I’ve finally made the move to convert all my books into audiobooks.
This is a bit of a strange thing, because for many, many years I always found the idea of reading your own books aloud to an audience a bit of an odd concept. Books are meant to be read, with your imagination doing all the work and the screws and gears inside your head clunking away, creating a fictitious world, unique characters and having no boundaries, all without any outside influence.
Listening to an author read their book just seemed to defeat the whole purpose of tucking yourself into a comfy chair, or lying in bed, or even settling into the corner of a nice pub somewhere – and letting your imagination do what it does best. Mind you, most of the authors I’ve seen at “readings” were all literary writers and kind of trying to take things too far in both a writing and a theatrical sense. I’ll never forget a so-called celebrated author reading a passage from her latest novel that described her character’s writing desk – for twenty minutes. Seriously, it was all about a fictitious piece of furniture. Hardly Lee Childs or Stephen King, I suppose.
So this is a complete turnaround for me. But narrating popular fiction like my novels is different, and a pretty exciting and fun thing to do. Plus I can chuck in a few tricks that some producers can’t (due to costs and logistics), like musical intervals and sound effects, because I have a music studio and DAW skills. Several years as a voice-over artist has given me that “radio” voice you need, and reading my very own books is a tremendous advantage. I know exactly what I was writing or saying, if you know what I mean.
But can I narrate a story? Am I a good storyteller? That’s always going to be a subjective opinion. I might be brilliant, but a listener may decide they just don’t like my voice. My writing is no different, really. It’s all a matter of personal preferences.
However, I will explain that I choose to narrate my books as a “classic” storyteller – imagine we’re all sitting around a campfire or something. In other words, I don’t act out the different characters’ voices, but I add emphasis and emotion when it’s needed. This is, in fact, how the majority of audiobooks are produced. On the other hand, in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be putting my good friend James Davies in front of the microphone and getting him to narrate my Lukas Boston Mysteries. James is an experienced actor and very good at voices and accents, and the Lukas Boston audiobooks will benefit from that. We’ll have a huge amount of fun doing those books together (and probably drink a lot of beer in the process… not a recognised production technique, but what the hell).
But to start out, I’ve begun releasing audiobooks based on my Horror Story novels with Death Wish the first to be produced. The link is below. Please note that I have no control over the pricing of these audiobooks – that’s Audible’s call. If you’ve never tried an audiobook before, these Horror Story Volumes are comparatively short (3.5 hours for Death Wish) and thus cheaper than full-length books. Also, for those readers unfamiliar with the latest audiobook methods, you’re not looking at two dozen CD’s to lug around anymore – it’s all streaming or downloading MP3 files on your phone, iPad or any other device. Give it a try!