Audiobooks: plans for the future

My work in producing audiobooks so far has been a great learning experience. I was attracted to it because, first and foremost, I am an actor who enjoys reading and performing. This goes for stage work as well as books. It’s been a year since I gave up the day job, in the hopes of obtaining paid acting work and I have been moderately successful, but only moderately. This has consisted of a brief but successful run of ‘Skerryvore’ at the Barnstaple Fringe Festival, a longer run of ‘Twelfth Night’ at the Ellen Terry Barn Theatre in Smallhythe, a very short run at the Brighton Scratch Nights this week and an upcoming live performance of a radio play in Hastings in December. But it’s not enough to pay the bills, so that’s why I thought I would branch out into voiceover and audiobooks.

Again, some moderate success. In July I got a couple of voiceover jobs but since then I’ve had three audiobooks published, with a fourth to be published, I hope, this week. Fortunately, these are not one-offs: the Nature’s Magic series should have a third instalment coming out soon; I have contracts for four more Windrush books and, if the first Candy book is a success, there will be three more of those. My aim is to build up a fairly decent back catalogue of 12-13 books by summer next year. However, I need to put in some variety as historical fiction is not as popular as biography or romantic fiction (or erotic fiction, but let’s not go there). A broad spectrum of genres is what I’m aiming for and I’ll put an update on here every so often.

Brighton Scratch Nights

This week I have taken part in the presentation of new writing at the Brighton Scratch Nights held at the Rialto Theatre in Brighton. Some friends who run a theatre company (‘George Lassos the Moon’)  asked me to play one of the roles in a new play called ‘Sammy’, written by Christopher Owen. Have a look here for further details:

http://www.rialtotheatre.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-events/the-brighton-scratch-night

It’s an intriguing piece, addressing issues such as Pro-life, religious views on the treatment of apparently untreatable childhood illnesses and the dilemmas parents have to face in terribly difficult circumstances. I don’t think we won the popularity contest but our performances were strong, on the whole. The winner’s piece will be developed and presented at the Brighton Fringe Festival next year.

Here’s a link for a review:

The Brighton Scratch Night 2019

It was an interesting experience – the Rialto is a tiny theatre and the first night was made even more interesting by six theatre groups all vying for dressing rooms, prop storage and rehearsal space.

The Last Roundhead

I have now started work on the next audiobook – The Last Roundhead, by Jemahl Evans.

51Meu8dL-pL._SL160_[1]

This is the first of a series of four books, being the fictional memoires of Sir Blandford Candy who is relating his experiences, adventures and escapades during the English Civil War.

Here is some information about the hard/paperbacks:

1642.
England has been plunged into a Civil War.
Blandford Candy is sent to London, after an illicit affair, and joins the Roundhead army to fight against the King, taking part in the Battle of Edgehill.
A reluctant hero if ever there was one, he becomes a spy for the cause – and, through luck or judgement, uncovers more than one Royalist plot. His love of wine and the fairer sex prove both a curse and a blessing for the agent. Blandford soon earns the enmity of the King’s spy mistress Jane Whorwood, and patronage of the great parliamentarian leader John Hampden.
As well as navigating the politics and perils of the Civil War Blandford must also deal with members of his family, who turn out to be to be far more duplicitous and ruthless than any rival agent.
To survive, Blandford must choose a side.

The Last Roundhead is the first book in the acclaimed series of novels, charting the adventures of Sir Blandford Candy during the English Civil War.

Recommended reading for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Michael Jecks and George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman books.

Praise for Jemahl Evans and the Blandford Candy series:
“Blandford Candy is as endearing a rogue as you are likely to find in any work of literature.” Matthew Harffy author of the Bernicia Chronicles.
“The research is impeccable and the writing full of verve.” Antonia Senior, The Times.
“It’s great fun and a rollicking good read.” Historical Novel Society.
“Frankly, glorious.” Michael Jecks.

Jemahl Evans is the author of the acclaimed Sir Blandford Candy series of novel. He lives in West Wales.

My task is to bring to life Candy’s story, as if he was speaking directly into the listener’s ear. He is a bit of a lovable rogue, as a youngster, and a bit of a curmudgeon in his old age – he has led a very interesting life, during violent and troubling times. The research that has gone into this book is amazingly thorough and is done to enhance the story, rather than weigh it down. I hope I can do it justice.

This and all my other audiobooks may be found via Amazon, Audible and iTunes. Here is a link:

https://www.audible.com/search?searchNarrator=Bill+Allender&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=ZV5GZZTGC6XGRDR8S5E4&ref=a_search_c3_lNarrator_1_1_1

 

Jack Windrush Book 2

The second audiobook in the 6 part series will be on sale very shortly.

Written by Malcolm Archibald and again, narrated by me.

897s25ybmwh8ycp31569973986209

Jack and his disreputable 113th Foot have to resort to ungentlemanly actions to get themselves posted to Crimea. A lieutenant in British Army’s worst regiment, Jack hankers for recognition to regain his true station in life.
At the Battle of the Alma, Jack is sent to General Campbell of the Highland Brigade to offer the assistance of the 113th. Having buried the dead, he meets the beautiful Helen Maxwell, but soon after receives orders to leave the country.
Facing the formidable Russian army led by the savage Major Kutozov, Jack learns that life in the front line is tough, with only the wayward Helen to alleviate the horrors of war.

Praise from readers:
★★★★★ – “The battle scenes are thrilling and descriptive of the bravery of both the Russians and the Brits. The book is crafted beautifully and the writing is superb.”
★★★★★ – “Archibald delivers a gritty tale worthy of the Charge of the Light Brigade, and he spins it masterfully with personal storylines. A scorching read.”

Jack Windrush Book 1

The first of six stories in the Jack Windrush series has been on sale since August this year. Written by Malcolm Archibald and narrated by me.

b3j41lh24rkqewpd1564040741293

 

Burmese War, 1852. Unable to join the famous Royal Malverns, Jack Windrush is commissioned into the despised 113th Foot.
Determined to rise in the ranks and make a name for himself, he is sent with the 113th to join the British expedition. But when they get involved in the attack of Rangoon, Jack realizes that war on the fringes of the Empire is not as honorable and glorious as he expected.
After a chance meeting with a renegade British soldier, Jack witnesses the true terrors of war, and begins to question the whole framework in which he has grown up.

Praise from readers:
★★★★★ – “A well-crafted historical novel.”
★★★★★ – “Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys military fiction.”
★★★★★ – “Archibald delivers one heck of a story.”
★★★★★ – “Impossible to put down.”

The audiobook is on sale from Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

Nature’s Magic

Books 1 and 2 in Marlene Beer’s Nature’s Magic series are now available from Amazon, Audible and iTunes. This a summary of the series:

In a small, medieval village lives the 13-year-old Arah, who was raised as an orphan in the household of the kind pastor. Arah loves books and often retreats into her own dream world. A significant day comes when a travelling exorcist comes into the village searching for hidden witches. Although Arah likes to fantasize about magic and deep down in her heart would love to have magical powers, she can only listen to the exorcist’s words with suspicion. There could not possibly be witches in the real world….
When she is suddenly accused of being a witch, it is time for her to flee. The girl does not yet know that the exorcist’s allegations are actually correct. Only when Arah meets the real magic she understands more and more who she really is. A journey full of suspense and danger awaits the girl during which she not only finally finds out who her parents are, but also discovers love for the first time.

The Audiobooks are getting 5 star reviews on Audible.com and Audible.co.uk, so please have a look if you are an audiobook fan.