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A Brand New Start

Welcome to the relaunch of “A Dark & Stormy Night”. It was time to give the place a makeover. It’s been over a year since I posted an entry, so I figured I’d better repurpose the page or return the storage so someone else could make better use of it.

I’m going to be adding bits and pieces as I go along in addition to (at least) weekly posts. A buddy of mine got to give me an “I told you so” after my initial effort petered out. I think that was in large part due to the lack of anything remotely resembling a plan. To prevent him from being able to snicker up his sleeve at me again, I’m going to try something a little bit different.

I’ve had a project languishing in the weeds for about two years now. It’s been a challenge trying to find motivation, inspiration and plain old perspiration to complete the work. I think I’ve found my muse or rather, a helpful convergence of things that have rekindled and sparked my interest.

I’ll put up a complete brag sheet later because the details are hazy and it’s the high points that really sell the story. I began my professional career as a radio broadcaster, way back when you had to pass a written test from to get your license. I loved that job. But it paid rather poorly; which was fine as long as I was single. But, wife and child later I jumped job paths into IT and suppressed how much I missed being on the air.

Fast forward two decades later. I discover Podiobooks on line. I had already run across Librivox, but those guys just wanted a straight read and only public domain stuff. So, if I finish my book, I can put it on line, in much the same fashion the OTR programs were originally broadcast. Am I interested? You betcha! Hmmmmm.

And then, there was RavenCon. This year, my oldest wanted to come with me. She’s a teenager, so her wanting to hang out with the old man was a treat I couldn’t pass up. We were only able to go one day, but it turned out to be the right day.

The first event we sat in on concerned itself with the technical aspects of voice work for podcasting. As an old radio personality, this was fascinating. To my daughter, it was worse than boring, it was simply uncool. She wanted to go home. Now.

After a bit of fast talking, she was persuaded to choose the next workshop we went to. Luckily for me, she chose Phillipa Ballantine’s. It was lucky because Pip read from her upcoming collaboration with Tee Morris, Phoenix Rising. My daughter loved it! I did too, but I still had to get my cool back. So we bought a copy of Geist and had Pip autograph it.

That one thing did it; it got my cool back. Guest authors go to dozens of these events a year and meet thousands of people. I’m quite sure Pip & Tee don’t know us from Adam, but that’s okay. They were two of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet and Pip took the time to engage with and talk to my daughter; a seventeen year old at her first Con. It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes, but those minutes made an impression.

So, we are reading and listening to a lot of Ballantine and Morris at our house and not just because they tell an excellent story; but because they shared a genuine moment with a couple of their new fans.

(I’ve also begun reading Tee’s books on Podcasting; the Dummies series first. I can already see how I might be able to leverage my broadcasting background … yes, must finish novel first.)

The repurposing part. Good writing means good research (big H. Beam Piper fan), so I’ll be relating some of the things I’ve come across on my journey; music, art, books, podcasts, etc. All aimed at a unified goal: to finish writing my novel (multiple drafts and all) and then podcasting it. I’ll also be posting regular updates on the process, maybe some character sketches and background notes too. Probably need to find a good editor, given the cavalier way I treat the written word.

I still have a lot that needs doing, so check back regularly, please.


This post originally appeared April 25th, 2011, on my old site It was a Dark & Stormy Night … I have graciously given myself permission to repost it here, in lieu of original content and/or to preserve it for hysterical purposes.

About the Author: Paul K. Ellis
Author Website:

One comment

  1. So good to know that you’re still in the game, and that you’re still “cool” in the eyes of your daughter. And that you’ll be making with the podcast soon?? Considering that fiction writing is the act of recording a story that should be told over a campfire late at night when all the kids should really be in bed, a podcast of the author reading the story sounds like an excellent idea, a wonderful companion to the purchased volume which will be revisited again and again. I eagerly anticipate your continuing adventures!

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