording voice.
There’s more but I don’t remember it off the top of my head. If I do this again, I’m going to do a make shift sound studio in the cat room. Or… now that I think of it, maybe the sauna with it turned off. Hmmm. That’s an idea!
Finally came the practical side. Mostly post production. How would that all work. Fortunately, that’s what the Husband is in charge of. After he did the post production work on the first couple, he knew he liked it. I think he makes me sound fabulous.
The end result is that we both liked the experience of me recording the podcast series and the Husband doing to the post production. It’s a project that we can work on together. If Five Minute Stories receives accolades, we both will receive them because this is our project. I suspect there will be another podcast in our future. This next one will be a serialized story. I’ve been inspired by Limetown Stories, Gone, The Black Tapes, and Alice Isn’t Dead. I just need to find time to write it.
Five Minute Stories
A little bit of story to last you all day...
This podcast show is a reading of selected stories from Five Minute Stories, Volumes 1 - 5, written and read by Jennifer Brozek. Some of the stories are old favorites, some are brand new, all were inspired by real life events that have been twisted into something dark and supernatural. There will be 26 episodes of this program, released twice a week starting September 19th. Each story will average about five minutes, some a bit longer, some a touch shorter, and every single one of them will be a little bit of story to last you all day.
I hope you enjoy listening to this podcast as much as we did recording it.
Five days in the rainforest with minimal internet, an outline, and someone to compete with = 28,356 words written. I am brain fried and dead. I don’t actually recommend this to anyone. I took Monday off writing to recover a bit and it was needed.
All day Monday, while I did other things and played PokemonGO, I kept thinking of things I forgot to add into the manuscript. From descriptions to full scenes. I’m probably going to spend the next two days editing what I wrote to see what else I missed and add it in. Then I’ll feel comfortable enough to continue on. I just feel like my narrative foundation is a bit too cracked and shaky.
View from the 2nd floor Parkside Suite, Thursday morning. Before they brought me a boat and waders.
Beyond teaching a session at RWR, I got to experience the adventure of having Lake Quinalt rise two feet. The Husband thought we might have to evacuate. We didn’t, but I did have to borrow thigh-high waders to get to and from the rest of the resort for two days. A couple of attendees who didn’t know me thought I was part of the Park Service. It was a fun and interesting experience. I’m glad the lake didn’t have a current. I put more pictures and a video of it up on my Facebook.
What Lake Quinalt usually looks like. Saturday morning.
Also, while I was in the land of no internet, the podcast of my short story, “Endless and the End,” went live on The Overcast. My story is episode 49. It’s my creepy little steampunk story inspired by the likes of The Mummy and the casual game Bejeweled. The end of the story includes an afterword by me and a "warning" from The Overcast. I hope you listen to it.
As I finish up my work from 2016, I’ve decided that 2017 is going to be a year of experimentation. I have very few deadlines scheduled for me. The month of January is taken up with completing the tie-in story due this month and final edits to Sekrit Project Alex. After that, my year is mostly open. I will assign my own deadlines and stick to them.
This is the time to experiment. Under the Apocalypse Ink Productions umbrella, I have two really interesting projects (in addition to the books we’re already doing).
The first is the “Five Minute Stories” podcast. This podcast will run for thirteen weeks. I’ve never done a podcast. This will be a series of flash fiction pieces, old and new, written and read by me; hosted and produced by AIP. This podcast is for me to figure out whether or not I like podcasting as a storytelling medium. If I discover I like it, I’ll write and produce an original podcast story. If I don’t, I’ll consider the next option.
The second is The Prince of Artemis V comic. I’ve wanted to do a comic book for a long time. The Prince of Artemis V is my most popular short story. I’ve signed a contract with an artist to do the comic and, already, she’s bringing the goods to the table. I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out in the end.
The third is to publish at least one short story as a Kindle Single. This is mostly to figure out how this works and if it is a viable thing for the future. As a full-time freelance author/editor, I must always diversify my revenue streams. It might be a good outlet for my erotica writing (under a different name).
Getting down to the nitty-gritty of writing goals for 2017, I want to write at least six new short stories and get them out to market. That is a good goal as far as short stories are concerned. They are a good thing to write in-between novels.
As for novels, I plan to write at least two novels in my new teen horror series called Fever County. I’m super excited about this series. I’ve already created the world and set up a map as well as done a lot of the world building. More of that will happen as I write. I’ve got the 2 page synopsis of the first book completed with a paragraph synopsis of the second book completed.
When it comes to travel, I’m limiting myself in 2017. I do have 3 definite conventions and 3 one-day events on the schedule with 4 “maybe” conventions waiting in the wings for me to decide what to do with them. Most likely, I’ll only do 2 of the maybes. It depends on a whole lot of factors including time, effort, and money.
There you have it. There are a couple of other interesting things on the horizon, but nothing is contracted/set in stone. 2017 is going to be an experiment. I’m going to stretch myself in some uncomfortable ways creatively to see what happens. At the same time, I’m going to set up a writing schedule that lets me finish those 2 novels and 6 short stories. It’s a little scary to focus mostly on my own stuff after more than a year of tie-in fiction.
Not only am I ready for it, I’m excited for it. That’s the best feeling.
I am home from OryCon and SF Authorfest 9. I had a fabulous time. It was so much fun. In lieu of content, here is a Bubble and Squeek.
Article: Mind Meld: More Children’s Movies that Scared the Crap Out of Us.
Podcast: LIMETOWN. If you aren't listening to this podcast, you are missing out. It reminds me of American Elsewhere and Night Vale.
Review: A Lovely review of Jazz Age Cthulhu and "Dreams of a Thousand Young" from Hauntology. I really am fond of this novelette.
For the Melissa Allen section of Bubble and Squeek...
Article: Over on Wag the Fox: Characters with a mind of their own. AKA why the sequel, Never Let Me Leave, exists.
Article: Why a Bat? Over on Damien Walter's blog, I discuss why Melissa Allen use a baseball bat when fighting monsters.
Podcast: SF Spotlight Radio from 14 Nov 2015. I talk about a lot of things. Mostly the Melissa Allen series.
Heads down on my novel, NEVER LET ME LEAVE. Have some links and podcasts and reviews and books!
Article: Writing Tips by Amanda Pillar. These are worth a read.
Article: Suvudu editor Matt Staggs asked for an article on anthologies. I decided to write about the little-discussed art of putting a Table of Contents together.
Interview: I was interviewed by Kindra Sowder for Horror Geeks magazine: Gamer Nerd and Wordslinger. Horror Geeks magazine is really neat. I like it.
Podcast Interview: Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing. Talking about Shattered Shields with Bryan Thomas Schmidt. The topics ranged from marketing to diversity to RPG books.
Podcast Review: Game on Girl by Regina and Rhonda reviews Chicks Dig Gaming. My Google alerts gave me this one. It's really a fun look at the anthology. Especially when they refused to name author names but I recognized who and what they were talking about.
Review: Attack of the Books Reviews Shattered Shields. The reviewer, Daniel Burton, really enjoyed the anthology.
Review: Paul Weimer of SF Signal reviews Chicks Dig Gaming. 4 out of 5 stars. He enjoyed the book and asked some of the questions I asked.
Pre-order: JAZZ AGE CTHULHU with my novelette, "Dreams of a Thousand Young." Visit Assam, India, where a British dilettante wakes up one morning covered in bruises and welts, with a dead man in her bed and no memory of what happened in the last 24 hours. Her only clue is a trashed invitation to the exclusive Black Ram Club.
Publication: Short run boxed set: Under an Enchanted Skyline. Apocalypse Ink Productions has joined Martain Cantina's boxed Urban Fantasy set. 8 novels and novellas. $0.99. From now until December 30th. Includes my mosaic novel Caller Unknown and fellow AIP author Peter M. Ball's Exile.
Busy, busy, busy writing and editing. Here are some links for you.
Authorgraph: You can get a number of my books electronically signed by me.
Article: The Anthology Balance. I wrote an article for the Locus blog about the balance between diversity and what sells. Hint: diversity sells.
Review: Shattered Shields video review by Other Realms Book Reviews. This is a first for me. Kind of exciting. She liked it.
Review: Shattered Shields. This one is from 50 Book Challenge. Another good review.
Podcast: Geekerati interviews me and Bryan Thomas Schmidt about Shattered Shields and a myriad of other things.
Horror Selfies: Read more horror! It's good for your heart. Also, don't forget about All Hallows Read. Give a scary book for Halloween.
Lots of things are going on in my life. All good. All busy. All the time.
My Dangers Untold anthology has been released and it look wonder. We even have Dangers Untold review from Dark Media.
Millennium Knights, a Savage Worlds supplement from Savago Mojo, is coming out in pieces. The first piece, the Primer, is free. Play a 1999 James Bond type spy against the supernatural menace. Wear the tuxedo, load the Walther PPK, and save the world!
Colonial Gothic: Locations has been released. Four settings. So many secrets! Each town if fully described with events and mysteries. Campaign starters included for each one. I also really like the cover on this one. Rogue Games did good.
SF Signal Podcast #155 during WorldCon. I was interviewed by Patrick Hester. Also, here is a page to all of my podcast interviews.
SFWA Northwest Reading Series - The next event in the Seattle area (Wild Rover Restaurant and Pub, 111 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033 ) will be held on Tuesday, October 16 and will be hosted by Seanan McGuire, accompanied by Phil and Kaja Foglio and Jennifer Brozek. Please come and support your local authors. Besides, October Daye and Girl Genius! It's going to be an awesome time.
Finally, happy birthday to my beloved husband, Jeff. You are the keystone of my world.
Bits and pieces I thought I'd mention.
New cover! I have a Mowry story in Stoneskin Press' anthology The New Hero, Volume 2. You can see Eric Hamblin and Joseph Lamb right in the center of the cover. Makes me happy.
I have a new podcast interview out: Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing #168 – Mark Teppo, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jennifer Brozek—about the business of writing.
Finally, since I realized I had a few podcast interviews around and I know I have at least one more coming up, I created a Podcast Interviews page on my website. You can listen to me babble in interviews as far back as 2009 when Seanan McGuire interviewed me when I was the Toastmaster of Baycon