Posted in Audiobook, Reading and Reviewing

It’s Been Awhile

I have been remiss on faithfully blogging here at my Mysterious Musings Blog. My last post was about my wonderful narrator, Darla MIddlebrook and my new audiobook that is out for The Discombobulated Decipherers.

I have no excuses except one for my laziness and that is laziness. I was tired and I needed to take some time to rest. We all need that.

If you haven’t commented on my previous post and my interview with Darla make sure you do so as I haven’t given away the audiobooks yet or you can comment here.

Today I am going to give you a little snippet of the book. I’ll be back with more another day but enjoy and if you like it make sure you listen to the other audiobooks I have out. They are a hoot. Until we meet again. Wasn’t that a Roy Rogers song?

If you are interested here are the links for the book.

Posted in Reading and Reviewing

A New Audiobook and Producer, Darla Middlebrook

The Discombobulated Decipherers is finally out in Audiobook form. What a perfect time for a winter mystery and lots of fun. I feel privileged to have had Darla Middlebrook narrate and produce my book. She is an excellent voice person and adds many surprises to the narration. Wait until you hear her singing voice. I thought it was only fitting to introduce you to Darla and for all of us to get to know a little about her. After reading her interview I know I want to become better friends. Thank you, Darla, for taking us into the story of Jezabelle and Brilliant and leave us wanting more.

Darla MIddlebrook

Who is Darla Middlebrook in real life behind the voice and the acting?

Darla is a 68 years “young” retiree who works on audiobook recording 3 or 4 days a week and does volunteer readings at the local hospital and some of the local nursing homes. When did you realize you wanted to enter the world of acting and voice work or was it something you always knew and began as a child?

Audiobooks, audiobook narration and voice acting, in general, were not things I had heard of when I was a child.  I began to be interested in doing this right after I retired in 2009.  I thought it would be easy because “it’s just reading, heck I can do that!” (quoting my uninformed, July 2009 self)

How do you choose the projects you accept?

Most of us have heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover.  Well, that’s usually the first thing that grabs my attention.  Then I read the author’s take on the book, read the audition clip and go from there.  If I don’t like one or the other of these, I don’t audition for the book.  I have occasionally, been asked to audition because an author likes my voice.

The Discombobulated Decipherers has many characters. Is it hard to switch voices and how do you decide what inflection to put into each character?

I, usually, skim the entire manuscript to get a “feel” for the characters.  Then I have them talk to each other (in my mind).  I decide right away which characters are “villains” and why they are “villains”.  I do this by indulging in my “bad habit” of reading the last couple of chapters first.  I always make recordings of each character when s/he first occurs in the story and when s/he has emotional moments.  This way I can refer back to the recording to refresh my memory of how I made the character sound. This has helped me to keep the characters consistent if I end up being asked to do a series.

You previously were a Speech Pathologist. How does that career work into your career as an actor and voice professional?

I have more insight into the care of my instrument (voice).  I know what muscles to use and have a decent ear for vocalization.  I am more aware (I believe) of what types of voice(s) can be used when I work because I do not want to pick something that is going to tire or damage my instrument in the long run.  I can refer back to speech errors/problems that I can imitate which actually work as characterizations for voices.  I have also worked with a  professional singing coach since 1975.  This has helped me to use a wide pitch range when building character voices.  Often, a ¼ to ½ tone change in pitch can make all the difference in a character’s voice.

Tell us a little bit about AIRS-LA and why you chose to be a part of that venue?

AIRS-LA has a website which explains their goals and vision much better than I can.  I became involved with them through my first voice-over acting coach, Vanessa Hart (deceased).  She advised me to do as much reading as possible to improve my skills.  After I started with AIRS-LA, I was approached at a conference by Joe Jurca (who is heavily involved with AIRS-LA).  He thanked me for my contribution and praised my reading skills (made me glow, I tell you).  So, I have continued on with them.  Originally, I read CAT FANCY (now called CATSTER) magazine.  Then I suggested that I read the Canadian version of Reader’s Digest.  So, now I read from two magazines. (Did you know that Reader’s Digest is different in each country in which it is published?  Stories are related to the particular country, so Canada’s version has stories that you may not see in the US, British, or Australian editions)

In the Discombobulated Decipherers, you use your beautiful singing voice to add to the story. Do you have other releases or music that you have produced?

No, I do not have any professional music releases.  I have, however, sung in several musicals, operas, and operettas with a couple of semi-professional theatre group in Regina, Saskatchewan.  Regina is the capital of the province and is just up the road about 45 minutes from Moose Jaw, where I live.

     Please tell us about some of your other projects. What was your favorite and what was the hardest one and why?

My favorite project is always the one on which I am, currently, working.  The hardest one I have worked on required that I pronounce several Aztec and Mayan words.  But, in some ways that particular project was easy.  It happened to be a story based on an actual archeological dig in South American.  One of the things that I often do is refer to YouTube for pronunciations.  Well, when I was working on this project, I Googled the “The red Queen dig”.  Up popped a 2-hour National Geographic special about that particular dig!  Words were pronounced and spelled out on the screen!!  All I had to do was listen to them, repeat after the speaker and voila, I sounded like a genius!!  ☺ ☺

What advice would you give to authors or those wanting to go into your profession?

My best advice to authors would be to “read your manuscript aloud to someone” so that you know whether or not it “flows”.  I think authors should do this even if they do not plan to have the book converted to audiobook format.  For those who want to go into Voice Over work, find a good, reputable coach.  DO NOT fall for any of the internet scams that tell you that you can become a voice-over actor in (pick a number) easy online quick lessons.  YOU CAN NOT!  I am lucky that I have had several very good coaches.  I met my coaches at valid Voice Over conferences, not online.  I have singing, acting and speech pathology background that has stood me in good stead, but even after doing this for 10 years, I still consider myself to be a newbie.

Is there anything you would like us to know about you that I haven’t asked?

I am (almost) a crazy cat lady.  Lots of cat-related clothing and knickknacks, but only one cat.  My cat can be a little monster at times and lets me know when (she feels) I have been in my studio for too long ☺

I always ask my guest for their favorite quote? What is yours?

This changes every day, but today’s quotes would be:  “No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot” – Mark Twain  OR  “Highly Illogical” – Mr. Spock (Star Trek)

Thank you Darla for taking the time to be here and answer my questions. Make sure you visit Darla’s site and links to see and hear her other work.

Darla’s Website:  https://www.darlasvoice.net/

Darlas’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/199095733771188/

Darla’s Voice Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/Darlas-Voice-246840192020028/

You can find the Discombobulated Decipherer’s Audiobook here along with the others from the series.

It is also available in print and e-book form from Amazon and also available at these ebook retailers.

Comment on this blog as I am giving away two free copies of the audiobook The Discombobulated Decipherers. Invite people over and let them sign up too. I can’t wait for your comments.

Posted in giveaway, Releases

An Audiobook Giveaway and A Sale!

gpapFinally, I experienced the fun part of summer and I am getting back to work again. In the past few weeks the Audio book of Granny Pins A Pilferer has been released. Earlier I posted a little bit about my narrator and producer Beth Kesler. She is awesome and she interpreted my characters with finesse and humor. I even laughed when I listened.

This is what reviewer Vicki Mejia-Gewe  had to say about it: As with every book by Seedorf, Granny Pins a Pilferer is full of hilarity and silliness, making me laugh throughout the whole course of the book. The plot has plenty of creativity and excitement, with new twists throughout the whole thing. Beth Kesler as narrator helps to add to the delight of getting to listen to this book. I give the book five bright gold stars!

Now it is time for all of you to have some fun. I am giving away on this blog two copies of the audio book. I am also giving away two copies on my Facebook author page. Four copies and you might be the lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog or on my Facebook page stating the best thing about growing older. No NEGATIVE growing older comments. I challenge you to find something positive about getting older.

I will choose a random winner on Sept. 4. Feel free to share with your friends.

Here is a little example of the audio book. Enjoy and make sure you comment.

And… watch for the sale of all my Kindle books on August 30 – 31.

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Marvelous Guests, Reading and Reviewing, Releases

Meet My Narrator Beth Kesler

It’s almost here. Granny_Pins_A_Pilferer_jpeg (3)Granny Pins A Pilferer will be out in audiobook within the next week. I have a new narrator for my series. Priscilla Finch who did an outstanding job narrating my other books decided to take another way with her career and so that left me looking for someone new that could interpret my vision of my books. Enter narrator Beth Kesler. She brings a new flair to the series. You might note some of the characters take on a different flavor or tone as far as dialect and those will be written into the future series books. Up until now, we haven’t delved too far into some of the other characters in the books such as Lulu or Ditty Belle but in the future, you will learn more about them.

Now I would like you to meet Beth Kesler.

Beth-1Interview with Beth Kesler

Please tell me a little bit about Beth Kesler.

Although I’ve spent most of my life in Ohio, I’ve had many chances to broaden my worldview through travel: to China and South Korea as a student, to Australia on a job exchange, to Canada for culture, and most recently to Nigeria to visit friends.

How did you get into producing with ACX?

As a novice voice actor, it was a way to break into the audiobook narration scene without having to have the “credentials” one needs with big publishing companies.  As a matter of fact, I was officially on ACX only 24 hours before an author contacted me and asked me to narrate her series of three novels!  I didn’t even audition – she heard my demo and liked it enough to hire me.

What makes you decide to audition for someone’s book?

Would you think less of me if I say that I judge a book by its cover?  Anyhow, that’s where it starts.  I do read as much of the book as I can get my hands on to see if it sounds interesting, is well-written, and is something I could hear myself contributing to.

Is this your career or are you a master of many talents?

This is currently my career.  I do voice-overs of many kinds.  In addition to audiobooks, I do radio and TV ads, online videos, eLearning, public service announcements, award show announcements, telephony, and cartoon voicing.  Before I worked as a voice actor, I taught English as a second language for many years at two different Ohio universities.

You are producing and narrating Granny Pins A Pilferer for Julie Seedorf. What is the most difficult part of narrating this book? What was the most challenging?

The most difficult part for this book was trying to create not only the distinct voices for 29 characters but keeping them reasonably consistent throughout the novel.  In the final chapter, which lasts only three and a half minutes, there were 13 characters speaking!

How long have you been doing this?

I’ve been a full-time voice actor for four years.

What tweaks your creativity?

Well-written books make my job so much easier.  When I can get lost in a novel, I hear the characters’ voices in my head.  Then I just have to make them come out of my mouth!

Do you have something that tries to distract you when you are working such as a shyster or a furry creature? Or do you lock yourself away?

Yes, my furry distraction is named Bitsy!   IMG_0018She’s a 6-pound Yorkie and would be perfectly happy having me cuddle her and play ball with her all day long.  But she’s learned to be good when I’m recording, and naps on the small sofa in my studio.

Are we writers difficult to please?

No, not usually.  I had one author who was also a screen director, and he found it difficult not to direct my entire performance.  I must admit, that the direction he did give me was great!  Only once was I unable to work with an author.  She didn’t know what she wanted until she heard what I’d recorded, and then decided it was “all wrong”, and “couldn’t you just do that one more time?”  After 6 chapters like that, I suggested she find another narrator.  I hope she did – it was a clever book!

What advice would you give to those wanting to get into the field or to an author who is scared to try and look for a narrator for their book?

For narrators, listen to other audiobooks and learn from those who do it well and those who do it badly.  Then practice, practice, practice:  read aloud to your microphone, read to your family, volunteer to read to kids at the library.  Then get as much training as you can afford.  A professional coach is invaluable.

What are you working on now?

A young adult science fiction novel called 51l7jMKyhGLBaily Chatham and the Time Crystals by G.R. Zee.

 

 

 

I like to end my interviews with an author’s favorite quote. What is yours?

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

 

Listen to my work at bethkesler.com

And you can find the Fuchsia Series Audiobooks and the first book of the Brilliant Cozy Mystery Series of mine at Audible and Amazon.

Comment on the post for a chance to win a free copy of the audiobook Granny Pins A Pilferer when it comes out on Audible, Amazon and Itunes.

Posted in Reading and Reviewing, Releases

Who Is Jezabelle Jingle?

jezabelleapron
Jezabelle Jingle

It’s official! The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors has a new cover, a new publisher, and a new printing company. One might ask why I decided to make some changes with the first book in the Brilliant, Minnesota, Cozy Mystery Series. And if you weren’t  asking,  I will tell you anyway.

I feel The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors is perhaps the best book I have written so far. My readers keep asking for more Granny (Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt)

File Mar 27, 2 41 11 PM
Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt

and there will be more, but I felt the fictional communities of Minnesota needed another series and so the Brilliant Series was born, but it hasn’t taken off as well as I would like, thus the new cover and a new release.

First a little bit about the new cover. In searching for the perfect Victorian House for my main character Jezabelle Jingle, I came across a picture my friend and Author Sherri Hansen posted of her Victorian Bed and Breakfast and Teahouse, The Blue Belle Inn and knew it was perfect for Jezabelle. Sherri generously gave me permission to use the picture and I feel a connection to it.

Jezabelle Jingle is not quite as silly as her name portrays although she has her quirks and doesn’t suffer fools lightly. She grew up in Brilliant, left for a few years and came back to some of her old friends, Police Chief Hank Hardy and Lizzy Langer. Moving into the Penderghast neighborhood of Victorian Houses she loved her retired life, making her famous cheesecakes and keeping an eye on her interesting but quirky neighbors. But fate thrust her into the history and secrecy the Brilliant Brothers built into the town.

Of course, there has to be a connection to Fuchsia, Minnesota, and Granny, from the Fuchsia Series, and it comes in the form of Granny’s friend, Delight Delure, who is Jezabelle’s niece.

Jezabelle is not a sleuth like Granny but when her neighbor’s lives are threatened by unique goings on and deaths, Jezabelle, along with her neighbors, are forced to investigate and they form the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors. Can her neighbors be trusted?

Jezabelle is not above flirting with her cute garbage collector, Hick Rafferty. She is not too old to have a secret admirer or to keep the Police Department on their toes. Her heart has been broken a few times by secrets in her past and…by losing pets, but new pets seem to find her whether she wants them or not.

As the series progresses you will find a community riddled in mystery with actual puzzles needing to be solved, funny situations and a town that looks out for their own despite their differences.

Jezabelle is a conglomeration of fun, silliness with drops of sense and sensibility, all wrapped up in cheesecakes, cupcakes, and intrigue.

The second book in the Brilliant Series is coming soon. It should be out in October. The title is The Discombobulated Decipherers. Not only is there a dead elf wrapped in Christmas lights, but a Christmas puzzle to solve along with more insight into the quirky lives of the Brilliant residents.

Penderghast_Puzzle_Protectors_jpgHere is a little excerpt from The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors.

“What are you doing here, HH?” Jezabelle used her nickname
for the Police Chief. “Didn’t know you covered floor failures
too. I kept telling Warbler he needed to lose some weight—
too many of those banana splits from the Creamy Cow, but he
didn’t listen. I warned him these old houses have weak floors
in places.”
Hank Hardy and Red Hannahan shared a concerned look
between them before Hank answered Jezabelle. “It was no accident, Jezzy. It looks like someone cut a large square out of
the floor. The strange thing was that they must have known
how the house was built.”
“That’s impossible,” replied Jezabelle. “That house, like mine
and all the others on the street, are over one hundred years old.
And they’ve always been in good shape. The owners have kept
them up. Are you telling me we have a one-hundred-year-old
cutting up floors?”
“Here’s the thing.” Red Hannahan interrupted. “That exact
square of floor was framed in a square, not like the normal
joists in a house. That frame was made for exactly that piece
of floor.”
Hardy nodded his head in agreement. “The perpetrator
pulled up that particular floor board without disturbing the
ceiling below. That’s why Warbler didn’t notice it from the
living room underneath the bedroom.”
“And when they did, they pulled the area rug over to hide the
hole. Mr. Warbler stepped on the rug and went right through
the floor. The square was just big enough for part of his rotund
body to go through, but the solid framing of the floor and his
stomach wouldn’t give way for the rest.” Red Hannahan smiled,
remembering the picture of Mr. Warbler hanging through the
ceiling.
Jezabelle wrinkled her nose, puzzled by the events of the
day. “Do you suppose the entire floor is framed like that? And
why would someone want a piece of Mr. Warbler’s floor?”
Hank Hardy ignored the question and answered with one of
his own. “Did you see anything suspicious or anyone you didn’t
recognize around Mr. Warbler’s house today?”
“Other than Miranda Covington actually putting her
garbage out at the correct time so she didn’t have to run down
the street after the garbage truck in her high heels and scanty
nighties? Nope, can’t say I did.” Jezabelle smiled sweetly at the men, remembering that Mr. Warbler was the only one she saw
doing something suspicious the day before. Jezabelle decided
to keep that little bit of news to herself so she could investigate
before she told the police. After all, she didn’t want to put Mr.
Warbler in a bad light, them being neighbors and all. “Nope,
nothing.”

The Blurb:

The Brilliant Brothers founded Brilliant Minnesota, and then they disappeared. The residents of Brilliant didn’t know the brothers left a puzzle needing to be solved. A chain of unexpected present-day events shakes up the Penderghast neighborhood of Brilliant: Mr. Warbler hanging between floors after stepping through a hole cut in his floor by a floornapper, then a dead body in Annabelle Avery’s empty house. To the dismay of Police Chief Hank Hardy, Jezabelle Jingle and her quirky neighbors form their own sleuth group under the guise of the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors to solve the puzzle before any of them end up in pieces or—worse yet—dead. Will they be able to figure out if the same person who is causing the mysterious happenings is also Jezabelle’s secret admirer, or is another mystery unfolding to complicate their investigation? Is the entire town in danger of a pernicious puzzle waiting to be solved?

This is what one reader had to say about the Penderghast Puzzle Protectors: The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors is the first in the new Brilliant Minnesota Mysteries by Julie Seedorf. This new series is just as funny as The Fuchsia Minnesota Series! Julie’s stories are so imaginative and creative. The characters are so much fun! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and look forward to the next one.

If you want to find out more or if you want to check out the reviews it is available in paperback on Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com

As a Kindle Read or Audiobook