DERYN OLIVER

British Female Voice Over

The Author Interviews

Mar 3, 2021 | 1 comment

This month I have launched my new series The Author Interviews in which I interview the authors of some of the audiobooks I have voiced to find out more about their process, how they became a writer and how they create the plot.

In this episode I interview Estelle Grace Tudor, the creator of the Through The Fairy Door Books series of which the first two novels are already produced by me as audiobooks.
We chat about the characters creation and the inspiration for the stories as well as which characters she enjoys the most and which I like using my voice acting skills for the most.
We both agree the villains are the most fun – an evil cackle is definitely one of my voice over skills!

So take a listen to Estelle and who knows? Perhaps you are listening to the next Enid Blyton?

And if you would rather read about our chat the transcript is below.​

Deryn
So today, I’m so thrilled that I have Estelle Grace Tudor. She is the author of the “Through The Fairy Door”  books.

Estelle
Thanks Deryn for having me. I’m really excited to be talking to you about my books. I’m from South Wales. I’ve written these books now. I’ve got five in the pipeline, with three out at the moment, so I’m really excited to talk to you today about those.

Deryn
The first one is Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key, which is just out now on Audible, which is terribly exciting. I am the narrator of this book. And I have loved narrating it. It’s really one of my favorite books to narrate. But first can you just tell us a bit, how did you get into writing?

Estelle
Well, for me, as a child, I was a very shy, sort of anxious child. So I used to lose myself in books, I would disappear into a book, I always had a book near me. And then I realized I could create my own worlds. So I started writing. And actually, it helped me. It gave me a voice. I stopped being so shy, because I had this thing I wanted to talk about with everybody. And it just went from there then. It continued on through my teenage years, early 20s. And then I stopped, and I had my children, my family. Obviously, I didn’t have the time then, to write. But I’ve just come back to it recently as my children are a little bit older, they’re all in full time school; so trying to pursue it properly again, now, which is really good.

Deryn
And did you ever go on any courses to do or is it just because you’ve done it as a child, it’s just kind of, naturally to you?

Estelle
I think, sort of more naturally, in the first instance. But obviously, as I started writing properly, again, I realized, you know, it’s something you should also possibly do courses with just to hone your craft and  get down to the nitty gritty, just so your natural talent then becomes professional rather than just amateur.

Deryn 
Exactly, I mean, I’ve said to you before, I found that narrating your books has been an absolute joy. I mean, as well as enjoying the story, and loving the characters, the way it is written, it’s so easy to narrate. Because the story just carries you on. Each chapter finishes on a nice cliffhanger.  You want to go into the next chapter to find out what happened.

And then, the protagonists come up against situations and then they resolve them or you think they might have resolved them, and then they haven’t. So honestly it is such a joy to have a book like that to voice, and obviously for people to listen to, and to read.
So as a child, what sort of books did you like reading?

Estelle
Oh, for me, The Chronicles of Narnia absolutely changed my life. I couldn’t believe you could just disappear into a book, disappear into another world and have adventures. Yeah, they actually changed my life. I also enjoyed Enid Blyton, and the Borrowers; that was another one that I really enjoyed. So when I was writing my series, I wanted that sort of nostalgic feel of the Chronicles of Narnia. So I think there’s elements of that in there. But obviously, we’ve gone to fairy land, with my books.

Deryn
Yes. In fact, I was gonna say, did you find that having your own children sort of sparked ideas for the series?

Estelle
Yeah, definitely. Because how I started writing this book, I was an ambassador for a fairy door company. And when I had my own children, I purchased a door for each of them. So we’ve got four little fairy doors. I made this mansion with little seams outside there.

Deryn
Oh fantastic!

Estelle
I love making things as well. So that’s how it sparked basically, what would happen if a child went through the door, and then it just went from there. And Octavia was a character that had been in my mind for a while. And she was the one that shouted the loudest, so she became the little girl that went through the door and had the adventure.

Deryn
How did the characters come about? Based on your own children or anybody else’s?

Estelle
Elements of I believe, I mean, I’ve got three sons and one daughter, so possibly elements of their character for sure.  I think I probably drew a bit of my own childhood character into them, possibly what I would like to do as a child, maybe I’ve gone into there.

Deryn
Well riding on a unicorn would definitely be a big thing for me because I ride horses and that would have been a fantasy come true as a child.

Estelle
As well, for six years I worked in Cardiff castle. So castles are in the book. I love castles, anything about it. And so you just draw elements from your own life, I think and you make them bigger, maybe better, more fantastical.

Deryn
So is there any particular characters that you found easier to write or that you really enjoyed the character more than others?

Estelle
I do enjoy writing the children obviously and Great Aunt Clara, she’s one of my favorite characters.

Deryn
I have to tell you this, my husband does my proof listening for me. and he loves Great Aunt Clara.In fact,he said to find out whether Great Aunt Clara is going to be in any of the books more often. I realise  you can’t really say that though because we’ll find out in later books. Great Aunt Clara, honestly, she was such fun. She is funny. She was fun to come up with the voice as well.

Estelle
And of course I love writing Nezrin as well, because everybody loves reading about the villain. Writing a villain is fun, because you can be a bit naughty and  because it’s nice writing all the nice parts, but it’s nice just to  write the villain as well.

Deryn
Yes. And again, acting the villain is great. Because to be able to say the sort of lines that you would never say, really, to anybody, but you see her doing it , or you can imagine thinking that’s a great put down.  Another thing about the book, I noticed is the descriptions of the clothes. Do  you particularly like dressmaking or anything?

Estelle
No. I mean, I’ve made little dresses for my daughter. Not very well, I gotta say, I make costumes for her birthday. I used to do themed birthday parties. So I made a little princess gown, a little mermaid seashell dress thing. So I do enjoy it, but I’m not very good at it. But I do like fashion and things like that so I think that comes through with the books. And I think little girls and boys, they would love, descriptions of things and dressing up. I think it just makes it come alive with the magic of how they get the clothes. And the dresses that change.

Deryn
Oh, definitely. I feel to narrate a book well, you should be imagining how the character looks. To come across the voices, I imagine it. I think of  Briony and Sorrell. And these little dressmaking fairies that would come out with things. But as I say, your descriptions really,really do help a narrator to tell the story.

Estelle
Well, I’m quite a visual person. So I see a lot of the story in my head like a movie, before writing. So for me, I think that helps, because then it translates onto the page then.

Deryn
Definitely. In fact, talking about that. Your process. Different writers, I know, have different processes. Some like to track the whole story from beginning to end, and they have all their characters all done. How do you do it? What’s your process?

Estelle
Well, the idea sparks in my mind. Then, like I said, a lot of times I see it like a movie. So I spent a lot of time thinking, before I actually put pen to paper. I think about it, go through, not like a daydream, but almost that kind of thing. I see how it’s progressing. And then I start making notes. Then I’ll sit down on the laptop and I’ll just write, and basically once it’s in my head, it sort of kick starts it and then I just write. I don’t always plan it. I have been now as the series is progressing, because you need to make sure all the threads are coming together. Everything’s cohesive. So I have been planning a bit more. But usually I just go for it and just write.

Deryn
Well,  I’ve actually tried writing a little bit ages ago. I went on a writing course. Really enjoyed it.

Estelle
Oh, yeah, fabulous.

Deryn
It really was great fun. And I surprised myself actually of what I could write when I was pushed.
But at the same time, to actually tie it all together and make sure that by the end of the book, you’ve still got your characters there, all the little loose ends have been tied up is hard. I mean, like I was saying earlier about the difference between a well written book, and not a well written book is that you can get to the end of the book; and think ‘what happened to that character at the start?’ It sounds ridiculous, but some authors do actually forget about a character that was at the start and not at the end of the book, and when you’ve tied it all up and you think well, what about them? But yours all end beautifully.

Estelle
Thank you.

Deryn
So the other thing I was gonna say is, do you, in your day, when you’re writing… you’re a full time writer aren’t you? Do you have a set day? I mean, obviously, you’ve got your children do you have to work around them?

Estelle
Yeah, I do now, obviously, I’m homeschooling them as well, at the moment.
I’m making sure I’m still writing a bit every day, because it’s just good for my own wellbeing. It brings me joy, makes me obviously a better mum, if I’m happier. So I just try and either do a little bit in the morning, maybe in the evening, just whenever I can. But usually, once they were in school, I would write  from 11 till half past 2 maybe, on a day when they were in school, so just a few hours every day,

Deryn
Because I know a lot of budding authors, they’ve got their job, and they’re thinking, oh, well, I’d like to be able to do this as a full time thing. And then finding the time to do it is…

Estelle
Yeah, that’s it. I mean, if you really want to do it, I’m sure you can find half an hour in a day, just to sit down, get a few words down, and eventually, they’ll all build up and  you’ll have something at the end of it. I’m a big advocate for writing, because I think it helps with your mental health as well, even if you’re just jotting your thoughts down.

Deryn
That’s a really, really good point. Because obviously, at the moment in the current situation doing something creative,whether it’s writing or making something or  painting it’s amazing the difference it can make. I never thought I’d ever say this, but when I’m not doing my voice over work, I’ve actually started  dressmaking.

I’m surprised at what a difference it makes to my mental health. I have a creative job anyway, but actually making something  tangible it’s great for your mental health.

Estelle
Definitely

Deryn
So people out there, if they ever think about writing, just do it now.

Estelle
Just go for it. You know, it’s very freeing. If you just write and don’t think about it, it’s very freeing. I mean, obviously once you get down to the nitty gritty, if you want to take it seriously, that’s a whole different thing. It’s just writing for your own joy. You know, I definitely say go for it.

Deryn
Absolutely. So as I say Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key is, it’s out on, it’s Hardback and ….

Estelle
Hardback, Paperback, Ebook, and obviously, now Audiobooks.  And then I’ve got Beatrice Bloom, and the Star Crystal, she’s out as well. And obviously, you’re just finishing up with the Audiobook on that one.

Deryn
Absolutely. So what’s next in the pipeline?

Estelle
Well, we’ve got Martha Bloom and the Glass Compass. She is out in Paperback at the moment. She’s out in Ebook on the 21st of this month. And then Hardback next month, and then in July, then I’ll have the fourth book out.

Deryn
Wonderful. Do we know the title of that, or is that secret?

Estelle
I have Felicity Bloom and the Golden Arrow.

Deryn
Oh, fantastic. And that will complete the whole series.

Estelle
Well, no, we will have book five then in October. And that’s the final book.

Deryn
Wonderful. Oh, exciting. So do you think you’ll be actually having a whole set, that people can buy the whole set. That’ll look wonderful. Because the other thing I was going to  say is that your imagery is gorgeous. Your website is beautiful as well.
Is this somebody you know that does this for you?

Estelle
I put it together. I just used images that I’ve created that follow the theme of the books, and a couple of trailers I had done as well. So I just put it together on a basic website.

Deryn
Wow. Very, very creative lady, very talented lady.

Estelle
I love creating things in any form.

Deryn
That’s absolutely wonderful. Well, it has been a joy talking to you today. And thank you so much for being the first on the Author Interviews with Deryn Oliver.​

To find out more about Estelle and The Through The Fairy Door Book Series you can go to https://www.estellegracetudor.com

And to buy the audiobook Octavia Bloom and The Missing Key written by Estelle Grace Tudor and narrated by Deryn Oliver go to https://cutt.ly/flW3bKv

If you think my award winning voice may be able to help you and you’d like a FREE sample read please contact me or email info@derynvoiceover.com.

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julie Hodgson

Very interesting 🙂 I love your “Poppins” pic

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