Thursday, January 18, 2018

Audiobook Narration and Production


This week, we hear from narrator Dorian Bane about adventures in audioland,
a slew of cowboys, and the difficulties of voicing a mythical menagerie.
We might need espressos for this!
Hello, Cafe Risque! When I was first asked if I would be interested in writing a blog about my adventures in audioland, my first reaction was to be immediately flattered that anyone might have interest in reading it! This was followed very quickly by my accepting the offer without a second thought. Hell yeah! I thought. Write about a job I love? This will be a blast! Then, rather abruptly, a new and slightly troublesome thought crept into my mind. Oh, man...Where do I start?!






After careful consideration (IE: Stalling for forever, before writing feverishly once I felt I had procrastinated enough.) I decided that since most of you may not know me from Adam, an introduction would indeed be necessary. So, with that being said…

Hi! I’m Dorian Bane. I’m essentially a 23 year old man trapped in the body of a 31 year old. My hobbies and interests include, But are not strictly limited to, reading, writing, miniature modeling, comic books, music, movies, tabletop/board/RPG games, riding motorcycles (When they are running.), and general slacker activities. Like most folks, I enjoy good food, strong drinks and time spent with friends, laughing and otherwise causing mischief.

Thanks to the support of the outstanding people at Dark Night Sound and Falcon Sound Company, I am a voice actor and audio book narrator with (As of the writing of this post) 23 audio books and 1 video game character in my ever growing portfolio.

I get asked all the time what it’s like to be a narrator and to be honest, it is pretty great! Don't get me wrong, there is a ton of work that goes into it that most people never consider and it has its unique challenges. For instance, while narrating, “Two Cowboys and A Baby,” by B.A. Tortuga, I had a whole slew of cowboys to voice, But still had to make their voices unique. (And some needed to be more similar than others...Hey no spoilers here. Read/listen to see what I mean.)

Right now I am recording for “Fangs and Catnip,” by Julia Talbot. Talk about a diverse cast! Vampires, a gorgon, a gargoyle and shifters of all varieties! So fun! There is a particular Gorgon character whose voice Julia describes as sounding like “two stones rubbing together”... Yeah, I read that and recall saying aloud, “Figure that one out, hotshot.” But as they say, that's why I make the big bucks!

Now that you know a bit about me, feel free to stop back to check out the blog, ask questions, propose post topics, talk about audio or just say hello.



Till next time… Dorian Bane


Find Dorian Bane and Falcon Sound Company on Facebook, and at www.falconsoundcompany.com

Check out Dorian's newest narration, Bru Baker's "Camp H.O.W.L." available on Audible, Amazon, and ITunes!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Books by BA, Julia, Sean and Kiernan


Hey y'all!

Time for some promo!

From Sean Michael!

Tenor Abriole has just finished his stint as nanny for the Wilsons. He was with the family for twenty-one years, ever since he was eighteen. Now he’s looking for a new family, but finding that at thirty-nine, many people think he’s too old, and those who don’t think that’s a problem are balking at the fact that he’s a man, or that he’s gay, or both. He finally turns to Mannies Inc. for help finding a new position.

Daniel Thorpe is a well-known composer who lives and breathes music. He very much wants to be a father, so he goes the surrogate route, and winds up with triplets on the way. He turns to Mannies Inc. well before his girls are born, but so far has not been happy with any of the men who have applied, until Tenor shows up for an interview. Tenor’s experience being nanny to five children, as well as the fact that he stayed with a single family that long are both pluses in Daniel’s book.

Could it be that Tenor is the last note Daniel needs to compose his greatest work yet – his family?

Evil Plot Bunny Link

Amazon Link

From BA Tortuga

Country hat act Markus Kane is skeptical when he’s asked to do a joint tour. He hasn’t seen Sebastian Longchamps since he gave up drinking—and since their compulsion for each other nearly cost them both their livelihoods. But Markus’s career is on the downhill slope, while the country-fried Cajun rocker’s star is still rising. His label thinks it’ll be a match made in ticket-sales heaven.

Sebastian knows better. One wrong move and Markus will break his heart all over again. This time he has much more to lose.

Time has changed both men, though, and while Markus and Sebastian try to fight their addictions, the big music industry machine has plans for them that don’t include a quiet retirement. Can Markus convince Sebastian that there are things in life more important than adrenaline and control? And can Sebastian make Markus understand that all he really wants is his music and his man?

Second Edition

First Edition published by Torquere Press, September 2012.

Out today at Dreamspinner Press for a special price!

Julia Talbot

Vampire Peyton gets into trouble. A lot. When he offends an entire East Coast clan of vampires up Boston way, he decides he needs a place to hide out for a bit. So he goes back to his Texas roots and calls upon his best friend, Cody Knight, to help him stay safe. Cody runs the Midnight Rodeo, Darque and Knight, and happily agrees to let Peyton come along, even assigning him a bodyguard.

Grizz is a bear shifter, big, strong, and maybe a little… well, bearlike. Who better to watch over Peyton and keep him out of trouble? If Peyton gets out of line, Cody figures, Grizz can just sit on him. Grizz has no idea how much work Peyton will be, or how Peyton will invade his heart. The problem is, Grizz is pretty sure he doesn’t need a beautiful vamp complicating his life. Can he and Peyton find their happy place before it’s too late, or will Peyton’s past catch up with him?

Evil Plot bunny buy link!

Kiernan Kelly

Dakota is a bear shifter who thinks he's the only one of his kind in the whole world, until he meets Jax and the sparks -- and fur -- flies. Dakota and Jax are now convinced they can’t be the only ones who can change their shapes, and are determined to seek out other shapeshifters and give them a safe haven from the humans who’ve mistreated them.  They found the Shifting Sands ranch, a place where all shifters can run free and live in peace.

But what if not all shifters are happy stay hidden away? What if there are apex predators who see everyone else as prey, including the shifters at the ranch?  Dakota and Jax soon find themselves in the fight of -- and for -- their lives.

Shifting Sands includes two bonus stories written in the same universe, The Sound of Home, and Mother Blue's Bar and Grill.

This is a previously published title. The publisher has changed. 

Evil Plot Bunny Link

Amazon link

Hugs

Julia

http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

Julia’s is http://www.juliatalbot.com

BA’s is http://www.batortuga.com

Kiernan's is www.KiernanKelly.com

Facebook:

Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites

Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Kiernan -- https://www.facebook.com/kiernan.kelly

Sunday, January 14, 2018


Dreamspinner Press is have a sale, and you can now get Creative Process at 25% off! 

So, in honor of that sale I thought I'd post an excerpt and buy links for my Sunday visit.

Reese Kelsey is a bestselling author living in New York City. He's written a series of books that have been wildly popular, gained him respected reviews and rocketed him to the level of stardom with thriller and forensic detective fans. When the story begins, he is in the middle of publicity for book three and is working on book four, the last book in his series.

Owen Mercado has worked long and hard for a career in the symphony, and success comes with a demanding schedule—something Reese understands. Their desires and lifestyles are surprisingly compatible, and Reese and Owen certainly set the bedroom on fire.

In the excerpt below, Reese spotted the captivating Owen lugging his cello around and has impulsively offered the musician a ride. In return he receives an invitation to hear Owen play at a cafe with a small group from his conservatory days.

~~~~~~~~

Reese slid back into the car. "We're going to make a stop," he told the driver. "Fifth and…?" He'd forgotten already and looked at Owen for help.

Owen leaned in. "Juniper."

"Right. Fifth and Juniper," Reese repeated.

"No problem, sir. Will that be the last stop?"

Reese thought about that, and decided that he wasn't easy walking distance from the Grey Moon.
"No, we'll continue on to—"

"Why don't you come listen?" Owen suggested.

"Listen?" Reese blinked at Owen. He was processing slowly, he must really be tired. "Oh, why don't I come listen? To you play. Why don't I? Yes."

Owen laughed. "That'll be the last stop," he said to the driver.

"Yes, sir."

"Really? That's not weird?" Reese asked.

"Not any weirder than offering a complete stranger with a cello a ride," Owen replied playfully.

True enough. "You're not a complete stranger, we just sat in the same theater together for three hours." Hm. He pulled his phone out of his pocket. "Excuse me a moment." He opened up Evernote and started typing. Follows woman home from theater – movies? Opera? Leaves her on stage? When he was done he put his phone back in his pocket. "Had to reply to a text," he lied. "Sorry."

"No problem." Owen smiled at him. "Someone wants to know when you'll be home?"

"Ha ha." Reese shook his head. "No. God, no."

Owen nodded. "Averse to relationships. Noted."

"Wait, what?" Reese got the feeling he'd just completely missed his cue. "No! No, I'm not averse. I'm just… there's no one. I'm single." It had been so long that he'd forgotten what it felt like to flirt. And now he was embarrassed and awkward, too. Fuck.

"Unattached."

"Exactly."

"Flying solo."

"I guess."

"Hot."

"Yep." Reese's eyes went wide. "Wait. Oh, my God."

Owen started laughing so hard he fell over sideways on the backseat. "Yep," he repeated just as Reese had said it.

Reese felt himself grin, and the grin grew wider the longer Owen laughed at him. This was fun. Maybe he hadn't entirely lost the ability to laugh at himself after all.

"I stepped right into that, didn't I? You're a sneaky one, Owen."

"Yep," Owen said again. He was still giggling but appeared to be attempting to regain composure. He pushed himself upright. "I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Really. I apologize."

"Don't. I'll just have to pay you back at some point."

Owen's eyes swept up Reese's body from his lap until he was looking into Reese's eyes. "I look forward to it."

Holy Mother of God. Owen just hit on him. Reese mentally congratulated himself on recognizing it this time, even if it wasn't the least bit subtle. "Me, too."

Owen's smile turned shy and he dropped his gaze for a moment. He looked like he was going to say something more but the car came to a stop. "Right on the corner, sir?"

Reese forced himself to tear his eyes away from Owen's beautiful blush to answer the man's question.
"Uh, yeah. Yes. Here's fine, thanks." He glanced back at Owen, but Owen had carefully schooled his expression and was sliding toward the opposite car door.

You can purchase Creative Process for 25% off at Dreamspinner Press!

Thanks for reading. 

Cheers!

Jodi























Saturday, January 13, 2018

Re-release Falling Into Love by S.C. Wynne




Good morning!

I have a new release, actually a re-release, out today. It's a story about someone who's down on his luck who has nothing to lose by starting over.

I wrote this story because I often write very angsty books, and I wanted to right something uplifting and hopeful. What would you do if you had no job, no relationship and the opportunity to start new in another place was presented to you?

Would you jump for it? Would you be scared and stick to things that are familiar to you? Sometimes doing the same old thing is easier than trying something new. Even if what we're doing isn't working, it's less scary to keep in the grooves.

In my story, Chris decides to take the chance. :) Would you?

AMAZON

Blurb:

Chris Lambrough is having a run of bad luck. He's lost his job and his boyfriend and is feeling depressed. His best friend Jenny tells him about an ad she's noticed where The Muddy Mountain Ski Resort is looking for waiters. Chris has restaurant experience and since his New Years Resolution is to learn to ski it seems like a nice opportunity to jump start his life.

Trevor Brown is a ski instructor at the resort. He befriends Chris right away and the have undeniable chemistry. But Trevor has guilt over the death of his lover, Lane two years earlier. Can the two of them learn to trust each other and move forward and forget the past?

If this sounds fun the buy link is below! It's also in Kindle Unlimited for a short time.

S.C.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Feeling old by Felice Stevens


Lately I've been feeling like an old grouch. Everything seems to bother me and the news, both political and in the publishing world, hasn't helped.


Many of you might have seen or heard of the mysterious 50% royalty rate that popped up a few nights ago and just as quickly disappeared. Speculation ran like a wildfire but whatever the end result will be, I'm certain it will not benefit authors. Because  Amazon is not here to benefit authors. They are here to satisfy their bottom line. So we wait and wait because we never know when it will pop up but we can be sure it's coming. One other thing for certain is that we need to be prepared, and I'm making plans.

I'm in author groups where people quibble over what makes a "best seller" (the overwhelming consensus is that it is only if you make the NYT, USA Today or WSJ list.) I see authors attacking authors, authors attacking readers over reviews and readers telling authors how fast and what to write. I think it's all terrible. Write what you want, read what you want and leave the rest alone.

Even though I don't make New Year's resolutions, the one thing I promised to myself was I'd spend less time on social media and I've been trying to follow through. I check in with my reader group,  Felice's Fun House which I love because everyone is so positive, look at my friends page and other authors I follow and then get off-line as quickly as possible. I don't want to hear negativity  and anger. I'm here to write books and talk to readers about books, and argue about iced vs. hot coffee, (ICED) NY style pizza vs. Chicago (NY obviously) and kisses. 

There's a lot more I could say, but I'm tired and cranky. I had the release of my audiobook, All or Nothing narrated by the always wonderful Nick J Russo and in the first day I discovered it uploaded to a pirate site. Piracy is another problem that's running rampant, and could be the subject of an entire blog post in and of itself, but I'll just say please don't support these people. If you'd like to own a copy of All or Nothing, you can get it for one credit if you subscribe to Audible or JOIN Audible and you can get the audiobook for free.
Here is the link:
 http://adbl.co/2CZjmRq



Have a wonderful weekend and happy reading!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What goes into an Audiobook?


Today, we're one-on-one with narrator, John Solo, who is also Falcon Sound Company's Audio Engineer, Producer, and self-described Itinerant Adventurer. We get a lot of questions about our process for creating the audio version of a book. Hopefully, John's able to answer some of those in today's post. Enjoy!


What goes into an audiobook? Sugar and spice and everything nice?  Well, maybe.  You have no idea about some of the audiobooks I’ve worked on… And before you judge me, you should know that I get paid to do something I love to do!  Even if it does sometimes involve me saying questionable things to myself in a dark soundproof room.  At night.  Alone.  For money.


There seems to be a common misconception that recording an audiobook is as simple as reading the book into a microphone and sending off the audio file to the author.  Easy, cheesy, done.  That should take, like, 6 hours for a 6 hour book, right?  


If it was that easy everyone would be doing it.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t rocket science.  It’s certainly not a difficult job.  I don’t have to dig ditches or shovel horse poo.  In fact, there are many days that I don’t change out of my pj’s.  But it is a skilled job, and without the proper knowledge, time, perseverance and the occasional bit of talent sprinkled on top, you may as well be listening to your high school science teacher drone on about pendulums.  And my science teacher had a tendency to spit every time he said the letter “P”...


Every hour of audio that a listener enjoys (I suppose this counts for even the hours the listener doesn’t enjoy) takes, on average, 7 hours to produce.  My job here at Falcon Sound Company, as a narrator and producer is to take a project from receiving the manuscript to delivering the finished audio.  


Let’s take a look at the breakdown of a typical six hour audiobook:


Pre-production: 7 hours
This is typically done by the narrator.  The process varies from person to person (these actor types tend to be a fiercely independent, stubborn lot), but when I work on a book as the narrator I will start by reading through the manuscript once to get a feel for it as a reader.  Then I will skim the manuscript a second time while taking notes pertaining to the character voices I plan to use, the emotional ebb and flow of specific scenes, what kind of coffee I plan to drink during production…  You know, important actor stuff.  I will also record a sample of each character voice, to be used for reference throughout the recording and QC process to help with consistency (maybe I should share some pre-production character voice recordings in another blog post…)


Recording: 10.5 hours
This is where the fun begins!  Sitting in a dark, padded room telling a story to no one… Actually, some of our sessions do involve an audio engineer/producer sitting outside the booth, where they follow along with the manuscript and provide useful input, such as, “That didn’t sound anything like a 72 year old British woman with a hair lip!”, or, “Why can’t I feel my face?!?” (Seriously, it’s really good coffee…).  But the majority of our sessions are done alone.  There is a lot of extra time spent during this step trying to deliver each line perfectly, practice Audie awards acceptance speeches, and generally trying not to get distracted by videos of cute pets on Facebook.


Editing: 7 hours
After the recording of each chapter is done we have to go through and cut out a lot of dead air, coughs, spit takes, laughing, hysterical crying, the occasional sound of cats (real and over mobile devices), and mistakes.  This is considered a first pass of touching up the narrator's timing and delivery.


Quality Control: 14 hours
Abbreviated to QC, this step is by far the most labor intensive.  We listen through the recording once again, this time perfecting the delivery of the spoken word, marking any extraneous noises that may have slipped through (you’d be amazed at the number of involuntary, and lets be honest, sometimes voluntary, noises the human body is capable of making) as well as marking any deviations from the manuscript.  


Punch Out and Pick Up Lines: 7 hours
The narrator records any Pick Up Lines that are required.  Those are then spliced into the original recording, replacing any mistakes that may have been made during the initial recording sessions.  We also go in and fix any of those extraneous noises that were marked from QC, using fancy software and voodoo and stuff.  


Mastering: 3.5 hours
By this point in the game we are almost out of coffee, and you know that’s going to be a problem… Here we prepare the files for consumer formatting, making sure there are consistent pauses used for the beginning and ending of chapters, scene breaks, etc… We also insert a clean room tone sound in between pauses in the narrator’s speech, prep the opening and closing credits, and bring all of the chapters up to a uniform industry standard volume so listeners don’t have to turn down or turn up their players from chapter to chapter.  Finally, we deliver the completed project to our client via US carrier pigeon and make a traditional sacrifice to the gods of the romance universe in the hopes that the people will be entertained...  


Whew!  If you’ve been keeping up with the math, and I know you have, that comes out to 42 hours of fun; all to produce a 6 hour audiobook.  There’s also the day-to-day operations of running the business side of things, and don’t forget the playing with animals! But, from where I sit, this is the most enjoyable and rewarding career an introverted extrovert that likes to make funny noises and pretend he’s other people could ever have…

So, if it takes 42 hours just to make the audiobook, I wonder how long it takes to write the damn thing...



Find John Solo and Falcon Sound Company on Facebook

Also, check out his newest narration "One Man's Trash", by Marie Sexton. Available now!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Buried Passions - From Andrew Grey


Good morning.  Yesterday was the release of Buried Passions and I wanted to share some pictures.  See this story was inspired by a news article on one of the cemeteries in town that's up for sale.  Yes you read that right, you too can buy a cemetery.


The sign isn't photoshopped.  The cemetery is for sale by owner.  That always makes me giggle.  
Dominic and I love walking through because its a grand cemetery that dates back to the 1840's with some incredible stones and a civil war veterans section.  So when I saw the article, my fevered little brain kicked into overdrive.  I hope you like the result.






When Broadway actor Jonah receives word that his uncle has passed away and named him the heir to a property in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Jonah’s plan is to settle the estate as quickly as possible and return to his life in New York City. Much to Jonah’s surprise, the inheritance includes the Ashford Cemetery—and its hunky groundskeeper, recent Bosnian immigrant Luka Pavelka.
Jonah soon discovers Luka is more than easy on the eyes. He sees into Jonah’s heart like no man ever before, and his job at the cemetery is all he has. If Jonah sells, Luka is left with nothing. Luka is there for Jonah when Jonah needs someone most, and there’s no denying the chemistry and connection between them. But Jonah has a successful career back in New York. Now he must decide if it’s still the life he wants….

Book Links
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Author Links
Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey 
Twitter @andrewgreybooks