The Reluctant Wizard – Blog Tour – Guest Post/interview – A A Warne – Fantasy

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

Of course, I don’t do anything simple. I generally come up with ideas all the time. Most of the time they don’t belong to a story in particular, so those ideas get written down and thrown into a slush pile. When I’m stuck for an idea, I just start plucking out of that pot until something sticks and I write it into the scene.

The ideas that I have for a particular series also goes into a folder. Once I’m finished with whatever I’m writing currently, I pick what folder is the biggest and start working on that story.

First, it’s all about putting the ideas into a coherent order – and this is really hard especially since I like to throw timelines all over the place.

Then I write an outline and revise it several times. If I write from multiple character’s perspectives, then each character gets their own timeline, and I somehow merge them all together to form a book outline.

Then the draft. This is nothing to sneeze at. Drafts are horrible writing but for some authors their natural talent makes it look like a polished piece. I am not one of those writers. My drafts are full of notes, comments, repetition, emphasis, etc. because I’m telling myself the story.

I do countless re-writes until I’m happy with it and then the editor’s round starts.

So the process is long and it’s nothing short of hard work but if I skip any step, I end up writing myself into a corner. Which all writer’s know, is not fun to navigate back out of.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Rules! Too many writers say learn the rules but then can’t determine what the rules are.

Of course, there are grammar rules, spelling and punctuation. These are a given. But writing rules? Are they suppose to be on content? Use of language? Expression? I never found out.

Instead, I ignored all the generalized advice and rule talk and put my head into a book to figure out what exactly does a novel consist of. Thousands of articles will tell you to skip that step, but I needed to learn the hard way so I knew it for myself. Learning something for myself made me in control of those

What is your writing Kryptonite?

No outline! I’m not someone who can write a book from cover to cover. I have to have a plan. Too often, I write the plan several times before I start constructing scenes. Then I draft the book several times over before I start the re-write. It sounds like a lot of work but it’s a process that allows me to dive deeper, search harder, explore more.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I haven’t a clue what people want to read and this is really a no-no in the publishing world. I have certain stories that I must get out of my head and onto paper. If people want to read them, then great! But if not, that’s fine too, but I must write them. Every time I watch a movie or read a book, my mind wanders and I find myself seeing a deeper picture than the story was meant to go. That’s where I find my content – the layers that are so deep and shine the light on what’s hidden in the darkness.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Never give up.

Everyone thinks they have the answer – but it’s only relevant to their lives, not yours.

The yellow brick path has been tracked too many times – don’t follow the dirt path either – create your own.

There is no such thing as the wrong answer when you are asking about life.

Creativity is life.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Actually, I find writing males so much easier. It’s women I find hard. I grew up with so many boys and never any girls. They’re less complicated and talk at face value. Women don’t. They hide things and have a level of expectation thinking it’s written on their face. I can’t deal with that! So I jump into a man and follow him. I’m more comfortable doing that.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

How long is a piece of string? No idea. Some very quick, others years. It’s a matter of what the story requires, needs from me, etc. I let the work dictate itself. If I try and put limitations on it, then everything goes out the window.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes and reader’s block too! Neither is fun. But it’s all about the mindset. If you are not creating – don’t blame the craft. Something is going on in your life that is impacting the creative muscle. Health? Stress? Toxic person in your life that you constantly thinking things will get better? It does once they’re out of your life! And you’re creating again.

The Reluctant Wizard
by A.A. Warne
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

By day, wizards rule the world. At night, warlocks seek to destroy it. Now, one boy will challenge them both.

Eli never wanted to be a rebel. All he wants is an end to the famine and war threatening his community. To save his mother and baby brother from marauding warlocks, Eli is forced to make a heartbreaking decision. He must travel to Terra Magicae, the mysterious land of the wizards, to study magic. In exchange, the wizards will protect his family, but this protection comes at a price: once Eli enters the Grand Wizardry Academy, he may never come home.
Full of lush landscapes and magical marvels, Terra Magicae is more wondrous than Eli ever imagined… and more dangerous. At first, Eli’s struggles to fit in at the Academy seem ordinary. But the more he questions the wizards, the more he suspects a sinister purpose behind their bizarre rules and tests. For a dark secret lies at the heart of this mystical land, one so terrible it threatens not only the students at the Academy but the lives of everyone Eli loves.
To save them all, Eli must step into the midst of the battle between the wizards and warlocks and defy both sides. He must become the rebel he was always meant to be.
A. A. Warne writes elaborate, strange, dark and twisted stories. In other words, speculative fiction.
Located at the bottom of the Blue Mountains in Sydney, Australia; Amanda was born an artist and grew up a painter before deciding to study pottery.
But it wasn’t until she found the art of the written word that her universe expanded.
A graduate of Western Sydney University in arts, Amanda now spends her time wrestling three kids and writing full time.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$50 Amazon

 

The De-Coding of Jo Blog Tour #YA #Fantasy

The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance
Ascending Angel Academy Book 1
by Lali A. Love
Genre: YA Fantasy
A mysterious portal…
A sinister plot…
A cosmic mission.
The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance is a meld of fantasy, paranormal and science fiction, with a strong appeal to young adult readers (recommended reading age is 15 years +). It is the first book of the Ascending Angel Academy series, incorporating plot driven and coming of age stories of diverse, gender inclusive teenagers struggling with self-identity and a sense of belonging.
When a demonic parasite turns her classmates into an army of sleepwalkers, sixteen-year-old Jo must confront her celestial identity and reveal the mystery of existence. With the help of her best friends and a Galactic Compass, Jo unleashes the cosmic powers of creation to prevent the Lord of Darkness from enslaving all of humanity into obscurity.
Will she be able to decode the artificial system in time to save her friends and the sacred Light?
**On Sale for only $1.99!!**
Book Trailer
Book Reviews:
“The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance is wholly original, different from anything I’ve ever read, yet at the same time familiar and welcoming. There is a wisdom, a power, in Love’s words the likes of which I have never seen before. She awakens in you a renaissance of self, triggered by love and healing and acceptance.
With impeccable prose, a ravishing plot, and bewitching concepts, Love articulates a mesmerizing, incandescent world. She does a brilliant job of blending the scientific and the spiritual, the mathematical and the magical, in a beautiful, balanced whole. This book is fulfilling on so many levels. The writing is poetry. The message is powerful, resonant. The characters are rich, vivid souls clawing their way out of the dark. The story inspires us to be more than we are, to light the world, to erase our shadows with our truth. In a word, it’s spellbinding.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and as a sufferer of mental illness, I completely related to her beautiful, vulnerable cast. Love does an excellent job portraying her characters with such sensitivity and respect. There is a wonderful, passive diversity that is inclusive across the board. My only complaint is that I didn’t have this book when I was a teenager. I have no doubt it will fast become a hallmark of YA queer literature.”
—Halo Scot, Author of Edge of the Breach
“The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance was so much more than I’d been expecting with a YA read. Not only was it captivating and smart, the characters and social situations were real, and it was told in a way that each character’s motivations were clear and explained. Within Jo’s social group, each character had a vice or personal issue that was explained and highlighted in a way that was sensitive to the reader, but still conveying the impact it can have on a young adult. I found myself relating to each and every person in some way, bringing me closer to the story and rooting for the characters. It was beautifully written, remarkably well researched, and fun to read. I found myself wanting more!”
—Ash Knight, Author of Stay
“The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance by Lali A. Love is a delightful read, a well-written meld of fantasy, paranormal and science fiction, with a strong appeal to young adult readers. Sixteen-year-old Jo attends Forest Hill Academy, a preppy co-ed private school for privileged scholars, but she has huge problems to handle. Since the night her mother, Lilac, was taken hostage by a homicidal maniac, she’s been plagued by nightmares. But things escalate when a sinister parasite attacks her classmates, turning them into sleepwalkers, imprisoned in their own bodies. Primed by the Council and Ascending Angel Academy, Jo must accept a difficult mission to embrace her celestial being and unlock the power of creation in order to fight the encroaching darkness. With friends by her side and the Galactic Compass, does she stand a chance against the powers of darkness?
This is a well-plotted and beautifully narrated story. The use of journal entries adds depth to the story and allows readers to understand the emotional turmoil taking place in Jo’s world. It is one of those stories that brilliantly showcase the primordial struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, and I found it interesting to follow the protagonist as she evolves under the watchful gaze of the council that speaks the codes wordlessly to her. The character cast is impressive, and the author provides a clear background to each of them: Nisha, Rey, Daphne, Flynn, and Zaxden. Lali A. Love’s story stands out in its originality, with themes of science and spirituality, and a conflict that is strongly and intelligently articulated. The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance is a wonderful, 5 stars recommended read.”
-Christian Sia, Readers Favorite Editorial Review
Lali A. Love lives in the capital city of Canada with her husband and two beautiful children who are her greatest source of pride, joy, and inspiration. As a debut author, Lali loves to write stimulating, character-based novels that invoke an emotional response in her readers. She has done extensive research into epistemology and metaphysics to further her understanding of the Universal Laws of Energy.
In her spare time, Lali is committed to writing her visionary fiction trilogy about spiritual transformation. These mystical novels are based on the journeys of three incarnated Angels that have been brought together in the third dimensional existence, to realize their Divine Feminine soul purpose. Each of them must experience unique self-realizations to overcome the dark demonic entities that are determined to destroy their inner light to derail their Soul mission.
As a light worker, Lali has been called to fulfill her soul purpose to embody the light and share positive posts through social media to help uplift humanity. She is assisting this awakening process by projecting her messages of love, compassion and unity consciousness, to connect beautiful like-minded souls around the world. Through the study of quantum energy field of transmutation, Lali has refined her energy clearing techniques based on powerful visual imagery to activate a healing response in others.
With humility, compassion and grace, Lali intends to elevate levels of consciousness for the highest good, empowering individuals to speak their authentic truth. She is an advocate for self-healing journeys, self-realization, and self-love. Lali is passionate about this universal call to action and continues to vibrate at high frequencies of loving awareness.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

Angels and Demons Bundle

Angels and Demons Bundle – Now available


Angels and Demons7

Angels and Demons – the ultimate custodians of good and evil do battle in the heavens and on Earth and bring in their mortal allies.

Mortals and immortals alike risk life, limb and wing and soul for victory.

11 tales of angels and demons.

https://books2read.com/AngelsDemonsBundle

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089NHF9SB/

https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1516734867

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/angels-and-demons-a-l-butcher/1137129517

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/angels-and-demons-18

  1. Heaven Bent Robert Jeschonek
  2. The Price of Demons Stefon Mears
  3. Pockets of Darkness Jean Rabe
  4. Rose Swartz Wears Rose Quartz Brenda Carre
  5. Angel’s Demise Felicia Fredlund
  6. Emberstone Karen L. Abrahamson
  7. Chance Damnation DeAnna Knippling
  8. Deviant-Hunter’s Sabbath Harambee K. Grey-Sun
  9. The Troll-Demon War Leah Cutter
  10. A Pact with Demons: The Sprite and The Familiar Michael R.E. Adams
  11. Angel on My Shoulder Russ Crossley

Never Date a Siren – Book Tour #YA #Fantasy

Never Date a Siren
College Fae Magic Series #1
by Byrd Nash
Genre: YA Fantasy
College Life: Friends, Finals, and the Fae trying to kill you.
Attending college your first year is exciting! Unless you fall victim to a siren’s love spell.
The Leopold Otto University, in mysterious Bewachterberg, invites both humans and those from the fairy lands to attend classes.
Beware though, the administration doesn’t guarantee your safety.
American college student, Logan Dannon, quickly discovers a student body composed of creatures from mythology and folklore are tricksy and dangerous. Only if he can navigate the fae’s tangled code of honor, might he survive the semester.
Brigit, a fae runaway, didn’t plan on getting a human roommate. Or that she would be placed under a fairy debt. Will the dryad be able to save Logan from a siren’s love spell or fail the semester?
A contemporary fantasy world where beings from the Perilous Realm make university life for humans precarious. The first book in the College Fae magic series about friendships between humans and the fae.

**Get it FREE! **

After gaining her B.A. degree in journalism Byrd worked as a reporter for a bunch of newspapers you never heard of in small towns you never heard of. Eventually she realized she could starve just as as easily writing her own stories as reporting on local vegetable festivals.
She is owned by cats and horses.
Amazon gift card, scented candle “Cast a Spell on You”, bookmarks, and a variety of crystals
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

Lord of the Flies – audio edition – review

Lord of the Flies by William Golding was written in the 1950s – but this haunting coming-of-age story is dark, thought-provoking and unnervingly timeless.

I first read this as a child at school, I think it was on the English syllabus but it is not just a story for kids – in fact I probably got even more from it, as the cynical adult I have become, than I did all those years ago.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story – here’s a brief synospis.

After a plane crash a group of British schoolboys are left castaway on an island – the boys range from ‘littleuns’ to ‘biguns’ – approximately 4 or 5 to young teen. There are no adults let alive. At first, it’s an adventure – and the older more sensible kids begin to make plans to await rescue. Power struggles soon emerge – from the sensible Ralph, the bullied, overweight and myopic but intelligent Piggy, to the nasty Jack.

The kids are innocent, for the most part, but it doesn’t take long for this innocence to be lost, and the kids begin to reflect the darkness within humanity, within power and petty politics.

Part of the synopsis reads; ‘The boys’ struggle to find a way of existing in a community with no fixed boundaries invites readers to evaluate the concepts involved in social and political constructs and moral frameworks. Symbolism is strong throughout, revealing both the boys’ capacity for empathy and hope, as well as illuminating the darkest corners of the human spirit. Ideas of community, leadership, and the rule of law are called into question as the reader has to consider who has a right to power, why, and what the consequences of the acquisition of power may be.’

The audio edition is especially powerful, and the narrator builds the suspense, and the brewing tragedy excellently. It’s a tale which the reader (or listener) at once wants to end, and not to end – because one must find out what happens, but at the same time one fears one knows.

Awesome, awesome story, expertly written and expertly told. Highly recommended.

 

 

Sinners of Magic – Lynette Creswell Reviews 2019 #Fantasy

Sinners of Magic by Lynette Creswell is a fantasy tale following the adventures of young adults Crystal and Matt. Crystal is a strange girl, haunted by visions, and odd occurrences and has no answers for her skills. After she saves her friend from drowning a strange bird arrives on her windowsill. Then answers start coming and a splendid adventure really starts. The world is interesting – with elves, sorcerers, monsters and orc-like beings. The rules of the world are strict, and inevitably get broken and this leads to more problems. There is death, there is wicked magic, there is love, courage and intrigue.

It took me a while to get into the book and to connect with the characters (it may be an age thing as they are young adults – and I haven’t been that for 25 years…). That said once the adventure gets going the story is exciting, well-written and the world well crafted. The two protagonists are out of their depth, taken to a strange realm they never believed existed, and faced with life-threatening revelations and situations but the bond of friendship doesn’t wane. I found myself really wanting Crystal to find the answers, the evil lord to be defeated and the good guys to win out. Did they? Read and find out.

I shall definitely pick up the other two books in this trilogy.

4 stars.

 

Audiobook Narrator Interview – Judith Bareham

*Name:   Judith Bareham

*Tell us a bit about yourself: I am  British born,  married to Jonathan (a Brit also) and mom of three children –( a daughter 23, and two boys 20 and 15) who moved to the USA in 2000.  Now I live in Charlotte NC and until recently was a stay at home mom, who home-schooled my sons for three and 8 years respectively.   Until now,  I didn’t have the capacity to pursue being a voice actress but the time was right this year to step into it fully and embrace it!

How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production? Well last year I began training with a voice acting coach and decided this was now or never to pursue

That dream.  I want to pursue other voice acting realms too, but I think narration will always be the solid foundation of what I do.

I have always narrated for as long as I can recall, from High school back in the day to amateur dramatics in plays, and I was asked to narrate because I was a good storyteller.

I have always loved acting but love being behind the mic as well as on stage.

Way back, I read newspapers for the Blind, near where I lived in the UK as I believe it’s vitally important that there are great resources available. And of course, audiobooks fit that brilliantly.

I began with Audible this year and auditioned for titles which interested me and were a good fit and here I am.

Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these? Well, as I have just started out I don’t have a long list to my name yet, but I completed Mathamagical in the spring which was a brilliant rendering of a teenage boy who is struggling with math and generally down on his luck. Until he discovers a magical world of math and is able to succeed in solving problems along the way.

I am working on a “how to book for teachers”  which although is not a story, is motivational in style and I am finding I really enjoy this style of book too – I like to solve problems and help people so I feel a passion for what I am reading.

I volunteer for the Library for the Blind in Washington DC too, when they have titles for me and as time allows.

*Tell us about your process for narrating?  (Be as elaborate as you like.)

A book with multiple characters like Mathamgical (there were 19) I have to think about how they would sound of course, but I begin to imagine how they would move, what they would wear, their characteristics – are they snippy or patient, do they zip through life or are they moody or grumpy about life?

This helps me tap into the voices better and help them become believable.

In the case of Lilie, she just fit a Scottish voice because of her breed but I have a dog Nelson, who I believe is very human in his responses so I took facets of him too and applied that to her voice.

Prior to the recording I spend time editing and looking for any misprints or issues which might cause me a problem as the narrator, so I try to fix those before recording.

That’s harder for a long book but it saves headaches down the road!

Then I begin recording and that’s the fun part.

What aspects do you find most enjoyable? Definitely doing accents and dialects and acting in my booth.

I love it when I can really get into a part

What do you find least enjoyable? Editing – it’s a beast.

Why do you think audiobooks are becoming so popular? I think they always have been popular but increasingly so in the age of people being more mobile and able to access great content more easily.

It used to be incredibly expensive to buy a hard copy of an audiobook on CDS and you were limited to what your library had perhaps.

But now there are hundreds of titles made accessible – we can listen anywhere, anytime.

Can you remember the first audiobook you owned? Black Beauty and I wore it out

If you could narrate any book you wanted which would it be and why? Oooh that’s tough.  Specific titles are hard ………

I love Maeve Binchy novels because the Irish accent is one of my favorites to do

And I love the lilt and pace of it.

But equally children’s’ stories with trolls, knights, pirates, or woodland creatures – I love mice, rabbits, badgers and live in a world in my head where animals talk – a combination of any of those would be fun to do!

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself. I am pretty competitive and so I have this hang up from childhood,  where my brother and I used to outwit each other by being the last person to have sweets or chocolate left from Easter or Christmas.  He beat me every time. So to this day,  I still have little stashes of chocolate and sweets I haven’t eaten yet,  in the house – it drives my family insane! They’re just jealous they don’t have the same will power…….

Where can we learn more about you? My website – Judith Bareham tells a little more about me.

I have a blog which I write approximately every other week and you can access on my site.

Social Media links:

Instagram

Facebook – Judith Bareham

Twitter

Linkedin

Pinterest

***

Judith is narrating Where’s Noodles? by Victoria Zigler. Check out the links here:

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Wheres-Noodles-Audiobook/B07JKBT76W
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/880958
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wheres-noodles-victoria-zigler/1129141679
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/where-s-noodles
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wheres-noodles/id1415553711
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/wheres-noodles-unabridged/id1439954293
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1724843222/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1724843222/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1724843222/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40890298-where-s-noodles

Where's Noodles Audiobook Cover.jpg

Review – Beneath the Knowe – Anthea Sharp – Fantasy/Fairytale

Review

Beneath the Knowe

5 stars

This is a rich and lyrical short story of fairyland, glamour, one woman’s courage and magical music.

Maeve is a resourceful young woman who wants more from life than marriage to a man she barely knows, and the mundane existence of her kin. She has music within, a glorious melodic soul that yearns to be heard, but women cannot be bards.  When the fairies who ‘protect’ the clan take the chieftain’s baby son, Maeve’s nephew, nothing is to be done. Such is the bargain. Eventually, the menfolk challenge the fairies, and are sent home beaten and ashamed, minus the human infant.

It takes a woman, and a magical, musical soul to challenge the great Fairy King on his own turf -Maeve, and her music. Of course, bargaining with fairies has its price.

I loved this tale, with its vibrant imagery, innocent yet determined courage and a glimpse of the power of Anthea Sharp’s writing. Although this tale is short, it is enough of a taster to want more of this author’s work.  I will definitely be venturing into fairyland with Ms Sharp again.

Beneath the Knowe Amazon UK

Beneath the Knowe Amazon US

Beneath the Knowe cover

Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Mandy Eve Barnett

Name: Mandy Eve Barnett

Please tell us about your publications. As a multi-genre author, I have published works in a variety of styles and genres.

My first book, Rumble’s First Scare is a children’s picture book. It tells the tale of a young monster going above ground on his first All Hallows Eve to scare the beings that live there. My other children’s book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, is a chapter book for older children (or perfect for bedtime stories); it is the story of two magical woodland sprites and how they help their forest animal friends. Each chapter is a different animal.

I have one YA novella published entitled Clickety Click, which tells the story of a young orphan, whose guardian’s have a secret identity, which she discovers and why they must protect her until destiny calls.

Currently, my published adult books are The Rython Kingdom, a novella set in medieval England and relaying a troubadour’s adventure’s when he is invited to the King’s court. He aids the King and a lovely and mysterious young woman in saving the kingdom from a vengeful witch. The second novel is The Twesome Loop. A romance with a reincarnation twist set between England and Italy. It is in two time periods 1874 and 2000. The four main characters’ stories overlap in both eras.

Rumble

What first prompted you to publish your work? I am extremely fortunate to have a wonderfully supportive writing group, who encourage me to write and one member is a publisher. So after some persuasion from everyone, I let Rumble into the world. Once I felt the sheer joy of someone telling me they enjoyed my story there was no stopping me.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? Most certainly a panster, once an idea forms, I let the story flow in whatever direction it wants and edit and revise later. I tried to plot using the ‘romance formula’ once and it was the one and only time I suffered writers block. Never again!

How influential is storytelling to our culture? As a species, we have always relayed stories and I don’t think that will ever change. We have a multiple of mediums to utilize for story telling now from spoken word, to books, to television and film. Even games have storylines. Telling tales is a way to preserve history, be it personal or cultural and, of course, they are the most wonderful entertainment.

Sort these into order of importance:

Great characters

Awesome world-building

Good plot

Technically perfect

 

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? There is quite a lot of research in my books, although some is personal knowledge gained from past interests, such as reincarnation and the natural world, others are ‘new’. One in particular was intriguing. I read about a body being found in a USA motel five years after the person was murdered. Yep, let that sink in! It was too good a circumstance not to use, so I incorporated it into a manuscript, along with two other unusual real news stories. I then had to research how a body can mummify and what conditions are required for it to do so.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Not to expect to be a best seller – it is a pipe dream for the vast majority of authors and you will only be unhappy reaching for an unrealistic goal.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? Oh this is hard as I have always been fascinated with the magical realm. As one of my passions is the protecting of the natural world, I think I would want to be a protector of all animal life and be able to shapeshift in order to save threatened animals.

Is there a message in your books? I actually spent quite some time trying to pinpoint the basis of my writing a while ago. Every story has a basis of love, magic and mystery – without these life is dull and boring so embrace your inner child and love unconditionally.

What is your writing space like? I recently moved and have arranged the master bedroom that I inhabit to my liking. I have a writing space at one end of the room with an L-shaped writing desk in one corner, a multi drawer storage unit full of notebooks, pictures, promotional material etc. and a large sofa chair for reading beside it. A reading lamp has dual purpose for reading or writing as I can swivel it back and forth. I still have to put up my inspirational board and a personal letter from Stephen King (my literary hero).

Tell us about your latest piece? I have just submitted my second YA novella, Creature Hunt on Planet Toaria, to my publisher for editing and am working with an illustrator for the chapter headers. The narrative is set on another planet and tells of four friends battling a large alien monster.

Once I have completed a freelance writing project this month (fingers crossed my client keeps delaying), I will immerse myself into an old manuscript I have left alone for far too long, entitled Life in Slake Patch. It is a speculative fiction story set in an alternative matriarchal society and told by a young man living in this realm, who becomes the catalyst in dramatic changes and conflict.

What’s your next writing adventure? I have two other manuscripts that I plan to publish next year (again fingers crossed). One is a western romance, Willow Tree Tears with a barrel racer caught between two men vying for her love and the other, The Giving Thief is a thriller/suspense, following a young man’s story after he murders someone.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/Mandyevebarnettcom/

www.mandyevebarnett.com

@mandyevebarnett

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477059.Mandy_Eve_Barnett

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MDUAS0V

 

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Bio (short version)

 

Mandy Eve-Barnett is a multi-genre author writing children’s, YA and adult books. Her passion for writing emerged later in life and she is making up for lost time. With five books published since 2011 and five more in progress, she indulges her Muse in creative as well as freelance writing.

Mandy regularly blogs: www.mandyevebarnett.com, where she encourages support and networking for all writers. She is also prolific on social media. As Secretary of her local writers group and President of the Arts & Culture Council she lives her creative life to the fullest.

Mandy currently lives in Alberta, Canada but is originally from England. Her background is diverse and gives her rich experience to utilize in her writing. Mandy has been a nursing professional, a business owner, and a sort after administration expert. She has traveled throughout Europe, parts of America and Canada and was born in Africa.

Mandy is passionate about writing to the point of obsession and she succeeded in becoming a published author in record time. Mandy’s venture into freelance writing has been successful and she and regularly contributes to the Never Been Better page in the Sherwood Park newspaper as well as several anthologies.

Mandy has a new YA novella, Creature Hunt on Planet Toaria coming out in the first half of 2018 and is revisiting and editing a speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch in the second half of 2018. (hopefully to be published in the fall 2018). Other manuscripts in the ‘pile’ are a thriller/suspense, The Giving Thief, and a western romance, Willow Tree Tears. With several requests for a sequel to The Rython Kingdom it has been added to the pending pile.

Audiobook Narrator Interview – JD Kelly and Spotlight for Cubby and the Beanstalk

*Name: JD Kelly

*Tell us a bit about yourself: This is always a tough question to answer. I am a full-time voice actor,  however, I’m also the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for a rock and blues band, as well as well as writing and recording my own solo music.

When I’m not using my voice for singing or acting, I try to share as much as possible on my YouTube channel, where I play Video Games and go to conventions across the country. See my answer to the ‘silly fact’ question below for one of my achievements!

Having my own YouTube channel also gives me the opportunity to film and edit video, as well as photography. I love meeting people in cosplay at conventions to create montage videos, I’ve also filmed music videos for bands and solo artists too.

One of my more recent interests is running, I’d never considered myself a runner before but now I’ve completed two half marathons (one was at Disneyland Paris) I think it’s safe to call myself a runner. In all honesty, I use it as a great way to get out into the countryside, a change from my recording studio!

How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production? Before becoming a full-time voice actor, I worked in the industry part-time working on radio productions and audio plays. A friend of mine actually runs a production company so after working with them on a couple of small projects and really enjoying it I discovered ACX/Audible. I started to complete short projects in my spare time and immediately loved it, I quickly realised I wanted this to be my full-time career.

Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these? I really enjoyed ‘Norse Mythology by Matt Clayton’ it was fun finding out about the myths and legends. ‘Summary of “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor’ was great too as Shawn Achors TED Talk was a huge influence on me, his book on positive psychology is fascinating!

But I am really looking forward to the next chapter of ‘The Fall Of Centuria by James A. Harris’ it was great to do the first book in this fantasy series!

Do you have a preferred genre?  Do you have a genre you do not produce? Why is this? I love narrating Fantasy novels, it’s a genre I read often. Sci-Fi is great too but I guess because the first book I really got into was The Hobbit, fantasy novels have kind of stuck with me.

I don’t produce erotic fiction, I don’t mind some raunchy romance tales but, when it gets too explicit, I can’t keep a straight face.

What are you working on at present/Just finished? I’m currently working on Alice In Wonderland and the third book in a series called 101 SNES Facts!

I have just completed Cubby and the Beanstalk an adorable kids book! (see links below)

*Tell us about your process for narrating?  (Be as elaborate as you like.) I’m very lucky that I have a recording studio set up home so it makes it really easy for me to get stuck into a project. The process begins with my audition, I look for roles that interest me, books about a subject I’m interested in and other projects in genres I’ve perhaps not worked in before, I love to challenge myself.

The audition is usually a few lines or the first 5 minutes of a longer project – this is usually enough to give me some insight into the writing style so I can adapt my tone as needed. I sometimes record a couple of versions so the end producer or author has some choice.

Once hired, I then like to get some direction from the client, writers often have a tone of voice in mind for a character and it’s important to me that I stay true to that. This is also a great time to confirm any unusual pronunciations or dialects – which happens quite often in fantasy books!

Once I’ve recorded everything, I then use various programmes to edit my takes and upload them as a final audio file.

What aspects do you find most enjoyable?  The thing I find most enjoyable is becoming the character, it keeps my job diverse and interesting. One day I can be playing the role of a Military Commander, and the next a Welsh Polar Bear cub! I enjoy portraying these different characters, knowing that the end listener will use this to help paint the images in their mind while they listen to the books.

Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? If not why is this? This really depends on the project and the length of time involved. Royalty shares mean I get paid after the work is completed, when the project makes money. This can work well for shorter projects where I can complete the work fairly quickly, but for longer projects, I do charge a ‘per finished hour’ rate.

Do you listen to audiobooks? Sometimes for non-fiction I’ll listen to an audiobook, but I can’t quit the written word when it comes to fiction. I suppose I like to hear the voices in my head using my imagination.

*With many people owning MP3 players do you think this is the future of storytelling? I think it is a storytelling media that will continue to become more popular as time goes on.

However, do I think that physical books (Digital too) will become extinct? Not really, I think we will find some kind of equilibrium.

Why do you think audiobooks are becoming so popular? With media/work taking up so much of people’s time these days, and people looking for ways to continue learning and being told stories I think it allows people escapism and learning on the move. During travel, in the bath and at night before bed seem to be good moments for most people.

Can you remember the first audiobook you owned? The first audiobook I owned was The Hobbit, I had it on cassette tape when I was about 8 years old, I remember getting it when I was living in America and I listened to it countless times. I’m not sure where the cassette is now, however, I recently went on holiday to stay in some hobbit huts in the UK and downloaded The Hobbit on iTunes – listening to it while sitting next to the fire brought back some great memories from my childhood.

If you are an author, do you produce your own audiobooks or do you prefer to look for an independent narrator? Why have you made this choice? I am not an author…yet. But I think in the future it would depend on the project, and if my voice would be suitable. I hope that I have enough humility to keep perspective and make a good casting call on whether my voice is right or not.

Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?) Oh definitely, it’s a system that has allowed me to forge a career out of a hobby!

Have you ever had a negative experience producing a book? Only one I can think of, the script I had received was not that well suited to audio production, so I just did the best I could with it. It is extremely rare that this happens but sometimes you just have to make the best of a script you are given.

Each difficult project you get teaches you something new, lets you know what your strengths and weaknesses are and allows you to get better!

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself. I have held a Guiness World Record for the Longest Marathon Time Playing Minecraft, I live-streamed it on my YouTube Channel raising over £2500 for Cancer Research UK!

Where can we learn more about you?

www.JDKelly.info

Social Media links:

https://www.facebook.com/JDKellyVA/

https://twitter.com/jd_kelly

https://www.youtube.com/themajikelone/

Cubby and the Beanstalk is available at the following retailers.

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Cubby-and-the-Beanstalk-Audiobook/B078THHWBL/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/459061
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cubby-and-the-beanstalk-victoria-zigler/1120001996
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/cubby-and-the-beanstalk
Chapters-Indigo
:
https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/cubby-and-the-beanstalk/9781310906428-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/cubby-and-the-beanstalk/id902823470
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/cubby-and-the-beanstalk-unabridged/id1333112178
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Cubby-Beanstalk-Victoria-Zigler/1512360104/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/d/Books/Cubby-Beanstalk-Victoria-Zigler/1512360104
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/d/Books/Cubby-Beanstalk-Victoria-Zigler/1512360104/
The Book Depository:
https://www.bookdepository.com/Cubby-Beanstalk-Victoria-Zigler/9781512360103
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22798929-cubby-and-the-beanstalk

Cover art atatched.

Cubby and the Beanstalk Audiobook Cover