Friday, December 2, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things



Happy Friday!!! It's time to celebrate those small things!

This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.


This week, I'm celebrating. . .


1) Disney Parades! Did I get to go to Disney World??? Don't I wish. But my daughter is there this weekend marching in the parade. She was chosen to be apart of a special 'American Cheerleaders' group and perform this weekend. She has a lovely, Christmassy uniform and is enjoying the sun. I'm really happy for her.

2) My first youtube book review! Awhile back, I mentioned that I had received a scholarship for a booktubing seminar, and it's running full swing. I'm still not sure about it (so much work, so little time). Plus, I still have a ton to learn. But you can see my first attempt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKJZqpCQh_Q

3) Christmas tree is up! I'm putting the finishing touches on this weekend, and then I'll snap a picture. Our tree is always a mish-mash of whatever ornaments have managed to survive the years as well as a collection of the wonderful ones the kids have made. So it's always fun to put it up.


What put a smile on your face this last week? Get buried in snow? Go ice skating? Take a plunge in a wave at the beach? Get a massage? What are you celebrating?






Friday, November 25, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things


Happy Friday!!! It's time to celebrate those small things!

This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.


This week, I'm celebrating. . .


I'm celebrating a wonderful Thanksgiving with family! And that's why I'm super late with today's post too. We had so much fun that we decided to spend the night and carry on through this morning. Since they have no internet, it was unplugged relaxation pure!


Hope each of you had a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving as well!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Crystal Collier and Creating Deep Characters


Welcome Crystal Collier here today to share her new book and some writing tips!

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

BUY: Amazon | B&N

5 Tools for Creating Deep Characters

Thank you Tonja for having me here today!

Do you have an epic story, but people aren't sold on your characters?


Characters are the music, and plot is what you see happening in a movie. Take a train wreck scene and put rock music behind it. Take the same scene and put a slow symphony underneath. We have the same action, but the mood is completely different.

The characters are the filter through which we see the story, and thus their view of the world is what establishes the reader's interpretation of what's happening.

So you've got your basic character. You know their name, appearance, history, place in the world, etc. But do you KNOW them?

To create intense characters, you have to be inside their heads. Deep inside. You have to walk the steps of their early childhood with them. You need to see what they fear. What they treasure. What makes them cry. When you know the answers to these, you know how they will react to different situations and why.

But sometimes you don't. Sometimes, although you've met a character, you can't quite understand what their deal is. They're still a mystery. In this case, you need to get to know them. How about some tools?

Source
1. One of my favorites is the scenario game. Take a random situation, like being mugged in the streets of New York, and imagine step by step how your character would respond to the situation. But go beyond that. Figure out the WHY. What in their past or psychology prompts them to react that way? Do this with a number of situations and you'll get to the heart of your character. I did this with Alexia while getting to know her. She was born in the mid 1700's, but I placed her in modern day America to see what she'd do.

2. The personal essay. Your character is applying to college (or some similar institution), and has to write a personal essay about their favorite possession, or pet, or a situation that changed them forever. Sit down and write this essay for them. The prologue of SOULLESS (MoT book 2) is a letter from Alexia to her missing aunt. It was a fun way to sum up everything that had happened in book one, but to see it completely from Alexia's eyes.

3. Figure out who this character is based on in your life. You'll be surprised the insights this gives you into their psyche. I was shocked to learn Kiren's character was based on my father. Beyond shocked. Let me explain. My father was a doctor and at work 90% of the time. He was distant and mysterious all my growing up, but the most compassionate person I knew. I struggled after realizing Kiren possessed so much of him (because let's face it, that's my dad!) until I accepted that it made the character stronger and helped me understand how he responded to situations. Kiren is totally a creature of my imagination, but he shares my father's core values.

4. What's their culture, and how does that change perspective? I'm not talking about JUST their ancestry. Have you moved around much? I have. Language varies from location to location, even while speaking the same English. Etymology (the study of language) shows us that any language will place emphasis on aspects that are important to the daily life of a region. For instance, a mountain village where they raise sheep may have twenty terms for types of sheep and their young. They may have fifteen terms for wool. Their metaphors and thinking would evolve around their way of life--the raising of sheep, the seasons, the harvest, the weather. It would jade EVERYTHING. To be true to a character, immerse yourself in their culture. This was the biggest trick in switching between time periods & social standings for my latest release, TIMELESS. I had learned the culture of an aristocrat and the working class in the 1770's for the previous two books, but I had to acquire an understanding of a lord in the mid 1200's, along with knights, clergy, and the poor for this book.

5. Speaking patterns. You gave the character a stutter or accent. Pat yourself on the back. This isn't what I'm talking about. I'm talking about speech patterns. You have a way of formulating sentences. It's different from everyone else's. In order to really create an individual, try listening to YouTube videos and seeing how people structure their sentences. It's pretty eye-opening how different we all are. Now formulate your character's own way of speaking, and see if you can make it different from your own.

In the end, you can spend as much or little time on characters as you like, but it's to your advantage to make them so real that they live off the page in people's heads.

What tools have you found helpful for forming deep characters?

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

Find her and her books online HERE.



(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things


Happy Friday!!! It's time to celebrate those small things!

This weekly blog hop is sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.


This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) A lovely week! This might sound pretty general, and it is, but I thought it was worth celebrating. This week has simply been nice. No big problems or harsh surprises, although it hasn't been quiet either. Just busy in a life flowing kind of way. And that's nice.

2) Deer. Now, I know not all of you are probably huge supporters of hunting, but here in southern Missouri, the folks are extreme in this area. Deer season started last weekend, which means the whole town and everyone in it goes camo. Literally. It's quite the sight. Even the bank signs spew blinking messages of 'hunters be safe' and 'good hunting'. But my news--my husband landed his two deer in the first two hours of the season and was done. My freezer is now happily full (yes, this definitely helps that grocery bill) and winter can start. Oh, and I should mention that my brother was able to land a 20-pointer yesterday...and the best on that one--he's taking us out for a celebration dinner this weekend.

3) Christmas bread! It's baking time. Already. The German Weihnachtsstollen needs to mature for 2-4 weeks to reach yummy perfection, which means early baking for me. I just set those raisins in rum this morning.

4)  Almost done with wood splitting! I'll have to take a picture next week just to show my massive pile. I'm very proud of myself for getting it done (and yes, my oldest does help me split the biggest logs and cuts down the trees.)

5) Our anniversary yesterday! It's not a big one (21 this time), but it'd be awful not to celebrate every single one.


Well, that's my list for this week. Rather farmy sounding this time. Hmmm.
So what put a smile on your face this past week? Get a new jacket? See that big moon? Run into a nice stranger and have a nice exchange? What are you celebrating this week?

And to all you giveaway mice, don't forget to take a peek at my Giveaway tab above. There's always a list of things to sign up for.




Friday, November 11, 2016

Timeless by Crystal Collier and Celebrating the Small Things

Today, I'm celebrating. . .

1) Perfect, Fall temperatures! It's great for walking through the leaves and simply letting the sun warm the face.

2) Pumpkin soup! Need I say more?

And I'm also happy to help Crystal celebrate the final book to an amazing series!



Welcome Crystal Collier here today to share her brand new book!

Title: TIMELESS
Series: Maiden of Time, #3
Author: Crystal Collier
Pages: 253
Publication: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Raybourne Publishing
ISBN: 9781629830056

TIME IS THE ENEMY.

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?
Buy: Amazon | B&N

What reviewers are saying:

“A magical, fast-paced, romantic adventure…” --T. Drecker, Bookworm for Kids

“A story of love...true and forbidden love. There's mystery…tension, action...everything.” –Chrys Fey, author of Ghost of Death

"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer


Alexia had assumed his home was a hut in some local village. “Where is it you came from?”
Deamus motioned upward.
Alexia followed his aim to the warming sky, stars fading. “From the stars?”
Both hands disappeared behind his back as he considered her closely. Something in his stare solidified, and he leaned forward, lifting an arm and pointing. “There. Out beyond those lights waits another earth, one where…where we live without fear. Only those with Passionate blood dwell there.”
The idea whirled her head like a top he was spinning just to watch her grow dizzy.
Amos stepped between them. “Tell me about this place.”
Deamus backed away, gaze shifting shyly to the ground.
Alexia touched his arm. “Tell me.”
“The other land was created long ago by a powerful man. There has never been a man more powerful.”
To create an entire world… Alexia still couldn’t quite fathom it. Only God possessed that kind of power.
“When humanity began destroying…the Passionate, he knew he had to stop them.” He brought his fists together and pulled them apart to illustrate. “It would mean separating two worlds. He studied and gathered and worked for decades to make his dream a reality, and at last, he did it.”
Alexia gave him a skeptical frown. “Separated two worlds out of one?”
“I heard me somethin’ like this story before.” Regin scratched his chin. “Weren’t there two sons and some kind of battle?”
Deamus stilled and shifted away as if he’d forgotten about his larger audience.
“Do continue,” Alexia urged.
“A bridge was erected, a bridge of light that allowed our kind to pass over, but the cost of channeling so much power was the man’s life.” Deamus bit his lip. His chin shook and he looked away. Quiet accosted them. Alexia wondered if he would continue when he straightened his shoulders, lips puckered in a frown. “He left two sons.” He gave a quick nod at Regin. “Both studied his arts and followed in his path, but one was tempted and drawn into dark powers, the kind that consume the soul.” A line appeared between his eyebrows. “The other watched over and protected the Passionate—mostly from his brother.”
Alexia glanced up at the disappearing stars and shivered, feeling suddenly very small. “And how do you know of this other world?”
Deamus’s head tilted, hope shimmering in his gaze. “It is my home.”


Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

Find her online HERE.

(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)

This weekly blog hop sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself. 

What exactly are we celebrating?

Every week, wonderful things happen, tiny things, which make us smile. But as time grabs us up, we forget all about these moments as if they never existed at all. This is the chance for us to reflect back on those and remember that there are tons of things worth celebrating.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

So You Want to Make an Audiobook Part III with Paula Berinstein

The past two days, the wonderful Paula Berinstein has been kind enough to share her experience with creating an audiobook. . .as a self-published author.  If you missed out, you can (and should) go back and read:
Part I here
Part II here

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see how her journey continues!

Thanks, Paula!


So You Want to Make an Audiobook, Post 6: Post-production
The Amanda Lester, Detective Odyssey with Paula Berinstein

Recording an audiobook doesn’t end on the last day in the studio. You have to edit and check listen, both detailed and time-consuming jobs.

In order to comply with ACX’s technical requirements, you must submit each chapter as a separate file. You also have to create files for the opening and closing credits and provide a sample of up to five minutes, all governed by requirements such as decibel range, compression, and so on. It’s fiddly stuff! Add to that the fact that it’s easy for the actor to misread something or the editor to forget to chop out a cough and there’s a lot to do.

As the team was going through the files, they discovered a few problems. Chris told me that Allan would have to come back into the studio and re-record some stuff. He was scheduled to return for another project in a few weeks. Did I want him to come in specially for my project or could I wait? I could wait.

About three weeks later Allan rerecorded the passages and David Griffiths, the editor (who did an amazing job!), took over. The next thing I knew I had thirty-something audio files (actually sixty-something if you count both the .wav and .mp3 files) in my Dropbox folder. I was scared to death. My shiny new audiobook was waiting for me and I was afraid to listen.

I needn’t have worried. Allan had worked such magic on Amanda that I barreled through the whole thing, stopping only to exclaim, “OMG, that is brilliant!” about a thousand times. I found only one problem: he had repeated a line. I asked Strathmore to fix it (easy peasy), and then it was time to upload my files to ACX, where I’d established a DIY account.  

I logged into my account and started the uploads. Ugh, what a dummy. I was in such a hurry I started the upload for every file at the same time! A few of them actually completed and then the whole thing froze. Well of course it did. I had overloaded the system. I cancelled everything that hadn’t completed and uploaded thirty-something files one by one. Then I uploaded the beautiful cover Anna Mogileva had completed a few months before and sat back to wait up to three week for a verdict.

I was lucky: I heard back in about a week. By that time the book was already listed on Audible. It popped up on Amazon and iTunes a couple of days later. There was a bit of an issue with the age range in the target audience categories, but we got that resolved quickly. (Audible had put it in the five- to seven-year-olds section. You can now find it in the 11-13-year-olds section, which they consider teens).

I just found out that you can also get the audio Whispersynced to your ebook (which means you can switch between the text and the audio without losing your place), and that that version of the audiobook costs waaaaaaay less than the standalone one. I mean like $3.47 as opposed to $24.95! You can get that on Audible and Amazon but not on iTunes. I guess that makes sense since Audible and Amazon are so well integrated.  

As a result of my project, I have discovered that listening rather than reading allows you to experience a book in an entirely different way. How something is said is so important. A line you might interpret as angry or whiny when you read can come across as mellow, tongue in cheek, or dry when said aloud. A crisis can be magnified or played down. You might hear things you never realized were there. It’s amazing.


But from an author’s standpoint there’s more. When I heard Allan read my book something happened that changed the way I write. I realized I had inadvertently written the book in a way that sounded good when read aloud. I hadn’t meant to but somehow it turned out that way. Perhaps it’s because I hear my text in my head and automatically adjust the words so they flow well—I don’t know. But that got me thinking: what if my other books weren’t so audio friendly.

As we were winding up the audiobook I just happened to be making a final pass through Amanda Lester and The Red Spider Rumpus, the fifth title in the Amanda Lester, Detective series, and with Allan’s voice fresh in my mind I looked at that text in a whole new way. I imagined Allan reading the words and realized that some passages didn’t work. They were rhythmically wrong.

There was no way I was going to let them stand so I sharpened my pencil (I was editing a physical proof at that point) and nudged that puppy into shape. Sometimes I had to read the words aloud to make sure they worked. That isn’t something I would have done before, but I will now.

When you think about it, creating an audio version of a book is a lot like producing a play. Different directors interpret a text in their own ways. One director’s interpretation of Richard III (which was set in Nazi Germany when I saw it with Ian McKellen in the lead) will differ from another’s. One version of a movie is different from another. It’s up to the actors and the director to bring their vision to life. And that’s just what happened with my audiobook.

The way Allan reads the story is different from what’s in my head. I don’t just mean that my Editta is English rather than Scottish. It’s that he sees story and character in a whole other light—a light that illuminates the text in ways I never could imagine. And that’s the real beauty of an audiobook: you get to experience your creation as someone else does. What could be better than that?


Listen to a sample of the audiobook here on Soundcloud




AMANDA LESTER AND THE PINK SUGAR CONSPIRACY
Amanda Lester, Detective #1
 Written by Paula Berinstein Narrated by Allan Corduner Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins MG Mystery/ Detective 



A reluctant detective, a criminal mastermind, and sugar? Amanda Lester wouldn't be caught dead going into the family business. Her ancestor, Sherlock Holmes's colleague Inspector G. Lestrade, is a twit. Nevertheless her parents refuse to see his flaws, and she's going to a secret English school for the descendants of famous detectives whether she likes it or not. When Amanda arrives at the dreaded school, she considers running away - until she and her new friends discover blood and weird pink substances in odd places. At first they're not sure whether these oddities mean anything, but when Amanda's father disappears and the cook is found dead with her head in a bag of sugar, they're certain that crimes are taking place. Now Amanda must embrace her destiny and uncover the truth. The only snag is that arch-villain Blixus Moriarty, a descendant of Holmes's nemesis Professor James Moriarty, might be involved, and he doesn't like nosy little girls interfering in his business.
You can find Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy on Goodreads You can buy the audiobook of Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy here: - Audible - Amazon - iTunes Listen to a sample of the audiobook here on Soundcloud


All about. . .


Paula Berinstein is nothing like Amanda. For one thing, she’s crazy about Sherlock Holmes. For another, she’s never wanted to be a filmmaker. In addition, compared to Amanda she’s a big chicken! And she wouldn’t mind going to a secret school at all. In fact, she’s hoping that some day she’ll get to build one. You can find and contact Paula here:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Paula's blog on Goodreads - The Writing Show podcasts - Newsletter









Tuesday, November 8, 2016

So You Want to Make an Audiobook- Part II by Paula Berinstein


Yesterday, today and tomorrow, the wonderful author, Paula Berinstein, is sharing her experience and knowledge about the world of audiobook creation. And that for self-published and indie authors!

Today, she's talking about kickstarting, finding a producer and the work itself. If you didn't have the chance to drop by yesterday, you'll definitely want to catch up on the first part of her adventure:  Finding the Narrator. You can find that here.

Welcome back, Paula!

So You Want to Make an Audiobook: Kickstarter? The Producer? The Work?
The Amanda Lester, Detective Odyssey with Paula Berinstein


Me and my big mouth. Or should I say me and my itchy fingers? Allan Corduner was interested in Amanda. Now I’d better come through or I’d look like a complete idiot.

I had mentioned to Allan’s agent, Kate Plumpton, that I was thinking of doing a Kickstarter campaign in order to finance the project. Allan was all right with that, but as I investigated what it would take to do the Kickstarter, I began to worry. Doing a fundraising campaign right is a huge project. You have to write and record videos, create graphics, publicize and manage the whole thing, etc. It’s like doing a book all on its own! And to tell you the truth after more than a year of promoting the Amanda books, I was exhausted, spent, drained, kaput, finita.

You see, I spend at least 90% of my time marketing. Write books? Ha! I have almost no time for that. Instead I write blog posts, ad copy, social media posts, and newsletters. I choose and format book excerpts, maintain my Web site, plan and execute giveaways, network with fans and colleagues, participate in book deals, do Facebook events, and more. Each blog tour requires not only a huge amount of preparation, but personal interaction galore. I also work closely with my street team, Amanda’s Irregulars, and I’m constantly reformatting my books for new venues. Since every vendor has different requirements (an ultra-short blurb, a short blurb, a long blurb, a logline, a graphic of this, that, or the other size, testimonials, and on and on), you can imagine how much time goes into that stuff. I often wish all the companies would get together and agree on one format, but that will never happen. And so we authors spend our days customizing stuff for them.

But there was a bigger issue: what if I didn’t raise the money? What if no one, or not enough ones, wanted to support the project? That would be embarrassing, and dispiriting too. Not that that would happen, but it could. And then what would I do?

As I pondered these questions, I rapidly came to the conclusion that doing a Kickstarter wasn’t for me. That meant I would have to finance the project myself. I was pretty sure I could do that, but I needed a quote from the studio Allan uses to be sure. And so I set out to contact them.

Considering how much work was involved I was less than enthusiastic. But in order to make the decision I needed more information: how much would producing the book actually cost? The narrator is only part of it. You also need a producer.

I wasn’t sure how to go about finding a producer so I asked Allan Corduner’s agent if there was someone he normally used. Yes, she said: Strathmore Publishing in London. They furnish the studio, producers, editors, the whole deal. And so I contacted them.

The man I spoke with, Nic Jones, the founder of the studio, was so nice and helpful I couldn’t wait to get started. There was just one tiny thing, though, and that was a price. And so I spoke with Elspeth McPherson, the production director.

She too was as nice as pie and wanted to know how long my book was, in words, not pages. Nearly 103,000 I told her. The next thing I knew she had come up with a cost based on twelve finished hours, which was what both she and Allan thought it would take. (The actual recording time is usually about twice that.) The cost came to a fair chunk of change, but it included the studio, producer, editor, and check listener as well as formatting and delivery of the final files in two formats.

By now of course I just had to do it. I had fallen in love with Allan’s voice work and Strathmore and nothing this side of the moon would stop me. The risks associated with the Kickstarter campaign worried me. Allan might be the best voice actor in the world but he isn’t a household name. What if people didn’t want to participate? What if they weren’t so hot on Amanda? I’d look like an idiot, embarrass everyone concerned, and just generally fail. And I was not going to let that happen.

Here’s the deal, though. I am extremely fortunate. I have enough resources of my own to finance a lot of what I do, and a husband who supports my writing. After discussing the situation for about a minute, we decided to forget the labor-intensive minefield of Kickstarter and just do it. I wrote back to Allan’s agent and Strathmore and told them I wanted to go ahead.

And then it was time to get down to work.

At last it’s time to discuss the audiobook itself. I’ll bet you thought I’d never get there.

The first thing I did after making the decision was send an electronic copy of the book to Strathmore and a printed copy to Allan, who already had a PDF. I sent the printed copy Global Mail Express Guaranteed, which is really expensive. Ha! The package didn’t arrive as scheduled and we spent two frantic days trying to track it down. Finally, the excellent Chris Beer, production manager at Strathmore, printed a copy and couriered it to Allan’s house. The package did arrive a while later—don’t ask—and I applied for a refund from the post office. After all, guaranteed is guaranteed. (I actually got the refund pretty quickly, which made for a nice surprise.)

Anyhoo, Allan proceeded to mark up his copy and we scheduled recording to start about a week later. Chris warned me that they would want pronunciations for various words, and we briefly discussed whether Lestrade should be pronounced Lestrayde or Lestrahde. And the week went by.

Early on the morning of the second recording day I heard from Chris. He had made a list of words selected by Tamsin Collison, the producer, and Allan. How should Allan pronounce them? Oh well, this should be easy, I thought. I’ll just make a quick sound recording and shoot it back to them. How na├»ve I was.

All my recording infrastructure was long gone (goodbye Writing Show), I couldn’t figure out how to record on my stupid phone (thank you so much, Apple), and my husband was out of town so I didn’t have access to his copy of Cakewalk Sonar. I thought maybe there was a way to record an audio email but couldn’t find anything. So I downloaded Audacity, which is free, and hoped I would be able to figure out how to use it in the next five minutes.

Despite the fact that I’ve produced more than 300 podcasts, I was rusty and could barely remember anything of what I used to do. Audacity was similar to Sonar, though, and I got the hang of it quickly. I didn’t have my good mic, but I couldn’t worry about that. Somehow, I managed to stammer out and record the terms, save the file, and attach it to an email. Phew.

Chris thanked me for the pronunciations but had questions. It seemed that English people would say this or that differently and oh, by the way, Allan thought something else would work better. In addition they’d found a couple of places that didn’t read well aloud, and BTW, what did I mean on page so and so and could they change it to read thus and so? I dutifully looked everything up, decided what they wanted to do was brilliant, and shot off another email.

By the time the recording was finished a few days later, Editta Sweetgum had become Scottish (she’s actually from Brixworth, which is in Northamptonshire), Professor Stegelmeyer was German, Amphora Kapoor had an Indian accent, and the pronunciation of Lestrade varied according to the speaker, all of which works so beautifully you will die when you hear it. I was thrilled and I think you will be too.


Tomorrow I’ll tell you what happened in post-production.


All about Paula Berinstein!!!

Paula Berinstein is nothing like Amanda. For one thing, she’s crazy about Sherlock Holmes. For another, she’s never wanted to be a filmmaker. In addition, compared to Amanda she’s a big chicken! And she wouldn’t mind going to a secret school at all. In fact, she’s hoping that some day she’ll get to build one. You can find and contact Paula here:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Paula's blog on Goodreads - The Writing Show podcasts - Newsletter