Showing posts with label audiobooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label audiobooks. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Ross Duology, Book 1 by Georgia Rose

Audiobook Series Tour: The Ross Duology by Georgia Rose

Author: Georgia Rose

Narrator: Henri Merriam

Publisher: Three Shires Publishing

Released: Jan. 23, 2019

Series: The Ross Duology, Book 1

Length: 9 hours 20 minutes

Genre: Romantic Suspense

A woman with a hidden past. A new love on the horizon. Will the truth set her free or cost her everything?

Madeleine Ross has meticulously organized her world to leave no trace of her criminal past. After creating a new identity for herself, her only remaining connection to her previous life is the security work she does for a small-town insurance company. But when she starts falling for her handsome boss, Dan, she's worried letting him in will expose secrets best kept locked away....

As their attraction grows stronger, Madeline's attempts to keep Dan in the dark go horribly wrong when a dangerous ex emerges from her unsavory past. After her former flame gives her an offer she can't refuse, she has one choice left: ditch her life as a thief to let Dan in or embrace her shady dealings to destroy her only shot at a happy future....

Parallel Lies is fast-paced romantic suspense. If you like troubled heroines, character-driven action, and powerful emotions, then you'll love Georgia Rose's thrilling novel.

Buy Parallel Lies to unlock a secret identity today!

Georgia Rose is a product of rural England and the countryside setting is the theme running through her books. She loves strong characters and finds developing them incredibly satisfying.

Instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines and these can come from a fragment of conversation, via Georgia’s not so surreptitious people watching or most often from her overactive imagination.

Georgia’s busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog.

She loves afternoon tea, the way the word loquacious rolls off the tongue and she sincerely believes inanimate objects have feelings.

She does not care for clowns or kites and can’t understand why adding salt to caramel is seen as a good thing.

She also hates every photo ever taken of her…

Q&A with Author Georgia Rose
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I not only produce my own books but those of other authors too and while I was at the launch of a client's book I was chatting to one of the guests who I knew to be an actor and it suddenly occurred to me she might be interested in narrating my books. I asked, she was and we took it from there. She lives in the next village to me and with the huge learning curve, for us both, she has taken the lion’s share and sourced the studio, sound guy and dealt with the mechanics of the whole thing, something I’m tremendously grateful for.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format? 
    • I haven't considered that at all actually. I write in first person which I think lends itself particularly well to being read as you can really get into the character. But as there is something inherently lovely about being read to I’m sure all books can be enjoyed in audio.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing? 
    • No, it never crossed my mind. I thought it would be prohibitively expensive so concentrated on the ebook and paperback versions.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? 
    • I decided to ask Henri to narrate Parallel Lies, rather than my trilogy, as that was a standalone, and I thought if it didn’t work out at least I was only in for one book. At the time I forgot readers were requesting a sequel and I was already trying to come up with the plot for that! So I ended up doing Loving Vengeance too. Henri and I had a couple of meetings to discuss the project and Henri read Parallel Lies first, which she loved, and I gave her a printed out version on A4 paper. She went off to record it then when Loving Vengeance was released we repeated the process.
  • Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? 
    • We discussed a couple of the characters and their accents but otherwise I left Henri alone to do with it what she wanted as she is far more experienced than I. Fortunately I am delighted with the result, although I was tremendously nervous when she first sent it to me!
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? 
    • No. People who know me tell me this or that character reminds them of whoever but they are wrong. I wouldn’t base a character on anyone although obviously all your writing is influenced by your surroundings and people you’ve met in your life in some way.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I don’t! And I’ve really struggled for the last few years. However, I am feeling the enthusiasm again and thoroughly enjoying my current project even though it’s the start of a series. If I look at the whole thing it feels completely overwhelming so I don’t, I simply concentrate on putting one word in front of another and we’ll see where it goes from there.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you? 
    • I am not, although on the rare occasion when I have, a long solo road trip for example, I have loved it. I don’t have the opportunity to listen to books at the moment. I work from home and can’t listen when I’m doing that. Then when I walk the dog or drive anywhere it’s generally in silence as I need the quiet in my head to work on the stories I’m trying to write.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump? 
    • I have never been in a reading slump so that’s not an issue. When I get in a writing slump though I start something new even though I know I shouldn’t. I abandoned a manuscript that is 75% complete at new year as it was getting difficult and delighted in opening up a new blank page instead.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series? 
    • A standalone is all round easier to write (until those readers start demanding a sequel!) as the whole story is nicely packed into one book. The downside is that it’s harder to market. Writing a series can become unwieldy and I fear leaving one of those hanging threads behind in my race to the end. However, it is easier to market a series and readers do love being able to read one book after another in one they enjoy.
Top 10 List
Author Georgia Rose's Top 10 Perks of Being an author
  1. You can work in your pj’s, should you want to.
  2. Everything in your life now counts as research.
  3. You can do your work everywhere and anywhere.
  4. Sometimes people find what you do reasonably interesting.
  5. You get the voices out of your head by translating them into the words on a page.
  6. You feel joy when your words align in a perfectly delivered sentence.
  7. You get to find readers who genuinely enjoy your work and tell you so.
  8. You get to create terrific characters.
  9. You get to work alone, or you can join in with the tremendous online community of writers, should you want to.
  10. You get to type The End…
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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Anna Blanc Mysteries book 3 by Jennifer Kincheloe

Audiobook Series Tour: The Anna Blanc Mysteries by Jennifer Kincheloe

Author: Jennifer Kincheloe

Narrator: Moira Quirk

Length: 11 hours 42 minutes

Series: Anna Blanc Mysteries, Book 3

Released: Dec. 2, 2019

Publisher: Jennifer Kincheloe

Genre: Historical Fiction Mystery

Los Angeles, 1908. Anna Blanc is a former so-so socialite, a flailing police matron, and a killer detective.

Ex-heiress Anna Blanc is precariously employed by the Los Angeles Police Department, reforming delinquent children and minding lady jailbirds. What she really wants is to hunt criminals and be alone with Detective Joe Singer - both no-nos that could get her fired.

On a lover's tryst in Griffith Park, Anna and Joe discover the body of a young gambler. Anna can't resist. She's on the case. As her murder investigation stalls, and her police matron duties start piling up, strange floral arrangements begin arriving from an unknown admirer.

Following the petals leads Anna to another crime, one close to home. Suddenly pitted against Joe, Anna must examine her loyalties and solve the crimes, even if it means losing the man she loves.
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Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse's aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She's currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.
Narrator Bio

Moira grew up in teeny-tiny Rutland, England’s smallest county, which is fitting as she never managed to make it past five feet herself. Moira’s work spans the pantheon of the voiceover world: plays for BBC radio, plays for NPR, video games, commercials, television promos, podcasts, cartoons, movies and award winning audiobooks. She's won Multiple Audie Awards, Earphone Awards, as well as Audible's prestigious Book-of-the-Year Award. She has lately set foot in front of the camera again, appearing in “Pretty: the Series” and the Emmy-winning “Dirty Work.”

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

WinterDream by Chantal Gadoury

Audiobook Blog Tour: WinterDream by Chantal Gadoury

Author: Chantal Gadoury

Narrator: Anne Marie Lewis

Length: 10 hours 22 minutes

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: Dec. 31, 2019

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

This Christmas Eve, no creature was stirring, except, maybe, a mouse. At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?

For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel viscount.

But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions and one special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams.

But will she be able to break the Nutcracker's curse? Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice Anton is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?

Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic. Listen to it now!
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Amazon Bestselling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published The Songs in Our Hearts, and The Songs We Remember, with 48Fourteen Publishing. Allerleirauh, Between the Sea and Stars, Blinding Night and WinterDream with the Parliament House Press. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. For Chantal, writing novels has become a lifelong dream come true! When she’s not typing away at her next project, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of Iced Coffee, and watching Disney Classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, sister and furry-‘brother’ Taran.
Narrator Bio

Singer and actor Anne Marie Lewis has enjoyed a richly varied and long career in the performing arts. She has performed across the globe from Carnegie Hall to Boise to Little Rock to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as well as in Canada, England and Scotland. Chicago area credits: My Fair Lady, Peter Pan, Into the Woods (Music Theater Works); 1776 (Porchlight Music Theater); Midnight Cowboy (Lifeline Theatre); Northanger Abbey, The Skin of Our Teeth (Remy Bumppo); Love, Loss and What I Wore (Oil Lamp Theater); bare (RefugeTheatre Project); Graveyard of Empires (16th Street Theater); Jake’s Women (Spartan Theatre); The Scullery Maid (Idle Muse Theatre); Moon Over Buffalo (Jedlicka Performing Arts Center); The Diary of Anne Frank (Metropolis Performing Arts Center); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Fury Theatre); Fancy Nancy, Elephant and Piggie (Northbrook Theater); Little Red Riding Hood, Camp Wonderland (Theatre at the Center), Don Giovanni, Shining Brow (Chicago Opera Theatre); Pride and Prejudice, The Sound of Music, Hansel and Gretel, Persuasion, Cosi fan tutte (Chamber Opera Chicago); Gianni Schicchi (DuPage Opera); La boheme, Die Fledermaus, Don Pasquale, Don Giovanni, Carmen (Opera Studio Highland Park). Regional credits: Die Fledermaus, Le nozze di Figaro (Pine Mountain Music Festival), Little Women (Lyric Opera Cleveland), La boheme (Quad Cities Opera, Arkansas Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony); Mozart Requiem, Schubert Mass in G (Carnegie Hall). International credits: Persuasion (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Camden Fringe Festival, Buxton Fringe Festival, Victoria, BC). Anne Marie, a Pittsburgh native, is a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University. She maintains a private voice studio and has recently entered the wonderful world of audiobook narration and production, with fifteen titles to her credit.

Q&A with Author Chantal Gadoury
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?:
    • At the time of writing “WinterDream,” I think I probably hoped that one day I’d hear it read aloud. The idea of someone your writing to the world is both exciting and slightly terrifying too!
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • Anne actually was the narrator to “Hook and Crown,” and I had really loved the way she told the story. When she auditioned for “WinterDream,” I was just captivated by the way she read Clara and brought her to life. I knew I wanted her to read “WinterDream” the moment I heard it.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • There’s always something real behind my writing. Even in this fantastical Christmas story, with magic and Nutcrackers - there are elements of Clara that are entirely me. The story behind the reason why I wrote this novel, is that as a young child I used to love to perform to these songs. I’d been a little ballerina, dancing around the living room with my Mom’s nutcrackers. She used to take me to see this show every Christmas, and it was a story that continued to live in my heart as I grew older.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?:
    • I am an audiobook listener! I love just having someone read to me, when I might not have the time to read something myself. It’s a great thing to have on long car rides, or when you can’t sleep (but don’t want to chance having a book fall flat on your face.)
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?:
    • I think the intimate moment of The Nutcracker and Clara sitting in front of the fire in Mother Ginger’s Inn. They’re talking to each other about their lives, and the curse and themselves, and it really struck me as I listened to it. It felt so much deeper; I could feel Clara really starting to allow herself to trust him. And I think the ending was really resonating - I can’t say why without giving it away. So you’ll have to take a leap of faith, and take the journey with me!
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it?
    • Oh boy, would I? Yes! There are so many places I’d love to time travel to.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?: 
    • Sometimes with a glass of wine, or an Iced Coffee -- sometimes a movie that I’ve been wanting to watch. It’s strange, but when I finish a novel, I don’t really celebrate. I suddenly just feel really sad, or empty. It’s never easy letting go of a world you’ve just spent so much time in. I remember it being hard to let go of the world of WinterDream when it was over.
  • What's your favorite:

    • Food - Eggrolls, and Burrito Bowls from Chipotle.
    • Song - Right now, my favorite song is “Lover” by Taylor Swift or “Forever” by Lewis Capaldi
    • Book - It’s a tie between “A Court of Thorns and Roses,” “The Beholder” and “A House of Salt and Sorrow.”
    • Television show - Outlander.
    • Movie - Ever After
    • Band - Maroon 5, Civil Wars, BTS
    • Sports team - I honestly don’t have one.
    • City - Hands down, my favorite city will always be Denver, Colorado
  • Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work?
    • Not in “WinterDream,” but I have mentioned or referenced a few of my favorite things in my other books!
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?:
    • My advice is usually always the same. To never give up. To always write! But to also approach the idea of publishing a bit more realistically. It’s hard and rare to get a huge book deal that provides the sort of compensation that one could live off of. Don’t go into writing for money - write to share your message. It’s wholly yours, which makes it unique. Build a good group of people to share your work, and have fun!
Top 10 List
by Chantal Gadoury
When writing “WinterDream,” - a retelling of the Nutcracker, there were a lot of things that inspired me to create the world and the characters! I’ll give you a glimpse into what helped bring “WinterDream” to life!
  1. The Nutcracker Ballet: Of course when writing about the Nutcracker, one would be inspired by the ballet, first commissioned in 1891. It’s been a part of our holiday traditions for decades, and it’s a story that many of us have heard, know, and love. Without the story of Clara (or Marie) and her Nutcracker, “WinterDream” never would have existed!
  2. The Nutcracker Music: I remember as a little girl, I used to dance around my living room as I listened to “The Nutcracker” ballet. There was something always so whimsical and magical about the music, and the love for the classical score traveled with me as I grew older. The song that speaks to me the most, and what started the idea of “WinterDream” was actually: The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act 2: No. 14 Pas de Deux. When you hear this song, you’re hearing the entire novel in about 5 minutes.
  3. The Nutcracker in the Movies: I might be dating myself a little, but back in 1990 there was an Animated feature of this holiday tale, entitled - “The Nutcracker Prince.” As a child, I remember seeing it on the Disney channel, and I fell in love with the Prince, with Clara - and their magical dancing scene. It remained in my memory for years - and was one of the stemming pieces in which inspired “WinterDream,” - and all the characters, including Uncle Drosselmeyer and the Mouse King. In 1993, Warner Brothers released a version of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” famously starring Macaulay Culkin. (And I remember eating that movie up!) In doing my research for this book, I watched several versions of the ballet, and there are so many to choose from!
  4. Christmas at home: You can’t have “The Nutcracker” without the magic of the holiday. It’s true that the Nutcracker is centered around the holiday of Christmas - because without “Christmas Magic,” the wooden toy wouldn’t come to life! I actually started writing “WinterDream” right in front of my Christmas tree. There’s just something about being at home, during Christmas, with a tree and lights and feeling the love. All of that and more helped to fuel what I imagined for Clara and her family during the opening scene at her family’s party!
  5. Queen Victoria and Albert: It’s no secret I’m a sucker for romance. I’d just started watching “Queen Victoria” on the BBC, and really loved the romance between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (which also led me to watch “The Young Victoria” over and over again. As I watched, I wanted to sort of capture this royal romance in Clara and the Nutcracker. I’m not sure if I did that entirely, but - they did stand as an influence in the way I wrote the two characters together.
  6. Beauty and the Beast: Every fairytale has some sort of twist to it, to make it all the more interesting. Cinderella has to leave the ball by midnight. Rapunzel must keep her Prince a secret from the witch. Snow White must be kissed by her True Love in order to awaken. For the Nutcracker, in “WinterDream,” I needed there to be a spell - something to free him from his wooden bonds, and to give Clara a reason to be sent to WinterDream, and to fight for what she loved. Beauty and the Beast and the spell that Beast is placed under played a role in the way I viewed the Nutcracker - and a little of the struggles that he faced. He might not have been a fury beast, but he did have his own obstacles he had to face as a wooden soldier.
  7. Mrs. Weasley: Mother Ginger was entirely based on the movie version of “Mrs. Weasley” from Harry Potter. I loved her spunk and her whit - but her kindness, and her willingness to place food in front of someone and make them feel at home. She just makes you want to stay forever, and bake in her kitchen.
  8. The Princess Bride: The Nutcracker has these lines of dialogue that are very resonant of “The Princess Bride” - more important, Wesley. As he’s fighting against the Mouse King with a sword, he’s throwing out insults that are just as whity and beloved as the ones we hear in the classic ‘80s movie. I think anyone who reads this, is definitely going to get some Wesley vibes.
  9. War and Peace (2016 Miniseries): I love anything that I can find on the BBC if it has to do with historical drama, and romance. And I was so intrigued by the idea of a miniseries of “War and Peace,” (starring one of my favorite actresses, Lily James.) After having seen the show, and listened to the score, I felt as though I was able to see an older side to St. Petersberg, and how society of the past had been. Having already been familiar with the story of the Romanovs (and having watched a ton on the family and the history) - along with classic movies like Doctor Zhivago, I knew I wanted to give a nod to the Russian Ballet origins. Traditionally, The Nutcracker is a German tale - but began as a Russian Ballet. I felt it only right to bring Clara and her Nutcracker to Russia - and used influence from War and Peace to make it happen!
  10. Girl Power: It might seem a little cliche to say, but girl power was something I really wanted to bring to “WinterDream.” We all love a strong heroine/hero. I'm all about writing characters (and in this case, women) who are strong, independent, brave - but most importantly - real. We all have our moments of weakness; those times when we're unsure of how to go on - if we can go on. . . but have the willpower to try. Clara finds herself in a few situations of battling against mice and facing unexpected villains - and doing so with her own sort of bravery.
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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Jane Austen’s Dragons book 3 by Maria Grace

Audiobook Series Tour: Jane Austen’s Dragons by Maria Grace

Author: Maria Grace

Narrator: Benjamin Fife

Length: 9 hours 40 minutes

Series: Jane Austen's Dragons, Book 3

Publisher: Maria Grace

Released: Jan. 31, 2020

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Elizabeth Bennet thought she was prepared to do anything to make the Dragon Conclave accept her beloved young dragon Pemberley into the Blue Order, but she had not anticipated it would leave her banished from her ancestral home and betrothed to none other than Mr. Darcy. But before Elizabeth and Darcy wed, they must find a dangerous rogue dragon before it provokes a war amongst the dragons and brings the fragile peace between dragons and mankind to a catastrophic end.

Nothing written in the annals of dragon lore has prepared Elizabeth to manage a dragon not governed by the Blue Order. Dragons have always loved her, but this one finds her arrogant, selfish and insensitive to others. With only her instincts to guide her, she must convince the rogue of her good intentions before the Blue Order loses patience and decides on more drastic measures.

Called away to the other side of the kingdom, trying to settle the dragons' unrest, Darcy learns the nature of the force poisoning the rogue dragon against Elizabeth. One nearer and dearer than they could have imagined.

Can Elizabeth and Darcy convince with rogue dragon to cooperate before darker forces turn it against them, without destroying the fragile bonds uniting the couple?

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Five time BRAG Medallion Honoree and #1 best selling Historical Fantasy author, Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16-year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences. She pretends to be a mild-mannered writer/cat-lady, but most of her vacations require helmets and waivers or historical costumes, usually not at the same time.

She writes gaslamp fantasy, historical romance and non-fiction to help justify her research addiction.
Narrator Bio

Benjamin Fife has always had a passion for learning. With a mind that remembers all sorts of numbers and useless trivia, he regularly wins local radio shows and enjoys confusing people with sci-fi quotes.

Fife grew up in Southeast Idaho. He attended college at Idaho State University, where he met his future wife in their music theory class. They have been married nearly 20 years and now have six children and a whole menagerie of animals. When their oldest daughter was three or four years old they started reading aloud from novels every night at bedtime, and have continued the tradition ever since. The family loves exploring various worlds and topics through Fife’s wonderful reading skills, which get better every year. They all have his Christmas Carol voices memorized (and the older kids are known to quote along with portions), since he has read it to them every December.

Benjamin enjoys all kinds of sci-fi and fantasy - both books and shows, is an extreme eclectic music lover, and prefers his chocolate to be of the 90% cocoa variety. Above all, he loves to be with his family. He loves recording audio books, and is delighted to tell people, “I’ve finally found what I want to be when I grow up!”

Guest Post
Behind-the-Scenes with Narrator Benjamin Fife
I got into narrating because I love literature. I personally have listened to or read the complete works of Charles Dickens. I love Austen too.

I was first introduced to Pride and Prejudice nearly 20 years ago about 3 months before I met my wife. I was spending time with a longtime friend who was getting over a bad breakup.

Watch this movie with me–said she. I didn’t realize it was a 6 hour production.

As you might guess, I fell hard for her while we watched it over the next week, one installment at a time. She still thought of me as just a friend. She prophetically said that come 2 months later I’d meet some cute freshman & I’d be just as happy as Lizzy & Darcy at the end of it all.

Now two decades down the road, she married the guy she had broken up with, I wed that adorable freshman, and both marriages now boast 6 kids apiece.

Starting when my oldest was about 6, we started taking turns picking what book to read as a family every night. With a handful of exceptions, I’ve been the voice for all the books ranging from Jane Eyre to Hank the Cowdog; from Lord of the Rings to Louis Lamour.

I had often thought about turning my passion for reading aloud into more than that. In February of 2018, I dove in. As I’ve looked for books to audition for and connected with authors, I’ve loved what I’ve learned from each book & each writer in the production process.

But there is no other book or series that has brought me as much satisfaction to voice as Maria Grace’s Jane Austen’s Dragons.
The Road to Becoming a Dragon Narrator
Earlier this year when I saw Pemberley up for audition, I had to try! I adore Austen & I adore dragons! What could be better? When I auditioned, I did 2 takes for Maria – one with a “straight read,” and one with “effects.” I’ve used a little bit of effects on my voice in previous books, but by volunteering to not only voice each dragon differently, but then alter the audio to a more ‘size appropriate’ voice, I was jumping in with both feet.

(I had a sense this was going to be a big, complicated project from the get go, but I really didn’t fully realize it until we got started on it all!-mg)

Let me give you a rundown of the whole Audiobook production process:
  1. Find a Title/Author you want to work with
  2. Read the audition material & plan your characterizations, accents etc
  3. Record the Audition (click to have a listen!)
  4. Edit the Audition
  5. Get selected for the book
  6. Read the whole book & plan characterizations, accents, etc again.
  7. Communicate with the author about their wishes.
  8. Record the whole thing, redoing any line you make any kind of error on. And sometimes that means 5 times. Not often ,but sometimes, there’s a tongue twister (You try saying “the courtship twas by your world rules” in a thick Scottish accent complete with rolled r’s– not from Maria’s book.
  9. Listen to the whole thing and edit out any outtakes, errors, mouth noises, dog barking, wife scaring the *&% out of you in the middle of a chapter, etc…
  10. Master the file so it can pass muster for QC of an audio book
  11. Send it to the author/publisher to listen to.
  12. Fix any additional errors and performance issues to the satisfaction of the author & yourself.
  13. Repeat the last 4 steps as many times as needed.
  14. Send it to Audible to sell
  15. Promote the heck out of it.
So it’s a bit of a production to begin with. You add in needing a different effect for a dozen different characters & you can imagine what that does. Still, I love it. Maria & I both hope you love what I’ve done to bring her world to life.

Midway through production on Pemberly, I messaged Maria to ask if she could send me the whole series so my family could read it too. My wife & 2 oldest daughters had it finished before I had a chance to finish recording Pemberley.

Maria’s writing is superb. I love how true she is to the original characters, while changing it up enough to make it a delightfully new story. Some of my favorite moments in the series are when she takes Austen’s original dialogue, or sometimes back narration & gives it to a different character to say. In book 1 (Pemberley), she sticks pretty close to Austen’s original plot fairly closely up to Netherfield ball. In the remainder of the series, there are similarities to the original, but the plot veers off course considerably. I loved it.

When Maria got my initial recording of Pemberly’s voice at the end of book 1, Maria thought it sounded like Audrey II (Little Shop of Horrors). I wasn’t very sure about the voice I had selected either, so I had no problem redoing it for her. Now what we’re going for is a little closer to Littlefoot (Land Before Time).

When she initially released a preview of the Pemberley audiobook on her website, one of her followers thought I was Richard Armitage (North & South, Thorin Oakenshield from Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit). As an Idahoan who has never even left North America, I was flattered. I guess I must be doing something right.

In the middle of recording Chapter 8 of Longbourn, I heard a vague tapping at the window of my recording booth. I was in the middle of a rather fraught with emotion section & I thought in the back of my head vaguely that I’ll push through to a good stopping place & see what it was. Then I glanced up. It was 9:30 at night, dark outside, and a pair of eyes were staring at me in the window.

I uttered a cry of terror quite possibly unlike any other shriek I have ever uttered. Once my non-primal brain woke back up, I realized it was that adorable freshman I fell in love with peeking in at me & I started laughing in a breathy-recovering-from-terror kind of way. And now its recorded for posterity complete with my love’s delightful giggle as she entered my booth to make sure I wasn’t dead. I took a ten minute break with her, sprayed my throat with some magic stuff & finished the rest of the chapter. Never a dull moment.

In producing Longbourn, voicing a conversation of Fairy Dragons & getting their voices to pass muster with both myself & Maria is somewhat maddening. Senseless little bits of fluff.

Some of my other favorite things are reading the reviews on the audiobooks for Pemberly on Audible and finding out I’m now one of someones 3 favorite narrators. Aww, thanks.

My very favorite dragons to voice in the series are Walker, Longbourn (even though he’s a brat) Drew, Cait & Rosings, and Chudleigh. It also might interest listeners to know that for Lady Catherine, Rosings & Cait, I use the exact same voice & similar inflections & then speed them up or slow them down for the character.

In looking forward to more books in the Jane Austen’s Dragons series, I’m excited that Maria is branching out to Persuasion & Northanger Abbey. I can’t wait to see what she does! I’d still love it if she expanded the universe even more – you know, Victor Hugo’s Dragons… Jack London’s Dragons… But she can only write so fast. 🙁

I also love the idea that Pemberly is still alive & kicking today. My theory is that she runs the Westminster Dog show with whoever her current keeper is.

Thank you so much Maria for letting me be a part of this universe you’ve created, and thank you readers & listeners for all your feedback on our audiobooks. I hope you love Jane Austen’s Dragons as much as I do!

Top 10 List
Narrator Benjamin Fife's 'Top 10 Reasons to Listen to This Series'
  1. Dragons
  2. Jane Austen
  3. The writing is Great - Maria Grace knows her stuff & has researched it.
  4. With 62 ratings on Audible so far, it’s sitting at 4.7.
  5. You want to hear my performance for all the different dragon species.
  6. The 2 ish somewhat negative reviews are such that you just have to hear for yourself to decide if they’re right.
  7. You love Pride & Prejudice, but there were some things that you just wanted to yell at the characters. The Dragons do that for you.
  8. Because It’s either this, or Moby Dick. Drat the File & Drat the Bone!
  9. You just finished listening to the Mueller Report & want to listen to a book that doesn’t have the word “Redacted” anywhere in it.
  10. Because it’s AWESOME!!!
Prize: Custom Statue of the Dragon 'Pemberly'

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