God is dead. Killer at large.
Welcome to one of the February 6th stops on the blog tour for Ad Hominem by Eric Gay with Audiobookworm Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, and a lot of great exclusive content!
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.
What is your process for creating a story? Do you start with an idea and fill it with characters or the opposite?
Characters are usually first for me, but even if they aren’t they always dictate the story more than the other way around. When an idea for a character comes to mind and I love imagining what kind of antics they would get into and things just go from there. In the end, though, neither the character nor story are typically anything like they started.
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
I don’t. My philosophy has always been to embrace burnout because it’s inevitable for me. If I try to push through then my writing always suffers for the trouble. I’d much rather put things down and catch my breath than force something that I’ll most likely hate later.
Out of all your characters, do you have a favorite? If so, why?
Marcus without a doubt. A good friend of mine and I have been writing the character Marcus since we were in college. We thought, “what if we have a hero, but he only causes trouble for others?” to which we replied, “wait, that’s just a villain.” In the end we made an opportunistic, cowardly know-it-all who wants to do good but not enough to go out of his way too much. I find him a hilarious challenge to write.
What author(s) are the biggest inspiration for you as a writer?
Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and Kurt Vonnegut are absolutely the three wise men of humor for me, and I spent way too many hours inhaling everything of theirs that I could get my hands on. I also read a ton of comics, with Mike Mignola and Neil Gaiman being favorites, both quite funny even though they typically write about darker subjects.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to research for writing?
For the next book I read a lot about Carl Jung’s philosophy on alchemy and interpretation of the philosopher’s stone as a psychoanalytical process. What a wild dude. I still have no idea what he’s talking about.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Don’t concern yourself so much with what other people are doing. I see too many posts online wondering how many words so-and-so writes a day or how what’s-their-face starts their morning before putting pen to paper. There’s no royal road to writing. Just sit down and do it. Your own routine will eventually emerge. Or lack of routine, if that works better for you.
Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
Joel Simler, the narrator, contacted me directly with audio samples after seeing my book online. Following a few weeks of chatting—mostly to finalize character voices and the pronunciation of strange names—he hit the ground running and started recording, which took about a month. Since he was just a narrator, Joel recommended a few distributors he had worked with before and we both decided to use Audiobook Empire, who handled everything from post-production to promotion.
What challenges presented when converting your book into audio format? How did you overcome them?
One funny challenge we had was with a certain magic system in the book called Calculus, where mages use actual math equations to cast spells. In the book, there are several times where someone invokes a Calculus formula, which works fine on paper but is a unique problem with audio. I know quite a few mathematicians and had one transcribe how someone would say the formulas out loud then gave that to Joel, who came up with some really cool ideas. Definitely the project’s defining hiccup.
Do you have any tips for authors wanting to turn their books into audiobooks?
Please do your own research and do a lot of it. It’s always good to take the advice of whoever you’re hiring, but at the end of the day you are hiring them, so do as much independent leg work as possible. If you’re anything like me you have no idea what goes into making an audiobook such as proper price ranges, copyright laws, etc, etc, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all that information. Take it slow and be comfortable before committing to anything.
What’s next for you?
I just finished a second novel, actually. The manuscript is out with a few friends for proofreading as we speak. It’s a horror with some comedic elements about three high school goth girls who discover a quest for immortality, but miss the part that says no one has ever survived.
About the Book
by Eric Gay
Published 10 August 2021
Page Count: 270
Published 17 December 2021
Length: 10 hours and 32 minutes
Narrator: Joel Simler
Genre: Humorous Fantasy
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
God is dead. Killer at large.
In a world filled with powerful witches and wizards, Professor Marcus Orren is about as magical as your average brick, leading to a life of rampant cynicism, coupled with mild-to-moderate alcohol abuse.
While his contemporaries are content in their sorcerous ways, Marcus dares to ask the important questions in life, such as: “How can a pyromancer summon fire without fuel and a spark?” or, “What, exactly, is so special about a simple chalk circle that people assume it will ever turn iron into gold?”
His latest theory, an academic rebuttal of a God named Tomas, stands so air-tight that the Universe itself is forced to agree, promptly erasing the actual Tomas straight from existence. Unfortunately for Marcus, there are hundreds of Gods roaming the heavens above, and nearly all are the type to hold a grudge.
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My Rating: 5 Stars
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I was granted complimentary audiobook access to Ad Hominem via Author’s Direct as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
I was drawn to this book because of the awesomely absurd cover and vaguely academic-sounding title. I just had to know why the Grimm Reaper was dancing all care-free after an unbalanced male silhouette and what that had to do with the Latin phrase attached to it. To my utter pleasure, what all this represents is a delightfully tongue-in-cheek fantasy adventure featuring gods, scholars, the invention of Logic (yes, capitalized, it’s that important!), and a magic system based on calculus. This Pratchett and Adams loving STEM geek could not be more pleased!
I really do wish I could say more, but I’m not entirely sure where to begin geeking out over details without spoiling the fun. Much like in the works of Pratchett, the absurdities stuffed into this book need to be experienced at the break-neck pace the text presents them in, nestled snuggly in context and allowed to build upon one another until the nonsensical makes perfect sense and reality seems far too strange to actually exist. Clear whatever amount of time you need to read 300 pages or listen to 10.5 hours (at 1x speed) and read this book in the fewest sittings possible!
Joel Simler’s narration is brilliant! This audiobook is performed in the only acceptable way possible, and that is with an absolutely serious and unphased tone of voice throughout that wavers only to echo the emotions displayed in dialogue. The pacing is perfect and the performance is easy to follow. I will gladly look for and listen to more books narrated by Joel Simler.
About the Author
Eric Gay received a master’s degree in Historical Linguistics from the University of South Carolina, where his work focused on utilizing literature and language comparison to determine whether the Norse and Anglo-Saxons could understand each other.
Turns out the answer is: “Eh, probably.”
Now he haunts the mountains of Western North Carolina with his wife and two daughters.
About the Narrator
Joel Simler | Who would’ve thought that the kid sent to remedial reading classes would end up reading books for a living? It’s true, his elementary school teacher sent him to a remedial reading program – but he soon became that kid in class constantly getting in trouble for reading, instead of listening to his teachers.
A lifelong performer by any means possible, be it theatre, music, dance, radio, or pogo stick, Joel finally found a home in audiobooks after getting his degree in Audio Production. Since then, he has sought extensive coaching from industry pros, and records fervidly out of his audio hovel in the Pacific Northwest.
He’s a family man (soon to be dad of two, what?!), a professionally certified ballroom dance instructor, has traveled the US in his 1978 VW bus, and has a propensity for picking up hobbies like no other. Rock climbing/bouldering? ✓ Bonsai tree cultivation? ✓ Playing drums and ukulele? ✓✓ Reading? Huh heh heh, yeah ✓ Skateboarding? Definitely ✓ Baking sourdough bread? Heck. Yes. ✓ Dungeons and Dragons? You know it ✓ Someday he will bake the most perfect homemade pizza.
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About the Publisher
At Audiobook Empire, audio reigns supreme, narrators are hailed as heroes, and headphones are worn with pride.
Marrying pomp and circumstance with quality you can count on, Audiobook Empire is a full-service production house that produces and promotes audiobooks with gusto.
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