Friday, July 4, 2014

Projects, Project, Projects


The last few months I’ve been working on several projects at once. We’ve finished copyediting on Sanctuary of Fire and are presently in the cover design and layout phase of production. Both of which I expect back any day now for final review. I’ve also submitted two short stories to an anthology project that one of my writers clubs is publishing this year. I’m a member of the Sacramento Suburban Writers Club. They published an anthology last year as well, but since I was in the midst a crazy of overlap in production on both The Deceiver and Broken Seed, I had to pull my submissions until a later date. When they announced they’d be doing another anthology this year, I jumped on the chance to get a few short stories tossed in for consideration. Aspiring author out there, when you have a chance to publish something do it!

Anyway, both short stories are related to The Deceiver Saga. I wanted a chance to pass along some additional back stories I had hiding away and express the perspectives of a couple other characters in the sage. I always love reading short stories by my favorite authors that relate to their series and I wanted to give my readers similar little goodies to feast their eyes and imaginations on as well!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “anthology”, an anthology is a collection of selected writings by various authors or by one author published into one book. There are different kinds of anthologies. Some are a collection of works all written by one author. Perhaps a collection of short stories, poems or essays. Another kind of anthology is a collection with a variety of writing styles. In the case of the Sacramento Suburban Writers Club’s 2014 project, it will be everything from short stories submitted by different authors of various genres, to poems and essays, etc. I’ll let you know when and where you can buy it once it’s published. We should be done with it within the next couple months.

These aren’t the only projects I have in the pipeline at the moment. I’m also going to be starting the media production of the audiobooks to The Deceiver Saga this month. Well, for the two that are already publically released that is. We’ll start Sanctuary of Fire as we near or after the final production of the book. I’m still waiting for clarification on if they need an abridged manuscript or not for The Deceiver and Broken Seed. If they do, then I’ll be putting in some crazy hours to shorten the books a bit. Typically, they ask for about a 20-25% reduction in manuscript. I really hope I don’t have to! When I went through the first edit overhaul on them I trimmed them up with as much professional indifference as I could muster and even took out little parts that I loved but knew I needed to sacrifice as they were slowing down the pace. The idea of having to do that again makes me a more than a little nervous. I don’t want to cut out anything else! Besides, the stories are complete in nature and I don’t want the listener getting lost along the way. So we’ll see what they say!

I’m still new at this, but from what I understand of the production process for the audiobooks, they will send me some samples of narrators reading. If I like what I hear, they start recording. If not, they try to find me someone else. I had the option to read them myself, but I’m not a trained voice actor no matter how much I like the idea. Besides, I want people to want to listen to them! It’d be much more entertaining being read to by a professional. Yup, no lisping into the microphone for me—or you.

I had to do some upfront prep work already too, mind you. They asked me to list all the character’s names and foreign words and write them out phonetically so the narrator would know exactly how I want them pronounced. I also had to give a brief description of each character and their particular characteristics as well as explain the way they speak (any accents or tone of voice) so the narrator would have a better idea of how to start reading as them.

Once they start recording, they’ll send me an unedited sample to listen to and give any feedback or pointers on to ensure that they are starting off on the right foot. And after that, they’ll edit it and send me the entire audiobook to listen to and review. It’ll be my job to inform them of any necessary changes I hear as the author and send it back for final clean up. They will also have to tweak the books’ current cover designs a bit to fit the CD cases. And don’t worry, they will be available for audio download as well!

After this, I have a few other projects I’m waiting to start. Not only do I need to start writing book four in The Deceiver Saga, but I will also be working on some companion journals to go along with each of the books that are out so far. The companion journals will be like a workbook or study guide that book clubs and readers can use to further dig into the Saga and the research behind it. It will also be a place where I can pose questions to the reader to invoke thought and discussion with a partner or as a group.

I’m looking forward to starting these companion journals as well! It’ll be great to dig back into the research I did when writing these books and express more of my personal feelings and train of thought behind them, rather than just having to worry about it as a fictional storyline. It’ll enable me to write in another element—realism, internal reflect and our outward perspective.

So stay tuned! I’ll post more about all these projects I’ve got rolling as time moves forward.

Thank you for reading and thank you for following! I truly appreciate you, my readers.

R. J. Machado De Quevedo

(Author of ‘The Deceiver Saga’, Speaker, Blogger, Dreamer)

 


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