Friday Feature….The Curious Tale of Creating an Audio Book….

Creating an audio book was not something I had thought about too deeply until recently. My friend and fellow mystery author Phyllis Entis began the process of converting her Damien Dickens Mysteries trilogy sometime back in 2016. I watched with interest as each book was brought to life. It was not an althogether smooth process, but the end result was amazing. It got me to thinking (yes I do still have a few brain cells left in good working order). How much time do I spend in the car or on the train or even doing the washing up? Surely it could be time better spent.There is never as much time as I would like to read a book, so why not listen to one? And that is exactly what I did! I chose a book by one of my favourite writers – Robert Bryndza. The Girl in The Ice is a book I know very well, I think I’ve read it three times! Hearing the book read aloud despite knowing the story gave it a new dimension. How you read something in your head compared to hearing it read out loud gives it a different flow, different punctuation. It surprised me.

I’ve ‘ummed and ‘arred about whether I should go down the audio route for All Tomorrow’s Parties .My main doubt revolved around my protagonists voice. Would it be possible to find a narrator who would be able to portray Laine Marshall exactly as she sounds inside my head? I made myself a promise. If after two months I was unable to find a narrator who was a solid vocal fit then I would take it as a sign it was not meant to be. I would park the idea on the back burner and leave it there… Well life has a way of kicking up the preverbial don’t you find? This week I am very excited to announce I have found my Laine Marshall! A young British actress who will be giving a living voice to All Tomorrow’s Parties I am bowled over. More news on this over the coming weeks but to say I am excited is an understatement! If all goes well  there will be an audio version of All Tomorrow’s Parties by July. Just in time for your holidays. Sometimes life is just grand!

If you can’t wait until then you can downlaod a kindle copy or grab yourself a paperback version here –

Sale Sale Sale…

It’s March, and I have a spring in my step and a head that is full of holiday ideas. I am thinking about planning my vacation! With that in mind, I wanted to offer up a little gift to you all. Drum roll please…… The ebook version of my debut novel ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’ is on sale!!! For a limited time only, through Kindle Countdown and Smashwords, you can grab yourselves a cheeky copy at a knockdown price. To quote a few of the reviews:

“Thoroughly recommend for a holiday read”

“I read this on holiday and could not put it down”

“Great holiday sunbed read. Would recommend it. Would make a great film”

So, for less than the cost of a glass of Sangria, you can have fun in the sun! The offer lasts for one week. On your marks get set….GO! What better excuse do you have to book a holiday now?

 

 

 

You can also buy from Smashwords here

 

 

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Picking the Perfect Book Title…. A Stress Most Horrid….

I am at the stage where my second book is ready for editing (thank goodness for that I hear my long suffering family cry). I am clipping and chopping with gay abandon! But… and this is a very big hole in the motorway kind of but… until today I was not convinced I had the right title!! I thought I did, but the more I read, the more it made me wonder is it right??

Many sleepless nights tossing and turning, I battled  with myself. The conversations always seemed to go a bit like this….

Me 1: ” It’s a good title, go with it”

Me 2: ” Yea but I’ve just read something that makes me think maybe I need to re think, does it say what I think it says?”

Me 1: ” Derrr yes it does, go back to sleep you fool”

I always came back to – does my chosen title have the  ability to convey the contents of the book? The more I read, the more tied in knots I got. With my debut novel it was never an issue. I always knew  All Tomorrow’s Parties was exactly the right title. No doubts could creep in, there were no cracks, period.

Book two has been a different animal all together and, I know exactly why. Reading advice on ‘what makes a perfect book title’ is not bad per say, but, reading too much conflicting advice is. This is sadly where I lost 2 weeks of my much needed beauty sleep. I would read an article that would say ‘do it this way’. Then the next day I would read another saying ‘do it that way’. I was blissful in my ignorance with All Tomorrow’s Parties. Choosing the perfect title was not even on my radar. My confidence at finishing my debut novel, held my rose tinteds firmly in place.

I have come a long way over the last year. Some of the advice I’ve received has been stellar.I have stored it away, much like a squirrel, digging it up when needed. Some of the advice however, should be buried and forgotten. All it does is confuse me! The conclusion I reached today was to make up my own mind! Of course, think seriously. View it from as many angles as you can and give it the attention it deserves. I believe most writers do this anyway. The title is a part of you, just like the contents.

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So it is with much excite e mont and merriliciousness that I can announce I have made a final decizione! Fanfare please and a drum roll too… why not? There will be no more gnashing of teeth or tearing of hair. I am to stick with my original title and let it sing its beautiful song. My advice to you?  Ignore advice that confuses you and keeps you awake doubting yourself. It is your creation, the title is a beautiful part of your creative baby. Some will find your baby beautiful, others will think its ugly, no matter. All that matters is that you love it with all your heart.

So I hear you cry – what is this title that has caused you so much angst?

Ah, well…. that would be telling wouldn’t it?

With a twinkle in my eye I am finally ready for a good nights sleep!

 

zzz

Perfectly Flawed?

Showing character flaws helps to make a book believable. Too many flaws and you risk making your character unbelievable, too few, and readers won’t be able to connect or identify with them. I’m sure we can all think of someone we have known who comes across as just ‘too perfect’ – did you like them? I know I most certainly did not. There is no such thing as perfect. Characters have to be believable, warts and all! As in life, if your character is not believable (ie. too perfect), then you are already on the back foot with not too many places to go. Enter stage right…. flaws. Flaws within your characters give readers an opportunity to connect, to understand who your character really is. They allow readers to develop a picture of who he/she is. It is those unique flaws and traits that will breathe life into the bones of your story. Finding the balance is the challenge. In this post I want to share what has worked for me when exploring flaws within my characters. These are not ‘you must’ but just my ‘ might be helpful for you’ thoughts and ramblings: Continue reading “Perfectly Flawed?”

Inspiration

A straight forward enough question right? Where does the inspiration for your characters come from? I think it would be easy enough to say that everyone we meet has the potential to become ‘inspirational’ but not everyone is. People come in and out of our lives,some for a season, some for a reason, good or bad.Some we are still trying to figure out .

There are however the few that arrive with little more than a ‘hello’ yet the effect they have on us is overwhelming and long lasting. They touch our hearts and our souls and these are the ones I draw on for inspiration. For me and my style of writing these are the people who help me develop my characters. In All Tomorrow’s Parties I knew I wanted strong lead characters. People who were strong but flawed, because lets face it, none of us are that perfect.The character who eventually became Laine Marshall was an eclectic mix of traits I had seen and valued, inter twined with those which were perhaps not quite so admirable. The thing I was sure of was she needed to be strong enough to take the knocks of life. However, she absolutely needed to be steadfast in her inimitable search for love. I hope I managed to convey this.

Lately I have been taking inspiration from photography. The images photographers can and do create are powerful. With all good works of art there is the immediate visual impact, then the pause and then for me the inspiration. It’s this third part which has led me into many unseen directions. Whether or not an image was supposed to convey those emotions or directions is irrelevant, the joy is, it does. Like the changing of the seasons you can go back and revisit. Everytime you look through the window you  see something new or different. Keep an open mind. Inspiration can come via professionals or via the rest of us. I have been looking back at old holiday snaps, who knew they could send a mass of inspirational sparks flying… but they did. The same can be said of music or literature. My point is to use everything around you as a tool. Yes of course you will always revert to where you are most comfortable but don’t exclude anything. A conversation I had with friends last weekend has sent me off in a completely new direction for my WIP (work in progress).

I have recently come across a body of work called intersections by an incredibly talented photographer called Bertil Nilsson all I can say is Wow. Take a look for yourself, I hope it inspires you as it has me. Pinterest is another great source of inspiration, if you haven’t got to grips with it yet I strongly urge you to check it out. The boards I’ve created are completely random but they get me to thinking. So now enough  chatter its time to get creating….

 

Competition Time…

So lovely people it’s competition time. Up for grabs are 2 signed copies of my book ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’. All you have to do is answer the following two questions:
1. What company does Laine Marshall work for?
2. Which countries is the book set in?

Please send your answers and your address via email with the heading Competition to:
Cranberry_August@yahoo.co.uk

Closing date 31st October.
Winners will be chosen at random from the correct entries received and notified after the closing date.
Good luck!
All Tomorrow’s Parties by Nicole Fitton