Author: Christer Lende
Narrator: Jonathan Johns
Length: 5 hours and 21 minutes
Series: The Beast Hunter of Ashbourn, Book 1
Publisher: Hashtag Press
Released: Feb. 7, 2022
When a monster brutally kills her parents, Ara is saved by two beast hunters. Becoming their apprentice, she discovers serums, secret bestiary knowledge, and remarkable abilities – all to save unsuspecting souls from the same fate her parents suffered. But, terrifying creatures lurk everywhere and Ara must master the art of beast hunting quickly if she is to uncover the elusive beast plaguing the village of Cornstead.
Christer Lende began writing in a library, which sounds fitting, only he was supposed to be there working on his engineering degree. He is a professional screenwriter, working with the Norwegian movie producer behind “One Love”, “Who Killed Birgitte” and “All about my Father” Bjørn Eivind Aarskog, together they are eveloping the manuscript for a Norwegian thriller. Bjørn hired Christer after reading The Beast Hunters, trusting Christer could bring his vision to life.
Christer lives in what Norwegians call a city, but people from actual cities would call a town. Of proud Viking blood, he honours his ancestors by
heroically sitting in front of a computer writing Fantasy and Science Fiction books. He believes in writing a little bit every day, through weekends, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, even his own birthday. When he’s not writing, he takes care of his two dogs and tries to broker peace with his girlfriend. He’s often found at a gym, trying to compensate for his height issues, or lazily playing video games.
Christer did get that master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, despite procrastinating by writing fiction in the library, and works for a large IT firm, but writing and storytelling are his passions.
Jonathan is a Cornish audio book narrator based in sunny Cornwall. He has a talent for character work and descriptive narration which draws in the listener and envelopes them into the story. He is an avid gamer and family man. He is never too far from something sweet!
Q&A with Author Christer Lende
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
- Pretty closely beforehand. I wanted us to call each other and be able to talk, but he wasn’t a too big fan of that, which is fine. We sent countless messages back and forth about different voices, pronunciation, the story and characters, and he was excellent. I got the feeling he really wanted to bring the story to life.
- Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
- A little, but not a whole lot. I told him “you get to officially decide how all these new monsters will be pronounced,” and he took to the task with excitement.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- Not really, the most real ones being The Witcher and Supernatural.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
- I don’t write a lot, but I write often. Everday, I have to write something, but rarely more than 30-40 minutes. I live by a strict ruleset, so writing every day is something I have to do, and so far I’ve written five books and one manuscript.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- So hard! I love audiobooks! As far as formats go, I like whichever audible uses.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- Yes, a particular meeting with many peculiar characters. It’s later in the book, so I’ll try to keep it spoiler-free, but our heroes face up against a group of . . . fanatic individuals, and Jonathan played around with so many voices it made it so much fun.
- If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
- Hmm…. not backwards in time. We’re by far the most privileged people on earth historically. I might go back in time with all the knowledge I have now, and the thought is tempting until I remember tests and homework. I don’t want to go forward in fear of what I might find or learn – so I guess the answer is: no, I wouldn’t.
- If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
- Hmm, I think for Ara I would love to see a younger Alison Brie from Community. And I pictured a younger Idris Elba as Khendric. This book was written six years ago, but that’s when I pictured them, so that’s why I say “younger” on both. I’d love to see Topper played by Timothée Chalamet and Jamie Foxx (this will make sense if you listen to the book).
- How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
- By starting the second book, and it did feel like a celebration. However, when I finished the whole trilogy, then I celebrated by not writing for a whole week, which felt weird.
- What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
- I’ve never had a writing slump, luckily. In my mind, I’m always so so much further ahead than the written story, so I always know where I’m going when I sit down to do the writing.
- In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
- More people like books that are in a series, so that’s a definite pro for series. I think in a standalone you can be crazier, do more wacky stuff, and you won’t have to deal with the problems it creates in a sequel.
- What’s next for you?
- Either getting the second Beast Hunter book published, or get my Sci-fi/fantasy book Specter out to the world. We’ll see.
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