I did a thing. 😱

Listen to the first three chapters of Curse Breaker Enchanted by Melinda Kucsera. A reluctant mage must unravel a dark plot before it kills him. But nothing is as it seems in the enchanted forest and the killer is too close and too powerful for one mage to fight. Find out who prevails in Curse Breaker Enchanted. Get the ebook for FREE: https://melindakucsera.com/the-more-epic-version/ Get the audiobook for 0.99 cents for 17 hours of magical mayhem. Support me on Patreon (and get free books)https://www.patreon.com/melindakucsera ***This excerpt is read by an AI named Mike.*** Yes, AIs have names. Who knew? No hands, … Continue reading I did a thing. 😱

Swashbucklers, Rogues and Assassins: The Bad Boys of Fantasy


The bad boys of Fantasy, like the buddy cop flicks we all love, are full of friendship, ribald comments, one-upmanship and enough jokes to lighten up the darkest story. Set in places that range from the epic to the intriguing, their exploits run the gamut from world-ending to a simple heist gone hilariously wrong. Whatever these guys get up to for their clients, you can be certain of one thing: you’re in for a fun ride.  Without further ado, I bring you the bad boys of fantasy.

Royce & Hadrian


Royce and Hadrian’s exploits are penned by Michael J. Sullivan in his Riyria Chronicles series and in the Riyria Revelations series. The Riyria Chronicles series covers the twenty year period between the boys’ founding their unique partnership and the events in the Riyria Revelation series. Mr. Sullivan will keep writing those prequels as long as fans request them and I will keep requesting more. I love these guys!
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Audio Book vs Audio Drama


in medias res continues its audio book obsession with a look into an emerging trend in the audio book world: audio dramas.

What’s the difference between an audio book and an audio drama?
A lot apparently. An audio book started out life as a book. Not a comic book or a screen play but a book. A book that sometime narrated. A book that included actual description of important things like wtf is going on in the action sequences, some kind of introduction to who the characters are and some reason to care about them.

Audio dramas start out life as a graphic novel or screenplay. They are meant  to be accompanied by visuals. The visual element is the important part of these works. Audio productions have no visual element. They are pure sound. Do you see a problem? I do and I’m not alone.

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Who Will Narrate: Listen and Cast Your Vote


Okay, we’ve talked these last two days about audio books both the professionally produced variety and the self-narrated too. If you need a refresher, pop by this post here for a discussion of professional voice acted audio books and here for the DIY option.

You are armed with knowledge and ready to cast your vote an a very important issue. Who should narrate?

With the above posts in mind, I come to you, wonderful followers and one time visitors alike, to ask your opinion on the matter. Below I submit to you two scenes from my novella narrated by me, the author. Worry not, neither one is longer than 7 minutes. Together they comprise the first two scenes from my forthcoming audio book. It will be available for sale in 2016.

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Audio Book Meets DIY


Yesterday we talked about audio books, specifically about the money side.  You can refresh your memory here about that. I also referred you to a great post that Cecilia Lewis wrote up detailing how you pick a narrator for your book. Read her article here. Yesterday’s discussion centered around the cost to produce audio books and the options you have about production–if you go the professional route.

If you, like me, have some skill at editing audio files on your own, there is another option. You can narrate your book yourself, edit the audio yourself and submit the files to ACX. They have guidelines and tips to help you navigate your way through the DIY option.

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Is There a Narrator in the House?

100_0065-smallI love audio books. So do my coworkers. We have our own little audio book club where we advocate and cajole each other to listen to the audio books we have loved. Right now two-thirds of the audio book club is pushing me to read Robert Galbraith’s novels. They are also lobbying me to put a project on kickstarter.com to raise money for my novella’s audio book to be narrated by a real voice actor.

ACX, whom I will be doing this through, offers several options for turning your book into an audio book. Step one is to publish your book as a kindle book through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. I’m working on that right now. Rest assured.

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Candy for Your Ears: Urban Fantasy

Me in a leather corset and boots

Urban fantasy audio books are like candy. You can’t consume just one. The first one always leads to the next and the next. It’s the gateway drug of audio books.

They’re the first person shooters of the fantasy genre. What makes these stories so addictive? Let’s toss them onto the operating table and dissect them to see what makes ’em tick.

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Red Queen versus White King: Alan Touring Through the Looking Glass

Unless you too just finished The Enigma: Alan Touring, you’re probably scratching your head right now at the title of today’s post. I did read it, and I’m still scratching my head over it. Before I attempt to make some sense out of this, because I will lose my mind if I don’t, I need to get one thing off my chest: If I die after having done something world-changing or just plain cool, do not compare me to a fairy tale character. Please, just don’t. I don’t care of I make some offhand remark  ONE time in my life and you … Continue reading Red Queen versus White King: Alan Touring Through the Looking Glass

Sound off: Advice from the Web


While you relax and enjoy your well-deserved Sunday morning rituals, here’s some advice culled from the internet on a writing, creativity, motivation and process. While your sipping orange juice, some exotic tea, a coffee confection or plain old milk, let your mind consider these tidbits and store them away for future reference.

Here’s a new way to look at your writing from The New Yorker, a piece entitled, Omission: Choosing What to Leave out:

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Hypocrite? Who me? Say it isn’t so!


Yesterday I posted a rambling review of The Girl in the Spider’s WebSharp readers no doubt noticed at the end of the post that I contradicted myself. I talked about avoiding the fourth installment of the Millenium series initially just because Stieg Larsson, the series’ creator, passed on and a new author picked up the thread of the story.

I mentioned a thing called author loyalty. Then I ended the post speaking about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Mycroft Holmes and my enthusiasm for reading it. That got me thinking about the whole issue. How long does an author have to be dead before author loyalty erodes and readers flock in comfort to a new author’s continuation of the saga?

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Caught in the Spider’s Web

The Girl in the Spider's Web: A Lisbeth Salander Novel - Millennium Series, Book 4 | [David Lagercrantz]

I just finished The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz, book 4 in the late Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you’ve decided to skip the book out of loyalty for Larsson. That was my plan but it went off the rails when my fellow audio book junkies (aka my IT office mates) decided to read the book.

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Jodi Taylor, author of the Chronicles of St. Mary’s series, which I love by the way, got her start by self-publishing. She published the first Chronicles of St. Mary’s story as an ebook! (I love that book by the way: Just One Damned Thing After Another) If you like history, time travel and a lot of comedy, her Chronicles of St. Mary’s series will take you on quite a thrill ride. Her latest book, The Nothing Girl, is today’s daily deal on Audible. You can pick up a copy for $3.95. For nine hours of contemporary fiction mixed heavily with comedy in her skillful manner, that’s a bargain. Reading … Continue reading Inspired

Next up on the Copyedit Hit list is…

I have killed all three hundred and eighty words that end with ‘ly’. Yes those dreaded adverbs. In doing so, I found an alarming pattern. Here’s my top  ‘ly’ offenders, in order of assassinations: suddenly, actually, exactly and  finally. Now I know what to watch out for. What are yours top offenders? What ‘ly’ words sneak into your drafts while you’re typing? *** To reach the next level in my copyediting quest, I must now search out and destroy instances of ‘so’. This insidious word shows up too many times and I’m not going to take it anymore. I listened to … Continue reading Next up on the Copyedit Hit list is…

Killing Adverbs

Have you killed any adverbs lately? It’s very cathartic. Just run a search for ‘ly’ and see what you find. Why am I doing this? I bought a book on copyediting to aid me in my quest to copyedit my own work. Deleting words ending in ‘ly’ or replacing them with stronger verbs, claimed the book, as good way to tighten up writing. So a ran simple search on my Google Doc just to see how many ‘ly’ words I had used. I didn’t think there were that many because I know to avoid them. An eye-opening number of items returned in … Continue reading Killing Adverbs