Into the Future: Songs for 2018

Introduction:

Last quarter of 2017 a friend of mine randomly sent me a Spotify list with songs that corresponded to one of my books. She’d sent me other lists over the years, but this time, the idea intrigued me. Anyway, long story short, I got sucked into buying the Spotify upgrade to avoid those crappy Christmas commercials. And I love it (Spotify premium, not the idiotic commercials). Guess my friend is rubbing off on me because I am not making playlists.

Link to the whole list.

I would say it can be played in most any order, but the order I put the first 23 is roughly the journey. It probably makes zero “musical flow” sense.

23 Songs for 2018 and (Some of) What they Mean to Me:

Put it on the Altar by Jessica Reedy

Really, it’s more about leaving the previous year (and all burdens) behind. Surrendering what weighs you down.

Creation of Earth by Thomas Bergersen

A beautiful, powerful song about creation and remaking. Once the burdens are laid down, it’s time to reform and grow.

Won’t He Do It by Koryn Hawthorne

The song’s a promise about God’s strength and provision. “I got mountains to climb/But the enemy can’t stop me/cause there’s a calling on my life”

Resurrection Blood by Cody Carnes

Another powerful song about why we can stand strong in the midst of everything. “All my fears went running from the Holy Ghost”

Down to the River to Pray by Alison Krauss

A reminder that prayers for everybody in all situations.

Be Still by Rivers & Robots

Beautiful and peaceful instrumental piece.

I Feel His Love by Laura Hackett

Heard this song a while ago. Another song about freedom and assurance about the perfect love of Christ.

Show Me by GAWVI

Another song about knowing God better. “I want to know you more” … “All I know is that/that I’m desperate for you”

Tremble by Mosaic

“Jesus, you make the darkness tremble”

Deeper by Svrcina

(Her last name is roughly pronounced – “Ser seen ah”; pretty much I can’t ever spell it right either.) This is probably the only song I am still struggling to make heads or tails of the lyrics. Still, it’s beautiful, and I like the sentiment of going deeper with God this year.

New Heart by Mosaic

“I’m on my way to your heart, Lord/ Show me your heart.”

I Don’t Belong to You by Crystal Nicole

This song’s about overcoming the things people can say against you. I don’t have a problem with feeling ugly or inadequate, but I work in a school and I’m pretty sure those emotions are rampant in that environment. The song’s pretty empowering. It has several wonderful reminders. “You can’t control what you don’t own and baby, I don’t belong to you.” Also, “took what you meant to discourage and I flipped it around to encourage my life.”

Fire – Paris Blohm remix by 3LAU

Lovely, upbeat song. Certain sections have background pieces that feel like a video game. It’s a really interesting mix. “I feel the fire./ It’s burning inside of me.” It’s a great song for feeling bright passion about a cause.

Heart of Courage by Thomas Bergersen

Instrumental song that is a nice followup to Fire. More of a movie soundtrack sort of inspirational theme. After getting pumped and feeling the fire, this one’s more about carrying on in hard times, having a heart of courage in the midst of trials.

Stix and Stones by HillaryJane

This one goes along with “I don’t belong to you.” I especially love this line: “take ’em home, clean ’em off, dress ’em up/ turn the other cheek/when they strike you sing ’em love.” That last part resonates very strongly with where I’m at. Anybody who knows my teaching situation this year knows that I have a more challenging group than last year. It’s taken a while, but my hearts breaking for them. This song articulates some of what I feel.

Jericho by Livre’, A$ap Ferg

Song made me cry. I’m holding on to this one as a promise of what 2018 holds. “The walls got to come down.”

My Domain by Tommee Profitt, Svrcina

Hands down, one of my new favorite songs. First ran across this song in the Spirit’s Bane playlist mentioned earlier. Upon first listen, I actually had it pegged for a good bad guy theme because it starts out kind of dark, but a look at the lyrics and a few emails with my friend convinced me it’s actually a great theme for one of the angels of Light near the end of the book. Basically, a song of declaration that the enemy (Satan) has no power in “my domain.”

Aside: The Spirit’s Bane ebook is free this year.

 

Worth Fighting For by CASS

My three favorite lines:

“I ain’t striving for greatness/cause it ain’t my style.”

“Let me see what you see in me/ Let me be who you want me to be”

“You see a life worth fighting for”

Steady Me by Hollyn, Aaron Cole

Another favorite. 3 favorite lines:

“I just need to step out and step into your flow”

“Ready my heart for everything that’s coming my way.”

“Help me trust that you’re ahead of me. Going before my feet with every step I take”

Born to Bring the Light by Cameron James

Beautiful new song. I don’t think it’s for sale wide until the middle of January. Released yesterday or so on Spotify and Youtube. Love this woman’s voice. “I can feel the fear leaving.”

Kyrie Eleison (Lord, Have Mercy) sung by Keith and Kristyn Getty (Chris Tomlin song)

Nice reminder and lovely melody. “Fan the fire of compassion once again.”

“Lord renew our vision to be Christ where we live/ To reach out in mercy to the lost.”

Ever Be – Reyer & Retain Remix by Reyer, Retain

Reminder to praise always.

Til the End of Time by Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe

Contemplative, moving song once again about moving closer and growing deeper with God.

“My heart is yours/ til the end of time”

“Your name is my safe house, my refuge/Savior, my anchor/ I run to you”

“I’m safe and sound in your sanctuary.”

 

Bonus 1 – Beautiful Songs:

He Lives in You by Karliene

Baba Yetu by Supernova

 

Bonus 2 – Some of My Favorite Hymns

Before the Throne of God Above Lou Fellingham

Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy

What Wondrous Love is This

Conclusion:

2017 wasn’t bad, but near the end I grew a little fed up with what the world’s telling me about how to be a “successful” writer. There’s a shift in me. I think I’m finally ready to get out of God’s way and let Him work through me.

2018 Anticipated Movies

Introduction:

Typically, I end up seeing about one movie a month. Looks like we might be off to a slow start in 2018. That said, there are quite a few movies I really want to see this year. Here they are roughly in release order.

 

Black Panther:

Release Date Feb 16, 2018

In recent years, Marvel has done a great job of fleshing out a lot of the characters I’d never heard of because I’m not a huge comic book fan. I read a few Star Wars comics as a kid, but never subscribed to any particular series. Marvel Studios spinoff stories have been well told, well acted, and all around superbly played. That’s why it made my list.

 

Tomb Raider:

Release Date: March 16, 2018

I’m pretty sure this is a reboot based on the excellent video game, Rise of the Tomb Raider. I loved that game. Still do. It provided a cool backstory to how Lara ended up becoming an adventurer. Video game movies in general often leave much to be desired, but I’m going in with the perspective that the movie is going to be its own thing with only vague things like the game. The franchise has usually come through in terms of providing a nice action flick.

 

Avengers: Infinity War

Release Date: May 4, 2018

Looks amazing. I’m a tad nervous about how they can pull off a good movie with so many characters to give screentime to. How do you balance a thing like that. I’m pretty sure from that trailer there are over a dozen Marvel characters teaming up this round.

 

Solo: A Star Wars Story

 

Release Date: May 25, 2018

Not sure I believe this release date. It will make a longer wait for the 9th episode of Star Wars but it’ll be way shorter a wait to get to this movie. This one, to me, will be the true test of whether or not Disney can make a viable spinoff Star Wars movie. Rogue One was excellent, but it also fit in very nicely with the established storylines. Here, they’re venturing into a previously unexplored backstory. Should be fun, but I have my reservations.

 

The Incredibles 2:

Release Date: June 15, 2018

It’s been ages since I saw the first movie, but I remember liking it. Sequels tend not to be as good as the original, but since it’s probably been over a decade since the first one, the franchise probably had a chance to reset.

 

Robin Hood:

Release Date: September 21, 2018

Heard it’s darker than most Robin Hood tales, but it still looks like a good time. People have always taken weird angles with the outlaw. I loved the BBC’s latest TV series on the subject. I guess I’m more curious about this one than truly excited.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Release Date: November 2, 2018

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t kept up with the entire X-men franchise. I think I missed most of the first movies. Might try to do some catchup, but regardless, the last few have been decent movies. They’re decent scifi action.

 

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Release Date: November 21, 2018

The first Wreck it Ralph movie was a good time that harkened back to the beginning days of video games. It struck that rare balance between being a cool kids movie and having enough video game lore to intrigue young adults who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s where video games had some booming years.

 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Couldn’t find any great promo pictures. Might be too early?

Release Date: December 14, 2018

Arguably the stupidest sounding title on my list, this one looks like a great movie. (Not a fan of the multiple hyphens.) Most fans will agree that the Spiderman movies have successfully entered a new era with Tom Holland in the spidey suit.

 

Conclusion:

I’m optimistic about the year’s choices of big screen movies. Should at least make the AMC stubs plan worth it. Usually, I see Star Wars first on principle, but this year, I’m breaking tradition and going to see Jumanji on Jan 1.

What are you looking forward to seeing in theaters?

 

 

 


Recap 2017 Movies

Introduction:

I didn’t do as well as I usually do keeping all the movie stubs this year, but I’ll look at a list of 2017 movies and let you know what I got to see. These mini-reviews are as spoiler-free as I can get them, but no absolute promises something won’t slip by.

 

Rogue One

Dates Seen: 1/2/17, 1/3/17, 1/4/17, 1/10/17 (and another 4 times in 2016)
Rating: 5/5 stars
Comments: Okay, so anybody looking at those dates would see that I really enjoyed Rogue One. Hadn’t planned to see it 3 consecutive days, but I remember the one on the 2nd was because I wanted it to be the first movie I saw in 2017, the Tuesday one happened because the theater had $5 tickets on Tuesday, and the Wednesday one happened because I had AMC credit and wanted to see what the hype was about the Dolby digital sound.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story satisfied most of the fan base. It brought to light the grittier side of the Rebellion against the evil Empire. War is messy. I also think it did a nice job with fleshing out some of the political maneuvering going on as moffs tried to please the emperor. The rather large cast of new characters integrated well with the old favorites.

 

Lego Batman

Date Seen: 2/20/17

Rating: 4/5 stars

Comments: A decent Lego movie that didn’t hesitate to poke fun at the long and varied history of Batman movies. Surprisingly, it also showed some character growth for our dark knight. I did end up seeing it again as a dvd, but it’s not the sort of movie I could take on loop.

Logan

Date Seen: 4/10/17

Rating: 4/5 stars

Comments: I had some time to kill in New York City, so I caught this movie I’d intended to see but hadn’t gotten to before. It’s enjoyable. There’s decent action. I liked the new kid and her story. They integrated the program thing well. I’m sort of a sucker for this type of secret government experiments scifi.

 

Born in China

Date Seen: 4/22/17

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Comments: Beautiful music. Nice for a nature oriented documentary. Not sure it’s one that needs to be seen on a big screen, but it’s worth watching.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Date Seen: 5/6/17

Rating: 4/5 stars

Comments: One of those rare sequels that comes off just as enjoyable as the first. The first may still be slightly better, but this one had all the same hallmarks: snarky humor, cool fights, weird scifi.

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Date Seen: 5/27/17

Rating: 4/5 stars

Comments: A worthy successor to the Pirates saga. Like any 4th or 5th (this is the 5th right?) movie, it’s not quite as good as the first. The first movie was downright awesome, but the sequels have always fallen short of it. This particular one takes place a long time after the first few, so it’s sort of a reboot of the series. Disney’s trying to breathe new life into the franchise, and they mostly succeed.

Wonder Woman:

Dates Seen: June-ish 2017 (pretty sure I saw this one twice)

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Comments: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It’s one I’d consider adding to a personal dvd/bluray collection. I haven’t yet, but maybe someday I’ll remember that at an opportune time. The movie has quite a bit of setup, but I enjoyed all that because I’m not familiar with the Wonder Woman lore. They even managed to throw in some character development, some humor, and a heck of a lot of action.

 

Spider-Man Homecoming:

Date Seen: June-ish 2017

Rating: 4/5 stars

Comments: Think I missed one of the reboot series for Spiderman. I don’t think I saw the ones with Andrew Garfield in the red tights. Anyway, this reboot works. I pity the poor props person who had to rebuild the Death Star they had to drop in the movie. The movie focused on Peter Parker trying to muddle his way through high school and being a superhero. Mr. Stark treats him like a kid, which has him terribly frustrated.

 

Dunkirk

Date Seen: July-ish 2017

Rating: 4/5 stars

Comments: This is definitely a movie enhanced by seeing on a big screen. There are very few lines of dialogue throughout this whole movie. It does a decent job showing the struggle to survive, and the desperation of the moment. War is messy.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Dates Seen: 12/15/17, 12/17/17, 12/28/17

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Comments: As the middle of a trilogy, it’s probably going to have the least closure of the new Star Wars movies. When people asked how many times I will see it, I’ve been answering that it’s likely to fall in between Rogue One (8) and The Force Awakens (14). The Last Jedi will likely stay in theaters longer than Rogue One, but I doubt I’ll be inclined to see this one 14 times in theaters.

I’ll definitely buy the dvd and watch it a few more times, but it doesn’t have quite as much closure as I like in stories. Note, this is the same reason Empire was never my favorite. That shocks a lot of hard core Star Wars fans. The porgs are useless but amazingly cute. The story development is intriguing. It’s definitely a Disneyfied version of Star Wars, but it’s still very good.

 

Conclusion:

I feel like the year’s movie selection held a good number of gems. Did you see any of these? What did you think?


Spoiler Talk Review for Star Wars Ep VIII: The Last Jedi

Once again, I don’t own the pic. Found it on Google. Pretty sure it’s one of the standard ones Disney released to promo the movie.

Introduction:

I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Jedi, but being the middle of a trilogy, it’s not likely to be my favorite Star Wars movie of all time. I’ll definitely see it again, but I’m still not sure if it’ll make me get out to theaters as much as The Force Awakens. (Saw that 14 times during it’s run, though to be fair it was in theaters until like March.) It’s definitely the sort of movie that’s worth seeing in theaters a few times.

Things I picked up only on the second time through:

– Luke’s fight with Kylo on the salt planet. He doesn’t leave footprints. I don’t think their lightsabers strike each other either. I think Luke dodges the whole time. Didn’t pick up on that the first time.

– The elevator conversation between Kylo Ren and Rey. They’re technically both correct.

Epic Moments:

– When Kylo Ren pulls Rey’s lightsaber toward himself and Rey and she reaches up and snatches it out of the air.

– When the Resistance ship slices through Snoke’s ship.

– Poe clearing out the surface canons on the dreadnaught.

– Luke becoming one with the Force.

Moments I could have done without:

I think it’s worth saying that the movie wasn’t perfect. The story wasn’t perfect.

– Luke getting milk.

– Rey and the mirror within mirrors. There’s probably really deep meaning in that scene, but I still find it annoying.

 

Funny Moments:

– Chewie’s dinner with a Porg audience.

– When Rey takes out the stone pillar and it tumbles down the hill, destroying the caretaker’s cart in the process.

– Poe ignoring General Hux while stalling for time.

– Yoda’s Force Ghost vs the tree on the sacred island.

 

Favorite Moments:

(There’s going to be some overlap here, but there are also some small moments that I really enjoyed that might not be tops of everybody’s picks.)

– Chewie’s dinner with a Porg audience.

– When Rey takes out the stone pillar and it tumbles down the hill, destroying the caretaker’s cart in the process.

– When Rey’s coffin-like pod from the Falcon gets dropped off in space.

– When the Resistance ship slices through Snoke’s ship.

– Porg vs Falcon window.

– Rey and Kylo Ren vs the Praetorian Guards. I especially like the last moment of that fight.

– BB-8 vs the cops on the casino planet (after being in the casino a while and having drunk patrons fill him with coins.)

– Rey lifting rocks at the end. It’s such an inglorious task but it’s exactly what the heroes needed at that moment.

 

Quotes and Exchanges:

(Only saw it twice, some of these are paraphrases.)

Luke: “Where are you from?”

Rey: “Nowhere.”

Luke: “Noone’s from nowhere.”

Rey: “Jakuu.”

Luke: “Okay, that’s pretty much nowhere.”

 

Luke: “There’s nothing you can say that can make me change my mind.”

R2D2: *Plays the recording of Princess Leia begging Obi-Wan Kenobi for help.*

Luke: “That was a cheap move.”

 

Poe: “‘Finn. Naked. Bag leaking.’ What? Did you fry a chip?”

 

 


Spoiler-Free Review of Star Wars Ep VIII: The Last Jedi

I do not own the picture…found it on Google. Thought it was pretty.

Summary:

Rey tries to enlist Luke Skywalker’s help while the Resistance fights for survival.

Additional Comments:

– As with The Force Awakens, there are about four main, interwoven threads to the story, focusing on Poe and the Resistance, Rey and Luke, Finn and Rose, and Kylo Ren. The editing is fairly decent in terms of balancing how much screen-time each major thread gets.

– Porgs = useless but absolutely adorable.

– The franchise has definitely been Disney-fied. That’s not necessarily a good or bad thing, just a way of life.

– I enjoyed the movie a lot, though probably not quite so much as The Force Awakens. The main turn-off for me is simply it being the middle of a trilogy. There are a lot of open threads at the end of this story. As a huge fan of closure, that’s annoying to me.

Conclusion:

I probably won’t see it quite so many times as I saw The Force Awakens (14), but I will definitely watch it a few more times in theaters and buy the Blu-ray when it’s available.

I’ll have a spoiler-talk review up soon too since I’m assuming most of the die-hards have seen it already.

Aside:

I’m not sure if I’ll read the book or listen to the audiobook. I think the book has a lot of potential to expand on things, but I did not enjoy their last pick for an author to do the novelization. This round should be better, but I’m just hesitant.

Come back for the spoiler talk…

 


Audiobook Review: 4/5 The Lover’s Portrait by Jennifer S. Alderson

 

Introduction:

I must be on a cozy mystery kick. Ended up with like 3 in a row. That’s cool.

The Lover’s Portrait by Jennifer S. Alderson 4/5 Slow start but Great End

Summary:

A split story (part in the past, part in the present). (In the past) A Dutch art dealer struggles to keep his friend’s priceless collections out of the clutches of greedy Nazi hands. (In the present) An art history student, Zelda Richardson, tries to impress the project managers for a museum exhibit of lost art (stuff that went unclaimed since WWII).

 

Additional Comments:

– Zelda’s a believable amateur sleuth. She’s kinda just nosy and stubborn and ends up finding trouble.

– The beginning requires a lot of setup. Even as an audiobook, that got taxing, but the payoff in the end is worth it.

– Characters are pretty well developed in here. Zelda’s friend is a nice guy. The bad guy is dedicated to his role.

– Even though this is book 2 in the series, it’s easy enough to know who’s who and what’s what.

 

Conclusion:

Enjoyable cozy mystery. I enjoyed it.

 

<h2>Associate links to follow…</h2>

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Amazon Prime

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Free Kindle Reading App

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Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)

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Audiobook Review: 4/5 The Golden Hour by MK Graff Narrated by Nano Nagle

 

What’s new?

After a pretty long hiatus, I am back with reviewing audiobooks. Let’s start with a cozy British mystery.

Summary:

Nora Tierney gets caught up in a complicated case of international terrorism.

Additional Comments:

– Loved the narrator’s voice. (Nano Nagle’s performance is strong.) British accent is usually charming.

– Nora and Declan’s relationship seemed contrived at points, but it’s still a feel good type story.

– Honestly, Nora annoyed me at points. (She seemed superfluous.) I think that might be a pitfall of cozy’s in general – she’s not a detective so her involvement with the case has some pretty shaky threads.

– This isn’t the first in the series, but catching up was pretty easy. The series as a whole would likely be more enjoyable from the beginning though.

– The book started very strong but kind of dragged in the end.

– The plot’s kind of complicated but I really enjoyed the terrorism angle.

Conclusion:

A well-narrated cozy mystery.

 

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)


Author Interview with Nix Wittaker Author of Model Serenity

Author Interview:

Hey, join me in welcoming Nix Wittaker today. Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend.

Tell me a little about your background.

I was born in South Africa on the east coast. Mosquitos and green mamba rather than lions and giraffe Africa. I left when I was a young girl and moved to New Zealand with my family. And traded snakes and sharks with earthquakes and volcanoes.

 

What do you do for fun?

Reading and looking after kittens. I’m a foster mom for the RSPCA and hand rear week old kittens or help tame feral kittens.

 

Who or what inspires you the most?

My grandfather believed in collecting useless information. I do the same and that is where I get most of my ideas.

 

 

About your writing:

What got you into writing?

I’m dyslexic but when I was growing up no at school figured that out because I’m also a smart cookie so they suggested I read books. I read a lot. Talking about 3 digits and so I ran out of books to read and started writing my own.

 

What is your writing process?

I am not a pantser I always plan out the book. Not in detail. I plan it out start writing and then pause when I get a feel for my characters and go back to put more detail into the plan. Then I write the exiting bits and figure out why the rest isn’t interesting. Once I figure those out I start having others start reading chapters and giving me feedback while I tweak and polish.

 

When do you consider a work complete?

Never. I like to go back over and over. I usually publish though after I spend the cash on an editor. My mother is an artist and she is the same. She usually sells her work or paints over it as it never seems perfect. At least with writing you can forever tweak it.

 

About your book:

Are there any deep themes or messages in the book the readers should be aware of?

My book is set on another planet where some crazy scientists have played eugenics. The same stuff the Nazi were trying during WWII, I wanted to show that our racism in this day and age is insidious and everywhere.

me: That’s a great theme. I’ve got a series with crazy scientists too. (I’m a chem teacher too…so I get the appeal of going nuts with science.)

 

What gave you the idea for this book?

I’ve had this idea for a long time. But the original was a fantasy but I find I write Sci-Fi better and when I changed it to science fiction the story became something new. There are a few things that came over from the fantasy version like the names of the caste systems.

 

How long did the book take to write?

Longer than usual. My first novel took 3 months, to write this one it is already at a year but I have managed to knock out the next book in the series in that time as well. I thought I would write the whole series before I published.

 

Who designed the cover?

I design my own covers but don’t take that as permission to make your own. I am also a digital designer and sell covers professionally. If you are an author let the designer do their job, it is what you pay them for in the first place. I cringe when an author wants you to change everything or add in too much on the cover.

Me: Ha, yes, I can understand that. Wow, if I were a digital designer that would save me a whole heap of money :-). I’ve only ever made my nonfiction covers b/c they’re mainly text. (It is a very cool cover.)

Do you write in other genres?

I have another series in Steampunk with dragons so in my mind it is alternative history slash fantasy. Though technically it still falls under Science Fiction.

 

Tell us about one other book or series and why it’s important to you.

I’ve another series and this one is set a little in the future after the world has survived global warming. Usually when you have dystopias it is awful but my world isn’t. Humans are amazing and can adapt and that is exactly what they do in this book.

Random:

What animal do you most relate to?

Cats. Who wouldn’t want to lie in the sun and sleep all day.

 

What’s one thing very few people know about you?

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Triple chocolate. I have a distinct soft spot for anything chocolate. Add anything with nuts to the chocolate and I am in heaven.

 

What are you non-writing hobbies or interests?

Art. I’m a decent artist but I realised at a young age that I couldn’t be a great artist. So I thought I would become great at something else.

Conclusion:

If you’d like to learn more about Nix, please visit her website.

Website: www.nixwhittaker.com

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)

Narrator Interview: Moira Todd – Ember Burning , YA Fantasy

Introduction:

Hey all, thanks for joining us this week. I must be on a narrator kick.

Please welcome Moira Todd, the voice behind the new audiobook Ember Burning (Trinity Forest Book 1) (You can find the link below). The story follows a grieving teen as she ventures into a forest teeming with urban legends of witchcraft and disappearances and then once there, she finds she must face the truth behind her parent’s death or lose herself to the forest forever. The second book in the series, Oshun Rising, will be available on Audible in February.

Cool. Let’s meet the lady.

How did you get into audiobooks?

I auditioned for an audiobook production company and they pointed me toward ACX, where I can be my own producer, which is really great.

How many audiobooks have you produced?

I’ve produced 8 titles now, including Playing with Fire: A #Hacker Novel by Sherry Ficklin, and Why Can’t My Life Be a Romance Novel by Melinda R. Cordell. I also have three in various stages of production.

Why did you choose to work on Ember Burning?

I love working on books with female protagonists and I think Ember has a really fun voice.

What was your favorite part of the book?

My favorite is the end when everything really comes to a head and the suspense is at its highest.

What was the hardest part of working on the novel?

The hardest part is actually scheduling. I have to balance audiobooks with acting and teaching. So if I get a cold or something, and can’t record for a few days it can really mess up my production schedule.

What’s involved in the process?

Well, it starts with reading the book. I like to read it once just as an audience and write down my thought on the story as a whole so that I can remember that experience when I’m listening to myself read one sentence over and over. I then read it again an make notes of character descriptions, words I don’t know how to pronounce, and any major tone or pacing shifts in the story.

Me: That’s a lot of reading.

Then I’ll take a chapter or so at a time, and mark it up. This means writing in the best way to make the story clear, like which words to emphasize and when to breath. I take my marked up section into the studio and record it. Any time I mess up, I just go back and read it again. So what I’m left with is a big long recording with lost of repeated sections. I have to use editing software to delete the mess ups, and any big long breathes that sound weird, and make sure the pacing is effective. This then gets given to the author to approve, and eventually put on sale on audible.

How long does it take to create a chapter?

Typically it takes me 10 hours to produce one hour of finished narration.

Me: Oh my goodness.

What is your favorite part of being an audiobook narrator/producer?

My family is pretty spread out, so I love being able to share audiobooks with them, and it’s like were back at home and I’m reading a book to everyone in the living room around the fire.

What’s been the hardest part?

Keeping myself on track to meet deadlines is the hardest part. Because it’s just me, I have to hold myself accountable so that I don’t end up with a week left and half the book to finish.

What’s your favorite audiobook you’ve listen to? Why?
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy narrated by Rob Inglis. I listed to all three on a road trip across the country last year, so it just brings me back to those awesome memories.

What is ahead/next for you?

Are you working on any interesting projects? Do you have anything planned or in the works now? (Other books you might recommend?)

Yeah, I’ve got a few projects in the works. Right now I’m recording Killing Her Softly, a romantic suspense novel by Barb Warner Deane. And in the new year I’ll begin production on the next book in Jennifer Alsever’s Trinity Forrest series Book 2, Oshun Rising.

What do you do when you’re not working on audiobooks?

I’m in rehearsal for a show, or teaching theatre classes, or maybe going on a hike in the Potomac valley.

What do you expect to happen in the audiobook market?

I’m not sure. Podcasts have certainly exploded in recent years. Audiobooks seem like the prefect medium for commuting. People spend so much time in cars or trains or buses these days, why not be listening to a story at the same time.

Conclusion:

Thanks for joining us, Moira. We appreciate you taking the time to chat.

 

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)

Narrator Interview: Reuben Corbett

Introduction:

Hey all, I’d like to introduce you to a very special guest today. A few weeks ago, I had a fit of insanity and posted 5 casting calls for narrators for a variety of projects. I’d pretty much settled on a narrator for The Golden City Captives, when at the very last second, I got one more unsolicited audition. Upon hearing that short audition, I absolutely fell in love with this guy’s rich voice. Please welcome Reuben Corbett. He’s a relative newcomer to the audiobook scene, but I’ve no doubt you’ll be hearing more from him in the near future.

Let’s start off easy. Tell me a little about your background:

I grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado. I always liked performing, so I started playing the cello when I was 9 years old. I played all the way through college, where I was a cello performance major. A couple years into college, I realized there wasn’t a lot of money in music, so I became a welder of all things. 5 years and like 12 different jobs later, I still hadn’t found anything I really enjoyed. I had always been told by people that I had a great voice. I also loved reading and listening to audiobooks. I decided that I would be really good at narrating books! I did some research, found acx, and the rest is history!

What do you do for fun?

I narrate audio books!

(Me: I shoulda seen that one coming.)

About this Work:

What brought you to working on this project?

I found it on acx, auditioned for it, and Julie picked me for the part.

(Like I said, squeaked in under the wire. I was sending out proposals as his audition came in.)

What was the hardest part of bringing this story to life?

It really wasn’t too difficult. Julie’s writing does most of the work. The most difficult part is becoming the characters.

Do you have a favorite character voice from the project? Why/ why not?

My favorite voice to do was Lord Ewald. Coming up with his voice was just fun, and it just seemed to really fit the character.

(Me: That it did.)

Do you have a favorite chapter from the project? Why/ why not?

My Favorite chapter is chapter 5. A lot happens in the chapter, lots of action. A very dramatic chapter.

About your other works:

How many other works have you narrated?

I have only narrated one other book, so far.

Can you recommend any of your other titles for us? What about the work is appealing?

My only other title is called Simplify: How to Declutter, Get Organized, and Stay that Way. It is a short self-development book about being organized.

(Sounds like a useful title…less fun than a fantasy one though :-))

Which work are you most proud to have been a part of? Why?

The Golden City Captives, because it is my first fantasy genre book!

What drew you to voice acting?

Well, I have been told all my life that I had a great voice. One day the idea occurred to me, and I decided to try and make it a reality.

Is this the only acting you do? If you do other forms of acting, which is your favorite and why?

I also do YouTube videos. I prefer to do audiobooks, but I still enjoy doing videos.

Do you have a process when you approach a work? Please describe it for us.

First I read the book to try and dive into the story, get to know the characters and so forth. Then I practice voices for the characters, and try to figure out the tone for the overall book. Feedback from the author is definitely a necessity.

If you could only leave 1 lasting impression on the world, what would it be?

I would want people to remember me as an example of being loving and kind.

Do you get to read for fun? Do you have a favorite genre to read for fun?

My favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy.

What kind of movies do you enjoy?

I love movies that are clean and uplifting.

Where can we find out more about you?

Website: https://frcorbett1011.wixsite.com/reubencorbett

Social Media Links:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIayBxVOF0JuBVam1NDTQlw

https://www.facebook.com/reuben.corbett

Conclusion:

The Golden City Captives will release soon. It’s in the approval stage from ACX. I can’t wait to share this lovely project with everybody. Leave a comment and I might pick somebody at random to win a free copy of the audiobook.

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)