Sunday, 7 June 2015

Blood and Smoke - The Finale!

The final episode of Blood and Smoke will go live on my Patreon Creations page this evening at 21:00 UK time - that's 16:00 New York time, 13:00 Los Angeles time, and 06:00 Sydney Australia time.


- Special Red Finale Cover -

Instead of posting it as "Episode 10", I've posted it as "Episode 9 Redux". This is because the action of the chapter is constant and shouldn't be broken, so this new Episode 9 contains the previous Episode 9 and the new content of what would have been Episode 10. 


Confused? Watch the video below


The only reason I ended Episode 9 (original) where I did last week, was so I could get some content out to you. However, once Episode 9 Redux goes live tonight, you can delete your existing old Episode 9 and just settle back and listen to the final chapter as it was always intended to be: a big 52:23 minute finale episode that brings the Caribbean voyage of Underwood and Flinch to its end. Huzzah!



Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Voyage Resumes! Blood and Smoke Episode 7 now at Patreon!!

That's right - change of plan. On my last Sometimes podcast, I said I was going to wait until I 300 patrons at Patreon until I resumed the Blood and Smoke podcast. Well, I got impatient. So I had a think about it and realised I was putting the cart before the horse somewhat. Surely the smart thing to do is put the content people want at the site, and then encourage them to sign up to go and get it, right? Right; that's what I thought.


So, I recorded an episode. To make the writing and recording more manageable for me, the story content of the podcast isn't as long as the first 6 (which are now also archived at Patreon), but it's quality, not quantity that counts, right? Right; that's what I thought.

The first six episodes are still free, but to get your ears on Episode 7, you have to sign up to become a $1 a month or more patron. In UK Sterling, that's 67p. That's less than a Mars bar a month!!

So go on, do the right thing and help fund me into self-employment. My work is flourishing since I started this Patreon thing, and if we want it to continue, then this Patreon thing must continue to grow. 

And it will, right? Right; that's what I thought :-)

I salute you! 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Man / Woman

Spent ages writing - or rather re-writing - a scene in U&F 4. I had to change a character from a man to a woman. I thought it would be a fairly quick process, but oh no, none of the man's actions or dialogue worked anymore, nor did his partner's reactions to him / her, and so I had to re-do the whole thing - or the whole thing so far, anyway. But it's all good news as the scene is more to my liking now ... which is nice.

Oh yes, and as you may have noticed, I said "his partner". I'm writing police procedure ... which is also nice - and enlightening too.

After the Plague at Patreon

If you're a fan of The Walking Dead, Zombie movies or the We're Alive podcast, you may be interested in my take on the genre, which has now started from my Creations Page at Patreon

My story is called After the Plague. I started it in 2012 and gave up on it because I felt there was no point in trying to break into an already saturated market. But when my Patreon campaign started, I thought it might be a nice perk to share with my $3 and over patrons as a little something extra.




The response has been so positive that I've now re-booted the writing project (in addition to writing U&F) and have now posted a second episode of the story at Patreon


The long term plan is to complete this first story, called simply Hotel, and then move on to a second story set in the same apocalypse (the original title for the project was Scenes from a Zombie Apocalypse, but I thought that was too much of a mouthful). The stories are interconnected and will all come to a kind of collective finale ... or at least hiatus, depending on how popular the podcast is.


If you can spare $3 (£2.02) a month (a month - think about it, you'd lose that down the back of the sofa and not even notice, it's less than most coffees in Starbucks) then head over to my Patreon page today and sign up for After the Plague, and know that you'll also be funding the creation of U&F 3 and 4 (and U&F 4 will only be available from here and Payhip anyway, so you may as well get in early). You won't regret it, chums! Huzzah!!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Patreon Page Now Live

As referenced on my last podcast (Reanimator: Part One), I've now started a Patreon page. So if you want to give me a dollar a month, you now can (think of the dollar you lose down the back of the couch and the difference it makes to your weekly finances). 




This one's for genuine altruists rather than people who want big things fast: don't expect me to pull a novel out of my hat as soon as 3 people sign up to give me a buck a month wink emoticon However, you will get access to podcasts earlier than my main feed, exclusive audio bits and bobs (like outtakes and bloopers), and a Patreon content feed to which I'll add stuff that I won't share elsewhere. 

There are three tiers of patronage, so you can sign up for the basic $1-2 a month; the $3-4 a month (which right now includes U&F Disturbing the Devil); or the $5 and over category for the seriously amazing superfans out there.

Patreon - it's there if you want it, chums. Get on board and I'll love you forever. 

Link: www.patreon.com/mikebennett

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Underground.

If you've listened to Blood and Smoke so far, you'll be aware that some of the action on the audio recordings that David is listening to takes place in Aldwych underground station, which was used as air raid shelter in World War 2. For years I've been trying to get down there, especially as I'm now writing about the place. Illustrations, maps, plans, photos and a whole pile of books are fine for research, but you can't really get a sense of the layout of the place unless you actually go there. However, this isn't easy because the station has been closed since 1994.


The London Transport Museum organise batches tours of the station every now and again, but tickets go very fast. I had tickets for a tour last June, but ultimately couldn't go because my dad was taken ill on the day of the tour. Then another batch of tours was announced in October, but I missed the news and only found out about it when it was totally sold out.

So anyway, there I was on Thursday, watching a Youtube video about the station and grinding my teeth in frustration that for the foreseeable future, this was the closest I was going to be able to get to the place I'm writing about every day. Finally, over-brimming with vexation, I decided to call the Museum and  see if I could get news on when tickets for the next batch of tours would become available. The guy I spoke to told me there were tours on now. I said I was aware of that but that they were sold out. He then told  me that there had been a cancellation and that a ticket was available for that night (Thursday). The resulting jolt of excitement I felt almost knocked me off my chair. I snapped up the ticket and legged it to the station. After battling my way through the London rush hour, I finally got to the Strand and joined the queue of fellow station enthusiasts. And then, oh joy, they finally let me inside.

I won't bore you with the details, (blah blah tunnel, blah blah staircase) but suffice it to say I had a wonderful time, and what I learned and saw in Aldwych will now make itself into one or more of the remaining chapters of Blood and Smoke ... and beyond.



Sunday, 25 January 2015

Update: January

Yikes! A month has passed without a word from me. So, just so you know I'm not dead, here's an update. I went away on holiday for a week at the start of January and managed to get 15,000 words of U&F 4 written. Actually, all this numbers stuff is starting to make my head spin, so let's just go with titles from now on, and let's call U&F 1&2 by their old collective name of "Underwood and Flinch" (the first podcast). Then you have "Blood and Smoke" and then this new project, which is going by the working title of "Underwood and Flinch: Underground".

So, I went on holiday and got a lot of work done on "Underground". We went to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. The weather was good, but I spent most of my time indoors battering away on a little lap top I take away with me for the specific purpose of holiday writing. I always write on holiday. Last year I wrote a huge chunk of "Underground" as well, so that's two years, two holidays, two huge chunks of "Underground" written. But this year, unlike last year, I've continued to write after my holiday. I've been writing today, and every day since I got back. I suppose you could say the muse is upon me, and "Underground" is coming along at a furious pace.


"But what of Blood and Smoke?" you cry. "When will we get the next episodes of that story?" Well, I've got the first drafts done of the remaining episodes, but I haven't polished them for recording. Not yet. Not until I have certain elements of "Underground" sorted out. Why? Because "Blood and Smoke" has numerous overlapping storylines with "Underground", and so it all has to tie up. I don't want to release those remaining B&S episodes only to find that I later need to go back and change them. So never fear, "Blood and Smoke" will finish in time. And "Underground" will begin when - and only when - it's finished and ready. As I mention above, I'm writing every day, usually over 1000 words, so hopefully I won't have to wait until my 2016 holiday to get it finished. Huzzah!!