Category: About Writing



In my last entry I explained how I had settled on the idea of Parallel Realities for the premise of the series. But what could I do with it that was new and different? Well as Doctor Who would say, “This is where things get a bit tricky.”   

 We all know that a lot of choices are man-made, but events are also a major player in our world and our lives.  There’s an old school of thought that says, for whatever choices we make another alternate timeline exists where a version of ourselves exists who follows the path not taken.  I began pondering this concept and asked myself, “What if not just choice could lead to a parallel reality?  What if events that didn’t happen in our reality, did happen in another reality?  And what might be the consequences and effects of that event?”  This idea really intrigued me and I began to think about the concept on a much LARGER and OLDER scale…

 Current theory says that that moon we all know and love was made as a result of an event that took place in Earth’s very early childhood, long before the first dinosaurs or any life-forms evolved.  At the time our planet was much bigger than we know it to be now and it was hot and molten.  Then another planet called Thea crashed into our world and literally knocked the stuffing out of us.  Debris was scattered into space and floated there for centuries while the two worlds slowly fused into the size and shape we know now.  As for the debris, caught in the new Earth’s gravity it circled around our world and slowly coalesced and formed the moon we all know and love.  This also explains why moon rocks brought back by our visits showed the same compositions as are found here on Earth.


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With this thought in mind, suddenly all the beings and entities I had been thinking about writing suddenly became more real to me.  They weren’t aliens from other worlds, or magical demons from other dimensions, they were Earth beings.  Just not from this reality.  They came from alternate Earths where either the creation of the moon or some other kind of cosmic event (an asteroid that missed us in this reality, actually struck and brought some microbes, or some other kind of calamity) changed that other Earth’s development which in turn altered what kind of life might or might not evolve.  I quickly realized that the possibilities were endless and that I wouldn’t have to limit myself to just one alternate version of Earth.  I’d have dozens or hundreds available for storylines…  In that moment I came up with the phrase Para-Earths.

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Of course this led to new questions from Helen such as how do these beings slip out of their versions of Earth and into ours?  Do people from our Earth wind up slipping into those alternate earths?  Are the beings from these Para-Earths malevolent, friendly, or simply following basic instinct like herbivores and carnivores, etc.


As for the how they manage to intrude into our reality I proposed thinking of reality as a tree with loads of branches.  If you actually look closely you will find that branches of course give birth to new branches and in turn to the same, and so on.  Yet a number of these branches will rub up against each other at one time or another. 


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Now if you picture Earth as we know it to be one branch, and one of those Para-Earths as another branch, they too can brush up against each other and a doorway opens between the two.  In my writings, this is a naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs every so often.  The reason no one notices is that it doesn’t always happen when someone’s around to see it, from either this Earth or the Para-Earth that is brushing up against us.  Sort of like the old “If a tree falls down in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?” concept.  Even though no one witnessed it, the event happens.  But occasionally someone is there and they see something strange in the woods or out of the corner of their eye.  However, the timing of the opening can be short or long so by the time that person who saw something out of the corner of their eye can turn to focus on what caught their attention the event is already over.  Other times, they stare and stare, or maybe they walk towards it and suddenly the doorway closes and they’re left wondering if they need glasses or to stop drinking.


Our first two stories (“The Bridge” and “The Ship”) focused on two occasions when many years ago two openings lasted long enough for strange beings from two different Para-Earths entered our world and got stuck here.

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​​ The third book of the Para-Earth Series, called “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, wound up becoming the first Young Adult (or Y A) novel of the series. Originally it was planned to be simply a continuation the overall series, but early readers pointed out that two of the main characters were teenagers and did a majority of the storytelling. So Helen and I decided to make “The Vampyre Blogs”, and any future installments a Y A branch of the Para-Earth Series.

In this novel, we decided to focus on a man from our Earth being the one who briefly landed in a Para-Earth reality, and the consequences of his encountering a particular type of life form that would forever change his existence, even after he returned to his own world. 

Thanks to the introduction of the characters from “The Vampyre Blogs” we were able to create an anthology of short stories in “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time”.

As the name implies, the stories focus mostly on the characters from “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home.” However, it also allowed us to bring in some familiar faces from “The Bridge” and “The Ship”, cementing the idea that both series do take place in the same reality. This anthology, also allowed us to lay the groundwork for new recurring characters that would appear in future installments of both the regular series and the YA books.      

Of course there are many more stories to come.  Helen and I are currently working on a second anthology that will still mainly focuses on characters from “The Vampyre Blogs”, but will also feature characters from “The Bridge” and “The Ship”.  The collection is currently titled “The Vampyre Blogs – Two For the Road”. 


As for plans of any major crossover where all the main characters from both sides of the series come together, we’re pleased to say there is one currently being developed.  

In the meantime, Helen and I hope you enjoy the stories we’ve already put before you.  Let each tale open your imagination and fill it with wonder.  There are rules and science behind a lot of the lifeforms you will encounter in these books, and we will do our best to explain them.  In fact, we will be eventually adding another section to the blog called “Encyclopedia Para-Earth” or something along those lines where Helen will go into the science aspects of our series, exploring certain creatures we use and their real-life counterparts from the real world.


We’d also like you all to keep in mind that not every Para-Earth being we introduce to you and our characters will be hostile. Some are simply strangers in a strange world, and just because their appearance may be monstrous, does not mean they are.  In some cases, you may find yourselves being introduced to lifeforms that have become the stuff of legends in our reality.   So strap in and join the adventure, you never know who or what you might meet along the way.

Until next time, keep writing!

You can find our books (with the exception of “The Bridge” which is still being reworked but will return soon) at these online stores:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

AMAZON CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B074CFSCLB?binding=kindle_edition&ref=dbs_dp_rwt_sb_pc_tukn

BARNES AND NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Allan%20Krummenacker%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search?query=allan%20krummenacker&ac=1&acp=allan%20krummenacker&ac.author=allan%20krummenacker&sort=PublicationDateDesc

APPLE: https://books.apple.com/us/author/allan-krummenacker/id594053831


With the 10 year anniversary mark of the release of our first book “The Bridge” on the horizon (next year to be precise), we thought it might be nice to share with you all just how this journey began.  Where did the ideas for the Para-Earth Series come from?  Who and what inspired the concept?  And finally, for those who haven’t had the opportunity to actually read any of the books but are curious to know more, what IS a Para-Earth?  To answer all these questions, let’s begin with a familiar opening from a very familiar television show from the 1960’s…

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“Submitted for your approval…” these are the opening words written and spoken for the Twilight Zone by its creator Rod Serling.  In that place, people found themselves facing death, adventure, revelation, terror, or even worse… themselves.   So in the spirit of the late Mr. Serling, today’s entry is submitted for the approval of all our readers (whoever and wherever you may come from) as I guide you through the process of how the Para-Earth Series came into being.


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In the early 1900’s Mr. Howard Phillip Lovecraft (often referred to as HP Lovecraft) created a series of stories that would come to be known as the Cthulhu Mythos.  In these tales, the audience was introduced to beings from not only outer space, and some cases out of time.  Some of these creatures were here on Earth long before man ever took his first breath.  Yet as familiar as the names of Great Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlothep and others, these were actually only a part of his fantastic imagination. 

Wizards, alchemy and magic also played a large part of his writings. So did tales where human nature reverting to something more primitive and sinister, without help or influence from Cthulhu and his kin.   

Mr. Lovecraft also dabbled in tales of science such as the ultraviolet wave machine that revealed things of such malice and horror that it was only by the saving grace of a barrier neither we nor they saw, that kept us safe. 


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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, more well-known for his famous detective Sherlock Holmes, also dabbled in tales of the incredible.  In one story he created a jungle in the air where beings existed among the clouds (mind you this was the time of bi-planes and early mono-planes when aviation was still taking its early steps into adulthood).  In this setting, many of these creatures were merely curious, while others seemed almost playful.  But like any jungle, this setting had predators.  Luckily these ‘air jungles’ were in pockets scattered above us, which was why most flying machines of his day passed untouched and safe.  But occasionally… well you get the idea.

 All of these stories, along with many others were floating in my head when I first conceived my fictional reality.  I knew I wanted to create something that had numerous possibilities for expansion, yet still have a thread that connected all the stories that were to come.  There were to be intrusions into our reality, but why and where from eluded me. 

My brain kept going back to Mr. Lovecraft’s tale of the ultraviolet wave machine that revealed beings existing side-by-side to us, just out of sight by laws of reality we never suspected.  This held a lot of promise, but I felt as if I were intruding upon the works of a great man who cast a shadow as large, or even larger, than Great Cthulhu himself.

Then I read an introduction in one of the Lovecraft collection of stories, by Robert Bloch, another great writer I truly admire.  I quickly learned that Mr. Bloch was not only a contemporary of Lovecraft, but a friend.  And in this introduction he extrapolated upon the various aspects of Lovecraft’s own life and how they became part of his writing world.  One of those aspects was dreams. 

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In that instant, I thought about some dreams of my own.

Now I don’t know if I’m an ‘experienced dreamer’ like Lovecraft’s Randolph Carter or just an average one.  But time and again there are certain types of dreams we all seem to share at some point.  Those are dreams where we are living a very different life from the one we know in our waking hours. In these dreams, family and friends are readily recognizable to us.  We’ll even meet some who were merely part of our childhood, and long since parted ways.  Yet in these dreams they can show up and we know everything about them as if we never parted. In fact, an entire life’s history is known to us in these dreams where we are single, married to our real-life partners, or to someone you never would have thought of as a love interest.  In other cases you might be in love or married to someone you’ve never even met, but in that dream and in that moment, you know everything about them.  Then we wake up, back in our beds in this reality.  Naturally the dreams fade from memory and we’re sometimes left with feelings of having lost something, while at the same time we wonder, ‘Where did all of that come from?  Was it the burrito?  The pizza and the late night talk show circuit?’

In my case I began to wonder if maybe it was something more…

The realism in those dreams, at least in my case, were so remarkable that I could wake up with a feeling of having had a breathtaking experience, or even a terrifying one.  Sights and even touch seemed so real to the point that if something unexpected or unnerving happens I would react physically and jolt myself awake. 


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I then began to wonder aloud about the theory of parallel realities.  One school of thought is that for every choice we don’t make here, it’s made elsewhere.  So I began to wonder, what if a part of our mind (which is still vastly uncharted) had slipped over to one of those parallel worlds and we were inside the version of ourselves that lived there.  This would explain why we seem to have a full set of memories in the dream and know those who appear, even though in ‘the real world’ we’ve never met those people.  In short, what if we were getting a chance to see and know what had happened if we had made those other choices.

At this point, my imagination was really getting fired up.  Some kind of parallel reality setting held a lot of possibilities for me.  However, it is also an area that has been explored so many times in books, short stories, movies and TV.  What could I bring that would be knew and fascinating for readers?  If I were to aim in this direction it had to be something new and different, something audiences had never encountered before.TO BE CONTINUED…

*In the meantime you can find our books at these online stores:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MFAGI7H/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

AmazonUK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MFAGI7H/ref=series_rw_dp_sw/260-5035469-8373252

Smashwords (Nook, Apple, Sony, Kobo, PDF)https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Allan%20Krummenacker%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall


With the holidays over and all audio recording projects edited and out there, Helen and I have finally had time to settle down and work on rewriting the first book in our Para-Earths series “The Bridge”. As you know from previous entries, the last ‘edited’ files that we published got corrupted without our knowledge, so when I found out I took it down from all sites (which is why you cannot find it now). But rest assured work has begun and some ‘technical’ changes are being made to the new edition which will be released next year 2023. Originally I planned on re-releasing it this year as a special 10th anniversary edition, only to discover that while I put a 2012 copyright year in the original version, it never actually reached Amazon or any of the other outlets until 2013.  So to keep with calling it the 10th Anniversary edition, we all have to wait a little longer.


However, I’m not actually bothered by this delay. Because reworking the book, I’m discovering a lot of things I’d forgotten that were in the book itself.    

Yes, I know that sounds hard to believe, but when you’ve gotten a couple of other books under your belt, plus you’ve been providing voices for other books, some details kind of fall into the dark corners of your memory. So I’m actually kind of grateful for the opportunity to see the story with fresh eyes after so much time has passed. This time I’m trying to look at the book from a reader’s perspective, instead of as one of the authors and really see some of the errors that were made the first time around, in addition to the corruptions of the file itself.


I think most writers look back on their earlier work (especially when it’s part of an ongoing series) with a mix of pride as well as thoughts like, “Ooo… I could’ve done a better job on that section…” or “Gee, that idea was good at the time but I wound up fleshing it out so much more in later years…” And that’s where Helen and I are at, especially me since I did the majority of the actual writing at the time. Simply put, the more you write, the more your style matures and that’s something you will be seeing in this 10th Anniversary edition.


Mind you, we’re not rewriting every single word or scene. But we will be making adjustments and possibly making certain areas ‘cleaner’ for you the readers. It will also make things easier for me and Helen when we start the audio recording part of the project.  

Yes, you read that right, we’re going to be releasing an Audible version of “The Bridge” as part of the 10th Anniversary release.

And for those who are Audible fans, yes this means that the rest of the Para-Earths Series will also be getting turned into Audiobooks as well. How soon? That depends on a couple of factors. The first being: getting Helen used to the microphone and software to the point she feels more satisfied with her voice performances. I think she’s pretty good, but like any artist, she’s her own worst critic. Secondly, I’m also considering enlisting the help of a few other vocal talents to help fill some of the character slots. While I have and impressive repertoire of  voices I can do (at last count I made a list of over 100 voices, and the list is still growing), and Helen is slowly coming on board, there are limits to what we can do really effectively on our own.

But getting back to the topic of  “The Bridge”, being reminded of all that had taken place in this first story, I’m discovering new pathways to take the upcoming books in the series. You see, part of the reason things have slowed down on “The Door” so much is, I keep finding myself hitting pockets of writer’s block that I haven’t been able to fully get around. And now I think part of the reason for all that writer’s block has been a part of my brain has been telling me I need to go back to the original source material to find the correct path forward. 

So this ‘rewrite’ is actually serving more than one purpose, and I feel much more at ease with the whole thing. I don’t see it as much as ‘correcting mistakes’, but a chance to polish the book that made brought the entire series to life, as well as finding how to keep the series growing and be consistent.

That’s all for now. So until next time, take care, stay safe, and keep writing and recording my friends.


 A whole year of planning, working, sweating, and it still wasn’t enough. 

For those who are wondering, I’m referring to my unabridged dramatic reading of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”. My plan was to unveil the finished project as a picture book on YouTube. Besides spending hours recording voices, some sound effects, finding music in public domain, as well as dozens of images (also in the public domain) created over the last 150 years since the book’s creation… and I still couldn’t quite get it across the Finish Line. At least not in time for this Christmas. 

All I have left to do is film an opening and closing to the project, but between work and other audio and writing projects, I just couldn’t do it justice this year. 

Now some of you might be asking yourselves, why? Why was this so important to you?  After all, there are so many versions available of the story available on YouTube, streaming services, Blue-Ray, DVD, etc. 

Well the answer is, none of them are ‘complete’. There are a number of powerful speeches and even scenes that more often than not, wind up on the cutting room floor. There have also been new scenes created and added to the films that cannot be found in the original story at all. After having read the book cover to cover myself a few years back, I started finding myself reading certain scenes with a variety of different voices for each character. And yes, this is when I really started taking the idea of doing voice over work more seriously. I was having so much fun with these characters and that it took me a while to realize I was drawing upon techniques and skills I learned in my l theater class during my last year of high school. I learned so much in that one year, and I have often found myself regretting I hadn’t taken the class sooner and then taken one of the more advanced classes afterwards. Still, I thank my lucky stars and my teacher Mrs. Nina Pfeffer for all her patience and guidance. I learned so much from her.

So after Helen convinced me to bring her books to life in audio, I went back to the idea of doing the same for Mr. Scrooge and company. Helen often refers to me as her “Voice Time Machine”, since I can do so many voices of actors who are no longer with us, which allows her to ‘cast’ the characters from her books and helps her in turn bring them more to life in her writing. And believe me I drew upon a lot of voices of actors both living and dead, to my project. 

And in spite of having a whole year to work on “A Christmas Carol” I could not anticipate back and hip problems which kept me from my ‘recording studio’ and sitting at the desk to edit either images/audio recordings for weeks at a time. 

Then of course there were other projects that needed my attention as well. I’m wrapping up my 3rd audiobook narration as I write. I also created a couple of book covers over the last 12 months, as well as feeding 3 blogs with material as well. One of those is “The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition” where I’ve been writing short stories involving our Para-Earths vampyre Nathan and his friends.  

Link: https://www.thevampyreblogs.com/ (Blogger site) 

         https://thevampyreblogs.blog/ (WordPress site – same content as the Blogger site, but I                     know some people find WordPress easier to work with)

With so much going on, I can’t feel too bad about not finishing my “A Christmas Carol” project. There’s only so many hours in the day, and only so much of me…

Therefore my New Year’s Resolution will be to keep being ambitious, but give myself leeway to scale back and not be too hard on myself if I can’t get all that I want to done. 


And I do have plans for this coming year, oh yes indeed. Here’s a little list:

1- Re-work, re-edit, and re-release “The Bridge” in a special 10th Anniversary version.

2  – Get a complete 1st draft of “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties” which takes up mere weeks after
      the end of  “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.

 3 – Release the first volume of “The Pass” trilogy, which I wrote with my old high school friend Rich
      Caminiti, with some fantastic illustrations by the talented Gabrielle Callan. We will be releasing 
      this book in hardback (yes, your read that right) and e-book formats. 

NOTE: This one is a definite. The book is already written Gabrielle just getting the last of the artwork completed along with the cover

4 – Rich and I will be working on the 2nd and 3rd drafts of the second installment of “The Pass” trilogy      with hopes of releasing that book in 2023.         

*The 1st draft is already completed so we have high hopes of getting this to happen*

5 – Record and release Helen’s 1st solo anthology “Forever W. I. T. C. H. Hunting”, which is actually a spinoff from her Forever Detective Series and will feature characters from that series as well as a few new faces who will be appearing in future installments of The Forever Detective books.

6 – I hope to begin recording “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” with the help of Helen to bring more variety of voices for your listening pleasure.

7 – We may start adding some podcasts occasionally to this blog and maybe even to YouTube. We have
      the equipment and the ability to do it, so you may actually get to see and hear us once in a while.

8 – Finally, I’m starting to look into voiceover work opportunities for myself this coming year. I’m 
      already on LinkedIn and have seen opportunities becoming more numerous, as well as over on
      Audible. There are apparently opportunities here in and around Santa Cruz, so I may be trying 
      out for a few here and there. It all depends on time and how many spoons I can spare without 
      burning myself out.

So there you have it everyone. We’ll see how much I actually accomplish, but time and life will tell. I’m not sure how easy the new year will be starting out with our regular jobs as we’re having labor issues with management this time around. So there’s a strong possibility of disruptions in our lives in the coming month. So if I go quiet for a while, you’ll know why.

We’ll see what happens. But in the meantime, we hope the holiday season has been treating you well and that you all have a joyful and wondrous New Year come the end of this week.

Stay safe, and keep writing and recording dear friends.


For some time Helen and I have been considering adding some new things to this blog. After I did the series of how to record audiobooks, I still got a number of requests for more details about creating Chain Commands, where do I find such-and-such function on my ACX, etc. And I realized that perhaps some more detailed visuals such as videos where I’m actually recording an audiobook, then sharing my computer screen so people could see exactly how I remove unwanted sounds, mistakes, and even adjust the recording to meet ACX approval requirements would prove more helpful.

At the same time, Helen started asking about doing some videos with us interviewing each other (as authors, and in my case a voiceover artist), as well as having other people guest on podcast-like videos for a question and answer session. She also brought up the topic of not just bringing authors on, but bloggers, artists and creative folks who would like to share their work and thought processes along with some demonstrations.

I thought this all made sense. After all the name of the blog is the Musings of 2 Creative Minds, talking and sharing with other creative minds seems like a good fit. So we’re asking all of you, our readers and followers, to please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. If the overall response is a resounding “Yes”, we’ll see about getting things set up to begin in January. (I originally thought about sooner, but the holiday season is fast approaching and we have a lot planned out already, and so do most folks so beginning the new year off with a bang seems more appropriate).

We’re looking forward to hearing what you all have to say. So until next time take care, stay, safe and keep writing and recording everyone!


 Hello everyone, we hope you’ve all been doing well. It’s been quite a week around here, or a couple of them actually. Both Helen and I got our 2nd Moderna shots, and both of us felt pretty crummy in the following days. Unfortunately, in my case a nerve problem in my back became exacerbated to the point that I’ve not been to work all this past week, and next week isn’t looking to great either. My doctor is trying to line me up with an MRI to see what’s going on. 

But in the meantime, I tried to take my mind off my discomfort by being busy. In this case it meant finishing the final edits on the collaboration with my high school friend Rich Caminiti, and lo and behold… the 2nd draft is now finished and in the hands of beta-readers. 

If you’re wondering what the book is about, here’s a little hint:

Was it just bad luck and weather that doomed the Donner Party in 1846, or was it something ‘else’, something evil and powerful? And is it still there waiting to help bring about the fall of the Union army during the final years of the Civil War?

Conspiracy and Intrigue meet Asian mythology, Native American folklore, and something as old as Earth itself in the first installment of this epic trilogy that spans the continent and distant shores.

From the initial responses people are finding the story… well, here’s a few quotes “Amazing!”, “I’ve never read anything like it before… it’s incredible”, “When can I buy a finished copy?”

So Rich and I are feeling pretty good about it so far, but we still have to wait for people to finish reading the first book and give us the rest of their feedback. Plus, a third/final draft will still need to be completed after we’ve heard back from everyone, and especially our editor. The book will also contain pen and ink drawings by the fabulous Gabrielle Callan who supplied the image you see above. You can find more of her work at this link:

https://www.gabriellecallan.com/

But my achievements did not end there. I also completed the edits and submitted my third narrator job to ACX (which is the gateway to getting it onto Audible) just 4 days ago. The book in question is my wife’s 3rd novel from her 5-star rated “Forever Detective” book series;

Rafael Jones is always a little out of his depth in rural settings, but he’s not just a detective, he’s also undead. He can’t ignore the call from the Saratoga County coroner when she mentions the bite marks found on several drowning victims during the spring and summer of 1947.

However, he knows his weaknesses (sunlight, running water, and a woeful lack of country manners), so he isn’t working alone. His slowly developing powers and quick wits may not be a match for something old, strong in magic, and completely cursed.

The entire series can be found at Amazon in Kindle, Paperback, and Audible at:


The Forever Detective Series

But the fun didn’t stop there, yes there is still more to report:

I also finished editing the first “Stave” (chapter) of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”. This is the same project I’ve mentioned before where I read/dramatize the unabridged version of the classic tale. The first chapter weighs in at between 40 and 45 minutes long, and the next 3 chapters will probably be coming in at the same length. The final chapter will be shorter, but not enough to leave the viewer unsatisfied.

Viewer? That’s right. I will be releasing this project on YouTube complete with images from public domain and copyright-free sources (who I will be crediting of course), to give you all an enjoyable experience this Christmas. I will also be making a strictly audio version for those who might be interested as well. 

So for someone who has been having difficulty being on his feet even for short periods, I’ve been pretty productive for the last week. In fact, I’m still kind of shaking my head just writing this. I think setting myself some goals of what I specifically wanted to accomplish this year has been paying off. It’s helped me keep focus better, otherwise I’d be jumping from one project in process to another, while getting very few actually finished.

Well, this is only April so let’s see what else I can get done in the coming months.

Helen has been busy too, having completed her fourth novel in the Forever Detective series. This one is a Christmas tale titled “Forever Festive” and will be coming out in November. This one involves her private detective/turned vampire Rafael Jones heading home to spend the holidays with his folks, who haven’t seen him since he got back from the war trials over in Nuremberg. Besides trying to figure out how to keep his condition a secret, he’s also got a new missing person case that’s literally Heaven sent. After all, who else does a Guardian Angel turn to for help in finding one of their charges who is suddenly being hidden from their angelic sight?

We’ve already got a cover design in mind and will be working on that in the coming days and weeks, while her book is gone over by her editor/proofreader. And yes, I will be turning that into an audio as well so it too can be available in time for the Christmas season.

She is also working on an anthology for her spin-off series ” W I T C H Hunters” which is an organization that has been mentioned to Rafael more than once. These tales will involve members who have actually appeared in the “Forever Detective Series”, or have been mentioned in passing. But in these tales we will get to meet and see them in action. Several of the tales are already completed and more are well under way. So stay tuned for more on this front.

That is all I have for now, my back is hurting and I need down time. But we will be updating you on more very soon.
So until next time, stay tuned and keep writing/recording my friends.

Blooper Reel Time


As you all know, I’ve been busy recording audiobooks at home. I’ve already gotten “Forever’s Too Long”, my wife Helen’s first solo novel, published on Audible where it received a 5-star review. So of course I was eager to turn another of her books into audio as well.  So I began recording her second book “Forever Haunted”. 

Now having shared on this blog all the technical aspects that I use to record the books, I thought it might be fun to share one or two… um… a few? Oh hell, I make a LOT of mistakes and I run into some other ‘obstacles’ that I thought might help prepare you all for some of what you might encounter. 

So, here’s the first (of what I suspect will be a growing library) of my blooper outtakes…

Now remember folks, “We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical…” Sorry, I’m slipping into the “Outer Limits” show.

Anyway, you get the idea. We control how we edit our work. We can re-record, adjust the quality of the recording, cut out the ‘oops’ moments, etc. You can make a hundred mistakes, and yet still end up with a really clean product that people will enjoy.

And remember, “Never give up and never surrender….” oh, great now I’ve slipped into “Galaxy Quest”.

Keep writing and recording my friends. And yes, there will be more about the technical aspects of recording will be coming soon.


5 out of 5 stars
06-25-20
OVERALL – 5 Stars
PERFORMANCE – 5 Stars
STORY – 5 Stars
 

 

Good plot with smart characters

Nice to have a story that isn’t based on the inattention or inability of the protagonists. Please continue releasing the series!
 
 

                                

And so it has finally happened, after months and months of researching how to make an audiobook, getting the equipment, rehearsing, learning how to control one’s voice for quality, pacing yourself, being sure of clarity when you speak, consistency in volume, learning how to edit the recordings and meet ACX’s requirements, and finally getting your work made available on Audible. This in and of itself is a huge achievement. But no one tells you about what comes next…

Waiting to see the audience’s reaction to your work.

I don’t mind telling you all that I was a nervous wreck. It’s one thing to have friends, family telling you that it sounded good to them. But what about strangers, people who listen to Audible books all the time who have become ‘experts’ on how an audiobook should sound and make them feel? That is the moment of truth for any voice actor. So seeing this review sent my spirits soaring. I’m still well past the moon and coming close to Mars… ooo, I think I can see the Mars Rover’s from here. Thank goodness their not aiming up with their cameras, God only knows what the techs down at mission control would think.

Now, I just want to say a few things about reviews over on Audible. As you can see in the top of this post, Audible has not just one but three review criteria, allowing the reviewer to cover not just the story but other aspects of the audiobook, including Performance. This of course is the big one for voice actor/actresses. Seeing what the listener thought of how good a job I did narrating/performing the piece meant the world to me.

Now, I’ve listened to a number of audiobooks, many done by professionals like Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Derek Jacobi, James Marsters, as well as others whose names I had never heard before. And many of them were excellent. I really got caught up in the story. However, I’ve also run across one or two where the performer did a great job in enunciation, volume, clarity, etc. yet felt very ‘flat’ at the same time. They had used a monotone voice throughout the piece which was unfortunate because the story itself was very good. But I never got swept up in it, even in the more exciting dramatic moments.

I’ve covered bringing life to your performance in my previous entry about my “Adventures In Audio Recording” (Link: Adventures In Audio Recording Part VII). So I really did my best to make sure that I avoided those pitfalls in my recording, and it feels great to know I succeeded. I’m already hearing back from another listener who is still enjoying the audiobook and kept complimenting me on the different ‘voices’ I created for the various characters and (like the reviewer shown here) is eager for the upcoming audio installments of this book series. (My wife has two more books for me to record already, and is working on a fourth book in her as I write this entry).

So where do I go from here? Well, I’m doing more research to fine tune my recordings to an even higher level. I take the quality of my performances very seriously and want them to be as good as they can be, not only for myself but for my wife Helen. These books are her creation and I want to make sure I give them the kind of performance they deserve. I also hope to make my vocal talents available to others in time, and I want to give their works the same level of professionalism I give hers. But first I want to get a few more books under my ‘vocal’ belt so to speak.

Of course, as many of you know I have several books that I wrote with her in our Para-Earth Series, that are slowly being recorded as well. With luck (and a lot of hard work) I hope to have one of them ready for release on Audible just in time for the holiday season. Or at least, I hope it will work out that way. Life tends to get in the way sometimes, especially with this Covid-19 business (more about that in a separate entry).

In the meantime, I already have 1/3rd of her next book “Forever Haunted” already recorded and hope to have it completed by the end of the month. At which point I’ll start the editing process and get it submitted to ACX to be released in late September/early October. With a name like “Forever Haunted” you just know something ghostly is involved and Halloween is just the perfect time of year to release such a piece.

In the meantime, you can expect more installments in my “Adventures in Audio Recording” to be showing up on this blog. I’m also preparing a blooper video of my recording efforts for your enjoyment.

The phrase “Practice makes perfect” really comes to light when you see this video. Hopefully, some of you who are making your own audiobooks for the first time will find that it’s okay to have a mishap or a dozen. It’s just part of the process.

Until next time, take care and keep writing… and recording my friends.

Blog_Tour_banner

Today we are proud to be part of A. J. Alexander’s “Demon Tracker” Blog Tour, where we introduce you to the author and the third and newest installment to her ‘Council of Twelve’ book series.

Let’s start with getting to know the author herself, Miss Aurora Jean Alexander:

Thanks for joining us today Aurora, tell me what is your e-reading device of choice?

I’m reading on a Kindle Paperwhite

Describe your desk what does it look like?

I have a computer desk with a laptop and an extra monitor, a multifunctional printer device and books, papers, paper sketchbooks and pens, pens, pens.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

My upbringing does not have any influence on my writing. I’m writing fantasy and paranormal romance.

When did you first start writing?

I’m not sure there ever was “a start”. I learned to write at the age of four and I remember developing little stories since I’m a Kindergarten kid. In school, when others complained about essays, mine were easily 6 – 10 pages long, I enjoyed it so much.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

Writing is my passion. Writing is a way to focus my creativity on building a (hopefully) good story. Writing relaxes me, calms me, challenges me, and it makes me happy. It is a part of my life.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series and ‘Soul Taker’ is the first book of the series. Different books of the series are in different states of completed. Right now I’m writing the seventh and eighth book in the series while several are being edited or waiting with my editor.

Who are your favorite authors?

I love reading Eric van Lustbader, James Clavell, Clive Cussler, and many other famous writers. But: I read books by L.W. Smith, Merlin Fraser, Micki Peluso, Taylor Fulks, Jim Spencer, Allan Krummenacker, and many others who held me intrigued and entertained. There are so many fantastic new authors out there. I’m adding their books to my “to-read” pile. Every single one of their books can teach me a lot about writing.

Okay now you’re making me blush. Let’s get back to you. What is your writing process?

The first draft is written by hand. By typing it into the computer I am able to catch the major flaws and can correct them. After that, the manuscript goes to editing, from there to filing for copyright. Then I send it out to Beta readers. That’s how I did it with the first book in the Series, ‘Soul Taker’. Let’s see how it works out and if the process will slightly change with the next books.

Of course, there are more things in between, marketing, book cover, writing blurbs, getting a trailer done, and so on.

How do you approach cover design?

I have KJ Magical Designs, Kathryn Jenkins, who does the covers for me. She is educated in graphic design and did a wonderful job with the first book of the series. I saw her work on other books and I’m happy I decided to pick her as my cover designer for that book series.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

The answer is no. If I wasn’t happy with the book the way it is I wouldn’t call it ‘completed’. My work is completed when I’m satisfied with the book, the characters, the plot and the entire story. How can I expect readers to like it if I don’t fully stand behind my work?

If people want to follow you on social media where can they go:

Website: http://www.aurorajeanalexander.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAJAlexander/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuroraJean_A

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aurorajeanalexander

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorauroraj/

Blog: https://aurorajalexander.wordpress.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aurorajeanalexander/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/authorajalexander

Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/aurorajeanalexander

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-j-alexander-1051e4da-dbd9-4505-9423-a3a7bf9c88dc

 

Great, can we get a little peek into the book?

Of course, here you go…

AURORA_2020_DEMONTRACKER_EBOOK_150

Excerpt from Book 3 of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series – Demon Tracker

Less than twenty minutes later, I received a message from Michael. I was strictly ordered not to do anything but stay where I was. Andreas would pick me up a little later. In the meantime, I could work out in the gardens with some of the angels if I wanted to.

“I’m sorry, Zye. I must leave at once,” Uriel whispered. He kissed my cheek and was gone.

I worked out with Robbie and Daniel while Maria watched us carefully. All three of them were excellent sword fighters and we had a good time. After the workout, I rinsed the sweat off my body, dressed in black pants and a white t-shirt and went outside again to sit down and just enjoy nature for a while.

I watched frogs climbing out the pond, sparrows and hummingbirds flying and hopping all over the place and butterflies filling the air with breathtaking colors.

After a while, Andreas sat down next to me on the white bench. “Hello, Zye.”

“Hi, Andreas. I was told you were supposed to take me somewhere?”

He smiled. “Not just somewhere, Zye. You will be meeting the ‘Council of Twelve’.”

I froze. “Are you joking?”

He shook his head. “No.”

I felt my blood drain from my face.

Andreas jumped up. “Holy Mary! You’re not going to pass out on me, are you?”

I carefully stood up, testing whether my feet would still carry me.

My body trembled.

Andreas laughed. “Listen, Zye, there is no reason at all to freak out. Yes, they’re Archangels, but they won’t eat you. Don’t forget, Uriel will be there as well and he’s likely to protect you!”

I took a couple deep breaths. “Yes, he will. But what can he do when eleven others are voting against me?”

Andreas laughed. “What do you think they’d vote for? Killing you? Zye, they’re angels, standing on our side, fighting against evil. Just like what you do!”

His words made me think for a few moments before I finally replied, “I can’t help myself, Andreas. I’m still scared to death.”

He smiled mildly. “There is no reason to fear them. Of course, respect them. After all, they’re probably the most powerful individuals on Earth besides our one and only Creator. They’re not going to do anything bad or evil to you.”

I slowly tried to slow my heart rate and bring my trembles under control. “See? You’re getting better.” Andreas grinned. Then he opened his arms and offered to carry me to the assembly hall.

The so-called “assembly hall” was an enormous room, beautifully built, with polished marble of purest silver-gray, inlaid by some marble that looked like the veins of fire. The ground was covered with anthracite colored stone and harmonized beautifully with the light gray walls and the beautifully painted fiery ceiling. The ceiling was so high, even the Archangels could fly within the hall.

The room was equipped with a small waiting area with black leather seats and a small glass table. It was quite modern, but comfortable. Andreas gave me a brief description before we started to prepare me for the impressive and pompous sight.

After our arrival, I stepped away from Andreas and in my head heard Uriel’s voice: “If you’re going to do this more often, girl, I will have problems with that.”

I grinned. “There is only one solution to this problem,” I replied.

“And this is?” Uriel’s buoyant voice asked back.

“Next time pick me up yourself, Mr. Taxi,” I snarled.

I enjoyed the mental clash and the growing closeness it showed between Uriel and me.

Andreas curiously examined my face. “You were just somewhere else with your thoughts,” he commented with amusement.

I blushed furiously which made him chuckle.

“I’ll wait here for you.”

I swallowed. “I… okay.”

Then I turned to the huge ornate white door that opened by itself to let me inside.

There I found two huge angel warriors in full armor and a beautiful winged woman gesturing for me to follow her. She led me through a light, nearly empty corridor to a smaller pair of wooden doors. She opened them to let me enter. I hesitantly entered and the door closed behind me.

There I stood in front of a simple long table with twelve tall, exceptionally beautiful Archangels, each of them unique Still, I had the impression that these individuals formed an enormously strong singular entity.

Of course, I saw their different manifestations , but what caught me off guard was the fact I could perceive them all so clearly. Their smells and aromas were much stronger than the ones of other individuals I had encountered.

I already memorized Uriel’s scent. To me he was the purity of flames and heat, fire, and blaze. But to be truthful, he smelled deliciously like cinnamon. I hid a smile.

I interrupted my train of thought when Michael stood. “Please, Zye, come closer and meet the ‘Council of Twelve.’ From your left: Uriel, Myself, Anghariel, Zachariel, Centriel, Deonur, Raphael, Gabriel, Benadrel, Santanael, Tsechirel, and Simael.” He threw me a sharp look. “You seem to be totally in shock, Zye. Are you all right?”

I almost collapsed; my mouth was as dry as an Arabian desert. I had to swallow before finally I was able to reply. “Forgive me, Mylords. I just discovered that I apparently can catch your natural fragrance in a very strong and unique way. It hit me when I entered the hall.”

Gabriel rose, eyeing me curiously. “Wow, really? You’re not kidding?”

I only shook my head.

“Does that mean, even if you can’t see us, you’re still able to tell we’re here?” “Not only that,” I explained. “Each one of you smells unique.”

Gabriel seemed enthusiastic about this information. “You could tell us apart without even seeing us?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“No ‘Sir’ here, Zye,” he replied with the wink of an eye. “I’m Gabriel.” He turned to the others who had similar expressions on their faces. “Oh, please, can we take the time?”

Michael laughed. “We’re not in a hurry.” He scanned me quickly. “Are you up for a test?”

I swallowed dryly. “Yes.”

Uriel stood. “Fine with me, friends. But seriously: she looks like she’s going to pass out any minute. Would you mind being nice enough to offer her some water and let her relax for a couple of minutes?”

He walked around the table and handed me a glass of water. His hand was placed caringly onto my shoulder.

Just when I took a sip, Anghariel drawled, “Sheesh, Uriel. You sound as worried as Grandma Walton.”

I spit my mouthful of water across the floor, laughing. This unexpected little mishap made the Archangels stare at me in wonder before they smiled as well. I apologized, but it took a couple minutes until we all calmed down. By that time, I was visibly relaxed and Michael called his friends to order.

“What do you need for us to do, Zye?” he asked politely.

I smiled. “Not too much. I need to separate each one of you. I would say, at about the distance from here to the furthest corner over there. Then your natural perfumes won’t get mixed altogether.”

“Who do you want to start with? Uriel?” Michael asked curiously.

Anghariel chuckled. “I don’t think so, brother. I’ll bet my socks she knows his stench quite well by now.”

I blushed, Uriel grinned and eleven Archangels apparently had tons of fun. I bowed my head politely to Anghariel. “Would you mind if I start with you?”

He laughed. “Nope. It would be my pleasure.”

Copyright © Aurora Jean Alexander 2019

Very intriguing, where can folks go to read the entire book?

I have some links right here:

Amazon US Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086ZRDMFD?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

Amazon US Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Demon-Tracker-book-Council-Twelve/dp/B086Y39W24/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Amazon UK Ebook: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Demon-Tracker-book-Council-Twelve-ebook/dp/B086ZRDMFD/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Demon+Tracker+A.+J.+Alexander&qid=1587258649&sr=8-1

Amazon UK Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Demon-Tracker-book-Council-Twelve/dp/B086Y39W24/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1587258649&sr=8-1

Amazon DE Ebook: https://www.amazon.de/Demon-Tracker-Council-Twelve-English-ebook/dp/B086ZRDMFD/ref=sr_1_2?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&dchild=1&keywords=Demon+Tracker+A.+J.+Alexander&qid=1587258666&sr=8-2

Amazon DE Paperback  https://www.amazon.de/Demon-Tracker-book-Council-Twelve/dp/B086Y39W24/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1587258666&sr=8-2

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1014830

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/demon-tracker/id1507992511?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/demon-tracker-a-j-alexander/1136855142;jsessionid=8571FBC6991BD7C75C6E3EC7DA170538.prodny_store01-atgap18?ean=2940164037963&st=AFF&2sid=Draft2Digital_7968444_NA&sourceId=AFFDraft2Digital

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/demon-tracker

Looks like you’ve got everyone’s format needs covered. Thanks so much for letting us be part of your blog tour and best of luck with the rest of the series.

Thanks for having me and hosting the book.


Finally heard back from ACX. Two issues came up. I didn’t leave enough “Room Tone” (silence) at beginning and end of every chapter. They want .5 to 1 second of silence before first word spoken, then 1-5 seconds of silence after last word spoken. Easy fix.

The other issue, I included the closing credits and the last chapter in one file. They wanted them separated, another easy fix.

Otherwise, they had no other problems with the files. Volume, clarity, technical requirements of the audios themselves, all of that was fine.

I will be making these corrections, if I haven’t already dealt with them on my own. After that… still going to follow our own path at this point and make CD’s and downloadable MP3’s from our websites.

and

Why?

Because Audible has an “exclusive” clause that says only they get to produce the audios, and they do not make CD’s. They only produce Audible versions, and as we’ve been told by others NOT everyone can afford the monthly Audible charges every month.

Will our path be an easy one? Not really. But we’re hoping that people will spread the word once we have the audios up for sale. We’ll have to promote ourselves, which would still be true if we went with Audible. Oh the books would be in their catalog along with 100’s of others, so what would be the difference?

Reviews? Reviews can be left at our website under the comments section for each product.

A lot of people think that just because they got their book/audio on a big company’s site that they are set and don’t have to do anything else. But that’s the BIGGEST mistake one can make. No matter where your works are for sale, YOU still have to do most if not all the promoting to get the word out. Or hire someone to do your marketing. In this day and age “If you build it they will come…” is seriously overrated. YOU have to put in the work to get people to find out about your work.

And that is exactly what I’m doing here and now. Letting people know the CD’s and MP3’s are coming. I’ll be creating a “Store” button here on this site very soon and populate it with CD’s, downloadable MP3 files, PDF’s, and the option to order a signed print copy of any of our books.

ALSO… I will be continuing the “Adventures in Audio Recording” Series, in order that those who still wish to create audios can succeed in making Audible quality files ready for submission to ACX or other audiobook outlets.

Until next time, take care and keep writing and recording my friends.
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