Author: C.L. Schneider
Narrator: Cassandra King
Length: 15 hours 16 minutes
Series: Nite Fire, Book 3
Released: Nov. 13, 2020
Publisher: C.L. Schneider
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Secrets are a dragon’s best friend. Deception is a close second. Both provide a sturdy armor, allowing half-dragon shape-shifter Dahlia Nite to live undetected among the humans. Walking in two worlds, belonging in neither, she wraps herself in a shroud of lies to hide in plain sight. But nothing stays hidden forever.
When dismembered bodies of multiple species are dumped on the riverbank, the case falls to Dahlia and Detective Alex Creed. Backed by Sentinel City’s new task force, the pair finds themselves urged along by clues that seem too good to be true. Bouncing from one crime scene to the next, they hunt for a clear motive in a murky sea of conflicting evidence. Already on edge from the recent string of unexplained crimes, the city begins to unravel.
Drowning in missing creatures, slaughtered remains, masked men – and the search for her sidekick’s missing sister – Dahlia burns the candle at both ends. Seeking answers, she employs her empathic abilities and uncovers something deeper and more sinister than a simple serial killer’s web. As the dots connect and worlds collide, she struggles to shields her friends from the truth. But secrets can be deadly. And Dahlia’s not the only one who keeps them.
Smoke & Mirrors is the third book in the Nite Fire series.
C.L. Schneider is an award-winning author of immersive fantasy fiction, including The Crown of Stones Trilogy and the Nite Fire Series. Born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri river, she penned her first novel at age sixteen on a typewriter in her parent’s living room. She currently resides in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley with her husband and two sons.
To learn more about C.L. Schneider, and the worlds she creates, visit clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews and excerpts, subscribe to her newsletter, and join her Street Team. An active part of the indie author online community, you can often find her on social media, chatting about the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.
Cassandra is a professional actor from New York. She works with a private acting trainer and has been making her way into the voice over world. Becoming an audiobook narrator was a great way to combine her desire to act and her passion for literature. She is currently working on book 2 of the Nite Fire series entitled ‘Chain Reaction’ as well as a Warhammer 30k fan film called ‘Death of Hope’. In addition to reading and acting, Cassandra also enjoys anime, sports, cooking, and traveling.
Q&A with Narrator Cassandra King
- Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
- Ha! I still think I’m trying to “break in” to this world. But I do know that I’m on the right path that I want to be on and taking active steps towards achieving my goals in my career. Two things help me the most; A: Acting Skill – being able to keep your listeners engaged is important and I try really hard to make sure I embody each character to their fullest and B: Drive – It’s one thing to say “I want to do x, y, z” and another thing to actually go DO those things. I recorded my first audio book inside a closet…you just do whatever it is you need to do to make progress.
- A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
- Absolutely! Voice acting is, at it’s core, acting. Being an actor helps you to not only understand emotion, but be able to portray it properly for others to see. Especially for voice over! A lot of times we gauge emotion by facial expression, but when you’re listening to an audio book, you don’t get that luxury. The emotion has to sound real and authentic and that takes training.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
- It’s easy to maintain your enthusiasm when you’re passionate about something. I absolutely love to read and act, so being a narrator is a great marriage of the two. Burnout comes quickly, but mostly in the editing process. I try to avoid it by spacing it out and not trying to do it all at once…it’s a very tedious process.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- I love to listen to audio books! I like to read the physical book first and then revisit it later in audio book format. I love that it gives me the ability to step back into a world that I love, yet also allows me to multi task and do other things.
- What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
- My favorite thing is always diving into the world and getting to portray different characters. The character work is always fun and different for each individual. Finding out their quirks, their sound and their attitude is always exciting and interesting. Least favorite – editing. Hands down. A tedious, but necessary evil. I have a lot of respect for editors!
- What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
- The genre is right up my alley! I purchased the books before I even knew I was going to be narrating them. The story sounded cool and Dahlia really sounded like a great character. I love doing work for books I am passionate about.
- How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
- I really love to work closely with authors. I think its vital to a successful project. Making sure that words are pronounced properly, getting ideas of character break downs and inspirations, consistency – these are just some bonuses you get from working closely with your author.
- What types of things are harmful to your voice?
- Where to start?! Sometimes just overuse can strain my voice or even certain character voices. It’s important to warm up before every session.
- Have there been any characters that you really connected with?
- Actually, yes. Dahlia. She’s the main character in the current series I’m narrating now, ‘Nite Fire’. She’s sarcastic and honest, but also extremely understanding and sympathetic towards others. She wants to be alone, but also can’t stay away. She’s a bit of a contradiction and I can relate to that.
- What type of the review comments do you find most constructive?
- Honest reviews. I saw one review that said that they thought my narration for one book was a little slow. Everyone’s listening style is different, but I did take that note into consideration in my future recordings.
- Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
- When I’m recording in my home studio, I mostly do so without pants…it gets VERY hot in there!
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