AUDIOBOOK- Ask Lars Guignard - Saturday March 1, 2014 discussion

Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse (Zoe & Zak Adventures, #2)
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Featured Author Chat-Audiobooks > March 1, 2014: Ask the author & the narrator about Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse Audiobook.

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message 1: by Fantastic (last edited Feb 11, 2014 03:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fantastic Press | 4 comments Mod
Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse (Zoe & Zak Adventures, #2) by Lars Guignard This is the place to post your questions about Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse for author Lars Guignard Lars Guignard and audio book narrator Sonja Field.


Heather | 1 comments Did you base any of the book on Indian folklore or the Hindi religion? Ganesha of course but anything else?


Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog (stephcover2cover) | 3 comments What was your favorite part of this book to write? do you have a least favorite part, or one that you struggled writing?


Candace (candacemom2two) | 2 comments Sonja, was changing the voices, and adding the accents difficult for you? Do you have to practice a lot before you start and do you have to do a lot of retakes? I felt the change in voices was flawless and spot on. It always surprises me when one person can change their voice so drastically and sound like completely different people.


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Jessica Haight (jesshaight) | 1 comments Did the author and narrator talk to discuss any aspects of the story? Or dis Sonja read the book and make her own interpretations. Also, how was it decided who would be the narrator for this book?


message 6: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan farnworth (tweetybugshouse) Was their a specific school you based the boarding school off of?


Brooke Blogs (brookeblogs) What is the process of choosing a narrator like? Is it difficult to decide on one voice for your characters?


Erika Messer | 1 comments I read that you based these books on your own personal experiences. I was wondering whether you would consider yourself as Zoe or Zak in these books?


Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "Did you base any of the book on Indian folklore or the Hindi religion? Ganesha of course but anything else?"

Good question. The story is loosely based on an old Indian tale of how the elephants lost their wings. I interpreted the story and certainly added to it, but the notion that elephants could once fly and were then cursed by an unhappy yogi is an old one indeed. I try to sprinkle folklore into the books, but not be beholden to it in its entirety. I use it as a jumping of point, if you will.


Sonja | 2 comments Candace wrote: "Sonja, was changing the voices, and adding the accents difficult for you? Do you have to practice a lot before you start and do you have to do a lot of retakes? I felt the change in voices was fl..."

Thanks so much Candace! I love doing accents and voices, so it was a lot of fun. Creating a very specific voice for each character is one of the best parts of recording an audiobook. Lars created such an awesome array of characters with distinct voices and personalities, which really made my job easier and even more fun!

Before I start recording a book, I create voices for all of the characters and record short samples for each. This is super helpful for keeping the voices consistent. Then, as I record the story, I listen to the samples for quick refreshers, and off I go! I don't do a ton of retakes, because I like to get a nice recording flow going.


message 11: by Lars (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Stephanie wrote: "What was your favorite part of this book to write? do you have a least favorite part, or one that you struggled writing?"

My favorite part of the book was talking about the showers in the school. I know that may sound strange, but for me they're sort of a gateway to a mysterious world. I suppose my least favorite part would be beginnings and endings -- I think they're always the hardest to get right, so you end up spending more time on those sections:)


Sonja | 2 comments Jessica wrote: "Did the author and narrator talk to discuss any aspects of the story? Or dis Sonja read the book and make her own interpretations. Also, how was it decided who would be the narrator for this book?"

Hi Jessica! I was in communication with the publisher when it came to creating the specific character voices, to make sure each one really fit the story. As for the rest of the recording, it was pretty much my own interpretation. I really relate to Zoe, which helps!


message 13: by Lars (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Erika wrote: "I read that you based these books on your own personal experiences. I was wondering whether you would consider yourself as Zoe or Zak in these books?"

I would say that the adventures are based on a time in my life that I remember very fondly. Of course, not everything in the stories happened, but the seed, or the spirit of the adventures was certainly planted. As for Zoe and Zak, I wouldn't say that I am Zoe or Zak, but as an author, a part of me identifies with aspects of both of those characters. I guess what I'm saying is, even though the characters aren't a direct reflection of me, there are parts of my personality in theirs.


message 14: by Lars (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Joana wrote: "How many Zoe and Zak adventures will there be? And will they all be available in audiobook?"

Let's just say there is a series arc in place for several more books, so the adventures will continue until that overarching story is told. For now, the intention is to publish each of the books as an audiobook as well.


message 15: by Lars (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Jan wrote: "Was their a specific school you based the boarding school off of?"

Not really. Moonstock was very loosely based off of a boarding school I attended, but I had a lot of friends who went to other boarding schools too, so its an amalgam of a lot of different places. I think there are a lot of commonalities between the boarding school experience though, so people who attended them have a certain amount in common regardless of where they went.


message 16: by Lars (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Jessica wrote: "Did the author and narrator talk to discuss any aspects of the story? Or dis Sonja read the book and make her own interpretations. Also, how was it decided who would be the narrator for this book?"

We held auditions for the narrator and picked Sonja because we felt she really captured the voices. Sonja was give a "cast list" which was basically a script that had excerpts of dialogue for all of the characters. She read this first so that we could settle on the voices and accents. After that, she interpreted the story herself. We would then listen to each of her reads and give her notes if anything needed to be fixed or read differently. But honestly there were very few notes as she did such a great job.


message 17: by Lars (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Brooke wrote: "What is the process of choosing a narrator like? Is it difficult to decide on one voice for your characters?"
In this case, the narrator is working on their own to record the story. So the following elements were very important: 1) Because this book is dialogue heavy, the narrator had to have the ability to make each character sound different and have its own personality. 2) The narrator had to be able to do a broad range of accents since this is an international school. 3) High quality sound recording and be self directed (but be able to adjust based on feedback. We were very fortunate to have all of those things with Sonja.
In terms of selecting one voice for each character, Sonja read a "cast script" so we could agree on the voices ahead of time.


Brooke Blogs (brookeblogs) Lars wrote: "Brooke wrote: "What is the process of choosing a narrator like? Is it difficult to decide on one voice for your characters?"
In this case, the narrator is working on their own to record the story. ..."


That sounds like so much work! Kudos to Sonja, she did a great job!!


Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog (stephcover2cover) | 3 comments Lars wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "What was your favorite part of this book to write? do you have a least favorite part, or one that you struggled writing?"

My favorite part of the book was talking about the showe..."


Thanks! I can understand why the beginnings and ends are difficult. I am really enjoying this series, so thank you!


Candace (candacemom2two) | 2 comments Sonja wrote: "Candace wrote: "Sonja, was changing the voices, and adding the accents difficult for you? Do you have to practice a lot before you start and do you have to do a lot of retakes? I felt the change ..."

It's nice to learn more about it! I was wondering how that all worked. I read to my kids a lot and have voices for the different characters and really get into it, but I only do well with the different American accents. I don't think I could do much more than that. But maybe I should try! Thanks for answering my question!


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