Two years ago almost to the day I got involved with the Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter to fund development of the game now launching on December 16th. It was a mad ride and just after Christmas I was finally tempted to throw my hat fully into the ring by pledging for a writer’s pack and running my own Kickstarter to fund the £4,500 price tag. To my astonishment I reached my initial goal in 4.5 hours, and went on to net £17,000 to write my story, produce it as an ebook, hardback, paperback and eventually a fully produced audio book for my 811 lovely supporters.
The writer’s pack gave me a license to write a piece of fiction connected to the game, with the characters, planet, space station and star system I created for my narrative also becoming part of the physical, online multi-player game.
Those who follow me will already know the books are out in the wild and receiving incredible reviews, and this weekend I’m delighted to announce the audio book (unabridged, DRM-free and read by me) is on the Fantastic Books Publishing store and available for download. If you purchase the MP3 download you will get an email with your download link and there are lots of ways you can listen – if you need help with this feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a tweet on @KateRussell.
If you want something a little more special there are a limited number of custom USB cards, printed with artwork from the book, containing the entire audio book (available here for £25), so you can plug in and play it where ever you like.
I’m pretty proud of the end product, which has been brilliantly produced and directed by Chris Jarvis of Radio Theatre Workshop, and with amazing music by Allen Stroud, who is also an author of one of the Elite Dangerous fiction titles, Lave Revolution.
Here’s a three-minute taster so you can hear for yourself the quality of their work:
I think the atmosphere, music and sound effects from the actual game make it feel even more immersive, and of course after December 16th you’ll be able to jump in your own Sidewinder and listen to it as you fly across the galaxy visiting locations from the story in the live game.
Which is exactly what I’ll be doing starting Thursday 18th December, as I’m running a Twitch feed for two weeks following Commander Angel Rose’s journey home (to Slough, which is what my planet is called!). Watch the feed (please sign up and follow this channel to be notified when a broadcast starts) or log in to the multi-player game and fly along with me. I’m sure there will be people taking pot shots at me too, so some back up would be appreciated. There will be giveaways, other fans and authors from the Fantastic Books collective to chat to, plus we’ll be trying to raise as much money as possible to support Special Effect (who also receive 10% of any profit from the sale of my books and audio books if you need further persuasion to buy!). Check out the awesome trailer below made by Ramon Marett (who is not only a genius with video but an incredible writer, as I discovered this week when I listened to the audio book of his short story, The Easy Way Out, which is part of the Elite: Tales from the Frontier anthology, also available through Fantastic Books. I hope you can join me as I journey home to Slough this Christmas.