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Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Witches of Vegas by Mark Rosendorf - Audio Book Tour

Author: Mark Rosendorf

Narrator: Jeffery Lynn Hutchins

Length: 7 hours 9 minutes

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Released: January 21, 2021

Genre: Fantasy; YA

Where can witches and their vampire mentor practice their powers without being discovered or persecuted? By using their magic, the witches of Vegas become the number one act performing on the Las Vegas Strip - a great achievement for them, but not so much for the magicians, who can't possibly keep pace. Isis Rivera is the adopted 15-year-old daughter of the witches of Vegas. Zack Galloway is the teenage nephew and assistant to the last magician left in the city. Although they should be rivals, when Valeria, a 400-year-old witch with a long-seeded grudge against humanity arrives in Sin City, both teens act to bring their families together to stop the evil hag in her tracks. But can the combined witches' powers and the ingenuity of the magicians be enough to stop Valeria from taking over the city...and possibly the world?
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 Mark Rosendorf is a high school guidance counselor in the New York City Department of Education’s Special Education district. He is also a former professional magician, and a writer. Mark is credited with published novels in various genres which includes The Rasner Effect series. He eventually decided on an early retirement from writing. When asked why, Mark’s usual answer was because he lost his favorite pen. Then, one night, at two a.m., a new and unique story shot into his brain like a lightning bolt, screaming for him to write it. Suddenly, Mark found himself spending several nights taking notes on the characters and their stories. That is how The Witches of Vegas was born and is now on these pages. This is Mark’s first young adult novel.
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Narrator Bio
 
 As co-owner of a small multi-media production company, Head First Media, I first started doing voice over for projects the company produced. Over the next 17 years, 3 personalized children’s CDs and several video projects later, I discovered that voice over was the thing that I enjoyed the most. In 2016 a friend urged me to narrate audiobooks, something I’d never thought about. I did and loved it! I was fortunate enough to land several additional voice over gigs over the next couple of years and in 2018 I decided to do voice over full time. As of February 2021, I have recorded 25 audiobooks and a few hundred voice overs for everything from TV and radio commercials, online web commercials, training videos, explainer videos, online classes for a university and just about anything else you can think of. I’ve been fortunate to do projects for
  • KFC
  • YAMAHA
  • Brown Forman
  • Boeing
  • AKG
  • Electro Voice
I currently have a website for some of my commercial work at www.JLHutchins.com and hope to have additional information for audiobooks on the site by mid 2021.
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  1. Were there any real life inspirations behind your novel, “The Witches of Vegas?” 

Yes! I’m a former magician who, during college, performed on stage. Today, I’m a high school guidance counselor for special needs students and, although I no longer perform, I teach magic as part of our performing arts program. People love watching my students perform “miracles” on stage. 

One night, a thought crossed my mind: magic looks real to the average person who has no idea how the tricks are done. If a witch or a group of witches went up on stage, claimed to be magicians, and used witchcraft to perform these visionary miracles, would anyone know the difference? 

That thought inspired me. Suddenly, the characters formed in my head along with the story, the threat, and how the story would conclude. I spent many sleepless nights writing down all my ideas with a pen, pad and flashlight, trying very hard not to wake my wife (I was…mostly successful in this). That is how this unique Wiccan family was born. “The Witches of Vegas” was released on August 5th, 2020. 


  1. Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.

I’m going to be honest: going in, I had no clue on how to turn a book into an audiobook. It’s something I wanted to do with “The Witches of Vegas” because I have students who are legally blind, and I don’t want them to be part of an audience who could never enjoy these adventures. I believe this is a story that any teenager out there would enjoy with characters they’d find relatable. An audiobook would be another avenue by which teen readers, and anyone who likes witches, vampires, or stage magicians could access this story. However, I honestly didn’t even know where to begin to achieve this goal.

Luckily, I met Jeff Lynn Hutchins, an amazing narrator of audiobooks (and a few movie trailers). After reading “The Witches of Vegas,” he expressed great interest in becoming its narrator. Once we started working together on the project, Jeff taught me all about the audiobook process. Working with him has provided me with a great education on audiobooks and his reading of the “The Witches of Vegas” is amazing. It’s everything I could have ever hoped for. 


  1. How closely did you work with Jeff before and during the recording process? Did you give him any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? 


Jeff and I worked on the preparation quite a bit before he began the narration. First, he read through the book. Then, we spoke both by e-mail and phone, discussing pronunciation of names and how each character should sound. Once we came up with a certain voice, Jeff would call me and read lines to me in that character’s voice. Then, he went to work. In all that back-and-forth communication, we also learned a lot about one another. Like the fact that Jeff is legally blind. I found this piece of information about him fascinating. 



  1. Changing subjects, as an author, how do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

Burn-out is a definitely a killer for writers. About ten years ago, I wrote a series titled “The Rasner Effect” which was a completely different genre - adult suspense/thrillers. It was a three-book series, which I followed up with a science fiction story. Soon after, another published purchased The Rasner Effect, but it involved additional editing on my part prior to the reprint. This all occurred within a period of four years. I was burned out from the entire process. More importantly, I became completely uninspired to write. I decided on an early retirement from writing. 

I honestly thought book writing was in my rearview mirror…until the idea for “The Witches of Vegas” hit me in the middle of the night. I wrote the story, fell in love with my own characters, and reached out to publishers to see if this story would interest them. The Wild Rose Press was quick to pick it up. So, seven years after quitting, I am back, writing a new genre for a new audience, in a new style, with new excitement. And I’m having more success than ever before. That’s why I call myself a “born again writer.”

 

  1. And now it’s an audiobook as well. Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format? 


The mentor for The Witches of Vegas is Luther, a five-hundred-year-old vampire with an interesting history. I had a certain image of Luther in my head. He trains witches each generation to prepare for a threat from his past that may or may not come. So, while what he’s doing is to save the planet, he’s also a cranky old vampire with little patience. I believe I depicted him well in the text. However, Jeff came up with a voice for Luther that truly exemplified the vampire’s attitude. Hearing Luther’s dialogue in that voice created by Jeff will resonate in a way a print book may not. 


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


Literature is literature, no matter what format anyone wishes to use to enjoy it. Personally, I like to read words on a page, but if someone wants to simply close their eyes and lose themselves in a good narrator’s voice, that’s just as good. That’s why books come in many forms, just like there’s many flavors of ice cream. People have different tastes and they all work. 


  1. What's your favorite:

Ooh, I love these kinds of games. So here goes: 

  1. Food – Steak…I LOVE steak. 

  2.  Song There are many songs that I like. Just to name one, Train’s “Save me San Francisco.” It has a great beat. Another is Aerosmith’s “Dream on.” I hope it gets used in “The Witches of Vegas” movie (once someone decides 

  3.  Book – Hmm…if I name one other than my own, will my characters stop talking to me? 

  4. Television show – I don’t want to say because anytime I name a TV show as my favorite, it ends up going off the air. 

  5. Movie – Independence Day, great feel good movie with lots of action and great characters. 

  6.  Band – Train. I’ve seen them in concert twice times in the last three years (all before COVID, obviously). 

  7.  Sports team – I’m from New York City, so THE NEW YORK YANKEES! 

  8.  City – Even though I love New York City, my family visited Las Vegas on vacation. I loved the place. 


  1. Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work? 

The reason we took that vacation to Vegas was because I was writing this book and I want anyone who reads (or listens to) this book to feel like they are right there on the Vegas strip. While in Vegas I spent most of my days walking the strip with a pen and notebook in hand, taking notes of small details that my characters would pass. I’m happy to say that many readers enjoyed the descriptions and reviews have mentioned how Las Vegas was like its own character in the book. I answer those comments by saying Las Vegas IS its own character in real life as well. 


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

My advice is to get ready for a long, frustrating, and exhausting process, and that’s after the book is written. Whether you’re looking for a traditional publisher or you want to self-publish, you have a lot of work ahead of you. For traditional publishing, if you’re a new and relatively unknown writer, expect to get a lot of rejections. And I do mean A LOT. Most of them are form letters with no explanation as to why they rejected you, although it may be simply because they’ve never heard of you. But don’t let it discourage you, it’s all part of the process and you only need one publisher to say yes. When you see your book in print, all that hard work is well worth it. But keep in mind, when you do get that “yes” and your book becomes real, that’s not the goal…that’s the starting line. It doesn’t mean you won your race, it means you are now entering the race, a race that never ends because there are always people out there who haven’t read your book yet and you want them to know it’s out there, waiting for them to read.


  1. What’s next for you?

I’m proud to say that The Witches of Vegas came in second in the Young Adult category of the 2020 International Digital Awards and was ranked one of Shelf Unbound’s most notable Indy works. As well, The Witches of Vegas has qualified for the RONE awards, which is considered the pinnacle of the independent publishing world. The first round is a public vote through InDTale Magazine that begins in late April. 

The sequel to The Witches of Vegas, titled “Journey To New Salem” is scheduled for release on March 29th. I’m happy to report that Jeff will be once again narrating the audiobook. I am also working on the third book of The Witches of Vegas series which I foresee coming out at the end of 2021. Imagine, with all this on my plate, I still manage to work a full-time job and maintain a happy marriage. 

Thank you for the interview and I thank everyone who took the time to read it. Whether you choose to read or listen to The Witches of Vegas, I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. 


 
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