Mystery And Vampire Audiobook Author Michele Drier

Today I’m welcoming Michele Drier, an author who writes (and has audiobooks) in two genres: traditional mystery and paranormal romance. One of her paranormals, SNAP: Love for Blood, was recently nominated as a Reviewers Choice for Best Book in 2013 by the Paranormal Romance Guild.

What was it like hearing your books narrated as an audiobook?

Different! Even though I read my books aloud to myself before I publish them, it’s interesting to hear a professional actor interpret them and make the characters come to life.

What was the most rewarding part of the production process? Was there anything surprising?

Most of my books are written in the first person, but I used third person for two novellas in the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles. These were back stories of how the Kandeskys began five hundred years ago and the narrator was an actor originally from Australia. He had just a trace of an accent and gave a deeper, nuanced reading. I don’t usually listen to audiobooks, but hearing my own in audio is very rewarding. Someone else has helped me bring my book off the page.
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What would you tell someone who has never tried listening to an audiobook? Why are audiobooks a good alternative to print or e-books?

Audiobooks are another way of immersing yourself in a story. Although I don’t usually buy them, I commuted for better than an hour each day and they were wonderful. I also have an aging in-law who has macular degeneration and audiobooks have been a great boon.

There is a lot of writing involved before authors get to the point where their books are ready to be produced as audiobook. Here are a few questions about the writing process:

Do you outline your books or wing it? Describe your process.

I don’t exactly wing it, I have a general idea of the plot and the outcome when I begin. But I don’t outline, I start at page one and write until it’s finished. Along the way, I end up taking detours that I never knew were there, and the characters don’t always behave as they should

What genre(s) do you write in? Why?

I write traditional mysteries and paranormal romance. I’ve always loved and read mysteries—I think it’s because I love puzzles, so I wanted to write them. The paranormal series came about because my son-in-law said, “You need to write a vampire book.” I think it’s because he reads them. And voila, the Kandeskys were born.

How much research was involved in writing your books? How did you go about it?

Ooohhh, Google is my friend! For the paranormals, I read several other writers—Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher—and I keep a map of the world handy because the characters are all over Europe and the Middle East. I did a lot of local research for Labeled for Death because the bodies are found in a vineyard. I even went to U.C. Davis, interviewed one of the wine historians and looked at some varietal books from the 1860s. Great fun!

How much of you is in the books you write? In what ways?

A lot? A little? Probably quite a bit. My protagonists are women who are always trying to figure out puzzles. Why did those people get killed? Did I make the right decision? Why can’t I communicate with the man in my life? I’ve never been able to figure out how men think, so my protagonists have adopted that characteristic. And the mysteries always have a real murder that we covered when I worked in newspapers.

What is your latest audiobook about? Who is the narrator? Please share audio retail links also.
It’s not my most recent book, but Edited for Death is my most recent audiobook. The narrator is Lee Ann Howlett. We received a great review from AudioFile: “This charming mystery features the newspaper office of a small California town. Editor Amy Hobbs and her young reporter, Clarice, who covers the police beat, have an endearing relationship. Narrator Lee Ann Howlett delightfully portrays Clarice, whose enthusiasm and emotion abound, much to her occasional embarrassment. Howlett also provides strong characterizations of Amy, Amy’s French-Canadian boyfriend, and pre- and post-WWII Germans. A relatively straightforward news story about a local senator leads to lost art and then to several murders. Flashbacks to the war and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the newspaper office enliven the mystery and give the setting authenticity.”

Tell us about your hero or heroine in this book. Give us one of his/her strengths and one of his/her weaknesses.

The heroine has been left by her husband, who’s taken his pregnant girlfriend and moved to Illinois. Her strength is that she took on the job as managing editor of the local paper and is making a success of it because of her curiosity. Her weakness is that her self-esteem has been shaken by her husband’s desertion and she’s unsure about starting another relationship.

What other audiobooks have you written?

SNAP: The World Unfolds and Plague: A Love Story. And Book Five of the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, SNAP: Love for Blood is in production.

For more about Michele Drier, follow her Facebook fan page or email her at

Stop by Stacy’s audiobook page to browse her audiobook reads for adults, teens and children, and visit her Audiobook Corner for links to narrator and author interviews.

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  1. Great interview! It’s always interesting to see how authors think. 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for coming by, Mike! Glad you enjoyed it. Michele is a talented author.

  3. Great to read this interview with Michele. It was such a pleasure to narrate Edited for Death. She created wonderful characters to bring to life!

  4. I agree, Lee Ann, Michele does bring great characters to life. Thanks so much for coming by – always a pleasure to hear from our talented narrators!

Stacy Juba