Tag Archives: podiobooks

podcast friday

Episode 09 of Conjuring Raine is LIVE.  Number 09 marks the halfway point—wow I can’t believe how quickly we got here!  Nine more episodes to go….

And hey, I noticed today that Raine is #2 on the most popular, top 10 most-downloaded-this-month, list!  Wow!  I am thrilled!

Click here for the podiobooks Conjuring Raine site to listen or subscribe, or here for my Raine site where you can do the same.  Enjoy!

(I just remembered that I dreamed last night that I suddenly realized I had written two books with a main character named Rain/e and I was feeling all embarrassed about it.  What the heck does THAT mean?)

we did it!

Conjuring Raine has picked up 107 subscribers in the first two weeks!  I am so amazed!  100 subscribers had kind of been my half-assed goal with the whole thing. Obviously I aimed too low.  How about 1000?  I wonder if in, say, a year, 1000 people might give a listen?  That would be sooooo cool.   Thank you everyone who is giving the book a spin!

I just noticed, though, that episode 07 still hasn’t gone live.  It’s been sitting in the queue since last Wednesday…so, maybe tonight?  I’m going to go ahead and upload episode 08, so if they do go live tonight, you’ll get 08 a little early to make up for having to wait so long for 07.  Come on, Evo, do your podio magic and get these eps out, pretty please?  I’ll announce when they are really and truly live.  Sorry for the delay.

And thanks so much for all the comments, both public and private.  I can’t tell you how much they delight me.  So far, having a book out in the world rocks.

episode 06 is up

A week has gone by and over 70 people have subscribed to Raine!  HOLY COW!  That doesn’t even include the people who are streaming it from the site.  This is so amazing to me!  And thanks everyone who has sent me such wonderful feedback.  Anyway, the next episode is up on podiobooks, if you are subscribed, itunes (or your equivalent) will automatically download it the next time you open itunes and go online.  I’ll go over and put a streaming link on the Conjuring Raine page now.  Enjoy!  Episode six has one of my favorite scenes in it, I hope y’all like it.  And tune in next week for episode 7….

ETA: I put a little behind-the-scenes bit up on the Raine site that might be of interest.  It’s on the episodes page.

the horror and wonder of going public

I realized this morning that I had mistakenly posted the wrong version of episode 03 of Conjuring Raine.  Somehow I had put up the 40 min version that had the entire chapter 3, instead of the 30 min version that actually picks up where episode 02 left off, with only half of chapter 3.  When I realized this, my whole body flushed in embarrassment.  Oh the horror of making an error in front of my literally fives of fans!  Sorry guys!  I have just posted the new, correct, episode—although it will take a little while for Evo to fix it.  I am pretty sure that Evo hates me. That would be Evo Terra, of podiobooks, the guy who has been politely dealing with my many, many errors in this whole uploading process.  I swear, I am usually a meticulous person, but I have made a cascade of ridiculous mistakes, just like this one, stupid tiny moronic fuck-ups, all the way through.  Why is that, I wonder?  Emotional interference from the nervousness of going public?  Or maybe a tiny thing here or there is bound to get dropped when there are hundreds of tiny, technical things to keep up with?  Or maybe I’m no longer meticulous, maybe the hormonal flood of pregnancy and nursing, while now receded, has left my cognitive functions permanently impaired?  Maybe I’m just distracted? Maybe I’m an idiot?

Then, while fixing my mistake this morning, I started thinking that the fact that the story moves around in time a bit, while fairly easy to parse on the page, is rather jarring and confusing in an audio format.  One starts up episode 02 and, “Huh?    We were in a cafe and now we are in this hospital, how did we get here?  Did I skip a chapter?” Maybe I need some kind of transition thing.  A voice over sort of deal, “Sixteen years earlier….” something like that.  That would be an easy fix.  Such a learning curve to going from a word-on-the-page novelist, to a spoken-on-mp3 novelist!  (And as I ponder uploading new versions of all the eps that have flashback chapters I think, again, Evo is going to HATE ME.)

But, despite the shame of my in-public mistakes, let me tell you: it is SO COOL to have listeners!  All the feedback has been just fantastic.  Um, I don’t mean that all the feedback has been fantastic feedback (though there has been some of that, and wow! thank you!), what I mean is, getting feedback, any feedback, that is, having readers/listeners, being in dialogue with an audience, well, it’s WONDERFUL.  I’ve been writing novels for years, working with an agent, occasionally even sending things on to editors.  But none of that is an audience.  It’s like…being backstage.  And I’ve been in critique groups, I’ve been through workshops, I have beta readers…but somehow those readers are backstage, too.  And all the years of being backstage, preparing the stories, sending them out, trunking them, all of it, it’s fine, it’s part of the work, but it’s bloody stifling to go so many years with nothing getting out.  Having folks listening to this book is like a seed finally seeing sunlight and rain and air, finally growing into whatever it is it will grow into.  Maybe a scary, weird, odd thing perhaps, but still, growing.  Interacting with the world.  Not sitting on my hard drive, waiting to be born. (That was a lot of metaphors in one paragraph.  Shall I try another?)

Basically, being an artist in a vacuum sucks.

(elbow jab—didja get it?)

I wonder what terrifically stupid mistake I’ll make tomorrow?  Ooo, goody, I can hardly wait…

conjuring raine podcast is live!

Holy crap, I’ve really done it!  The first five episodes (of 18) are live at podiobooks!  For those of you who are interested in some audio-vampire-action, today is your lucky day.  I will be adding (at least) one episode a week until I’m out.  You can go here to see the podiobooks page and subscribe (via itunes, zune, whathaveyou), and I will be putting links on the Conjuring Raine site as well.  Subscribe, subscribe, all the cool kids are doing it!  You can also see the blog post on the podiobooks blog here (comments there are welcome).  (And while we’re in parenthetical space, I’m still conflicted about this double site idea, the mayaland site and the Conjuring Raine site.  I may fold that one into this one.  Feel free to weigh in.)  Anyway, once you subscribe, itunes (or your podcatcher of choice) will automatically get each new episode as I post them, isn’t that cool?  I’ll put little notices up when there are new eps, as well, for those of you streaming rather than downloading.  Please, please, if you’re listening along and there is some mess up in the recording, let me know so I can fix it.  And I LOVE COMMENTS.  If you like what you hear, of if you don’t, leave comments on podiobooks, or here, or on the Raine site, or all of the above.  I’d love to hear from you!  (Sheesh, I am so jittery!  I can’t stop with the exclamation points!!!)

raine release date, May 14!

Holy cow, it’s really happening.  I have done the back-end hoop jumping, i-dotting, uploading, and the podiobooks official release date for Conjuring Raine is May 14. Woo hoo!  If I understand correctly, the first five episodes will be available then for podcast downloads on your schedule, and/or streaming.  I will then be posting a new episode each week, on Friday, starting with episode 6 on Friday May 21, until it’s done.  This calls for some chocolate, don’t you think?

podcast panic attack

So.  I have recorded, edited, and mixed (that is, added intros and outros, bed music, etc. don’t you just love me using all this jargon?  doesn’t it make me sound like I know what I’m doing?  HAHAHAHA!) episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of my proposed and supposedly forthcoming, podcasted, serialized novel.

WHAAAAT THEEEE FUUUUCK AAAAAMMMM IIIIII DOOOOOOIIIINNGGG????!!!!!?

The other day I clicked accidentally on one of the icons on my desktop and episode three inexplicably started playing outloud over the speakers on my macbook while a friend was in the yurt, and I nearly broke a finger in my frenzy to to click that puppy OFF.  I stood there thinking—if I’m having a freak out over my FRIEND hearing this, how the heck am I going to put it on the INTERNET??

It’s a problem.

I’m working on it.

By breathing into a paper bag.

I think it’s just the equivalent of stage fright, right?  You just suck it up.  Get out there.  Do your thing.  If you fall on your face, fine. Cool.  Do the next thing.

Riiiiiiight.

But then this morning I was working on recording chapter seven and found myself really enjoying a certain scene, I was laughing, getting a kick out of—and I thought, crap, I should put this scene in the first chapter, this is a great scene!

Um…. No.

But I felt glad that I was enjoying it.  At least I know that one bit doesn’t suck.

It’s good to challenge one’s self.  Right?

As a tease, here is the cover:

If I can get over my panic attack, I hope to be posting episodes fairly soon….

some surprising challenges to podcasting a novel

The podcast-my-novel project is full steam ahead.  But I hadn’t realized, when I started, that it would be so multi-media.  I mean, duh, right? But here I am performing, doing visual arts, music, sound editing, not to mention major behind-the-scenes tech.  Some of the things that I expected to be hard have been tricky, yes, but it turns out some things that intimidated me have actually been kind of easy—and some totally no-brainer, EASY, things are turning out to be the challenges.

Surprise!

For example, I really enjoy swearing.  I have since I was a kid.  I could swear with the best of them by the fifth grade, and why not?  I had made a formal study of it.   I fear that my children’s ears are totally corrupted because, although we tried for the first few years, and I still do make an effort to tone it down, both Paul and I can not seem to keep our language clean for their benefit.  Honestly, I don’t care if they swear, but I have given several Informative Talks about when and where one can swear without  negative consequences.  Especially if one is a little kid.  Sophie and Luc seem to grok this pretty well.  At least there have been no embarrassing incidents yet.

But here’s the thing: despite my laying on a liberal helping of f-bombs throughout my day, I find myself hesitating, just a millisecond, but still hesitating, every time I have to read another ‘fuck’ while recording my  novel.  The key word there is recording.

What is it about a mic that changes all the rules?  I could care less if I say fuck a dozen times before breakfast, and my characters swear with the best of them, pussy cock dickhead shit piss motherfucking asshole buttwipe, whatever, I’m down with that, but if I have to swear into a mic, apparently, I’m shy.

Who’d a thought?

To counter this, yesterday I practiced swearing into the mic.  That is, I recorded a long, flowing, stream of creative cussing.  Now that was funny.

Hopefully, such desensitization training will allow me to record my fuck-laden manuscript without audible flinching.

Here’s a hard thing that turned out to be easy: I recorded some drumming for the intro.  That is, I learned a voodoo drumming rhythm from youtube (how cool is that? they have voodoo drumming on youtube!) and I recorded myself drumming it, several times, laying the tracks on top of each other so it would sound like a group.  Fun!  Hey, look at me, I’m a voodoo drum band!  Who would ever have thought that would be easy?

Here’s another: I made an image, a ‘book cover’ if you will, for the project.  I’m still tweaking and fiddling, so I’m not ready to post, but I had several small victories with photoshop and I’m fairly pleased with the result, so, hey…Go Me!

Creating music and visual art to accompany the text, no problem.   But talking louder (I mentioned this one in an earlier post), or swearing with gusto, or how about this one, not squeaking in my chair!  Impossible!  Or getting the pop filter (a mesh on the mic that keeps one’s ‘p’ sounds from exploding in your ear on the recording) to stay where I put it…tricky! Or getting the laptop fan sound far enough from the mic so that it doesn’t sound like I’m reading in a wind tunnel….these are the real challenges to podcasting a novel.

Not what I expected.

Anyway, I have to record an intro and an outro, lay them down with the drumming, and slap them onto Chapter One (already recorded), and I’ll be done with episode one.  I need to speed the process up—I want to be making an episode a week—but I’m climbing a steep learning curve, so I’m pretty pleased with how it’s all going.

Stay tuned…

in which i discover i have a southern accent

I’m moving ahead with my podcast-my-novel project!  And I finally got a chance to play with my new mic yesterday.  Fun!  In an attempt to learn what all the buttons do and how Garageband works, I recorded myself at various settings, making silly noises, sneezing, etc.  I discovered my chair is REALLY loud (note to self: get quiet chair).  I also realized I am terribly embarrassed when I am caught doing all of this.  Which is something I better get over if I’m really going to perform a 400 page novel. (Why didn’t I pick a shorter novel to do this with, for heaven’s sake?)  Recording one’s self, it turns out, is an odd mixture of private and performance.

My biggest realization, though, is in that last sentence—reading a novel for an audio book is a performance.

Oh, shit.

I mean, I’ve read a bunch of books out loud to people over the years, and I’ve been told I’m decent at it, so I figured, hey, record a reading of one of my books?  Sure, I can do that.  But holy cow, what is it about recording it, what is it about me hearing myself, that brings out all the detailed flaws in my reading?

Like my southern accent!  What?  I have very little accent compared to most of my family and neighbors, having grown up in places like Hawaii—but that darn mic is picking up Eastern North Carolina in my every word.  Um, is that going to work for a novel that has a big chunk that takes place in San Fransisco?  Maybe I should have gotten a less-sensitive mic?  Or how about how I talk so softly?  At least I seem to when recording.  I’ve got to train myself to speak up—but then I run up against being embarrassed again.  Oy.  Or how about the character I repeatedly describe in the text as having a gravely voice, deep, even growling?  There is NO way my voice box can reproduce that.  None.

So, my best bet is going to have to try to make my voice disappear, that is, fade into the background of the story.

Is this possible?

I’ve been loading up my ipod with old audio books I have loved, trying to parse out the various reader’s tricks.  Honestly, the kind of audio book where I am not thinking about the reader at all really are my favorite.  I don’t like audio books with music in the background or sound effects—such things always distracts me.  Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, so I focus on the words.

But whatever, I’m realizing there is much more of an art to reading a book than I had realized.

Which is to say, I’m having a bunch of fun trying to figure this all out.

When I was a kid, I had one of those shoebox sized tape recorders that I just adored.  I used to go around recording interviews with people, or singing songs, as if it were a radio, doing news reports, comedy hours, commercials for made-up products.  It was a blast.  I had forgotten about that.   I think this new project taps into that same enjoyment. How cool is that?  To recover a childhood game in an adult format….

I love finding some new fun to play with.

Now I just have to give up an hour or two of sleep a night so I can actually do it.

No problem.

podiobooks anyone?

In other news, I’m thinking about podcasting one of my novels. Just for fun. Although today I’ve been in and out of the tech-world, trying to fix my blog editor problem—turns out it’s a bug in the PHP my host uses, whatever the fuck that means, so I can’t fix it anyway, they have to—which doesn’t make the idea of another tech project seem so shiny. But that will pass. And I’ve been turning around the pod-novel idea for about a year now. My how time flies when you’re doing other things!

audiobook + podcast = podiobook

Basically, I would create an mp3 recording of me, reading one of my books, a chapter at a time, and then post the chapters/episodes up for podcatchers everywhere to download and enjoy. A bit of tech-learning-curve and I’d have to buy a mic. But it would be cool to have some listeners, and maybe some comments. I’ve got no ulterior motives beyond that, as in, “Podcasting, the path to fame and riches!” Oh, yeah. But, as my various manuscripts wind their way through the dungeons and towers of the publishing world, in the meantime, maybe I could do this podiobook thing, have some fun, and maybe find a few readers, er, I mean listeners. Maybe.

Anyway, I’m in the Research stages at the moment, we’ll see if I move into the Taking Action stages.

Because, when would I do this? In the middle of the night? But here’s the thing: I woke up from a dream the other day where I was certain this was The Thing To Do. Do I dare ignore such a dream?

(It’s all probably a distraction from beginning Draft Three of the current novel in progress which is finally, finally, shaping up into something I find kinda cool. But the twist it took to get there is hard. I mean, hard for me to write. So I’m flailing a bit. Which is fine, that’s how it goes, I can flail. I’m an excellent flailer.)

If I do decide to do it, podcast a novel, I’m thinking the semi-trashy vampire novel of last year. Plenty of action seems like a good plan in a serialized format such as a podiobook. But here’s the Other thing: would I be able to read the sex scenes out loud without cracking up?

Doubtful.

Update: When Evo Terra, one of the founders of podiobooks.com and coiner of the phrase, left me a comment on this post today, I realized I had neglected to do the obvious, which was link to podiobooks.com, the biggest hub of serialized podcasted novels on the web. Duh. Thanks for stopping by, Evo!