Behold! The Book Trailer for Pilgrim of the Sky (and Audio Coming Soon!)

I’d wanted to do a book trailer for Pilgrim for quite some time, but when the book came out I was pregnant and a total mess. Personal life aside, it may be a few years after the fact but hey! It’s still my book. I’m still totally proud of it. And I have this live reading I’m doing, so it’s still good timing. I had a blast putting it together, and the fact that I was able to incorporate Brigid’s amazing artwork and my sister’s phenomenal music… even better.

And don’t forget, you can catch the whole playlist, too. That’s five chapters! Keep an eye out for the audio files, too!

For February and March, I’m live broadcasting the whole novel. For free! For fun! For dragons and vampiric pegasi (pegasuses?). You can see the scheduled Google Hangouts on Air right here.

Check out the whole playlist.

Watch Pilgrim of the Sky Unfold Live and in Person in the Month of February!

Having just finished Watcher of the Skies, and considering that its predecessor (I won’t say prequel–because technically the second book is a prequel… and a follow up, but not a sequel…) is a little more than two years old, I thought I’d be a little daring. I was supposed to record an audiobook of Pilgrim of the Sky. But then I got pregnant. And recording an audiobook with a baby just doesn’t work. I felt awful, and have been thinking of ways to make it up ever since.

Then it occurred to me. Why not do it LIVE?

So. I am. I’ve recorded the first chapter as a bit of a teaser, and starting next Tuesday (2/4) @ 9pm EST I’ll be broadcasting one chapter every Tuesday and Thursday in February. The book starts in February, so it seems fitting, doesn’t it?

In fact, you can catch the first chapter RIGHT HERE.

More Pilgrim of the Sky Reviews!

I’ve been very behind in providing reviews for Pilgrim of the Sky — mostly due to being insanely busy and preparing to bring the new little creature into the world (9 weeks to go, for those who are counting). However, I am grateful and thrilled that so many people have connected with the book, and offer here a few choice bits for you to read:

From Chuck Lawton at GeekDad (whose band The Vitrolum Republic you should check out, not to mention the project of his wife, Sue, The Circus and the Cyclone):

The novel is grand in scope, rich in description and full of wonderful discovery. It will take you from the present modern world to a world born of an alternate history which parallels our own to a wholly ancient and powerful realm. It has plenty of originality while echoing the elements of other authors such as Neil Gaiman and Phillip Pullman — comparisons I make with great compliment. It’s a fun adventure and one I hope you embark on yourself.

From Steampunk Canada:

All of the main characters in Natania Barron’s story have substance and their interactions are well crafted and complex. The mysteries and mythology in her tale are nicely designed and she reveals them a little at a time, always leaving a little unsaid. It made me want to sit far longer than I intended to read on and find out more.

By the story’s climax  I was, I fully admit it, bawling my eyes out. I won’t say whether through sorrow or mirth, but it was, to state it simply, amazing.

From Litstack:

All in all, it was an enjoyable read, and would be a good introduction to steampunk for someone who wants to ease in (only one of the eight worlds is steampunk, after all, even if it is the one where the most time is spent). If you enjoyed Mur Lafferty’s Heaven and Hell, wanted to follow Alice Through the Looking Glass, or thought Gaiman’s Anansi Boys could do with a few more corsets and a touch of lace, do yourself a favor and read Pilgrim of the Sky.

From Game Vortex:

Pilgrim of the Sky is a peculiar book, but an interesting one. There’s a lot of story to absorb and the characters skip about through different worlds, so it can be difficult to keep it all straight in your head. While the story did have a definite end, only Worlds One, Two, Six and Eight were truly explored and I have a feeling there may be a sequel in the works in the mind of the author to explore the other worlds.

Additionally you can hear me and my silliness on a variety of podcasts including:

Where I’m Going, Where I’ve Been

Well, that’s a little misleading. I’m not really going very far, in terms of miles. But I do have a series of podcast interviews and a live event coming up in the next few weeks.

2/7 — SF Diner — I’ll be a guest at the SciFi Diner podcast on Tuesday, talking about geeky things and my book. I’ll share the link when it’s ready!

2/8 — 6pm — I’ll be part of a local authors panel entitled “Where Do You Get Your Ideas” at the Orange County Library in Hillsborough.

2/14 — I’ll be on Functional Nerds!

2/22 — I’ll be on Geek Radio Daily!

I’m also slated to be visiting Steampod at some point in the near future. More details on that as it happens. Suffice it to say, February will be a month filled of opportunities to listen to me blabber own about steampunk, fantasy, string theory, and a variety of other subjects.

Otherwise, I’ve been spending a bit of time working on Glassmere research. By “research” I primarily mean putting things up on Pinterest (see: Edwardian Pretties for Glassmere) while thinking of some of the primary problems that are keeping the book from moving apace (aside from, you know, falling into the pits of research… ahem). Thankfully, I figured out one of the main issues, and I am excited. Never underestimate the power of two very eccentric octogenarians, that’s all I’ve got to say.

The dress at the top of this post is one of my favorite discoveries, and Julia is most certainly going to wear it at some point in the novel.

Let’s give her something to write about…

There are likely a series of posts I could do stemming from my trip this past week to the West Coast, but I’m finding I just don’t have the distance I need yet. Still having trouble sleeping, mostly due to the time change, and feeling generally spent. The short rundown is that I spent a week visiting two relatives who are both fighting cancer… as you might well imagine, this has left me a bit dazed, to say the least.

In the mean time, my focus is on writing, not the blog, for the moment. I’ve got to get my groove back before I start pondering long posts again. And as for the podcast, unfortunately my husband has the computer where the latest installment of Alderpod is sitting… and he’s in Florida. So, that’s not going to happen until next week.

At the moment, however, I breached the third chapter of The Ward of the Rose, which is super awesome funtime. The writing  of the sequel is coming swiftly, when I have time for it, and it’s definitely a dark little journey. Unfortunately, though, it’s full of spoilers, so I can’t share much. But even what little I wrote while away I found quite satisfactory, which considering the hard time I usually give myself for anything I write is quite a step in the right direction…

At any rate, currently pondering Keats. I promised that by the time I reached the age he was at his death, I’d have completed a book. Thankfully I did that. But still, he is lightyears away from me in the sheer elegance of his thought and language. The following passage is quite apropos to my experiences as of late. From April 21, 1810.

I can scarcely express what I but dimly perceive–and yet I think I perceive it–that you may judge the more clearly I will put it in the most homely form possible–I will call the world a School instituted for the purpose of teaching little children to read–I will call the Child able to read, the Soul made from that school and its hornbook. Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul? A Place where the heart must feel and suffer in a thousand diverse ways! Not merely is the Heart a Hornbook, it is the Minds Bible, it is the Minds experience, it is the teat from which the Mind or intelligence sucks its identity–As various as the Lives of Men are–so various become their Souls, and thus does God make individual beings, Souls, Identical Souls of the sparks of his own essence.

Podcasting problems with WordPress – Fixed (for now)!

I’ve been podcasting draft chapters of The Aldersgate for the last year or so, and everything had been going great until a few months ago when various podcasts just started disappearing. First it was 1-6, then it was 1-10. I had tried a few options for fixing, but nothing seemed to help.

Searching the WordPress help guides is a painful process, and nothing we found (my husband helps me here, as this sort of stuff boggles me on a daily basis) was even remotely close. I assumed something was wrong with iTunes, then I assumed something was wrong with FeedBurner.

It wasn’t. It was WordPress itself.

Well, apparently in “Settings” and “Reading” there’s a little number next to “Syndication feeds show at most” and then a paltry 10. So if you’re a podcaster, that means it’ll only feed the 10 most recent podcasts, so any new subscribers won’t be able to subscribe through a feed and make any sense of the situation at all. Granted, some folks just come to my site and go to the archive, but that’s not the best method.

As a caveat to those who might be starting a podcast and using WordPress to manage the feed–beware! If you’re planning more than ten episodes, you’re in for a surprise.  And if you’re like me, and have very little in the way of technical savvy, and have a very busy life, this is an extremely important bit of information to know.

I will pretend I’m not thinking about how many subscribers I’ve lost. Ah, well. Fixed, now. Apologies to those who have clicked and walked away! Hopefully it won’t happen again.

Just to clear something up re: self-publishing

Okay, so the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a great deal about “self-publishing” and its definitions. Publishing has been radically altered because of the Internet, and so have the concepts of rights ownership and creative property. From the getgo, when I started The Aldersgate Cycle Blog, the idea was that I wanted to invite people into my creative process with no strings attached. Yes, technically podcasting my chapters is self-publishing, but it’s not the end-product. I don’t plan on going through Lulu or any of print-on-demand publishers at this space in time because, frankly, I haven’t even tried to get the book published. From the beginning I have referred to the work as a second-draft/second-edit, and have asked people to respond/comment, etc. on the progress of the book. In this way it’s like sharing proofs with close friends, except on a much larger scale.

Look, I think Creative Commons and the “Free” literature movement are awesome. I have licensed everything I’ve done as such–including all the music I compose for the podcasts–with the hope that it will be used, if someone desires. It’s not about making money for me, it’s about telling the story. And if and when someone picks up the book, I’m hoping they’ll see eye-to-eye with me, too. But that’s putting the proverbial cart before the horse, eh?

But I don’t think right now, from where I stand, that self-publication is the way to go for me. Besides, I am also not submitting the Aldersgate immediately. Why? Because it’s honkin’ huge. Even if I edit it down, it’s unlikely to be less than 140K or so. And no agent will touch that with a ten foot poll. Someone’s going to have to really really believe in me for that to happen, and though I have some confidence in my storytelling capabilities, I’m not that audacious. I have two other books (I love the way that looks when I type it…) that I’ll be circulating prior to the Aldersgate, both which I’m aiming to set free within the year.

Now, I know this seems a little backwards. And it probably is. But publishing is a business, just like anything else. And although sharing my novel has been a labor of love and creativity, my hope is that eventually I can make a living off of writing. While, in some ways, that’s a far-reaching goal, I know that the only way I can succeed is if I play the game. Granted, I’m not writing about vampires, shapeshifters, or highlanders, and that might be a problem, but judging by the quality of the majority of what’s on the bookshelves these days, a little grammatical know-how and minimal plot go a long way.

So that’s that. For the record. :)

A quick word from our sponsors.

Well, hello there.

A quick first post. This is my new home on the web, intended to be a little more free-form than my other blog, which of course you can find over at The Aldersgate Cycle.

What will you find here? Well, first and foremost this is a blog about writing. Secondly, it’s about being a geek. Thirdly, it’s about being a mom. So you might find quasi-feminist rants about the latest Pages interface design. Or Renaissance recipes. Or D&D discussions on how to balance family and gaming. Or quips of poetry or… well, you get the idea I daresay.

If you’ve enjoyed my stuff at the AGC, stick around. If you’ve just stumbled upon me, well–stick around, too!