Friday, 8 March 2013

Interview with Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone is the author of the Criminally Funny Fables series. She has just produced an audiobook version of Wendy and the Lost Boys so I asked her to talk about that, as well as answer some more general questions about her work.

Thank you for inviting me to your brilliant blog. I’ve been a fan of your writing for a long time.

I recently entered the amusing world of Audio Books where I can bring my characters to life through recorded narrated novels. This is the most fun I’ve had since I started writing. My comedy mysteries are becoming available on almost anything you can plug in your ear or hold in your hand from iPads to iPhones.

My first venture into recording my books began about eight weeks ago when I entered into an agreement with to produce the first of my comedy mysteries, Wendy and the Lost Boys. Within a few days narrators began auditioning to read the book.

The perfect voice for Wendy appeared as if by magic. Narrator Nicole Colburn is my Wendy. Wendy is a reluctant tomb raider-returner. Along with her love interest, Roger Jolley, she returns stolen antiquities. The first time I heard Nicole read Wendy I got goose bumps. She was saucy, snarky, and perfectly Wendy.

My books are loaded with eccentrics. Kit Kennedy, a recurring character, provided Nicole with her biggest challenge and a struggle for me in directing narration. How do you tell a woman you don’t even know to please sound a little more like the drag queen you've created for your story? The fact that Kit is a man impersonating a woman is an added twist. This became asking a woman to sound like a man sounding like a woman.

Nicole’s first try was a bit bumpy. Kit Kennedy sounded like he had bee sting on his tongue as Nicole practiced a drag queen affectation with comic delivery.

I suggested she listen to how Patrick Swayze spoke in the movie, To Wong Foo – Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. With those instructions Nicole headed to Walmart to practice sounding like Patrick Swayze playing a drag queen. Accompanied by her daughter they accosted innocent Walmart employees with questions on “where to find” and had a few lisping conversations between themselves that were loud enough for several shoppers to overhear for the sake of reactions. Nicole describes it as a memorable belly laugh experience.

My chuckle came when Nicole sent me an out-take from a scene that pushed her into a fit of giggles. Repeatedly, she would start the scene and then break into uncontrollable laugher. I roared as I listened to the blooper. I keep the link to that scene on my desktop for a daily chortle. I call it “The Dollop of Cream.”

Here’s the link for a guaranteed laugh. It’s adorable.

The production of Wendy and the Lost Boys took just eight weeks from start to finish. It was a barrel of fun.

Nicole will continue to play Wendy Darlin in my series of tomb raider adventures as she is spot-on with her comic timing. I’d probably choose her to play Wendy if my books adapted for film or TV. Right now we are laughing and struggling our way through London Broil with a mélange of accents from cockney to curry.

I’m also working on the third Wendy book… to be released this summer. It takes place in Egypt. So many tombs to restore, so little time, so much laughter.

Comedy is a joy to write. You meet the nicest people. A fan of my Morph books wrote to share her experience in testing whether you could really speak and be heard through a Morphsuit face mask which is made out of spandex. Not being age-appropriate for a Morphsuit, and not wanting to invest in a suit, this fan took her Spanx (girdle) and put it over her head. She then talked to herself in her bathroom mirror. She reassured me she could hear herself. Now that’s what you call a devoted fan doing research.

Wendy and the Lost Boys was just released on and iTunes.
Here’s a sample ~ Just click on the tiny word “sample” under the book’s picture.

Now to the more serious questions in your interview.

Who would play me in a film based on my life?
Julia Roberts. We have the same laugh.

A random act of kindness?
I would tell someone not to read Fifty Shades of Grey.

The world will end in two minutes. What do I say to the person next to me?
I finally remember the punch line for that joke.

I can be found in the following places:
Blog: Barbara Silkstone
Barbara Silkstone’s Amazon Author’s page

About the Author
Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of Criminally Funny Fables series that currently includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs; Cold Case Morphs; and London Broil.

For further giggles and a touch of true fiction try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men and One Woman.

Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

Barbara Silkstone loves to hear from her readers.

Wendy and the Lost Boys
Kindle and Audio in the US
Kindle and Audio in the UK


Donna Fasano said...

Wonderful interview, Helen. I've read and enjoyed Barbara Silkstone's quirky mysteries. When I'm looking for something out-of-the-norm, I know Barbara's "fractured fairy-tales" will always come through for me.

Helen Smith said...

Thanks, Donna. I love that audio outtake.

Barbara Silkstone said...

Thank you so much for hosting me.
I hope your readers enjoyed Nicole's giggle-fit blooper.

Wendy Darlin is off on another adventure but she sends her love to all your readers.

Donna, I'm tickled you enjoy my quirky mysteries. Thank you for your kind words.

Georgina said...

Really interesting to hear about the audio book process. And Barbara's answer to the random act of kindness question made me laugh out do her books.

Helen Smith said...

Thanks for stopping by to comment, Barbara.

Georgina, thank you. It's an interesting interview, isn't it? Barbara always makes me laugh. I hope to meet her in person one day.

Pj Schott said...

Terrific interview with one of my favorite authors.

Pj Schott said...

Terrific interview with one of my favorite authors.

Helen Smith said...

Thanks, PJ.

Barbara Silkstone said...

Helen, we must schedule our Alice in Wonderland tea party. Perhaps this year. :)

Helen Smith said...

That would be fun! It would be great to see you in London.