Lucy Turns Pages: Read, Write, Publish, Promote

Lucy Turns Pages: Guest Post: Why I decided to self-publish my debut trilogy as audio-dramas and novels. By Alan McGill

Guest Post: Why I decided to self-publish my debut trilogy as audio-dramas and novels. By Alan McGill

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I’ve always been a creative, even at a young age. As I got older, I fell away from art for a time. In the mid 90’s I wrote two unpublished science fiction novels about a private detective in a futuristic city but never pursued it beyond that. 

Several years later I began playing an online fantasy game. As part of the game, the message boards served as a tool to create. Using the boards, I weaved tales of battle for my teammates. This led to my writing the short story, A Cry in the Moon’s Light. It was derived from those gaming stories and Little Red Riding Hood. But much like my science fiction crime thriller, I didn’t do anything with it.

Then in 2019 I started a podcast for a non-profit. The podcast wasn’t wildly successful, but I did receive a lot of positive feedback about my voice and production. 

I had always believed A Cry in the Moon’s Light was a great story, so in late 2019 I thought about publishing the story. With the positive feedback about my voice, I decided to narrate the book myself. 

Sampling several audiobooks left me underwhelmed. For me, unless the narrator is exceptional, most seemed dry. I wanted more from the experience, and I bet most audiences felt the same. This prompted me to purchase sound effects to enhance the storytelling. I also hired professional musician Joseph McDade to create an original score.

For nearly six months I edited everything. I cleaned my narration, added sound fx, and put Joe’s music in the right places. All fifteen chapters ready to go. I commissioned Patrick Boyer to create an eye-catching podcast cover and was set to offer it for sale on Podbean Premium.

But Podbean over complicated the purchasing process. It was at that point I decided to offer A Cry in the Moon’s Light for free. Starting on Halloween night 2020, the first episode was released.  

The downloads were slow at first with very little advertising. Then in May 2021 the show took off. For the next four months it averaged over 4000 downloads a month. In less than a year it had over 30,000 downloads in 100 countries around the world. The show did so well it was named to Podbean’s Top 10 in Fiction Drama for 2021.

Over 150 positive reviews and 30,000 downloads inspired me to publish the book. I decided self-publishing was the way to go, after all, I had produced the entire podcast by myself, and it was doing great. So, I set out to produce the book along with an artbook/guidebook called Father Daniel’s Compendium of theUndead. I commissioned seven artists to put all the characters, places, relics, and creatures in visual form. Both books were released on Halloween 2021.    


A Cry in the Moon’s Light is the story of a beautiful woman who must travel through the Dark Forest to be by the side of her dying grandmother. But a mysterious creature stalks her and a deadly wolfpack is trying to kill her. 

I completed book two of the trilogy: The UNDEAD WARS which is not yet available. It’s a continuation of book one where we find our heroine living peacefully in a small city after the death of her grandmother. But that peace is disrupted when hideous night creatures begin terrorizing the town. It’s a prelude to a coming war with an Army of the Undead and we see her become a warrior and leader.

But followers of the podcast wanted more. Not ready to release The UNDEAD WARS, I wrote a prequel RED DOOR: A Cry in the Moon’s Light Story. Three friends are on a daring adventure in the Dark Forest where they encounter deadly highwaymen, deceitful castle guards, and a monstrous creature. It’s a story of true love but also jealousy and evil. The novella and audio-drama will be released on September 9th. The audiobook will be released later this year. Here is a snippet from RED DOOR: A Cry in the Moon’s Light Story:

Boggs shuffled his hooves nervously and let out a strong puff of air from his nostrils. All sounds stopped. The crickets and frogs fell silent. 

A long, piercing howl broke the quiet. Its eerie reverb echoed through the valley. Then another. And another from the opposite hill. 

The howls were coming from everywhere! 

The wolves were on the hills all around them. Seth ran to the gate and wedged the shovel between the bars, using the tool as a lever to pull the gate closed in front of him. He grabbed the other gate in the gap he’d created in the greenery when he pulled away the dead man’s hand. With a tug, he closed it. Using the rope, he carefully tied the two gates together, mindful of the thorns. Poison drops let loose, hitting the ground with a sizzle.

Alessandra held Boggs’s reins to steady him. She stroked his muzzle to calm him, but the sounds were frightening. Each time a wolf howled, Boggs shuffled and showed the whites of his eyes. 

After the gates were closed, the smell of the flowers got more intense. This seemed to lessen the howls. As the wolves stopped calling out, Boggs became calmer. It was as if the flowers somehow hid them from the wolves. 

Alessandra and Seth could still see the beasts moving across the hillside like quick flashes of shadows. The creatures made their way to the bottom of the hill and circled the cemetery. Thankfully, the high stone walls prevented them from seeing Alessandra and Seth, and the flowers’ aroma masked their odor. 

At the top of the hill to the north, another wolf watched the valley. He was a male and dark as midnight, with a bit of silver around his mouth indicated he had lived a long life. This was the leader of the pack. He was much larger than the rest and twice as vicious. From his viewpoint, he could see inside the cemetery.

Alessandra and Seth saw the big wolf’s silhouette on the hill. Both swallowed hard. Seth gripped the shovel tightly; he knew that if they could see the black wolf, the beast could certainly see them. “Get on Boggs,” he whispered.

“Boggs can’t outrun them,” she whispered back, unable to hide the fear in her voice.

“He can get you to the church while I fight them off,” Seth whispered.

“No. I’m not leaving you. I’d rather die with you than live without you!”

“If we don’t do something, that may just happen,” Seth said.

If you enjoyed reading this, RED DOOR: A Cry in the Moon’s Light Story will be available September 9th. Book one will also be re-released later this year as a special edition with a new cover and two chapters from Book Two: The UNDEAD WARS. Look for this cover as well as the titles on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or wherever books are sold.

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