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My Father's Kingdom by James W. George - Audio Book Tour + Giveaway

By 10:00 AM , , , , , , , , ,

Author: James W. George

Narrator: Angus Freathy

Length: 6h 18m

Publisher: James W. George

Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1620, more than 100 devout men and women crossed the treacherous Atlantic Ocean and established a colony in the New World where they could build a righteous and Godly society. Without the fortuitous friendship of the Wampanoag people and their charismatic leader Massasoit, however, it is doubtful the holy experiment would have survived.

Fifty years later Plymouth Colony has not only survived, it has prospered, and more and more Englishmen are immigrating to New England. The blessed alliance with the Wampanoag, however, is in severe jeopardy. Massasoit has passed away along with most of the original settlers of Plymouth Colony, and their children and grandchildren have very different ideas about their historic friendship.

Thrust into the center of events is Reverend Israel Brewster, an idealistic young minister with a famous grandfather and a tragic past. Meanwhile, Massasoit's son, known as "King Philip" by the English, is tormented by both the present and the past. He is watching the resources and culture of the Wampanoag nation fade away at the hands of the English and desperately wishes to restore hope and security to his people.

In a world of religious fervor, devastating sickness, and incessant greed, can the alliance of their forefathers survive? Or will New England feel the wrath of tragic, bloody war?

James W. George is a debut author currently residing in Virginia. He is a graduate of Boston University, a military veteran, and a lover of historical fiction.

Angus Freathy was born and educated in London – that’s the one in England, for you Ohio folks!
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he went to Switzerland to join Nestlé for a 2-year wandering assignment, which lasted 37 years and involved travel and work on every continent (except the cold ones at the top and bottom).
Periods of residence in the U.S., Hong Kong and Switzerland have resulted in a network of friends and acquaintances with an amazing range of world insight and a wide repertoire of mostly excellent jokes.
Since retirement, Angus and his (still working) wife, Debra have lived in Oregon, Maryland and are now in Dublin, Ohio, ‘the only place we have actually chosen to live since we have been married!’.
Following a crushing rejection by the BBC at the age of 19, Angus is re-activating a long-held ambition and launching a new career in voice-over, with the sole intention of having some fun and being in touch with some very talented people.

Q&A with Narrator Angus Freathy
  • When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator? Excellent question - my grandfather was blind from a young age and really appreciated what we called ‘talking books’, which came to him in the form of records - ‘78s’. At that time, it was not an easily accessible profession, but something probably lay dormant in my psyche!!
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance? When I was getting into VO, a year or so ago, one of my mentors suggested that, as I seemed to enjoy telling stories and jokes, audiobooks might be a good avenue for me. My speech patterns and delivery are perhaps less conducive to ‘commercials’, so it seemed like a good project to try.
  • Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started? It was actually not that difficult - a ‘Meet-Up’ group led me to ACX, I recorded seven auditions and was accepted for three of them! Not sure what about me was attractive to rights holders, but I’m happy to be starting in a good direction.
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career? It would probably be helpful when creating a particular ‘character’ in a fiction work, perhaps less so in a non-fiction context. ‘Essential’ is perhaps overstepping!
  • What type of training have you undergone? I enrolled in a 6-month coaching programme with Such A Voice - individual coaching sessions using Skype, as well as two ‘in-person’ workshops and four tele-conferences covering editing and studio set-up.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating? One issue I have had is that the full text of a book is not available until after a contract is agreed. Luckily, the novels I have done have all been excellent reads and I hope that my enthusiasm for the story has come through into my narration. My not-yet-perfect delivery technique is the only really issue I have, particularly the removal of ‘mouth noise’, which is probably the most tedious thing I have ever done in my life!! The enthusiasm comes back when I see the next challenging project.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you? Probably not as much as I should be, given that I am trying to become a proficient narrator!! I think that the convenience and portability of the format are two of its main advantages, apart, of course, from the extra dimension that a sparkling narration can offer …..
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook? See above for the part I don’t like (the clean-up process). My favourite moments so far were a spontaneous emotional voice-catch that I did not dare leave in the final edit of ‘My Father’s Kingdom’ (no spoilers, however) and another spontaneous laugh in another book, which I recall leaving out also! (The author wanted ‘dead-pan’ delivery!!)
  • What would you say are your strongest narration abilities? A ‘proper’ accent :-) - decent diction and, I hope, the ability to understand what an author is trying to convey.
  • Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it? I have discovered that I am not strong in Portuguese, but received great guidance from an author in my first project. I’m probably not comfortable with Louis L'amour-type western novels or anything ‘romantic’. I declined a second project from a rights holder because the first one I did for him was appallingly badly written - full of grammatical and spelling errors. Don’t have the patience for that. I also turned down a novel which turned out to have a rather violent theme.
  • What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator? Mr. George approached me, so I was enormously flattered - I immediately enjoyed his writing style and the feedback he gave me after the first audition. He must have seen potential, as he sent me a second audition script before hiring me. As I read the book, I was extremely happy to be narrating it and going back now to identify extracts for this Tour has brought back the feeling of great enjoyment.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors? As a novice, I am grateful for any guidance the author offers. Any feedback shows that the author is ‘invested’ in a high quality product, as I try to be.
  • Who are your “accent inspirations”? Sir Patrick Stewart, Billy Connolly, my high school French master, UK radio performers from my youth!!
  • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title? Mr George had a clear vision for the main characters; for the others I just tried stuff!!
  • What types of things are harmful to your voice? I wish I knew, then I could reduce the wretched mouth noise!! I have read that coffee is not good. (the ‘green apple’ thing is a myth!)
  • Has anyone ever recognized you from your voice? Yes, but it’s a silly story - back in the 80s, I used to do fundraising breaks on the PBS TV and radio stations here in Columbus, Ohio. One afternoon, sitting in Ohio Stadium watching the Buckeyes, at half-time, the man next to me said ‘well at least you have gone two quarters without asking me for a pledge’!!
  • Have there been any characters that you really connected with? Probably all of them, to a greater or lesser extent!!
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go? Now that is an interesting one! Yes - probably back to when my parents were young, to experience what they experienced and then forward, to see in which field my grandchildren succeed (we have a 70-year age difference!). I might briefly visit Los Angeles in the 1940s, before it became as it is now, and the Middle East a hundred years hence, in the hope that people have come to their senses. Enough politics - I’d also like to experience a driverless car.
  • How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you've done? It is introspective and long-term. There is great scope to develop and refine a product.
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks? I read just one - I think it was written by the author!!
  • Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for? Mary Lou Longworth, a Canadian living in France, who has a series of mysteries that I thoroughly enjoy. (I did contact her, very nice reply, but no word from her publisher so far - not holding my breath..)
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators? Follow your dream; find a coach you respect and enjoy; do some things that may not be your ‘ideal’ - they are excellent training; make sure you do the best you can; have fun!
  • What’s next for you? I hope to be offered the sequel to ‘My Father’s Kingdom’! I have two language-learning books in production, then I’m not sure, but maybe a foray into e-learning.

Jul. 31st:
Dab of Darkness

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Aug. 2nd:
CGB Blog Tours

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