Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review of The Racketeer by John Grisham

I'm always happy when I discover one of my favorite writers has come out with a book in paperback. It's not that I'm opposed to paying full price for a hardbound book, it's just that they're heavy and hard to read in bed! Needless to say, I was thrilled when I came across John Grisham's novel, The Racketeer, in paperback http://www.amazon.com/Racketeer-Novel-John-Grisham/dp/0345530578/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410873178&sr=1-1&keywords=the+racketeer+john+grisham
I've heard some literary types poo-pooing writers like Johh Grisham, though I often wonder why. For starters, anyone who can pump out as many best selling books as Grisham must be doing something right. More importantly, Grisham has a gift of sucking readers into the lives of his characters within the first pages of every book he's ever written http://www.jgrisham.com/

Writing is about communication, not flowery words. Grisham puts a fine point on this practice, creating novels that make readers yearn to find out what happens next. The Racketeer is no exception. From the get-go, this book draws readers into a plot involving a prisoner named Malcolm Bannister. Grisham expertly creates a plot which involves Bannister being released from prison in exchange for providing information about the murder of a federal judge.

Besides the interesting characters and intriguing plot line, what I liked about The Racketeer were all the unexpected twists and turns. By the end of the book, I had a completely different take on the action than when I started. And all this happened without a lot of confusion on my part. I gave The Racketeer 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4673038.Adele_Park

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Meet Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell (Old Doc Pinkerton) has been singing and acting all his life.  In the 60’s and 70’s he acted in plays and performed on radio and television and motion pictures. Commercials, voiceovers, modeling, traveling the country dong Industrial Shows.  He sang with a “Big Band” in Detroit Michigan for six years.  since moving to St George in 2002 he and his wife Cindy Have been working as Realtors at ERA.  His real love is still singing and acting.  He has done a few commercials and professional voice work since moving to St George but you may know him best from his stage performances with Dixie State University, St George Musical Theater, Space In Between, Broadway West, Hurricane Valley, or singing at various events or at the public library on Monday mornings doing “Story-time “for the kids.  It has been a real treat for him to work with talented Adele Park and her wonderful audio books.  He says “It’s a blast!”

A Note from Adele

I've had the pleasure of working with Steve for many years now. He has starred in the videos for all three of my audio books, doing a wonderfully funny job each time. Steve also served as the narrator for Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book. I'm sure fans of the Quirky Audio Book Series will be interested in hearing Steve's new role in Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book set to release this fall. On a personal note, Steve is as delightful to work with in person as the characters he portrays on screen and in my audio books.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

And So it Came to Pass

In my world, the phrase, “and so it came to pass,” usually doesn't refer to deadlines. As someone who spent nearly 20 years working as a reporter and news anchor, deadlines are sacred to me. That's why it was especially painful to miss a deadline that has been in place for nearly two years.

One of the challenges with the type of work that I do is that everything is a long term project. It takes at least a year for me to write an audio book and another one to produce it. Originally, I had set September 22, 2014 as the deadline to release Gadzooks! Another Quirky Audio Book. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be a reality.

While I'm in the final stages of finishing Gadzooks! I'm afraid to set another deadline, still stinging from missing the first one. I try not to be too hard on myself, remembering that I've put forth a major effort to meet my original deadline. I just didn't anticipate the final stages of this project would take so long to complete.

My husband, Michael, is the Executive Producer for all my projects. I was so grateful to Michael when he gently reminded me that when people get in a hurry, they loose money. That has become my mantra lately as I patiently iron out all the small problems which are causing me to miss my original September 22nd release date.

To all who have experienced this kind of missed deadline, I feel your pain. As a gentle reminder, there's no reason to have a bad ending just meet a deadline. Time may be fleeting, but there's still enough of it to go around. For now, then, let's celebrate the joy of a beautiful September day, trusting all is unfolding just as it should. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Meet Kent Hayes

I was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah, and have spent the better part of my life performing and/or producing. I’ve had the pleasure of plying my performance wares on stage, screen, radio and as a voice actor, having recently been on stage in “2 Across” and “Spring Equinox! An Evening of Tunes & Tales.”

A Note from Adele

I have truly enjoyed working with Kent. He is funny, professional and very good at what he does. Kent first came to Straight to Audio Productions to perform the role of Randall Smoot in Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book. Kent's back and better than ever in his rendition of Scottie Sphincter in Gadzooks! Another Quirky Audio Book set to be released on September 22, 2014.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet Melissa Sandberg

I grew up in beautiful Park City, enamored with the ski-racers and sporty thrill seekers of my community, but I always sought out my adrenalin rush through performing.  I continued to chase that rush, studying musical theater at Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, and at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, England (founded by Sir Paul McCartney).  

Now having lived in New York City for over nine years, I've had the thrill of acting in film (notably 2012 Sundance rom-com Price Check with Parker Posey) and in television (Showtime's The Big C, ABC's Cupid; Kitty on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Amanda Stone in the upcoming season of Blue Bloods on CBS). My biggest highs are on stage, though, in roles like Roxie (Chicago), Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady), and Annie Oakley (Annie Get Your Gun).

Along the way, I've discovered a love for voice over work and have lent my voice to commercial spots for Audi, Disney, Snickers, Sealy, Vitamin Shoppe, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  It's all in the effort of telling a good story, and I'm excited to continue to tell this wonderfully wild story of Blue McKenna.  

A Note from Adele

It is an honor for me to work with someone of Melissa's calibre. In addition to being the consummate professional, Melissa is awesome in her performance of Blue McKenna in both Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book and Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. I feel fortunate to have Melissa on board, especially since she lives in New York City where she enjoys a busy career as an actress. I'm grateful that Melissa still finds time to come back to Utah to record for Straight to Audio Productions.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Meet Rhett Guter

I grew up in St. George, Utah and began studying theatre at Tuacahn High School. From there I made my way to Southern Utah University where I completed a degree in Theatre Arts and Dance. I'm a bit of a nomad performing all around the world. Recently, I was in Germany and France with the International Tour of West Side Story in the role of Action. However one of my favorite places to come back to is Southern Utah where I often work with the Utah Shakespeare Festival as an actor and choreographer.

A Note from Adele

Rhett returns to Straight to Audio Productions for an encore performance as Steven Finch. Rhett's narration style for this role is laugh-out-loud! It's been my pleasure to work with Rhett who is now in Chicago performing at the prestigious Goodman Theatre.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Meet Abby Elvidge

I grew up in Normal, Illinois, which will forever link me to one of my favorite films of all time, Young Frankenstein, for obvious reasons if you know the film!

I studied theatre at Columbia College in Chicago. While in Chicago I had the extraordinary experience of playing Lydie in the original production of John Guare's 'Lydie Breeze', directed by the brilliant Vito D'Ambrosio

After several years of working as a paleobotanist at The Desert Research Institute in Reno, NV, I returned to the field of acting as a Voiceover Artist, specializing in character work for games and animation, and developing an intense passion for Audiobook Narration.

A Note from Adele
I really enjoyed working with Abby. Not only is she Abby from Normal – a perfect fit for the Quirky Audio Book Series – but she is a real delight to work with! Abby did an excellent job in her role as Nadine Reinheart-Mackleprang-Stratton-Viapondo-Davenport in Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book.

Because Abby spends all day every day working as a professional narrator and editor, I found it especially pleasant to edit her files. There's nothing quite so nice as an actor who knows how to avoid recording pitfalls and the subsequent fixes that follow. I'm very excited and happy to have Abby as a member of the Straight to Audio Productions Family!