Very exciting news! ‘Water, Book One of the Akasha Series’ is now available as an audio book via Amazon, Audible, and iTunes! The rest of the series is already in production. You can purchase or listen to a sample of ‘Water’ right here.
I want to send a special thanks to my narrator, Emily Gittelman, who was patient enough with a newbie to get me through the process, then take on three more books! I am so impressed, I decided I had to share her with you all! Below is Emily’s interview – and seriously, let me know what you think about the audio book!
Emily: Audiobooks keep me very busy. I started out doing it part time last year, but it’s become my full time job. I’m also an actress, so I sometimes have auditions to go to and projects I’m working on.
T: Which job(s) do you enjoy doing best and why?
E: I’m lucky that I love all my jobs. I can’t think of anything better than making a living doing what I love: acting and narrating audiobooks.
T: As if being a narrator/actress/author doesn’t keep you busy enough, what do you do in your spare time?
E: I’m an avid reader, which is what drew me to audiobooks in the first place. I like to be informed, so I read four newspapers every day. I love to travel, though I haven’t been able to recently. I spent most of 2010 traveling in Europe. I lived in London and Prague each for four months and went on weekend trips to other countries for a total of 23 countries in Europe. I kind of miss it, but traveling that much is exhausting. I also spend time with my wonderful boyfriend, who lives with me in Los Angeles. And I occasionally LARP on weekends (I’m a bit of a nerd).
T: You are finished with narrating ‘Water, Book One of the Akasha Series’ and are gearing up for the rest. Maybe you can tell us a little about why doing audio books, even for Indie authors, is a good idea?
E: Well, I love listening to audiobooks myself. There’s something about having a book read to you that just makes it come alive (with the right narrator). For me, narrating audiobooks is just acting with my voice. I love scenes that are really emotional or dramatic because it allows me to really get into the moment and express the emotions the characters are experiencing with my voice.
T: Any advice to give authors when they are ready to do an audio book – or even what to keep in mind as they are writing their novels?
E: Make sure you find a narrator who brings your imagination to life. This is especially important with a first person narrative, where the narrator’s voice is the character’s voice. Also, if you can, try to put together a budget for your project. Most of the more professional narrators won’t do a royalty share unless the book is selling really well. For the sake of quality, it’s worth raising the money to pay for a decent narrator.
T: Now the fun stuff – tea or coffee, Coke or Pepsi?
E: Er… None of the above. I don’t drink caffeine or soda… sorry!
T: You live in New York (right?)? What is life in the Big Apple like, especially for your line of work? Give us all the glamour and the down and dirty!
E: I grew up in NY, but I moved out to Los Angeles about a year and a half ago. I very much enjoyed living in NY. It has a certain energy to it that you can’t find anywhere else. And I loved being able to walk almost everywhere. The thing I miss most about NY is public transportation. Traffic in LA is awful.
T: Favorite TV shows/movies/plays?
E: I’m not a big favorites person. I don’t usually have one thing that sticks out above all others. HOWEVER, I do have a favorite TV show: Six Feet Under. It was on HBO from 2001 to 2005 and in my opinion, it’s the best show that has ever been on television. It’s heartfelt and profound, full of substance, while still having moments that make you laugh, and some that make you cry. It asks really important questions that leave you thinking for days afterward. I wish there were more shows like it! (HBO didn’t pay me for that. Promise. Though they’re welcome to if they see this.)
T: Do you have any funny stories about narrating? Or even in some of your other jobs?
E: … Not that I can think of? Sorry. That’s so boring.
T: Finally, tell us more about your books!
E: Well, this question has two answers depending on what you’re asking.
I’ve narrated dozens of audiobooks. Mostly teen or young adult fiction. I’ve done a lot of books with author Morgan Rice, including books three through eight of The Vampire Journals series, books one and two of The Survival Trilogy, and books one and two of The Vampire Legacy series (which will be released soon!). The other books I’ve done have been mostly fantasy or romance (or a combination). Lots of vampires.
While I was in college, I co-authored a few books with my dad, Steven H. Gittelman. Literally since the month I was born (August 1989), my dad has been volunteering at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, NY. Because of this, I volunteered there from the age of eight until I moved to Los Angeles at twenty-two. Our life-long association with the museum inspired us to write several books about the Vanderbilts. The first two books my dad wrote on his own and I’m credited as chief editor. Those books were Willie K. Vanderbilt II: A Biography and J.P. Morgan and the Transportation Kings: The Titanic and Other Disasters. The former is a biography of the Vanderbilt who owned the mansion at which we volunteered. The latter details a conspiracy between J.P. Morgan, the Vanderbilts, and other tycoons to dominate global shipping and transportation circa the turn of the twentieth century. After, that, we wrote two books together. The first was Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt: The Unlikely Hero of the Lusitania. Alfred was Willie K.’s cousin, and his story is one of lust, power, and tragedy. He was basically a playboy who, at the age of 22, inherited a huge amount of money. For sixteen years he behaved like any playboy would, resulting in the tragic suicides of at least three women. Then, he gets on the Lusitania and spends the last eighteen minutes of his life saving women and children. It’s such a great story, I’m currently working on a screenplay version that I’m hoping to get produced. The publisher keeps pushing back the release date, but right now it’s set for June 24th. The other book we wrote together was a historical novel inspired by Willie K. Vanderbilt II’s second circumnavigation of the globe in 1933. That one is being privately published by the museum, and will hopefully come out soon.
The works I’ve authored, edited, and narrated, can all be found by searching my name on amazon.
Emily Gittelman grew up in New York and received her BFA in drama from New York University in 2011. Shortly after graduation, she moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting under the name Emily Lawrence. More information about her acting career can be found on her website at www.emilylawrence.com. In the last year, Emily has narrated dozens of audiobooks, which can be found on audible and amazon. In addition to this, she’s also a published writer and editor of mostly non-fictional works. She writes creatively in her own time, but hasn’t worked up the nerve to publish any of it yet. Maybe one day!
Today is the day! ‘Earth, Book Four of The Akasha Series’ is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. $4.99 will get you through the exciting conclusion to the series. Join the already over 200 people who have added ‘Earth’ to their TBR list on Goodreads, now. Plus, Goodreads already has 4 reviews and 5 ratings – I’d love if you could add yours! Did you know each book is available in print, too? You can find Water, Air, Fire, and Earth on Amazon (just make sure you are purchasing the print version, not the Kindle version).
I am also currently in the middle of creating audio books for the entire Akasha series. The ‘Water’ audio version should be out sometime late May, with the rest to follow. Check out the very talented narrator I chose for the series, Emily Lawrence. I chose her out of 15+ auditions for her great voice, her knowledge about the business, and her reliability and professionalism. Plus – she is an author, herself. What a great match!
Also, by the beginning of May, I will release ‘Akasha, The Complete Saga’. This is a boxed set of all four books (available in electronic formats only), for $9.99. The boxed set will include never before published bonus content; short stories for each of the main characters (including one for Bee – twenty years into the future). I certainly understand that many of you will have already purchased the entire series, and don’t want to spend ten bucks for a few short stories. You can still get them – without spending the money! All you have to do is send me a link to a review of each of the four books (preferably on Amazon or Goodreads), and I will send you the bonus content (just the bonus content – not the boxed set) – for free! Please remember, they have to be a review (one or two sentences is fine), not just a rating.
So – on to the important stuff. How are you celebrating Earth Day? This weekend, we kept our celebration small and planted an herb garden on our outdoor deck area. Thyme, dill, parsley, sage, mint, basil, and some lavender thrown in for scent. Herb gardens are great; they cut down on pollutants, save you money, and green your area. They can be done inside or outside, whether you live in a house or apartment. And trust me – those summer mojitos with fresh mint are totally worth it! We have about ten of these planters, and can’t wait to start cooking with fresh herbs!
Not sure what to do for Earth Day? Go to www.google.com, check out their interactive, animated doodle – then search for evens in your area!
With the completion of The Akasha Series on the horizon, I am taking the plunge into the world of audio books. This is completely new and strange for me – I really never got into the whole audio book thing. I’m going with ACX who will publish the audio book on Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes. Several narrators have submitted auditions, and I find myself asking – what makes a good narrator? What allows an audio book to stand out from the rest?
Needless to say, I don’t have those answers. Do you? Leave a comment and let me know!