Friday, February 26, 2021

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Stolen by Marlena Frank - Audio Book Tour

 

 

Author: Marlena Frank

Narrator: Caoilainn O'Horen

Length: 11 hours 32 minutes

Series: The Stolen Series, Book 1

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: Dec. 16, 2020

Genre: Fantasy; YA


It’s difficult taking care of a delusional father by yourself. Sixteen-year-old Shaleigh Mallet would rather explore and photograph dilapidated buildings than cater to her father’s dark episodes. But when she’s kidnapped by a creature who carries her atop a flying bicycle into another world, she realizes this wasn’t the escape she wanted. In a kingdom known as the Garden, where minotaurs pull carriages and parties are held in hot air balloons, Madam Cloom and her faerie servant, Teagan, rule over the land with incredible but terrifying magic. Shaleigh must prove that she is the reincarnation of a long-dead ruler, not because she believes it, but because it’s her only chance to survive. With the help of a trespassing faerie, a stoatling, and a living statue, Shaleigh hopes to outwit everyone. She aims to break the bonds of servitude and finally make her way home. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that she’s playing right into the hands of a far worse enemy.
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 Marlena Frank is the author of books and novellas that span genres from young adult fantasy to horror. Her debut novel, Stolen Book 1 of the Stolen series, has hit the Amazon bestseller charts twice. She has two books coming out in 2021: Chosen, the final book in the Stolen trilogy, and The Impostor and Other Dark Tales, a collection of dark fantasy and horror short stories. Marlena has also written several fantasy and horror short stories, which have been included in notable anthologies such as Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Not Your Average Monster Volume 2, and The Sirens Call issue #29. Although she was born in Tennessee, Marlena has spent most of her life in Georgia. She lives with her sister and three spoiled cats. She serves as the Vice President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Horror Writers Association and is an avid member of the Atlanta cosplay community. She is also a Hufflepuff, an INFJ, a tea drinker, and a wildlife enthusiast.
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Narrator Bio
 
 Caoilainn is a narrator hailing from Los Angeles, they work from their professional home recording studio. Having grown up in the generation inspired by the Disney renaissance, they fell in love with animation and the voices behind the characters. Having been an avid reader, Caoilainn was originally going to school for animation and game design but switched their career path when they learned about audio books and how one person could bring so many characters to life. They started their Voice Over career in early 2017 and it has been their primary focus since then.
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  1. Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? 

The Stolen series is based on my fascination with ancient Irish and Gaelic mythology. I found the use of magic in these old tales fascinating. Mogh Roith and his flying chariot with oxen is just one of many incredible examples. My Faeries are loosely based on portrayals of The Sidhe, especially in their historical relationship with people.


  1. How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

I like to write in a variety of genres, from YA fantasy to dark fantasy and even horror. I find it difficult to lock myself in on one side or the other. The benefit is that I can switch from more lighthearted writing to more frightening work, so I don’t get burned out on either end. I am forced to look at my work differently as I write different tones. I think it helps!


  1. Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you? 

I’m an avid audiobook listener and I find that although I love reading a physical book and my ebooks, there’s something about audiobooks that really engrosses me. When I’m driving and dealing with terrible traffic, if I have an audiobook going, I don’t get nearly as upset because I’m so focused on the book. It’s wonderful for a work commute because it helps me disconnect from the stress I’m dealing with at work. It’s also a great way to experience a book without straining my eyes since I’m already on the computer so often.

  1. If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go? 

I know most people would like to travel into the past, but I would rather travel into the future. I know that something as optimistic as a Star Trek: The Next Generation type of future is far-fetched, but that would be amazing to see that level of equality and curiosity mixed together. As a computer scientist, I would also love to see how far our technology goes. We are still in the early stages of the field so there’s a lot of opportunity down the road.

 

  1. What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?

I honestly think that’s ridiculous. For some, it’s the only way they can experience a book, so it completely ignores people who rely on it for accessibility reasons. On top of that, I think listening to the audiobook breathes new life into a book. It’s like you’re hearing someone across from you tell you a story, much like campfire tales for example. It really adds to the storyteller experience which I think is fantastic. I am a huge fan of audiobooks and podcasts for that reason.


  1. What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump? 

When I’m in a writing slump, the only way to get out of it for me is to start writing. It doesn’t matter what I write, whether it’s a short story for something completely different, a scene way ahead of where I currently am, or just fleshing out some character backgrounds. Most of the time I work on writing the scene I’m stuck on anyway and even if it’s terrible when I’m done, I’ll go back and strengthen it during edits. I’ve found after doing this for several books that these scenes I’m stuck on at first end up being some of the strongest and most emotional scenes in the book because I’ve spent so much time tweaking them.


When I’m in a reading slump, that’s much harder for me to get out of unfortunately. I’ve found that changing reading choices helps, such as going for short stories instead of novels for a while, or even picking up a comic book or graphic novel. I read a lot of books at once so I also have a tendency of swapping between books whenever I get stuck on one book. Usually that means I have a bunch of books in my Currently Reading shelf on Goodreads!


  1. In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series? 

There are pros and cons to both a standalone and a series beyond just the audience and the genre of the book. I think you get a lot of room to experiment in a standalone. You can do whatever you want with the characters and the world without having to worry about consistency or dealing with it five books later. A standalone book lends itself to more unique storytelling.


However, nothing really beats the amount of world-building and character development that you can do in a series. From redemption arcs to dramatic spirals, it’s so much fun to see how an epic tale fleshes out and evolves. In a standalone you just don’t get the space to do that. In that regard it’s like comparing a movie to a TV series, the more space you have the more you can flesh out everything.


  1. Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?

Absolutely, in fact I’ve written books based on my dreams before. The Seeking, a YA Horror novel that came out in 2020, was inspired by a vivid dream that I woke from and had to scribble down really quick before I lost it. I find the act of writing about stories and characters helps to get the worlds and characters out of my head and my dreams and onto the page. It’s a great way to expel them so others can enjoy them.


  1. What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Becoming an author is difficult. Most of it comes down to motivating yourself even when you receive a bunch of rejections or feel like your work just isn’t good enough. That’s okay, every author has felt that and you’re not alone. Believe in yourself and your work. Even if you aren’t where you want to be right now, you will get there if you keep working at it. Keep writing, keep improving, and keep learning about how to become an author. There are so many channels available today, it’s really just deciding what you want to do and how you want to get there.


  1. What’s next for you?

The final book in the Stolen trilogy, Chosen, comes out March 23rd, 2021 – so very soon! I’m so excited to finish my first series and I can’t wait to see what people think of the exciting conclusion. I’ve heard so many people who have fallen in love with this series, who have reached out to let me know it’s gotten them through some tough times. I’m so glad Shaleigh and her story have helped so many.


After that I have a short story anthology that will be released in October, The Impostor and Other Dark Tales. This is a compilation of previously published stories and originals, including some short fiction that helped to inspire the Stolen series.


After that, I’m working on a YA dark fantasy werewolf/steampunk series. I’ll be re-releasing my novella that spawned the series, The She-Wolf of Kanta, and then releasing the other books shortly after. I’m not yet sure how many books it will span, but I’m looking to start releasing them in 2022. Follow my mailing list to keep up to date with all my future releases and get a free exclusive fantasy short story as well!


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