When I write, I often hear the characters in my head. I hear the story unfold as I put the words on the page. When an audiobook is made, suddenly someone else is telling the story.
It’s exciting and terrifying. Someone else is having real impact into how your story sounds in the world. I am a voracious reader and, while I am rarely without a book in my hand, I also love audiobooks. I was a ‘please read me another’ kind of kid and I guess I still am! When I drive or do chores or work in the garden, it is a pleasure to have a virtual person sitting nearby reading to me. And I am very picky. A good reader is SOooOOoo important! When there’s a series read by a fabulous reader and, suddenly, in the middle, someone else reads one of the books, it is disconcerting and, if the reader is not as good- or my ear is refusing to accept the voice- it can turn me off to continuing.
So… when I received a mystery email from an actor asking if the audition script was still available, I was confused. Script? Then he explained it was for the audiobook. I forwarded the request to my publisher and they said it had been cast! Now I was confused and dismayed! I used to write theatre and dialogue is my thing. And here, my publisher went off and started an audiobook without me! I checked out the requesting actor’s reel and he was fantastic! He did all manner of voices. He was funny and flexible. My publisher sent me the name of the actor they had cast and I was anxious. He was a very good reader (very engaging, indeed) but I didn’t see him doing accents and there are many accents in my books. They sent me his audition clip and, again, I was worried. He had not done any of the voices.
Clearly, when he auditioned, he didn’t know who was from where or anything. He was cast because he has a wonderful reading voice. I sent him an email with a list of the characters. He was so kind and willing to work with me, it made the whole experience a pleasure. In the end, when I had some kids listen, they wouldn’t let me turn off the story.
The long and short is that the performance is engaging and fun. The most important thing is that I was involved and the actor had fun, liked the story, and was willing to work with me. He adjusted. And I did, too. Some pronunciations are different than they were in my head. But the fact is, listeners have been enthusiastic.
The book has just been released. Have a listen!
or at iTunes!!