Monday, September 25, 2017

Building an Elevation Map #OurAuthorGang

Rich Feitelberg

You want to build a world for a story or series of stories. You have the general points sketched out and you are thinking about the map you need. You can, of course, draw it -- or generate it -- at any time. But let's consider a few aspects of the geography first.

Geography not also defines the shape of land masses, but also an area's climate and resources as well. If your world has a molten core like ours, then volcanoes are possible and the surface is can be made of sliding plates which determine where the mountains are, and the shape of each continent. It will also tell you where there are quakes (usually along fault lines where two plates abut). Make a map of the elevation and the fault lines. It will help you later.

The US Geological Survey web site provides such topological maps of the United States, which can serve as an example. Your maps don't need to be that detailed (remember Tenet 1) but you should note where there are mountains, hills, and flat areas. Remember to provide a transitional area between mountains and flat terrain. Often there are hills in between.

Also keep in mind some mountains have volcanoes hidden among them. And not all hills are grassy knolls. Some of forested and some are barren. You don't need to consider this in the elevation map but it is something to think about for later.

Once you have these detailed sorted out you are ready for the vegetation map. We'll consider that next time.

Elevation from My Fantasy World, showing mountains and lakes

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Prose and Poetry #OurAuthorGang

by Author Grace Augustine

Excerpts from a 40 year compilation of prose and poetry:

A day in the life of a clown
For one and all to see
Sometimes up, sometimes down
So, what's right for me?
Am I now alone
In this foolish game?
Can I still condone
Life's fortune and it's fame?
Do these tears still fall
Drowning what's not right?
How I fail to hear you call
As you whisper in the night.
I want to be aglow
From all the love you give...
Your warmth I want to know
So I'll more fully live.
I need to be with you
In all parts of my day.
To find our love renewed
Through all the words we say.

Porcupine quills
Puncture the sensitive tendons
Of the soul
As the precious life blood
Seeps through
The pin-hole openings
Draining all energy and emotion
Traumatic transformation occurs slowly
One in which all systems shut down
Only to become
Stony grey and cold and hard
My heart and I cry
Icicle tears.

Dance Little Snowflakes, Dance
On silver skates you'll twirl
Late at night 'til early morn
With laziness you'll swirl.

The children laugh aloud,
You can even hear them skate.
Rows and rows of snowmen
Now stand guard around the lake.

The chilly North winds blow,
You seem to heed their call.
Float then gently down,
Uniting as you fall.

Biting, whirring whirlwinds
Create mounds of deep white fluff.
The piles grow ever higher.
Isn't this enough?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Our Guest Author Today...KH Bixby #OurAuthorGang

Please join us in welcoming Author KH Bixby. Bixby is taking the thriller/suspense genre by storm with her new series DEADLY GAMBIT.

As a person who views politics with the fascination of viewing a train-wreck, KH Bixby is driven to extract what IS discussed and twist itinto what ISN'T. Writing in the parameters of the believable is possible, KH's thrillers grab the reader, causing them to wonder...IS THE STORY REAL?

In SHELL GAME, Book 1 of the DEADLY GAMBIT SERIES, we find Sami Turan uprooted from the violence of his homeland. Sami leads a sheltered existence in New York until an explosive encounter with a family member brings back to the surface all he'd lost. On a mission to right a wrong in the best way he can think of, he discovers monsters wear many masks.  Trying to correct his ill-conceived actions, he inadvertently nudges out of balance the first domino in an overlooked international conflict. Will his actions help his homeland, or will he end up starting the next world war? At what price? And, will the monsters he exposes in the process be obliterated?

MINEFIELD, Book 2 of the DEADLY GAMBIT SERIES, picks up where Book 1 ends. Complications mount when Sam Turan agrees to work part-time for Heidelberg Bank and dedicate the rest of his time to rebuilding his homeland in the Middle East.  Conspiracies and plots threaten his relationship with the Adler Heiress and attempts to blow him up escalate the danger level. Sam can only trust a handful of friends. With the ground shifting beneath him, is anyone who they claim to be?

Interested in following KH Bixby? Follow the links below.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pick a Book day at #OurAuthorGang

Please support Indie authors, check out our books

Short excerpt:

Emily pulled out her necklace and showed it to Daniel. “I kept the ring too,” she said. “I had it plated with gold and the blue glass stone replaced with sapphire.”

Daniel held Emily’s hand and swallowed hard, trying to get rid of the lump in his throat, “I tried so hard to find you, but my parents always hushed me when I asked, and we didn’t move back to my hometown until it was too late. Your Aunt Julia said you stopped visiting, and she refused to give me your address or phone number. A year ago I accidentally overheard her telling a neighbor in the store that you were a third-year medical student in New York. That’s why I transferred to New York on a student visa. I was hoping to find you…” He choked up.

Emily’s heart warmed and she looked into Daniel’s eyes, “You did that just to find me?”

“Yes,” he replied as he bowed his head. A small, sad smile played in the corner of his lips, and he continued, “I’ve been searching the net and social sites for years, but I couldn’t find anything about you. The only lead I had was that you were in medical school, and I followed it.”

Emily gasped when she realized, and exclaimed, “My parents changed our last names when we moved to upstate New York. My father said he wanted a fresh start. I was twelve years old, and I really liked our new name, St. Claire. I asked about you and wanted to visit, but my parents kept us busy. They took us on vacation to New Zealand and a lot of other places, and they never let us go to Hungary again. Grandma visited us once, but her visit was short and she argued a lot with my mother.”

“No wonder I couldn’t find anything, I was searching Molnar, the name I knew,” he exclaimed. “I knew deep in my heart that destiny would bring us back together.” His eyes sparkled.

    Books 2 Read  

Short excerpt:

"My first test, the dreaded MRI. I’m semi-claustrophobic. This is not a good thing. It’s late afternoon, I’m tired. I’m stressed. Now, I have to lay flat on my back in this sausage casing-like tube for an hour for imaging of my brain and spinal cord.

Ka-chink, ka-chink, ka-chink…bada, bada, bada…buzz, buzz, buzz. Over and over for three minutes. The table moves. The next test is five minutes. The table shakes and again, ka-chink, ka-chink, ka-chink. The table moves me out, the nurses infuse the contrast, and back in I go. 

Sigh. End of day one.

Day two began early. Another neurologist. This one was from Scotland. He performed the standard nerve testing and made his notes. Mind you, these “visits” are an hour or more long. The patient is put through strength testing, tuning fork testing, and my most favorite…lets poke you with a sharp instrument testing (the point of a safety pin) along all of your nerve meridians.

After going through the same exact testing with a third neurologist, this one from China, it was lunch time. We made our way down to the subway level, grabbed lunch, and kept a close eye on the time. 
An hour is like minutes in this expanse. I was mesmerized by the people: young, old, crutches, wheelchairs, bandages, amputees, Americans, Africans, Europeans…all there for varying reasons. Some wore suits, some were in colorful native attire. People watching passed the time as I was pushed along in the wheelchair.

Two more appointments and day two would be history. Back up to 8th floor neurology clinic to see yet another neurologist and down to the lab for additional bloodwork. 
I can do this."

Short excerpt:

The audience hall in Wrightwood Manor was large and stately. White marble with red veins covered the floor and a narrow red carpet ran down the middle of the chamber from the large double doors at the back, to the dais at the front.

The doors opened and Father Evan Pierce, a priest of the Order of St. Michael and a demon hunter, strode into the room followed by one hundred Michaeline knights. Each knight wore a breastplate of polished metal emblazoned with a silver sword. The group clanked and clanged across the hall until they reached the end of the carpet. 

At the foot of the dais, Evan knelt on one knee and bowed his head. The knights behind him did the same.

“Your Grace,” said Evan.

Seated atop the dais in an elegantly carved chair of bone and ivory, His Grace, Duke Wrightwood looked at the others in the hall dispassionately. He gestured with one hand. “Arise and report. How fared you in the Mirean ruins?”

Evan stood and smiled. “Very well, Your Grace. We captured two necromancers and killed two others. The pentagram they were preparing was cleansed and destroyed, thereby thwarting any plans they had for using it.”

His Grace pursed his lips. “And what of their leader, Jormundan? Captured or killed?”

The Michaeline priest sighed and frowned. “Neither, I’m afraid. He escaped, vanishing like a ghost at the end of a difficult battle that almost killed Sir Ahlan and me.”

Duke Wrightwood’s jaw tensed a little at this news and his blue eyes flashed with a fire Evan knew well. “Then we have no clues as to his plans for stealing magic jewelry of great power.”
“Not exactly, Your Grace."

Short excerpt:

Her name was Jivvy Trenovis, a pretty young woman in her early twenties, with sienna-hued skin beginning to turn blue from the cold. She was lying naked in the snow of a small clearing, stretched out as if she were about to be crucified. A circle of nine candles surrounded her; black candles, still burning. Her eyes were fixed and open, not blinking or squinting from the glare of the sun, but she wasn’t looking at anything in this world. She was still breathing . . . just barely. In her left fist she clutched a crumpled piece of parchment.

Naked trees swayed in the gentle breeze like dancing skeletons. Icicles dripped cold tears from bony branches. Fresh snow covered the ground like a burial shroud. Somewhere off in the forest, a banshee howled at the morning sun. Not a good omen.

Nine black worms slithered in an endless circle around Jivvy. They were as long as my cavalry saber, and each had human arms and a face that would have looked perfect on a mummy. Although I wanted to snatch the paper from her hand, I didn’t — not with those ghastly fat worms in the way. I’d never seen creatures like those before.

“I was on my way to Valdar when I found her,” Captain Mazo told me. “Her brother’s not home. I found her clothes piled near the back door.” 

Short excerpt:

“I wouldn’t carve that pumpkin or take a picture of it if I were you,” said a strange, chiming voice out of nowhere.

Nikki and Jack were stunned. They turned and looked around.

“Who said that?” Nikki demanded.

“I did,” the voice replied.

The two cousins could now pinpoint where the voice was coming from and looked up at Mister Bonejingles, the silver wind chime.

They jumped to their feet at the same time.

“How come you can talk?” asked Jack, feeling scared but curious. “You’re not supposed to talk, Mister Bonejingles! You’re just a wind chime.”

“I am not just a wind chime.”

Taking a step closer to get a better look, Nikki asked the silver skeleton, “Then what are you?”
“My name is Wishbone Jones.”

 “Where did you come from and how come you can talk?” asked Jack.

“I come from Creepy Hollow, a land that exists in another realm,” said Wishbone Jones.
“Never heard of it,” said Nikki.

“Of course you haven’t,” said Wishbone. “Few people in your world know of its existence, and those few are all children, just like yourselves.” 

“Well, my name is Jack, and this is my cousin Nikki,” said Jack.

“I’ve been watching you two kids and it’s very nice to meet you both.”

Nikki took the wind chime off the hook and held it in her hand. “So how did you end up here, on Grandma’s front porch?” 

“That’s a bit of a long story,” said Wishbone.

“We have plenty of time before we go Trick or Treating,” she said.

“Well,” Wishbone began, “once upon a time I was a great warrior. I fought many battles until I was badly injured in the Troll War, protecting The Trinity of Wishmothers, who watch over Creepy Hollow.”


Short excerpt:

“Is it true you signed a pact with the devil?” Philippe raised his voice on purpose, and the Hall fell silent.

“You go too far,” Alden said, rising to his feet in defence of his brother. 

Philippe stood also, his gaze never once wavering from Merton’s. “I am not afraid of you,” he stated arrogantly. “I am curious though as to why you came here. You are not welcome. Budic has all but disowned you.”

“I came here to burn and pillage,” Merton replied dryly, and there was a collective gasp at his words. “Why else?”

Philippe looked at Merton in fearful disbelief for a moment and then he laughed, loudly, and others, taking his lead, began to laugh as well, albeit nervously.

“I shouldn’t have asked,” Philippe said, wiping tears of amusement from his eyes. “You were always one for jokes, were you not? I am glad that has not changed. Although I hear the devil has a new apprentice.” His tone was one of jesting and his words brought more laughter from the Hall, but gone was the mirth in his face.

“If you say so.”

Philippe leant across the table and poured himself some wine, before sitting back down in the chair he had so recently vacated. “Tell me, for I am curious, what goes through your mind when you round up a village, lock them in a barn and set fire to it?” The Hall once again fell silent as they waited for Merton’s answer. 

Copyright © Mary Anne Yarde 2016

Short excerpt:

Morana’s castle was well-hidden from prying eyes, deep in the woods on the mountain side. Nobody knew about its existence, only Zelda, her trusted servant throughout the centuries.

The soft humming of her rotating, air-filled mattress relaxed her and protected her withered body from developing bed sores. The Royals and Elders were furious when they found out many centuries ago that Joland had shared the gift of eternal life with her and gave her the power to keep her body young. The Elders separated them, but they couldn’t make them mortal again. She has lived so many lifetimes, alone, because Joland was exiled to a timeline in the distant past. As his punishment, he couldn’t move forward in time with her. The Elders succeeded in taking away the ability to rejuvenate her body, which became bones with wasted muscles and shriveled skin. Although her withered body was useless, the power of her mind allowed her to reach the remotest part of the world and beyond.

Morana closed her eyes and began searching the complicated network of the Collective Memory, in her mind. She murmured under her breath, “The Elders took everything I valued in life from me, but they never found out I could read every word that is written by every gifted Hun, after they have reached maturity, and if they used the ancient letters given to them by the Ancestors.”

Morana’s prune-like face lit up with a grin, “Good girl, Adel. You are the servant of the Leaders and can’t talk to anyone about this, but you just wrote in your diary that the Elders are planning a meeting. Oh, I see. One of them is about to take her last breath, and they need to choose her successor. Hmm… could I use it to my advantage? We’ll see. There is another interesting sentence here; you are worried about your mistress, Csenge. She seems distant and unhappy. Let’s see what our Leader has been writing…” she scoured Csenge’s desk in her mind.

“What?” Morana shouted angrily when she read Csenge’s note in her calendar, “The Chosen One, Ilona, is coming of Age today.”

Read free with Kindle Unlimited

El castillo de Morana estaba bien oculto de miradas indiscretas, en lo profundo del bosque, en la ladera de la montaña. Nadie sabía de su existencia, sólo Zelda, su criada de confianza a través de los siglos.

El suave zumbido de su colchón de masaje le hacía relajarse y protegía su marchito cuerpo, de desarrollar úlceras por presión. Los miembros de la realeza y los Ancianos entraron en cólera cuando averiguaron que Joland había compartido con ella el don de la vida eterna y le había dado el poder de mantener su cuerpo joven. Los Ancianos les separaron pero no pudieron convertirles en mortales de nuevo. Ella ha vivido muchas vidas sola porque Joland fue exiliado a una vida en un pasado lejano. Como castigo, él no podría avanzar en el tiempo para estar con ella. A Morana, los Ancianos lograron arrebatarle la habilidad de rejuvenecer su cuerpo, el cual se convirtió en huesos con atrofiados músculos y arrugada piel. Aunque su marchito cuerpo se encontraba inservible, el poder de su mente le permitía llegar al lugar más remoto del mundo y más allá.

Morana cerró sus ojos y empezó a buscar en la complicada red de la Memoria Colectiva, en su mente. Ella murmuró en voz baja: “Los Ancianos me quitaron todo lo que tenía valor en mi vida, pero nunca averiguarán que yo puedo leer cada palabra escrita por cualquier Huno con el don, después de que alcancen la madurez, y si utilizan las letras antiguas que les dieron los Ancestros”.

Su arrugado rostro se iluminó con una sonrisa. “Buena chica, Adel. Tú eres la sierva de los líderes y no puedes hablar con nadie sobre esto, pero escribiste en tu diario que los Ancianos están organizando una reunión. Oh, ya veo. Una de ellas está a punto de exhalar su último aliento y necesitan elegir a su sucesor. Hmm... ¿Podría utilizarlo en mi beneficio? Veamos. Hay otra frase interesante aquí, tú estás preocupada por tu señora, Csenge; parece triste y distante. Veamos que ha estado escribiendo nuestro Lider…”.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

My Music Part 2 #OurAuthorGang

My Music Part 2 by
Rick Haynes

‘Children’ by Robert Miles woke me up. I felt it was the 60’s all over again. I was excited, for my teenage years had returned.
The album was brilliant, the follow up, nearly as good, but of course he wasn’t the only one spending hours and hours behind a mixing desk. Over the next few years I discovered a blossoming new world of dance music, and did I enjoy myself. The music of Tiesto, Roland Klinkenberg, and others burst out from my speakers.

My sons were amazed that, not only did I know the names of their favourite producers/artists, I had their CDs as well. I was once more on the collection trail, but this time I found it more difficult to find exactly what I wanted. There was a huge difference between those producing their tunes, and those working away on a computer in their bedroom. Yet many of those bedroom fanatics went on to make some great music. 

Just before the year 2000 arrived, a song was released that I just had to have. As soon as I heard, ‘Century,’ I imagined myself at a party with one minute to go before the clock strikes midnight. Sung by Calvin Harris and produced by Tiesto - he also wrote the simple lyrics - this is a New Years Eve classic, as it makes you want to get up, sing, and dance.

Can you hear me?
Now put your hands in the air
For a century

My son’s girlfriend, later to become his wife, couldn’t believe I was playing, Paul Oakenfold. His Global Underground CD, ‘Live in New York,’ was, and still is, the greatest one hour mix that I’ve ever heard. With my other son now a part time DJ, I received regular updates about my type of trance music. I was so proud when he produced his first collection of trance and house music. By the time he had released his fifth album, I had compiled a selection of my favourites which are played regularly when I’m driving.

Now you may think that my music tastes had completely changed. They hadn’t, but from the turn of the century it had become increasingly difficult to find new melodic rock bands. Youngsters found it difficult to play outside of their village hall, or bedrooms, as no matter how good they were, gigs were rare, and airplay impossible. From decades of young people buying guitars, keyboards, and drums, we now had an era of synthesised music. I liked it, but being greedy, I wanted new rock bands to emerge and enthral me.

I went to see a master blues guitarist, Robin Bibi. I loved his show, and afterwards we had a good chat. I mentioned AOR, and he laughed, explaining that it was his term for, any old rubbish. He looked me in the eyes, smiled, and told me that it really meant album-orientated rock. The name had originated in the USA, and was focused on album tracks from rock artists.
Bingo! It was no wonder I couldn’t find any new bands. Searching under the melodic rock tag only brought up old favourites. It didn’t take long to find the new bands, yet, as expected, only one came from England.

Houston, AOR - the band of that name, 101 South, Giant, China Blue, the list went on and on. The one English band – FM – had been around awhile but were still touring. So many, previously closed doors were now wide open. I walked in and starting collecting once more.
101 South, is fantastic. One of their tracks is called, ‘When You’re In Love,’ and one line, ‘The best things in life I’ve already found,’ is so apt for me. 

FM, are also great and I’ve managed to see them perform twice. When they supported Europe, and Foreigner, everyone said that FM stole the show. Maybe they did at that, but there is one thing I’m certain of. After so many years, meeting so many bands, FM is the best at interacting with their fans.
I’ll carry on collecting, and will enjoying finding new music until the day I pass. I hope that you have as much fun as me, for no matter what, music really is the sustenance to sustain us though the good, and the bad times.

Keep on rocking.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How to Annoy a Hungarian #OurAuthorGang

How to Annoy a Hungarian by
Erika M Szabo

Although I'm a long time American, I was born and raised in Hungary. Most Americans never heard of Hungary, or if they did, they think it's somewhere next to China.

Because my fiction stories either play out in Hungary or include historical bits, people often ask me about the country and its customs.

A reader who enjoyed my Ancestors' Secrets novel series asked me recently, "How do you piss off a Hungarian?" So, I thought, I'll answer her question in a blog post.

If you want to be friends with a Hungarian, don't tell them:

"Oh, Hungary is one them tiny Asian countries, right?"

Hungary is located in Central Europe. 

Used to be a large country before Trianon

"I made Hungarian goulash for you." and serve them this dish:

A Hungarian would say, "I'm not going to eat that slop!"
The Hungarian gulyas is a hearty, rich soup made of beef or pork with vegetables, spices, and of course, plenty of paprika.

Pronounce the capital like this: Boo-da-pest

You’re likely to drive many Hungarians nuts.
Obviously Hungarians understand that everyone pronounces cities in their own way, but if you really want to be friends with a Hungarian, say this: Buddah-pesht.

Don't tell a cheesy joke such as, "Are you a hungry Hungarian?"
Nope, Hungarians are not starving. As a matter of fact, tourists say they had the best meals in Hungary when they visited numerous European countries. Dine is style:

Mixing up the Hungarian and Italian flag

Hungarians never smile and they always look unhappy

This is a world-wide myth about Hungarians. Hungarians do smile, when they have something to smile about, and they even laugh when something tickles their funny bone.

I would love to go to Hungary for a vacation, but there are no beaches there.

If you say that, you don't know Hungary at all because you don't know that Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe with beautiful beaches. It's close to 600 square kilometers.

Moreover, thanks to an abundance of natural, medicinal hot springs, Hungary can boast around 450 public spas and bathhouses.

I heard this too, "I can't even find a Synagogue there."

Budapest has the second largest synagogue in the world. Seating 3,000, the Dohany Street Synagogue is the largest in Europe and part of the Budapest Unesco World Heritage Site.

Some interesting things about Hungarians:

Hollywood would not be Hollywood without Hungarians

Paramount Pictures founder Adolf Zukor, Vilmos Fried - more commonly known as William Fox - and Casablanca director Michael Curtiz (formerly Mano Kaminer) all Hungarians.

Budapest has continental Europe’s oldest metro

Beginning operations in 1896, it is also the second oldest electrically operated underground railway in the world, predated only by the London Underground.

 It is considered rude to clink your beer glasses with a Hungarian

Legend has it that when the 1848 Hungarian revolution against the Habsburgs was defeated, 13 Hungarian generals were executed while the Austrians clinked their beer glasses after each execution. As a result, Hungarians vowed not to clink their beer glasses for 150 years - and while the time has passed, the custom remains.

The significance of the number 96

The crowning of Arpad as first king of the Magyars (Hungarian people) marked the beginning of the Hungarian state in 896. Budapest’s metro was built on the country’s millennial anniversary in 1896. By law, buildings in Budapest must not exceed 96 feet, and the Hungarian national anthem should be sung in 96 seconds - if done at the proper tempo.

I hope you enjoyed my post and if you like historical, romantic fantasy,
take a look at my books, 
Erika M Szabo
Dark family secrets separated Emily and Daniel when they were teenagers, but fate brought them together. Jayden, Emily’s brother, finds a book that was written in 426 by a shaman. Emily can read the ancient runes, and they learn about their family's curse. 
Golden Quill Award Winner romantic, historical fantasy novel series.
Love, ancient tribal legends, secrets, time travel and magical powers collide in a compelling fantasy series, hailed “Original, Mystical and Unique.” 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Book do or not to do...that is the question #OurAuthorGang

I'm a planner...parties, holidays, book events/ name it, I've planned it. I hosted two successful events for authors at our local winery.


It wasn't without issues, drama, questions...which brings me to my question...

           Book signings or not?

I've attended many events in my four short years as an hosted in malls, private residences, wineries, and outdoor faires...all with little to no sales.

I spend 30 minutes setting up my 8 ft. table with a copy of every book, swag, decorations, and anything I can think of that will draw readers. I engage in conversation, and do all but push/pull them to my table.  The fact remains, if they don't know who you are, they are likely not spending money finding out.

The one success I've found is authenticity. Being my authentic self, truly engaging with the people who stop by to "check out" my table, has been crucial to book sales. If I am sincerely interested in those who stop by and visit, they begin asking questions about my books and usually leave with at least one book, if not more.

Do I want to be a best selling author? Do I want to make money doing what I love? The answer to both questions is yes! However, I'm also realistic...wealth and recognition doesn't happen overnight, unless you are Oprah or Martha. I'm not into buying reviews or giving my books away with the hopes the recipient will review it, driving up my algorhythms on Amazon.

Two truths remain...I love writing and I love telling stories. So, as long as I can type, my stories will continue!


Monday, September 18, 2017

How To Find A Narrator For Audiobook #OurAuthorGang

How To Find A Narrator For Audiobook: Part 1

By Mackenzie Flohr

So, you've made the decision to have an audiobook of your novel produced. That's great! But, where do you start? How do you find your "perfect" narrator?

These are all questions I asked myself after a fan who is visually impaired sent me an email requesting a copy of The Rite of Wands on audiobook. Luckily, my publisher had already prepared for such a request, as they had secretly designed the cover for my audiobook ahead of time. The only thing I had to do was provide them the name of the man who I would be hiring as my narrator. 

But how do you find your narrator? Let me share what I did when starting my search. 

The first thing I did was evaluate how important it was for my characters to have the specific sound I envisioned. For example, Mierta, my main character, is written specifically for British actor Matt Smith. That meant whoever would voice Mierta had to be able to perform not only a British accent, but had to be able to perform a very mild touch of Birmingham or Estuary. 

Hear an example from clip below:

(YouTube - Matt Smith and Billie Piper in Ruby In The Smoke)

I honestly thought that would be quite easy, but as my UK friends like to say, this "stupid American" quickly found out that wasn't so lol!

And that wasn't my only challenge. The bigger dilemma was finding someone who could perform a Scottish accent. My co-main character, Orlynd, has a very heavy accent, partially to emphasize his inability to fit in, but also because I purposely wrote his dialect out phonetically like Irvine Welsh did in his novel Trainspotting. 

Hear what Orlynd should sound like:

(YouTube video - David Tennant from BroadChurch)

So, how did I start my search? First, I put together a mini script, think of it like a book excerpt, containing two small scenes featuring both of these characters. That way I could test the actors' range during the audition process. 

Out of everyone I auditioned, only one actor got it right, but I really can't even say right, because it wasn't just right. It was perfection! 

Find out next time what Jacob Dudman did to get it "right". In the meantime, check out our awesome audiobook trailer!