Born to Be

Author – Narrator Interview

TRACY TRAYNOR – STEVE WHITE

Hi Steve

I need to start by saying thank you for narrating my books.  I think you do a wonderful job of portraying my characters and bringing the stories to life.  I never could have afforded to pay up front the recommended thousands of dollars for the narration of my books.  Without royalty share, I can honestly say I would have no audiobooks.  It really was a good day when you popped a comment onto Facebook saying you would narrate my books for me.

I have been looking into how you promote audiobooks and during that process I came across some facts about narrating which I didn’t know.  This instantly made me appreciate you, and Stevie Zimmerman (who narrated Grace in Mombasa) so much more.  I say more, because in all honesty I did already appreciate both of you already, today just increased it.

This got me to thinking about why you might choose profit share and so I decided to invite you to this short interview, so that I and others, can learn what motivates narrators.  So here we go…

What first drew you into narrating as a possible way of making a living?

Narrating was an idea initially for my good friend Harriet, more of a hobby than a living really.

What do you most enjoy about narrating?

The challenge of different accents, the chance to read great stories and have the characters come to life,

I understand that it can take a narrator up to 5 or 6 hours to produce 1 hour of audio, so for example, Idi & the Oracle’s Quest is 7.15 hours long, meaning this could have taken you 40 hours – a full weeks work, to narrate and produce.  With this in mind why were you happy to accept royalty share when there is no guarantee of making your weeks pay up?

I enjoy narrating – it’s a good hobby. I make a penny or two here and there but in the end it’s a good hobby. I also get to practice voices – which I can then use if in a stage production.

How do you select the books you want to narrate?

Reading the blurb can do it, reading the author’s bio can do it. There are some stories that I always wanted to have a go at such as Sherlock Holmes – one audiobook would have been good – so far it’s about 90!

What attracted you to the ‘Born to Be’ series?

The story sounded full of life and didn’t disappoint.

How did you decided on what kind of accents my characters would have?

They seemed to come to mind as soon as I started reading. I tried to group the witch clans with a certain region and as new characters are introduced, pick what seemed to be appropriate based on their speech.

With book 1 & 2 narrated on Audible, what has inspired you to carry on and narrate the last in the series, Idi & the Sirocco Witch, when we really haven’t had many sales for the other two books yet?

Can’t do book 1 and 2 and leave 3 out. The sales will come to this series once people start to get the word.

Are you enjoying book 3, and if so, what is it that you like?

Very much – all the characters are great, even the naughty.  As the build from book 1 and 2 has gone, Idi is indeed becoming what we expect. The story continues as though you had never stopped writing, sometimes sequels can have you wondering what is going on.

What acting choices do you make when you’re going to narrate a book?  When you narrate are you expressive with your hands and face, do you feel like you become the characters or are you simply reading?

I do fling the arms and thankfully don’t have a mirror to hand so see the faces I pull.

What advice would you offer to people who want to become narrators?

Pick a few small (30-60min) projects first. This will allow you to gauge the time required to produce a 7+ hour book. I use a spreadsheet with each chapter listed – the start, end and total pages and current progress, a 1 for record, edit, listen and upload. This allows you to gauge the time required a chapter – so perhaps 5 pages will take you 15 minutes or so – 15 pages 45 etc. this could allow you to record out of sequence based on time spare on a given session. Depending on the pagination, 5 pages can seem like a lifetime to record.

Also, if producing older material, it will be good to have a lookup for words that have fallen out of use.

Do you think the ACX royalty share scheme is good?

(NO)

It allows for authors to get an audiobook published without an upfront payment.

It allows the narrator to want to do a good a job as possible to ensure that the book sells

What other books have you narrated?

Many – up to 150 now. Lots of Sherlock Holmes stories – published by MX Publishing and Belanger Books. Quite a number of Horror titles, and so far 13 Hotdog Man books which are fun to do.

Where can authors find you if they would like to approach you to consider their books?

Via email or my Facebook profile, look for “Steevin White” – this spelling is also due to my friend Harriet – it’s how she spells my name.

Or my audio page “Steve White audio work” (https://www.facebook.com/SteveWaudio/).

Thanks Steve!  It was really interesting to get the POV of the narrator and to learn a little more about the hard work they put into producing an audio.  I think I have been very lucky to get my books out there via royalty-share, so thank you very much for picking up my books.

Born to Be

AutoCrit ~ what a marvelous tool

AutoCrit

When you’re someone like me, who struggles so much with grammar and the rules of good writing, then this tool is a lifesaver!

The above is my score for Faith in Abertillery before sending it to the professional editor. This is amazing for me.

If you score over 85 and apply for a Quality Mark from BooksGoSocial you could get a gold badge! This is a good thing to have to show people that the quality of your book is to a certain standard.

My score used to be appalling, however, using AutoCrit is teaching me what to look out for and how to improve my writing. It is like having a teacher as far as I am concerned.

Just the Grammar section alone, is worth every penny, but there is so much more to this tool that I just can’t recommend it more highly. The very first time I ran my first book through summary I discovered I had used the word ‘lovely’ 138 times!

The pacing tool is also fab, showing you where your chapters run slow or too fast. There is also a comparrison tool to compare your books to well known authors. I have been using it for a year now and don’t know how I managed without it. I am learning more and more every day.

You can get a 10-day trial for $1 and for anyone thinking about it I think this is a fab service, if you play around for 10 days and decide it’s not for you all it’s cost you is $1!

Anyway, I’m just that happy with it I wanted to share it with you. 🙂

Whatever tool you use to help your writing I hope it works for you, good luck everyone, knock some cracking stories out!

Born to Be

Revival Novels ~ Two Book Reviews

During my research on the Welsh revival of 1904/1905 I came across two novels.

  1. Queen of the Rushes by Allen Raine &
  2. The Withered Root by Rhys Davies

How I enjoyed reading these books and if I wasn’t a Christian I would quite happily have read them and put them down and thought no more of it.  However, as a Christian it was with heavy heart that I read stories about revival that were both written from a non-Christian POV.  Davies openly declared himself an atheist whilst Raine states that although not against the chapel itself she was very suspicious of the revival.

So here are my reviews…

The Withered Root by Rhys Davies

This book caused mixed emotions for me. On the one hand I think it deserves five stars and on the other hand only one star, so I went for three.
The beginning of the book had me chuckling out loud quite a few times, especially over the conversations between Reuben’s parents. I loved how the writing reflected the way the Welsh talk and I loved the detail in which you can practically ‘see’ the old valleys in and around 1904/1905.  It is also superbly written with beautiful flowing, almost poetical language.
The downside for me was twofold. One was the author’s obvious dislike of women made blatantly obvious by his lack of even a single woman having any virtue or a good character, every woman doing nothing but flaunting her femininity in a derogative way. The other was in his portrayal of fanatical and shallow Christians. I found the second half of the book dark and depressing and was quite frankly glad to turn the last page.
For research into the Welsh revival this is worth a read. For the beauty of the writing this is definitely worth a read. For its portrayal of women or Christians if you’re easily offended I would give this a miss.

Queen of the Rushes

I loved this book by this not so well remembered lady Anne Evans, pseudonym Allen Raine.  Her characterisation is vivid and authentic, her settings skilful and poetic and her portrayal of women so much more realistic than Davies.  Writing about a time in which she lived she is able to capture the rift in status between men and women beautifully without labouring it or making it obvious.

She does, however, portray the people caught up in revival as fanatics and one of her main characters is ‘touched’ as in loses her mind because of it.  Not a good light on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  Still this book has many hidden lessons in it if you care to look and I really do recommend it.

Anne didn’t start writing until she was 60 and received crushing reviews when first published… by men.  Born in 1836 Anne was a Victorian through-and-through and I love that this emerges in her story.  I wish I could have met Anne and sat down and discussed this book with her, arr well hopefully when I get to heaven!

Faith in Abertillery

In contrast to the two books above I will be writing about the Welsh revival from a Christian POV, I didn’t live in those times so I have done a massive amount of research to ensure my story is as authentic as possible.  I wonder if anyone will read my book in a hundred years and look me up to see who I was and why I wrote the book!

Born to Be

Grace in Mombasa launch date!

launch day for paperback 01.12.18.png 2

Official launch date is finally here… just got the paperback onto Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0995687994  Paperback UK link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0995687994  Paperback USA link

 

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Grace in Mombasa – two endorsements

I’m so excited to say that I will probably have the kindle of Grace in Mombasa up by Friday 23rd November – a whole week early!

Grace in Mombasa 1 (1)

I’d like to share with you the two endorsements that I have had for the book.

Tracy Traynor’s writing transports you from World War 1 and 2 England to the courts of heaven, via Mombasa. With characters which pop off the page and straight into your heart, this is a book you will remember for a long time.  Wendy H Jones, author and member/webmaster of Association of Christian Writers.

The story of Grace captures the experience of many others who, though quite ordinary by themselves, find that the love of God propels them towards quite extraordinary endeavours.  Tracy is the author of Grace’s story but the inspiration was Moira Smith and the author of her story was none other than God himself, described in the Bible as the ‘author and finisher of our faith’.  I commend Tracy’s book Grace in Mombasa to you in the hope that, inspired by the story of Grace and Moira, you will become hungry for a story of your own and that you will turn to the great author of all our lives.  He already has a story prepared for you”  Sean McIntyre, missionary with Barnabas and now minister to the Assembly of God Church in Colchester.

author of our faith 2

Born to Be

“Idi & the Oracle’s Quest” by TN Traynor

Reader Views Kids

IdiAndTheOraclesQuestIDI & THE ORACLE’S QUEST

T N Traynor
CreateSpace (2014)
ISBN 9781496043931
Reviewed by Autumn (age 14) for Reader Views Kids (7/18)

If you like mysterious rendezvous, witches, castles, demons, dragons and a quest to save the world then “Idi & The Oracle’s Quest,” book one in the Born to Be series, by T N Traynor, is a story you definitely should read.

A spell of forbidden love is cast, only to leave a princess grieving over her love after he is killed, and she is banished from her kingdom for the child she is carrying. Little does she know that the elements or earth witches have taken a solemn vow to protect her and her unborn child from an evil wizard by the name of Norvora. If he gets control of the child, he will unleash unimaginable horrors from the depths of Astaroth.

A plan is made by the…

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Reviews by kids, for kids.

RVK_logo_tagline_w100

Love my latest review, which is by Autumn aged 14.  Nearly all my reviews are by adults and I was really happy to receive this one through the website Reviews by kids, for kids.

Idi & The Oracle’s Quest by T N Traynor
ISBN 9781496043931
Reviewed by Autumn (age 14) for Reader Views Kids (7/18)

If you like mysterious rendezvous, witches, castles, demons, dragons and a quest to save the world then “Idi & The Oracle’s Quest,” book one in the Born to Be series, by T N Traynor, is a story you definitely should read.
A spell of forbidden love is cast, only to leave a princess grieving over her love after he is killed, and she is banished from her kingdom for the child she is carrying. Little does she know that the elements or earth witches have taken a solemn vow to protect her and her unborn child from an evil wizard by the name of Norvora. If he gets control of the child, he will unleash unimaginable horrors from the depths of Astaroth.
A plan is made by the fairies to intercept Princess Cassandra and her unborn child before Norvora can reach them. Their journey takes them through a forbidden forest to reach the mountains to a town called Tamarind.
A great and kind wizard named Marcus is called upon by the oracle Oleanna to find a boy named Idi who will become the greatest wizard of all time. Idi is an orphaned boy who has been pick on his entire life and felt like he would never amount to anything, until Marcus finds him and asks that he accompanies him on an important quest to save the kingdoms. Together they will set out on a journey to find the child who is meant to be king.

I really enjoyed reading “Idi & The Oracle’s Quest.” The story line was fast paced with hint of suspense. I liked how the author combined characters such as wizards, elemental witches, dwarfs and a dragon in a not-so-fairy-tale-like setting. The chase through the forest kept you on the edge of your seat, not knowing if Cassandra and the fairies would make it to safety before the evil wizard Norvora and his henchmen caught up with them. Every chapter had a twist in the story that was exciting and unexpected. My favorite character would be Idi. He felt like no one cared for him, but he would not give up on others and was always there for them.
“Idi & The Oracle’s Quest”, book one of the Born to Be series, by T N Traynor is a magical story that will leave you wanting more. I would recommend this story for 9th graders and up, and I look forward to the next book in the “Born to Be series.”

Link below to view the review on their website.

http://readerviewskids.com/reviewtraynoridiandtheoraclesquest

 

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The Innkeeper’s Son ~ K C Herbel

As a Christian, I love it when I find a book full of morals.  One of my all-time favorites is the Narnia series by C S Lewis.  Clive Staples Lewis (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day.

Image result for c s lewisImage result for the lion the witch and the wardrobe

I love that Clive went through changes in his life, which include losing his Christian faith and then finding it again later in life. A true prodigal son story.  He wrote quite a few books but I think the world’s favorite must be The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.

I adore when a story has hidden beliefs and principles for life behind the writing.  My own series Born to Be, is exactly that.  I was once told that my story was too innocent to get anywhere, says a lot about the world we live in doesn’t it?

I was, therefore, over the moon to read The Innkeeper’s Son by K C Herbal, and discover a beautifully written, traditional fantasy packed with caring and sensitive characters.  Woven together in a magical story of dragons and fairies and magic.  I loved it and highly recommend it.  Very pleased to find there is already four in the series and I look forward to reading the rest.

Born to Be

Audiobook now available.

Talia Banner PNG

Come on in and discover the world of Talia…

Very happy to announce that book 1 is now available on audiobook.  Have a listen to Steve, I think he’s done a great job!

I’m looking forward to the next two already.

Click here to buy

 

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Are book promotions value for money?

My experience with OnlineBookClub.org online-book-club-org

I decided to pay to advertise my book with Onlinebookclub.org.

I paid $598.00 for their Book of the Day deal.

In the days running up, I began watching the rankings of other books that were the ‘book of the day’.  I was quite excited to see a few of them rise quite high in their category sections. For example: ‘The Buried Secrets of Peonies’ by Mernegar Dorgoly rose to #7 in kindle short stories, and, ‘A second, less Capable, Head’ by James Hanna rose to #14 in kindle anthologies.

I was quite excited then and anticipated a number of sales that would also help my rankings.

I was to be hugely disappointed when I only sold 14 books.  My books normally sell for $2.99 and for this deal I’d reduced the book to $0.99 to encourage sales.  Total income $4.90, a loss of $593.10.

If like me, you’re an indie-author who works a full time ‘day’ job and writes like crazy in-between life’s normal activities, you will understand how crushing this was for me.  That, on top of the fact that, I received some rather stringent criticism almost had me jacking it all in and calling it a day…

I do feel I’m like a typical sensitive-author, I think I should nickname myself Sea-Saw-Tracy, because I am constantly up and down.  Harsh remarks though cut deep, this book is after all ‘my baby’ and I have been working on it for 25 years.  I confess I haven’t yet managed to grow a thick skin.

It took my youngest (always positive) son, Daniel, to put things in perspective.  I received 170 comments, of which nearly all of them were positive and encouraging.  Lots of people said they added the book to their ‘want to read’ list.  Time will tell if they actually read it.  If you want, please feel free to check out the comments below.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiscountBookOfTheDay/

So maybe young adult fantasy isn’t a genre that’s really popular?  Or maybe my book just isn’t up to scratch?  Perhaps if you have a romance, thriller or short stories, then you’ll do loads better than I did.

Will I be booking another deal?  Definitely not.

Should you book a deal?  I think it depends on a few things: Is your book in a popular genre? Do you have a gripping first three chapters? Does your book cover jump up and grab people’s attention? Do you have an intriguing blurb? …and most importantly, do you have $598.00 to spare?  If the answer to all these questions is yes, then go for it, because obviously some books do really well on these deals.