Contrary to expectations, I’ve been really busy at my day job in August and September. As such, things have not progressed as quickly as I had expected.
Nevertheless, there have been a few developments.
The audiobook of The Old Man’s Request: Book One of the Utgarda Trilogy is underway. The first cut of the whole thing is scheduled for completion at the end of September. This is my first experience using Audible Creation Exchange, so I’m not sure of the review and editing process once I receive it, but The Old Man’s Request: Book One of the Utgarda Trilogy should be available on Audible in time for the holidays!
As mentioned above, I’ve been busy at work for the past few months, so I haven’t been out and about. However, I will be attending the following events in the future.
I don’t see a lot of sales online, but I’m seeing more and more people at my booth at various conventions, and even when I don’t have a booth.
For example, I brought The Old Man’s Request: Book One of the Utgarda Trilogy to TCEP last year and sold several copies. I decided not to set up a booth this year, but I happened to bring three sets of the trilogy with me just in case. Well, someone who bought the first book last year approached me and asked if I had anymore! He bought The Missing Medium and The Other Realm for himself, and two sets of the trilogy to give as Christmas presents!
I also gave copies of The Old Man’s Request: Book One of the Utgarda Trilogy to several people when it first came out last year to spread the word. At my checkups this year, two of my doctors told me that they and/or a family member had really enjoyed it!
And I now have 11 followers of the blog itself, 66 followers on Facebook, and a whopping 551 followers on Twitter!
Thank you for your support!
In appreciation for the love you have given me, here is an excerpt from the currently untitled Anna Rykov novel in progress. Warning: this is an unedited draft.
The air was thick and heavy, permeated with the smell of decomposing vegetation. Anna Rykov stepped carefully through the lush foliage. She had a machete in one hand and her revolver in the other. Sweat poured into her eyes from beneath her pith helmet, and her khaki shirt and trousers were already soaked through. The canteen on her belt was nearly empty.
The German was just ahead. The drops of blood were getting closer together, indicating that the wounded man was moving more slowly. Eventually, she would find von Juntz, and he would get his comeuppance.
Anna stepped warily. Wolfram von Juntz had been at the site for some time. Who knew what matter of traps and tripwires he had lain. Still, he did not appear to be taking special care. His path through the undergrowth was evident, and it was more or less straight. Between the uneven footing among the thick vines that criss-crossed the ground, the thick, wide-leaved bushes, the tall palms that blocked the sunlight, and the ever-present mist that limited visibility even further, Anna had to be careful.
Anna climbed over a tree trunk that had fallen across the trail she and her quarry had been following and was startled by a leering face in the foliage. She immediately realized that it was a statue. She stopped and listened, attempting to ascertain von Juntz’s location, but she heard nothing. The cries of the monkeys and birds were gone.
Anna approached the clearing cautiously. She stopped short of the tree line to take in a Mesoamerican-style complex. The buildings were set in the middle of a stagnant lake. Greenish algae coated its surface, obscuring whatever lurked below. Here and there, Anna saw bubbles, indicating some kind of movement under the water.
The leering face was in the form of a dragon-like head, and it was one of a pair mounted on each side of an ornamental wall on either side of the entrance to the city. From the colorful and fairly fresh iconography, Anna could tell that the site was not Mayan in origin, nor that of any other Central American civilization that she was aware of.
There were a dozen or so adobe-style structures. Each sat on an artificial platform connected to others by narrow walkways. In the center of the complex was a wide open area, beyond which was a stepped pyramid. Something seemed strange about the pyramid, and it took a moment for Anna to realize that it had only three sides, rather than the usual four, with the point of two sides facing her.
Anna crouched behind a bush and observed the scene, looking for signs of movement or anything else that might betray von Juntz’s location. Large insects pestered her, and it took all of her resolve to ignore them. Just when she was about to give in, Anna heard two gunshots from within the ancient complex. She scanned the landscape, and this time, she saw the blond archaeologist limping from a building on the right toward the central square.
Anna leapt out of the foliage and ran between the walls onto the path. As soon as she stepped onto it, the walkway dipped under her weight. The path was not stationary. It was floating on the surface. Two more gunshots rang out from the building von Juntz had emerged from.
Anna fought to regain her balance. Once stable, she looked closely at the footing and saw that the walkway was made from wide bamboo stalks lashed together. She scanned the area, but there was no sign of von Juntz. Then Anna noticed several trails of bubbles rising from beneath the muck toward her.
Using the balance and reflexes she had acquired in the land of Brian Teplow’s visions, Anna expertly crossed the gap to the square and stepped onto the solid stone foundation as several gavials, large, narrow-jawed crocodiles, snapped at the bamboo. The wood was too unstable for the giant creatures to climb onto the path, and the platform had concave sides clearly designed to prevent them from climbing up onto the platform.
Anna took a moment to catch her breath. The thick, fetid air was nauseating, and she tried not to breathe through her nose. After a moment, she led with the revolver and advanced toward the pyramid.
This book is currently on Chapter 9 and about 15,000 words. My goal is to finish it before the end of October.
Enjoy the adventure!