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Easton_Livingston last won the day on September 27 2018

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About Easton_Livingston

  • Birthday September 24


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  1. Easton_Livingston

    Death In Christian Fiction

    It'll be a few months before I chime in on anything else on these forums so I may as well make this count. I have much violence in my book. The beginning starts with violence and one man killing about eleven men single-handedly. Another scene is when a character gets shot in the head. The end is the main character, for lack of a better term, going off. However, there's a purpose to all of it. Every scene is not described in detail. Some are. The scene dictates the need. Here's a scene from my book Blackson's Revenge: It was in those seconds, in that pause that Adlai moved around the desk, reappeared, grabbed Griffith's wrist and twisted so he wouldn’t finish his action. Slamming Griffiths hand on the desk, Adlai drew a Bowie knife from his belt and hammered it into Griffith’s hand. Expecting the scream, he placed his left hand over Griffith's mouth and positioned himself behind him, placing him in a chokehold. “Sshhh. Have a seat.” Griffith complied, still yelping in pain behind Adlai’s hand. Adlai moved his mouth next to Griffith’s right ear. “I have another one of these and as you can see, I’m not afraid to use it. Now, if you don’t move that hand, you won’t feel the pain as much. If you keep screaming, then I will end our conversation rather quick. So I want you to stop screaming and answer some questions. Do you understand?” Griffith nodded, sweat forming on the fringes of his forehead. “You said the white boy gave my sister something. What did he give her?” “It’s like I said. I don’t know!” Griffith whimpered, a burning sensation throbbing through his hand. He clenched his teeth to stifle back his instinct to scream. “He had done something to her before we got there and we didn’t even know anything was wrong until he brought her out.” His eye glanced sideways at Adlai. “I swear, man. It was that crazy cracker.” There were moments of taut silence. “I believe you.” Griffith sighed. “What’s your screen lock password?” Griffith looked perplexed. “What?” “For your phone. What’s your password?” It was an odd request but Griffith figured it would be better to comply than complain. “Four two five two.” “Good. Now, I have just one more question. Why did you call my dad a house slave?” The question caught Griffith off guard. He thought Adlai was there about his sister. “What you talking about?” “You saying you never called my dad a house slave? Never thought of putting a bullet in him?” “What?” he said, trying more to stall for time, attempting a deft maneuver to press the alarm button on the side of his desk. “You talk a lot about black people, especially when they don’t agree with you. You’re a pathetic punk. A coward. I’m shocked they let someone like you serve at all. You’d just as soon stab a person in the back.” Adlai tightened his grip on Griffith’s neck which interrupted his reach for the alarm. “I didn’t know Mack and Dutdridge would shoot him, man!” he said through a strained esophagus. “I thought we were just going to chase him down and scare him. Stew was cool. I liked your father.” Adlai sighed. “See. You had to go and lie to me.” A sickening pop filled the room as Adlai gave Griffith’s head a violent twist to the right. His 250-pound body slumped over onto his desk, life leaving him in an instant. Glassy eyes stared at the knife where blood had run off the edge of the desk onto the floor, dripping like a broken faucet. Adlai searched Griffith. On his inside pocket was his cell phone. Tapping the screen, the display came to life revealing the pattern of numbers to press to unlock it. He put in the code Griffith gave him and the screen switched to the main home screen. Clicking the Contacts icon, he navigated to a number buried among the other contacts, given no special moniker. His index finger touched the call icon, and the screen transformed into a new one as it placed the call. “Dutdridge. What do you want Griffith?” Adlai paused. He recognized the sound of Dutdridge’s voice. It incensed him, scraping against his nerves. “Griffith. You there?” “Dutdridge. You’re next.” In another part of the book, it's implied: Dutdridge let the gun rest in his lap. “I’m sorry about this Larry. I am. But you are not looking at the big picture. You’re not looking at everything that’s going on here. Mack will be the Secretary of Defense of the United States, the most powerful country on the planet. This is major, not only for him but for us. The kinds of moves he’ll be able to make because of it. This needs to happen and you want to destroy all of that.” He shook his head. “I can’t let you do it.” Lawrence's vision blurred, his head becoming heavy. “Wha… what did you give me?” “I had a choice. I could have had one of my guys come and just blow your brains out, or I could come and try to talk to you, see where you stood. Maybe convince you it’s a bad idea. Well, now I know. You’re my friend. We go way back. I won’t just blow your brains out. I will do this as humane as I can. You won't feel anything. So you see Larry, I possess a conscience.” The world spun. Lawrence tried to move but everything was blurry. His equilibrium was going. This was it. This was how it would end for him. It terrified a part of him. This was death. People didn’t come back from this unless their name was Jesus the Christ or Lazarus. He couldn’t see that happening. Not after everything he’d done. This was just rewards for all the years he had said nothing, all the years he was an accomplice to locking away justice in a cage, ignoring her screams and protests. When he had heeded them, it was too late. “Is na over.” “What was that buddy?” Lawrence mustered up the strength to turn to Dutdridge and open his eyes. “I said it’s not over.” A part of him, a small part, sighed in relief, happy it was ending. Happy the struggle was over, the burden lifted. Yet, terror clutched him in the pit of his stomach as he fell over into Dutdridge’s lap. “I’m sorry, God.” Dutdridge looked up into the sky. He liked Larry. One of the few people on the planet. There was a piece of him saddened by the whole business. But... this was business. Dutdridge placed the P38 inside Larry's hand, pushing him up against the driver’s side door. He paused then lifted it up to the side of his temple. “Goodbye, buddy.” With Larry’s hand over the gun and his finger on the trigger, Dutdridge leaned back towards the passenger door and squeezed. So, the scene dictates the amount and description of the violence. But death is copious. That's life. Death is all over in Scripture. It is the tragic reality of mankind's condition. Scripture does not gloss that over to make that point. I don't as well for the same reason. As I said before, there is a limit. Describing every minute detail is not necessary and says more about the depravity of the writer when that's the focus. But to ignore it because we're squeamish is irresponsible because it does not reflect the heinous nature of sin. It reflects a false reality. So finding that balance is important. Thus endeth the lesson. See you in six months.
  2. Easton_Livingston

    Calling Independent Self-published Authors

    Though this should go without saying, if you're going to self-publish, you need to have a website. This is a given. However, for many, this may be a daunting endeavor. So, I thought this may help some along who may be stuck on how to go about it. Enjoy and learn. All the best. God bless.
  3. Easton_Livingston

    Audiobook Recording Equipment Advice

    No shame there. It's how we learn, right? I will be busy recording past the end of the year. I have several books scheduled to be recorded. By mid-2019, God willing, I'll be in the double digits as far as books recorded. There are five other audiobooks I will be recording on top of my writing. Like I said, I'll be much busier than I anticipated so I'll have to balance that with my writing. There are worst things that could happen, like no work at all. God bless.
  4. Easton_Livingston

    Audiobook Recording Equipment Advice

    Well now. That's a little more than a question or two. I'll make it short. I didn't start to go at this in any serious fashion until earlier this year. I've done books in the past and at this point, I have about eight books under my belt, including the one I'm recording right now. I have a background in audio production so it was a no-brainer for me to go that route. How long it takes me to record a five-hour book depends on what I have on my plate at the time. I do audiobooks part-time to supplement my writing though I've been getting more jobs lately and it's taking up a good chunk of my time. The book I'm recording now is 12.7 hours. That is going to take more than a little amount of time to finish. But off the top of my head, it would take me about 7-1o days comfortably. I could do it in four but that would be pushing it and I wouldn't want the quality to suffer to meet a deadline. This is for the whole package: recording and editing. If it was just recording, I could do it in two days. Eventually, I will have to contract out but until then, I do it in-house. That's the abridged version. Tada!
  5. Easton_Livingston

    Audiobook Recording Equipment Advice

    That always seems to be an issue with those brand new to ACX. Congratulations that you got that far. Press on!
  6. Easton_Livingston

    Calling Independent Self-published Authors

    Good grief. Talk about hitting the nail on the head. Kudos. I holehartedly uhgree.
  7. Easton_Livingston

    Audiobook Recording Equipment Advice

    No problem. Let me know if you need anything else, my dear. God bless you and keep you.
  8. Easton_Livingston

    Audiobook Recording Equipment Advice

    Here's that video from a pro in the audiobook business, Sean Pratt.
  9. Easton_Livingston

    Audiobook Recording Equipment Advice

    I record audiobooks to supplement my writing. I'm actually working on an epic fantasy I have been contracted to do and I've done several books about historical figures as well as other. I've been recording for close to 20 years. There's been some helpful advice given but what I would pay more attention to is the room you're recording in. That is crucial. If the room is not treated correctly and have good acoustics, it won't matter whether you have a good mic, good software, or good headphones. There's an old saying in the business: garbage in, garbage out. If what you record sounds like garbage going in, there's no amount of post-editing that will make that sound good. A big part of your sound sounding good starts with the area you record in. Does it have sufficient treatment? Though it may be a little more than what you need, it's important to understand the basics of room treatment. So, I would read this article to get a grasp on it: The Ultimate Guide to Acoustic Treatment In addition, you need two things in concert with that: a good mic and a good preamp. That second one is what most people overlook. A good preamp is crucial. Personally, I run a Presonus Eureka which has been discontinued (they have a paired down version called Studio Channel. See below). I actually have three preamps but use the Presonus almost exclusively. I mention that because a preamp is that important for a good, robust sound. Here's a list of a couple good budget ones: Presonus Studio Channel Art Tube MP Studio V3 Studio Projects VTB1 Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Most of these run under or around $200 except the Presonus which is closer to $300 (the Eureka I bought was $500 when I bought it in the mid-2000s). Microphones are a different beast and it's a good idea to try whatever microphone you're looking at with the preamp you're buying with it. Everyone's voice is different and it takes some trial and error to get a preamp and mic that works well with the timbre of your voice. The number one things, however, is are you called to do this and are you serious about it? I say that because many people think just because they have a nice sounding voice it qualifies them to read audiobooks. That couldn't be further from the truth. I'll post a video concerning this after this post. You also must be willing to edit audio unless you are going to pay someone to do it for you. If you decide to list yourself as an audio narrator on ACX, you MUST edit. It's part of the package. Therefore, you must invest in audio editing software. Many people use freeware like Audacity for that. Personally, I've never been a fan and use Steinberg's Wavelab Elements. For $100, it's top notch and allows me to upgrade to the big daddy if I ever need to. Which brings me to another important element: monitoring. For recording, you need a decent pair of headphones. For mixing, I don't suggest using headphones but using a pair of studio monitors. You don't suffer from ear fatigue as fast. You can monitor with headphones (I do sometimes) but I wouldn't exclusively go that route. A decent pair of studio monitors should suffice (in a decent room to monitor in). There's much more but I would focus on those elements. To recap, in order of importance, it would be: Recording booth acoustics. Microphone and mic preamp (jointly) Audio editing monitors Software Things like audio interfaces and headphones should be considered but are nowhere near as important as what I've listed above. God bless.
  10. Easton_Livingston

    Calling Independent Self-published Authors

    My whole purpose of starting this thread was for those interested in self-publishing specifically to come and get information and the help that they needed to get them started through that process. Everyone's goals are not the same. Some of us want to write full-time. Some part-time. Some just want to get that one book out that's been in their heads for years. But all have come to the conclusion that the antiquated system of publishing is and has changed and the traditional route is not the way to go for them. Everyone is learning. No one has all the answers and some answers are more right than others. So keep the questions coming and we'll learn and grow together. God bless.
  11. Good deal. I'll be more than happy to contribute some work just to get you up and running. This is already published but it may be brand new to people who come to your site. Let me know when you have it together. God bless.
  12. Easton_Livingston

    Backstory: Yes Or No?

    I agree with the majority of the article, especially info dumping and understatement increases interests. Unless it's something that needs to be explained for the story, simply mentioning a minor detail in passing will often be enough. If a reader gets lost, they can go back and search to see if the continuity is intact. The one major part I disagree with is backstory is for characters, not writers. Actually, the backstory is for writers to know their characters. A backstory is so writers can write more believable and distinct characters. So it's for novelists so they can write the main story. It's true that some of those details may not come up in the story but they may. That being said, the last point is important, especially for novelists who write in series or a specific universe. Fantasy world building is important but you don't want to fall into the trap of continually writing the backstory and not writing the story. World building paralysis. Good article overall. Lots of good points here.
  13. Easton_Livingston

    Free Webinar On Cover Design

    If you've got the talent and or experience, I say go for it. Personally, I'm of the school of thought to hire out for your covers. You can get your covers done at an extremely affordable price and take that time focusing on marketing, writing, or crafting. But like I said if you have the talent and the time, may be worth doing. God bless.
  14. Easton_Livingston

    Free Promotion E-book

    Something else along the same lines is the free ebook from Nick Stephenson, Reader Magnets. My philosophy has changed on this a little but the basics are the same. God bless.
  15. Easton_Livingston

    Calling Independent Self-published Authors

    Never too late to join in. Welcome to the monster I have created. Muhahahaha! If you really want to know how to get started in this self-publishing thing, then when it goes live again, I suggest Mark Dawson's Self-Publishing Formula 101 course. It is about how to self-publish, not write. Plenty of books and courses out there for that. It's a little pricey ($700+) but he now has a payment plan you can utilize. If you're serious about self-publishing and want to do this as a business, I highly suggest the course. If that's a little much, then I'd check out his free mini-course as well as the free ones from David Chesson of Kindlepreneur and Bryan Cohen who does some Udemy courses on bookselling as well as other things. Of course, post in this thread if you have any other questions. God bless.

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