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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Audiobook Lovin 2019 Presents: Nicky Charles Interview & Giveaway

Please welcome Nicky Charles to 
Audiobook Lovin'!!

Hi Nicky!! Welcome to Audiobook Lovin! So excited to have you as my guest! Tell us a bit about yourself, how long have you’ve been writing and how you get started? 

Hello and thanks so much for having me!  I’ve been writing since 2009…wow, that’s a whole decade!  I just realized that!  The time has flown by!

Anyway, I started writing fan fiction for an old TV show called Scarecrow and Mrs. King and then moved on to writing original fiction (at the prodding of my friend, fellow author and now editor, Jan Gordon).  My first stories were posted on a site called Fictionpress where they received lots of positive feedback.  In 2010, I finally gathered the nerve to publish them on Smashwords and I’ve been writing ever since.

I was introduced to your books by my bff years ago. She was visiting and she kept looking at something on her iphone. When I asked her what was so intriguing, she excitedly told me about this book she was reading and how much she loved it. Of course, the next words out of her mouth were “you have to read it”. It was obvious from her excitement that she was really enjoying the book, so of course I got the books and the rest as they say is history! Totally fell in love with the characters and the world you built. Where did the idea for this book/series come from? 

I stumbled on the idea for Law of the Lycans through a process of elimination.  My first book, Forever in Time, was only getting lukewarm interest at that point so I put the idea of a sequel on the back burner and began looking for a new idea. Vampires were popular but they didn’t inspire me.  Jan Gordon was writing about were-panthers, so I wouldn’t copy her…  Then ‘wolves’ popped into my head so I decided to give them a try and The Mating was born!  It was supposed to be a one-chapter short but it received such enthusiastic response that I expanded it into a novel.  I still wasn’t thinking ‘series’ at that point but one thing led to another and here I am, ten years later, with a whole saga that has no end in sight!

This series falls under the paranormal romance, what do you love about the genre you write in? 

I adore the world building, the fact that anything can happen, that I can push the boundaries of reality and make the fantastical seem believable.  Of course, I also love the romance aspect, the alpha males and (*cough*) the ‘heat’ level of some of the stories.

Is there a sub-genre of romance that you’d like to write in but haven’t yet? 

I have an idea for a more contemporary suspense book and have even written the first chapter but I never seem to find the time to pursue it further.  

Are you a Plotter or Pantser and how does that affect your writing? 

I was much more of a Pantser in the beginning. As the series has grown and the plots interweave with each other, I find I have to plan more to ensure I don’t contradict myself.  It can slow down the writing process as I fact check and ponder how what I write in the current book will impact future books in the series.  If there is a certain fact in one book, it has to stay true through all the subsequent books and I don’t want to write myself into a corner.

For example, in the first books, I made it a fact that my Lycans can’t create other Lycans simply through biting them so now, if I want a character to become a Lycan, I have to create a new process for that to occur.

“The Mating” the first book in the Law of the Lycans series is your first audiobook. On your website you shared that you’ve never listened to an audiobook, what made you decide to have your books in the audio format? 

It was a combination of readers asking for the books in audio and Mark Coker, CEO and founder of Smashwords, stating audiobooks are the growing market and I should consider dipping my toes in it.

The casting of narrator(s) is very important, how did you come to select Vivienne Leheny as your narrator? 

Vivienne was such a find!  I adore her work!  But, backing up a bit…

In my mind, I saw the audiobook version to be like the old radio shows with character voices and lots of emotion, so the listener could truly experience the story.  I wanted a narrator who could do that, who could pull you into the story and leave you with your heart racing or tears in your eyes; a true voice ‘actor’.  But how to find that perfect person?  

I started my search by asking my readers for suggestions; what made a good narrator in their opinion? They came up with a list and some even gave me the names of narrators.  I then started listening to book samples, jotting down names that appealed to me and finally I contacted Findaway Voices, the production company that produced The Mating

Rinn Kraus, the audition coordinator at Findaway, and I went back and forth several times with her sending me audition tapes, me asking about other narrators I’d heard…I even posted some of the audition samples in one of my groups to get second opinions as I really wanted that ‘perfect voice’, one that met both my expectations and those of my readers.  It took several rounds before Vivienne’s audition tape crossed my desk.  I googled her, found other books she’d worked on and was impressed, so I asked her to do a sample read of a scene from The Mating and, after listening…I had a few reservations!  However, something told me to give her another try so I sent her some feedback about her portrayal of Kane.  She took my feedback, redid her audition and wow – it was amazing!

Did you work closely with Vivienne and provide her with information about each character to ensure their performance is accurate (for example - accents and personalities)? 

Oh yes, we worked together…probably closer than Vivienne was expecting, lol! 

I’m a bit of a control freak and this was my first audiobook.  I had a vision of what the end product should be, what the characters would sound like, what words should be emphasized and such. The first chapter involved a lot of back and forth as Vivienne and I communicated our ideas and expectations.  I think I drove her a bit crazy at first but she was so great to work with, very patient and willing to listen to my ideas.  I shared the characters’ backstories, which ones would appear again in future books and she then gave me voice samples for those characters.  By the time the first chapter was done, I think we were both happy and confident the project was going to be amazing.

From start to finish, how was the audiobook creation process for you? 

It was a learning curve but I found it fascinating, and when I heard the final product I absolutely loved it.  It was everything I ever imagined it would be.  

I now have a much better understanding of what is involved on the creation side, however I still need to learn more about the release day/distribution process.  With an ebook, the day the book is released is the day it appears on the shelves at all retailers.  In contrast, with the audio, there was a delay and the story slowly spread along the distribution chain.  Some e-stores had it the first day and others took over a month.  I found that frustrating and so did fans who had been waiting excitedly.  Next time, it will hopefully be a smoother process!

“The Mating” is the first book in the series, will the other books also be coming to audio? If so, do you have a time frame of when they will be released? 

I’ve been debating about proceeding with the next book in the series or not.  Audiobooks are incredibly expensive to produce, especially if you want a quality product.  I’ve been watching the sales, judging if I can break even on this first book or not.  I’m starting to lean towards a ‘yes’ for starting on the next book but I’m not 100% committed yet.

Before we go… what are you working on now & what’s next? 

This summer I will be releasing a boxed set.  I’m also working on the next Law of the Lycans book but don’t have a publication date yet.  And, as I said above, I’m considering turning The Keeping (book two in the Law of the Lycan series) into an audio book.    

Thank you Nicky for joining us today and being part of the Audiobook Lovin Series!

Everyone, thank you for hanging out with us today and we hope you have enjoyed this interview as well as the series. We’ve included an audio sample of Nicky’s THE MATING within the post for you to check out. Please make sure to visit the main page (link within the post) to learn more about the series, authors and narrators! 

Thank you!

Check out the audiobook sample below, learn more about Nicky, where you can find her and don't forget to enter the giveaways! 

THE MATING Audio Sample

Available for purchase at Audible | Kindle | Amazon Paperback | iTunes | Kobo | Nook 

About The Author

Nicky Charles is an independent writer/publisher who became an author quite by accident. For many years she wrote as a hobby, seeing herself a 'reader not a writer'. Now a full-time author, she thanks-or blames, depending on the day-her friend/editor and fellow author, Jan Gordon, for the career she now finds herself immersed in. When she writes, Nicky sees the story unfolding in her head like a movie and tries to include enough detail so readers can 'see' the story just as she does. The sights, sounds, smells and sensations of a scene are almost as important to her as the actual plot. Nicky lives in Canada and tries to stick to Canadian spelling and punctuation in her work. She is an avid supporter of animal shelters, nature conservancy, food banks and a variety of other charities. Currently, she has three 'official' cats though a number of strays seem to take up residence in her garden each year. When not writing, Nicky enjoys reading - though she often bemoans that she seldom has time for it any more. She also enjoys spending time in nature, gardening, taking day trips and eating dark chocolate. 

You can find Nicky at 

Nicky's Giveaway

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