A Story about the Audio Book of THE FIERY CROWN

The audio book of THE FIERY CROWN is now available! Narrated by the fantastic Gabrielle Baker, I’m super excited to listen to it!

Some of you might note that this is a different audio book narrator than the one who did THE ORCHID THRONE. One of the many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many audio book narrators couldn’t do their jobs. Unless they had home studios, they were out of luck. I don’t know if that’s what happened with my previous narrator, but when Editor Jennie contacted me and said the Tantor team had let her know the narrator for book 1 was unavailable for book 2, I wasn’t surprised. I also wasn’t too broken up about it, as the previous narrator – while having a wonderfully rich voice – hadn’t handled the two different first person points of view (POV) as well as I’d hoped. The books present a real challenge that way, in that the chapters in the POV of Con, the male protagonist needed to be narrated in a deeper, growlier voice, along with his spoken dialogue.

I greatly appreciated that Jennie and Tantor asked if I had narrators to suggest, because I immediately suggested Gabrielle. I’d listened to her narrate Tanith Lee’s THE SILVER METAL LOVER, one of my all-time favorites, and thought she did a bang up job. She also did the audio book narration for bestie Grace Draven’s RADIANCE and EIDOLON, so I knew Gabrielle was great to work with. Finally, I knew Gabrielle had a home studio! Tantor checked with her, and – to our mutual delight – she was available! (I learned later that Tantor really shifted stuff around to make this happen, for which I’m so grateful.)

So, I’ve downloaded my own copy and anticipate many delightful hours listening to the book! I’ve received developmental edits for THE PROMISED QUEEN, so I’ll be finishing my listen of THE ORCHID THRONE and THE FIERY CROWN to prep for that final revision. And yes, I actually shelled out to buy the Audible versions of my own books. I get author copies of them, but on CD, which means I can’t listen on my phone. At least I can deduct that!

I also have finished copies of the paperback of THE FIERY CROWN !  You can order a signed copy through my website store for $5 and I’ll mail it to you. (Sorry, US only on that deal.) Be sure to note if you want it personalized.

I Always Slow Down at the End…

I finished writing THE PROMISED QUEEN! This is the third book in the Forgotten Empires trilogy, and – as happens with many trilogy finales – the draft came in long. I sent 118,489 words (about 426 pages in Word) to Editor Jennie Friday afternoon. A lot to pack into that ending!

As usual, finishing the book wrung me out. As an interesting statistic, writing the first 100,000 words took me 57 days, while revising those words from the beginning and adding 19,000 more took me another 19 days. So a full quarter of my time creating this manuscript went to revising what I’d written and adding the last 16% of the book. I always slow down at the end. I always feel like I *shouldn’t*, but I do.

And you all know what I always say: Figure out what your process is and own it.

So there I am!

I am trying to be better about refilling the well after I finish a project like this. So instead of plunging into the next fiction work, I’ve been taking a little time off. Those of you who listen to my podcast know that on Saturday I drove our 20 year-old Highlander into town to buy plants. When I arrived after a twenty-minute drive, I discovered that a pack rat had built a nest in the engine. How did I find out? Because the engine caught on fire! That’s it in the photo. You can see the bits of detritus from the pack rat nest – and that lots of the engine components melted. I’m fine – many thanks to Newman’s Nursery for quick action with a fire extinguisher and being so lovely to me – but the car will cost more to fix than it’s worth. So, goodbye to Nessie. My mom bought her new in 2000, so she had a good run.

A friend pointed out that it counts to a fiery sacrifice to the gods upon completion of this trilogy, so I’m going with that.