Sunday, March 4, 2012

HG World presents:

The Diary of Jill Woodbine, Chapter 1

The Diary of Jill Woodbine, Chapter 2

New on the Podbean feed, hear how House & Garden World store #2210 in the Algonquin Valley transformed into a long-term refugee camp and how a young college student survived on her own against the wilderness and a growing hoard of zombies.

This audio novel was written by Jay Smith read by Veronica Giguere, with music by Kevin McLeod and mixed by Michael Stokes.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Michael Stokes, musician dude.

The importance of music in an audio drama

Mike has been engineer for HG World since 2009.  For about a year he has composed incidental music for the show and recently decided to upload his work to soundcloud.  He offers them under the creative commons license.

My Facebook Page is LIVE!

I have a Facebook group you might like.  While I hope you'll rush out to buy "Rise of the Monkey Lord" or listen to the HG World podcast, you might want to waste a little bit more of your time over at Mark Zuckerberg's legacy.

Jay Smith: Writer You Want to Know

Of course if you want to read my books instead of my braindroppings, you may click here!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Built like a Honda or a Ford...

I don't dig word counts.  I tend to think that the quality of the words are more important than the quantity.  But now that HG World is in the middle of a new season with its second episode of "The Googies" pulling down some excellent numbers, I had to go back and add the script counts to the overall series tally.

201,192 words.

Including the promotional material and the "Heroes of the Zombie War" pilot, we're over 200K. 

And we're still driving on...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Are You A Dark Dreamer..?"

The sleepy narration and somehow campy intro distract only slightly from Stanley Wiater's intriguing interview with author Harlan Ellison.  In this first chapter, Wiater and Ellison discuss the increasing stupidity and ignorance of the general public. 

What's great about this interview is that Ellison weaves the entire human experience into that of the writer.  We are obligated to be educated, to be inquisitive and question what we're being told.   Writing is a craft, part of a discipline that allows the artist to funnel his experiences, his outrage, his passion and that sense of wonder that connects with a reader in a unique and profound way.  

It is not enough that the writer regurgitate his or her own fantasies or wants onto a page in the hope that someone will just consume it like so much fast food.  A writer MUST create something that transfers all of those ingredients to the reader and, though the crafted story, connect and change that reader in one way or another. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

From the Editor (also known as "The Prof"): You will critique, in the form of a post to the blog you created in Module Four, the Facebook page of a published writer based on the best practices covered in the lecture.

Find three published writers on Facebook. Choose one and examine his or her page. Critique the writer’s page based on the best practices covered in the lecture. Write about your findings as an entry on your blog, including a list of the three writers you found and an explanation of why you chose the one you did to critique.

I have to preface this post by confessing that most of my weekend was spent either sitting in a convention meeting room, talking with people, lobster poetry... something about about a woman in a banana costume acting out pop songs on a huge dance floor.  If my words don't make much sense at times, that's my fault. I'm still tired. 

Three Published Writers on Facebook.
I chose to look at Kevin David Anderson, Stephen King and Brian Keene.

Choose one and examine ...
Brian Keene (The Rising, City of the Dead)
I'm interested in Keene's Facebook presence because of a thread in our class discussion group.  It seems to be a common concern of writers about how much of themselves to "put out there".  Some writers are not interested in being The Brand they sell and would much rather present the work itself as a product.  A weird, but appropriate comparison an old professor of mine once made about this was "we all love McDonald's fries, but where would they be without McDonald's itself?  Would it better or worse for McDonald's to market each of its products from the shadows or establish itself as a Brand that represents a consistent standard of quality or style with every product?"

Brian Keene's Facebook is locked down compared to a lot of other writers.  It doesn't invite unsolicited conversations or posts.  Brian's photo is from his dust jacket.  His albums contain book covers and images from professional gigs and encounters with other professionals and celebrities in the horror writing/film industry.  There is a clear vibe of fun-within-work that suggests Keene is an interesting person, but there are no personal candids of friend or family, no thoughtful poses looking out to sea.  There are a few quasi-goth shots of a younger Keene lying on Poe's grave.  Keene himself does not interact beyond tagging and describing photos and it is not clear if he's doing it or if it's the work of an assistant.   Fans can interact with each other through the comment options or go to the author's web site and post on a message board.  The Facebook page is very effective in taking people to different sites.  It doesn't seem to present a lot of hosted content.

The page is mainly PUSH marketing, like most author pages, there are posts directly related to Keene's products and appearances.  There are also posts related to related authors.  Most recent posts are "Push" links to products.  Where some authors might put a little bit of themselves out there or encourage discourse with readers through funny pictures or "memes", Keene keeps this to a minimum.  At the same time, the "Brand" Keene is always present, tying together all books, reviews appearances. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Digital Mind Fields...

As a result of this course, I have a new gmail account, this new blog and probably more parallel sites to get to know me.  I am online here, but I also keep some digital real estate elsewhere!

My Company and Writing "Fan Page" (not really used recently)
The HG World fan site on Facebook
"A Billion Smithereens" audio project
My Western audio drama project - The central site for HG World, which links to the wiki, message board, podcast site, etc.

My original page -
The HG World page -

Twitter -
Me, writing as "Todd Rage" of HG World
Me, writing as "Me"