Friday, July 15, 2022

AudioBook Tour: A Fallen Hero by Sara A. Noë

Author: Sara A. Noë

Narrators: A.J. Shuck, Mia Hutchinson-Shaw

Length: 18 hours and 50 minutes

Series: Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms , Book 1

Producer: Audiobook Empire

Publisher: On the Cobblestone Road LLC Audio

Released: Apr 9, 2022

Genre: Fantasy

Cato is the only true half-human, half-ghost hybrid in existence. He's powerful and unique with two divine powers instead of one. The United States government believes he is the key to developing a devastating weapon that will give humankind an advantage when war inevitably erupts between the Human Realm and Avilésor, the Ghost Realm. After being an unwilling test subject in Project Alpha for two years, Cato and the rest of his "lab-family" survive a transport accident to find themselves stranded and powerless in the middle of the wilderness. Hunted every step of the way by ghostly Shadow Guards with supernatural abilities and human Agents desperate to recapture their prisoners, the eight young fugitives are drawn to Cato's hometown where the Rip between Realms connects the worlds. Cato wants nothing to do with his past, but as his enemies close in, he realizes he's willing to do anything to protect his lab-family . . . . . . even kidnap the daughter of a ghost hunter and make a dangerous deal to become a mercenary.

Sara A. Noë is an award-winning author, artist, and photographer. She has had poetry, short fiction, and memoir works featured in various anthologies and journals since 2005, and her poetry is now available in the Indiana Poetry Archives. Notable art achievements include her photograph "Aftermath" published on the cover of Voices Literary Journal in 2018, photograph "Spiraling" awarded Best Still Life in a 2019 juried gallery exhibit, and charcoal artwork "The Raven" displayed in the Uptown Arts District of Michigan City, Indiana. A Fallen Hero, the first novel in the Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series, was published in 2018 and has been critically acclaimed by NAM Editorial, The Prairies Book Review, Literary Titan, and Chronicle Focus Editorial, among others. The novel made book reviewer Lauren Gantt's list of Top 10 Favorite Books of 2019 and won the Literary Titan Gold Book Award in 2020. The series sequel, Phantom's Mask, was released in July 2020 and won the Literary Titan Gold Book Award less than two months after its release. As an artist, Sara creates her own covers and graphics. She lives in a little cottage with her calico cat, Calypso, who has a fondness for chewing pens and being as loud and sassy as possible.

A.J. Shuck is an Audiobook Narrator and Producer with 3 years of experience in Audiobooks and more than a decade of experience in stage acting and musical theatre. He fell in love with performing at the age of 13 when he premiered as Nerd #3 in a local production of High School Musical. He has a passion for books and reading especially YA Fiction and Mysteries. He believes strongly that the right words at the right time can change the world, certainly, they've changed his world. He is a proud member of the APA (Audio Publishers Association). He currently lives in Oklahoma City with the love of his life and their 3 beautiful daughters who have him wrapped around their little fingers.

Mia Hutchinson-Shaw is an actor and narrator based in NYC. Mia creates soulful, saucy, and lovable characters with her arsenal of accents and flare for the fun. Mia comes to narration with her background in classical and period-drama theater Off Broadway and Regional Stages. She trained in the UK at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, BA Acting with Honors (UK Equivalent to BFA) and was raised between Massachusetts and Montana. When not working as an actor, Mia is thrifting for her next outrageous, colorful clothing item, getting on her soap box about low-waste living, or hunting handmade jewelers for a new item for her collection of giant earrings. Her favorite is a pair of hot pink Galahs (a bird from Australia).

Narrator Q&A

Tell us about yourself.


Hi there. I am Mia Hutchinson-Shaw. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am an actor, narrator, and colorful clothing enthusiast.  I am based in New York City. I trained classically at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where I got a BFA in Acting and Interlochen Arts Academy. I create ridiculous and heartfelt characters who possess equal amounts depth and bubbliness.  My body of work spans period drama theater Off-Broadway , classical text and Shakespeare Regionally, screen, and now audiobook narration. I love to narrate Middle Grade, YA, Fantasy, Classics, Romance, Literary Fiction, and LGBTQIA+.  When not working as an actor, I am thrifting for my next outrageous, colorful clothing item, getting on my soapbox about low-waste living, or I am adding items to my collection of giant earrings. And if I weren’t busy enough I am an avid hiker and beginner bird watcher. 

A. J. Shuck

Hey, I’m A. J. Shuck. I’m a Narrator, Actor, Father, and Husband. Though not necessarily in that order. LOL! I’m so excited for this book! I grew up performing, and spent the majority of my summers as a teenager doing summer stock musical theatre. I first started narrating in 2019, and I’ve loved it!  

What inspired you to start narrating audiobooks?

Mia - I found narration during the start of 2020, when I was self isolating. It felt like a natural extension of my love of language, my classical acting training, and love of reading. 


I’ve always had a love of books and reading. And I’ve always loved performing and acting! The marriage of the two in Audiobook Narration was something that I had daydreamed about for years. And one day I had to ask myself the hard question. Would I be content with this just remaining a happy daydream for the rest of my life? The answer was a resounding No. So I started my journey, I saved up to buy my equipment and get some coaching, and I haven’t looked back. I’m happy to say I regret nothing.

How would you describe your narration style?

A. J. -I strive for realism in my dialogue, and character in my narration. Very rarely should anything be a dry read. Everything is written from someone’s perspective, it should sound that way too.

On average, how long does it take you to produce one hour of audio?

A.J. - It depends on what all I have to do. Just to narrate is usually a 1 to 2 or 2.5 ratio. If I’m doing all the post work it takes between 6-8 hours.

How many books have you narrated?

Mia- This is my fourth book. 

A. J.  This is my 11th book.

What is your favorite part about narrating? Least favorite?

Mia I love casting the characters! So exciting as an actor to find where each one lives in your body and voice. My least favorite is making misreads and doing pick-ups of the mistakes. It’s tedious!  

A. J. - I love doing my prep read through! Really diving into the story and the characters! Deciding how I want to portray certain Characters and narrate certain parts. It’s just creative and fun! I would probably say pick-ups as well. It’s time consuming and I feel like it just shows where I could’ve done better before.

Do you have a favorite genre or style? If so, why?

Mia - Currently I have been listening to a lot of Young Adult. I love the playfulness that it allows for performance and yet the complexity of themes in the writing. 

A. J. - I love YA Fiction/Fantasy. Everything is so vibrant when you are young. You feel everything so intensely the first time! I love tapping into that!

What does your routine look like when you’re starting a new audiobook project?

A. J. - I always read through the whole book first! I take notes on characters, story points, word pronunciation, and I write out a very brief outline of each chapter. That way I can refer to my notes when recording.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job as a narrator?

Mia - The room for curiosity and the excuse to read and read! I also just love working with authors in collaboration to bring the story to life while staying true to the work of the author. 

A. J. - I love imagining the listener experiencing the book. I want them to be not only entertained, but inspired.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about audiobooks/narration?

A. J. I think just the sheer amount of time it takes to create an audiobook. It really is a big endeavor.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in learning how to become an audiobook narrator?

Mia - Listen to lots of audiobooks. Make your own audiobook from the public domain to make sure Narration is indeed for you before getting hired by an author or publisher. Invest in high quality coaching from experienced narrators and yet be scrappy and creative along the way while you build your booth and gear.  

A. J. - Get coaching! And listen to the old guard narrators! And know that it is a LOT of work! But it is also a LOT of fun! Before you do anything take Sean Pratt’s “So, You Want to be an Audiobook Narrator?” Challenge. Look it up on Youtube!


At Audiobook Empire, audio reigns supreme, narrators are hailed as heroes, and headphones are worn with pride. Marrying pomp and circumstance with quality you can count on, Audiobook Empire is a full-service production house that produces and promotes audiobooks with gusto. Give your audiobook the imperial treatment by producing it with Audiobook Empire.

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