I’ve been recommending this to all my birder friends for months now and am doing it here now because they’re offering a free version of their new songs in exchange for it: if you’re a birdwatcher here in the U.S. and you want to learn to bird by ear, you really must check out Larkwire. I’d been trying for years to learn birdsongs just by listening to the recordings, and made very little progress, but Larkwire gives you the equivalent of audio flash cards, organized into groups of four to eight that are similar. It’s totally revolutionized my birding–I found my first ever Bay-breasted Warbler in Prospect Park because I recognized its song and went looking for it.
Up until now they only offered land birds, but now they’re coming out with a new songpack for waterbirds, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Something a little different this week: I could use advice from all of you. As we authors do, I am always sending out query letters to agents, and a recent one got me back the usual request to see the first 50 pages plus the request to send “an annotated list of the competition you see for your book and why you think yours is unique.” As far as competition goes, my guess is that Soap and Water is most like literary visions of a fallen America like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, J.G. Ballard’s The Drought, or Colson Whitehead’s Zone One, but really this is a hard question to answer for oneself, so I thought I would put it to you all. Any ideas for what my competition might be or how I might beat ‘em?
Also audio thru chapter 39 is now up on the Soap and Water page.
I’ve got a new story linked on the story page, a form for you to fill out. Don’t skip any questions or your application will be discarded.
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, the end is here. All chapters of Soap and Water are now posted at Red Lemonade, so get on over there to read the conclusion and leave your comments.
Some of you have gotten in touch and apologized for falling behind a few chapters or more. A couple of words about that. 1) I’m grateful to anyone who reads any part of the book, so no need to apologize. More important, though, 2) serialization was never anything more than a promotional tactic. I never expected most readers to hang on every week — in fact, you’ve completely exceeded my hopes in that regard. The point of serialization was to remind people of the book over and over, so that when I finally posted the whole thing online the audience ready to receive it would be a bit larger.
That’s where we are now, and that’s why this is the time I most need your help. Please share the link to Soap and Water on Facebook and Twitter. If you’ve liked however much you’ve read of it, tell a friend to check it out. Tell him/her that for a limited time I’m making it available for free as an ebook download on the Soap and Water page here, and the only donation I ask in return is a minute of their time to leave a comment. (Also now up on that same page is audio of chapter 25.)
You’ve all helped me out so much already, anything more that comes of this I will always owe partly to you. And for what more comes of it right now, I am depending 100% on you. Please spread the word any way you can, and if you have any other ideas for promotions I might try, let me know. A couple of you have already given me great ideas, and I will be pursuing them.
Soap and Water chapters 44 and 45 are now posted to Red Lemonade. In the first, Meg falls apart after a crisis, and in the second ‘Tit Jean plays out his part in the vigilante raid on Area 51. We’re getting very close to the end here. Things will either all come together or they won’t.
E-reader versions are available on the Soap and Water page, as is audio to chapter 24.
I know I’ve been pestering you guys for your help for months now, and you’ve come through with flying colors. And I know some of you have fallen behind, and that’s perfectly okay. But next week will be the Final Installment of Soap and Water, and when that happens I want to make one last big push to get attention for the book.
So please think of one person you think might like the book, one person you think might be willing to read just the first chapter, or any random chapter, and leave a note saying that they liked it, or hated it, or anything.
And then don’t do anything. Hold that information to yourself. Invite them next week. Get ready to reTweet, and Facebook forward, and do anything else you might be willing to do to help me out.
Because this could very well be this book’s one shot at getting into the world, and you guys are the ones who can make it happen. You’ve brought me so far already, and I’m so very grateful.
Soap and Water chapters 42 and 43 are now posted at Red Lemonade. In the first, forces converge to bust kids out of prison; in the second, those kids in prison mobilize to free themselves. But inside and outside have no way of communicating. Will they manage to help each other?
E-reader versions are on the Soap and Water page, along with newly posted audio to chapter 23. Thank you as always for reading, thank you even more for commenting, and thank you above all for Facebook-sharing and retweeting.
Happy New Year’s everybody! Like perhaps many people I get gloomy and reflective around this time of year, thinking about all the things I haven’t accomplished, but this New Year I am greatly cheered by the feeling that for once there’s at least a few people out there interested in this book I’ve worked so hard on. So thank you all for giving me hope that 2012 will be better than 2011.
With that in mind, Soap and Water chapter 41 is now posted on Red Lemonade. After many, many pages of setting up dominoes, this is the chapter where they begin to fall. Confrontations happen. There’s desperation and conflict. Exciting stuff.
As always, e-reader versions are on the Soap and Water page here. I’ve also just put up an .mp3 of chapter 22.
Just a brief note to let you know that the audio version of chapter 21 is now posted on the Soap and Water page.
Merry Boxing Day! I have presents for you all: fresh chapters of a literary scifi postcrash novel! That is to say, chapters 39 and 40 of Soap and Water are now posted to Red Lemonade. The characters have all gathered in one spot; the final showdown approaches.
E-reader versions are on the Soap and Water page as usual. I did not have the chance to record any audio chapters for you this week, but I will soon and will alert you when they’re posted.
Please comment! And thank you all for continuing to read and share.
Soap and Water chapters 36 and 37 are now posted to Red Lemonade. The first brings to a head ‘Tit Jean’s Jobian confrontation with his God, and in the second Veronica gets really, really pissed. E-reader versions are available on the Soap and Water page here as always, as are newly recorded audio versions of chapters 19 and 20. I’ve figured out how to do some basic audio editing, so it should sound just a smidge better.
Everybody’s going home for Christmas, right? You all need something to read or listen to on the plane? Why not catch up on post-apocalyptic sci-fi with a literary tinge? Tell your friends.
And of course, to the many of you who have already told your friends and who continue to read and comment, a most sincere thank you.