Yamada and Beyond

Audible Edition

Audible Edition

Surprise package in the mail last week, from my publisher’s agent—physical copies of the The Emperor in Shadow audiobook. Just the thing for those long drives in vehicles that still have those, what were they called? Oh, right. CD players. I’m sure there are a few around…other than mine.

I wonder if I should preface this next section with SPOILER ALERT, or some such, but for those who don’t know, The Emperor in Shadow is the concluding volume in the Yamada Monogatari series. I’m not going to say that I’ll never write another Yamada story, because I don’t know that (he also has another sister we still haven’t met), but the main story arc is completed, since the series always had an endpoint and my only uncertainty was if I’d get it there in a reasonable time frame. The answer turned out to be yes. The publisher plans an omnibus volume which will gather all the Yamada stories, plus three stories not yet collected, plus the three novels. That is likely not to be out until 2018. After that, well I plan to be doing something else. I hope some of you are willing to stick around for that. More details when there are any to share.



Cats, Skunks, and Audiobooks. Is There a Connection?

YamadaEmperor-600You don’t always dodge the bullet. Carol and I just spent a rough night followed by some non-too-joyous time this morning giving one of our cats a special bath to remove (or at least dial-down) eau-de-skonk. Took us a while to figure out what had actually happened, since he got the concentrated point-blank skunk shot and it smells more like burning rubber than normal skunk. For a while. Then the true nature of the situation becomes way too clear. I hope he’s learned his lesson. I doubt it, because Cats.

In an attempt to move on to more to a more pleasant subject, I just received my free author codes for the Audible.com edition of Yamada Monogatari: The Emperor in Shadow. More than I need, and rather than let them sit idle, I’m going to give them away. No silly contest, no “What was the ghost Seita-san’s favorite food?” None of that nonsense. Just one string—I want you to review/rate the audiobook when you’re finished. That’s it. Hate It, Love It, Meh, Whatever. The review can be long and insightful or short and pungent. Entirely up to you, and doing a review at all is strictly on the honor system. I will not be checking. The only other catch, if you can call it that, is I have only a limited number of these, so it’s first come, first served, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. I’ll put up a note when that happens.

All you need to do is shoot me an email requesting one of the codes, and as long as I have one free I will send it back to you along with instructions for using it. My email address is in human-readable form on the “About” page on the website. Grab it and go, and Happy Listening.

Edited to Add: And we’re done. Thanks to all who participated.

Things That are Nowish

YamadaEmperor-600Normally I like to get these blog posts out earlier in the day, but we had a nice, crisp late-summer morning here (what a concept!) and decided to go looking for a nature trail we’d heard about. We had a beautiful drive in the area around Mt. Shumaker, but a bridge under repair blocked us from reaching the nature trail. We’ll likely be back as summer turns to fall. The view from the mountain would be spectacular.

Okay, back to business, at least for a bit. A reader had already told me that the Audible.com edition of Yamada Monogatari: The Emperor in Shadow was available for pre-order and this morning I got the official link.  I was fortunate in that the audio book reader is once again the incredible Brian Nishii:

“Brian Nishii is a bicultural, bilingual performer from Tokyo. As an actor and dancer, he has worked with theatre companies such as La Mama’s Great Jones Company, Robert Wilson, In Mixed Company, Fluid Motion, Crossing Jamaica Avenue, and The South Wing. Film and television credits include Robot Stories, Sex and the City, and Law & Order (CI). He also provides lead vocals and antics for the colorful band, HappyFunSmile. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and baby boy.”

While it is not quite yet the official release date where you’ll be able to find the book in your local B&N, Amazon.com does have paper copies for sale, so if you know you want it (And why wouldn’t you?) it’s there now. I also want to mention that I have paper copies of my own and since I’m unlikely to be anywhere you are, if you want a signed copy you can get it directly from me. My contact email is on the “About” page. While Supplies Last. Continue reading

Rocks in His Head

Herkimer Diamonds Mixed with Dolomite in Matrix

Herkimer Diamonds Mixed with Dolomite in Matrix

We spent most of yesterday at a Gem & Mineral Show just outside of Syracuse. Carol uses stones in her work and I’m just interested. Sometimes I think I might have turned into a rock hound if I hadn’t been born and raised in Mississippi. Some people managed it anyway, but I was never clear on how, since the place I grew up was just a small section of what was, for most of its geological history, a shallow inland sea. Dirt, I knew. Rocks? Not so much. I am reliably informed that there are rocks there, and you’d occasionally see evidence of it when the highway department had to cut through a hill to make a road, but outside of a few river pebbles and the odd chunk of exposed limestone, it was rare. I had to content myself with searching for fossils within road gravel, but seldom found anything other than fish vertebrae and sections of crinoids, which no one would believe were fossils because, you know, road gravel. I find it just a little bit ironic that now I live on the side of an ancient—really ancient, as in some of the oldest rocks on earth are less than a mile from my house—river gorge. There are more natural, native stones in our several retaining walls than I ever saw growing up. Go figure.

Received an email last week that Yamada Monogatari: The Emperor in Shadowis already going into production at Audible.com. That didn’t take long, considering they’d only had the manuscript for a few days. It’s likely—and hoped—that Brian Nishii will be doing the narration again. It’s possible that the audiobook edition will be available right around the same time as the print and ebook editions. Also, I may be doing a local signing for the book come publication day. Details are yet to be worked out, but I’ll post them here when/if they are.

Announcing a Contest


I received the official word from Audible.com that Yamada Monogatari: The War God’s Son is available in audiobook format (I know some of you were already aware of this fact). What you didn’t know is that they also just sent me some one-time codes for a free copy of the audio version. More than I can use, actually, so rather than let them go to waste, I thought I’d try to give some of those who read this blog a shot at one.

I haven’t done many of these, but a contest seemed the fairest way, so if any of you are interested, let’s have one. Below the next paragraph is the “official” description of the book at Amazon, or B&N, etc. Some of you may have even seen it, but what you might not know is that the listing contains a typographical error. That is, a rather important word is spelled wrong. I’ve been assured that it will be corrected, but you know how these things work—once it’s on the internet, the genie is out of the bottle. Chances are it’ll always be there, somewhere.

So here’s what I’ll do—to the first person who spots the mistake and sends me an email (you know how to translate this: ogresan(at)gmaildotcom )correctly identifying the error, I will send a free coupon code good for one copy of the audiobook version of Yamada Monogatari: The War God’s Son, marvelously narrated by Brian Nishii, along with instructions for using that coupon (not complicated, but for those who aren’t familiar with Audible.com, probably helpful). I’m not going to claim that there is ONLY one mistake in the listing, but keep in mind that I am looking for a very specific one, and the decision of the judge–me–is final:

“The Abe clan and its allies are in full rebellion. When the Emperor’s greatest military leader, Yoshii, is targeted for assassination by magic, it is up to the newly sober Lord Yamada and his exorcist associate Kenji to keep the young man alive long enough to put down the uprising before the entire country is consumed by war. Yamada knows how to deal with demons, monsters, and angry ghosts, but the greatest threat of all is one final assassin, hidden in a place where no one—especially Lord Yamada—would ever think to look.”