The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #59: The Thirteenth Hour Soundtrack Preview

Episode #59: Long Ago Not So Far Away: Music from The Thirteenth Hour (Preview)

This week, it’s all about retro 80s, starting with a preview of the upcoming official soundtrack release for The Thirteenth Hour, entitled Long Ago Not So Far Away.

It ended up being about 47 minutes long with a combination of synth instrumental tracks and songs with lyrics played on the guitar, piano, or a both.  Some were songs that I came up with originally when I wrote the book, others were ones that I wrote a few years later but had not fully completed (i.e. had the lyrics and chords for the guitar, making for a skeleton of a song … but all the little riffs and fills that make a song a song, especially a retro style 80s song, weren’t there).  There were two I kept more bare bones (mostly just acoustic guitar with a minimum of electric effects or synthesizers) because I wanted them to sound like folk songs out of the pseud0-medieval world the novel is set in.

It really ended up being a lot of fun.  In contrast to the tortuous process I had creating the cover for the book version of The Thirteenth Hour, making the cover for Long Ago Not So Far Away felt like a breeze, since I decided that the best course of action was to make it look like something out of the 80s.  I have a healthy collection of 80s CDs, tapes, and movies that helped provide entertaining inspiration.  There were also tons of synthwave (neo 80s synth music) covers on the internet (some of which looked more 80s than actual 80s album covers!). I also found this great Instagram page by @synthenebrism which links to a Spotify page with hours upon hours of synthwave music for your listening enjoyment.

In terms of making the cover itself, I found this great step by step tutorial that captured the look I was going for almost perfectly.  It walks you through using Photoshop to create your own retro synth cover.  I wanted an aurora for the cover to fit with the content of the book, so after a bit of searching, found this free stock image (click on the image to go to the page):


Thanks to Blackmoons32 on deviantart for making a great free lightning bolt stock image already with an alpha channel (meaning the background is already transparent), making it easy to paste into your picture.  I thought about adding a rainbow or a unicorn to really round out the 80s fantasy images but thought that might be laying it on a little thick.  Instead, I just added the pixelart Logan on Lightning I made for the vaporware Thirteenth Hour game I started years ago.  In the end, it ended up looking like this:

cover 80s style_edited-33.jpg

It should be out later this fall.  But if you’d like a free advance preview, there are a few ways to do it.  Check out the bandcamp page, which has many of the tracks already uploaded, though not the fully remastered ones.  You can also look for former entries of this podcast or the Instagram page for some live versions or early drafts of songs.  Lastly, if you haven’t already, sign up for the mailing list if you’d like a free digital copy of the album to download with album artwork and all.  Stay tuned!

As always, thanks for listening!


  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack:  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming in the next few weeks!
  • Website:
  • Book trailer:
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #37: Guest Spot with Author Kelly St. Clare

Episode #37: Prince – In Memory and Guest Q & A with Fantasy Author Kelly St. Clare

Before we get to the podcast today, a note on Prince’s passing.  It took me three tries of recording the intro to not sound totally down in the dumps, so I apologize in advance if I sound more sedate.

* I refer to interviews Prince did in the podcast – they were rare, but you can find some on youtube.  This is part of a thoughtful interview where he talks about mentorship, having high standards held to you, and the value of persistence.  Good talk!  

Prince was one of those people who a true artist in every sense of the word – difficult to categorize, independent, someone who paved his own way.  Though many tried to emulate him later, he was always a hard performer to cover.  There was always such a unique flair to the multi-instrumentalist from Minnesota with such range to his voice and the presence and swagger to pull off wearing heels and ruffled shirts.  So, Prince, truly, “Nothing Compares 2 U.”  He was his own man and showed us what it meant to be an individual in a world where conformity ultimately often becomes the path of least resistance for most people.

So long, thank you, and may the rain color purple coming down from the heavens.


#RIPPrince – click on the photo above for an extended live version of “Purple Rain.”


On a happier note, welcome, Kelly and your readers, to the podcast.  Kelly St. Clare and her books have been featured on this blog a number of times (e.g. see her post on her experiences with Thunderclap).   It was also Kelly who suggested George Sirois, who was on last week, for the show – so thank you.  (That show, which I think is the longest yet, can be found here).  For those of you who may be new to her work, here’s a link to an interview she did to give you more info.

Kelly St. Clare

Click on Kelly’s photo above to be taken to her Goodreads profile.

Click on the books above to be taken to Kelly’s Amazon profile to check out her books.
Website: – there, you can join her exclusive club (can I call it that, Kelly? =) for updates and well, exclusive stuff you can’t find elsewhere
-Wattpad: – get a great introduction to Kelly’s work by reading Fantasy of Frost, the first book in her (soon to be) tetrology free on Wattpad.  You can find more samples of her other books on her website.



The last clip of the song I’m working on now, “Song of an Unsung Hero” (which takes its name from a poem in the novel, The Thirteenth Hour), has lyrics here.  Stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks!

You can find more about The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack on bandcamp or on Instagram @the13thhr.ost.

Thanks for listening!


  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and @the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Website:
  • Book trailer:
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at for more details!




The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #33: Archery and PVC Bows

Episode #33: Archery

This episode focuses on archery, which I’ve featured a few times on this blog (see links below) and on Instagram, since it features in The Thirteenth Hour, though it will play a bigger role in the yet-unnamed sequel.

If you’re interested in making your own bows and arrows, here are some posts and links to get you started.  Using PVC, you can make a cheap, durable, and powerful bow in an afternoon.  There’s still a learning curve, but it’s not nearly as steep as it would be to make a bow the traditional way.

Here’s how to make this takedown bow:


Clicking on the picture will take you to an accompanying youtube video.

The blue bow below is a variation of the model above:


I’m working on a small how-to guide that goes into more depth on the making of the bows above as well as a crash course on archery – watch for more updates in the coming months.

The bows below as also takedowns of different designs:



Clicking on the picture above will take you to a video on youtube.

The bow below is a little different.  It’s a children’s bow made of bamboo, though repurposed from a Halloween costume prop.

2015-10-31 12.17.23

This is the hunter’s bow from A Shadow in the Moonlight:

bow hunter

If you’re interested in learning more about this particular model, signing up for the mailing list will give you access to a special podcast that talks more about it.

I highly recommend you check out videos on youtube such as the Backyard Bowyer channel by Nicholas Tomihama as well as the Google plus community for PVC bowmaking, a great resource!

Next week, archery in the media!


In other news, the 80s style ending song that I previewed last week is done.  As I mentioned before, I decided to write a song to accompany The Thirteenth Hour, a novel I wrote influenced by the 1980s films I loved as a child.  Those movies often had theme songs that played in the opening or ending credits referencing the story, title, or themes involved.  Sometimes, the lyrics were largely unintelligible but relied on a catchy riff or beat to carry the song.

“Searching for Forever,” with its synthesizer backing track, electric guitars, and lyrics that allude to various 80s songs and the plot of the book is my attempt to pay homage to this aspect of 1980s cinema.

You can hear it at  

As always, thanks for listening!


The Thirteenth Hour Podcast Musical Interlude – “Ending Credits” Song – “Searching for Forever”

Searching For Forever:

Since The Thirteenth Hour was a book inspired by 80s fantasy movies, I thought it needed its own ending theme to pay homage to the kinds of songs that always tended to play over the ending credits, often done by bands like Survivor and such.  You can check out the soundtrack page on instagram, this post, or the accompanying podcast on musical influences for the book (mostly new wave 80s synth stuff), but I was going for a song that had vague references to lyrics I recalled from songs from this genre plus the requisite synthesizers and electric guitars.

There are some references to the storyline itself (e.g. “searching for forever,” referring to Logan’s quest to find the secret to eternal life; “riding on a rainbow,” referring to Lightning’s trail of rainbow colored exhaust; and “aurora borealis,” a reference to the aurora Logan and Aurora see at the end of the book – which is an aurora australis, technically, but I took some artistic liberties with the lyrics since the syllables of borealis fit better in the song.)

I also wanted to make it a happy song, so the rhythm is fairly quick (about 125 beats/min).  You can listen to it above on on the main soundtrack page on bandcamp, where you can download a high quality mp3 for the backing track and the full version with vocals.



C Am F G



Verse 1


Look into my eyes


Can’t believe I found you


We’ll find our way together

             F          G

In this crazy world


Verse 2

Fly into tomorrow

Riding on a rainbow

The future is ours

So hold on tight



F                        G

Searching for forever

C                             Am

Who could have known 

F                          G

Searching for forever

C                      Am  F   G

I’d find it with you …


Verse 3

Look how far we’ve come now

Shoreline under night skies

Aurora borealis

Will guide us home


Verse 4

We’ll find our place yet

Dreaming is believing

We only need each other

So don’t let go



Instrumental solo

Chorus x 2

 © 2016 Joshua Blum

I just finished this accompanying image to go with the song – watch it being created here!

Logan & Aurora Searching For Forever Final Big.jpg

As always, thanks for listening!


The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #22: 80s Music! (Alphaville, When in Rome, Van Halen)

Episode #22: Musical Influences from the 80s

This week, I experimented with playing music in the background while recording this episode in music that influenced the writing of The Thirteenth Hour.  The sound quality leaves something to be desired, but I only played a few short clips anyway.  I may experiment with ways to make the sound quality better in the future but clearly opted for the low-tech option today 🙂

So … here’s youtube links to the full songs discussed so you can hear (and see) them in all their 80s big hair glory:

(Alphaville) Forever Young (courtesy of Atlantic Records at the time)

(When in Rome) The Promise (courtesy of EMI Records).  This is the song I pictured as Logan flew on Lightning:

I'll Fly Away Flying IG_1

(Van Halen) When it’s Love (courtesy of Warner Bros at the time).  This is song I had in mind for these scenes in the book:

marriage b and wWM

island in dreamRM

The theme song to The Thirteenth Hour, heard in the intro and outro of the podcast and influenced by these kinds of 80s songs, is found on the audio page, as is “I’ll Fly Away”.

More details on these and other musical influences come from this original post:

As always, thanks for listening!


thunderclap 13th hr picture_edited-1


Influences Behind “The Thirteenth Hour” Part 4: Music

A few months back, I wrote posts about influences from movies, books, and games that went into creating The Thirteenth Hour.  This is the last in that series and focuses on the music that went into writing the book.  It’s mostly 80s material, which is probably why the theme music I wrote for the book trailer sounded like something out of an 80s movie.

I dunno, there’s something about the lonely wail of an electric guitar and the soft, swirling moan of a synthesizer that gets the creative juices flowing – at least for me 😉

I’ve linked the music below to videos and when I could.

-Alphaville – “Forever Young” (amazon link)

When I first heard this song, I thought, “Man, this is a great song.  I totally don’t understand the lyrics, but … who cares?”  I also immediately thought it was from an 80s fantasy movie.  It wasn’t (at least not to my knowledge) but has been used and sampled in countless movies, commercials, and other songs since.

In the original draft of The Thirteenth Hour, I added a quote from the lyrics at the end of the book.  Since both the book and song touched on mortality and getting older, I thought I’d include a little homage to the song as a way to end the book:

So many adventures couldn’t happen today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
We let them come true

Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever?
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever?

When I decided to publish the book, I actually contacted the band and asked about permission to reprint those lyrics.  They routed me to the Hal Leonard Corp. in the USA, which publishes sheet music (and apparently also handles rights to song lyrics, which I didn’t know).  I obtained the rights to reprint the lyrics in the US easily enough, but since Hal Leonard is a US only company, they had no jurisdiction outside the country.  I tried one more lead but eventually shelved trying to obtain worldwide permission for another day (when I’ll hopefully have the help of someone who better knows how to do these kinds of things).

So, at this point, no copies of The Thirteenth Hour have these lyrics, but … there are always future editions.  Until then, there’s this backstory and a link to the video.

-When in Rome – “The Promise” (amazon link)

Songs like “Forever Young” and “The Promise” by When in Rome were examples of the New Wave music that was popular in the 80s.  By the time I finally became interested in music and could afford to buy tapes and, later, CDs, the genre was already out of date and the albums were getting hard to find in most stores.  It was before the internet made it easy to obtain whatever music you wanted, so you had to go to a music store, like Sam Goody, and hope for the best.  Sometimes the people working there could order the CD for you, but once I figured out that you could buy things on the internet, that became obsolete.  But before giving up and going the online route, I’d usually try a used record store in the town where I went to college that had tons of used CDs and a dwindling collection of tapes.  There was always a hopeful, though remote possibility they might have it and then there would be no need to wait for it to be shipped.  (But it was hard to find what you wanted there unless you were able to commit to a few hours of hunting through the racks, CD by CD, fingers crossed, hoping you’d find what you were looking for.  Most of the time, I didn’t, though I did find other albums I ended up liking.)

But this album by When in Rome I think I did find in a store.  I forget where, but I must have been in high school since I know I had it when I was writing The Thirteenth Hour ; it was the music I imagined playing in the background when Logan was flying on Lightning for the first time, going to find Aurora.  The lyrics didn’t quite fit the situation, but the general message of the song seemed appropriate at the time.  In my early drafts, the romantic relationship between Logan and Aurora developed a lot quicker than it did in the final version, so the song fit better.  I ended up changing the pacing of the romance to be slower and what I thought would be more realistic for two young people new to navigating the complicated, confusing game that love creates.  However, whenever I hear this song, I still picture a pink-hued setting sun reflecting off snow-capped mountains and Logan, wind whistling through his hair, shooting past on Lightning, intent on finding his Aurora.

Maybe I’ll make a video or picture of that in the future, but until then, here’s the music video of the actual song.

-Tangerine Dream – “The Unicorn Theme” from Legend (amazon link)

I actually wrote about the music from the movie Legend before.  The totally 80s sounding unicorn theme was, not surprisingly, my favorite track from the album and dare I say, my favorite part of the whole movie.  But it wasn’t actually 100% complete on the album – they truncated it for some reason.  I distinctly remember wishing they had included the whole thing, but I think later editions did, since you can hear it here.

The Jerry Goldsmith score used for European versions of the film, is more lyrical and doesn’t use synthesizers.  It fits the movie in a way that makes it more timeless, while the synth Tangerine Dream version plants it firmly in the 80s, which, arguably, is not necessarily a bad thing 🙂  To me, it meant that fantasy could co-exist side-by-side with futuristic synthesizer sounds, which, though some may disagree, adds a bit of flair to the movie.

There’s an interesting retrospective look at the film, its version, and its score here.

-The Neverending Story OST (amazon link)

The NeverEnding Story [Complete Score]

Like Legend above, while I touched on music from The Neverending Story before, it deserves special mention again since it’s clearly a soundtrack that fits well into the decade (came out in 1984).  If it were made today, it would probably sound much different, but I would argue that there was something about the synthesized score and the upbeat Europop sounding theme song that fit the movie well.  The score is as much a part of the character of the film as the visuals.  Indiana Jones wouldn’t be Indiana Jones without his theme.  Rocky wouldn’t be Rocky without a power ballad by Survivor.  Jean Claude Van Damme jump hook kicking Bolo Yeung in Bloodpsort just wouldn’t be the same without the synthesized backing track.  And The Neverending Story without its unique soundtrack would be, well, like The Neverending Story part 2.

Anyway, here’s the swirling cloud intro with the theme song.  The hard-to-find soundtrack (some of which you can listen to here) deserves a listen as a whole if you like the film.  Not surprisingly, when making the trailer for The Thirteenth Hour, I added some swirling cloud scenes as a homage to the film.

-The Prince Valiant cartoon OST (amazon link)

Prince Valiant was, in my opinion, an underrated cartoon that ran in the early 90s on the Family Channel.  I remember it being on Sunday mornings and tried to watch it whenever I could, through I never caught all of the episodes (there were 65 total).  The characters were likable, and there was an epic intro theme song, which was pretty kickass for a cartoon intro.  It was, after all, about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, so maybe was all fitting.  A soft rock ballad with a slightly more new-agey feel, the song also fit the time (early 90s).

A few years later, I found the soundtrack in the bargin bin of a local bookstore since it had a damaged case.  Intrigued, I bought it.  The theme song was as kickass as I remembered.   This was before I knew much about mp3s or any other digital music, so it kind of sucked to buy an album and find you only liked one song.  But I surprised myself by liking the rest of the CD, too.  Like The Neverending Story OST, this one had a largely synthesized/electronic soundtrack that was probably largely a product of the time.  Like the other music here, it provided inspiration for the theme I wrote for The Thirteenth Hour.

-Van Halen – “When It’s Love” (amazon link)


Unlike the others on this list, this Van Halen power ballad isn’t New Wave, but it has this synthesized intro (full song here) that I’ve always liked and is the music I pictured playing in the background as Logan and Aurora get married at the end of the book.

As the song comes to a close, there’s one last synthesized break, and I always pictured them flying away into the setting sun on Lightning, off to find a better life of their own making on their island of purple mountains and wild horses.