As the year winds down and the Holiday pitch reaches a “High G,” my first novel, “High Ground” is nearing 1,100 copies in combined sales, its Audible audiobook edition is getting closer to completion and the first draft of its sequel is under way. Special thanks to everyone who helped make this happen.
Since its release in November of 2017 “High Ground” has sold 695 eBooks, 114 paperback editions and 257 reads through Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s subscription book service. Stephen King isn’t losing sleep over this, I’m sure, but for a new author and first novel it’s a start.
Most of my energies now are going into the editing of the Audible edition, which has passed the halfway point with 25 chapters recorded and edited out of the book’s total 41. The editing is critical because of Audible’s appropriately high technical standards concerning sound floor (background sound) and range of audio levels (not to loud or too soft and consistent throughout). I have many years of media background and so set out to narrate the book myself. Frankly, I had no idea what a challenge recording fiction presented, but, as my father used to say, “I’ve got the bid end made and the small end dragging.”
If you have followed this blog, you may know that I have also begun work on a sequel “Artifical Horizon,” with about one-third of the first draft written. It feels like a long way yet to the finish line, but here’s what I can tell you about it so far:
Esther, Meg and Ruth find themselves happily immersed in their new small business, employing a number of townspeople in a new Bed and Breakfast business in the freshly refurbished Brandt Mansion. Gone are the jets, the bats and the anti-Brandt townie tension. Esther is discovering the world through her new friends and especially through Dr. Leon Duke, who has overseen installing internet into the estate’s guest rooms, using a special grade of heavily shielded cable.Esther’s personal suite sits inside a hidden Faraday cage in the newly rebuilt section of the mansion.
As a young woman Esther had a brief career as a librarian. When she sees Dr. Duke easily accessing information on the web, she is mesmerized. It becomes another new portal to the outside world for her, and Esther, it turns out, is a fast learner.
One early spring day a white Mercedes coupe turns in past Lion’s Gate and a fit African American man steps out and surveys the sprawling estate. Michael Babcock has a military bearing, but is dressed in casual clothes and expensive shoes. Even from the ground he can see the building’s profound transformation. The last time he saw it was when he piloted one of the High Ground Technology jets directly overhead, conducting anti-satellite laser weapons testing over the North Atlantic.
As we approach the holidays let me extend best wishes and thanks to each of you who have shown interest in my work, whether as a friend, reader or both. May the season bring God’s blessings to you and your family.
Best Regards and Merry Christmas,