You'd think this was my New Year's Post, right? But it's not. This is my monthly summary of everything - the old stuff, the new stuff, and what I'm currently working on. Some of the old stuff will be new to some of you.
WHAT I RELEASED IN THE LAST 30 DAYS
- Paperback edition When We Were Young - Short Stories from Panamindorah Volume 3 (containing 9 stories, all written in 2016)
- Paperback edition of The Scarlet Albatross
- "Awake" - a novellette about Keesha on Patreon (you can read it for a dollar)
PROJECTS CURRENTLY OUT TO BETA READERS
- Jager Thunder (Refugees Book 2)
- Secret Project Book 1
NEXT UP IN THE WRITING QUEUE
- Secret Project Book 2 (I just started this; I'm 5500 words in!)
- January short story for Patreon, which will be about Mouse from Cowry Catchers
- 2 short stories commissioned by friends as Art Trades - one featuring the Scarlet Albatross (and Silas and Gus) and one featuring Valla from Hunters Unlucky.
- 3rd Refugees book (tentative name: The Cormorant)
BOOKS AVAILABLE IN EBOOK AND PAPER FROM AMAZON AND AUDIO FROM AUDIBLE.COM.
- The Prophet of Panamindorah Trilogy - A foundling boy on earth realizes that he's from another world and tries to return, only to discover that hundreds of years have passed in his world of origin. Can he unravel the mysteries surrounding his disappearance?
This was my first series set in the world of Panamindorah. It's YA, but many adults have enjoyed it. This is a good introduction to the world of Panamindorah, but you'll see that my story-telling improved in Cowry Catchers. This series is my earliest writing that is currently in print. You can still get these books as a podcast if you poke around.
- The Guild of the Cowry Catchers 5-Book Series - Gerard Holovar and his minstrel wife, Thessalyn, tumble from a position of power in his father's court to a precarious life of exile. Gerard manages to distinguish himself in the Temple Sea Watch, only to attract the jealous ire of his charismatic commanding officer, Silveo Lamire. However, their mutual boss, the High Priestess, insists that Gerard and Silveo cooperate to destroy a ring of pirates called the Guild of the Cowry Catchers. The pirates seem likely to make a swift end of Gerard...if Silveo doesn't do it first.
Cowry Catchers was finished in 2008, and I still consider it my flagship series. Like Prophet, these books are set in the world of Panamindorah, but in a distant time and place. They're darker and grittier than Prophet and include queer characters and occasional sex. I produced this series in fullcast audio. The podcast is still available, but the Audible.com version has been remastered and sounds better.
The Cowry Catchers Art Book - This is available only in hardcover and PDF. It's Sarah Cloutier's illustrations from the original ebooks and podcast release, plus original concept art, some new illustrations, a character line-up, and paper dolls. This is a very pretty book.
The Refugees Trilogy (The Scarlet Albatross Book One) - Anaroo is an airship slave, destined to spend her days winding the great springs of the Scarlet Albatross. When a storm threatens to sink the ship, Anaroo and her fellow fauns seize the opportunity to escape. However, the airship nearly sank for a reason—violent unrest among the island kingdoms below. The world is changing and the surviving inhabitants of the Scarlet Albatross will need to cooperate to survive.
The Scarlet Albatross begins a few days after the end of Cowry Catchers. It introduces a new set of characters who have numerous ties to the cast of Cowry Catchers. In the second book, Jager Thunder, the Cowry Catchers cast runs headlong into the Albatross cast.
If you want to see Gerard and Silveo again, this is the series for you! The Scarlet Albatross also makes a great entry point into Panamindorah. However, I recommend you read The Guild of the Cowry Catchers before proceeding into Refugees Book 2, Jager Thunder. You'll be confused during some parts of Jager if you haven't read Cowry.
- Hunters Unlucky - One clear night on the Island of Lidian, two friends fought to the death over other people's ideas...or perhaps a villain killed a hero...or perhaps a hero won. It depends on who you ask. Everyone agrees on this - the ferryshaft lost a war, and they've had a hard time ever since. Twelve years later, Storm is born into a world of secrets - an island no one visits, names no one will say, and deaths that no one will talk about. Something about Storm upsets his elders, but nobody will explain. Storm doesn't know much, but he does know two things: everyone expects him to die, and he is going to prove them wrong.
Hunters Unlucky is available as 5 individual ebooks, as well as an omnibus, but it's intended to be a single volume. The audio and paper versions are single volumes. I cannot recommend the audio highly enough. Rish Outfield performs it, and he does a fantastic job. As of this writing, it has 323 reviews on Audible with a 4.4 star average.
Hunters is set in a completely different world than Panamindorah, but I have written one cross-over story, "Awake," currently available only on Patreon.
Crossroads - Short Stories from Panamindorah Volume 1 contains 6 stories, all but one of which are about the Prophet characters. The stories are - A Cat Prince Distinguishes Himself (Lexis), On the Edge (Sevn), Distraction (Gabalon), Hualien (Hualien), Night in the Crystal City (Syrill), and Professionals (Silveo). Professionals is also in the following collection. You don't have to read these stories to enjoy the novels, but they do add significantly to some of the characters.
Secret Things - Short Stories from Panamindorah Volume 2 contains 4 stories, all of them about the Cowry Catchers characters. Three of the four stories are novelettes. All of the novelettes are also available individually. The stories are: Sky Dance (Thessalyn), Professionals (Silveo), Chemistry (Lu), and The Secret (Gwain). You don't have to read these stories to enjoy the novels, but they do add significantly to some of the characters.
When We Were Young - Short Stories from Panamindorah Volume 3 contains 9 stories about the Cowry Catchers and Scarlet Albatross characters. The stories are Harbor Wave (Gerard), Dark Heart (Dakar), Quarantine (Basil), Taking Tricks (Silas), Anaroo of the Defiance (Anaroo), Letter of Reference (Gus), Chimera (Glossy), Fire From Heaven (Theseus), and Ghosts (Marlie).
- The Eve and Malachi Series (ebook and paper, no audio yet) is a set of children's chapter books, telling the story of the unlikely friendship between a rat and a boa constrictor: Eve is an inquisitive baby rat who regularly escapes from her cage. One night she meets a strange creature in a glass tank across the room—a boa constrictor named Malachi. The snake is amused by Eve’s questions, and he awes her with stories of the wilds where he was caught. What will happen to their fragile friendship when Eve discovers what Malachi eats?
This is a planned six-book series with two books released, two books written but not yet released, and two more on the drawing board. Each book is about 6,000 - 8,000 words, so about the length of a long short story and divided into small chapters. They're illustrated by Sarah Cloutier, who does most of my art. The first two are called "Feeding Malachi" and "Malachi and the Ghost Kitten."
In spite of being for children, these books hit some heavy themes. If you enjoy my other books, particularly Hunters, I think you'll enjoy these regardless of your age.
OTHER STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
Patreon - I have poured a lot of love into my Patreon in the last year. I write a short story for them each month, and they get to vote on the character. $1 per month gets the text and a vote. $3 per month includes the audio. Nine of the stories from 2016 are in the latest collection, but as of this writing, 3 remain exclusive to Patreon with more to follow. I'm also keeping my own readings of the stories exclusive to Patreon. The Audible.com versions will be performed by other people. I do a weekly podcast for donors at the $3+ level. There is a regular RSS feed, so it drops right into your player. There are plenty of other rewards, too. Click over for details.
The Guild of the Cowry Catchers Comic is drawn by Rah Cloutier and includes the entire Professionals short story and the first chapter of Cowry Catchers proper at this point. It's beautiful! There's also a paper version of Professionals.
The Worlds of Abigail Hilton Podcast is still free! It updates about once a month these days. That feed includes large samples of audio books like Hunters and Albatross that are only available on Audible.com. If you're not sure whether you'd enjoy those books, have a listen to the samples on the podcast.
My Digital Online Store contains things available nowhere else, such as the PDF for the Cowry Catchers Art Book, Gerard and Silveo paper dolls, and "Hungry," a NSFW story about Roup and Arcover from Hunters Unlucky. The store also contains free audio downloads of the music and outtakes from Cowry Catchers.
The Signed Paper Books Store - I only open this when I have time to do a round of orders. Otherwise the link is broken. When I open the store, I always announce it to my mailing list, my Patreon donors, and on Facebook. Signed books are not cheap. The cheapest place to get my paper books is on Amazon.
WHERE SHOULD YOU FOLLOW ME?
- My Mailing List - you won't miss a new release if you're on my mailing list (assuming my emails are not landing in your spam). I also offer free audio review copies through Audible sometimes. It costs nothing to be on this list.
- Patreon - at any level, including $1 per month, you hear a lot about what I'm doing.
- My Blog
- Facebook Author Page
- Facebook Fan Art and Chatter Group
- Twitter (rarely)
If you read this far, you are totally up to speed!