by Todd

What is TLM?

August 22, 2011 in Blog by Todd

The other day I realized that no one, with the exception of my editor, my beta readers, and my wife, know what TLM is actually about. It’s still a little early in the game for the official jacket synopsis. I usually save that for last, as it’s not my favorite thing to do.

So, what can I tell you about TLM that will entice you rather than spoil everything? A few things, I think:

  • It’s one year after the events of ALT. Donovan is a licensed private investigator and works with his brother. He finished his novel, a noir-thriller titled Monochrome Dream. And his wife, Donna, is six months pregnant. Life is good.
  • For the last several months, young adults have been vanishing from their homes, classes, jobs. Donovan has followed one case obsessively for the better part of a year: a high school student by the name of Shelly Hill. He has his theories about what happened to her, but is afraid to face them.
  • The disappearance of Donovan’s nephew pulls him back into a nightmare he thought he’d left behind. To find his nephew, he will have to face a fear that’s been growing within, culminating with a difficult choice that will affect everyone he knows and loves.
  • One more thing: Aleister Dullington is not the villain . . . but I’ve probably said that already.


That’s all I can tell you for now. I had a lengthy conversation with Amelia on Saturday evening regarding the “game plan,” her thoughts on the book’s new epilogue (she liked it), as well as ways to trim the prologue. Unlike ALT’s editing process, we’re aiming to work somewhat in tandem, one chapter a week. We may fall short of that, but for now, it’s something to shoot for. We’ll probably have these tandem edits finished sometime after Thanksgiving, with a final, thorough edit to follow by the end of February. It would be sooner, but we’re trying to account for those pesky holidays.

I discussed potential cover designs with Erica as well. We have a couple of things in mind, something abstract with vector imagery in the same styling as Hitchock’s Vertigo and the intro sequence for Mad Men. These are just ideas, of course. The end result could look entirely different, but for now, it’s a starting point.

I think that’s all for now. I’ll be doing some test recordings of ALT this week, and I may post some snippets. Stay tuned.


by Todd

Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure

August 18, 2011 in Blog by Todd

As promised, here’s the book trailer for Craig Lancaster’s upcoming collection of short stories. I recorded the narration, and RJ Keller put the whole thing together:


by Todd

Voice work and the benefit of being a geek.

August 17, 2011 in Blog by Todd

Over the last several years, I’ve had requests for ALT in audio form. I’ve always politely declined for a few reasons. Mainly because I’m not a trained voice actor (or any sort of actor, for that matter), I can’t afford expensive studio time or to hire a professional reader, and I never had access to decent recording equipment.

However, since I was a call-in guest on Book Chatter earlier this year (during which Zoe Winters remarked that I have a “golden voice”), those requests for an audio version of ALT have increased. Then, just last week, I got an email from my friend RJ Keller, asking if I’d be interested in recording the audio for Craig Lancaster’s book trailer.

It was flattering, but my knee-jerk reaction was to say no simply because I didn’t think I could produce something of high quality. Then I remembered I bought a new headset some months back for the purpose of online gaming. It’s kind of a fancy one, with a boom microphone, and it also has PC compatibility. Yes, I’m a geek. Always have been. Get over it.

Anyway, I decided to ignore my initial reaction and say yes, I’ll be happy to do it. And I did. I plugged in the headset and recorded a few takes. My wife did some noise reduction in Audition, then exported them to mp3, and I sent them along to Craig and Kel.

They loved the results, and parts of my original takes will be appearing in the trailer for Craig’s new book, QUANTUM PHYSICS AND THE ART OF DEPARTURE. I’ll post it here once it’s available.

The recordings turned out far better than I expected they would. Craig & Kel’s reactions were also very positive. So much, in fact, that I’ve reconsidered my stance on doing an audio book.

It’s too early to say when it will be available or even where, for that matter, as I’m a stranger to the methods in which one can bring an audio book to market. The point is that I’m confident enough now to say “Let’s do this,” and that at some point in the near future, ALT the audio book is going to be a thing.

So, this Fall, I’ll not only be editing TLM, but also recording ALT. I have lost my mind.


by Todd

Show of hands.

August 17, 2011 in Blog by Todd

Hello again. Another quick post. I’ll go into more detail later tonight, but for now, I’ve a question for you.

Would you be interested in I made ALT available in audio? I’m thinking digital, DRM-free recordings that you can put on any device or burn to disc if that’s your thing, with a price of $5 or $10.

Yes? No? Maybe? Don’t care? Tell me!


by Todd


August 11, 2011 in Blog by Todd

Hey, folks. Sorry for the silence. I’ve been in brainstorming mode these last few days, and I’ve got an interesting conundrum I wanted to present to you.

If you’ve read it, you know ALT is hard to shoehorn into a single genre. It’s not quite horror. Not quite science fiction. Not quite a thriller, either. Unfortunately, retail classification relies on these genre names, and you have to pick at least one (but it’s usually two or three).

I classified ALT as a thriller and a horror novel, which it simultaneously is and isn’t. I’ve mentioned in interviews that it’s slipstream or speculative fiction, but those aren’t recognized as hard genres. And now that TLM is due out next year, I have to start thinking about these things.

So, tell me, if you had to fit ALT into a single genre, what would it be?