Friday, January 17, 2014

Interview With Rebecca McConnell, Narrator of OUT FOR BLOOD (Transylvanica High Series #2)

Interview With Rebecca McConnell, Narrator of OUT FOR BLOOD (Transylvanica High Series #2) by R. Barri Flowers

Rebecca McConnell OUT FOR BLOOD Narrator

 Rebecca McConnell

Nice to have you with us today, Rebecca, as the narrator for OUT FOR BLOOD, the sequel to the popular audio novel, COUNT DRACULA'S TEENAGE DAUGHTER in the Transylvanica High Series.
Do you have acting experience apart from narrating?
Out For Blood (Transylvanica High Series #2)I studied musical theatre in college, and have performed in regional theatres throughout the United States.  Some of my favorite performance roles have been Princess Winnifred in “Once Upon A Mattress”, Cheryl in “Evil Dead The Musical”, Pickles in “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”, Judy in “Ruthless! The Musical”, and countless others. 
What made you want to be a narrator?
When I was a kid, we did a lot of traveling, and my parents started buying audiobooks of classic children’s books.  I just loved hearing a talented narrator recreate the book, and always had a dream to do it myself.  Throughout my entire adult life, I prefer to “read” by listening to an audiobook– mostly because it allows me to continue other tasks, like driving, housework, etc.  It’s really exciting to finally record a book myself!
 Why the interest in young adult fiction, in particular?
I teach acting classes to teens, and I feel like I can relate to them.  Also, a big part of me never    grew up, and so I often feel like I understand the conflicting emotions of the teenage years.
How did you like narrating OUT FOR BLOOD?
It was really fun.  I liked the twists in the plot, and the dramatic moments.  It was also fun to create voices and personalities for so many students at Transylvanica High.
Was the protagonist, Kula Lockhart, an easy person to narrate?
Yes, I found her easy to narrate.  Mostly because I think most people would be able to relate to her as someone trying to figure out her identity.  That’s something all teens need to discover– although I don’t personally know any who are trying to manage the balance between the human and vampire worlds.  :)
 You did a great job narrating Count Dracula. Obviously you are aware of this legendary vampire and some of those who played in role in film. Was there a particular depiction or actor that you patterned your own inflection off of?
Thank you.  :)  Honestly, a lot the inspiration came from the Count on Sesame Street.  :) 
Apart from Kula and Count Dracula, who was your favorite character to narrate in OUT FOR BLOOD?
 I really liked narrating Ivan.  I decided to give him an almost military sense of duty in his role as Kula’s protector. My delivery for his character was very matter-of-fact.   As a contrast,        Amelia was much more soft spoken and gentle.
Did you find the human characters in the novel as interesting to narrate as the vampire characters?
Poor Eriq just wants to support his girlfriend who has so much new stuff on her plate in taking on her role as Count Dracula’s daughter, and her new vampire heritage.  As you might guess, this puts a strain on their relationship.  I also had a lot of fun creating a bubbly persona for Lucy, one of Kula’s human friends.  Lucy is the kind of character that I often play in theatre productions, and I really enjoy those types of roles.
Did you read the first book in the Transylvanica High series, COUNT DRACULA’S TEENAGE DAUGHTER? If so, how did you like it?   
I read portions of it to understand the characters and background.  I enjoyed what I read, and probably will take the time to read all of it over the holidays.
How do you promote books that you narrate?
I have a Facebook page that I use for my business as an acting teacher, and I advertise on there.  I’m still new to the audiobook business, so I don’t have a website yet devoted to my work as a narrator.
 Why do you think vampires are so popular in YA lit?
Vampires are a classic legend that has always been popular. I think teens enjoy vampire fiction because although they are fantasy stories, they have been re-created to be contemporary and this makes it easier for readers to relate to them.  I also think the dark undertones of vampire novels appeal to teen readers.
 If you could name your ideal cast to star in a movie version of OUT FOR BLOOD, who would play the parts?
Kula– Emma Watson (Harry Potter series, Perks of Being A Wallflower)
She is extremely likeable, and I think audiences would relate well to her.
Eriq– Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games)
Josh strikes me as an actor who could convincingly portray someone who may be in over his head by dating a girl who is the daughter of a vampire legend.  He seems like the perfect All-American boyfriend, and a good contrast to Munro as Sebastian.
Sebastian– Munro Chambers (Degrassi)
He plays mysterious really well, and has a great charisma that I think would suit the character.
 Ivan– Taylor Lautner (Twilight)
Althought Taylor played a non-vampire character in Twilight, his imposing physique seems to be a good match for Ivan, one of Kula’s guardians.
 Amelia—Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland)
Mia has a very ethereal quality that I think would suit the character of Amelia.
Jacqueline– Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl)
Her work on Gossip Girl proves that she can handle a Queen V role
Yvonne—Diana Agron (Glee)
Glee fans know that Diana may look sweet, but she can certainly portray a character with a hidden agenda. 
Gabryella:  Alia Shawkat  (Arrested Development)
Alia can deliver a one-liner with comedic precision.  Plus, she’s a talented performer who could definitely bring intrigue to the mysterious character of Gabryella.
Sky– Anna Sophia Robb  (The Carrie Diaries)
Anna Sophia has done many films in her young life, and could handle the portrayal of a young vampire struggling with the challenges of suppressing her urges.  She also has a sweet girl-next-door appearance which contrasts with the complexities of the character.
Would you be interested in narrating the sequel to OUT FOR BLOOD, entitled, KULA’S REVENGE?
Of course!  I’m excited to find out what happens next to Kula.
What’s next for you as a narrator?
No narrator plans right now– just on stage performing and teaching.
Do you have a website where audio fans can learn more about your work?
Not yet– but I’ll let you know when I do.  :)
Thank you for doing a great job narrating OUT FOR BLOOD, Rebecca, and best of luck with your future work as a narrator.
Out For Blood (Transylvanica High Series #2)

OUT FOR BLOOD (Transylvanica High Series #2) is available in audio in, Amazon, and iTunes. Listen to sample for free:

Count Draculas Teenage Daughter (Transylvanica High Series #1)
Also in audio is the first book in series, COUNT DRACULA’S TEENAGE DAUGHTER. Listen to sample for free:


Friday, January 3, 2014

Interview With R. Barri Flowers, Author of TEEN GHOST AT DEAD LAKE


Tell us about your process from having an idea for a book, to writing it, and finally letting someone read it?

Great question! Well, when an idea pops into my head, I usually discuss it with my wife and the pros and cons of proceeding forward with.

Once I decide to write the novel, I then work on developing a full blown plot and creating three dimensional characters. Then comes an outline on the story, subplots, scenes, conflict, and a satisfying conclusion.

I then simply follow through and work steadily till wrapping up project.

Beyond the print and eBook versions, it has become increasingly important to me to have all my books in audio as well, given the greater interest these days in audio fiction with readers using their iPods, tablets, cell phones, and computers to listen to books instead of on CD.

Finding the perfect narrator simply comes down to the audition process and connecting with someone who has the right voice, style, and enthusiasm for the job; while possessing the professionalism to do the job in an efficient manner that meets quality standards for an audio book.

Tell us about an entity that supported your writing outside of family members.


My writing ambitions have long been supported by friends and colleagues. I would say that the support of my professors when in college was the key to my development as a successful writer. They fully encouraged me to follow my dreams and learn from any mistakes along the way.

What was the biggest surprise to you when you first heard your work professionally narrated?


Another great question. Perhaps the biggest surprise was being able to put myself in the shoes of a listener instead of the author in being able to totally enjoy the presentation. Indeed, it was such fun for me and my wife as big fans of audio fiction to listen to my own creation. It was like an “audio movie,” using my mind’s eye to visualize the narrated book.

Do you think about how your work will sound in audiobook form while you're writing?


Actually, I do. With more than 40 titles in audio, I do tend to imagine the book being narrated as I write it. In many instances, I will envision the words in audio of particular scenes or characters.

If you didn't have to worry about licensing rights and you could choose one piece of music as a soundtrack for this book, what would it be? 


That is an interesting question. Hmm... I think it would be great if the soundtrack or transitional music for TEEN GHOST AT DEAD LAKE was Robert Cobert’s music score for the Dark Shadows TV series, a gothic soap opera that was one of my favorite shows.

What are you working on now?


The sequel to my bestselling young adult vampire novel, COUNT DRACULA’S TEENAGE DAUGHTER, entitled, OUT FOR BLOOD, has just been released. I am excited about this second book in my Transylvanica High Series that should really please my young adult readers.
And coming in the summer of 2014 is the first of my new YA coming of age adventure series, SUMMER AT PARADISE RANCH.

About the Author:

R. Barri Flowers is the bestselling author of teen novels, COUNT DRACULA'S TEENAGE DAUGHTER, TEEN GHOST AT DEAD LAKE, GHOST GIRL IN SHADOW BAY, DANGER IN TIME, and CHRISTMAS WISHES: Laura's Story. His novels can be found in print, eBook, and audio.

The author has also written a number of bestselling teen and young adult related nonfiction books as well, including RUNAWAY KIDS AND TEENAGE PROSTITUTION, KIDS WHO COMMIT ADULT CRIMES, and CHILDREN AND CRIMINALITY.

Follow R. Barri Flowers on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest Goodreads, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, LibraryThing, and And learn more about the author in Wikipedia.