#AudioTour “Stealing Fire” by Susan Sloate

Author: Susan Sloate

Narrator: Mapuana Makia

Length: 11 hours 53 minutes

Publisher: Covfefe Press

Released: Sep. 23, 2020

Genre: Romance

In glittery 1980s Los Angeles, once-celebrated Broadway lyricist Beau Kellogg is disillusioned, unhappily married and yearning for one last musical hit, while he writes advertising jingles for quick money. Meanwhile, in New York, idealistic young singer, Amanda Harary, works a demanding day job at a charming West Side hotel. From their first fiery phone conversation, sparks fly, and when they begin to talk late at night, miracles begin to happen. They weren’t looking for each other but what they find together is a once-in-a-lifetime understanding, impossible joy, and piercing heartache…until they learn that some connections, however improbable, are meant to last forever. Stealing Fire is a story for romantics everywhere, who believe in the transformative power of love.

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Susan Sloate is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 20 published books, including 17 Y/A fiction and non-fiction books, and three full-length, mainstream adult novels. STEALING FIRE, a romance about 1980’s Broadway, was a #2 Amazon bestseller and was honored in the 2014 Readers’ Choice Book Awards. It was re-published in 2018 under her own publishing house imprint and was released as an audiobook in 2020. FORWARD TO CAMELOT (with Kevin Finn), a time-travel novel about the JFK assassination, became a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned by a Hollywood company for film production. REALIZING YOU (with Ron Doades) introduced an entirely new genre–self-help FICTION. Her Ray Charles Y/A biography, FIND ANOTHER WAY!, won second prize in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards. Susan earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Southern California, while also taking classes in screenwriting and story analysis in their world-famous cinema school. She created the Writers Workshop in her hometown, bringing together playwrights, actors and directors to work collaboratively on original unproduced plays. She has managed two political campaigns, served on the Culture, Arts & Pride Commission of the Town of Mount Pleasant and has been featured in multiple volumes of WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA, WHO’S WHO IN ENTERTAINMENT and WHO’S WHO AMONG AMERICAN WOMEN. She lives outside Charleston, SC.

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Q & A with Mapuana Makia

How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?

Susan and I spoke beforehand on how Amanda and Beau should sound. I decide on the characters based on what the author describes the person as, a little bit of intuition and just playing around and having fun with it. We didn’t always agree on the character choices, so we came to a middle ground with some of them.

If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?

Of course! I’d use time travel to bet on games, HaHa. I’d go to concerts of the deceased, Woodstock, Ancient Rome. I’d go to famous assassinations and take investigators with me and see if we could solve them.

How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?

I get to lean into my storytelling skills more with the Audiobook Narration. I am an actor by trade, so doing Audiobooks lets me help craft the storytelling with the author, and try to augment the storytelling they’ve already provided.

Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?

I would.

If so, which ones stand out to you most, positive or negative?

I haven’t seen any yet, but I’d think they would both provide insight into how I am perceived by listeners. Of course the positive ones would make me feel great, But I could learn from the negative ones as well.

Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?

I get to work with them here and now. I love working with authors and helping them get their stories out there. It’s very empowering.

If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day. It was the first honest children’s book about how some days are gonna be crappy, and that’s okay.

What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?

People are entitled to their opinion. I’d say that ingesting a story in whatever form a person chooses is up to them. Whether it is a Tv show, Movie, Audiobook, how wonderful it is to get to pick how someone interacts with a story. I like reading because it feels intimate and a personal play with imagination, I like audiobooks when I want to create the imagery in my head with the narrator, or driving or walking.

What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Start now, work hard. It’s all make believe anyway.

What’s next for you?

I am narrating a series of books for Penguin Random House and Patagonia by Audrey Sutherland called PADDLING NORTH and PADDLING MY OWN CANOE. It’s a great read for nature and solo travelers.

Click here to view the full tour schedule!

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