On Tour With Author, Lauren Carr, and Real Murder
Not just Real Murder actually. When Lauren Carr decided to have her bestselling series recorded into audio versions, she was, as always, very effective. She did all of them. To celebrate and announce their completion, Lauren is on tour. Not with a single book, but with a batch of them. So, here we are on the fantastic Audiobook-a-palooza Tour, hosted by iRead Book Tours.
As a bonus in this tour, we get to hear from the narrators of her novels as well. Mike Alger is one of them. Today he answers the question many audiobook fans have asked themselves. Many of us would love to narrate a book the way we hear it in our minds. I’m sure you will enjoy Mike’s article below. Thank you for sharing it with us Mr. Alger and very best of luck.
So You Think You Want To Narrate Audiobooks?
There’re a lot of reasons why narrating audiobooks can be rewarding…that go well beyond financially rewarding (fortunately!) But it has been a great adventure for me so far, even though I kind of fell into it sideways.
Several years ago, I wrote a mystery-thriller novel called “Snow Storm.” It was a fairly popular novel, especially here locally in Nevada, and I had some requests to turn it into a ‘talking book,’ as they were known back then. So I recorded it and tried to produce and market it myself. This was back in the days of CDs being the main media for talking books. I soon found out that burning, labeling and quality controlling CDs wasn’t very practical, and I abandoned the project, but still kept the digital files.
Fast forward about 14 years, and being an audiobook fan myself (I always have one playing while I am driving), I stumbled on the ACX website (Audible’s Audiobook Creation Exchange website), and they mentioned if you have an audiobook you’d like to market, you could do so through them. I sent mine in and they picked it up. But they also said they had a lot of titles that were looking for narrators and producers, and I thought that was something I should look into. I sent out some auditions, and now 12 audiobook titles later, I’m finding all the work I can handle.
If you are thinking about giving it a try, you will probably want to answer a few questions. The most germane question should be “Why?” If your goal is to “Make it big,” you might want to reconsider. While there are some in the industry who make a nice living, just as it is in my main occupation (I’m a television meteorologist), the pyramid is wide, and for every high six and seven figure earner on TV, there are hundreds earning well below the average US income. But if you are looking for an outlet for your creative performing juices, and want to make a few bucks on the side, I say go for it.
So what makes a good narrator? That’s a broad question. I think I’ll let the legendary author O’Henry answer that. When asked what makes good writing, her responded, “Write what you like…there are no other rules.” I think the same applies to narrating. Tell a story the way you’d like to hear it. If you like it, at least you’ll have one fan! And you will increase the chances others will like it as well.
Not that there won’t be a learning curve. From producing (there are a lot of technical tricks to pick up that make a huge difference in the quality of the final product) to picking up new performing talents. You’ll never know when a character pops up with an Irish, Russian, Latino, or even southern US accent. There’s a natural tendency to overdo it, and it can take a lot of practice to be believable.
I do think that it’s important to not only be flexible as a narrator, but try to also add special touches. I am fortunate to have a talented composer/musician create unique opening and closing credit music for each of my productions…and the fact that she happens to be my beautiful wife Anita makes it even more fun. Samples used in some of our productions can be found at the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bb6p0jxj8qxvx23/AAB9RCp_IryhRZ1vmwjLDDPVa?dl=0
If this is something you would like to try, the best advice I can give is to be patient…both with getting jobs and also with the production process. You will likely have to send out many auditions before you get your first job, but keep at it. And keep refining your craft. There are several on-line resources for producers and narrators, from performance tips for narrators to technical help for producers. And realize it all takes time. If you are an experienced narrator/producer, you can probably expect to spend 4 or more hours to produce 1 hour of finished product.
And finally, only do this if you enjoy it…especially to begin with. There is some money to be made, but you will likely spend your first year or two “paying your dues,” so make sure that it is enjoyable. Be creative. Most of all, have fun, and keep learning.
Old loves die hard…and in the worst places.
In Old Loves Die Hard, Lauren Carr continues the rags-to-riches story of Mac Faraday, an underpaid homicide detective who inherits 270 million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, from his birth mother on the day his divorce becomes final.
Mac is settling nicely into his new life at Spencer Manor when his ex-wife Christine shows up-and she wants him back! Before Mac can send her packing, Christine and her estranged lover are murdered in Mac’s private penthouse suite at the Spencer Inn, the five-star resort built by his ancestors.
The investigation leads to the discovery of cases files for some of Mac’s murder cases in the room of the man responsible for destroying his marriage. Why would his ex-wife’s lover come to Spencer to dig into Mac’s old cases?
With the help of his new friends on Deep Creek Lake, Mac must use all of his detective skills to clear his name and the Spencer Inn’s reputation, before its five-stars – and more bodies – start dropping!
Question: what do you get the man with everything?
Answer: when that man is the heir of the late mystery writer Robin Spencer, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday, you get him a cold case to solve.
In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a collector of stolen art. But this isn’t just any stolen work of art – it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.
Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece, she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio, and her painting is nowhere to be found.
Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.
A world away, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect – a convicted serial killer.
The favor: solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.
Joshua finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, victim number four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.
Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course when they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with a killer who’s got a talent for murder!
After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars – Archie Monday!
Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town, things may be hotter than even he can handle.
Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop – even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!
Topping the list of the 10 top haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago – and Mac Faraday owns it!
In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.
What starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet – including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.
Fame comes at a price. Some pay with their privacy. Others pay with their pride. Khloe Everest paid with her life.Determined to get her pretty face in front of the cameras, Khloe Everest fakes an abduction only to make a grand entrance in the midst of a press conference held by Spencer’s Police Chief David O’Callaghan.
Three years later, after failing to catapult her notoriety into a long-lasting celebrity, Khloe Everest returns to Spencer upon her mother’s sudden death and seemingly finds another weapon to propel herself into the spotlight. Unfortunately, someone kills her before she can make this entrance.
In Lauren Carr’s sixth Mac Faraday Mystery, Mac and his friends come up against reality stars, politicians, has-beens, and wannabes. Mac also finds himself face-to-face with an old foe from his past who had managed to escape arrest during their last encounter. Now, Mac sees that his adversary has only become more powerful, and dangerous, with the passage of time.
Intent to not let this killer escape again, Mac and his friends need to put all of their talents together to put a stop to a cold-blooded lady killer.
Two people are brutally murdered in their summer place on Deep Creek Lake. Suspected of the murders, former child star and one-time teenybopper idol Lenny Frost takes innocent bystanders hostage in a local pub and demands that Mac Faraday find the killer. Can Mac save the hostages and himself from the wrath of the enraged has-been by piecing together the clues in less than twelve hours, or will it be a fatal last call at the stroke of midnight?
With three days left to the year, Deep Creek Lake is hopping with holiday vacationers and wedding guests pouring into the Spencer Inn for Mac Faraday and Archie Monday’s huge wedding ceremony which is being touted as the social event of the year.
But droopy flowers and guests who failed to RSVP are the least of Mac’s and Archie’s problems when a professional hit squad hits Spencer Manor to send the groom, Joshua Thornton, Archie’s mother, and Gnarly running for their lives.
With time running out before the big day, Mac Faraday and Spencer’s small police force have to sort through the clues to figure out not only who has been targeted for assassination, but also who is determined to stop everything…forever!
Spring is in the air. In Deep Creek Lake, the burst of blossoms on the trees has the effect of a starting pistol in the race to get the resort area ready in time for the seasonal residents return to Spencer, Maryland.
This year, the Spencer Inn, Mac Faraday’s five-star resort, has the added duty of preparing for the Diablo Ball, an annual benefit event that used to kick off Deep Creek Lake’s summer season. The exclusive gala has drawn in A-listers from across the country, including suspects and witnesses connected to Ashton Piedmont, a young woman who had disappeared while skinny dipping in Deep Creek Lake five years earlier, days after the last Diablo Ball.
Intrigued by a mysterious phone call from a young woman claiming to be Ashton, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday can’t resist diving head first into the cold case. But he’s not the only one. Someone behind the scenes has gone to a lot of trouble to bring Ashton Piedmont’s friends and enemies to the Diablo Ball, which promises to be a gala event to die for!
Police Chief David O’Callaghan and Chelsea Adams’ wedding day is fast approaching. Unfortunately, at the last minute, David discovers that there is one small problem to be taken care of before he can walk down the aisle – divorce his first wife!
Lauren Carr takes fans of the Mac Faraday mysteries to the Big Apple in this nail-biting adventure. In Cancelled Vows, David, Mac, and Gnarly, too, rush to New York City to dissolve David’s marriage to an old girlfriend – and he’s got five days to get it done. When murder throws up a road block, it is up to David’s best man, Mac Faraday, and Gnarly, K9-in-waiting, to sort through the clues to get David to the church in time!
When Homicide Detective Cameron Gates befriends Dolly, the little old lady who lives across the street, she is warned not to get lured into helping the elderly woman by investigating the unsolved murder of one of her girls. “She’s senile,” Cameron is warned. “It’s not a real murder.”
Such is not the case. After Dolly is brutally murdered, Cameron discovers that the sweet blue-haired lady’s “girl” was a call girl who had been killed in a mysterious double homicide.
Meanwhile, Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton is looking for answers to the murder of a childhood friend, a sheriff deputy whose cruiser is found at the bottom of a lake. The deputy had disappeared almost 20 years ago while privately investigating the murder of a local prostitute.
It doesn’t take long for the Lovers in Crime to put their cases together to reveal a long-kept secret that some believe is worth killing to keep undercover.
Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua Thornton Jr. (J.J.) has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm and Orchards, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, in order to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, the one-time leader of a rock band who is twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has a deep dark secret.
The move brings long buried tensions between the father and son to the surface – not the least of which being J.J.’s inexplicable dislike for his stepmother Cameron. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences with Joshua’s son aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross-hairs of a murderer.
Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.
Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.
Before long, the case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.
In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?
After 10 months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect…except in the middle of the night when, in the darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.
When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family while visiting family at the winery near-by, and suppressed the memory.
Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
C.J. McAllister is an Audible Approved Producer — “Audible Approved producers are the best audiobook producers in the business.” Only a small number are awarded this honor.
C.J. has produced best-selling audiobooks in multiple genres/styles, TV commercials/promo teasers, animation projects, interviews (TV and radio), corporate presentations.
Another Audible Approved narrator, voice actor James Lewis has established a solid reputation in fiction as well as non-ficton audiobooks. At latest count, he’s narrated nearly 50.
Although his specialty is noir fiction, James has done several non-fiction books as well on a range of people and subjects: Butch and Sundance, General Custer, Revolutionary War, psychic development, taxes.
James Lewis has been awarded the AudioFile Earphone Award for narration, “The Last Outlaws”. It’s about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.