More good news: Books have been printed! The audiobook is recorded!
Finally, after much longer than I ever expected, The Man from Mittelwerk is on its way. The book will become available September 6 in time for the Bouchercon mystery & crime writer conference I’ll be attending in Minneapolis that week. (If you’re there, hit me up for a beer.)
The audiobook has been a lot of fun. We hired professional voice-over actor Jonathan Strait who handles the various accents and voices and really brought the story to life. He also found a number of typos, most of which (ahem) were corrected before the first print run.
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Thank you again for all your support for this project. It was pretty fun to find a box of books on my porch and hold the finished work in my hands. Thank you to my co-author and brother Mike for making the book so much better than it would have been otherwise. And thank you to my wife for keeping the champagne on ice.
In other news, I managed to run the Bayshore Half Marathon way back in May despite being injured and under-trained. I have since switched to cycling for the summer. How about you? Don’t hit reply, instead send email to ZUrlocker@hotmail.com.
PS. News updates will be provided at the author website https:www.mzurlocker.com.
Hello my wonderful friends and supporters! It’s been a while since my last update; in fact, I don’t think I’ve sent an update since we found out our launch was being pushed back from May to September. But I have been working hard behind the scenes for the past few months to try making the most of that extra time to make the Tantalus Depths launch as amazing as possible, and let me tell you, it is going to blow all your expectations out of the water.
Without further ado, lets get to the updates, because we have some huge ones today.
If you follow me on social media (which you should, check out my Twitter and Facebook) you may have already seen this news: I now have in my possession some of the first physical copies of Tantalus Depths! They’re real! They’re beautiful! I can hold them in my hands and flip through their pages. It’s one of the most surreal and amazing experiences I’ve ever had, to be able to touch a professionally printed copy of a book I wrote, and I cannot wait to share the experience with you. They look and feel amazing in my hands. I truly can’t wrap my head around the idea that something so beautiful now exists in the real world after originating in my imagination.
I could gush forever about it, but you could also just see me lose my mind in real time in this unboxing video I made about it. Check that out here:
Next on the agenda is something I am, believe it or not, just as excited about: the audiobook! It’s now in production with Audible, and I’ve had the tremendous pleasure of chatting several times with my narrator, who I’d love to finally introduce you all to.
This is Andi Arndt: an absolute rock star of a narrator who will be the official voice of Tantalus Depths. She’s a truly phenomenal narrator with the recognition to show for it: Andi is a three-time Audie Award winner and one of only 21 voices chosen for the Audible Narrator Hall of Fame. She’s had quite a prolific career across multiple genres, but two particular stories came to mind when I asked her about projects she’s especially proud of: Come Fly the World by Julia Cooke, and Unbound by Steph Jagger. Both are true stories about brave women overcoming challenges as they venture far and abroad, and, in Andi’s words, “Mary is a brave adventurer in that vein, and I’m honored to tell her story.”
I could not be more deeply honored to have Andi narrating Tantalus Depths. Her work is truly outstanding, and she goes to incredible lengths to treat the stories she reads with the utmost care and dedication. She doesn’t simply read the book; she takes the time and care to ensure that she understands every nuance of every scene, and she reflects it expertly in her voice. Her voice has an amazing range, and she’s adept at inflecting multiple layers of emotional complexity in a hundred discrete ways. She has a gift all narrators covet: the ability to make you forget you’re not there in the scene as it happens. I have the utmost confidence that she will treat Tantalus Depths with all the care and respect I could ask for, and to give you all an audiobook experience that you will want to listen to over and over again.
The Tantalus Depths audiobook is an Audible Original production and will be available exclusively on Audible. No release date has yet been confirmed, but it should hopefully be landing close to the same time as our official book launch on September 27th.
Speaking of launch dates, that brings me to my final piece of news for this update. Yes, believe it or not, we are still on track for the September 27th launch date! After all the delays and setbacks in our six-year development process, I’m sure a lot of you are still skeptical that it’s ever coming. But as I showed you earlier, the physical books do really exist now, and there are plenty more just waiting for distribution to bookstores and everyone who preordered them.
But not only is our launch date for the physical book still on track, I can happily announce that the e-book is coming early to backers! Two whole weeks early! That means if you participated in the Tantalus Depths pre-order campaign waaaaaay back in 2016, you’ll finally be able to read the ebook two whole weeks before the official release date! Everyone who preordered the book directly from Inkshares will be able to get the ebook; even if you pre-ordered a physical copy, you will also get an ebook copy. That’ll be coming your way on September 13th, so keep an eye on your inboxes for that!
That’s probably way too much news for one update, so I’ll wrap it up here, but you can expect way more exciting announcements in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be getting back to more regular updates, including more lore articles for the website, interviews, and announcements for book signings and other events. Stay tuned for a lot of exciting news, and as always, thanks so much for all of your support!
Good news, we have the final artwork for the cover the The Man from Mittelwerk designed by Tim Barber of DissectDesigns and it looks great. (See below.)
Bad news, logistical issues in the publishing industry are going to delay the book until Fall 2022. Apparently supply chain issues, trucking strikes and the demand for shipping materials is causing pretty much every book out there to be delayed several months.
Nonetheless, we are moving ahead on all fronts. We have two short stories: a prequel that Mike wrote (The Perfect Setup) set before WWII and a bonus chapter I wrote (Leaving Detroit) set in 1950. We’ll post these on the www.mzurlocker.com web site in the coming weeks. We’ll be using these and other short stories in order to generate awareness and a mailing list for marketing.
We also had a couple of additional nice quotes from other authors including James R. Benn author of the highly acclaimed Billy Boyle WWII series and from James Kestrel (who may or may not be Lee Child*) author of my favorite book of 2021 Five Decembers.
“A fast-paced, smart debut novel that blends noir and Lovecraftian elements. If you like J.J. Abram’s alternate history Overlord, this book is for you.”
—James Kestrel, author of Five Decembers
“From the dark caves of a Nazi slave labor complex to sunny southern California, The Man from Mittelwerk delivers on all fronts. Snappy dialog, a fast-paced narrative, and complex moral questions all combine to make this hard-boiled thriller a winner. Think Chinatown meets The Boys from Brazil - superb!”
—James R Benn, author of the Billy Boyle WWII mysteries
If you aren’t familiar with James R. Benn’s Billy Boyle series, I encourage you to take a look. A couple of my personal favorites are The Rest is Silence and A Blind Goddess. Benn’s books are extremely well-researched and wonderfully told. He’s also a super nice guy.
Let me know what you think of the cover and how you’re doing with all the insanity in the world these days. In addition to my day job, I’m doing my best to keep up with running and learning the piano. How about you? Don’t hit reply, instead send email to ZUrlocker@hotmail.com
(*) But probably isn’t. I think.
I wanted to keep everyone up-to-date with the latest on The Man from Mittelwerk. Good news, the book is still finished and slated for publication in April next year. We have received the final proofs from the publisher and are correcting some minor grammatical errors while also sneaking in a few other fixes. Hopefully we will get the cover artwork in the new year.
While not ruminating over the final edits Mike and I are working on a couple of short stories to provide more background on the main character, private detective Jack Waters. Eventually we’ll post those on the web site.
We also had a couple of nice quotes from other authors:
“A compelling page-turner with a chilling what-if scenario drawn from the truth.” — Rick Mofina, USA Today bestselling author of Her Last Goodbye
“A thrilling, at times devastating, sci-fi noir adventure that juxtaposes Nazi human experimentation against modern pursuits of power.” — Tal M. Klein, The Punch Escrow
For fans of WWII historical fiction with a noir angle, you must pick up James Kestrel’s Five Decembers. It’s been widely reviewed by the New York Times, LA Review of Books and more. It’s the best book I’ve read this year. He’s received well-earned praise from no less than Stephen King called it “One hell of a good story.”
Finally, let me wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’d love to hear from you and what books you’ve enjoyed this year. But don’t hit Reply. Instead email me at ZUrlocker@hotmail.com.