4 golden beach books

Giving Characters Voices: An Interview with Professional Narrator, Susan Fouche

Today I am so excited to host the narrator of the second two books in the Golden Beach series. Audiobooks are my go to when it comes to getting reading done while still keeping my house together. But the narrator makes all the difference. I know I’m not the right person to narrate my books-I can’t even listen to my words read aloud in front of others without getting embarrassed.

When it came time to put the Golden Beach books into audio format, I turned to professionals. Susan Fouche was one of the first narrators I bookmarked when I was searching for a voice to read Restoration, but we mutually agreed that those characters needed a different feel. I knew I wanted her for my other books though, and hired her for Renovation before it was even published.

Even though all four of my Golden Beach books are now available in audio format, I really don’t know what goes into giving a book a voice. So, I figured the best way to learn was to ask someone who does it on a daily basis. Susan, I’ll hand it over to you now. Thanks for agreeing to share.

Head_Shot_DWhat made you decide to become an audiobook narrator?

I was a high school English teacher before I had kids and then a preschool teacher after they were born. But, I was always in search of “the perfect job for a mom.” A job where I could contribute financially, one that allowed me some flexibility with all the random yet real demands of being a mom (doctor’s appointments, illnesses, award ceremonies, field trips), one where I could step outside the pay scale matrix, and one that would fit into a school day. The big problem was that I always felt that my skill-set was pretty limited. I could either be a teacher…or be some other kind of teacher.

Well, I was listening to Daniel Lapin’s audiobook Thou Shall Prosper during my commute, and as I was listening, I was suddenly struck with his wisdom pertaining to work. He said (and I don’t have the quote, so bear with me) that when you work for someone else, you’re never going to acquire wealth because you’re never really going to get paid your value. Well, that’s a no brainer—especially as a teacher! So of course, here I was again with the frustration that my skillset wasn’t exactly one that would allow me to work for myself, so what the heck was I to do? Then, Rabbi Lapin went on to say that if you don’t have the degree or work experience that could translate into starting your own business, figure out what you’re good at—what you’re just naturally gifted at and turn that gift (or those gifts) into a profitable business. In other words, if you have a degree as a teacher, you have the following choices. Choice A: utilize that degree as a teacher in a public school system. Choice B: utilize that degree as a teacher somewhere else. Or Choice Q: start a business doing something that you’ve never considered before doing what you’re naturally good at.

OK, so right now, I realize this sounds pretty flaky. I mean seriously, at age 39, it’s a little late to even be having this thought process. But, flaky or not, I did think about it.

What am I good at? Choice Q…what are my natural gifts? That’s a pretty crazy question. But it’s the kind of question that has no right answer. And, it’s the kind of question that can be answered in a way that falls inside or outside of the box. So, inside the box kind of answer would be: I was a good math student so I can go back to school, get a degree in accounting, and open up an accounting firm (ok that wasn’t me, I was a terrible math student). Outside the box answer: I’m really good at screwing around and imitating other people’s voices so I can attend some voice acting workshops, turn my closet into a studio, and do a whole lot of auditioning. But wait! I was 39 years old! I’d never done any kind of voice acting, and I knew nothing about recording. So, it was kind of weird when I did quit my “real” job. I mean people really thought I was crazy.

But, my husband was totally supportive. And, I gave myself a time frame to earn the equivalent of what I made at the preschool. Hey, that was like $11.55 an hour so, it wasn’t that hard to make up. And, two years after quitting my “real” job, I can’t imagine doing anything other than basically screwing around and imitating people.

Obviously how I spend my work day isn’t really screwing around and imitating people. It’s actually better. It’s channeling one human being’s creative spark into the heart of another human being. It’s turning a fantasy world—that never existed anywhere before except in an author’s mind—real. It’s making a whole bunch of different imaginary people come alive. It’s telling really cool stories about wonderful people. It’s limitless. It’s magic. (Go ahead, call me flaky.) But Choice Q, outside the box? It was a good one.

What is the biggest challenge for you in the process? The most fun part?

The biggest challenge in narrating an audiobook is that it is time consuming and physically exhausting. I record in my home studio and the recording time is about 3 times longer than the actual production. (That’s a lot of talking.) I never shoot for perfection, but I am careful in my delivery. Also, I strive for a near production-ready product when I’m done recording. So, if I make a mistake, I go back and re-record within the track. This way, the recording process is tedious, but editing goes by quickly.

The most fun part of narrating is becoming someone else. I’ve narrated all different kinds of characters from priests to porn stars, police officers to murderers, hopeless romantics to devious sociopaths, and everyone in between. And, I have to admit, playing the bad guys is often more fun than playing the good ones.

Do you listen to audiobooks? Who is your favorite narrator? 

 I listen to audiobooks all the time. Some of my favorite narrators are Julia Whelan, Lauren Fortgang, Richard Poe, and Simon Vance. But, I will say that despite conventional wisdom, I think some authors do an excellent job narrating their own books. Examples here are Jim Collins and Robert Maurer.

Out of the characters you’ve voiced in the Golden Beach universe, who is your favorite? Why?

You know, I love all the major players. But, I think Donovan would have to be my favorite. Hard on the outside, soft on the inside. Big tough firefighter, but he plays beautiful acoustic guitar and knows how to sail. He’s one gorgeous contradiction. Yeah, my favorite would have to be Donovan.

 If you could narrate any book you wanted, which would it be?

I would love to narrate anything by Willa Cather. Her writing is just beautiful.

Thanks so much, Susan! 

Don’t forget to pick up your copies of the Golden Beach series in audiobook. Each one is only $1.99 from Audible if you’ve already got the Kindle version! Just click the picture below.

4 golden beach books

New Releases from Christina Kirby and Dawn Ireland

I love learning about new releases! I usually head straight to Goodreads and pop those babies on my TBR list. Today I get to share TWO awesome authors who have releases today.

 
A face in the crowd coverA Face in the Crowd

Christina Kirby

Alexis Hightower considers trust a four letter word, and she has no intention of getting serious with anyone. After all, her day job as a nurse is plenty serious enough. On one of her nights off, she attends a concert for her favorite band and ends up on stage. She never expected to meet the legendary singer in person or that he would be the one to make her question her way of life. But how do you learn to trust again when the one you want is desired by thousands?

Oliver Honeycutt has it all, success, fame, admirers, but when his family is faced with the unthinkable, none of it matters. Stranded in Atlanta, he meets Alexis who’s unlike any woman he’s known before. As his attraction grows, plans for the future change which leaves someone desperate to keep them apart. But Oliver won’t be easily discouraged. To have a future with Alexis he’ll do whatever it takes to make her see the man behind the image.

Get it HERE

Follow Christina on Social Media

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CKirbyWriter
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/christina.kirby.395?fref=ts
Website – http://christinakirbybooks.com/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/authorchris0192/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9791223.Christina_Kirby
Amazon Author Central Page – http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OYJ337U

Highland Yearning Highland Yearning _505x825

Dawn Ireland

Caden Mackay would never bed a Sutherland, let alone marry one. Bloody hell, what had possessed his twin brother to propose to one of the she-devils? And what is Caden to do with the Sutherland beauty who appears, as if by magic, in his library? The defiant intruder is the enemy, but she is unlike any woman Caden’s ever known, and her tantalizing curves and wide green eyes could tempt a monk. He must devise a way to stop the wedding. But can he stop the desire that makes him long to make Ariel Sutherland his own? 

Ariel’s life had never gone the way she’d hoped, but ending up in eighteenth century Scotland was a stretch, even for her. If not for her dog, Scruffy, she might have thought she’d walked into a romantic daydream. Especially since the object of her desire appears to be entirely too virile. But can she find her way back to her time, before her too-handsome Highlander makes her believe that love can conquer in any century?

Get the book HERE

Follow Dawn on Social Media

www.dawn-ireland.com

www.authordawnIreland.wordpress.com

www.smpauthors.wordpress.com

Twitter.com/AuthorDIreland

Facebook.com/DawnIrelandAuthor

 

2016 RONE Awards Nominations

I love waking up to good news. Yesterday I got some of the best news a writer can get. BOTH of my full-length novels, Restoration and Renovation, were nominated for a RONE award by InD’tale Magazine. I literally can’t stop smiling.

To get to the finals I need help from YOU the readers. The voting period for my category, Contemporary Steamy, is May 2nd-8th. Please vote and share the link.

http://www.indtale.com/2016-rone-awards-week-three

Kim

Foundation #1 Final (850) copy

Foundation Release Day

Foundation #1 Final (850) copyHappy book birthday to my newest release!

Foundation is the continuation of Grace and Drew’s love story. I started working on this one about 3/4 of the way through writing Renovation because these two wouldn’t leave me alone. They had more of a story to tell.

We all know that a couple’s story doesn’t end just because they get their HEA in the first book. I know I ALWAYS want to know what happens to them after. Some of the most amazing, wonderful, and challenging things happen after you start your life with another person. That’s what this novella is all about. How do we make it through when things aren’t perfect and easy?

You can pick up Foundation on Amazon now. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads TBR list and leave a review!

Kim

Character Interview: Lyssa Doughty from Katie O’Boyle’s “Waking Up To Love”

When the incomparable Kim Loraine asked to interview one of the lead characters from Waking Up To Love, a sweet contemporary romance set in my beloved Finger WakingUpToLove600Lakes of Upstate New York, I asked Lyssa Doughty and her good friend Kyle Pennington to decide for themselves who would have the honors. Lyssa won the coin toss. Enjoy meeting her, Kim!

–Katie O’Boyle, author

Where are you from, Lyssa?

I grew up in the Southern Tier of New York State. Lots of hills and orchards and small towns. My sister Manda and I lived in a blue house on a pretty side street not far from a college campus.

So how did you come by your British accent?

Do I still have it? I lived for a year in London on a post-doctoral fellowship. That’s where I met Kyle, who’s from Cornwall. He and I talk every day, and I guess that’s why I haven’t lost the accent yet.

What did you think of Kyle when you first met?

He was so handsome and fit and distinguished looking. The cashmere suit and the jewelry and the styled hair and the polished Italian loafers. There I was in my thrift-store skirt and twin sweater set. I couldn’t believe he wanted to have a conversation with me. But in two minutes we were laughing like we’d known each other for years. And I was terribly impressed he didn’t grope me or leer. He was a perfect gentleman, and I was thrilled when he asked me out for the next afternoon, to take a walk in Hyde Park.

What made you want to keep seeing him?

Kyle was and is the most gentle, thoughtful, generous man I’ve ever known. Generous in spirit, too. And he’s so level-headed to my flightiness.

When and how did you know you were in love with him?

I always had a great time with him, but I was forced to admit that last night in Cornwall—you know, before I moved to Tompkins Falls to work at the college? That’s when I had to admit I was in love with him. And I ran away because it scared me. He was so not my type, and I was so not ready for a serious relationship.

When you look at him, what do you see?

He’s undeniably the sexiest man on the planet! I’m blushing, aren’t I? I can feel my cheeks burning.

What do you think he most likes about you?

He’d probably say something about my laugh or the silly stories I tell at the end of the day.

What made you choose to become an Economics professor?

I admired that side of my father, who had a similar role at the college in my home town. His specialty was personal values about money; mine is financial literacy for women of all ages. Teaching at the college level is endlessly interesting, but I also love giving seminars and workshops on the telly and in person. I’ve been asked to do a series in Cornwall, and I know I’m going to learn as much as the women in the group.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

Not to drag everyone down, but it was plenty scary in our home growing up, and I think the worst was having to lock myself in Manda’s bedroom with her, while Dad beat up on Mom. We tried so many times to get the police to help, but . . . well, that was the scariest. End of story.

What would we find under your bed?

Cadbury chocolate bar wrappers. I eat one before bed every night and stash the wrapper. Ohmigod, now you know my guilty secret!

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I walk on the lakeshore in Tompkins Falls or on the Coast Path in Cornwall. There’s nothing better for getting perspective.

Who should play you in a film?

You know that adorable redhead in the Hallmark movies? Candace Cameron Bure. I love her!

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

I’m forever grateful that my father taught me to manage my money. It saved my butt when he and Mom died young and left Manda and me with nothing. But I managed to stretch a college scholarship into full support all the way through my Ph.D., and I finished all of that debt-free.

Tell us about your favorite restaurant.

That would be the bistro on the Thames that Kyle and I go to Fridays whenever we’re in London. Kyle loves their seafood, and they have fat juicy burgers for me, the ultimate reward after a long week’s work.

Can you cook?

I can, actually, yes, and I’m learning more all the time. It used to be tacos and apple desserts. Now I can do quite decent salads, many kinds of seafood, and mushroom risotto.

Any closing thoughts for our readers?

If you like Kyle’s and my story, Waking Up To Love, you’ll want to read my sister Manda’s story, too, Stepping Up To Love. Thanks ever so much, Kim!

Katie O'BoyleAuthor Bio:

Born in the upstate-New York village known as the Birthplace of Women’s Rights, Katie O’Boyle loves the Finger Lakes in every season. She enjoys lunch with friends at quaint inns, and she cherishes the lakeside porch as a place for intimate sharing, laughter, and inspiration. To the outside world, she’s a tech-savvy college professor. In her soul, she’s a passionate author of warm-hearted romance.

Book Blurb:

Kyle Pennington broke Lyssa’s heart when he let her go, rather than interfere with her budding career. An ocean away now, Lyssa has fallen under the spell of golden-tongued Rand Cunningham who’s in a hurry to marry her. But Kyle is miserable without her and is willing to risk everything to get her back. Will Lyssa wake up in time to ask who she really loves?

Excerpt from Waking Up To Love: (This is a little bit of the Hero’s POV. Since we got to hear from Lyssa, I thought we should get a little Kyle too.)

Lyssa had sniffled all the way to the airport. As they’d pulled in to the curb, he’d told her, stupidly, for perhaps the seventh time, “It’s your dream, luv. You need to chase your dreams.” He’d hauled her bags out of the trunk and signaled a porter to help. Then he’d pulled her close, so close he’d nearly lost himself, nearly told her to stay and to marry him and have babies with him and grow old together.

If she’d said yes, it would be the end of her career. You knew that.

So, instead, he’d backed away, straightened her pink paisley scarf, landed one gentle kiss on her perfect pink lips, and said, “Safe flight, luv.” It was absolutely the right thing for a thirty-six-year-old man to say to a vivacious twenty-six-year-old just starting her career.

Well, wasn’t it?

Lyssa apparently hadn’t agreed. She had searched his eyes with her intense blue gaze until tears welled up and spilled over. “I think I’m in love with you, Kyle,” she’d choked out.

Startled, he’d lost his grip on her arms, stood open-mouthed with horror, and bloody let her go. She’d fled into the terminal and been swallowed up by the throng of departing passengers.

To pick up your copy of Waking Up To Love, click on the beautiful cover at the top of this blog post, or click HERE

Renovation #1c Final (850)_edited-1

Renovation Release Week!

Happy book birthday to Renovation! I am so happy that Donovan and Valerie are out there in the world for my readers to enjoy. Thank you so much to those who have already bought it, started reading it, and have reviewed it. Production on the audiobook will be starting on Nov. 2, so if you’re an audiobook lover like me, you should be able to get Renovation sometime this December🙂

Renovation #1c Final (850)_edited-1

Get #Donovated with Renovation on AMAZON

Kim