So, has my novel given me the means to live my dream of being a reclusive, eccentric, wine collecting writer living in the wilderness somewhere a hundred miles past nowhere?
Short answer: Alas, no.
Although I’m chuffed to bits with how my first novel is doing and the cool reviews, comments, and messages I’ve received from many happy readers around the world, the royalty payments have yet to afford me the chance to leave the concrete hell of city life and plant my feet firmly on mother nature’s untainted green carpet. But then it was a first novel, self-published by a nobody, so to expect untold riches to fall at my feet would be inviting reality to kick me squarely in the…well, not likely to happen is my meaning. Yes, this post is a bit on the melancholy and self-pitying side, but we all have off-days, and anyway: it’s my website, and I like to write down my thoughts, good’n’bad, and I’m thinking aloud, and, and, and… (Puts the pills to one side…takes a gulp of wine…has a long vape…and continues with forced optimism.)
Pull yourself together man. Talk about the good stuff
Well, the serialisation of my novel is going well, of which I will also be adding professional audio narration to each chapter once I am able—I would add it now, if it were not for the stupid decision I made about going exclusively with ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange). Thankfully, this twelve month agreement runs out soon; it was my fault, I should have thought about my game plan a bit better and chosen to go non-exclusive, so I could have made my audiobook available elsewhere from the start (including on my website). Nevermind, you live and learn. Don’t get me wrong, ACX is a fantastic way to make an audiobook version of a written work, but it can be hard to stand out from other works that are either: from established authors, or from publishers with massive advertising budgets that enable them to get the word out.
I have no regrets about going the self-publishing route, as I’m able to publish my work the way I choose to, with no unwanted interference (and I’m a control freak). I’m glad that I chose to forgo buying a new car and instead used the money to pay upfront for a professional voice artist to make my audiobook, because if I’d chosen to try to get a producer to create the audiobook for a royalty share of the profits, I would find it difficult, if not impossible to get out of the exclusivity agreement… I’m counting down the days.
What happened to the movie script for Ama?
I have started writing the movie script for Ama, but quickly realised that I need to learn a lot more about scriptwriting before jumping into that particular ocean. And since the sequence of events of the story will be slightly different in the movie script from that of the book, I don’t want to spoil things for anyone who is currently reading the serialisation.
Adding audio to my poems and short stories is fun
When I was writing Ama and planning how I was going to go about making the audiobook version, I dreamed of how wonderful it would be to record it myself. I bought a top-notch microphone (RODE NT1-A Condenser Microphone) and set about designing the recording studio I was going to build in my spare room. Brimming with excitement, I decided to have a go at recording myself reading one of the finished chapters… Bloody hell! I thought with dismay a few hours later, is that really what I sound like? No one is going to want to spend hours listening to that voice (I have a Bristolian accent tinged with an unfortunate lisp, and when anxiety or frustration creeps-in I acquire a slight stutter). I quickly acquiesced and paid someone else to do it, someone with better oratory skills than I.
Since then, my sparkly microphone has rested in its box… Until recently, when I thought, come on Danny, give it another go. Practice, practice, PRACTICE! Thankfully Audacity—the free software program I use to edit my recordings—is fantastic at polishing the sound quality and removing my mistakes. I’m having to make multiple recordings of the same piece of text though, before I’m happy with the result, but that’s okay. I’m now enjoying the process of making the audio accompaniment for my writing, it’s also good practice in preparation for making the audiobook version of my next book; yep, that’s right, I’m going to narrate my next novel. If you want to find out how my practice is going, click here to hear me read my short story ‘Dead’.
The dream journal?
Obviously I’ve had dreams since my last dream journal entry, but they have been fragmented and I haven’t been taking the time needed, when I awake, to remember them; subsequently I tend to quickly forget these sparse fragments altogether. I think the problem is also that I find it difficult to stick to a sleep pattern that is acceptable to my circadian rhythm, and my brain rebels by deleting my dreamtime wanderings out of spite. I need to give myself a metaphorical kick up the arse to work harder at pushing the off button on my computer before the witches take to their brooms.
There is much more that I could write, as my brain is constantly chattering away, but I think that’ll do for now, so I’ll say cheery-bye.