Commune Book Two Audio Book Release: Mid February – 2018

We start production on 1/15.  Get ready…

Commune - Audio Cover - Book 2 - Promo

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Hopeful Writers – LISTEN TO THIS @michaelstephenf ‎@IamWilliamOday

This is MUST LISTEN material for anyone interested in getting into the writing business. Valuable insight from my buddy [more of an on-line acquaintance who has been ridiculously cool and supportive of my efforts] Michael Stephen Fuchs:

http://williamoday.com/episode-6-michael-stephen-fuchs/

Commune Book Three Cover Reveal – Coming Very Soon!

We’re 130K words into the book 3 manuscript, my lovelies.  Now with the decision to split the final book into two novels, my adjusted best guess at word count is in the 160K-ish range, plus or minus.  Those of you who know how I write are aware that a 5K word session is pretty easy to achieve without much effort, so…I’ll say that we’re pretty close on this project.  So much so, in fact, that I’ve begun the process on the covers: ebook, print, and audio.

I’ll be sharing it with you all very soon 🙂

Had to share this review…

The reviews are really starting to pile up for Commune Book One on Audible, overwhelmingly positive, making me overwhelmingly grateful.  I’d like to share them all but I feel like it would become quickly tiresome for any folks stopping by this blog, who I flatter myself might be interested in my thoughts on storytelling rather than me just sharing the words of others praising my work.  It’s a fine line you walk, teetering between being proud or being…”that guy”.

But I couldn’t help but share this one from Natalie at Book Lovers Life.  What a fantastic way to wake up in the morning!

“Amazing characters!!”

When the world is hit with a CME bigger than the Carrington Event, things quickly go to hell, but humanity perseveres and they try to survive. Just as things are starting to come together, a sickness spreads and kills even more of the survivours. Now we are following a group of people who are intent on trying to make things work.

This book surprised me a lot!! While it follows the basic rule of a post apocalyptic book, it isn’t the plot that makes this shine, it’s the characters and it’s the way the story is told! It’s told to us as a story, the narrator is recording how the Commune came to be but we also see the same story told through multiple characters POV. Now, that can sometimes be awful but it works here, and works well!!

This focuses on 4 people. Jake, Billy, Amanda and her daughter, Lizzy. How the four came together is something you will have to read the book to find out, because I don’t want to spoil it! But it’s a heartbreaking journey for some of them. I loved how they came together, and I think the author does a fantastic job with it. But it doesn’t just stop with them meeting, nope, the journey continues as a group and is captivating and addicting!! I absolutely devoured it.

Every single character is well written and developed, which is rare in a debut book. There is depth to these characters that really captured my attention. Amanda and Lizzy have a hard journey, but they come out stronger. Billy is a great character and a real father figure. Jake is mysterious and I really can’t wait to find out more about him. He is a fantastic character!! I also liked the fact that there isn’t a love story here! While there’s potential, I’m glad the author didn’t feel the need to create one, especially after what Amanda endured.

In all, this is a story of survival when nothing is available anymore. The author really makes you realise how things can change in the blink of an eye! He puts a lot into the world building, but even more into the character development and what he has created was a memorable read, and I can not wait for the next one!!!

R.C Bray… let’s all bow down to the awesomeness that is R.C Bray! His range of tones and voices is impressive and he really knows how to tell a story!! A good story teller can draw you into the book and make you forget everything else, well this is what Bray does. He drew me in and made the story effortless to listen to. It played in my head like a movie and I loved it!! He is a narrator I could listen to every day and feel like I was listening to different people. Amazing performance!!

I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

Commune Book 2 Audio Book Release Date

A lot of you are starting to clamor for book 2’s release date on Audible.  Well, I’m sorry to say that, though R. C. Bray and I have a production target date set, I’m unable to share it yet because of his schedule, which is always insane.  This is a courtesy to R. C. Bray; he has a lot of things pulling him around, making demands on his time and so forth.  Sometimes, he has no choice but to shift his projects around other life events.

Think about it; even if the guy gets a cold, his voice is rendered unusable until he fully recovers, and this could throw his whole production schedule off by a week or so.  A week isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but then he and I have both seen readers and other authors alike tear out their hair at the slightest prospect of delay.  On one hand, this is a great problem for us to have – it’s wonderful that you guys want so badly to share in our labors, and most of you are incredibly understanding with regard to life’s little curve balls.  Even so, guys like RC and me hate to disappoint, and setting a concrete date months in advance is more stress than I want to put on the guy.

What I can say is that we’re scheduled to start very early in 2018 and, the closer we get to him stepping into the booth, the better we’ll feel about announcing a hard date.  But like I said, we look like starting super early in the first part of 2018.

Thank you, all, for your patience.

Josh

Commune Book Three is Probably Going to End Up Being Books Three and Four…

So I had myself completely locked into this idea that these books would be a trilogy, and I intended to hold to that come hell or high water.  So much so, in fact, that I had myself twisted around into knots while I was writing this bastard, worrying that it was ballooning out of control.

In the meantime, my wife has been telling me to quit limiting things to artificial numbers, as I would be likely to end up shooting myself in the foot by rushing the story.

As usual, it seems she’s going to be right.  Damn it.

The more I write, the more it looks like it makes sense to break this puppy up into two volumes.  I’ll have to shift some things around, I reckon, but the good news is that I’m coming to terms with this on the early side of things, such that I don’t have to go back and do a bunch of rewriting.  The main thing is that I promised myself at the outset of this whole mess that I was going to give myself the time I needed to spread out in this world and explore it as much as I wanted to before moving on.  I suppose that means four books in the end.  And really, this is what happened when I started writing the series in the first place.

The story of the third book is really what I set out tell when I started writing, before I realized I had some world building to do in order to get everything set up.  Books 1 and 2 are the result of that world building effort.  Now comes the big payoff, and I want to make sure the proper time is taken to do it right.

So I figure book 3 is probably going to be done this year and I’ll start 2018 off diving into four.  Hell with it; I need a drink.

In the meantime, the numbers on the first audio book are shooting through the damned roof.  The thing is climbing the Post Apocalyptic best sellers list on Audible, advancing a few more slots every day.  If this keeps up, we’ll be seeing it in Audible’s top 100 Sci-Fi soon, which would just about blow my undies off.

I can’t thank all you readers enough for the incredible support and phenomenal response you’ve shown for the books so far.  I never imagined it was going to take off like this.

The Commune Series: Suggestions from the Author to the Reader

I’ve argued with myself for quite a while regarding whether or not I would write something like this.  And then, I’ve also wondered if I should perhaps wait to write this until the initial three book series is complete.  Now that the audio book is out and I’m seeing so many of you jump on board (thank you so much for that, as well, you have no idea how happy this makes me), I’m starting to feel like maybe a little assistance in orientation is in order.

Overall, I think I’ve resisted the idea of this article mostly because I didn’t want to lessen the joy of a potential discovery on the part of the reader – when you solve a puzzle on your own, you invariably enjoy it so much more than if someone were to tell you, “Hey, look here.”  But then, it occurs to me that the game probably isn’t terribly fair if you as the player don’t know that there’s even a game to begin with.

So I thought I might give you a few hints, though you’ll need to seek out the answers on your own as you read through these books.  I will write a listing of points below that are spoiler free, followed by some that might contain spoilers if you’re good at reading between the lines; these will be clearly marked so you can avoid them as desired.

And then, if you don’t want to overturn every little rock, these stories can (it is my hope) be enjoyed passively by the casual reader.

As you read or listen to stories set within the Commune world, I would ask you to consider the following (in no particular order).

  • There was an overall theme I had in mind when I started writing these; a main point that I’m trying to get across to the reader.  Apart from that, I’m using these books as my own personal playground to explore and play with ideas as I go; specifically tied to human behavior.  More specifically, I wanted to explore the idea that we are all two people – we’re the public persona that we share with others and we’re the private persona that we keep hidden.  For some of us, that private persona is something we’re quite uncomfortable with and we avoid self examination.  The structure of the first and second books is designed to facilitate this exploration.
  • To the first point above, there are instances of Billy attempting to hide or obfuscate details from others, if he’s not just making a game attempt to play his cards as close to his vest as he can.  It doesn’t make him a bad person, does it?  We all do this in our day to day lives.
  • The first two books are related completely in interviews of the POV characters, carried out by a secondary character, Brian Chambers.  To this point, consider yourself being interviewed after surviving through some of the events of these books.  Would you share every little detail regarding what you did, thought, or experienced, or would you hold some things back out of shame or embarrassment?  Again, this goes back to the public versus private persona.  There are some things we simply would not admit, especially to an interviewer, though we might let details slip unintentionally as we told our story.  No one is a 100% effective obfuscator/liar 100% of the time.
  • If you find a gap in the narrative, or if a character’s behavior differs when described by two different people, this could tell you a few things…

Beware of Spoilers…

  • You have been warned.
  • You’ll notice that you never get to hear Billy’s side of the story directly from Billy’s point of view.  You have to rely on the accuracy of Jake and Amanda.
  • Does it seem to you as though Jake’s attitude toward killing others undergoes a moral shift between his POV and Amanda’s?  He seems rather broken up after the shoot-out at Pep Boys…
  • When Jake tells his side of the story, he seems more animated compared to how Amanda presents him.
  • Sometimes, a POV character encounters something he or she doesn’t understand.  Such a person might try to describe the experience, and that description probably sounds nonsensical to anyone who wasn’t there.  This is just a failing on the part of that person to accurately convey what he or she saw.  There’s always a logical explanation for what happened.
  • Amanda has many more POV chapters in book one than Jake.  This is probably because Jake makes it a habit to avoid Brian’s interviews.  The first book is the only time we’ll hear from Jake directly.  The definitude of those details which he struggles to convey is, as always, left for the reader to ascertain…

 

Commune One Audio Book Giveaway

Okay, my lovlies.  In celebration of Commune Book One’s release on audible.com, I have 14 copies to give away for FREE.

Commune Book One is the first entry of a three-book series covering the survival of several people in an American post-apocalyptic landscape.  It is narrated by the incredible Audie Award-winning R. C. Bray.

To enter for your chance to win a copy of the audio book, you must register on my mailing list, which is accessible via the link on the right side of my site or just click the image below:

This list is how I will keep track of entrants.  I’ll leave the registration open until Friday 11/10/2017 of this week, after which I’ll select 14 names from the list at random.  If you’re one of those names, I’ll send you a gift copy of the book via the e-mail you enter to download via your audible account.

And then, I guess if fewer than 14 people register, you all win!  I’ll be like Oprah handing out audio books, which is outstanding because you won’t be left with picking up the income tax bill! 😛

Stuff I want to be clear on:

This mailing list isn’t a spam setup, that’s my personal promise to you as the goon running this whole show.  I freaking hate spam and I’ll be damned if I’m on the giving end of the stuff.  The mailing list is a tool that I’ll use (infrequently) to send out mass updates about book progress, book releases, and perhaps any appearances that I’ll be making in the future.   You’re not going to get an e-mail from me every time I write a blog post and crap a sentence out on twitter.  The purpose of the list is only so that I can keep my readers up to date on the new stuff they might be interested in.  And if you decide you don’t even want those e-mails coming from me, removing yourself from the list is easy.

Sound fair?

Josh

 

 

Only 3 days and the Commune audio book has nearly outsold the other formats!

I suffered a mild shock when I woke up this morning and saw what the sales on the Commune Book One audio book were looking like.  To put it in perspective, the audio format has almost completely outsold both the ebook and print versions of the story, which has been available since March of this year.  It hasn’t overtaken the other versions just yet but, at this rate, give it a day…

A giant thank you to all my readers as well as R. C. Bray and all of his listeners.  I’m well aware that a significant portion of you are coming along on this ride because of him and not me, and that’s totally fine.  After having gone through the production process with him, I feel as though this is as much his story as it is mine.  This was a team effort all the way.

Josh