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  • Author Spotlight: Christopher Husberg

    Chaos Queen Author Christoper Husberg

    Fantasy fans are sure to love our newest series, The Chaos Queen! Book 1: Duskfall is out now, and we had the opportunity to speak with author Christopher Husberg. Check out what he had to say about the series, his writing inspiration and his thoughts on audiobooks…

    Q: What was the inspiration behind your Chaos Queen Series and the characters?

    A: There were too many sources of inspiration to count! Duskfall was certainly influenced by some of my favorite fantasy stories (from The Lord of the Rings and The Dark is Rising to A Song of Ice and Fire and pretty much anything by Joe Abercrombie). I’ve been a fan of fantasy literature since I was a child, and I love the genre for many, many reasons!

    Video games, films, even music had their part in generating the story I’m telling in the Chaos Queen Quintet - basically, anywhere there’s story, I’ve found inspiration. Many of my own life experiences, of course, made their way into the novel, as well as experiences of those close to me, and I’m sure those will continue to make their way into the series.

    The Chaos Queen 1 The Chaos Queen 1: Duskfall is now available at GraphicAudio.net

    Q: What do you think it will be like for you to hear your books in GraphicAudio?

    A: I’m not entirely sure...I imagine it will be like something of a mix between an audiobook and one of those old audio dramas - a la the War of the Worlds adaptation. I’m very excited to hear a more dramatized version of Duskfall; I think it will be fascinating. Whatever it is, I’m sure it will surprise me, and I’m absolutely looking forward to hearing it!

    Q: What's your favorite scene from The Chaos Queen 1: Duskfall and why?

    A: Yikes. Considering I wrote the thing, I have quite a few favorite scenes! But I suppose if I had to choose one (or in this case a few that occur one after the other), I’d go with the sequence in Izet’s Imperial Palace towards the end of the book. I’m a big horror fan, so it was fun to incorporate a number of horror elements into those scenes, but most of all it was really cool to see the culmination of each character arc come together. Those scenes are what I really live for as a writer!

    Q: What is your current writing project and do you have any upcoming releases you would like to mention?

    A: I’m currently working on Book 3 of the Chaos Queen Quintet: Blood Requiem. And Book 2, Dark Immolation, will be released on June 20th of this year! So keep an eye out for it!

    Listen to a clip from The Chaos Queen 1: Duskfall below and click here to purchase from GraphicAudio.

  • Back with a Vengeance: The All-New GraphicAudio Deathlands

    Rick Rohan here. Been kinda quiet here on the GA nation blog.

    Okay, so it's not that easy to keep blogs and podcasts going on a regular basis. Trust me, though, we haven't been sitting on our hands. All the time we might have spent with such entertaining and enlightening side ventures has been dedicated to the main task at hand: cooking up some blockbuster stuff to light up the movie screen in your mind.

    Such as:

    When GraphicAudio launched in the fall of 2004, the flagship title of our limited initial offerings was the cult favorite post-apocalyptic adventure series Deathlands, and that ship has sailed on through largely untroubled waters for the past twelve years. Over its long tenure in GraphicAudio, its audience has grown exponentially.

    Now GraphicAudio is even more involved with the Deathlands story creation process and has the pleasure of bringing you even more new titles in the Deathlands Series.

    As I write this, Sound Designer extraordinaire Thomas Hogan is putting the finishing touches on Deathlands # 126: Survival In Doubt, the first "original" episode in what will be a new era in the Deathlands saga. Our intent is to take an already successful formula and refine it, distill the elements that have made it the long-running series it has been, and concoct a fresh take that will give the stories new life. The characters that we call the companions and that die-hard fans have come to consider old friends will still be familiar, but we may see them in ways we never have before. We'll learn more about them, their strengths and their flaws, and explore the dynamics that have made them such a close-knit family of extraordinary survivors in a world that seems so relentlessly intent on killing them. And their stories will return to a tight continuity, where events have consequences that carry on from one episode to the next. We'll also be building on stories of the past. Longtime fans will find "easter eggs" aplenty in the new GraphicAudio stories, and some questions that have never been answered will be dealt with.

    Survival In Doubt picks up immediately after the events of Deathlands # 121 End Day, a terrific tale in which the companions travel through time via mat-trans to New York City in the days just before the missiles started flying and the world as we knew it ended.

    This does not mean the stories contained in episodes 122-125 didn't happen, either before or after End Day. They're good, strong stand-alone stories that exist out of any clear chronology, other than who the members of the companions are at that point in time, and those stories might even be referenced in future episodes. Who knows what the future holds?

    Well, I do. Some of it. At least the in the first two new episodes. However, I imagine even I will be surprised at how things continue to unfold.

    If you've never checked out the Deathlands series before, this is a good place to jump on board. You won't be lost, and if you like what you hear, there is a mountain of back catalogue to keep you entertained while waiting for the next new episode. Lookee here:
    DEATHLANDS at GraphicAudio.net

    Oh, and we're also working on more podcasts of All In Your Mind, recording (at least) 6 actor interviews over the next 10 days, so that side venture will return very soon as well.

    So keep the faith, GA Nation. Deathlands lives!

  • GraphicAudio CD Shelves at Truck Stops and Travel Centers

    Please Send Us Pictures of the GraphicAudio CD Shelves at Truck Stops and Travel Centers.

    Truck Stop Calling all our GraphicAudio Nation Fans and Customers who purchase our GraphicAudio CD titles in Truck Stops and Travel Centers in the U.S. and Canada.

    As you are traveling across the country, please email us pictures of the GraphicAudio CD shelves at truck stops and travel centers you typically go to. Please let us know the store name and store location. If you know the store number, that is helpful too.

    Those who respond will receive our new GraphicAudio Beanie hat or other equivalent GraphicAudio Swag item.

    Thanks in advance!

    Please email the pictures and store information as well as your name and mailing address to: sales@graphicaudio.net

  • All Bets Are Off

    Many of our fans have written me personally this year wondering how we chose the actors who perform in our audio books. By Many fans, I should in fact say none, but beginning a blog entry by admitting that no one is actually interested in what you are about to write is in many ways quite disheartening and bad writing in general.

    In an ideal world you would all be interested in the casting process, so in an attempt to bring the world closer to the ideal, let's all pretend that you are all in fact interested, and I will take you through grueling process that I use as a director to fit the actor/actress to the appropriate role.

    STEP 1: What is the best role for me?

    Now you might be saying that seems self-serving and egotistical and you would be correct. (Double-plus good on you!)

    But you must understand as an actor, I must demand the most memorable role for myself first and then begin the painful and often time consuming process of arguing with the director about why I am the right choice. The director in this case would also of course be me and the conversation usually goes something like this:

    Actor: Of course I should play the hero of the story!
    Director: You do know that she is a 13 year-old girl, don't you?
    Actor: I can play anything, you know that! People just need to learn to suspend their disbelief. They do it in the movies all the time, they let Arnold play the governor of California.
    Director: No, he was governor of California.
    Actor: Please don't bother me with your "reality." I want that role!
    Director: I really don't feel comfortable having this conversation. My final answer is no, you can't play the role.
    Actor: Fine. Who can I play?
    Director: I was thinking the bouncer at the night club with two lines, he's described as having a deep-gravelly voice.
    Actor: I'll do it! But, you really need to open your mind up to the possibilities of non-traditional casting.

    STEP 2: Throw a dart at the actor board.

    Let's be honest Graphic Audio has developed such a deep and diverse acting pool over the last several years that we are hip deep in talent. (If you are under five feet tall, neck deep.) I and my fellow directors are spoiled for choices these days.

    The most talented actor will always get the role to which they are best suited, that is unless I find out that blackmailing the director works and then....

    ... well let's just say all bets are off.

    Scott C. McCormick

  • Playing Gods - An Original GraphicAudio Production

    Most likely by the time you read this, GraphicAudio will have released a title that has special significance for GraphicAudio as a publisher and me in particular. Playing Gods: Isolation by Chris Rohan and Karen Rohan is the first (but not the last, more about that later) "original" story to be written especially for GraphicAudio and never before seen or heard in any other format.

    And as the authors' last names indicate, this is also something of a family affair, so I beg your indulgence if I gush a bit more than usual.

    My son Chris Rohan was a member of the original GraphicAudio creative team, having worked as sound designer, theme composer (Rogue Angel, Stony Man) and actor on numerous titles, including Deathstalker, Deathlands, DC Comics' Infinite Crisis, Batman Inferno, Batman: Dead White and many, many more.

    He and GA director Nathanial Perry were largely responsible for sparking the internet phenomenon that was Snakes On A Plane with their audio trailer spoof, and Chris actually did sound design on GA's own cult classic and hard-to-find audio version of that story, though neither he nor Nathanial will accept any responsibility for the final film. Life-long gamer and computer geek Chris and his collaborator, fellow gamer, illustrator and, oh yeah, wife Karen Rohan have pooled their talents and experience to create a story that was truly meant to be told in GraphicAudio.

    Playing Gods was written specifically for the medium, informed by years of creative experience in the field of audio story-telling. That experience can be heard in the lean, clear prose and crisp dialogue, the detailed soundscapes of the story, and the spectacular, super-charged battle scenes. Karen's interests in biology, zoology and primitive culture have come to play in creating the language and nuanced customs of the fascinating Lami tribe, a snake-like race who are compelled to cope with forces beyond their understanding. Karen's cover art and vivid illustrations bring an added dimension to the GraphicAudio experience.

    Yes, I'm a proud father and father-in-law and Playing Gods feels a bit like my second grandchild, except with a lot more baby-sitting.

    This has been a project literally years in the making, and I've been involved with it to varying degrees since the early drafts all the way through the direction of performances and post-production decision-making, so I take personal pride in the finished product as well. And speaking of performances, I'd like to shower praise on some outstanding portrayals in what is a uniformly well-acted story. GraphicAudio favorite Kimberly Gilbert is right at the top of the list, for her touching and inspired performance as Lissah, the Lami who develops a close relationship with the outsider Xriah, avatar champion of his goddess.

    Her deft handling of the technical challenges of dialogue spoken in a difficult alien language as well as the awkwardness of syntax and phrasing in her dialogue that is spoken in the human tongue was simply amazing, creating a character that is decidedly inhuman but filled with very relatable emotional complexity. Other compelling performances have been delivered by many GraphicAudio favorites, including David Coyne, Bradley Smith, Nanette Savard, Emlyn McFarland and Andy Brownstein, among many others.

    If you'd like to hear more about Playing Gods: Isolation, check out the next All In Your Mind podcast in which we'll talk to the authors, but don't wait for that. Go right now to the Playing Gods product page and listen to the full 25 minute prologue to get a good taste of what I've been yakking about for the past 5 minutes.

    Rick Rohan
    Senior Creative Director

  • Thankful For Our Customers and Fans!

    We are thankful for good health, family and friends and our unique work family. We are extremely thankful for all of you in GraphicAudio Nation. We can't do what we do without your support and we truly appreciate when you purchase our GraphicAudio titles.

    To us it means you get us, you understand our art and our hard work. All of our cast and crew are dedicated to making our audio entertainment the best that it can be. It is not easy work and can be quite stressful to make deadlines to get it ready to sell in the stores or in our online store.

    So this Thanksgiving, we take our hats off to you, our customers and fans in GraphicAudio Nation. Thank you!

    Anji - GraphicAudio Veep and on behalf of the Graphicaudio Cast & Crew

  • The Demon Cycle

    Blog Post by Author Peter V. Brett:

    I want to tell you about the AMAZING job Graphic Audio has done in bringing The Demon Cycle to life as an audio dramatization.

    demon_cycle_4_the_skull_throne_1_of_3 I'm a big fan of my unabridged audiobooks, particularly the fantastic work done by narrator Pete Bradbury, so I was skeptical at first of the Graphic Audio productions.

    But Graphic Audio has done something completely different, and unlike anything else on the market today. They have produced The Demon Cycle novels and novellas with the flair of an old-school radio play, complete with narrator, full-cast voice actors, sound effects, and music.

    The result is really amazing. The cast is fantastic, producing some really stellar performances with fabulous accents. Some of the scenes, like those where Leesha and Bruna verbally fence with each other, make me cackle with glee, and Arlen's performance just soars.

    Also wonderful are the sound effects, particularly the individually crafted sounds for each breed of demon, and the way the song lyrics in the book were set to music. You get to actually hear Keerin sing!

    You can check out samples of the Demon Cycle at GraphicAudio.net.

    Thanks to everyone who worked so hard on this project!
    Production credits:
    Directed by: Johann Dettweiler
    Starring: Richard Rohan, Terence Aselford, Colleen Delany, Delores King Williams, Elizabeth Jernigan, James Lewis, Christopher Graybill, Nick De Pinto, Thomas Penny, Steven Carpenter, Michael Glenn, Eric Messner, Joe Brack, Mort Shelby, Ken Jackson, Michael John Casey and Joseph Thornhill
    Book Adapted for GraphicAudio by: Johann Dettweiler
    Dialogue Editor: Johann Dettweiler
    Sound Designer: Johann Dettweiler
    Additional Redshirts by: The Dead Giveaways
    Original Artwork by: Lauren Cannon
    Producers: Richard Rohan and Duane Beeman
    Executive Producer: Anji Cornette

  • There Are No Words...

    As storytellers in GraphicAudio, we relish the challenge of complete storytelling without the use of visuals. We geek out about fist-smashes, elevator chimes, wind storms, and magical ka-pows. It is quite another challenge altogether to communicate without the use of words.

    In Leigh Evans' Mystwalker series, there are two characters who've been magically encapsulated within an amulet. They've got plenty to say; just no words to say it with.

    MystwalkerNanette Savard and Scott Graham have done amazing work speaking volumes with hums and grunts and just about anything you can think of doing with your voice, short of using actual language.

    Here's a fun challenge for those of you playing along at home! Just as our esteemed GraphicAudio voice actors have been asked to do, using only your voice and no words, try and communicate:

    "Don't mess with me."

    "I'm okay."

    "Can I help?"

    "I'm mad at you."

    "What's going on?"

    We had a blast in the booth, trying to tease out the nuances of meaning for each bit of non-verbal "dialogue." And it yielded some interesting commentary along the way, like when Scott remarked,

    "I'm sorry; Ralph's 'war cry' sound might've come across a little like Ralph's 'constipation sound'..."

    We constantly strive to up our game! But I'll be REALLY impressed though when Nan can order lunch, wordlessly:

    "I'll have a grilled pastrami on rye, easy on the mustard, with a dill pickle and a Dr. Brown's cream soda, to go."

    Colleen Delany

  • More Bullpen Badinage from the Early Years

    Well, hello again! Nanette Savard here. I was gratified to receive a couple of positive responses to my first offering of random nonsense from the GraphicAudio workspace here in beautiful downtown Bethesda. So, I sifted through my pile of digital foolscap and came up with these.

    The first is from way back when Chris Rohan was still a physical presence in the bullpen. Those of you who eat yogurt can relate.

    NAN: "Don't you hate it when you open a yogurt and it spits on you?"
    CHRIS: "I hate it when you open a yogurt and it tries to kill you."
    NAN: "Don't you hate it when you open a yogurt and it tries to claw your eyes out?"
    CHRIS: "Don't you hate it when you open a yogurt and it pulls a gun on you?"
    NAN: "Don't you hate it when you open a yogurt and it aims an RPG at you?"
    TERENCE: "When yogurt goes bad..." 4/20/09

    "When I take Mookie out for a rain walk, he becomes Spongedog Hairpants."
    Mookie is the Rohan family's tub-o'-personality (and hair) Shih-tsu. Rick, 8/06/09

    Variations on a theme of "Turd in a Punchbowl." Various, 7/15/10
    "Turd in a punchbowl, skip to my Lou, turd in a punchbowl, skip to my Lou..."
    "Three turds in a punchbowl, which will the punchbowl bless..." (to the tune of 'Three Coins in a Fountain')
    "Turd in a Punchbowl! The tasty new cracker from Nabisco!"
    "Turd in a punchbowl, wake unto meee..." (to the tune of "Beautiful Dreamer")
    "I caught you pooping in the punchbowl..." (to the tune of "Crying in the Chapel")
    "Turd in a punchbowl, two bits!"
    "It's just a turd in a punchbowl, baby..." (to the tune of 'In a Gadda Da Vida')
    "Turd in a punchbowl, there doesn't seem to be any pee arou-ound..." (to the tune of 'I Think We're Alone Now')
    "Tuuuurd in a punchbowl, honey dontcha wanna go..." (to the tune of "Goin' Up the Country")

    RICK: "Duane, what's Nathanial's computer password?"
    DUANE: "Hang on...USUCK."
    RICK: "I know, but what's his password?" (12/09/10)

    Michael Glenn surprises us by stopping in with his two-year-old son Hugo, firmly strapped into his stroller. They were coming from Big Planet Comics. Rose immediately engages Hugo in conversation.
    ROSE: "Do they have "Casper" comics?"
    HUGO: "No."
    (Rose reacts with exaggerated astonishment)
    ROSE: "Do they have "Donald Duck" comics?"
    HUGO: "No."
    (Same reaction)
    ROSE: "Do they have "Mickey Mouse" comics?"
    HUGO: "No."
    (Same reaction)
    ROSE: "Do they have "Goofy" comics?"
    HUGO: "No."
    (Same reaction)
    NAN: "Do they have "Vlad the Impaler" comics?"
    HUGO: "Yes."
    (Everyone laughs, including Hugo.) 11/09/11

  • Fan Buzz - Vikki's Top 10 Best GA Titles

    I have been with GA long before GA was GA. I have listened to hundreds of their titles and have felt the desire to offer my opinion to the newer customers who perhaps haven't listened to as many as I have. I have picked these titles because of their production value, acting and how much I lost myself in their story. These are not necessarily my favorites but ones that I think showcase what makes GA so great. I do have to say since my finances have fallen on hard times many newer titles are not represented. Here we go...

    10) Templar Chronicles 1 - The Heretic: This modern urban fantasy rips with action making some pretty odd fight scenes not only memorable but also easily visualized in your mind. What sells this one a spot on the top 10 is how The Beyond is done. Creepy as hell! Showing the land of the dead believably on audio was a masterpiece of writing, narrating and music.

    9) Crisis on Infinite Earths: One of GA's first comic titles, it was also its first great epic. I like comics, but I am not an avid fan. Still I had no problem following this complicated story even not knowing many of the characters. Multiple versions of the same characters played by the same actor was pulled off flawlessly by the great actors at GA. We are so spoiled by GAs great comic epics now, it pays to remember when this came out it had been GAs biggest title done up to that time so an extra shoutout to Richard Rohan who wrestled this monster into a masterpiece.

    8) Loner 4 - The Big Gundown: I confess I had a hard time choosing just one from this series. If this was a list of best series this series would top the list with almost every title on it being so well done. I chose this one frankly because it made me cry the most. The emotional tension mixed with suspense and GAs signature action sequences sucks you in. Fabulous performance by Eric Messener and amazing directing by Nanette Savard.

    7) North America's Forgotten Past 4 - People of the River: Another great directing job by Nanette Savard this series for some reason did not make as big of a splash as the others. It is a shame. Past cultures that have long ago died live again in these layered and complicated stories. The detail of the day to day lives is amazing. This only adds to an action story and great characters.

    6) The Wolf's Hour: Part spy novel part horror novel this series brings it! As a spy novel it crackles with action, humor and suspense. As a horror novel it is gripping. I have to say the sound of the transformations made my skin crawl, bone-snapping goodness! Another imaginative world brought alive with 100 percent believability.

    5) First Mountain Man 1 - The First Mountain Man: No one does westerns like William W. Johnstone and never is he at his best than here. Humor, action, and the incredible Mort Shelby bring one of the most beloved Johnstone characters to life. Mort Shelby was born to play this role. If I had only read this book, Preacher would still have had his voice.

    4) Batman - Inferno: I have to confess I am not a huge Batman fan. Why then is this one here? Because it is a freaking awesome story that happens to be a Batman story. Richard Rohan goes to the darkside channeling the Joker making him chilling and insane. He also does double duty as Batman. This is made even harder when the Joker pretends to be Batman. Not for the fainthearted this title grips you by the throat and stays there until the end.

    3) Wolf and The Buffalo: Listed as a western, it is so much more than that. A corner of the old west that has been largely ignored by western writers this story is part history and part epic drama. You are drawn into the lives of the Buffalo Soldiers who are fighting to protect white citizens who still think of them as slaves. At the same time you walk with the Native Americans they fight as they fight a battle they are losing to save their culture. This book is realistic and doesn't back away from racism on all sides.

    2) Hewey Calloway 3 - Smiling Country: Unlike most of this list, this one is a fun romp. Dylan Lynch shines as the devil-may-care title character. Facing the most difficult part of his life you walk beside this fantastic character sharing every up and down with a wink and a tear. I actually listened to this series completely backwards starting with this one. I didn't have any trouble jumping right into this story without needing the back story, although it is worth it to listen to those as well.

    1) Nuclear Bombshell 1 - The Plutonium Blonde: The common theme to this list is how well different worlds are brought to life, which is what GA is all about. Nowhere is that done better than here. Set in the future the sound design is perfect, and perfectly unique. A buddy PI mystery set in a sci fi world the acting, action and sound effects as well as having an actual mystery, this title deserves its place as my #1 pick.

    So there you have it. As I said these may or may not be my favorites but they are the best of all that I have listened to. What ones do you think are best?

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