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.

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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

Commune Book One #audiobook News!

Commune - Audio CoverThe audio for the final chapter of book one was delivered for review today.  So, at this point, all corrections have been sent back to the producer for touch-up, and then it looks like the mastering/clean-up process begins.  Expect a release date on Audible to be announced soon!

On a side note, I’ll say that R. C. Bray has turned in an incredible performance for this story.  I felt a little strange enjoying the first listen through as much as I did, having written the book and all (you’re not supposed to enjoy your own work that much, are you?), but god DAMN, guys.  He nailed the hell out of this.

I can’t wait for you to hear it.

– Josh

#communeseries BK3 and BK1 audio book #progress #amwriting #audiobook #postapocalyptic #dystopia

Book Three News!

This is a very fun time for me right now.  I’m what I would estimate to be a quarter of the way through on the first draft for Commune: Book Three; at about 50K words.  For the reference of those keeping score, Book One came in at 95.5K and Book Two was complete at 150K words.

I’m guessing that Book Three will wrap at around 200K or greater but it’s still early enough in the story right now that it’s hard to be accurate.  It would make sense, though.  The first book was a pretty simple affair.  There were only three main characters with a couple of side characters thrown in along the way, so it makes sense that the story was fairly short.

In the second book, I found myself juggling no less than nineteen personalities.  That kind of diversity takes a bit more space to explore, so yeah, another 60K words on top of the original is probably in order.

In book three, the scope is expanding yet again.  Our characters have been living in this world for a while, now.  There has been time to organize, time for folks to congeal together like little blood clots.  We’re dealing with factions spread out over the different points of the compass.  There are, of course, our band of heroes up in Wyoming but we also have the last known remnant of the United States Military to think about in the wastelands of Arizona, as well.  Additionally, something ugly (potentially very ugly) looms out in the quiet state of Nevada…

This is the third and final book that I intend to write in this series, for the time being at least.  I can offer that I see possibilities for more stories down the line but there are also some other ideas (other worlds) that I’d like to explore, and so I think I’ll take a bit of a break from the apocalypse after this one’s done…for a little while.  I can tell you that this book, big #3, is the story that I originally set out to tell when I started writing these back in January of 2017, just before I realized I had a lot of world building to get out of the way.  I’m glad I took this idea and broke it into three books.  I feel like we both (me, the writer and you, the reader) had an opportunity to spread out in this story for a good while and really enjoy it.

Audio Book News

R. C. Bray is starting to pick up a lot of steam on production for BK#1 and I have to say, he’s knocking this sumbitch out of the park, as I knew he would.  He’s delivered enough work for proofing now that I’ve had a chance to hear the three major characters that I created (Jake, Amanda, and Billy) out loud for the first time in my life.  The experience is not only surreal – it is intensely rewarding to me as a writer.  He’s bringing nuance to their delivery that I hadn’t even considered when I wrote them; providing a deeper, richer dimension just through his performance and how he’s interpreting what I’ve done.

The experience for me has been of such impact that I’m beginning to regard the simple text of these stories as pretty damned good (to toot my own horn) while the audio format is (at least by me) considered the ultimate expression of the material.

Bob, if you’re reading this: Nice work, dude.

Josh

Commune Book One 5-star review #communeseries #postapocalypse #bookreview

What a lovely, lovely way to start the morning.  It makes me ridiculously happy to know that there are people out there connecting with the characters in these stories.

I am and have always been a huge fan of post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction. I love the different ways in which writers can dispense mass destruction and then take you on a journey of how they imagine rebuilding. I love getting into their heads and discovering how they see the world and the human condition. So I tucked into this book, eager to lose myself in yet another disaster and see what came next.

To sum up the complicated beginning, picture the solar storm of 1859 meets present day infrastructure. This is the Flare. Shock and awe precede inevitable chaos and anarchy, but enough order remains to get a handle on the riots and get a good start on getting the world back on the grid. But then comes the Plague; a disease with communicability AND mortality rates of nearly 100% that wipes out life and hope on a global scale. Those that don’t die only live to endure a different kind of hell. Because all that remains is a desolate shadow of what was once the world as we know it. And to make it in this new world, one must have exactly the right amount of luck, skill, determination, and humanity. Commune Book One begins the story of a few such people and how they found one another.

So, what do you do as a reader? You prepare yourself for a tale in which almost nothing and no one are what they seem. You try to avoid becoming too attached to any of the characters, but you bond to some of them anyway and you hope that they don’t ultimately betray you. You know that not every character you grow to care about is going to make it, and you hope that they don’t suffer too greatly. You know that several characters will turn out to be vile, deplorable psychopaths, and you hope that they will get some level of a comeuppance. All you can do is go along for the ride, never knowing when and where the next “Oh sh!t” moment will jump out at you, and continuing to hope against hope. Because this story delivers the bottom line right up front: no deux ex machina is coming. At all. These characters are not going over, under, or around, they are going straight through and fairness no longer exists.

The largest part of my enjoyment of any fiction is the character development. This probably explains why I enjoy dystopian stories so much. No matter what kind of cataclysm has struck, the real story lies in the characters, what they do to survive, and who they become as a result. To that end, I particularly admire Mr. Gayou’s integrity in creating his characters. Each has their own individual identity and unique voice, but despite his obvious investment in these characters, Mr. Gayou throws no bones. As the story unfolds, no one is spared hunger, violence, or terror. No one gets a free ride. Yet it is this authenticity that will likely make this story a difficult read for some. The reader gets no sense of safety, just a moment here and there to catch your breath (and maybe have a laugh) before the next shoe drops. While I read, I bounced from feeling thirsty, anxious, incensed, tired, sorrowful, and back again. But I also felt invigorated and keen to know what was going to happen, even if I wasn’t going to be happy about it. If you can handle all of that, you will enjoy this book as I did.

Now on to Book Two!”

Originally posted here on Amazon.

Commune Book One Audio Book Release @audbks @audible_com #audiobooks #listeninggoals

Commune One Audio BookSome of you may have seen this previously but I thought I’d put up another update on the audio release of Commune Book One.  Due to R. C. Bray’s crazy production schedule, the release of my book as been moved back a little to the September/October time frame, which is totally cool with me.  I’m ridiculously lucky just to have signed Bray; I’m not going to quibble over a month.

Either way, it sounds like we could be seeing book one available on Audible around October.  I planning on having book two ready to go right around this time, so hey, maybe the audio on two is ready to drop early next year?  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, you can grab the print or ebook version (as well as preview the story) here.