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Rising steeply from the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, the Dutch island of Saba is a sleepy paradise, the mountainous slopes dotted with little red-and-white cottages and the seas teeming with life. But this little oasis has a less tranquil history, many of its inhabitants having descended from smugglers and pirates.
Boone Fischer and Emily Durand are eager to explore their new home, but their peaceful lives are about to be shattered, as one of history's most powerful hurricanes begins to form - and, as if that weren't enough, a savage evil has made its way ashore. In this sequel to the best seller Deep Shadow, Nick Sullivan brings listeners to another fascinating corner of the world and sends them into a swirl of action and adventure.
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I’ve been narrating for so long, I think and write in a manner that is conducive to the audiobook format… much to the chagrin of my editor, as I often would opt for a sentence structure that was more in line with how a person would actually say the sentence. The Chicago Manual of Style would not always concur with my decisions!
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
Since I came into writing by-way-of narrating, I absolutely have the audiobook in mind throughout the writing process. I will make character choices based on what dialects I can comfortable with. You’ll likely never have a Bostonian in my books. That’s my kryptonite.
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
I set the books of my Deep Series in places I’ve dived, so there are numerous occasions when I will base plot points on things I’ve experienced, or create characters who are inspired by the people I’ve met in the islands. Emily is based on one such person… and that individual was even goofier than my fictional recreation.
What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing? What gets you out of a writing slump?
I’m afraid I’m not that good at getting out of them. Once I get on a roll, I can churn out the words at a dizzying pace… but if I do hit a slump, the longer it goes on the harder it is to get rolling again. Because I spend a lot of time narrating for other authors, my own writing sometimes ends up on the back-burner while I hit their due dates. The enthusiasm returns once I have two solid days of uninterrupted writing; that’s usually all it takes.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I have been listening to audiobooks since childhood, starting with The Radio Reader with Dick Estell on my local NPR station back in Tennessee. I still listen to them on any drive longer than two hours. I’m an actor in stage and screen, and I really enjoy listening to a narrator perform the interplay between characters. The heavier a book is with dialogue, the more I enjoy it!
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”? It’s not “cheating”, it’s just different. I don’t think people should replace reading with audiobooks, since reading for yourself allows you to put your own mental interpretation on the book… and that’s a magical thing. But sometimes, sitting back and letting a storyteller spin the tale for you is the way to go. Plus, you can multitask!
How did you celebrate after finishing this novel? I made a margarita and then called up my scuba buddies and asked where we were gonna dive this summer.
In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a series vs. a stand-alone novel?
PRO: You end up with some very well-established, fleshed out characters… and you can continue to build on them, filling in the gaps.
CON: You have to figure out how to bring in essential information from past books without beating folks over the head with exposition.
Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks? Yes… first, make sure the sample that is chosen to audition narrators is one YOU chose, one that contains your primary characters. If you leave that to the company, they may just use the first chapter, and if it’s a prologue, it may not adequately “test” your potential narrators. Find a narrator you like? Great… ask them what microphone they use. Then look it up. Is it a USB mic, under 100 bucks? Don’t use that narrator. They are a hobbyist.
What’s next for you? I have to decide where to set the next book! And maybe take a trip there. I also have the sequel to my horror comedy, Zombie Bigfoot, to finish. And, in the immediate future, I’ve got six books to narrate for other authors.