Interview with Fantasy Audiobook Author Graeme Ing @GraemeIng

I welcome Graeme Ing to my blog today. Graeme is a spec-fic author who likes to write about strong female characters. Born in England, Graeme now lives in San Diego, California with his wife, Tamara, and six crazy cats.

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

Even better than I had imagined. Ocean of Dust has a large cast of characters and my narrator, Becky Doughty, did a great job in giving every one of them a unique voice.

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

We had a lot of fun going back and forth, tuning the voices to make them distinct and exciting as befits the YA adventure style. In many cases my narrator gave a whole different emphasis to sentences than I had intended. Often I liked her version better, and the experience taught me to pay closer attention to sentence construction when I am writing, to remove, or if needed, enhance such ambiguities. I was surprised how quickly an audiobook can be put together.
What would you tell someone who has never tried listening to an audiobook? Why are audiobooks a good alternative to print or e-books?

Try an audiobook today. A good narrator can bring an unexpected new depth to the story. You can hear the shouts, the whispers, or the uncertainty in the characters. Close your eyes and become absorbed in the story. Furthermore, audiobooks allow you to make use of dead times in your day, like driving to work. Stuck on the freeway? Great! You can enjoy more books.

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

I’m a total outliner – it’s the engineer in me. I use the Truby process to make comprehensive notes about every character, their goals, desires and motivations. I make a timeline, draw maps, and I make a multi-page, scene by scene outline of the entire book. My first draft may deviate from the outline, but that’s ok, I go with the flow, but I never edit as I write. All the real magic happens in the second and successive drafts. I usually write four drafts before it goes to my editor.

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

Speculative fiction (spec-fic) gives me plenty of leeway to write fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, cyberpunk, steampunk or any combination of them. I grew up on fantasy and sci-fi and I think most authors write what they prefer to read. To me though, the characters are the most important element, whatever the genre, and I enjoy incorporating a healthy dose of symbolism too.

How much research was involved in writing your books? How did you go about it?
You’d think spec-fic wouldn’t require research, since the author makes up his or her own worlds, but for me the research is a fun part of the process. My fantasy worlds are geographically consistent and I carefully calculate calendars based upon how many moons or suns my worlds have. I’m also continually referencing material on costume, language, swords and armor, foods, and so on, to achieve a level of authenticity even if I’m describing another world. For my current novel, I’m researching virology, pathology, geology and hypotheses for time travel. It’s so much fun!

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

Rich, detailed settings are something I like to indulge in and it thrills me when readers comment that my settings are like another character in the book. You’ll also find a lot of food and/or astronomy in my books too. You won’t find any characters that reflect me though, since much of the fun of writing is to inhabit someone else’s mind

What is your latest audiobook about? Who is the narrator?
Ocean of Dust is a YA fantasy adventure about Lissa, a young teen forced aboard a trading ship that travels an ocean made of a fine gray dust, not water. She faces many perils, and must grapple with her emerging talent that links her to the mysterious dust ocean. Why her, and how can she use it to save the life of her best friend?

The narrator is Becky Doughty from BraveHeart Audiobooks

You can buy it at these retailers:

Tell us about your hero or heroine in this book. Give us one of his/her strengths and one of his/her weaknesses
At 14, Lissa dreams of travelling her word and exploring exotic, far-off places. She is an incredibly curious person who questions everything. You could label her nosey, but I prefer to say that she has an insatiable and intelligent inquisitiveness. Her greatest strengths are that she is fiercely loyal to her friends, courageous and noble. Her weakness is that her curiosity gets her continually into trouble.

What other audiobooks have you written?

This is my first, but I am so excited about the medium of audio that I intend to make audiobook versions of all my books.

To learn more about Graeme Ing visit his web site at, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter as @GraemeIng.

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  1. Stacy – thanks for hosting this great interview! I, too, had a wonderful time working with Graeme. He’s the kind of author we narrators really appreciate – he has a great scope of imagination, and a flexibility that made it really easy for me to narrate without feeling like I was going to be picked apart. Terrific experience all around. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!

    Becky Doughty

  2. Great interview! Ocean of Dust is a marvelous book.

  3. Thanks for the interview, Stacy. Great questions.

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Stacy Juba