Audiobook Production Under Way for Lessons Learned: A Rys World Short Story

Lessons Learned by Tracy Falbe
A rash act of defiance will thrust Shan into a high stakes competition with Onja, his lover, his queen. His compassion for a mere human starts his descent into a dangerous test that he is not prepared for.

Lessons Learned will soon be available as an audiobook. This is a short prequel story for my epic fantasy series The Rys Chronicles. I am the narrator of the audiobook, and it represents my first foray into narrating audio fiction. I’ve been developing my voice over skills for the past year or so, and have successfully recorded and published one of my nonfiction books Get Dicey: Play Craps and Have Fun.

Because Lessons Learned is a short story of just over 9,000 words, I decided that it would be a good place to start. Narrating an entire book is actually quite intimidating. I hired narrators to record my full-length novels Union of Renegades and The Goddess Queen partly because the thought of reading a big fat book aloud daunted me. When I outsourced the voice over for those novels, I did not feel like I could tackle the task myself. I did wish that I could do it though, and that desire gradually overcame my reluctance until I starting learning how to do voice over.

From my experience of narrating short books, I’ve gained some confidence. I speak the words and minute by minute I work my way through the pages.

I’ve completed the recording of the audiobook and am currently editing the audio. Occasionally, I need to go back and re-record parts, mostly dialogue, that I decided to be inadequate while editing. I then splice the fixes into the raw audio until I’m satisfied with a track.

Although I prefer to be painfully secretive about things until they are ready for public release, I’m sharing a wee snippet of audio from the upcoming audiobook.

Listen to an Excerpt from Lessons Learned: A Rys World Short Story by Tracy Falbe

Once the audiobook is complete, I will distribute it to retail and library audiobook channels through Findaway Voices. I’ve been pleased with this audiobook publishing platform.

The full-length audiobooks for Union of Renegades and The Goddess Queen are widely available online as well as right here at Brave Luck Books where you can buy the mp3 files.

Lessons Learned reveals a crucial episode from the back story for Shan and Onja, two of the main characters in Union of Renegades and The Goddess Queen. I categorize Lessons Learned as a dark fantasy because it does not have a happy ending. If you know what happens in Union of Renegades, however, the short prequel story has extra meaning.

Until I complete the Lessons Learned audiobook, people can read the ebook version by downloading from Smashwords.

In the coming days, whenever I can make time, I’ll be editing the audio and pecking away at writing my new work in progress.

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Current Smashwords Promotions for my Fantasy Ebooks

I love running sales at Smashwords. The special deals feature at the store allows me to gain some visibility within the retail ecosystem. With a few clicks, I can easily activate coupons for any of my novels. Even though it generates a coupon code, you conveniently just need to click “buy with coupon” instead of actually entering the coupon code.

On Sale January 2020

I completed the Werewolves in the Renaissance trilogy late last year, and both Book 2 and Book 3 are 40% off at Smashwords through January 31. The first book, Werelord Thal, is always a free ebook.

Journey of the Hunted: Werewolves in the Renaissance Book 2

Buy ebook

Werewolf Castle: Werewolves in the Renaissance Book 3

Buy ebook

Werewolf Castle: Werewolves in the Renaissance 3

The Rys Chronicles Complete Series Box Set

Buy box set

It’s my first fantasy series that I began publishing in 2006, and The Rys Chronicles remains my best-selling series to this day. I wrote the first chapters of Union of Renegades all the way back in 1997 by hand no less. In 1998, I purchased my first computer over the phone from Gateway. I lied about my income to get financing, but you could say anything reasonable to get consumer credit before the 2008 financial collapse, and getting a computer called for some wobbling of ethical standards. I then typed the handwritten manuscript for the first 20 chapters into a word processor. Going forward, I made the adjustment to composing novels while typing instead of writing by hand as I had always done it as a young adult.

This box set contains 4 full-length novels: Union of Renegades, The Goddess Queen, Judgment Rising, and The Borderlands of Power.

Buy box set

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Werewolf Castle Earns 5-star Reviews at Amazon Kindle

The publication of Werewolf Castle in October 2019 after a painful five-year gap in productivity heralded my return to fiction writing after a prolonged illness and a great deal of life getting in the way of writing. I’m thrilled that the first reviews that have come in for Werewolf Castle in the Amazon Kindle store have been positive.

Normally, people who read my series are pleased with the subsequent novels. The free availability of the first books in my series weeds out readers who do not enjoy my stories. Even so, as a series writer, I put much effort into making each book in a series a good read that builds to a satisfying conclusion.

I’ve learned to take screenshots of reviews posted on Amazon because I’ve had them disappear in the past. The loss of glowing 5-star Kindle review from a verified buyer of Journey of the Hunted was particularly stinging. The review stated that I was the equal of several popular authors, like Orson Scott Card. Perhaps Amazon flagged that totally legitimate review as too good to be true, which is quite galling. I do not pay for fake reviews. In fact, I simply let them trickle in organically.

The following screenshot details the satisfaction of two readers who were pleased with Werewolf Castle and the entire Werewolves in the Renaissance trilogy.

As a writer, I feel very gratified that my characters reach readers in a visceral way. I truly spend a great deal of time agonizing over whether the prose imparts the inner lives of the characters in a meaningful way that connects with readers. Aside from writing a story that flows and makes a reasonable amount of sense, character development represents the magic that brings novels alive. A reader has to care in some way about what is happening to the people in the story.

Werewolf Castle: Werewolves in the Renaissance 3

Buy Your Ebook Copy of Werewolf Castle Right Here from the Author or Download From Your Favorite Retailer

$2.99

Choice of 3 formats: Epub, PDF, of Kindle

Pay with credit card or PayPal. Downloads delivered by SendOwl.

About Werewolf Castle

Thal has found refuge from werewolf hunters and assassins at the castle of his father, Sarputeen. Although the mountain fortress on the eastern fringe of the Holy Roman Empire shields him for the moment, he knows the peace can’t last.

His father counsels war against his old rival who sent servants to murder Thal. But first, Thal must increase his power and that means making a pack. To obtain men to make werewolves, Sarputeen calls in an old debt from the local duke.

The thought of giving others the werewolf magic troubles Thal. He knows that they will be forever bound to him as obedient killers. They will never have normal lives again. Despite his qualms, he is troubled most by the supernatural fext who can heal from all wounds. This foul assassin serves the sorcerer Tekax, and Thal cannot dare to battle them without more werewolves at his side.

Download Your Copy of Werewolf Castle today:

Google Play

Apple Books

Kobo

Nook

Kindle US

Kindle CA

Kindle AU

Kindle UK

Kindle Germany

Kindle Netherlands

Smashwords

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2020 New Year’s Goal – Finish writing another novel

Happy New Year! In 2019, I got my feet underneath me as an author after a long period of personal challenges. I published the long-awaited third part of the Werewolves in the Renaissance series, Werewolf Castle.

I’m feeling confident about creating more stories in 2020 and am publicly setting the goal of finishing a new novel in 2020. I’m happy to say that I’m already 12,000 words into my newest project. It’s truly too early for me to reveal any details about the upcoming novel, except to say that it is a sci fi adventure. The genre that I’m aiming for is something akin to space opera or space fantasy.

I’ve always planned on writing a sci fi series. Sci fi is the cohabitating partner of fantasy for a reason. A sci fi narrative relies on advanced technology in a similar way that a fantasy story requires magic. Writing sci fi demands that I structure more metaphors and imagery around technological and scientific concepts whereas with fantasy I find that my inspirations are deeply based in the natural world. I like to think of fantasy as the organic foods section of literature and science fiction as RadioShack.

Both sci fi and fantasy provide ample opportunity to explore metaphysical subjects as well. Whether it’s a magic being singing to trees or the vast galactic unknown, both scenarios connect characters to the great questions of life and the universe.

May you make progress toward your goals this New Year as I pursue mine. Join my Readers’ List newsletter and follow the development of my first sci fi novel. 

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Complete Fantasy Series Ebooks Holiday Special

The SendOwl checkout system at Brave Luck Books makes it easy for you to buy ebooks and give them as gifts this holiday season. At checkout, select the option that identifies the order as a gift and then enter the recipient’s email address.

A fantasy reader on your list will enjoy a complete fantasy series to read. I have three complete series to choose from right now. The bundle deals below provide digital access to all of the ebooks in the series Rys Rising, The Rys Chronicles, and Werewolves in the Renaissance. Each bundle includes multiple ebook files. You or a gift recipient can download all of the files or just save the format that is desired. Payment unlocks access to every available ebook format for my fantasy novels.

Bundle Pricing saves you money when you buy a complete series at once.

Werewolves in the Renaissance Trilogy

(Includes Werelord Thal, Journey of the Hunted, and Werewolf Castle)

All 3 Ebooks $4.99 (Worldwide Delivery)

Rys Rising Complete Series

(Includes Rys Rising, Savage Storm, New Religion, and Love Lost)

Rys Rising Complete Series Ebook Bundle

All 4 Ebooks $9.99 (Worldwide Delivery)

The Rys Chronicles Complete Series

(Includes Union of Renegades, The Goddess Queen, Judgment Rising, and The Borderlands of Power)

The Rys Chronicles Complete Series ebook bundle

A 4 Ebooks $8.99 (Worldwide Delivery)

Ebooks are affordable digital gifts that can be sent to any email address in the world for download. If someone is far away or you need a last minute gift, then ebooks are the click-and-send solution that you’re looking for.

These bundles of my fantasy series are a good choice for young adult and adult readers who love fantasy literature.

If you want paperbacks, I have a great deal on The Rys Chronicles. All four paperback books come signed by me, the author. Shipping in United States only.

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The Rys Chronicles Paperback Holiday Special

The Rys Chronicles Complete 4-Book Series in Paperback by Tracy Falbe

Many fantasy readers still prefer an actual paper book. Relaxing into an epic novel offers a great way to unplug from the hectic pace of digital life. Many years ago when I first formed Falbe Publishing, I printed all four novels of The Rys Chronicles in paperback. I sold them at comic and gaming conventions for a few years, which was fun, but I have not had the motivation to work as a vendor at a convention for a while. Which means that I still have some paperbacks around.

Therefore, I can offer a clearance deal on The Rys Chronicles by selling it as a four-book set for an embarrassingly low price.

The set contains the novels: Union of Renegades, The Goddess Queen, Judgment Rising, and The Borderlands of Power.

Set ships only in the United States. The cost to ship four books out of this country is absurdly expensive.

4 Paperbacks $14.99 with Free U.S. Shipping

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44 Free Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

If you’re looking for a constant supply of free ebooks, then visit Prolific Works any day of the week. It’s an ebook giveaway platform where authors, including many indie authors like me, connect with new readers by providing free samples.

Right now, I’m running an ebook giveaway at Prolific Works that includes 44 free ebooks in the sci fi and fantasy genres. Readers have until December 18th, to access the giveaway page.

To discover a new indie author, visit the Flagship Fantasy and Sci Fi Giveaway. Visitors will find a couple of my free titles, because I’m the giveaway organizer, along with a diverse selection of exciting novels and previews by dozens of genre writers.

Go Beyond the Retailer Marketing Algorithm

Browsing multi-author giveaways is a great way to find new authors. It differs from searching for a new title at an ebook retailer. Marketing algorithms at ebook retailers will focus on the best-selling titles by organizing books into top 10 or top 100 lists. This system only partially succeeds in exposing readers to the best talents because the popularity contest marketing system builds barriers that keep other authors from gaining notice. If a title does not get enough sales, it will never break into a list and gain exposure to customers. In this way, the retail ecosystem perpetuates sales for the same titles and limits churn on the charts. I can understand the motivation for doing this because the system markets proven sellers, but it buries other titles regardless of their merit because they never get a day in the sun. Most visitors to the retailer will only look at what the system merchandises and never see any of the thousands of other titles available.

Hitting giveaway sites like Prolific Works gives people a chance to see titles merchandised from a different perspective. Authors willing to make the effort to market their creations and offer a free sample gain a chance to be seen. Readers get free reads and sometimes discover hidden gems.

If you encounter this post after the giveaway closes on Dec. 18th, all hope is not lost. You can always get a free read right here at Brave Luck Books on the free ebooks page.

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Two Conceptual Approaches to Writing Series

As the author of three different series, I group series writing into two camps. One requires the author to know, at least in broad terms, the overarching story being told by the individual parts. The second approach relies on a formula for creating individual installments or episodes. The formula enables an open-ended path to creating an ongoing series that does not necessarily have an end in sight. 

Writing a Story as Series

When the author knows the story from the beginning, each story within the series contributes to the master story arc guiding the narrative toward a conclusion. Each installment will contain its own smaller story arc, but the results of the arc move the overall story forward toward a conclusion. This is the method that came naturally to me as a fiction writer. 

The Lord of the Rings trilogy provides a well-known example. Tolkien wrote the books knowing that the issue introduced in the first book (the Ring must be destroyed) would be resolved in some way in the final book. 

This differs from an author who writes a successful novel that goes on to spawn sequels due to its success. The best-seller Dune by Frank Herbert serves as an example of a successful novel that inspired many more sequels. The universe envisioned by Herbert certainly provided fertile territory for ongoing stories, but the original Dune has the form of a standalone novel. It tells the story of the rivalry between the Harkonnens and Atreides coming to a head and Paul’s rise as a super being who took over the imperial throne. If the novel had been a flop, then sequels would not have resulted, but their absence would not have left the original Dune as an inconclusive orphan. Imagine if The Fellowship of the Ring had no sequels? Although entertaining, it did not resolve the issue presented in the beginning. Fellowship is a novel that was planned from the beginning to serve as a part of a larger whole. 

Writing an Episodic Series

This story system introduces a setting and characters and places them in various conflicts within each story. Individual installments resolve their issues within each story. 

The Star Trek universe illustrates the episodic approach to building a series. The Original Series in particular presented a single story in each episode that was not generally related to the preceding episodes or succeeding episodes. The formula called for the crew to go to a new place, encounter a threatening unknown, and figure out how to deal with it. The series formed a collection of individual stories instead of a collection of stories that built an overarching story. 

Sometimes the episodic formula can develop into an overarching story. The X-Files was primarily an episodic adventure dependent on Mulder and Scully dealing with something strange each episode and then moving on to some new wonder in the next story. As the series went on, however, overarching story elements emerged around secretive groups. These narratives would rise as the episodes dealt with the larger story and then gradually yield to episodic adventures again. 

My writing has fallen into the camp of story as series. Even if it takes me three or four novels to tell a complete story, I know where I’m going when I write the first story. In a new project that I’ve started, I’m going to try a partially episodic approach. I know I won’t be able to completely resist the urge to develop an overarching story, but I’m interested in exploring the demands of episodic writing. 

As someone who has been writing fiction since 1997 when I penned (literally penned) the first chapters of Union of Renegades, I feel it’s important that I keep trying new ideas. 

Explore Fantasy Series by Tracy Falbe

The Rys Chronicles

Rys Rising

Werewolves in the Renaissance

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New Release! Werewolf Castle by Tracy Falbe

Werewolf Castle: Werewolves in the Renaissance 3
Werewolf Castle: Werewolves in the Renaissance 3 by Tracy Falbe has been released as an ebook worldwide.

The historical fantasy adventure that began in Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale and continued in Journey of the Hunted has now concluded with the publication of Werewolf Castle. Set in the 16th century Holy Roman Empire, the story draws upon the superstitions and folklore of the Early Modern era to present an exciting and frightening story of persecution, survival, and ancient pagan magic.

Ebook sold worldwide at retailers and at this website.

Buy Your Copy Right Here from the Author

$2.99

Choice of 3 formats: Epub, PDF, of Kindle

Pay with credit card or PayPal. Downloads delivered by SendOwl.

About Werewolf Castle

Thal has found refuge from werewolf hunters and assassins at the castle of his father, Sarputeen. Although the mountain fortress on the eastern fringe of the Holy Roman Empire shields him for the moment, he knows the peace can’t last.

His father counsels war against his old rival who sent servants to murder Thal. But first, Thal must increase his power and that means making a pack. To obtain men to make werewolves, Sarputeen calls in an old debt from the local duke.

The thought of giving others the werewolf magic troubles Thal. He knows that they will be forever bound to him as obedient killers. They will never have normal lives again. Despite his qualms, he is troubled most by the supernatural fext who can heal from all wounds. This foul assassin serves the sorcerer Tekax, and Thal cannot dare to battle them without more werewolves at his side.

Download Your Copy of Werewolf Castle today:

Google Play

Apple Books

Kobo

Nook

Kindle US

Kindle CA

Kindle AU

Kindle UK

Kindle Germany

Kindle Netherlands

Smashwords

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Preorder Werewolf Castle Ebook Worldwide

Werewolf Castle: Werewolves in the Renaissance 3

Werewolf Castle Release Date: Oct. 17, 2019

The conclusion of the Werewolves in the Renaissance Series will soon be in the hands of readers. I’ll publish Werewolf Castle on October 17, 2019. It’s been way too long since I published a full novel, and I’m hopeful that this will mark my return to regularly writing and publishing novels again.

About Werewolf Castle

Thal has found refuge from werewolf hunters and assassins at the castle of his father, Sarputeen. Although the mountain fortress on the eastern fringe of the Holy Roman Empire shields him for the moment, he knows the peace can’t last.

His father counsels war against his old rival who sent servants to murder Thal. But first, Thal must increase his power and that means making a pack. To obtain men to make werewolves, Sarputeen calls in an old debt from the local duke.

The thought of giving others the werewolf magic troubles Thal. He knows that they will be forever bound to him as obedient killers. They will never have normal lives again. Despite his qualms, he is troubled most by the supernatural fext who can heal from all wounds. This foul assassin serves the sorcerer Tekax, and Thal cannot dare to battle them without more werewolves at his side.

Preorder at these retailers for instant delivery on Oct. 17

Google Play

Apple Books

Kobo

Nook

Kindle US

Kindle CA

Kindle AU

Kindle UK

Kindle Germany

Kindle Netherlands

Add it to your Smashwords Library

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