Michael Ferraiuolo, a man of many voices

Today, I’d like to welcome the very talented Michael Ferraiuolo to my blog. Michael took on Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas and tackled the myriad accents of the cast with seeming ease… the result is absolutely incredible (and for those who’ve heard it… wait until you hear Sacrificed!).

Howdy, Michael. Welcome to my blog. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a native New Yorker with an overabundant love of reading. Luckily I was able to take a traditionally leisurely pastime and make a career out of it. I also write music for film and tv…and the occasional audiobook.

How did you get into audiobook narration?

My career began in music, but before that I was student of theater who always had a knack for accents and voices. As a studio owner in NYC I was able to meet people from different parts of the audio recording world. One day, I met a gentleman whose career was in audiobook production. One conversation with him planted the seed in my mind. After a few twists, turns, and rocky attempts I found myself in Audible Studios as a fully fledged narrator.

What is your favourite part of doing narration?

There are two aspects of the job tied for first place. I love finding character voices. When you’re given a great character that can stand out with an interesting accent or pattern of speech its easy to have a great deal of fun. The other part of this work that I truly enjoy is when an author is able to tell me that a character has come to life just the way they heard them in their mind. There’s a real satisfaction in helping people bring their characters and worlds to life.

The hardest part?

Often the same thing as my favorite part! Voices can be just as much a challenge as they are fun. If there’s a manuscript with dozens of characters it can be difficult to truly differentiate between them all.

Favourite genre (or subgenre) of books to narrate?

I try not to discriminate. Art is art and I’m proud to be a part of any project I take on. I’m a little quicker to accept fantasy or sci-fi books though.

Are you reading anything right now?

Always! Aside from the books I read for work I tend to read one or two for pleasure simultaneously. I’m currently reading the second Erevis Cale trilogy by Paul S. Kemp. Sadly, the audiobooks have already been made…a missed opportunity!

What are your top 5 books of all time (any genre)?

I don’t feel qualified enough to answer that one! Can I cop out and list some of my favorite writers? If so, I’d have to say…in no order.

Tolkien
Shakespeare
Pablo Neruda
Bill Bryson
Glen Cook
Charles C Mann
Bey Deckard

Those are some great names to be included with… grins Sheesh :)

I’d like to say thank you Bey for your literary contributions and I would encourage everyone to share their enthusiasm for your work and other great literature!

Thank very much, Michael and thank you for stopping by!

Interested in having Michael narrate? Contact him through http://www.ironworkstudios.com/

Want to win an audible copy of Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas or Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires (coming any day now)?

Just comment below with either your favourite audiobook or a book you would love to hear made into audio (any author or genre). I’ll pick two winners on Wednesday April 26th

Interview with Nick J. Russo, audiobook narrator PLUS audiobook giveaway


Today we’ll meet Nick J. Russo, the talented narrator who’s voiced many of my audiobooks. Whether it’s Sarge’s gruff commands, Max’s sly teasing, or James’s awkward protestations, Nick’s does an incredible job bringing my characters to life.

Howdy, Nic​k. Welcome to my blog.
Thanks for having me, Bey!

First off… how did you get into audiobook narration?

I got into audio book narration a bit on a whim. I was working in an entirely different field when a friend of mine, John Solo, was looking for people to to read at his studio, Falcon Sound Company. As soon as I came in and read, I knew it was something I would enjoy doing. It’s not every day that you can stumble into a dream job and turn it into a full time career, but three years later it’s what I’m doing and loving it!

What is your favourite part of doing narration?

My favorite parts are usually when there is some kind of intense moment in a book. If I’m able to really get into the character and convey more extreme emotions like jealousy, fear, anger, extreme joy, regret, and of course lust in sex scenes, just to name a few, they are incredibly fun to perform. When those are written well, it’s great to translate into audio.

The hardest part?

Sometimes it can be tough finding just the right voice for a character. During my pre-reads I’ve gone in with an initial voice in mind only to find that it doesn’t work whatsoever by the time I’m done. Accents, depending on the type, can be a bit difficult at times as well.

Favourite genre (or subgenre) of books to narrate?

I have a few favorite genres, but if I had to pick one I’d say sci-fi. I’ve always been a sucker for space adventures, whether it be Star Wars, Star Trek, Battle Star, Mass Effect – whatever. To me, sci-fi is like pizza: there isn’t any bad version of it.

Are you reading anything right now?

I’m about to start 1984, which I’ve heard great things about and pretty excited for. John Grisham novels are always a go to of mine as well.

What are your top 5 books of all time (any genre)?

I’m not sure I could pick just five! If I had to list some that come to mind though, I’d probably say John Grisham’s The Firm, David McCullough’s 1776, Stephen King’s The Shining, and the Star Wars Thrawn Trilogy. I’m also a big fan of the Harry Potter series. Real random list I know, but that’s how I roll. :P

I appreciate getting to be on your blog, as l’m a big fan of your work, Bey! It’s so much fun narrating your stories because I know before I even read the first page that the characters will be three dimensional and a lot of fun to voice. Thank you for letting me voice your guys! And thank you to all those that enjoy my reads. It’s really great to hear from fans via reviews, tweets, or on Facebook. I’ve got a bunch of titles in the works right now, with Bey’s The Last Nights of The Frangipani Hotel out in audio today!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Nick!


Here’s your chance to win an audio copy of The Last Nights of The Frangipani Hotel!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Interview at FGMAMTC – Max, Kestrel’s Talon, Exposed, and more

Thanks so much to Toni from Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents for making Max one of her top reads in 2016 :D

Curious about the inspiration for Max? Want to know more? Check out the interview here.

Varian Krylov stops by to chat about The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord ♪♪ + Giveaway

interviews

See below for a chance to win a copy of The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord

I had the extreme pleasure of reading your upcoming book, The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord and I was curious to know what prompted you to write it. I remember you were working on something else entirely and you switched tack and were suddenly halfway through writing this book. What triggered that?

goj-cover-200x300Hey Bey, thanks for having me over! Hi, Bey’s readers! Waves hola.

Well, I’ve been working on the sequel to Trasmundo for about a year, and to be honest, it’s the most difficult book I’ve ever written. I keep thinking it’s done, or almost done, but I know deep down it’s not quite right yet. The Trasmundo series is also a deeply dark, painful story, in some ways—it’s a really beautiful love story, but it also deals with civil war, ethnic cleansing, and exile—and being immersed in that world non-stop, month after month was taking a pretty heavy emotional toll on me (more so that I even realized, while I was in the thick of it).

Then back in May I was visiting my best friend for a week. This woman and I have been best buds since we were ten years old, and luckily she moved to Europe just a couple months after I did, so we still get together all the time. And inevitably, when I go stay with her, I get mentally roused and kind of fired up creatively because she’s an incredibly clever, stimulating person, and also we just have our bestie dynamic—you know, joking around together, playing off each other’s weird sense of humor and slightly warped brains. And out of that euphoric reprieve from my writing slump, I decided I wanted to write a FUN story. Sexy and sweet and playful. And I wanted to set it in Barcelona, since I’ve been living here for a couple years now and I’m madly in love with the city.

 

One of your two main protagonists goes through a period of adjustment when he first arrives in Barcelona. Were his observations inspired by your own experiences?

Absolutely. Certain things are so striking about European cities, if you’re used to living on the west coast in the U.S. where I spent my whole life before moving abroad. Centuries of history are on display in the architecture. Once you get off the main boulevards and highways, you get into these mazes of incredibly narrow streets that were laid out when the biggest vehicle was a horse-drawn cart laden with commercial goods (I seriously don’t know how truck drivers do it, here!).

And then there are the cultural differences, like how much more generationally-diverse public life is. In the U.S., it seemed like almost everything is so segregated by age. Here, extended families are much more integrated, and older people aren’t so hidden away. Life is also lived much more publicly—in the plazas, in the back streets among the apartment buildings. It can get a bit boisterous at times, but it also feels more like a community. And then, of course, there’s the casual disregard for swimming apparel at the local beaches. I’d heard all about women running around topless, but I wasn’t expecting the full monty when I went for my first dip in the sea. But you won’t hear me complain.

 

Jazz music features prominently in the story, and I remember feeling like I was right there in the club. Is jazz popular in Barcelona? and, is the setting inspired by a real place?

Yeah, jazz is pretty popular. There are quite a few dedicated jazz clubs, and then there are performances going on all the time in different bars and cafés, as well as plenty of little pop-up events in the plazas, at the beach, etcetera in the warmer months. All the venues I mention in the novel are real places that I frequent.

 

What was the most satisfying part about writing The God of Jazz?

It’s funny, like I was saying, I set out to write something fun, almost fluffy. I was more focused on escaping the mental and emotional labor of my other work-in-progress than a story or idea that needed to be told. But as soon as I started, really from the very first page, the story felt so real and true to me. It surprised me how quickly and deeply I got invested in Godard, in the professional frustration he goes through, and then the heartbreak that leaves him wounded and adrift at the start of the novel. Pretty quickly I realized that instead of a fluffy little romp, The God of Jazz had turned into something deeply meaningful to me, personally. And not just for the love story. Actually, the parts that hit me the hardest were the ones dealing with Godard connecting with a new family of friends—finding the people who come together to take care of each other in moments of crisis, and who gather together to celebrate each other’s joys and successes.

 

And finally… what five words would you use to describe the book?

Eesh, that’s a tough one! Ummm…

Playful. Sexy. Sunny. Wet. Sultry.

Thanks so much for the chat, Bey and friends. Good luck to everyone on the giveaway!

Yes, those are definitely five good words to describe this book. Thanks Varian, always a pleasure.

giveaway-goj

Folks, I loved this book and I want you all to read it… and Varian’s offering an ebook to one lucky person! All you have to do is comment below with either your favourite jazz song OR your favourite beach destination. :)

I’ll pick a random winner at 10am EDT Monday, Sept. 26th – Good luck!

❂ Coming soon: Fugue, Concord by Varian Krylov + Giveaway ❂

To start off this week, I asked one of my favourite authors to come on over to speak about her upcoming novel.

Let’s give a warm welcome to the very talented Varian Krylov!

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Hi everybody! And Bey, thanks for having me back!

It’s kind of funny, I’m a writer, but when I step away from my tall tales and try to write a blog post, I never know what to say. But today, after chasing my tail for a bit,  I decided it would be fun to talk about one of the inspirations for my upcoming novel, Fugue, Concord.

 

0 FE2A0564I’m from California, but for the last two years and change I’ve been living in my favorite city in the world—Barcelona. It’s a fabulous place for lots of reasons: it’s part of Spain’s sunny Costa Brava, but in addition to being a beach city on the Mediterranean, it’s also got mountains, and its urban center is studded with amazing architectural gems, with Roman walls, neogothic cathedrals, and beautiful modernist buildings by the whimsical genius Antoni Gaudi and others. Barcelona is also a culturally vibrant cosmopolitan hub, with fabulous art museums, galleries, and a thriving music scene.

So, when I decided to write something a bit lighter and more playful than Bad Things and Trasmundo,  I thought, hey, why not take my readers on a little vicarious holiday to Barcelona?

Raval El Jardi  FE2A3074Unlike most of my novels, much of Fugue, Concord is rooted in my own experiences venturing into the realm of independent filmmaking for a few years before I moved to Europe, and also my life living as an expat in Spain. I had a lot of fun taking these characters to my favorite beaches (where bathing suits are always optional), on evening strolls through the winding, narrow streets of the labyrinthine Gothic neighborhood, and out to savor the local night life amid a few of my favorite jazz clubs.

jazz en la playa _E2A2452eAnother of my favorite things about Barcelona is the Spanish men (I know, huge surprise, haha). And I’d love to introduce you to Ángel, the god of jazz.

If you want a sneak peak at Fugue, Concord before the novel comes out next month, you can read a long, juicy, NSFW excerpt at my website: http://variansfiction.wix.com/variankrylov

I’ll also be posting updates and announcing giveaways on my Facebook page. If we’re not already friends, don’t be shy! I love talking to readers and fellow writers!

Besos!

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This book… oh this book. I want to visit Barcelona more than ever now :)

For a chance to win an ebook copy of Varian’s book, Fugue, Concord (when it comes out), comment below and tell me where in the world you’d love to travel to. I’ll pick one random winner on Monday, July 4th at 7pm EDT.

Good luck!

❁ MM March Madness! Interview and giveaway ❁

Howdy folks! It’s a beee-utiful day up here in Montréal with the sun shining, and though it’s a little on the cold side (-8ºC/17.6ºF), the end of winter is nigh. I can feel it in my bones, and bones never lie ;)

A little something special today: I’m featured over at Twinsie Talk for MM March Madness! Why not head on over there to read the interview and enter the giveaway! I’m ponying up ecopy of book one of each of my series—Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas, Sarge, and The Complications of T.

That’s an and, not an or… you get all three books!

Go on… see you there :)