It's Hump Day Interview time and today I'm welcoming Leta Blake to the hot seat…
What do you look for when picking a narrator?
I look for a few things.
First, I want the narrator to be able to embody the vibe of the characters as I hear them in my head. I don’t need their character voices to exactly match my ideas, but, for example, I don’t want a character that I consider to be matter of fact coming off as whiny, or vice versa.
Second, I look for a narrator with the ability to take on different characters of different genders, etc. I want a great voice actor to bring the characters to life.
Lastly, I do look to see how popular an actor’s previous work has been. I don’t make the decision entirely on this and will consider unknown voice actors if they really nail the reading, but I do take it into consideration.
Do you ever abandon a draft partly written and just move on?
I have a hard time letting go. I don’t consider any of my unfinished drafts to be abandoned. They’re just waiting for me to come back and fix them up. Maybe it would be healthier to concede that some of these stories simply won’t ever be written.
Do you keep a file of plot ideas?
Absolutely! I have over 200 plot ideas in my file. I know that something will probably actually be written, though, when I open up character pages and start putting together back stories, etc. Though I have about ten of those that I’ve never even written the first word of the book yet.
What part of a new story comes to you first?
The characters and usually a hint of the plot. For example, with Smoky Mountain Dreams, Christopher—the failed country musician working at an Appalachian theme park—showed up first, and then the Terri Schiavo-inspired aspect of the story showed up shortly thereafter. For those who might not know, Terri Schiavo was a woman in Florida who was forced to live in an extended vegetative state while her husband fought for control of her healthcare.
What's your favourite TV Show and why?
Right now it’s Poldark. I love the sweeping storytelling and the amazingly handsome Aidan Turner, as Ross Poldark. I think the character of Poldark is interesting as well, because often he’s not very likable and yet he’s the hero of the piece. Aidan’s looks go a long way toward me forgiving his character for some pretty poor behavior!
For your chance to win Smoky Mountain Dreams in Audio answer this…what's your favourite TV show and why? Leave the answer in the comments below and don't forget to check back to see if you've won!
Smoky Mountain Dreams – Audio – OUT NOW
Narrated By John Solo
Sometimes holding on means letting go.
After giving up on his career as a country singer in Nashville, Christopher Ryder is happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee. But while his beloved Gran loves him the way he is, Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. Even when he's center stage he aches for someone to see the real him.
Bisexual Jesse Birch has no room in his life for dating. Raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children's mother, he doesn't want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn't want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.