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Another genius performance on audiobook from one of my top five narrators ever - and Ben Aaronovitch's book is yet again brought to life in a uniquely entertaining way by the talented actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. It's the latest outing from his famous London copper, with special skills in the supernatural, and it's fabulous.

This time, PC Peter Grant and his quirky boss Nightingale are on the tube...

A stunning PC Peter Grant audiobook continues this best-selling series with commuting ghosts, a kidnapping, and a superb new London mystery!

PC Peter Grant is heading west.

There's something going bump on the Metropolitan line. And when commuters start reporting encounters with ghosts up and down the track - encounters which they forget entirely within minutes - Peter Grant gets a call to investigate. And the very first interview leads to a ghost-hunting expedition....

The first ever Peter Grant novella, this is a fantastic London-based mystery.

Now I love every syllable that Kobna utters, and his talent for accents, as well as his knack of making them all sound so different - not just the accent but the whole way of speaking - it's a skill not many narrators have. If you love audiobooks, do listen to the Rivers of London series by Aaronovitch - it's so well-crafted, and there are loads of them to get your teeth into - or your fangs...

more here on amazon

Other news –

  • RFY December dates - Still time to book on one of our Christmas breaks at Retreats for You in Devon -writing holidays for people who want to do nothing but write and be looked after in beautiful surroundings. From £90 per person per night full board inc wine., Lots of dates throughout the Winter, usually Monday to Friday (4 nights). Booking for December, for mulled wine and Xmas trees, roaring fires and cosy candlelit nooks and crannies to relax in, in our Grade 2 listed, 1600s thatched house. Email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    
  • Editor Week  - new dates for Bluepencilagency.com editor Sara Sarre - March 19th and 10 September 2018 (10th Sept next year)
  • Retreats West - have announced their new tutored retreats for 2018 - both at RFY! March 12th,creating complex characters retreat or June 18th - 22nd a scriptwriting week with Bang 2 Write - email us for info
  • win a place at the Creating Complex Characters Retreat next march @retreatsforyou! Run by  @RetreatWest - fab chance

    https://www.retreatwest.co.uk/win-complex-character/
  • New dates for writing retreats with yoga coming soon - and a craft weekend too! . local yoga instructor Jennie comes down from nimblelimbs.com. The upcoming dates for 2018 are being arranged as we speak! £410 from Monday lunchtime to Friday lunchtime including morning and evening sessions of yoga.Contact us for up to date info or to suggest some dates. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  .

    latest newsletter from RFY - go here to read our latest news - and another super recipe from Wendy!

     

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

Best wishes

Debs

X

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) andGoodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback coming to shops Dec 2015! yay!

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

NON-FICTION

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do.

Go here to get Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon

Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Lovely subject this week – thought I’d pen a few thoughts regarding what makes an outstanding audio book narrator – and there are some, believe me! Once I find a good one, I read much more of their titles, Kobna Holdrbook-Smith being one of my faves (Rivers of London series.) Now I know my own paltry attempt (so far!) at voicing a CD isn’t in this category – it’s a visualisation track for my Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 book (still available on QVC 704285 in hardback, info here) but I’d like to think at some stage I will organise myself well enough to do some narrating. So below you’ll find a little blog I’ve written which will be featuring in Veracity’s (writing group in St Albans) newsletter soon giving some top tips about what I think really works and what doesn't, when narratign an audiobook. Hope you agree – if you have other things to add to my list, do email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Book of the Week – Where Love Lies, Julie Cohen. on amazon here  

This lady is my mentor and my hero as far as her writing skills are concerned. Having attained a Richard and Judy book status for the previous book, Dear Thing, naturally everyone was expecting big things of the next one. It did not disappoint. I love always the new topics Julie uncovers during her books – her heroines very often have amazingly unusual and fascinating jobs, for instance. Read below to find out more about what makes Where Love Lies special. And I loved it because if span me along, as ever, engrossing me in the characters’ fears, hopes and obstacles. Definitely worth getting and if you don’t like the sound of the subject matter, just get it anyway – same with Dear Thing – for those who want a complete rounded tale, you can rely on Julie Cohen.

Julie says –

WHERE LOVE LIES and it has been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Award for Best Contemporary Romantic Novel. Here's a little bit about it:

When Felicity steps off the train on the way to meet her husband, she is so sure of everything. Where she is heading, what she will eat at the restaurant, the first words her husband will say when she arrives, their life together. 

Then she catches a scent of perfume in the air. Forgotten emotions rush to the surface, memories of another man she loved years ago.

As it happens again and again, Felicity begins to make decisions that no one can understand. What is happening to her? Is she losing a part of herself, or finding one?

How can she truly know where love lies?

WHERE LOVE LIES is a very special book for me, for a combination of reasons. One is that Felicity's condition was inspired by something that happened to one of my friends, Ken (hi Ken!). It deals with an issue which fascinates me—the neurological basis of how we experience and understand love. It also reflected my life, in a way—as I was writing the part of the book where Felicity is no longer quite in control of her body or her mind, I was hospitalised with pneumonia. I don't recommend pneumonia as writing research, but in my case it definitely gave me added insight! It's probably my favourite book that I have ever written (so far) and I am thrilled that it's been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Award.

You can find WHERE LOVE LIES in your local bookshop, or you can buy it online in paperback or ebook at The Hive or on amazon here  or iTunes.

If you want to give a copy as a gift, just drop me an email and I will send you a personalised note to put in the book: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

thanks Julie!

Go to www.julie-cohen.com

http://www.julie-cohen.com/books/where-love-lies/

for more info!

 

Other news –

Casual Vacancy on BBC1 – book heads back up charts. No surprises there then! Get the audiobook here, narrated outstandingly by Tom hollander. NB you can listen to the first sample part on amazon - but spin past the initial dour intro, it picks up after a while.

Bristol crime fest –  international annual event, featuring over 40 top speakers and authors. Am intending to go along as my pal Litty is keen to attend. More info here.

October Crime course – 23-25 Oct, WestDean College, nr Chichester. Full info here.

oh and finally the paperback is available of our anthology of short stories - although my newest one is more of a short novella! go here to read Roses are Red in paperback - eBook also available.

Have a great week!

debs

x

ps all my books are linked to at the bottom of this blog – just spool down!

 

What makes a good Audio book narrator?

 

I don’t know about you but I listen more than I read (long journeys) and find a good narrator can make or break a story. Whilst a great story can be ruined by a bad narrator, a fairly good tale can be ramped up to heady heights of greatness by a superb narration. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, narrating the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaranovitch is one such genius in my opinion, and every character or accent is done in such a way as it seems like you’re listening to an audio drama.

According to the Wall Street Journal as long ago as 2013, audiobooks are exploding in popularity and you may know that Amazon are now able to provide you with a platform to create not only your own eBook (kdp,) and paperback (createspace,) but also via ACX, a route to your own audiobook version of your latest masterpiece too. If you get as far as this stage, then, you may need to carefully consider your choice of narrator. And believe me there are some easy mistakes to make.

For instance, a pretty successful author who mentors indie authors too, recently had to swap to a better narrator; despite interviewing her for a podcast, and hearing all the usual spiel about how to narrate well, the job this narrator did was filled with enough irritating idionsyncracies that I found it impossible to listen to. Fortunately the author agreed, though surprised as the narrator claimed to make a living out of it so seemed promising – but couldn’t deliver what was on the tin. Always get a trial sample of at least the first chapter and ask your Beta Readers (assuming you use them) for their opinion too, before you commit.

So what makes a good narrator? See if you agree with my summary – a good narrator will:

-          always read through the story thoroughly so that their narration, once recorded, does not sound like a ‘first read.’ This avoids cutting sentences in half, changing the meaning completely. A ‘Sunday Times top ten’ female author’s book suffered from this all the way through – it was infuriating. Great readers make it sound as though someone’s just talking to you in a natural way.

-          difficult words will be competently delivered, as opposed to sounding like a teenager trying to cope with Shakespeare. Cloud Atlas was ruined for me by the first narrator having terrible problems with the 1700’s words! Thank goodness they’ve issued another version now, after the success of the film.

-          a sing-song voice will NOT be a feature! If I find myself mimicking the narrator as I drive along, having to rewind as I’ve missed some of the plot, that’s a signal to stop, and find a different book! Good narrators won’t end nearly every sentence with the same ‘tune.’

-          Great, well-practised accents are a joy to hear. Davina Porter, reading the famous Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, is superb at the various Scottish accents, English ones and European ones. A couple of less than perfect Irish and Americans are excused since her delivery of the main story is fab.

-          Good narrators will deliver clear differentiation of voices without the need to resort to extremes. They will not take me out of the story for instance by giving them speech impediments. AAAAAARgh! Typically, I hear female narrators doing male voices badly by hollowing out their throats to give their males some sort of middle England bullish bluster – one narrator sadly did that on a title from a successful commercial women’s fiction author in such a way that each male character got successively more rounded, then she added a sinus problem for good measure. I actually find I am most pleased by men doing women (Lee Child novels by Jeff Harding; Kobna Holdbrook Smith again) than by women doing men, although there are notable exceptions – eg Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy read by Samantha Bond is superb.

-          And the main one would be that a great narrator makes me forget everything but the story itself.

If you have any others, do let me know! And who knows, one day I might be brave enough to practice what I preach and narrate my own and upload them, once I find the right studio producer to work with (I use pro editors/proofers/cover designers too so I expect I’ll use a pro producer for the best quality audio book too.) Although it probably won’t be me if I ever produce an audio version of any of my steamy romance novels – that’s another topic entirely! Even if they’re only a few shades, I’d still rather they be black than grey!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Author of the Hawaiian Trilogy on Amazon, being published by Choc-Lit end of 2015.

@debbieflint

 

This blog will appear in ‘Veracity’ newsletter – St Albans writing group, Spring 2015.

 

 

MY WEBSITE & BOOKS

Newsletter – Sign up on my own website for regular email newsletters including freebies, comps, and LATEST NEWS about my novels – www.debbieflint.co.uk

Books- to find out about my fiction and non fiction book and where to get it go here.

‘STOP PRESS – new book now on QVC – item 704285, Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 (2015), incl exclusive bonus content, hardback and signed, limited to 3000 produced. Order online now, deliv end January.

Find out more in the special blog being promoted by QVC home page here.

 

 

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing -  a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, Go here to read more.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs. 

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

 

Best wishes

Debs

x

ps if you'd like to contact me, you can do so via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or via @debbieflint on Twitter!

 

MY BOOKS

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) and Goodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

eBooks  - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

FICTION

HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy or Hawaiian Affair PG versions are both available on Amazon in either eBook or paperback.

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also now available

STOP PRESS! Limited run extended, the PG trilogy all in one paperback book! More news about it on my 'writing' page above… Available now on Amazon.

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for…

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And Work in Progress, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – a free anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

Plus - 12 Dates of Ex-Mas - short story originally, being expanded into a full length novel for Xmas 2015. Short story revied into 'Battle of the Exes', coming Valentine's Day 2015.

 

NON-FICTION

Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do, following freedom eating and the Food Freedom technique. As used and recommended on our Back to You QVC Facebook group!  In paperback or eBook.

January 2015 - hardback signed with bonus content, Aqua cover, supplied exclusively to QVC, get it here whilst available.

NB the original, is included within version 2.0. The original on its own is here Till the Fat Lady Slims (2002)

 

 

OTHER WORK IN PROGRESS (see Work In Progress tab for updates!)

 ‘The How to Find a Husband Manual’ – hehe. A spin off from the Hawaiian trilogy’s character Kate, Helen’s friend in New York.

‘French or Dutch’ – a cross between Mr Selfridge, Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife, following life-changing adventures around Britain of early pioneers of birth control.

'The 12 Dates of X-mas' - revised for release around Valentine's Day 2015. Sign up for newsletter so you don't miss it!

What makes a good Audio book narrator?

 

I don’t know about you but I listen more than I read (long journeys) and find a good narrator can make or break a story. Whilst a great story can be ruined by a bad narrator, a fairly good tale can be ramped up to heady heights of greatness by a superb narration. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, narrating the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaranovitch is one such genius in my opinion, and every character or accent is done in such a way as it seems like you’re listening to an audio drama.

According to the Wall Street Journal as long ago as 2013, audiobooks are exploding in popularity and you may know that Amazon are now able to provide you with a platform to create not only your own eBook (kdp,) and paperback (createspace,) but also via ACX, a route to your own audiobook version of your latest masterpiece too. If you get as far as this stage, then, you may need to carefully consider your choice of narrator. And believe me there are some easy mistakes to make.

For instance, a pretty successful author who mentors indie authors too, recently had to swap to a better narrator; despite interviewing her for a podcast, and hearing all the usual spiel about how to narrate well, the job this narrator did was filled with enough irritating idionsyncracies that I found it impossible to listen to. Fortunately the author agreed, though surprised as the narrator claimed to make a living out of it so seemed promising – but couldn’t deliver what was on the tin. Always get a trial sample of at least the first chapter and ask your Beta Readers (assuming you use them) for their opinion too, before you commit.

So what makes a good narrator? See if you agree with my summary – a good narrator will:

-          always read through the story thoroughly so that their narration, once recorded, does not sound like a ‘first read.’ This avoids cutting sentences in half, changing the meaning completely. A ‘Sunday Times top ten’ female author’s book suffered from this all the way through – it was infuriating. Great readers make it sound as though someone’s just talking to you in a natural way.

-          difficult words will be competently delivered, as opposed to sounding like a teenager trying to cope with Shakespeare. Cloud Atlas was ruined for me by the first narrator having terrible problems with the 1700’s words! Thank goodness they’ve issued another version now, after the success of the film.

-          a sing-song voice will NOT be a feature! If I find myself mimicking the narrator as I drive along, having to rewind as I’ve missed some of the plot, that’s a signal to stop, and find a different book! Good narrators won’t end nearly every sentence with the same ‘tune.’

-          Great, well-practised accents are a joy to hear. Davina Porter, reading the famous Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, is superb at the various Scottish accents, English ones and European ones. A couple of less than perfect Irish and Americans are excused since her delivery of the main story is fab.

-          Good narrators will deliver clear differentiation of voices without the need to resort to extremes. They will not take me out of the story for instance by giving them speech impediments. AAAAAARgh! Typically, I hear female narrators doing male voices badly by hollowing out their throats to give their males some sort of middle England bullish bluster – one narrator sadly did that on a title from a successful commercial women’s fiction author in such a way that each male character got successively more rounded, then she added a sinus problem for good measure. I actually find I am most pleased by men doing women (Lee Child novels by Jeff Harding; Kobna Holdbrook Smith again) than by women doing men, although there are notable exceptions – eg Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy read by Samantha Bond is superb.

-          And the main one would be that a great narrator makes me forget everything but the story itself.

If you have any others, do let me know! And who knows, one day I might be brave enough to practice what I preach and narrate my own and upload them, once I find the right studio producer to work with (I use pro editors/proofers/cover designers too so I expect I’ll use a pro producer for the best quality audio book too.) Although it probably won’t be me if I ever produce an audio version of any of my steamy romance novels – that’s another topic entirely! Even if they’re only a few shades, I’d still rather they be black than grey!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Author of the Hawaiian Trilogy on Amazon, being published by Choc-Lit end of 2015.

@debbieflint

 

 

TO COMMENT on this blog

Just go to comments, below– write your comment, leave your name and your email (kept private), press post, and there you go! Easy!

TO KEEP IN TOUCH:

TWITTER:
@debbieflint – follow me for behind the scenes updates & sneaky peeks of upcoming bargains

FACEBOOK:
– My QVC Facebook page – click ‘like’- or friend me on my personal one.
– ‘Back to You QVC Facebook open group’ is here, just ping a request to join and visit every Monday 8-9pm for live chat. Allied to my regular show Back to You show on QVC – returns January 2015.

Or email meThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you don’t use Twitter or Facebook.

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To read PREVIOUS QVC blogs go here

To find out more about Debbie Flint go here

MY WEBSITE & BOOKS

Newsletter – Sign up on my own website for regular email newsletters including freebies, comps, and LATEST NEWS about my novels – www.debbieflint.co.uk

Books- to find out about my fiction and non fiction book and where to get it go here.

STOP PRESS – new book now on QVC – item 704285, Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 (2015), incl exclusive bonus content, hardback and signed, limited to 3000 produced. Order online now, deliv end January.

Find out more in the special blog being promoted by QVC home page here.