Please help, if you can.

A terrible thing has happened to one of the best people I know. Tee Morris, author, podcaster and all around great guy woke up this morning with a huge hole in his life. His wife died, leaving him a widow, and the single parent to a young daughter. I cannot imagine what he is feeling right now, and I wish I could do more for him, but what I can do is blog and let other people know how to help.

Philippa Ballantine, who is Tee’s frequent collaborator, has created a Chipin account for Tee. The funds raised will go to help Tee with current expenses, with any leftovers going into a fund for Tee’s daughter.

Tee has spent the last several years being a cornerstone, if not the keystone for the podiobooks community. He has helped hundreds, if not thousands of people over the years. Right now, he can use our support. I know times are tough right now, but if you can, please help Tee.

Are you Infected?

infectedpblogo.gifLots of great Scott Sigler news today. First is the fact that his publisher is being awesome, and letting him give away PDFs of his new book, Infected for the next three days. If you want your own digital version, just click below:

http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/infected/downloads/infected_novel.pdf

As if that is not cool enough, J.C. Hutchins has an interview with the Master of Horror himself. Don’t miss this week’s UltraCreatives, with Scott Sigler! And of course, don’t forget to pick up the print version of Infected  through Amazon!

I totally stole the image from Podiobooks.com I hope they don’t mind. It was just too great not to use.

Murder at Avedon Hill Released!

Murder at Avedon HillFellow Podiobooker and all around swell guy P.G. Holyfield has released his Podiobook “Murder at Avedon Hill” in both print and download versions. I will admit that I have not had to opportunity to listen to the podcast as yet, but it is next on my list as the books seems right up my alley:

“Lord Avedon has a problem. Generations of Avedons have watched over Avedon Hill and controlled the only pass through the Lantis Mountains. Traditions are important to the Avedon family, but one tradition has tragically come to an end. Gretta Platt, Housemistress of Avedon Manor, has been murdered. A member of the Platt family has always served the Avedons as Housemistress. until now. Only a handful of people live at Avedon Hill, and most are suspects. Arames Kragen, retired Aarronic Advisor and scholar of prophecy, arrives at the gates of Avedon Hill, hoping to gain access to the mountain pass. Lord Avedon is not in a giving mood, however.

This is the story of Arames Kragen and his attempt not only to discover who killed Gretta Platt, but also to uncover the truth about a town that apparently has more secrets than inhabitants.

The Land of Caern: It is a world where the gods, the Children of Az, can choose to be born as mortals to directly affect events in the world, and often do. It is a world where the Priests of Caern frantically search for the mortal incarnations of any of the Children, in order prevent the Prophecies of Iberian from coming to pass.

Welcome to The Land of Caern. Welcome… to Murder at Avedon Hill.”

What I’m looking forward to at Podcamp Toronto 2008

Yesterday I took the opportunity to pimp the fact that I’m on a panel at Podcamp Toronto 2008, but I also thought I should write about some of the other interesting things happening there.

People

There are tonnes of people coming this year, over 400 registrants so far. I am not going to write out a list of those individuals I am looking forward to seeing, because I don’t want to leave someone off the list, and have them think “that Beatty, he is such a jerk, why doesn’t he want to meet ME!” and then have them give me a swift karate chop to the neck this weekend. There are a few people that I have been following on twitter, or reading on their blogs that I feel I already know, and I am sure that I will meet at least a few people there who will make me think “Why haven’t I been checking this out for years! That’s amazing!”

Sessions

There are some specific sessions I am interested in seeing. 

  • Social Media and Networking Starter Guide, with Chris Brogan. He always has an interesting and informed view of things, and I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say.
  • Living On The Cloud – how I have (mostly) given up desktop applications with Tommy Vallier. I am dabbling with the concept of cloud computing,  and I use Google Documents a fair amount. I would like to see what he has to say.
  • Introducing the Social Media Press Release: The rules, the tools , the metrics. Collin Douma. It just sounds interesting.
  • Marketing & New Media: A Discussion moderated by Jay Moonah.

Moments

I have heard so much about all of the great energizing and exciting things from previous podcamps. I look forward to having my mind blown. Hope to see you there!

    Podcamp Toronto This Weekend!

    Are you in? Are you coming to Podcamp Toronto this weekend? Well, I’ll be there. Over 400 people are registered to attend, making it even bigger (and hopefully better) than last year. I was supposed to attend PC 2007,  but the surprise early birth of my second son happened as Podcamp Toronto 2007 was starting.  I still think I made the right chioce, being there for the birth and all.

    Actually, I’ll even be part of a session, co-hosting an open discussion on Podiobooks, sharing my experiences regarding my first book, White Trash Land, and perhaps discussing some ideas fermenting in my brain for my second novel, Lost Gods. Here are the details:

    Producing Audio Books for Fame, Fun and …

    Open Panel Discussion authors and audiobook producers

    It’s on Saturday Feb. 23rd, in Room 359A at 1:45PM.  I hope to see you there!

    Podcamp Toronto 2008
    Date: February 23-24, 2008
    Place:Rogers Communications Centre at Ryerson University
    80 Gould Street, Toronto

    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

    As part of the “Great Documents” project some of us are cooking up over at Podiobooks, I have recorded the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to use it in any way you see fit.

    Community has a new Address

    I have written previously on this blog about the exciting fate of my first novel, White Trash Land. Although I was reasonably pleased with completing the story, I did little with it. I threw it up on the Internet, and left it alone and unpromoted to wither and die. I never even actually edited the thing properly, I finished the rough draft, went Phew! and continued on my way.

    My brother-in-law, the Duct Tape Guy had other ideas. He thought it was a respectable, if imperfect piece, and felt it deserved a bigger audience. He took it upon himself to record the whole damn thing, and arranged to have it released at Podiobooks.com. While it didn’t exactly burn the house down in terms of listenership, it has attracted a wider audience there than it would have otherwise, and the reviews clock in at 4 out of 5 stars, which is gratifying.

    I still did not do very much to promote it, but it put me into a community of authors, something I had never experienced before. Over the past few weeks, that community has really caught fire. Many authors use Twitter, the delightful micro-blogging service that not only allows you to answer the question “What are you doing right now?”, but it also gives you an audience for your fears, frustrations, triumphs, and a sounding board for questions. Evo Terra has created a Podiobooks Community over at Ning.com, and authors and listeners alike have been signing up and getting involved in discussions. Authors are helping to spread the word about new works, posting links on blogs, Digging news, and generally helping out in any way possible.

    It’s exciting and humbling to take part in all of this. Watching all of these talented authors reaching out, creating a community of people from all over the world has been amazing. I can only imagine where we will be in five or ten years, when all of this social media stuff becomes standard in everyone’s life.

    Looking Forward/Looking Back

    Yes, New Year’s Eve, the typical night of reflection, when we think back to the year that was and hope to God that it was a good one. I was trying to think of one event that defined the year for me, one thing that stood above the rest. This year that would have to be the birth of my second son, Ephraim. He came a month early after a difficult labour, and he fought like hell every step of the way coming out. He was small, and had to be in an incubator for the first 24 hours of his life – nothing compared to some of the other babies I saw in the special care nursery, but it scared the shit out of me. That day is the defining day of 2007 for me: scary, stressful, but in the end, I had another perfect little son. A son who has grown to be larger than average, despite his tiny beginnings.

    Professionally things were interesting for me as well. As a writer two very important things happened. I (with the help of my brother in law Sean) launched a Podiobook of my novel over at Podiobooks.com, and I had my first story accepted for print publication. Although these are small things compared to some, they were enjoyable on several levels: to see my rough draft of a novel collect several hundred listeners (I know, Sigler and Hutchins are not running scared, but it’s a start) is very exciting. Having an editor say “Yes, I like this story enough to include it in my publication and hope people pay for it” was also very cool. And that it was for my first and only “horror” story is pretty interesting as well. Getting my feet wet in the world of Podcasting has been exciting, and I hope to continue in the future.

    For 2008 I have established some priorities for myself professionally. I hope to finish my second novel. I might even make it a Podiobook, and give it a big push. I hope to learn more about Social Media, and all of its repercussions across our lives, and to write write write. On that note, I’m off to tackle the book. All the best for the new year.

    Issue #1 of Sci Phi Journal is available!

    Sci Phi - The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy You may ask yourself, “Why should I care about Sci Phi Journal? What has it ever done for me?” Or, you may ask yourself “Why is Drew Beatty pimping some magazine? Doesn’t he usually just go on and on about his own writing and ideas like some sort of self-centered egotistical jerk?” Or, you may ask yourself “What can I do to make the world a better place?” Or, you may ask yourself “My God, what have I done?”

    I can’t answer all of those questions for you. What I can do is tell you about a new magazine called Sci Phi, The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy. It’s a new and interesting venture from Jason Rennie, the man behind Darwin or Design. He is obviously a clever fellow, given the nature of his work. So clever, in fact, that he allowed me to record one of the stories.* You see, this isn’t the standard magazine. When you purchase it you get it in several electronic formats: Printable PDF, Microsoft Lit format, eReader, Mobipocket, Plaintext, Plucker and MP3 Audio. I recorded the Audio for a mind bending story called “The Losting Corridor”, available with this month’s issue. So, head on over to Sci Phi Journal, you might just make yourself a little bit smarter. And that’s a good thing.

    Not that you aren’t smart already.

    *So, yeah. I’m still being a self indulgent, egotistical jerk. And you thought I had grown? Sorry to disappoint.