Can we take a moment to look at how Ryan and Sam's relationship evolves in the Verania series? (Consumption Teaser #1)

It's fascinating to me to see how characters grow in a series.  TJ definitely has a knack for allowing his characters to take patient, revealing turns towards maturity.  Something I've been feeling a lot more in my narration as i slog through the ol' third out of four is how sassy the Knight Commander continues to be, coupled with Sam finally bearing the gravity of his destiny and becoming a little bit more responsible.  

I'll admit there were a couple turns in Destiny that threw me off guard; some setting up situations a little more dire than expected!  But I'm really loving the growth of these characters and getting to play through it.  Every once in a while, they pop out a new dimension and we're gradually building up from one-dimensional stock character to these dodecahedrons filled with such dynamic complexity.  I love how easy and natural it is for me to get into Ryan's voice or Sam's voice at this point.  It really allows me to try things, which allows them to try things; and I think really sings how much they care for each other and how much trust and fun they can share with one another.  What a romance!  What a lovely bunch of dudes.

I love this series.  More teasers to come bb's ;)

Destiny of Dragons Release and when a character has to change slightly

Hey friendos,

The anticipation for A Destiny of Dragons ends today!  It's finally out and I'm extremely excited for everyone to hear this months-long endeavor.  I surely hope people do enjoy it.  I'm working on Consumption as we speak (though I've had to redesign my studio, so that's held up production for this week.  NEVERTHELESS, I will work my damndest to get you Consumed in a timely manner!)

You may notice in the new book that Kevin's voice is not so deep and the echo is a little less pronounced as well.  This is because I'm using different software than I used in The Lightning Struck Heart.  I used ProTools to edit that book, whereas with any production since the beginning of 2017; I've used Reaper.  I prefer Reaper for almost every aspect of production, though sometimes the plug-ins (what's used to manipulate the sounds) are not as good as ProTools.  

Whenever I changed the pitch and echo to try to match the deep sound Kevin had in prior books, it got the desired result but with an added metallic sound.  It was almost robotic.  I felt deep ambivalence about this, because I really don't like changing characters.  In the end, I decided that it was best to not do so much SFX to Kevin (and also Zero's) voice because I found the distraction > consistency. 

I'm sorry if this catches people off-guard.  Know that it was long thought of and I did it with great caution.  I hope the character still comes off as gargantuan and ridiculous as needs be.  

Rediscovering "Tell Me It's Real"

I usually don't go and revisit audiobooks that I've done.  After the final stages of QC and corrections, I treat each book like a message in a bottle and throw it out to the Audible sea.  Any time I've done a series, producing the books has been concurrent so there's no real visitation.  

I finished recording Tell Me It's Real in June of 2014, now more than a year and a half later, I am revisiting the characters which made up my first real success an audiobook narrator.  A few things really strike me:

One of the things I really like about TJ is that he can make a small amount of time last impossibly long, because the neuroses of his narrating character nitpicks every detail in finely-exaggerated flair.  I'm struck by how effective he can compile all of the things that race through Paul's mind into a stream of ridiculous, manic impulses.  Rather than doing 10 minutes in one page, TJ has the uncanny ability to make 1 minute last ten pages.  He bedazzles a scene with detail, which is why his characters are so rich.  They are observing so much!

Listening to me has been a force of extreme ambivalence.  I am guessing it's biological to have the nails-on-a-chalkboard approach to your own voice.  I've become used to hearing me, but 11 books later I feel like my ability to narrate a story has greatly evolved.  I've always had an emphasis on building character voices, but storytelling is something done with nuance.  I'm very excited to add (what I feel) much, much more feeling to the narration of The Queen and the Homo Jock King.  

Settling into this story now, I'm becoming that much more reminded of Paul's beautifully, manically-minded self whose insanity is so comfortably uncomfortable.  I love this character because he actually does the things that in passing, you would only take a second to contemplate then leave be (e.g. googling the minimum sentence for voluntary homicide in Arizona; says the exact joke he was attempting not to say).  You live vicariously through any narrator, and cringing along with Paul's actions brings him so close to my heart.  I'm grinding my teeth in between laughing out loud, embarrassing myself in front of people (I understand the reviews now).

I remember very well feeling these characters.  I remember being in the scene where Helena embarrasses Paul in the drag bar and seeing the stage viscerally.  That helps a lot in narration.  The more I can actually be there, see the characters, hear their voices; the more, I think, that reflects a true identity in the narration.   

I'll be posting more as the book comes along.  I'm very excited to be pursuing this story, which I have reminded myself I have a very tender memory thereof.  I hope you all can fall as much in love with Sandy's story as you did Paul's.