I want to focus one more time on audiobooks.
For some reason, they’re on my mind.
I can write a story. I can provide descriptions of settings, descriptions of action taking place, descriptions of character…I can bring characters to life with words.
The one thing that I can’t do is describe a character’s voice so that you hear it when you read the story.
Audiobooks can do that.
Finding the right voice for an audiobook isn’t an easy process. When I set up auditions for audiobooks, I usually receive several auditions. Some voices I realize aren’t the right one as soon as I hear the audition. Some auditions are great, and I sign that voice up to perform the story, but listeners don’t care for the voice. Other auditions are right on target with both me and the listener, and I try to send more work to those people.
The only problem with that? Everybody else likes them, too…then, they have trouble fitting my story into their schedules.
One of my favorite narrators is Meagan Cunningham. She’s the narrator of the audiobook version of If You Could Read My Mind – A Nicholas Turner Novel. Her performance is wonderful, and her characterization of Madeline is perfect. Her quick capture of the heart of the story, and her understanding of the bittersweet feelings, longings, loneliness, and missed opportunities lurking inside Nicholas Turner, make that novel come alive in a way that no male narrator could have.
I turn to Patrick Peterson a lot now. He’s narrated the audiobook versions of Mama Told Me Not To Come, MacArthur Park, and The Little Drummer Boy in the Justice Security series, and, let me tell you, nobody captures the character of Louie Washington and Dexter Beck like Patrick! Patrick has also narrated my short story, The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald, and brought it to life, too!
When I opted to have an audiobook done of my short story, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, I needed a voice with a British accent to perform as Colonel Abernathy. The first audition that I received was from Phillip J. Mather – Colonel Abernathy himself! Phillip seemed to sense what I was looking for in the old Colonel, and I never had to hear another audition! You should listen to the sample at Amazon, Audible, or iTunes – or simply buy the Audiobook – and check it out for yourself!
I have other narrators in the stable that I’m just as proud of – David Fischer, Jasmin Rhea, and Scott O’Neill. They’ve all done bang-up jobs on the stories they’ve narrated.
If you are an author, audiobooks are an important part of connecting with fans of your work. If your fans don’t have time to read the words, they might have time to listen to them, so keep audiobooks as a major part of your list of offerings!
That way, listeners can…
Michael (T. M. Bilderback)