Listen to a sample and get the book for free. Just click on the image to get a link to the UK site.

The latest audiobook I’ve narrated is out now and you can get a free download if you sign up for a free trail of Audible. Just click on the image above to get a link the the UK Audible site or the image below to get a link to the US Audible site.

Mixed Blessings by John Broughton is a story set in Mierce in the English Midlands, 8th Century A.D.. Æthelbald, King of Mierce, is a man of ambition. Having created much-needed stability within his domain, he now aspires to take the surrounding kingdoms to expand and fortify his own. Stealthy and cunning, Æthelbald manipulates other men of power to achieve his goals.

The quest for power is not King Æthelbald’s only passion in life. Despite not wishing to marry, he has an unabating lust for women and takes advantage of his position to “raid” nunneries to satisfy his desires. But Æthelbald also wishes to be seen as a fair and merciful king, and many poor, common folk benefit from his generous deeds and favourable resolutions.

As Æthelbald’s reign grows and strengthens, so too does the authority of the church, whose leverage over monarchical matters becomes increasingly overbearing. The church does not approve of King Æthelbald’s exploits with innocent women and seeks to bring him into line with the threat of eternal damnation.

The book chronicles the life of an English king in the days where the boundaries of kingdoms and social propriety were undergoing rapid change.

Click on the image to get the link for the USA.

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Mack Nuggets

09Jul20

Here’s what I’ve been up on Podcast Radio lately including:
The Real reason Shaun Williamson went on Big Brother and his relationship with Derek Acorah; Alan Alda on censorship on M*A*S*H and being beaten by Barack Obama; Gavin Esler on leadership; Dirty audiobooks with Piper Terrett; Dom Joly talks about going to school with Osama Bin Laden; The true location of my father’s ashes and my new career as an audiobook narrator.

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


I got ripped off this week.

I’ve become an audiobook narrator. I auditioned for and was accepted to narrate a guided meditation audiobook through http://www.ACX.com. The deal I had with the manuscript rights holder was that I would get paid $70 for every hour of the book I produced. The book contained ten one-hour meditations, so I was due to get $700.

I started to get suspicious when the rights holder sent me a message through the ACX site with the subject “loved your audition” and went on to say that he had another audiobook that also paid $700 that he had coming out soon and had lots of friends who were looking for a good narrator as well. Call me cynical but shouldn’t he have waited and see how the finished audiobook turned out before peeing in my pocket? I mean, for all he knew, I might not have been able to produce ten hours of audio before the deadline which was in seven days.

When you get an offer to do an audiobook, the first thing you’re asked to do is submit the first fifteen minutes for approval. About an hour after the rights holder approved the 15 minutes I’d uploaded to the ACX site, another red flag went up. He messaged me through the site and asked me to put a music bed under my voice. I replied telling him there was no music in the first 15 minutes he had approved. If he wanted musc, he should have made that clear at the beginning, not after he’d approved the dry audio. He replied saying he assumed music on a meditation audiobook was a “given”.

I messaged back saying I don’t own the copyright to any music but if he sent me a music track he had the rights to, I’d put that on there. He messaged straight back and said it didn’t matter and he was happy for me to do it without music.

Then I recorded the audio. The manuscript was terrible, full of spelling mistakes, bad punctuation, typos and confusing instructions to read out that contradicted each other. For some of it I was directed to keep silent for up to 90 seconds at a time. One part of it instructed me to stay silent for three seconds followed directly with an instruction to stay silent for 30 seconds with nothing between the two periods of silence (?). It wasn’t exactly the most engaging read either, just a load of bollocks about how to keep your chakras aligned.

After I finished recording the first “hour”, I noticed it had only run for 40 minutes. This turned out to be the longest “hour”. One of the other “hours” only ran for 28 minutes. When I loaded the completed audio onto the ACX site the full running time of the ten hour audiobook was six hours and fifty-four minutes.

I thought getting me on board for ten hours of work and only ending up with just shy of seven was how this scam was going down, if only I had been that lucky!

I sent the rights holder a message saying the work was all loaded up onto the ACX site and asked him to deposit $490 ($70x7hours) into my paypal account. A few hours later, he messaged back saying he couldn’t accept the work because it was not ten hours long. I thought that’s odd, he’s got $700 worth of work for $490, and he’s not happy? What’s the matter with him?

I went back to the audio, inserted a couple of hundred more pauses and even electronically slowed the tempo of the tracks down. While I could drag the first track out to an hour, there was nothing I could do to stretch the others to 60 minutes each, especially the 28 minute track. On that one, the electronic tempo shifter made me sound like a drunken robot! The manuscript was not only badly written, it was also way too short for each of the ten meditations to last an hour.

It was at this point that I KNEW something was definitely up because he never replied to any of my further messages. I’d done all of that work to produce nearly seven hours of audio for nothing.

My worry is that before I managed to get onto the ACX site to take down all of the audio, he would have had time to download it. He now could have everything he needs to release a fully produced audiobook called “Change Your Life In Seven Hours”.

I’ve messaged him again this morning to see if we can work this out. I haven’t heard a thing from him. My only contact was through the ACX site. I don’t have his phone number, email address or know anything about him except his name, which is probably fake.

What bothers me most is not that my work was not rewarded, it’s something much bigger than that. I audition for a lot of audiobooks and one of the things I like best is the feeling I get when I receive a message that says, “You have received an offer to produce an audiobook”. – I will never experience that brief moment of happiness again. Each time I get an offer to do a book from now on, I’ll be filled with suspicion instead of joy. That’s what’s really been taken from me and that will last much longer than the time I wasted recording the scam book.

So if you download a guided meditation book and the narrator sounds a lot like me, please let me know. I need to track this bloke down because I want to re-align his chakras!

And this is what it sounds like when 28 minutes of guided meditation is dragged out to 60 minutes;

Drunken Robot

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Mack Nuggets

04Jul20

Here’s what I’ve been up to on Podcast Radio lately, including:

The Real reason Shaun Williamson went on Big Brother and his relationship with Derek Acorah;

Alan Alda on censorship on MAS*H and being beaten by Barack Obama; Gavin Esler on leadership;

Dirty books with Piper Terrett.

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


Zoomcast

Trevor & Ryan Mangan are a father & son team of painters and decorators. They also have a podcast that is taking the world by storm. In this Zoomcast for Podcast radio, they talk about how they got started in the trade and what you hear in their podcast including the role McDonald’s played in decorating Trevor’s home, a tip for any small business to make sure you get paid on time and their ongoing feud with another podcast. Check out their podcast here; https://twodecoratorsandamicrophone.p…
Listen to The Pod 20 on Podcast Radio every Friday at 5pm.

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


Free Audiobook

26Jun20

I’ve narrated another audiobook and this one is a Regency romance. Be warned, it does get a bit saucy towards the end and required all of my acting skills!

The book is called, “The Bridal Contract” by Sandra Sookoo. It’s about Oliver Darrington, Viscount Tralsburg, he wants nothing more than to hide out at the family property in Brighton until he can secure a seaworthy ship and return to adventuring around the world. However, being handed his former mistress’ child isn’t part of that plan. Neither is the sudden longing for his pretty Italian neighbour.

Click on the photo above and you’ll be able to listen to a sample and get a free download of the audiobook, either by signing up to my audiobook newsletter or taking a free 30 day trial at Audible.com .

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack

 


Free Audiobook

18Jun20

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I’ve narrated another audiobook and it’s a prequel to that last one I did for the author Malcolm Archibald. Captain Jack Windrush and the the infamous 113th Foot are assigned to India, just before the Indian Mutiny breaks out in 1858. Returning from a five-day march with his company, Jack finds that the sepoys have rebelled and massacred their officers, and most of the other company of the 113th. Gathering together a number of survivors, Jack and his company fight their way out of the cantonment and escape. After Jack learns that the British are besieged by a large rebel army, he takes his men to Allahabad to relieve Cawnpore, and meet with General Havelock. He proves to be a capable commander, but lacks manpower. As the war rages around them, Jack faces new challenges – both military and personal.

Download the audiobook for free, just sign up to my Audiobook Newsletter by clicking the image above.

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack

 


In this Zoomcast with Piper Terrett, we discuss if Dirty audiobooks are the future. We also talk about  Doug’s sunflower obsession and a look inside the studio in the wardrobe.

Check out Piper’s blog for Hertford, Ware & Hoddesdon,
www. Happeninginherts.com

Get a free audiobook here;
https://www.grahammack.com/audiobooks

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


Germany Bight

14Jun20

I talked to my old mate Martin Heer from “Hitradio antenne 1” in Stuttgart Germany about the difference between radio in the UK, Australia and Germany. We also talked about his time at BOBfm in the Home Counties and how he came to work there.
Check out Martin’s Website, http://www.metamorphus.de .

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


Boyd Hilton

13Jun20

Boyd Hilton is the Entertainment Director at Heat Magazine. He’s involved at The Pilot Magazine and writes for The Guardian, Evening Standard, Huffington Post, GQ, Empire and When Saturday comes. You’ve heard him on BBC Radio 2, Radio 4 and 5Live and he’s involved with BAFTA.

On this Zoomcast for Podcast Radio, Boyd talks about Fawlty Towers being taken down from UKTV’s streaming service because of racism, historic blackface and is Harry Enfield’s depiction of scousers and Lee & Dean’s representation of the working class just as offensive? As well as Must-see TV and films, the ones to avoid and the podcasts he listens to.

Listen to Boyd on the excellent ‘Pilot TV’ Podcast here;
https://planetradio.co.uk/podcasts/pi…

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


Ken Levine

11Jun20

Ken Levine is an Emmy award-winning screenwriter, director and producer who has worked on M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier, The Simpsons, Wings, Everybody Loves Raymond, Becker and Dharma & Greg. He’s also an author, blogger and has a podcast called Hollywood & Levine.

In this chat he talks about his life and work including being a radio DJ, baseball play by play announcer and how he got into writing comedy on some of the biggest television shows in the world, working with Tom Hanks, his crush on Mary Tyler Moore, his feud with Rosanne and more.

Check out Ken’s podcast here;
https://hollywoodandlevine.libsyn.com/

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


Today I had a Zoomchat with BBC TV and radio presenters Zoe Kleinman & Susannah Streeter. We talked about their podcast, “Backspace & Beyond” and lots more besides including diversity and wearable tech.
Craic on!

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


Russ Williams

08Jun20

I had a chat with the Hall of Fame broadcaster Russ Williams. Russ talked about his life and career, growing up in Blackpool, The National Broadcasting School, Metro Radio, Capital Radio, Richard Park, Virgin Radio, Absolute Radio, going on tour with The Rolling Stones, The Russ & Jono Breakfast Experience, Fix Radio, talkSport, podcasting, and his books including his new book, “How To Walk Yourself Healthy & Happy” – Click this link to get yours;
https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Walk-you…

Craic on!

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


Like a lot of people, during lockdown, I’ve been working from home. I present “The Pod 20” on Podcast Radio and do all of my audiobook producing and narrating from my home studio as well. If you’re a broadcaster or podcaster or want to get into it, here’s the technical and not so technical spec:

I use a Shure SM7B microphone, the same as I used at the last Australian radio station I worked on, 2GO on the New South Wales Central Coast. It’s a dynamic mic, so not as sensitive as a condenser mic.

I’ve never understood why all of the British radio stations I’ve worked on use condenser mics. It means listeners can hear creaking chairs, the studio door and the keyboard and mouse clicking on the air. The studios have to be really well acoustically treated to sound half-decent. They’re especially bad when there are two or more people talking in the same studio, all on condenser mics.  It’s difficult to balance the sound because all of the mics pick up some of the other presenter. No radio station I worked at in Australia used condenser mics in the on-air studio.

Anyway, I find using a less-sensitive dynamic mic in a home studio is the way to go because they are more forgiving of everyday sounds like traffic outside, TVs in other rooms and neighbours. They don’t tend to pick up those background sounds so much.

I’ve got the mic plugged into a Behringer 501 mixer which connects to an iMac via USB. The mic channel has phantom power which I don’t need for the dynamic mic and use it to drive a Cloudlifter CL1 preamp. I have all of the EQ and compression set at 12 o’clock. There are two spare channels that I use to connect other sources for live, voicetracked and recorded radio programmes. With my Macbook connected, I can add sound effects and music beds off a soundboard and even have on-air phone calls when I connect my mobile to it and it can all be done live and on the fly.

The studio itself is inside a built-in wardrobe. I took the clothes rail out, put in a desk and acoustically treated the walls and ceiling with 50mm thick acoustic foam tiles.

Here’s a before picture of the wardrobe…

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And an after picture of the studio…

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I wish I’d done this years ago, there’s no place like home!

Craic on!

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Malcolm Archibald is the author of a series of fabulous books about a British Army officer from the nineteenth century called Jack Windrush. I got to narrate one of them and talked to Malcolm about it.

If you’d like to get the Jack Windrush book I narrated, click on the link below, sign up to my new Audiobook Newsletter and if you’re one of the next twenty people to subscribe, I’ll send you a code you can use to get the audiobook FOR FREE!

https://www.grahammack.com/audiobooks

Craic on!

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack

 


I got to talk to Shaun Williamsom who is best known for playing Barry Evans in Eastenders. Shaun talked about growing up in Maidstone, his life as a postman, the Royal Navy, and as a Pontins Bluecoat.

We also chatted about his drinking, drama school, getting cast on Eastenders, working in cabaret, his experience of being the subject of This Is Your Life, working on Extras with Ricky Gervais and David Bowie, his motivation for going on Celebrity Big Brother, his successes at a TV quiz show contestant, his love of quizzes and the murder mystery he’s written called “Eden’s End”.

Craic on!

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


The first audiobook I’ve ever narrated is now for sale on Audible. It’s a great book too and was a lot of fun to read.

It’s called “Windrush: Jayanti’s Pawns” by Malcolm Archibald. It’s about a British army captain called Jack Windrush and is set in India during the later stages of the Indian Mutiny in 1858.

I’ve got another four books coming out soon. To be one of the first to know when they’re released sign up to my new Audiobook Newsletter. If you’re one of the next twenty people to sign up, I’ll send you a code so you can download, “Windrush: Jayanti’s Pawns” FOR FREE!

SUBSCRIBE TO MY AUDIOBOOK NEWSLETTER HERE.

 
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Alan Alda

29May20

I got to have a chat with the wonderful Alan Alda. We talked about M*A*S*H, his Dad, face blindness, the Orient Express, not signing autographs, Parkinson’s, playing a Republican and his podcast, Clear And Vivid. He even gave me an acting tip to use when I narrate audiobooks.

Craic on!

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


Podcast Radio

28May20
Graham Mack, Podcast Radio – Episode 5.

Here’s what I’ve been up to on Podcast Radio lately including:

Dom Joly talks about going to school with Osama bin Laden, the final resting place of my father and my new career as an audiobook narrator.

Craic on!

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack


Book-shy

18May20

There’s a lot more to being an audiobook narrator than you think. I had a chat to the journalist Piper Terrett about my first attempts at it.

Craic on!

If you enjoyed this Craic, please click “like” and tweet a link.Check out,  www.grahammack.com Follow me on Twitter @GrahamMack




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