Narrators: Zach Lazar Hoffman, Jillian Kuhl
Length: 8 hours 56 minutes
Publisher: Barre Chord Press⎮2021
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult
Series: The Disenchanted Series, Book 1
Release date: Dec. 13, 2021
Carla Bucchio never cared about things like boyfriends and SATs. If she did, maybe life at 20 would be more exciting than developing photos on Long Island. When she chooses the guitar over a social life, it only makes sense because no one talks to her anyway.
Music may be Pete Albrecht's life but what good is his talent if he has no one to share it with? When he's not getting bitched about coffee at work, he's getting nagged about college by his girlfriend. What would they say if they really knew about him?
In 2001 when boy bands and backup dancers have saturated pop culture, Carla and Pete start a rock band. Despite his girlfriend's manipulations and her mother's drunken disapproval, the two form a secret connection through the music.
Before heading out on their cross-country tour, tragedy turns the world upside down forcing them to decide if the band is just a teenage dream or their gateway to freedom...and to each other?
Slanted and Disenchanted is the provocative first book in Lisa Czarina Michaud's coming-of-age Disenchanted series. Told with wry humor with nostalgic '90s undertones, it's High Fidelity meets On the Road with a dash of Moxie that explores sexual tension in friendships, the confusion of adulting, the love and chaos of family....and the soundtracks that get us through it all.
*contains strong language, drug and sexual references, and sexual experiences.
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Lisa Czarina Michaud is an author and translator. Born and raised in Chelsea before a family relocation to Long Island, she has been writing her New York stories her entire life. Wanting to see the left coast, she attended The Evergreen State College before stumbling through adulthood in Hollywood, then back east to Brooklyn and eventually Paris. Lisa's work has been featured in various publications. She currently lives in France with her husband, son, and cat, Le Tigre. Slanted and Disenchanted is her first novel.
About the Narrator: Jillian Kuhl
Jillian Kuhl is a voiceover actor living in NYC with her husband and loving, judgmental dog! You can hear her voice on national commercials, radio, and video games. Notably, she plays a character in the Red Dead Redemption II video game. (Earned big points with her husband’s friends!) Originally from Wisconsin, Jillian earned her degree in Musical Theatre before finding her way behind the mic. She enjoys being outside, eating snacks, and watching trashy reality shows.
About the Narrator: Zach Lazar Hoffman
Zach Lazar Hoffman is a full time actor and voice actor, father of four living in Nashville, TN. A dedicated husband and father, Zach seeks to grow in his artistry to mastery and Is dedicated to the art of acting, devoted to the craft of storytelling, and committed to the process of becoming another. His passion is to demonstrate the broken state of humanity through devastating performances in an effort to inspire good in every soul.
Interview with Author Lisa Czarina Michaud
Because my book has two first-person POVs, I had to do a double casting, which wasn’t easy. It wasn’t so much finding two voices that matched, but also finding two voices who wanted to become the characters and cared as much about the project as much as I did. There were a few false starts, delays and recasting, but once I got Jillian and Zach on board, it was then that I knew I had found my Carla and Pete and they killed it.
Why did you decide to publish it yourself instead of going the traditional route?
The first manuscript I ever wrote was a memoir about me living in Paris (which is where I still live) but writing it, I was too concerned with what past successful memoirs accomplished and how the very outspoken Francophile community would receive it (God forbid you say you don’t like this museum or this arrondissement, you get creamed in the comment section). This stunted my growth as an author and the result was a very boring book that sits in a box of rough drafts. I took a few years off from novel writing and focused on articles and translating, until one day the outline to Slanted and Disenchanted popped into my head and I couldn’t stop writing. I knew it was a little out there from all the rock and pop culture references but it was the first time I had written a manuscript without the tastes of an agent or publisher consuming me, which liberated me to write from the heart. Like the Sufjan Stevens lyric, “Are you writing from the heart?” After I wrote it and worked with my editor and beta readers and got the proper feedback to strengthen the story (about two years), it was finally ready to go. I queried it for exactly one week before I said, “what are you doing?” My favorite pieces of art from indie rock albums from homegrown labels like Touch and Go, K Records, Kill Rock Stars… to Rimbaud’s “A Season in Hell” and Anais Nin’s first works were self-released that I figured if my heroes believed in their work enough, so can I and I wasn’t going to wait for a magical e-mail from a stranger to say I was good enough. It was then that I stopped querying and learned how to start a small publishing company with my husband. A year later, we founded Barre Chord Press out of our attic office in France and we specialize in rock fiction. Our first release, of course was Slanted and Disenchanted and hopefully after we finish this series we will release work from other authors. It’s a steep learning curve so we’re making all the mistakes with my books so that by the time we acquire authors who don’t have the last name Michaud, we’ll be somewhat pros in the business.
What are the perks of publishing your own books?
Quite a few, I’d say. First, I was able to select my cover artist and cover. I was super lucky to get the talented Hayley O’Connor who really brought my characters to life with the amazing cover she designed. The next is keeping my Amazon page clean and current. Because there isn’t enough manpower for publishers to keep up on every Amazon page of every book they release, I’ve seen some Amazon pages look like a graveyard from neglect and sadly the author has no control over it. I can keep going from choosing the perfect actor to read the audiobook to getting the lion’s share of the royalties…I feel the pros do outway the cons. But saying that, there are some setbacks like not knowing what you’re doing. A lot of this has been a guessing game to see what works and what doesn’t, so it requires patience and faith. There is also the fact that some people refuse (seriously, refuse) to take you seriously as an author because you DIY’d it (Like, I’ve had people flat out not congratulate me because I wasn’t backed by a publisher). But that’s their own stuff and my job is to keep my head down and write my stories that fuel my imagination. This is the Arthur Rimbaud side of me coming out because he believed that writing and publishing had nothing to do with each other. He didn’t fall for the literary pretensions of Paris, where invitations to gossipy dinner parties were the first step in getting published. He believed in the work first, called bullsh*t before it was cool to do so and published “A Season in Hell” himself. I walked into this project with this in mind and feel guided by the risk-takers before me to keep going.
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
Not at all! It was once I started getting feedback from my beta readers and influencers providing blurbs who said that the book read like a movie and that it had a cinematic quality, that I started taking the idea seriously.
How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
Pretty close. The script I sent them came with pages of notes, as well as character references for the actors to follow. I was pretty strict with the main characters but for the supporting ones, I let the actors explore a bit and discovered the brilliant choices they made. Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? Yes! Because the book has so many cultural references from Pete’s French background to Carla’s Italian-American background, not to mention the fact that it’s set in New York, which is its own culture in itself, I had to provide pronunciation notes or simply sent them a recording of myself saying the words to ensure total authenticity.
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
I’ve been writing since I was seven, so I don’t really know how to function any other way, but one tip I have is to sort of a take from “dance like no one’s watching”. I write as if the work will never be published so I don’t suffer from perfectionism paralysis. This novel has 50k words of “scraps” which could be an entire novella of bad writing!