Thursday, July 21, 2016

Audiobooks: They Have the Advantage!

Audiobooks are the latest reading craze. I can understand why. When I was a young girl, radio was big. There was always a radio on in my house. My mother was a big music fan, but she was also a big fan of the "novelas." 

"Novela" is the Spanish word for novel. Here, when you say the word "novel," it is understood that you are talking about a book. In the Latin countries, the meaning is usually taken to be a soap opera.

Soap operas were the most popular daily entertainment when I was growing up. By the time I was ten years old, mom watched her favorite ones on TV. Before that, the Spanish soaps played on the radio! In fact, they played on the radio for decades. My mother swore that they were far more exciting on the radio.

I remember that she listened as she worked at her chores. The soaps would start in the morning and play until noon. The stories usually played daily for about six months, sometimes longer, but they always had an end. As soon as one ended, the next one started. 

Most of them had a woman's name for a title such as Maria, Carmen, or Juliana. A few famous ones did not: for example, Corazon Salvage (Savage Heart) and El Derecho de Nacer (The Right to be Born). Interestingly, Savage Heart has been re-made several times for Spanish TV.

Every neighbor waited with bated breath for each episode. Often, they got together in the evenings and discussed the last episode. Thinking back, I can honestly say that they were addicted to the radio soaps. 

I can also see where the radio soaps were superior to the ones shown on TV today. For one thing, the voices for the characters were distinctive and highly dramatic. Of course, it was the same group of actors and actresses playing them all the time, but no one cared. You see, the imagination filled in the gaps.

There was one very sexy, deep, manly voice that everyone loved. The actor's name was "Ricardo Montalban." Yes, just like the actor that played on The Love Boat. It seems that it's a common Latin name. When Ricardo did a novela, not one lady in the neighborhood missed it. It was great that they could listen and never be late with lunch. 

Everyone envisioned Ricardo as tall, sleek, dark, and devastatingly handsome. My mother thought that he might look like a passionate, dashing Gypsy. My aunt argued that he would look like a Spanish caballero. Imagine the heartbreak when with the first TV novella, they heard the gorgeous voice attached to an aging, overweight, balding gentleman with bad teeth. It broke their hearts.

Audiobooks are the equivalent of the old radio soaps. You don't have to stop working to listen. In fact, listening makes a chore or task go by faster and more enjoyably. Also, the book goes by faster as the speed of the reader is steady and usually faster than most people's reading speed. Best of all, your imagination fills in all the gaps according to your taste. It is no wonder they've become so popular.

Have you never listened to an audiobook? Well, here's a treat for you. On the links below I have provided examples of two of my books in audio format. Just click to listen. 

Strongheart's Woman                     Daniel's Fork

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A New Kind of Vamp!

My latest manuscript is done and ready to go. It has been a while since my last novel was published, over a year now. At a time when self-published authors are releasing a book every two or three months, it may seem that my output is lacking.

In my defense, I must say that I am one of those authors who rewrites to an extreme. I let the manuscript sit for a few weeks before picking it up again. Invariably, I find that words and structure I thought fine before, now need changing. Add to that the fact that I work on different books and short stories at the same time.

My latest endeavor is not part of the Daniel's Fork series. It is my first foray into the paranormal romance genre. I have long been a fervent fan of the Dark Carpathians series by Christine Feehan. I have read every one of J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood (several times) as well as Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series. I've also loved Barb Hendee's Noble Dead series, more horrific and less romantic but excellently written.

I approached my own effort with some deep introspection. I absolutely did not wish to write what has been written. If I can't take my reader somewhere new, I won't write. My vampire could not be a swaggering, leather-clad Daggerhood brother. That's been done and redone. He would not be a feral Noble Dead. I don't have Henlee's dark vision.

I never do teenage angst and glittery biters. Finally, God save me from creating one who whips out his supernaturally large manly rod at the sight of a throbbing vein. As you can see, I had a problem. Any idea you could have, has already been put to paper. As the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun. What am I left with?

I am left with Maxim, a scruffy, alienated, mean character who sports the homeless look and prowls the parapets of New York City in search of "proper prey." Maxim is a prodigal son running from duty and responsibility, disconnected from an archaic vampire nation that refuses to embrace the future.

My vampire lives life on his terms, his character shaped and driven by a sense of honor rooted in the now. You will never call him tortured or heroic. I have created my own brand of vampire, and I hope readers will like him. Angel's Guardian will be available at Amazon only on the 1st of August 2016.