Audio Tour

Pen Pals

Author: CK Timber

Narrator: Ginger MacGregor

Length: 1 hour 15 minutes

Producer: Audiobook Empire

Publisher: CK Timber

Released: June 2, 2022

Genre: Romance; Erotica

Jase is an average joe who lives in England, and Elizabeth, five-thousand miles away, lives in California. They met online and began writing to each other. It was an innocent exchanged. After a while, their pen pal relationship blossomed into a series of erotic rendezvous, both in pen and in each other’s arms. Fulfilling their fantasies, they explore love from a distance and from the perspective of a thirty-year age gap.

CK Timber is an author of paranormal romance, cozy mystery, time travel, and epic fantasy adventure short stories, novellas, and novels. Along with her other works she pens the occasional collaborative novel with author Jesse Bond. A horse trainer and massage therapist by trade, CK Timber jumped ship at sixty-five years of age to follow her lifelong dream to write engaging stories for the young and old alike. Three years later her bodies of work include clean, fun and adventurous stories for middle-grade and young adult readers, and cheek blushing content for adults.

Ginger MacGregor is a storyteller with over 20 years of experience acting on stage and screen. She received her BA in Theatre Acting & Directing from Colorado Mesa University, trained as a classical actress with the British American Drama Academy and earned an MA in Applied Theatre Arts from University of Southern California. A native midwesterner who grew up in Wisconsin and Colorado, Ginger now lives in Los Angeles teaching voice and acting classes in between theatre, film and narration gigs. Specializing in romance, Ginger’s strong, grounded voice shines in urban fantasy romance, romantic fantasy and paranormal romance, while her playfulness and warmth shine in historical romance. She is not afraid to bring the spice, and loves telling stories of characters tapping into their inner strength to be something greater than they thought possible. When she’s not in the booth, Ginger can be found spending time in nature and with her animal friends, including connecting with her roots in the highlands of Scotland, playing in her garden, riding horses at her sister’s farm in Colorado and hanging out with her two kitties, Luci Fur and Maze.

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Q&A with Author CK Timber
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • This has been an exciting time and experience for me. I love audiobooks and having one of my creations made into one fills my heart with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • Ginger MacGregor is the sister of a close friend of mine. I have followed her other performing arts endevors and trust her talent and instints. When she began performing narrations I was informed and there was no question in my mind whether or not to embark on this journey together with her.
  • 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?
    • I provided my narrator with photos of people who favored the characters, and discussed with her their nuances and style of speaking. She nailed it.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Yes, most definitely. The story is loosely based on my own age gap and long distance relationship that had ended a few years prior to the writing of Pen Pals. Mine was much less romantically explicit, but the experience of building a partnership with a person more than a thousand miles apart fed much of the story.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Yes, I am an avid listener. What I enjoy, is getting lost in the narrative while doing other things. I’ve been known to listen nonstop for hours finishing a book in a day in some cases. I’ve listened to more than 300 titles.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • The sex scenes I feel come through stronger in the narration. Ginger MacGregor, nailed the ooh lala of their tryst in the bedroom.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • One of my favorite genres to read and to write is time travel. Not so much the science of it, but rather the experience of it. Where I’d travel to is difficult to say. I’d like to travel back to one of the dinosaur eras to see what it really was like. Or, to some point in the future. Then I stop and think that if I could go back to when my parents were both still here, I’d give up the first to considerations to travel to a time where I could help them with their pain management through bodywork. Help them make better health choices. I’d at least try.
  • If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    • Toby Regbo and Susan Surandon
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • This is a good question and one I run into a lot both with my own work and with the work of the authors I represent in my PA work. I love reading a series, and I love writing them. However selling a series to the public can be fruitless. If the first book hooks the readers you may have a percentage come back to read another instasllment. I have found that for most of my authors their third book and beyond in a series suffers dramatically in sales. It better be a really well written set of books in a popular genre that is not overwhelmed with massive numbers of authors.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Yes in another novel I am writing the main character haunted me three nights in a row, until I finally gave up sleeping and crawled out of bed at 3am and started putting words down.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I have five books lined out to write over the course of the next year. Three novellas, and two novels. One of the novels will be in collaboration with my daughter, Jesse Bond, who is an accomplished author in her own right. It will be our second collaboration.
Q&A with Narrator Ginger MacGregor
  • When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
    • The possibility of being a narrator was first planted in my brain by one of my teachers at BADA (British American Drama Academy), who was also a narrator, way back in 2004. For an introvert actor who grew up with her nose in a book, it seemed to me like a dream job, but I didn’t know how to get started. I spent the next many years doing theatre and working on short films and going in other creative directions, but I never forgot about audiobooks. I looked into it again in about 2011, but the timing wasn’t right, and I wasn’t able to get started. Finally, in fall 2021, everything lined up for me, and I dove in! It took me a lot longer to get started than I intended, but I am so happy to be on this path now.
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • I have been a book lover all of my life. I love reading. I love writing. I wrote a few fantasy books when I was in middle school (I even won the “Most Creative Story” award at the school’s writing contest. I have always loved losing myself in stories. I would wander around middle school and high school with a book always in my hands, trying to get a few minutes in between classes because I couldn’t stop thinking of the stories and characters. I have always loved language, and focused on classical acting and Shakespeare both in undergrad and by going to BADA. When I learned that being an audiobook narrator was a way actors could make a living, I was fascinated. It took a long time for things to line up for me to put the time in to becoming a narrator, but in fall 2021, when I was at a transitional point in my life and looking for a new creative outlet, I was talking to my cousin, and she mentioned that she had taken a narration course and she loved her coach and I should give it a try. I told her that I’ve been trying to figure out how to get into audiobooks for years and I signed up immediately for the free masterclass. After meeting Elise Arsenault, I knew that she would be a great coach for me, and I signed up for the course (1 day before my birthday), and I’ve been going strong ever since. For me, it was something I knew I wanted to do for a long time, but it took many things lining up for me to jump all the way in. I’m so glad I took the leap! I really love every part of the process.
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • I think a background in theatre really helps with character creation and learning how to deal with text and using words to deeply tell the story.. We, as theatre actors, also have a lot of stamina and we train our voices to have longevity, all of that helps when you are in the booth for hours at a time. I know skills I learned from doing theatre for over 20 years has certainly given me so many tools that I put into narration. The more you work a storytelling muscle, the stronger it becomes. However, I know narrators from all different backgrounds who have transitioned to a career in narration from many different careers. I think if someone is determined, puts the time in and is willing to learn, train and have a beginner’s mindset, they can make a career for themself as a narrator.
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I have a BA in Theatre Acting/Directing, I studied Classical Acting at BADA and I have an MA in Applied Theatre Arts, learning how to use theatre and the arts for social change and healing work, from USC. In addition to my degrees, I have studied improv, taken scene study classes including Chekov and lots of Shakespeare, and studied Mesiner technique and Linklater voice in Chicago and Los Angeles. In addition to acting training, I am a singer, trained in classical and musical theatre techniques (and yes, I still enjoy singing an aria from time to time). I am have a 200 hr Vinyasa Flow yoga teacher certification and an Instrutora in Capoeira. For me, body and voice are very connected, and feeling characters in my body is an essential process of finding their voice.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Yes! Love listening to audiobooks, and I listen pretty much every day on my daily walks, while I’m driving or doing dishes, cooking or cleaning. I love stories. I love being told stories. I love being immersed in the story. I love the intimacy of the audiobooks and feeling like I am going through the journey with the characters. As I’ve gotten older and busier, I often don’t have the time to just sit and read for hours every day like I did when I was a kid, but audiobooks allow me to experience the joy of books while still taking care of my adult responsibilities.
  • What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
    • I think my character creation and dialogue are my strongest narration abilities. Understanding where each character is coming from, their attitude and objectives is really fun for me, and I think my history of puppeteering and coming up with a multitude of character voices from characters really different from me really helps me with voicing different characters in narration. I also have a lot of fun with dialects. I think my music background helps me to hear the musicality of a dialect so I can learn new dialects pretty quickly.
  • What about this title do you love as a narrator?
    • I love that this story is told through the old school romance of writing love letters. I think it is a really unique way to tell this love story. I love that it gets very steamy at times and also gives you a gut punch at certain point. When I have to take a recording break because I start crying too hard, I know it’s a great story to tell.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    • If I get a chance to talk to an author about their thoughts and inspirations for a story during my prep process, I will always take it! An author’s book is their baby. It is so helpful when they can share any inspirations they had for characters because that helps me know we are on the same track. As a narrator, I love to catch an author’s vibe, and for me, being able to have a phone conversation with them about the story and what it means to them is a great way to do that. Phone conversations aren’t always possible, but if an author has any visual inspirations or written descriptions for characters or places, that is also super helpful during the prep process. If I have any other questions, I will reach out during the prep process. Once I start recording, that is my time as an artist to integrate all of the information gathered and tell the best story possible.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Of course! I might take a Dr. Who approach and travel forward and backward in time to explore historical events and also forward to a time when we start space exploration. I would also love to go back to get to know my grandparents when they were young and meet my great grandparents and understand my family history a bit more. It would not be mad at a little Outlander style time travel, magically traveling through stones to meet a very sexy 18th century Scottish highlander who is somehow my destiny. Also, Scotland is beautiful, and I would love to see some of those castles when they were fully functional.
  • Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
    • I would love to record for Cassandra Clare. I love the world of Shadow Hunters that she has created. Her books have the perfect blend of adventure, fantasy, romance, suspense and magic. Her characters are beautifully rich, and the world she has created is a great urban fantasy, seamlessly blending our modern world with magic, paranormal creatures, demon realms while also commenting on social issues and being a great advocate for the LGBTQ community. I love reading her various series that weave together characters and histories from other series so you end up with a beautiful complex world and community of characters that are referenced and explored across multiple books. I get really attached to characters, so it’s especially nice for me when they keep coming back for multiple books, even when leading characters in one series become supporting characters in another.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
    • Don’t give up! Listen to a lot of audiobooks, especially in the genres you want to narrate. Join Clubhouse! There are so many great rooms devoted to audiobooks and this community is the most kind and supportive creative community I have ever been a part of. Read out loud a lot. Try to find a coach or a mentor who can help you along. It can be a lot to get a home studio set up, learn the tech and how to punch and roll, learn where to look for jobs and the nuances that make narration different from other types of performance. Find a community that you can work through it with and celebrate all of your wins (big and small) along the way.
  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Audiobook Empire. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
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