Showing posts with label must-read. Show all posts
Showing posts with label must-read. Show all posts

May 3, 2021

Audio...Again

 

Deceiving Elvera is now available as an audio book as well as print and e-book formats. Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/Deceiving-Elvera/dp/B093C89MC7

Let me say something about narrators in general, and Naomi Rose-Mock in particular. They take an author's baby and interpret it aloud, so others can enjoy it. To do this, they must be able to read well; that's a given. But in a book like Deceiving Elvera, there's a lot more to think about. The book is set in Michigan and Thailand, so I had to provide a pronunciation guide (provided for me by someone who lived in Thailand for a time) that Naomi could consult. A third setting is a cruise ship, and the crew comes from all over, so she had to switch accents from Norwegian to Australian to Texan and so on. I would bet that requires a lot of highlighting and pre-reading to be prepared for conversations.

Finally, the narrator interprets the characters and the action. Too much "color" and a character like Elvera can become so irritating that the reader is turned off. Too little, and her assertiveness--and her pain--doesn't come through. Narrators know to how speed up to raise tension and slow down to soothe the reader after an intense scene. They change their voices to suit the scene: comic, dramatic, tragic. They make decisions and take precautions I never thought about before getting involved in audio book production. Listeners shouldn't hear the turning of a page or perceive gaps where a correction was made. Narrators have to decide if they'll leave in or take out the sound of their own breathing. And they have to either attend to the technological aspects of recording or arrange for someone else to do it.

None of that sounds easy to me, so I'm thrilled that companies like Audible, studios like Cerny American, and narrators like Naomi Rose-Mock and Megan Scharlau are around to de-mystify the process.

If you're an audio-book listener, I have codes for my audio books, including this one. Authors are given them to encourage people to try their books in the hopes that they'll leave reviews when they finish. As I've said many times, a review is the nicest thing you can do for a writer, so don't be shy.


Feb 29, 2016

Almost Caught Up with Shakespeare

Last week I sort of reviewed PLAN X, so I'll finish that today. I really liked the book: likable main character, good connection to Shakespeare's work, and lots of action.
It's sad that we don't hear about books like this in the glut of stuff on the market. I get tired of hearing big publishers scream about "exquisitely written" novels (that aren't) and "compelling protagonists" (that make me yawn), but the whole deal in publishing today is hype. PLAN X is a good book. There were a couple of unresolved issues at the end, but since it's a series, I'm guessing that was intentional.

Today's book is the third of the Shakespeare-related novels the four of us as promoting in the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death. NINE DAYS TO EVIL  begins with the disappearance of a young woman's successful doctor husband. As police search for him, readers learn more about him, his wife, and their friends...and Shakespeare. I'll leave it to you to figure that one out!

Next week I'll talk about my own tribute to the Bard, SHAKESPEARE'S BLOOD.

Aug 1, 2015

FREE E-book!

THE DEAD DETECTIVE AGENCY is free for Kindle right now: August 1st through the 4th.

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Detective-Agency-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B010MF5J9E/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

This is a re-release, so you might have read it, but if you haven't yet met Seamus, Dead Detective, and if you have a sense of humor about the Afterlife, you might enjoy this series (follow-ups are Dead for the Money and Dead for the Show. I'm working on Dead to Get Ready--and Go.)

One reviewer made me giggle when she said though SHE liked the book, she wouldn't want her children to read it and conclude that this is the way heaven actually is.

Really? Can you say FICTION?

I had fun with what we're taught about the Afterlife as I wrote this mystery, which another reviewer says is "Sam Spade meets Quantam Leap." Not sure about that, since there isn't much sci-fi stuff here, but I think you'll enjoy the book, which won Best Mystery of 2012.

Here are some snippets of the reviews, since Amazon hasn't yet put the old version (published in 2011 with the female close up and looking outward) together with the new one (published recently, with the female looking at the semi-transparent man).

"The story and writing proceed at a furious, breathtaking pace, and when we finally come to the end of our voyage, it's with deep regret, as if saying bon voyage to a dear friend we have known and loved for years." New York Journal of Books, Reviewer Sam Millar.

"A fun concept of afterlife and well-developed characters makes this an entertaining page turner. I am certainly looking forward to the next in the series. Would be good material for the big screen. A refreshingly new idea." Amazon Reader

"Loved the whole idea for this book. I enjoyed the comparisons about what we think of as ghosts as actually the dead using our bodies. Can't wait to read the next one!" Amazon Reader

Apr 10, 2015

Freebie Day 1: April 11, 2015




The Dead Detective Agency

Want 2 free copies of this book? Respond here or on Peg’s News on Facebook to be entered in the daily drawing.





Book #1 of the Dead Detective series
Setting: Grand Rapids, MI
Tori can hardly believe it when she wakes up dead. The Afterlife is nice, but she really wants to know why someone would murder the secretary at an investments firm. The solution to her problem? Get a dead detective and launch an investigation.

NOTE: This is one of the two that will be re-released this summer with a different cover. Same book, new edition, so watch the titles.


Apr 6, 2015

As a Reader, I'm Tired

Tired of what, you might ask? (Even if you didn't ask, I'm going to tell you.)
I'm tired of "must-read" books that depress the heck out of me.
Families that are breaking apart.
Teenagers who are going through hell.
People in crisis who don't deal with it well.
I know books have to have such characters to create tension, but in many recent bestsellers these are the protagonists; the people I'm supposed to keep reading on for.
Last night I started one of the current must-reads. It's really well-written, and the hook
was excellent. I read on, chapter after chapter. Things got worse for the main character, and as a result, he got worse, acting out, making his family suffer, cutting ties with those who might have helped him get through it. As page after page of humiliation and despair crawled by, I began to feel that I was wallowing in misery, the main character's and that of everyone around him.
Now, I worked with teenagers for decades, and I'm aware that this can happen. I've seen the sad kids who brag about how much they drank last weekend or pretend they don't care that the whole school is gossiping about the disgusting or shocking or self-destructive things they've done.
But reading about such people isn't fun for me. About a third of the way through the book, I realized I was sad, really sad. The kid was ruining his life, and many around him were doing the same. Now it's a tribute to the author's skill that a book can create this mood, but I asked myself: What's enjoyable about this? I closed the book, and I don't think I'll be opening it again.
I'm a mystery fan, and of course mystery is about evil in one form or another. But it seems the modern, literary-fiction-type mystery novel has turned its focus from solving a crime to watching the people involved self-destruct. Gone Girl. The Girl on the Train. The Gold Finch. My Sunshine Away. The list goes on.
The tortured soul isn't new in literature: Crime and Punishment, Jude the Obscure, and Lord of the Flies are examples of great works in which the protagonists spiral downward to destruction. But there's also Great Expectations, The Power of One, Huckleberry Finn, and even Wicked, in which the protags struggle against bitterness instead of wallowing in it for most of the book.
Me? Maybe I've got no class, but I'll take books with a happier slant. I want a protagonist with a little nobility, not one who succumbs to his darkness.

At the Point Where I Can Tell You

 I sent my next book to the copy editor a few days ago, which for me is a major turning point. It's a commitment of sorts; the book that...