Sit back, put your feet up, and listen…

An audio version of your writing is an interpretation of your characters that extends out to others, a shared experience.

A writer, releasing her work into the world, gives her characters over to the readers. We have our own idea of their personalities, their appearance, their voices, but what we see and hear will not be what the reader sees and hears.

But an audio version of your work – that’s an interpretation of your characters that extends out to others, a shared experience. I’ve had other work read before on podcasts, but Benjamin Kelman’s reading of the first chapter of my novella Oraiáphon surpassed them. He has given his own versions of personality to my characters, surprising me with some, but in the end completely pleasing me.

Here’s the link. You’ll need about half an hour, but please, listen to his other readings too on Stories to Drive By. You won’t be disappointed.

Oraiáphon

I might have just left this story to the reader’s imagination, except three things happened.

Some myths are true

Orpheus with his lute made trees,

and the mountain tops that freeze,

bow themselves when he did sing:

To his music plants and flowers

ever sprung; as sun and showers t

here had made a lasting spring.

Every thing that heard him play,

even the billows of the sea,

hung their heads, and then lay by.

Shakespeare; Henry VIII

Without readers, where would writers be? We are storytellers, and while I like telling my characters’ stories to myself, I prefer telling them to other people. But some of those readers become highly invested in the characters, and want to know more.

The last book of the Empire’s Legacy trilogy ended on an ambiguous note, with an epilogue that makes things clearer (for most readers. Some truly didn’t get it, even then.) But between the end of the last chapter and the brief epilogue is a three-year gap, and some important things happened in that time. I might have just left them to the reader’s imagination, except three things happened.

One was that in beginning the next, related trilogy, I realized there were a couple of major backstory pieces that had to be explained, and two, quite a few of my readers begged to know what happened in those missing years. The third consideration was that I was switching narrators (I write in 1st person), and while readers knew my new MC as a supporting character from the first trilogy, I thought they needed an opportunity to get to know him a bit better.

So I wrote those loyal readers a story that I hope meets their wishes, explains the backstory, and moves the character Sorley from supporting actor to a leading role. It launches February 29th in all markets. Here are the links:

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

A review of Jazz, by Cristian Mihai

One of the gifts of retirement is more time to read, and to read genres, authors, and works I may never have chosen before. I’m going to try to focus on works by my indie author compatriots, although not exclusively.  This will be an occasional series of posts – I’m not going to promise a schedule I can’t keep to!  But here’s the first review.

Jazz, by Cristian Mihai (2012)

Jazz is a Fitzgerald-esque novella by indie writer Cristian Mihai, set in New York and Paris. Mihai’s writing invokes both a strong sense of place and creates a mood of film noir, of smoky jazz bars and rainy nights on city streets.

Focused on the unrequited love of the narrator, Chris, for the beautiful, cryptic Amber, the novella’s title sets both the mood and the tempo; all through it I kept hearing Charlie Parker as the soundtrack. Like a piece by the great Bird, when it was finished, I was left with a feeling of melancholy, and of knowing there were more parts to the whole than I had been able to comprehend the first time through. There is nothing new in this story – rather it is a story very very old – but the way it is told makes it well worth reading.

There are occasional and minor mis-steps in the choice of words or sentence structure, but overall they do not diminish this short work. The e-book is available from Amazon and Smashwords for about the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and it would be the perfect accompaniment to a good espresso on a wet afternoon. Strongly recommended.

This is an independent review, not sought by the author nor written for any benefit. The opinions stated here are mine alone.