The Sun Singer's Travels

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Archive for the tag “Kelley Hazen”

Great new review of ‘Emily’s Stories’ audio book

“Kelley Hazen performs the narration in a solid voice that is exhilaratingly fresh and young and old sounding as appropriate.  Her accent is accurate and captures the essence of each character perfectly.  I found her voice mesmerizing and comforting at the same time.” – Audio Book Reviewer

After a book has been out for several years, nothing makes an author’s or a narrator’s day any better than finding a great new review. (Click on the link to see the rest of the review.) Sure, I’m probably biased, but Kelley Hazen did a stunning job with this book of three stories which are geared toward family reading/listening.

Perhaps your family will discover Emily’s Stories, too.

–Malcolm

 

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Fabulous Review of the ‘Emily’s Stories’ audiobook

Also available in print and e-book

Also available in print and e-book

Like an actor’s or actress’s lines in a movie or a play, the story you hear on an audiobook is a collaboration between the author and the narrator.

Writing for print, an author tries to create an adventure with a specific mood. Then, the audiobook narrator brings an additional perspective into the mix when s/he tells the story at a pace and with a tone of voice that enhances the original ambiance.

I was very pleased with actress Kelley Hazen’s approach to the narration of Emily’s Stories because she brought so the many characters’ voices into my fourteen-year-old protagonist’s adventures with talking to spirits. And, the book’s audio production values were perfect.

So it is that when I discover a review on Amazon in which the listener hears what I hear, I’m too excited not to share it. Here’s M. Stein’s review of January 25th:

I’ve recommended this audiobook more than any other I’ve listened to

Hazen

Hazen

“I like it when kids are smarter than adults in stories like this. It gives me hope. The author ‘s writing had a ‘Peter Pan’ feel to it – not that it reads like ‘Peter Pan’ but it’s a kid being powerful and doing something positive. And there is also a magical ‘The Secret Garden’ kind of feel in here.The kid is powerful because she can see & hear the beauty and the magic in Nature. This audiobook has the coldest, scariest ghost voice in the world and also the wonderful open, free and uninhibited voice of ‘Emily’. AND the voices of birds and much more. The widest range of voices I’ve heard from a narrator. And all seemed real, not forced. I believed it – I believed this could happen.”

I’ve never encountered any of M. Stein’s reviews before, but whoever you are and wherever you live, I thank you and greatly appreciate the extra time and effort it takes to post a review.

Malcolm

Malcom’s News – Upcoming Novel Heading to Publisher

emilyaudibleMany thanks to all of you who stopped by my interview with actress Kelley Hazen who did the narration for my three-story collection called Emily’s Stories. Now, a lot of us know a lot more about how an audio book is created. I like the share-with-your-kids flavor of the book. You can find it on Amazon and on Audible.

From the Publisher: Emily Walters is a sharp, inquisitive fourteen-year-old north Florida girl who loves maps, her rusty old bike, and the forest behind her house. Sometimes her dreams tell her the future and sometimes her waking hours bring wise birds and other spirits into her life. In these three short stories, join Emily in her adventures and mysteries.

When her family vacations in the mountains in “High Country Painter,” a wise Pine Siskin tells her she must quickly learn how to paint dreams into reality to prevent an afternoon hike from becoming a tragedy. In “Map Maker,” she’ll need her skills-and the help of a Chuck-will’s-widow-to a fight a developer’s plans for from bulldozing the sacred forest behind her house and replacing it with a subdivision. In “Sweetbay Magnolia,” she’ll learn the secrets of her grandmother’s favorite tree, the crumbling almost-forever house down on the river, and why some ghosts would rather visit than haunt.

The Betrayed

betrayedI’m just now finishing up the final edits for the third novel in my Garden of Heaven Trilogy. The edits are due next week. The novel, a contemporary fantasy about a man who finds himself teaching at a corrupt college while fighting off the vengeful demons from his past, will be released this fall by Vanilla Heart Publishing.

The novel follows The Seeker, which came out this spring, and The Sailor, which came out this summer. Both books are available in trade paperback, on Kindle, and in multiple e-book formats from Smashwords.

Glacier National Park

Many Glacier Hotel

Many Glacier Hotel

In addition to the Garden of Heaven Trilogy, my novels The Sun Singer and Sarabande are also set in Montana’s Glacier National Park. That park is a long way from Georgia where I live. But finally, I’m going back for a visit in a little over a month with my wife and my brother and his wife.

I’m looking forward to hiking the trails that my characters have been hiking. With a little luck, I’ll bring back some fresh pictures.

As I wrote in my Malcolm’s Round Table blog, I have a few mixed feelings about the trip. Like any place you visit after a long absence, you worry about the changes and worry about things not being as great as they are in your memories. I’m crossing my fingers about such things and hoping for a great visit.

Closer to Home

While it’s only in the tinkering stage, my next novel is going to be set in Florida. My Kindle short stories “Cora’s Crossing” and “Moonlight and Ghosts,” along with two of the stories in Emily’s Stories, happen in Florida. I though maybe the place where I grew up needed a full-length novel about it. The good news: it’s sure a lot easier to get to than Montana!

Malcolm

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Book Bits: ‘The Great Gypsy’? Jenni Rivera, Kelley Hazen, Apple, Susan Crandall

Here are a few links for Saturday, July 13, 2013:

  1. News: ‘The Great Gypsy’? School Reading List Is Error-Riddled, by Annalisa Quinn – “A school district in Long Island, N.Y., has flunked its own summer reading list. The Hempstead Public Schools list features authors such as ‘George Ornell’ and ‘Emily Bonte,’ (properly spelled Orwell and Brontë) alongside dozens of other spelling and punctuation errors. Most memorably, the list — which bears the motto ‘Those who read more, achieve more’ — refers to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The ‘Great Gatsby’ as ‘The Great Gypsy.'”  NPR
  2. unbreakableNews: Rivera Memoir a Multiple Hit – “The memoir by the late singer and actress Jenni Rivera scored a couple of unusual achievements last week, placing three different editions of the book among the top 25 adult nonfiction titles on Nielsen BookScan for the week ended July 7.” Publishers Weekly … Jenni Rivera’s first recording was a teenager’s birthday present for her father. By the time that she died in a 2012 airplane crash at the age of 43, this short-lived Spanish-language singer had sold 15 million albums and was a five-time double-platinum recording star. In this posthumously published memoir, she writes about her early life as the daughter of undocumented immigrants, her eventful performing and recording career, and her personal life. Barnes & Noble
  3. Feature: Day of Magical Tweeting: Fake Joan Didion Twitter Account Fools ‘Wall Street Journal’ by Jason Diamond – “We’ve known that Joan Didon wants nothing to do with with Twitter for a few years now, but we got worried that the folks at The Wall Street Journal didn’t get that memo when we saw the article posted below:” Flavorwire
  4. Hazen

    Hazen

    Interview: Actress Kelley Hazen (“Nightingale in a Music Box,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) with Malcolm R. Campbell – Hazen talks about Storyteller Productions, the studio she recently founded with her husband to do book narration and voive-over work. “I strive for a  sense of…almost ‘sitting on the listener’s shoulder,’ a quality of being in their heads, in their imaginations – a very intimate experience. I think when you combine that artistic goal with the technical mechanics of the right hardware you  have the opportunity to create that sense of “being there with the listener.” Malcolm’s Round Table

  5. Commentary: Apple faces triple damages, longshot appeal in ebook conspiracy, by Jeff John Roberts – “Apple is likely to pay more than the $166 million that publishers paid for their role in an ebook conspiracy. The higher amount relates to a triple damages rule and Apple’s refusal to admit wrongdoing.” Paid Content
  6. whistlingReview: “Whistling Past the Graveyard,” By Susan Crandall, reviewed by  Elisabeth Atwood – “Put Susan Crandall’s latest novel in your beach bag and be prepared to devour it in a day or two—even though this isn’t just a breezy, sweet tea and peach pie kind of read. Crandall’s novel visits themes that are not new to the Southern lit reader, but her point of view and relationship development are fresh and captivating.” Book Page
  7. News: Comic book to detail rise, fall of celebrity chef Paula Deen – “Celebrity chef Paula Deen, who lost book deals, contracts and her television cooking show on The Food Network after she admitted using a racial slur, is set to be a comic book star of female empowerment, a publisher said on Wednesday.” Reuters
  8. Commentary: Novels remain the best interactive media, by Damien Walter – “Some predict traditional fiction will be superannuated by new technology. But it already uses better hard and software” The Guardian
  9. perfectlondonFeature: Roger Ebert’s Pilgrimage, by Kate Engelhart – “Walking London with the late film critic, thanks to his long-lost 1986 book…Ebert—the lifelong Chicago newspaperman—loved Britain. Each year he visited at least once, but often many times. He dreamed of moving to London. In his 2011 memoir Life Itself, he wrote, ‘I felt a freedom in London I’ve never felt anywhere.'” Slate
  10. News: New York Public Library Is Sued Over Book Plan, by Robin Pogrebin – “A group of prominent writers and scholars filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to stop the New York Public Library from demolishing the stacks in its flagship 42nd Street building or moving any books off the site. The complaint, filed in New York State Supreme Court, formalizes concerns about the Central Library Plan, which would replace the stacks with a circulating library and is expected to cost at least $300 million. ” The New York Times

“Book Bits” is compiled several times a week by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of contemporary fantasy novels and paranormal short stories.

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‘Emily’s Stories’ changed my reality in the old neighborhood

emilyaudibleI grew up in Tallahassee, Florida in a large subdivision where the houses on my street backed up on a woods. The woods was a great place to play, a quick way to cut through to friends’ houses on nearby streets, and (best of all) it shielded our back yard from the rest of the world. When I lived there, I always worried about the woods being sold and turned into a subdivision.

In “real life” that’s exactly what happened. Fortunately, the family sold the house long before that the woods was torn up. I have looked at the new subdivision on Google Street View. It could be worse, but I don’t like it.

So, for my own peace of mind for the old family house, I changed what happened in my short story “Map Maker” about a fourteen year-old girl who lives in the house we lived in and who loves the woods as much as I did. She hears about the prospective subdivision and uses her skill in talking to birds and spirits to try and save her woods.

I changed the name of the neighborhood along with all the streets!

This is one of three stories in my Kindle and Audible set called “Emily’s Stories.” The stories are paranormal in focus with “Sweetbay Magnolia” being set along a blackwater river in the Florida Panhandle and “High Country Painter” taking place in Glacier National Park.

Here’s an excerpt from “Map Maker”:

Chip-whee-dow-a-whee-dow, chip-whee-dow-a-whee-dow, chip-whee-dow-a-whee-dow.

chuckwill’s-widow

chuck-will’s-widow

Well camouflaged beneath the branches of the huge shortleaf pine in woods behind the house, the chuck-will’s-widow spoke urgently of secret things on a hot July night when Emily’s bedroom windows were wide open on the off chance the night would create a breath of air. The bird began singing at dusk, becoming more emphatic with the rising of the waxing gibbous moon. Chip-whee-dow-a-whee-dow. Emily looked, but there was nothing to see. There never was. The Millie Mac azaleas at the edge of the yard and the wild blackberries on the other side of the property line fence made sure of that.

“The forest hides its own,” Grandmother Walters once told her.

Emily crawled out of the clinging wet sheets, turned on her study lamp and looked at the poster-sized street map her dad brought home from work. Since his company made the maps, he made Emily’s map special, including the title Emily Walters’ Barrett Hills and the houses of her best friends.

Upcoming Interview with Narrator Kelley Hazen

Coming later this week on Malcolm’s Round Table, an interview with actress Kelley Hazen (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “What Women Want”) who narrated the book. There’s more to the process than I thought. She did an excellent job.

Malcolm

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