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Stu Venable Posts

Mandeight Chronicles Update!

Here are some updates regarding my fantasy series, the Mandeight Chronicles

Book One: Mandeight and the Apprentice Mage

The ebook and POD versions are available and I’m nearly finished recording the audiobook version. Reading the book aloud has helped me find quite a few typos. I’ve edited the original manuscript document as I’ve found errors, and I will update the contents of both the ebook and POD versions with this new text file as soon as I’ve finished the audiobook.

As of this writing, I’m at Chapter 21 in the recording process.

Book Two: Mandeight the Patented Mage

Book Two has been written and proofread. I’m going to hold off on its release until I’ve finished the audio version (see above). My hope is to release Book Two by the end of September, and I’ll release the ebook, POD and audiobook simultaneously.

Here’s a brief synopsis for Book Two (If you haven’t read the first book, I would skip the next paragraph as it contains spoilers):

Mandeight, Kidal and Dail return to Eldemy for Mandeight’s trials at the Collegium to confirm his Patents of Magic. He quickly learns that the Duke of Eldemy has a different kind of trial in mind. Apparently, word has reached the Duke of his escapades with the Scarab that resulted in the death of Cardinal Mage Basma. That’s all I’ll give away.

Book Three: Mandeight and the Collegium Magicum

Book Three is written! Well, the first writing pass is finished. If progress for this book goes like the previous two, I’ll do two more writing passes, then proofreading, recording, etc.

I won’t give a synopsis of Book Three, since only a few people have had a chance to read Book Two…

Let’s Stay in Touch

On the left side of my web page, there’s a link to sign up for my email list. I haven’t yet sent out any emails on it, and I’m not quite sure if anyone’s signed up for it yet.

But if you would like to know when things get released, please consider signing up. It will let me contact you directly when something new is available.

I promise I won’t spam you constantly.

I Finally Hit My Stride in Audiobook Recording (sigh)!

Today, I was finally able to record what I felt were good performances of several chapters of Mandeight and the Apprentice Mage.

Apart from being able to read aloud in a steady and consistent way, I had been struggling with characterizations of the characters in the book, mainly Mandeight himself.

I ended up using my default accent and manner from my work at the Renaissance Faire. I’ve been speaking that way there for more than twenty-five years, so it’s an easy characterization for me to slip in to.

I was able to record the prologue and three chapters tonight, and that only took me two hours. I expect to finish the recording in a month or so.

‘Mandeight and the Apprentice Mage’ Audiobook Update

Before I give the update, I need to say something about recording. I’ve had a home studio and have been recording for more than twelve years. I’ve recorded and mixed more than fifteen music CDs for my band, the Poxy Boggards, as well as others.

All that said, recording an audiobook is tough! Firstly, I’m recording myself, which is like doing two jobs at the same time. I’m the performer, so I’m trying to make sure I’m reading with a nice lyric flow, keeping consistent with characterizations, etc. Meanwhile, I’m looking at level meters, listening for plosives, etc. It’s difficult to do both at once.

Secondly, I’ve never narrated a book before, and there’s a lot more to it than I thought. I’m not a trained actor, I’m a Renaissance Faire stage hack, and now I’m starting to discover the difference.

That said, I am proceeding headlong into the world of audiobook recording!

While I will release Mandeight and the Apprentice Mage as a book on Audible.com, I’m also going to release it as a serialized podcast right here at stuvenable.com. It is likely I’ll take it down when the Audible version goes live, as I’m sure there’ll be some exclusivity issue with Audible.

My plan is to release the podcast version so that each “episode” includes two chapters of the book. To do otherwise would make some of the episodes rather short. And I won’t start releasing it until the whole thing is recorded. I get busy with other things at times, and I don’t want to leave listeners hanging, so until it’s completed, I won’t start releasing episodes.

When I do release the audiobook, I’ll put up two or three episodes and release the rest once or twice a week.

We’ll see how things progress.

Book Two of the Mandeight Chronicles: Update

As of 9pm on August 4, 2020, I finished the first draft of Book Two of the Mandeight Chronicles, Mandeight the Patented Mage.

As this is only my second novel, my writing “process” is hardly established, but if the process for my first book is any indication, I can give you an idea as to when it will be available.

With the first book, I did three writing passes.

The first pass is just to get everything written down. I blaze forward, only catching inconsistencies, typos, etc, as I notice them. For my first book, this phase took about three weeks. For Book Two, it took less than two weeks (I can type almost as fast as I can thing, and I thank my dad for making me take a typing class in junior high school).

For the second pass, I am looking for typos (and finding them is difficult if you’re the one who wrote what you’re proofreading), expanding descriptions that seem too thin, and catch inconsistencies. For Book One, this increased the page count by 25-percent or more. I also do some retconning to foreshadow things that happen later in the text.

The third pass is as much a reading as it is an editing pass. For the first book, I used this pass to try to catch any inconsistencies and plot holes (I missed some anyway).

The second two passes for Book One took about two weeks, and I expect it’ll take about the same for Book Two.

This timeline may change, as I’m also trying to record the audiobook version of Book One (more on that in my next post).

I would love to hire a professional proofreader and editor, but the cost for such is rather high, and I can’t afford that right now. If sales start to boom, that will change of course.

I had even more fun writing the second book as I did writing the first, and I didn’t think that could be possible. That’s probably why the first writing pass went so quickly.

For those of you who’ve purchased and read Book One, thank you! And in reading it, I hope you’re as excite about Book Two as I am.