After Thoughts: The Audiobook

Amazon       Apple       Audible

After Thoughts collects 12 speculative fiction tales you'll never forget, now available in audio and featuring the voice talents of Craig Waletzko: 

  All That's Left Behind     Entrepreneur of the Year
  Better View Desired       Danse Nocturne
  Collateral Damage         Supersonic
  Collective Bargaining      Favorable Winds
  Absolute Magnitude        Kagemusha
  First People                   Monochromatic Mandate

Novel #19

Finished drafting Lives on the Line (Inspector Broekstein, Book 2) a few weeks ago. I wasn't sure exactly how I would write a murder mystery set in a late 1940s Connecticut soap factory, but somehow I managed. The twist at the end surprised me, which is always fun. No matter where I think a story is going, there's always a chance it might veer in an unexpected direction, and as long as it makes sense, that's alright by me. I enjoy surprises as a reader, and probably even more so as a writer.

Now I'm 17K into the trilogy's third installment, and this time, Inspector Broekstein finds himself deep in the heart of Maine, contending with ornery wildlife and thick accents. If I keep up my current pace, I should have it drafted in a couple months. Then the plan is to release all three cozy mysteries this summer. A small press rapid-released my post-apocalyptic trilogy in 2020 and my comedic space opera in 2021, but this will be my first solo flight in a completely different genre. Should be interesting.

March Madness

Real life has been hectic lately, so I haven't written a whole lot, but I am two chapters into the third Inspector Broekstein mystery, Whispers in the Woods, so that's something. I also finished updating the paperback version of Westward, Tally Ho! and, by all indications, it turned out well. 

This month's goals: make it a third of the way through the first draft of Whispers in the Woods, continue posting an episode of Monsieur Moule's Subterranean Casino each day, and revamp the paperback edition of Double Murders are Twice as Bad. That should be doable.

In other news, my flash fiction collection After Thoughts is getting the audio treatment, courtesy of Craig Waletzko who produced Alienated. Based on what I've heard so far, it's going to sound great. He really knows how to bring characters to life.

How I Publish a Paperback

After seeing how well Uncommoner turned out in print, I've decided to overhaul my entire paper-and-glue backlist and spruce them up a bit. I plan to refer back to this post whenever I'm working on a paperback, so I may update some things as I go along.

First up, here are a few sites that really came in handy:

And here's the path I took:

1. Copy and paste the single-spaced manuscript with chapter headings into the chosen trim size template: 5.25" by 8"

2. Use a free, commercial-use font: EB Garamond

3. Change line indents from 0.5" to 0.2" and add page numbers; turn off page borders in design to delete horizontal lines in headers/footers

4. Add section breaks to eliminate running headers above chapter titles, which should be twice the normal font size to ensure consistent spacing between text and page numbers in the footer

5. Check for any weird justification at the ends of pages and chapters

6. Input the page count in the cover calculator and download the template; use Canva to create a custom project with the cover dimensions in inches; assemble the cover with free, commercial-use art from Pixabay, keeping all text lined up inside the template's white space

7. Save the book and cover as PDFs, and carefully review every page prior to publishing

February Goals

This month, I'm planning to finish the first draft of my second Inspector Broekstein mystery, Lives on the Line. Murders at the Manor ended up being 53K, and the sequel should be about the same length. Right now, I'm at 45K, and things are ramping up toward a wild and crazy finale.

Then I'll have to decide whether to draft the third Inspector Broekstein book while his eccentricities are fresh in my mind or to continue Dome City Investigations with Insurgents & Infidels, the sequel to Dust Freaks & Demigods (in the same world as Spirits of the Earth).

I'm also posting an episode of Monsieur Moule's Subterranean Casino every day this month, and that should continue through March, maybe even into April. At which point I'll start posting the trilogy finale, Peter Gideon's Aeroship Extraordinaire.

On the paperback front, I'm planning to revamp Westward, Tally Ho! I updated the eBook cover a while back and will be doing the same with the print version, as well as resizing it to 5.25" X 8" and reformatting the interior. Eventually, all of my backlist titles will look as good as Uncommoner.

Subterranean Casino

The sequel to my novel Madame Antic's Hotel Grotesque is getting the serialized treatment this month, and you can read the first three episodes of Monsieur Moule's Subterranean Casino right here for free.

Anthony and Sephora escaped from Madame Antic's sky city, and now they must navigate a new life in the dangerous ruins of London. Nothing is as it was in their technologically advanced reality. Here tribes hunt and gather at night, keeping vigilant watch during daylight hours. Mutant animals with poisonous fangs roam the outskirts, and, according to legend, mole people live underground. But if they've managed to hide from Antic all these years, then they might hold the answers Anthony seeks.

Novel #18

Mission accomplished: I finished writing the first season of AGROTHARN the Interstellar Semi-Barbarian on January 30. One hundred episodes (80K words) of sword & sorcery meets space opera meets gonzo insanity. It's a novel I never expected to write, each chapter inspired by four random story cubes. That could be a real challenge at times, and I had no idea how it would all turn out, but I'm very pleased with how it did. I probably had more fun with this crazy tale than anything else I've ever written.

While season one can stand alone, it might be even better with a second season, so I plan to start writing AGROTHARN: Blades & Blasters! this fall (after a summer of other projects patiently awaiting my attention). Already looking forward to that.

Eventually when I release the eBook and paperback, I'll use cover art similar to what I've included here. I want it to scream pulpy fun, like those adventure novels from decades ago. But for now, AGROTHARN will be exclusively available on Kindle Vella, where you can continue to read all of my recent works in progress—until this Amazon venture goes the way of Kindle Scout.

New Release: Unlikely Heroes Unite!

For fans of The Princess Bride, Shrek, and Fractured Fairy Tales...

When the eccentric Baron Rauxtund is kidnapped from Havenwaye Manor by a cabal of traitorous knights, it will be up to a handful of peasants to save the day. But what can a young serf, an old village priest, and a few loyal yet quarrelsome subjects do against such overwhelming odds? And who is this masked Strange One who rises to the occasion while kicking below the belt? 

WARNING: This is not your cute fairy godmother's adventure story. It is a tale of uncommon heroes and horrid villains, of virtues and vices, of courage against powerful evil schemes. Gird up your funny bone, for intense giggles, groans, and gasps in equal measure await! 

Originally on Kindle Vella, now available in eBook and paperback:  Amazon

Noveling Update

This month, my goals are to wrap up AGROTHARN the Interstellar Semi-Barbarian, make it to the halfway point of Lives on the Line (Inspector Broekstein #2), and get Uncommoner: A GrimFarce out there for the world to read in eBook and paperback. So, how am I doing? Glad you asked.

From the start of AGROTHARN I wanted to write 100 episodes. Arbitrary, I know; sometimes I just like to push myself. But four months later, I'm pleased to say I've got 95 episodes on Kindle Vella with another five to go. I'm on the final story arc of "season one," and things are shaping up nicely. I should be able to post the 100th episode by the end of next week.

As soon as I finished Murders at the Manor, I knew I wouldn't be saying goodbye to amateur sleuth Willem Broekstein anytime soon. Only a day or two went by before I dove into the sequel, Lives on the Line. 20K written so far with the target being a little over 50K. Here's the current blurb:

Quirky, lovelorn Inspector Broekstein is back, this time in a mystery that begins with a bar of soap and a simple message carved on one side: Help me. All is not as it seems, however, and he will need his wits about him if he is to solve a dangerous case of infidelity, misogyny, and revenge without losing his head or his heart in the process.

Last, but not least, I've been formatting the eBook edition of Uncommoner: A GrimFarce and re-learning how to format paperbacks. Instead of using the KDP method that does it all for you and ends up not looking so hot in print, I decided to do the interior myself with the templates they offer. Then I used the cover calculator and took the template/dimensions over to Canva to piece everything together. If the PDF files load correctly, it should end up looking pretty spiffy.

Year in Review: 2022

I spent the first six months on edits, and since June, I've been writing almost every day. Feeling pretty good about this year's output and looking forward to working on the next installment of Dome City Investigations next year. And another Inspector Broekstein mystery. And a Vic Boyo, Doofus Dectective sequel. Planning to wrap up AGROTHARN, probably by early February; then there's the possibility of sequels for that crazy bunch of characters as well.

But enough about next year. Here's what I somehow managed to accomplish in 2022:

Novels Edited: 2

Monsieur Moule's Subterranean Casino (The Interdimensionals, Book 2) — 60K
Peter Gideon's Aeroship Extraordinaire (The Interdimensionals, Book 3) — 60K

Kindle Vella Projects: 5

Uncommoner: A GrimFarce (26 episodes, 53K) 
Murders at the Manor (42 episodes, 53K) 
AGROTHARN the Interstellar Semi-Barbarian (80 episodes and counting, 62K) 
Shadowland Theatre (17 episodes, 12K)
Lives on the Line (16 episodes and counting, 15K)

Audiobook Produced: 1

Blog Posts: 26
All Content © 2009 - 2023 Milo James Fowler