22 November 2019

Listening to the stars

And here, to interrupt the Touchstone books, is And All the Stars!  Brilliantly narrated by Coralie Bywater, listening to this in audio only makes me want to see this one as a movie. :)
Also available through a host of other channels.  Check your favourite distributor to see if it's there.

I'm hoping Caszandra will be out first quarter next year (still in production).

That will probably be it for audio books for some time - I enjoy listening to them, but it will take quite some time to see return on investment for them.  Hope you enjoy this one!

25 October 2019

Lab Rat Chitter

Next off the rank for audiobooks is Lab Rat One
Also available through a host of other channels.  Check your favourite distributor to see if it's there.

I've also commissioned an audiobook for And All the Stars.  While I don't think audiobooks will be a big return on investment for me, I love listening to them myself, so couldn't resist at least one more.

24 September 2019

Cover Reveal: Swift the Chase

Here's some fun news - a compilation of stories from a bunch of cool authors.  I've not really participated in this kind of thing in the past, but it's hard to resist having my name on a cover with some of my favourite authors.  I also really like the cover (done by  Jenny Zemanek of Seedlings Design studio).

Swift The Chase features scenes or shorts from 9 authors, including Intisar Khanani, Raf Morgan, Casey Blair, Rachel Neumeier, P. Djélì Clark, Sherwood Smith, Joyce Chng, and Melissa McShane (and me, of course).  It's be out on 8 October 2019, free on most platforms.
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Magic—danger—and the thrill of the chase!

Experience the rush of racing across rooftops with thieves—or the desperation of fleeing an assassin who knows you a little too well. From the fish market of a tropical island sultanate, to the monster-filled alleys of a steampunk London, to a land where souls take different forms as they rise or fall through the layers of the world, this collection of chase scenes and vignettes set in nine distinctive worlds will leave you spellbound.

Find unexpected allies, unshakeable enemies, sudden twists and turns, and always the swiftness of the chase—whether you’re on the hunt, or racing for your life.

This sampler includes an exclusive bonus scene set during the events of Tea Set and Match by Casey Blair, available for free online, and a scene from an unpublished novel by Rachel Neumeier not available anywhere else. The excerpts by Intisar Khanani, Raf Morgan, P. Djèlí Clark, Sherwood Smith, Joyce Chng, Melissa McShane, and Andrea K. Höst are from longer works that are available for sale at all major retailers. 

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I'll be participating in a Facebook launch party on the release day, and there's even a giveaway (which includes an audio copy of Stray! (see the Rafflecopter giveaway)



23 August 2019

Sentence by sentence

Still making progress on Tangleways, but as the title suggests, not very quickly.  I'm having a very consumer-oriented year, just reading and reading, with a side of game playing.  Very unlikely to get a book out this year as a result, though I am having fun with the story, even if it's not a fast one to emerge.

I really like Iona and Wen (both of whom appeared briefly in Pyramids, and have larger roles throughout the series).

I promise not to let my current addiction to Chinese webnovels alter the story too much.  No face-slapping.  No revenges.  Am going to make quite a few of you cry, though, because there's a third character I like a lot in this story, and they're in an unwinnable bind.

03 August 2019

Glitches

Note that the last chapter of the audiobook is currently appearing after the glossary and character list. I've put in a request to fix and will let you all know.  When it's fixed, you should be able to download a correct version, but until then just skip past the character list and glossary to hear the last chapter!

01 August 2019

Speaking of Stray...

Audiobooks are quite a process - listening, noting errors, going through a correction round, making those funny square-shaped covers...but here we are at the end of the first stage of a long road!

Thanks to narrator Stephanie Macfie, who fearlessly took on a thousand neologisms, Stray is now out at a whole bunch of different audiobook distributors, including:

Check your favourite distributor to see if it's there.

It should also be available through Overdrive, if you have a library looking for something new!

Hope you all like it.  Next stop, Lab Rat One!

19 June 2019

That time I was reincarnated...

I've been tracking my reading on Goodreads since 2010, with a peak of 159 books in 2011 (I was having a big Rex Stout binge), but halfway through this year Goodreads tells me I've read a grand total of four books.

Now, the site has never captured all my reading, since it's very much focused on traditionally published media (by that I'm not talking about self-published or not - I mean the reading of things that have ISBNs or ASINs or things that there's some kind of formal system of indexing).  I've never tried to track the webcomics I read, or even more formal 'Western' comics, let alone the volume of illicitly translated manga/manhua I tend to read.

Earlier this year, the reading of webtoons led me to a translation site of the vast reams of web novels that often form the basis of webtoons.  These are almost all Chinese, Japanese and Korean language stories that aren't available in English (and thus the translation site exists in a legal shadowland in much the same way as fan translations of manga).  These translations are practically the only stories I've been reading since February.

As the title of this post indicates, reincarnation is the hot trope in web novels at the moment (and for the last few years), combining neatly with the other hot trope, isekai (other world) stories.  Many of these are fantastically indulgent power fantasies, but that's okay, I like fantastically indulgent power fantasies.  Better still, not all of these power fantasies feature your Standard Ordinary Guy Lead.

The three countries these stories are sourced from do have some distinct variants (at least in the stories I read - never underestimate the sheer variety of stories out there).

The Korean stories I read tend to fall into two categories.  Girls who pull fantastic derp faces while lying to mystical creatures who have strayed into modern Korea, and guys in some kind of gaming environment becoming supremely powerful and looking incredibly cool while being underestimated.  [I like zero to hero stories like this so long as they don't turn into harem stories.]

Half of the Japanese stories I've been reading are "I've been reincarnated into an Otome game, and I'm the villain!".  [An Otome game is a story-focused romance game aimed at girls.]  The web novels almost always have the 'villain' trying to avoid the execution waiting at the end of the game through good deeds, while somehow failing to realise that she's made all the people she expects to be her enemies absolutely adore her.  But there are quite a few variants - one where the would-be villainess embraces her role (probably in attempt to avoid the love interest being executed in her place).  The other half are straight isekai or reincarnation (transported or reborn into another world that's not an Otome game).  A good third of these are homages to Japanese cooking, where earnest Japanese strays introduce deprived other worlds to things like spices, and not drowning your food in oil, and other basics of cooking.  Being reborn into your own past and attempting to save the lives of soon to be murdered family members is another common one (Lady Baby being an amusing entry here).  But there's some wild variants - the girl with the magic bear suit, the girl who became insanely powerful killing level 1 slimes, and wildest of all, the girl who saves the magical kingdom by hiring mercenaries from her own world and taking down those dragons with tanks - while wearing a gothic lolita princess dress.

But it's really the Chinese reincarnation stories where I've spending most of my time.  Not least because these are frequently 1000 to 2000 chapter stories, but also because many of these stories fulfil my yen for overpowered female mages (in a sub-genre called 'Cultivation' stories).  I rarely make it to the end of any of these stories, not least because they're often not fully translated, or are still on-going, but I enjoy reading them until I can't take the power ups any more.  They take your traditional zero to hero story, focus it around a female character, and add lashings of slapping, family politics, coughing up blood (a sign of fury/chagrin), epic beat-downs, ruthless pragmatism, and fifty servings of revenge (both hot and cold).

Not all of the things I've been reading are magical power fantasies, however.  "To be a virtuous wife" by Yue Xia Die Ying is this amazingly languorous story about a very lazy 'reincarnee', and is also one of the most nuanced 'tell it in the spaces around the words' stories I've ever read.  If you want to read a story about the heights of formality and restraint, this one's for you.  And there's a series of stories which starts off with a detective and a forensic pathologist reborn as two of three sisters (which, amazingly, have actual endings to the stories, even if they're all interlinked).

If I had one negative for the Chinese sub-set of these stories is that most of these girls are thirteen to fifteen years old (not counting their reincarnated souls), and are considered 'too old' if they hit seventeen unmarried.

Anyway, that's how I've been spending my reading time.  Still working on Tangleways - slow going because it's such a damn complex world and I struggle to turn infodump into story flow.  And I think I'm going to have to go straight into book 3 of Trifold once I finish Tangleways, rather than hop back to Singularity because it's super hard to keep all the details this world in my head.

[Also coming up to a major anticipated game release, which will significantly impede writing progress for a few weeks.]

09 May 2019

Giveaway winner

The winner of the 15,000 stars giveaway is Thumpaholden.  Please email me at mail@andreakhost.com to select your prize!

24 March 2019

15,000 Stars

I first published The Silence of Medair and Stained Glass Monsters in December of 2010.  Since I had a backlog of written books, I've published more than one a year since then.  [Things sure have slowed down once I got back to first drafts, though!]

In 2012 I celebrated reaching 1,000 Stars on Goodreads, and 2014 marked 5,000 Stars.  Now, in 2019, we've reached 15,000 individual ratings on Goodreads (note: not all of these indicate read books - Goodreads lets people rate books that aren't even out yet, and there's a small percentage of everyone's ratings which are empty ratings like that).

To celebrate 15,000 stars, I'll offer a few options:
  • A signed copy of any one of my books.
  • Three unsigned copies of any of my books (actually cheaper for me, heh).
  • A chance to read one of the partials listed on the 5,000 Stars post.  [Sure to be frustrating to the reader.]
  • A chance to read the first chapter of Tangleways.
  • A copy of each of the Touchstone audiobooks when they're released (this will take some considerable time, as there's a couple of months of production involved in each).
Anyway, it's been a ride.  I'm sure I could have more stars if I had a faster writing schedule, and actually did some promo, but this relaxed writing stories and sharing them when they're done is pretty ideal for me.  Glad for all of you coming along with me!

To enter, just comment below.  [Competition closes end of April.]

16 February 2019

Question re audiobook timing

So we're gearing up to actual audiobook production on Stray, and I thought I'd check in with you all as to a timing preference.

Would you prefer audiobooks to be released as they're finalised (months apart), a week or two apart, or all at once?


03 January 2019

Still progressing toward audiobooks

Just a quick update on this, since I know some of you are hanging out for the Touchstone audiobooks.  I'm still saving up for them (I need to save up all the money first, since I don't want to risk needing to change narrators between books).  I am hoping to shift to hiring someone around the middle of the year.

Sadly the Australian dollar is very low at the moment, which means if I go with an overseas producer it will cost quite a bit more than originally expected.  Still, since I want an Australian voice for the narration, I'm looking at local companies first to see if any of them are viable.

Listening to the stars

And here, to interrupt the Touchstone books, is And All the Stars !  Brilliantly narrated by Coralie Bywater, listening to this in audio onl...