Tag Archives: audiobooks

Barbados Bound, the audiobook

Barbados Bound, the audiobook, performed and produced by Ariana Fraval — coming soon from Audible.com!

I came aboard with the prostitutes the night before the ship set sail…

Portsmouth, England, 1760. Patricia Kelley, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy Barbadian sugarcane planter, falls from her imagined place in the world when her absent father unexpectedly dies, leaving her no means of support.  Raised in a Wiltshire boarding school far from the plantation where she was born, the sixteen-year-old orphan stows away on a ship bound for Barbados in a brash attempt to claim an unlikely inheritance.  Aboard the merchantman Canopus, under contract with the British Navy to deliver gunpowder to the West Indian forts, young Patricia finds herself pulled between two worlds — and two identities — as she charts her own course for survival in the war-torn eighteenth century. 

 Barbados Bound was first published as Star-Crossed in 2006 by Alfred A. Knopf, and chosen by the New York Public Library to be among the Books for the Teen Age – 2007.  The story is basically the same but the author has made minor changes to the manuscript, in some cases replacing words and phrases edited out from the Young Adult version.  


  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Fireship Press (July 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611792290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611792294



Audiobook Release: Friday Night Knife & Gun Club

For immediate release

December 26, 2017

Friday Night Knife & Gun Club, the audiobook

Story written by L.S.Collison

Performed by Annika Connor

Cover art by Annika Connor

Author Linda Collison and New York based artist Annika Connor have collaborated to produce a 45 minute audio performance, Friday Night Knife & Gun Club, from Audible.com.

The short story is absurdist fiction, a near-future noir thriller about a shooter in an urban hospital in the American West.  Annika Connor, as Kit Carson, RN, narrates the story as her shift from hell unfolds. Collison calls the story a fictional memoir, as much of it is based on incidents in her own life as a single mother and nurse working the night shift in Denver area hospitals. “It’s a satirical statement of the current culture of gun violence in America,” the author says. “I wrote the first draft in a response to the Newtown school shootings. Unfortunately, it’s becoming less fictional every day.”

Linda Collison, who sometimes publishes as L.S.Collison, is the author of novels, essays, short fiction, and screenplays. Her historical novel Star-Crossed was a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age – 2007.  Collison worked more than a decade in Denver hospitals as a registered nurse.

Annika Connor, artist and actor, performed and produced the audiobook. She also created the cover art, from her own original water color, Night Trigger.

Friday Night Knife & Gun Club is the first of a series of “nurse noir” fiction from L.S. Collison and Annika Connor. The audiobook is available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

For more information, contact Linda Collison at Lscollison@gmail.com

Follow the author and the actress/artist on their websites and on social media:




Twitter:      @lindacollison     @AnnikaConnor

Instagram:  lscollison               annikaconnor

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/lscollison https://www.facebook.com/annika.connor




Water Ghosts: Featured in Literary Fiction Book Reviews

“Linda Collison’s Young Adult novel, Water Ghosts, is the story of fifteen-year-old James McCafferty, whose parents have signed him up for an adventure-therapy cruise for teens on a traditional Chinese junk. From the beginning, James, who sees and hears things other people don’t, feels like the ship and its young crew of misfit kids are setting sail toward doom. James befriends a young Asian girl named Ming and they, along with Truman, whom James suspects has Asperger’s, become a trio of outcasts. Accompanying them on the trip is a trio of older, larger and stronger teenage bullies. The junk sets sail on a sea James soon believes is infested with ghosts of those who have drowned. Chinese ghosts. And one in particular, Yu, who waits for the junk to pass over the place where he drowned so he can switch places with James.

The young crew eventually find themselves in a Lord of the Flies situation, alone at sea after the adult counselor disappears and First Mate Miles Chu goes looking for her in the only lifeboat, never to return. Then the captain is found dead in his quarters. Will the outcasts and bullies be able to work together to survive?

Verdict: A Young Adult story of personal growth mixed with history and fantasy” — Literary Fiction Book Reviews

You can read the full review by clicking on the above link.

Now an audio book narrated by Aaron Landon, available through Audible.com







Why make an audiobook?

How we Write; a series of guest posts about the art, craft, and business of writing








Today my guest is Seymour Hamilton, author of the Astreya Trilogy, an historical fantasy adventure in a maritime setting.

Seymour and I have been discussing the pros and cons of audio formats.  My novel, Looking for Redfeather,  read by Aaron Landon,is for sale as an audio download from Audible.  Seymour has taken a different approach with his audio format — he is giving away downloads through Podiobooks.  Read more about his process:

Should I make an audio version of my book?

Short answer: Yes.

Here are some reasons to record, then some of the decisions you need to make before you start.

Reason #1

Reading (and recording) your novel is the best investment you can make in editing

your work. As you read — and as you listen to the playback — you will notice infelicities

in phrasing, awkwardnesses in order, accidental repetitions, purple flourishes,

unconscious mimicking of other writers, and occasions when you are beating the

dead horse of too much detail. You will be doing what good and great authors alike

have done for centuries, and as a special benefit, you will understand what is meant

by ‘finding your voice.’

Reason #2

Some people like hearing books as opposed to reading them. Some want to listen as

they drive long, boring distances. Some are visually impaired. Some just like hearing

someone read them a story. They constitute an audience that isn’t served by print or e-

Reason # 3

People who listen to books sometimes buy them. The jury is out on how much this

is true, but my preliminary analysis is optimistic: in the two months after Astreya:

The Voyage South was available in podcast audio, sales of the physical and ebook

improved significantly, some of the bump being sales of volume two of the trilogy,

presumably purchased by people who wanted to know what happens next. Moreover,

I received fan mail asking me when they would be able to listen to the next book in the


Reason #4

Audiobooks offer instant download, just like e-books, but with audiobooks, you can track

where you’re selling as well as how much. Podiobooks.com and its technical provider

LibSyn provide detailed analysis of when and where your podcast version is being

downloaded and read. I discovered that (as I expected) my major market was the US,

then Canada, then the UK, New Zealand and Australia. However, I was surprised and

delighted to find that I also had listeners in Norway, Germany, and a long list of other

places including (!) Thailand. Why? — My guess is the ex-pat community of people who

speak English in countries that don’t.


OK, you’ve decided. What’s next?

Before you start, you should know that you are about to invest time (for sure), money

(a little to a lot) and effort (above and beyond what you have already put into your

completed manuscript).


Sell or Give?

Decide whether you want to sell your audiobook version, or give it away. I give mine

away, free. Podiobooks encourages listeners to “tip” the author. So far I’ve received

nothing, but I’m encouraged by Reason # 3, above, to believe that far from hurting

sales, my audio version is encouraging them.

You can make your audiobook available through your website, but you need a server

“behind” your site. At SeymourHamilton.com you can click on podcasts of my books,

chapter by chapter and either listen, or download to listen later. The recordings

themselves are not on my site because that would cost far too much beyond the cost

of standard site, because there is no “room” on most sites to store, provide access and

manage the recordings and the accessing needs of people all over the world. You need

a specialized sound service such as SoundCloud or Podiobooks. Podiobooks.com

specializes on books. Its servers contain and manage, my books and many, many

more by authors old and new. Podiobooks offers people in search of free audiobooks a

“bookstore” where they can browse, knowing that they will find an acceptable technical

quality of recordings and the electronic delivery thereof. Behind Podiobooks is LibSyn,

the server/technical service, which is system of servers “where the recordings are” and

where I go to find constantly updated statistics on how my books are doing.

Free is fine, but on the other hand, who can argue with a royalty check? However,

before you go to an on-line company that will pay you per download, consider both your

percentage of the take, and your up-front costs. There’s a saw-off between a turnkey

approach wherein you send someone your manuscript and wait for the money to roll in

(don’t hold your breath); and taking control of the process in one of more of the roles of

producer, reader and technician.

Cost/Quality decisions: Hire a reader or read it yourself?

There are lots of out-of-work actors out there who would love to read for you — at a

price. Don’t decide only on the basis of how the actor sounds to you — still less on

how he or she looks. Work “blind” by email, listen to recording samples. Have the

actor audition by reading a page or so of your book. Insist on credentials, preferably

in podcasting, radio or voicing animated cartoons. Find out if he or she is sufficiently

qualified and experienced to do the electronic technical work. If not, either get yourself

a producer or do the sound-editing and processing yourself.

On the other hand, do it ALL yourself. The cost of recording at home is low. You need

a quiet room and a good microphone — not just the one that comes in your computer. I

use a Blue Snowball for around $200. A friend loaned me a more expensive mic, but

it was so sensitive that in the context of my reading, it was like putting a gold link in a

copper bracelet. Software to record and process is free-to-inexpensive. I use Audacity

to record and Levelator to process, both of which are free.

Recording your book takes time. A lot of time. I’m on my third book and getting better,

that is, more efficient, but I find that every hour of completed, published podcast of 45

minutes to an hour requires at least five hours of recording, editing and processing at

my desk with a microphone and my trusty MacBook Pro.

Caveat: this isn’t my first rodeo. I acted in plays at school, was subjected to singing

lessons, did free-lance work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in the 70s, and

lectured at universities about Dead English Poets for more than 20 years during which I

always read the poems out loud.


Now go back to Reason #1. Whether or not you go audio, decide to read your book out

loud into your computer, and then listen to what you have recorded. Once you get over

the fact that your voice sounds completely different from what you’ve been listening to

for years while you were talking, you’ll find that you have a secret weapon for improving

what you write. So, read what you write BEFORE you send it away to be published! If

nothing else, your descendants will be able to hear you reading your stuff, long after you

are no longer punching away at your keyboard.


Seymour Hamilton

Seymour Hamilton was born in 1941 during an air raid on London, England.  After the war, his family moved to Mauritius for three years, where he was home schooled, and read books by Ransome, Kipling, Henty, Marryatt and Slocum.  In 1949, his family moved to Canada, where he remained, apart from trips and holidays and one horrible year at school in England.  He studied English, because he liked reading, which led to a BA, an MA and Canada’s first PhD on Science Fiction. He spent half his working life as an English teacher at Canadian universities from east to west coast, and the other half as a writer/editor for government and industry.  He retired in 2005, and by 2011 completed The Astreya Trilogy, which features a mysterious inheritance, sailing ships, treacherous relatives, night escapes, knife fights, secret passages and a long voyage to a lasting love.  The Laughing Princess, twelve stories involving dragons, was published in 2012 and a translation by Jessica Knauss, La Princesa Valiente a year later.  A new edition of The Laughing Princess, illustrated by Shirley MacKenzie, appears in time for Christmas, 2014.
You can listen to him reading his books (free!) at Seymour Hamilton.com.

Listening for Redfeather – free audio download

Looking for Redfeather audio cover 10416886_10204139038585014_1753765320_nStorytelling isn’t just for bedtime and this ain’t Mom reading Good Night Moon.  This is Aaron Landon bringing to life Ramie, Chas, LaRoux, and the many characters they meet on the road. This is the ACX audiobook production of Looking for Redfeather available from Audible.com

As a writer it’s extremely valuable to hear your work read by someone else.  To have your work read by an actor is both a privilege and a pleasure — and a little startling to literally hear those voices who inhabited your head for so long.

The Audible.com edition includes the Outlaw Trail soundtrack, a single composed by Matt Campbell and recorded by Red Whiskey Blue, a Denver-based band.

We’re giving away five free downloads here on linda collison’s Sea of Words blog; comment on this post or contact us to be entered.  This offer ends October 4.

It ain’t Jack Kerouac’s road trip.