Author: Natalie Johanson
Narrator: Candace Bennett
Length: 10 hours 8 minutes
Series: Shadow’s Voice Series, Book 1
Publisher: Tea and Dagger Publishing
Released: September 10, 2021
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Rose Trewin is running from her past. She would run from her magic too, if she could, but her ability to move through shadows like a wraith isn’t going anywhere. She hopes for a simple life, forgotten and unknown. When a promise to take a message to the king turns deadly, Rose must decide what matters more: disappearing into the night or the fate of her country.
She soon finds herself at the center of a conspiracy and political intrigue. Relying on her skills as a spy, Rose must seek out the center of the plot. However, when her magic begins to change and new, unknown creatures are emerging from the shadows, she quickly realizes more is at stake.
Long dead evils are returning
Forgotten magics are awakening
And Rose must face her past to accept her future
Natalie studied at Westminster College with a degree in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis before deciding to go after her dream to work in law enforcement.
Before that, Natalie worked as an editor on her high school literary magazine, Euphony and had several short pieces published in it.
Natalie spent the better part of a decade writing, rewriting, abandoning, and fighting through Shadow’s Voice. It all started with reading a book that didn’t end the way she thought it should. So, Natalie went about writing a book with an ending she wanted. Thus Shadow’s Voice was born. What started off as something just for Natalie to read and write in her spare time quickly became a full blown novel she wanted to share with everyone.
Q&A with Author Natalie Johanson
- Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
- It was a lot simpler than I expected. I requested audio samples from several narrators and after listening to their extended samples, deciding what tone and diction I wanted, booked a narrator. We went back and forth on pronunciations on a few things and then she worked chapter by chapter uploading the audio. I listened to each, sent my notes for changes and corrections, and then she reuploaded the audio based on those changes. All in all it was a painless process. It was much weirder hearing my book read back to me by a voice actor. I was not prepared for how surreal that was.
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- No! Not even a little bit. It wasn’t until much later when it was in the publishing stages that I even considered an audiobook.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
- Absolutely. I provided her with a breakdown of the main characters, what their insights were, motivations. I broke down a little bit of how I heard them in my head. Then I was able to note changes, corrections, or requests once the initial recording was ready.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- Of course. Art reflects life, right? Even if it’s a really small inspiration. Mannerisms, behaviors, speech patterns. All those I pulled from various aspects of life. A lot of Rose is based on me. A lot of her faults are mine. Lol.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
- That one’s hard. Burn-out is definitely a thing. I try not to focus too much on page count or daily words written. I know that’s a strategy a lot of writers use but I don’t like that kind of pressure lol. I’m a pantser when I write so I already don’t know what I’m doing and now you want to add the pressure of a word count? Nope. I write when my muse talks. I re-read and edit when she’s quiet. I take it one day at a time.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- Yes I love audiobooks! I just don’t have enough time to sit and read as much as I want. I love that it allows you to multitask. I also think sometimes I can fall deeper into the book when I’m listening to it. A little bit like a movie I guess.
- If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
- Oh man. Talk about a dream right? Well, if I got to pick Millie Bobbie Brown as Rose. Or maybe Daisey Riddle. For King Micah someone like Benedict Cumberbatch, but Dr. Strange Cumberbatch. I picture someone bad ass like Michelle Pfeiffer for Cap. Sayla.
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
- Lol. I’d say get over yourself. As long as you’re enjoying the work, taking it in, experiencing the book, who cares how you’re doing it? You do you.
- How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
- Got a tattoo. Lol. I got a feather quill with ink blots and “Carpe Diem” on my arm. Then I took a nap.
- What’s next for you?
- Well, Shadow’s Past, the sequel, is set to come out Oct. 15. I hope to get book 3 going here soon after I take a well deserved nap and I also have an unrelated book in the works that I’m excited about.
Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.