THE ART OF NARRATING WELL…OR HELL

Mark Twain

Finding a narrator to create an audiobook is no fun. Any author who has used ACX knows exactly what I’m talking about.

I must have searched through 2,000 auditions trying to find the right voice…and price. Oh yes, there are wonderful voices out there, but will they roll the dice with you and narrate your book for nothing but hope that you’ll split thousands of dollars in royalties later? Probably not, and I can’t blame them.

SNL Narrator

I’d actually given up looking after countless auditions and solicitations. There was the narrator who was fantastic, but sounded like my grandfather. Did I mention that a teenager narrates my novel in first person? Then there were the narrators who sounded great, but just didn’t know when to pause, when to sigh or when to run with it.

Figure of storyteller

Then came along L.J… In my last hour of desperation, when I was ready to scrap the whole idea, L.J. Ganser sent me an audition recording that sounded like a chorus of angels. He went on to record the whole book in two days and created a masterpiece. If you don’t believe me, please take a listen.

Audio Sample…http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-of-Raising-Hell/dp/B0119F6XFU/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1428593341

Looking For Mr. Goodvoice

life of brianI recently decided to create an audiobook for my new novel, which is not even officially released yet. Little did I know, that I was entering a beauty contest. Amazon has a great site for finding narrators and posting a listing, but the problem is that ten hundred thousand million other authors are also listing their latest creation. Continue reading

The Moment Of Truth

You’ll find plenty of idioms and catch phrases like this one in my new novel, “The Art of Raising Hell.” I wanted the narrator to be known for his one-liners and favorite sayings. After all, when you spice up the conversation, it gives it more flavor, right? Sorry, I just had to throw that one in there too.

woodstock sebastian

But it is the moment of truth for me. It’s that short span of time in between finishing my novel and having it unleashed into the world for reviewers and critics to analyze, dissect and regurgitate. That calm before the storm, that deep breath before the plunge… Alright, enough is enough. I’ll stop.

I see why many writers consider each novel their own children. You do bring them into the world, watch them grow from simple ideas into elaborate stories and then release them into the wild for others to enjoy. It’s scary and exuberant at the same time.

Waterloo

This weekend, I estimate that I sent out around 100 requests for book reviews to bloggers. Mind you, that is no easy task. First, you have to find them. They’re kind of like dandelions that pop up in the yard. One day they’re there and available, the next day they’re gone. Most book bloggers are bombarded with thousands of requests so it’s understandable that they want to raise the drawbridge and close the shutters every once in a while. I can’t blame them.

French-Fart

Anyway, I’m going to sit back now with a glass of wine, or a beer, or maybe both, and enjoy my moment of truth as long as I can before it becomes either my Woodstock or my Waterloo.

The Book Cover From Hell…

…it’s not. It’s the book cover of my new novel “The Art of Raising Hell”. I’m loving what the publisher did considering “raising hell” is not a concept you can easily visualize. The colors scream “optimism”, “youthfulness” and “passion.” Once you’ve read my book, you’ll understand why they are perfect.

The boy jumping over the fire speaks for itself and couldn’t describe the theme any better. I hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your feedback. The novel will be published on May 19, 2015.

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Shitkicker Of The Month: Hank Williams III

Hank III with cigEven though I’m not a big country music fan, one of Hank Williams III’s albums came across my desk one day and I just had to put it on. I mean, how could I not, being a self-proclaimed hell raising aficionado, and considering the title was, Straight To Hell. As I meandered through the thirteen songs, I soon realized that this was a man after my own heart: a rebel without a cause.

Continue reading

MY DIRTY DOZEN

 Dirty Dozen

Before I get too far along with posts on this subject, I thought it best to post a blog that talks about the basics of raising hell. I decided to go back and analyze Lonny Nack, the main hell raisers in my book “The Art of Raising Hell”, and compile a list of what worked for him and what didn’t. There’s a good chance that I’ll update this list from time to time as other ideas come to mind. I’ve even left one number blank for you to fill in so please feel free to make suggestions.

Hopefully, these tips will help you along on your journey and maybe add a few years to your life. Not all of them may fit with your situation and that’s fine. But if you choose to ignore them all, well, all I can say is don’t let the door to heaven hit you in the ass as St. Peter kicks you down the stairs to hell. Continue reading

Beer Drinkers and Hellraisers

Hank's in color

When I turned eleven years old, my dad left a cozy job selling life insurance and bought a tavern. He ran it for fifteen years, but after his second heart attack decided to turn it over to my brother-in-law. The crowd soon transformed from old factory workers into young Harley motorcycle riders. Every one of them looked like they’d jumped out of a ZZ Top album cover. They were the quintessential beer drinkers and hell raisers. Continue reading