It is narrated by Greg Patmore, with Bridget Thomas voicing the female parts. I honestly think that both narrators have done a fantastic job with the book and I couldn’t be happier. Toric’s Dagger has some challenges to narrate, not least the range of characters that you get with epic fantasy titles like this one. Greg’s incredible vocal range really brings the characters to life, and at times it sounds like several actors have been used in the recording. Another unique challenge was the telepathy used between the two central characters, Belwynn and Soren. In print, this is handled by the use of italics – but of course that’s not an option with an audio-book! Greg has used an echo effect on his and Bridget’s voices. It clearly indicates to the listener that the characters are speaking telepathically, without being intrusive. You can listen to the effect yourself in the first few seconds of the sample above. I think elements like this, as well as the male and female voices, really make this recording stand out.
The audio-book can be purchased from any of the websites above and then the recording is downloaded to your device. An alternative option to a one-off purchase is to sign up to the Audible subscription service. Here you pay monthly (£7.99/$14.95) and get one free book a month, plus other benefits. They offer a 30-day free trial. What’s more, if Toric’s Dagger is the first book you choose, I get a nice bonus, so everyone’s a winner!
The paperback edition of Bolivar’s Sword, the second book of The Weapon Takers Saga, is now available on Amazon. It’s been a busier past six months than I had anticipated, but it’s nice to finally make the sequel to Toric’s Dagger available and see them together. Toric’s Dagger was starting to feel a bit lonely.
Bolivar’s Sword takes off where Book One ended, with the heroes divided and in trouble. Things don’t get much easier and I think Bolivar’s Sword has a darker feel to it, with the stakes raised higher. War comes to Dalriya too and the scale of the story expands to cover an even wider range of locations and characters than Toric’s Dagger. There’s no doubt that this series is turning into a monster and will not be resolved as a traditional trilogy. I need to get on with Book Three!
Of course, Bolivar’s Sword will soon get an eBook version too and I anticipate that this will be available in June. Meanwhile, Toric’s Dagger hasn’t been neglected either. I’ve made some changes to the book, most noticeably a new author font for the cover which will now be the standard one used for the series. This is already in use for the eBook version and will soon replace the paperback cover, too. This means that if you own an early physical copy of Toric’s Dagger it will soon be a rare collector’s item. If you don’t own a copy yet, get one now before you miss your chance!
Most excitingly, Toric’s Dagger is getting an audio-book version. The narrating team of Greg Patmore and Bridget Thomas have done a fantastic job of bringing to life the (many) characters of the book and I couldn’t be happier with the result. It honestly sounds like a team of actors have worked on it rather than two. I’m hoping to be able to announce the arrival of the audio-book soon, so watch this space!
Toric’s Dagger has fallen at the semi-final stage of the SPFBO contest. The blogger ventureadlaxre put the book into her Top 10, but—let’s be blunt—still didn’t like it very much. You can read her review here.
The book has also recently been reviewed by The Weatherwax Report, a prolific fantasy blogger who is taking on 100 of the self-published books in the contest. She has a great site and you can read her review of Toric’s Daggerhere.
I’ve finished writing the sequel to Toric’s Dagger and I am really happy with it. I think it’s a darker, more expansive follow up. The ‘fellowship’ from book one has now been scattered to the four winds, and war comes to Dalriya.
I’m transitioning into the publishing phase for this book, which includes things like formatting & cover design. When I get more news on this I will post it here.
The Virtual Fantasy Conference
I’m taking part in the 2017 VFC, hosted on Facebook. It’s a chance for fantasy fans to connect with authors and runs for a week, from 15-22 October. The organisers have worked really hard to make it interactive and fun, with panels on fantasy topics. Please visit my Author Booth/Page here from the 15th October.
Edit 16/5/2017: it was great seeing people on Goodreads requesting my book, with over 1,000 requests by the end of the giveaway. The winner (from Canada) has been selected and their copy of the book is on the way. The book was added to a lot of to-read lists as well, which is the point of doing this kind of thing. Goodreads frowns on contacting participants, but I’d like to thank everyone who did, for showing an interest. I am thinking of running a second giveaway, so stay tuned!
Get your hands on a free copy of Toric’s Dagger in its pre-launch Goodreads Giveaway!
I’m excited to reveal the official front cover for Toric’s Dagger, agreed with Streetlight Graphics.
All the advice I get is that the cover of the book is vitally important to reach the right audience. I like this design because it sends out all the right signals that this is a fantasy series. It ties in well with the title of the book and the series too.
Seeing the cover is an encouraging sign that the project is heading towards completion. There are lots of other jobs to do, and I hope that I will soon have a release date for the book.
After a brief hiatus, I am back to work on getting Toric’s Dagger published. The script has received a professional line edit from Invisible Ink Editing, resulting in many improvements. Next, I need to get a final edit done and then get it formatted for publication. I will also need to get a book cover done and I think the book needs a map of Dalriya in it.
I have joined Wattpad, a cool site to discover new writers. I intend to put my first chapter there, in instalments. I will post here when it is up!
So, becoming a self-published author is turning into an interesting journey. I am learning about the industry all the time at the moment, largely thanks to the websites of other writers who have been kind enough to share their experiences and give a newbie like myself a leg up.
The ‘traditional’ way of publishing would involve landing a deal with a big publisher, who sees enough in your work to think they might make a profit with it. They would then use their in-house experts, such as editors, cover designers, publicists etc to get your manuscript up to scratch and your book marketed to potential readers. If you are self-publishing, you have to do all this yourself. This can seem quite daunting. Some of it you may need to pay someone else to do. This can be expensive. DIY can be empowering and, of course, cheaper. But if you DIY and produce something crap, you’re not doing yourself or your book any favours.
I am currently embarking on phase one of outside help, which involves improving my novel. To simplify more than a little, there are two ways in which you can do this. One is to ask people to read your manuscript and give you their feedback. The idea here is that you use said feedback to improve what you have written (rather than ignoring it all because actually what you have written is brilliant and perfect and they are idiots, which is my initial response). You can get family and friends to do this: if they are prepared to be honest – if they have the skill set to give helpful feedback – & if they understand the genre you are writing in. If you are not blessed with such people in your life, you can get strangers to do it. These people are often referred to as beta readers – willing to read your work and give constructive feedback. One option is for two writers to read each other’s material and swap critiques.
Method two is to pay a professional editor to look at and improve your work. With the growth of the self-publishing industry, there are plenty of professional editors about. There are a number of things they can do to what you have written, from a proofread correcting your written errors to an analysis of your story elements, such as plot and character. If you are going to spend any money on this, you should carefully research the options before committing to anything.
I am about to try both options and hope that the result will be a better first novel when I come to publish next year. Anyone interested in beta reading my manuscript, please let me know!
If you are interested in self-publishing, here is a list of some of those writer websites I mentioned who discuss the ins and outs of the industry.