Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome back! First, I hope you're all staying safe. For me, being forced to spend more uninterrupted time with my wife and young children has been a blessing, and I've certainly had more time to write. However, with so many others enduring extreme hardship, I continue to hope and pray for a swift end these disruptive circumstances.

In the meantime, let's talk about some Passage To Dawn news and updates.

Big News:

  • Greg has officially finished recording!
  • Podium has moved up the release date for the audiobook to June 30.
  • Greg was kind enough to allow us a glimpse into his recording of Podium Audio's adaptation of "The Other Magic". See the master at work here..
  • Pre-order availability coming soon.
Author Updates:
  • Podium recently made a few minor tweaks to optimize the audio cover for release. The cover image at the top of this message is the final image.
  • Jeff Brown begins his first drafts of the illustration related to "The Other Magic" this week and I could not be more excited. I'm hoping to be able to share by the end of May.
The writing of "The Other Way" continues to move forward. I'm currently 260 pages into the story and it is really beginning to open up in some exciting ways. I recently decided to try out a POV chapter for Grobennar's nemesis, Fatu Mazi Rajuban. I don't know what it says about me that I particularly enjoy writing from the villain's perspective, but this seems to be the case as Grobennar, while arguably more of a gray character, was previously my favorite for which to write. Unfortunately, with the scope of this second story already quite vast, I will not be entering into Rajuban's mind as often as I may like.

Currently Reading/Listening to:
"What Lies Beyond" by Edward W. Robertson. This is the sixth installment in the Cycle of Galand series. I fell in love with the witty banter between Dante and Blays a few years ago after listening to Robertson's Cycle of Arawn series. The Cycle of Galand is essentially a continuation of that (same main characters, bigger stakes). If you want to just sit back and enjoy a wild adventure between friends who may sometimes vehemently disagree with each other, start reading (or listening to) the Cycle of Arawn.

Help for Aspiring Authors:
Trusting the reader. As an author, you have dictatorial powers over each and every word used to tell your story. But don't let this power go to your head. You have to be willing to share some of this responsibility with the reader, and if you do it right, they'll sort of thank you for it even if they aren't aware of what it is you've done. In simpler terms, they'll enjoy a better reading experience! As a reader, you've likely found particular portions of a story to either drag with redundancy, or become unnecessarily confusing. When either of these things happens, it is very possible that the issue does not lie with the reader, plot, or the story arc, but rather with an author that either failed to trust your ability to understand, or tried to trust you but missed the mark by not providing enough clues. In either case, this portion of a story will likely not be enjoyable.

Mastering this skill is far easier said than done. It is something I am constantly adjusting for within my own writing as my first drafts tend to show and tell, which can be burdensome to the flow. I have to frequently go back to remove much of the telling, and tweak the showing to ensure that the intended message is expeditiously conveyed to the reader. This is also one of the reasons why good BETA readers are so important for authors in their quest to strike the perfect balance. One of my favorite authors, not only for his writing, but for his encouraging journey as an author, is Michael J. Sullivan. He describes this very delicate aspect of writing quite well so I'm going to let him take it from here.

That's it for now. Be safe.

If you enjoyed, "The Other Magic", and have not already done so, please pay it forward by posting an Amazon or Goodreads review to help ensure that others like you choose to pursue this adventure. It is also incredibly rewarding and helpful for me to know what you enjoyed about the story! Who was your favorite character? What are you hoping to see in the second book in the series? Anything from a few sentences to a detailed analysis is welcome. Please follow one or both of the below links to leave feedback.

Leave your Amazon review here.
Leave your Goodreads review here.

If you're not into leaving reviews, but would like to share your thoughts or ask a question, send me an email.

Thanks again for reading!


Derrick Smythe
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