Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Now Recording: Lesley Mendenhall

Straight to Audio Productions welcomes Lesley Mendenhall back to the studio. Lesley played the role of Suki in Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book. Lesley will now tackle the role of Nancy Neptune in Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book.

In real life, Lesley works as a professional voice actress for film, video games, animation, industrial and commercial projects. When she's not in the studio, Lesley serves on the Ivins City Council. Her contributions to the community include co-founding a No-Kill Animal Shelter in Ivins. Putting her passion for animal welfare into practice, Lesley is a caretaker to nine rescue kitties. 

Lesley with Tiger Lily, Studio Kitty Extraordinaire

Lesley's background includes a BA in Music from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri where her studies focused on Voice and Opera Performance. Somewhere along the way, Lesley also learned to play the harp!

In her personal life, Lesley is an avid reader, enjoying the works of Mercedes Lackey, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton. She's also a big fan of of the popular PBS show, “Downton Abbey.” Additionally, Lesley enjoys collecting antique Shelley and Wileman English Fine Bone China.

Check out some of Lesley's work:
Narration Demo
Commercial Demo
Lesley's Website: http://www.voicz.com

Lesley is represented by TGMD in Los Angeles, STARS in San Francisco, and Talent Management Group in Salt Lake City.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book

Production is underway for Adele Park's new work titled WHEN ASSISTED SUICIDE AND COSMETICS COLLIDE . . . Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. Social taboos are cast asunder as listeners are treated to a lighter look at end-of-life situations.

In the eyes of Nadine, a polygamist and serial bride, nudging her husbands into heaven is a testament to her undying love. Even Nancy Neptune, a notorious shock jock, is gobsmacked by Nadine's so-called “Celestial Send-Offs.” Things go to hell in a hand basket when Nadine offs the wrong guy and is charged with assisted suicide.

Meanwhile, Blue McKenna has problems of her own. A power outage has leveled Blue's medical marijuana dispensary. Scottie Sphincter, lead singer of a band called The Rectal Surgeons, is fingered as a suspect. Blue attempts to unmask the inscrutable Sphincter only to develop an annoying crush on him.

Using witty narratives, a cast of nine characters transport listeners to Navel, Utah, a place where voyages to the afterlife are done with Godspeed. Cosmic mirth and hilarity abound in Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. Stay tuned for details about the upcoming release.

The production of Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book is being dedicated to the late Ellie Perelli – the Coco Chanel of Southern Utah.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Priceless Personalities" by January Jones

January Jones is a radio host, author, mother, grandmother avid golfer and No Whining Advocate.  Check out January's latest project, "Priceless Personalities."

Priceless Personalities by January Jones
Have you ever met someone who was unforgettable?
Someone who touched your heart and soul?
People who have faced difficult problems?
People who have struggled to find solutions?
People who fearlessly shared their stories?
People who have informed and inspired you?
People who have Priceless Personalities?
I have been fortunate to host an Internet radio talk show called ”January Jones sharing Success Stories” and it has been my privilege to interviews hundreds of guests. My guests have shared their stories, their struggles, their secrets and their triumphs in their own words.
In this book, we’re talking about guests with problems such as incest, molestation, runaway kids, child abuse, drug abuse, prostitution, unemployment, scandal, starting over, self-confidence, self-esteem and workplace issues. Then there are my guests dealing witth difficult physical struggles such as blindness, cancer and birth defects that are beyond traumatic.
My guests have all been exciting, eclectic, and energizing. They have amazed, amused and sometimes even astonished me. I have adored getting to meet them and share them with my listeners.
However, some of my special guests have reminded me of the American Express commercials. You know the ones that stop you in your tracks and make you feel warm and fuzzy all over. They have been positively PRICELESS! These are the kinds of the interviews that I will be sharing with you today.
Let me give you a peek at what’s inside this book.
There’s Jeannie Kerrigan and Susanna Barlow, who have both been sexually and mentally abused as children, but have written books that you can’t put down. They have brought me to tears and then made me laugh with them. You just want to hug them both.
Jeannie, who was an incest victim, spent many years out on the streets so she knows what it’s like out there. She is now working to create her own non-profit called Ricky’s Revolution by reaching out to kids who are on the streets with her book, Layla.
Susanna has chosen to bravely speak the unspeakable reaching out to others who are in polygamist families. She herself has found What Peace There May Be by helping others. Neither of these young women is bitter but rather they have learned how to forgive and go forward. Both these women are now working to help other children learn how to survive and thrive.
For them, it’s all about helping other kids who are being abused.
Then we have Tawana Williams and Konnie Ellis who were both born with what I consider physical handicaps but they don’t think of it that way. They are the most positive and life affirming women that I have ever met. Nothing is impossible for them. They just think it and then they do it!
Tawana was a Thalidomide baby born without arms. Her Mother bravely wrote to President Kennedy requesting help for Tawana and JFK came to her rescue. Her life has been difficult dealing with addictions and physical challenges. She can type and change diapers with her feet. Beware though, because Tawana is Unarmed but Dangerous. She is an original, delightful and adorable character.
Konnie, along with her four siblings, was born blind. Now she has written a loving book about her talented musician bother Rory Hoffman. Rory’s Story is fascinating but the real story here is Konnie and how her family dealt with four children being blind. She is a wonderful wife, mother and a devoted sister promoting her sibling Rory rather than herself.
For them, it’s all about making the best of what they have, rather than what they don’t have.
Then there are two brother-in-laws, Stephen Simon and James Mapes, who share their success stories and struggles in the entertainment world. Stephen is the producer of the classic movie “Somewhere In Time” and he shares what it was like growing up in Hollywood, both the good, the bad and the ugly with Bringing Back The Old Hollywood. His tales are so, so delicious!
His dear friend, James Mapes is a brilliant working actor who has done everything you can imagine and is still doing more and more new things each day. He has boundless energy and enthusiasm for living life to it’s fullest. Right now he is busy helping people to make Quantum Leap Thinking and producing his first movie.
For them, it’s all about helping others to discover their own spirituality and then embracing big changes in their lives.
Then there are two women, Sydney Biddle Barrows and Anita Mafferty, who are survivors in the truest sense of the word. They both are fearless about sharing their experiences and overcoming great obstacles.
Sydney was the notorious, The Mayflower Madame, experiencing a scandal that changed her life forever. After dealing with publicity and legalities, she picked herself up and recreated herself as a business coach working within the system to help others with Uncensored Sales Strategies.
Anita Mafferty has had cancer three times and lost an eye. On her road to recovery, she has become a CEO of a successful company called COOL-JAMS that sells fabulous pajamas that are made to keep you cool or warm depending on the season. Also she keeps her one eye on her kids.
For them, it’s all about forgetting their set backs and jumping feet first into new ventures and creating new careers.
Lastly there is Hugh Aaron and Daniel Blanchard who are both educators in the truest sense of the word. These are two men who are sharing great information, inspiration and then some really great advice for the younger generation.
Hugh is a representative of the greatest generation and he makes us all proud to be Americans. After an amazing career as a CEO, he has retired to become a prolific writer. Now well into his 80s, sharing My Life in Words with advice that isn’t sugar coated.
Daniel Blanchard is an inspired high school teacher working in the inner city with teenagers. Daniel is also a prolific writer helping kids to start Feeling Lucky about themselves. He is lovingly sharing all of his Granddaddy’s Secrets with them. Daniel is the real deal.
For them, it’s all about, teaching, sharing and inspiring others to reach their full potential.
Now here you have 10 interviews from guests who were the most unforgettable and Priceless Personalities that I have been fortunate enough to host on my show. It’s my hope that you will sit back, relax and take the time to get to know them too.
January Jones

Priceless Personalities by January Jones
Now Available at amazon.com
Priceless Personalities shared by January Jones

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don't Surrender the Fate of Your Novel to Publishing Executives

Have you unconsciously surrendered the fate of your novel to the whimsical tastes of publishing executives? Do you think your book can't move forward without the financial blessing of others? Agents and publishers can certainly boost our careers, but I'm not sure they can break them. In all likelihood, our destiny lies in our own hands. It took several years worth of groveling at the heels of those in the publishing industry for me to comprehend this.

Even though you've probably spent years visualizing the success of your book, how much time have you devoted to thinking about the specific things you want to achieve? Perhaps you have a vague fantasy involving money and fame. These things are definitely desirable, but chances are there's more to it than that. The act of creation ignites something within us, even if we can't put our finger on it. There's a lot to be said for fully experiencing the moment we are in.

Many of us hold our own dreams hostage by assuming things have to play out in a specific manner. In my case, I wrongly believed the only way to turn my manuscript into an audio book was to first have it published in hard back. Under this scenario, I would have had to sell a barn full of books before anyone would ever consider producing it in audio form.

Once I understood I had control over my own dreams, I formed an LLC called Straight to Audio Productions and produced my first audio book. I recorded and edited an 8.5 hour project using nothing but a mic, a mixer and a laptop. Miraculously, I was able to get my project listed for sale as an mp3 download on Audible.com. After that, I built an actual studio and went to work recording Jitters-A Quirky Little Audio Book. That project went on to win a 2011 Audie from the Audio Publishers Association in the multi-voiced category.
If you are having trouble getting through to the top brass in the publishing industry, try to find the courage to publish your book anyway. E-books and desktop publishing companies make this process inexpensive and easy to do. Don't miss the chance to live your art just because things aren't happening exactly the way you had envisioned. Outcomes are over-rated anyway. The biggest thrills come from fully experiencing the projects you're passionate about. Completing something you've been working on for a long time can be anti-climactic, so the trick is to enjoy the process. Whatever you do, try not to get attached to the outcome.

When you run out of ideas, wing it. I've met very few people who work in the audio book industry, so in my business I make everything up as I go. Sure, I've taken a few wrong turns, but it's definitely been an interesting journey. This lack of an industry blueprint has left me free to dabble with different ways to tell a story. Unlike most audio books which have one person doing the voices for all the characters, my audio books feature full cast of actors who tell their stories directly to the listener. I've also taken the liberty of experimenting with different forms of narration. Since the lead character in Jitters is a radio shock jock, I thought it would be interesting to narrate the story through a series of newscasts. With Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book, I used a series of narration pieces called “Examine Our Navel.” Like it or not, I probably couldn't float this idea to any traditionalists in the audio book industry.

It might seem risky, but there are advantages to “going rogue.” For one thing, you don't have to follow any rules. Don't be afraid to explore the unknown. Some of the best stuff comes from impromptu moments.

I'm sure we would all love to spend a few days in the Gucci shoes of the publishing industry elite, but let's not assume this group has it better than we do. Along with the perks comes more pressure. Rather than focusing on what our project lacks, perhaps our energy would best be spent being grateful for what we already have. Besides, there's no telling where our books will end up – not knowing is half the fun!

Adele Park's Website: www.yikesaudiobook.com
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPotQyyPsuo&feature=g-upl

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reincarnation Through Common Sense

Doug “Ten”Rose, an author and modern day philosopher, has a new book out. Doug participated in the Book Blogger Fair this summer and continues to crank out fine reading for all!

Reincarnation Through Common Sense by Doug “Ten” Rose has been released in print as well as online. Rose’s previous work includes the cult classic Fearless Puppy on American Road. All author profits from sales of these books will be donated to sponsor Buddhist Nuns and Monks. Mr. Rose has previously invented and directed charitable projects involving rock stars, pro sports teams, a governor, and many more. He has been recognized in the Congressional Record, by The Giraffe Society, and has traveled over a hundred thousand miles without ever driving a car, owning a phone, or having a bank account. Project info, bio, sample chapters, TV/radio/newspaper interviews and articles, and much more at www.fearlesspuppy.org
Once you accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something,
wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” Albert Einstein

Reincarnation Through Common Sense is a book of stripes and plaid in the most entertaining sense of Einstein’s words. Westerners have written many books about living in Asian temples. None are like this true story.
The rural Buddhist Monks and Nuns of a forest temple in Asia adopt a very troubled traveler from Brooklyn, New York. He can’t speak the language. No one there speaks English. He is penniless with no ticket home. He is also very hung over, slightly suicidal, amusingly psychotic, and has no intention of studying spiritual discipline. This author is not a theology student! He is nonetheless given access to the ancient roots and spiritual wings of the Wisdom Professionals who rescue him. He redefines life and reports the details to us in a manner so intimate and natural that you’ll think you are having coffee on a barstool in the temple with him. You may laugh a lot on your way to Nirvana! You may say “Ouch!” a few times, too.

Magic is redefined as objective reality and common sense. Spirit is presented as a functional friend, without the fairy dust. Moods run from adventurous psychosis to enlightened bliss. Writing styles flow from ancient prose through razor sharp modern internal rhyme as the main character’s life runs through death and into reincarnation without ever leaving his body. He describes this process to us in vivid terms and living color.

This down to earth treatment gives a clear view in simple terms of truths we more often see fossilized within rusting symbols beneath stagnant metaphor. Buy and read a copy of Reincarnation Through Common Sense for an experience unique in comedic drama, spirituality, adventure, and sheer creativity.  

It also makes a great multiple-benefit gift! You help sponsor world wisdom with every purchase!

There are direct links from our website to print and e-book purchase of Reincarnation Through Common Sense and Fearless Puppy on American Road--or ask your local bookstore 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review of Peter and the Starcatcher

Did you ever wonder how Peter Pan came to inhabit Never Never Land? Or, for that matter, how an orphaned boy earned such a curious name? The Utah Shakespeare Festival answers these questions and more in a hilarious play called Peter and the Starcatcher http://www.bard.org/plays/peter2013.html

Peter and the Starcatcher is based on a novel by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson. USF does an outstanding job of bringing this delightful story to audiences in Southern Utah. Peter Pan, known only as “Boy,” is played by Rhett Guter, a talented actor/singer/dancer who also choreographed this enchanting production http://www.rhettguter.com/.

The USF production of Peter and the Starcatcher is populated with an amazing cast, including Quinn Mattfeld who does a rollicking portrayal of The Black Stache, aka Captain Hook http://www.bard.org/about/actors/mattfeld.html#.UkX0ZhxSxIg.
Mattfeld keeps the audience in stitches with outrageous antics and snarky commentary.

Betsy Mugavero is the lone female in a cast of scurvy pirates and politicians, playing the role of Molly Aster, a Starcatcher Apprentice http://betsymugavero-com.webs.com/. Through Betsy's efforts, Boy, later known as Peter Pan, is allowed to do the one thing that had thus far eluded him: enjoy the simple pleasure of just being a boy.

While Peter and the Starcatcher delivers ample laughs, it is speckled with moments that are genuinely poignant. Guter does and excellent job of portraying the pain of being alienated, enslaved and nameless. Without touching off a Spoiler Alert, suffice to say audiences will be cheering before the final curtain drops.

Peter and the Starcatcher is being performed in the Randall L. Jones Theatre until October 18, 2013. For ticket information, contact the Utah Shakespeare Festival http://www.bard.org/index.html.