Category - Interviews

Interview with Narrator Mark Westfield

Hello, all! Thank you so much for joining me here today! Please give a warm welcome to the wonderful Mark Westfield who has narrated Book 1 - 6 in the THIRDS series, and done such a fantastic job. I've asked him a few questions about what it's like to narrate the THIRDS series.


Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? How did you get into narrating?

Sure! Before anything else, though, I hope I can say a quick thanks to everyone who made these audiobooks possible.

First: to Dreamspinner Press. It’s absolutely amazing to work with a publisher who allows complete creative freedom. You are truly a great company run the right way. To anyone reading this, you’ll never go wrong with a Dreamspinner book or audiobook – always top quality, and really great people at the company!

Of course, a huge thanks to Charlie Cochet. Wow… just wow. A gifted writer. A nice person. What can I say? It’s a privilege to narrate her books. She has created amazing characters and an entire universe that is believable, yet fantastical. I can’t wait for the next book, and hope we can work together on many more!

And, if you are reading this, I’m not sure there is any way I can relay to you how grateful I am. Like many of you, I’ve switched jobs/careers several times, but this is my dream job. And, because of you, I get to do it. As long as you are willing to keep listening to me, I promise to give every book everything I have. Thank you.

As for me, this career really seemed like a perfect fit. Before I even knew it existed, I was told multiple times by different people that I had a distinct voice. I love reading. I’d worked in two commercial recording studios and LOVED the art of recording. I found out that modern audio book narrators work mostly alone…a negative for many people, but I’m a huge introvert. And, after many years, I was burned out on my previous career. A little bit of research, a LOT of practice and recording, and boom – Dex is alive!

Hell&HighWaterHiRes150How do you approach a book or series with a large cast of characters? What about when there are several accents involved?

I think it’s vital to read through the book and take detailed notes before anything else. A large cast, like the THIRDS novels, requires a commitment to keeping track of everything I do as a narrator. As for the accents, as would be expected, some are easy, and some take a lot of work. To be honest, though, it’s so much fun that even the difficult accents are a blast!

How difficult is it to keep track of all the different performances?

It’s really not hard, just time consuming. If someone were to approach this job from a strictly creative aspect, and not take notes, I think it would be easy to make a lot of mistakes as far as changing voices, etc. But if you can take the time to sketch things out ahead of time, or pause now and then to listen back to what you’ve done so far, it’s really not that hard.

Who’s the hardest character from the THIRDS to perform and why?

Hmmm… ZERO chance I would I have answered this way early on, but it’s Ash. He was one of the easiest early on, but consistent with Charlie’s amazing character development, he has become deeper than I first thought he would be. I won’t say anything more, because I don’t know how far any of you have gotten through the series, but he’s become a multi-dimensional character.

CatchATigerByTheTail150What’s been your favorite scene to read?

I’m smiling at the memories! I think it’s in Catch a Tiger – which at the time of this interview hasn’t been released yet, so I won’t give it away. Let’s just say it involves the entire team walking in on Ethan during an embarrassing moment and the result of an unrelated, but really funny bet.

Do you ever get embarrassed or laugh during scenes?

Ha! Perfect follow up!!!! The scene I just mentioned actually was a prime example of a time I had to pause the recording because I started laughing so hard it was unlistenable! It’s always a fine line – when the narrator is truly into the scene it sounds so much better, but if s/he cracks up (as I did in this scene) it really doesn’t work. As for embarrassed…well, I work alone and both narrate and produce everything I do, so I guess it’s hard to be really embarrassed when no one else is around!

What’s the most challenging part of being a narrator? The most enjoyable part?

It’s funny, but I think my answer for both questions may be the same. I love being able to, on most books, have creative freedom to come up with accents, voices, tones, etc. But, there is always a risk that something won’t flow with the story as a series develops. So, I do my best, as we all do!

If you were a character in the THIRDS, who would you be and why?

Sparks. She is exactly who I would love to be in real life. Cool, calm, and respected. She’s mysterious, and often thought of as more of an “office type.” But she’s really tough and always in control. What a cool character! I spent a ridiculous amount of time figuring out what her voice should sound like, because she’s just so cool that I really wanted to make sure she sounded that way.  

Do you use props or special equipment for sound effects? What made you decide to use them?

As I’m sure anyone who has listened to the audiobooks has heard, I do use effects, but not very often. If someone is speaking over a com, I make sure you can hear it. Also, I try to create the sound of distance if someone is speaking from a different room. Other than that, I really try to avoid effects unless the scene really calls for one.

Do you have any questions you’d like to ask Charlie or the THIRDS fans?


Charlie – What inspired you to start writing the THIRDS series? Also, how can I see your artwork?

Finally, if anyone is interested in a shot at some free audio books, I often have complimentary copies to give away. Just send an email to and I’ll try to get you some free swag!


2016DividerThank you so much, Mark, for taking the time to answer our questions. I absolutely loved hearing about your process, and learning a little bit about what it’s like to perform the THIRDS. Thank you for your hard work, and for making the THIRDS audiobooks such a fun and amazing experience. I’ve overjoyed you’re enjoying it!

As for what inspired the THIRDS, well, after I decided I wanted to write a shifter series, one different to what was out there, I began asking myself a host of what-if questions. What if in this world, humanity was responsible for the creation of these shifters, of this new race? What if these shifters weren’t hidden from society, but a part if it? How would society change? How would humanity change? What about the laws? How would humans deal with crimes committed by beings who could shift into lethal animals? They couldn’t. They’d need shifters to handle shifters. But then law enforcement would be divided, and the world would already be facing a divide—humans and Therians.

All these questions lead to the creation of the Therian Human Intelligence Defense Squadron—the THIRDS. I knew then that the series would revolve around this organization and those connected to it. Thank you, Mark, for bringing the THIRDS world to life through your narration.

As for my artwork, it's been a while since I've had the time to work on something not book related. I may have to get up a small slideshow on the website. All the character artwork for the THIRDS I've done myself, and have had such fun doing. You can find some of it here: I also did the artwork for the three THIRDS patches you see on teh THIRDS HQ homepage, and the THIRDS Nerds Badge.

Thank you everyone for joining us, and for all the love you show the THIRDS.



Over at the Shepherd's Bean with B.G. Thomas!

Hello all! The fabulous B.G. Thomas invited me over to the Shepherd's Bean for a fun chat over a latte or two! I had such a fabulous time! Join us as we talk about writing, THIRDS, upcoming books, fur-babies, and more! Plus there's an excerpt from Love in Retrograde!

THIRDS Thursday Author Q&A

Hello, all! I received so many fantastic questions in last week's THIRDS Thursday prompt submission/giveaway that I've had to split them in two. I'll see about getting the rest of them posted really soon. Here's the first half. Thank you so much to everyone who left such fantastic comments and amazing prompts! You all are awesome!


Q: Is Seb & Hudson book’s release date going to be pushed back because of Thick & Thin?

A: Nope! Seb and Hudson’s release day remains the same. I just had Thick & Thin submitted and scheduled for release before Seb & Hudson’s book was finished and submitted.

Q: When will we get release dates?

A: Unfortunately, I don’t get release dates until much closer to the time due to the production process, in case something happens to delay things. Usually I have a rough estimate of which month books will be released once the books are contracted, but that's an estimate and things can change. Since my publisher is currently reviewing Seb and Hudson’s book, I don’t have an official estimate yet, but I'll be sure to update the info here and on the THIRDS website and soon as I know more.

Q: Also, has Seb and Hudson’s book got a name yet?

A: Yes, it’s called Darkest Hour Before Dawn.

Q: *** Spoiler for Smoke & Mirrors *** Will Dex tell his Dad/team about how he has different DNA now?

A: In Thick & Thin, it’s time for Dex and Sloane to face their family, including the DD team, about the changes happening to Dex, their roles in the team, and their relationship. It’s not going to be easy, but then nothing with Destructive Delta ever is.

Q: With the spinoff with Dex & Sloane playing with TIN how many books will be in that series? Is this where Austen & Zach get their story?

A: There’s no set number of books yet decided for the TIN series, because although they’ll be numbered, I intend to write each one so it can be read on its own. The books won't have an overall story arc the way the main THIRDS series has, but be more like individual missions. Readers will be able to come in at any point in the TIN series and pick up any of the books without being lost. However, Dex and Sloane's relationship will continue to grow through the TIN series. Anything important from one book that might need to be brought up in another (in regards to something that happens between Dex and Sloane, their family, and Destructive Delta) will be briefly clarified so readers aren't lost if they haven't read that particular book.

Although Austen will be in the TIN series, he and Zach will be getting their own book which is why we haven't had any THIRDS Thursdays written with them together because right now, Austen is keeping his distance. Or at least trying to. Their book is on my writing schedule to be written after the second TIN book.

Q: There seems to be a lot of male Therians but not very many female Therians. Is that just due to who the books focus on or is there something about Therian DNA that ups the chance of male offspring?

A: That has more to do with the focus of the books and who that couple has in their circle. There are as many female Therians as there are male Therians, though we do have slightly more male Therian agents in Unit Alpha’s Defense department. We have more female Therians in Intel and Recon. We will however be seeing more female Therians in the TIN series as many of them are operatives.

Q: How long have you been working on Thirds, like before actual publication of the first book?

A: I was working on the THIRDS almost two years before I started writing Hell & High Water, and that took about seven months to release and I was working on the rest of the series during that time.

Q: My question is will we get any babies?

A: I won’t say never, because we don’t know, but in an official THIRDS/TIN book, probably not. The weird thing is, I can see Ash becoming a dad before Sloane. The thing is that if Dex and Sloane were to become parents, it would mean their retirement. Sloane would never have a child and be involved in the THIRDS or something as risky as TIN. The risk of something happening to him and/or Dex is much higher, and after the way Dex lost his parents, and how Sloane grew up without parents, I think he would be very set against doing anything that might leave his child or children without him and/or Dex. Sloane’s been out in the field a long time, and been through so much, I don’t see him doing it for many more years, and I think at some point Dex will feel it's time for him to step back and focus on family. I think they'll want to retire and enjoy their lives together. We’ll have to see what happens.

Q: Are we going to see more of “Wolf” and will he be getting a book?

A: We’re going to be seeing much more of Wolf from Seb and Hudson’s book onward for several reasons--much to Dex's annoyance. He may possibly be getting his own book. I’m certain he’ll be appearing in some THIRDS Thursday prompts from book 9 onward too.


Monday Feature over at C.S. Poe's Blog!

Hello, all! I've been featured by the awesome C.S. Poe over at her blog! She's asked some fun questions on everything from writing to four-legged furry distractions. I've even shared photos of my writing space! Plus there's a giveaway!          

Author Chat Live Two Hour Event on Facebook Sunday Sept 24th!

Hello all! Have some questions you'd like to ask me about my books, characters, or writing? I'm taking part in a live author chat this Sunday! If you're interested in joining, just visit the event page here:

WHEN: Sunday, September 24th

WHAT TIME: Starts at 2PM Eastern time and ends at 4PM.

WHERE: Beaten Track Radio links below.

ADDITIONAL INFO: There's a pinned post on the event page where you can ask your questions early. If you have questions for me, please put my name in bold before the question, same goes for Mikey. That way your questions go to the right author. You can put your questions in the box or email them to You can listen at 2 to 4 pm Eastern Sunday via: The Web Site: Via Facebook : Windows Media Player: Via iTunes: Via mp3 player : iOS app : Android app :

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