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Announcing my new site and original serial-fiction podcast! The gambit starts June 1st!

I’m launching my author website, and what better way to do that then by announcing my twice-weekly text and audio serial project coming June 1st!

the tl;dr = I am announcing the launch of a creative project that has been in the works for quite some time, and is now ready!

I present to you…

The Dauntless Gambit is a sci-fi espionage action-drama written as a novel and being released as a FREE serial!

Starting June 1st, new episodes will be posted in both text and audio format every Monday and Thursday. You’ll be able to read each installment right on this website, or listen in any podcast app. Between binge watching the next Netflix series, you’ll have a new twice-weekly show to keep your hunger for sci-fi drama fed!

Check out the trailer to get a preview of what’s coming:

Of course, if reading is your preference, you can read each episode on your phone or computer. After all, it is written as a book first and foremost!

Episode One: Lights Out

“Lights out in three, two, one. Go.”

The voice in Samantha’s ear went silent just as the power to the overhead lights were cut, the night vision overlay of the hallway coming to life through the transparent surface of her visor. Wasting no time, she pivoted away from the wall she had been pressed against and sprinted into the room.

Samantha’s visor automatically adjusted the augmented overlay of the image it projected onto her retina to compensate for the contrast of light and dark, allowing her to see the layout of the room even as her targets scrambled to comprehend what was happening. Though the lights in this section of the building had been deactivated, the computer systems that lined the walls and desks all had their own uninterruptible power supplies, their screens and indicator lights leaving just enough darkness for Samantha to do her work.

If this sounds interesting, jump to The Dauntless Gambit homepage to see the “back of the book” blurb, the episode previews, and the FAQ about the project!

•••

Now, the story of how we got here…

Something I’ve long heard about writing and storytelling is that you should do it for yourself. That creative passions should be about self-expression. That you should write with the door closed and edit with the door open.

I think this is mostly true, but the act of writing and creating was never very satisfying to me on its own. Whatever it was I wanted out of it, the activity itself felt more like labor in service to a result, but not a result itself.

My goal had always been to tell a story, but having it heard was always an afterthought. The focus was on creation, not sharing.

It took me a very long time to realize that I don’t want to tell a story as much as I want to have a story heard, and that is an endeavor of a whole different nature. I want to make things for people to experience and provide places for people to escape into like so many fictional places in the past were made for me.

Back to the starting place

Writing stories has been a passion of mine since I was young. I typed stories on an electric typewriter before I ever had a family computer. There wasn’t a day that went by where I wasn’t working on some story in my head, making notes in endless Word (then Google) docs.

But, being passionate about something and actually undertaking the endeavor are very different things. It wasn’t until April of 2018 that I was faced with the final reckoning of having to decide to actually do this, or just keep playing at the edges but never committing.

So, from April to August, I studied. I had an education in writing and played at it for years, but never really focused on developing the craft in a workman-like manner. I took those four months and consumed dozens of books on writing, storytelling, grammar, while at the same time taking online courses, listening to writing podcasts, and studying the current state of traditional and independent publishing.

Finally, in August I decided on one of the ideas I had and simply said “I am going to write this book.” Eight months later in April 2019, I had finished over 1000 pages of what would be named “The Dauntless Gambit.” The story of Samantha and Decker had been in my head for almost fifteen years, and now it was out on paper, no longer just a “something I want to do” but something I had done. I don’t have to wonder about completing the first draft of a book any longer, that’s been accomplished. One milestone down, hundreds more to go.

The printout of the first manuscript, around 900 8.5×11 pages

Not to be caught resting, the day I finished that first manuscript, I started the next, the first book in a planned fantasy series I had been keeping notes on but resisting starting until I was finished with the book I was writing. This book, the first in the Zaar Chronicles, I am still working on and plan to release it as a full-length novel and audiobook through normal distribution channels.

Then 2020 arrived…

However, while working on this much different second book, the 2020 pandemic hit. I wasn’t going to be going anywhere for a while, and I wanted to put something into the world for people who had burned through all their podcasts and Netflix queues and were looking for something new to entertain, engage, and/or distract themselves.

I decided that instead of leaving The Dauntless Gambit for full-length publication at some undetermined future date, I could use it to experiment with another goal I had, serialized storytelling and podcasts.

I read through the manuscript; still good. It would need work, but that’s okay. While I can’t edit, revise, proof, and record the entire 320,000 words in any reasonable timeframe… I can edit, revise, proof, and record 5000 word chunks and turn it into a “TV series” that you read or listen to instead of watch, and release each chunk as an episode as soon as it’s finished!

By doing this, the story that I love gets a second-chance at life and it gives me something awesome to try in the world of new media.

Enough delaying

Mid-April 2020, I decided that there’s no more reason to wait. I was bored with only focusing on manuscript writing. I wanted to have a secondary activity, something I could get out to people NOW.

Over about four weeks, I built my author website, sourced an editor and narrator, and developed a workflow to revise, edit, proof, record and release each chapter of The Dauntless Gambit as an episodic story every Monday and Thursday starting June 1st!

I wrote CSS, fixed plugins, made artwork, revised, revised, revised text, registered domains, hooked up podcast RSS feeds, dusted off Final Cut and Logic, made commercials and clips, and just worked relentlessly every hour before work and late into the night to get what amounts to an entire author platform and serialized-fiction podcast stood up.

I wanted it done as fast as possible. I would wake up anywhere between 2am and 6am, work on things until my day-job needed me, do the day-job, and then return to doing this. On weekends, I’d spend from around 7am to 9pm, taking breaks to play with my kids, but that was about it. Living in a quarantined, shelter-in-place area made it easy. It’s not like I had anywhere to go.

It takes 3 people (myself, freelance editor, freelance narrator) 14 days to go from my first rewrite of an “episode” (a chapter of the manuscript) to editing, proofing, revising, recording, tweaking, and releasing. Not quite “South Park” just-in-time production, but close.

This is what is coming June 1st: the first episode of The Dauntless Gambit, and then another every Monday and Thursday after until it’s done! And when it’s all posted, the whole thing will be compiled together and made available as a single volume book and audiobook.

Left: Scrivener with all the words and revisions — Right: Logic with the audio and intro

From nothing to something

If you’re interested in reading or listening, add your email to my update list or subscribe with one of the podcast apps and be ready to start the story June 1st!

Maybe you’ll find something you like and be entertained for 30 minutes, twice a week. That’s all I am here to do, entertain through fiction. I hope you like it, and if not, I hope I can make something else that you do.

I don’t want to tell a story so much as I want to have a story heard, and that’s why I need you. Let the storytelling, and storyhearing, begin!