Audio Tour: Rebel Without a Claus by Abigail Drake

Author: Abigail Drake

Narrator: Elizabeth Scott

Length: 7 hours 33 minutes

Series: The Tink Holly Chronicles, Book 1

Publisher: Abigail Drake

Released: Nov. 22, 2021

Genre: Romance; Holiday

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Christmas elf Tinklebelle Holly is a screw-up. Demoted to a job in the reindeer division after one infraction too many, she hates her job, hates her life, and despises the North Pole.

But when a surprise visitor arrives from Elven High Council and Tink is assigned to show him around, everything changes. Jax Grayson is a dark elf, and unlike anyone she’s ever met. Looking past his obvious hotness, Tink knows he has a secret, and the audit he’s supposedly performing doesn’t feel legit.

After an unexpected tragedy occurs, Tink’s life is thrown into even greater turmoil, and it seems like Jax might be the only one Tink can truly trust. Can she help him figure out what’s happening on the North Pole, or will Jax be her worst mistake of all?

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Award-winning author Abigail Drake has spent her life traveling the world and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and Economics in college, and is a book hoarder, a coffee drinker, a linguistics geek, and an eternal optimist. She writes women’s fiction and young adult fiction with smart, sassy, funny heroines, and she also enjoys blogging about the adventures of her mischievous Labrador retriever, Capone.

Abigail is the winner of the prestigious 2017 Prism Award for her book Traveller, and the International Digital Award for her young adult novel, Tiger Lily. In addition, she was named a finalist in the Golden Pen, the Golden Leaf, the Dante Rossetti Book Award, and the Cygnus Award for Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction. Learn more about http://abigaildrake.com.

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Q&A with Author Abigail Drake
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • After many of my readers asked for audiobook versions of my books, and my writer friends encouraged (aka pushed) me to do it, I finally took the plunge for “Rebel Without a Claus,” my 16th published novel. It was surprisingly fun and not stressful at all to turn this book  into an audiobook. The first step, listening to auditions for narrators, took only minutes. As soon as I heard Elizabeth Scott’s voice, I knew she’d be the perfect person to bring my character Tink to life. I wasn’t wrong! She did an amazing job.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format? 
    • I’ve enjoyed listening to audiobooks in many genres. The only ones that are difficult for me personally are books with lots of sexual content. I love reading those books (don’t get me wrong!), and writing them, too, but I get oddly uncomfortable listening to them. I guess I need to get over it. I’m working on a sci-fi romance series with a higher heat level than I usually employ, and plan to make those into audiobooks too.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing? 
    • With “Rebel Without a Claus” I definitely had plans early on to make it into an audiobook. I heard Tink’s voice loud and clear the whole time I was writing it. 
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • Like I said, It was so easy. I went onto ACX, described the requirements, and had a few narrators apply for auditions right away. I listened to two of them, and they were both good. Elizabeth Scott was the third audition I listened to, and immediately decided she was the perfect fit.
  • 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? 
    • Elizabeth Scott is a pro, and we had a great collaboration. I gave her character sketches (just a few lines), to help her out. For example, I would tell her that imagined a certain character would have a gruff voice or a soft voice. When any pronunciation issues came up, she took care of them right away. She was a pleasure to work with—and really quick, too!
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? 
    • Well, since “Rebel Without a Claus” is about a Christmas elf solving a murder mystery involving a drug ring on the North Pole, not really!! But I’m a huge fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. And if Stephanie Plum and Buddy the Elf had a love child, I think it would be Tink Holly!
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I think part of the way I avoid burn-out is by writing in several different genres. All of my books are either romances, or have romantic elements, but I write everything from sweet YA to not-so-sweet sci-fi romance. Others have advised me to find a niche and stick with it, and they are probably right, but if I did that, I think I would get burned-out! As far as enthusiasm is concerned, I just love telling stories. I always have, and hopefully I always will. I also love every element of the process involved in creating a book, from the first whisper of an idea, to the rough draft, to edits, and then (my favorite part), getting it into the hands of my readers! When I hear they enjoyed my work, it’s the best thing in the world.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you? 
    • I am an avid audiobook listener. I love the art of oral storytelling, and it truly is an art. I also like that I can listen to a book on a long car ride, or while I’m cleaning or cooking. It gives an escape even while performing mundane tasks, and it makes them easier to complete.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format? 
    • Tink Holly has such a strong voice, and she’s a really fun character. What came through when I heard Elizabeth Scott narrate the book was both Tink’s positivity and her honesty. She doesn’t make excuses for herself, and she admits when she’s wrong. I didn’t understand that about her until I listened to Elizabeth narrate. It was so interesting what elements a good narrator will uncover!
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m finishing up my sci-fi series, and then starting on the second Tink Holly book. I think it’ll be called “Claus and Effect.” I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

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