Monday, March 30, 2015

Straight to Audio Productions Meets BookLife

I was recently afforded the opportunity to have Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book reviewed by BookLife which is an online product from Publishers Weekly
I considered this as a real accomplishment since Publishers Weekly receives thousands of requests for reviews.  

Just this week, I was contacted by BookLife with an additional honor:  a post which included a blurb about my studio, Straight to Audio Productions 

Publishers Weekly and BookLife are premier organizations when it comes to the world of publishing, so I've been so honored by their kind attention.  To learn more about great book reviews, check out Publishers Weekly and BookLife

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What are Google Circles?

Have you ever received an e-mail indicating someone has “added you to their Google Circles?” My response is to check out their profile, and if they don't appear to be a serial killer, I accept their invitation. But I'm not really sure what I'm signing up for.

I thought, who better to ask than Google?
After reading through the website, I came away with the understanding Google Circles are kind of like a polite “alert” mechanism which allows those in the “Circle” to receive posts that have been shared with other members online.

There appears to be an option which allows the person generating the post to share it with everyone, or just a few select people. Conversely, the program also allows users to create different circles to receive different kinds of content.

How does all this affect me? I'm still not sure. I continue to accept invitations and select the “public” option when I post on my blog, but whether or not anyone is alerted to the fact remains a mystery. Nonetheless, I believe Google has it's heart in the right place, creating a program that, when understood and used correctly, could be a great way to communicate with different groups of people.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Blackstone Audio

According to the Audio Publishers Association, the audio book industry is growing at a rapid rate. The number of titles being produced doubled between 2012 and 2013. Retail sales during 2013 were estimated at $1.3 billion. One of the companies responsible for this huge increase is Blackstone Audio

Blackstone Audio offers more than 10,000 audio book titles, making it one of the nation's largest independent publishers in the industry. In addition to recording and releasing their own audio books, Blackstone also works on productions from Hachette, HarperCollins and Christian Audio.

Besides producing physical audio book products, Blackstone also offers a digital download service called
My personal belief is that digital downloads are the wave of the future, and that physical products will eventually become antiquated.

My association with Blackstone Audio began with my appearance as a guest on a podcast called “Get Behind Me, Now Stay There” which is recorded at the Blackstone Audio studios in Ashland, Oregon. Hosts of the show are Edward C. Stanton, President of Just Imagine It Ink, KSKQ 89.5FM radio personalities Maya Seligman and Holly Lorien Adams, New York correspondent and voice over artist Chrissy McIntyre, Blackstone Audio employees Cyrus Emerson (producer), and Jerry Renfrow (recording engineer). In addition to talking with people in the audio book industry, the show also features interviews with musicians, actors and artists and even “just the guy down the street.”

The moderators of “Get Behind Me, Now Stay There” have been gracious enough to invite me back on the show next month to discuss the upcoming Audies Competition. In the world of audio books, the top honors are called Audies. Blackstone Audio has four original titles which are up for Audies this year, and have worked on numerous projects for other companies which are finalists as well

I predict the audio book industry will continue its upward spiral. Although my company, Straight to Audio Productions, is a just small speck in the stream of the audio book business, I benefit from the success of Blackstone Audio. Through their efforts to promote the art of the spoken word, the amount of people listening to audio books has increased for everyone. Here's wishing Blackstone Audio and all the other finalists the best of luck at this year's Audies Competition!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Special Screening of Prophet's Prey by Sam Brower

Save March 18, 2015 at the Rose Theater for a chilling night of cinema about the rise and continued reign of Warren Jeffs. The film, based on the book Prophet's Prey by Sam Brower, premiered at Sundance to rave reviews and will be screened as part of the THROUGH THE LENS series hosted by Doug Fabrizio and KUER’s Radio West at 7pm at the Rose Wagner Theater.

Photographs from the film by Olivia Fougeriol will be for sale to benefit an ongoing Private investigative fund for outreach and continued investigations/allegations with the FLDS Church and Warren Jeff’s mandates from prison.

Director Amy Berg will be in attendance at the screening. Private investigator and author Sam Brower will be at the screening and signing copies of his book by the same title PROPHET’S PREY .
Special thanks to Tommy McCarthy, Jim Dabakis, Patricia Vayda, Valter Nassi, Dan Fischer and Donna and Michael Weinholtz for being the first funders of this film three years ago and to St Regis for hosting an outreach conversation with Jon Krakauer and Sam Brower during Sundance

Many people saw the film at Sundance and have asked how to help. You can spread the word for our March 18th screening at the Rose, buy a photograph or make a donation to the Prophets Prey outreach efforts. The Utah Film Center is proud to act as fiscal sponsors on this film and donations can be made to Utah Film Center: attn Prophets Prey 122 South Main Street SLC 84101.

Prophet's Prey will air on SHOWTIME in October. In the meantime, check out the book by Sam Brower:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Adele Park's Review of The Confession by John Grisham

I recently had the pleasure of listening to The Confession by John Grisham as an audio book. The story is about a young, African American man named Donte Drumm who has been wrongly convicted of raping and killing a classmate. Drumm is facing execution by lethal injection in Texas when the real killer steps forward and confesses the crime to a minister.

The race to justice is thwarted by a number of nefarious characters within the criminal justice system. Drumm is eventually executed and the city he lives in erupts into chaos. At times, this audio book actually made me cry. Part of this is due to my own frustration with corruption within the judicial system, and part is due to Grisham's ability to connect with me through his stories.

I was surprised when I read the Publishers Weekly review of The Confession which really roasted this story. The review talked about Grisham's “slump” which I've been unaware of. It also called the plot of The Confession “subpar.” Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, but I strongly disagree with this one

Not only was Grisham able to get me to really care about the characters in The Confession, but I found the plot to be interesting and exciting. Grisham also finds a way to make some important points about the flaws in execution system, noting that innocent people are sometimes wrongly killed.

The Confession is narrated by Scott Sowers who has an amazing career in film and live theatre. I was impressed by how Sowers was able to give voice to such a wide range of characters with different ethnicities and backgrounds. To learn more about Sowers, check out his website:

I have awarded The Confession 4 our to 5 stars on my Goodreads page. If this work is a “slump” for Grisham, I can't wait to hear what he's up to on a good day!