Author: Brad Graber
Narrator: Kebba Button
Length: 8 hours 14 minutes
Publisher: Dark Victory Press
Released: Aug. 21, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fiction; LGBTQ
Rikki, a teenager being raised by her grandmother in Queens, has a secret. She can’t remember her mother. Whenever Rikki asks her grandmother about her mother’s death, the older woman refuses to answer. Desperate to learn the truth, Rikki finds a hidden album with family photographs. Can the boy in the picture with her mother be a long lost uncle? Determined to unlock the mystery, she embarks on a journey to meet Harry, a writer who is struggling with his own issues of identity.
From the award-winning writer of The Intersect comes After the Fall, a fast-paced, engaging listen, with twists and turns that will surely surprise. After the Fall: an emotional roller-coaster of a mystery packed with personality and charm. Once you start the journey you won’t be able to turn back.
Brad Graber writes novels because he grew up in a family where no one ever listened to him – so he made up stories about them.
After the Fall, released in May 2018, is Brad’s second novel. The story follows Rikki, a teenager being raised by her grandmother in NYC, who goes on a journey to learn the truth about her family. Eventually, she crosses paths with Harry, a writer in Phoenix, who is struggling with his own issues of identity. Brad’s debut novel The Intersect, released in 2016, tells the tale of strangers reaching out and finding love, friendship, and lasting connection in Phoenix. Both novels have won multiple awards and garnered rave reviews. Brad also writes a humorous blog on the human condition: There, I Said It!
Born and raised in New York City, Brad obtained a B.A. in Biology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an M.H.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. A former healthcare executive, Brad has held a number of management positions and has been a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Certified Medical Executive through Medical Group Management Association. Though he no longer works in healthcare, he continues to volunteer with local non-profits.
Brad has lived in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago; West Bloomfield, a suburb of Detroit; and Mill Valley, a suburb of San Francisco. He currently resides in Phoenix with his husband Jeff.
Kebba Buckley Button has a passion for helping people find vitality and inner peace. Kebba teaches practical, memorable techniques for satisfied living. She emphasizes oriental and yogic philosophy, NLP, and energy balancing in addition to standard Western models and modalities. She is also a major advocate of both chocolate and coffee. Kebba has a holistic healing practice, speaks and writes award-winning books in addition to being an audiobook narrator.
One thing I absolutely loved about this novel by Graber is how the characters end up growing on you. Rikki and Harry are both strong personalities that take a bit to get into, but once they start making you like them you fall in love with the both of them. There’s also a lot of strong emotions I felt for Rita. She was loud and abrasive, which made for a good antagonist in the story. Although at times I felt really sad for Rikki and what she had to deal with in her grandmother and it was hard to read a couple scenes. This is a character driven story and if you love getting to know in depth about these character’s lives and the struggles they are going through then you will really enjoy this novel! 5/5 stars.
Button’s narration was great. I didn’t find anything weird with the pacing or tone she used throughout. Each character felt distinct and I could tell right away who was talking. I really enjoyed her Rita voice, although I would get mad when hearing Rita be a jerk to Rikki. Overall 5/5 stars!
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Brad Graber. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Q&A with Author Brad Graber
- Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
- I’ve been traveling the country meeting with different book clubs that have selected After the Fall. In the process, I’ve come to learn that a lot of folks love audiobooks. So I searched for a production house in my local area, Phoenix.
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- Good question. Actually, it wasn’t on my mind – but the way that I write – especially dialogue – is based on my ability to “play out” the character’s role. In other words, if I can’t imagine the character genuinely saying the words on the page then the dialogue needs to be rewritten. So, I write very much with my “ear”.
- How did you select your narrator?
- I listened to audition tapes, focusing primarily on women’s voices. I did listen to men, but I felt the story didn’t quite lend itself to a male narrator. Then I came across Kebba Button. As it turned out, I knew Kebba because she too is a local Phoenix author. And when I heard her audition, I knew she was perfect. It was such a wonderful surprise.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
- Kebba and I met for coffee only once to discuss the novel and how I hoped she’d approach the interpretation of the key scenes. Other than that, I trusted her talent to the process.
- Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
- I did talk about each of the characters and their motivation. Kebba is a very spiritual person, so she already had a wonderful grasp on the narration.
- Were there any real-life inspirations behind your writing?
- There is always a seed of truth. That said, it’s fiction. But it is a story that’s been kicking around in my head for years. I was very excited to see it finally produced.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
- I try to set a schedule and stick to it. In the morning, I write. In the afternoon, I take care of marketing. Somehow, it seems to work. Although there are moments when I have to just stop and go to the gym or take a walk to avoid burn out. For me, writing is like playing. I’m all the characters and get to act out all the parts. Now, what could be more fun than that?
- In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
- A series can be a great way to keep a wonderful cast of characters going. But for me, at this moment in time, I have too many different voices in my head which I’m trying to get out. So, I am already knee-deep in my 3rd novel, tentatively titled Boca by Moonlight, which is not part of a series. But novel #4 might be an extension of an existing book. We’ll see.
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- As Dorothy Parker once said: “The art of writing is applying the ass to the seat”. It takes a million small acts of concentration to write a novel. The only way to success is to sit down. Over and over and over again.
- What’s next for you?
- I have a third book coming out in November 2019: What’s That Growing in My Sour Cream? It’s a compilation of the best essays from my blog about the human condition: There I Said It! I also have a third novel planned for release in 2020, Boca By Moonlight. The story of the sun, the beach, and a widower in Boca Raton, Florida.
Brad Graber’s Top Ten reasons to listen to the After the Fall audiobook
- Everyone loves a great story. After the Fall delivers twists and turns that make for wonderful listening.
- The ending is a real shocker.
- The novel has won a 2019 silver medal from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association, Indie Reader Discovery Award, and been named a Finalist in Book of the Year by Indie Forword.
- The story introduces two central characters. Rikki, a teenager being raised by her grandmother in New York City, and Harry, a writer living in Phoenix. It’s fascinating to discover what these two characters have in common.
- After the Fall is all about the lies families tell and the secrets they keep. Wow. What could be better than that?
- The audiobook is a lot like sitting at your grandmother’s dinner table as she shares a story about the neighbors. Everyone loves a good story about the neighbors!
- The narrator Kebba Button is a delight. Her spiritual essence comes right through the narration.
- If you’ve ever lived in Phoenix, Detroit, Toledo or New York City, you’ll recognize the stops along the way as Rikki searches for answers about her mother’s mysterious death.
- After the Fall is steeped in contemporary fiction with a nod to young adult.
- Brad Graber’s work is easily accessible. He writes with the “ear” in mind.
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