My Chat with Tracy Marks

Hello and welcome!

Guess who came for a chat? The awesome Tracy Marks, that’s who! 😀

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I recently discovered her works, quite by accident I might add, but I am so happy I did.

Welcome welcome!

Do you have a nickname?
I have a couple, but my favorite is that my boyfriend calls me Pancake instead of Honey or Baby.
I would like to hear the story behind that some day, was there whipped cream involved? 😉

What is one word best describes you?
Just one? Ooo that’s hard! Indecisive? 🙂

What makes you laugh out loud?
Lots of things! I love to laugh, and a good movie or book will make me laugh out loud. My boyfriend and I are also total goofballs together, and he makes me laugh on a daily basis.

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What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
I love the smell of lilacs, it reminds me of growing up. There were a bunch of lilacs on the street of my childhood home, and it’s the sweetest smell during the summer.

Favourite place to spend time in.
I’m a bit of a homebody, I love relaxing at home with my pup and my man.

Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
Nope. I’m voracious and varied in my reading habits… listening habits really, since I consume most books in audio form.

Audiobooks! What started them?
I’ve been acting onstage in film for years, and another actor friend of mine got into audiobooks several years ago. We were out for a drink and she was describing the process to me, and I remember just thinking, “Yes! I want to do this!” I went home that night and started looking into how to get started in audiobook narration.
I am glad you did and I am sure your many fans will agree with me.

Is there a genre that you would not narrate?
Not really! I may say no to a book here or there, but it’s on a case by case basis. There’s no genre that I would say a blanket no to.

If you could choose another career what would it be?
I think part of the reason I became an actor is because there are a ton of careers that interest me! One thing that I would have really loved to get into is dog training. I love animals, and dogs have a very special place in my heart.

Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
My goal with every book is to honor and translate the author’s tone and vision. So hopefully the emotion and message changes from book to book. I’ve done a lot of dark romance, and I think part of why I’ve been successful in that is that I can bring a strength but also a vulnerability to my work.

Who is your intended audience and why should they listen to your audiobooks?
Romance readers/listeners! I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredible authors, so I would say people should listen to my audiobooks because they’ll hear some really great stories.

What is next in your narrating work?
I have several projects coming up! Next out will be Destiny on Ice, a really fun hockey rom-com by S.R. Grey. Then I have a historical romance novella by Lauren Smith and a hilarious, sexy paranormal romance by Eve Langlais.

Elusive by L.A. Fiore was released a couple of days ago; Possession by A.M. Johnson, and LaClaire Nights by Dori Lavelle will be coming out soon. I’ve got more projects scheduled for the late summer and fall – it’s been a busy year!

Thank you so much Tracy for chatting with me in my little corner of the blogging world. I am looking forward to listening to more.

singing you got a fan in me ….

I would also like to thank you for sharing about Aural Fixation on FB, what an awesome group, the energy is sky high and can tell that the members do love their audiobooks and the voices behind them. Talk about being at the right place at the right time… I don’t feel so alone anymore in my addiction LOL

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Thank you all for joining us and I hope you enjoyed the chat and you will find something you like to listen to in Ms. Marks growing discography. Here are links to find out more and keep up to date with her work.

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So far I listened to Boston Underworld series by A. Zavarelli and it is a darker theme than my usual listen but I am so glad I took a chance. I gobbled them up, I came to love Ms. Marks’ extraordinary voice, so flexible and so much passion and I think it has a lot to do with my enjoyment of the stories, 5 stars across the board. Find my reviews on Audible under seelk.

 

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I added quite a few to my TBL list, among them is Beast by A. Zavarelli released June 30, 2017 and Reckless Weekend by Eden Summers released July 5, 2017.

To start you on your listening journey, Ms. Marks is giving away 5 audio copies of Crow, book 1 in the Boston Underworld series by A. Zavarelli.

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An Irish mobster. A missing friend. Two loyalties, ripping me apart.

I had a plan.

Get in, get my information, and get out. Easy, right?

Turns out, infiltrating the Irish mafia isn’t exactly what I thought it would be. I just wanted a soldier. Someone I could flirt with to get me in the door.

That’s when Lachlan Crow noticed me. Problem was, he wasn’t a soldier. No, he was next in line for the throne of the Irish underworld. And he was determined to hate me from the outset. My sob story about needing a job? Yeah, he wasn’t buying that either.

Too bad for him, I won’t let anyone get in the way of my mission.

Who cares if we have some kind of crazy chemistry? He’s the worst kind of wrong – and I would never in a million years be with a guy like him.

Because they took her from me, and I’m going to make them pay.

My review for it…

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Winners will be chosen by Sexy Mr. Random from the comments on this post after 3pm EST on Monday, July 24, 2017. GOOD LUCK!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

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My Chat with Saskia Maarleveld

Hello and welcome!

Today I have a lady whose voice is a marvel I discovered and enjoyed immensely while listening to her narrations of Claire Delacroix‘s stories.

Please welcome Saskia Maarleveld!

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Do you have a nickname?
My family and good friends call me Sask.

What is one word best describes you?
That is a tough one. I guess energetic, in both my personal life and my work. I don’t drink coffee, so a natural energy definitely keeps me going most days.

What makes you laugh out loud?
My sisters!

What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
My mother’s perfume. Since she lives so far away, in New Zealand, sometimes she will mail me something with it sprayed on it so I have a little reminder of her!

Favourite place to spend time in.
I love the outdoors, so anywhere that I can sit on a porch and look out onto mountains and greenery is perfect for me.

Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
I don’t have much time to read for pleasure anymore, since I do it so much for work! But that means I am pretty picky in what I do read, which tends to be mystery/thrillers and fantasy, with some non fiction sprinkled in!

Audiobooks! What started them?
I listened to audiobooks a lot as a child. I am the eldest of 5 girls, and we listened in the car to keep us all quiet. Some of my favorites were G​reek Myths n​arrated by Andrew Sachs, the old BBC version of the Beatrix Potter stories and a wonderful collection of Celtic Fairy Tales. I suppose this subconsciously gave me an appreciation and ear for the craft. I also have always loved reading and I was lucky that both parents read to me from a young age. My accent work has really helped me get my foot in the door at a lot of places. One day I was able to audition for a New Zealand novel being produced by Recorded Books in Manhattan. I got that project and went from there!

Is there a genre that you would not narrate?
Not yet…but who knows…

If you could choose another career what would it be?
Probably a detective or a surgeon.

Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
I just like to make sure to be a clear storyteller through my narration and portrayal of characters. If I can do that then I’m happy and have done my job.

What is next in your narrating work?
I have a bunch of projects to finish up in the next month before I head home for the holidays. Lots of YA, fantasy and romance to keep me busy!

I am looking forward to listen to more in the future. Wishing you much success. Thank you for spending a little time in my corner of the blogging world.

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Thanks for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed the chat.

Next on my TBL is The Highlander’s Curse, book 2 in the True Love Brides series by Claire Delacroix.

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at BookCon 2015

Here are links to find out more and keep up to date with Ms. Maarleveld and her work which is quite extensive and various, over 110 audiobooks.

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You can also check out the interview with Deborah Cooke where she talks more in depth about her work.

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To start you on your listening journey, Ms. Maarleveld is giving away an audiobook  of the “Blood Fire” , book 1 in the Blood Destiny series by Helen Harper.

Mack might be, to all intents and purposes, a normal looking human, but she lives with a pack of shapeshifters in Cornwall in rural England after being dumped there by her mother when she was just a young child. She desperately wants to be accepted by her surrogate family, not least because a lot of them hate her for merely being human, but for some reason her blood just won’t allow the transformation to occur. With a terrible temper to match her fiery red hair, Mack is extraordinarily useful in a fight, and when her pack alpha is brutally and abruptly murdered, she swears vengeance. Unfortunately, his murder also draws in the Brethren—the leaders of the shapeshifter world—who will slaughter everyone in Mack’s small rural pack if they discover her true identity. Unfortunately Corrigan, the green-eyed muscle-bound Lord Alpha of the Brethren, doesn’t let much slip by him…

Winner will be chosen by Sexy Mr. Random after 3pm EST on Monday, November 30, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

My Chat with Dave Gillies

Hello and welcome!

Today I have the owner of the voice I fell in love with while listening to Amy Jarecki’s audiobooks. His voice is easy to listen to, warm and passionate.

Please welcome Dave Gillies!

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Do you have a nickname?
Sorry to disappoint, but not really! I’ve never had one. Not a great start to this interview!

What is the one word that best describes you?
Hmmm… lazy.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Oh, loads of things. My girlfriend. Funny TV shows like Futurama, Blackadder and Rick and Morty. Proper witty things!

What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
Coriander. I love it. It reminds me of putting too much coriander in things!

I love my shower gel, too. It smells like Onken Raspberry yogurt.

Favourite place to spend time in?
Bed, obviously, asleep! But the cinema is great, too.

Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
Actually, no. I did one under a pseudonym once, because it was so incredibly dirty, but in general I’ll do whatever!

Audiobooks! What started them?
Well, my Dad is a voiceover guy (indeed, he’s the master) so it’s sort of the family trade! You can hear his work on Audible – he’s James Gillies.

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I went freelance as a composer a few years ago and he suggested I get into audiobooks to supplement my income. Truthfully the narrating has become my main job!
James Gillies is your Dad? I listened to one of his narrations, Highland Fire: Guardians of the Stone, Book 1 by Tanya Anne Crosby and it was amazing. Wonderful story told by a passionate voice.

If you could choose another career what would it be?
Well, composing for huge movies would be pretty sweet. Space battles, intense emotional scenes, car chases etc. I love conducting orchestras, so getting to do more of that would be great!

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I’m pretty flighty, tho. What I’ve been doing a lot of, recently, is producing interesting radio drama and short films. So at the moment my main ambition is to become a big shot Hollywood film producer.

Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
No, I don’t think on those terms. My songwriting (Dirty Keys) has a strong throughline, but I’ll let you work out what that is! In general I do what I’m asked to do. I’m bone idle, so I never do anything unless I’ve been commissioned to.

Who is your intended audience and why should they listen to your audiobooks?
Doesn’t feel like that’s for me to say! The audience depends on the book, and although I’m known for my work in the romance genre, it’s by no means my only area.

What is next in your narrating work?
Lots! I’ve multiple Highland romances in various stages of production for authors such as Amy Jarecki, Vonda Sinclair and Selena Kitt. There’s also a new M/M Aussie romance book for Toni Griffin, and some sci fi, too! But the last book to hit the shelves was book three from Amy Jarecki’s ‘Highland Dynasty’ series, ‘A Highland Knight to Remember’.

Thank you Dave for joining me in my little corner of the blogging world. I am looking forward to listening to more of your narrations.

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Thanks for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed the chat with Mr. Gillies. Hope you will check out the audiobooks, his voice is amazing.

I had the pleasure to listen to two of his narrations.

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One of them was “Return of the Highland Laird”, book 4 of “A Highland Force” Novella by Amy Jarecki, see my review here.

An untimely tempest transports two miserable and lost souls to England’s Abbey Wood where they stumble across each other’s paths. Lady Jane, a battered woman and accused murderess – Laird Alexander, fleeing his keep after blaming himself for the accidental death of his wife. Both souls must heal their wounds. Both souls have reason to keep their identities hidden. This misshapen pair discovers each needs the other – though neither is willing to admit dependence. Alexander must return to his kin and resume his laird’s mantle. Lady Jane must clear her name and find forgiveness. But before healing can begin, it is essential they learn to trust…and love.

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The other was “Knight in Highland Armor”, book 1 of “Highland Dynasty” series by Amy Jarecki, see my review here.

Grieving from the death of his wife, Lord Colin Campbell listens to the cries of his newborn son while penning a missive to the king. With no marriage prospects, Colin petitions his majesty for help in finding a stepmother. Never again will he fall in love; the death of a woman brings more pain than losing a whole contingent of men on the battlefield.
Feisty, quick tongued, and smart, Margaret Robinson is delighted when her father receives a messenger from the king…until she discovers what news he brings. In a sennight she will wed the notorious Black Knight. Her life is about to end.
Tension builds during the wedding and deteriorates from there until an accident draws them together. Just when their love begins to blossom, a dire request arrives from the pope. Colin must join the crusades at once. Their fragile love is forced to withstand the seductions of hell: Margaret tempted by a scoundrel laird, Colin courted by Satan himself. Aye, the war for Christendom could very well ruin their dreams forever.

Here are links to find out more and keep up to date with Mr. Gillies and his work:

websiteSoundCloudmusic SoundCloud • ACXFacebookTwitter

To start you on your listening journey, Mr. Gillies is giving away an audiobook, the recently released “A Highland Knight to Remember” by Amy Jarecki.

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In 15th century Scotland, Gyllis Campbell arrives at the Beltane festival with one thing on her mind – to win the heart of Sir Sean MacDougall once and for all. Astonishingly, Sir Sean would like nothing more than to oblige the lovely lass. But when news of his father’s death arrives, Sean races for Dunollie Castle. Unaware of Sean’s tragedy, Gyllis departs the festival thwarted. Worse, a terrible illness strikes her down, and she’s sent to the cloisters of Ardchattan Priory for healing.

Plagued by raids on his lands and deception in his ranks, Sean is embroiled in a battle to regain control. Worse, pulled in a myriad of directions, adversity runs rampant as Gyllis struggles to regain her health and Sean battles the very demon who covets his title. Fighting for their lives, both must face their demons before their love can blossom.

The winner will be chosen from the comments by Sexy Mr. Random after 3pm EST on September 28, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

My Chat with Paul Woodson

Hello and welcome!

Today my guest is one who gave life to many books I loved thru his narrations, so far all were in the Highlander Romance genre and his deep voice, full of passion and the Scottish brogue makes my heart melt.

Please welcome Paul Woodson!

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Do you have a nickname?
I do, but only between me and my wife! I also have a pseudonym in the narration world, but I won’t spill it here, although it’s easy enough to find with a little searching. And my alter ego is nearly overtaking the REAL me in the narration world!

What is one word best describes you?
Curious. In both senses. 😉

What makes you laugh out loud?
Something really unexpected. I’ve seen so much, hopefully I’m not jaded, but it takes a lot these days to surprise me.

What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
A tin of dark coffee. It makes me think of a brisk morning, ready to tackle the day.

Favourite place to spend time in.
In my free time, I enjoy backpacking. I’ve section-hiked over 700 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and every year I try to put in another 100+ miles, usually in the warm months. I’ve done Northern Virginia all the way up to New Hampshire, with a couple gaps here and there.

Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
I’ve done just about all of them. And I’m not averse to sexual content whatsoever (though sometimes I’ll record it under a pseudonym). The only thing to which I really take exception is anything that a) is too stupid to merit an audiobook, and by that I mean non-intellectual, unenlightening, perhaps even insultingly bad; or b) promotes a violent or malicious agenda in real life.

Audiobooks! What started them?
It was a natural progression, especially as standard acting work had been slow for me and I needed to make some money. I’d been primarily a stage actor in musicals in my 20s and early 30s, doing some great projects both in and outside of New York, but I never cracked that Broadway nut. I toured with Robert Goulet, played opposite Debby Boone & Robert Cuccioli, but only got so far. Then as I needed to make more money, I gravitated more and more toward Union Film & TV work, which pays a decent rate if you can get the work.

But because I’ve never really meshed well with agents, (and I have had several over the years), I never got past doing Background and Stand-In work on most professional Film/TV projects. Some days were good; Standing in for Philip Seymour Hoffman for a couple months, making Jane Krakowski laugh on the set of 30 Rock– you remember those standout great moments. But usually, I’d be standing on set among other extras who had NO acting experience, thinking, “I have a BFA in theater. I’ve done Shakespeare, Opera, performed with Broadway stars. What in the hell am I doing here?”

So, since I’d always been an avid reader, fond of language, with a good command of character voices and dialects, I dipped my toe into audiobooks and immediately started booking paid jobs. I’d say it was sudden, except that really, I’d been training for it my whole life.

Is there a genre that you would not narrate?
That’s the same as Question #6, no? 😉
No! That question was about books you would not READ, but I guess we could joined them. Logically, if you would not read them, you would not narrate them either 😉

If you could choose another career what would it be?
Well, ideally I would be getting paid for both my face AND my voice, traveling to Europe, Asia, around North America and getting paid to sing musical theater. And maybe I will again. I love to travel, and so does my wife. But right now, it’s kind of nice to set my own hours, frequently work in my pajamas, and have direct access to clients.

I would also be happy working as a screenwriter in LA, of TV or films. I feel that was always the road not taken, which may have proven the better choice had I picked it.

Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
I just try to convey the character and mood of the piece as the author envisioned it. That may be romantic, idealistic, fantastical, brooding, etc. My voice must serve the story. In a sense, I hope I can convey ALL emotions at different points in the narrative.

Who is your intended audience and why should they listen to your audiobooks?
I wouldn’t say I have a target audience; I hope my YA novels entertain and educate and get young folks into reading or listening to stories; I hope my Highland Romances deliver a nice ripping yarn with plenty of manly men and sassy lassies; and that my more “Adult” work (wink) can make the ladies a bit weak in the knees.

I’ve actually done a fair bit of erotica under a pseudonym, but although it’s sexual, the titles I’ve picked have always felt very classy – more sensual, always by female authors. I’m on my fifth for the same bestselling author in that genre and it’s great that we connect, that she finds me the ideal voice for her work. I’ve gotten great reviews like “The gentleman that reads it for you will make you melt!” and “Breathtaking! A sexy Scottish accent… Swoon…. “. It’s pretty gratifying knowing my voice may be alluring to some stranger thousands of miles away.

I’ve worked on darkening my timbre a bit since the beginning of my audiobook career, so I’m pretty sure it’s sexier now than when I started. And this comes in handy for the standard Romance novels as well, which get pretty steamy in their own right.

And I’ve gotten some great compliments that I do female characters equally as well as the male ones– I don’t get cartoony, but women and men have different tones to their voices, different words they stress, and different subtexts they play in speech. It’s not necessarily a higher pitch for women’s voices– in fact, in some scenes the woman may be speaking at a technically lower pitch than the man– but the tone quality and the intention create the characters. I truly enjoy playing those subtle differences between the sexes.

However, I also want to emphasize that everything I do vocally is in service of each particular story, so if the book is a light children’s adventure, the throaty, husky Scotsman’s brogue disappears for awhile.

What is next in your narrating work?
Well, a wide variety of things. Under the pseudonym, I have another erotica for my bestselling friend. I’ve just released 2 wonderful adventure stories under my own name. And I’m hoping to book some more Highland and Regency romances, to be honest. They have really become my staple this last year, and I have been told I do them quite well. They also have a humongous fan base, and I would love to reach as many listeners as possible that way, and perhaps entice them to listen to some of my other genres as well.

Also, I’ve just released a Nathaniel Hawthorne short story, THE BIRTHMARK, which was a bit of an in-between project for me, entirely for my own gratification, because it made an impression on me when I read it in school. I feel that too many readings of Hawthorne are a bit dry and crusty, but his language and characters are really very soaring and romantic, so I wanted to deliver that kind of Shakespearean lift to the language. I think I did quite well!

I’ve also just applied to some major publishers, as I’m hoping to do some larger-scale narration work. 2015 will be my first APAC, the big Narrator/Publisher conference in New York City, so I’m hoping to meet a lot of great people and figure out how to take my narration to the next level.

Thank you Paul for taking the time for a chat in my little space of the blogging world. Looking forward to listening to more of your narrations. Wishing you much success in the future. Next I will hunt down your alter ego 😉

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Hope you enjoyed today’s chat and you will give a chance to Paul Woodson’s audiobooks. I agree with the reviewers he mentioned… ” The gentleman that reads it for you will make you melt!” and “Breathtaking! A sexy Scottish accent… “.

The one I am listening to at the moment is CAPTURED BY THE PIRATE LAIRD by Amy Jarecki and love what I heard so far.

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Here is my review of one of my fave books by Ceci CiltenanHighland Courage: Duncurra, Book 2, narrated by Mr. Woodson :

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“another great listen”

Overall all 5 stars – Performance 5 stars – Story 5 stars

“This story so wonderfully written. I fell in love with Tadhg in the first book and Mairead is a wonderful choice to be his wife. Their story is a true love story, the way it should be. Despite many obstacles, they stayed true and believed in each other and the end was a welcome surprise, it left me smiling. I highly recommend to buy and read the books by Ceci Giltenan, she is a great storyteller. Congrats on your choice of narrators, Ms. Giltenan!
Listening to Tadhg come alive thru Paul Woodson’s voice made me fall in love with him even more. Thank you Mr. Woodson for another great audio experience. Looking forward to more.”

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Here are links to find out more and keep up to date with Mr. Woodson and his work:

websiteAudibleTwitterSoundCloudACX

To start you on your listening journey, Mr. Woodson is giving away 5 copies of HIS NOT SO SENSIBLE MISS by Jane Charles (a Regency Romance with a bit of sexy stuff).

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Emily Frasier has lived as the ward of Duke Ellings since her father died when she was 15. She also knows that soon it will be time to leave his household and make her way on her own. When she discovers a cottage while visiting her aunt and uncle, she knows this is where she wants to live and become a teacher, as her father once was.

Dillon Chambers must find a wife this season in order to please his mother. If she didn’t have control over something more precious than his freedom and life, he would not have made the promise to marry a lady with high connections at the end of the season. When he comes across Emily at his cottage and learns she is the ward of a duke, he feels his luck has finally changed. He could please his mother and settle with a lady he would actually want to have as his wife.

When the truth becomes known in London that Emily is only a professor’s daughter, Dillon knows his parents will never approve. Will he risk everything to have her? Will Emily do the sensible thing or risk her reputation and heart so that Dillon doesn’t destroy all he holds dear?

Winners will be chosen by Sexy Mr. Random and posted after 3pm EST on Monday, May 25, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

My Chat with Braden Wright!

Hello and welcome!

Today I have the owner of an incredible voice I discovered recently and I believe you will agree with me once you hear him.

Please welcome Braden Wright!

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Do you have a nickname?
Not even when I was a kid.  I’ve always been called by my full name.

What is one word best describes you?
Tenacious.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Chipmunks.

What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
Orange blossoms.

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On a family road trip to Florida when I was eleven, we drove through acres and acres of orchards.  It was sunny and warm — after escaping the colder north this was an amazing thing to step suddenly into a new season — and the car was filled with that sweet high-note scent.  Transformative and heavenly.

Favourite place to spend time in.
At our family cabin on the lake; the best place to unplug, feel the rhythm of nature, write and read and just “be.”  We’ve had it for over forty years. I grew up climbing on the granite and quartz upon which it sits as well as swimming and water skiing, when I was younger.  To me, that’s sanctuary… it’s part of me.  The place answers my soul.

Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
As actors we’re trained to lift the text to life and one has to set aside judgment about characters and actions; easier said than done at times.  Still, if I felt something could do harm to others I wouldn’t want to add my voice or energy to amplifying that message.

Audiobooks! What started them?
Ha!  It seemed a part of my destiny… and it’s my wife having the best laugh about it.  She loved audiobooks and over the years (decades) we’ve amassed an impressive library; some cassettes being worn out from her multiple listens. 

I’d been very practical, listening to lectures by Joseph Campbell or instructional tapes while driving or doing stained glass work, but I hadn’t thought of doing the performance of them even though I did other voice-over work (TV narration, commercials, animation).  I was daunted by the differentiation of voices and length of the recordings for audiobooks but finally decided to study the specifics in 2001.  I took classes from the late Frank Muller, from Laurel van der Lynde and a workshop by Pat Fraley.  I was cutting a demo, including a piece from F. Scott Fitzgerald, when my agent asked me why the heck I was spinning my wheels.  I abandoned it only to be asked five years later by the same agent if I had an audiobook demo at a time when I couldn’t pursue it.  Argh!

Jump forward to an Audible.com contest three years ago for members of my actor’s union, asking potential narrators to try their hand at “Tender Is The Night,” the very piece I had worked on more than ten years earlier for my demo.  I picked up where I’d left off and from over two thousand entries I was one of 20 chosen for a special workshop. I’ve been doing it ever since.  So, happily, I view at it as Fate!

Is there a genre that you would not narrate?
Tough to say definitively.  I respect that people have choice in what they listen to, even if it’s not what I’d personally choose.  For instance, I have some Mark Twain titles on my iPhone because I think he’s brilliant but my voice and style is perceived to enhance other types of writing, so that’s where I work. 

Narrators have the option to use a pseudonym and in this day of digital searches your name is your brand, thus it behooves anyone and everyone to represent themselves with a relatively cohesive impression.  I’m proud of my work because I’ve always given it my best, and part of that pride is because I’ve worked in varied genres. 

I’ve stayed busy narrating Romance titles (several with the wonderful Tanya Anne Crosby) and Action/Thriller books (most notably Russell Blake‘s JET series), as well as a Young Adult novel, “The Great Awakening.”  I think more about the genres I’d like to explore, including Bios and Inspirational/Motivational works.

If you could choose another career what would it be?
Weather man.  I find that fascinating and it looks fun. 

People are often surprised and intrigued by the variety of jobs I’ve done in my life, professional skater, photo editor at the Walt Disney Studios, movie publicist, actor, tour guide, mascot creator, to name some… so I’ve been faced with where to focus my attention and where to pursue training and practice.

Being an actor and writer working in the arts, one has to have diverse projects going always in order to pull together a living wage; that’s just where our society is at. Sidenote: Please don’t ever support pirated work because it’s tough enough as it is to survive in order to narrate more work.  I’m happiest doing what I do as a Voiceover and on-camera actor and as a writer, and I look forward to narrating audiobooks for as long as my voice and teeth hold out.

Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
One of the best tips I ever heard about narrating is, “It’s always an adventure,” no matter what the genre.  Perfect to remember when stepping into the booth day after day.  That said, I believe the author’s text drives everything, or at least indicates the drive from which a narrator may take a cue. 

Some chapters are written from the POV of a character’s inner thoughts, so I try to adopt the tone of the inner discourse even if the character’s outer voice isn’t being used in quotation marks.  I’ve found there is a fine line between dramatizing that emotion and staying out of the way of the experience so the listener can perceive what’s happening for herself/himself.  But I definitely try to put myself into the emotional struggle of every character in every moment to convey their truth and what they’re striving to achieve.  That’s what life is, right?

Who is your intended audience and why should they listen to your audiobooks?
I’m thrilled that audio performance is being discovered by more and more people — there are so many ways and times to enjoy audiobooks.  I believe that surge in popularity also helps to up the standards for how they’re done.  Feedback and comments from the listener community are frequently effective in helping to subtly confirm and define those styles and standards. 

Like writing, narrating can be pretty singular work (sitting for hours and hours in an audio booth working it out), so it’s gratifying to hear when a performance is appreciated. 

I was surprised to learn how many men (and truck drivers in particular) listen to romance titles.  From that, I have to say I have no idea who the audience is for any book.  Young adult titles need to be accessible to that age group but a lot of adults enjoy them too so I think it’s a mistake to try too hard to pitch a performance to one audience; just be respectful to the text.

And ‘Why my books?’  I take great care and pride in my work.  I research pronunciations of words, of place names and languages very carefully.  Sometimes obsessively, checking them during the edit and then redoing the sentence to get that one word.  I’m not perfect and I don’t strive to be, but I do strive for excellence and to deliver to the fullest extent of my abilities.  Just one example: for Tanya Anne Crosby’s “Sagebrush Bride,” I spent hours (days) learning 30 words in Cheyenne, a language that only 3000 people on the planet still comprehend.  And I called a hotel in Colorado to find out how to pronounce the name of their town because there was no online resource to tell me.  That’s the kind of thing I do.  I care!

It really shows when the person telling the story puts everything in it and those are my fave to listen to. I want to hear passion, feelings, to not have to think who is actually talking because the voice is modulated to provide me with that info.

I always want to know that I’ve done justice to a culture because I feel it adds authenticity and impact to the listen and it’s how I’d want my world to be represented.  Some people like the sound of one voice and not another – a tough lesson to learn when a few people off-handedly dismiss you – but seeing that even the “greats” have dissenters helps put it into perspective.

In the end, it’s about the relationship of trust between the narrator and the listener.  It’s a very intimate medium and it’s all about trust.  I know I’ve done well when I listen to the edited work and I stop being conscious that it’s my own voice.  The story grabs me and I’m transported into that world the author has created even though I’ve read it and know the outcome. 

In performance, I invest in shaping the way I narrate a sentence to honor the author’s intent, and I differentiate the characters’ voices to make it easier for the listener to live in the world and stay there without having to work so hard to discern what is happening.

I’ve always loved the crafting of language and I’ve read books at a speed that’s close to verbal storytelling so how I speak is truly the way I hear it in my head.  It becomes a process of intently tuning in and sharing that with others.  Since it’s not about me, when I “disappear” then I’ve succeeded.  I’m thrilled when others sense that trust and it allows them to enjoy the journey.

What is next in your narrating work?
I’m finishing the prequel to Russell Blake‘s JET series with “JET:  Ops Files” (my 8th book with him and Jet) as well as the narration for one of my own children’s short stories titled “The Secret of Why Bumblebees Buzz.”  Plus, I’m excited to have just teamed with another romance author to narrate her Norse-themed historical romance that you can look for by early June 2015 through Audible.

Thanks for listening, and Cheers!

Thank you for coming to my little corner of the blogging world and taking the time from your busy schedule. I am looking forward to listen to more of your audiobooks, especially if you sing in them 😉

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hope you enjoyed today’s chat and you will give a chance to Braden Wright’s audiobooks. I reallyreallyreally like his voice.

Braden-audioCovers

Here is my review of one of the audiobooks narrated by Mr. Wright, The MacKinnon’s Bride, book 1 in the Highland Brides series by Tanya Anne Crosby :

“Excellent”

Overall 5 stars – Performance 5 stars – Story 5 stars
“I loved this book when I read it a few years ago, but listening to it read by Braden Wright blew me away. Just the right amount of raspy with a healthy does of warmth, Mr. Wright’s voice is the perfect choice for this story, it made me feel warm and tingly… and the singing he does… *sigh* I played those parts back a few times. The voices of the characters were well differentiated, I especially loved Iain’s voice, also old Angus’ voice. The emotions came thru clearly which for me is important. I find nothing worse when I hear the word but not the emotion behind it. This story of Iain and Page is a a good mix of romance, mystery, betrayal, redemption, revenge and a dash of hilarity ending with a HEA. Thank you for a great listening experience.”

To find out more and keep up to date or check out the audiobooks:

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Ladys Man cover image

To start you on your listening journey, Mr. Wright is giving away 2 copies of “Lady’s Man” written by Tanya Anne Crosby.

New York Times best-selling author Tanya Anne Crosby makes her contemporary fiction debut with a novella about life and love in the Lowcountry.

Hoping that saying goodbye will be easier if she can connect with her gram’s beloved childhood home, Annie Franklin chose July 4th weekend to bring her Gram’s ashes to Folly Beach, South Carolina. Thanks to one very intuitive dog and a handsome stranger, Annie discovers that ‘letting go’ has as much to do with embracing the present as it does with shedding the past.

My review here.

2 lucky commenters will be chosen by Sexy Mr. Random after 3pm EST on Thursday, May 7, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

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