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  • Author Spotlight: G.S. Denning

    You haven’t heard Sherlock Holmes quite like this! Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone is now available at GraphicAudio, and we had a chance to speak with author G.S. Denning on moving from improv to writing, his love of geek culture and making Sherlock Holmes...dumb...?

    Q: Your extensive background in comedy is not necessarily what someone would expect from an author. What made you want to move from 20 years of improv into a writing career?

    A: Weird little secret: Improv comedy has almost nothing to do with acting. You can be a beloved improviser and a terrible actor at the same time. It's writing. It's making up 6 stories a night in front of 200 people with no chance to edit or second-guess. Turns out it was really apt training to be a writer. (Though learning to edit was hard...)

    Q: You’ve mentioned the "Writing Excuses" podcast being a valuable tool for you, which is interesting as GraphicAudio released an anthology of that show. How was this podcast helpful for you, and are you a fan of any of the authors involved with that in particular?

    A: I’ve got weird writers' crushes on most of those guys. Met Howard [Tayler] at Worldcon and sat with him for a while. He was kind and even snapped a pic in the Warlock Holmes Selfie Hat. Mary [Kowal] is not only a fellow historical-mashup writer, she’s theater like me, and I know exactly where she’s coming from, most of the time. Dan's the self-effacing, never-give-uping, guy-you-want-at-your-BBQing heart of the team. Oh, and I wound up at Brandon Sanderson's agency for a while, so he’s incidentally paid for my dinner a few times.

    For new and aspiring authors, you really can't do better than listening to Writing Excuses. So many good ideas on writing itself, the industry, what to do, how to behave at Cons...everything! Plus, if you get published, maybe Brandon will incidentally buy you dinner. Thanks, Brandon!

    Q: How did you first become interested in the Sherlock Holmes stories?

    A: It's hard to like stories and not have some connection to Holmes. Many people love the originals. Many like BBC Sherlock. Oh, or Elementary. Or any of the films released over the last century. Or Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew/Encyclopedia Brown, which all borrowed heavily. Or House (who was based on the same doctor Holmes is based on). Or Batman and Robin (find any of the "greatest detective" instances in the comic books and Batman starts feeling a lot like the last guy to hold that title...)

    My most direct connection was that I had just discovered the BBC's Sherlock when the odd inspiration/opportunity to do this book fell in my lap.

    Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone is now available at GraphicAudio.net

    Q: Do you believe Warlock Holmes appeals more to fans of traditional Sherlock Holmes tales or those that enjoy modern-day interpretations?

    A: If you're a dyed-in-the-wool, traditional Sherlockian, this book might be a bit hard for you. I've had more than one person report they couldn't read it because Holmes was stupid. Boom. Right there. Done. The core of Holmes, as a character, is that he's the opposite of stupid, right? So it's absolutely fair that they opted out.

    Oh, one of my lowest reviews included the phrase "It is a bit light on the Holmesian intellectualism." To which, one of the slightly-inebriated girls from my agency replied, "Yeah. There’s an ogre in his underpants on the cover. You were warned, dude."

    I’ve tried to throw references to both the original stories, modern interpretations, various actors who have portrayed Holmes, as well as other geek culture pillars. (Look for the Blade Runner and Terminator lines in That Yellow Bastard in Book 1. Oh, even that title is an homage to Sin City.)

    So the biggest audience is going to be geeks. This is geek comedy, plain and simple. Whether or not you like Guardians of the Galaxy may be a bigger indicator that this is your sort of thing, than whether you like Sherlock Holmes. That said, I try to lay a lot of jokes for the original Holmes fans into these things.

    Q: You mentioned in a recent interview that you were intentionally trying to build cosplay opportunities and fanfic launch points into your stories. It's interesting to hear an author say they were purposefully encouraging that kind of fan interpretation - why is this important to you as a writer?

    A: Well, because I was a fan, first. I love being a geek. I love being a fan. I love cons and memes and YouTube spinoffs. One of the most treasured perks of getting published is realizing that other people are going to be...er...what shall we say? Re-interpreting my re-interpretation of Holmes? I would also accept re-stealing what I stole from Holmes. The first time I go to a con and see somebody dressed up as my version of Violet Hunter (sorry, not until Book 3) or Violet Smith (Book 2) or Grogsson...that's the day I'll know I've arrived.

    Q: What are you most looking forward to in hearing GraphicAudio's interpretation of A Study in Brimstone?

    A: I'll tell you what I'm most dreading: Grogsson stepping on the dog. I suppose the perfect punishment for writing that is being forced to listen to somebody foley it, but...ugh...comeuppance is hard.

    I guess the thing I'm most looking forward to is: All of it. I cut my teeth on the stage - taking someone else's words and making them my own, building characters and meaning and audience investment out of somebody else's material. Now, I'm on the other side of the coin. A bunch of funny, cool young actors are about to take the book I wrote and make it theirs. I can't wait to hear the first joke I didn't know was in my own book. Trust me, they'll find a few.

    Q: What's up next for you? Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to mention?

    A: My next project is...drumroll, please...More Warlock Holmes. I'm currently at work on Book 3: My Grave Ritual. It would take 8 or 9 books to finish out the entire Holmes cannon. That means, at the current rate of production, I'll be in this project for a good, long while.

    Another thing I may be bringing out is a diskworld-like comic fantasy series. First up: Tales from the Sh**ty Unicorn: Elfheist! A tongue-in-cheek fantasy heist novel staring characters who know they're characters - as in, d20 characters. Book 1 is a heist, Book 2 is the war-novel The Boogey Woogie Bugle Bard of Company B.

    Click here to purchase Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone from GraphicAudio.

  • Author Spotlight: Adam Rakunas Pt 2

    In Part One of our interview with Adam Rakunas, the Windswept author discussed his unusual path to a writing career and shared some thoughts on the development of Padma Mehta as a unique sci-fi hero. Check out Part 2 here, as Rakunas talks GraphicAudio’s production of Windswept, his favorite audiobooks, and whether he’s got a future in brewing...

    Q: Was there any particular reason you decided to set the story in a rum distillery? Given the detail on the "official website" for Old Windswept Rum, one might assume you have some experience with distilling or brewing.

    A: The distillery was an afterthought in the first draft, and it wasn’t until I workshopped the book that it came to the forefront. Brad Beaulieu and Bill Shunn (who read the full draft) pushed me to make Old Windswept a central part of the story, and they were right. Having permission to be ridiculous and have an entire planet cultivating genetically modified sugarcane powerful enough to fuel a trans-stellar economy was liberating and fun. I named one of the better brands of rum after both of them.

    I am a terrible brewer. I tried to make root beer once in college, and all I got was foamy water that tasted like sweet dirt. I would rather leave it to the professionals. Fortunately, Seattle is full of good brewers and distillers. We even have an incredible rum bar, Rumba, where I held a launch party for Windswept. Make sure you go on Wednesday. That’s Tiki Night.

    Q: You mentioned on Twitter that you really enjoyed working with Director Nanette Savard on the GraphicAudio release of Windswept. Did anything about this process surprise you?

    A: How fast you guys work. I got my first email from Nanette in March, and the release is in April? Good gravy, that’s quick. Also, I was pleased to find out that Nanette got my jokes, especially the ones that reference Firesign Theatre.

    Q: In what ways do you think Windswept lends itself well to an audiobook version?

    A: I’ve always thought of this book as the printed version of Padma sitting at her favorite stool at Big Lily’s and talking about her ridiculous day. Plus, with GraphicAudio’s take, it means I’ll get to hear that story with music and explosions.

    Q: Have you listened to audiobooks in the past? Have any favorite books or series?

    A: Stephen Fry’s narration of the Harry Potter books is marvelous, especially the way he swings between regional accents at the drop of a hat. And the GraphicAudio productions of G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel are so, so good. After I heard those, I knew my books would be in good hands.

    Q: What’s up next for you? Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to mention?

    A: I’m now grinding away on those proposals. Nothing’s happened yet, but I’m confident someone will want to read about things like nefarious Canadian oligarchs, stoner action heroes, and apocalyptic high school reunions. My agent has asked me to think up books that are Big And Stupid, and I am only happy to oblige.

    Q: And finally, I noticed that you’ve appeared at a few cons over the past couple years. Have you encountered any Windswept cosplay?

    A: Not yet, but I remain hopeful. I think seeing the whole cast of Windswept in real life would be a blast. Come find me, people!

    Listen to a clip from Windswept below and click here to purchase from GraphicAudio.

  • Author Spotlight: Adam Rakunas Pt 1

    Those looking for a sci-fi adventure that’s a bit off the beaten path won’t want to miss our newest series, Windswept! Book 1 is out now, and we had the opportunity to speak with author Adam Rakunas. Here, he talks miniaturized bison, unique sci-fi heroes and how a fire drill jumpstarted his writing career...

    Q: You have quite the list of prior jobs - video game engineer, theater usher, triathlon race director, to mention a few. Tell us a little about the journey you took to becoming an author.

    A: I’ve always been a scribbler. When I was in first grade, I wrote about the California Angels beating the Toronto Blue Jays. Considering the Angels’ abysmal record that year, that story is evidence that I was destined to be a fantasist.

    Jump to 2001, and one of my co-workers had Stephen King’s On Writing on his desk. There was a fire drill at work, and I borrowed On Writing to have something to read while we milled around, waiting for the all-clear. I had never read King’s fiction because I am a giant scaredy cat and didn’t want nightmares. His memoir, however, was fair game, and I got so absorbed that I bought my own copy that night and stayed up reading it. On Writing was the textbook I wished I’d had back in high school, because it laid out a road map for a career in writing. And, yes, King’s path isn’t available anymore because of the way the fiction market has warped and shifted, but the toolkit he talks about is.

    I started writing short stories and getting rejections. I joined a writing group made up of Clarion graduates and learned and got better rejections. I made my first semi-pro sale in 2008 to the late and lamented Futurismic.com, a story about high school politics in a near future Orange County. Somewhere in there, I started the first draft of Windswept in the bar of a hotel in Waikiki, where I was going to officiate a wedding (yes, in addition to all these other jobs, I am an ordained minister). I kept stumbling my way through that first draft of Padma’s adventures until the spring of 2009, when the world economy imploded and I joined the ranks of the leisure class. My wife convinced me to finish my book before I went out and got a regular job, and I did later that year at a fishing resort in Arkansas. I put the manuscript away for a bit, and, next thing I knew, I was a stay-at-home parent to a brand new baby we adopted. I thought I would edit the book while our daughter took her naps, an idea that will make every parent in the world laugh and laugh and laugh.

    Windswept 1 is now available for pre-order at GraphicAudio.net

    Eventually, I got over the sleep deprivation and wrote and workshopped a story about intellectual property law and miniaturized bison, which I sold to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2012. That was the mag that sent me my first rejection letter back in 2001. It’s also the mag that got me my first agent, who read the story and emailed me to ask if I had a novel. Note: I don’t think this ever happens.

    I should add that, while writing that first draft was a solo effort, the revising part, the magic part, was collaborative. I would have gotten nowhere without members of my writing group giving critiques or writer friends patiently explaining what did not work with the mess I’d put in their hands or my agent and editor going over my manuscripts with fine-toothed combs. I am very fortunate that so many talented and caring people have given me their time to hold my hand and make my work better. Also: eight years after our daughter came along, and my wife still hasn’t asked me to get a desk job. That is a rare and marvelous thing, and I hope I can pay her back for that faith she’s shown in my work.

    And here I am, sixteen years after that fire drill, two books on the shelf and this audio production about to be released. I still have no idea what I’m doing, and I’m still collecting rejections (though they’re for book proposals now, which means I only spend a month on them instead of six years). This job is so weird and frustrating, but it’s also magic. Also, the baristas at the coffee house where I write now give me an extra free refill. That’s a nice perk.

    Q: Do you think having this wide variety of prior employment experiences has helped influence your writing?

    A: Absolutely. Having all those jobs meant learning stuff I never would have if I’d stuck with my original career path of college to engineering job to retirement. They’ve also made me more empathetic because I’ve seen the grinds that everyone goes through in their work. I would much rather write about the people who do the work, because I think there’s great drama there. The stakes are personal, and that makes for a good story.

    Q: Tell us a little about creating Windswept’s lead character, Padma Mehta. You’ve mentioned that you were "tired of reading about brave and daring space captains," and wanted to focus on a different aspect of space adventure. What most sets Padma apart from traditional sci-fi heroes?

    A: Her attitude to Do The Work. She’s a street-level hero who knows that making a better world means talking with people, listening to them, getting them to work together. She has no illusions that her life and her society are messed up, but she chooses to do the little things it takes to make things a little bit better. Plus, I think we need more stories about the people who actually make future societies function, if only to find out if those methods don’t work and should be avoided. 1984 and Rossum’s Universal Robots are manuals on what not to do.

    Also, I think the future will look like Padma. The future is women and people of color and women who are people of color leading the way. I think the sooner we embrace that, the better off we’ll be.

    Q: Labor politics feature prominently in Windswept’s story - is this a topic that’s always been of interest to you?

    A: Oh, yeah. I think we take things like weekends and living wages for granted without realizing all the literal blood shed to make that happen. The songs and stories from the American labor movement are fascinating, and we forget them at our peril. Plus, like King wrote, people are always fascinated with stories about work. People may bounce off the idea of a book about labor politics, but I think they’ll jump into a book about someone’s job.

    Click here for Part 2 of our interview with Adam Rakunas! Listen to a clip from Windswept below and click here to purchase from GraphicAudio.

  • Author Spotlight: Laura Resnick

    Esther Diamond's a sassy struggling actress just trying to make it in NYC - which is even tougher when supernatural mayhem just seems to find her! Featuring a blend of mystery, comedy and urban fantasy, this series is quickly becoming a GraphicAudio favorite, and we had the opportunity to speak with author Laura Resnick shortly before the release of Esther Diamond 1: Disappearing Nightly. Here, she discusses the genesis of Esther Diamond, her love of radio plays and how she turned rejection into success.

    Q: What was the inspiration behind your Esther Diamond Series and the characters in Esther Diamond?

    A: I wanted to write something different than what I had done before, and after casting around for a bit, I narrowed that broad goal down to writing a comedic contemporary fantasy series. I had a background in acting, and I wanted to write something featuring an actress and using a number of settings related to that profession. So far in the series, Esther Diamond has worked on stage, on TV, in a small film production, as a singing waitress, as a roving entertainer in a holiday spectacle, etc.

    A bit of trivia: When working on the first book, the name Esther Diamond just popped into my head. I liked it - it felt familiar or broken-in, so I used it. After Disappearing Nightly was published, a longtime family friend read it - and surprised me by noting that I had named my heroine after my great-grandmother. I hadn’t even realized it! That information was buried so deep in my childhood memories that I hadn’t recognized why it felt familiar.

    I also needed a character who would be Esther’s guide to the mystical world she encounters in her misadventures. That became Max, who evolved very fluidly for me. I don’t even remember making conscious decisions about his characteristics. He just emerged as I started writing him, and from the first draft, he was pretty much the character you’re reading (or listening to!) in the books.

    Esther Diamond 4: Vamparazzi is now available at GraphicAudio.net

    Detective Lopez arose as a natural foil for the two of them. It was my DAW Books editor Betsy Wollheim who suggested there should be something mysterious or odd about Lopez - which begins emerging in book two, Doppelgangster. This was a good call and an example of how a good editor can help a writer make something better.

    Lucky Battistuzzi, as well as Max and Esther’s interactions with the mob over the course of the series, arose from my interest in the Mafia, which I’ve read about a lot over the years - in large part because I lived in Sicily for a while, years ago. Other characters who appear and reappear through the series arise from the story - from thinking about who would be in that situation or position, and how they’d react to the plot and interact with Max and Esther.

    In general, I love developing characters. That’s the fun part of constructing a book. Working on the plot is often the less fun part for me.

    Q: What do you think it will be like for you to hear your books in GraphicAudio?

    A: I imagine it’ll be a lot of fun, since I am a huge audiobook fan. I am an even bigger fan of radio plays (and I have a huge personal library of BBC radio drama and comedy). I was familiar with GraphicAudio before they approached us about the Esther Diamond series, and I had already thought that this company’s unusual format for adapting books would suit Esther Diamond really well, since so much of these books is about the different characters, their fast-paced dialogue with each other, and the madcap action - which a "movie in your mind" audio production can bring to life so well.

    I think it’ll also be very satisfying for me, because it has taken so many years to get to this point. The Esther Diamond series was rejected for years by literary agents and publishers. Then its first publisher dumped the series after just one book - after which, still more literary agents told me it would never sell again. Then DAW Books, a wonderful publisher, picked up the series; but it took more years after that for an audio company to get involved. So hearing the first book in the series (much like having book after book in this series get published now) is the culmination, for me, of years of lonely persistence in the face of considerable discouragement, wondering many times whether a milestone like this would ever be reached. So I really look forward to hearing it!

    Q: What’s your favorite Esther Diamond title and why?

    A: Probably Vamparazzi. The title itself took me forever to think of - but once it popped into mind, I knew I had it. Vamparazzi was also a book I had some ambivalence about writing; vampires are so done-to-undeath; I worried that no matter how hard I worked, the book inevitably would be a tired retread of overworked tropes. But I wound up finding the research interesting and surprising; I found there was still untapped potential for a fresh vampire story, and I really enjoyed the characters and story problems that arose along the way. Although there are books I can’t wait to get off my desk and out the door, this was one I was sorry to be done with when I finished it.

    Q: What is your current writing project and do you have any upcoming releases you would like to mention?

    A: Currently working on Goldzilla, the 8th Esther Diamond novel.

    Listen to a clip from Esther Diamond below and click here to purchase from GraphicAudio.

  • Author Spotlight: Christopher Husberg

    Chaos Queen Author Christoper Husberg

    Fantasy fans are sure to love our newest series, The Chaos Queen! Book 1: Duskfall is out now, and we had the opportunity to speak with author Christopher Husberg. Check out what he had to say about the series, his writing inspiration and his thoughts on audiobooks…

    Q: What was the inspiration behind your Chaos Queen Series and the characters?

    A: There were too many sources of inspiration to count! Duskfall was certainly influenced by some of my favorite fantasy stories (from The Lord of the Rings and The Dark is Rising to A Song of Ice and Fire and pretty much anything by Joe Abercrombie). I’ve been a fan of fantasy literature since I was a child, and I love the genre for many, many reasons!

    Video games, films, even music had their part in generating the story I’m telling in the Chaos Queen Quintet - basically, anywhere there’s story, I’ve found inspiration. Many of my own life experiences, of course, made their way into the novel, as well as experiences of those close to me, and I’m sure those will continue to make their way into the series.

    The Chaos Queen 1 The Chaos Queen 1: Duskfall is now available at GraphicAudio.net

    Q: What do you think it will be like for you to hear your books in GraphicAudio?

    A: I’m not entirely sure...I imagine it will be like something of a mix between an audiobook and one of those old audio dramas - a la the War of the Worlds adaptation. I’m very excited to hear a more dramatized version of Duskfall; I think it will be fascinating. Whatever it is, I’m sure it will surprise me, and I’m absolutely looking forward to hearing it!

    Q: What's your favorite scene from The Chaos Queen 1: Duskfall and why?

    A: Yikes. Considering I wrote the thing, I have quite a few favorite scenes! But I suppose if I had to choose one (or in this case a few that occur one after the other), I’d go with the sequence in Izet’s Imperial Palace towards the end of the book. I’m a big horror fan, so it was fun to incorporate a number of horror elements into those scenes, but most of all it was really cool to see the culmination of each character arc come together. Those scenes are what I really live for as a writer!

    Q: What is your current writing project and do you have any upcoming releases you would like to mention?

    A: I’m currently working on Book 3 of the Chaos Queen Quintet: Blood Requiem. And Book 2, Dark Immolation, will be released on June 20th of this year! So keep an eye out for it!

    Listen to a clip from The Chaos Queen 1: Duskfall below and click here to purchase from GraphicAudio.

  • Back with a Vengeance: The All-New GraphicAudio Deathlands

    Rick Rohan here. Been kinda quiet here on the GA nation blog.

    Okay, so it's not that easy to keep blogs and podcasts going on a regular basis. Trust me, though, we haven't been sitting on our hands. All the time we might have spent with such entertaining and enlightening side ventures has been dedicated to the main task at hand: cooking up some blockbuster stuff to light up the movie screen in your mind.

    Such as:

    When GraphicAudio launched in the fall of 2004, the flagship title of our limited initial offerings was the cult favorite post-apocalyptic adventure series Deathlands, and that ship has sailed on through largely untroubled waters for the past twelve years. Over its long tenure in GraphicAudio, its audience has grown exponentially.

    Now GraphicAudio is even more involved with the Deathlands story creation process and has the pleasure of bringing you even more new titles in the Deathlands Series.

    As I write this, Sound Designer extraordinaire Thomas Hogan is putting the finishing touches on Deathlands # 126: Survival In Doubt, the first "original" episode in what will be a new era in the Deathlands saga. Our intent is to take an already successful formula and refine it, distill the elements that have made it the long-running series it has been, and concoct a fresh take that will give the stories new life. The characters that we call the companions and that die-hard fans have come to consider old friends will still be familiar, but we may see them in ways we never have before. We'll learn more about them, their strengths and their flaws, and explore the dynamics that have made them such a close-knit family of extraordinary survivors in a world that seems so relentlessly intent on killing them. And their stories will return to a tight continuity, where events have consequences that carry on from one episode to the next. We'll also be building on stories of the past. Longtime fans will find "easter eggs" aplenty in the new GraphicAudio stories, and some questions that have never been answered will be dealt with.

    Survival In Doubt picks up immediately after the events of Deathlands # 121 End Day, a terrific tale in which the companions travel through time via mat-trans to New York City in the days just before the missiles started flying and the world as we knew it ended.

    This does not mean the stories contained in episodes 122-125 didn't happen, either before or after End Day. They're good, strong stand-alone stories that exist out of any clear chronology, other than who the members of the companions are at that point in time, and those stories might even be referenced in future episodes. Who knows what the future holds?

    Well, I do. Some of it. At least the in the first two new episodes. However, I imagine even I will be surprised at how things continue to unfold.

    If you've never checked out the Deathlands series before, this is a good place to jump on board. You won't be lost, and if you like what you hear, there is a mountain of back catalogue to keep you entertained while waiting for the next new episode. Lookee here:
    DEATHLANDS at GraphicAudio.net

    Oh, and we're also working on more podcasts of All In Your Mind, recording (at least) 6 actor interviews over the next 10 days, so that side venture will return very soon as well.

    So keep the faith, GA Nation. Deathlands lives!

  • All Bets Are Off

    Many of our fans have written me personally this year wondering how we chose the actors who perform in our audio books. By Many fans, I should in fact say none, but beginning a blog entry by admitting that no one is actually interested in what you are about to write is in many ways quite disheartening and bad writing in general.

    In an ideal world you would all be interested in the casting process, so in an attempt to bring the world closer to the ideal, let's all pretend that you are all in fact interested, and I will take you through grueling process that I use as a director to fit the actor/actress to the appropriate role.

    STEP 1: What is the best role for me?

    Now you might be saying that seems self-serving and egotistical and you would be correct. (Double-plus good on you!)

    But you must understand as an actor, I must demand the most memorable role for myself first and then begin the painful and often time consuming process of arguing with the director about why I am the right choice. The director in this case would also of course be me and the conversation usually goes something like this:

    Actor: Of course I should play the hero of the story!
    Director: You do know that she is a 13 year-old girl, don't you?
    Actor: I can play anything, you know that! People just need to learn to suspend their disbelief. They do it in the movies all the time, they let Arnold play the governor of California.
    Director: No, he was governor of California.
    Actor: Please don't bother me with your "reality." I want that role!
    Director: I really don't feel comfortable having this conversation. My final answer is no, you can't play the role.
    Actor: Fine. Who can I play?
    Director: I was thinking the bouncer at the night club with two lines, he's described as having a deep-gravelly voice.
    Actor: I'll do it! But, you really need to open your mind up to the possibilities of non-traditional casting.

    STEP 2: Throw a dart at the actor board.

    Let's be honest Graphic Audio has developed such a deep and diverse acting pool over the last several years that we are hip deep in talent. (If you are under five feet tall, neck deep.) I and my fellow directors are spoiled for choices these days.

    The most talented actor will always get the role to which they are best suited, that is unless I find out that blackmailing the director works and then....

    ... well let's just say all bets are off.

    Scott C. McCormick

  • Playing Gods - An Original GraphicAudio Production

    Most likely by the time you read this, GraphicAudio will have released a title that has special significance for GraphicAudio as a publisher and me in particular. Playing Gods: Isolation by Chris Rohan and Karen Rohan is the first (but not the last, more about that later) "original" story to be written especially for GraphicAudio and never before seen or heard in any other format.

    And as the authors' last names indicate, this is also something of a family affair, so I beg your indulgence if I gush a bit more than usual.

    My son Chris Rohan was a member of the original GraphicAudio creative team, having worked as sound designer, theme composer (Rogue Angel, Stony Man) and actor on numerous titles, including Deathstalker, Deathlands, DC Comics' Infinite Crisis, Batman Inferno, Batman: Dead White and many, many more.

    He and GA director Nathanial Perry were largely responsible for sparking the internet phenomenon that was Snakes On A Plane with their audio trailer spoof, and Chris actually did sound design on GA's own cult classic and hard-to-find audio version of that story, though neither he nor Nathanial will accept any responsibility for the final film. Life-long gamer and computer geek Chris and his collaborator, fellow gamer, illustrator and, oh yeah, wife Karen Rohan have pooled their talents and experience to create a story that was truly meant to be told in GraphicAudio.

    Playing Gods was written specifically for the medium, informed by years of creative experience in the field of audio story-telling. That experience can be heard in the lean, clear prose and crisp dialogue, the detailed soundscapes of the story, and the spectacular, super-charged battle scenes. Karen's interests in biology, zoology and primitive culture have come to play in creating the language and nuanced customs of the fascinating Lami tribe, a snake-like race who are compelled to cope with forces beyond their understanding. Karen's cover art and vivid illustrations bring an added dimension to the GraphicAudio experience.

    Yes, I'm a proud father and father-in-law and Playing Gods feels a bit like my second grandchild, except with a lot more baby-sitting.

    This has been a project literally years in the making, and I've been involved with it to varying degrees since the early drafts all the way through the direction of performances and post-production decision-making, so I take personal pride in the finished product as well. And speaking of performances, I'd like to shower praise on some outstanding portrayals in what is a uniformly well-acted story. GraphicAudio favorite Kimberly Gilbert is right at the top of the list, for her touching and inspired performance as Lissah, the Lami who develops a close relationship with the outsider Xriah, avatar champion of his goddess.

    Her deft handling of the technical challenges of dialogue spoken in a difficult alien language as well as the awkwardness of syntax and phrasing in her dialogue that is spoken in the human tongue was simply amazing, creating a character that is decidedly inhuman but filled with very relatable emotional complexity. Other compelling performances have been delivered by many GraphicAudio favorites, including David Coyne, Bradley Smith, Nanette Savard, Emlyn McFarland and Andy Brownstein, among many others.

    If you'd like to hear more about Playing Gods: Isolation, check out the next All In Your Mind podcast in which we'll talk to the authors, but don't wait for that. Go right now to the Playing Gods product page and listen to the full 25 minute prologue to get a good taste of what I've been yakking about for the past 5 minutes.

    Rick Rohan
    Senior Creative Director

  • Thankful For Our Customers and Fans!

    We are thankful for good health, family and friends and our unique work family. We are extremely thankful for all of you in GraphicAudio Nation. We can't do what we do without your support and we truly appreciate when you purchase our GraphicAudio titles.

    To us it means you get us, you understand our art and our hard work. All of our cast and crew are dedicated to making our audio entertainment the best that it can be. It is not easy work and can be quite stressful to make deadlines to get it ready to sell in the stores or in our online store.

    So this Thanksgiving, we take our hats off to you, our customers and fans in GraphicAudio Nation. Thank you!

    Anji - GraphicAudio Veep and on behalf of the Graphicaudio Cast & Crew

  • The Demon Cycle

    Blog Post by Author Peter V. Brett:

    I want to tell you about the AMAZING job Graphic Audio has done in bringing The Demon Cycle to life as an audio dramatization.

    demon_cycle_4_the_skull_throne_1_of_3 I'm a big fan of my unabridged audiobooks, particularly the fantastic work done by narrator Pete Bradbury, so I was skeptical at first of the Graphic Audio productions.

    But Graphic Audio has done something completely different, and unlike anything else on the market today. They have produced The Demon Cycle novels and novellas with the flair of an old-school radio play, complete with narrator, full-cast voice actors, sound effects, and music.

    The result is really amazing. The cast is fantastic, producing some really stellar performances with fabulous accents. Some of the scenes, like those where Leesha and Bruna verbally fence with each other, make me cackle with glee, and Arlen's performance just soars.

    Also wonderful are the sound effects, particularly the individually crafted sounds for each breed of demon, and the way the song lyrics in the book were set to music. You get to actually hear Keerin sing!

    You can check out samples of the Demon Cycle at GraphicAudio.net.

    Thanks to everyone who worked so hard on this project!
    Production credits:
    Directed by: Johann Dettweiler
    Starring: Richard Rohan, Terence Aselford, Colleen Delany, Delores King Williams, Elizabeth Jernigan, James Lewis, Christopher Graybill, Nick De Pinto, Thomas Penny, Steven Carpenter, Michael Glenn, Eric Messner, Joe Brack, Mort Shelby, Ken Jackson, Michael John Casey and Joseph Thornhill
    Book Adapted for GraphicAudio by: Johann Dettweiler
    Dialogue Editor: Johann Dettweiler
    Sound Designer: Johann Dettweiler
    Additional Redshirts by: The Dead Giveaways
    Original Artwork by: Lauren Cannon
    Producers: Richard Rohan and Duane Beeman
    Executive Producer: Anji Cornette

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