Genre: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Showcase in [cycles of six] Reviews | The journey Jorie takes into the world of “Cycles of Mythology” by Glenn Searfoss feat. [Cycle One]

Posted Thursday, 28 May, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.Acquired Book By: I was approached in late August 2019 – just ahead of #Mythothon Year 2 to consider reviewing a tome of a book (over 800+ pages) regarding Norse Mythology. At the time the book review request came into my blog, I must admit, I was slightly *gobsmacked!* at the timing of it – as how could a book such as this about the very topic of discovery I was about embark on during September come into my Review Requests? I considered it writ in the runes as they say – eagerly excited about what the book would reveal to me about the Norse Mythologies but also, the challenge of reading, dissecting and blogging about a book separated into six distinctive sections called “cycles”.

Initially, I had projected to read and review this work of fictional excellence within the month of September, however, due to unforeseen illness and a severe migraine; I re-grouped and realised I needed three months not thirty days! I also re-planned how I would attack reading and reviewing this book – as per each ‘cycle’ of the story, there was loads to ruminate over and discuss with my readers – therefore, this is a review in [six] installments – where each ‘cycle’ in the book itself is a separate review [similar to when I read serial fiction?] and it will be anchoured with a Q&A at the beginning of my readings [featuring nine questions, one per post featured in this series of showcases]; a more extensive interview at the conclusion of my readings [featuring 20 questions] and a cumulative review wherein I will re-address each of the cycles (and their reviews) whilst talking about what truly resonated with the book overall as the whole story will have become revealled to me at that junction.

My health proved to be a stumbling block I could not circumvent in late 2019 – I had two months of migraines and two months of illness to shift through to where focusing on Non-Fiction and headier reads like this one were not going to work out very well for me. It wasn’t until May, where I felt I could re-settle into the context of the story and truly honour the text with reviews I had originally planned to write on its behalf where I felt renewed to re-attempt my original goals of sequencing the reviews into six installments whilst interviewing the author at the end of finishing the book and giving my overall impression of what I had read. Sometimes you have to let life be lived before you can return to something you were enjoying to read – such as this lovely book I received last year.

I received a complimentary copy of “Cycles of Norse Mythology” direct from the author Glenn Searfoss in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The mood I created for myself as I read:

Regular followers who actively read Jorie Loves A Story will have denoted a section on my reviews where I talk about the playlists I listen to on a variety of platforms – from Spotify (my first choice), Pandora (my secondary choice), iHeartRadio (a distant third) and when I was able to have a subscription Hearts of Space programmes which I originally discovered on analogue radio broadcasts. If I could ever remember the Sunday Playlists are *free!* to stream via Hearts of Space – I could soak into their beautiful soundscapes which feature ambient and trance electronica.

As I was embarking on a reader’s odyssey into a wholly new dimension of a) literature and b) Mythology – in the Classical study of the field – I opted to use Spotify due to the choices the platform affords readers who are seeking a personalised soundscape as they’re reading. I’ve mentioned this previously on different reviews – how I equate the components of a novel or work of Non-Fiction with the sounds, tones, lyrics or non-lyrics, classical orchestrations or other experimental sound environs which are either contemporary, classic or somewhere betwixt the two – either featuring stateside artists or stepping through the window into the world’s musical stage. In essence, my musical adventures cast a wide net.

For Cycles in Mythology, I knew instinctively it would be similar to my original pursuits of Irish, Celtic and Gaelic stories – wherein I would pursue the music in-line with my readings across Contemporary and Historical story-crafters who were intriguing me into their sagas and/or genre fiction. Happily Spotify did not let me down – all you had to key into their lovely search box (it is a bit like a treasure box of infinite random joy; at least to me) was “Nordic” – this gave me such a motley ecelecticity of choice I was at first unsure which playlist, album or artist to begin my journey.

Previously I had discovered melodic metal bands Sonarta Artica and Nightwish – with this kind of background of layered sound and an intriguing approach to how music can transcend time, place and language inasmuch as create a soundscape intuitive aware of its origins, I let my eyes roam over the selections. Sometimes you have to just trust your intuition. This is how I landed on “Nordic and Viking Music” – a collection of music spanning 7 hours and 50 minutes with a total collection of 93 tracks. I felt it was fittingly long enough to dive into my “Day One” readings.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Showcase in [cycles of six] Reviews | The journey Jorie takes into the world of “Cycles of Mythology” by Glenn Searfoss feat. [Cycle One]Cycles of Norse Mythology
Subtitle: Tales of the AEsir Gods
by Glenn Searfoss
Source: Direct from Author

Edda's and Sagas of the Northland recount epic struggles for control of the world. In this land lost amid the cycles of time, canny gods confront shrewd giants, while valiant heroes battle honorable foes.

Cycles of Norse Mythology takes the reader on a thrilling exploration of the Norse Universe as the Gods and Giants are exposed in their complex interactions. From the creation of the world to its violent ending, this comprehensive re-imagining breathes life and modern relevance into the Norse gods and their foes, while remaining faithful to the traditional myths. Through engaging, lyrical storytelling, this work presents the gripping adventures of the Norse Gods in a style to delight modern readers of all ages.

Cycles of Norse Mythology comprises six cycles of 100+ interconnected stories that encompass the entire breadth of Norse Mythology. All tales are extended to create greater tension between the reader and the characters. Sequence gaps are filled by interpolations based on cross references in classic and modern literature.

Cycle 1: Prophesy. Odin travels the dark road to Niflhel seeking knowledge from the withered lips of the long dead seeress. In this frozen land, he is forged to his purpose by the harsh lashings of the seeress as she relates the creation stories of the cosmos, the nine worlds, the sun and moon, day and night, the origin of giants, dwarves, elves, mankind, and the gods themselves.

Cycle 2: The Victory Gods. Returned to Asgard, Odin learns the truth of prophecy and the ultimate cost of purpose. As the Æsir expand their number and their power, Gullveig’s brutal death at their hands sparks a bloody war with a rival clan, the Vanir; their eventual truce unifies the godheads in an uneasy alliance. Post-war rebuilding introduces the primary gods and goddesses, along with the Einherjar, valorous warriors gathered from battlefields across Midgard. Meanwhile, Thor’s martial journeys into Jotunheim underscore the constant tension with the offspring of Ymir.

Cycle 3: The Sword of Vengeance. Accompany the fiery blade born of love and hate that is destined to play a pivotal role in the shaping of the Norse universe, through the tragedies of Volund its creator, Nidud king of the Njara who is ordered by the Odin to capture the blade, and Svipdag the chosen son of man fated to recover its keen edge, and who ultimately gifts it to the Æsir for his marriage to Fryeja .

Cycle 4: Premonitions. Victory, jealousy, and revenge follow the Æsir gods and goddesses as they seek to avert their ultimate fate. The Fenris wolf is tricked and bound. Baldur’s death sends shudders through the nine worlds as innocence dies and the first portents of Ragnarök begin to align. Vali, fresh born from his mother’s womb, slays Baldur’s hapless killer. Freyr gives away the Sword of Vengeance for a bride; an ill-fated gift which ultimately finds its way into the hands of Surt at Ragnarök. Loki’s devious and sometimes, vicious attempts to humble the gods highlight the strife and dissent of within the Æsir clan and result in his horrible punishment.

Cycle 5: Ragnarök. Unable to avoid the final confrontation, the Æsir gather their band of chosen warriors and prepare for battle. The rainbow bridge shatters as ancient enemies charge onto Vigrid Plain, eager to end the reign of the victory gods. Follow the fortunes of the primary combatants as they boldly face known defeat, the Æsir goddesses awaiting their fate in the great hall of Fensalir, and the remnants of mankind who survive to greet the dawn.

Cycle 6: Of Gods and Men. While Cycles 1-5 focused on interactions among the gods, this cycle encompasses stories of direct interaction between the Æsir gods and mankind. These stories contrast human folly with the morality inherent in Norse Mythology.

Glossary: Norse Mythology heralds from an era when names reflected the character attributed to an object, such as a weapon, a person’s character, or their current station in life. This glossary provides a quick reference to the meaning behind names and terms used in the book.

Source Reference: References for further reading are included for persons who want to delve deeper into the study of Norse Mythology. This bibliography is restricted to books published in or translated into English and is by no means, exhaustive. As with all resources, the harder and longer you look, the more there is to be found.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781789820829

Also by this author: Author Q&A with Glenn Searfoss (Cycles of Norse Mythology)

Genres: After Canons, Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Classical Literature, Mythological Fantasy, Norse Mythos | Legacies, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by Acorn Press

on 11th April, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 825

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Published By: Acorn Press,
an imprint of Andrews UK Limited

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #NorseMythology, #Norse, #Mythology and #Odin
as well as #WyrdAndWonder

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About Glenn Searfoss

Glenn Searfoss

Engaging storytelling transports the reader to a different time/place/viewpoint and encourages their exploration of a subject. A professional writer of 28+ years, Glenn Searfoss has authored numerous technical manuals (bills must be paid), as well as books in computer science, language identification, natural history, science fiction, and mythology.

Glenn lives with his wife and two boxer dogs in a turn-of-the-century, brick farm house in Colorado, USA. When not busy making a living, he gardens, works on the house (there is always something with an old house), reads classic and not-so-classic literature, and does research for new book projects.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 28 May, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Content Note, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Folklore and Mythology, Heroic Fantasy, Indie Author, Norse Mythology, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction

Blog Book Tour | #FuellYourSciFi as #JorieReads “The Hidden Girl” (and other stories) by Ken Liu

Posted Tuesday, 3 March, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve been enjoying hosting blog tours for the UK Indie publisher Head of Zeus as I feel blessed to work with them as a book blogger being that I love celebrating authors from the UK and the stories they are telling through the different genres Head of Zeus is publishing. These blog tours have been encouraging my bookish and readerly wanderings into Crime Dramas, Historical Fiction and Historical Sagas whilst also engaging into my passionate love of Speculative Fiction which encompasses Science Fiction and Fantasy. I am thankful to be hosting tours for the publisher directly and with their publicity team at Midas PR.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Hidden Girl” direct from the publisher Head of Zeus in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I felt blessed to read “The Hidden Girl”:

I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for Speculative Fiction – readers of Jorie Loves A Story might take note of the fact I regularly participate in two annual book blogosphere events: Sci Fi November (@SciFiMonth) & Wyrd And Wonder (@WyrdAndWonder) – the latter of which I helped co-develop and co-host every May with our supplemental fortnight event every October.

I immediately connected with the author’s vision vision of [The Hidden Girl] – not just from the concept behind his creation of Silkpunk but through what he put on his website as a short extract of what we’d find inside. It was a theory of thought I have oft shared myself on my own blog – about how without a reader a story is not yet ready for its debut because it takes a reader to complete a path the writer has placed in front of them. In essence all stories need readers because the writer can only take the story ‘thus far’ before a reader needs to complete it. I love writers who are thought-provoking about their craft inasmuch as they are engaging through their style of story.

Silkpunk is such a new and dynamic concept for me!

I love Susan Spann’s Hiro Hattori novels for rooting me in 16th Century Japan for similar reasons – between the heritage & cultural notations to the aesthetic of how she uses the setting of Japan itself as a narrative guide. I also felt emotionally moved by The Ghost Bride by Yengsze Choo – the visuals and the speculative intersection of the story against the cultural beliefs of where the ghost brides enter into the storyline – simply evocatively beautiful. I love Asian Literature – I try to seek out more whenever I can which is why I still want to finish A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe as I felt so dearly connected to the world she created within the scope of the novel.

This idea of “Silkpunk” is what truly captured my thirst of curiosity to read The Hidden Girl as I love finding new sub-niches of genres I regularly read – they give new credence to how inventive writers are and how wickedly delightful it is to disappear into a story which is going to take us elsewhere from whence we’ve travelled previously. Similar to why I like the ‘other’  punk sub-niches in Speculative Fiction, Silkpunk to me felt like a wicked good ‘next’ fit!

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Blog Book Tour | #FuellYourSciFi as #JorieReads “The Hidden Girl” (and other stories) by Ken LiuThe Hidden Girl
Subtitle: And Other Stories
by Ken Liu
Source: Direct from Publicist

From a Tang Dynasty legend of a young girl trained as an assassin with the ability to skip between dimensions on a secluded mountain sanctuary to a space colony called Nova Pacifica that reflects on a post-apocalyptic world of the American Empire and ‘Moonwalker’ Neil Armstrong, award-winning author Ken Liu’s writings are laced with depictions of silkpunk fantasy, Sci-Fi and old Chinese folklore, wrapped up in a mesmerising genre-bending collection of short stories.

Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This much anticipated collection includes a selection of his latest science fi ction and fantasy stories over the last fi ve years – sixteen of his best – plus a new novelette. In addition to these seventeen selections, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories also features an excerpt from book three in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1982134037

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Science Fiction, Short Story or Novella, Space Opera


Published by Head of Zeus

on 25th February, 2020

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 432

Published By: Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)

For those who are new to reading Silkpunk,
I found a lovely article which the author explains the genre
and what constitues a Silkpunk style of narrative as its a genre-bent of Sci Fi & Fantasy.

Genre(s): Science Fiction | Speculative | Silkpunk

Short Story | Space Opera | Folklore | Hard Science Fiction

Converse via: #TheHiddenGirl, #KenLiu with #Silkpunk

as well as #ScienceFiction and #SpeculativeFiction

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

About Ken Liu

Ken Liu

Ken Liu is an American Speculative Fiction writer and the winner of the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, World Fantasy, Sidewise, and Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards. The son of a pharmaceutical chemist and a computer engineer, Ken emigrated to the US with his mother and father at the age of 11. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in English Literature and Computer Science and later attended Harvard Law School.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Ken worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. His debut novel, The Grace of Kings, is the first volume in a Silkpunk Epic Fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty, in which engineers play the role of wizards.

His debut collection, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, has been published in more than a dozen language and his short story Good Hunting was adapted for an episode for Netflix’s science fiction web series Love, Death and Robots.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 3 March, 2020 by jorielov in Anthology Collection of Stories, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, England, Hard Science Fiction, Head of Zeus, Novellas or Short Stories, Science Fiction, Silkpunk, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction

#SpooktasticReads | Year II of our spooktastically lovely mini-#WyrdAndWonder event for Autumn! This year, #JorieReads with a main concentration on #WitchyReads + Ghost Stories!

Posted Friday, 18 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

#SpooktasticReads banner created by Lisa (@deargeekplace) Photo Credit: Kenai Fjords National Park, United States, by Daniel H. Tong on Unsplash (Creative Commons Zero) Used with permission.
#SpooktasticReads banner created by Lisa (@deargeekplace) Photo Credit: Kenai Fjords National Park, United States, by Daniel H. Tong on Unsplash (Creative Commons Zero) Used with permission.

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Welcome, Welcome to #SpooktasticReads Year II

 

Happily visit my lovely co-hosts:

Lisa @ Dear Geek Place

+ Imyril @ There’s Always Room for One More

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In Autumn [2017], you might remember I conceived of this idea to re-start my readings into the spooktacular worlds of chilling Thrillers, Suspense, Mysteries and the Paranormal (with just a dash of love for Cosy Horror!) – wherein I conceived of spending a fortnight reading such lovelies and enjoying a personal readathon leading into Halloween! I fell a bit short of my goals in [2017], though I took it as a success – as not only did I read some rather spookified tales but I found myself wholly intrigued by the stories I was selecting to read!

Last year [2018], I helped name our first mini-event for #WyrdAndWonder – wherein I was hoping to let this small idea I had in [2017] take flight, reach a bigger audience and find readers who might find their own definition of #SpooktasticReads befitting their own readerly life!

Some of the stories of course play the theme up quite a bit for the spookier side of the genres, some of which may or may not directly (or indirectly) relate to Fantasy per se but this is one of those readathons which is open to both interpretation and the joy of having free reign to enjoy the readathon in a way each reader wants to approach it!

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A Spooktastic reading binge for Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales!

Autumn for me is a time in the year where I simply like to read a curated collection of stories which fall under different categories of mutual interest: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic or Paranormally inclined and Cosy Horror.

This year [2019] as I co-host my own mini-event celebrating the 13 days leading into Halloween with #SpooktasticReads – I am going to be focusing on two equally dynamic concentrations: #WitchyReads & Ghost Stories! I noticed I have quite a gathering of both – they both parlay into the heart of #SpooktasticReads but also, the fact that when it comes to #SpookyReads in general – these are the two concentrations I have the tendency of seeking out the most! I have the added benefit and joy of being able to focus on narrators I love listening too whilst knocking off a few of my backlogue reviews!

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If other book bloggers or readers want to join us, please link to your blog, Twitter, LibraryThing List or other ‘space’ online where you are updating about what your reading – such as Instagram or Vlog (YouTube) in the Comments section below!

Use the tag: #SpooktasticReads & link back to this post – as I will happily be sharing what your doing for this lovely #WyrdAndWonder mini-event! Plus, I love hearing what others are reading in case something they discover would be a good fit for me as well!

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Posted Friday, 18 October, 2019 by jorielov in Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense

Audiobook Blog Tour especially for #Janeites & #Austenites | “Rational Creatures: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen’s Fine Ladies (Vol.3: the Quill Collective, series)” narrated by Victoria Riley

Posted Thursday, 12 September, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 4 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Rational Creatures” via Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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From one Janeite to another, this felt like it was hand-picked for us,…

I’ve been a Janeite for a very long time – during #AustenInAugust [2017], I had the joyful pleasure of submitting a guest essay to commemorate how Austen has been moving in and out of my life over the years which ran on a featured day on Roof Beam Reader’s blog. It is in of itself a quite all-inclusive look at how Jane Austen has left a strong impression on my life.

As soon as I first learnt of this blog tour, I had an intuitive reaction to the premise and the sampler I listened to for the collection. It simply felt like it was hand-tailored to those of us who are consistently in awe and love for all stories inter-related to our beloved canon of Jane Austen! There is such a wide field of choices – it is hard to pin down whom to read first, which series play off the original characters so well as it give you goosebumps as you read their new stories as they are so accurately portrayed and which collections of anthologies best hug back into the style of Jane Austen as well.

It isn’t enough to write a variation, sequel, re-telling or experiment with a unique portal of insight which can flourish in the after canon realms – for me, it has to play homage to the original author, the original novel & maintain a sense of loyalty for how Jane Austen herself presented her characters to us. For me, that is a hard rule and one I won’t break as I pick up new stories to read. This is one reason being able to read the Miss Jane Austen series by Collins Hemingway has been such an enjoyable journey (see also my reviews).

Imagine my joy to find this collection on the foot-heels of celebrating the third Miss Jane Austen novel going on a blog tour this October. I am thankful for those writers who are re-experimenting with these characters and re-settling us into their lives as if they are still vibrantly alive and living new adventures to be shared with us all.

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An informative conversation with Victoria Riley:

Rational Creatures stories banner by The Quill Collective

the questions were provided by Audiobookworm Promotions wherein Ms Riley was able to select the 10 questions she preferred to respond to directly.

Generally speaking, I do provide my own interview & guest post topics for authors I am featuring on Jorie Loves A Story – however, due to how chaotic my Summer became, I must admit, I lost sight of a few of the blog tours along the way. Including being able to submit my own questions for Ms Riley. However, I’ve read over her responses in this conversation and love her candor and her willingness to share a personal glimpse into being a narrator, why she personally is passionate about Jane Austen and how adaptive you have to be to get the narrations recorded! I felt this would be a delight of joy to share with my readers – especially as she picked the questions to respond to (as there was quite the long list!) – this felt like a very organic convo to promote.

I also found another interview by Ms Riley you might enjoy reading which was featured during this year’s #AustenInAugust!

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When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?

Riley responds: Well, I’ve always said that I’d be happy to just sit in a cupboard all day reading books. I didn’t know that I could actually do that and get paid for it. Dreams do come true, folks.

How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?

Riley responds: I’m actually a classically trained actress and was originally interested in theatre. When I started out, audiobooks weren’t really a big thing and it didn’t occur to me as a career. I gradually veered into voiceover and my first audiobook was through my VO agent. I then set up my own studio at home and audiobooks are just one of the things I work on.

A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?

Riley responds: I wouldn’t say it’s essential, but it really, really helps. We’ve been trained to analyse scripts and characters, to convey nuance and emotion. With audiobooks, you have to do it all with your voice, though, so it is an added skill. However, I do think that some people are natural storytellers. My Mum worked as a primary school teacher and I still remember the way she read books to me before bed.

What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?

Riley responds: I LOVE Jane Austen. I love her female characters with their fire and intelligence. To have such strong minds, but be so restricted with their options in life. For marriage to be your only way forward when you have so much to offer the world. It makes me feel claustrophobic just thinking about it. From a working perspective, this is also my first collection of short stories. Short stories are a real art form. You have to draw the reader (or listener!) into the tale very quickly and make them care about the characters without the luxury of a whole novel in which to do it. I really enjoyed each one being a separate little project, so I had a sense of closure and achievement after each one.

What types of things are harmful to your voice?

Riley responds: I wouldn’t say I’m that careful with it to be honest. I’ve had vocal training drummed into me for decades, so I think it really comes naturally to me to support my voice well and to speak from the diaphragm. I’ve been trained to project to the back of a theatre, without a microphone, night after night after night. Some narrators get tired voices, but you can’t shut me up!

Who are your “accent inspirations”?

Riley responds: Absolutely everybody! I love accents. I have a broad Lancashire accent myself. I hope you can’t tell from ‘Rational Creatures’! If I hear a good accent, someone on TV or in real life, I’ll be there mouthing the words, fascinated by how they’re forming the sounds. Penelope Keith is a good one for very upper class ladies. Pam Ayres for West Country. Some elude me, though. My Cockney wanders all over the place, though you get a snippet of it in ‘Rational Creatures’. My boyfriend has a London accent and sometimes he helps me with pronunciations. I’ll be texting him asking things like ‘Transport or traaaahnsport??’.

How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?

Riley responds: Well, a lot of the characters are very well-known anyway, which helps. I didn’t feel as though I was creating them from scratch. Most of them just jump off the page too. There are simple things like class to consider. Also character traits, like arrogance, pomposity, shyness or humility, which affect voice and delivery. I love a character that you can really embody. When it’s so obvious how they should sound that you don’t even really have to think about it.

How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?

Riley responds: It takes a REALLY long time, especially if you’re fully producing the work yourself. It takes around six hours to produce one hour of finished audio, sometimes longer. That doesn’t even include all the prep work you have to do first, reading the work in full, researching characters and pronunciations, deciding on voices. Editing takes forever, combing through the recording, editing out little sounds like mouth clicks or any particular noisy breaths. I also regularly do radio jingles, which is a good comparison, because it takes no time at all! Audiobooks are not for the faint-hearted.

If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?

Riley responds: Apart from absolutely everything by Jane Austen? I have so many author heroes! However, if it’s from my youth, then I’m going to plump for Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’. His stories are so evocative and he doesn’t shy away from darker themes. I was born in Pendle Witch country, so this one struck a particular chord with me.

Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?

Riley responds: We’ve all done silly things. Giving an Oscar-worthy performance, then realising you haven’t pressed record. Stuffing a cushion up your jumper to stop tummy rumbles reaching the mic. Gradually getting more naked as you stifle in the booth in summer. We’ve all done it.

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Audiobook Blog Tour especially for #Janeites & #Austenites | “Rational Creatures: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen’s Fine Ladies (Vol.3: the Quill Collective, series)” narrated by Victoria RileyRational Creatures
Subtitle: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen's Fine Ladies
by (Editor) Christina Boyd
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Victoria Riley

“But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” (Persuasion, Jane Austen)

Jane Austen: True romantic or rational creature? Her novels transport us back to the Regency, a time when well-mannered gentlemen and finely-bred ladies fell in love as they danced at balls and rode in carriages. Yet her heroines, such as Elizabeth Bennet, Anne Elliot, and Elinor Dashwood, were no swooning, fainthearted damsels in distress. Austen’s novels are timeless classics because of their biting wit, honest social commentary - because she wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day. True to their principles and beliefs, they fought through hypocrisy and broke social boundaries to find their happily-ever-after.

In the third romance anthology of The Quill Collective series, 16 celebrated Austenesque authors write the untold histories of Austen’s heroines, brave adventuresses, shy maidens, talkative spinsters, and naughty matrons. Peek around the curtain and discover what made Lady Susan so wicked, Mary Crawford so capricious, and Hettie Bates so in need of Emma Woodhouse’s pity.

Rational Creatures is a collection of humorous, poignant, and engaging short stories set in Georgian England that complement and pay homage to Austen’s great works and great ladies who were, perhaps, the first feminists in an era that was not quite ready for feminism.

“Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will become good wives; - that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.” (Mary Wollstonecraft)

Stories by: Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Clarkston, Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Jessie Lewis, KaraLynne Mackrory, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Sophia Rose, Anngela Schroeder, Joana Starnes, Brooke West, and Caitlin Williams

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07VCH37LL

Genres: After Canons, Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Classical Literature, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by The Quill Collective LLC

on 18th July, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 18 hours and 3 minutes (unabridged)

The stories & authors of “Rational Creatures”:
as well as noting which characters are featured per story

Christina Morland “Self Composed”
Eleanor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility

Nicole Clarkson “Every Past Affliction”
Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility

Amy D’Orazio “Happiness in Marriage”
Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice

Joana Starnes “Charlotte’s Comfort”
Charlotte Lucas Collins from Pride and Prejudice

Anngela Schroeder “Knightley Discourses”
Emma Woodhouse from Emma

J. Marie Croft “The Simple Things”
Miss Hetty Bates from Emma
Previously, I’ve read Love At First Sight by Ms Croft.

Caitlin Williams “In Good Hands”
Harriet Smith from Emma

Brooke West “The Meaning of Wife”
Fanny Price from Mansfield Park

Jenetta James “What Strange Creatures”
Mary Crawford from Mansfield Park

Elizabeth Adams “An Unnatural Beginning”
Anne Elliot from Persuasion

Karalynne Mackrory “Where the Sky Touches the Sea”
Sophia Croft from Persuasion

Lona Manning “The Art of Pleasing”
Penelope Clay from Persuasion

Beau North “Louisa by the Sea”
Louisa Musgrove from Persuasion

Sophia Rose “The Strength of their Attachment”
Catherine Moreland from Northanger Abbey

Karen M. Cox “A Nominal Mistress”
Eleanor Tilney from Northanger Abbey

Jessie Lewis “The Edification of Lady Susan”
Lady Susan from Lady Susan

Published by: The Quill Collective (@xtnaboyd)

Most of the collection installments are available in audio,
the few which are not are noted below for easy reference.
I hope one day they all will include an audio release.

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The Quill Collective series:

(read about the series on their site)

The Darcy Monologues (volume one)

Dangerous to Know:
Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues (volume two)
(*this one is not in audiobook)

Rational Creatures (volume three)

Yuletide: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories (volume four)
(*this one is not in audiobook)

Converse via: #RationalCreatures & #QuillCollective + #AudioReads

OR #loveaudiobooks, #JaneAusten and #Janeite or #Austenites

About (Editor) Christina Boyd

Christina Boyd

CHRISTINA BOYD wears many hats as she is an editor under her own banner, The Quill Ink, a contributor to Austenprose, and a commercial ceramicist. A life member of Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen’s England was made possible by actor Henry Cavill when she won the Omaze experience to meet him in the spring of 2017 on the London Eye. True story. You can Google it.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 12 September, 2019 by jorielov in After the Canon, Anthology Collection of Stories, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Classical Literature, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Austen Sequel, Short Stories or Essays