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How I Chose the Perfect Narrator

Six years ago, when I’d just started self-publishing the Renegade X series, I decided I wanted to make an audiobook. Books 1 and 2 came out pretty much at the same time (book 2 actually came out about a week before book 1, but who’s counting?), and they were doing well enough to support taking a chance on something new.

But I was nervous about actually hearing someone voice my characters, especially Damien, because I already had an idea of how they sounded in my head and I didn’t want to risk ruining that. Not only did I need to find the right voice for Damien, but I also needed somebody who could pull off all the humor and get the timing right. And I’m super picky about narrators. The point is, I had to find someone who was just right, or else I wasn’t going to do it.

So I put up a request for auditions on ACX. I got a lot of of them, but it wasn’t until I went looking around at available narrators myself that I found someone. Phillip Russel Newman was really versatile and could pull off a variety of voices. I asked him to record an audition, and he agreed. And then I went to his website and saw that he had a business where people could pay him to go sing songs to their loved ones in public and embarrass the hell out of them. I mean, embarrassing the hell out of them wasn’t explicitly stated, but you could see just how embarrassed people were in the sample videos.

And that’s when I knew, before I even heard him audition, that he would be the perfect Damien. Because what’s more Damien than that? And of course when his audition came in, it was flawless, and his voices for everyone were spot on and hilarious. (The audition scene was from fairly late in book 1 when Damien’s on the phone with Kat, and Amelia’s getting ready for her party, and Gordon comes in and asks Damien if he put worms in his shampoo, which we all know he did.)

If you’re wondering why I chose now to tell this story, it’s because I have a kickstarter going right now to produce the next audiobook in the series, The Betrayal of Renegade X. We’re at 29% with just under three weeks left to go! But if we don’t hit the finish line within that time, the project won’t get funded and the audiobook won’t get made. So if you’ve enjoyed the first two audiobooks, please consider preordering book 3 through the kickstarter to ensure that it will exist, both for you and for future listeners to enjoy!

And if you’re new to the audiobooks, books 1 and 2 are already available in audio if you want to check them out or hear a sample.

Let’s Make an Audiobook!

A.k.a. THE KICKSTARTER IS LIVE!

I have so many awesome things to tell you about this kickstarter that I don’t even know where to start! This is my fourth kickstarter, and it’s also the one that’s taken the most prep work. The other three only took a couple weeks to get ready, but this one took more like 10! And it’s basically my dream kickstarter from a backer’s standpoint – a variety of items that make you feel like you’re part of a fictional world.

And by that I mean that the kickstarter is back-to-school themed, complete with school paraphernalia, and you choose whether you’re going to Heroesworth or Vilmore. You don’t just get to feel like you’re part of a fictional world, you get to make choices about your place in it!!! I can’t tell you how happy that makes me!

Speaking of bringing fictional worlds to life, you can also get a recording of a short, customized message read by Damien! Or any of the other Renegade X characters! Basically, everything I talked about in this post is there.

If you’ve been waiting for the next audiobook, this is your chance to make it happen! If you can pledge, that’s great, and if not, please help spread the word! (Actually, please help do that anyway!) Let’s make this the best Renegade X kickstarter yet!

Go check it out!

On Sale Now – The Persistence of Renegade X!

The latest installment in the Renegade X series, The Persistence of Renegade X, is here! Grab all three novellas for only .99 cents each for a limited time!

This novella takes place between books 4 and 5.

Watching Damien’s two favorite siblings for the night—and stealing his sister Amelia’s title of “best babysitter”—should be easy. It shouldn’t involve his mom calling and begging him to watch his awful half brother. And it shouldn’t involve having to go rescue his two best friends from a superhero mission gone wrong. And it definitely shouldn’t involve getting stranded in downtown Golden City with all the kids he’s supposed to be watching. Especially not when the night’s almost over, and it’s a race against the clock if he wants to get everyone home before his parents and, more importantly, Amelia find out anything ever went wrong.

Available now in ebook and paperback!

Honorbound – Cover Reveal and Pre-Order

It’s here! I am so excited to show you the super gorgeous, amazingly shiny cover for Honorbound! I’ve seen it a bunch of times now, and every time I’m still like, “Whoa.” This cover was created by the uber talented Fiona Jayde of fionajaydemedia.com. If you’re an author looking for an artist, I wholeheartedly recommend her! She was great to work with, her prices are more than reasonable, and her artwork is crazy awesome!

Anyway, not only does it have a cover, but Honorbound is available for pre-order! I listed the release date as May 29th to give myself plenty of wiggle room, but the book is close to being done and I plan to have it out by the end of April, sooner if possible. It will be part of Kindle Unlimited, and there will be a paperback release to follow. I am really hoping to also do an audiobook version, but I haven’t talked to the narrator yet, so I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up (including my own). Plus, as you all know, I am woefully behind on the Renegade X audiobooks, so this one will have to go to the end of the queue. (And yes, those audiobooks are still happening.)

Honorbound, Take Two

For those of you waiting for the Dragonbound sequel, here’s an updated (read: completely new) blurb:

When Amelrik proposes, Virginia couldn’t be happier, even though she knows the king of Hawthorne clan will never allow his only son to marry a St. George. But the situation turns out to be even worse when Cedric, the appointed heir, refuses to come home and marry for a political alliance. If Cedric doesn’t show, the king’s going to make Amelrik take his place, meaning Virginia will lose him forever.

 

Determined not to have their lives decided for them, Virginia and Amelrik set out to find Cedric and convince him to come home. But when a group of paladins takes over the city Cedric’s been living in, on the grounds that there have been recent dragon attacks, they put the town on lockdown. No one’s getting in or out, dragon or human. Sooner or later, any dragons stuck inside the town will have to transform and reveal themselves, and Virginia, Amelrik, and Cedric find themselves trapped.

 

Things only get worse when Virginia’s dragon-hunter sister, Celeste, shows up to aid the paladins. And as the dragon attacks increase, so does the town’s paranoia. Time is running out, and soon Virginia and Amelrik are fighting just for survival. If they can’t figure out what’s really going on, and soon, it won’t just be their love that’s in danger—it’ll be their lives.

COVER COMING SOON!!! Add it on Goodreads!

Soon, Preciousss

Since I’ve had several people ask recently, here’s a quick update on if/when The Betrayal of Renegade X will be an audiobook.

The answer to “if” is YES.

The answer to “when” is VERY SOON. I can’t give any specific dates yet, but production should start in a few weeks or so. At the moment, I anticipate a June release, but, again, I can’t be sure on the specifics yet, so keep in mind that that’s a tentative date. I will post updates once I know more.

Problems with the Newsletter Are Now Fixed

Okay, so, apparently the newsletter signup on the website was kind of a piece of crap and wasn’t working right. Or at least the WordPress plugin wasn’t working. I switched it out for an embedded form instead, and it seems to be okay now. When you sign up, you’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription, and then after you confirm, you’ll get another email with the link to Damien Locke’s Guide to Golden City, which is a downloadable 18-page PDF full of funny anecdotes and snarky conversations between Damien and Riley.

If you signed up for the newsletter and didn’t get your copy of the guide, I just sent out a newsletter with a link, so you should have it now.

If you sign up for the newsletter after reading this and it still craps out and doesn’t send you anything or do what it’s supposed to, please email me at campchelsea@gmail.com so I can fix it and send you your copy. But, like, hopefully it’s working now and won’t screw up.