Blunderwoman Productions

we publish awesome audiobooks.

Talking With Bernard Schaffer WAY OF THE WARRIOR

Blunder Woman Productions met Bernard Schaffer at ThrillerFest 2017 in New York. He participated on a panel where he discussed violence in books and what's realistic in a fight scene. We were impressed with his perspective, and after chatting with him, knew we wanted to read WAY OF THE WARRIOR. It's a terrific book that's used in police training, but it also offers insight into why cops operate the way they do. It's part biography, part philosophy, and all Schaffer. We picked up audio rights to it, and you can now hear James Patrick Cronin perform it.

Comment below and you'll be entered into winning a free download of the book from Audible. 

 Bernard Schaffer, Author

Bernard Schaffer, Author

Here's our chat with Bernard:

1) How long have you been involved in police work?

I've been involved with it, in some aspects, my entire life. My father worked for Horsham Township PD, the same town I grew up in. I'd sit in his police car with him on cold mornings, waiting for the school bus.

I never intended on becoming a police officer. Things just sort of fell that way. I entered the academy at 18. This is my twenty-first year in law enforcement, coming up.


2) When did you start writing?

Very young, and always out of dissatisfaction with other stories. The first thing I remember writing was WESTSIDE STORY 2: THE REVENGE OF TONY. I was probably six years old.

I was a struggling author as a young man and aside from appearing in a handful of small zines, completely unsuccessful. I continued writing, all throughout my marriage and early police career and becoming a father. It wasn't until I got separated that I became serious about pursuing it as a profession. I found myself living in a crappy little apartment with brown water running out of the bathtub spigot, truly lost for one of the first times in my life. Out of desperation to do something useful, anything to keep from going crazy, I wrote my first novel.


3) What inspired you to write WAY OF THE WARRIOR? (Was there a deeper purpose to writing it)

At the time I first published it, I was just looking to document all of the great wisdom that had been passed down to me from criminal investigators I admired. Over time, and with people always asking me to expand it, the book began to grow. Recently, law enforcement has come under severe scrutiny, and deservedly so. The problem is, cops are the worst when it comes to handling any kind of criticism. The moment you accuse a police officer of any kind of wrongdoing, everybody on the job goes bonkers. It's stupid.

WAY OF THE WARRIOR, as a whole, as it was written over a period of several years, is meant to tell the young officer just coming into the job that it is not about being a hard ass, it's about serving and protecting in a fair, humane way. It's meant to tell the older officer not to give up, because we still need you. For people not in law enforcement, I know it gives them some insight as to what we really do.


4) Are there any similarities between writing and detective work?

The way I do it, sure. It helps to be creative when you are doing a criminal investigation. And a novelist helps me to structure a case and write the reports to tell a linear story. There are probably a thousand ways the two compliment one another that I'm not aware of. I'm sure anything you do, whether you work at Walmart or teach Kindergarten, if writing is your life, it all ties together. 


5) You have a new book coming out this summer published by Kensington. Can you tell us anything about it?

The THIEF OF ALL LIGHT is coming out in hardcover, August 2018. It's a thriller about an unlikely duo trying to stop a new kind of serial killer called an Omnikiller. The Omnikiller uses the patterns and methods of other famous serial killers, so he can't be profiled. The book explores the nature of real evil, and the toll it takes on the people who face it.

A few prominent authors have had the chance to read it, and if their blurbs are any indication, the book is going to be a monster. I cannot wait to get this into the hands of a whole new audience and show them what I am capable of.

It's my first venture into the mainstream publishing world. I worked exclusively as an independent author and publisher from 2011 to 2016, and had run that thread out as far as it was going to go. I decided to take all of my experience, all of the skills I'd learned about how to write a novel, and put them to the test.

Suffice to say, the test worked. Kensington gave me a two-book hardcover deal. I'm working on the sequel now.


6) WAY OF THE WARRIOR is written mainly for men and women in police work, but there is a wider appeal too. What do you hope listeners glean from the piece?

I'll get emails, or read reviews, from family members of cops who thank me for giving them an idea of what their loved ones are going through. Sometimes it can be hard for cops to open up to those around us. There's a lot of reasons for that. We don't want to tell you about almost getting killed, or about some awful thing that happened and our immediate reaction was to laugh hysterically, because it's not something normal people can really understand.  


7) You’re a fan of Hemingway. What is it about his work that you admire?

He and I are kindred spirits. I think there's a lot we would find familiar about one another. He walks with me, sits across the desk from me, demands I do better. When I slack off, he drapes his heavyweight championship belt across his shoulder and tells me I'll never be worthy to take it unless I try harder.

I have an imaginary Hemingway. A proxy Hemingway. In my head he sounds like an old boxing coach, yelling at me. "Is that all you got? Get back in there and murder 'em! I showed you better than that. Hit like you want it!"

It's not normal. I know it. But when I meet other authors who are self-deprecating or insecure or worst of all, unmotivated, I just can't relate to them. My imaginary Hemingway tells me to run over all of them like a freight train.


8) What are you reading now?

I'm listening to THE SHIPPING NEWS by Annie Proulx on Audible, and reading ACROSS THE RIVER AND INTO THE TREES by Hemingway. It is not one of his better works. The dialogue is Christ-almighty-awful and he is so wrapped up in his own BS that the whole thing fails. That being said, it was this failure that prompted him to strip away everything and go back to basics. The result was OLD MAN AND THE SEA.

Actually, you are the reason I subscribed to Audible. I've always loved audiobooks, but didn't like any of the apps for them, so I'd always be going back and forth to the local library to borrow them on CD. After we talked about Audible at Thrillerfest, I decided to subscribe. You were right. It's an excellent service.


9) You’re also a sci-fi-fi fan. What is it about sci-fi-fi that’s appealing to you?

The best way I can explain it is like this. People always ask the Star Wars or Star Trek question, right? My answer is that I love Star Wars. I am thrilled by Star Wars. It is a part of my soul, the same as any other kid who grew up with it, and I am ecstatic to see it back again.

But Star Trek is why I am who I am. Star Trek is the basis of my political views. The basis of my humanistic views. It is central to the development of my interest in science, ecology, equality, and my belief that humanity will someday overcome all of our shortcomings and reach for something greater.

When you consider the vastness of space, the entirety of the universe, and the tiny, tiny, place our planet has in all of it, it's a humbling thing. And in all of that, we are unique. Even if there are a multitude of alien lifeforms out there somewhere, they aren't like us. This rich planet, which provides us with everything we need to thrive as a species, and all of humanity, who have created such an astonishing tapestry of art, science, literature, music, and more, is special.

Science fiction offers us a way to glimpse into the future, and what the result will be if we either rise to the occasion or succumb to our basest instincts. Maybe we keep going the way we are headed, and it's 1984 for the next century, until we finally pollute and nuke ourselves into extinction. Maybe we go the other direction, uniting under the banner of science and exploration, using our collective intelligence to solve the world's problems instead of exploiting them.

I'm rooting for the Star Trek future.  


10) Anything else you want to share?

I'm guessing that anyone reading your blog is a fan of audiobooks already and aware of the excellent work Blunderwoman is doing in the field. I love this format, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be part of this team. I always thought WAY OF THE WARRIOR would make an excellent audiobook. I'm looking forward to hearing what people think of this version.



Follow Bernard Schaffer here:

Social Media:

Twitter: @BernardSchaffer

Facebook: @BernardSchafferAutho

And check out performer James Patrick Cronin here, the voice of WAY OF THE WARRIOR. 


Remember to leave a comment and we'll choose a winner for a free download of the audiobook.



Looking For Reviewers For Nevertheless We Persisted

NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED will be released any day now in audio.

It's been sent to distributors and is queued for publication.

We're looking for reviewers!

Do you love audiobooks? Do you have a blog? Do you like poems, stories or essays? Let us know! 


 Participants in Nevertheless We Persisted, a special audiobook releasing soon! 

Participants in Nevertheless We Persisted, a special audiobook releasing soon! 

This special audiobook was created by 32 authors and performed by 25 talented narrators. Poems/stories/essays that will make you laugh, think, cry, feel, care, and wonder. They are long and short, real and imagined, poetic and every day. 

Celebrate with us the idea of persevering and ultimately, thriving. We hope this audiobook will inspire others to keep on keeping on.

Interested in listening and posting a review? Contact 

Meet Tricia and Tammy, Authors in NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED

Tricia Lowther

 Tricia Lowther, Author

Tricia Lowther, Author

Tricia Lowther's piece is a beautiful poem called PARROTS and is performed by Amy Landon

Tricia is a freelance writer from the UK. She writes web content, non-fiction articles and creative pieces. She is a feminist parent who helped to start the UK's award winning Let Toys Be Toys campaign, which has raised awareness of gendered marketing to children and brought change to the toy and children’s publishing industries.

Find her on Twitter here: @TrishLowt

Tammy Scott

 Tammy Scott, Author

Tammy Scott, Author

Tammy's essay in NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED is called WHITEWATER WHITE KNUCKLES and is performed by Lauri Jo Daniels. It's a piece that shows how conquering fears can make you stronger. 

Tammy Scott makes her students laugh during the day, then goes home to 4 creatures who make her laugh: her husband and 3 cats. A lifetime of anxiety and poor coordination has given her the material to write humorous essays. Her work has appeared in Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays and Not Your Mother’s Book on Family. She blogs as Paprika Furstenburg at

Meet Janina and Kate, Participants in NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED

Janina Edwards

 This is a public domain image that Janina feels captures the spirit she tries to evoke with her storytelling.

This is a public domain image that Janina feels captures the spirit she tries to evoke with her storytelling.

Janina is very excited to part of Nevertheless We Persisted as both an author and an actor. Regarding the piece she wrote, she says:

“I am a writer, but my writing is primarily technical—grant proposal writing for arts non-profits. The piece I wrote was totally spur of the moment. I wrote it when I was on vacation in August, just as I described. Atypically, I wrote a poem/prose piece. I never do that. Then I shared it on FaceBook. I NEVER do that. Call me old school, but I just don’t think people are interested in my every thought, or pictures of what I ate. Lol. Voicing my own work was a lot of fun. Since it’s short, I played with the piece several ways. The version I shared with the public is not the most extreme presentation, but I was able to go further than in a typical audiobook. 

Voicing Kass Hillard’s piece (the poem WOMAN RISE UP) was a lot of fun and fulfills a personal mission. I’m not a political person. I don’t typically march in the streets, but I have a strong sense of ethics. I’m a humanist, and a practicing yogi. As a voice actor, part of my mission is to literally give a voice to stories, messages, and people that reflect humanist and vedic (i.e. yogic) principles. Through my work, I can give voice to the change I want to see in the world (to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi).”

Kate Rudd

 Kate Rudd, Actor. (Photo credit: Scott Sherratt)

Kate Rudd, Actor. (Photo credit: Scott Sherratt)

Kate Rudd performs the essay by Jerrianne Hayslett called ESCAPING REVOLUTION: THE CHILDREN ARE SAFE. 

She says of this project: 

"Stories like the ones found in NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED remind me that we will never run out of new things to learn; we'll always have within books a safe place to hide when we crave a break from busy lives. And when I read I remember, maybe most importantly, that I am not alone. None of us are."

Follow her on Facebook: Kate Rudd

Meet Jerrianne, Kass, and Bailey...participants in Nevertheless We Persisted

Jerrianne Hayslett

 Jerrianne Hayslett, Author              Photo Credit: Teri B Photography

Jerrianne Hayslett, Author              Photo Credit: Teri B Photography

Jerrianne's essay is called ESCAPING REVOLUTION: THE CHILDREN ARE SAFE and is narrated by Kate Rudd. She says of the piece:

"Except for marrying my husband, living in Iran during the run-up to and being evacuated at the outbreak of the Islamic Revolution was my most life-altering experience ever. That led to my careers in journalism and as a court-media liaison and consultant, and the publication of my book Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People vs. O.J. Simpson.  After serving as a U.S. State Department court-media consultant in half-a-dozen countries in Europe and Asia, my writing consists primarily of blog posts and working on children’s book manuscripts."

You visit her websites here: and "    


Kass Hillard 

Kass has written a powerful poem called WOMAN RISE UP and it will be performed by Janina Edwards. Kiss says: 

"It seemed as if the race for the 2017 presidency was steeped in nastiness, and was fueled on racism and bigotry, and outright hatred for women, persons of color, folks who identify other than heterosexual, and disabled persons.   Still, I believed goodness would prevail.  The election results left me stunned and in a state of disbelief, followed by being  frozen with fear.  Hearing all of the deep concerns, disbelief, spiraling depression, lack of hopelessness, and yes, feelings of terror from my “sisters”, I knew I needed to take that energy and try to transmute it into something positive.  At the age of 62,  I knew we as a collective didn’t need to sit quietly and just “take it”, and I found my voice.  This piece was Divinely inspired.

I am proud to say I am a member of  Women Rising Up and SW Michigan Rising Up, two grassroot groups where we are finding our voices."

Find her online at:


Bailey Carr

 Bailey Carr, Actor

Bailey Carr, Actor

Bailey Carr will be narrating the piece GIRL, 25 by Lily Schmidt. Carr says of the experience: 

"GIRL, 25 by Lily Schmidt is a story that speaks candidly and from the heart about a range of predicaments facing a twentysomething today. I am so grateful to be a part of this collection of inspiring stories of endurance, bravery, and determination." 

Visit her online here:

Meet Kim Hindman, Artist and Cover Designer for NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED

Kim Hindman

 Kim Hindman, Artist and Owner of  10 Digit Press

Kim Hindman, Artist and Owner of 10 Digit Press

Kim Hindman is an artist and the owner of 10 Digit Press. She previously worked with Tanya Eby, editor of NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED, on the cover for IN THE GARDEN ROOM. Her work is delicate, beautiful and haunting--sometimes all at once. She frequently draws inspiration from nature for her designs.

Here is what she says creating the cover for NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED

"Yanked, mowed, trampled, and pulled only to be left with as little as a bit of root or wafting seed, the lowly dandelion makes its way back stronger, to once again feed the bees and give life to side walk cracks. What could be more under appreciated and yet, ever so persistent."

Here is how the piece developed, originally sized for the future ebook cover and then cropped for audio. First, the editor sent Kim the script for inspiration.

She then came up with the concept of the dandelion to represent persistence.

Notice how she captured every stage in the life cycle of a dandelion: 

 Above is the rough sketch of the book, sent for approval.  She then began to add more detail and color:

Above is the rough sketch of the book, sent for approval.

She then began to add more detail and color:

 Next she added shadow and depth to complete the drawing:

Next she added shadow and depth to complete the drawing:

 Finally, lettering was added and the piece was cropped to create the final cover for the audiobook:

Finally, lettering was added and the piece was cropped to create the final cover for the audiobook:

Nevertheless We Persisted AUDIOBOOK Cover

Blunder Woman Productions is so grateful for Kim's art and understanding of the audiobook collection as a whole. Please visit her online at 10 Digit Press to see more of her work. 

Meet Rodney and James...participants in Nevertheless We Persisted

Rodney Vaccaro 

 Rodney Vaccaro, Writer

Rodney Vaccaro, Writer

Rodney's piece, SOCKS, is an interlude that transforms an everyday object into something with emotional weight, and is performed by James Patrick Cronin.

Rodney says:

"I have been a working screenwriter and proud WGA member for the last 30 years. I sort of fell into writing after a life of just screwing around. I have always written poetry, and I consider these small pieces to be poems. I do them if I'm stuck or bored, or if I need to work out a thought in my head. What I love about both screenwriting poetry is the economy of words... the precision. I am haunted by words."


James Patrick Cronin

 James Patrick Cronin, Actor

James Patrick Cronin, Actor

James is a narrator and actor based in LA. He says of participating in NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED:

"I gravitated toward the Socks monologue because I loved the metaphor. Humans are so alike in so many ways, but we feel connected to specific people for unique reasons. Finding and sharing life with partners is such a relatable human struggle and I thought it was beautifully articulated in this piece."

You can follow James on Facebook:

Meet Sue and Erin, Participants in Nevertheless We Persisted

Sue Pitkin

 Sue Pitkin, Author & Actor

Sue Pitkin, Author & Actor

Sue's piece is called HERO HOARDER and is a lovely note to her nieces in which she offers them advice and encourages them to collect heroes, and not things. 

She says:

"I am taking part in this project because I want to live in a world in which people remember how incredibly rare an occurrence organic life is in the universe and act accordingly; we are all of us valuable (well, that and chocolate. we are the only planet which has chocolate.)"

You can find her online here:

Erin Mallon

 Erin Mallon, Actor

Erin Mallon, Actor

Erin is performing a piece called EPIPHANY by Sandy Logan. She says:

"As a narrator and a playwright, I am always thrilled to participate in telling women's stories with all their complexities and humor and passion. The compilation of stories in Nevertheless We Persisted feels especially important and timely. Epiphany tells the story of a woman who has unknowingly shut off a part of herself for 44 years, until she suddenly and unexpectedly comes face to face with her true self. It's messy, painful, but ultimately triumphant."

Find her on Facebook here: 

Meet Gracie and Jackie...participants in Nevertheless We Persisted!

Gracie Greenbaum

 Gracie Greenbaum, Author & Actor

Gracie Greenbaum, Author & Actor

Gracie Greenbaum is a writer and performer currently living in Los Angeles. Until recently she produced live-action greeting cards, but now occupies herself writing dark stories, working at a yoga studio, and waitressing for fun.     

Gracie's piece is called YOU ARE, a story about a chance encounter that leads the protagonist to analyze herself. She is also performing the piece. 

Find her on Instagram here: gracegraceinyoface


Jackie Pick


 Jackie Pick, Author

Jackie Pick, Author

Jackie Pick is a former teacher and current writer living in the Chicago area with her husband, three children, and a very fuzzy dog. She is a contributing author to Multiples Illuminated; So Glad They Told Me: Women Get Real about Motherhood, Here in the Middle; and the literary magazine Selfish. Her essays have been featured on various online sites. Jackie is co-writer and executive producer of the upcoming short film Fixed Up, and president of Melted Butter Productions. She is a proud member of the 2017 Chicago cast of Listen To Your Mother. You can follow Jackie on twitter (@jackiepick) and Facebook (, where she mostly just apologizes for not updating her blog (

Her piece is called THE MYTH OF 15 MINUTES and she humorously captures the idea of how much you can (and can't) accomplish in a short amount of time. Her piece is performed by Lauren Ezzo

Meet Tanya, Amy & Julie...Participants in NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED

Tanya Eby

 Tanya Eby, Editor & Author

Tanya Eby, Editor & Author

Tanya is a professional narrator with nearly 600 titles to her credit. She's narrating the intro and credits of NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED. She's also the editor of the project and has included two or her written pieces, MY NAME IS NOT LOLITA and I LOVE YOU LESS.

She says:

"Storytelling to me is important. I think it's one of the few ways that we can teach empathy. When you're listening to a story, when you're immersed in someone else's point of view, it helps you imagine a life outside of your own. Hopefully in your real life, when you meet someone who has different experiences than you, this empathy-training can help you connect.

"I wanted to create a project where writers and narrators could come together to share words that make us feel. Maybe they're sad, maybe they're funny, maybe they're uplifting. NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED has exceeded my expectations. It's truly a beautiful collection with voices from across the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and India participating.

"I had narrators read pieces blindly (without author names) and comment on pieces they connected to. Every poem, story, and essay was claimed by a narrator who felt a deep connection; many of the pieces claimed again and again. Then I assigned based on those connections to even out the pieces between the narrators.

"My friends and colleagues have supported this project with their talent and expertise:

Kim Hindman of 10 Digit Press, designed the cover.

Troy Otte of Featured Audio has donated his engineering and post work.

Stuart Poltrock of Sound Post Studio recorded two Michigan writers (Gina Dawe and Nancy Wagner).

Rachel Wisley-Schulz donated her legal services. 

Nick Shillace and Jenny Knaggs added their music.

A dozen people have donated funds. 

And 34 writers and 30 narrators are participating. 

"This project has warmed my heart. I hope it will warm yours too."

Find Tanya on Twitter. She posts random thoughts, audiobook updates, stupid jokes, and sometimes pictures of food she makes. 


Amy Landon

 Amy Landon, Actor

Amy Landon, Actor

Amy Landon performs the poem PARROTS by Tricia Lowther (highlighted soon) and the short story MY NAME IS NOT LOLITA by Tanya Eby. Both pieces deal with different kinds of loss. She says: 

"we persist because we must as we always have. because the alternative is to lie down silent in the face of evil, ignorance, hatred, greed and pride. and that is no way to live."

Find her here:


Julie McKay

 Julie McKay, Actor

Julie McKay, Actor

Julie has narrated over 200 titles. She says:

"Storytelling is about community. It allows us to empathize with someone whose experience externally may be totally different from our own, it asks us to see ourselves in a another’s failures and successes, and it gives us permission to put breath or ink to our own experiences. I am so pleased to be involved this project and to take part in that process of connection."

Find her on Twitter @MissJulieMcKay


If you would like to support this project, visit out fundraising page here

Meet Christa and Sahana, Participants in Nevertheless We Persisted

Christa Lewis

Christa is both a writer and a performer. She is performing her own poetry in NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED, along with a series of poems by Sahana Kumar. 

 Christa Lewis, Author and Actor

Christa Lewis, Author and Actor

Christa says of her poem:

"I began writing The Day your Jekyll ate my Hyde as I was trying to make sense of an incredibly destructive relationship I was in at the time. We were fabulously in love and ferociously incapable of behaving like adults between breakfast and dinner time. I was heartbroken by that and did not know how to change it.

The poem took weeks to write but once it was finished, something beautiful had been created out of the mess I was living.

Time and a few breakups later, and I'm still grateful for this poem. These days I narrate audiobooks for a living, and get to participate in a lot of other people's explorations - for which I am truly thankful."

Find out more about her at

Sahana Kumar

 Sahana Kumar, Author

Sahana Kumar, Author

Sahana is including four of her poems in NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED. They are lovely words on relationships and self. One quote, in particular, mirrors what happens when you combine good storytelling with an accomplished narrator:

A story is hope. A story is despair.

Only the story will stay. The teller will disappear.

Sahana says of writing:

"I like to write because it's a good creative outlet. I'm the kind of person who likes to be, and needs to be, creative. I may not do something creative every single day (even though I know I should write everyday) but I need creativity in my life. I like to write because it's just something I do for me. It makes me feel productive and important. I don't do it to please anyone else. Truth be told, I'm probably my toughest critic anyway!" 

You can find her musings, here:         

Meet Lauren and Karen, Authors & Actors in Nevertheless We Persisted

Lauren Ezzo

 Lauren Ezzo (as Author)

Lauren Ezzo (as Author)

Lauren Ezzo's piece is called "Why I Was in a Terrible Mood that Time We Ran Into Each Other at the Grocery Store Last Year" and details a relationship that went to a darker place than she'd expected. She handles it with humor and a tender vulnerability. She performs the piece herself and says: 

"I think my piece speaks for itself, in terms of inspiration. Everything in the piece is factual, and did occur. But I found, while desperately searching for lifelines during that period, very little, or outdated information regarding convicted felons and their families and loved ones. It feels, to me, at least, like a modern scarlet letter. Those who carry it aren't always who you expect, especially given that about 1 in 12 Americans has some kind of felony conviction. The decision to commit a crime is always that, a choice- but for many the convictions and consequences that follow can obliterate any hope of rehabilitation. The first step to solving a problem, is to speak about it, come clean-and that's a small slice of why I wrote my piece."

Lauren also narrates an essay by Jackie Pick...highlighted in a separate post. Just click on her name to read more about her.

Find Lauren online here: 

Twitter: @SingleWithFries 



Karen White


 Karen White, Author & Actor

Karen White, Author & Actor

Karen White is sharing her talents as a writer, and also performing her pieces. She has a poem called THE BOX and a short essay on FAITH. She wrote about the process of narrating her own work here.

She says of the process of participating in NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED: 

"My road to writing has been at the speed of a tortoise. Several years ago when I was living in Los Angeles, I joined a writing group founded by writing teacher Risa Okin of It was a lovely group of women, supportive and casual. Risa would give us a theme each month, we’d write on the topic, read what we’d written at the meeting, and give each other feedback. It was the first time I’d participated in such a group and it planted a seed that’s been growing slowly ever since. I had a food blog (Real Moms Real Food) for some time, where I shared recipes and my efforts to feed an extremely challenging young eater that I’d spawned. When I moved back to North Carolina, I met a magazine publisher when I spoke at a library fundraiser. He said that he could tell I had stories in me, and invited me to write an essay for his regional magazine, Salt. That was my first published piece. Now, seven or eight years since joining Risa’s group, I’ve written two novels and am working toward publishing them.

I am an audiobook narrator by trade – I have 300+ books to my credit and have been recording since 1999. You can find out about that at I met the Blunder Woman herself through the audiobook community (the nicest and smartest community of actors, we like to think) and confessed that I’d been writing. I loved the idea of Nevertheless, We Persisted, and decided to look back at my writing to find something to submit. The two pieces Tanya chose for the collection came from that original writing group. The themes were “The Box” and “Faith”. (I’m guessing you’ll be able to tell which goes with which, as I wasn’t terribly creative with the titles.) Both address concepts I have always struggled with. Writing through my emotional, existential and/or ethical struggles has been therapeutic and enlightening for me. I hope that those who hear them will be likewise provoked."


NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED is thrilled to have Lauren & Karen participate not just as narrators, but writers, and appreciate their openness to share.


If you would like to support this special audiobook project, please make a donation here. All donations go directly to the production of the piece. Planned Parenthood will receive a percentage of the profit, and the rest will go towards the next special audiobook production. Blunder Woman Productions hopes to bring listeners an audio-first listen every year. 

Meet Mark, Danielle, & Erin...Participants in Nevertheless We Persisted

Mark Kamish

 Mark Kamish, Actor

Mark Kamish, Actor

Mark is performing a poem about love and loving by Jack Arkell. Mark says of participating in Nevertheless We Persisted: 

"Spiritual teachers remind us we are not separate from the whole. We are indeed one with the sun, the earth, the air and with each other. To me, that's what this book is about; I'm delighted to help share it.

Find out more about him at

Danielle Dayney

 Danielle Dayney, Writer

Danielle Dayney, Writer

Danielle's piece is called SURVIVING TACO NIGHT WITHOUT A DRINK and will be performed by Erin Bennet. She says of writing this:

"This essay was inspired by a weekend of heavy drinking, a night of insomnia, and my desire to be a better person. I knew if I put something on paper about my habit, then maybe it would reinforce that desire. It has. If you like this essay, then check out my blog at"

Erin Bennett

 Erin Bennett, Actor

Erin Bennett, Actor

Erin performs SURVIVING TACO NIGHT WITHOUT A DRINK and says of the piece and participating in this project:

"Persistence - there is so much energy packed into that word. Persistence never stops.. it can keep reinventing itself and keep renewing itself.  This word is my new inspiration."

Find out more about her here: 




If you would like to support NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED, please consider donating here.

Meet Deepti and Viji, Participants in Nevertheless We Persisted

Deepti Gupta


 Deepti Gupta

Deepti Gupta

Deepti is playing two roles in Nevertheless We Persisted. She is performing her own piece MY BROWN SKIN in which she discusses the difficulties of acting in America and being typecast based solely on her appearance, and is narrating Viiji K. Chary's piece PUZZLE CHALLENGES.

Deepti says of her essay in this collections: 

"I have always contended with my skin color. No matter how old I was or am and no matter where on the planet I lived or live. This piece was to honor a stranger who didn’t have to stand up for me but did nevertheless. I believe in speaking up and here is a small moment when I did. "

Find her online here: 

Viji K. Chary


 Viji K. Chary

Viji K. Chary

Viji's essay in Nevertheless We Persisted is called PUZZLE CHALLENGES and talks about an epiphany she had that helped her understand her aging grandmother. 

A little bit about Viji in her own words:

"For the past twenty years, I have written for adults and children. My first picture book, Porcupine’s Seeds received the Mom’s Choice honor in 2015. My pieces have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Wisdom of Mothers Anthology, and Highlights for Children. My website can be found at"




If you would like to be a patron to the Nevertheless We Persisted audiobook project, please make a donation here: 

Meet Karen, Martha, and Emily...Participants in Nevertheless We Persisted

Karen Friday Randall

 Karen Friday Randall, author

Karen Friday Randall, author

Karen's piece is called CHANGE and is performed by Emily Sutton Smith. CHANGE is a moment with heart that affected Karen's perspective, told with love and warmth. 

Karen Friday Randall is a homeschooling mother of 4 incredible, awesome children. She also owns several small businesses. She is a person who likes to laugh. A lot. At herself, mostly. She is also a papercut survivor. In addition, Karen likes everyone she meets. It’s a disease, really …she’s considering injections.  

Follow here here:

Martha McSweeney Brower

 Martha McSweeny Brower, author

Martha McSweeny Brower, author

Martha's piece is called THE MARVIN GAYE CURE. She talks about how listening to Marvin Gaye has brought out her inner femininity through a lifetime of change. 

She says of writing:
"I like to look forward to things. Whether it’s a hike or a visit to/from someone, I find it’s nice to look forward. Not that I don’t like living in the present and looking out a window at the leaves or the snow falling--- I’m a life-long daydreamer--- I just like to make sure that there is something uplifting coming along. This fall, I’m looking forward to hiking the 100-mile wilderness in Maine.  Over the years, I have worked at over twenty jobs, mostly menial, and learned from every one of them. "

Emily Sutton Smith


 Emily Sutton Smith, actor

Emily Sutton Smith, actor

Emily says of the craft of narrating and participating in NEVERTHELESS WE PERSISTED: 

"Storytelling awakens our humanity. We laugh, we cry, we think, we feel compassion, we are moved to act. It reminds us that we have more in common with each other than not. Storytelling has never been more important than it is right now." 

Find out more about her and her work here:

Meet Charlotte and Nicol, Participants in Nevertheless We Persisted

Charlotte McKinnon

Charlotte's piece is called THE WEATHER REPORT. She writes: 

"My piece is a dramatization of what happens to me when I forget to take care of myself. I have learned to count the time between such events and relish when the space gets longer and longer between those episodes.  I’m not ashamed of my anxiety attacks, rather I use them as a mental health measuring stick.

That time I didn’t listen to the subtle winds of warning.

Often times we as women put ourselves under an enormous amount of pressure to be more, do more, accomplish more than perhaps can be done in a single day.  The consequences of that is poor health, anxiety, low self-esteem and so on. If we were to truly see ourselves as wonderful individuals with a palette of unique talents that can paint the world, there would be so much more joy in it."

Nicol Zanzerella

 Nicol Zanzerella

Nicol Zanzerella

Nicol says of narrating and participating in this special audiobook: 

"It becomes clearer every day that sharing stories is a way for human beings to come together across miles, experiences, circumstances...and cultivate understanding, empathy, perspective. It is an honor to be trusted with the telling of someone's story, and to have a safe and welcoming place to share your own. Thank you, BlunderWoman Productions, for providing just that."

You can find out more about her here

Mett Mark and Paul, Author and Narrator in Nevertheless We Persisted

Mark Blickley


 Mark Blickley, author

Mark Blickley, author

Mark created a piece for Nevertheless We Persisted called "Lying The Truth", in which he tries to answer the question "Are you happy" after his tour in Vietnam ended. 

He's also working on other projects like the following:

"This past Spring I collaborated on a text based art chapbook with fine arts photographer Amy Bassin, Weathered Reports: Trump Surrogate Quotes From the Underground (Moria Books, Chicago). The publisher sent it to the White House and members of Congress. I matched quotes from many of history's most infamous tyrants to Amy's funereal sculptural portraits to produce spins by DJ Trump surrogates from Genghis Khan to Charles Mason. Each quote (report) echoes a distinct Trumpian thought, issued forth from the weathered patinas of plein air cemetery sculptures. We consider the Trump administration to be a graveyard where each day we are forced to attend daily burials of American moral conscience and civil liberties."

To read more from Mark, check out this link to his art chapbook, Trump Surrogate Quotes From the Underground:


Paul Heitsch

Paul Heitsch.jpeg

Paul has narrated 50 or so titles. He says of this project: 

"I’m pleased to be working with Blunderwoman on this project, which includes so many compelling and thought-provoking stories, and humbled to be included in such a talented cast of narrators."

Find him here:

Meet Nancy Wagner, Author and Performer in Nevertheless We Persisted

Nancy Wagner


Nancy has written a beautiful piece called "Facebook Cancer Journey." She says:

"When I went through the beginning of my journey through breast cancer, I used my Fb posts as a sort of blog, and was told by many of my friends that those posts often helped them in their own trials. So I am happy to share just the first couple of months here. As of this writing I am still cancer-free and healthy!"

 Here's Nancy during her recording session at  in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Here's Nancy during her recording session at  in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Find out more about her here:

Meet Tamara and Sarah--Participants in Nevertheless We Persisted

Tamara Harasen

Tamara is a sometimes lawyer, golfer, and mom who has finally realized that if she's not having fun, the people around her are not having as much fun as they ought to be having either. When her bills have been paid she travels, writes, embarrasses her children, and upcycles vintage furniture. Her twitter contact is @Tewashy. She has a short story slated for publication this fall in an anthology of women’s fiction, and her piece in Nevertheless We Persisted is called "A First Kiss".

Sarah Mollo-Christensen


Sarah is performing Tamara's piece "A First Kiss". She says of participating in the Nevertheless We Persist project:

"Persisting, let alone resisting, seems harder than ever lately, but this project reminds me that we're all in this together, and none of us are alone."

Please visit her at: to find out more about her narration work. 


Meet Christina & Amy participants in "Nevertheless We Persisted"

Christina St. Clair


Christina St Clair was born and raised in London, England. She has been a shop girl in London, an au-pair in Paris, a chemist in Pittsburgh, and is also a writer with several published novels. Her writings (novels, blogs, articles, essays) tend to contain a spiritual element. She is a Reiki master, Christian minister, and spiritual director.


When she was sixty, she earned a degree in pastoral ministry with a concentration in Women’s Studies: "At first, the very idea of Women’s Studies offended me, which revealed my deep prejudice against myself. As a woman, shouldn't I want to know about women's lives? Shouldn't all women? My MA taught me much about the spiritual nature of Western culture, and the struggles of women, and our need to tell our stories in order to understand ourselves." Excerpt from Ziggy the Miracle Dog.

Earthmother is an essay exploring the unbidden anger that almost overwhelmed her as she realized how limited her potential had been in a patriarchal society not only from social mores but also from her interior view of herself, as a woman, as a person without power. She'd certainly fought against male dominance in work environments all her life, but somehow this rising anger was empowering.

Find out more about Christina here:

Amy McFadden



Amy recently won the 2017 Audie for Best Collection of Short Stories, THE BRINK: STORIES, by Austin Bunn, published by Blunder Woman Productions, and performed by seven talented narrators. 

She says: "The piece I'm performing, Earth Mother, shows the power and joy in anger. Power we're taught not to access, and joy in acting decisively for ourselves."

Find more of her work here: