Some exciting news! TWO new unabridged audiobooks released this month!
First, Jan Cramer, who is recording the whole of the Christoval Alvarez Tudor series, has done it again, narrating Bartholomew Fair with her usual flair.
Here are the links:
UK Link to Bartholomew Fair http://adbl.co/2m2K0Q2
US Link to Bartholomew Fair http://adbl.co/2mipdIE
Next, a new venture. I took some time finding the right voice for the first person narrator, Nicholas Elyot, of the audiobooks for my Oxford Medieval Mystery series. When I discovered Philip Battley, he had other commitments, but this month has been able to record The Bookseller’s Tale – brilliantly. It has just been released by Audible a couple of days ago.
Here are the links:
UK link to The Bookseller’s Tale: http://adbl.co/2oaVenY
US link to The Bookseller’s Tale: http://adbl.co/2ngTswD
Philip has just made a start on recording The Novice’s Tale, and Jan will be recording Suffer the Little Children after Easter.
If you are interested in having one of these clever actors read the stories to you, there are various options. You can buy the audiobooks as one-offs from Amazon, Audible, or i-Tunes. You can join Audible with a monthly subscription and get them at a reduced price – first one free, I think. Or Amazon sometimes has special offers on.
Creating these audiobooks is a big (and expensive) undertaking, which I’ve written about elsewhere on this blog. It’s expensive not only in money, but in time. My books generally run to about ten hours’ playing time. For that, the narrator probably puts in at least twenty hours’ work. I then go through, listening to the first ‘draft’ of the audio files, with the book open, stopping and starting the recording to make notes of any corrections or changes to delivery (accent, pace, emphasis, emotion, etc.). That takes me about twenty hours of very intense work.
I then prepare a worksheet of changes, the narrator implements them and uploads the corrected files, which I go through – a few more hours. Once we are satisfied, the recording is submitted to ACX, which checks it. With one of this month’s audiobooks, they wanted a narrower band of volumes between soft and loud (which I thought a pity), so that meant technical adjustments.
So, as you can see, it’s very labour intensive, but I am delighted with the results. I haven’t decided yet whether to do audiobooks of the Fenland Series. One complication is that Flood needs a female narrator, while Betrayal needs to alternate the chapters between female and male narrators, so I’ll need to give it some thought.
Creating these audiobooks has been a very interesting experience. Both of my actors are lovely people, and accept my suggestions with tolerance and grace! Sometimes I feel like a radio or TV director! At school and university I did a lot of acting, so it’s something I’ve been interested in for most of my life. Indeed, for a time I thought of pursuing a career on the stage. When I was a student I auditioned for and was awarded a lead part in a production going to the Fringe of the Edinburgh Festival. However, when I discovered that it involved appearing semi-naked on the stage, I turned it down (!). I decided then that the stage was probably not for me!! I think I made the right choice…It’s a very chancy life, about as chancy as being a writer.
With all this work on the audiobooks, I ran out of writing time on the next Oxford Medieval Mystery, The Huntsman’s Tale, so I am afraid it won’t now be out until some time in April (I hope). With two more audiobooks coming along, it is going to mean more juggling with time. This new book has also required quite a lot of research into medieval hunting, medieval weapons, medieval agriculture…and so on. Here is the blurb for the book, to whet your appetite:
Oxford, Late Summer 1353.
On hearing that his cousin is short-handed for the harvest, Nicholas Elyot takes a group of friends back to the family farm to help. When a deer hunt in Wychwood ends in tragedy, suspicion is directed toward the huntsman, a boyhood friend of Nicholas. Yet the victim has made many other enemies, any one of whom could have shot the fatal arrow. Can Nicholas uncover the real killer before it is too late?
As usual, I will let you know when it comes out.
In future newsletters I shall continue, from time to time, to discuss aspects of writing, so I’m very open to suggestions as to what topics are of interest. If you have an idea, let me know.
Life chez Swinfen is very much dominated these days by the menagerie. I know it’s only two animals at the moment, but both the cat Maxi and the puppy Suki have very strong personalities. Added to which, Suki’s favourite pastime is persecuting Maxi. He had yet to give her a vicious swipe of the claws, but I expect that moment to arrive. In the meantime, a dog can’t spend all her time chasing a pesky cat:
And a cat’s got to hide where a cat’s got to hide:
Till next time,