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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Audiobookworm Presents: Damaged Hearts by Jan St. Marcus; #Audiobook #BlogTour, #NowAvailable, #OutNow, #TBR, #Live


Author: Jan St. Marcus
Narrator: Toby James
Length: 14 hours 18 minutes
Series: Boys of Venice Beach Series, Book 1
Publisher: Blue Ascot Media
Released: July 16, 2021
Genre: MM Romance
#MMRomance  #MustListen 
#LoveAudiobooks  #AudiobookTour

A chance encounter connects them. Their tragic pasts bond them. An unexpected love surprises them. An unseen danger stalks them. Love doesn't have a chance...or does it? When 19-year-old military veteran Brandon Hawkins is attacked on Venice Beach by a gang of frat boys, he is saved by Michelangelo Curtis, a passerby. Michelangelo was roaming the boardwalk grieving the death of his twin brother six months earlier. The two men’s unexpected encounter forges a strong bond between the damaged and lonely men. Inviting the homeless Bran to his place for some food and a shower, 25-year-old Michelangelo finds himself drawn to the younger man. Neither of the men is gay. But before long, their friendship morphs into something like love and takes them both by surprise. And they have something else in common: The frat boys are out for revenge! Damaged Hearts is an M/M romance with a "gay for you" plot, HEA ending, and thriller elements that will keep you glued until the very end.

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Jan St. Marcus is currently working as a professional photographer in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area where he recently relocated after 25 years in the Los Angeles Area. Many of those years were spent living on the Beach in Venice, California, the setting for The Boys Of Venice Beach Series. DAMAGED HEARTS is the first of 4 novels planned for the series. He is currently single.

  1. Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.

    1. The process was tedious, but well worth it. I discovered that hiring a voice artist and paying for it myself would cost between $3,000 to $5,000 for a good narrator, so I chose to use the Royalty Share option offered by Audible. The problem with that the process of finding the right narrator can take a long time. 

  2. How did you select your narrator?

    1. Since I have 6 different characters doing 1st Person POV throughout the book, finding a narrator that could do a good job with so many voices was difficult. And it was SUPER important to me that the narrator be able to do all of the voices differently and consistently. As an audiobook fan, nothing makes a listen more frustrating than not being able to tell which character is speaking, so I was very picky throughout the process. Ultimately, I found Toby and he was AWESOME! And it was well worth waiting to find him.

  3. How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? 

    1. Toby and I worked fairly closely throughout the recording of the audiobook. In the beginning, I sent him fairly detailed character profiles for each of the characters so he would understand the little details about each character were important. Much more than just telling him name, age, and where the character was from. I think each profile was 2-3 pages. He was really attentive and interested in doing a great job, so he sent me a few samples and asked my opinion about the various voices. The best thing about Toby was that he wanted to do a great job as much as I wanted him to do a great job--so we were on the same page in terms of motivation from the start.

  4. Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? 

    1. I used to live on the Boardwalk in Venice and the impetus behind the homeless character was based on an actual encounter I had. I was in the process of moving from my apartment to a house near the end of the boardwalk in Marina Del Rey and I was almost done. It was a rainy night (rare for Los Angeles) and I went to “Henry’s Market” which was a convenience store right by the boardwalk for some cigarettes. I was hanging out under the awning by my apartment building when I was approached by a young homeless guy who asked me for a cigarette. We stood there, smoking and talking for a few minutes and I learned that he was a Marine Veteran. I was really taken by what circumstances must have been for someone who served his country to be homeless on Venice Beach and I asked him if he wanted to come up and have something to eat. As I was making him some eggs, I told him that he could take a shower, which he did, and then we sat down, eating and talking. He was a really nice guy who didn’t seem to be all that bothered by being homeless. Anyway, before he left, I let him go through my closet where I had a bunch of clothes that I was going to donate to Goodwill and I gave him one of my duffel bags because his bag was really ratty. I even gave him a couple of dress shirts and ties for job interviews. He was really appreciative and for years after that, I was bothered about how we treat our Veterans so poorly. So when I decided to write this novel, I started out with a fictionalized version of this guy, walking around Venice Beach in the rain.

  5. How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

    1. Burn-out has never been a thing for me. I’ve always stayed pretty busy with multiple projects going at any time, and writing is something I really enjoy doing, so it’s not like a job that you hate but you have to go to everyday where you hate your boss, you hate your co-workers and you can’t wait for 5 o’clock to roll around everyday.  

  6. Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you? 

    1. I am a HUGE audiobook fan. Last year, Audible told me that I listened to 78 audiobooks. I guess that’s kind of a lot. I love audiobooks because I can listen pretty much anywhere. I have always been a multi-tasker, so with my AirPods in, I can be doing just about anything while I listen--I’m not restricted to just listening in the car like I hear a lot of people are. 

  7. If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the  primary roles? 

    1. For Michelangelo, I really like this young actor from Canada named Kolton Stewart. He has a lot of TV credits, including the Netflix series, “LOCKE AND KEY” and “Some Assembly Required.” He really looks like I would picture Michelangelo. For Bran, I like Dylan SprayberryI have always thought he was underrated as an actor ever since I saw him on Teen Wolf.

  8. Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?

    1. Yes. Most definitely. When I was about ⅓ of the way through the novel, I woke up crying because the characters were in my dream and I saw a scene like it was happening right in front of me and I woke up crying. I went right to the computer and wrote that scene. It’s one of the most powerful scenes in the book--and it came to me in a dream.

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