In February 2011, three critical things happened in my writing career. First, I finished the edits on Percepliquis, the sixth and final novel of my debut series The Riyria Revelations. Second, Orbit (the fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group), announced they would be picking up that series and re-releasing it. And Third, I began work on my next novel.
I had decided to rework the first serious manuscript I had ever penned. This wasn’t my first novel (in fact, it was my 9th), but it was the first one I thought might have a chance of being published. Originally penned in 1986 and titled Wizards, it is the contemporary story of a man who accidentally receives the power to do just about anything. Inheriting such an ability initially led to selfish pursuits. Later, he discovers the power’s origin and that there is another person with the same skills opposing him in a classic Good versus Evil scenario. Throughout the book, he must learn not only how to survive but discover how to win in a battle where he is greatly outmatched.
I liked the idea, but back in the mid-eighties, I simply didn’t know how to write well enough to produce a decent book. I felt confident that I now had the talent and skill to fix the problems. I retitled it Antithesis and got to work. I spent an entire year researching, reconstructing, and rewriting. Then I stopped because I was mistaken. The book didn’t merely require a few corrections; it wasn’t worthy to begin with. Rather than release a mediocre novel, I shelved a year’s worth of work and walked away.
By then, it had been four years since I had written a book. I had spent that time editing and publishing The Riyria Revelations via two separate routes. Initially, it was released as a six-book self-published series (2008 to 2010), then afterward through one of the largest publishers in the world. Orbit fast-tracked the series, and they released all six books in three two-book omnibus editions from November 2011 to January 2012. Given it had been so long since I had written an original manuscript, I began to wonder if I still could.
For my next attempt, I started playing around with an origin story to my world of Elan—the tale of Nyphron. Writing something as extensive as Riyria generates a great deal of world building background, but very little of what I know actually makes it to the page. So I started contemplating what eventually became The Legends of the First Empire series.
While I was doing that, the Riyria books were being reintroduced to the world (in a much bigger way than I could have done on my own), and a need for more Riyria arose. My wife (and more than a few newfound fans) missed the pair, and in Robin’s case, depression actually set in. She lamented that I could revisit Royce and Hadrian anytime I wanted to, but with her limited imagination, she was cut off from their adventures. And so I began writing the first two Chronicles to sate her, and to remind myself I could still spin a tale.
Still, I was mindful that I needed to create something new. I was at a crossroads. I never had planned to be a fantasy writer. It just turned out that after nineteen novels, it happened to be the fantasy genre that first gained traction. I suspect most authors are in no short supply of book ideas. I had dozens filling my head. I wanted to try my hand at science fiction, horror, and what-if books. There was no end to the number of tales that excited my imagination. But I was published now, and it wasn’t only my desires that were in play. Orbit hoped for another fantasy series, and my readers wanted (and still do desire) more Royce and Hadrian. Doing something completely different might be asking too much of those who were now my supporters. The sophomore curse was upon me, and that might hinder acceptance of anything too different. I felt readers would be most accepting of another fantasy series, especially if it was set in the same world.
But there was something else I needed to face. I had lied in The Riyria Revelations, and I felt terrible about leaving that unaddressed. A great deal of Elan’s history, the mythology of the gods, and the Novronian Empire’s foundation were garbled tales altered over the centuries. I knew this when I wrote Riyria, and I felt a nagging need to reveal the truth. With that in mind, I returned to creating what I planned to be a little trilogy that would cover Nyphron’s story and the origin of the First Empire. My hope was to knock it out quickly, then move onto new worlds. That didn’t happen.
LEGENDS ORIGIN STORY
The story began its conception as a biography of Nyphron, written mostly in his point of view. He and his band of valiant adventurers would be a platoon of soldiers in a rebellious territory where they were not wanted. Nyphron would develop an atypical appreciation of humans, and when ordered to slaughter a village, he would refuse. The plot was designed to escalate from there, which was interesting but weak. There wasn’t enough there, there.
The story grew as I studied Iron Age Britannic history, looking for inspiration. I added Raithe, the human hero-warrior, and Persephone, the Queen Boudica of her people. I had the foundation for a love triangle building. Here is where the story entered its infancy, and I began writing what was then titled Rhune (the other books would be neatly named Dherg and Fhrey).
I got off to a rocky start when I began the series. I went with a different style, one that resembled other fantasy writers who I had read since entering the genre. Usually, no one—not even Robin—reads my books before they are finished, but I wanted to ensure I was on the right track. I wasn’t. Her response was, “I’m not sure who wrote this, but I would much rather read a book by Michael J. Sullivan. Can you please tell him that?” She was right. Instead of trying to be someone else, I went back to being me.
Another major piece of the series fell into place when I decided to drop Nyphron’s point of view and focus on Persephone and Raithe. In this version, Nyphron had his group of warriors, Persephone had her misfits, and Raithe was a loner. But a funny thing happened. In building the Galantians, I realized they were unforgivably dull. A bunch of variously skilled warriors was not only boring, but they were also clichéd. No matter how much I tried to breathe life into their characters, they remained flat. On the other hand, Persephone’s group exploded onto the page. They had depth, emotion, and humor. I found myself drawn more and more to them. As a result, the Galantians faded into the background. At the same time, Suri, Moya, Roan, Gifford, Padera, and Brin started to take center stage.
I was halfway through what would become Age of Myth (altered when Del Rey didn’t care for the use of so many invented terms for book titles), that I realized I didn’t want to write a story about Nyphron and his Galantians at all. I desired a different kind of story, a better one. Suddenly, the series stopped being something I wanted to quickly breeze through, and it became important to me.
One of the things I was looking to accomplish in this series has to do with Albert Schatz, or to be more precise, people like him. Albert discovered the second antibiotic after penicillin, the one that cured tuberculosis and many other horrific bacteria-based illnesses. Unfortunately, Albert was a subordinate. His supervisor, Selman Waksman, took credit by carefully erasing Albert’s name from documents and keeping him away from meetings where he might gain recognition. Waksman won the Noble Prize, and Albert Schatz has been mostly forgotten. Likewise, the astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt suffered a similar lack of recognition because she was a woman in a male-dominated field. And then there is Albert Einstein’s wife, Mileva Marić. She was a genius in her own right, but other than fellow Serbians, most don’t know anything about her.
The list of individuals who improved the world, but due to the prevalent culture or minority status, have been nearly lost to our collective memory is staggering. This made me wonder: How many in the history of Elan have been forever forgotten. This notion became a driving factor in the Legends series as I aimed to reveal the truth regarding historical facts that would later be usurped by those in power.
In Riyria, unlikely heroes meant skilled and strong men who weren’t particularly virtuous and, therefore, unlikely to do good deeds. In Legends, I sought to present truly unlikely heroes, the sort that had no hope of being great and no chance of changing the world. I realized this was what had made Tolkien’s work so profound to me as a boy.
Hobbits are unlikely heroes because no halfling could ever be expected to take on the might of Sauron, but they were also not children. They did not grow up and become heroes; they always were; they just didn’t know it. To me, that was the genius of Tolkien’s works. Through his hobbits, the reader follows innocent, seemingly powerless characters sent into unfathomable horror. I was riveted while wondering how they could possibly survive, much less succeed. This is one of the ideas I wanted to convey through my series both as a means to captivate readers but also as a message of hope that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary accomplishments. I wanted to remind us that the disadvantaged can win, and they’ve done so many times. I know such things are possible because I am just such a hobbit who once dreamed of being an author.
THE BIG MISTAKE
Armed with this new plan, the series’ focus shifted in the middle of Age of Myth and blossomed in Age of Swords. This second book steered away from the tired hero-warrior destined to save the world and moved toward the band of broken misfits who team up to win. And that is one of the reasons why it became my favorite book of the series.
I finished my planned trilogy with Age of War, which concluded many of my story arcs. But Robin was quick to point out there was still much to do. “What about that damn door? And what’s up with Trilos and Malcolm?” I also had been operating under a mistaken assumption: That people reading Legends would have first read Riyria, and as such, they knew who won the war.
I was left facing a series of repetitious battles, which did not excite me in the slightest. But there was also the ability to explain some of the background information that was known only to myself. For instance, in Riyria, it is the elves rather than humans who have gilarabrywns. So how did that come about?
Frustrated by my own shortsightedness, and without clear direction, I began writing one more book to finish out the war. It was going to be bad; I knew that before I started. I was just going through the motions of completing previously referred to events, hoping to find my way as I went. And then . . .
THE JOKE THAT WASN’T
So my new book began with Suri being captured and taken to Estramnadon, leaving the others to rescue her. They held a meeting to discuss how to do that. All the characters pitched ideas as they struggled to find a way to cross the impassable Nidwalden. Brin suggested there were legends of secret crimbal doorways where you entered in one place but came out somewhere else. Upon hearing this, Tekchin made a joke. “There is a door right in the center of Estramnadon. If we come out there, we can easily get to Suri. The only problem is it leads to the afterlife, so we’d all need to die to use it.”
I assumed this was nothing more than a clever bit of humor for about ten seconds. Then I thought . . . what if . . .no that’s stupid . . . but it could work on SO many levels . . . no, it’d be too hard, there is too much heavy lifting. In that instant, a cosmos of ideas rushed in. I could make exploring the bowels of Phyre into a whole new world that would be worthy of a novel. I could draw on Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Trials of Hercules. Both works fit the era of myths that I was aiming at all along. Doing so could fully explain the Door, Trilos, Malcolm, and so much more. I could do what I did at the end of Riyria, where I pulled in all the previously met characters for a big finale. But this time I could include historical people as well. I would be able to reveal the full truth about the gods. From there, I saw the chance to not only tell the origin story of the empire but of the whole world. That did it. I wanted to write this story. I needed to write it.
I faced a lot of problems right from the get-go. The biggest was if everyone was already dead, where was the threat? And if there is no threat, where is the tension? Without that, the story would be dull and boring. Also, what were the mechanics? How would they die? How could they come back? Would they be spirits or keep their bodies in the afterlife ala Greek myth? The biggest dilemma was if my party had to die to enter the afterlife, then Suri would have to as well. Clearly, I had issues. I ended up solving most of these problems easily enough. But I was faced with one insurmountable obstacle: This new tale was much larger than a single book. If I was honest with myself, it was on the same scale as everything I had written in this series up to that point, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
My attempt to condense everything into one novel resulted in a Cliff Notes version of a story. Upon reading the results, my wife let me know I had failed. “Too rushed. Too many missed opportunities for high drama. Not enough emotional impact. It reads more like a textbook than a novel.”
Fine. I went back and grudgingly expanded the tale. This was difficult because I didn’t have a good place to divide the story. Unlike my other books where everything neatly ties up, these characters were engaged in an ongoing quest that would require being suspended mid-story. It wasn’t unlike how Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings had been released, and I felt the similarity was a bit eerie, but in a good way. I hated not being able to provide a wrapped up ending for readers, but I was pleased with how the story was shaping up.
In this second version, the fourth book divided as they entered Nifrel. I knew it was better, but not great. Robin agreed that I still had too much in too little space. A sixth book would be required. And so I rolled back to the end of Age of War and started rewriting the end of the Great War for the third time. Even with the expanded page count, I still was forced to cut large sections and topics I didn’t have time to address. Some examples include additional background on Gath, Melen, Bran, Atella, Havar, Sile Longhammer, and many others. Of course, now I had to divide the story twice, and interestingly new breakpoints were starting to reveal themselves.
My newly expanded tale had two exhilarating climaxes. Both of which occurred at places that evenly divided the single long story into three normal-sized novels. Rather than shy away from the problem, I embraced it. Instead of artificially creating quiet moments, I cut the books at these times of high drama—cliff-hangers. I’m sure everyone is familiar with this technique. Television series’ season finales often end with cliff-hangers. And the entire concept goes back to western serials, which were designed to keep magazine subscriptions high. I felt if I had to incorporate the technique, I wanted to make the best cliff-hanger I could. I knew I’d get pushback from readers. However, I suspected then—and still believe now—that once all the books are available, the irritation of having to wait will fade to the land of when I was young, oh the troubles we had to face.
I’m sure some are wondering why I didn’t just create a single massive volume? Well, it isn’t because I was trying to maximize income. Nor was it (as some have accused), a ploy by my publisher, which, by the way, is me.
There are several reasons. First, the book would be hugely inconsistent with the other installments, and I like the symmetry we now have with two closely-related trilogies. Second, it would have added years to the release date of the follow-up to Age of War. And lastly, the cost of production for the hardcover would be far higher than three separate novels. Why? Because we’d have to switch to Smyth-sewn bindings, which is usually reserved for textbooks and volumes in law libraries.
Some readers have accused me of killing the main character, meaning Raithe. When I heard this, I was shocked. Except in very early conceptualizations, he was never expected to be a primary character. In retrospect, I realize that part of the reason people elevated his importance was that the opening scene of the first book appears to start with him. The reality is, it doesn’t. The first character mentioned in the series is Brin, and she has been my “main” all along. The fact that you don’t discover this until the very end is something that provides me a great deal of amusement. Aside from her, the other primary protagonists were Persephone, Suri, and Malcolm. These four people carry the story. It is their actions that move the plot forward, and the rest provide them with support.
There are a fair number of homages in this series. The White Brick Road of Rel, the Wicked Queen Ferrol, and Roan extinguishing her with water are but a few of the references to The Wizard of Oz. The chapter Astray in a Gloomy Wood is in deference to the start of Dante’s Inferno, as is the name of the Belgriclungreian seer, Beatrice. Also inspired by Dante, are guides to the various realms of the underworld. Originally, Arion was the guide in Rel, and she did quite a bit of explaining as to how things worked in the land of the dead. Through the various edits, we now have the characters make many of the discoveries. Yet I still have Fenelyus as the guide in Nifrel and Raithe in Alysin.
Oh, and here is a fun fact for Riyria Chronicle readers. In case you haven’t figured it out. I’ll reveal the identity in a secret-coded non-spoiler message to those who are well-versed in my world: Yes, it was Makareta.
THEMES & TRIBUTES
Redemption and forgiveness are central points of focus in both Riyria and Legends (although in both cases, you don’t discover this until you’re very near their ends). Legends place a greater emphasis on finding the courage to forgive oneself—something that everyone can probably relate to. Selflessness and the ability of people to rise to the occasion when times are dire is also shared between the two series. A noble sentiment that we are seeing played out daily at this particular time in our own history.
There are more connections and references to other works, other subtle themes as well. I will leave these discoveries to those who enjoy such things.
A WORD ABOUT HEROES
Finally, I must say a few words in recognition of the one person who, if you enjoyed this series, you are most indebted to—my wife Robin. She has been your secret advocate for many, many years. As my alpha reader, she provides my first and most trusted feedback and helps shape my novels more than anyone. These last three books were in an abnormally poor condition when she first received the tales. This was mainly due to them being constructed outside of my usual process. Instead of a well-defined structure, I was working in the ad hoc chaos of trial and error. If not for her, the result might have been terrible.
At times, I was throwing ideas at her to see what stuck. We fought many an epic battle over details, both large and small. Luckily, Robin—has a strong personality and was able to stand up to me and make her opinions known, revealing some uncomfortable truths. Not an easy task. Tears have been shed. But the story is far better because of her courage and tireless efforts to make this the best story possible.
I offered to put her name on the cover because she deserves it, but she refused. I offered to dedicate this series to her as I did with the final Riyria volume. Again she opposed the idea. Instead, she provided the Tolkien quote to reflect the difficult time in which this novel was written. Rather than take credit, she chose to offer hope to our readers.
The stories I write might be fantasy, but the depiction of the feelings people share for each other is real. The unlikely heroes, some who we never see or hear about, are as well. They are out among us right now, risking their lives and those of their loved ones. They are sacrificing all they have to help save the world. If you take anything away from this story beyond distracting entertainment, consider remembering this Book of Brin quote: I had always worshiped heroes in stories. I had no idea I was surrounded by them.
Hey all, Robin here. I’m back! Thanks again for all the complimentary things you’ve been saying about my afterwords. It’s one of the reasons I keep doing them.
Well, we are done! It’s been a very long time coming. How long? I’m not 100% sure, but I do remember seeing a very early version of Chapter One of the first book in April of 2013. So that’s six books in seven years, which doesn’t sound all that impressive. But during that time, we also released Hollow World (Michael’s sci-fi thriller) and all four of The Riyria Chronicles. So that makes eleven books in six years—a feat I’m pretty proud to be a part of. Since Michael started publishing books in 2008, he’s released one or two books every year. Here’s a breakdown.
- 1 book years: 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019
- 2 book years: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2018, 2020
Putting out three books in ten months was more than grueling. And the books of the “second half” of the series had to go through rushed beta and gamma programs. For the audiobook recordings (the date of which is set well in advance), I was doing copyedits in a “just in time” fashion. This meant I was emailing Tim chapters at 2:00 AM for a 10:00 AM recording. Now, it turns out that it all worked out well, but I was more than exhausted by the process.
Is all this a preamble to something? Yes. For the next series (of which Michael has two books finished, neither of which I’ve read), they will be coming out once a year, so I can slow down a bit. The good news is there are no cliff-hangers!
I know there are more than a few people who wait until all books in a series are released before they start with the first one, so binge away! I’m looking forward to a full-series reread, myself. It’ll be a great deal of fun to just sit back and enjoy the tale, rather than looking for plot holes, consistency errors, or typos. I can’t wait!
For those that might be curious about such things, I did a series tally. If you take out the non-story elements (Table of Contents, Author’s Notes, Afterwords, Glossaries, and the like) the entire series weighs in with the following statistics:
- 181 Chapters
- 2,763 pages (8 1/2” x 11” with 12 point font)
- 766,699 words
Okay, let’s dig into my impressions of this book and the series as a whole. Well, first and foremost, it’s clear that this is “Brin’s Book” (not to be confused with The Book of Brin). Brin is certainly center stage, and now we get to see just how important her masterwork is. The fact that it disappears makes a great deal of sense because the mythology of the Gods in the Riyria books is quite different, and I suspect that’s due to Brin’s book being snatched up by Trilos.
Will it show up again? I have no idea. As I said, I’ve not read any of the books in the next series, but I do recall at least a passing mention of a scholar of ancient texts in Riyria with the name Farilane. And, we know that the second book of the new series is also called that. So, I suspect if nothing else, she’ll be searching for the full Book of Brin.
Okay, now for something that might sound odd. I loved that Brin died! From a story standpoint, it prevents her from re-creating what Trilos stole, but, more importantly, I think her returning to Phyre is the only chance that Tesh and Tressa have. In their last scene, it was evident (at least to me) that they had no possibility of getting out by themselves. Still, I’m 100% sure that Brin will be able to rescue them.
With enough persuasion, she may be able to convince them to climb out on her own, but if that doesn’t work, I’m sure she can make a sling and carry each one out strapped to her back. After all, we’ve seen it’s possible to use eshim in the Abyss, even if it’s not easy to do. After all, both Iver and Gifford managed it. Iver was able to create the figurine of Roan’s mother, and Gifford made a sword appear when his anger against Iver was at a peak.
Another aspect about her death that I loved is her crying out, “Hang on, Tesh, I’m coming.” It’s a direct repeat of Suri’s proclamation to a near-dead Arion at the end of Age of Swords. So fun! And, yes, I just used “fun” in the context of someone’s death.
Now, some beta readers wanted to have another scene with Brin while in Phyre, and there may even be some future readers looking for the same thing. I can understand the desire, but, personally, I think it would have been a colossal mistake. I mean, it’s not like we don’t know what’s going to happen. And to have a scene showing her return would be treading over old ground. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Tesh and Brin have a cozy little place on a hill overlooking a river in Alysin that’s just a stone’s throw away from Raithe’s and Persephone’s home. For me, I don’t have to see the reunion to know it happens.
Which brings me to another issue. I’m okay with Tesh remaining dead. If he were to return to the land of the living, there would be a whole host of problems. First, he would be apart from Brin. Second, he would be tried and punished for the murders of the Galantians. And third, Nyphron’s destruction of Duryea and Nadak would come out, and that’s really something you don’t want to know about your new emperor. Since Alysin is so idyllic, staying dead means Tesh will get to his final reward sooner. I’m good with that!
I mentioned in one of my other afterwords that I couldn’t figure out whether Malcolm was good or evil, so imagine my surprise when he turned out to be both! For people planning to read the Riyria Revelations, keep your eyes open for tales about Kile and the White Feather. When you come across them, you’ll know the true origin of where those stories come from.
Okay, so one of the highlights of this book has to be the reunion of Suri and Minna. I’m thrilled that the pair are returning to the Hawthorn Glen and a well-deserved simpler life. Suri deserves a rest. She went through a lot. Oh, and I’m so glad that one of my fears didn’t come to pass. I was really concerned that Suri’s friendship with Makareta would result in yet another gilarabrywn. In general, I’m not able to change Michael’s mind on “big plot issues,” and I’m glad we didn’t have to duke it out over that one.
Michael never treats death capriciously, and at the time of Minna’s passing, I totally understood her need to die from a story standpoint. Still, that knowledge didn’t make me cry any less. But I still understood it. I NEVER thought we’d see her again. Now, not only is she alive, but we find out she is much more than first imagined. The fact that Trilos didn’t want to face off against her was quite telling. Loved it!
Another personal favorite of mine is getting all the lore about the afterlife. Throughout the last two books, we’ve visited, Rel, Nifrel, Alysin, The Abyss, and the Sacred Grove, and it was great learning about them through the progression of the plot, rather than through an infodump. I’m glad that people in Alysin can get their loved ones in upon invitation. I don’t think paradise would be as wonderful if someone you loved were stuck in a different realm.
I really enjoyed meeting Mari, and although I didn’t expect to meet Elan, I loved that we got to hear the full story of Turin from the source. Oh, and while I’m here. I know some people have been a bit confused by all the various gods, and they have been asking for a summary, so here it is:
- Eton – God of the sky, Grand Father of All.
- Elan – Goddess of the earth, Grand Mother of All.
- Alurya – firstborn of Eton and Elan goddess of plants and animals. Her fruit bestows immortality. She is now a dead tree in the Sacred Grove.
- Typhons – ancient gods of giants. There are three of them Gar, Erl, and Toth. Currently, they are trapped in the Abyss of Nifrel.
- Aesira – the five gods created by Elan by stealing teeth from Eton which includes Turin, Trilos, Drome, Ferrol, and Mari.
- Turin – (aka Rex Uberlin, Caratacus, and Malcolm) father of Goblins (Ghazel). Also the bringer of war and lies.
- Trilos – (aka The Three, The Old One or the Ancient One) – first to die by Turin’s hand, lover of Muriel. He escaped the Abyss by tricking the dwarfs.
- Drome – Twin of Ferrol and father of Belgriclungreians (dwarfs). In the afterlife, he rules Rel.
- Ferrol – Twin of Drome and mother of Fhrey (elves). In the afterlife, she rules Nifrel.
- Mari – mother of Rhunes (humans. In the afterlife, she rules Alysin.
- Muriel – daughter of Turin, lover of Trilos, also commonly known as the Tetlin Witch, like Malcolm, she is immortal having eaten Alurya’s fruit.
The last favorite thing of mine regarding this book was the ending. As far as I’m concerned, I think Michael nailed it. I loved, loved, loved that it ended with Malcolm and Muriel and that she gave him the first of what I hope to be many feathers. The fact that she’s open to reconnecting with her father makes me all warm and fuzzy, but I fear she will be a tough judge.
Well, I could go on and on, but I only have so much space. But, if you are interested in more commentary from me, I am writing a “Making of” bonus ebook. If you are a Kickstarter backer, you’ll receive it automatically. If you weren’t, you could get a free copy by requesting it at https://michaeljsullivan.survey.fm/making-of-legends-ebook.
Before I go, I want to take a moment to talk to those people who haven’t yet read the Riyria Revelations. Please, do. There are so many connections between Legends and Riyria that it’s really worth checking out. Plus, having read Legends, you’ll be “in the know” making you better equipped to see through Michael’s lies.
Also, if you think you might like what we are calling “The Bridge Series” (a.k.a. The Rise and the Fall), we’ll be doing Kickstarters for it as well, and if you want to sign up for early notification you can do so at https://michaeljsullivan.survey.fm/ks-notify.
Okay, one more thing I’d like to cover, and then I’ll be off. I’d like to thank the members of our creative team whose incredible efforts made this book possible. First, to Marc Simonetti, who not only created the fantastic cover for this book but all the books in the series. Next, I’d like to thank Linda Branam and Laura Jordstad, two fabulous copyeditors who worked under incredibly aggressive timelines. Hopefully, we’ll have more breathing room with the next series. And, of course, we can’t forget to mention Tim Gerard Reynolds, the amazing narrator for the book.
Usually, Michael and I are in the studio during the recording, and Tim has the helping hands of a recording engineer and frequently a director. But because of the Coronavirus, Tim recorded in his home studio, which meant he had to wear multiple hats. We received the “dailies” and reported back areas where adjustments were required. He took care of those before sending them off to Audible. Because Tim had to wear so many hats, the recording took longer than usual. However, we were still able to meet the release day, so good job to Tim and the post-production mastering people at Audible.
I would also like to thank an army of beta, gamma, and early Kickstarter readers who contributed their selfless time and effort to make this book as good as it is. Normally, I would call these people out by name. But, the deadline was so tight that there wasn’t time for the coordination involved in getting permission to use all of their names. So, even though they aren’t listed here, I still want to publicly offer our thanks.
Last and not least, I’d like to thank the various logistic support individuals. For instance, the people at Grim Oak Press (especially Shawn Speakman) who handles the distribution for the hardcovers and paperbacks. I’d also like to thank the people at LSC Communications, who provided the printing during the height of the Coronavirus. And, of course, my continued thanks to all the people at Audible Studios, especially Esther Bochner and Kristin Lang.
And that’s it for me. Both Michael and I would like to thank you for your continued support. We’ll do our best to keep the books coming, and hopefully, you’ll find them worth your time to continue reading.