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Busy Times

Winter is coming. Change is in the air.

I’ve applied to narrate for ACX in addition to my contracts with Killian Group.

I needed a more controlled narration studio. So the librarian and I built a pvc blanket fort around my desk. Don’t laugh it works. Dampens the sound echo very well. LOL.  I have a profile uploaded with samples. Take a look at my ACX profile here: J.R. Lowe Narrator. I’ve made several auditions for pieces that need narrators. All the steps for being able to accept work on a broader scale.

Great news. I accepted a contract narrating “Chernobyl Vampires and Werewolves” written by Vianka Van Bokkem

Blurb:

Vampires and werewolves are not affected by radiation, therefore a British coven and a Russian clan live in Chernobyl. My sisters Kassia, Maddy and I belong to both. After the nuclear accident on April 26, 1986, our home remains one the most contaminated areas in the world.

The red forest located within the 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) area surrounding the nuclear power plant has been labeled a “Radiological Reserve” and is now home to animals like elk, wild boar, and lynx; that’s where we hunt most of the time.

My father was an attractive vampire with a taste for female werewolves. As a result my sisters and I are known as ‘hybrids,’ because we are half-vampire, half-werewolf. Dimitry Belenko was his name. We have different mothers.

I have two more contracts in the negotiation phase. More about them later.

For now I am off to finish contracts for Dale Mayer in the Dangerous Designs Series. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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Woes of Professional Narrating

This summer I moved from my temporary home of Chattanooga, TN to a community that I found I could make connections and dig my roots in deep.  Waynesville is a small town outside Asheville, NC. It has a folksy village feel. The arts community is diverse and rich here. Every move even good ones are unsettling.

I spent some time derailed. Unpacking, making home comfortable. I battled with narrating all summer and fighting my computer. I finished one book and got it into the hands of the publisher. My computer kept crashing with the narration program. Then September we went to Dragoncon. I came home with conference crud. You can’t narrate without a voice. I’ve realized this is something to be protected.

I was out six weeks with coughing and no voice. I start settling down to finish the book I am working on and the computer just can’t go on. So, I give in and send it to someone to have the thing completely reformatted to see if it fixes the issues. 

I brought “Bessie” home and reloaded the audio software, did the prescribed updates. The sound was horrible….distant and bottom of the well.  I won’t bore you with all the details. I spent two weeks troubleshooting with the software company. I removed and reloaded the software, dabbled with all the settings on my computer and the software…bought a new microphone….loaded the software onto another computer. Finally my S.O. bought me a desktop. We loaded the software there and it worked. I furiously went to work narrating. While I did this I kept the browser open. I would hear a little ding each time a email or FB message loaded. I thought nothing of it while I narrated ten chapters.  

Then, in listening to a segment for editing I heard a little ding in the background. I have to do my own sound engineering for the job. I realized that little audible ding I heard from the email/FB somehow recorded into the system. 

I now have ten chapters to listen to every word…every word…with intense focus listening for that little ding to re-record the sentence.  In a job where time is money. I just shot myself in the foot.

Dang… hard first year lessons of a narrator. 

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The Zombie Story Audible Release

The Zombie Story written by M.M. Shelley and narrated by J.R. Lowe has released via Audible

 

Blurb:

Unfolding on the streets of Los Angeles is a new breed of monster…

Orlando, fresh from the mid west, arrives at his new high school on his Harley Davidson.

All he wants is to make it through the day, and begin his training as a Zombie Hunter.

But someone has different plans for him.

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M.M. Shelley agreed to an interview with me, her humble narrator.  I find her an interesting intelligent woman. I hope you enjoy this peek into Ms. Shelley’s talent. Check out the link above to hear samples of my narration.

Author Bio:

M.M. Shelley is a storyteller, wordsmith and dreamer. She has traveled the world extensively in search of the magic which is often overlooked in every day life. M.M. Shelley is a native of Southern California, and a student of mythology from which she gets much inspiration.

Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

My favorite character in this series is Elodie Juarez; she was a challenge to write and great to develop. Readers will see a lot more of what Elodie is capable of doing as the series progresses.

 

What inspires you for your stories?

What inspired me to begin working on The Zombie Story was an idea I had about a young man who witnessed a crime in front of the new house that he and his family moved into.

 

 

Tell us something no one else knows about you.

I never did learn how to swim. Yes, I know, I should have learned how years ago but I had a bad experience at a young age. I was six or seven and my brothers and my friend Claudia made swimming look so easy and I was convinced that I could swim just as well as they could. So I jumped into the deep end and quickly sank to the bottom. My mom came to my rescue and from than on I avoided the water.

 

When did you start writing and what kicked off your passion to be an author?

I have been writing since childhood, it’s a form of expression I have always enjoyed. I also enjoy traveling and I use the cities and places that I have been to as the backdrops of my stories because I like to share these places with others.

 

I also have to credit my aunt Cecelia, she has filled my ears with such wonderful stories as I grew up and she always encouraged me with my own.

 

What influenced you to move to the next step in media for producing your book in audio format?

I had the opportunity to work with The Killion Group Inc. I recommend them to any author who is interested in taking this next step with their work. The Killion Group has made it such an easy process that I have plans to work with them again. Plus I had a wonderful narrator who worked on my book.

 

 

 

Excerpt:

Orlando was out in the backyard. He was picking up junk that had been piled up there by the previous tenants. He had his headphones on and was listening to music. He needed to get more trash bags from the garage, and so he was making his way down the side of the house, when he saw two men out in the middle of the street. One had a gun; the other was on the ground. Orlando removed his headphones so that he could hear what they were saying.

He could hear them arguing. The man with the gun held it pointed at the other’s chest.

“Please! Don’t!” The man on the ground cried, he was a bit scraggly looking and unkempt. He was visibly shaking as he covered his head with both of his arms believing it would ward off the assailant.

Orlando scanned the block; there was no one else out to watch the drama unfolding before him. He crouched down against the house trying to keep out of sight.

The man with the gun began laughing, before taking aim and firing the gun. He fired at the scraggly man twice. The gunshots echoed throughout the quiet street.

 

 

 

 

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Charge Your Batteries

Spring is here! Warm weather, sunshine and riding motorcycles.

I have a new toy, the 1400 Intruder.

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I’m enjoying riding her, around the side roads. I found her down in Alabama on Craig’s list. Made great friends with the guy I bought her from and his wife. They went out riding with us around an area called the Canyons.

I ended up getting a battery for her, she just didn’t quite have enough to start on those freezing cold mornings when I get off work at 5a.m. This weekend my FBGz motorcycle friend, Sandi helped me put the new battery in. It is not under the seat like my Vulcan was. It is actually down in front of the back tire.  If you look at the picture really close you’ll see a black box in front of the rear tire.  That houses the battery.  We also wired the power outlet for my phone charger. It is tucked right in on the frame of the windshield.

Sat, I rode down and met Sandi part way toward Chattanooga and we were able to ride some. I love going through the Confederate memorial park up in Fort Oglethorpe area of GA. We rode again today after my motorcycle maintenance experience. LOL We found the Alabama Highway 151 that travels down across farm land, horse farms, hay pastures and wonderful rural countryside.

We found a Family Style restaurant down in Summerville. They had great food. Jimmy’s I think is the name of the place.

Jimmies

We knew it had to be a good place.

motorcycles

Big crowd of folks out riding today.

We’re planning a ride to camp out toward the end of the month. It will be a trial run for the five day campout riding the Natchez Trace Trail later this spring. I’m finding that riding helps me find that quite place inside my head to relax and think. I can rest my voice before beginning the next narration contract. LOL And it gives me time to plot and plan for some of my writing and stories. We also plan a trip riding the Blue Ridge Mountains later this summer. I’m really looking foward to the adventures in riding. You have to find the ways to re-energize your soul. This seems to be mine, now.

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Author Spotlight

M. M. Shelly the author of my first Audiobook Narration is going to be a guest on the blog. So look for her interview once the audio version is available to purchase.  She’ll tell us the answers to all kinds of nosy questions I asked her. LOL  Stay tuned.

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The Zombie Story by M.M. Shelley

This weekend should see the final wrap up on The Zombie Story by M.M. Shelley narration project. I’ve learned some tough lessons along the way but it has been a very interesting process. All and all quite thrilling actually.

The Zombie Story is a young adult paranormal of novella length.  I’ll supply the link for the audiobook once it is finished with production. In the mean time visit http://www.mmshelley.com for more information.

Here is the blurb from Amazon

Unfolding on the streets of Los Angeles is a new breed of monster…

Orlando, fresh from the mid west, arrives at his new high school on his Harley Davidson.

All he wants is to make it through the day, and begin his training as a Zombie Hunter.

But someone has different plans for him.

The Zombie Story is the first novella in a young adult series.
Dead Relatives is the second book in the series

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First Hard Lesson Learned

Well, the first hard lesson of this adventure is behind me.

One of the female characters in the book has a beautiful, yet unusual name. I wrote to the author and asked her how to pronounce it. I ‘thought’ I had it.

Eighteen chapters into the story narrating it. I just kept having this nagging feeling that I wasn’t getting that name right.  I did four sound bites saying the name different ways.

Sure enough. The way I had been pronouncing it for Eighteen Chapters was WRONG> Ah laws a mercy.

Now, fixing that kind of mistake can be done without renarrating the entire work. However, each time you say someone’s name there is different kinds of inflections based on what is being said in the sentence.

Never the less. I really want the author to be happy with the work. Nothing is a bigger turn off than not saying a name right.  I hopefully won’t need to make this mistake again. So, here I go fixing my flub up.

 

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