Saturday, July 20, 2019

Audibook Narration Tips and Insights with Jessie Drumm

Today you are in for a special treat as I share with you an interview with the fabulous Jessie Drumm. I will have to admit that I am very fond of her as she narrated by audible book NEVER STOP RUNNING. Getting the job wasn't an easy task as she and about 168 others auditioned for it. The process took my casting team almost three months and several callbacks to discover Jessie. Let me tell you, the time and effort was worth it as she has knocked the audible book out of the park. The audible book, NEVER STOP RUNNING, narrated by Jessie came out of the gate as the #1 New Release for audible books. I owe that to Jessie and her fabulous narration.

I had an interview with Jessie because I wanted everyone to get to know her. So here it is.


Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, and I currently live in Newtown, Connecticut. I studied French, Theater, and Italian at Ithaca College and French Business at The University of Paris. I later earned a Masters degree in Teaching French from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I also have a certificate from Teachers College Columbia in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. I love languages, as you can see!

What inspired you to become a narrator?

I am a full-time world language teacher in a middle/high school in Westchester, New York. I was inspired to become a narrator after narrating several educational videos for my school. I was told I have a very professional, soothing voice, and I also love studying accents. I decided to explore the option of voiceover/narration work since I was missing the opportunity to perform theatrically, which I had so frequently when I was younger. I used to read all of my books aloud when I was a child, and I read now to my daughter. Narration felt like a natural field to try.

Do you have a preferred genre?

I really love psychological, suspense thrillers, and mystery novels. I love any book with engaging characters and a plotline that makes you want to do nothing other than read/listen.

What has been your favorite section or chapter you narrated from my book?

This is a tough call! I might have to say my favorite was the chapter entitled “Behold the Knights” from Never Stop Running because I really enjoyed the accent. In terms of dramatic portrayal, I’d say Sebastian’s accident and the 911 call were exciting to narrate, because of the wide range of characters and emotional complexity I had to portray in those scenes.



What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to produce an audiobook?

I am very new to audiobook production, so learning my software and editing tools was challenging. Also, making myself a schedule around another full-time job and being a mom of a young child made recording difficult at times. Another challenge was the range of accents in Never Stop Running. I did my best to research them and recreate them, without characterizing or stereotyping.

What production companies do you work with?

I currently work for myself!

What one unique thing sets you apart from other narrators?

I believe my background and experience with languages and linguistics sets me apart from other narrators. I research the etymology of words and their regional differences, which I find very fascinating. I put a lot of care into the actual syntax and significance of what I’m reading.

How do you prepare your voice before narrating?

I brush my teeth and put on chapstick! Sometimes, I also drink mint tea or oil pull (swish coconut oil in my mouth) to prep my voice. I warm up by reading a few passages before I hit record.

Do you have a preference for fiction or non-fiction? Why?

I prefer fiction because I love portraying a variety of characters. I enjoy bringing scenes in the book to life and do my best to give each character a distinct voice or tone.

How do you go about marketing your audiobook?

Facebook and Instagram are the main social media I use. I also work with hundreds of interested teachers and students who are curious to hear my performances, so word of mouth goes a long way in marketing as well.

How do you choose the books you want to narrate?

I look for an engaging text that lures me in. I look for something I consider to be well-written, with characters I feel I could convincingly portray.

Describe your recording studio?

My recording studio, like many new voiceover artists, is my walk-in closet! It’s a treated space, in terms of having carpet and lots of clothing to absorb echoes. There is no external noise at all.

What is your preferred equipment in microphones, headsets, software, etc?

I really enjoy my Audio Technica headphones, my AKG P420 Project Studio Condenser Microphone and I prefer ProTools for software.

What one piece of advice do you have for new narrators?

I am a new narrator myself, but my biggest piece of advice would be allow yourself as much time as possible to learn your equipment and software before you take on projects. Also, assume that everything is going to take longer than expected so that you time manage appropriately. Finally, be patient with yourself and know that mistakes along the way are entirely normal and expected.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Dr. Melissa Caudle on Never Stop Running, and I hope you enjoy it! I’ve grown quite attached to the characters and will miss them once production is entirely complete.


Friday, July 19, 2019

The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family by Dipa Sanatani

Today I bring to you another author interview and a wonderful book "The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family" by Dipa Sanatani. Read what the author has to say about the book and how she created the idea.

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I come from a family of merchants and educators with roots in Singapore and the UK. Twelve years ago, I left behind my roots to discover my wings. Since then, I've lived, studied, and worked in Australia, Israel, Japan, and China. With a background in both business and education, I have extensive experience in the public school system as well as in the private, government, and corporate sectors.

No matter where I go, I meet people with the same hopes, the same fears, and the same needs for joy, companionship, and adventure. The human experience is a universal one. The things we have in common vastly outweigh that which differentiates us. Our life and time are precious. We must savor it. It is this philosophy I weave through my stories, no matter where the next step of my journey will bring me.

What inspired you to author this book?

The Little Light is a story about a wise and curious soul that meets the planets before it’s born on earth.

The idea came to me when I was lying in bed alone in my apartment in Japan. I was contemplating the vast nature of the universe when I suddenly thought, “How nice it would be if I could invite the planets over for a discussion on life, love and the larger purpose for our existence.”

I promptly opened up my notebook and sketched what the mythological Nine Celestial Beings would look like if they were ‘updated’ for the modern era. The idea ruminated in my head for four years before I finally sat down to write the story.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

I wanted something primal, innocent, and universal. Before modern society developed into what it is today, I believe we humans gazed up at the night skies for our entertainment.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. Even today, I love visiting planetariums and observatories. It reminds me that the world is a vast and glorious place full of undiscovered mysteries.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

The Nine Great Celestial Beings, of course! The Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu. They’ve been gazing down at mankind since time as we know it began. I’m sure they’d have great stories to tell about the history of the earth.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

The well-meaning 'advice' of my friends and family.

I’d say a vast majority of them would prefer that I live a ‘stable and secure’ life where I conform to societal norms. However, the heart wants what it wants. I’ve met way too many people who make the mistake of projecting their own fears and expectations onto me.

One thing I’ve learned is that it is unwise to stand between a soul and its heart’s desire. The soul always chooses the heart’s desire.

Tell your readers about your book.

The Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu - Celestial Beings from world mythology - bicker and squabble, just like any family. But they’re going to have to put their differences aside to help the Little Light - a wise soul, imbued with insight and curiosity - prepare for its birth on Planet Earth, where it has a great and far-reaching destiny...

Who is your target audience, and why?

I never thought that I would write in the Young Adult genre, but I wound up working in the education sector for over 4 years. Those experiences groomed me to communicate with a younger demographic.

They're insatiably curious and in that stage in their lives where they're discovering their own identity. They're not kids and they're not grown ups. They're mini-adults. 

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

Starting my own publishing business Mith Books. In 2013, I tried getting published the traditional way and failed miserably. Most people said, “I told you so.”

And yet, that little voice inside of me that wanted to tell stories never went away.

In 2018, I decided to try again. I couldn’t be bothered with the unnecessary hassle of going down the traditional route again, so I started my own publishing house.

The rest, as they say, is history. 

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

Many of my readers have said that The Little Light is a unique book in the spirituality genre. My novel handles themes like reincarnation, mythology, cosmology, and folklore. There’s nothing else like it available in the market. Titles in the spirituality genre are typically non-fiction and intended for an adult audience. I’ve written The Little Light with younger readers in mind. My goal is to inspire their curiosity in these topics in a fun and accessible way.


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Intention Matters by Juliet Adams

JULY 18, 2019

I great each day with enthusiam and anticipation. The moment I wake up, I smile knowing that somehow and someway I will be blessed. I never know what email I will read, a phone call I'll recieve, or a visitor to my home. That's exciting for me because I enjoy life, my family, and my friends. I fell blessed. However, I'll have to admit the last couple of weeks have been a struggle as I've been in the hospital twice -- I had emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder,  two weeks later, back in the hospital with a severe back sprain during Hurricane Barry. Ouch! Enough of that. When I am bed bound, I read and I've been forutante enough to have found numerous books to read that kept me going. I like to call them my little gems I discover through the million of other books available.

That brings me to a book called PLANT HOPE: HARVEST LOVE by R. H. Kramer. In the face of adversity, the main character reinvents herself and overcomes. Kramer writes with passion and clarity. I recommend this book for those of you who like romance.


Here's another gem that aims at helping us become stronger as individuals. INTENTION MATTERS by Juliet Adams is a book that helps you develop a stronger focused attitude on your intentions.

Over the last five years, respected author Juliet Adams has researched the science that underpins intention. Recent research highlights the powerful role that intention plays in transforming a desire or wish into reality.

Intention Matters is an evidence informed, practical guide that will enable you to consciously focus your intention to get the things you most want from life, without the need for a guru!

This step-by-step, practical guide to working with intention teaches you:

·         How to use your natural abilities that you didn’t know you had all along

·         How to identify what you really want from life

·         How to make your dreams a reality by applying the I-Am model and IDEA framework

·         How to apply intention to every moment of your life

·         How to overcome barriers and obstacles

Packed full of information, tools, techniques and case studies, Intention Matters is published in a handy pocket sized format to make it more accessible and convenient to read anytime, anywhere.

 The Reviews for this book are outstanding.
As a busy (usually stressed) but ambitious manager, this book has made me think about the way I set goals to be more effective and hopefully successful! This book gives the perfect balance of a little of the science behind how the brain functions, while giving functional, helpful tips and guidance about achieving the things that I really want.  After reading Intention Matters, it will help me focus my energy on the things that do really matter.  Juliet’s personality comes across throughout the book, feeling like she’s there coaching me!  And it’s a perfect size to pop in your bag anywhere you go.  I will be recommending this book to friends and colleagues.  A must read for anyone who feels like they are juggling too many balls or who want to feel more empowered in setting future goals!  
Zoe Armstrong, Senior Learning and Development Mgr
It sounds so simple in principle but how many of us really focus our intention of what we truly want to achieve in life? We can drift from goal to short term goal while the word ambition sounds too nebulous and unattainable. In this book Juliet Adams calls out the force of intention, which guides us, whether we want it to or not, distinguishes it from other types of motive and shows how it can be used to bring us to the place we want to be. Every big picture starts with a point of precisely focused intention. This book gives you the tools to cultivate and apply it. Highly recommended for personal, business-oriented and world-changing outlooks!
Trevor Bradbeer  Specialist Signal Engineer
This accessible, no-nonsense guide will help you formulate your journey.  With fantastic gems such as the ‘little brain in your gut’, this book will empower professionals to help their clients really ‘get’ what their gut instinct is, and to sell the concept of trusting their gut.  It’s just one example of the many key ideas in Intention Matters that show self-care as a tool to bring out the best in others.  “Harnessing the mind, brain and body” demonstrates the importance of the holistic approach to a mainstream audience.  Up till now, there has been only one book I recommend, but now there are two! Juliet obviously knows her subject and has bridged the gap between knowledge and delivery to enable a wide range of people to not only enjoy this book but to learn and improve their lives. As a therapist and mediator, I would recommend this book to caring professionals, for themselves and to improve their practice, and I will certainly be using it with my clients.
Maria Goldsmith, Therapist & mediator
This book is for you if you want to dive into the world of intentions in a coherent, structured and non-fluffy way. This small book packs a punch. Juliet Adams gives us a lot to consider, discover and process. She doesn’t offer quick fixes to bring about your ideal life: be prepared to do the work. Spend some time defining your Deep Sincere Desires and explore your limiting beliefs with a mindful approach. Set those Mega Intentions and let’s change the world together!
Farah Govani-Exall, Executive Coach & Mindfulness Trainer
Juliet Adams has successfully distilled the essence of why intention matters and describes how we can integrate simple practices into our lives to make small shifts or big changes. She draws on science to give credibility to her approach and with this simple-to-use guide, anyone can can access a valuable set of tools for positive change.
Easy to read, clear to follow and includes some great tips and techniques.  
Karen House Behavioural Consultant & Coach

For more information on Julie Adams and her book, visit her website.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


July 14, 2019

Hurricane Barry came and went through New Orleans and I feel extremel blessed that no damage or flooding came to my neighborhood. However, for those that were as fortunate, I lift my prayers to you and your family. I know firsthand what it is like to be on the other end of storm damage. My house flooded years ago during the May 9th flood of 1995 and my home was hit by a tornado during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In both cases it took years for us to rebuild out home.

Also, during Hurricane Barry I had to go to the emergency room because somehow, I injured my lower back. Needless to say, yesterday wasn't the most fun I had. The good news is they were able to bring my level of pain down a bit, but not all the way; so, I will be seeing a back specialist on Monday. 

Enough about my health and weather woes. I have some exciting news. My first audible book, NEVER STOP RUNNING, narrated by Jessie Drumm, is now available. Listen to an cxcerpt below.


I am extremely excited to announce that my audible book NEVER STOP RUNNING, narrated by Jessie Drumm launched as the #1 New Release on Amazon. I can't thank Jessie enough for her fabulous narration. Take alook at what reviewers are saying about the book.

Now a cute story for children, THE CAT, THE FIDDLE, AND ME written by Larry Keen. This book a children's song for people of all ages. It's about the fantastic voyage of three imaginary friends, a feline, a fiddle and a child. It's a magical journey to "places that no one haTs seen." Think of as "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" meets "Rainbow Connection." This charming and enchanting story set to a lyrical song brings alive The Cat, The Fiddle and Me. Arranged to a sweetly poetic song, these three unlikely friends visit mystical lands and meet mythical characters including a musical walrus and a gentle giant's "friendly pet lion who loves macaroni and cheese." It's a whimsical fairy tale that appeals to children and adults alike. Beautiful and fanciful illustrations bring the story alive which capture the color and detail of the illustrations.