Seven days! My friends, we are officially ONE WEEK from publication! I can’t Believe how close it is!
I’m going to try my very best to write an update every day this week, since a lot is going to happen during these final days. Of course, every time I try to hold myself to any kind of schedule I woefully fall short, so who knows what will happen? Heck, this update almost didn’t go out in time thanks to my wonderful rural internet deciding to take half the day off. Life is full of adventures.
One week out, things are pretty quiet. I have some interviews lined up for this week, and I’m prepping things for the big launch event at Kent Trumbull onthe 27th. Early reviews are still overwhelmingly positive for the book, and I’m hoping more will come out in the first few weeks of release.
One big surprise update I did not see coming: the audiobook is already on sale! Turns out Audible has a site-wide sale from now until September 23rd on every audiobook in their catalogue, including the ones that aren’t even out yet. Tantalus Depths is currently 65% off at 8.73, which is cheaper than the cost of an Audible credit, so this is a really good deal. If you have any interest in getting the audiobook (and you should, it’s AMAZING), I definitely recommend taking advantage of this sale!
If you’ve already preordered it at full price, I apologize. I know it isn’t really a fair deal. I didn’t have any personal involvement in setting the price and was not aware this sale was coming, or I would have mentioned it sooner. It may be possible to cancel your preorder and order it again at the sale price, but I’m genuinely not sure.
If you haven’t preordered yet, don’t miss this deal! Andi’s performance breathes so much life into my words that I could never convey through text alone. I cannot recommend the audiobook strongly enough. It’s an experience that must not be missed.
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!
Finally, an update!
Everyone has a COVID story, and I’m no exception. The only difference was that I found myself isolated on an island in the South Pacific for over two years in a country that chose an elimination strategy. So, we had initial periods of total lockdown, but then COVID was not in New Zealand, and we lived in this bubble for over a year and a half where we had no cases, no deaths beyond the initial 51, and no restrictions--except for one big one. We couldn’t travel anywhere, and no one could come here. Actually, that’s still kind of the case, as tourists aren’t able to arrive until later this year.
So, we all got on with our lives. I had a Zoom Christmas in 2020 with my children in the US, where we baked cookies and crumpets together and played a board game with the help of a computer. I took advantage of the lack of tourists to take a camper van around the South Island, and I was able to go on two of the ten Great Walks of New Zealand, the Milford Track and Stewart Island’s Rakiura Track. I also renovated my house, which is still a work in progress, but it will be worth it. The view above is from my deck as the moon rose over the ocean last month.
Then, Omicron struck. We could no longer contain cases at the border, and it has been rampaging through the country for the past few months. We’ve gone from 51 deaths to 582 as of today and from perhaps 20k cases to over 851k, but we’re still very lucky. The country is over 96% vaccinated and more than 70% boosted. The extra time we had due to the border closers made all the difference. Now, cases are declining again, and hopefully, the next few months will show a return to normal, including freedom to travel for everyone. But, I couldn’t wait any longer and chose to fly to the US for my eldest’s birthday just before Christmas 2021, and I stayed until late February this year. I visited my children in Denver and San Diego, my most recent hometown in Portland, Oregon and friends there, my research colleagues in Colorado, Missouri, and California, and attended an orthopaedic research conference in Tampa, Florida. It was a much-needed infusion of connection that helped me get centered and ready to tackle 2022.
I HAVE NEWS! Like every other company and publisher in the world, Inkshares had to push back their release dates for new novels, and there was quite a queue after two years, but they’re catching up. I finally made it to the top of the queue for the next round of editorial feedback, which I just received, and my manuscript is looking very good! I still have some work to do on my characters and overarching themes, but the plot is solid, and no major rewrites are needed. I will be meeting with my editor and the publisher in the next couple of weeks to go over the feedback, and then I’ll dedicate time every day to finish this book and get it out there to all of you as soon as possible. Some of you have been waiting a long, long time for your copy, and I can assure you, it will have been worth the wait. I’m excited for you to read it.
Some of you got my longer email from my newsletter. Sorry for the duplication!
Hello, friends! We’re two months away from launch day, and I have another exciting announcement for you, so buckle up for a wild ride.
I’m not going to waste any time getting to the big news. We officially have a launch event planned, and it’s going to be big! I’ve put too much time and effort into Tantalus Depths to let its arrival come without a bang, so we’re pulling out all the stops.
I’m incredibly pleased to announce that my old alma mater, Kent State University’s Trumbull Campus, has graciously offered to host a launch event for us! There really could not be a more fitting place to do it. Those of you who have been following Tantalus Depths from the beginning might remember that the book’s humble origins began as a creative writing class assignment at that very same university. Kent Trumbull is where Tantalus Depths was conceived, born, and nurtured. The book simply would not exist if not for Kent Trumbull, and returning to the place it began eight years ago to celebrate its publication feels like destiny.
If you hadn’t already marked May 10th on your calendars, do it now, and scribble “7:00 PM” and “Kent Trumbull” underneath it. We’re going to have some snacks, do a little reading, do a lot of socializing, and just generally celebrate this amazing journey together in the place it all began. I hope to see all of you there!
In other news, there’s another lore update on the website this week, this time highlighting the two central characters from my short story Countermeasures: Jay Serpentico and Descartes. Jay Serpentico is a deadly mercenary with no moral code and a terrifying talent for killing. Descartes is an enigmatic criminal mastermind with seemingly limitless resources and no apparent weaknesses. They’re two of the most dangerous people in the galaxy, so what happens when their interests no longer align? Find out in Countermeasures, part of Writing Bloc’s DECEPTION! anthology, and learn more about these two nefarious figures in the “Explore” section of evangraham.org
Where’s my %$?@* book?
Been over a year since el Deano sent out an update to Mine readers. In that past update to Mine followers, I mentioned that the story remains a viable property. I still believe that’s the case. Many times I’ve felt like bagging the whole deal, but for me personally, it’s not an option, although I’ve been consciously negligent in addressing its needed revisions. That’s the bad news. (The bi-polarity of my situation did cause me to change the name of the story to Me vs. Myself, but only in the Scrivener folder/document naming.)
The good news is that a true and dear friend of mine took the time to read and exhaustively detail the issues he identified in the story.
“I edit the way Ghengis Khan took summer vacations,” he said. And then more to the point, “As we have discussed before, the writing itself is magnificent, the stuff of English major wet dreams. I’m horribly envious. The pacing, on the other hand, is a problem. It takes forever, plus a couple millennia, for anything to actually happen.”
Good and bad news, right? I’m both joyous and frightened to open the PDF he sent over. But, Fear + Breath = Excitement, so breathing deeply, once more into the breach I go.
You’ll get your %$?@* book when it’s done!