Natasha Lester *Spotlight, Guest Post & Review*

10:30 am 4 Comments A+ a-

Hey Everyone!

I'd like to introduce you to Natasha Lester, who is about to release her next novel, A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald.

Natasha Lester is the award winning author of A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, a 1920s New York love story, and two other novels, If I Should Lose You, and What is Left Over, After.

The Age newspaper has described her as "a remarkable Australian talent." She has been awarded grants by the Australia Council for her work, and writing residencies from Varuna, The Writers House and the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre.

She loves teaching writing courses and when she's not working on her novels or teaching others how to write, she can usually be found reading, going to yoga, or playing dress-ups with her three children. Natasha lives in Perth, Western Australia.


Connect with Natasha via


Making an Audiobook of A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald


Having an audiobook made of A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald is a pretty exciting thing. I never imagined that my book would be considered good enough to be published in any form other than paperback and ebook and, I know it sounds weird, but I can’t wait to listen to it! Here’s how a book gets made into audio.


The Audiobook Contract

The first step was actually locking down an audiobook contract and I thank my amazing agent Jacinta di Mase for taking the initiative with this. Each book has lots of different rights attached to it—ebook rights, serial rights, extract rights etc—and an agent is a huge help in knowing how and when to sell these rights.


Given that we’d had so many offers for the paperback end ebook rights for A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, my agent felt we could try to sell off the audio rights separately to flush out the best offer. It would never have occurred to me to do this.


So she went and met with the audiobook producers and publishers and came back with a couple of offers. The offer from Audible included an extra advance, which was wonderful, and a good royalty rate. Our decision was made; we’d go with Audible and Audible promised to work with Hachette to make sure the audiobook was ready for a simultaneous April 26th release with the paperback.


Producing the Audiobook

Producing the audiobook required very little involvement from me, which was actually great! Audible worked with Hachette to use the same cover design to leverage of the other’s marketing, and to make sure they received the finished manuscript with enough time to record the audio.


Then I had to give them some feedback about what kind of narrator I wanted. I chose to go with an American accent because, given the book is set in New York and the characters are all American, I just didn’t think it would sound right to be voiced with an Australian accent. Other than that, the brief was that the narrator should be bubbly, bright, strong, warm and friendly.


Choosing the Narrator

Audible then sent over audio files for about three proposed narrators. I sent the files to both my agent and publisher as I really value their feedback and our overwhelming response was that the narrators sounded too old. Evie, the main character, is only twenty when the book begins and all of those narrators sounded as if they were well into their thirties. The narrator’s age wasn’t something I’d even thought about until hearing these samples and I suddenly realised it was actually quite an important thing.


Audible then came back with another audio file for a narrator who I knew instantly was perfect. My publisher and agent both agreed. So, we locked her in and she’d been busily recording the book in the studio, ready for it to be released on April 26th!


If you’re an audiobook lover, I really hope you enjoy the chance to listen to A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald on audiobook. And thanks so much for having me on your blog Renee!



A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester 

If you loved THE PARIS WIFE and Z: A NOVEL OF ZELDA FITZGERALD, you will devour this deliciously evocative love story of a small-town girl with big ambitions in 1920s New York.

It’s 1922 in the Manhattan of gin, jazz and prosperity. Women wear makeup and hitched hemlines – and enjoy a new freedom to vote and work. Not so Evelyn Lockhart, forbidden from pursuing her passion: to become one of the first female doctors.

Chasing her dream will mean turning her back on the only life she knows: her competitive sister, Viola; her conservative parents; and the childhood best friend she is expected to marry, Charlie.

And if Evie does fight Columbia University’s medical school for acceptance, how will she support herself? So when there’s a casting call for the infamous late-night Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway, will Evie find the nerve to audition? And if she does, what will it mean for her fledgling relationship with Upper East Side banker Thomas Whitman, a man Evie thinks she could fall in love with, if only she lived a life less scandalous?

Captivating, romantic and tragic, A KISS FROM MR FITZGERALD follows a young woman ahead of her time amid the fragile hearts and glamour of Jazz Age New York.


Audiobook purchase links

A Beautiful Dare by Natasha Lester

A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald
A free short story set in the roaring twenties by the author of the deliciously evocative love story A KISS FROM MR FITZGERALD.

It's 1922 in Concord, Massachusetts, a time when women are expected to do nothing more than marry as well as they can, as soon as they can. And whether she likes it or not, this is exactly what Evelyn Lockhart's conservative parents expect of her. While Evie's waiting for her handsome, wealthy neighbour Charles to propose, she has convinced her parents to let her study literature at college.

But when a chance meeting leads to a day of exciting adventure, Evie begins to realise that there could be so much more in her future than marriage, if only she dared imagine it . . .

If you loved THE PARIS WIFE and Z: A NOVEL OF ZELDA FIZGERALD, you will devour this short story that takes place before the full-length novel A KISS FROM MR FITZGERALD.


Hey! Here's my review.

I fabulous short story that I devoured in one sitting. I immediately liked Evie and can't wait to read more of her story in A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald. She has spunk and I can't wait to see how she pushes against society to find her way in the world.

This snippet of Evie's life took me back to my university days, into the Anatomy lab and the wonder/discomfort of discovering what's really inside someone. Natasha's writing is beautiful and engaging. She is able to balance attention to detail with action to keep the story flowing.


★★★★★




4 comments

Write comments
24 April 2016 at 15:39 delete

Thanks for the insight into the making of an audiobook, Natasha. With everyone being so time-poor these days, audiobooks seem to be becoming very popular. Good luck with your release!

Reply
avatar
24 April 2016 at 16:27 delete

I love audiobooks. It's interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes.

Reply
avatar
Bec
AUTHOR
16 May 2016 at 12:38 delete

What a wonderful cover, it's what first attracted me to this book, who created it?
I'm just finishing listening to the audiobook and I certainly believe you made the right choice for narrator.
Review coming soon

Reply
avatar
16 May 2016 at 23:18 delete

I'm glad you enjoyed it too. The narrator is fab isn't she. And that cover... Wow!

Reply
avatar