My Journey as an Author - 11
I have posted on Ecency, which is part of the Hive ecosystem. I did not expect Pearl of the Cultivators to be the first serial to go up, but Chapter Zero will be posted as soon as my resources recover and allow it. The ETA is five days. They have an interesting system, to be sure. I'm not sure I like it, or understand everything. I was surprised to learn I can vote for my own content, which is odd, but maybe just realistic. If you can't stop sockpuppet accounts, then why bother with preventing self-promotion. I still think Read.cash, and PublishOx are far more flexible with new content, and better for growing a personal brand. But there is no rush.
I am happy to share with you some of the thumbnail art, and a section of the first chapter that will be posted.
A hot, humid night, Shen thought. The city was in a languorous grip, a fugue of complacency and decadent dream. He patted his brow with a silk pocket square, and listened to the choir of crickets as they chirruped endlessly. The rains and their cool escape were weeks away, and eagerly anticipated. Until then, there was little else to do but suffer the sweat, or seek reprieve by the river.
But reprieve was not refuge.
"They always come down to the water. Not one of them smart enough to quit the city. Greed keeps them," Shen said, now playing with his gold lighter. The telltale sound was almost melodic. Flick-flick. He was being philosophical again, his one flaw. He didn't expect an answer, and was not interested in what the muscle thought if they dared a reply. It was just his personal insight into the world, and an excuse for his actions. He did not hurt the innocent. Tried not to, at least. The guilty were another story.
"Got him, Brother." They pulled a familiar figure from a shack, dressed in the robes of a monk, though his head was hidden beneath a sack. Still, the subtle arrogance and reserve was unmistakable. Hands of a scholar, too.
Shen breathed a sigh of relief. It was one problem done and buried ... almost. He hated cat and mouse games, especially when the boss would blame him for any delays. It had already taken too long to search out this little hideout and its little rat. But soon, it would all be over. Then, back to Champaign and cigarettes, for a while.
"Honestly, I expected more trouble from you, Wei. You're wily, but lack earthly reason. Keeping your head in the heavens let us slip the noose around your neck." If Shen expected an answer, he was disappointed. Maybe it was for the best. He hated when they begged.
Shen stepped away from the car, coming close, threading carefully past puddles, and then the soggy boards of dock and pier. Flick-flick. "Yaun has a soft spot for you. Always liked you, Wei. But you crossed a line. You know that. You had to, with everything else you know." He looked to the water, then back to Wei. His eyes did not match the blithe smile on his face. They were the eyes of a killer. If there were peasants, they had left already, or were hiding in their little hovels, shutters closed, curtains drawn. Even if they were watching, then knew to be quiet. They knew as soon as the cars arrived. It was a scene that had played out like this too many times. "A lot of things in the river. A lot of regrets washed out to sea, old sins lost to the current. Have you given it any thought, Wei, the secrets a river might hold in its bed, weighed down with a few ropes and rocks?"
The hands of the scholar tightened like he was gripping a pen during examination. No words, though. It was the best Shen could get.
"Sadly, for you, that comes later. You have to answer for yourself, Wei. Put him in the car."
I don't know about you, but I like it. However, I have been a fan of pulp noir, serial adventures, and all that for a long time, so I am biased. One of my favorite genres is tomb raiding, too. Put it all together and you have the makings of an addictive serial someone might want to read.
I would love to hear your thoughts?
As for the rest, I am making steady progress, as usual. I was actually playing around today with ElevenLabs new projects feature. I think this will be perfect for creating an audiobook, and solves many of the problems I faced in my early experiments. It is much easier to assign voices to particular characters, but not perfect. Still a bit of manual work involved.
I am trying to put together a sample to share from Hat Trick. I think you will all like that, too, since it is a cozy sort of world to discover. Maybe in the next few days.