Thursday, March 30, 2017

Queen's Heir by John E. Boyle & an Explanation of My Medical Problems

Okay guys, full disclosure. I have been contracted by Mr. Boyle to make the audiobook for this novel. He has sent me an advance for the audiobook, with the remainder to be sent upon completion of the audiobook. Just so we're all on the same page here.

The reason that I'm doing this is that Mr. Boyle is insanely kind and understanding, and I feel a debt of gratitude that I must repay, so I'm giving his book what platform I have in hopes to repay that debt. If you want to follow up on this and actually buy the book, you can click on the image above and it will take you to the amazon store page where you can get it. It's not expensive, and I would consider it a favor if you all helped out this person who has been so understanding of my personal situation, which I suppose I have to describe now.

So I've talked about this a little bit in the podcast, but it's been going on for much longer than that little snippet lets on. The reason I haven't brought this up before other than in a frustrated rant on the podcast is because I don't want people to think that I'm fishing for sympathy, which I'm not and don't fucking want in any capacity. Part of the reason that I took down the paypal donation button is that it felt really scummy to be taking donations for this kind of thing when I could just be providing a product that people want to buy, or advertising a product that people want to buy (you'll notice the blog has ads now), and let people contribute and support me that way. It also has a hefty amount to do with the fact that I've heard some horror stories about paypal's donations being only for non-profits, and them withholding funds from people who aren't registered as non-profits, so I just decided to cut that potential headache off at the source. But back to my health problems, which I'm loathe to talk about but it unfortunately must be done.

Essentially I was slowly going blind.

Now that sounds a lot worse than the actuality of the situation. The quick rundown is this: I let a sinus infection ride for like five months because I always get sick in wintertime and it didn't seem like that big of a deal. Then my vision starts going wonky. I wear glasses, so I figure that my prescription is going stale and go in to the optometrist. He finds out that I've got what are basically lesions in my eyeballs (yes, inside my eyeballs) and recommends me to a specialist. The specialist takes a look and figures that I need an eyeball injection (which isn't as bad as it sounds), and sets me up. I get the injection and we're seeing noticeable improvement in my eyesight, but at this point in the story (current right now) I've noticed the healing has kind of leveled off and my eyes aren't really improving anymore. Not getting worse, just not improving.

Okay. So to describe what I'm going through personally for a minute beyond the bastardized medical summation. One of these lesions in my eyeballs is in the exact center of my eyeball. The other one is off-center, so it doesn't screw with my vision all that much. But the one that is dead-center is fucking with my vision heavily. I've basically been living with a double-vision effect going on constantly. This, as you can imagine, makes in incredibly hard to read. Well, not exactly hard, but difficult. I keep losing my place, I keep re-reading lines that I've read before due to losing my place, and it's been very frustrating in general. It's interfered with my day job to an extent (not just missed days for doctor visits), and it's been messing with me a lot with regards to my audiobooks.

If I were to try to record something while this is going on, I would stumble over my words, I would repeat lines and have to start over, I would lose my place and have to start over, and on and on. Essentially I could go record something, but the actual narration of a given chapter would take 4 hours to correct for mistakes, editing would take twice that, and given that I'm a bit of a hot-head anyways my frustration with this would bleed into my voice work and lead to an inferior performance. And if someone's paying me, which Mr. Boyle has, the absolute last thing I want to do is deliver an inferior performance. So I've been holding off on audio work for the past, I dunno, almost two months now, because of this eye condition.

Moral of the story, don't let a sinus infection ride. Get some damn claratin or something and take the fuck care of it. Learn from my retardation, use me as an object lesson.

But this has been very frustrating, because the audio work is what I really want to do with my life. I want this to be my full time job, and having this albatross slung around my neck is absolutely killing me. Which brings me to Mr. Boyle.

Now, I have to say that I haven't read the book yet. As I say, reading is a bit difficult with this eye malady happening. So I can't wax poetic about the characters, or the setting, or the plot, or the writing in general, and I apologize for that, I truly do.

However, what I can say is this.

I was extremely unprofessional with Mr. Boyle. I let my embarrassment with this eye condition and not being able to work get the better of me. I let my insecurity, natural reclusiveness, and general absent-mindedness get the better of me, and I did not contact him about this when it happened.To the point where he had to find out about this when I ranted about it in my podcast, which he listens to and I am very glad that there are actually people that listen to the podcast.

But this was extremely unprofessional of me. It was cowardly, it was base, it was low of me. I will endeavor to master myself more thoroughly so that this NEVER happens again, and rest assured that I have been flogging myself for letting this ride for so long without getting in contact with my employer. I have recognized my failing, and will correct it in the future. This will not become a habit, I will be sure of that. I was weak, and my weakness reflects badly on me, which I accept. I let my weakness affect my professionalism, and that is unacceptable and I will not forgive myself for it. I will use this as an object lesson in professionalism, learn from it, and be better in the future. I can only hope for the understanding of future clients as I work to extricate this particular weakness from my psyche and become a better person in the future.

But Mr. Boyle's reaction to all this was what spurred me to write this post, and I usually advocate for buying fiction based on the quality of said fiction, but in this instance I owe the man and if I can drive a couple of sales his way then I will repay a portion of the debt I owe.

As I said, he heard about this on the podcast, and afterwards reached out to me to let me know that...

Everything was okay.

I won't reveal the private email conversations that we had, but I will say this. He let me know that my health was the primary thing, and that I shouldn't strain my medical condition to get the audiobook out. He was extremely kind and understanding about the entire thing. He didn't demand his money back, he didn't call me names which I richly deserved to be called, he was almost Christ-like in his understanding. He is a good man, and in my opinion by that virtue alone he deserves more readers and followers, and that is why I'm promoting his book (at this point) sight unseen. I have bought it (I figure that if someone's paying me at my rate, which is cheap compared to most audiobook producers but still, then the least I can do is buy the book I'm going to be reading), but as I said I have not actually read it yet. But based on the way Mr. Boyle has treated me over the past couple of weeks I feel more than comfortable recommending his book to people. I'm going to be doing it anyway after the audiobook is published, so this is just jumping the gun a little bit and I don't think there will be any ill effects from it.

And if there are, then so be it. I do my best to pay my debts, and damn the torpedoes. Mr. Boyle was kind to me, and I owe him. This is part of my effort to pay back that debt. And I am incredibly, insanely, indescribably grateful to Mr. Boyle for the patience he has shown me. You do for me, I do my damndest to do for you. And Mr. Boyle has done for me, in my opinion. And not just in my opinion, in absolute fact. If it weren't for the advance he sent me, I wouldn't have been able to pay for the initial treatment for my eye, or the recent bills on my car which I rely on to get to my day job. I would've been up shit creek without even a kayak, let alone a paddle, if it wasn't for Mr. Boyle, so I most definitely owe the man and I'm going to do my damndest to make up that debt to my satisfaction.

So, all that being said, it would mean a great deal to me if you would go buy his book, and buy the audiobook when it (finally) comes out. I'm not going to be making royalties off it, but I'm going to add in an ad for it on the blog, in the store page, and shill it in the podcast not just because I produced the audiobook, but because this man has shown me grace, patience, and understanding that I do not deserve, and this is my only real way of paying him back for that.

So Mr. Boyle, if you read this, I cannot thank you enough for all the kindness that you've shown me, and hopefully I can drive a few more readers your way. To everyone else, I think I've explained my reasoning behind this move adequately. If you think I'm needlessly shilling, or have no reason to do this, then you will not be missed. This man has ensured that I'm able to see properly, that I will have a working car with which to get to my job that actually pays my bills, and that I'm able to see properly. That may seem redundant, but my two biggest fears in life are going blind, and going deaf, so someone who has, unintentional though it may have been, kept that from happening has my eternal gratitude from the bottom of my cold, black, charred heart and I will do whatever I can to repay that debt.

Mr. Boyle is a good man. He has hired me to do his audiobook, and he has been undeservedly understanding about my medical problems. I have no problem whatsoever promoting his book, and I hope that this drives a few sales his way.

So thank you again, Mr. Boyle. I am humbled by your understanding, and will do my absolute damndest to make the audiobook of Queen's Heir a masterpiece. It will also have free advertising on my site and in my podcast into perpetuity, until my liver fails or I develop lung cancer, whichever comes first. I owe you.

And I pay my debts.


  1. Mr. Fear:

    You are too kind, and it has been my pleasure to help. But I don't plan on Queen's Heir being the last book I ask you to bring to life. You, me, Cirsova, the Shadowy Scholars who haunt the Castalia House Blog, the Twisted Rapier Wits who rave sword in cheek at Jeffro's Goggle site...we're going to make a difference and we're going to make money doing it.

    It may be Superversive or it may be PulpRev, it may mean lurking in the shadow of John C. Wright or hiding in the smoking rubble in the blast radius of Big DW or it may be an unholy combination of the above and something else, but the goal is to rattle some cages and get paid for it. Here is what I have planned and partially written:

    The Children of Khetar series: 5 novels of which Queen's Heir is the first, with a prequel and a collection of short stories. This is not an open ended series; I have already written the first words of the prequel and the last words of the last novel.

    The Worlds of the Consortium - gun and planet adventure series. Think of it as Traveller as done by Andre Norton and H.Beam Piper, with guns, guns and more guns. And tequila shooters.

    The Unwanted Throne - trilogy. Like Game of Thrones, only without the rape, sadism and glacial pacing, and with likable protagonists who actually possess moral fiber...ok, not like Game of Thrones, but it will have flashing swords, derring-do and plunging necklines.

    Oh, and "almost Christ-like"? Ah ha ha ha ha hah ahah, aha ha ha.
    Friend, have I got YOU fooled.

    I'm a life-long bachelor in his 60s, and I've been a game master for more than 40 years, with everything that implies. I have merit badges in Roue, Cad and Bounder, and I have only three rules when it comes to members of the Opposite Sex:

    a. No fooling around with someone else's spouse, it's wrong. (I know, weird advice coming from a reprobate, but it's still wrong)

    b. Girls under 21 are too young. I just don't have the patience anymore.

    c. Women over 65 are out. (They're laughing too hard)

    Those are my plans, if one of us doesn't kick first.
    By the way, what I said before still applies: get yourself right before you worry about the audiobook, it can wait.

    Your health can't.

    1. Honestly I'm humbled, and I really do appreciate everything you've done and are planning to do for me. The work will be very much appreciated, and I will make sure to bring these books to life in as best a manner as I'm able. I'll also look into getting them some original music via Dimension Bucket, as another way of saying thank you.

      I'm also proud to call you a brother in arms, and if you've got a blog or a google plus account or something else that you'd like me to include on the blogroll, let me know and I'll put it up there. You're already on the permanent sponsors list so I'll be plugging your books every podcast from here to eternity, but even that I feel isn't good enough.

      And I'm not too sure about the whole Christlike thing. You've been more understanding, patient, and good to me than I deserve, and Jesus did say "unto the least of these" or something similar. While I may not be a Christian, I understand and value compassion and loyalty, and you've shown enough to me that it not only qualifies as Christlike in my opinion, but gets you a spot in my permanent shill list into perpetuity. It's the best I can do, along with doing the absolute most professional and amazing job I'm able to on the audiobooks.

      I'm very much looking forward to working with you in the future, and if I can drive a few more readers (or at least buyers) your way, then I'll do everything I can do make that happen.

      Like I said.

      I owe you.

      And I pay my debts.

  2. Bought a copy of the book. I know you don't benefit from it, Jim, but I still hope you get the treatment you need.

    1. I really appreciate it, man. I consider it a personal favor. I might not benefit personally from it in any monetary capacity, but directing traffic towards Mr. Boyle will go a little ways towards paying off the debt I owe him, which will take a good while to pay off to my personal satisfaction. And likesay, next time you're publishing something, let me know and I'll bump it as much as I'm able. At this point I owe you that, at least.

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