Today I am so pleased to welcome M.D. Neu and Steve Connor to Joyfully Jay. The author and narrator have come to talk to us about their latest audio release, Contact. They have also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!
Thank you to Joyfully Jay for allowing me to stop by today and talk to you about my new audiobook Contact-A New World (Book 1). Instead of me sitting here blathering away, I thought I would introduce you all to the man who will be lending his voice to my novel. Steve Connor.
Thank you, Steve, for allowing me to throw some questions at you today. To start why don’t you tell folks a little about yourself and how you got involved in creating audiobooks.
I am an actor. Actors periodically hit dry spells of no work. I had one of these dry spells in late 2019. My wife suggested I find a volunteer opportunity to fill my time. I Googled volunteer opportunities for actors and found Learningally.org. That’s an organization that produces audiobooks for children and young adults who have vision and/or learning challenges. They accepted me as a narrator the week of the pandemic shutdown in 2020. So suddenly as there were no theatre opportunities there was a new need for my talents. My narration for Learningally.org became on-the-job training for me in the world of audiobooks. After I narrated about 8 books for Learningally.org, I thought I’d give Audible a try. I was very surprised to get my first Audible book in December 2020. I have narrated 12 books for Audible to date.
What was it about Contact-A New World (Book 1) that you found the most challenging to narrate?
Without question it’s the alien language. Not only are the words and pronunciation different, but the rhythm of speech is too. It’s more lyrical than English.
Since we are on a Romance Review site, even though book 1 isn’t a firm romance, there is a relationship front and center in the book. How did you create the feeling of love and romance between Todd and Jerry only knowing what we talked about and what you read in the pages? How did you make their relationship real?
I approach narration as if it were a project that I am cast in. By that I mean that I look at what the character is going through and relate that to my personal experience. Drawing on my personal experiences allows me to use my own feelings when playing various characters. I strive to make my characterizations as true as possible. I have fallen in love, so I know what that’s like. I know what it is to be in a long-term loving relationship. I know what it’s like to be in a committed relationship like Todd’s and Jerry’s so I drew on my experience in telling their stories.
Who is your favorite character to voice in the novel (Wait! Am I allowed to ask that?)?
Without a doubt Faa. He’s a lot of fun to do; the author’s description will help you understand why.
Faa – Age 10. Cádo. Faa is an animal, his voice should sound childlike and fun. He giggles and laughs. He often makes a ‘mur’ sound when he’s happy.
What is the most challenging part about being a producer/narrator for audiobooks?
As much as I owe Learningally.org for training me in audiobooks they also spoiled me. Every Learning ally narrator is assigned a listener who checks the narration for missed words, mispronunciations etc. They then send the finished recording to a team that masters the recording and uploads it for the students to use.
When I got to Audible, there was no listener and no production team to master the recording and get it ready for sale. All that falls on me. That’s why Audible doesn’t use the term “Narrator”. They call us “producers”. We are responsible to ensure the recording is accurate, that the recording matches Audible’s sound specifications AND is ready for sale. In my work as producer, the actual narration takes the least amount of time.
What are you most proud about this audiobook?
I’m most proud of bringing the story of an alien culture to life. It involves bringing all the characters to life and being true to the author’s story.
Thank you, Steve, for taking the time to talk with me today and thank you for all your hard work on Contact-A New World (Book 1). I’m thrilled you’ll be back for Conviction-A New World (Book 2). In the mean time you can find me; M.D. Neu on BookBub, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on my website at www.mdneu.com and you can find Steve Connor on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
A little blue world, the third planet from the sun. It’s home to seven billion people—with all manner of faiths, beliefs, and customs, divided by bigotry and misunderstanding—who will soon be told they are not alone in the universe. Anyone watching from the outside would pass by this fractured and tumultuous world, unless they had no other choice. Todd Landon is one of these people, living and working in a section of the world called the United States of America. His life is similar to those around him: home, family, work, friends, and a husband.
On the cusp of the greatest announcement humankind has ever witnessed, Todd’s personal world is thrown into turmoil when his estranged brother shows up on his front porch with news of ships heading for Earth’s orbit. The ships are holding the Nentraee, a humanoid race who have come to Earth in need of help after fleeing the destruction of their homeworld. How will one man bridge the gap for both the Humans and Nentraee, amongst mistrust, terrorist attacks, and personal loss? Will this be the start of a new age of man or will bigotry and miscommunication bring this small world to its knees and final end?
- Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/A-New-World-Contact
- Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43541539-contact
- Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com) Link: https://www.limfic.com/book/contact/
M.D. Neu is an international award-winning inclusive queer Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.
Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.
When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric his husband of twenty plus years.
- Author Website: https://www.mdneu.com
- Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/mdneuauthor
- Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Writer_MDNeu
- Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormdneu/
- Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/66488958-md
- Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-neu/
- Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/m-d-neu/
- Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/M-D-Neu/e/B076FK1S14
- Narrator Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/connorysh
- Narrator Twitter: https://twitter.com/connor_steve
- Narrator Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/connorysh
- Narrator Linkedin: https://linkedin.com/in/steve-connor-32a2b213
M.D. is giving away a choice of The Called or Conviction in eBook format to 5 winners during the tour:
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