Rain of Ash: A Zyne Witch Urban Fantasy Skydancer, Book 1
By: Gwen Mitchell
Narrated by: Daniela Acitelli
Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
Unabridged Release date: 02-14-18
Publisher: T. M. Miller
I enjoyed the story being brought to life by narrator, Daniela Acitelli, but she made Bri come off as weak and whiny. I didn't take from the story that the MC was weak and whiny but the narrator made her sound that way. Aside from that issue I thought the narrator did a good job with the other characters.
I began writing this book in 2007-2008, so it was the farthest thing from my mind at the time; ebooks were just becoming a thing, and audiobooks were still on CD and very expensive. When I finally published it in 2015, I knew I would eventually look into audio, but if it weren’t for ACX, it would have been several more years.
How did you select your narrator?
It was really Kismet! Daniela was one of the first few narrators to respond to my posting on ACX, and I immediately fell in love with the richness of her voice. We chatted a bit, had plenty in common, and she was very enthusiastic about the story, which is an author’s dream. I went with my gut and cut the audition process short because it just felt like the right fit.
How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? The tricky part of writing fantasy is that you have a lot of made-up words, so we did go back and forth quite a bit about pronunciation, even had a few mishaps (my fault) where she had to go back and re-record several instances of names, etc. I provided Daniela with character bios, story spoilers, and links to my Spotify playlists and Pinterest boards for inspiration, then I let her work her magic. We both have a healthy respect for the individual creative process, so it worked out well.
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
In this book I definitely wove a lot of my personal history into the world; family names, locations, small details, and some of the characters are inspired by people I’ve known. The locale of Evergreen Cove is greatly modeled after San Juan Island, Washington, where I spent many summers growing up (it’s also where Practical Magic was filmed).
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
Until recently, I had only ever listened to one audiobook! When Order of the Pheonix first released, I was a goon and didn’t pre-order, so the only thing I could get was the $60 CD set. I didn’t want to wait, so I sprang for it (and loved it!) but they still weren’t very economical so I never went back for more. My favorite thing about audiobooks is that I can be up moving around while listening; exercising, doing chores. I know longer have to make the choice between reading or getting things done.
Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
I love the way Daniela handled the romance in the audio version. She captured the mood perfectly. While it’s a good portion of the story, when reading the book it feels more secondary, less important, but by breathing life into the characters, Daniela made me reconnect with the heartbreak that Bri and Kean both feel.
Find her online at gwenmitchellfiction.com.