Today, the female went curling. I am exposing evidence of her as an actual rather… ungroomed… human. Post falling on her ass several times while flinging a 45 pound stone across frozen water.
You may laugh. I certainly did. In case you are not certain which one the female is, she is wearing the What the Fox? shirt. Yes, the scruffy looking nerfherder is the male. She likes her male scruffy.
You can’t have my humans. They belong to me. I allow my sister to sometimes claim ownership.
Note: A Special Thanks to the Silicon Valley Curling Club for teaching the humans how to fling heavy rocks down ice. Ice bowling is very fun.
Please note they are outside, they live in California, and they are on ice. The humans got clever and made ice for them to play upon. They then wandered a market of farmers. I’m not sure if they were buying farmers, farms, or things farmers make, but they went to the grocery store afterwards?
I’m… not sure how that is at all efficient.
(Hint: the female wanted to make spaghetti and they didn’t have the right type of tomatoes at the market, so she went to the grocery store and got diced tomatoes from a can.)
Recipe, stolen because I find theft amusing, goes a little like this:
Meat, probably beef, around a pound. Get it lean or you will have greasy sketti because the female does not believe in draining the beef.
One onion. We recommend a medium yellow.
Fresh Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Garlic. To taste. Don’t be shy, humans. You’re making sketti spice sauce, not tomato yuckies.
The female recommends at least six cloves of garlic, because if you aren’t using at least six cloves of garlic, why bother?
One 28 oz can of diced tomatoes. One 12-16 oz can of tomato sauce. One 8 oz can of tomato paste.
Olive oil, or if you’re a heathen, butter.
The female is a heathen and will be using butter.
Look, we’re cheating here, humans. If you want the eight-hour stove-top sauce, you need to give the female more time to write books. Or she needs a clone.
Optional: mushrooms. Fresh ones, because we are not heathens. You may use frozen ones, but the canned ones are no good for this because it adds too much moisture into the sauce.
She is using her instant pot for this.
Use saute function. Brown the meat with the butter. Stir often. Add chopped onion, fresh garlic. Saute that until the onion is softened and the garlic smells like you just want to stick your head in that fucking pot and lick it. (Don’t do this, you’d hurt yourself.)
If you’re adding mushrooms, do so now for 1-3 minutes or so. They’ll cook down in slow cooker mode. Don’t forget to stir.
Now add some of your basil. Shred that shit up with your fingers and just fucking throw it in there. Do the same thing with the thyme and oregano. (Don’t include the nasty stem part of the thyme or oregano, that part isn’t tasty.)
Power off Instant Pot. Hit Slow cooker option. 9 hours. (It’ll be done long before that, but don’t worry about it.)
Add the diced tomatoes. Stir. Add the tomato sauce. Stir. Add the tomato paste. Stir until your arm wants to fucking fall off and everything is mixed together.
Every hour or two, visit your slow cookering instant pot, stir, taste test. (The meat is cooked from the saute portion so it’s safe to sample.) Add basil, thyme, oregano, and salt to taste.
You are cooking this, you DESERVE to sample it at your whim. Just like wash the spoon before and after use. Don’t be unsanitary.
Make noodles when ready. Serve. Devour while growling.
And that’s what the Blain Household will be having for dinner tonight. You’re welcome.
Question & Answer Session
All answers are either stolen from the female or I made it up at my whim. Questions are from various people on the internet who asked the female. I just decided they should be answered.
Q: When will Stone Bound (Jesse Alexander #3) release?
My answer: When Water Viper sells its 7,500th copy, she will start working on Stone Bound. I will force her. Aggressively. With my claws and fangs. If said book sells 10,000 copies, I will make her drop everything she can and try to cram it in so it gets done faster. It just got over 5,000 sales, so good luck with that.
Real answer: She will probably start on it in 2021 or 2022. The Jesse Alexander books are feral, and they’re labor of love projects. But if the books start selling super well, then she will adjust the schedule to do the next one sooner.
Q: Will Mireya and Adam (from Royal States) have a novel?
Answer: No, they won’t. They got their happily ever after, and while they will maintain their status as side characters, they were never intended to be main characters. They may get a rare main character appearance in a collection of short stories, should the female ever decide to do one. But no, they won’t be getting a novel. The Royal States is very much about characters meeting the love of their life.
Mireya and Adam already have their happily ever after, and as such, they don’t need a novel.
Q: Will Mackenzie and Dylan be getting a second novel?
Answer: Yes. You can blame Dylan for his inability to land his planes without damaging them. It will be a romp, there will be no children under foot, and it will have about the same level of conflict as a pair of toddlers engaged in a wet noodle battle. It will be written purely for fun.
Q: More cat pictures.
A: If it isn’t on the list linked in the question, the female doesn’t know for certain.
Q: When are the audiobooks for $x releasing? Why aren’t you doing more audiobooks? We want audiobooks now! Please?
A: Burn, Baby, Burn and Bonds are processing for release. It can be up to a month until it releases. This is not a fast process.
Claustrophobic and Shammed are being proofed.
Ginger Snapped and Bat out of Hell are in production.
Time lines for these books to release is approximately one-to-six months for production, two to four weeks for proofing, two to six weeks for proofing corrections, and another month for final checks and publication.
Please be patient for audiobooks. This is not an easy or a quick process. We do not cruelly withhold audiobooks. They are just very expensive, take a long time to produce, and take an even longer time to pay for themselves.
To give you an idea, none of the current audiobooks paid for have earned back their production costs yet. That’s not your problem. That is the female’s problem. But considering she cuts a check between $1,750 to $3,000 per audiobook to have it brought into market, she is taking a lot of risk without earning back for a long period of time–and she’s uncertain if she’ll continue producing audiobooks because of how much they cost and how long they take to earn back.
She doesn’t want to stop audiobook production, but she’s bleeding money bringing them to market. She may need to for financial reasons.
As the female is very open about the realities of publication, and this is a Question & Answer session, here is an example of ebook production costs and earnings:
This picture does not include the fee she pays her proofreader to handle proofreading the audiobook, a task the female cannot handle herself. As such, add anywhere between $100 to $300 for proofing fees on top of this amount. Per title.
Excluding Burn, Baby, Burn and Bonds, she is still $1,191.80 in the hole for her audiobook productions. The rows that show $0 to produce were done as royalty shares, which were discontinued by her production companies when Amazon changed the rules making bounty hunting for audiobooks a great deal less profitable for everybody involved. As such, to make sure the actors and production company received a fair pay, the female went to Pay Per Production Hour. She currently uses two firms, who charge various amounts for their work. The one firm is more expensive but has a large stable of talented voice actors. The other actor predominantly handles the male voices for the newer Royal States stories.
Note: Null & Void, The Captive King, and A Guiding Light are not listed here because they were published traditionally through Tantor Media. The female receives a statement every 4 months, roughly, with how much of her advance has been paid off. She earned $500 for each book.
They might pay back their advances… some day.
So, please be patient with audiobooks. She has to pay them out of pocket, which does hit her bank account fairly hard. In fact… most of her expenses every month are going to audiobooks right now.
It has not been a profitable gamble to date.
Note: The following audiobooks are in production, and most have had the down payments already applied. Burn, Baby, Burn and Bonds have been paid in full. Burn, Baby, Burn cost $1,905.75, and Bonds cost $1,007.00. They will release in January. Hopefully. Maybe later, depending on ACX. Ginger Snapped will cost approximately $1,147, Shammed will cost approximately $1,735, Bat out of Hell will cost approximately $1,115, Claustrophobic will cost approximately $1,050, Double Trouble will cost approximately $1,085, and Water Viper will cost approximately $3,660.
This is $12,704.75 worth in audiobooks she has signed contracts for to be produced. All of that is paid out before the audiobook goes on sale. (This is paid out up to 2 months prior to the book releasing for sale, depending on how quickly the approval and finalization processes done by ACX go.)
Also, and this is really important, humans. This is not at all asking you to purchase the audiobooks. She made the decision to gamble. So far, she’s losing. She hopes that as more audiobooks come into production, listeners will enjoy the products and recommend them to other listeners. Once the Royalty Share books come out of exclusivity, she will be able to push titles on chirp and other vendors. But this is a long term gamble. She doesn’t expect to make money right away. She just hopes to mitigate how far into the hole she goes each month.
But if money from e-book sales drops, and her advertising proves ineffective, audiobooks will be the first thing to be dropped.
They are an expensive gamble, and if she has to choose between putting food on the table or producing an audiobook… it’s a no brainer.
Essentially, the female is deliberately inflating her costs of production making the audiobooks because there are listeners who enjoy them.
She’d be a lot better off financially if she dropped them, but she is stubborn and wants to make her listeners happy.
Just be aware this is not as simple as “Oh! We’ll do audiobooks! This’ll be great!”
It’s expensive, it’s time-consuming, and it’s frustrating. It also takes months to bring a single audiobook into production, especially if an actor or actress is heavily booked.
Please be kind to authors who are trying their best with audiobook production. It is, by far, the most expensive form of production that authors do outside of translation work. (And the huge costs of translation work is why the female has not opted to pursue translations at this point in time.)
Will all of that money spent become something worth its while?
We’ll find out in a few years.
In the mean time, If the book you are hoping for is not listed above, it is not currently being produced in audiobook. She needs to earn back some of that $12,000 before committing to any more audiobooks.
Thank you for your time reading through that mess and your general understanding.
Q: Why is there such a delay between books in some series? (Seriously, humans, if I listed every series we got this question for, it would be all of them. Even the ones that are up for preorders. That have less than six months until the next book in series.)
A: Because. Seriously, that’s the reason. Because. The female doesn’t enjoy writing books of same series, especially with the same characters, back to back. She gets bored. The books become boring. Nobody wants a boring book. She needs space between visits of characters.
It’s a creativity thing. Please be patient. Complaining won’t make the books come any faster, and all it does is make her not want to work on those books at all.
You can be excited about a book… but please try not to be mean or aggressive about it. It upsets the female, and when the female gets upset, she doesn’t write anything at all.
Q: Why do you work so hard?
A: Everyone in the Blain Household likes to eat food. That’s why.
Q: but what about the art of the books? You write so fast…
A: And? The book isn’t going to be any different if the female sits there and picks her nose rather than work. People are expected to work eight hours a day to put food on their table. She expects to work eight hours a day, too.
Realistically, she works closer to 12, but that’s life.
Q: Why do you charge so much for your books?
A: Everyone in the Blain Household likes to eat food. That’s why. (And have shelter. That’s important, too. And clothes. And necessities.)
Q: But I’m on fixed income. How do you expect me to pay for your books? I got Kindle Unlimited to read whatever I wanted!
A: All of the female’s books are available to libraries for purchase. Please contact your local library and inquire about them stocking her titles. Libraries are free to you, and the female still gets paid.
Libraries are good. Make use of them.
Otherwise, there are many talented authors available in the KU system, and if that is what you can afford, please do make use of them.
Q: I’m on fixed income and deserve to be able to read what I want. Why can’t I just download from wherever I want?
A: Piracy is theft, and if the female can’t afford to put food on the table, she would have to work elsewhere. That would mean no more books.
If you can’t afford a book, go to the library.
Pirates are bad people. You wouldn’t want someone coming into your house and stealing food from your refrigerator.
Don’t do it to artists.
Don’t do it to authors.
Have a Happy Holidays, folks!