Narrator: Kevin G. Chapman
Length: 10 hours 13 minutes
Publisher: First Legacy Studios⎮2021
Series: Mike Stoneman Thriller, Book 4
Release date: May 24, 2021
Controversial quarterback Jimmy Rydell’s body was found naked - on the Central Park carousel. Who killed him? How did he get there two days after he disappeared? And why was the body frozen?
Jimmy’s team just wants to move on, after collecting on the $20 million insurance policy. Jimmy’s teammate - the one who threatened to kill him - swears he wasn’t there. Jimmy’s bodyguard had the night off. Somebody is going down for this if NYPD homicide detectives Mike Stoneman and Jason Dickson can find a theory that explains all the bizarre facts. They just hope the case doesn’t tear the team, and the city, apart first.
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Kevin G. Chapman is, by profession, an attorney specializing in labor and employment law. He is the most recent past Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Network of the Association of Corporate Counsel, leading a group of 6800 in-house employment lawyers. Kevin is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education seminars and enjoys teaching management training courses.
Kevin’s passion (aside from playing tournament poker) is writing fiction. Kevin’s first Novel: "Identity Crisis: A Rick LaBlonde, P.I. Mystery," was self-published through Xlibris in 2003, and is now available via Amazon.com as a Kindle e-book. His second novel, A Legacy of One, published in 2016 and was a finalist (short list) for the Chanticleer Book Reviews' Somerset Award for Literary Fiction. A Legacy of One is a serious book, filled with political and social commentary and a plot involving personal identity, self-determination, and the struggle to make the right life decisions. Kevin’s next novel, Righteous Assassin (A Mike Stoneman Thriller), was a much more "fun" read -- it's a page-turner. It has some serious sub-themes, but it's a serial killer chase and it's intended to be enjoyable and easy to read. It was named one of the top 20 Mystery/Thrillers of 2019 by the Kindle Book Review! Kevin has just recently finished book #2 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series, Deadly Enterprise, which was published on December 2, 2019. He has recently completed the narration of books 1 and 2 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series for audiobook release in 2020.
Kevin has also written several short stories, including "Fool Me Twice," the winner of the New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association's 2010 Legal Fiction Writing Competition, which was the genesis of the character Mike Stoneman, the protagonist in Righteous Assassin. He has also written one complete screenplay (unproduced so far) and has another screenplay and two more novels currently in the works, one of which is a sci-fi space opera epic.
Kevin is a resident of West Windsor, New Jersey and is a a graduate of Columbia College (‘83), where he was a classmate of Barack Obama, and Boston University School of Law (magna cum laude ’86). Readers can contact Kevin via his website at www.KevinGChapman.com.
Kevin G. Chapman
Two years ago, I was trying to talk up the first two books in my crime-thriller series to some colleagues at a conference. At least a dozen people asked me: “Is it available as an audiobook?” (OK, the question was really “Is it available on Audible,” but I’m trying to be more inclusive here.) I had to give the answer I had been giving ever since the question was first asked of me after the publication of Righteous Assassin, the first book in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series. I said, “No, not yet.” I said “yet” because I kept telling myself that it could happen someday. But, the up-front cost of hiring a narrator, booking studio time, and hiring a professional engineer/editor was beyond my marketing budget. So, I asked my wonderful wife, Sharon, to buy me a home recording studio kit for the holidays (under $250). In early December of 2019, I set up a studio in my basement (following the advice from all the blogs and You-tube video tutorials I could find) to start narrating my own books.
I made a ton of mistakes narrating Righteous Assassin. The biggest was that I didn’t change the settings on my audio capture software to set the microphone input to my newly purchased professional microphone. Instead, I recorded the whole book with the software set on the default microphone – the one built-in to my laptop computer. Ugh. By the time I realized the error, it was way too late. I did much better when recording Deadly Enterprise, book #2 in the Mike Stoneman series. The audio quality was much better, and by book #2, I had developed a pretty consistent voicing for all the main characters. I finished the narration for books 1 & 2 by January of 2020, and the books were available in audiobook format by April. (Although, there was a lengthy fight with the QC gatekeepers at ACX first.)
For book #3, Lethal Voyage, I wanted the audiobook version to be available on launch day – at the same time as the Kindle edition and the paperback. So, when I finished the writing and editing in July of 2020, I immediately set up my basement studio and narrated the audiobook. It was much easier the third time, and I had a ton of fun working out the new voices and reading all the chapters of the new book. It’s absolutely true that things get easier with practice. This time, the ACX review took 4 weeks, but I got approved without a fight or re-submission.
By the time I started narrating book #4, Fatal Infraction, I was confident that I had it down pat. Think again. I had a printout of all the instructions and reminders about the audiobook production process. Did I re-read my notes before I started? (You can guess, right?) When I finished the last of 41 chapters and sat down to work on the mastering of the edited tracks, I pulled out the reminder/instruction sheet and the first note was: “Check the first couple chapters to ensure that the volume (RMS) level is high enough. If the level is too soft, you won’t have the ideal amount of head space for the mastering and will have to crank up the volume first, which will diminish the fidelity.” Did I check the first couple of chapters for volume before I narrated the whole book? (In the immortal words of John Belushi: “Noooooooooooo.”) So, I had to boost the volume of the tracks as the first step in the mastering process. The tracks came out fine – but they could be slightly better if I had read my own advice. (Grumble.) Aside from that, things went pretty well. My beta readers found few mistakes in the narration this time around, which is a good thing.
There will be at least one more book in this series, Perilous Gambit, which I will narrate myself. We’ll see if I can land a traditional publisher for the next series, which might undertake a truly professional audiobook (is Tom Hanks available?). We’ll see. For now, I’ll have to just try to get it as perfect as I can the next time.