Archive for the ‘Funny Stuff’ Category

GHOSTLY ACTS Goes AUDIOBOOK

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

 

The GHOSTLY ACTS audiobook isn’t an ordinary narrator reading version, it’s EXTRAORDINARY! The multiple award-winning novel is narrated by Tweet Productions in the style of a radio play with music, sound effects and voicing each character differently.

 

The Tweet Productions narrator shares how he produced the GHOSTLY ACTS audiobook:

As for how I decided to produce this book as a play. First and foremost, Melinda, you wrote it like that. MOO — Ele’s mother — is so VERY melodramatic. I think I had the most fun with her lines. I really did. She was so over the top, and when I was narrating the book, I was actually using hand gestures when I got into her character. I would purposely narrate each of her lines two or three times — just to get it right. And then, in the post production process, I upped the tempo a bit plus gave her a treble boost. This is the reason she sounds so “crisp.” This was intentional on my part.

My production efforts spring from the words you wrote, Melinda. If there’s a knock at Ele’s door, you’re going to hear that knock. If Ele is creeping up some creaky stairs, you’re going to be there with her. If she’s dancing onstage to a waltz from an old hand-cranked Victrola, you’re going to hear that. In other words, Melinda, you’re the one that created those elements, not me. I just inserted them. You have a very visual writing style (you would have done well as a TV reporter!) that creates images. That’s what radio is all about and always has been. It’s Theater of the Mind. Ghostly Acts is one big theater act from start to finish. . .those last few chapters took an entire day — ten hours of work — to fully produce.

I can’t say enough about the musicians and composers who are throwing their work online for anyone and everyone to use. They are just amazing. It’s the same thing with people who create sound effects. Although I created many of the effects that are in the book, some were grabbed from one free source or another and modified to fit the novel. The scene where Club Foot, for example, drags his foot across the floor when he smashes through a wall? That’s actually a heart beat sound effect that I modified a great deal to sound like a Club Foot being dragged across the floor. You can create all kinds of magic with digital editing programs. The narration was recorded with a Yeti USB microphone — the first time I’ve used this. Some of the sound effects were also created with the Yeti. Some were created with just an iPhone, but then heavily modified (produced) through the Audacity audio editor.

I think I liked producing the chapter where Ele is dancing with Steven the most. It was so very visual. I even found the “tick-bump-tick” of an old Victrola online. Of course, I used it!

Bill Bird, Tweet Productions

 

Melinda’s Magical Time-In Her Playroom (not an office.)

Friday, September 28th, 2018

This is a picture of my playroom where I’m spending happy creative time since The Wild Rose Press contracted the outrageously fun first book of my Dark Inclinations series, BITTEN: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire. The book’s due to my editor mid-October and will be a Wild Rose Press Black Rose line release in eBook, paperback and audio.

Speaking of audio, while I’m getting up to dark fun and games with my menopausal vampire in the Seattle underworld, both of my YA ghost stories are in audiobook production. The GHOSTLY ACTS audiobook will have exciting production effects and music that will make listening to the story a great immersive experience. THE HAUNTING OF JOSH WESTON’s narrator sounds just like the Josh of my imagination. How lucky is that!!

Heigh ho, heigh ho! Mmmmm’s off to play with the menopausal vampire!

THE HAUNTING OF JOSH WESTON Available Worldwide August 20, 2018–TODAY!

Monday, August 20th, 2018

 

Melinda’s new multiple award-winning YA paranormal thriller, THE HAUNTING OF JOSH WESTON, from    The Wild Rose Press is available in eBook and paperback at retailers worldwide. An audio book is coming soon!

 

Blurb After the death of his cousin and his father’s subsequent death in Afghanistan, former star athlete and gifted student, Josh Weston and his mother move to a desolate ranch in the Arizona desert. Josh blames himself for his father’s death and for the shooting of his best friend. Besides giving up on everything he used be great at, he is relentlessly bullied at his new school.Unable to see any way out of his problems, he tries to end it all one moonlit night. Two of the mystical ranch’s ghosts stop him and pull him into dangerous tests of courage and intellect. Josh must learn to draw on his strengths and confront the haunted past that threatens his life and possible future with the beautiful and daring girl next door.

Reviews

Rated: 5 STARS

 “Magical and moving. The Haunting of Josh Weston by Melinda Rucker Haynes is a powerful YA paranormal tale that offers lots of emotional insights and a message of hope to anyone who is suffering insecurities and bad memories. The action is quick-paced as the tension between Josh and the bully builds, but the relationship between Josh and Pete provides a timeless feeling and a sense of love and support that Josh’s mother just can’t provide by herself. With a subtle romantic element, there is just the right balance between the paranormal and the everyday to make the story quite believable and uplifting. Excellent story – kept me glued to the pages! The Haunting of Josh Weston is certainly well worth reading.

 Melinda Hill, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews

Rated: 5 STARS

“Move over, Harry Potter, there’s a new kid in town—Josh Weston. In the tradition of Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling, author Melinda Rucker Haynes taps into every kid’s nightmare (bullies who make life hell) and fantasy (making sure they get their due). The reader wants to shout ‘hurray’ at the end of the book. Issues relevant to today’s teen—death, divorce, relocation—are handled in a sensitive manner, validating the feelings of isolation, guilt, and despair. The old prospector, who appears and disappears mysteriously, adds levity while dispensing wisdom. The preaching is left to Mom, who understands better than Josh can imagine. It’s easy to see why this book has twice been nominated Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist for Best Young Adult novel.”

Diane Burton, Scribes World Reviews

Rated: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for ages 8-100!

“ … a twice-nominated RWA Golden Heart Award Finalist for Best Young Adult … full of danger, excitement, ghosts, and some trials of a young boy turning into a young man, the hard way.”

Détra Fitch, HUNTRESS BOOK REVIEWS

 

GHOSTLY ACTS A Movie?

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

GHOSTLY ACTS could be a movie,” people say when they read my YA paranormal novel set in the ghost capital of Montana, Virginia City. That’s how I saw the book as I wrote it—like a movie. The many times I strolled the old ghost town, from Boot Hill through the streets and past the courthouse, it was as if the spirits of the evil Plummer gang and the Vigilantes were reenacting their thrilling history just for me. Storyteller that I am, I knew this very alive old ghost town was just the place to maroon a crazy Seattle family in an old derelict theatre and let the ghosts tell the shivery fun tale.

Check out Virginia City, Montana online and my fun take take on the ghost town, GHOSTLY ACTS, at Amazon and bookstores worldwide. There’s an audio book coming soon!

Mmmmmmmmmmelinda

A Watery Parable

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Our Tucson yard is often full of wildlife, mostly birds and lizards, but we do get the occasional bobcat wandering through the place, as well as troupes of Javalina parading outside the north wall. We call them pigs, of course they are not porcine but wild peccary that love to dance quite noisily under a full moon beneath the guestroom window. I’ve been noticing a new addition to our livestock—a very cute chipmunk that dashes about. A couple of days ago I discovered a hole under the brick fire pit at the back patio and knew that something had moved in. This morning I opened the living room slider and saw said chipmunk playing at the base of the fire pit. Ah ha, the new resident confirmed. I opened the screen. Chipmunk freaked and made frantic blind dash straight into the pool in a splashy belly flop. I dropped the rugs I was carrying and ran to get the short-handled scoop net to fish out the chipmunk, but he was struggling for his life in the middle of the pool. I sprinted to the side yard, pulled the 10-foot net pole off the wall, and back to the pool. Poor terrified chipmunk was about done when I dipped the net under him. In my excitement I flipped him out a foot or so above the cool decking. He lay stunned on his belly, legs spread wide like a flying squirrel, and completely soaked. I retreated into the house to give him some recovery space since I felt responsible for his mad dash in the first place. In a couple of minutes, chipmunk regained himself and zipped away into the side yard.

This Watery Parable is summed up thus: You never know when the thing you’re afraid of and running from will scoop your drowning ass out of the pool.

Mmmmmmmmelinda

Have You Written Anything Important I’ve Read?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

I have six traditionally published novels in the genres of romance, paranormal thriller, and young adult paranormal. My books have won sixteen writing/literary awards. Yet, sometimes when I meet someone and say I’m a novelist, I get this silly question: “Have you written anything important that I’ve read?” On a tour bus in Hawaii, I answered that question with—“Yes, War and Peace!” That felt good. Of course, no one mentioned that I didn’t look like a dead Russian aristocrat, which just goes to show no one on the bus had read the book, or perhaps hadn’t even heard of it. When I got that silly question from my new acquaintance, I cocked my head and asked my usual, “How would I know that?” She answered with a sly smile, “You know what I mean.” Yes, unfortunately, I do. My name isn’t J.K. Rowling or Nora Roberts or Scott Pratt. So if “important” book translates only to “best seller” for you, I probably haven’t written anything you’ve read.

3d-contest-smartsBut hang on, I’m working on two new books coming soon, Contest Smarts: Writing Contest Winning Strategies, a non-fiction how-to, and a fun women’s fable entitled Bitten: Confessions of a Menopausal Vampire, which my publisher of GHOSTLY ACTS has already said she wants! With these two sure best-sellers, maybe I’ll have a new answer to “Have you written anything important that I’ve read?”

It’s all fun! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmelinda