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: 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.)

Audiobook Edge Interviews: Rachel Jamieson – Music Composer

 

Introduction:

Let’s try something a little different and chat with a lady who love music. Rachel Jamieson isn’t the author or illustrator for Mandy and Mitch and the Big Brave Boots. She’s the musician.

First, let’s meet the lady.

About this Work:

What brought you to working on this project?

I was approached by a friend of mine who is a director and with whom I have worked on a number of short films in the past. She had a new project on the go which turned out to be a children’s audiobook written by a friend of hers. The intention of the audiobook was to use a fun story with relatable characters to help children begin to talk about things like anxiety. I loved the whole idea of the project and knew it was something I wanted to be involved with.

 

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

As the composer for the project, my role was to bring the story to life through music. The story is all about emotions, so the fundamental purpose of the music was to help convey the emotions that Mitch experiences. This was probably the hardest part, trying to really conjure up how it feels to be scared or feel brave through the music. That said, it was also the most enjoyable aspect of the project because it was very rewarding listening to the music transform alongside Mitch.

What would you say to someone who thinks music gets in the way in audiobooks?

I do understand that some people feel music can be a distraction in audiobooks and so it is the composer’s responsibility to handle the music sensitively and know when music is needed and when it isn’t. If done well, music can add so much to an audiobook because it provides instant atmosphere. Also, a strong score can be a unique selling point for an audiobook that really makes it stand out.

 

About you:

What drew you to writing music for audiobooks?

I grew up listening to audiobooks, everything from the BBC Narnia series to Malory Towers. In the Narnia audiobooks, in particular, I experienced how powerful music could be in audiobooks and how it could really add an extra dimension. So, I loved working on an audiobook because I knew how effective music could be and wanted to write music which would help create the world of the story.

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

I listen to the audiobook and talk to the director about their vision for the audiobook and what they want from the music. With ‘Mandy and Mitch’ I knew, right from the start, I needed to produce a strong melody that would capture Mandy and Mitch’s personalities. In addition, I wanted music that could be easily adapted to convey the emotions that Mitch experiences. So, I guess the first step is getting to know the characters and deciding what the overall sound of the music should be.

From there, it’s also very important, especially with music for audiobooks, to work out how much music is needed. Deciding where music is needed and where more space should be left for the narration can be key. With ‘Mandy and Mitch’ the director wanted music throughout, which meant I had free reign to really have fun with the music.

Random Questions:

What’s one random thing people don’t really know about you?

That’s a tricky one, maybe that I can juggle and one of my favourite things to do is go to a park and play catch!

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

Maybe that we should all just be nicer to each other. We could make so much difference if we all just took the time to be kind and go out of our way to help others.

Do you have other hobbies? What do you do to relax?

I used to play a lot of table tennis when I was younger, but I love pretty much all racket sports. Playing a sport helps me unwind and take my mind off things.

What kind of movies do you enjoy?

I love dramas. When I watch a film, I want to be moved by it and feel something for the characters. My current favourite film is ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ because of the acting and incredible true story basis. Plus, I love the soundtrack, which is a bonus!

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

I have been a composer for a couple of years now. It awesome and varied work. I have worked on lots of short films, three feature films and a number of commercial projects. I love writing for feature films in particular because one of my favourite aspects of composing is creating melodic themes. The length of a feature film gives me space to develop that and use that development to tell a story.

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

I studied English Literature at university so have always enjoyed reading. I like reading lots of different genres but one of my current favourite books is ‘On the Road’. When I read a book I want it to really take me somewhere, so any book that does that in whatever genre is good for me.

How do we get in contact with you?

Come visit my website: www.racheljamieson.com/

Or find me on Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/racheljamieson.music/

https://soundcloud.com/racheljamiesonfilmmusic

Conclusion:

Very cool. It was nice to meet you, Rachel. Thanks for sharing your passion for music with us.

 

Associate links to follow…

Music only:

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 The Pygmy Dragon by Marc Secchia

 

Introduction:

Whenever you pick up a book by Marc Secchia, you can expect epic adventure. He’s created quite a wide world of dragons, shapeshifters, and humans locked in strife.

The Review:

Summary: Pip gets snatched away from her family and put in a zoo. There she befriends Hoonago (sorry about spelling, I heard the audiobook), a giant ape-like creature. After that, she’s rescued/ kidnapped by a dragon and taken to a dragonrider school.

Additional Comments:
– World Building – 5/5 The story’s full of imagination and neat world-building. The story fits within the same world as Aranya, though if asked to compare, I think that book’s better.
– Pip’s kind of a fun character.
– Pacing 3/5 – Parts of this book are unnecessarily long. I heard the audioversion, which made those sections bearable, but I don’t think it really got to the “meat” of the story until quite a few hours in. The time spent describing the zoo could easily have been halved and still given readers a feel for the horrors Pip faced.
– The end didn’t have as much closure as I like, but it’s still a good story.

  • Content warning: Recommended for upper teens and adults. While there’s nothing I’d consider steamy by any stretch, there are a few references to nudity and subtle suggestive comments made by some of the characters.

Conclusion: If you like dragons, Marc’s definitely a writer to check out.

Conclusion:

This is the second story I’ve listened to by this author. The narrator did a decent job, but I didn’t love his voice as I did with the narrator of Aranya. I know it’s a companion book, but it still sort of suffered sequel syndrome of not quite being as good as the first book experienced. That said, it’s still a solid fantasy read.

Associate links to follow…


Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible

Awesome Audiobooks: The Automaton’s Wife by Vered Ehsani

Introduction:

This story picks up roughly where The Ghosts of Tsavo left off. The series is pretty cool if you’re into strange characters. The narrator’s perfect for the part.

Review:

5/5 Charming, Witty, Weird

Summary: Bee’s back and she’s got her hands full. There’s murder and mayhem afoot and bigger crises like warding off would-be suitors.

Additional Comments:

– I think I’ve said it before: this is my brand of weird. That said, it’s probably not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. If you’re in the mood for a serious book, definitely wrong series.

– If you’re in the mood for fun and weird, definitely a great series to try.

– The series combines the charm of Alexander McCall Smith’s #1 Detective Agency with the random, wacky weirdness of Seth Graham Smith’s Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies.

– I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks lately and these are always a light-hearted bit of escapism.

– The character has a few quirks that can come across as annoying, especially in the way she describes things. But overall, it’s still highly entertaining.

– I find the blurb a tad misleading after you’ve heard or read the story, but if you enjoyed the first story, I see no reason for you to dislike this one. If this is your introduction to the series, you might want to grab book one so you have some context.

Conclusion: Decent entry in an awesome series.

Conclusion:

I’ve listened to dozens of audiobooks this year, and I have to say, this series is one of my favorites. They’re very, very strange, but quirky little mysteries. Most of the charm’s in the characters.

-Jules

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible

Audiobook Reviews: Christmas and Ghosts – 3 Books by Paul Fitz-George

Something New, Something Strange …

The review this round is going to be a tad different than normal. I’m reviewing three different books by the same author. Paul Fitz-George writes about ghosts. He’s a bit of a supernatural historian.

The Reviews …

4/5 The West End Ghost Book: A Ghostly Gallivant Through London’s Haunted Heartland

Summary: Sort of a who’s who of creepy ghosts and where to find them in London.

Additional Comments:

– Kind of glad that I didn’t have this book before my trip to London.

– I heard the audio version. The narrator did a lovely job with the performance, but some of the titles were really hard to distinguish because of the sound effect used to make it even creepier.

– It’s like an occult history book. I found it interesting because it’s vastly different from my usual listening fare.

Conclusion: If you’re up for some ghosts, give this a go.

4/5 The Whitby Ghost Book

Summary: A peek into the supernatural goings on in Whitby, England.

Additional Comments:

– Writing and narration are both good, though I could do without the sound effects. Sometimes they help, but in this case, they just made some sections hard to hear.

– Cover’s pretty creepy, but it fits the mood nicely.

– A nice companion piece to the West End Ghost Book (though I think this one was actually the first book).

Conclusion: Historical supernatural accounts. Not exactly sure what to call them.

4/5 Christmas Customs of Old Whitby by Paul Christopher Fitz-George

Summary: A super-short, niche book about Christmas customs in an old English town.

Additional Comments:

– The title sort of says it all.

– I heard the audioversion. The narrator fit the project well.

– If you’re into history, it might be a good fit for you.

Conclusion:

Small slice of history with a touch of weird.

Conclusion:

Paul Fitz-George’s works definitely fall outside the realm of normal, but they’re fun and short overall. He’s got two narrators: Time Winters and Petrina Kingham. Both handle their respective stories well. I’d listen to more works by them.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.


Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 Lost and Found by Amy Shojai

Introduction:

The story falls in the category of “far-fetched” but still fun.

Summary:

It’s like the adult version of a horrible, no good, very bad day. This woman – September Day – knows how to find trouble in spades.

Additional Comments:

  • Warning: Contains strong language throughout. And a bit of violence.
  • Plot’s kind of out there, but that can add to the charm.
  • The author does a decent job narrating her own story. Not a huge fan of the concept of self-narrating, but she does decent sound effects and voice variation.
  • I love Shadow! Feel like I should get a T-shirt with that emblazoned on it. He’s adorable. I could go either way on sections of a book being written from a dog’s point of view, but it’s done well here.
  • Some of the “bad guys” aren’t really believable, but it’s good to have some moral ambiguity to wrestle with. (sometimes)
  • The part about drug trials is realistic enough.
  • Loved the end twist. I had heard book 2 first, so I might have known it already, but I’d forgotten enough.
  • There are quite a few perspectives to keep track of, not all of them necessary. But the skipping around didn’t bother me in audio form.
  • I love how ordinary September is. That makes her an awesome heroine.

Conclusion:

Don’t think too hard about plausibility. Grab the audiobook and enjoy the wild ride.

 

* I received a copy of the audiobook, but the choice to review it as well as the opinions expressed here are my own.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible

Audiobook Reviews: 4/5 A Memory of Grief by Dale T. Phillips

Haunting cover

Introduction:

The cover’s a bit more haunting than it probably ought to be. It’s one of the few times that I don’t think it fits well unless you want to get deeply philosophical about the main character’s mood.

Summary: Zack Taylor’s told his best friend just committed suicide, but he knows better … and he’s going to prove it.

Additional Comments:

– Warning – not a “clean” book. Contains half a dozen f-bombs and plenty of violence.

– It’s a bit like a Jack Reacher book in that certain people get pounded and you still end up rooting for the good guy.

– There’s a romance subplot that the book could have done without. It’s not that it was bad, but it seemed a tad forced.

– The characters are likable – or unlikable – as they’re supposed to be. That’s always fun. I also enjoyed the fact that the main character isn’t invincible, but he’s still admirable and tough as nails.

– There are a few light-hearted moments. The descriptions are decent.

– I heard the narrated version. Although I can’t say the narrator’s voice is my favorite, he fits the character well and put on a solid performance. I would listen to another of his books.

Conclusion:

Mystery that provides an excellent excuse for the main character to bust people’s heads (and arms and whatnot). Highly enjoyable if you can stomach the violence.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible

4 More Freebies – Grab Bag – Children’s, Romance, Fantasy

Cover reminds me of old school classics.

Introduction:

We’ve moved from weird to romance. Now, let’s settle on sweet and nostalgic and romantic. Eh, life’s like a box of chocolates and all that.

Children’s Tale

He Whistles for the Cricket by Gwen Walker

I can’t make heads or tails of that title, but the story sounds lovely.

Second Chance at Love

Still Falling by Crystal Walton

Okay, so maybe there’s still a bit of romance here. They do look cute together.

A Wee Bit of Fantasy

The Movement of Crowns by Nadine Keels

The heir to a crown balances duty and love.

YA Action and Adventure

A Measure of Disorder by Alan Tucker

Goblins, fairies, dragons, and middle schoolers … recipe for interesting.

Conclusion:

Besides being free, I admit these have little to do with each other. But grab bags and randomness can be fun too.

 

Yaddah, yaddah, blah, blah – links below are associate ones.


Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible

3 Free Clean Romance Stories

I like the new cover.

Introduction:

I’ve been throwing weird at you. And murders. Here’s a collection of sweet looking romance stories.

Most Akin to a Hallmark Movie

Her Best Match by Tamie Dearen.

A billionaire, a matchmaker, and a meddlesome grandmother, what could go wrong?

Friends or more than friends?

Far from Falling by K.D. Garcia

Heads wrestle with many questions when hearts are on the line.

Enough Contemporary … Let’s head back in time…

Gabriella by Brenda Hiatt (Regency Romance)

A common girl and a handsome duke each get more than they bargained for.

Conclusion:

If romance is your thing, there’s bound to be one of these that appeals to you.

 

(Fair warning: There be associate links below.)

But just in case … here are yet more options


Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible