Conan And Friends Podcast Tops 4,000 Downloads

Conan square no text

I don’t mention it very often, but when I began working with a Hollywood producer I started my own production company. That sounds more impressive than it is, trust me. What I basically did was just create a brand name as a name for various things that I would be involved with across multimedia. It’s called In Shambles Productions. One of the things I’m producing is a pulp fiction podcast that tells stories from the early twentieth century. It’s called Conan And Friends, and it just went over 4,000 downloads, which is a wonderful little achievement.

In Shambles is also producing my Thieves Guild podcast and my audiobooks, which I’ll be releasing in 2024. But for now I’m quite happy—4,000 downloads on the company’s debut podcast is a good start!

The Thieves Guild Shenanigans!

I’m very excited to have The Thieves Guild now on sale in all major bookstores in both print and ebook. This is the first book in an ongoing series. Book two, The Burning City, will be available in December, and book three will be available in the first half of next year.

My publisher, Broadsword Books, and I are actually doing something quite cool. Rather than release the audiobook immediately, we are going to release a free full cast audiobook podcast over the next half a year, with the audiobook available next Summer. But no need to wait for the audiobook! Just subscribe to The Thieves Guild podcast and listen to the book just like a serial from the thirties or via a magazine in the 19th century… one cliffhanger chapter at a time! The good news is that you won’t have long to wait for each chapter, as they are released twice a week. In fact, you can listen to them right here:

The Thieves Guild Now Available for Pre-Order

Thieves Guild ebook cover

I’m so excited for this release. Back when I was in my teens, classic fantasy by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Conan saved my life by giving me a much-needed escape. I loved the rollicking adventures and colorful characters. Later I was similarly taken away by Charles Dickens and his ability to make me anxiously turn from page to page. I promised myself I would write a book like that.

This is what The Thieves Guild is for me—the series I’m writing to honor the epic fantasies I read when I was little. The Thieves Guild features all the things I loved—unexpected twists, colorful characters, the mischievous kid thrust into a role he did not expect. It’s just been so much fun to write, and now it’s available.

The first book is available September 1, while book 2 will be published on December 1. You can pre-order book one via the link below:

https://books2read.com/thievesguild

I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I did writing it, and I sincerely hope I did justice to the wonderful writers who inspired it.

Cover Reveal!

I’ll write more about exciting publishing news in the near future, but let me start with the first news… the release of a newly revised and brand new edition of my swashbuckling fantasy series The Thieves Guild. I wrote this as a personal project and a labor of love, inspired by my favorite storytellers. Basically I wanted to write a serial type series that had chapter level cliffhangers like Charles Dickens, a totally swashbuckling almost non-stop tension novel like Robert E. Howard, and engaging characters like Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Thieves Guild ebook cover

To the left is the beautiful cover, courtesy my creative brothers and sisters at In Shambles Productions’ design department. It truly captures the heart of the book—a young man thrust into the black-cloaked Thieves Guild, not sure what he got himself into and where he’s going to go.

This is book one, and book two—The Burning City—will be released on December 1. Book three will be released in mid-2024. This will be an ongoing series, and I feel like it may never end, even as the characters change, and the world expands. That said—each novel is a stand-alone story, so readers won’t be left wondering what happened with the current tale.

The Thieves Guild will be available for pre-order on August 18, with a September 1 release date. It will be available in paperback and ebook from Broadsword Books on that date, with an audiobook release later in September.

I’m Now on Bluesky

As I’ve noted in a number of places, I deleted my Twitter account. However, I’ve joined Bluesky and you can find me there as @jake.kerr.social.

You can also find me on Mastodon as @jake@kerr.social.

I regularly check both locations, so if you’re into the social media thing and want to say hi, feel free to @ me.

No Critique Lab This Month

As I’ll be teaching at the Cascade Writers Workshop in a few weeks and will be critiquing a handful of manuscripts, I won’t have time for free notes this month. So sorry about that. I’ll make sure to have the contest up for August, however.

Jake’s June Critique Contest Is Now Live

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A critique from Jake

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A critique of a short story, novel chapter, TV pilot, or screenplay by Jake Kerr.

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No Critique This Month

Unfortunately, I won’t be doing a free critique this month due to some exciting stuff that I’ll be announcing in a week or two. I’m going to make up for it by doing two next month. Sorry all!

I’ll be an instructor at this years Cascade Writers Workshop

I’m incredibly thrilled to announce that I’ll be an instructor at this year’s Cascade Writers Workshop in Bremerton, Washington. I was a participant last year, so this is especially exciting for me.

A number of my friends will be attending and instructing, so I’m really looking forward to it. Now I just need to decide on what I’ll be teaching….

I’d love to see you. If you’d like to take part, you can find details here.

Re-reading Neuromancer

It’s interesting re-reading William Gibson’s Neuromancer after almost 40 years. So many of the things that made me drop my jaw back then feel cliched and overdone due to the huge influence of the novel in the intervening years.

Every time Case talks about the Matrix or navigating digital defenses and many other things I’m unconsciously disappointed in a “been there, done that” way. But those things didn’t exist as a cultural phenomenon when the book came out.

It’s a great book and exceptionally well-written. I’m enjoying the hell out of it, and truly it is one of the few cultural revolutionary books in history. It didn’t just change the SF genre. It changed our culture.

I’m going to read Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix soon, as well. It was released less than a year after Neuromancer and the two pretty much established cyberpunk as a genre. Schismatrix never came close to having the influence of Neuromancer, although Sterling’s short stories in that world were highly influential, most likely on Gibson, as well. (Although both of them had been writing cyberpunk short stories for years, so a kind of collaborative influence was possibly at play). At the time, when I was around 18 years old, I remember fans gushing over both, but there being a small but animated group that felt Schismatrix was much more defining of cyberpunk in the world-building sense.