Blog Tour Giveaways Guest Author

This Shattered World Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today we are delighted to be a stop on the official blog tour for This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Thea loved These Broken Stars, the first book in this trilogy, so of course we were thrilled to be asked to host a stop on the tour for Smugglivus!

TSW tour banner final

Here to talk about the behind the scenes creation of the This Shattered World audiobook, please give it up for Amie and Meagan!


How audiobooks come to be has always been somewhat of a mystery—to us included, even after having had one published! We were so blown away by the first audiobook production for These Broken Stars, which was almost halfway between an audiobook and a radio play, that when it came time for This Shattered World to come to life, we knew we wanted to get the inside scoop.

Stay tuned below to listen the first ten minutes of the This Shattered World audiobook, featuring Donnabella Mortel as Jubilee Chase. You’re going to love it.

Most of the time, authors don’t have much to do with the production of their audiobooks. Like TV/movie deals and foreign editions, authors often bid farewell to their words once the rights leave their clutches, and it becomes someone else’s baby. But we were so fortunate to have a fantastic, consultative partnership with our audiobook producer. We got to hear first thoughts on how to bring the book to life, weigh in on how to make the interstitials—which are completely different from the interrogation scenes in book one—feel as creepy and mysterious as possible, and even offer up our thoughts on who to cast for the narrators!

Janet Stark, our brilliant producer with Random House Audio, already knew she wanted Callard Harris to narrate for Flynn, our rebel-with-a-heart-of-gold. But she wanted to make sure we were on board and sent us his reel… and we were sold five seconds in. His voice is full of passion and vulnerability and strength—Flynn to a tee! He even looks a little like Flynn, which while not necessary in audiobook work, certainly doesn’t hurt. I mean, just look at him. Sigh.


Callard has done a lot of work on television, so we asked him how audiobook work was different.

Callard: “On set, we spend 99% of our time sitting around waiting to film. Narrating an audiobook [involves] actually recording performance 99% of the time. I have also heard the expression that 99% of all statistics are wrong, so please disregard all of those aforementioned.”

Oh dear, he’s charming, too! Could we have possibly gotten a better guy to be Flynn? We think not.

When it came time to choose the narrator for Jubilee, Janet sent us samples of three different actresses reading the first chapter of the book. While all three were truly wonderful, we both fell in love with Donnabella Mortel’s performance. As it turns out, she was Janet’s favorite too, but she wanted to let us have the final say!

She’s absolutely nailed Jubilee’s sarcasm, her loyalty, her not-so-buried heart, and we adore her for it. We asked her whether she did anything special to get into the role.


Donnabella: “Truthfully—it was a match made in heaven.  She and I are very different, but for some reason, it took very little effort to connect to her soul and fire.  I have always had a dynamic voice, and it was an honor to channel that into the most dynamic of all characters—Captain Jubilee Chase.  From the first two pages alone, I knew just how special she was.  I did not, however, foresee just how deeply she would affect me.  She has taught me lessons of loyalty, love, passion, toughness, forgiveness, and vulnerability.  I assure you, I will never look at stars the same way again.”

We wanted to know more about how the actual recording process went, so we asked our narrators how they went about it. For both actors, This Shattered World was the first audiobook they’d done, so we got the skinny!


Donnabella: “I couldn’t have asked for a better first audiobook to narrate! In order to tell a truthful story and honor the arc, I needed to read the entire book. Believe me, it wasn’t a chore; I was addicted for days! Before recording, I would skim through each chapter so I was clear on where I was coming from and where I was going. Having done so much creation work, it was easy for me to plug into Jubilee without any notes in the margins.”

Callard: “I’d say there is no refined process yet [for me]. Eventually my process will fall somewhere in-between diving right in and a wall full of notes, maps, and colorful pins connected by different shades of yarn.”

The narrators could stop at any time and re-record something if they felt it wasn’t right, and were helped and advised in this by project director Danny Campbell. Callard, after explaining how he’s averse to using the word “amazing” when it seems like all performers are using it in publicity interviews, had this to say:

Callard: “Now that you understand my averse nature toward using the word amazing, I can honestly say working with Danny Campbell was just that (amazing). See what I did there… didn’t actually say it, because it’s protected by parenthesis. Danny took every one of [my mistakes] in stride and remained my beacon of light through the whole book.”


We finished up by asking the actors to tell us (spoiler-free!) what their favorite parts of This Shattered World were when it came to their narrative performances.

Callard: “There is a moment in the book, and I have to be vague here, which reminded me of moments from characters in The Matrix and Independence Day. The magnitude of Flynn’s situation and the opportunity for change resonate in time. I really enjoyed living in that moment.”

Donnabella: “I’m so in love with the entire story, but if I had to pick a favorite part to perform, it would be the entire climax.  It’s so action-packed, emotional, and surprising that you can’t help but be swept away.  There were definitely moments that brought tears to my eyes.  That type of genuine connection to a human experience is what an actor lives for.”

We’d love to have been flies on the wall during the studio recording sessions, but getting to hear straight from the narrators what it was like is almost as good! Be sure to check out the first ten minutes of the audiobook HERE—and hear Donnabella reading Jubilee!


Tour Schedule:

Make sure to check out the other stops on the tour!

Monday, December 8          The Midnight Garden    Secrets of Starbound: Characters
Tuesday, December 9         The Book Smugglers    Making an Audiobook
Wednesday, December 10  Ivy Book Bindings        Secrets of Starbound: Science and Settings
Thursday, December 11       Cuddlebuggery             How Amie & Meagan Met
Friday, December 12            Little Book Owl             Video Interview
Monday, December 15         Mundie Moms               Shooting the Cover
Tuesday, December 16        Xpresso Reads             Starbound Inspirations
Wednesday, December 17   A Book Utopia               Video: Your New Book Boyfriend
Thursday, December 18       Supernatural Snark       Q & A
Friday, December 19            Love is Not a Triangle   Writing Diversity

About the Authors:


Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, NC, while Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts.

Visit the These Broken Stars website for the latest news on the series and follow the authors on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner. This Shattered World is available for pre-order (with fun swag) and will be released in North America on December 23, 2014.

The Giveaway:

Enter for a chance to win by using the form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Stephanie
    December 9, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I LOVED the first book and am so looking forward to this one.
    Thanks for the chance to win!!

  • Sam Taylor
    December 9, 2014 at 8:30 am

    So excited for this book. I loved THESE BROKEN STARS. I’m looking forward to meeting a new set of characters in this book and seeing even more of this amazing world the authors have created. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  • Shanty
    December 9, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Holy cow that guy looks exactly like Flynn!! How cool is that!!

  • Christina R.
    December 9, 2014 at 8:38 am

    LOVE how each narrator has a method to become each character and how they use notes and maps.

    LOVE their expressions in the photos!

    Lovely post!

    thank you very much 🙂

  • Ellie
    December 9, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Both the voice actors seem so COOL, and such perfect fits for the characters, or what I’ve read of them so far. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!!

  • Moriah
    December 9, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I read the first book and adored it. This blog tour just makes me want to read the second book even more! Both of these voice actors seem like they really enjoy their work and seem to be great choices to portray the characters. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!

  • Katie
    December 9, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Wow, the people they picked for the audio book seem great, and I am so excited to read this book! It is amazing the process that goes into creating audio books, and it makes sense why some books end up sounding terrible in that formatting.”This Shattered World,” however, sounds great, and it makes me want to check out the first book in audio book!

  • Lexi
    December 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I do a lot of driving so I am always looking for audio books and this one looks great.

  • Nikki
    December 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I’m definitely not a huge fan of audio books. I find my mind drifting endlessly when I try to listen to one. I have found that for me, if I’m not reading the words, I’m not invested in the story. Even if I want to be!

  • Ari
    December 9, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I am not into audiobooks (I lose my focus easily), but damn, this one starts so amazingly well! I also happen to love this book – the whole series in fact 🙂

  • Isabella
    December 9, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Oh my goodness the audiobook was amazing!!! I don’t usually listen to them, but the beginning was so intense and the voices for Jubilee and Flynn’s voices were perfect! I am SO excited to read this.

  • Nicole
    December 9, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Am I excited to read This Shattered World? Of course! I love how much work goes into the audiobook–I don’t listen to audiobooks, but I appreciate how much effort goes into them!

  • Ray Pratt
    December 9, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    The sample is quite intriguing. I’d really like to hear more.

  • Danielle Fulton
    December 9, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    I’ve had the first book on my to read list forever! I’m so glad that this post reminded me to read it as soon as possible. I also loved the format of this post and the fact that it focused on the actors from the audiobook.

  • Suzanne
    December 9, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    That clip definitely piqued my interest (as if I weren’t already looking forward to read this!)

  • Strange
    December 10, 2014 at 12:41 am

    What’s up with the actress who reads for Jubilee’s nose? It’s so flat it must be the reason she sounds a bit nasally.

  • magan bagan
    December 10, 2014 at 1:00 am

    I love holding a book and reading it, but there’s something different about listening to it on audiobook. The story is brought to life in a completely different way and I love it!

  • Terri Bynum
    December 10, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Oh. My. Gosh!!! I listened to These Broken Stars on and thought it was magnificent! It was SO unique; I agree wholeheartedly that the interrogation scenes between chapters were eerie, not to mention intense & at times beat-my-head-against-the-wall frustrating!

    I cannot WAIT-this one’s a must do on audio for me. 😉

    PS- Lilac LeRoux is my all-time favorite female character name!

  • Brit
    December 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    The first book was amazing and I’m so, so excited to read this one. Thanks for the chance!

  • Lauren
    December 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Very cool to get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the audiobook. It’s easy to forget that the narrators are actors, that they have to become the characters in the book, because when an audiobook is done well, it’s just like listening to the characters themselves tell the story. Can’t wait to read/listen to This Shattered World!

  • Alison C
    December 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    The first book is still on my to-read list. After reading this post, I just might have to move it much closer to the top!

  • Danielle D.
    December 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I am so excited for This Shattered World! I was gifted an extra ARC of These Broken Stars by a friend of mine, so I’ve been waiting far over a year to read it’s sequel by this point!

  • Kaitlyn
    December 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

    LOVE the book! I am soooooo excited for This Shattered World! The audio is phenomenal!

  • Casey
    December 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I loved the first book! Very excited for this one. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Alyssa Susanna
    December 17, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    To be honest, I’m not really into audiobooks – just not my thing. It’s amazing how much work goes into so many different formats of a book!

    Thank you!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
    December 18, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Oh, man! I had no intention of listening to the audiobook for this one (even though I loved the book – I don’t generally listen to audiobooks for books I’ve already read), but after reading all of this, I now feel like I NEED to listen to it!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  • vivien
    December 20, 2014 at 11:01 am

    i haven’t read the first book yet, but i will soon! thank you for the chance to win!

  • Lia
    December 22, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I can’t wait to read This Shattered World, and the actors look/act like the characters which is amazing! (In the true sense of the word like Challard said)

  • Kelsey
    December 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    So excited for the new story! Can’t wait to go deeper into the TBS world.

  • Wolf Bogacz
    December 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    This sounds like a great book. Please enter mee in the contest.

  • Jen
    December 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I generally listen to audiobooks unless the book I want to read isn’t available on audio. TBS was stunning; a narrator can truly make or break a book and Cynthia Holloway and Johnathan McClain really embodied the characters of Lilac and Tarver. Sarge Anton was also very good as the voice of the interrogator.
    So that said, I’m really looking forward to TSW on audio – I love this background on the narrators and their processes! I’ve just started the audiobook and already I love Donnabella’s voice for Jubilee. Like TBS, I’m sure this book will be over entirely too quickly – but I will thoroughly enjoy it. I’m so glad they chose to publish this on audio!

  • Stacy
    December 30, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Wow, what a treat that the actors were so invested in the story. I admit I do not know much about audiobooks (never listened to one) but knowing how much work actually went into it makes me want to listen.

  • Cassidy
    January 1, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    This was a really cool insight on the audiobook process! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sunny Chim
    January 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I did not know at all that These Broken Stars was an audio book, and I’ve never tried one either, but this post has opened me up to the possibility of trying one out, because dang it sounds good.

  • Quote Stop + Giveaway: This Shattered World – Amie Kaufman + Meagan Spooner
    March 30, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    […] 12/8 The Midnight Garden: Secrets of Starbound: Characters Tuesday, 12/9 The Book Smugglers: Making an Audiobook Wednesday, 12/10 Ivy Book Boundings: Secrets of Starbound: Science and […]

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