My Thinking Board
Thoughts about this & that...
The Birth of an Audiobook
The Author-Narrator Team
The Author: Erika M Szabo
My stories are definitely not literary masterpieces. I don't use a lot of metaphors and flowery language in my writing. I write easy flowing, engaging stories for people who just want to relax after a hard day of work and escape reality for couple of hours.
A reader described my writing style perfectly:
"We all remember cozying up in our warm comfortable beds and settling while a bedtime story was read to us. The fun of the stories centered on the variety - not even a single book was the same, but they all represented a vivid imagination and a memorable tale. Erika M Szabo refers to her imagination as her 'superpower' - I can't think of a better description of her creation of stories that span many different genres, yet they all have that touch of magic that resonates with us from those old-time fairy tales. These however are adult tales with adult themes such as rising to find your dreams following loss and suffering and rising up despite hardship and fear."
Finding Pat to narrate my bundle of novelettes felt like hitting a jackpot.
After I posted my book for audition on ACX and listened to countless auditions, I started to get discouraged. But when I listened to Pat's audition I thought, he's the one!
Although he's new to the technical part of audiobook narration, he's a seasoned composer, musician, actor, and a great voice actor. You can find some of his work on his YouTube channel.
Utilizing his mesmerizing voice and acting talent, he's doing a fantastic job to bring my stories to life.
My written words trigger emotions, but to feel the intensity of the emotions is up to the reader's personality and imagination. An audiobook read by a narrator with average talent could sound flat and impersonal that allows the mind of the listener to wander off losing the momentum of the story.
However, a great narrator reflects the deep emotions depicted in the scenes, brings the characters to life, and keeps the listener engaged throughout the story.
Pat proved to be one of the great narrators. Having read my stories a great number of times while writing and editing them, I know every sentence and word by heart. However, listening to the chapters as Pat records them, I'm not only listening to make sure the technical part of the recording is correct, but I'm immensely enjoying the stories as well. The way he reads my written words feels as if he's in perfect tune with the emotions I felt when writing the stories and perfectly reflects the personalities of the characters, just as I imagined them. Moreover, he took the initiative to add little personal touches to my stories as well such as reading parts of one story with a slight accent.
Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with his work and looking forward to having the finished audiobook published.
Pat narrating a short part of one of the stories
The Narrator: Pat Mahoney
"The COVID-19 Pandemic has hit all of us hard, and in strange ways. For me, it has been an opportunity for introspection and deep thought. I'm 32. I've been blessed with a loving wife, a supportive family, and soon, our first child. We've both had stable careers and a life filled with warmth and love. But in my former career, the risk of exposure was too high -- I had to make a tough choice.
In October of 2019, I transitioned out of rehabilitative personal training and pursued my second love: Acting.
Okay... in truth, it was always my first love. I had taken classes throughout high school and college and participated in competitive public speaking. I thought, better late than never to take a leap of faith! After landing a few auditions with the Little Theatre of Alexandria, and starring in 'A Christmas Carol,' it really felt like my dream was finally coming true. But I knew it was a long road ahead.
Enter the world of Audible.
The community is flooded with authors and narrators, all looking to break out into the world.
But I was raised a certain way. I've come to lament the lack of morals and uplifting stories in most literature today, and as someone raised on Shakespeare, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters, I've always had a particular penchant for the theatrical. Finding an author whose stories matched my worldview and really spoke to me was quite the challenge.
Then, I found Erika M Szabo. I'll admit, I'm normally drawn to flowery language, so my standards are sometimes snobbishly high. But something about her work truly spoke to me. Even in the simple, everyday language, I felt connected to the characters in a way that reminded me of the great works I grew up with. I saw an opportunity. With my taste for theatrics and her understanding of humanity, I wanted to blend Shakespearean performance with accessible language.
Erika's life story is pretty inspiring. As a first-generation immigrant and non-native speaker, she tackles a lot of universal themes with the soul of a poet. She brings her own experience to her stories, as I often do in my music. We're so different from each other. I'm Irish, she's Hungarian. I'm a young parent-to-be, and she has a grown family. I've lived in America all of my life, and she grew up abroad. We've both been through a lot in our personal lives, and somehow, our paths merged for this work.
They say that representation is important. In a world divided, I'm proud to lift up the voices of those whose stories are worth sharing. This experience has humbled me, reminding me that we all work better together than apart. And even as educated as I am, it's never too late to learn and grow.
It is my sincere hope that our project, "The Seven Cozy Shorts," will serve as a testament to that.
Stay tuned for updates!"
The Seven Cozy Shorts
The audiobook is coming soon
The seven stories in the book:
The Ghost of Prince Akhmose
The Worthless Painting
Fake it Till You Make It
Thousands of years ago Tanakhmet cursed Prince Akhmose to never enter the heavenly paradise. But after Layla breaks the curse, does he really want to?
Lauren has everything she’d ever wished for. When her Raven spirit guide warns her of impending danger, she knows her life is in danger. Who wants her dead and why?
A potion made with haste out of jealousy puts Dorian into a coma. The rare orchid that could save his life is fiercely guarded by werewolves in the forbidden forest.
Will they succeed to save his life?
Elana’s life was a revolving door of shattered hopes and disappointments. Until she met Luca. Allowing them only a short time of happiness, cruel fate tore them apart. Will they meet again?
Small town mystery:
The snobbish new owner of the Couture mansion brings a worthless painting into Danielle’s antique shop and the town’s future is threatened by the plans of the ruthless, rich owner. Is the painting truly worth nothing…or?
Soulmates across time:
Caleb lost his soulmate, Valerie. Can he find her in a parallel universe? If his father succeeds to open the portal, will he find the same person in the alternate universe or a stranger?
Love conquers fear:
People are not perfect, and we all come with baggage. They might show a picture perfect-family life but hide the struggles, heartache, compromises, and sacrifices they made to get there.
The stories in the book
Click on the covers below to read about the stories.
Every story is available in eBook, and some of them in short audiobooks.