Author: Julie C. Gilbert
Narrators: Caitlin Jacques
Length: 4 hours 24 minutes
Series: Redeemer Chronicles, Book 1
Publisher: Julie C. Gilbert
Released: Jan. 30, 2017
Being the Chosen One could kill her….
Victoria Saveron knows two things for certain. Dark forces want to kill her, and her friends have cooler powers than she does. Katrina can shapeshift and Tellen can tap into destructive magic currents.
Everything else is uncertain and rumors abound.
Victoria might be the Chosen One, whatever that means. Her father might be able to help them, but only if they can find him. Coldhaven’s villagers might be able to offer them food and shelter. Some fool might be running around unlocking Darkland portals to raise an undead army.
The further Victoria and her companions get on their journey, the more dangers and betrayals they face. They must awaken Vic’s true powers or forfeit the world.
Julie C. Gilbert teaches high school chemistry and writes in several genres, including nonfiction, fantasy, mystery, and science fiction. She lives in the money sign state (New Jersey) and can be found hoarding stickers and Star Wars toys.
Caitlin Jacques is both an awesome narrator and a stellar audio engineer. She lives in Washington.
This was a very fast paced novel for me! Gilbert’s story just jumps right in and you got to figure out what’s going on with all the bits and pieces she gives us. I loved it! I was a little confused at first, but found myself getting attached to the characters instantly. They are so fun!! And the narrator’s voice really breathes life into them. Jacques is amazing! She does such good work with each character, making them different and also fun to listen to. This is a very well produced audio novel. I would give the story a 4/5 for it being a little confusing at first and the audio a 5/5 for the depth of Jacques’ skill!
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Julie C. Gilbert. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Q&A with Author Julie C. Gilbert
- Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
- It’s easier to say what doesn’t work. Nonfiction charts don’t translate well. I know this because my poor narrator for the 5 Steps to Surviving Chemistry book is wrestling that beast at the moment.Dialogue translates well to audio, but I think this question’s referring to writing styles. My style actually translates well in most cases because a good chunk of my works are told from the first person perspective. Having Vic, Katrina, and the Lady tell the pieces of the Awakening story lets the reader get deep into the head of that character. Same with Danielle and Jillian walking people through their experiences in Devya’s Children. Because I’ve sort of trained myself to write from first person, even my third person narratives have a casual/conversational tone to them.
- How did you select your narrator?
- I use the same basic process for selecting any narrator. I go to ACX (Amazon’s Audiobook Creation Exchange) with an idea of what I’d like to hear. Usually, that’s the type of voice that would fit the main character. With nonfiction, that can be harder because male or female might fit, but with Awakening, the main characters/ narrators (Victoria, Katrina, and the Lady) are all female.I find 8-10 narrators I like who are within my price range and send them a personal invitation to audition for the project. When listening to audio samples, I can usually tell within a matter of seconds whether I love the person’s voice or not. Keep in mind that every audiobook creation process will have me listening to the project 4-5 times through. That’s a lot of listening, so I absolutely need to love this person’s voice.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
- Caitlin was amazing to work with on Awakening. I sent her the manuscript and a character voice notes sheet where I noted things like personality and physical traits. She then went above and beyond the call of duty and gave me a character reel that included some ideas for certain people. I gave her feedback on that and she tweaked it slightly. Then, she started narrating the book.After each chapter was uploaded, I reviewed it and provided notes as to where something was off or I heard something in the background. Since Caitlin’s a stellar audio engineer, background noises were few and far between.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- Thankfully, no. There were no zombies, pre-teens, or Shapeshifters hurt in the production of this work.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
- It probably helps that I’m also a teacher. Having something else major to focus on, like a day job, lets the writing function as my break. I also write in several genres, so that helps too. There’s little chance of getting sick of it when one month I’ll be throwing every spare moment into a fantasy book, the next I’ll be knee deep in edits or a nonfiction project, and the next could see me forming a new mystery.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- Yes, I am. I actually run Audiobook Edge. (link goes to the reader FB group) It’s sort of a personal crusade to find more outlets for audiobooks and get listeners in contact with authors and narrators. So far, I’ve reviewed about 50+ audiobooks through that this year. To me, it comes down to narrator voice. A great voice can make even the most mediocre of stories stand out in one’s mind. I gravitate to mysteries and lighthearted science fiction and fantasy.Bonus side effect for me: I get to meet some really awesome narrators as well as chat with fellow authors.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- Oh, I’m a huge audiobook fan and I love the narrator’s voice, so I think the whole thing sounds better when read by Caitlin Jacques. Chapter 12 (Collaborators and Captives) is my personal favorite. It must have been rough since there are quite a few characters in it. The narrator (the Lady) comes alive more as a character herself when it’s heard. There are subtle changes in the wording that can be seen in the book format, but hearing it makes those differences much clearer.
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
- I have a free code, and I triple dog dare ya to give audiobooks a go.As a writer, I spend a lot of time “real reading” too, but audiobooks allow me to multitask. It’s really hard to “real read” and fold laundry, iron shirts, drive a car (though self-driving cars of the future might fix that one), or organize four dozen paperback books. In short, I get to experience way more books than I would alone with text.As for those who think it’s cheating, think of it as a different aspect of someone you like. It’s actually a chance to go deeper. It’s also a completely different medium. You’d have to call watching the movie based on a book cheating too, and most people are at least willing to admit that movies are just a different medium.
- What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
- First answer: Writing more. That’s one of the beautiful things about multi-genre writing. There’s really no chance to get bored with something. I don’t get a lot of time to write, maybe 4 hours a day at the most, so I need to squeeze a chapter out in that narrow timeframe. There are times, I don’t really write fiction, but I’m either doing nonfiction or some sort of writing-related thing (composing a newsletter, blogging, reviewing, editing, networking, etc)Second answer: audiobooks. Confession, I rarely if ever read real books for fun any more. Occasionally, a Star Wars book will tempt me, but typically, I fit audios in around other parts of life where I can’t really read but still want the joy of a story.
- What’s next for you?
- As of late November 2017, I just finished up the first draft of Reclaiming the Darklands, the third book in the Redeemer Chronicles trilogy. As usual, that’s a bittersweet moment. I love finishing and I’m also excited to dive into edits and see what really happened over the last three weeks, but there’s also an “awww, it’s over” sort of feel.I promised to write a personal guide to producing audiobooks for authors, so I think that’s next on the agenda. I’m also going back to revamping a really, really old epic scifi story. Then, I want to dive into a new mystery series. After that, long term, I want to finish the Devya’s Children series. There are about 3 more novels planned, which would land the total at 7 official novels and a prequel and a short story collection. Four down, three to go. But who knows, I might interrupt that with the sequel to Spirit’s Bane (fantasy) because I enjoyed that small taste of having guardian angels as characters.
Awakening Giveaway: Kindle Fire 7
Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews
Notes from ‘Round the Bend
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February 1, 2018 at 10:05 am
I was really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!