#AudioTour “A Bend in the River” Libby Fischer Hellmann

Author: Libby Fischer Hellmann

Narrator: Robin Rowan

Length: 11 hours 19 minutes

Publisher: The Red Herrings Press

Released: Oct. 13, 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1968 two young Vietnamese sisters flee to Saigon after their village on the Mekong River is attacked by American forces and burned to the ground. The only survivors of the brutal massacre that killed their family, the sisters struggle to survive but become estranged, separated by sharply different choices and ideologies. Mai ekes out a living as a GI bar girl, but Tam’s anger festers, and she heads into jungle terrain to fight with the Viet Cong. For nearly 10 years, neither sister knows if the other is alive. Do they both survive the war? And if they do, can they mend their fractured relationship? Or are the wounds from their journeys too deep to heal? In a stunning departure from her crime thrillers, Libby Fischer Hellmann delves into a universal story about survival, family, and the consequences of war.

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Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago over 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Fifteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few. She has been a finalist twice for the Anthony and four times for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. She has also been nominated for the Agatha, the Shamus, the Daphne, and has won the IPPY and the Readers Choice Award multiple times. Her novels include the now five-volume Ellie Foreman series, which she describes as a cross between Desperate Housewives and 24; the hard-boiled 5-volume Georgia Davis PI series, and four stand-alone historical thrillers set during Revolutionary Iran, Cuba, the Sixties, and WW2. Her short stories have been published in a dozen anthologies, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ed Gorman’s 25 Criminally Good Short Stories collection. Her books have been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, and Chinese. All her books are available in print, ebook, and audiobook. Libby also hosts Second Sunday Crime, a monthly podcast where she interviews bestselling and emerging crime authors. In 2006 she was the National President of Sisters in Crime, a 3500 member organization committed to the advancement of female crime fiction authors.

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Robin is a voice-over veteran with more than three decades of experience, beginning in radio in the 1970s. Her voice is warm, low and rich, perfect for healthcare and documentaries. She also has narrated more than 70 audio books, so she has extensive experience with different voices and accents.

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If You Liked The Nightingale, You’ll Love A Bend In The River
Libby Fischer Hellmann

Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, published in 2017 (and soon to be a major film) is a mega-hit novel about two sisters in occupied France during World War Two. For me it was the the kind of story for which you cancel all your other chores, plans, and activities so you can spend the day reading. Not only is it a beautifully written book, but I’m a sucker for WW2 novels. For me, World War Two was the last time in which there were clear heroes and cowards. We knew the enemy, and we knew it was not us. Another reason I loved it was that it was set in France, which is probably my favorite European country. I took French in high school with the dream of going to France through the Experiment in International Living. I did go, and spent a magical summer in Nice and all over the country.The two sisters, one timid, the other more impetuous, were very different from each other, but both turned out to be quiet heroes themselves. They had lost their mother, which made them both closer to each other despite their differences. One even ended up in the US decades after the war. Most of all, I loved the suspense, the never-ending obstacles with which each sister had to contend. Plus there was an over-arching mystery not revealed until the end which made me both shed a tear and smile with satisfaction. Never in a million years did I think I would ever write a book including even one or two of the elements I’ve just described. Then in 2019 I went to Vietnam as a tourist, and it all changed. I was in a Saigon art gallery looking for something to buy when I saw the two girls who are now on the cover of A Bend In The River, and I immediately knew I was going to write a story about their survival during the Vietnam War. I also knew that I was going to put aside the crime fiction I normally write for a historical novel that had no crime at its heart, unless you consider war to be a crime.Just as World War Two shaped modern Europe, the Vietnam war shaped that country. Both wars were fought for very different reasons. I wasn’t alive during WW2, but I protested against the Vietnam war in college and thought I knew it all. War was wrong. Our government was wrong for sanctioning it, and the soldiers fighting it should have refused. Of course, I was naïve and arrogant back then. The Vietnam war was a civil war between North, which was Communist, and the South, which was bitterly opposed to it. The French had colonized the country for over a century, but they left after they lost a battle in the early Fifties. The US took their place. We aided the south because of the “Domino Theory,” which made us fearful that if Vietnam became Communist, so would the rest of Southeast Asia. It hasn’t happened. But I didn’t realize until I’d finished the book how many elements of The Nightingale were incorporated into Bend. Sisters surviving a war against an invading country. Sisters overcoming existential obstacles to survive, sometimes turning into heroes. Sisters who were so different from each other that they were estranged for a decade. Sisters who’d lost their mother (and the rest of their family), sisters who eventually immigrated to the US. I have no illusions that A Bend In The River will ever or should be compared to The Nightingale. But I can understand now how deeply Kristin Hannah’s book inspired me. I hope you will enjoy the read.

Differences:

  • Bend less mystery more saga
  • 1 sister fights for “enemy”
  • Estranged
  • Asia vs Europe – not world war but civil war
  • No medals
  • Father is alive in Nightingale
  • Sister who fights not as selfless
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#AudioTour “Fly: Goose Girl Retold, Book 3 (Romance a Medieval Fairytale)” by Demelza Carlton

Author: Demelza Carlton

Narrator: Mary Sarah

Length: 3 hours 4 minutes

Series: Romance a Medieval Fairytale, Book 3

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Released: May 29, 2018

Genre: Fantasy; Romance

Two princesses. One prince. And the war has just begun. Once upon a time…Princess Ava was sent to a neighboring kingdom as a lady-in-waiting to her sister, their future queen. Until a runaway horse, a case of amnesia, and a cold-hearted king conspire to bring her to the prince’s attention. Now the prince believes Ava is his bride, and her sister is just a serving maid. One thing is certain: the prince must marry one of the princesses, or there will be war. But when all’s fair in love and war…who will win the battle for the prince’s heart?Contains mature themes.

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USA Today bestselling author Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish. She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below. Sensationalist spin? No – Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all. Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

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Narrator Bio

Voice Arts Award Nominee, Mary Sarah has garnered attention for her powerfully evocative, multi-character work which spans time and place. With a penchant for dialects and love of culture, Sarah has spanned the globe working with rich characters set across genres of the classics, historical fiction, medieval romance, poetry, fantasy, non-fiction and children’s literature. Relz Reviewz states in reference to Tamara Leigh’s ‘The Unveiling,“ her mellifluous tones, superb voicing of emotions in dialogue and varied and accurate accents of both male and female make her a pure joy to listen to,” while her narration of “A Lady in the Smoke,” was cited as, “masterly!” Classically trained at The Riverside Shakespeare Academy and The Royal Shakespeare Company, Sarah loves to get to the heart of words in order to release their power and finds great comfort in the beauty of stories to transform and speak to us.! Sarah loves the power of story telling to awaken our hearts. Says author Claudy Conn (Lady X), “Her acting is simply sublime.”

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#AudioTour “The Guild Core” by T.J. Reynolds

Author: T.J. Reynolds

Narrator: Steve Campbell

Length: 16 hours 5 minutes

Publisher: Thomas Reynolds

Released: Oct. 6, 2020

Genre: LitRPG

Wake a dungeon. Form a guild. Fight to restore the world.Kai was the least likely young man to ascend. Raised on his uncle’s potato farm, he began his career as an adventurer with empty pockets and little skill. But a foolish attempt to prove his bravery leads Kai to unlock hidden power within himself and acquire a most unlikely ally.Rhona is a battle-scarred soldier who’s as likely to toss a quip as she is to throw a punch. After setting aside a promising career in the army to pursue the Path of the Bleeding Tiger, she sets out to stop a war and seek atonement for a bloody past.When Bancroft the Earth Core awakens, he can’t wait to clean up his dungeon and begin building things anew. A recovered item from his past reminds him that more is at stake, however, putting an end to such pleasantries.Join The Guild Core, a small band of friends determined to restore the world to an age of dragons, heroes, and honor.The Guild Core is a novel by TJ Reynolds, fantasy LitRPG author of Eternal Online books one to three. The Guild Core was inspired by the Divine Dungeon series, The Wheel of Time, and classic films like The Labyrinth and The Neverending Story.This story takes place in an epic fantasy world governed by gaming mechanics. It contains light to moderate litRPG, gamelit, cultivation, and dungeon core elements. Features realistic violence, three MC POVs, and more than a few quaint jokes. Language and adult content is appropriate for teen listeners.

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I spent a few years in the Army infantry, and one year in Mosul, Iraq. I was a machine gunner. And though I’ve never wielded a battleaxe or a Scottish claymore, my 240B is the best modern day equivalent. I have three kids. They are small and sticky, but I somehow love them. Their power is greater than mine, yet I too am great to have born witness to their rising. I’m a Taurus – year of the Rat – I love keys and boxes, stones and the rivers that hold them – I’m not a flat earther – Science Rules – so does love – and if you’ve read this far my friend, so do you…

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Steve is a lifelong storyteller that grew up on stage. Once a character actor/singer, he’s now a full-time award winning narrator. While no stranger to a wide variety of genres, he’s best known for his work in LitRPG, Fantasy, and YA.

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Q&A with Author T.J. Reynolds
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I spoke with Steve about working on another book actually. It wasn’t the right timing or fit, but then I fell in love with his voice. I’d been writing The Guild Core for weeks at that point, and knew the kind of narrator that would nail it. Steve has an “every man” kind of voice that is warm, sweet, and kind sounding. He can also do dark and gravelly. My book had all of those components, so we planned the audiobook six months in advance!
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • A big hell yes to this one. Audiobooks are my jam. I love them! I am a frustratingly slow reader, and since I spend most of my days playing with prose in the written form, my only method of escape is audiobooks. So when I write a book, I ALWAYS consider if and how it might succeed in audio format.
  • 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?
    • Steve is cool enough to host many of his recordings on his Discord chat. He streams a live video/audio of the narration, and a bunch of nerds like me can hang out and chat. He asked about various things, and I gave him some preferences on the types of accents I wanted, but Steve is an artist. He needed freedom to nail the book, and I had no problem doing so. In that regard, we are similar.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • This is such a typical question, yet it never gets old. Yes. Everything I write is filled with the essence of real life experience. I was an infantryman for a few years, and spent some time over in Mosul, Iraq. My perspective as an author will always be tinted by my time at war. I write violence seriously. It happens often, and usually without sufficient cause, ect. But it is also necessary when defending the weak, fighting tyranny, ect. This second brand of violence is obviously my favorite.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • HAHA! Do I though? I have been getting better at balance. Walks, yard word, gardening, and time with family helps a ton. I also love to switch things up when world building. Last night, I used pastels to color out a topography map for a new series I’m working on. Then I drew a pencil map of the same region and jotted down a bunch of landmarks. My final step will be to head back onto my laptop and build a digital map on Wonderdraft where I can combine my two previous drafts. Map making, world building, pointless research… these all keep the magic alive.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • It all depends on how you are as a reader. I often assign voices to my characters, so in a way, even when reading, I am listening. But Steve is a natural and had a ton of fun with voices. I particularly like how he manages banter. So much sass, attitude and sarcasm captured so perfectly!
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Of course I would! Despite the lack of hygiene and elevated chance of injury, infection, or death, I’d choose a time where an axe or a sword meant more than a rifle. Being a knight in the medieval era sounds so appealing to my silly brain even though I’m sure it was hell at times. Still, could you say no to entering a tourney? Sieging a castle? I couldn’t…
    • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • This one makes me sad. It helps to remind everyone that stories BEGAN as an oral tradition. Our brains are wired to interpret stories with our auditory senses. I am not alone in hearing the words out loud inside my head when I read. So Audiobooks are a more “natural” method of consuming stories, though I feel both are valid. They are different mediums, and both should be respected. Besides, there are many readers who have disabilities that NEED audiobooks to stay connected. Wouldn’t want to insult them, would ya???? 😉
  • What are your favorite movies?
    • The Guild Core was my best attempt at creating an epic fantasy experience for people who like progression fantasy, gamelit, litrpg, and cultivation novels. It is a mix of many subgenres, and I feel I did a solid job at that.
    • Movies were and are a big part of my life though. I’m very visual in my head while I write. And during this project, I tried to channel some of my favorite worlds. The Neverending Story had such a big impact on me when I was young. Other movies like Willow, The Labyrinth, and The Dark Crystal formed much of how I perceive high fantasy settings. Yes, I was an 80s child, haha, and yes, all of those movies will change your life!
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m almost halfway done with The Guild Core book 2: Core Sworn. The second book picks up even more momentum and the struggle the Main Characters go through develops into something of global consequence.
    • This series will be 5 books long, each at a juicy 130-150k in length (14-16 hours audio), so it should guarantee a delightful binge experience.
    • When I’m done, I have a hundred other plans. I like to keep some of my plans closer to heart, but I am stoked to say I’ll be writing a more classic cultivation story with a particularly unique twist I haven’t seen done before. So, if you’re reading this (not a chance), I’m coming for you Will Wight!
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#AudioTour “Lina (Mail-Order Brides of the West Book 2)” by Debra Holland

Author: Debra Holland

Narrator: Lara Asmundson

Length: 6 hours 15 minutes

Series: Mail-Order Brides of the West, Book 2

Publisher: Debra Holland

Released: Oct. 16, 2014

Genre: Romance; Historical Fiction

Mail-Order Brides of the West is a collaborative series by New York Times best-selling author Debra Holland and USA Today best-selling author Caroline Fyffe.When Lina Napolitano’s nanny position ends, she has no desire to return to the crowded family compound in St. Louis and endure the pressure from all her boisterous and overbearing Italian relatives to marry a local man. After eight years of living away from her family, she’s accustomed to making her own decisions. Lina wishes to be a wife – just not of the local garbage man or fishmonger. Traveling as a mail-order bride to Sweetwater Springs, Montana seems like the perfect solution to escaping her smothering family and forging her own life. After childbirth robs Jonah Barrett of his Indian wife, he is left to raise their toddler Adam alone. When Adam falls into the fireplace and burns his hand, Jonah becomes desperate to find the boy a mother – one who’ll care for him and accept the child’s half-breed heritage. And a woman who doesn’t know Jonah’s whole past.Will outgoing, demonstrative Lina fit into his solitary world and want to stay? Or will this mail-order marriage be over before the relationship really begins? Mail-Order Brides of the West: Lina takes place simultaneously with Mail-Order Brides of the West: Heather and is set seven years before Wild Montana Sky. See Caroline Fyffe’s companion book, Mail-Order Brides of the West: Heather to find out what happens to Lina’s friend and fellow mail-order bride when she travels to Y Knot, Montana to become the wife of lumber mill owner Hayden Klinkner.

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Debra Holland wears many “hats.” She’s a psychotherapist and corporate crisis/grief counselor, as well as a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Montana Sky Series, sweet, historical Western romance. She’s a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one-time winner. In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky as a top 50 greatest love stories pick. She is also the author of The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance). Dr. Debra received a master’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC). She has written the nonfiction books, The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving and Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude: a Ten-Minute eBook. She’s a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing.

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Narrator Bio

Lara Asmundson is a voice actor based in the SF Bay area with many VO credits including radio and TV commercials, industrial narration, video game characters and of course audiobook narration. She has even given voice to an animated toy cat!Her journey to voice acting was a bit unusual having started her career life as a biomedical clinical researcher. The voice acting journey began as an exploration in creativity but quickly developed into a passion and finally a new career. She has been a working voice actor for 10 years. With over 40 audiobook titles to her credit she has given life to countless characters from young immigrant women seeking new lives and love in the 1890’s Western US to modern day romantic heroines. Her warm voice and conversational style draws the listener in and holds them through the ups and downs of the stories she tells.

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#AudioTour “The Burning Son” by TH Leatherman

Author: TH Leatherman

Narrator: Russell Archey

Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

Series: The Burning Son, Book 1

Publisher: Fivefold Publishing LLC

Released: Aug. 12, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction; Space Opera

Pilot Mark Martin must flee his homeworld of Yale when the Erethizon theocracy overwhelms the defenses. His father, an influential senator, is captured. Now Mark must find a way to save his dad before the resistance is crushed, and with it, all hope of ending the occupation. A chance encounter with a smuggler captain may be his only hope. Will they help, or will the crew sell him to the alien invaders?

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TH Leatherman is a writer from Firestone, Colorado. He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, winemaking, and the Rocky Mountain lifestyle. When not busy writing his next book, he can be found hiking with his wife and two sons or walking his rescued dogs. He worked as a stockbroker for twenty years before he started writing full time. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Regis University with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Psychology. He has released four books, The Burning Son, Marque of the Son, Son Rise, Twin Sons and The Son Set, an omnibus edition of the first three books.

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Russell Archey loves the spoken word. Whether you need a story told, a product marketed, or a character brought to life, he takes both great pleasure and pride in voicing your project. Let him bring his passion and skill for the art to your creative venture. ​Clean, warm sound. Full and rich narration. Villainous vs. Heroic. Energetic and Upbeat! Smooth or Gravelly. Serious and heavy…or Light and Humorous! Lurch with a heart of gold or sinister evil lurking in the shadows. ​Russell is what you need him to be!

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Q&A with Protagonist Mark Martin
  • What’s your name, age, and race?
    • Mark Martin, 26, Terran
  • What do you do?
    • That’s a bit tougher. I’m a navigator, but with the war going on, I haven’t really had a ship to navigate. The need fighter pilots, so that’s what I am now.
  • What is your goal?
    • Protect my family, protect my homeworld, and drive the Erethizon from the galaxy.
  • What was life like for you growing up?
    • My Dad’s a senator, so my childhood was kinda nice. I went to private schools and played sports. I grew up on Yale, so an arts education is required. I learned to play the guitar, and I can sing pretty well.
  • What do you do for fun?
    • Um, flying, playing pod ball, and singing folk songs. Although lately it seems all I do is fly missions.
  • What is your biggest fear?
    • Oh, man. I really hope that we don’t lose to the Porcu-bears, the Erethizon I mean. If the Theocracy takes over the galaxy, their priest will turn it into a police state with mandatory worship five times a day, every day.
  • What do you feel are your strengths?
    • Wow, um. I guess I’ve got guts. When things go sideways, I’m the first guy to jump in and fix stuff. My sister is a doctor and super smart, so I’ve never really thought of myself as in her league. Um, oh! I’m pretty good a poker. My Grandpa taught me a lot about reading people’s body language and I’m pretty good at reading people.
  • Where could you improve?
    • Ugh. Politics. Reading people is not the same thing as being able to get them to do what you want. I just don’t have the patience for those kinds of games.
  • What is your relationship status?
    • Single. I mean, I’ve had girlfriends, but my last girlfriend cheated on me and I only found out because my friends told me. I’ll probably find another girlfriend someday, but with the war and everything, it hasn’t been a priority.
  • What is your relationship with your parents like?
    • My Dad is pretty cool. I mean, he wants me to follow his footsteps and go into politics, but that’s not really my thing. My Mom died when I was pretty young. I don’t remember much about her. My sister and Dad don’t talk about her that much, so I often wonder what she was like.
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#AudioTour “The Adventures of Tom Finch, Gentleman” by Lucy May Lennox

Author: Lucy May Lennox

Narrators: Duke DeFoix, Duchess DeFoix, Olivia Featherton, Earl Tyrone

Length: 14 hours 56 minutes

Publisher: Lucy May Lennox

Released: Oct. 10, 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction

London, 1735. Covent Garden offers a world of pleasures and diversions, even for a blind man. Tom Finch approaches life with boundless good cheer and resilience, whether he’s pursuing a musical career or pursuing women. And as for his blindness, to him it’s merely an inconvenience.Join Tom for a picaresque romp through high and low Georgian society among rakes, rovers, thieving whores and demi-reps, highway robbers, bigamists, and duelists, bisexual opera divas, castrati, mollies, and cross-dressers, lecherous aristocrats, and headstrong ladies. This meticulously researched, witty and lively tale overturns stereotypes about disability and revels in the spectacle and excitement of 18th century opera.

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Lucy May Lennox loves immersing herself in various historical periods and imagining the lives of people who don’t usually make it into the history books. A lifelong lover of classical and folk music, she has performed as a chorus member in operas and concerts in three countries, and once won first place in a sean nos (traditional Irish singing) contest. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA with her husband and children.

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Narrator Bio

Growing up in a family devoted to the performing arts, Duke started his acting career a little later than expected. Since then he has performed internationally on both stage and screen. He has voiced characters in animated series, features, and video games.He enjoys working with his lovely Duchess on audiobooks whenever he can find time away from galloping his trusty white stallion across the windswept moors, rescuing beautiful, clever, and passionate ladies in distress, and fighting sabre wielding brigands on the high seas.

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Q&A with Author Lucy May Lennox
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • It happened on a whim! I was looking around at the Amazon publishing tools and saw the link for ACX. When I saw how easy it was to publish an audiobook, I thought I’d at least try auditioning producers and see how it went. Without really expecting much, I posted a sample. I was overwhelmed to get twenty auditions posted within a few days, most by very talented narrators. It was so gratifying to get so many positive comments from prospective narrators just based on the short sample I posted. Because the novel is about opera, the content really resonated with narrators who have a background in theater and singing. The whole process was so much fun right from the beginning.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Not at all, to my regret. I might have phrased some things differently after hearing it read aloud. I also would have changed some aspects of the music to make it easier to integrate. For my future novels, it’s definitely something I’m keeping in mind.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • It really felt like fate! When I discovered the ACX website, the first thing I did, even before posting a call for auditions, was to search for narrators who specialize in a standard BBC accent. The Duke and Duchess DeFoix of Her Grace Reads Studios were the first search result, and I fell in love with their samples. Their voices seemed perfect for my characters. But when I looked at their website, they had so many titles forthcoming, I was certain they would be too busy. Two days after I posted my call for auditions, the Duchess sent me a message saying, “Don’t accept any other offer before you hear our audition.” I was amazed and delighted that they were so keen on this project. Right from the start we seemed to completely understand each other. Then they volunteered to actually sing the songs, not just read the words, and even to engage an opera singer. How could I go with anyone else?
  • 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?
    • I gave Her Grace Reads Studios the entire book to read before we agreed on a contract, so they would know the content. The Duke read it all in a day—it’s over 400 pages! I can’t believe how fast he reads. Before recording, I sent them character notes saying what type of accent each major character should have, high class or low class or something in between. I made a pronunciation guide and glossary for all the foreign words, slang terms, and archaic words. It was a long list! I was particularly concerned about the one line of Gaelic poetry, but the Duke handled it flawlessly. For the music, I made a list of all the songs, which character sings each one, and a link to YouTube. It’s amazing that they learned all the music so quickly.
    • Only one of the songs didn’t have an audio reference: “Among our own selves we’ll be free,” which is sung in the molly-house. I found references to it in histories of gay culture in the 18th century, but no music. Her Grace Reads Studios hired composer Varya Rubin to write music so it could be sung in the audiobook. It sounds authentic, and I’m so grateful to them for bringing this bit of gay history to life.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • A lot of my experience with backstage drama as a regular chorus member in two semi-professional opera companies found its way into the story. The scene where a character angrily throws her shoe at her dressing-room door is based on a real incident, as is the rivalry between two women for a young feckless tenor.
    • I’m lucky enough to have visited London often, including while I was writing the novel, and walked around Covent Garden and the houses on Maiden Lane. It really helped to get a concrete sense for the setting. All the operas and composers are real, and I drew inspiration from many real events of the era, including riots in the theater over ticket prices.
  • What about real life inspirations for the characters?
    • There were quite a few blind men in the 18th century who were highly accomplished in their professions: Sir John Fielding, composers John Stanley and Turlough O’Carolan, among others. John Stanley conducted several oratorios for Handel, learning all the notes by ear, as Tom does. I borrowed the scene of Tom recognizing a woman by holding her hand as she steps into a boat from the life of Carolan. His drinking and flirting with women also come from Carolan, at least in part. I borrowed Tom’s unusual method of cane use and echolocation from the real life of James Holman.
    • At the beginning of the novel, Tom is composing a ballad called “London.” The real composer is Henry Carey, who like Tom was the illegitimate son of a nobleman, and made his living composing both operas and ballads. His life was a model for a character who is educated but not upper class, and who alternates between high and low society.
    • Many of the secondary characters are based on real people of the era: Betsy Careless, Sally Salisbury, Princess Seraphina, Lord Mordington, Farinelli, Anna Maria Strada, Veracini, among others.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • The way the Duke voices Tom’s dialog is exactly how I heard it in my head as I was writing. I’m so pleased with how perfectly he interprets the lines. I particularly love the way he says “Whaaat?” whenever Tom is surprised by something. It’s so lively and expressive.
    • I’m in awe of how amazingly well Olivia Featherton brings the character of Sal to life. Every line of dialog from her is a delight, and I only wish there was more. I admit when I first began writing Sal, I felt a bit intimidated about getting the slang right, so I cheated and used a lot of indirect narration. I got more confident writing her dialog as I went along, but now I wish I had many more lines for Sal. I feel like she really steals the show, much more in the audiobook than in print.
    • Of course it adds a whole other dimension to have the music in the audiobook. I could hear the music in my head as I was writing, but most readers are probably not familiar with all of it. It’s so exciting to actually hear Tom sing the songs he is composing, or hear Tess sing an aria. The music at the start and close of each chapter adds so much as well. I love how the selection shifts to represent the mood of each chapter—it sets the scene so well.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Obviously, I’d love to see London of 1735 in real life, but not to stay. I would not want to experience the sexism and racism of that period in person, not to mention the filth and disease. I’m sure if I ended up there, I would immediately die of smallpox. But I’m so curious to see it briefly, just to see and hear how people actually talked and dressed, and to hear what the music sounded like. There are attempts to recreate baroque music using period instruments and tuning, but we don’t know for sure if it sounded like we imagine.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Yes! Actually the character of Tom first came to me in a dream—I saw a tall, thin blind man with a walking stick, wearing 18th century clothing and a tricorne hat. I immediately had such a clear sense of who he was, and I knew I had to create a novel for him to inhabit.
  • What’s your favorite opera?
    • To be honest, Handel’s operas are not my favorite. By far my favorite composer is Mozart. I love all his operas, especially The Marriage of Figaro. Every note is perfect; it’s funny but also with incredible generosity of spirit and love for the human flaws of the characters. I considered using Mozart’s operas in the novel instead, but I don’t know anything about Vienna, while London is a very familiar setting to me, and I wanted to keep the time period to the early 18th century, to avoid the political turmoil that came later. Using that setting meant using Handel’s operas as the backdrop. But in terms of tone, I tried to capture the blend of comedy and deep compassion of The Marriage of Figaro. I still listen to it over and over again.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m working on another historical fiction novel, this time set in Japan in 1825, during the Edo period. It’s almost finished; I hope to publish in the next month or two. Look for it on my Amazon page! I will definitely look into turning it into an audiobook as well.
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#AudioTour “Dance: Cinderella Retold, Book 2 (Romance a Medieval Fairytale)” by Demelza Carlton

Author: Demelza Carlton

Narrator: Mary Sarah

Length: 4 hours

Series: Romance a Medieval Fairytale, Book 2

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Released: May 8, 2018

Genre: Fantasy; Romance

A dutiful daughter. A prince forced to find a bride. If the shoe fits…Once upon a time…When the Emperor’s army comes recruiting, Mai signs up, seeing it as the perfect escape from her stepmother and a lifetime of drudgery. Armed with her mother’s armor and a pair of magic shoes, Mai marches off to war…only to find herself sharing a tent with the General’s arrogant nephew, Prince Yi.The best swordsman in the Empire, Prince Yi wants to make war, not love, but the Emperor insists this will be Yi’s last campaign before he must marry. Prince Yi has never met his match…until now.Can one woman win the war and the prince’s heart?Contains mature themes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJwaYFjxtcs

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USA Today bestselling author Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish. She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below. Sensationalist spin? No – Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all. Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

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Narrator Bio

Voice Arts Award Nominee, Mary Sarah has garnered attention for her powerfully evocative, multi-character work which spans time and place. With a penchant for dialects and love of culture, Sarah has spanned the globe working with rich characters set across genres of the classics, historical fiction, medieval romance, poetry, fantasy, non-fiction and children’s literature. Relz Reviewz states in reference to Tamara Leigh’s ‘The Unveiling,“ her mellifluous tones, superb voicing of emotions in dialogue and varied and accurate accents of both male and female make her a pure joy to listen to,” while her narration of “A Lady in the Smoke,” was cited as, “masterly!” Classically trained at The Riverside Shakespeare Academy and The Royal Shakespeare Company, Sarah loves to get to the heart of words in order to release their power and finds great comfort in the beauty of stories to transform and speak to us.! Sarah loves the power of story telling to awaken our hearts. Says author Claudy Conn (Lady X), “Her acting is simply sublime.”

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#AudioTour “Lethal Voyage” by Kevin G. Chapman

Author: Kevin G. Chapman

Narrator: Kevin G. Chapman

Length: 9 hours 39 minutes

Series: Mike Stoneman, Book 3

Publisher: First Legacy Productions

Released: Nov. 22, 2020

Genre: Thriller

A dead body can ruin a vacation…It was a suicide, wasn’t it? Maybe the on-board production of Chicago isn’t the only place people are getting murdered! NYPD homicide detective Mike Stoneman and medical examiner Michelle McNeill just want a relaxing cruise. But, Michelle is convinced that there is foul play at work in the death of a Broadway talent agent’s wife.The ship’s head of security wants to keep it quiet. But, how many bodies can he cover up during one sailing? When it looks like Michelle might be the next victim, Mike needs to find the killer and keep Michelle alive for the end of this lethal voyage. Don’t miss the next installment in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series!

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Kevin G. Chapman is, by profession, an attorney specializing in labor and employment law. He is the most recent past Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Network of the Association of Corporate Counsel, leading a group of 6800 in-house employment lawyers. Kevin is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education seminars and enjoys teaching management training courses.

Kevin’s passion (aside from playing tournament poker) is writing fiction. Kevin’s first Novel, Identity Crisis: A Rick LaBlonde, P.I. Mystery, was self-published through Xlibris in 2003, and is now available via Amazon.com as a Kindle e-book. His second novel, A Legacy of One, published in 2016 and was a finalist (short list) for the Chanticleer Book Reviews’ Somerset Award for Literary Fiction. A Legacy of One is a serious book, filled with political and social commentary and a plot involving personal identity, self-determination, and the struggle to make the right life decisions. Kevin’s next novel, Righteous Assassin (A Mike Stoneman Thriller), was a much more “fun” read — it’s a page-turner. It has some serious sub-themes, but it’s a serial killer chase and it’s intended to be enjoyable and easy to read. It was named one of the top 20 Mystery/Thrillers of 2019 by the Kindle Book Review! Kevin has just recently finished book #2 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series, Deadly Enterprise, which was published on December 2, 2019.

He recently completed the narration of books 1 and 2 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series for audiobook release in 2020.Kevin has also written several short stories, including Fool Me Twice, the winner of the New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 2010 Legal Fiction Writing Competition, which was the genesis of the character Mike Stoneman, the protagonist in Righteous Assassin. He has also written one complete screenplay (unproduced so far) and has another screenplay and two more novels currently in the works, one of which is a sci-fi space opera epic.

Kevin is a resident of West Windsor, New Jersey and is a a graduate of Columbia College (‘83), where he was a classmate of Barack Obama, and Boston University School of Law (magna cum laude ’86). Readers can contact Kevin via his website at http://www.KevinGChapman.com.

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Interview with NYPD Homicide detective Mike Stoneman

1. What is your full name? Do you have a nickname? NYPD Homicide Detective Mike Stoneman. Young detectives, and officers studying for the detectives’ exam (Mike teaches some of the classes) call me culo de piedre – “Stone Ass.” I don’t mind.

2. What is your background? What makes you you? I was Born and raised in Queens, New York. Jamaica. I’m a New Yorker to the bone. I worked for the Long Island Rail Road as a young man, following in my father’s footsteps, I guess, although the truth is that I didn’t have much direction back then, and the job was available. I took down a thug who was trying to mug a passenger one night, and they decided to move me to security. That got me thinking about being a cop, and my life started to have some focus. After 8 years on the force, I made detective and got myself assigned to homicide, where I really found my niche. But, it’s always about New York City. I’m now ensconced on the Upper West Side – 68th and Broadway, about a thirty-block walk from my precinct house on 94th Street east of Amsterdam. Give me a good bagel and a good slice of pizza and I’m a happy man.

3. If you looked in a mirror, would you like what you saw? I look in the mirror all the time. I’m not ashamed. Sure, a few years ago I might have been up a few pounds, but being in my late 40s and eating stake-out food will do that to a cop. I live alone (well, back then), so healthy home-cooked dinners were not in the cards. But I work out, although perhaps not as regularly as I should. But, in the summer of 2018, I got up the courage to finally ask out Doctor Michelle McNeill, the county M.E.  Since I’ve been dating her, I’ve been more regular about my exercise, and I’m eating better. The surgery I had after my run-in with Ronald Randall took a piece of my gut out, which wasn’t a bad thing, and my rehab got me to the gym a lot more. So, these days I’m looking better. Hey, a few extra pounds around the old spare tire isn’t a terrible thing for a guy turning 50 this year.

4. What are your likes/dislikes?  I’m a life-long New York Mets fan and love going to live baseball games. I am also cursed to be a fan of the New York Jets, which played a big part in an interesting case in 2019. I very much enjoy playing tournament poker, mostly Texas Hold ’em. I had an interesting run at the poker table on a recent cruise, and I’m looking forward to a trip to Las Vegas in early 2020.  I love a good slice of Pizza and also Mexican food (but only if there’s a top-flight frozen margarita involved).

5. Are you in love? If you asked me that question before the summer of 2018, the answer would have been, “Hell, no. I’ve been burned. I’m past the point in my life when that’s what I’m looking for.” But, I always had a soft spot for the county Medical Examiner, Michelle McNeill. We had a good working relationship, but that was all it was. Then, I suddenly realized that Michelle could be something more. It took a while, but we started dating and, well, the rest as they say is history. We started spending nights at each others’ apartment – mostly me staying at her place – and by the spring of 2019, we took a trip together and she registered us at the hotel as Mr. & Mrs. Stoneman. Not that either of us is even thinking about marriage. We don’t need that. We’re happy with each other and we work well together.  But, yeah, I’m in love.

6. Who are your parents? Are they still alive?  My parents are, unfortunately, both dead. I was an only child, so I have no immediate family left. My uncle Louie and I were close, but he’s gone, too. The NYPD is my family. My dad worked for the Long Island Rail Road. He was a public employee and worked hard, but he was blue collar all the way. He loved his life, and his wife, and I guess he loved me, although he didn’t talk about it. He was a straight shooter and did not tolerate dishonesty. I guess it made sense that his boy would grow up to be a cop.

7. Do you have a secret?  Calling it a “secret” is probably not entirely accurate. It’s something I don’t talk about. Not even to Michelle. It’s an episode I’m not proud of. I let someone – a woman – take advantage of me. That’s a lie. I thought I was taking advantage of her, but she played me. I let her play me. It seemed like the right thing to do. Unfortunately, somebody else ended up paying a high price. You can read about it in the short story, Fool Me Twice. But please, don’t tell anyone.

8. Do you own a gun? Killed anyone?  I’m a cop, so of course I have a gun. I’m not a fan of killing people, but I will, and I have, when it’s necessary. Necessary is sometimes a gray area, I guess. Take, for example, Lt. Ronald Randall, the psycho the New York newspapers dubbed “the Righteous Assassin.” He killed six people in six months in 2018. He thought they deserved to die. I can’t say that I really disagreed with him, but that didn’t give him the right to be a vigilante and take justice into his own hands. He admitted his murders, and would have continued them if somebody didn’t stop him. Did he deserve to die? Well, he’s dead, and nobody’s crying about it. I’ll let you be the judge. Jason Dickson is fine with it.

9. What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?  What I love most is to teach the young detectives and the officers who are studying for the detective’s exam. I like sharing my experiences and passing along the secrets of the profession. I like to think that years from now detectives will be telling their rookies, “This is how Mike Stoneman taught me how to do it.” That’s a legacy.

10. You’re in a lift with your favourite TV movie star, how do you react? I’m not much for movie stars. I had a bad experience with a society woman once. I’m a sports fan. I once ran into Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. I thought I handled it pretty well, without making a fool of myself. Then, in 2019 on a cruise ship, I beat the pants off Lenny Dykstra at the poker table. Twice. That was fun. I like Nails as a player, but as a person he leaves something to be desired. I’m glad I got my licks in. In New York, there are big-shots and celebrities around all the time, so you kinda get used to it and you’re not so star-struck. I was at the annual Hero’s Ball last spring and ended up in a conversation with a big Hollywood director. He’s just a guy. No big deal.

11. Are you happy now your story has been told? Is there more to come? The story is a long way from being told. I’d like it better if that Susan Fenton episode wasn’t out there in that Short Story, but the rest of the stories are pretty fair to me. Hey, I’m no saint, but I do what’s right. Most of the time. We’ll see how it works out.

12. What do you think about the current news (in your area)? I’m not always a fan of the press. There’s one reporter for The New York Times named Dexter Peacock who really rubs me the wrong way most of the time. I’ll admit that I kinda used him when I needed to leak some information without the Commissioner knowing about it. But since then, the guy thinks that I’m his best buddy and that he can squeeze me for information whenever he needs a source inside the Department. He’s like a stray dog you fed one time and now he keeps coming back, begging for scraps. Him I can do without. There’s a female sports reporter named Christi Olson who I like. She’s tough and fair. I could hang out with her.

13. How honest are you about your thoughts and feelings? I’ll admit that I’m not always as open as I should be. Michelle has helped me with that. She’s always pretty up front. I had the chance to share a bit with my partner, Jason Dickson, when he was dealing with some nasty shit and I was in a position to give him some perspective on things. He didn’t seem to appreciate it at the time, but I think in the end he got it. I don’t like to get into the mushy stuff.

14. Who is the person you despise the most? Despise is a pretty strong word. You have to care about somebody a lot to despise him (or her). I try not to care that much. I’m disgusted with NY Jets Quarterback Jimmy Rydell. What a disappointment! He can’t keep himself out of trouble off the field and he can’t make anything happen on the field. He shot himself in the leg in a Manhattan nightclub. Who does that? I’ll give him a pass on the whole kneeling during the national anthem thing – I’m OK with the peaceful protest. But, I’d like to see him win a few games. Is that too much to ask? He’s getting paid 23 million over 4 years and he’s a waste of a roster spot. We’d be better off if he just shot himself in the leg again, but this time tore up a ligament or something so he’d be out for the season. We can only hope.

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#AudioTour “Courting Moon” by Adom Sample

Author: Adom Sample

Narrator: Mikaela Davis Sargent

Length: 8 hours 9 minutes

Series: The Bloods Passion Saga, Book 1

Publisher: Adom Sample Publishing

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Those in power are suppressing the truth, and it all stems from the Coven of Vampyres strict law: Human and Vampyre fraternization—strictly forbidden. When living in a society where love, passion, and desire are restricted it isn’t long before someone dissents. I just never thought that someone would be me.The day I met him, the vampyre Sebastian of Orias, everything changed. Never in my life did I think someone like him, the son of a Count, would pursue a human like me. But he did. He stalked me . . . and now he wants me.We chose to break the rules, defy the Coven, and embrace this connection, regardless of the dangers that may unfold. However, I fear that our passion may reveal secrets the Coven is willing to kill to protect.

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Adom Sample was born in Kansas City, Missouri and currently lives in Fairfax, Virginia. He holds an MBA from George Mason University. He is an independent author who enjoys reading and writing romance, erotic, and paranormal stories. Writing is his passion and he lives to give others ideas and inspire stories to push the limits of creativity.

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#AudioTour “Trudy (Mail-Order Brides of the West Book 1)” by Debra Holland

Author: Debra Holland

Narrator: Lara Asmundson

Length: 6 hours 41 minutes

Series: Mail-Order Brides of the West, Book 1

Publisher: Debra Holland

Released: Jun. 27, 2014

Genre: Romance; Historical Fiction

The well-educated daughter of a lawyer, Trudy Bauer arrives at the St. Louis based Mail-Order Brides of the West agency full of excitement for an adventure of a lifetime. She befriends the agency’s maid, Evie Davenport, and the two form a strong and lasting friendship. They vow to stay in contact through letters when Evie takes hold of her destiny and arranges a marriage on the sly. Each brave young woman is ready to face whatever an unknown groom and life in Montana can throw her way.In Holland’s book, bride-to-be Trudy Bauer rides the train to Sweetwater Springs, in a Montana Sky Novel. In Fyffe’s novel, house servant Evie Davenport travels by stagecoach to Y Knot, Montana in a McCutcheon Family Novel. Through their correspondence, the friends keep each other abreast of their hardships, trials, and tribulations – some of heartbreak, some of love.

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Debra Holland wears many “hats.” She’s a psychotherapist and corporate crisis/grief counselor, as well as a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Montana Sky Series, sweet, historical Western romance. She’s a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one-time winner. In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky as a top 50 greatest love stories pick. She is also the author of The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance). Dr. Debra received a master’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC). She has written the nonfiction books, The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving and Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude: a Ten-Minute eBook. She’s a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing.

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Narrator Bio

Lara Asmundson is a voice actor based in the SF Bay area with many VO credits including radio and TV commercials, industrial narration, video game characters and of course audiobook narration. She has even given voice to an animated toy cat!Her journey to voice acting was a bit unusual having started her career life as a biomedical clinical researcher. The voice acting journey began as an exploration in creativity but quickly developed into a passion and finally a new career. She has been a working voice actor for 10 years. With over 40 audiobook titles to her credit she has given life to countless characters from young immigrant women seeking new lives and love in the 1890’s Western US to modern day romantic heroines. Her warm voice and conversational style draws the listener in and holds them through the ups and downs of the stories she tells.

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Q&A with Author Debra Holland
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I’m a technophobe, and the idea of figuring out how to produce an audiobook was so overwhelming that I avoided the whole idea for about a year. That turned out to be a good thing, because an Audible/ACX rep approached me in 2013 with an offer to pay me to produce an audiobook. At the time, my “big” Montana Sky Series books were under contract with Montlake Romance, I’d only begun writing the Mail-Order Brides of the West book, and my other Montana Sky stories were too short for audiobooks—or so I thought at the time.So I started with the first book of my fantasy romance series. One of my friends suggested using her narrator, and he kindly walked me through the whole process. I loved the end result so much I became an audiobook fan. I, then, began production on the Mail-Order Brides of the West with a different narrator.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • I think any kind of book-length writing can become an audiobook. However, I’m more aware of paying attention to the overuse of the dialogue tag—said. There’s no need for he said, she said, he said, when the narrator will make the distinction with his or her voice.
    • I’m also careful to watch for the overuse of two, to, too in the same paragraph. When you read, those three words are distinct. But not when you listen.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Not when I wrote Mail-Order Brides of the West: Trudy and Mail-Order Brides of the West: Lina. But by the time I wrote Darcy’s story, I knew the book would be in audio.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • My friend Caroline Fyffe, who also wrote some Mail-Order Brides of the West books, found Lara Asmundson. I listened to Lara’s samples and loved her voice, too. She’s done all my indie Mail-Order Brides of the West and Montana Sky Series stories.
  • 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?
    • I don’t usually tell Lara anything beforehand, unless I’m warning her about a foreign language that will appear in the book. Sometimes, I’ll add a note about how I want a name pronounced. For example, I wanted Aun-drea, rather than Ann-drea.I edit chapter by chapter as Lara does them. That way I can catch any voices I want changed. For example, Lara isn’t good at a German accent, and I finally had her change the dialogue and not give a character that accent.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Yes. I like listening to nonfiction audiobooks and read fiction books. I’m a psychotherapist, so there are always plenty of books I “should” read for my profession. But I’d rather read a story. I’m an avid book-a-day reader. So listening in my car or when I’m doing chores around the house is a good trade-off.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Sometimes a hero comes along, sweeps you off your feet, and changes your life. That happened to me. But instead of living the happily ever after, I started writing about happily ever after.On New Year’s Eve, I was celebrating with friends at a cowboy dance bar in Orange County, California. As the old year drew to a close, I started dancing with a handsome young cowboy—a real one. (Cowboys are scarce in the OC.) We shared a midnight kiss. He asked me out, and still reeling from that kiss, I agreed. The two of us began to date. We had nothing in common, but he was sexy and fun, and we had a good time. After a few weeks, I started thinking: What if we met a hundred years ago in the Old West? Who would he be? How would I be different, and would our relationship have worked? And so the idea came to me for the story that I titled, Wild Montana Sky, which became the first book of the Montana Sky Series. I physically modeled the hero, Nick Sanders, after my cowboy, and I made the heroine, Elizabeth, a little like me. I started to write some of the scenes that popped into my mind, beginning with the one where Nick and Elizabeth ride their horses by a stream—a beautiful Montana setting. After that, I had to figure out who these two characters were and what their story was. And I had to learn to write fiction. After a few months, my cowboy and I drifted apart. His work at the racetrack came to an end, and he moved north. I never saw him again. But Wild Montana Sky is dedicated to him—to the cowboy who came into my life and changed it forever, setting me on a new trajectory and an unexpected and wonderful journey. Because of our brief romance, I became a writer. The book he inspired won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award and later hit the USA Today Bestseller list. Now there are over thirty books (counting the Mail-Order Brides of the West) in the Montana Sky Series. I’ll be forever grateful to my young cowboy.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • First of all, I’ve never heard of such a thing! So I’d start by saying, “You sound so judgmental. Why do you care what other people are doing/reading/listening?”Then I’d say, “Are you going to tell someone who’s hearing impaired that he or she is inferior?” I might add, “Didn’t you have to study Shakespeare’s plays in school? Wouldn’t they have been so much easier to follow if you could listen (like they were meant to be heard) instead of read?” And if that hasn’t gotten the point home, I’d say, “Have you tried listening to audiobooks? What’s your favorite book? Before you say another word against audiobooks, go listen to that title on audio, and then get back to me with how you found the experience.”
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • Usually, I am writing and editing until the very last minute and send off the manuscript at about 3 a.m. This comes after a week of long hours, little sleep, and no pleasure reading. So I celebrate by sleeping and reading for the next several days.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • I have a long chapter on audiobooks in the free ebook, The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing. The book has been out for a few years now so it’s somewhat out of date. But most of the audiobook information is still helpful.
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