In The Plotting Shed

In The Plotting Shed
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Sunday, 10 March 2019

Audiobook on its way!

I'm excited (and very relieved - although those emotions may be premature) to announce that I have just submitted Daffodils as an audiobook to ACX, the Amazonian provider of Audible.
It's been a bit of a diversion from writing Woodbine and Ivy and has taken far more time than I ever imagined but I'm deeply indebted to Grant Eden of www.oystermouthradio.com for his encouragement to complete the project. Grant was unfailingly supportive during the narration process recorded on Mumbles Pier.
It remains to be seen whether the noises off by the odd dog barking or people passing by enjoying the salty air gets past the strict quality control of ACX. Apparently, I have to wait about two weeks to find out and I'll be on pins until then. It's taken me about 2 months of working 7 days a week to skill up with the audio production. Editing took the longest time and there was much to learn but it was oddly satisfying to pore over the minutia of tiny sounds that could distract the listener from the story. I learned how the smallest of dots on the audio-file could mean a very unattractive swallowing sound, how a long vertical line meant I'd done an unlovely plosive noise and to be able to see, at a glance, how different a 'cleaned' audio file would look to one littered with extraneous noise.
I hope to repeat the process if Daffodils sells well as an audiobook and I'm sure it will take me far less time to edit another, as I have learned so much.
In the meantime, it will be wonderful to return to the challenging first draft of Woodbine and Ivy and take up the story again with the children - now adults of course - of the characters I've been revisiting in Daffodils. It was a really interesting, if surreal, experience to actually inhabit the characters created in Daffodils and to voice the words I'd written. In speaking the dialogue, I forgot completely that I'd invented them. They became more real to me than ever and I found myself thinking in their heads and feeling the emotions underpinning the conversations as if I was living it in that time and place. I found myself disagreeing with opposing views, getting angry and upset and ultimately joyful as the story played out. I, too, was back in the 20th century, with the characters I have come to love (or hate) and the whole experience provided me with new insights and perspective on the fictional world of Cheadle Manor and the two villages who depend upon its patronage.