Narrator: Jonathan Johns
Length: 5 hours 21 minutes
Series: The Beast Hunter of Ashbourn, Book 1
Publisher: Hashtag Press⎮2022
Release date: Feb. 7, 2022
Buy on Audible
About the Author: Christer Lende
Christer Lende began writing in a library, which sounds fitting, only he was supposed to be there working on his engineering degree. He is a professional screenwriter, working with the Norwegian movie producer behind “One Love”, “Who Killed Birgitte” and “All about my Father” Bjørn Eivind Aarskog, together they are eveloping the manuscript for a Norwegian thriller. Bjørn hired Christer after reading The Beast Hunters, trusting Christer could bring his vision to life.
Christer lives in what Norwegians call a city, but people from actual cities would call a town. Of proud Viking blood, he honours his ancestors by heroically sitting in front of a computer writing Fantasy and Science Fiction books. He believes in writing a little bit every day, through weekends, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, even his own birthday. When he’s not writing, he takes care of his two dogs and tries to broker peace with his girlfriend. He’s often found at a gym, trying to compensate for his height issues, or lazily playing video games.
Christer did get that master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, despite procrastinating by writing fiction in the library, and works for a large IT firm, but writing and storytelling are his passions.
About the Narrator: Jonathan Johns
Jonathan is a Cornish audio book narrator based in sunny Cornwall. He has a talent for character work and descriptive narration which draws in the listener and envelopes them into the story. He is an avid gamer and family man. He is never too far from something sweet!
Interview with Christer Lende
I feel like it’s shameful to admit this, but I’ve been an audiobook listener far more than a reader. I friend introduced me to the idea of listening to books and suddenly I didn’t have to sit down, locked to one activity, to experience fantastic stories. I could drive to uni, walk the dogs, clean, cook—anything that was mindless work, and be told magnificent stories. From then, I knew I was more excited for the audiobook than anything else. When I found Jonathan Johns (the narrator), I never thought he would actually do the book, but he’s a cool dude and seemed to find the concept interesting.
Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
Yes, I do, but not drastically. If an author wrote a book only for the purpose of becoming an audiobook, in dialogs with only two people (which happens a lot), the author could cut away many name tags, like “he/she said”. If the book relies heavily on accents and it’s an integral part of the story, then having a great narrator can really elevate it to the next level too, I believe at least.
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
Yes, it was the ultimate dream - as I listen to audiobooks way more than I sit down to read. I’ve written with the image of seeing my own audiobook in audiobook apps in the future, and now finally, I can.
How did you select your narrator?
I tried using ACX for the audiobook promotion, being from Norway, my entry was barred. I turned to Fiverr, and found Jonathan. I contacted him with an overly enthusiastic message, and he responded positively. Together, we moved the production over to FindawayVoices, which has been fantastic up until now.
How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
Pretty closely beforehand. I wanted us to call each other and be able to talk, but he wasn’t a too big fan of that, which is fine. We sent countless messages back and forth about different voices, pronunciation, the story and characters, and he was excellent. I got the feeling he really wanted to bring the story to life.
Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
A little, but not a whole lot. I told him “you get to officially decide how all these new monsters will be pronounced,” and he took to the task with excitement.
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
Not really, the most real ones being The Witcher and Supernatural.
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
I don’t write a lot, but I write often. Everday, I have to write something, but rarely more than 30-40 minutes. I live by a strict ruleset, so writing every day is something I have to do, and so far I’ve written five books and one manuscript.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
So hard! I love audiobooks! As far as formats go, I like whichever audible uses.
Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
Yes, a particular meeting with many peculiar characters. It’s later in the book, so I’ll try to keep it spoiler-free, but our heroes face up against a group of . . . fanatic individuals, and Jonathan played around with so many voices it made it so much fun.
If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
Hmm…. not backwards in time. We’re by far the most privileged people on earth historically. I might go back in time with all the knowledge I have now, and the thought is tempting until I remember tests and homework. I don’t want to go forward in fear of what I might find or learn - so I guess the answer is: no, I wouldn’t.
If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
Hmm, I think for Ara I would love to see a younger Alison Brie from Community. And I pictured a younger Idris Elba as Khendric. This book was written six years ago, but that’s when I pictured them, so that’s why I say “younger” on both. I’d love to see Topper played by Timothée Chalamet and Jamie Foxx (this will make sense if you listen to the book).
How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
By starting the second book, and it did feel like a celebration. However, when I finished the whole trilogy, then I celebrated by not writing for a whole week, which felt weird.