Blunderwoman Productions

we create awesome audiobooks.

Blunder Woman Productions publishes and produces awesome audiobooks.

What We Do At Blunder Woman Productions

Hey, there! It's your friendly tour guide, Tanya Eby, writing to you from the wilds of Michigan. And by 'wilds', I mean I'm at my kitchen counter with the AC on full blast hiding from the sun, because the sun? It burns.

 Tanya Eby, Owner of BWP, Staring into the sun.    

Tanya Eby, Owner of BWP, Staring into the sun. 

 

I thought since I've been in business for almost two years, perhaps it was time to let you know what exactly happens at Blunder Woman Productions. Maybe you've seen a post of ours, or someone mentioned us and your first thought was "WTF is this?" 

That's what I'm going to try to answer.

Just after I chew this here ice cube.

...

WTF does Blunder Woman Productions do? 

I started Blunder Woman Productions (BWP) on account of my brain and my thighs. This will be a future blog post, so that's the teaser: How My Brain And My Thighs Inspired Me To Start A New Audiobook Publishing Company.

I may have to shorten the heading a little bit.

There are several things we do here:

  • We publish audiobooks.
  • We produce audiobooks.
  • We offer casting services for audiobooks.
  • We create original content for audiobooks (and more).
  • We obsessively watch baking shows while talking to the contestants as if they can hear us and are upset when they don't just FOR PETE'S SAKES BUTTER AND FLOUR THAT PAN.

Okay. That last one is something that just I do. Not BWP.

So as you can tell from the bullet points, we deal with Audiobooks. But not solely, because why limit yourself?

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So what do those bullet points mean? 

More bullet points!!!:

  • We purchase audiobook rights to published books (new and backlist) from authors, agents, and publishing houses and publish them under our umbrella.
  • We produce full audiobooks from A to Z (which is actually C to PP--Casting to Post Production) for publishers and indie authors.
  • We cast audiobooks by sending out a casting call to our awesome roster and you can choose your narrator and produce the piece on your own.
  • And we produce original content when we can, to give new writers a chance to be heard...and narrators a chance to work on something between projects that lets them stretch those acting muscles a bit. 

And BWP is trying to do all of this in a kind and open and humor-full way, because there's too much angst in the world, and frankly, angst takes a lot of energy. (Did you see how I created a word there? Humorfull? BONUS POINTS!) 

If you'd like to learn more about any of this, let me know, or visit here: https://www.blunderwomanproductions.com/our-business/. Or just, you know, sit tight. I'll write more blogs as I take a deep dive behind the scenes at BWP. 

I'll leave you with this inspiring stock photo that captures what summer means to me. Because nothing says relaxing like a drunk dog. Or something. 

Cheers!

Tanya

 

 

 Photo by Javier Brosch, found on Bigstock

Photo by Javier Brosch, found on Bigstock

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: www.BernardSchaffer.com

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 tanya@blunderwomanproductions.com 

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 www.goodhumored.wordpress.com

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:  www.jerriannehayslett.com and www.anatomyofatrial.com "    

                                                                                                         

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: www.womenrisingup.net

                                                                                                                                    

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: http://www.baileycarrvoice.com

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: https://www.facebook.com/JamesPatrickCronin/

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: www.suepitkin.com

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: https://www.facebook.com/ErinMuffyNarration/ 

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 (www.facebook.com/jackiepickauthor), where she mostly just apologizes for not updating her blog (jackiepickauthor.com).

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