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Saturday, November 30, 2019

AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Audible Original creator Ashli St. Armant!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

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So, I have some LATE BREAKING NEWS to share about a recent(ish) Audible Original release!  It's a Jazz infused Young Adult Mystery and from the sound of things, it'll hit the right notes for music AND book lovers alike!  Ready to discover more?  Here's a quick look at what's inside...

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About the book...
Viva Durant, New Orleans’ youngest detective is on a quest to solve a jazzy mystery involving hidden treasure, while exploring the city’s unique culture, history and music. This family-friendly Audible Original features original jazz music from the creator, Ashli St. Armant, and enthusiastic narration from world class Audible narrator, Bahni Turpin. Plucky 14-year-old Viva Durant heads to New Orleans every summer to spend time with her loving but stern grandmother, known as Gram. After Gram reads Viva an article in the local paper about a missing treasure related to the world-famous song, “Miss Mary Mack,” Viva traverses the Crescent City on an epic adventure to solve the mystery. Along the way she meets some of the city’s most colorful characters as her journey takes her to the French Quarter, a jazz club, a creepy cemetery, and even the circus. Can Viva rise to the occasion and solve this musical mystery? Listeners will find Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons a joy to listen to!


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It's currently available as a member benefit this month on meaning it’s free to all Audible members through December yeah, I know, I didn't give you much notice, but can TOTALLY click right on over to snag your copy now!  Ah yes, the digital world has its moments of beauty too.

Now, let's get a closer look straight from the creative mind behind the work, as we welcome author Ashli St. Armant!



Hi there! Nice to meet you.
 Now, let's get you properly introduced to our reading audience.

In TEN WORDS OR LESS, describe yourself through your eyes...

I’m an entertainer, an educator, a writer, and a mom!

You have quite the varied background (admittedly, I read your bio!) and have had your hands in everything from music/theater programs to an actual jazz band! Which of your past experiences did you enjoy the most and why?

Once, I got a chance to sit in with big band of about 15-20 musicians. That was a dream of mine. With so many musicians, swing dancers, and friends in one room, the energy was outstanding!

What made you decide to branch out into Children's Literature, specifically?

I’ve been a writer since I was 10, and writing has always been a part of my art expression since then. I’ve been creating arts experiences for children since 2008. So, it was a natural for me to tap into my passion for children’s entertainment while trying my hand with long-form writing.

From the sound of things, Viva Durant is quite the little caper solver, or at least she's trying to be. Tell us, what was your favorite part of creating this adventure? Any plans on making it a series?

Because this is mystery, I wrote this story backwards, from end to beginning. I really got a kick out knowing the secrets and the plot twists that absolutely no one else knew, not even the characters in the book!

Of your characters, is there one that you find yourself reflected in most?

In a lot of ways, I am Viva. As a kid, I spent a few summers visiting family in New Orleans, but my experiences were no where near as adventurous as Viva’s! In a way, this story is a reimagining of my childhood.

If there was one message you could have readers/listeners walk away with after the final notes/syllables of Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons have played, what would that be?

Sometimes, adventures can start in the most ordinary place. You just have to be looking for them!

A little quid pro quo, if you would. I'll say FAVORITE and you fill in the blank. Ready? Set? GO! Favorite...
...color? Gray
...season? Fall
...way to relax? A nature walk.
...type of music? Jazz!!  (totally saw that one coming!) Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare). Close second: a children’s book called Leonardo the Terrible Monster (Mo Willems).

Last but not least, any parting words for budding writers/creators out there...

Keep a notepad and pen close by. You never know when you’ll get a great idea for a story!

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Ashli St. Armant is a vocalist, writer, and arts educator, based in Southern California, where she was born and raised. She is the founder of Leaping Lizards Music, a music and theater education program for students, TK-12. She is a professionally trained vocalist and actor who attended the Orange County High School of the Arts and holds a degree in Child Development from Saddleback College. Alongside teaching, writing, and raising her two sons, Ashli tours with her band, Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards, a jazz band for young audiences. Together they have produced four albums featured by NPR and L.A. Times, and have performed at numerous venues including Lincoln Center and Sprout Network (NBC). Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons is Ashli’s debut audio original., and sets the path for her new venture into children’s literature.


Special thanks to Stephanie at Mayers Consulting for the heads up on this title, as well as the chance to connect with the creator for the awesome interview...and much thanks to Ashli St. Armant for those wonderful answers!  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the creator, or the vocalist, feel free to click on through the links provided above.  This title is available now, so check it out on Audible today!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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