Audible Edition Coming for Journey to a Different Dimension

I received a request from an acquisitions editor at Audible to create a version of Journey to a Different Dimension. I listen to books daily when I take my 4-mile walk, but the mechanics of creating a copy for that media is a challenge. I’ve begun auditioning actors. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Think about it. Journey to a Different Dimension is written for a target audience of 9-14 year old kids. To make matters more complicated, the major characters include two tween aged boys and one tween aged girl. That means that an actor must be able to use inflection to differentiate each character. I’ve received lists of actors that include boys and girls, teenaged boys and girls, and men and women in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties. So, one key issue I’m grappling with is what kind of voice kids would enjoy the most.

It’s amazing the power voices have over us. I served as Research Director at Computer Intelligence, a company that had a large call center. We kept detailed records and surveyed our callers. We found that men would listen to women with Southern accents no matter what they were selling because they loved the accent. Conversely, both men and women hated to listen to people with New Jersey accents and labeled such people as “hard” and “dishonest.” Most people labeled men with Southern accents as dumb and uneducated. I’m sure if we had surveyed Southern customers, their reaction would have been different.

My point is that we react to voices in very strong ways. I’m going nuts trying to cull my list of potential actors. The market will decide if I’ve made the right decision.

Live Reading for Journey to a Different Dimension

Demian and I did a reading of our new book, Journey to a Different Dimension: An Adventure in the World of Minecraft. We want to thank Ms. Chavez and the third grade students at Laurel School in San Mateo, California for their hospitality.

What struck me is just how excited kids are about the game and the book. Normally kids fidget in class. These kids listened with rapt attention and then asked tons of good questions. Later, several of them told Demian that they also plan to write books. While I always thought of Minecraft as a game mostly played by boys, several girls told us they play the game.

Now Laurel School happens to be in Silicon Valley, so it might be atypical. Still, I was amazed how many kids had their own Kindles or iPads. I suspect most of them will purchase the paperback edition of the book, though.

One of the points we made during our discussion is that real characters have to be less than perfect. I’ve noticed some of the fan books on the web are filled with one-dimensional characters. Maybe he next step in the evolution of Minecraft books would be  a member of a mob who actually doesn’t like to kill people, kind of a Casper the friendly monster.

School is out for most kids now, but let me know in the Fall if you have any classes that would like a reading as well as a discussion on how to develop characters. Sales have been growing steadily. One of the challenges we face with this book is that traditional reviews don’t really reach the audience who actually would read this book. So, traditional book blogs aren’t much help. We just need readers who love the book to leave reviews on Amazon so people browsing for a Minecraft novel will see that other people have enjoyed it.

Everything You Know Can Be Learned From Minecraft©

My grandson and I are excited about the upcoming publication of our new novel, Journey to a Different Dimension. It’s an adventure story in which three teens find themselves thrown into the game of Minecraft© without any resources except their own courage and intelligence.

One reason the game is so popular (over 9 million people play it) is that it really puts players to the test by forcing them to survive in a hostile world where they must display their intelligence and their courage in equal parts. The game tests players’ survival skills by requiring them to search for and collect the raw materials they need to build shelter and feed themselves. In multiplayer games, the players must learn to cooperate.

While it’s not a unique concept to have players thrown into a game, what we hope makes this novel unique is the relationships that develop among Paul, Ryan, and Tiffany as they fight for survival in a world where they only can die once, and that means a permanent death.

Another aspect of the game appeals to creative players because they can design their own elaborate homes, build farms, and even design complex machines using what is called Redstone technology. We hope that readers will learn even more about the game so they can increase their enjoyment while also enjoying a novel as a pure adventure.

Unlike many books on the market, we made the choice not to put Minecraft© in the book’s title in order to comply with the game company’s copyright and brand policies. Hopefully Minecraft© players will find the book (available very soon on Amazon) and enjoy it. Keep checking back on this website because I’ll announce publication shortly and even include a copy of the book’s cover.

So, whether you want to become a doctor (cure people with potions), become an engineer (build with Redstone technology), learn to work cooperative in the fast-paced world of Silicon Valley (multiplayer mode), learn to farm, or learn to problem solve under pressure, you can learn those skills in Minecraft© or read about them in this novel.