As I say good-bye to a wonderful month with Regency Romance writer Barbara Monajem, April’s focus is on another writer who has recently had a comeback after years of non-publishing – Danelle Harmon.
Ms. Harmon continues work on her two series–The Heroes of the Sea and the de Montforte Brothers series. The characters are related and so if you love the two series you will be well entertained. I started reading book 1 of the de Montforte Brothers series and I must say it starts with a letter Charles has written his brother Lucien. And then just like that the story sweeps you up, I was hardly able to take a breath, not daring to put it down. I hope the whole series is as good as the first book!
Today I’d like to talk a little about the de Montforte Brothers series. Below are the books in the order they should be read along with comments from Amazon reviewers. Need more be said? If those review quotes don’t convince you, here’s one quote that should coming from the articulate author Julia Quinn!
“One of my all-time favorite authors.” — Julia Quinn, # 1 New York
Times bestselling author
The Wild One, book 1 “A PERFECT 10! Terrific … Sensational Georgian romance. Harmon has started her new series about the de Montforte family with a home run that will leave readers looking forward to stories about the remaining siblings. A perfect 10! — H. Klausner, Painted Rock Reviews
The Beloved One, book 2
FIVE STARS! “I loved everything about this story … brilliant writing! I am very happy to give this highly emotional, sensual, and very touching story my Five Quills!” — Melanie Friedman, RCJR eZine
The Defiant One, book 3
K.I.S.S. AWARD! “This laugh-out-loud read is a special treat for animal lovers, who who will fall in love, not only with the humans in the story, but their unforgettable pets as well. Ms. Harmon’s sensual hero and charming heroine will sweep into your heart! 4 Stars!” — K. Robin, Romantic Times
The Wicked One, book 4
FOUR STARS! “The grand manipulator gets his comeuppance when he meets independent American patriot Eva de la Mouriere. . . Meddling has its price, as Lucien discovers, and fans of the series will be more than satisfied to see him get just what he deserves! Harmon’s delightful sense of humor, marvelous characters and true understanding of the ties that bind a family turn THE WICKED ONE into the perfect, well-crafted conclusion to her series! — K. Robin, Romantic Times
I had a chance to ask Danelle some questions which she answered for us.
Question: What have you been doing recently as far as continuing these two series?
Answer: Well, my current ventures are as follows: THE ADMIRAL’S HEART, narrated by Alan Kelly, has just been released in audiobooks for iTunes, Amazon and Audible. CAPTAIN OF MY HEART and LORD OF THE SEA are also in production for audiobooks, and acclaimed narrator and character actor David Stifel just finished narrating THE WILD ONE, the first book in my de Montforte series, for audiobooks and is currently hard at work on THE BELOVED ONE; he will do the entire series. Needless to say, this new venture has kept me very busy!
Question: How involved are you as the author in the reading?
Answer: I’m actually very involved in the selection process — I choose a page or two of representative script (including narrative and dialogue) for prospective narrators to use for auditions, and I make what I hope is the best and most fitting choice for each book. It can be a daunting process; for CAPTAIN OF MY HEART alone, I had over thirty auditions and a fine pool of talent from which to choose. Once I’ve selected a narrator, I review the first fifteen minutes of their performance and if we’re both on the same page (pardon the pun!), it’s pretty much a matter of letting the narrator have free rein to interpret from then on … after all, they are artists, too, and shouldn’t be micro-managed. There comes a time when an author has to let go and allow them to do their job, and give them the space to bring their own particular magic and life to this new incarnation of the book.
Question: I’ve heard some audiobooks narrators that don’t add the proper tone or personality in the reading, and then I’ve heard the same story with another narrator, the difference between night and day. It can make or break a book’s telling. What are
Answer: The world of audiobooks is a new one to me, and I’m in awe of these narrators who manage to add a third dimension to a story … I think most authors dream of seeing their books made into a movie, and having their story brought to life by a skilled and gifted narrator is the next-best-thing. But every book — its tone, its flow, its energy, its characters, even the way those characters should sound — is open to interpretation by both the narrator and the reader, and when those interpretations meet on the same page, it’s a winner. But it isn’t just about interpretation; I’ve found that every narrator has his or her own style and strengths, and a narrator that might be a fabulous fit for one story, might not be so good for another.
I’ve been blessed in that I’ve found wonderful, talented people to bring my stories to life for audiobooks: Alan Kelly, fresh off the boat from Ireland and trained in Dublin and London for the stage, is a very talented young man who narrated THE ADMIRAL’S HEART and will also be the voice of Brendan in CAPTAIN OF MY HEART. His ability to do a variety of accents is absolutely amazing. Erin Jones, a superstar in the audio world who also narrated The Hunger Games, has just finished up LORD OF THE SEA, which should be available later this month; her talent in telling a story and gleaning every bit of emotion from the narrative is nothing short of brilliant. In production are the De Montforte Brothers Series, all narrated by noted reader and character actor David Stifel (who also has had roles in movies and a current popular TV series), whose ability to paint a scene or pull an emotion out of a simple word just fills me with awe; he has finished THE WILD ONE (which should be available later in April) and is now hard at work on THE BELOVED ONE. Finally, acclaimed narrator Wayne Farrell will be reading WICKED AT HEART for audiobooks; his gripping style and compelling storytelling abilities are a perfect match for this intense “Beauty and the Beast” tale.
In the end, choosing a narrator for one’s book is a bit like asking the question of one’s readers, “If this book could be made into a film, which famous actor do you see as the hero?” Nine times out of ten, the reader responses will differ wildly from what the author had in the mind, and, even, from each other’s answers. Which just goes to show that the interpretation of a book is a very subjective thing, indeed.