Author: Andy Zach
Narrator: Phil Blechman
Length: 5 hours 32 minutes
Series: Life After Life Chronicles, Book 1
Release date: Nov. 1, 2017
Publisher: Jule Inc.
Genre: Science Fiction; Humor
Sam Melvin, an underachieving e-reporter from a small town, changes forever when he meets turkeys that won’t stay dead. You can shoot ’em, chop ’em, burn ’em — they come back stronger. The undead plague of poultry spreads uncontrollably, rocking the whole country. As Sam tracks down the zombie turkeys and how to eradicate them, his editor, Lisa Kambacher, nags him to turn his stories and expenses in on time. During their years of working together, Lisa has mellowed into an irascible pinchpenny. Lisa snipes at Sam for plebeian writing but uses her intelligence to pursue the lucrative carnivorous turkey story. Sam and Lisa ricochet across the landscape, tracking turkeys and fleeing the bloodthirsty hordes. Careening from shell-shocked grocery store owners fighting turkeys crawling out of refrigerators, to machine-gunning turkey farmers, to secret militia, Sam and Lisa doggedly report. Throughout the turkey apocalypse, they dare ravaged cities, plow knee-deep in gore and corpses, and upload streams of zombie turkey video news to the world. With paranoid militias clashing with the federal government and unkillable turkeys, Sam and Lisa doubt their ability to survive. Sam and Lisa have no superpowers. If you have a heart condition or lack humor, you should not listen to Zombie Turkeys, no matter how much you want to find out what happens.
Andy Zach was born Anastasius Zacharias, in Greece. His parents were both zombies. Growing up, he loved animals of all kinds. After moving to the United States as a child, in high school, he won a science fair by bringing toads back from suspended animation. Before turning to fiction, Andy published his Ph.D. thesis “Methods of Revivification for Various Species of the Kingdom Animalia” in the prestigious JAPM, Journal of Paranormal Medicine. Andy, in addition to being the foremost expert on paranormal animals, enjoys breeding phoenixes. He lives in Illinois with his five phoenixes. With his first book, “Zombie Turkeys” Andy blazed new ground in paranormal humor. The second book in his Life After Life Chronicles, “My Undead Mother-in-law” expands the zombie plague from turkeys to humans, with hilarious results. You can find both volumes on Amazon Kindle, Createspace print, and Audible audiobook editions. Not content to keep in zombies earthbound, Andy puts them afloat in his third book, “Paranormal Privateers”. Just when you thought every funny zombie trope had been explored, new humorous horizons open up. You can get “Paranormal Privateers” in Kindle and print formats. The audiobook is available now on Audible. Having conquered paranormal animal humor in his first series, Andy Zach launches into middle school superhero genre with Secret Supers. Four disabled seventh graders all get superpowers. Who knew a disability could be so useful for hiding a superpower? But the four friends, Jeremy, Dan, Kayla, and Aubrey confront problems that can’t be solved by superpowers. Phil Blechman is a mystical voice wizard from the New Yorkian borough of Queens. His narration and audio production work is supplemented by professions in sports journalism, theatrical writing and direction.
Q&A with Author Andy Zach
- Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
- First I publish the ebook and print book versions.
- Then I select sections for an Audible audition
- I contact producers/readers I have previously used fit with the book. If they’re available, I hire them.
- If previous producers aren’t available I put the audition on Audible for open bid. I use royalty share.
- I usually get two or three auditions in a week. I listen to them all and pick the one I like best. I thank the other producers and hire the one I like.
- I send the producer my book text and character sketches, including accents, if any. I listen to their 15 minutes sample and tell them any adjustments they need to make. I praise their work when it meets or exceeds my dreams.
- I continue this process for all the chapters of my book. I listen to each carefully, looking for mispronunciations and missing words, as well as audio problems. It helps to follow in the text as the voice actor reads.
- The producer makes the necessary corrections and I listen to each. When we’re done, we approve it and ship it to Audible.
- Audible publishes the book, and then I promote and advertise it to my Facebook, Twitter, and newsletter followers.
- Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
- Yes. I believe humorous books translate well audio format. Technical and mathematical books translate less well.
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- No. I focus on telling the best story I can while writing. I assume a good story will always translate well into audio format.
- How did you select your narrator?
- I wanted a narrator with good comic timing and a dry sense of humor, since humor is the main thrust of my fiction. I have a lot a major female characters, so a strong female voice actor like Raven Perez, and a male actor like Phil Blechman are ideal.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
- Yes. I have a complete character sketch on all my characters which I shared with my narrators. I describe their regional accents and their overall personality: shy or outgoing, intellectual, or sports minded.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- I always try to bring my real experiences into my writing. I’ve traveled over Illinois, to Chicago, Washington DC, and around the world, including Loch Lomond. The latter is a scene in My Undead Mother-in-law.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
- Variety! I write novels and short stories, blogs, and non-fiction. I imagine writing in different genres: fairy tales and romances, steam punk and space opera, as well as satiric and parodic stories.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- I usually listen while travelling in a car. I like CDs or digital formats I can easily play while driving.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- Nuances of conversation and dialogue come out best in audioformat. Humor, irony, scorn, and satire can all be sharper in audio format.
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